[Mark] Teacher's Pet (Chapter 74)
I feel it in my gut, it’s Olivia, his ex. He must have seen her walking out, he knows I’ve seen her. His reaction will say it all. My heart jumping in my chest, I open the door of the restroom, and find an agitated Mark pacing up and down. His hair is a mess, indicating he’s ran his hands through it and pulled at it. He stops dead in his tracks and looks up at me, eyes wide with alarm. He says it all.
“It’s her, isn’t it?” I ask. “It’s Olivia.” I murmur. The absence of frown, the lack of confusion on his face, the way he just gapes at me. He’s so busted.
“You’re seeing her?!” I splutter, a wave of anger sweeping through me.
“No!” He cries, walking to me. “No, it’s not like this.” He says. So he did see her multiple times, he is in contact with her. Why?
“Come, let’s go home.” He takes my hand, but I yank it out of his grip.
“You saw her yesterday.” I mutter. The sound of voices make us look at a couple who’s walking towards the restroom.
“Not now, please. Let’s go home.” Mark says more quietly, taking my hand again. I obey, because I know this is not the right place to do this.
I’m fuming by the time Jacob, our occasional driver closes the door of the car. Mark sits next to me on the backseat, squeezing my hand. I completely shut him out, gazing out the window the whole way home.
I can’t believe it. I can’t believe he’s seeing her. Olivia, the woman who used to beat him, the woman who’s one of the causes of his psychological issues. I can’t believe he’d want to see her.
One again, he did all of it behind my back. Even if he had a good reason to see her, he hided it from me. He’s a sneaky son of bitch.
Why? Why would he want to see her? He saw her yesterday. He saw her yesterday and missed my graduation ceremony. He went to Seattle because of her. He chose her over me.
He chose this woman over me.
I love him with all of my soul, and she used to beat him, yet he chose her.
It feels like being stabbed in the heart, and the knife keeps twisting with ever thought bouncing in my head. He was with her. What did he do with her?
It’s the second time I find out he has contact with one of these women I despise. The second time he hides it from me. What is he looking for by them? Why attracts him to them like this? Why does he keep going back to them?
Ellie was a thing. But Olivia, that woman. The person I hate the most on heart. That is something else. I’m not sure I can overcome this. Whatever this is.
Will I ever get past that betrayal, of whatever nature it is? Can I survive this betrayal?
I’ve lost all my words by the time we come home, and I feel exhausted, both emotionally and physically. My lips firmly sealed, I kick my heels off, slip out of my dress, throw on a satin nightdress, brush my hair, tie it up, then erase my make up and brush my teeth. Mark doesn’t come bother me, wandering somewhere in the apartment. Of course he doesn’t come to me, because he’ll have to explain, and I know he dreads this conversation. When I’m done, I make my way down the hallway into his office. Then I sit down on his desk and contemplate my wall.
When things are not okay between Mark and I, I come here and sit down. It brings me back to what I know, that he loves me and that he doesn’t want to hurt me. It doesn’t make the wound it my heart hurt less, but gives me purpose to fight. I don’t know if I’ll push through this, hut I have to try.
The door opens and I turn my head in its direction, finding Mark standing in the doorway, changed in nothing but some sports shorts.
“You came late to the graduation ceremony because you were with her.” I say, my eyes cold and hard.
“I didn’t sleep with her.” He murmurs quietly, closing the door behind him.
“I still feel betrayed and cheated on.”
“I understand.” He replies.
“What did you do with her?”
“I take care of her. Financially.” He says.
“I regularly give her money.” He explains. What the hell?
“She doesn’t need money!” I snap pushing myself of his desk.
“She’s ruined.” He counters.
“I take care of her business, and I’ll give it back to her when it starts working again. But for now she needs my help.”
She needs his help? And he cares? He fucking cares for her? Suddenly, I feel like my heart is being crushed in my chest.
“You…” I start, but my throat is blocked, and through air drains out of my lungs. He cares for her. He cares for her.
“You…” I stutter. His brow ceases, and he takes a step forward, reaching out to me.
“Breathe, Abby.” He coos, grabbing my shoulders.
“Don’t touch me!” I jerk away from his touch and turn on my heels, walking ti the windows. Running a hand through my hair, I sigh deeply. I really don’t know how to handle this.
