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Lillian pulled her eyes away from Sam’s no longer able to look him in the eye. She looked down at the wound that had started to spill with blood. She hadn’t even noticed that her body had started shake slightly and before she knew it Sam’s unconscious body fell to the ground. She had no idea how it came to be that way or whether he was still alive mostly because she was now being carried towards the bed.
While she had not yet fainted, she felt light headed and she had already felt as though she was floating even before she was being carried through the room. Lillian laughed gently at his words, followed by a cough. At that point she winced and her hand went to her fresh knife wound. As he lay her down on the bed he used his jacket to try to stop the bleeding.
“Y-you are...g-going to ruin your jacket.” Her voice was weak but she tried to keep the mood light by keeping a smile on her face. Even though it was her losing blood, she was concerned about the worried look on Frederick’s face. Lillian allowed her eyes to close for a moment as his hand brushed her forehead where a cold sweat was already forming and she only opened her eyes again when he mentioned a hospital. She instantly started to shake her head. “N-no hospitals.”
Lillian lifted her hand to meet his cheek and smiled softly. “You came back.” After she spoke she started to cough again and she found herself in a lot of pain. She hadn’t noticed how much it hurt until now. “You shouldn’t have come back.” It wasn’t that she didn’t want him to be here. She had regret sending him away the moment she did it but having him here meant that the situation was more complicated. “Y-you were supposed to forget about me.”
Frederick watched as the man bought his hand to his jaw, wincing as he touched the tender skin. Although never normally the one to start a fight, Freddie couldn’t help but smile as he saw the mans pain. It would serve him right to touching Lillian. There was no time to think about how foolish he had been to his Lillians brother, if he had interpreted the situation in the wrong way then he would have been in trouble but suddenly there was a flash of silver in the man’s hand. A knife. Freddie felt his throat close up, he had come in unarmed and the gun he did have was in his bag which was on the floor by the door. There was no time to go back to get it, he needed to move quickly to get out of the way, or more importantly, get Lillian out of the way, before the mad man attacked them.
It appeared that Lillian had a different plan. Instead of moving out of the way like he had hoped she would, she put herself in between the two men. Frederick tried to move forward to pull her out of the way but the sound of the blade sinking into her skin stopped him. The man’s face was anything but apologetic. Lillian hadn’t fainted, which was more than Frederick could have said for how he was feeling. Panic rose in his chest and the sight of the blood on the blade caused his stomach to churn.
Thinking as quickly as possible, Freddie grabbed the nearest object to him, which turned out to be a book, and bought it down on Lillians brothers head, causing him to collapse in a heap on the ground unconscious. He then turned to Lillian and in one swift motion picked her up, trying to carefully carry her to the bed without aggravating the wound any more.
“I leave you for two minutes and you get yourself stabbed.” He said softly, his voice laced with worry. Gently he placed her on the bed and shrugged his jacket off, pressing it tightly to the wound to stop the bleeding.
His eyes flashed to the man on the floor for a split second before looking back to the bleeding woman who was causing so much pain to swim through his body. It should have been him, if he had gotten stabbed he would have coped but Lillian, she was innocent. This had only happened because he had left. Frederick brushed a hand over her forehead whilst keeping the other pressed to the bleeding hole in her.
“We need to get you to a hospital.” He said, now running a hand through his hair. Hospitals would ask questions but she was losing blood and there was no way he was going to keep her in the hotel room with her unconscious brother.
Her lips parted to speak, to protest him but as she was about to talk she noticed movement behind him and watched as the door of the room opened. He had come back. Even though she has sent him away he has still come back but she couldn’t smile or allow herself to be happy about the situation because his very presence could easily escalate their current situation. She would never trust her brother and she knew that he would have some ulterior motive for being there but she also knew that he did not enjoy having his plans messed with had Frederick’s entrance did exactly that. The proof came with his swift movement of turning away from her but staking his claim on her by taking hold of her arm with a familiar force. It wasn’t the first time he had grabbed her like this but she still grit her teeth and inhaled deeply.
