The Billionaire's Mask (mask #1)

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Chapter 21

ALAYNA

 

I came out of the room for a bit after our little dinner and clean my station, then I returned to his room. When I came in, Brandon was sitting on his bed with his legs crossed while holding an iPad. I noticed he had already changed the covers.

“I just thought it might be comfortable for you if I change the covers.”

“Are we going to sleep now?” I had to ask. It was kind of early, and I still wanted to spend more time with him with my conscious mind.

He smiled and put his iPad down. “Would you like to?”

I moved closer him and ran a finger on his bedsheets. “Not yet.”

“Good.” He stepped off the bed and took my hand. “Come, I want to show you something.”

 Wondering where he was going, I just let him take me. We walked back to his living room and opened another door I didn’t notice before. I frowned. Just how many secrets doors he had? I didn't look like a door at first. It seemed more like a part of the wall mural.

I felt him his hand tightened around mine after he fired up the room’s lights. My jaw dropped when a peculiar place flashed before my eyes.

A made of tinted glass walls was filled with large monitors and computers. Each computer facing each other with at least six workstations. Bright neon green lights illuminating the mainframe. I’d never know anything about computers, but this was definitely not just a regular office. But one particular room chilled down my spine.

I could see one side of the wall—like a window. It was another room. A white room. My whole body quivered when I saw the same telephone, the desk, and the chair…

I swallowed hard. “Gee, Brandon. You could really see me in there. Why are you suddenly showing me this?”

His breath quickened. I felt his anxiousness on his sweaty palms. He was nervous, but he was trying. “I wanted to show you how I was before I met you.”

“Before?”

“I never used it after you,” he confessed. His voice tortured and vulnerable.

“Why not?”

“You've changed me,” he mumbled.

I blew out a sharp breath. I didn’t know what to say. The tension around us was damn unfathomable. It  must be so hard  for him to show this to me.

“What are those computers for? The big monitors?” I tried asking something else instead.

“You were right before. There were CCTVs installed in the house so I would know what's going. But it isn’t just to spy people. I wanted to see if someone is going to break in.” He turned and gazed at me. “You see, Alayna. I'm paranoiac. I want you to know at least this part of me.”

I nodded. “Alright, I get it. Did you do all of this because of what happened to your family?”

“I don't want it to happen again.”

“But why they are shut down now?”

“I'm not using this room, Alayna. It was the only place I know I'm safe, but I don't want to live like this anymore. When you came into my life, I started to view things differently. I want to live a normal life again.” He cupped my face. I could see the agony on his expression. “Do you still accept me after showing this to you? Do you still accept me for who I am?”

I weakly smiled but my eyes had also failed me. Tears rushed down my cheeks after the building tension in my chest. “I do. I do accept you.” I inclined my face to his hand. “I like that you’re honest and open with me.”

He let out a soft sob. “Thank you.  I’m just worried you won’t accept me after this.”

I chuckled. “I think I received all the shocks a person could handle the first time I met you. But I accept you for who you are. You are a survivor, Brandon. Never forget that.”

We came back to his room and laid on each other’s side. I never felt so contented in my life. Him next to me like this was more than enough. I wished I could be with him every day like this, but I had to respect that still demands privacy—which I failed to give him on my first day.



Ann Margarette

Edited: 05.09.2019

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