“Her husband left her because she was crazy.” He continues. “That made her mental problems even worse, and she fucked up her life. She came to me.” He says.
“When?” I ask without looking back at him. The only answer I get is silence.
“When?” I snap, turning to glare at him.
“Remember the red-haired woman who broke inside my old apartment?” He asks. It was her? He told me they never caught her!
“She confessed to me three years ago. She came to office and cried, she said she was going to kill herself.” He explains. So, this has been going on for three whole years? This, whatever it is, feels as wrong as an affair.
“She needs doctors, not your money.” I say slowly.
“She won’t go the hospital.” He sighs.
“Can I know how long you planned to keep that up behind my back?” I ask. This is the problem with him. He hides things from me and when I find out, he’s sorry. I always have to forgive, he never makes the effort of telling me.
I don’t know how I would have reacted if he had told me from the start, but all I know now is that he’s a sneaky bastard.
“Try to understand-”
“You lied to me!” I utter. He wants me to understand?! I would never lie to him about something like this. I would never support someone who made me feel suicidal.
“It never made me happy. I wasn’t pleased to hide it from you.” He says. Oh, like someone had forced him!
“I don’t want my past to stain my future.” He murmurs.
“She’s not your past, she’s your present!” I shout. “She’s here, right now!”
“By not telling you, I was keeping some distance.” He replies calmly, not fazed. I groan, running both hands in my hair, my head feeling like it’s about to explode, emotion sweeping though me like a tsunami.
“How can you do this?” I ask. “How can you take care of her after what she did to you?”
I see his expression change, going from calm yet apologetic to straight, giving nothing away.
“I beat her.” He says quietly.
“Don’t even go there.” I raise my index at him. We’ve had this discussion countless times, and I hate that I can never make him change his mind.
“She’s a woman, and I hit her.” He articulates. She deserved it! So that’s why he’s giving her money? Because he feels bad? Wait.
“She’s holding it against you, isn’t she?” I ask, narrowing my eyes at him. “That bitch is blackmailing you!”
“No, I’m holding it against myself.” He retorts. “I feel responsible for her.” He says.
“Maybe I’m not, but that’s how I feel.” He says. So, it’s always going to be like this. I realize it now, all the progress he made went away when she reappeared. One step forward three steps back.
How can he possibly free himself from his past if it’s constantly begging for money?
“Stop taking care of her.” I order. That’s not something I do a lot, ordering him. But he’s going way too far and he hurt me. There’s no way I’m living with this weight, so there’s only one option.
“I can’t.” He says softly. He can’t. He doesn’t want to. I nod, not finding anything to say, absorbing it all. This is the last drop before the vase overflows. I decide I’ve had enough, and walk past him to the door.
“Abigail.” He admonishes, grabbing my wrist. I stop and turn to him.
“Stop taking care of her.” I repeat. He opens his mouth be no sound comes out for a moment.
“It’s just money.” He says. It’s just money. And it’s just Olivia Russet. Of course.
“Stop taking care of her!” I shout, losing my patience. He gazes at me for a long moment, his eyes filled with sadness, and slowly, he shakes his head.
“That’s it.” He say more quietly, my voice failing me, my throat tightening, tears wildly pouring out of my eyes. “Choose her over me.” I mutter, yanking my arm free from his grip. I turn on my heels and storm about of his office.
“I’m not choosing anyone over you.” He calls after me.
“Abby!” He shouts, following me into our bedroom.
“I don’t want to talk to you.” I mutter, my voice shaky because of my tears. I circle the bed and get to my side, flipping the covers.
“I’m not choosing her over you.” He repeats, but I’m not listening. He’s wrecked me and I need to cry this out before I go crazy. I slip under the covers and curl myself into a ball, giving my back to him.
The bed dips and I feel him close to me, his breath against my ear.
“Are you going to ignore me now?” He asks, I don’t reply, crying silently, trying to shut him out.
“She threw a fit yesterday, she threatened to hurt herself if I left.” He explains, his voice soft.
“I didn’t want to miss the ceremony, you know it.” He says. No. I don’t know anything anymore.
“Stop supporting her.” I plead one last time, before letting the tears take over. I break into more tears, sobbing, my whole body shaking violently. Mark slips under the covers next to me, and then I feel his arms around me.
