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 had nagging doubts throughout the entire day at work, her mind constantly returning to thoughts of Omer and what today – the anniversary of his mother’s death – meant to him. Her heart ached, a part of her wanted to rush to him since her eyes opened this morning, but she forced herself to stay put. When they were together she’d made him a promise he would never be alone on this day, that she’d be there to console him, care for him, listen to him as he shared wonderful memories of his mom – but now there was a huge gulf between them and it was no longer her place to provide him with the comfort he desperately needed. This time last year she’d waited by the phone all day, convinced that Omer would reach out to her. Even though he’d annulled their marriage and left her, her heart firmly believed he would seek her out on this difficult day – but there had been no calls from him, no contact. That was the day it finally sunk in he was no longer coming back.
Defne gave herself a mental shake, reminding herself to focus on the custom agreements in front of her. Missing two days of work had resulted in a backlog of documents to complete, shift schedules that still needed to be prepared. Yet her brain circled back to Omer time and time again. After their conversation last week at his place, he’d kept his distance, only communicating with her during meetings. She should have been grateful but her heart still yearned for him. With Omer back, there was an ongoing battle between her brain and heart – half of her desperate to cling to him, the other half constantly afraid of how much he could hurt her. Things were so much easier when he was still at Rome. She’d managed to carve out a life without him, even finding a small degree of satisfaction from her job, friends and family. A happy life may not have been in the cards for her without Omer, but she’d found a way to survive, had resigned herself to a life without love until his return brought back that palpable desire for passion and joy. It also intensified her crippling fears. The pain of heartbreak had almost killed her and she never wanted to go through that again. No amount of ecstasy was worth that anguish.
“Defne, did you hear?”
She looked up to find Aytekin in her office, gushing in his typical strange way. “Hear what? I’ve been stuck in here the whole day.”
“Passionis sales have gone through the roof. Mr. Omer must be so happy. I heard their entire office is going to have an excursion soon to celebrate.”
“You should go with them, maybe I can get some work done then,” she muttered under her breath.
“Do you think they’ll let us join? I mean we are part of their logistics team. What do you think, Defne?”
“Honestly, Aytekin. I don’t have time for this nonsense right now.”
“Fine, fine.” He turned to leave. “Oh, the logistics meeting with the Passionis team has been cancelled. Mr. Omer isn’t here today. He probably wanted to celebrate with his girlfriend. I heard he’s dating Feryal, the magazine editor. She’s so beautiful.”
“Aytekin, get out!”
He glowered at her as he exited the room.
Even though Defne knew why Omer wasn’t here today, the fact that people thought he was off somewhere with Feryal made her furious. Actually, it made her sick to her stomach. Of course people loved the idea of Omer and Feryal together, they were part of the same world. It was the reason everyone had rooted for Omer and Fikret to get together before. Ugh. Disgusted at the thought, she stood up and started pacing. Sooner or later, Omer would start seeing other women. Of course he would. It’s not like she had any right to stop him, which meant she had to find a way to accept the inevitable, and get used to living with that feeling of wretchedness in her stomach.
Frustrated, she returned to her desk and forced herself to work.
Defne knocked on the door, shuffling her feet as she waited for Omer to answer. When he finally swung the door open, her breath caught in her throat. Like always. Every time she saw him he made her breathless.
“Defne?” Eyebrows furrowed together, his gaze wandered over her face.
“You didn’t come to work. I know why… I just didn’t want you to be alone today.”
He stood frozen for a long time. She studied his face, saw the redness in his eyes and realised he must have been crying. Her heart broke for him. Although he wasn’t one to express his emotions very easily, the anguish of losing his mother still weighed heavily on him, both physically and mentally.
“I didn’t have time to make the dolmas earlier so I brought all the ingredients with me.” She lifted the bag in her hand. “I thought maybe we could make them together while you told me more about her.” His continued silence suddenly filled her with doubt. “I mean, if you want. If you’d rather be alone, I can leave.”
“Of course I don’t want you to go,”
He pulled her into his arms, embracing her tightly.
The feel of his body pressed against hers was intoxicating, his personal scent driving her crazy. She struggled to breathe, to regain control of her mind, the task made especially hard when his hand rubbed her back. Finding some semblance of resolve, she pulled away. “I’m here as a friend, Omer.” Her voice sounded weak even to her own ears. “Don’t turn this into something more.”
He cocked his eyebrow, giving her a sceptical glance. “Really?”
“Please don’t make this difficult.”
A heavy sigh of resignation escaped him. “Fine.” He released her, and took a step back to let her in. When she was inside he took the bag of groceries, and she followed him into the kitchen.
“Are we really going to make dolmas?” he asked, taking out the ingredients and putting them on the counter.
She shrugged her shoulders. “Yeah. Now when you crave them, you can make them on your own.”
