Show Me Your Soul

What happens if life throws you off track? What if someone asks you to trust him, even though you know nothing about him? Would you trust him?
Cecily Martesse is a normal student in her second year at college. Just when the next normal semester starts, she meets Ace - a handsome boy that throws her life upside down. Compelled by his words, his voice, his behavior, she finds herself getting dragged into a world full of secrets, unfaithfulness and deceit.
Just when she hears some devastating news about her brother, she has to face things she never knew she could endure.
A story about love, trust and friendship. Rated Mature for adult language and hot love scenes.

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13. Unfaithfulness

 

 

CECILY

 

The next days, I was like a zombie. I ate and talked and did everything as usual, but inside I was on another planet.

The girls had their suspicions but I didn’t tell them anything. It was already hard enough to tell Alex about Victoria and I didn’t want to go through that again.

Ace and I didn’t talk, yet looked at each other anymore. In fact, I didn’t see him around, he was like a shadow in the hallways and it was okay for me.

 

I restlessly walked through the hallway, trying not to fall asleep while walking. Ruby asked worriedly if everything was okay, but I told her that I was up late because I read a few chapters in a clinical chemistry textbook. She still looked critical but didn’t ask further.

On the big board at the hallway, our new patient list hung out and I caught a glimpse if there are some new appointments or patients for me. As I found my name on the list, I nearly had a heart attack.

 

Cecily Martesse; Patient: Victoria McHugh. Monday at 2 p.m.

 

Today? Is she fucking kidding me? What the hell does she want from me? Does Ace know about that?

I turned around in panic and started to look for Doctor Meyer who’s in charge for the patient organization. I walked upstairs and took two steps each time. I rushed the hallway on the second floor along, waiting a couple of seconds until my respiration normalized. I knocked and found her in her office.

“Come in” I opened the door to find her sitting at her desk with an amount of paper work on it, her face nearly glued to the screen of the laptop.

“What can I do for you?”, she asked and kept looking at the screen.

“Doctor Meyer, I wanted to ask you if there’s a possibility that I could give my patient to someone else”, I asked without preamble.

At that, she looked up and blinked at me through her reading glasses several moments. “You know the rules Miss – uh –”

“Martesse”

“Yes, Miss Martesse. You can’t refuse to treat a patient as a student, I’m sorry”

Crap, crap, crap! But I hoped somehow that she might bend the rules… maybe. She must have sensed my disappointment.

“Are you having trouble with a patient?”, she added concernedly which was actually a good thing about Doctor Meyer: she always cares for the students and helps them as much as she can.

“No – I mean, yes. Kind of. It’s complicated” I sighed. There is no way I could tell her the real reason and even if I did, she would probably just laugh or say that this is very unprofessional and I should get a grip.

She shrugged her shoulders and said apologetically, “I’m sorry. But rules are rules. When you’re a diplomat dentist in your own practice, you can choose whoever you want as a patient and refuse to take the weirdos” She smiled and turned her head toward her laptop again.

Great. I nodded and walked through the door.

This is a nightmare.

Is she testing me? Or does she want to talk to me about Ace? As if I knew anything about him. She probably knows him better than himself if he was ready to marry her.

I could play sick, but that would be cowardly. No, I’m not scared of that girl. And most of all, I didn’t do anything wrong to feel ashamed.

I straightened my head and made my way to the treatment rooms, Ruby already sitting in there and eating a bagel.

“Rubes, what are you doing? We’re not allowed to–”

“I know, I know, but I’m hungry! I was working the whole morning in the ortho lab.”

I forced a smile and started preparing the equipment, trying to forget who I’m about to treat now. My hands were already shaking and my stomach twisting.

“Huh, let’s see, our next patient is a Victoria McHugh”, Ruby said when she finished her bagel.

“U-huh… I’ve finished preparing the things.”

“Great, I’ll bring her in” She walked out and left me alone with my thoughts.

Okay, maybe she won’t even recognize me! Yeah, keep on dreaming, Cecily.

They entered a few seconds later and Victoria looked like a week ago: tall, fancy dressed and simply stunning. She smirked, narrowing her eyes.

“Oh hello, Cecily.”

“Oh, you know each other?”, Ruby asked.

