C H A P T E R 3 : T H E T H I N G A B O U T B R E A K U P A N D O L D W O U N D
K A T H E R I N E B E N N E T
It had been around eight when Katherine was ready to leave for the house party. She had packed her clothes in a small leather bag and brought them down with her to her car. In no less than twenty minutes, she had arrived in Patrycia's place and was being led to the living room where some of the attendees were already there including none other than Paris de Bourgh.
On the surface, Paris de Bourgh was brimming with extravagant charm, the very picture of the lovely young wife of a successful man. However having known her throughout university days, Katherine could see that her posture was far too rigid and the hands in her lap were clenched rather than folded. It made her wonder if perhaps Paris was not happy with her marriage to Jaxon.
Paris had loved Jax once, what had gone wrong? Katherine could still remember how Paris had once insisted that she wanted to marry him and no one else when Katherine had confronted her. Did Paris really wish for her marriage to end? Or did she simply want to arouse Jaxon's jealousy? It was hard to read another woman's mind, especially one Katherine had tried her best not to cross paths with. She could never understand Paris and her intentions at all.
“He is here!"
Katherine heard some girls muttering their excitement around her and she did not have to look back to see who was approaching and whose tall shadow had been looming behind her because one glance at Paris, her eyes wide and intense, her natural color fading to leave two blushing spots on her cheekbones, told her everything she needed to know. It was not a rumor nor Jaxon’s irrational thought. Paris and William were having an affair and it was as clear as the sky above.
Yet William did not approach his lover. He kept his distance and mingled with other people. On the contrary, Paris kept stealing glances at him any time she got. Katherine could not help but wonder whether Paris would be more discreet if Jaxon was here.
By the time the dinner was served, she was not sure whether it was destiny or bad luck. Whichever it was, her seat was right next to William. At first, she was going to ignore him, just like how he had always been ignoring her back in high school after they had broken up but then she recalled that the reason she had come here was to help Jaxon. He had begged her to help him and she could not stand aside and let Paris hurt Jaxon even further.
Therefore, even though she had been disgusted by William Windsor for stooping to this level and seduced a married woman, she intended to be friendly towards him. Perhaps she could put some sense into his head, or even better, maybe she could convince him to leave Paris alone. Yet one look from him and Katherine knew that they could only be enemies. Not even acquaintances. Not when he did not even look at her or acknowledge her presence. No friendship was possible between the two of them, just a watchful hostility.
Oh, he was being perfectly civil at the moment albeit ignoring her — not even replying to her greeting and kept talking to another girl, seated on his other side, so she decided to focus on the wonderful pasta on her plate and the exquisite dish that followed.
When his sleeve accidentally brushed her elbow, it was her turn to pretend he did not exist.
This house party, even though had barely started, had been tiring thus far. Tomorrow she would leave and, with some luck, she would never have to set her eyes on him again. And that thought alone cheered her up albeit only a little and was short-lived.
W I L L I A M W I N D S O R
Katherine Bennet was not in the least like the sensual, glowing blonde sitting in front of her. Do not get him wrong, for some people she might be considered beautiful with brandy brown hair, cheekbones that the harshest sunlight could not diminish. However if there was one thing that would put any man off, it was her eyes, tip-tilted at the edges, serious, intelligent, dark in her gaze. She was far too serious, too formal.
As William Windsor spared her one last glance to his right, promising himself that this indeed would be the last time he would ever lay his eyes on her this evening, he could not help but wonder what had driven him into dating her back in high school. If a portfolio of all of his exes did exist, it could be called "A Collection of Gorgeous Models" if not because of her. All the women he had been with were warm, sensual, with good legs, nice boobs, figures that curved in all the right places. And none of these criteria could be used to describe Kate.
He let his gaze slide from her tight, business-like ponytail and down her slim back to the nice curves of her waist. Her body was not anything special, not that he had ever seen her naked before. Their relationship had yet to go beyond kissing and cuddling. Not when she had broken up with him merely two months since they had started dating. His chest grew tight, no doubt due to an old wound. In all of his years, he had never, ever, gotten dumped by a girl until she had come along.