“I don’t want to eat them without you,” he said pointedly. “You tried to teach me how to make them before.”
She remembered the days leading up to their engagement ceremony all too well. Memories of their time together came rushing back, those wonderful hours they spent laughing, talking, making love. An engagement ceremony that led to a marriage which only lasted a few hours. His eyes lingered on her face, inhaling her in. Her heart pounded in her chest, her brain screaming at her to run. As much as she feared the devastation he could cause, she reminded herself now was not the time to be selfish. Today was a difficult day for him and he needed support. That was the only reason she was here. Walking over to the sink, she washed her hands. “Why don’t you start chopping up the vegetables? I’ll make the rice.”
“So we’re going to avoid the subject?”
“Yes,” she replied, refusing to look at him.
While they prepared the dolmas, Omer discussed memories of his mom. He talked about her favourite things, the kinds of food she liked, the things they used to fight about. Defne studied him closely, noting the whirl of emotions in his dark eyes. There was sadness when he talked about his mother’s illness, spark of joy at the memory of their first dance lesson. He wasn’t one to chatter endlessly but tonight he couldn’t stop talking, coming alive in front of her, and she didn’t mind at all.
They were sitting on the couch, and Omer couldn’t keep his eyes off of Defne. Her fiery hair was in waves today, her perfect skin luminous in the green dress she was wearing, but the most beautiful thing about her was the expression of compassion on her face. Even though she was furious with him, she still reached out to comfort him. She had the biggest heart of anyone he knew, always kind and open, and it made him fall in love with her all over again. It took everything in his power not to scoot closer to her side of the couch and kiss her, but he knew it would be a mistake. His Defne was still wounded, her heart in protective mode, and the only way he could get past her walls again was to be patient and give her space.
Their last fight still haunted him, her words making him simultaneously ashamed and angry. He thought he understood what kind of pressure she’d been under during the course of their relationship but he didn’t know the full extent of it. Remembering all those times she’d come to him crying, those moments when she’d begged him for some comfort, it filled him with furious rage to know what his family put her through. Tramba. Even Fikret. And she’d fought all those battles alone, without his help, because she knew he wouldn’t stick by her if the truth came out. In the end, she’d been right. Guilt surged through him and he swallowed an audible breath. He was desperate to make amends but Defne didn’t want that, she didn’t trust him. Maybe if he was a better person he’d walk away, but she loved him. She still loved him despite everything and he wasn’t willing to give that up. After his parents death he’d spent a long time shutting out the world, holding onto the belief happiness wasn’t a possibility for him. But Defne had changed all that. She’d made him see the beauty in this world, had given him a reason to live again, and he couldn’t imagine a life without her. Last year had been a bleak, painful experience, further proving to him how much he craved Defne’s warm glow that brightened his existence.
She stood up, bringing him out of his reverie.
“I should go. It’s late,” Defne said.
“I thought you were staying the night.”
She shook her head ‘no’. “I think it’s best if I leave.”
With anyone else he would never reveal his vulnerabilities but this was Defne, the woman he loved. “Please, Defne. Stay. You can have the bedroom, I’ll sleep on the couch. I just… I don’t want to be alone tonight.”
Every minute of silence felt like an eternity. Her face revealed the battle she was waging inside, and a part of him felt guilty for putting her in that position. Maybe he shouldn’t have pushed her, maybe he should just let her go. “Defne, look-”
They both spoke at the same time.
Relief washed over him upon realising she had relented, but he still felt uncertain. “I don’t want to pressure you.”
“You’re not. I promised you once I would be with you the whole night.” She sat back down, nervously lacing her fingers together. “Please understand this doesn’t mean anything. As long as we work in the same building, we’ll be a part of each other’s professional lives. I don’t want to always be angry with you, I want to move on from that. This is me taking the first step towards that.”
He wanted to laugh at her naiveté, wondering if she truly believed they could ever just be coworkers, but he kept his mouth shut. Being honest was only going to push her away and that’s the last thing he wanted. “Thank you for staying.”
“Do you have anything sweet to eat?”
He chuckled. “Yeah, I have some milk baklava in the fridge.”
She looked at him quizzically. “Why? You don’t like baklava.”
“I acquired a taste for them in Rome.” He rubbed his beard, deciding to be fully honest. “Made me feel closer to you since they’re your favourite.”
She stared at him, stunned.
“What?” he prodded, amused at the slow heat that spread over her cheeks.
“Is that really true?”
She may not have been ready to verbalise her feelings but her face always gave away her emotions. In her eyes he spotted love – for him – and hope for the future. “People change, Defne.”
“Are you saying you’ve changed?”
He shifted closer and reached out to touch her hair, lacing his fingers through the silky strands. The longing between them was palpable, the tension thick.
