KISSES AND BETRAYAL
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“Kisses and Betrayal" is a gripping tale of love, friendship, and deceit that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Franklin thought he had it all - a steady job, a beautiful fiancé, and a close-knit group of friends. However, his world comes crashing down when he shares a drunken kiss with a stranger in a club. To his horror, he discovers that the stranger is none other than Olivia, a friend of sister, Lucy. As Frank tries to navigate the turbulent waters of his love life, he must also grapple with the repercussions of his actions. With Lucy helping Oliva get a job, Frank finds himself caught in a web of emotions as his loyalties are tested and his heart is torn between two women. "Kisses and Betrayal" is a poignant and powerful novel about the complexities of relationships, the consequences of impulsive decisions, and the enduring power of love.
‘No! Sam, I’m not doing it’, Olivia refused for the umpteenth time. She crashed into the couch, a book intertwined in her fingers.
‘What do you mean you’re not doing it?’, Samantha said groggily, ‘Come on, it’ll be fun. Just me, you and the guys, a couple of drinks. That’s all. It wouldn’t hurt to loosen up a bit. You know, have fun. It’s a thing people do from time to time, to kill stress, unwind and let loose of bad energy. It’s called having fun’, Samantha lectured Olivia matter-of- factly. She applied polish unto her already glossy nails and blew gently on the lava red hue on her nail bed.
‘I know what fun is, thank you very much. I do not need you to lecture me’, Olivia gave Samantha a sheepish smile and turned over the pages of the dictionary size novel in her hands.
Olivia was stretched on the couch pretending to be engrossed in the book she was reading, trying as much as possible to ignore Samantha, but clearly that wasn’t going well for her.
Samantha scooted up to face her, ‘Clearly, you don’t. All you do is bury yourself in books reading…’, she threw her arms up derisively, ‘God knows what? Romeo and Juliet? All day or worse, watch a movie till you’re lulled to sleep?’
Olivia got off her position to sit uprightly facing Samantha. ‘What’s wrong with reading a book? They say fiction is an escape from reality’, she huffed, ‘You know, some people like me,’ pointing a finger to her chest, ‘find it pretty interesting’.
Samantha wobbled her head in the air and threw Olivia a disapproving glance. She inserted the nail brush back into the container and admired her nails.
‘It’s your birthday Olivia. For heaven’s sake, give yourself a break. Loosen up and have fun, Let’s just head out and have a birthday dinner or something, or better still’, Samantha’s eyes glimmered as she jammed her hands together at the mention of the next word, ‘…clubbing!’
Olivia shot her a disapproving look. She dropped the book and crossed her arms together.
‘There’s no way I am going to a club, wearing some skimpy, uncomfortable, air-depriving, blood-sucking outfit and swaying my hips to impress some guy all in the name of having fun. Just drop it. We can have fun, right here. You. Me. Just the two of us’. She cocked her head to the side, hugging her own self. A sweet smile growing on her lips.
‘Together. We could just dance, watch a movie, Ice cream Sundaes, Popcorn. See. So much fun. I’m dying of excitement already. That’s a lot better than clubbing. She blurted out pronouncing the word clubbing with disgust.
‘You know what, Olly. I am not going to sit here and allow you bore yourself to death, on your own birthday, We’re going, whether or not you agree, and if you refuse, I’ll end up dragging you there’. She got up and pulled Olivia to herself.
After a little back and forth, and arm pullings, Olivia finally surrendered.
‘Fine! Okay! Let’s go ‘clubbing.’, Olivia threw her arms up in surrender and rolled her eyes, ‘Not like I have a choice’, she mumbled under her breath.
Samantha snorted, ‘Oh, no, you don’t’.
‘She was not supposed to hear that, Olivia whispered melodically between closed teeth. And in a low tone.
‘It’s not like I even have anything suitable to wear. All my clothes aren’t’, two of Olivia’s fingers were curled up in quotes, ‘…club-worthy’.
