Beauty and the Geek 2: When In Rome

5 years after their complicated high school relationship, Emily and Will are miles apart leading completely different lives. A chance meeting in Italy could bring them back together...but there's a couple of skeletons in Will's closet to sort out first. Will this starcrossed pair finally be together?

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11. Chapter 10.




Will

Olivia was sitting at the dresser, brushing her hair and pouting at her own reflection. Even with her stunning good looks and revealing clothes, I didn’t find it hard to fight down the hatred inside me. I should have loved the chance to be with someone with movie-star good looks like that; the guys at the office told me as much. They were always ribbing me about how a guy like me could find a girl like Olivia. The joke of it was that I was better than her. 

In a cruel twist of fate and thanks to my own selfishness I had been thrown into a life with this woman that I despised. I felt my fingers tighten around my tie as I removed it – god, I hated her so much. It’s funny how at the beginning it seemed like the perfect way to move on from my old life; a boat load of money, a secure future and an alright girl to share it with. She had seemed alright in the beginning, hadn’t she? Or had I just ignored all of the signs that she was a maniac because I wanted that life so much?

When I had moved to New York and gotten the internship at Hudson, miles away from my friends and family and without the only person I could ever love, it had seemed like things were finally falling into place. Sure, I was all alone in the big city but I had the backing of a crazy, old billionaire like Alexander Hudson. After my heart began to heal a little, he introduced me to his daughter and it was like clockwork from there. Before I knew it we were suddenly engaged and planning a wedding. Then Emily walked in and I realised that my heart hadn’t healed at all.

Emily. I sighed and ran my hand through my unkept hair. I remembered the scene on the beach and felt my throat tense up, like I’d been living in the Sahara for too long without water. I guess I had been doing that; I had been living without Em for too long anyway. I was stupid to think that our engagement could ever last; I was engaged to Olivia and about to tear down Emily’s orphanage. I was crazy to think we could ever work but the worst part was that I was the reason our partnership was broken.

Nonetheless, I still couldn’t figure out why she had called things off so suddenly. I knew that I had made a few mistakes – well, I guess a “few” was understating it. I had campaigned to tear down her orphanage, gotten engaged to another woman and all for the sake of revenge and money. I wasn’t proud of it – infact, I damn near hated myself. Yet, there was still this insect worming its way into the back of my brain settling there and telling me not to give up.

I had seen it in her eye’s that night; I knew Emily well enough to know she wouldn’t do this to me for her own reasons. Something was influencing her and I had to find out what it was if we had any chance of being together. The only thing that had gotten me through the past few days was the fact she might have the ring that I constantly kept in my pocket again.

“What are you thinking about?” Olivia asked, catching sight of me perched on the end of the bed in the mirror.
“Nothing that you’d be interested in,” I said, trying not to sound too bored. “Are you taking the mattress tonight?”
“I was thinking that we could share it together.”
“I don’t think so,” I stood up meeting her eyes. “I’d rather take the sofa.”

I made my way slowly out of the bedroom and she followed me, angrier than usual. She was a sight to behold in her tight nightgown that enhanced all of her curves but all I could think about was how she was a watered down version of Emily. The villain in front of me had no personality, no compassion and no redeemable qualities. She was beginning to annoy me more by each day.

It was bad enough that I had to spend everyday with her and yet she still persisted we share a bed every night. We were together for the money, I had insisted enough times and our relationship was nothing to me. She always seemed a bit stung when I said that. Of course, in the beginning I had went along with it all – it was only when Em returned that I had started to resent Olivia for holding us back.

“You had better be nice to me,” She twirled me around dramatically and poked me in the chest. “I’m the key to your future, you know.”
“You’re wrong about that,” I let out an empty laugh.
“Oh, really?”
“I lost the key to my future 2 nights ago.”

I slammed the door to the lounge in her face and felt the glee spread from my toes as I imagined her recoil in her horror from behind the wood. The key to my future? Maybe if I wanted my future to be about materialism and the draining of every single bit of happiness from my body.

I grabbed the biggest bottle of beer I could find and ventured into the study. I had barely touched my telescope since the incident with Emily; it reminded me of her too much. But tonight I had a sudden urge to use it. I peered out at the sky and all of the different constellations I was once interested in as a naïve, 18-year-old before the cruel business world swallowed me up.

No, I knew what my future was – it was in the form of a girl named Emily Masson. And even if the forces of nature repelled us for the rest of our lives, I wasn’t ready to give up just yet.


---

Emily

I stayed out on the balcony for what felt like hours, with only a blanket wrapped around me and my thoughts to keep me company. Peering up at the newly forming stars, I wondered if Will was doing the same across town in his big house. I could imagine Olivia and Will sharing a bed, her paws all over him like he belonged to her instead of me and the thought made me shudder. She may have destroyed my relationship with Will, but I made a silent vow to destroy everything about her life. I would get revenge on Olivia Hudson, even if it killed me in the process.

I had resisted the urge to call Will; I could have told him everything and tried to make it better. But I knew he already understood. He knew that it wasn’t forever and that we still had a chance together. I knew that if I got in contact with him Olivia would punish us both and I couldn’t handle Will getting hurt again because of me. If Olivia could drug me and send me home with a stranger what else was she capable of? I dreaded to think.

I would hold out for now even if there were a few problems about to arise. We had 1 week until my presentation and I was horribly unprepared. I had once again forgotten about those poor kids; I felt bad complaining about the fact that I had nobody when I had Giovanna and my family back home. I really did have someone, even if it wasn’t the someone I craved so much. Those children were the ones who truly had nothing in their lives. I had to fix it.

Not long after the presentation, Olivia and Will were getting married. It seemed convenient but I knew that Alexander wanted to hand over his company as soon as possible after the big decision was made about the orphanage. From bits and pieces I had picked up, I knew that they were honeymooning straight afterwards in an exotic country far away. If I wanted to stop the villainous Olivia from spending the rest of her life with Will I had to do it quickly.

“Em?” I heard Giovanna’s voice from behind my door. “I know you said you didn’t want interruptions but...you have a visitor.”

I heard the confusion in her voice and I knew that it was strange too. We were out in the middle of nowhere and I didn’t have many friends around Italy – who would be calling at such a strange hour? I stepped towards the door with an ever-growing sense of dread in my stomach.

I twisted the door knob and pulled it open to reveal a familiar figure covered in freckles; my unwanted partner from that night with Olivia. He seemed surprised to see me in the flesh too and although I should have been wary of him, he smiled a toothy grin in my direction putting me at ease immediately.

“Ciao,” He said simply, a silence ringing between us. The greeting was enough to let me know that we were both on neutral territory. He was here to help me.
“Hi,” I replied, a little shocked and stepped back to let him in.

Finally, the only person who could tell me what had happened that night was in the room with me. But as we stood face to face I wasn’t sure that I wanted to know anymore....


 

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