Complicated Love Pt. 05bycrystaltears©
Cassie rubbed her eyes and continued to stare at the computer screen, before giving up and leaning back in one of the comfortable chairs present in Chris's office. It had been a week since they had returned from that weekend at the cabin, and Cassie had never had a lovelier week in her life.
Chris made her feel important and special, but most of all, he made her feel beautiful. Cassie had always been insecure about the way she looked. Having grown up in a world where the meaning of beauty was to be extremely thin, she had been teased and hurt throughout school and college for being on the heavier side.
But when she saw Chris look at her, she felt all those insecurities melt away. He looked at her as if she were the most beautiful woman in the world, and as though no one would ever be able to compare to her.
She yawned and closed her eyes, resting them for a minute before opening them to the softly lit room. Chris was working late and Ann and James had gone to bed. She looked at the clock on the desk. It read 11:30 in large, lurid green numbers. Barely suppressing another yawn, Cassie closed her eyes again, and before she knew it, was asleep.
Chris parked the car in the driveway and let himself into the house, careful not to make any noise. He knew that his father and Ann would be asleep, but was quite sure that Cassie had stayed up for him again. It was the thought of her waiting up for him that had finally forced him to abandon his work and drive home.
He checked the dining room and the kitchen before heading to his study. He found her there, asleep on the comfortable chair, her computer on behind her.
Chris grinned and switched off the system, saving all her files before he did so, and picked her up from the chair. She was heavy, but it was a pleasant weight, and Chris did not mind. Cassie stirred against him, and opened her eyes. Chris felt a sharp stab of desire when she looked up at him from beneath her long lashes with sleepy, startlingly green eyes.
"I fell asleep again," she mumbled, before she realised the Chris was carrying her. "Put me down," she said, fully awake now, and wiggling in his arms. "I'm too heavy!"
Chris just held her tighter and carried her to their bedroom, which was opposite the study. He gently laid her on the bed before stepping back and stripping off his clothes.
"You complain too much," he teased gently as he undid his shirt. "I'm going to take a bath now. Join me?"
The look of pure lust that he sent her had Cassie speechless with desire. She nodded and they undressed each other before they walked into the large bathroom. Chris began to run the bath while Cassie added a few bath salts and a generous portion of bubble bath to the water.
When the tub was full, Chris lowered himself into the tub and brought Cassie down with him. The warm water helped wash away the tension is his body.
"How was your day?" Cassie asked, leaning back against him.
Although he wanted to make love, he wanted to sit still for a while with Cassie pressed up against him.
"Tiring, and very, very stressful," Chris replied, his arms tightening around Cassie. He bent his head down to her neck and gently kissed her, sucking on the small spot until she let out a small gasp.
"Mallory and Co. have pulled out of the City Centre financing, so we need to find a new financier and fast," Chris told her, his hands stroking her dimpled stomach.
"Why?" Cassie asked her voice slightly breathy as she felt the sensations caused by Chris's slow and sensual stroking engulfing her.
"Oh, some problem with the board. But that's not the issue. Still, I think someone will come forward soon. It is an excellent project. Investing in it is worth it."
Chris was now stroking her inner thighs; feather light touches that made her tense up in his lap.
"Of course," Cassie managed to gasp out, her hands tightly holding his thighs. "What about the designing of the project? Wasn't Emily's team working on it?"
"Yes," Chris replied, now moving his hands to her breasts. "But I think I'll assign George to it too. She'll need the extra hands."
"She won't like it," Cassie said, her voice a whisper. "She doesn't..."
She trailed off when she felt Chris pinch her nipple gently. She pushed her soft bottom into his lap, and felt him, throbbing and hot, against her.
"She doesn't what?" Chris asked, a smile on his face as he turned Cassie around on his lap. It was an uncomfortable manoeuvre, and water sloshed outside the tub.
"She doesn't like working with George," Cassie said, deciding that it was high time she did the tormenting. She slid a small down stroke to Chris's harness. She gave it an affectionate squeeze, and smiled when she felt in jerk in her hand. "They have their differences."
"Really?" Chris gasped, his arousal reaching its peak. "Well, she should sort out their differences don't you think?"
"Oh, definitely...." Cassie trailed off again as Chris pushed his finger inside her. She was wet, ready, and needed him desperately. But she wouldn't give in. "George should make an effort, too."
