Fic: The Ring
Fandom: Kiralik Ask
Spoilers: Season 2, diverges after episode 56 (starts the morning after Omer picks up Defne and Pamir from the police station).
Rated: R for language and sexual situations. Don’t click the link if you’re under 18!
No copyright infringement intended!
Defne clutched the jewelry box in her hand, doing her best to hide it from sight as she stepped out of the elevator. Derya was standing closeby in the Passionis office and the last thing Defne wanted was for the nosy assistant to spot the ring box and interrogate her about it. As she drew near Omer’s office, her stomach tightened with anxiety, but there was also that perpetual feeling of excitement that rushed through her. Even now, after everything that happened between them, she felt breathless at the sight of him. Memories of their kiss from last night flashed through her brain but she forced the thought away. She didn’t want to remember the feel of his hands on her waist, his lips against hers.
He was on the phone when she reached his office, dressed in a three-piece navy blue suit with the coat open. Her pulse quickened. He’d always been handsome but now there was a maturity in his looks that hadn’t been there before, a magnetic ruggedness that left her reeling.
As soon as the phone call ended he stood up, sliding his hands into his pocket. Taking a deep breath, she approached him. “Good morning, Omer.”
“I heard your getting rave reviews about your new collection. Congratulations.”
He ignored the praise. “We need to talk.”
The knot tightened in her belly. “Yes. We do.” She placed the jewelry box on his desk. His eyebrows furrowed together in recognition. Ever since their wedding, the engagement ring he’d given her had been like a heavy burden in her heart, a stark and constant reminder of the happiness Omer had promised and then ripped away from her arms. “I wanted to return it last year but I didn’t know your address in Rome, and Mr. Hulusi and Sadri Usta wouldn’t take it from me.”
He glanced down at the box, not touching it, before his eyes met hers again. Anger simmered in his dark gaze. “Are you trying to hurt me, Defne?”
“No. I’m returning what’s yours. This was your mother’s ring. You should have it back.”
“I gave it to you.”
“When we were together.”
He took a step closer, lessening the distance between them. “We will be together again, Defne, when you stop being stubborn.”
Irritation coursed through her but she refused to lose her temper. The best way to protect herself was to keep away from Omer, not get into arguments with him. “It’s over.”
“Who are you trying to convince, me or you?”
He leaned in and the faint scent of his soap drifted into her senses, the earthy smell reminding her of all their intimate moments together.
“It’s not over,” he said with absolute certainty. “So you can stop playing these games, Defne. We’re wasting time on nonsense when we should be talking about our future.”
“I’m not playing games with you, Omer!” she snapped.
“I want you to cut ties with Stil Vagon, and drop the Pamir subject. It’s gone on long enough.”
“Who the hell are you to tell me what to do? Besides, there’s nothing going on between me and him.”
“Does he know that?”
“Look, I didn’t come here to discuss Pamir with you.”
In one swift move he was standing so close she could feel his breath humming against her skin, his body pressed firmly against hers. It took every ounce of strength she had not to lose her balance, and she reached behind to grip the desk for support.
Omer took a swig from the water bottle, gulping most of it down before picking up the nearby towel to wipe the sweat off his face. Sinan and he just finished an intense game of basketball. The cardio workout had been a necessary distraction but now the thoughts that had plagued him for most of the afternoon returned with a vengeance. Defne’s determined face, the hurt in her eyes, the subsequent anger that followed – the images were etched into his brain.
“You were running like a lunatic on the court.”
Omer leaned back against the fence. “That’s what you’re supposed to do during a game. You just can’t keep up, old man.”
“Buddy, I’ve known you long enough to realise you only do that when something’s wrong.”
There really was no point in hiding something from Sinan. “Defne and I got into a fight earlier today.”
Sinan shook his head with exasperation. “Of course. What happened?”
“She asked me why I came back from Rome, what was my reason.”
“What did you tell her?”
“That we came back to save Passionis. It’s the truth after all.”
Sinan threw the basketball at Omer’s chest, knocking the water bottle in his hands to the ground. “How is someone so brilliant in business such an idiot in romance I don’t understand. You’re fighting for this girl, you’re trying to convince her to get back with you and then you go and tell her something that stupid?”
Omer started to defend himself but Sinan gestured at him to shut up.
“Yeah, Yeah, I know. You’re a big believer in honesty or whatever but sometimes honesty isn’t the best policy. Sometimes all it does is hurt the people you love the most, and for what? Who would it have hurt if you’d just told her you came back for her?”
“I just…” Omer exhaled a sigh. “She asked me out of the blue and I didn’t think much about my answer. What I said really hurt her.”
“You think you would have learned your lesson after the Fikret incident.”
Omer shot his best friend a quick glance. “Let’s drop the subject.”
“Why? It was two years ago. And back then you did the same stupid thing when you admitted to Defne you’d probably be with Fiket if it wasn’t for her.”
Guilt coursed through Omer.
“And bro, you may have told yourself Passionis was the reason but that’s bullshit. Sooner or later you would have come back for Defne, even if you hadn’t realised it yet. Passionis was just an excuse to get you here.”