If the situation was different she might have noticed the way that he called her his but she was so focused on trying to convey her distain for her brother. She shook her head at her brother’s words and attempted to pull her arm away from him. “Let me go.” Her words echoing Frederick’s who had told him to leave. His laugh echoed through the room and she kept pulling at her arm. She only stopped when she noticed him reaching around his back. She saw the silver of the blade but she could not warn Frederick in time before he moved towards her brother and ploughed his first against his jaw.
The move only angered Sam further and he finally let go of his hand so that he could nurse his jaw for a moment. The lip has split and a small bit of blood started to escape it bit he simply growled and used his hand to wipe it away. He was ready now, ready to attack him back but his intentions were to add a weapon to their fight. The knife was now in full view on an attempt to taunt Frederick and make him back away but she knew Sam and she knew that this was not an empty threat. He would stab him if he could get close enough. Lillian couldn’t allow Frederick to get hurt because of her and without thinking she moved quickly. Her brother’s hand thrust forward with the knife firmly in his grip and she pulled back on his other arm to slow him enough that she put herself between Sam and Frederick. In doing so she took the blow that was meant for Frederick.
Lillian expected to feel pain as her eyes widened from the shock of cold metal sliding into her abdomen as though her skin was as soft as butter. Her lips parted and her hand moved to the blade in Sam’s hand as it remained on the knife. She pushed against him and in retaliation he pulled the blade out and her eyes started to tear up as they locked with Sam’s. Any normal brother would have been devastated by the fact they had hurt their sister but he was smiling like a maniac, seemingly feeling accomplished by his actions. Even if it was meant for Frederick, he was satisfied with his target.
The drive back seemed to stretch on forever and it felt like everything that could possibly get in his way did. From people walking out in front of his car to almost running out of gas. The entire way his blood thrummed, as though realising he had feelings for Lillian had awakened something in him, rousing him from the sleepy state he had lived his life up until now. Every scenario ran through his head, what he would say when he got back, how he would apologise and explain why he had said the things he had without explicitly telling her that he had feelings for her?
After what seemed like the longest drive in history he finally pulled into the parking lot at the hotel. Despite how eager he had been to return home, getting out of the car seemed like a whole other story. He was scared. There was a chance that Lillian would not listen to him, only kick him out and refuse to see him again. The possibility of not getting to apologise to her was somehow worse than her refusing his apology all together.
Finally, Frederick got out of the car and made his way up to the hotel room. Each step bought a new sense of fear and even though he was aware of the strange feelings he held for Lillian, it didn’t make accepting them any easier. It was only when he approached the room did he hear Lillians voice. She sounded angry, but her words were muffled by the walls. Freddie slowed his steps down, trying to understand what was happening in the room. He didn’t want to walk in on her in a compromising position, even if it served him right after his stunt with the brunette woman earlier.
Frederick stood behind the closed door, another voice spoke over Lillians, a male begging her to let him help. There was only a split second before Freddie was in the room, bag dropped on the floor, eyes wide.
“I leave you for two minutes darling and you’ve already gotten yourself into trouble.” Frederick said, keeping his voice light despite the panic that was now rising in his chest. The man had his back to Frederick and was closer to Lillian than he liked. With an irritated sigh, the man turned around to face Frederick, before moving so that Lillian was beside him, his hand now on her arm.
“Care to explain what you think you’re doing touching whats mine?” Frederick said calmly, his eyes staying trained on the man. He was too far away that he couldn’t get to Lillian without alerting the stranger to his intentions and so he stayed rooted to the floor.
“Yours? This is my sister and I think I’m correct in believing she wanted you to leave.”
His heart dropped for a moment, wondering if Lillian had really told her brother that she didn’t want Frederick around, but one glance at her face and he could see her expression was not one of sisterly love.
