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Chapter 4

“Auddie? Someone’s looking for you outside. Should I let him in?”

Audrey woke up to Nathan’s gentle pat on her cheeks. She could also hear him calling her and mentioning someone who was looking for her. She opened her eyes slowly as they seemed to protest her idea of waking up already. Her head was feeling fuzzy with a few memories from a few days ago haunting her in sleep. Audrey felt restless when she realized she couldn’t settle her mind at ease even while sleeping.

The thick blanket fell on the floor when she pulled herself up while rubbing her eyes with the back of her hands. “Nathan? Were you calling me?” Audrey asked softly. She sounded sleepy though she didn’t yell at the blond after waking her up.

Nathan nodded his head while looking at her wearily. Audrey could tell something was the matter, but she only heaved a sigh. What else could be the problem other than anything involving Shane? She guessed it had something to do with her ‘superstar’ husband.

“Is Shane outside?” she blurted out in a low voice. She kind of developed this ‘habit’ of changing the tone of her voice when talking to people. Well, it mainly changed when the talk was all about Shane or the one she was speaking with was him.

Audrey watched Nathan scratched his head to her question. Her face lightened when an idea popped up in her mind. ‘Did he come to pick me up? Will he explain things to clarify what’s going on?’ She ran to the bathroom and washed her face. She looked messy and sleepless though, and she didn’t want Shane to see her like that.

“Auddie, why so excited?” Nathan confusedly asked. He followed her to the bathroom with a frowning face. He couldn’t help but ask why when the man who was waiting outside was the reason for her restless days and nights.

“Excited? Nah, I just don’t want to delay this issue. The earlier to clear this up, the better.” Audrey checked her face in the mirror after applying some day cream on her face. She remembered using the same cream months ago when she first stayed at Nathan’s place. She only hoped it wasn’t expired yet and irritate her skin instead of making her look ‘good’.

Audrey grabbed brushed her hair and neatly tied it in a ponytail. “Nate, can you get my purse, please? Or you can just take my lipstick. I think I have it inside my bag,” she requested while keeping her eyes on the mirror to look closely at her face.

“You want to put on some lipstick?” Nathan’s surprised expression and tone didn’t escape her ears. She glared at him like she always does when he was making fun of her. “Hey, I don’t mean anything bad about it. I was just curious why you suddenly initiated to apply makeup on your face. That’s all,” the blond mumbled with his hands in the air.

“What? You want me to face my jerk husband with this face?” Audrey pointed at her pale face covered with cream. “This face?!” she said louder than before. “Aish! Just get my bag for me, please. If he finds out that I was stressed out because of him, it would only feed his ego.”

Nathan sighed. He couldn’t count how many times he had sighed for the day. But what else could he do other than to release his stress that way? He couldn’t simply meddle with Audrey’s matter especially when she was married, and he was rejected by her. He strode back to the living room and looked for Audrey’s bag. Nathan saw it laying on the floor. He picked it up and rummage through inside.

“What are you doing?” Francesca who came from the kitchen asked. She was holding a cup of tea which his guess was an earl tea. She sat on the couch where Audrey was sleeping earlier and crossed her legs as she watched him look for the lipstick his boss was talking about. “Are you perhaps stealing something from that bag?” The blonde continued when he didn’t respond.

“You mean I’m stealing this?” Nathan raised his hand and showed her the lipstick he was looking for. Francesca was surprised but softly laughed. Her gentle laughter astounded him for a bit. Nathan shook his head to erase the thoughts he had in his mind. “Is that guy still outside?” he asked. Francesca nodded her head.

“I wanted to invite him in but I remember he’s the reason why Audrey is a mess. I guess he won’t leave until she opens the door for him,” Francesca said and went on to sip on her tea.

‘Good thing you didn’t let him in or I’ll kick you both outside,’ Nathan thought while nodding his head.

“Nate? Did you find it?” Audrey called from the bathroom. He answered her ‘yes’ and hurried back to her.

“Here it is, Bella,” Nathan said and winked. When Audrey ignored his gesture and brushed the lipstick on her lips instead, he just kept his mouth shut and stood there quietly.

“How do I look?”

“Pretty,” Nathan replied to Audrey’s question. It was quick and sincere. Well, he always thought she was pretty no matter what though. “Just don’t forget what he did to you. If there’s a reasonable explanation for what he did, you still have to put your guards up. Auddie, this isn’t the first time. Even if he’s an actor and acting is his nature or talent or whatever, you just can’t tolerate him like this,” Nathan added with a sigh. He was near to punching Shane’s face when he found him in front of his door if not for Francesca who interfered.

“I know, Nate. Do I look that stupid to you? I love him and he knows it. He also knew what I can do if he messed up the chance I’ve given him. So don’t worry, I know what to do. And that depends on what he’s going to say,” Audrey said firmly. She checked herself on the mirror for the last time before exiting the bathroom. Nathan followed her behind.

They found Francesca still sitting cozily in the living room. Her tea was almost half done. She smiled at Audrey and the latter did the same. They developed a quite good relationship despite having Nathan between them. Well, Francesca didn’t blame Audrey when Nathan fell for her nor Audrey would blame her if she ever did hate her.

“Nate, Audrey knows what to do. Don’t act like her dad or maybe her mom. You’re hopeless,” Francesca commented when she noticed the man’s worried expression. She shrugged when Nathan glared at her. Her gaze drifted to Audrey who was checking her things inside her bag. “Are you sure about this, Auddie? If he does something to you, just let me know. I’ll slap him hard in your stead if you’re wavering to do it,” she told her.

“Thanks, but don’t worry. I have always wanted to knock him out even once in my lifetime. I guess I could not even throat punch him if he dares to do something more stupid than what he already did,” Audrey answered and smiled at the blonde. Francesca put down her cup and stood from her seat to see her out.

“What are you? Her aunt?” Nathan mumbled as he followed both ladies to the door. Francesca heard what he said but she ignored it.

“All right. I understand you’re worried about me but why don’t you try to fix your issue while I’m gone and maybe I could see you both lovey-dovey later when I return,” Audrey suggested. She took a peek at the monitor beside the door and almost bit her tongue when she saw her husband patiently waiting outside while leaning on the opposite wall. “I’m going now. I’ll give you a call if I can’t go back here tonight,” she said and turned the knob.

“Make sure to come back here no matter what,” Nathan reminded.

“Stay safe, Auddie. Remember to call me if you need back up,” Francesca waved her hand and did a fighting pose. Audrey just laughed while shaking her head. She didn’t even have any idea when did the blonde learn such a gesture.

“Thank you. I’m leaving now,” Audrey said and opened the door. Her heart raced like in a marathon when she was greeted by the man she thought would never again hurt her.

“Baby…”

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