When I opened my mouth, she intervened, “Yes, she’s a very close friend of my fiancé’s – Ace” She smiled sweetly but her words were like venom to my ears.

“What?!” Ruby looked appalled from me to her and back to me.

That bitch. She wants me to feel intimidated. Yeah well, screw you!

“Ex-fiancé” What was I saying? What if he didn’t tell the truth, I can’t trust Ace! But why am I suddenly sure he was telling the truth?

Her eyes flickered and her smiled vanished. “Not that it concerns you, but we’re soon going to get back together. We belong together.” She threw her hair over her shoulder. “Actually, I didn’t want an appointment, I just wanted to talk to you”

Okay. Crazy bitch. I frowned. “I have nothing to tell you.”

“You don’t have to say anything. Just stay the hell away from Ace.”

I’ve so had enough of this sentence. In fact, I couldn’t hear this phrase anymore! As if I’m glued to him or what? I turned around, rubbing my temples.

She didn’t seem taken aback, she just continued cattily, “He’s way out of your league. You’re truly living in a fairytale if you think you would have a chance with him.”

Okay, that’s it.

“Victoria, shut up”, I snapped and turned around.

Ruby looked as flabbergasted as Victoria. “What did you just say?”

“You heard me. I’m fed up with this stupid and ridiculous request to stay away from him.” I have never talked to anybody I barely knew like that but suddenly there was a confidence in me I didn’t even know existed.

She looked at me with her cold eyes while her pointed face tensed, her lips pursed. Coming closer to me, she narrowed her eyes.

“You may be in love with him, but I can assure you, he doesn’t – no – he could never want anything from someone like you.”

“Oh, but he sure does want something from you”, I hissed.

“Of course”, she equally hissed.

“Oh, well, you must be really irresistible if he flies across the country just to get away from you!” We were like furies, the air getting thinner.

With her cold eyes she looked down at me. “How dare you?!”, she snapped. “You don’t know anything about me or him. I bet you don’t even know about his past or family! He just wanted some fun and forget about me, but once he’s going to realize what he had given up, he’ll come back to me and you will have been just his little and insignificant distraction.”

I didn’t realize what I was doing until I heard a loud slap.

I slapped her. I slapped her in her stupid face!

She looked as shocked as I felt on the inside yet my face remained hard and didn’t show any trace of guilt or doubt – not even a flinch.

“What the–”

“I don’t give a shit about you two. You aren’t threatening me and you certainly aren’t intimidating me, Victoria. Now that you have finished insulting me, could you please have the courtesy to get the hell out of this room, in fact out of this clinic.”

“Unbelievable. I will tell your dean and superiors how badly I’ve been treated and that… that I got attacked!”, she said while grabbing her rosy cheek.

“Go ahead! I’m not scared of you. And what do you think will the chief resident say or do if he knew that you took a fake appointment just to talk to me? That you stole valuable time from a student and other patients that really need a treatment?” I held her stare with a killing glance and tried to radiate as much certitude to what I just said as possible, because I had absolutely no idea if the chief cared if one student had a fake appointment or if it was more scandalous that a student slapped a patient.

Well, technically she wasn’t my patient because I didn’t even touch her.

After the awkward staring-to-death-silence, she just snorted and rushed out of the door.

I released the breath that I was holding until now and sat on my chair, feeling a huge weight lifted from my body.

“Cecily, what was that?”, Ruby asked meekly.

I totally forgot that she was even in this room.

“I don’t know, Ruby.”

 

I did neither have the energy nor the desire to tell Ruby how I knew Victoria and since when I knew about Ace being engaged. She looked worried and feared that this might have consequences for me.

“No, it won’t”, I said.

“But how are you so sure that she won’t tell Doctor Rayden, Meyer or the head of this department!” Yeah, I wasn’t so sure, either. But somehow my inner voice was telling me that she’s one of those persons who yell and have a big mouth but don’t really mean what they say. Either way, I’m not scared. If there are going to be consequences, I’ll tell them exactly what happened.

Ruby still seemed troubled even though I told her that I didn’t care and that she was bluffing.

“And what was that with Ace being engaged?”

No. I don’t have the nerves for that – again. I told her I’ll explain later everything but for now I needed a moment alone, so I made my way through the hallways hoping that Victoria was already gone.