“I think you need to leave,” Freddie said, taking a slow step towards the man. Lillian's brother rolled his eyes and let out another irritated sigh as if Freddies presence was inconvenient. Everything Lillian had told him about the man had the hairs on his neck standing up on end. This was not a good man, this was a man that had almost gotten her killed and had left her in the hands of some very unpleasant men.
Letting out a soft sigh, Frederick shook his head and took another slow step forward.
“I really didn’t want to do this, I’ve had a long night and need to talk to your sister. One more chance kid. You. Leave. Now.” His voice was no longer patient. Perhaps it was a good thing that they had argued earlier that evening because it had run his temper short. Lillians brother let out a cold laugh, it was clear that he had no plans of leaving and slowly his hand was reaching around to his back.
Freddie moved without thinking. In one swift motion, he stepped forward, closing the gap between him and Lillians brother and lifted his fist, placing it firmly on the other man’s jaw with a sickening crack.
She knew that it wouldn’t be easy to see him go and a part of her wished that he would fight her on it but deep down they both knew that this had to happen. This [i needed] to happen. Lillian nodded at his words finding herself too choked up to speak as he left. She had to stop herself from telling him to stop, from telling him that she had made a mistake and that she needed him to stay. Not because of his money or because he was helping her get to where she needed to be bur because she wanted him there. She had feelings for him and she had realised that the moment she saw him kissing another woman but nothing good would come of her telling him now, especially when he would have to leave her anyway. With that he was gone and she spent some time crying to herself as she lay on the bed and time escaped her for a while.
There was a knock at the door then and she let out a frustrated groan. Frederick had only been gone for two hours and it seemed that he had already returned. She had just got comfortable on the bed and she was ready to at least try to sleep but it seemed like she wasn’t going to be granted the peace. Lillian was cursing to herself as she made her way over the door and as she opened it she was muttering loudly.
“I told you to go home!” She said but as soon as her eyes locked with who was at the door she was filled with dread. It was then that she wished that it was Frederick at the door but she had no such luck. As the man at the door tried to offer her a smile she pushed at the door trying to close it in his face. The male’s foot trapped itself in the door and stopped her from closing it and he used his body strength to push at it, overpowering her easily.
“Is that any way to greet your brother?” He asked as he pushed open the door, forcing Lillian backwards as she snarled at him. “What? Not going to give your brother a hug?” His arms were stretched out as though he expected her to simply fall into them like she used to as a child. She had so much respect for him then and there had been so much love between them. She couldn’t even pinpoint the moment all of that changed or what actually happened that made him behave in such a way that got her into the situation she was faced with now and all the danger she had been faced with over the last couple of years.
“You are no brother of mine. You made my life hell. You don’t deserve any kind of greeting! What are you even doing here?” She asked, not even concerned with the fact that he had found her but more bothered by the fact that he was here at all.
“They know you are alive Lillian. They know you faked your death to get away from them. I only wish that I would have figured that out sooner. I could have helped you a long time ago but I am here now to try and make it right.” His voice changed tone, echoing the caring nature he had one had but she had learned a long time ago that he has been unable to show any care for her. Whatever he was showing her now was an act. “I know you don’t trust me but I am here to help you. Who else is going to help you now that Frederick has left you?”
Lillian’s eyes narrowed at the mention of his name and he just rolled his eyes. “I know he has been helping you. I’ve been following you since you left to make sure he didn’t screw it up. It’s a good job I did. What kind of man leaves a woman to fend for herself in the middle of no where?”
“I asked him to leave. What kind of man drags his sister into a gang circle and makes her work off a debt that he’s too cowardly to work off himself? I want you to leave! I don’t need your help. Not today. Not ever!” As she spoke he stepped towards her and she retreated further into the room. She knew that it was a bad idea the moment she did it. He was in the room now and the door was shut behind her and if she needed to get away from him she had no where to go. “Sam I just want to be left alone. Leave me to just get on with my life.”
“Oh dear Lillian. I’m here to help you. Just let me take you to where you are going. You are not going to get there alone now are you? As soon as we get there I will leave you to your new life but please let me help you.”