All of Olivia’s dresses were regular boring clothes. Blouses, Jeans, Long sleeves, Skirts, Knee length skirts and the likes. The only crop she had was gifted to her by Samantha on one of her birthdays. Asides from that, she had the typical ‘responsible-girl’s clothing.
‘Trust me darling. I’ve got you covered’, Samantha winked. The ghost of a smirk appearing on her face. She had been imagining Olivia’s body in one of her slutty dresses. She pulled her up from the couch leaving her book to fall to the ground. Images of Olivia in her skimpy dresses forming in her mind.
"This is so uncomfortable. Couldn't I have just worn the blue strapless dress. It's much longer than this. Feels like everyone's eyes are focused on my tighs" Olivia pulled the black skimpy dress below her knee and shot the guy who gave her a dirty wink an icy glare. Pervert! It was like she could feel the heat of the gazes tossed her way directly on her skin.
Samantha turned her head to face Olivia. She shook her head, let out a sigh of exhaustion, took her hands and pulled her across the entrance into Paradise club in Time Square.
The gown was hugging Olivia's thin tighs close together and it was getting really uncomfortable. She could barely part her legs in it and the heels weren't even helping. She only wore heels on special occasions. The last time she wore them was on her sister's wedding. That was two years ago. She barely even kept them on. She took them off after the church service and slipped on her flats. She was more of a flat person.
Olivia had let her hair down from the usual low bun because Samantha said it made her look less serious. What was wrong with looking serious? She thought to herself. Her black velvet hair swept over her shoulders. She continued to fumble with the dress but it never kept bouncing up her tighs. "Arrrgh!" She grunted.
The loud music, disco balls, blue lights which shot across the room like lazers, the clattering of glasses, stripping poles. Olivia was relieved that night wasn't a stripping night, giggling of females, shameless whores clinging to men, the crowd whose bodies were moving to the rhythm of the loud music were the whole scenario happening. It was a Friday so the club was heavily crowded.
"How is this fun?" Olivia said loudly trying to make her voice audible. She threw her arms up and rested them on her hips. Samantha who was getting tired of her babbling of her babbling only rolled her eyes and clutched Olivia by the arm.
"Relax, hon. The party's not even started, yet. Yo, Joe!." Sam motioned to the counter drumming her fingers on it. She was mumbling some words to Joe. An evidence she'd been there a couple times before, because she kept on exchanging pleasantries with people being the jovial person she was.
"Two Magaritta on the rocks please."
"Does it contain alcohol?" Olivia whispered to her, not wanting the bartender to catch a whiff of what she had said.
"If it does, count me out. You know I don't drink and I'm so not getting drunk on my birthday."
"Relax sweetie. Let me take care of you." Sam pinched Olivia's cheek like that of a chubby baby. "It's nothing to get worked up about. Trust me you'll love it." she placed the glass in front of the counter and took a satisfying sip out of hers.
"Ahhh, I miss this." Sam gave a sweet smile and put the glass on the table. She wiped the specks of salt at the corner of her lips using her thumb.
"Oh, pardon my mOliviars" Sam took Olivia's hand and placed it in Joe's outstretched hand that had napkin a while ago. Yuck!
"Joe, this is Olivia. We go way back. Olivia, Joe, he serves the best drinks. Trust me, only the best."
"Nice to meet you Joe" Olivia gave him a soft smile. Joe held on to Olivia's hand for a while and hesitatingly let go of it after Sam gave him a tight look.
"Come on, try it" Sam put down her glass and kept her eyes fixed on Olivia.
Reluctantly, Olivia entwined the glass between her fingers and took a sip.The first thing her lips met were specks of salt at the rim of the glass. Her tongue bathed in sour lime, floral citrus, smooth tequila and hint of sweetness to balance it out. It wasn't bad entirely. She just wasn't used to drinking such.
"Josh and Gunther should be here by now." Sam glanced at her wrist for the fifth if not five-hundredth time since they had gotten there.
Olivia almost choked on her drink. She felt it rising from the pit of her stomach up to her throat. The citrus refused to dance along with the tequila and she spilled onto her handkerchief.