“Let me hold you.” He pleads.
“Don’t touch me.” I sob, but I don’t have the strength to push him away. I’m not sure I want to, because he’s the inly one who can stop me from hurting. But he says he can’t.
“I want to hold you.” He murmurs, turning me around so I’m facing him. He cradles me against his chest, and I bury my face in his neck, crying myself to sleep while he keeps repeating he’s sorry. He’s both the pain and the cure.
I wake, wrapped around warmth and safety. My head is pounding, and my eyes feel heavy. Slowly, I drag them open, finding myself sprawled over Mark, my arm and leg over his body. Last night’s memories come back to me instantly, and the ache in my chest starts again. “Hi.” Mark murmurs, pulling my eyes up to his.
“Morning.” I reply, rolling onto my back stretching.
“Are your okay?” He asks, kissing my temple.
“I’m still mad at you.” I mumble, putting a hand on his chest but not pushing him away. Mad being an understatement.
“Alright.” He sighs, pulling away from me. “I’ll go make breakfast.” He declares, and with that he’s out of bed and into the bathroom.
I linger under the covers for a moment, still tired from last night. Olivia comes to my mind, and I shake my head vigorously, not wanting to start my Sunday with her. I don’t want to think about her. After ten minutes, I find the strength and get out of bed, tidying it before brushing my teeth. After washing my face et redoing my ponytail, I adventure myself in the living area. There are two glasses, a bottle of apple juice and two plates in the breakfast bar, and the kitchen smells like sweet pancakes. Mark is busy over the stove.
I perch myself on one of the stools, and Mark drops a plate of pancakes in front of me.
“Pancakes.” He declares.
He takes place in front of me, and we eat a heavy, yet telltale silence. I focus on my breakfast, deliberately shutting him out, not wanting to deal with anything for now. I feel like we stay like this for an eternity.
“Talk to me.” Mark sighs, dropping his fork and knife. I look up at him impassively.
“I know you’re mad at me. Let it out, yell at me. Just talk to me. I hate not knowing what you’re thinking.” He murmurs.
“How would you feel if I you found out I support Liam financially?” I ask him, wanting him to understand why I’m quiet, and wanting him to get a taste of his own medicine.
His eyes widen a little, and then his features harden, his jaw clenching. He says nothing.
“Exactly. I’m speechless.” I say.
“How long are you going to give the silent treatment?” He sighs again. Frankly, I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m ever going to push through this.
“I don’t know how to deal with this.” I say in a way of explanation.
“That puts us in an impasse.” He remarks.
“You put us in an impasse.” I retort.
“It doesn’t change anything between you and me.” He murmurs. “I’m still the same, I’m madly in love with you. I’m not having an affair with her.” He says.
“She was acting very cocky.”
“It’s her character.” He sighs, running a hand through his hair. “She wasn’t supposed to be there. I moved her to Seattle and she wasn’t supposed to come to LA.” He says.
“You moved her?”
“Distance.” He reminds me. An apple phone rings, and since mine is in our bedroom, I know it’s his. He pulls it out of his shorts and looks at the ID.
“Excuse me.” He says before leaving the room. I sigh, feeling drained. I’m not hungry anymore.
Picking up my plate, I walk to the bean and throw the last half of my pancake away before putting my plate in the sink. I walk past his office as I head back to the bedroom to take a shower.
I stop in front of his office.
Why did he go to his office to take this call. He never does that. He always answers his calls in front of me, because he doesn’t want to leave me, and I always have the one to walk away. It’s her.
I press my ear against the door to listen to his conversation.
“I’m not joking, Olivia. You come close to her again, and I’m done with you.” His voice resonates. It’s her! He stays quiet for a moment.
“No.” He sighs. Silence.
“Liv.” He says, his tone softer that before. So she’s Liv now? Where is the ‘you’re the one whom I want to use the nickname’ bullshit?
“Livy, listen to me.” He pleads. More silence.
“I do, I do.” He says reassuringly. He started of firm and confident, and know he’s cooing.
“Just don’t come near her again, okay?” He says. Silence.
“How much?” He asks. I gasp. She wants money. Money to stay away from me? No. Not possibly.