Leaving was the last thing he wanted at that moment. Though he was not sure at that time why, still unaware of the alien feelings, he knew leaving Lillian was not right. It didn’t matter what felt right or wrong though, as Lillian was handing him the bag and dismissing him, as though they had not just spent the last three weeks together. She spoke with the same coldness she had the night they met when it had been her life or his. It was clear that he really was no more than a wallet and a car to her. [I That is just fine with me, ] He thought, grabbing the bag.
“Nothing to talk about? Right.” Freddie looked around the room, running a hand through his hair in distress, before locking eyes with Lillian. “Fine. You know what, you’re totally right. I’ll go spend some time with people that aren’t completely disgusted by me.” Frederick slung the bag over his shoulder and hovered for a moment, still not wanting to leave. Despite his words, he disagreed with everything she was saying but there was no way in hell that Frederick Lester was about to tell the woman in front of him that he was willing to give up everything to see her safe because Frederick Lester couldn’t accept defeat, especially emotional defeat. “Good luck, Lillian. I hope you get exactly what you want in your new life.” He said, his words cold and impassive.
Frederick couldn’t get out of the hotel room fast enough. He strode out of the room without saying another word and refused to look back at the woman who had caused his chest to feel like it was ripping in two. Anger. That had to be what he felt. Surely this was just anger.
Once out of the hotel he got in the car and drove. The first hour of driving was fine, his rage towards Lillian for dismissing him, telling him to leave, distracted him enough from the actual feelings that he had spent the whole night ignoring. It wasn’t until the adrenaline settled down that Frederick started to really think about the nights events.
The ring now sat on the passenger seat, reminding him that the blonde who had sat there smiling and mocking him for so many weeks would never be his driving partner again. His eyes moved from the ring to the road several times as the minutes passed over. It had been an overreaction. Her comments about the ring and the way she had smiled, as though he had gifted her with something other than just a prop, they were no reason for him to get angry. Frederick knew he had said awful things, kicking him out had been justified it was just that – that…
Frederick slammed his hand against the steering wheel and cursed loudly. It was just that it [I had ] only been a prop. It wasn’t a real engagement ring and she would never smile at him like that with genuine affection. Frederick had played the part of husband and somehow, amongst her quick tongue and clever way of twisting his words, her passion and kindness and selflessness, she had gotten him to want to be more than just an actor in their play. Deep within his heart he had formed a connection to Lillian. Not just a connection or a friendship, not even just a bond. No, Lillian had stolen a part of his heart without either of them knowing and now Frederick had gone and ruined everything.
It made sense, it was why kissing that woman had felt so wrong. It was why his thoughts had been of Lillian and not of losing himself in the brunette. Because he wanted the woman in his arms to be Lillian, not a stranger.
The car lurched under his hand as he swung the steering wheel around, turning the vehicle around. He had lashed out at her because he had been scared. Scared of the strange feeling that he hadn’t understood, but he understood now. Of course, he didn’t plan on telling her that. At the end of the day, he would still need to leave her to start a life without him but maybe he could keep his promise to her, get her to her destination and then he could make his peace with his feelings and return home. It would help him not feel like a total arse. So Frederick tightened his grip on his steering wheel and pressed his foot down harder on the gas, forcing the car to gain speed because now there was nothing else in his head except getting back to Lillian.
When she reached the bedroom she made sure that everything that belonged to Frederick was placed in the bag, making sure that she still had a selection of clothes to last her until she reached her destination. Lillian didn’t know how she would get there without Frederick but she would figure it out. She was a resourceful woman and she would find a way. She would get herself a job and find somewhere to live and she would do so on her own. Not to prove a point but because she needed to let Frederick go back to his life and forget about her. She was sure that he would forget about her easily, especially after the way he had spoken to her. No, he would definitely forget about her easily.
She didn’t expect Frederick to come back to the room any time soon but when there was a knock at the door there was no one else it could have been. Lillian was lying on the bed reading a book when he came in and she tried not to look at him as he entered the room. Lillian sighed and placed the book on the bedside table and she tossed her legs over the side of the bed. “Actually Frederick, we don’t need to talk about anything.” She looked over at the bag and swallowed hard at the prospect of telling him to leave sooner than either of them intended.