Omer realised Sinan was right. Of course his brother was right. He really was an idiot for not recognising it earlier, which meant he’d hurt Defne for absolutely no reason. The thought made him sick to his stomach. “I wish I could talk to her right now and explain.”
“And apologise,” Sinan added. “I know you’re not used to that-”
“Okay, okay. I get it. I’ll apologize. I’ll apologize over and over again until she forgives me. I’ll do whatever it takes.”
As if sensing his desperation, Sinan patted his shoulder. “Dude, don’t worry. It’s Defne. She loves you. She’s just angry right now, and she’s hurt, but she’ll forgive you eventually. She has to.”
“I wish I could just take her away from here, somewhere where the two of us can talk without any distractions. But she stormed out today, I don’t think she’ll be agreeing to that anytime soon.”
Sinan started bouncing the basketball. “If she doesn’t, you can always kidnap her.”
Omer bopped his head, contemplating the idea.
“Omer, I’m kidding,” Sinan said with a worried expression on his face. “Forget what I just said, okay? Her family will call the cops on you and then I have to run around to bail you out. And Passionis can’t take a hit like that.”
“Oh, so that’s all you care about?” Omer chuckled.
“Someone has to! You’re too busy chasing Defne.”
Deep in thought Omer rubbed his beard, scratched the back of his head. A part of him desperately wanted to drive over to Defne’s home and talk to her in person but he knew, rationally, that was a horrible idea. Iso could barely stand to look at him, and Omer suspected her family felt the same. Considering the last thing he wanted was to trouble Defne more, he knew it was best to stay away from her house. And it’s not like he could call her; her old phone number no longer worked and she refused to give him the new one.
“Come on,” Sinan said. “Let’s play another round.”
Omer nodded his head in agreement.
Omer couldn’t stop staring at Defne. His Defne. She was doing a quick presentation updating them about the logistics issue that had come up earlier today and throughout the entire time all he could focus on was her legs. Her beautiful, long legs that looked even longer in the white jeans she was wearing. The fabric seemed to be moulded to her body, hugging every curve, accentuating her beautiful figure and he couldn’t stop envisioning her without her clothes on. Her soft, porcelain skin. Her beautifully shaped breasts that fit perfectly in his hands. Images of her lying naked underneath him flashed through his mind, her gorgeous red hair draped on the pillow, her subtle lavender perfume filling his senses. The same images had haunted him in Rome during their year apart and now they continued to play havoc with his thoughts.
Omer leaned back in his chair, conscious of how she looked at everyone in the room except him. Every time he’d gone down to her office to talk, the room had either been empty or she’d been surrounded by people. It wouldn’t surprise him to find out that was by design. Maybe she had people on the Passionis floor reporting his whereabouts to her so that every time he went downstairs, she made herself unavailable. Defne could be very resourceful when she set her mind on something and right now she was determined to avoid him. Frankly, that hurt. It hurt like hell, but her walls were something he could overcome. They loved each other, that hadn’t changed, which meant sooner or later she was going to let him back in. She had to.
“Any questions?” Defne asked.
He was genuinely impressed. At first he’d assumed she had chosen logistics as a career path simply because it was the furthest thing from design but more and more he was realizing she was really great at it. She’d possessed real, raw talent as an artist but logistics was something she seemed to enjoy, and she had a knack for the details-oriented, complicated field that was constantly evolving. It amazed him how quickly she had managed to carve out a solution to what seemed like a hopeless problem to the rest of them.
“I have another meeting I need to attend,” Seda announced as she prepared to leave. “Defne, please let me know if anything changes.” The door to the meeting room shut behind her.
“No questions? Then I guess we’re done,” Defne declared.
Omer definitely wasn’t ready to let her leave yet. “What happens if the trucks are held up at the border?” It was a dumb question, he was aware of that, but she would have to answer him which meant she’d be forced to look at him.
“That shouldn’t happen. The paperwork is all in order,” she fired back, glaring at him.
“But it could. Do you have any contingency plans for that?”
“There can’t be a contingency plan for every possible situation. That’s ridiculous.”
He smiled. “No, that’s called Risk Management. It’s a pretty big deal in businesses.”
“Well I have better things to do with my time than to think of solutions to ridiculous scenarios that may or may not happen.”
“Okay, okay,” Sinan interjected. “How about we deal with any problems as they occur? Can we agree to that?”
“That’s what we normally do,” Defne retorted.
“Fine,” Omer conceded. “I just want some assurance we’ll be able to reach Defne if something goes wrong.”
“Of course you can,” she huffed. “Aytekin has all of my contact information.”
“I don’t want to have to go through Aytekin. He’s irritating.” Omer gave her a smile. “I need to know I can contact you if there’s a problem.”
Sinan rolled his eyes, standing up. “You guys deal with this on your own. I have to go finish up the contracts.”
Alone with Defne at last, Omer stood up, slid his hands into his pocket, casually walking towards her. Her eyes brimmed with anger, her cheeks turning the same shade of red as they normally did after they kissed. Everything about her aroused him but there was something about an excited Defne that was infinitely more intense. He heard the subtle shift in her breathing as he drew closer, felt her stiffen when he stopped within a few inches of her and leaned back on the table. “So? Are you going to give me your number.”