Fortunately, she was.

 

My mind was spinning as I sat on the bench at the foyer, resting my head and limbs.

The whole conversation with her replayed through my mind.

But I still felt no remorse for slapping her. Shouldn’t I feel at least a bit guilty? But when I think of her insults, I just want to slap her all over again.

So, Ace had told the truth at the basement. They were really separated. But why? And what did she mean with his past? His family?

I was starting to feel tired, so I stretched my limbs on the little couch that was standing with its back to the middle of the foyer. No one was here, they were all probably in the amphitheaters or already treating a patient, so I dozed a bit until I really fell asleep.

The noise of some clacking high heels woke me. She was walking fast and seemed in a rush.

Then I heard some other steps.

“I don’t know why you’re so stubborn, Ace!”, Victoria said impatiently. She sounded nervous and all the confidence she had radiated back then was gone.

I felt my heart sink and flattened my whole body so I could be hidden by the back of the couch.

“Victoria, you’re wasting your time. I’m not going back to Chicago.” He sounded annoyed.

“Why? Is it because of her?” She snorted. My heart wasn’t racing; it was nearly coming out from my rib cage: it was like every beat was so impactful that I feared they’re going to hear it. “You can’t be serious with this girl, Ace – and also with this dentistry. You could study anything, why dentistry? Why did you start studying this? You never told me–”

“Stay away from her”, he said calmly but even though I couldn’t see his face, I knew this was his deadly, scary-calm voice.

“Oh please, she’s not even your type. Do you love her?”, she asked and I could have sworn, there was something like fear in her voice.

I straightened my head and risked a peek at them. He was standing with his back to me and towering Victoria, her face hidden by his broad shoulders.

“No, of course not.” As if she just asked him the most ridiculous thing in the world.

My heart wasn’t racing or speeding or jumping anymore. The moment he said that, it just stopped for a second. And sank into my boots. My face felt cold, my mouth dry. I want to be anywhere but here. I don’t want to hear any of this conversation although my curiosity is poking me at the back of my head. Oh boy, Cecily, what did you expect, a stupid, inner voice said in my head.

Nothing. I expected nothing.

“That’s what I thought. But I can see that you care for her, although she doesn’t even know you” Her voice is too vicious, too victorious. “No one could ever understand you the way I do. Do you think she would even look at you if she knew–”

He pulled her against the wall with an impact that startled me. He grabbed her arms firmly while his face was a couple inches away from hers.

“Shut your fucking mouth, Victoria.” During every fight we ever had, his voice has never been so full of disgust and loathing like now. “You fucked my brother, so don’t you dare make me feel guilty.”

Holy moly! And now I know why…

Victoria must’ve sensed this change of atmosphere; she didn’t know what to reply at first.

“You neglected me”, she whispered; I barely heard her. “But I want you back. When you left Chicago, you didn’t even give me the chance to explain anything!” Her voice sounded as if it were on the edge of breaking down.

“There is nothing to be explained”, Ace said coldly and started to turn around. I flattened my head, praying that he didn’t see me. My heart was now slamming against my chest and I couldn’t move any part of my body. Everything felt numb. She cheated on him? With his brother? Oh my God.

That explains why he never wanted to talk about him or why he freaked out at lunch when Eric made that comment a couple weeks ago!

“So now you’re just giving up on us? And choose this? It can’t be just because of me.” I heard her taking some steps and snorting. I stretched my head silently so I could catch a glimpse through the gap between this couch and the next one.

“Don’t tell me you start to have feelings for that Cecily, Ace. She’s nothing special compared to you!” She reached to touch his hand, but he grabbed her wrists and all his calm and control seemed vanished.

“Victoria, if you insult her one more time, I swear to God I won’t guarantee you what will happen when I lose my calm.” He was furious.

“You’re hurting me, Ace!”

“Good. Don’t come back to L.A. because I don’t want to see you again.” He snorted, a laugh escaping his mouth. “I don’t love you, Victoria. Keep the ring or sell it or throw it away – I don’t care. Just leave me alone and let me live my life without you being around.” He released her wrists, turning right to the staircases and leaving Victoria motionless. It was so quiet, I feared she might hear or see me. But it was just her sob that was filling the room.