“You were right. You’ve given up a lot to be here.” She rose from her seated position now and moved over to pick up the bag. “It’s time for you to go home. We’ve been doing this for weeks now and you’ve but everything on hold for me. I don’t think we have anything to talk about.”
There had been many times in Fredericks life when he had felt that sudden sickness that comes when you realise you’ve done the wrong thing. As a child he had broken his mothers' vase and hidden it in a plant pot, that sick feeling had stayed with him until he owned up. This was the same feeling that was now swimming in his stomach as he kissed the brunette stranger. Frederick pulled away with more force than needed.
“Sorry, I’ve got to go.” He said suddenly, holding his hand to his mouth with a slight disgust. Was it possible that he was just drunk? Somehow Freddie knew there was a deeper rooted reason behind his guilt from kissing that woman because the moment their lips had touched there was only one thought in his mind. She wasn’t Lillian.
Freddie turned and proceeded to stride out of the room with haste, only to be stopped by the waitress who had served them earlier that evening. The woman was frowning as she placed a hand on his arm to draw his attention.
“It may not be my place to say sir, but your wife has just come looking for you. I’m afraid she saw you with that woman. Maybe in future, you should be more careful.” The woman was clearly not saying something and had he not been in a state of emotional turmoil he would have probed her further. Instead, he continued to walk out of the bar and up to his room.
Once reaching the room, Freddie knocked on the door again only this time softer, not even trying to see if the door was locked this time.
“Lillian I’m coming in.” He said before opening the door. Luckily she hadn’t locked the door. Frederick walked into the room, his hand rubbing his forehead. The effects of the alcohol and their argument were creating pressure on his head and now he wanted nothing more than to sleep.
He would have accepted Lillian to shout at him, maybe even throw something. Going into that room he was unsure of her reaction, all he knew is that his anger had dwindled down, he no longer felt the need to cause an outburst or scream and shout. Instead, all he felt was the sickness. Had the waitress been right? Lillian had seen him with that woman and for some reason, it bothered him more than he wanted it to.
“We need to talk, about today at dinner and about…about the bar.” He swallowed and stood there, slightly dishevelled and slightly intoxicated.
Lillian shut her eyes and waited for him to be done and she felt nothing but relief as she heard his footsteps moving further away from the door. She didn’t move for quite a while as she kept her place on the floor with her back pressed up against the door. Her hands found her face and she was slowly beginning to calm down but only because she had forced him out of her mind for a moment. If she didn’t she was sure that she would never have calmed down. Both of them had said things in anger but there was still some truth to their words, even if there was more malice than there should have been.
“Damn it.” She cursed to herself as she pulled her hands away from her face. Lillian decided to pace the room for a little while and after time passed she had taken to laying down on her bed. A part of her wondered if she slept she might feel better but she also felt the need to clear the air with Frederick. He would likely be drunk and while the last thing she wanted to do was apologise, she would have to swallow her pride. She pushed herself off the bed and made her way towards the door, taking her time so that she could mentally prepare herself to face an intoxicated Frederick. Her face had reddened slightly from their altercation and she was sure that she looked fatigued after their argument but she didn’t care.
As she reached the bar her eyes scanned the room, trying to find him in the crowd. She couldn’t see him face amongst them but when her eyes reached the bar she realises why she couldn’t see his face and that was because his was buried in another’s, locking lips with a woman he had just met. It shouldn’t have made her breath catch in her throat and it certainly shouldn’t have shattered her heart, yet it did. Her eyes lingered on them for a moment longer than she intended and when she ripped her eyes away there were tears stinging them. It was then that she realised the real reason that her feelings had been hurt by his words and his actions. Perhaps she has realised for quite some time but had never wanted to admit it to herself but now the truth was hard to avoid.