"It's a two-way road huh? Everyone needs to give and sometimes, give in..." Chris said as he lifted Cassie slightly and positioned his erection at the edge of her opening. He let her slide down, her velvet sheath slowly engulfing him.
"Really?" Cassie managed to breathe out as he began thrusting slowly in her. The friction caused due to the water just increased the pleasure of their gentle lovemaking. "You'd give in?"
"George silly," Chris said, before bending his head to suck on one of her puckered nipples. "I never give in."
Too shattered to even speak, Cassie didn't say anything, just closed her eyes and savoured the sensations that he was making her feel. She slid her arms around his neck and began undulating on his lap, her face buried in his neck.
Slowly, his thrusts increased and he began slamming into her as his orgasm approached, but he held back, determined to give her pleasure first. Cassie came moments later. Spent, they both let themselves become limp, and held on to each other.
"That was nice," Cassie mumbled into Chris's neck, suddenly very sleepy. "But very uncomfortable for you, I think."
"My butt is feeling a bit flat," Chris admitted, a rueful grin on his face. "Making love in the bath isn't all that it was cut out to be, hmm?"
"Mmm," Cassie said, and closed her eyes.
Chris chuckled gently and rose, carefully lifting Cassie up with him. It was difficult to do so, as the slippery water swirled around him, almost making him slip. He quickly set Cassie down on the edge of the bathtub.
"C'mon," he said gently. "We need to get washed up."
Cassie rose unsteadily and leaned on Chris while he turned on the shower and washed away all traces of soap. After, he rubbed them both down and after looking at the messy bathroom with despair, burrowed into bed with Cassie.
"There's a charity ball next weekend," he said, softly, pulling her against him so that she was pressed to him. "We need to attend."
"Why?" Cassie asked, not wanting to attend at all. She still disliked large parties.
"Because we sponsor the charity." Chris said dryly. "Besides, it's a fund raiser and all proceeds go to charity, so why not?"
"I hate you," Cassie mumbled. "But I'll still go because I love you."
Chris breath stilled when he heard the words, but he forced himself to think that she had meant them jokingly. "Isn't that a contradiction?" he asked, amusement in his voice.
"No." Cassie said firmly before turning so that her back was nestled against his back and pulling his arms around her. "Now go to sleep."
Chris chuckled gently and closed his eyes, wondering whether she had really meant what she said. Suddenly, it mattered to him. It had never mattered when numerous other women said it, but it mattered when Cassie said it.
Cassie's eyes were wide open, and she was cursing herself. She relaxed when she felt Chris's steady breathing.
"You little idiot," she admonished herself. "Why did you have to tell him that? It's only been a week, you'll scare him off!"
But she had meant what she had said. Incredible as it seemed, she had fallen in love with Chris and would do anything for him. She wanted to protect him, and be protected by him in turn. She wanted to share his life in every way. She wanted to grow old with him.
Troubled by the intensity of her emotions, and what she felt was a foolish admission, Cassie allowed herself to sink into the comfort of his embrace and go to sleep.
--- Chapter 9
"I look fat," Cassie said in deadpan when she saw herself in the mirror. The jade green dress she was wearing outlined every curve she possessed and made her look voluptuous and beautiful. The combination of the dress, her eyes and her long, curly, mahogany hair was excellent.
"You do not," chorused Melissa and Ann in unison, who had come shopping with her. They were trying to find suitable clothes for the fund raiser.
Chris had managed to get tickets for Melissa and Gavin, but Gavin had declined. Melissa, on the other hand, was excited at the prospect of meeting so many people and was raring to go.
"I do," Cassie said defiantly. "I liked the brown dress better."
The brown dress in question was made of chiffon and looked as elegant as a sack. It effectively hid all of Cassie's curves and made her look like she was wearing a half-sewn caftan.
Melissa and Ann looked at each other and sighed.
"What about the other one?" Melissa asked. This dress was black and had a corset style bodice that managed to squeeze Cassie's voluptuous figure into hourglass proportions. It ended just below the knee.
"It's okay I suppose," Cassie said doubtfully, looking at it. It did manage to flatten her stomach a bit.
"Fine," Ann said, cashing in on the opportunity. She wanted to buy it before Cassie changed her mind.
"Get this one too," Melissa said, holding out the green dress. "A backup."