She cried until some students came and asked her if she was okay. She didn’t respond and just walked away.

Okay, now I felt sorry for her, remorse was bugging my head. Huh, why do I feel pity for her? She deserved it! But still…

I didn’t dare to straighten my body for a while. As soon as I didn’t hear the clicking sound of her high heels anymore, I sat for a while on the couch.

My thoughts were spinning so chaotically that I didn’t know which thought was the most confusing or mind-blowing. Only one thing crossed my mind clearly: I called him a cheater although she was the one who cheated and he didn’t even say anything when I accused him.

My guilt was nearly devouring me.

 

I was plunged into thoughts, not noticing Ruby sitting next to me and holding my hand. Neither of us did talk or say something. We just sat there and looked straight at the glazed door where some people and cars were passing by.

I didn’t feel the urge to cry or shout or punch anything. I didn’t even feel like back then when I found out that Noah was in jail or when I heard that Aunt Susan’s been sick. I just felt hollow.

“I’ve seen Victoria last week for the first time”, I said and told Ruby the whole story, including the conversation I had with him at the basement and what I just heard.

When I finished, she was quiet for a while, her smile surprising me.

“Cecily, you missed one thing.”

“What?”

“He got furious and almost lost his calm because someone was insulting you.”

She kept smiling. A grin danced around my face, making me realize one thing.

 

~ § ~

 

I have feelings for Ace Aurenglade.

 

That was the first thought that crossed my mind when I woke up the next day.

The next thing was his voice in my head echoing No, of course not when Victoria asked him if he loved me. It felt like a punch in my stomach. It still does.

Of course I’m interested in someone who wouldn’t want a relationship. Seeking the unreachable… that was typical me. I couldn’t have feelings for someone normal, who doesn’t have a complicated past or cryptic answers to any of my questions – like Eric or Josh or anyone else at the clinic. Ew… the thought of being in love with one of them gives me nausea. They are great, no doubt. Very kind, funny, handsome boys but still, it’s just ew

I sighed and closed my eyes. How the hell am I going to tame those feelings? Or better: Erase those feelings.

I laid in my bed for a while, hearing the sound of the ocean in the distance. Although the fresh air was coming through my window, my sheets kept me warm, creating a comfortable heat coursing through my veins. I could afford laying here lazily, I woke up before my alarm could eventually let me down. But after tossing and turning, I decided to get up and make breakfast for everyone.

I pressed the button to start the coffee machine, producing that black liquid everyone loves. Which is incomprehensible to me. The smell of coffee, scrambled eggs and bacon filled the kitchen. Just as I purred myself a glass of orange juice, Marlene and Mom walked in, rubbing the sleep from their eyes. Dad wasn’t here, he was in Canada meeting some business partners for an extra project he took because of Noah’s debts.

I already missed him and was happy that he’ll be here in a few days. I thought about Noah while eating my toast. “Did anyone talk to Noah recently?”, I asked, watching Mom empty her cup of coffee.

“Yes, chérie. He called yesterday.”

“What?!” He called yesterday? “Well thank you for telling me that.” Well, at least he called, even though I’m mad at him for taking that long to respond!

“Pardon, but when you came from college yesterday, you were so tired that you went to bed at eight.”

Okay, true. I sighed. “And what did he say?”

“Nothing special, actually. He’s fine – despite the situation – and told us not to worry about him. He spoke with his counselor and he’s still convinced that there is going to be a positive answer from an agency.” She looked sad when she finished, even more tired after the second cup of coffee.

“And did he say when he’ll come visit us?”

She shook her head. “Maybe next week, but that’s not sure.” That means he’s not coming next week for sure.

I don’t understand Noah at all. We used to be inseparable when we were little. Marlene was born when I was nine years old and Stefan usually was the cold, distant one – the eldest that didn’t want to do anything with us “little ones”, even though Noah is a year younger than Stefan. But they were mostly fighting and not getting along, so Noah and I were in the middle and very close.

When we were kids and I got hurt, Noah was the first one who helped me; when I got bad grades in middle school, he was the one who went with me to Mom and Dad while holding my hand; when he was drunk at a party, he always called me to pick him up and begged me not to tattle on him to our parents.