The waitress who had served her earlier moved towards her and smiled towards her. “Is everything alright?” She asked with concern in her voice. As a reaction, Lillian wiped her eyes and tried to put on a smile and nodded.
“Everything is fine.” Lillian watched as the woman found the scene that had caused Lillian such upset and without another word exchanged between the two she turned on her heels and started back towards the bedroom. It was time to let him go. She had clearly been holding him back longer than she had intended and it was about time that she tried to figure this out on her own. He was right. He had given up aspects of his life for her and she didn’t want to be that drain on him anymore.
As it turned out, anger was not that much better than silence when it came to Lillian. The words that poured from her mouth, the hatred in her eyes, was proof enough for him that despite their time together she had not changed her opinion on him. He hadn’t forgotten what she had done for his sister, it was one of the reasons he was stood outside their bedroom door and in his car driving home at that very moment. He owed her a life debt and maybe that hadn’t been paid yet but it was pretty close. The ring was picked up and slipped into his pocket.
“I do not believe for one moment that you gave me that diamond to save my sister, Lillian. You did it because you knew I would help you find a better life.” His words were quieter this time but still harsh and hateful. “You know what, I’m done. I’m going to get a drink.” And with that Freddie turned on his heels and stormed back down the corridor and down to the bar. He didn’t need to hear more of her vicious words or be reminded again how she felt he was an arrogant, self-centred, womanizer. No, she had made it perfectly clear how she felt and any feelings that had been stirring up earlier have been smothered and replaced by fury.
Alcohol would help. Not in the sense that it would help him calm down and see the error of his words, but it would numb his mind enough that he would be able to sleep. Whiskey flowed and Freddie couldn’t remember where one drink finished and the next started. Although not drunk he had consumed enough that his head had become glazed, his thoughts thick like honey and slow moving. Sat at the bar, he took the ring out and looked it over. It had been a stupid idea to give her it, even stupider to get angry about her reaction.
A tall brunette wearing too much perfume and not enough clothes sauntered up to him, seating herself at the bar beside him.
“That’s a pretty ring.” She purred, leaning in closer. Freddie wanted to push her away, to tell her he was not in the mood for women and their drama.
“It appears she had no use for it in the end, or me.” He muttered under his breath. That was right, Lillian would soon have no use for him, it was why feelings were pointless and attachments were foolish. Frederick sat back and dropped the ring back into the pocket of his jacket before turning to look at the brunette next to him. “I’m sure you can find some use for me though, can’t you darling?” It was as easy as putting on a pair of old shoes. The playboy smile and charming mannerisms surfaced as though only hours ago he had wanted to smash every glass in the place.
They spoke for a while, not long and Freddie barely listened to a dull word that fell from her lips. Thoughts circled his head persistently, this woman was not even a scratch on Lillians beauty, her voice was irritating – unlike Lillians. Her stories were boring and made him want to plug his ears, yet when Lillian spoke he drank in every word. Freddie shook his head, he was angry at her so why could he not stop thinking about her? Why did she take over every thought and why did every woman in the bar pale in comparison.
“So, did you love her?” Freddie blinked and realised he had completely zoned out of Abbie, no Rebecca… Rachels? story. “The girl you nought that ring for, did you love her?” Freddie felt his stomach drop and almost physically recoiled at the words. So instead of giving an answer, especially one that he was not ready to hear himself, he leant forward and kissed the woman.
Just as she expected she was not left alone for too long. Frederick has come to the room to respond to her comment and she could tell that he was angry as his fists collided with the door. She was not about to let him in while he was behaving in such a way and it seemed that the fact the door was shut did not do much to stop him from his outburst. For his entire speech she remained sat on the bed, processing his words and growing more and more angry by the second and she was already reworking her reply in her mind as he continued to spit words that had apparently come from no where. This has been a good day. Now if was far from it. It seemed that the final straw was when he called her selfish and in an instant she had thrust herself from the comfort of the bed and hurled towards the door to open it wide enough that she could see him.
