The Billionaire's Mask (mask #1)

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Chapter 20


I threw the last pin on the dartboard but didn't hit the bull's eye. I blew a sharp breath of frustration.

I grimaced. “I can’t do it, Ollie. Not again.”

“Relax, man.” He stood and pulled the pins, then handed it to me. When are telling her then?”

“I told her it won't take a month, but it's been a week.”

I could only connect with her by eating the food she was preparing for me. She’d always leave a note, saying 'Enjoy your day' or 'I miss you' but I couldn't even write back. It was like a silly pass-the-message on crumpled paper kids do in grade school. Every word in the notes means I couldn’t keep my promise.

Oliver sat on the desk’s corner. “You still have to tell her.”

 “This is too much.” I aimed for the bull’s eye once more and threw the pin. It barely hit the center. I groaned. “How am I supposed to tell her that I am going to be away for such a long time?”

“It's going to take a year,” Ollie reminded. “You need a lot of time to completely change yourself. You need to learn everything again. It's like back to basics. So you do have to tell Alayna about this.”

I stopped. “Did he agree to perform the surgery?”

“Cassius won't let other hands touch you. Whether you like it or not, he's going to be your surgeon. He is smart and the most capable person. He's the most knowledgeable in your case. You've got to trust him, buddy. He's behind all of this progress you are having right now. He's the reason why Alayna can hold you now and why you can walk out again. I am just here on his behalf since you don't want to see him.”

“You know it’s not like that,” I said, my voice raised. “Don't make me feel guilty. It's a fact that he was the first person to know and didn't tell me that Casey was my sister when he was my best friend. You know how devastated I was when I found out about it.”

 “Well, I’m sorry. I was upset about that, too. If I was Cassius, I didn’t know if I would be able to tell you. It was what our father wants.”

 “I know, but it’s not just that.” I sat on the chair then squeezed my temples.

“It's been a year, Brandon. We cannot change it anymore.”

“He was getting in the way all the time!” I snapped. “He provoked me, and then he touched me. He shut me off with that bloody medicine again, Ollie. I almost fucking died. I just couldn't forget that. He knows Casey's the only one I have left and she doesn't even know about it.”

“Brandon, he didn't mean to hide it from you,” he said, his expression remained composed. “He's just afraid. No one can know that she's your sister. Her life could be in danger, too. What happened last year was an accident. He didn't mean to hurt your feelings.”

“It looks like I don’t have a choice at all,” I dismissed. “I wouldn't want anyone, anyway.” I hate to admit, but Cassius was the only person. He knew me, and that’s enough.

I gritted through my teeth. I guess there was no turning back now. I tossed the last dart pin I was holding, and this time, I hit the bull's-eye.

“Your turn.”

He clung his arm on my shoulder and chuckled. “I didn't know that I would get to play this with you, but I'm starving.”

I shrugged. “I could do this all day.”

“You need to exercise, but why don't we eat first?”

“I'm staying here. I'll wait for you.”

“Oh, come on!” He patted my back. “Alayna must’ve prepared something special.”

 “Then you bring it here.”

“Hey, I thought of something,” he suddenly said.


“Why don't you just go on a date with Alayna? Of course, it won’t be in public. It would be a perfect time to tell her. What do you think?”

“How am I supposed to tell her that we won't see each other for a while after the most fantastic date we ever had? Hmm?”  I raised an eyebrow.

“So are you just going to disappear?” He stepped in front of me, holding my shoulders. “Come on, Brandon. You can't do that. She'll be very disappointed. Who knows she might meet someone else in your absence,” he joked, but Oliver knew it was also possible.

Over my dead body. I groaned. I was fine with anything that could happen to me, but that’s one thing I couldn’t let happen.

Ann Margarette

Edited: 05.09.2019

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