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   Chapter 4 Damn You

Through the Dark Corners of Rome By hei cue Characters: 14627

Updated: 2019-08-25 10:59


*****

FROM: margaux.montenegro@gy.com

TO: alejandro.montenegro@montcorp.com

SUBJECT: Where are you?

Dad, How are you? Why aren't you answering my calls? The guy you asked your guards bring here is doing well. He was feverish last night and was blabbing incoherently. Your guards bring Doctor Liza here every night but they couldn't last night. It stormed hard and Julio called in, telling us that the bridge they had to pass through broke. You shouldn't be worrying much though because the guy's fever went down at around three in the morning after I gave him a sponge bath --

*****

Margaux's fingers froze from typing on her laptop. She blinked a couple of times as she reread the last seven words of her email. Then, as if something woke her with a slap, her eyes widened and she began banging on the keyboard's backspace anxiously.

She re-wrote, 'After our maid, "Alberta" gave him a sponge bath'.

She then cunningly looked at old woman who was busy chopping salad-greens on the kitchen counter, calculating if she noticed the lie she just typed. She shook her head afterward and tried to put her attention back to her email.

However, her mind just couldn't stop reeling, 'I shouldn't have done that. I should have called Alberta to do that...'

Irritably, Margaux closed her laptop upon realizing that she couldn't type at all. One of her hands reached for her head and began massaging her temple. As if it wasn't enough, she grabbed the cup nearby and drunk her coffee in in one go. She couldn't care less if the coffee was still hot. She badly needed a wake-up call.

It had been a week since they came to that villa. Although she had a hard time recognizing the old house at first, she realized that it was indeed her mother's villa when they came in. Their dusty family portrait was still hanging at the entrance hall as if it had been waiting for her to come back for so long.

Alberta, her nanny, showed up the next morning. Then came afternoon, the guards brought in Liza, the doctor from the previous night. Margaux could tell that it was her albeit the paper bag on her head. She remembered her hospital uniform and the blouse she was wearing under her doctor's coat.

She couldn't be more relieve seeing the doctor alive. However, she still wasn't able to do anything when the guards dragged her blindly to amber-eyes' room.

"Amber-eyes" she unconsciously breathed out.

Days had passed and she could still feel his warm body on her back. The sponge bath incident last night didn't help her forget about him at all.

She was halfway through the corridor last night when her feet mindlessly stopped before his room. She didn't know what made her do it but she ended up opening his door.

That was when all these crazy emotions started. She found him alone in his room, delirious and burning with fever. With no one with them there but her maid and two other guards, she did what she thought was right. She attended him.

Margaux bit her bottom lips upon remembering how perfect he felt under the wet towel. How her fingers run through his mid-brown hair, chest, tight abs, and...

"For the love of God! Stop!" she blurted out unconsciously.

"Margaux! What's wrong with you?"

Shame instantly flooded Margaux when her sight caught Alberta's wondering stare. Blinking multiple times, she bowed her head and silently wished for their dinner table to eat her until she was gone.

"Are you sick? You look pale."

"N-no. I'm okay." Margaux stammered. She then cleared her throat and took a bite of her french toast, trying to act normal. She felt worse than a child caught from stealing cookies. For Pete's sake! How was she supposed to tell the old woman that her mind had nothing in it right now but delectable chest and abs?

She honestly didn't want to think about him anymore but her mind just wouldn't stop. ''I should have not seen you... I should have not touched you... I should have not dared to save you...'

"Margaux!"

'H-huh?" Margaux jerked on her seat. Then she turned to the old woman with her face still frazzled.

"Are you even listening?" Alberta's frowning face crunched more, making her age-line heavily visible. "I said your dad just called in. He wanted to know how the man he sent here is. He asked if he is recovering well, etc. I told him he is alright and..."

"Did he asked about me?" Margaux cut Alberta off with an anticipating voice.

However, hearing Margaux's excitement made Alberta went silent for a while. The old woman bit on her bread and then forked some salad from her plate, acting as if she didn't heard anyone.