“Me? Selfish? I’ve never even been given the chance to be selfish in my life! All I have [i ever] done was think about other people. It’s how I got into this mess in the first place! I ended up cleaning up my brother’s mess for him and then I cleaned up yours. Or are you forgetting that I am the reason that your sister is safe at home right now? I gave up my life for her... for you... and you have the nerve to call me selfish? I asked you to help me disappear. I didn’t ask for you to pay for lavish hotels and meals and god damn it, I certainly didn’t ask you to buy me a ring!” She held up her hand where the ring was now sitting and she used her other to pull it off and throw it at him.
“Of course I have thought about what happens when you leave. You get to go back to your family, to your women and to your life. Sure you have had a month of absence but that was your end of the deal. You get to go back. You get to forget about all of this. Don’t you dare tell me I am selfish when all you have done is get frustrated by the fact that I’ve inconvenienced you for a small portion of time that you can more than make up for. I’m sorry that you have to abstain for your women for a while but even though you are a heartless bastard I thought your sister meant more.” Lillian couldn’t look at him anymore. The door closed again and she pulled the lock across the door. She didn’t want to see his face anymore and her breathing had grown erratic and she was sure that there were tears forming in her eyes. She pressed her back against the door and allowed herself to slide down to the floor.
He had hoped for an outburst. For anger and venom, like the first time they had argued and the many times after that, he needed her anger to soothe his own conscience. Fighting fire with fire. Instead, she was quiet, her words were spiteful and what made them worse was the Frederick believed she meant them. His eyes stayed on her as she moved away from the table and turned to leave the restaurant. How [I dare ] she just walk away after a comment like that? When she had shouted at him, he had apologised, taken it to the chest and let her vent her anger. Yet now the tables had turned and he was unhappy, angry, confused and she just simply felt it acceptable to walk away.
Frederick didn’t wait for the waiter to reach him, nor did he apologise when he took the glass of whiskey the man was carrying him, mid-step and drink it before putting it on another couples table. His feet were moving, following after Lillian without any thought. Upon reaching the bedroom he tried the door, letting out a string of curses when he found it locked.
“Lillian, god damn it woman let me in my bloody room.” He shouted through the door, fist banging against the wood before turning away and pacing back and forth.
“Incapable of feelings? Do you realise what I’ve given up to bring you out here, to drive for endless hours with you and keep you safe? I should be at parties and events, I should be with women who don’t cringe when I suggest sharing a bed and eat at restaurants that don’t have sticky tables. Bloody hell, I’ve put my whole life on pause for you.” Frederick could feel the heat rising in his face, but he hadn’t finished. “You tell me you don’t want my money, that I can’t buy you, but you’re forgetting why we’re here Lillian. A deal, an exchange. The diamond for my money and services, to get you somewhere that you can start a new life. Maybe I can’t buy you but if I withdrew my money we both know you’d be gone in the blink of an eye.” Frederick spat. He breathed in, catching his breath, feet still pacing, hands clenching and unclenching.
“Have you ever actually thought about what happens when I leave? You get a new life, a fresh start and I get to return home to people that I’ve abandoned for months with no explanation. I get a mess to clean up and lies to untangle all the while I will spend every day not knowing if someone’s recognised you and everything is ruined. Me, incapable of feelings? I think you need to take a look in the damn mirror Lillian. You may be beautiful but you’re selfish as hell.”
She thought, or she hoped, that would be the end of his outburst and that he would allow them to enjoy their food in peace and perhaps forget about what he had said but it was clear that he had no intentions of letting it go. What made matters worse was that he had planned to keep himself lubricated with alcohol for the duration and their meal and probably well into the night.
Lillian looked up at him when he started to speak, indicating that he found something funny. She raised her eyebrow as if to ask what he could possibly find so funny and that was when he seemed to jab the proverbial knife further into her chest. She swallowed hard and shook her head before placing her hand on the table before her as if to steady herself.