Defne struggled to breathe as Omer drew closer, the need in his eyes reflecting the same passion that swept over her. While his fingers curled around her hair, her heart soared and butterflies fluttered in her stomach. It had been so long since she’d felt his hands caressing her body, his lips against hers, and her body seemed to come alive at his close proximity.
“Defne,” he murmured, his cool breath tickling her nose.
She’d always loved the way he looked at her, like she was air that he desperately needed to breathe, his salvation. His dark gaze lingered on her face, fixated on her lips. The very same eyes that had been filled with so much hatred before he walked out on her the night of their wedding. Instantly she withdrew, panic fleeting through her mind. “Don’t stare at me like that!” she ordered, turning away from him.
“You know what I mean.”
“I don’t. How should I not look at you? Like I’m in love with you? Like I want to be with you? Like I want to strip you naked and make love to you?”
She wrung her hands together, refusing to meet his eyes. “If you keep doing this, I’ll leave.”
After a short bout of silence, he exhaled a resigned sigh. “Fine.” He stood up. “I’ll make some tea for us.”
Defne watched after him as he headed to the kitchen. Her mind was so confused, her soul in anguish. After everything that happened between them, she was terrified of being hurt again and yet here she was, leaving herself open to being destroyed. Through sheer will and her family’s support she had managed to climb out of the deep well of despair, so why was she doing this to herself? No, she couldn’t risk her heart, couldn’t take a chance on Omer. Not again. Taking a deep breath, she stood up and stormed into the kitchen.
He turned around. “Almost done. Just give me a sec to grab the baklava-”
“I have to go, Omer.”
Eyebrows raised, he leveled her with a sober glance. “What?”
“I can’t stay. I have to go.”
“Look, I told you I’m not going to-”
“I got a phone call from home. Grandma needs me,” she babbled.
“I didn’t hear a ring.”
“It’s set to vibrate.”
“You’re not a very good liar, Defne.”
“Okay, fine. I’m lying!” she yelled, glaring at him. “I just… I can’t be here.”
“Because it’s… look, I just can’t. It’s too hard.”
“Let’s sit, talk about it. Solve this now.”
“Please. I just want to go home.”
“You promised me you’d stay the night. Those words came out of your mouth only a few minutes ago.”
“Well, then, I guess I’m breaking my word.” She shrugged her shoulders. “Looks like we both can’t keep our promises.”
Anger flashed in his eyes. “Meaning what?”
She pursed her lips. “I’m leaving.” She turned around to exit the kitchen when his hand gripped her elbow, forcing her to stop.
“I’ll drop you home.”
“No, I’ll take a cab.”
“Either I drop you home or you have to stay the night,” he snapped. “Those are your only two options. Pick one.”
“Fine. But I need you to drop me off around the corner from the house. If they see me with you, there will be hell to pay.”
Omer’s jaw clenched with anger; she braced herself for another argument.
“They hate me.”
Being disapproved of was new to him, she realised that, but there was nothing she could say to dissuade his words that wouldn’t be a lie. “I don’t want to worry them and that’s exactly what they’ll do if they see me with you.”
“They don’t know we work together?”
She shook her head ‘no’. “Only Nihan and Iso do.”
His gaze remained locked on her, studying her keenly. “Defne, I want to talk to Aunt Turkan.”
“No. Absolutely not! Why do you even want to do that? So you can feel better about yourself?”
“Seriously? That’s what you think?”
“You’re obviously not used to people disliking you, the great Omer Iplikci, so it’s hard for you to understand why she feels that way,” she spat out. “You think that if you just explained your actions, told her how I wronged you she’ll forgive you, right?”
“She knows the truth, Omer. The whole truth. I had to give her all the nasty details about the game, your aunt, the deal I made just so she could wrap her head around why you annulled the marriage. She was disappointed in me, but ultimately she understood and still supported me. So there’s nothing you can say to her to make her side with you.”
“I don’t blame her for feeling the way she does about me.”
“That’s very noble of you.”
“Are you going to let me finish, Defne? Or are you just going to keep provoking me?”
She glared at him. “I want to go home, Omer.”
“So this is another subject that we’re going to drop?”
“Yes. Because I’m not interested in discussing my family with you. They’re not your concern.”
“They were going to be my family too, Defne. Remember that?”
Of course she remembered. Visions of weekly gathering at the family home, birthday parties, anniversary celebrations – she used to fantasize about all the things Omer and she would do with her family but it had proven to be an unfulfilled dream. She swallowed the lump in her throat. “I don’t want to hurt them anymore than I’ve already done. So please, just stay away from them.”
“Okay. Whatever you want.”
“Thank you.” She went back to the living room to grab her purse, aware of him following behind her. “I need to leave now.”
He grabbed the car keys from the table. “Let’s go.”