To be frank, he was not sure if she was even his type. He liked tall, sensual women, with nice boobs. So why on earth, for those few months in high school, had he found an average girl with cheekbones that could cut any man so damn interesting? Perhaps he had been momentarily blind. Even Cas and the others had told him numerous times that she was not his type, that they could not understand why he had been head over heels over her. He should have listened to them. Because of his ridiculous infatuation with her, he had let someone like her dent his pride and humiliate his rakehell persona.
The memories of the week prior to the breakup were still fresh in his mind as if it had only happened yesterday. That particular week, it had been so difficult to get a hold of her. He had contacted her and all of his calls had gone straight to voicemails. Each time he had gone to her place, her mother had always said she had not been at home. He had been trying not to search through the school hallways and classrooms for her especially after Nathaniel (Niel), one of the Crown Boys, had teased him for being a lovesick puppy. Whenever they had somehow stumbled upon each other in class, she had been cool and distant. She had turned down dates, nor had she returned any of his calls.
Until one day he had had enough and waited for her outside her last class of the day. She had been surprised, he could see it in her slightly widened blue eyes. When he had asked her what was going on, she had shrugged off as if she had not cared about their relationship at all. Her nonchalant ways had angered him.
"Seriously, Kate, what the hell is going on?" He had asked her fiercely, hoping she would shed some light on the cause of her altered behavior. Perhaps he had done something wrong that he had not noticed. Whatever it was, he had hoped he could somehow rectify it and ask for her forgiveness.
She had calmly looked at him and said, “I am sorry. There is someone else."
"Is this a joke?" He had raked his hand through his unkempt hair in frustration.
“No,” she had answered curtly.
"Who?" The word had ricocheted sharply and yet she had remained unfazed.
Kate, the Kate who had driven him crazy during summertime, lifted her head, giving him a direct, calm, and calculated stare. “Does it matter who? I am sorry, William, but I do not want to see you anymore. The bottom line is that is what really matters. Please do not make it hard for either of us.”
“What?” He could still recall how in disbelief he had been back then.
“I am breaking up with you.” She had shrugged her shoulder. “It is best for you to get it over with and move on.”
William had stood there in silence, his green eyes fixed on her face, searching for any sign that this was a joke yet all he could find was seriousness. Her words had been final. She had not wanted to hear him out nor had she wished to explain further. He had wanted to urge her, to reason with her, but he had quickly remembered who he was. He had remembered what his grandfather and his father had always said to him. He would not bow down to anyone, let alone to one girl. With the pride and dignity he had left, he had turned and walked away.
Since that day, he had always pretended she did not exist. She was a constant reminder that he had once let a girl walk all over him. He ignored her presence no matter how hard it was considering he had once treasured her so much.
The last gaze he threw at her filled nothing but hatred. For he hated how she had made him feel. He hated how she had discarded their relationship once she had grown tired of him. And above all else, he hated how he once had been convinced that he was in love with her.
C H A P T E R 4 : C A U G H T U P O N T H E W R O N G B E D K A T H E R I N E B E N N E T After dinner, Katherine found a newspaper in a rack beneath one of the side tables and took it to a chair on the other side of the room. It was mainly concerned with the stock market, growing business, and other industries. On page nine, there was some news about William's company. This was naturally accompanied by a photograph of him since he was the CEO. In the photo he seated at his desk, his shirt sleeves rolled back over-tanned forearms, and his tie loose. He looked tough, business-like, and, damn him, sexy as hell. The camera was no doubt being operated by a woman. She took a deep breath and tried to stop herself from admiring him. Her mind brought back how horrible of a player he truly was, how he had once almost broken her heart. Then the recent
“Okay,” Katherine Bennet started with a sigh. “Obviously this was just an accident. You thought I was Paris so you came here. So the easiest way to fix this would be to tell everyone that you thought I was her.” When he had not said a word, she looked up to meet his eyes. Finally, he opened his mouth and answered her in his thick British accent, “I can not do it.” “Why the hell not?” “Well, for once, she is married.” She stared at him as if he had just informed her that the planet Earth was round. “So? Did you just find that out now?” William stared at her with an incredulous look on his face. “No, I knew that but I mean, I can not admit it in the open. That would mess things up.”