“Fine. But only for work purposes.”
He nodded his head, smirking as he reached for his cell. “Of course.”
After she recited the number, Defne started gathering her things together. “You don’t have to worry about me messing up. I know you’re a perfectionist.”
The hurt in her tone gave him pause. “Meaning?”
She looked up at him, met his gaze. “You have very high standards, and you expect people to live up to them. I’ll try my best not to disappoint you when it comes to any logistics concerns.”
“Stop pretending you’re talking about work.”
“That’s exactly what we’re talking about. I know if anything goes wrong on the logistics front I’m out of a job, even if I do everything within my power to fix the situation.” She gave him a bitter smile. “You care about actions, not intentions. And if I don’t deliver perfect results each time, you’ll fire me.”
She started walking towards the door but he quickly blocked her path. “Do you really think that, Defne? That I would do that?”
“Without a doubt. You don’t believe in second chances.”
He leaned in close, furious. “I’m the one asking for a second chance with you, remember? You’re the one holding out.”
“Why would you even want to be with me? I’m human, I make mistakes. I’ve made tons of them in the past and I’m sure I’ll disappoint you again in the future.”
Yes, he’d been rigid in the past but it took losing her to realise how none of that meant anything, how empty and lifeless his soul was without her love. “Defne, can’t we just put all that behind us and start fresh? You still love me. Your feelings are still there, and mine have only grown stronger.”
“I told you it’s over.”
“Is that why your heart races every time I’m around you?” He pulled her close, peering into her eyes. “Why you get turned on when I touch you?” Her lips parted, like she was about to respond, and he reached out to caress her mouth with his thumb. He was mesmerised by the glazed look on her face, the stark desire reflected in her eyes. “You still care, Defne.” He dropped a tender kiss on the tip of her nose. “If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be so worried about if I was eating.”
In that very instant the spell ended; she shoved him away. “Yes, I care. I’m not made of stone. I still feel compassion, I empathise with you even though you’ve hurt me. But you don’t have that ability. Your compassion stops the second someone disappoints you which we both know I will. So why would I set myself up for that kind of pain again? It almost killed me the last time.”
Her words sliced into him, cutting his soul into pieces. There was nothing he could say so he watched after her, helpless, as she stormed out.
Defne’s day started off bad and it only seemed to get worse as the hours progressed. Their resources were stretched to the limit because they were expecting shipments and deliveries for both Stil Vagon and Passionis over the next two days. Her staff was already supposed to be working extra hours but thanks to a recent bout of flu that was going around, half the people had called in sick. She felt like crap herself but it wasn’t like she could leave when there weren’t enough people to begin with. Thankfully there was a few minutes before the next shipment came in so she’d decided to grab something to eat. Unfortunately, her cell phone rang. As she searched for it under the mountain of paperwork on her desk, her heart started pounding. It had been two days since she’d gotten into an argument with Omer and ever since then he’d been texting her every few hours. A smart person would have deleted the messages right away, but she couldn’t bring herself to take that step. To make things worse, she started reading his messages last night when sleep evaded her.
You haunted me, Defne. The streets of Rome were filled with visions of you. On every road, in every alley, around every corner of the city I would see you.
Your beautiful face smiling at me, laughing with me.
Your curly silken hair, your intoxicating scent.
Every time I spotted red hair in a crowd, I would follow that girl. Even if she looked nothing like you from the back, my heart hoped it was your face I’d see when I caught up to them. And it shattered my soul every time when it wasn’t you.
I almost got slapped a few times.
But you’re still the only one who’s ever slapped me.
Have we ever talked about that, by the way? That was a really hard slap. My cheek stung for hours after.
The last line had made her laugh out loud, and then she chastised herself for being weak. Of course, an hour later, she’d started reading the rest of his text messages.
Before you came into my world, I was dead inside. My universe was a canvas of white, with no splashes of colour, no thrills or excitement.
I survived day to day, thinking that’s all there was to existence.
And then you rippled in like a storm, bringing with you so much excitement, hope, love, and wonderment that my world became a kaleidoscope of colours and sensations.
I hurt you and I regret it more than you’ll ever know.
To lose that unique spiritual connection we share, that deep, all-consuming love is not something I would wish upon my worst enemy.
Every moment we were apart last year I longed for you, I ached for you.
Even when I was surrounded by people I felt alone, because you weren’t there with me.
I missed the gentle touch of your hand on mine, your soft breath, the way your cheeks turn red when you’re excited over something. Or thinking naughty thoughts.
I missed the way you would lie next to me, the feel of your body beside mine.
The sound of your laughter would keep me awake at nights, the way you would talk to yourself about crazy things and then start blushing when you realized I was listening.
I love you, Defne, with everything I have. You’re embedded into my very soul.
Forgive me. Please.
There were more messages from him but she couldn’t bring herself to read the rest – it hurt too much. Forcing herself to concentrate on work, Defne answered her phone. “Yes, Mr. Pamir?”
“I thought we discussed you dropping the Mr.?”
“No, I don’t remember that.”
“Well, we’re discussing it now. Every time you say it I feel old. It’s not a very good feeling.”