Ann nodded gravely and before Cassie could say anything, had bought the two dresses.
"I don't need backup," she told Ann and Melissa crossly. "You didn't need to buy two dresses. Which one should I wear now?"
"Oh, maybe you can ask Chris to choose between the two," Ann said, giving her a wicked wink, knowing full well which one Chris would choose. Cassie glared at her.
"Stop squabbling," Melissa said good-naturedly. "Let's get a latte before we hit the stores for jewellery. I have been run off my feet trying to shop for Cassie. Shopping for myself and Ann was so much easier."
Cassie shifted her glare to Melissa while Ann giggled. It had been easier with Melissa and Ann. Melissa looked stunning in an amber, ankle length dress with a short jacket while Ann had bought a dark blue sheath that lovingly emphasized her figure.
"Do we really need jewellery?" Cassie groaned as they entered a café. "Don't you both have enough already?"
"Oh, we have enough," Melissa and Ann answered in unison. "It's for you."
"You can't wear those pearls with everything. Or that silver chain." Melissa added.
Cassie sighed and braced herself for more shopping. How she had managed to get herself into this mess, she didn't really remember. Then, a sudden memory of Chris and a bathtub sprang into her mind and she blushed, her cheeks turning crimson. Oh well, she remembered now.
"Why me?" she groaned softly as she saw the two women sitting across her. "Why do I have to have such friends?"
"Because you deserve us!" Ann said with a grin, and laughed when Cassie kicked her under the table.
It was going to be a long afternoon.
Gavin looked at the TV, but he wasn't really seeing it. He was thinking about Cassie, and Melissa. Funny how the two women he needed most were in his life, but he still went around looking for them in other women. Well, Cassie was not his anymore, and that was his fault. But Melissa was there.
He had come back from the cabin a complete wreck. He barely remembered landing up outside Melissa's apartment. But he had, and hadn't gone home yet. He had simply moved some of his clothes here and was living with her. They did not sleep together, but they shared a bed and Melissa comforted him.
When Gavin had come home, Melissa had suspected something of this sort, but when she found out that it was Cassie, she was astonished. After a while, she thought that she should have seen it coming. She still had no idea what her feelings toward Gavin exactly were, but she was close enough to let him stay with her and let him share his pain with her.
Gavin knew that he was being stupid, that he could not replace Cassie with Melissa, but he knew that there was something between them. He had been friends with Cassie too long and had ignored the sparks between them until it was too late. He did not want to make the same mistake with Melissa.
He knew that he did not love her, but he wanted to let a relationship develop and see where it went. He did not want to miss out on finding his soul mate because he was scared of hurting his friendship.
He had to try, he decided. He just had to try.
And while he was trying, he might try getting over Cassie too, and try feeling happy for her. It was damn difficult, but for all their sakes, he just had to try.
Cassie stood in the room wearing a bathrobe, her hair loose over her shoulder. It was the night of the charity ball, and she still had not decided which dress to wear. She felt that the corset style one was better, but knew that Ann and Melissa had liked the green one better.
She was still deciding when she felt Chris put his arms around her and bury his face in her freshly washed hair.
"You smell nice," he said as he kissed her ear, before turning her around and gently dropping a kiss on her small nose.
"I just had a bath," Cassie said, dimpling up at him. She turned back to the dresses which she had laid out o her be. "Which one do you think I should wear?" she asked, looking at Chris for help.
"I can't tell you until you try it on," Chris said, pulling out a dress shirt from the wardrobe. "Go on, try them on and I'll tell you."
She quickly put on the corset-style dress first and showed it to him, wiggling her hips a little as he turned around to show him the back.
"Very nice," Chris said as he took in his wife's wonderful figure. "Now the next one."
Cassie slipped off the dress and put on the emerald green gown, adjusting it so that it covered her as much as possible. She turned to Chris, and was surprised to see him staring at her with a strange expression on his face.
"It's beautiful," he rasped out, barely able to take his eyes off her. While the other dress had emphasized, this one subtly covered her curves, hinting at them and defining them sensually when she moved. "Definitely this one."
"It's revealing," Cassie muttered, her cheeks red with embarrassment.
"It is not," Chris said coming up to her to adjust the shoulder straps holding the dress up. "It's quite modest when you compare it with some o the outlandish creations that we will definitely see tonight. Do you have any jewellery to go with it?"