Margaux noticed how Alberta dodged her question,. Thus, she snorted and pressed, "I'm asking you a question, Alberta."

Realizing that she had no choice but to answer, the old woman stared at her for a while before slowly shaking her head.

"You mean not even once?" asked Margaux in an irritated tone.

"Not once." Alberta echoed. She then smiled understandingly at Margaux and tried to change their topic, "How was your stay in NJ City? Are you on vacation? You're supposed to graduate this year, right?"

"I'm not graduating. I got expelled, " answered Margaux uninterestedly. She was still dwelling over how her father didn't ask about her. Didn't care about his daughter at all? How dared he ask about another person and forgot about her?

She was utterly out of mood when the sound fork shattering against a plate suddenly echoed inside the dining room followed by the old woman's bombarding voice. "What! How did you get expelled? You are supposed to be graduating this year! What did you do!"

Caught unguarded, Margaux looked at her nanny blankly. Her lips opened and closed as if she was to say something but then ended up shut.

Albeta was her guardian since she was a child. She was the one who raised her and had only been separated from her when she flew to NJ City. However, was those things enough for Alberta to question her like this? Margaux knew that Alberta wouldn't even want to take care of her father wasn't paying! The only reason why Alberta was acting like she care was because she was paid.

Compelled to defend herself, Margaux raised her chin and asked, "Who are you to reprimand me? Have you forgotten who you are.. maid?"

She flicked her last word on her tongue insultingly, making sure to remind Alberta where to stand. Then she watched how Alberta's face switched from mad to sad and then finally, unreadable.

The air was suddenly cracking between them and the pressure was getting alarming.

Unable to take the animosity around them anymore, Margaux slammed her hand against the table, picked her laptop, and then wordlessly bolted out of the dining room.

A few minutes after and Margaux found herself on top of a familiar hill.

She opened her eyes slowly before rolling to her side. A smile cracked her pink lips when she saw the gold-colored field just below where she was at.

It had been so long since she last saw that place and she never knew she miss it until today.

Raising her thumb to the air, she playfully measured how big those people working on the farm were compared to her finger. She then did a free-fall to the ground, sending some dried leaves to fly everywhere. Although it stormed lik

e crazy last night, the sun was scorching the whole day, drying the leaves that were carpeting the ground. She inhaled deep and enjoyed how nostalgic the whole place smelt.

Margaux then sat and grabbed her laptop. She stood up and briskly walked towards the lone tree on that hilltop.

Looking up, she saw an old treehouse attached on one of the trees huge branch. It looked battered and dirty with some of its wooden parts falling off. Its paint was chipped and it was easy to tell that the tiny house had seen better days. Nonetheless, just the view of it made Margaux smiled again.

It was her childhood treehouse!

Alicia gave it to her on her fourth birthday,. That was the very same year when she started dreaming to be a ballerina just like her mother. She used to play here with Alicia all day. This was where Alicia taught her to dance through various music and also where she performed her very first dance piece. More so, this was also the same place where her mother taught her how to wait for someone who had no plan to return.

'Dad's just busy, ' she remembered her say. Growing up with just Alicia beside her, she had always been jealous of other kids. Why were other fathers coming home to their family every day? Why was her father not coming home at all?

She couldn't understand a thing back then but Alicia did her best to make her happy. She was a hands-on mother. Although they got Alberta, Alicia still preferred personally taking care of her every day. She read her stories, drove her to dance school, and played with her. She was never tired of loving her and giving her the best. For a while, Margaux thought that she didn't need a father. Who would need Alejandro when Alicia was around?

However, something happened one day. Alicia didn't come out from her bedroom that morning. Margaux was hungry so she trudged to her mother's room. It was late and she already missed her dance class too. She tried calling her out repeatedly from the closed door but it was useless. It was already passed noon when the young Margaux found herself before the servant's quarter. She wasn't just hungry, she was already starving. Hearing her crying outside, the younger Alberta opened the door for her and asked what was wrong.

"Mommy's still sleeping..."

