Chapter 21: I will always love you
"Air ticket, please?", said the burly guard situated at the departure gate.
I handed it to him slowly, hesitating for the tiniest of seconds, wondering whether I was making the right decision.
No. I vehemently shook my head to myself; I had to take this chance. I had to. Yet a small part of me wondered whether I would turn back if he was here to stop me. I shakingly exhaled, there was no use thinking of such thoughts, especially at this juncture.
Just as the blue bordered stiff paper slipped into the guard's hand, a familiar voice behind me exclaimed.
"Arinea!" A voice rose out of the crowd, hinting at desperation and loss.
Something inside me lurched as through I had gone through a roller coaster ride, and judging by the tumult of emotions I was feeling, it truly felt like it. I turned disbelievingly, my mind whirling in the short span of time, trying to delay the moment.
It was an internal conflict, praying hard that it wouldn't be him and still hopelessly wanting it to be him. But it would just make this harder, wouldn't it?
I continued to stare at him in shock, one hand carrying the handle of my luggage, the other covering my mouth in surprise. I hurriedly snatched back the ticket and a torrent of apologies flow out of my mouth before I can stop it. The guard, seemingly used to the teary and dramatic farewells, smiled amusedly and understandingly whispered a good luck.
"Where the hell are you going?" He demanded as he approached, his long legs covering the distance easily. "Are you moving to Boston?"
My knees wobble as I take him in, his unshaven face and tousled hair with shadows under his eyes. "What are you doing here?" I retorted shakily. "You're supposed to be in the court today."
"I was. Until I received a voicemail from your brother about you leaving the country. So I called Lorrai—"
Horror washed over me as I stared back at him. "You just left the court proceedings? Just like that?"
"Lorraine told me you were leaving the country." His dark eyes searched my face, "Is she right?"
"Yes." I avoid his gaze for a while before replying firmly once more, "Yes, I am."
"Just like that? Without even telling me?"
I flinched before opening my mouth, "I.. Knight.." I didn't know what else I could say, I couldn't even think just staring at his familiar face.
His mobile phone ringed shrilly and he switched it off irritably, "Arinea.. We need to talk." I didn't dare look at him as I desperately tried to find my brothers and Lorraine whom had mysteriously disappeared, not surprisingly. I swore at the back of my mind to make them pay for this later.
"You want to talk, now?" I echo disbelievingly. "I have to go in soon. And you're not supposed to be here." I bit my lip worriedly as I stare at his beeping phone. " What about the court case?"
"It doesn't matter."
My jaw dropped and I bounced on my feet in agitation, "Your future in the family business doesn't matter?" I raised my voice and fought the urge to waggle my finger in his face, barely stopping myself to poke him in the chest, hard. "Knight Kingson, how can you be so irresponsible? Walk right bac—"
"The family firm wouldn't even be in the family right now if you didn't do what you did." He grabbed my hand, tightly, as if his hold on me would teeter me to him.
"Arinea. I know. Everything. Your father told me how you ran around town digging for information. How you were caught in the private office searching for my father's will, and then being arrested!" His voice punctuated the last word, head shaking with disbelief and his grip on my wrist tightened ever so slightly. I welcomed the sense of security the warmth of his skin against mine bequeathed. "Of all the stupid.. stupid things you could do…"
"and how you got on your knees to beg him to help me." His eyes snapped to mine, staring at me with an indecipherable expression. "And he did. Jesus Christ, I had no idea, if it haven't been for you…" He reached out gently and his hand grazed over my face. Even if I wanted to, I couldn't. Traitorous body of mine. I leaned into his touch, breathing deeply, in and out.
"He shouldn't have told you," I muttered furiously, "My father promised me." I ducked my head to avoid the look in his eye.
"Well, he did." His grip on my wrist tightened. "And now I don't even know what to say. A million thank yous wouldn't be enough."
We stared at with other for a few silent moments. In the distance, a professional and mechanical voice was telling passengers on flight KA 1219 for Boston to please proceed to Gate 13.
"Knight… I have to go." My head bowed down. I couldn't bring myself to look at his face.
He stepped even closer and we were almost touching. Was I moving? Was he? His breath was cool and warm against my lips, igniting tendrils of fire that swept through my veins. I could smell his familiar scent, Oh God, I missed him so much. His arm looped around my waist as he pulled me into his embrace, his warm palm cupping my cheek and tilting my head to meet his gaze.
"I have to take this chance, Knight. I have to." I willed him to understand even as tears welled up in my eyes.
He only smiled sadly, even as reluctance shone in his eyes, as his hand fingered the locks of my hair, tenderly pushing away the stray hairs from my face. "I know, but it didn't hurt to ask."
Without a warning, Knight leaned down and caught my lips with his. My eyes fluttered closed, and I felt my lips tingle and pump up as blood rushed to the area as if it worried it would miss out on the excitement. It was so achingly familiar, yet still able to evoke fireworks behind my eyes. Like he always did, and probably always will.
His tongue pushed fully into my small mouth, inducing a groan from him when I started to curl my tongue around his. Clearly my actions pleased him and he quickly took our kiss to a much more aggressive and sensual level, his mouth slanting over mine hungrily and urgently as I whimpered. I pressed even closer to him, wrapping my arms around his neck and a rumble of approval erupted from his chest. The kiss turned desperate within seconds, both of us knowing full well that it would be our last in quite some time.