"Yes," Cassie answered, reaching for her jewellery box. "Ann bought it."
She pulled out a thin white gold chain with an emerald pendant, matching earrings and a bracelet. She let Chris fasten the chain and donned the earrings and the bracelet. When she began to pull her hair up, Chris stopped her and told her to leave it loose. She simply pulled it away from her face and fastened it with a comb, letting a few strands curl about her face while the rest fell to her waist in thick, mahogany waves.
"Ready?" she asked Chris, who was looking handsome in his tux.
"Ready," Chris smiled.
When Cassie entered the ballroom where the ball was hosted, she felt panic rise up in her. She suddenly felt awkward, like she didn't belong. Her grip on Chris's hand tightened, and he squeezed back gently, reassuring her.
"Might as well get it over with," Ann grimaced before a professional smile fell upon her face and she began to circulate. James had gone with her too. Chris handed Cassie a glass of champagne, hoping that it would calm her frazzled nerves.
"Oh, if it isn't Cassie," a cool voice drawled, making Cassie look up sharply. She knew whom that voice belonged to, and she didn't like the woman one bit.
"Hello Chris," Rosalie simpered, holding out her hand. Chris clasped it and kissed her cheek, almost blanching as her strong perfume wafted around him.
Cassie looked at the way Rosalie was dressed, and had to admit that he gown was more conservative. Rosalie had chosen to wear an ice blue dress with a plunging neckline and a long slit, up to her thigh, which left very little to the imagination. Large diamonds glittered at her throat and ears, garish rather than elegant.
From the way she had sidled up to Chris, and from the trapped expression in Chris's eyes, Cassie felt her resentment for the woman rise up a notch.
Firmly putting herself between Rosalie and Chris, she held out a hand in greeting.
"Hello Rosalie," she said pleasantly, watching from the corner of her eye as Chris escaped to talk to a group of people in the far side of the ballroom.
When Chris was out of earshot, Rosalie whispered, "You bitch. He may be married to you, but he still wants me."
"You keep away from my husband, Rosalie," Cassie said calmly, but there was steel in her voice. "Or I'll make you regret the fact that you're alive."
"You think you're so wonderful," Rosalie sneered. "But do you know that Chris and I were engaged once?"
From the shocked expression on Cassie's face, Rosalie guessed the answer.
"You don't know Chris as well as I do Cassie, and I know that he'll come back to me."
With those chilling words, Rosalie walked away, leaving Cassie utterly bewildered. Chris had been engaged? To Rosalie, of all people. She wondered what he had seen in Rosalie. Then suddenly, she wondered why he hadn't told her. Did he still have some feelings for Rosalie?
Chris watched Cassie as she spoke to Rosalie, and then turned to look at him. The look s her eyes were accusing, and Chris had a bad feeling that Rosalie had said something that he wished she had not. Knowing that only confession could salvage the situation, he went up to her and pulled her resisting, onto the dance floor. A slow number started and they started swaying to the music.
"You're tense. What did Rosalie say?" Chris asked his voice low.
Cassie shot him a dirty look and said nothing. Sighing, Chris pulled her to him and began telling her.
"Rosalie and I dated when I was 24. We even got engaged five years later, but the engagement broke up when she had a fling with a man richer than me. When she found out that he wasn't all that he claimed to be, she tried coming back, but I had seen through her. She was only after my money. That's why it all ended. It's been years since that, and I have never felt anything but regret over the relationship."
Chris said it slowly, in one go, and took a deep breath when he finished. He felt Cassie's arms go around him and he breathed a sigh of relief. She wasn't angry with him.
As if to contradict that very thought, she said, "I'm angry with you for not telling me, but I can understand why you didn't say anything."
Chris said nothing, just bent down to kiss her tenderly before resting his cheek on her head.
"Just tell me next time. I didn't like Rosalie getting the upper hand."
Chris chuckled at the irritation in Cassie's voice. Rosalie really rubbed her the wrong way.
"You must have loved her to stay with her for so long." Cassie's voice was hesitant this time, and Chris could hear the fear and uncertainty in it. He kissed her again.
"I loved someone else, not Rosalie. The real Rosalie was very, very different to the Rosalie that you know. You have to understand that. I don't love her any more."