"What? You invited them?" Olivia's eyes widened in shock refusing to believe the words she had just heard.
"Thought we could use a little company." Sam winked and patted Olivia's cheeks.
"But--" Olivia winced in pain, but before I could finish, Sam had already cut in.
"Over here!" Sam waved her hands in the air.
The boys were already here or should I say guys. They made their way towards the ladies and kissed them on the cheeks.
"Happy birthday Olly." Gunther grinned and gave Olivia warm hug. It felt warm just like a lamb extracted cotton coat during the cold snow. Her fingers rested on his smooth and straight spine and...and... wait...what was she doing? Snap out of it Olivia, She told herself. She pulled out of the hug and gave him a sweet smile. "Thanks."
Sam and Josh were engrossed in their conversation that they completely left Olivia and Gunther out of whatever it was they were saying. Gunther was busy with his phone so yes! Olivia was left in her own world taking sips from the fourth glass of Magarritta.
Olivia began to feel funny.
The first sip: When you know it's go time. When that first drop of alcohol hits your tongue. You know you're ready to get weird.
You know that right?
The buzz: The feeling you get when alcohol hits you. You know when your whole body feels warm and cozy and you feel like you're one vibrating piece. Everything becomes twenty times exciting as it was half hour ago; The music feels better, everyone becomes more attractive than they were before. You know you're ready to get wild.
You certainly know that right?
The best friend stage: The part where everyone suddenly becomes your best friend and you're dying to tell them your life story and every conversation suddenly gets more important. You most certainly know that right?
The song and dance: The moment when you hear your favorite song and make sure everyone knows the lyrics and you hit the dance floor singing and sipping on your drink. You think "wow, I am actually a super good dancer." The dancing doesn't cease and you continue swirling to the music, uncoordinated and dancing with people you'll probably never see again and screaming the lyrics of the song as if you're both in a contest of who would miss the lyrics first. You continue moving your body wildly spilling drink on everyone within arm's reach. The dancing doesn't cease until you catch a glimpse of the cutie over the bar at which point you hit stage five. Oh Yes! That really was one crazy that night.
The club meet-cute: You've spotted the cutie. In fact, everyone at the club is suddenly beautiful and with a bit of liquid courage, you go on to meet your fate. The cutie suddenly moves your way and you don't quit dancing till he stands directly in front of you and for a while, the whole club freezes and it's like only the both of you are in the universe and he tilts his head to the side and gives you a wonderful smirk which makes him even more beautiful. He flashes you a luminous angel white teeth and gosh!, you're melted away with the intensity of his bleach white dental goodness. He suddenly moves closer and you catch a whiff of his cologne and he smells like brewed American coffee and wood shaving and you're lost in this intoxicating fantasy of the whole moment and you don't want it to end. You don't care whether he's got a wife or a kid or even freaking kids. You don't care whether your sister needs someone to watch her kids- OH NO!
This is going to be the best night ever! You don't care whether your sister will never see her kid anymore Why was she so onabout her sister? or your friend is going to lose her job.
The music miraculously switched to a slow song or this all happened inside your head and then he pulls you close and move in unison to the song and then he whispers "You're absolutely beautiful" to your ears and you just stood there gawking at him because your drunken brain cells were not generous enough to process and receive the right impulse for you to react by blushing or smiling- NO!
Then the whole room becomes blurry as he tilts his head and leaned forward and before you know it.
And he draws back and gives you a sweet little smile.
The "Sam" infested stage: And then your friend who you haven't seen in a while emerges from God knows where, the one that was so lost in her conversation with some "Josh!." emphasis on Josh comes over and pulls you out of such a lovely moment. At least, in her drunken state, it was lovely. God damn you Sam! I guess you haven't experienced this part before
"Olly! Olly! Are you okay?" Sam enquired and slapped Olivia's cheeks while Olivia stared just stared blankly still trying to process everything that had just transpired and ugh! Everywhere suddenly turns black...
I guess you don't know this part.
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