But since he has started studying informatic, he became distant and very secretive. When I called him, he usually didn’t have time or answered my calls a few days later. I tried to keep a close contact a couple times, but after I started studying, too, I had neither the time nor the energy to make those efforts.

It’s sad, but I guess that’s how life goes. Some people – even your own family – sometimes drift apart and you find yourself facing another, different person that was once your closest friend.

“Maybe he’ll really come this time”, Marlene said, her eyes full of hope.

“Yes, maybe you’re right.” I caressed her hair. I couldn’t be honest with her, that would only make her sad.

She smiled and started babbling about school and her presentation today. I wished her good luck and hugged her when she left.

So, I guess it was time for me to get ready, too.

 

Victoria did neither come the next day nor during the whole week. I guess, she understood Ace’s message pretty well this time. Although she was a bitch to me, I still felt sorry for her. Dammit, what is wrong with me? He was cruel to her, no doubt. But if she really cheated on him… My blood boiled when I think of unfaithfulness. I need to distract myself, my fists are already clenched, my knuckles white.

My first course today is clinical chemistry which is in fact not that bad since I used to love chemistry at school and even at college it was easy for me. I began daydreaming when I reached the glazed entry door, just to be brought back by someone calling my name.

“Cecily!”

I turned around and spotted Marc. His blue eyes stared at me as he made his way to the door, standing a few feet away. He looked a lot better than last time – probably because he wasn’t drunk or unconscious. His dark blond hair was styled neatly, his cheeks slightly flushed when he gave me a warm smile.

“Oh, hey Marc. How are you?”

“Finally, I found you! I came here a couple times, but Josh and Eric told me that you went home or had to treat a patient. I’m fine. But rather, how are you?”

“Huh? I’m fine, too, as usual.” Oh God, does he know about Victoria and me? Or Ace and me? But how would he know…?

“Oh good. I wanted to check up on you because last time we spoke, I was kind of... um... fucked up and David told me that I passed out while talking to you.” He frowned, his eyes shifting from me to the ground.

Oh, that! I felt every muscle relax and smiled at my inner shock. “Oh, yeah… don’t worry, I guess now we’re even.”

He laughed and nodded, rubbing the back of his neck. “Yep, I just hope neither of us is going to pass out ever again.”

Yes, I hope that, too.

I sensed someone passing us, barely brushing my back with his arm yet it was enough to tense my body. I knew who it was before seeing his thick, black hair or smelling his typical cedar scent or seeing his blazing eyes.

Ace walked past us and the moment he passed me, it was as if time stood still.

He gave us a bored look for a fraction of second before turning his gaze back to the glazed door. Everything around me was a blur and Marc’s word a dull noise in the background; that second felt like a little eternity. Funny how time works.

I can’t blame him for his look; I had insulted him and now my guilt is eating me up.

I need to talk to him – now. I wanted to follow him but then, Marc was still standing in front of me and talking.

“What?”, I asked when I snapped out of my daydream and came back to planet Earth.

He shook his head, pursing his lips like he used to do in anatomy when I didn’t know the answer to his question.

“I said thank you. And if there’s anything that you need – just tell me. I have notes that could be helpful or… um… if you want to grab a bite someday, it’ll be my treat.”

“Oh… um, thanks but that’s really not necessary.” I smiled at his politeness and hoped that I’m not coming across as rude or ingrate. “I need to go now, but thank you for coming all the way!” I left him perplexed and without giving him the chance to reply anything. Sorry, Marc! But I need to catch him before he disappears in the crowd.

I started to run to the foyer and looked around.

No Ace.

Maybe he was already in the stairway? I rushed there, taking two steps each time just to end up panting and already sweating between my shoulder blades. He was heading to the third floor.

“Ace!”

He stopped, looking down at me with a cold glance.

“I… I need to talk to you–”

The steps of someone else interrupted me, “Oh, hey you two!” Oh no… Paul Kim was heading to us.

“Hey”, I said weakly, my eyes detached from Ace’s stare for a second to greet Paul. Paul’s gaze switched confused from me to Ace but he didn’t imply anything. After a few superficial exchanges of words, he cleared his throat.

“So, um, I’m gonna throw a party this Saturday at the frat house. A few friends mostly from the clinic are coming. You two could come, too.”