They made their way outside. Guilt nagged at her for leaving him alone on this night but she reminded herself that this was for her own self-preservation. Her heart was fragile, her soul already shattered into a million pieces. Being around Omer was a tremendous risk and there was only so much she could put herself through again before she never recovered.
He opened the door for her and she slid inside, careful not to touch him.
The car ride home was strained, anger vibrating off of him even though he remained silent throughout. Once in a while his gaze would fixate on her, and it took a lot of will power for her to ignore him. Eventually, she closed her eyes.
After pulling the car to a stop, Omer turned towards Defne. Her head was leaning on the window, she was fast asleep. His insides were swirling with confusion and rage, he felt stuck. All he wanted was to make progress in starting a life with Defne yet once again he was caught in quicksand, fighting for a lifeline. When they first got together, he couldn’t believe she truly wanted to be with him but with every cherished glance from her, every touch and declaration she him made him feel like the luckiest man alive. And suddenly she’d start withdrawing and his whole world would collapse. She built him up and broke him down, over and over again, until he had no idea where he stood. He used to go crazy trying to figure out why she kept things from him, why when she obviously loved him she kept him at a distance. Over the course of their relationship he came to realise she was afraid of being loved, she didn’t think she deserved it, but it didn’t seem to matter what he said or did she never fully believed him. And then came their wedding when she dropped a bombshell, imploding his world.
Only in Rome, after months of torturing himself with memories of Defne, did he recognise what a difficult position she must have been in during their relationship, the hardships she faced. It finally made sense why there was a constant push and pull from Defne, why she always left him hanging just when they seemed to be moving forward, but now, now he didn’t understand why they were see-sawing again. A few hours ago she had come to him, offered him hope during this difficult day, and then had just subsequently changed her mind. Okay, fine, she was furious and worried about being hurt but so was he. He had found a way to put the doubts behind him and trust her despite their tumultuous beginning, so why couldn’t she? She still loved him, he had no doubts about that, but why couldn’t she take a chance on him again? It didn’t help that she refused to talk about what happened during their year apart. The snippets of info from Iso during their argument had been vague and all-too-brief. They could only move towards a healthy future by discussing and coming to terms with their painful past but she stubbornly refused to do so every time he tried to broach the subject. Now, once again, he was caught in a cycle of uncertainty.
Desperate for comfort he reached out to touch her, caressing her cheek with his knuckles. She stirred next to him, moaning, as if waking up from a sweet, wonderful dream.
“Defne. We’re here.”
She opened her eyes, staring at him with a dazed look. “Where are we?”
“You wanted me to drop you home, remember?” he asked, twirling her hair around his finger. “I wanted you to stay the night with me but you insisted.”
Realisation set into her eyes and she sat forward, forcing him to withdraw his hand. “Thanks.”
“How long are we going to keep doing this, Defne? Aren’t you tired of it all? I know I am.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m so sick of just hanging in the air, not knowing what to expect from you. I have no idea what you’ll do, how you’ll act with me. One day we’re working together, we’re laughing and gardening and eating dinner. You show up at my door when I need you the most and then you just shut me out, acting like we’re nothing. How the hell am I supposed to feel about that?” As much as he tried to keep the agitation from his voice, he couldn’t help it. “You did this to me before too, Defne. But at least then you had a reason. What’s your excuse now? Why are we still playing these ridiculous games?”
“How dare you?” she fired back, scowling at him. “All I’m trying to do is find a way to live my life now that you’re back. You think it’s easy to have to see you every day? To have to face you after everything that’s happened? Maybe I haven’t gone about it the best way, obviously I should never have mixed our professional and personal lives, but I’m not as perfect as you. I make mistakes. I came to you tonight because I knew how much you were hurting, I didn’t want you to be alone. I shouldn’t have, I get that now, but I wasn’t trying to play head games with you. I was just trying to be a good friend.”
“We’re not friends!” he yelled. “We’re not friends, we’re not coworkers, what we are are two people in love who belong together. How can you not see that? Why do you insist on delaying the inevitable?”
“Because there is no us anymore!”
“I’m not going to let you string me along, Defne. I can’t keep doing that anymore.”
“I didn’t ask you to come back here!” she screamed, taking him by surprise. “I didn’t ask you to disrupt my life. I was fine! Fine! And now you’re acting like somehow I forced you back into my life? No, I’m not going to let you put this on me-”
“Do we have a future together? Yes or no, Defne. I want one goddamn answer. Yes or no. Think carefully about what you’re going to say because I’m done chasing either way.”
“You want an answer?” she raged. “Here it is. No. So goodbye, and stay the hell out of my life.” She exited the car, slamming the door behind her, and stormed away.
Omer pounded the dashboard repeatedly, cursing himself. Once again his temper had gotten the best of him, like it tended to do whenever he was around Defne. Fuck. How the hell was he going to fix this now?