“Okay, fine.” She smiled. “Did you need something, Pamir?”
“I heard it’s chaos down on your floor right now.”
“Yeah, half the staff is off sick. There’s another shipment coming in soon that we need to start processing.”
“Maybe I can round up some extra bodies to help you out.”
She considered the offer. “It’s okay. I appreciate it but I don’t think that’ll help. I’d spend more time explaining the process than actually working and we’ll fall behind.”
“How hard can it be? It’s just putting things away, right?”
She realized he hadn’t meant to be insulting but that’s exactly how it came across. “If you don’t need anything, Pamir. I’ll have to hang up now. I need to get back on the floor.”
“Okay. See you tomorrow then. I’m leaving for the night.”
After Defne hung up the phone, she finished her tea. Already she could feel herself coming down with something but there was no way she could rest let alone go home. Instead, she reached for a Vitamin C pill and swallowed it, hoping it would strengthen her immunity system before she got sick.
An hour later she was on the floor, running around and helping some of the men when Omer sauntered in, watching her from the sidelines. As soon as she spotted him, the box dropped from her hands. As if sensing the butterflies in her stomach, he smirked.
“Good evening, Defne.”
He was dressed in a grey suit, looking more handsome than anybody had a right to. Needing a distraction, she opened the contents of the box and started putting the things away.
“Can we talk?” he asked.
“I can’t right now. It’s very busy. Half the shift didn’t come in today because they’re sick.”
She cast him a quick glance only to find his eyes watching her with concern.
“You look exhausted,” he commented.
“We all are.”
“Do you need help? What can I do?”
“It’s fine. We can handle it.”
“Defne,” Omer said using the same commanding boss voice that once used to scare the hell out of her. “Show me how I can help.”
Before she could protest, he was already walking towards her office. Knowing it was pointless to argue with him when he was being stubborn, Defne followed behind him. He had already removed his jacket and rolled up his sleeves by the time she joined him, and she practically had to tear her eyes away from his fit body to stop the dirty thoughts running through her mind. “If you insist on helping, I need you to follow my directions.”
He smiled. “Okay.”
“And I want you to remain professional.”
“So no kissing on the floor. Got it.” He graced her with a sexy smile and she felt that familiar rush of electricity tingle down her spine. She yearned for him, his lips, his hands, the way he seemed to consume her with his gaze when they made love-
“You’re blushing, Defne.”
“Don’t embarrass me in front of others,” she warned.
He threw his hands up in the air in a sign of surrender. “I’m yours to do with as you please. Always. And forever.”
Her heart flip-flopped. Omer was being open, charming and flirting with her – and it was a combination she had a very hard time resisting, and somehow he seemed to know that. During these moments it was easy to ignore that anguish that had taken over her life while he was gone, but that dark cloud was always there in the back of her head, a constant reminder that he could walk away from her at any moment if his pride was threatened. Giving herself a mental shake, she took out the schema of the warehouse and started explaining how things needed to be processed. He listened intently, asked a few questions.
He tapped his finger on the table. “You’ve managed to simplify a complicated system.”
She shrugged her shoulders. “Experience.”
“Okay, let’s get out there. Show me where to start.”
“Are you sure you have time for this? I mean you probably have more important things to do.”
“This is important as well, Defne.”
“Well, not for you it isn’t. This doesn’t affect Passionis. We already took care of all your orders earlier today. Now we’re working on Stil Vagon stuff.”
His eyes darkened. “If it affects you, it affects me.”
Thick silence fell over them, his gaze piercing into her. It would be so easy to lose herself in him again, to forget the past and cling to his words but she was scared. No, terrified.
“Ms Defne,” Debek said, knocking on her door. “The truck is here.”
The spell broken, Defne started for the door. “Okay, let’s get to work.”
Two hours later she was completely spent, and her immunity was shot to hell. Her body felt simultaneously hot and cold, and she felt weak.
“Defne, go to your office. Get some rest,” Omer ordered as he sorted through the shipping slips in front of her.
He grabbed the paperwork from her hands, his face set in a grim expression. “Defne. Go. If you faint with exhaustion, it’ll bring down the morale of your staff. Don’t sabotage yourself.”
“It doesn’t look good if I’m resting when they haven’t been.”
“They’ve taken breaks every hour but you’ve been working nonstop. Seriously. Go take a break.”
She exhaled a heavy sigh. “Okay. I’ll be back in fifteen minutes. Come get me if you need anything.”
Once inside her office, she took a seat at her desk. Eyes heavy with sleep, body exhausted, she laid her head down, telling herself she was going to rest for a few minutes. Ten minutes. That was all. Within seconds, she was fast asleep.
Omer entered Defne’s office to find her sleeping at her desk. He paused momentarily, just taking her in. There was something incredibly soothing about her sleeping form, and he could watch her like this for hours. Simply being around her made him feel energized, at peace, her effect on him unexplainable yet intense. Ever since their fight he had contemplated calling her but realised that may do more harm than good. Instead, he’d simply started texting. Before Defne he’d never been much of a communicator but with her all that changed; she opened his mind and heart in ways he never thought possible and emotions seem to spill out of him like water now. He poured his heart into those messages, desperately hoping they would touch something in her.