No. I don’t want to be in house full of drunken people I don’t even know.

Alex! Oh, she will kill me if she knows that there was a party and a chance to meet Paul Kim…

“Yeah, sure.” The words slipped from my lips before I could reconsider. I smiled, asking when and where I should get there. Ace, however, didn’t nod or smile or even look at Paul anyway. He just kept staring at my direction.

“Ace, you need to come, too, man!” Paul grabbed his shoulder amicably but seeing his tense face, he let go. Finally, he turned his face to him and nodded briefly.

“Great! See ya”, he said and walked past us.

Ace and I were a couple steps apart, but I still felt his intense stare as if it were just inches. After a moment of awkwardness, I broke the silence, “I wanted to–”

“Why did you agree, Cecily?”

He wasn’t curious or concerned. He didn’t even tilt his head or changed his face expression although he still seemed tense.

I shrugged my shoulders. “Why not? It’s just a party, so this could be fun–”

Coming closer to me, he leaned his head forward. “Have you ever been to a frat house? Do you even know what happens there usually?” His tone was full of arrogance and superiority. Which pissed me enormously off.

“Of course I have been at those kinds of parties! And I know what I’m doing, you don’t need to babysit me!”, I shouted. And stop calling me Cecily.

No, I will never ever admit that. Okay, I have never been to any frat parties, but I’ve seen them in movies and there were usually many people, loud music and a lot of alcohol.

I held his stare, volts of electricity between us rising until he snorted. “Fine. But don’t come crying to me if someone tries to fuck you.” He turned around and went upstairs, leaving me open-mouthed.

What the heck is he thinking? I wanted to shout at him and tell him that he has no right to speak to me like that but I couldn’t say anything or move my body.

Great job, Cecily. Didn’t you want to apologize to him?! My subconscious started to annoy me. Yeah, as if I’m going to apologize after that comment he made.

When I didn’t hear his footsteps anymore and some professors and students walked past me, I went upstairs, too. Where did I want to go, by the way? Oh yes… clinical chemistry.

 

I told Alex about the party the moment I had time to call her and as I had expected she totally agreed to come, too. “When is this party? Where is this party? Who’s coming? Did he mention a girlfriend? Did you mention me?” Alex asked almost without a pause to breathe. I answered all her questions and after our conversation I could literally feel her excitement through the phone.

I would have liked to go there with Cassy and Ruby but Cassy was already plans with Michael on Saturday and Ruby wanted to visit her family over the weekend.

 

The rest of the week went by in a blink of an eye; just as I was about to clean the treatment room to finally get home on Friday, someone knocked at the door.

“Yes?”, I said and was most surprised to see Aro coming in. He looked somehow confused. “If you’re looking for Eric or Josh, they’re in the second and third room to the right”
“No, I’m looking for you.” Huh? What kind of business does he want with me? Okay, now he had my full attention.

I arched my eyebrows, waiting for the rest as he inhaled deeply and frowned. “I heard from Eric that you’re good in chemistry.”

“Yeah… I think.” Oh no

“I need to retake the exam in clinical chemistry this semester, so I wanted to ask you if you had any good notes or textbooks as a recommendation.” This was far beyond unexpected. Apparently, it took him every bit of his pride and I could see from here that every cell in his body was resisting to say anything else.

I could tell him “No, I don’t have any notes, I threw everything I had learned at school away” or “No, I haven’t finished the notes from the lectures, so I still need them” or even ridicule him by saying “What? You didn’t pass clinical chemistry? Huh, it’s not that difficult, though”, but that would be a lie and cruel and then I wouldn’t be any better than this douchebag who’s standing in front of me. Although he’s an ass and was sometimes mean to me, I can’t. I just can’t. I don’t want to be the one who’s responsible if he fails this course. My conscience wouldn’t handle that guilt.

I nodded. “Yeah, I can lend you my notes. I have my school notes which are good for basics and some from the lectures this semester. You can have them; I don’t need them for now.”

He nodded and looked relieved.

He opened the door, saying “Thanks” over his shoulder before he disappeared behind the closed door.

You’ve done the right thing, Cecily, you don’t need his gratitude, my annoying subconscious told me. Yeah, although it scratches my ego when someone is unfriendly and ingrate…

 

 

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