The Hate Between Us
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It all started with a night stand. In fact, most love stories begin with a night stand, but this was different. After spending a night with an unknown person, Tristen is baffled with the thought that he may be attached to the person, even though he didn't know her, but he tried to push the thought aside, since it was just a one night stand. But after the girl reappears again, seeking a job in his company, he tries to make her pay for what she did, for making him think of her even after he swore that he wouldn't have another woman in his life. He makes her life unbearable, discomforts her at work and sneers at her in public. It was clear they hated each other. But what would happen later on, when he realizes that he loved her after all, that all he felt between them was love but misconcepted as what? Will he chew on his ego and go for the person that made his pupils dilate or will be press it down until he forgets all about her? Will he go back on his words against the fact that he hated women and loved her like his heart wanted him to, or will he be the stoic, cold Tristen everyone knew him to be? The Hate Between Us is a suspenseful story of unfortunate people that fell in love in the worst of time and in an unlikely way.
As I walk along the beach, the sand is warm beneath my bare feet, and the sun is starting to dip below the horizon. The sky is painted with shades of orange, pink, and purple, creating a breathtaking backdrop for the crashing waves. I feel a gentle breeze blowing through my hair and across my skin, carrying the scent of salt and sea.
Trisha just got me a job at her annoying elder brother’s fancy resort, although I haven't seen him in ten years I have heard tales of his arrogance. I plan on having a little fun before I let anyone know I left New York this morning.
The water is like a peaceful turbulence. It's silent, but it calls me to it. I want to get in. The summer breeze gives me a prompt towards the ocean and I move with it. Earlier on, I gulped two glasses of one sour, bitter red wine, in order to get myself into the spirits of enjoyment, but now, I feel like the wine is doing a little bit more.
I walk zig-zag to get on the boats lined up for swimmers. Swimming has been a disastrous affair for me since I was little, so a boat will be a lot more safe. The boat is latched to an enormous log of wood, so I use my shaky fingers to untie it. The boat shakes as I try to get in; it isn’t balanced, so I nearly trip. My heart thumps as I steady myself. Once I’m settled, I let the boat swim.
The water is peaceful, therapeutic, and satisfying. As I am in it, I get the sense of security, I close my eyes. I let myself dream.
The boat is doing just fine until it starts shaking badly. I open my eyes and panic washes all over me. I am not too far from the shores, but I can’t get off the boat to swim. I wonder why I didn’t get in with a life jacket.
I swerve around, checking the stability of the water. It’s nowhere close to one. I feel like I’ll fall in the next minute.
Isn’t there supposed to be a lifeguard out here?
"If you're going for a ride, you need to get a life jacket. It helps you stay afloat if you somehow find yourself in the ocean," a man says from behind me. I raise my head from the water, and the only thing I hear aside from the roaring water is the condescending tone the voice speaks to me, like he's used to explaining the simplest thing to people all the time, with yet a serious and straight command. I wish I could see the face but the saltiness of the water itches me.
"Did you just 'mansplain' the meaning of a life jacket to me?" I ask, wanting to know who is behind the voice.
"Well, I can see you're going on a boat without one, which isn't advisable for newbies, so yes, maybe you need someone to explain a few things," he says.
Embarrassment and rage make heat flood my cheeks. I can feel my entire face turn red. Though I’m about to sink, it’s not a worry to me. This man is killing me with whatever he’s doing right now. He’s not the boss of me.
“I guess it's a good thing I'm not a newbie then.” I say as I turn around to glare at the stranger.
I ignore the flip in my stomach as I face the man behind me. The irritation is clearing slowly, so I can make out a little of his outline, not his face. He's shirtless and covered in tattoos that make him dangerously sexy, he's wearing only beach shorts revealing his very long legs. He has a well-sculpted body with dark hair that the wind tousles. If I weren't so furious, maybe I'd take a moment to admire how water slowly rolls down between his two large pecs down to his abs that look like carved granite. He's sexy, there's no simpler way to explain it. I feel my belly flutter even more aggressively. I think I’m going to sink, not just by this water, but what his body has to offer. My knees are weak.
"Right. I guess you'll be going on the boat without any of the resort's assistants as well since you're such a 'pro' at boating." He makes air quotes when he says 'pro.'
I can tell he's goading me, but his condescending attitude makes me want to prove him wrong.
I try to steady myself with the oars by the side of the boat, trying to gain momentum and strength over the not-so-peaceful water. "You know what? Fuck you." I say, plopping my body firmly on the seat.
My whole body is shaking in dread, but my ego wouldn’t let me ask for help. I can feel his intense gaze on my back, but I ignore it as well as the fluttering in my stomach that the feeling brings.
“I wonder why you didn’t go with the automatic boat over there.” His hands are formed in an akimbo, and his gaze is something you cannot miss.
This is true. There are other automated, modern boats around here, but I prefer this manual one. I have to paddle for myself and feel the intensity of the water. Modern boats don’t do that. I don’t reply to him, instead I prove to him that I’m good at handling “old-fashioned” boats. I hold the oars with great tenacity and pull them towards my direction.
