I stayed up most of the night and I still can’t bring myself to tell her to leave again.
Honestly… I don’t want her to leave… I love her too much.
But I want her to be able to touch me again.
I would tell her that we should start anew…
Maybe…just maybe we can work.

I sat down in the dining room,Juanita had served breakfast already.
I waited for some minutes for Sophia.
She didn’t eat much yesterday so I expected her to be famished by now.
She finally walked into the dining and she looked worse than she did yesterday.
“Sophia,dear…Are you okay?”Juanita asked.
“I just woke up with a throbbing headache… it’s as if my head is about to fall off”She replied,weakly and sat down.
“Try and eat something, I’ll get some aspirin”
She stared at her meal, avoiding my gaze.
She thought we were through…. I felt guilty…it was my fault that she looks so crestfallen.
I was too hard on her.
“You should eat more”I urged when I saw her picking at her food.
She finally met my eyes… and my chest tightened at the anguish I saw in hers.
What have I done to my Sophia?

“Juanita,she didn’t eat much, could she please prepare chicken soup for her…she likes that a lot”I requested, sitting up in the breakfast bar.
Sophia had retired to her bedroom and I hope she wasn’t crying anymore.
Does she have a tank on her eyes or something?
“I noticed you two still haven’t resolved your differences”She said as she started cooking.
“We will.Has Pedro ever lied to you before?”I asked.
“Yes…a couple of times”
“How do you make things normal for you two again,as it was before?”
“It isn’t hard.You two just need to talk….a calm conversation really and tell each other what you really want….what you really need from this marriage”
I need Sophia to be happy again.
Her happiness is my own happiness.
I need her to touch me again.
I stared at Juanita.

You might not break down.You can start with Juanita.She loves you like her own child.She would never do anything that would cause you pain…and I want you to stop avoiding your demons…you ate with everyone when I got discharged…it wasn’t so bad afterall, right?You can do this

Damien,I don’t need to be there…I want you to do that without me,I can be in the bedroom or something…I just want you to be able to will yourself and accept her for who she is,and not let your body reaction guide you

Sophia’s words ran through my head.
I can do this.
She and James kept telling me that my fears are in my head.
This is normal for everyone….it can be normal for me too.
I can do this.
“Juanita”I called.
“Yes?”She turned around to face me.
“Could you…. could you please hold me?”I requested, nervously.
My injections are upstairs.
I would have to race up….
I don’t need them.
This will be okay.
“Are…are you sure?”She asked… looking equally nervous.
She lifted up her hand and held my hand.
My heart raced.
You’ve got this, Damien…
You’ve got this.
She stared at me equally scared to see if there would be a breakdown of a sort.
We waited.
I panted but I didn’t freaked out.
“Oh Damien!”She cried and hugged me.
Something she’s always wanted to do.
“After so many years…you finally….you finally…oh God!”
I wrapped my arms around her.
I didn’t even want to imagine what it would have felt like if Juanita and Pedro had left me.
“Thank you for not giving up on me…for overlooking the harsh way I treated you”I told her, honestly.

Few minutes later,I stood in front of Sophia’s door holding the tray of food.
I want to take that step with her too.
It was okay before…it can be again.
I walked into her bedroom…she slowly sat up.
“How are you feeling?”I asked sitting on the edge of the bed.
“The headache is slowly subsiding… I’m sorry…you probably wanted me gone today…I will leave immediately I feel better”She assured.
“You should eat… I’m here to make sure you finish everything”I tried to lighten the mood but she didn’t even smile.
As I slowly fed her,I noticed she was trying very hard not to blink because if she does that,tears would drop from her eyes.
I hated being the reason for those tears.
“I will miss you a lot.I’m just trying to use my headache as an excuse to see you for some hours before I leave”And her tears finally fell.
My heart ached badly and it was as if I could actually feel it bleeding.
“You don’t have to leave… I want to try and make things work out between us”
She stared at me as if she had heard wrong.
“If there’s anything you’re keeping from me,you should say it now, I’ve already told you what I’ve been hiding from you and since you still want to be with me…I don’t want any surprises like that again”
“I swear, I’m not hiding anything from you.Are you saying you’ll really forgive me?”She asked in pure disbelief.
She smiled through her tears.
“You…you don’t really want me to leave anymore? You’re giving me a second chance?”She asked still finding it hard to believe.
“I am. I love you more than a lot.”
“Thank you, I promise not to ever let you down… I would never make you angry again…I would never hurt you again.”She sworn.
“It’s okay, Sophia.I’m happy to inform you that I’m getting better now… Juanita touched me”I announced, proudly.
It wasn’t a big deal to most people but it felt like I’ve made a major achievement.
“Really? You didn’t break down?No panick attack?”
“No… I was okay..she even hugged me….It was like I was in my mother’s arms”
“I’m so happy for you, Damien”She smiled.
“I want us to be as we were before….with no fear of inadequacy”
I took off my shirt.
She slowly moved back.
“Damien…we shouldn’t…”
“Now, you’re the one who doesn’t believe in me.”
“It’s just… seeing you lose control of yourself was terrifying…I don’t want to put you through that again”
“We can do this…I can do this”I assured.
She hesitantly lifted up her hand and placed it on my shoulder.
I tensed trying to control myself.
This feels so intensed than when Juanita touched me.
Her hand moved to my chest.
I shut my eyes.
Why is this so fvcking difficult?
I don’t need that damn thing.
I can handle this.

