3. The Thing About Bad Breakup And Old Wounds

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. 

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