The Billionaire's Mask (mask #1)

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Chapter 27



The moonlight was the only source of light of the hot spring, but the beauty of the blue waters still stands out. The steaming water was formed by the massive stones around it in an erratic round shape. Before it, were soaring cherry blossom and plum trees. It was so solemn and peaceful; like I’d escaped from the real world to somewhere like a fantasy. Who would have thought that there was a place like this in Portland?

 Lydia made me wore an all-white Kimono, but I knew that there would be no use of it anymore since I'm taking them off to bath in an open field. I pulled the kimono off my shoulders and let it drop on the wooden floor. I stepped a foot in hot water and slowly went down. I blew out a breath of relief, shutting my eyes as the soothing warm water touched my skin. I strolled to the center then soaked my body in water.

“Beautiful, isn't it?” Brandon’s seductive voice spoke behind me. I felt his hand clasped my shoulders, his bare skin touching back, making me realize that he wasn’t wearing anything. I gasped.

“Yes, it's wonderful.” My throat was suddenly in need of a drink.

“Do you to want me to leave?”

“You said we are going to talk. I know that you've been keeping something from me and I want you to tell me what's going on—”

I spun around then looked up at him, to my surprise, my jaw dropped.

“Oh my God...” I stopped for a moment, cupping my mouth instantaneously. My stomach twisted as if burning from the strange sensation I couldn't explain. I shivered on the under the warm water. Brandon’s expression was wounded, dark even. His eyes were deep and dangerous.

 My knees abruptly felt frail, my jaws were shuddering as if I was going to sink under the water at any second. Brandon's bare face appeared in front of me.

“Y-your… your mask,” I mouthed.

I swiftly tore my gaze away. My heart was thudding incoherently, realizing that wouldn't be able to bear seeing him like this, though his face was even now imprinted in my brain. I was too surprised!

It was dreadful. The skin on the right side of his face was dead red. The scar was mostly from the burn. He also had deep scars like his face was sliced numerous times. The cut began from the top of his eyebrow down his cheeks. He didn't even have an eyebrow! There was no pinch of flesh left on that particular side, and the slough wound didn't seem to heal like it was always fresh.

“Even myself can't look at my face in the mirror,” he croaked.

I swallowed hard, “It’s not like that. I'm just surprised. You didn't warn me.” I still couldn't look at it. It looked so painful. I didn't notice that I was already crying until I felt my tears streamed down my cheeks. I sniveled.

“I'm sorry, Alayna. This monstrous side of my face scared you.”

“It... it's not that I'm scared. Why does it look fresh?” I said, still refusing to look at his face, but his chest, “Why didn't you want it to be healed? Why did you wait for it to look like that?” I wiped away the tears from my cheeks.

“I understand if you can't look at me. I’m even terrified of my face,” he matter-of-factly said.

“Whoever did this to you is evil,” I began to sob hard. My knees failed me. I wasn't disgusted nor frightened of him, but the sight of it would make anyone lose their strength. Brandon caught me swiftly, then I slowly gazed up at him—to face him. I’m prepared to look at him, and that was because I love him. I was ready to see the real face of Brandon Lucien again. But he already set back his white mask on.

“I won't blame you if you don't want me anymore because of this,” he said. “I hated myself because of this monster.”

I stared at him, “No. My feelings won't change, even it was your whole face. You are right. You can't just let them go for they did to you.”

Brandon smirked, “I can't if I'm still like this. You see? I am not confident enough.”

“Whoever they are who did this to you, they have to pay for it. How—how could they do something so evil? How could someone stomach to do this to a person? You are their flesh and blood, if they were your relatives,” I wept. “They're not even human to do this.”

Brandon hushed, “Alayna… You need to calm down.”

“How can I calm down?” I exclaimed. I cupped both his face. “Why did you let them do this to you and hide from the whole world for a long time?”

Ann Margarette

Edited: 05.09.2019

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