“Marry me, Kate.” When she did not say anything, he reiterated, “Marry me and it will solve our current predicament.” William looked at his ex-girlfriend and tried his best to maintain the serious look on his face. He fully realized how crazy his suggestion was however he also recalled what his grandfather had said to him a few weeks ago. One more misbehavior, one more bad news about him that would affect the Windsor name, the dukedom of Ashbourne, and he would be forced to hand over his title and would not be a part of the family. In all honesty, William could care less about the money or the title but the last thing he ever wanted was to be disowned by his family. He watched her opening her mouth and then closing it as if she was at loss for words for a few seconds before she finally regained her ability to speak. “Are you crazy? Why would I want to marry you?!" Giving her a mere shrug, he answered, ”Because
The next morning, as if she was suddenly awoken from a deep slumber, Katherine finally realized what had been said and done. She was going to marry her rakish ex-boyfriend. How cruel life could be! She had been blessed and happy being the one that had gotten away and now she ended up pretty much in the same place — only that instead of being his girlfriend, it seemed that she had found herself being promoted to his fiancé. For a long moment, dizzy with uncertainty, she stared down at the ceiling. She knew she should wake up and get ready but she simply could not. She dreaded facing reality. She should not have come to this house party and now it was all too late. Forcing herself, she dragged her sleepy legs to the bathroom. A few minutes later, she walked out of the bathroom and heard a knock on her door. She did not have to check the peephole to know that it was William
Her cell phone rang inside her coat pocket, and without looking at who was calling, Katherine already knew that it was her mother calling again. She had already sent her call to voicemail a few times today, but since it was after five o’clock now, she could no longer use the excuse that she could not pick up the call because she was working. In all honesty, she had no grudge whatsoever against her mother and she actually loved her mother which was why she could not bring herself to tell another lie, knowing fully well that her mother would like to discuss her engagement, or worse, her wedding. She could not tell her mother how much she loved William (which could only explain the rushed engagement) when truly, she had no feelings whatsoever for him. All her feelings were for Jaxon. She could not let her best friend's heart be broken when she could save him from getting hurt. “Hello, Mom,” she greeted and refrained from sighing. “Katherine Elizabeth Bennet,
Katherine could hardly remember the faces that greeted her by the time she had made it to the lobby of the mansion. Yet she could vividly recall Paris, sitting beside Jaxon. Her lips stretched in a smile, but her eyes were burning with anger as William made the announcement with grave pleasure. And when William took Katherine’s hand, glowing with the blue fire of his sapphire, and raised it formally to his lips before putting his arm possessively around her waist, bent her over, and gave her yet another breathtaking kiss, Katherine was quite sure her nemesis wanted to drag her by her hair and push her down the hill. It was indeed an act of sweet revenge, Katherine had to admit. However, lying to Jaxon, her best friend, had been difficult. When he caught her as she walked out of the restroom and asked her what on Earth was going on, she could only smile and tell him, “I am getting married.” “Yes, but to William Edward Harold Windsor?!” He shook his head in disbelief a
Despite her reluctance, William insisted on driving Katherine home and had his driver drive Katherine's car, following closely behind them. “You know I’m perfectly able to drive my own car,” she commented as he was turning on the junction near where she lived. “You don’t need to drive me home.” “I know you’re and I know I don’t need to," he replied as he glanced briefly at her before focusing his eyes back on the road. “Okay, then why did you do it anyway?” The car slowed down until it came to a full stop right in front of her building. “Because I want to.” He undid his seat belt and turned his body so he could fully face her. “You’re my fiancé now, Kate —” “Katherine,” she corrected. “Only my mom calls me Kate.” “Well, I like Kate better than Katherine plus I called you Kate all the time when we were dating back in high school.” He gave a light shrug then continued with his earlier sentence, “Anyway, I was going to say tha
"Wow, wow, Woah!" Cas leaned forward, a couple of frown lines occupying his forehead. "Are you serious?" "Yes," answered William grimly. "It’s that bad, huh." Cas leaned back against the leathered chair and put his right hand on the armrest. "What did they use this time?" William could pretend that he did not understand what Cas was referring to but at this moment, he didn’t see the point of lying or sugarcoating the ugly truth. "My mother." "Oh, okay, that’s simply cruel." Cas shook his head. He knew very well how much William loved her mother, the only person in his family who did not judge him or to put it bluntly, the only person in his family who actually loved him. William would do anything for his mother and now, he supposed, William's grandfather and father knew that and turned it to their advantage. "I