I recalled how she lied about the poison….Raul’s kiss…

Sophia tried to removed her hand but I held it back.
“We shouldn’t…you look… you’re sweaty…your heart is beating really fast… I don’t want to put you through this”She said, frantically.
“It’ll be fine… I’ll be fine”
She moved closer to me and hugged me.
“I love you,Damien…I love you just the way you are.My love for you doesn’t have an end and as long as you want me, I’ll be with you”
I felt myself slowly relaxing.
She disengaged from me and smiled.
“You’re really getting better”
“I have you to thank for that…. let’s go on that trip, Sophia…it would be a perfect start of fixing things between us”
“Thank you for not shutting me out completely, I won’t make you ever regret giving me this chance”
“I’m sorry for being that hostile towards you.When I saw the inscription on the bracelet,I felt really mad because I thought what we have wasn’t going to be forever.”I gestured at her wrist.
“It’s okay.It doesn’t hurt at all”She assured even though it was still reddish.
“Did you put something on it?”
“Yes, Juanita did”
“I will never hurt you again… I’m sorry”I apologized, remorsefully.
“It’s okay really. I deserved that”
I cupped her cheeks.
“You don’t deserve any pain, Sophia and this crying have to stop”
She hugged me again as if still finding it hard to believe that we’re okay now.
“I’ll never do anything that would cause problems between us again”
Her words should make me feel glad but strangely I felt uneasy.
She doesn’t seem like the person she was before…. maybe it’s because we just made up.

I visited the police station,the following day.
The culprit had been caught.
It was Rico Giovanni,a great rival of mine.
He had once threatened to ruin me.
Stewart testified to seeing two of his men leave the building in which I had my meeting….at that time,he just thought it was nothing.
But now,the men was caught and after severe interrogation,they admitted to planting the bomb in my car.
They admitted that Rico had ordered them to do that.
“Mr O’Connell,tell them, I can never do something like that, please”Rico begged, frantically.
“He still won’t admit to his crime”Max informed me.
“He doesn’t want to go to jail,of course he won’t admit to it but there’s no way he’s getting out of this”I replied.
“You once made threats to ruin Mr O’Connell, right”A detective asked.
“Yes…no… okay,I admit,I did that but I was only planning on ruining his reputation,stuff like that…I never thought of killing him”He pressed on.
“All evidence points to you, two of your men admitted to doing that as per your orders”
“They lied… Someone probably forced them to do it”
“No sh*t”I scoffed and walked out with Max and Lucas.
“I told you that I’m leaving the country soon,keep me abreast with his case,he has to rot in here”
“That’s certained, sir”


I have high respect for my gang…I mean they do sht that’s out of the blue and get away with it.
It’s fucking impressive.
They had threatened to kill the families of Rico’s men if they didn’t admit that it was their boss’ doing.
Of course, family is worth doing anything for.
I consider Sophia my family.
If that a$shole hadn’t popped into our lives,we would have been married by now.
Sophia is still confused…she’ll move on with me once Damien stop existing.
I’m fvcking losing my sh
t with lying low.

I pulled over in front of my apartment.
I glanced sideways to see an unfamiliar woman.
“Do I know you?”
“No,but I know you well enough to tell you and your stupid gang to stay the fvck away from Damien”
“I’m Marcella and I know you tried to kill Damien”
I smirked.”You can’t prove anything”
“You’re right.But listen, Damien means everything to me…how would you feel if I try to take Sophia’s life?”
“You wouldn’t dare!”
“So stop! Damien clearly is underestimating the power you have but I would warn you not to underestimate me. I already did something to ruin their relationship and she’ll be out of his house today…so stop whatever you’re planning for him”
My heart leapt.
If what she’s saying is true then I’ll have my Sophia back in a few days.



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