Careful so as not to wake her, he approached her silently. The faint lavender scent of her perfume filled his senses, and it brought rushing back all the memories of her waking up in his arms. Gently he brushed the hair from her face, dropped a feather-light kiss on the side of her head. Her skin was warm, and he realised she was coming down with a fever. Picking her up in his arms, he carried her to the couch located on the other side of the office. Knowing Defne, even if she wasn’t feeling well she wouldn’t go home until everything was taken care of and the least he could do was make her as comfortable as possible in the office. He threw a wrap over her and took a seat by her feet. Leaning back on the couch, he inhaled the image of her in.
Losing Defne had made him realise there was nothing more important in his life than love, that she mattered the most. Now he just had to convince her, to get through to her. A troubling thought drifted into his mind, one that made him worry she would never open herself up to him again but he dismissed it from his brain. They were a part of each other, and no amount of pain or doubt would change that. He reached out to hold her hand, squeezing it gently.
Soon he would put his mother’s ring on her finger again, and this time there was no way in hell it would ever come off. Leaning down, he grazed her hand.
Omer and Defne’s wedding night – 15 months ago
Defne could feel the intense hate emanating from him even though Omer hadn’t looked at her, not even once, since she’d told him the truth during their walk down the spiral staircase. When they went around to each table as a married couple, he thanked them for coming in a calm, polite tone. There was no emotion in his voice, no happiness on his face, but it was too subtle for mere acquaintances to notice – only the people closest to him knew something was wrong because he was behaving so differently than mere minutes ago when he was beaming with sheer joy.
“What’s wrong?” Iso asked, giving her a hug. “You look like you’re about to burst out crying any second now.”
“I told Omer the truth, about everything.”
Iso stole a quick glance at Omer who was staring off into the dark, his face a blank canvas.
“I thought you were going to wait,” Iso said, watching her with concern.
“I couldn’t start our new life with a lie. He deserves the truth. But I think maybe it was a mistake. He hasn’t looked at me since, he won’t talk to me. He’s acting the same way he did during the engagement ceremony.”
“Yeah, but then he realised it was a mistake to break things off. It’s okay. It’ll be fine. You guys will talk it out. Omer is a sensible dude. He knows you, he gets you. Most importantly, he’s crazy in love with you. Everything will turn out okay, I know it.”
Defne’s eyes brimmed with tears. “Do you really think so?”
“Defo, would I lie to you?”
Iso wouldn’t. He was her rock, and if he genuinely believed things would work out that meant they had to. She gave him a quick hug before returning to her seat next to Omer.
Defne didn’t think it was possible to be filled with such fear at the thought of being alone with Omer, but her wedding day was turning out to be completely different than she had ever anticipated. He’d barely acknowledged his family, even Sinan, only putting on a smile when the photographer asked him to do so during the pictures. Neriman already suspected Defne had confessed the truth and dragged her to the washroom to yell at her for it. Sinan had also taken her aside to find out what was wrong with Omer, but he hadn’t yelled. Instead his eyes were filled with sadness as he offered her support. A part of her wanted to reassure Sinan that he was overreacting, that everything would turn out fine with Omer; after all, Omer loved her. They promised to support each other throughout the good times and bad, and they had just gotten married! If nothing else, he would at least give her a chance to explain her side of events, and, once he’d gotten over his anger, they could start their new life together. Maybe she was being a silly optimist but really, what choice did they have? He had to forgive her. There was no other choice.
Her newfound confidence dissipated the instant they entered the honeymoon suite.
“You lied to me.”
She turned around, and her stomach twisted into coils at the disdain she spotted on his face. He’d never looked at her with such hatred before, and it made her want to retch. “I know. I’m so sorry. I tried-”
“You’re a fucking liar.”
She flinched at his words. He wasn’t one to swear easily, and never at her, and she realised the extent of his hurt ran deeper than she had even imagined. “I’m so sorry, Omer. Please believe me. I tried to tell you so many times but there were always-”
“Excuses,” he spewed with venom.
“Please let me explain.”
“Why would I believe anything that comes out of your mouth? Why would I ever trust you again?”
Tears streaked her face. “We love each other-”
He shook his head ‘no’. “The woman I loved never existed. She was a creation by you and my aunt, a figment of my imagination.”
Those fateful words she’d always dreaded spilled out from him, corroding her insides. “Please don’t say that.”
“I’m done with you, and I’m done with this farce of a marriage. Stay the fuck away from me.”
Omer stormed out, leaving her alone in their suite.
With every hour that passed she reminded herself that once Omer dealt with his anger he would return. That was how their relationship worked. How many times had he broken up with her out of rage only to come back and forgive her? Once his head cleared and he was able to be calm again, he would come back to her. He had to. The love they shared was strong, they were committed to making it work. They had just promised to share a life together. Those were not words Omer took lightly, she believed that with all her heart.
At some point she fell asleep, still dressed in her wedding gown.