Alberta was a kind maid working in their villa. Upon hearing her, Alberta immediately scooped her from the floor and rushed her to the kitchen. Doing her best, Alberta cooked her a super late brunch. However, the food she served wasn't as good as how Alicia would cook it. Alberta also gave her a quick bath and combed her hair, but again, her ponytail wasn't as neat as to how Alicia would tie it.

Holding their maid's hand, Margaux walked to Alicia's room. It was Alberta who knocked for her that time. She could still remember how the knocks started almost soundlessly and then gradually turned to loud bangs. The next thing she recalled was seeing Alberta ran away quickly, leaving her wondering at a corner.

Upon coming back, Alberta was already with two men who were both in black suits. All of them were frantic and anxious as they shouted at each other. Then, they forced the room open using a master key.

All the commotions stopped at once when the door flung open.

The first thing her bright eyes landed on was Alicia's ballerina feet. They were floating!

Her baby mind couldn't understand how it happened, so she looked up at her mother to ask. However, Alicia's eyes remained closed. For the first time, her mother didn't care to answer her question even after she walked to her and pulled the hem of her dress. There was a bottle of chardonnay beside her bed with its content spilled on the floor, drenching what seemingly was a picture.

Later that day, Alberta explained that Alicia was never coming home anymore. Their maid even added that Alicia had turned to an angel. She never knew what angels were, so she just bobbed her baby head and tried to stop crying. All she was worried about then was who was going to cook her dinner. since her mommy weren't around anymore.

It took few years for Margaux to understand what happened. However, she couldn't tell why someone as gracious and beautiful as her mother decided to kill herself? More so, she still didn't know what was in the picture that pushed Alicia to her breaking point.

Reaching the tree where her treehouse was, Margaux ran her fingers to its roughness and whispered, "I'm home, Mother."

Then with a sad smile on her beautiful face, her fingertips flicked in a gracious pose as her feet tiptoed on the ground. She copied the fierce ballerina stance Alicia always had. Two gentle steps after and her body began to swirl to the sound of rustling leaves.

She danced like how Alicia did, reliving how her mother used to flow from one movement to another. She loved Alicia deeply and missed her with all her heart. However, all she could do now was to dance the way Alicia taught her, more so, continue to wait for Alejandro to come home.

It was passed midnight when Margaux came back to the villa. She was tired, starving, and dirty from all the leaves stuck on her shirt. Nevertheless, she was feeling a lot better than how she was that morning.

She danced against everything she learned from School. She swayed without rules and expressed her fears through every stomped of her feet. For the first time since forever, she felt wild and free.

She was already on her way to her bedroom when her feet unconsciously stopped before one of their guest room's door. Hesitantly, her hand reached for the doorknob and gave it a slow turn.

The strong smell of medicine seeped into her nose as soon as she walked into the room. She hated how dizzying it was but then she just shook her head to dismiss it.

'I'm back, Amber-eyed, " she whispered breathlessly when her eyes landed on the man who innocently laying at the middle of that king-sized bed. Then with scared footsteps, she walked towards him with her eyes welded on his perfect face.

He was easily the most beautiful man she had seen. He had a sinfully sculpted body paired with a face that painters would need centuries to justify.

As if mesmerized, her trembling hand reached for the oxygen mask covering half of his face and quickly tugged it down. She closed her eyes and then in one swift move, bent over his parted lips and kissed him carefully.

'Oh my God, Margaux! What are you doing?' her righteous mind screamed. However, his lips were too sweet and inviting to just let go. Wanting to deepen the kiss, she pressed her lips harder against his and tried to open his mouth further. However, her courageous moves suddenly halted upon hearing something.

He gasped for air!

With her eyes fluttering in an instant, she instantly pulled away from him then nervously put the oxygen mask in her hand back on his face. She stood up at once then ran to the corridor like a mad woman.

She rushed to her room and went straight to her private bathroom. Then without any ado, twisted the shower knob anxiously. She felt the first drop of water sizzled on her skin.

Letting her dirty shirt get drenched under the splashing water, Margaux clenched her teeth and chanted, ''Damn you, for making me lost my mind, Amber-eyes. Damn you!'

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