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“What do you want?”
“I think I already told you. I want you.” Master’s eyes gleamed.
I looked at him. “I thought you hate being touched. Why are you doing this now?”
He chuckled. God his smile, I almost wanted to faint. “Is that what you think of me? That I’m going to touch you?” he asked.
“What do you want from me? Please let me go. I can’t feel my hands anymore,” I struggled, swallowing my dry throat.
Master Brandon pulled me then he laid me on the couch. He gripped my wrists, pinning my hands above me. I swallowed hard. “Better? Am I making you uncomfortable?”
I struggled, but he kept his grasp tight. I groaned, “If this is about Oliver...You should not—”
“This is about you and me,” he snapped. “Do you like him that much, you think this is about Oliver?”
I swallowed, “You should stop. He’s just being friendly.”
His eyes peered, “Let say he is; you didn’t answer my question.”
I looked away from his intense gaze. I pulled my arms from his grip and pushed away his chest. I got myself up, then I sat appropriately. “No, I don’t, and even if I like him, are you going to oppose? Am I not allowed to like someone in the house?” Someone like you? Someone so mysterious and someone with too many issues?
He let out a soft laugh. He leaned his back on the couch, “I was right all along.” His jaw twitched, “Leave.”
“What?” I frowned.
“Please leave, Alayna.”
“I don’t understand your sudden temper switch anymore,”
“You like my cousin and yes, I won’t allow you like someone in my house,”
Yeah, I was right. I thought so too. I couldn’t like you. “I told you I don’t like Oliver. He was the only person in this house I thought I could be friends with. And you know what? I don’t understand what the hell you meant about you don’t share. You don’t own me. No one owns me. Oh! I was right about you too. You are strange just like your old creepy house,” I caught my mouth immediately. My eyes grew wide. Did I really say all of that?
“Please leave Alayna. I can’t talk to you like this.”
“Why not?” I mumbled.
“Not now. Please leave,” Master stood then turned away. “I need to be alone.”
“You know that you can’t possibly shake me like this and then you are just going to make me leave. At least tell me why!”
He turned again and faced me. “Because you make feel alive again! I’ve been dead for so long and I never had friends. Oliver is the only person who stayed for the last decade of my pathetic existence. And you like him, Alayna. It’s too complicated.”
“You made this person to yourself. Madam Lennie cares so much about you. The people outside this room are all working for you. Are they nothing to you?”
He exhaled sharply, “You don’t know me. You don’t know the monster beneath this thing,” he pointed out the mask on his face.
“Physical appearance does not define a person. I may not know what happened to you, but there’s one thing I know. You are living in the dark.”
“You are only saying that because you don’t know. Didn’t I tell you to leave?”
“I’m not going to leave!” I exclaimed, “Even if you push me away, Master.”
His eyes softened. He slowly walked towards me. “Where have you been all this time?”
“I’m here now,” I whispered. I could even hear my own heartbeat. The pounding was getting quicker as he walks closer. Until he’s only an inch away from me. We were close enough; we could almost kiss each other’s nose. I could smell the scent of his breath. It was so sweet it made me want to touch him.
“If you don’t walk away now, I can’t stay away from you anymore,” He whispered. He slipped his hand slowly around my neck. Our heads adhered. I closed my eyes slowly. How could a simple yet so gentle touch like this could make my whole body shiver? I’d been in a few relationships before and I was sure that it didn’t feel like this. No one had ever made me feel like this. The excitement, the desire, the urge... I wasn’t sure anymore. He wasn’t even doing anything.
“Then don’t.” I stared up at him; at his face. Masked or unmasked. I didn’t care anymore. I swallowed, “Oliver and I... It’s really nothing,”
He breathed out sharply, “But he likes you. I know. I saw how he looked at you. I can’t want someone my cousin wants,” he said, softly.
Oliver was engaged. It’s impossible. “Stop making conclusions. You don’t know anything about your cousin. You should be more understanding of other people living in your house. You should start to see the world.”
He let me go then he stepped away. He ran his fingers over his scalp. He looked confused. “I can’t come out.”
“Why not? It’s been a long time.”
He sighed. “Do you know how much I wanted to know where’s Annette? Do you know why when you finally gave me her address I couldn’t grasp the opportunity to find her?”
“W-Why?” I breathed.
“I’m not capable of coming out. It’s all useless.”
Because you are afraid that someone might hurt you just like how they hurt your family. Poor, poor man. I wasn’t capable of getting him out of here, just like how his cousin wants for him. He was in so much pain.
I touched his hand and squeezed it gently. “You don’t mind if I touch you here?”
He shook his head, “No.”
“I don’t know what’s going on with your life and I’m not going to ask. But you can do it. I believe you can. You just have to practice. Start going out of your room and take a stroll around your house.”
“Too many people. I can’t.”
“Well, try it when there’s no one around. The staff sleeps at ten thirty.”
He chuckled and smiled, “Do you think I didn’t know that? Oliver and I set out those rules.”
I grinned, “I can walk with you if you want.”
“What if they see me?”
“What are you afraid of?”
“I’m just afraid of coming out, but I’m not stupid. I know that it’s strange for people to see someone wearing a mask.”