It was the abrupt knock on the door that woke her up. She sat up, confused as to her surroundings since nothing about the room seemed familiar, but then memories from last night came rushing back. This was her honeymoon suite. She had gotten married last night. And Omer had stormed out after finding out the truth. She ran to the door, her heart beating thunderously at the thought of Omer waiting for her on the other side. “Omer-”
It wasn’t her husband. Instead, it was a stranger. He was an older gentleman, dressed professionally in a three piece suit, carrying a cane on one hand, a large envelope on the other.
“Ms. Defne Topal?”
“Defne Iplikci,” she corrected. Despite practicing her name many, many times over the past few days, it still sounded strange to her. Yet she loved it, knowing her name was forever tied with Omer’s now.
The man’s eyes were troubled as he gave her an ashen smile. “I’m Mr. Mostafa Aslen, Omer Iplikci’s attorney. I was asked to come here and give you this.” He handed her the folder.
Defne’s hands trembled as she opened the envelope. Inside were papers containing legal jargon that befuddled her already confused mind. Annulment. Invalidity of marriage. Fraudulent reasons. “What is this?”
The lawyer cleared his throat. “These are annulment papers. Mr. Iplikci instructed me not to leave until you sign them.”
Her mind spun out of control, she had trouble breathing. “I don’t understand what this means.”
“Mr. Iplikci wishes to cancel this marriage. Once these papers are signed and processed, it’ll be like the marriage never happened.”
“But it did happen,” she insisted. “I married Omer yesterday. We both wanted this, we both wanted to start a life together.”
“I know, my dear, but he… he no longer wants that.”
A strange feeling of numbness slowly crept over her, a chill that started from her heart and slowly spread throughout her entire body. Omer wasn’t coming back. He wasn’t going to forgive her. He wanted to end their marriage less than twenty-four hours after they made a lifelong commitment. She stood there, frozen, staring at the papers in front of her.
“If you like, I can call your attorney to come here and look at these papers.”
“I don’t have an attorney.”
“Ms. Topal, I’m sorry. I don’t want to push you, but I can’t leave until you’ve signed the document.”
There was genuine remorse on the kindly man’s face; she could sense how much he hated doing this. “I understand. I’ll sign the papers now. Do you have a pen?”
Reaching for the pen inside his jacket, he handed it to her. “You need to sign the last page.”
She flipped over to the end of the document. Right there, in black ink against the stark whiteness of the brief, was Omer’s signature agreeing to the annulment of their marriage. She signed on the dotted line below his.
“You have 90 days to purchase your current place of residence from Mr. Iplikci. However, I will be the one dealing with the transaction, not him. If you need any kind of loan, please contact me right away.” He handed her a card. “My wife works in the banking industry. I’m sure we can help you out one way or another.”
“Thank you. You’re very kind.”
He slipped the papers back into the folder. “I believe you have Omer’s passport. I also need that back.”
As their honeymoon plans included a visit to Rome, Paris, London and Brussels, she had needed to get visas for both of them. Now his passport was with her, probably in her purse. Except she couldn’t remember where that was. “I don’t know where my purse is,” she confessed feebly.
“Would you like me to help you search for it?”
“Can I send it to you once I find it?”
“I’m sorry, Ms. Topal, but I can’t leave without it.”
She nodded her head. “Of course. I understand. Omer doesn’t trust me.”
Slow steps guided her around the room as she forced herself to focus. Everything felt so surreal, like she was drowning underwater, or maybe living in a nightmare. She crossed the suite repeatedly, going from one corner to the next, looking for her purse.
“Maybe it’s in your luggage?” Mr. Aslan asked from the door.
Her eyes concentrated on the two small suitcases piled on one corner of the room. They had decided not to take too many things on their honeymoon, only bringing with them the necessities. It had been Omer’s idea to travel light since they could buy whatever they needed during the trip. “I’ll check it.” Inside one of the suitcases was her purse, and she pulled out both of their passports. His picture stared back at her, furious and righteous, like he’d been last night. She walked back to the door and handed the attorney Omer’s passport.
“You’re welcome,” she said politely. Everything was a haze, nothing was real.
“I will file the papers today. In a few days, you will receive the official copy in the mail.”
She nodded. “Okay.”
Mr. Aslan continued to stare at her, she didn’t know why.
“Ms. Topal, can I call someone for you? Is there anyone who can take you home?”
“Everyone thinks I’m going on my honeymoon today.”
“I know. I’m… I’m sorry about this.”
“It’s okay. You’re just doing your job.” She glanced at the watch. “You should get going. Omer’s probably waiting for you right now. He doesn’t like it when people are late.”
He bid her goodbye, she watched after him as he slowly walked over to the elevator. Any minute now she was going to wake up from this nightmare and Omer would be beside her, comforting her. Any minute now, her eyes would open and Omer would kiss her, tease her. The elevators came to a stop, and Mr. Aslan got in. The doors closed, the last semblance of her marriage disappearing along with the attorney.
Any minute now she would wake up and find Omer staring at her, watching her sleep like he did so many times before.
Except this wasn’t a nightmare. This was her reality.
Her father left, her mother left. And now her husband left.
She closed the door and walked back to the bed. Grabbing the phone, she called Iso.
“Will you please come get me? I’m at the hotel. Suite 1508.”
“What’s wrong, Defo? You sound really strange right now. What’s going on?”