“You [i cannot] buy me. I have no interest in your money and I certainly don’t have any man lined up when you leave! I’ve had enough of this.” She pushed against the table so that she could push her chair back and she found her feet. “Just because you are incapable of feelings or even caring about anyone other that yourself doesn’t mean you have to hurt everyone around you.” She said simply and quietly so that no one other that Frederick could hear her. Lillian made sure her anger was clear in her voice before moving away from the table.
As she made her way back towards the room she found the waitress and asked if her food could be sent up to her room. Rather than drawing attention to her argument with Frederick and told her that she simply had a headache and felt as though she needed the quiet to recover. She didn’t spare a look for Frederick then, instead simply made her way to their room and locked the door behind her before letting out a frustrated groan as she made her way over to the bed.
Frederick could have calmed down if the waitress hadn’t walked over just as he had closed his mouth long enough to breathe. Although he had been staring at the menu with an intensity that suggested he had been evaluating every item with a critic’s eye, he had in fact, been staring at the words without registering what they meant. Freddie didn’t look at Lillian as she ordered her food, instead, he simply smiled at the waiter and ordered two of whatever Lillian had ordered and a whiskey.
“I don’t want to see my glass empty.” He joked, though the lightness to his voice was forced and to someone who knew him better they would hear the anger brewing. The waiter looked at the two, smiling with a friendly warmth and told them how in love they looked. Feelings surged in Frederick and it took everything in him not to get up and walk away without a single word. Instead, his shouldered stiffened and he tensed his jaw, holding back the flurry of words and emotions that were threatening to spill out. Emotions that Frederick still did not understand.
The waiter returned with his drink shortly and the moment the glass was clasped in his hand, he emptied it with a single gulp.
“We are celebrating.” He said simply, looking at the waiter, who didn’t comment, only picked up the glass and walked back to the bar.
Frederick should have stopped there. They should have eaten in silence and then slept it off, the likelihood was that he would feel better in the morning, once the initial confusion and anger had subsided he would have seen how unfair he had been towards Lillian. However, he did not stop there.
“Isn’t it funny?” He said, leaning back in his chair with a feigned casualness. “You once told me I can’t buy you. The waiter seemed to think otherwise. Give you a bit of glitter and suddenly you’re in love with me.” Frederick laughed. It was a cold, harsh sound and so different from the real laughing he had done in the previous three weeks. His eyes found Lillians and instantly he wished they hadn’t. How could someone who caused such anger in him be so beautiful, how come he was raging inside and yet his heart was still thrumming in his chest?
Perhaps she shouldn’t have reacted in that way. It was simply a ring to stop people questioning their relationship but the fact he has spent time picking one out that could act as an income later down the line if she needed it meant a lot of her. If he would have done this a couple of weeks ago she might have refused it and pushed it back towards him and when she saw his reaction she wished that she had.
Only moments ago he had been a completely different person but now he seemed to change and his words were cruel. Lillian’s smile disappeared and she retracted her hand to pick up the menu again, trying not to show how hurt she was from that fact that he had accused her of being just like every other woman who was just after him for his money. She asked for his help. Not his money. Lillian pulled her eyes away from him and looked down at the menu so that she didn’t have to see the cruelty in his eyes as he spoke. This was not the right place to argue, especially since they were supposed to be keeping a low profile but every single word cut her like a knife.
When he finished talking she was grateful that the waiter had made their way over to them to take their order. At that point she had to reign a smile and told the waiter what she wanted and waited for Frederick to do the same.
“I just wanted to say that you two make such a good couple. From the moment you walked in here I could tell just how much you love each other.” It wasn’t what they needed to hear right now, especially since Frederick was already on edge. Lillian swallowed and forced another smile before looking up at him.
“Thank you. If you wouldn’t mind speeding up our meal I would appreciate it. I’m feeling a little tired this evening and I would like to retire to our room as soon as possible.” Lillian was grateful that the waiter seemed to understand and when they were left alone again she looked around the room, allowing the silence to surround them. If she said anything to him now it would blow up and they would be arguing in the middle of the restaurant.
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