“Alright, you have it.” He says. “Bye.”
I quickly jump away from the door, rushing back to the breakfast bar. I sit back on my stool and wait for him.
Seeing how she destabilizes his authoritative self, I under this goes way deeper than I thought. He’s acting as if he’s under her control. But then she’s not blackmailing him. What the hell is it?
I need answers. Psychological answers.
Mark comes out moments later, sitting across me.
“Does Dr Davis know about this?” I ask him. A positive answer would have made me mad, because it would have meant he had no intention of telling me, but now I need to know Davis knows what’s going on.
“Yes.” He confesses.
“What does he say?”
“He understands.” He says confidently.
“He understands.” I snort.
“You don’t believe me?” He raises an eyebrow at me.
“Should I?” I challenge. Seeing how he plays with my trust. And I know how he would love Davis to be on his side
“Yes.” He snaps.
“Well, I don’t.”
“You’ll have to, because he’s under medical secret and won’t tell you about it.”
“When is your next appointment?”
“Not until two weeks.” He says. Two weeks? When he’s supposed to see him once a week?
“Because we are leaving for a week.” He says slowly. We’re leaving? What? Oh! He’s talking about our fuck week. That is definitely off the program.
“I thought it was self-obvious that I don’t want to leave with you anymore. Don’t even ask why.” “We’ll work things out.” “No. We work things out before. I’m not leaving, end of.” I snap, and he opens his mouth to retort something.
“Don’t even try to argue with me.” I grind out, raising a threatening index finger at him. He closes his mouth and sighs, leaning back.
“So what now? What do we do?” He asks, throwing his hands in the air in emphasis.
“You go to work, and I’ll find something to make myself busy.” I reply. How funny is this? Me sending him to work when I was desperate to keep him naked in bed? It’s okay, because now I don’t want to have him 24/7 with me.
Plus, I had forgotten I have an appointment with Dr Miller for my birth control shot. I had to push it back a week later because of my exams and she scolded me because I always reschedule, and it’s important to take my shot every twelve weeks. She made me promise not to have sex before our appointment, and when I said yes, I didn’t think I’d feel so horny after reconnecting with Mark.
Two weeks late the maximum I should be, and I have 70% chances to get pregnant during that period. I initially had planned to fuck all week, I would have been doomed for sure.
Mark’s lips form a grim line, and I know he’s not pleased with me sending him to work, but he wisely says nothing.
“Why do you want me to go see Davis anyway? What does he have to do with this?” He asks.
“I want to go see him with you.” I explain.
“So you can hear what he thinks of it?”
His eyes harden and his jaw clenches, sign of his building anger.
“And so you can build your own diagnostic?” He spits. I know he’s sensitive about how I handle his problems, we’ve had enough fights about it. But he’s not in the right position to get mad at me. When I glare at him, he glares right back at me.
“I’m not your fucking patient.” He mutters, and I lose it. Not even trying to stop the angry tears that are springing to my eyes, I lean on my elbows and look straight in his blazing eyes.
“What you did, what you’re still doing, affects me, badly.” I say quietly, keeping my tone even despite the lump in my throat. My tears flow, but I don’t care.
“You want me to live with it, well I’m trying to understand.” I explain, and see the fire of anger in his eyes turn into guilt and sadness.
“I want to understand why you need this so much that you expect me to live with with that pain.” I add, my voice cracking at the end of my sentence, betraying the turmoil of emotion inside me. Leaning forward again, he takes my tear-stained face in his hands.
“I’m sorry I’m hurting you.” He murmurs sincerely, his eyes reflecting pain. “You have to understand it was never my intention.” He says, wiping my tears away with his thumbs.
“But you knew it would hurt me.” I retort as he rises and circles the breakfast bar to stand in front of me.
“Yes.” He confesses, grabbing my face again. So he knew he would hurt me, he knows he’s hurting me, but he can’t stop.
“Then why?” I ask, more tears falling out of my eyes.
“Do you need her that much?”
“No!” He shakes his head vigorously. “No, I don’t need her at all. I need you, you know I only need you.” He murmurs.
“Then what is it?”
“I…” He starts, and for one second I think he’s going to explain, give me answers, erase my pain. His eyes search actively into mine, and then he says.