“Omer wanted an annulment. I signed the papers. I have to buy the house back. The marriage is cancelled.”
“I’ll be right there.”
She was still in her wedding dress when Iso came to the door.
Omer carried Defne upstairs to his room as gently as possible so as not to disturb her. Then again, Sukru had driven them all the way home from their office and she hadn’t budged once. After the hellish day at work where most of her staff called in sick forcing Defne to work like a madwoman, she was obviously exhausted and in desperate need of rest. To think she hadn’t even wanted to take her last break during which she’d fallen asleep and yet had to awaken from. He laid her down on the bed, feeling her forehead. Warm but nothing too concerning. He held his breath nervously when she shifted and moaned. Luckily she didn’t wake up, instead curling up on her side. He removed her shoes and set them aside.
He contemplated leaving her in her current clothes but decided it would be best if she wore something comfortable while sleeping. Besides, her dress was dirty from all the boxes they had unpacked for hours. Walking over to the closet, he picked out the softest t-shirt he had and brought it over to her. With gentle movements he picked her up, sliding the dress over her head. A sharp breath caught in his throat when his eyes roamed over her almost naked form. God, she was beautiful. Her pink cotton bra was functional, not really designed to be seductive, but on her it was the sexiest thing imaginable. And she’d always had the most incredible creamy skin which he wanted to lick, and kiss, and touch. Chastising himself for the all-too-pleasant thoughts running through his head, he dressed her in his shirt – way too big on her – and covered her with a blanket. As much as he wanted to lie down and watch her sleep, he wanted a shower and some food to regain energy. He couldn’t afford to be sick when Defne needed to be taken care of.
An hour later he returned to the room and found her still sound asleep. Smiling, he slipped into bed beside her. It had been so long since she’d been in his arms, it felt like coming home all over again. The ache in his chest lessened; he could breathe at last.
She stirred next to him, as if concerned about his presence, but her eyes remained shut. It took him a second to realize she was dreaming.
“Omer,” she murmured in her sleep.
Grinning, he brushed her hair with feather-light strokes. She may have been angry with him but she still dreamt about him. That meant he was constantly in her thoughts in one form or another. Sooner or later they were going to have a discussion and resolve their issues so they could move things along. A year of their lives were gone – his pride was to blame for that – but every moment they were apart now seemed to be a waste. He wanted to marry her again, build a future with her. She was the other half of his soul, his lifeline, and he didn’t want to be without her ever again.
Mind at ease, he closed his eyes and hugged her tight. Soon, he was out.
Defne awoke with a start, her mind grudgingly retreating back to reality. She scanned her surrounding, confused. The room was unknown but familiar, the bedding bearing a scent which was oddly intimate. Her body ached with stiffness as she threw off the covers. Only when she glanced down at her clothes – a t-shirt that was way too big – did she realize her location. Omer’s room. What the hell was she doing here? She got up and roamed out of the bedroom, getting angrier by the minute as she climbed down the stairs. Who did he think he was bringing her here? Her family was probably worried sick about her but of course that didn’t matter to Omer. Why would he care about that? Standing at the foot of the stairs she scanned the living room; it was empty. She headed to the kitchen. He wasn’t there. A noise from outside caught her attention and she stormed over to the living room window to see if Omer was in the backyard.
It was a beautiful day, the sun shining brightly, and under any other circumstances she probably would have spent a few minutes admiring the beautifully kept garden but her focus was concentrated entirely on Omer when he came into view. Dressed only in swimming trunks, he stood near the pool. Water drops glistened across his bare skin, trickling along the contours of his abs, and she found herself unable to breathe at the sight of him. He’d always been fit, but in the past he had more of a lean frame. Now his shoulders were more broad, arms significantly toned; back muscles moved and stretched under his skin that yearned to be touched. Desire unfurled in her stomach, coursing through her blood. Even after all this time, she wanted him. That feeling hadn’t dissipated, instead it had intensified to a level she couldn’t understand. Her gaze followed his every move while he sauntered along the edge of the pool, grabbed a towel and started drying himself. The fabric hung low on his hips after he wrapped it around. Her knees felt weak, her body fevered with lust. Then he turned around and caught her admiring him.
The spell dissipated.
He winked at her, a smug smile gracing his face. Jerk.
She turned around in a huff and returned to the kitchen.
He came inside, following behind her. “Did you want to join me in the pool, Defne?”
Defne took a deep breath and reminded herself to stare only at his eyes. Nowhere else. Just the eyes. She turned around to find him taking out vegetables and eggs from the fridge, still half-naked. He popped a tomato in his mouth, eating casually, like her being there was an everyday occurrence. Routine even. “Why am I here?”
“You had a fever and you were exhausted. So I brought you here to rest.”
He moved around the kitchen, slowly closing the distance between them, until he was standing directly in front of her. Instinctively her gaze lingered along his chest, following the arc of his clavicle bone that drew attention to his beautiful shoulders.
“My eyes are up here, Defne.”
Heat rose in her cheeks. “Stop showing off and go put on a shirt!”
“Are you sure? You seem to be really enjoying the view.”
Lips pursed, she glared at him. His eyes. Only his eyes.