Perhaps the last in forever. I pressed my eyelids even more tightly, banishing the thought to the deepest recesses of my mind, while leaning deeply into his warmth.
Knight broke the kiss, pulling his mouth away but seemingly unable to make the rest of his body follow suit as we stayed entwined with each other. He leant his forehead against mine, breathing heavily, and gazed into my, somewhat dazed, eyes.
Shaking my head, as if the action could clear my thoughts and grant me some sense (all of that seem to vanish in the presence of him), I breathlessly loosened my hold on him and leaned my forehead against his. "I have to go." A wet tear escaped from my eye and trickled down my cheek. Knight wiped it away with his knuckles gently, before stepping away from me reluctantly.
"I'll be waiting for you." He ruffled my hair and pushed me in the opposite direction. My head bowed as I walked towards the burly guard once more, my traitious feet dragging me back, it almost felt like I was in quicksand and Knight was the hold on me.
"No more turning back?" I painfully nodded and he slipped the ticket into the machine. "Have a good flight, miss."
I walked through the door and turned back, looking at him through the glass walls.
Gods, how I longed to run back into his arms and seek comfort in his embrace. Another tear broke free and crawled down my face as I stared wordlessly at him. The distance between us seemingly growing further as time spilled, I brushed my fingertips against my lips, trying to keep the burning kiss in my mind.
He placed his palm on his shirt, clutching at where his heart was before making a throwing motion towards me. I squinted, trying to make out the words his mouth was forming.
Come back to me.
I smiled and my hand reached out, catching his imaginary heart in my palm and held it in my own.
5 years later
"Arinea! What are you doing in the hospital today? You're not even supposed to be here!" I winced inwardly at the scolding tone coming from behind. Aw hell, I was in for barely an hour and already busted. How pathetic was that.
I took a deep breath before turning around slowly to flash a seemingly innocent grin at the hospital's Dean of Medicine. "What are you doing here? I specifically told you last night to take the entire week off, didn't I? "
I could only shrug sheepishly at her words, my grin immediately turning weak.
It was rather well known among the immensely large hospital that I was an incurable workaholic, to say the least. Even on holidays and off days when I was not required to report for work, one could always find me flittering from one ward to another, it was often said that I practically lived in my workplace ever since I had started working here a year ago.
To be it simply, I loved being a doctor. Absolutely loved it with my heart, but who could blame me? The rush of adrenaline that pumps through your body after receiving an emergency call, you know that a life is in your hands and no matter what you have to save it. And when I actually do, it's great to know you've made a difference in the world.
And well after graduating from medical school a good two years ahead of my peers, mind, it took a lot of hard work, which certainly explained why I was already so specialized when most graduates my age were still interning under a resident physician in the hospital or studying for a doctorate. Not to say that I minded; I was able to help people and now that that I was a fully certified carthage doctor and fully specialized under Emergency medicine, I was enthusiastically throwing myself into my job and using my capabilities to the fullest extent. In a way, with every life I saved, I found a little bit of myself. Perhaps, I was fulfilling Ford's own words.
You'll make a good doctor. In fact, a sexy doctor.
I smiled wistfully and wondered what he would say if he saw me today. My attention snapped back by the drumming of impatient fingers, I stalled for time before answering, "Well… I had nothing else to do. So I thought I'll just take a little teeny winy peek."
"Well, stop peeping then. You have worked very hard this entire year. Too hard. Take the week off and relax. Surely that's not too much to ask." The Dean of Medicine frowned here, her fingers tapping on the polished wood of the handrail.
"But… the emergency wards are usually busy at this time of the year.."
"Go home, Arinea" The Dean commanded sternly. "Use this time to visit your family."
I opened my mouth to protest, "But—"
I closed my mouth sulkily and nodded reluctantly, "Alright then.."
As I walked out of the hospital, I considered the idea of visiting Lorraine and my brothers. The more I thought about it, the more I decided it was actually a good chance to visit my hometown. After all, Lorraine had been longing for me to go back once. Over the years, we managed to stay in contact as promised; calling each other regularly. It had always been her and my family coming over to spend some time with me during vacations. And yes, she and Aaron are still together strong, in fact they just got engaged last year after Aaron graduated from Harvard Law School, no less than that! I'm incredibly proud of how far he has gone. He's currently working under my father just like Alric is and hopefully, the twins will too. No promises about that though, they're still as reckless as before.
I fingered the diamond pendant under my shirt; it was finally time to face the ghosts of my past, no matter whether I was ready or not.
End of Part Ⅱ
This is almost a year late. I know, college life is c-r-a-z-y. My exams went alright, thanks to those who wished me the best. Believe me, I wasn't planning to update anytime soon(certainly not today) but .. couldn't resist the sudden urge. The pile of assignments and screaming to be read books are weighing on my conscious now, goodness knows how behind I already am.
I have to take time to reacquaint my self with the characters and that'll take some time. I went back to read a few chapters and immediately cringed, it's horrible (not to say this chapter isn't, not very satisfied with it), major revamp to do when this story is finished. Hopefully my writing has improved. I like to think it has.
Elaine (yes I'm a big girl now, no need to use inititals.)