Giving her a wicked smile, he backed off and left the room.
Minutes later, he returned dressed in a t-shirt and pair of track pants.“How are you feeling?” he asked, moving to the counter.
“I’m fine. You had no right to bring me here. I’m sure grandma’s freaked out about my whereabouts.”
“I had Seda call her. Your grandma knows you’re sick and she thinks you’re staying with Seda until tomorrow.”
“That’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard. Why wouldn’t I just go home?”
“Because you’re a sweet, kind and considerate person who didn’t want to infect anyone else at home.” He started chopping up the vegetables.
“I don’t want to be around you,” she said.
He didn’t look the least bit perturbed by her declaration, instead focused on beating the eggs. “Sure, sure.”
“Where’s my dress?”
“In the dryer. I also bought a few things for you to change into. Look in the top drawer of my closet.”
“You think you’re so clever, don’t you?”
He sent her a mischievous smile, his eyes trailing down her body. “You can keep wearing my t-shirt if you want. Just means I can stare at your bare legs all day long.”
Angry, she walked past him and headed upstairs.
Smug, conniving jackass. Ugh. She wanted to swipe the satisfied smirk off his face.
New clothes, including underwear and bras were laid out neatly in his closet. Smartass. Grudgingly , she chose an outfit and headed to the shower.
The table was set, breakfast almost ready save for the tea. Omer didn’t want to make it too early in case it got cold; he suspected Defne was going to take her time in coming down as an act of defiance. He took a seat, smiling as he remembered the look on her face from a few moments earlier. No matter how angry she was, she still couldn’t hide her sexual attraction towards him – for which he was grateful. After all, the emotional connection between them had always gone hand-in-hand with the physical.
After half an hour, she finally stormed down the stairs. Then it was his turn to gape. Her red locks had taken on its naturally curly shape, and the silk lavender pyjama set provided a striking contrast against her porcelain silk. She looked ethereal, a goddess who deserved to be worshipped, but all he wanted to do was rip the fabric off of her and take her right on the table. Or maybe the floor. Both. Definitely both.
“Stop staring at me like that,” she ordered.
“Like what?” he teased, biting his lip.
“Like you want to eat me.”
He gave her a seductive smile. “Oh, I definitely want to do that.”
“If you’re going to keep acting this way, I’m leaving,” she threatened.
He put his hands up in surrender. “Okay, fine. I’ll take a page out of your book. We’re coworkers, nothing more.”
“We are nothing more.” She moved her plate to the chair farthest away from him and took a seat. “You didn’t have to do this but thank you. I was really hungry.”
“You’re welcome.” He stood up to grab the kettle and poured the tea in a cup in front of her, mixing one cube of sugar in it. “Here you go.”
“The coffee machine still hasn’t come in?”
He tipped his head to the side. “No, not yet.”
“I’ll give them a call later on to find out what’s taking so long.”
Smiling, he bit into his omelette.
As they ate, an awkward silence fell over them. In the past they had always been able to talk about anything and everything, Defne sharing with him the most fascinating stories about her family, childhood, or whatever crazy incident that happened that day. But she wasn’t simply a talker, she was also an eager listener. He loved conversing with her about all of his favourite things, the music he liked, the books he enjoyed. They fed off each other, exchanging all the unique bits of their lives.
Except now she was sitting silently at the table, like they were strangers.
“Defne,” he said, hoping to draw her into a conversation. “I need your help.”
“My lawn, I don’t like it. I think it needs some flowers or something, but I have no idea about that stuff. Can you help me out?”
She cast him a suspicious glance. “You can afford a gardener.”
“Yeah, but I want to plant flowers myself.”
“You want to plant stuff?”
He nodded his head in mock agreement. “Yeah, gardening is good for your health.”
Her eyes remained trained on him for several seconds before she finally looked away. “Fine. Whatever. I’m here anyway so it’ll kill some time.” She sipped her tea. “Besides, I owe you for helping me out yesterday.”
“Defne, come on. It was nothing. You would’ve done the same for me.”
“Omer, I’m not an idiot. I know what you’re doing. I’m going along with it for now because I’d rather do something useful than sit inside and be angry at you for forcing my hand.”
“Okay, fine,” he snapped, irritated. “Let’s stop playing games and talk. Are you prepared to do that?”
She leveled him with an angry expression. “Not everything revolves around your schedule, Omer. You may be eager to talk but that doesn’t mean I’m willing to do the same. If you can’t accept that, it’s best I leave right now.”
As she stood up to go, he gripped her elbow. “Defne, fine. I won’t push you to talk. Let’s just… go outside and enjoy the weather.”
She shook his hand away. There was a long bout of silence before she finally spoke again. “Fine.”
As they returned to finishing their breakfast in silence, doubt nagged at him, the feeling so potent it almost made him nauseous. Even yesterday he’d been completely certain he could cut through Defne’s stubbornness and get her to listen to him, but now he was no longer sure. And it scared the hell out of him.
TO BE CONTINUED…
As always, thank you for reading. Comments/thoughts/feedback is always cherished. If you enjoy my writing, please give the sample chapters from my original novel a read. I’m working towards having it published shortly and your support for the project would be greatly appreciated.