“See,” I say, turning to the gorgeous man that stands at the dock staring at me with an amused expression on his face. I walk to the edge of the boat so he can see my triumphant smirk clearly. “I can handle myself—”
With a great force, the water sweeps the oars from my hand; with the same force, the boat tumbles over and I’m thrown into the water. I try to grab the boat, but it drives away without me.
“Traitor,” is the first scream that slips from my mouth as I sink in the clear blue water.
The second thought that follows makes me panic. I can’t swim.
The lit surface above mocks me. I kick my legs as fast as possible, like the swimming coach I had the summer before I turned ten had told me while I was getting swimming lessons as a kid. I part the water with huge strokes of my arms, and I can feel the panic fueling every stroke vividly. I'm probably not swimming with any coordination, but I don't care. My chest is on fire. I need to breathe. I’m giving up. I’m drowning. When I know I can’t fight any longer, my lungs take in the sweet, salted water. I still wish I took the old boat.
The next thing I feel is an arm around my waist, and the person pulls me and carries me out of the water like a little child, and I feel the sand again. If I had the strength, I’ll kiss the sand. Oh, how I miss land.
My body heaves up water, and spasms rack my body as my lungs try to steal all the air they've been deprived of.
“Are you alright?” the sexy tattooed man asks.
My vision is blurry; my eyes are trying to recover from the darkness the waters sent me to. One thing I know: I am not swimming again. I try to recover by coughing out some water that was trapped in my lungs.
I manage. “I think I'm fine.” His hands send fire down me. Even if I haven't seen him before, his aura takes over my whole body.
He's no longer pressing my chest. His hands are on my forehead, caressing away the pain.
I was drunk by wine previously, but now, I feel like I’m drinking up this man. His touch awakens all my sensory nerves. I don’t even get the chance to recover from my near drowning experience and I’m already beginning to feel nauseous about this man.
“Are you sure?” he asks, concerned.
I’m surprised he sounds so concerned. I draw a breath. “Yes.”
Cold ripples from inside of me and goosebumps are the effect. I shiver, running my hands through my open skin.
“You’re cold, huh?” his eyebrows are arched at me.
“A bit.” I sprout.
“You still need some clothing around here.” Before I can protest, he yanks me off the floor. He carries me like a child would lift a cotton candy. I feel safe and warm in his arms.
I don’t know where he’s carrying me too, I just follow. Even though I'm working in this resort, I haven’t been to all the places yet.
He carries me to a room I can’t tell. I don’t know if the alcohol is kicking in or the effect of the drowning is making me lose my consciousness. I’m just cold and need warmth. He looks like he can provide me with warmth.
He places me on a fluffy, king sized bed. Just like a cotton candy will melt into a kid’s mouth, I melt into this bed. All the cold suddenly disappears.
“You should have listened to me, though.” He sneered.
“Well, you shouldn’t have helped me. I can leave now if you want.” I try to stand up from the bed, but a force pulls me now. He smirks. “I’ll get you a cup of hot chocolate.” I nod slowly. As much as I want to escape from him, I need to get something hot into my system and my bedroom is far away from here. I don’t even know where this is.
He leaves the room and allows me to use my eyes to wander around the walls. Nothing here shows who he is–it’s just an empty, fancy room. I strap the drapers to my body, hugging the warmth the sheets can offer, but nothing can surpass his arms.
I don’t know when he walks in, but when I raise my eyes up, I see his dark hair and aquiline nose, looking down at me. He places the cup beside me. “This can help jolt you back.”
I take the cup from him and take slow sips. The hotness of the chocolate scalds my tongue, but my stomach accepts it. He sits on the edge of the bed and watches me drink it. I admire his face already. I try not to look at him, channeling my focus on this steaming coffee. Speaking of steaming...
“Are you better now?”
I nod. He takes the mug from me and drops it on the bedside drawer. I have nowhere else to look except his face, so I look.
He places his hands on my mouth and wipes the chocolate that smeared it. “I have chocolate on your…” the last word is drowned when he brings his lips to mine.
His kiss is passionate and sweet; it tastes like coffee and mint all together. I want to pull away from him, but I can’t.
With each burning passion, our mouths long for satisfaction. My hands are dipped in his hair, his hands on my clothes. Soon, the buttons are undone.
“Should I?” he asks, taking a break from our kiss and continues as I nod my head in want.
He takes off his trousers while our mouths are still intertwined. He holds me still, never to let go of me. He uses his free hand to cup my breast, feeling the softness of it.
I can’t think of anything else apart from him; I can’t even think of pulling out of this atrocious act. I mean, I don’t even know him.
My hormones and heart don’t care. And I certainly do not care. He let go of my breasts and undo my panties. In a flick of a second, it is gone, like he’s a professional at this.
I close my eyes and I let him in.
My ringtone blasts me off from my dreamless sleep. I wake immediately, rubbing my eyes with my fingers in order to adjust my eyes to the little light in the room. Raking my hair backward, I reach for my phone that lies on the bedside drawer. Without looking at the caller’s ID, I lift the phone to my ears.
“Hello?” this isn’t my work number, so whoever this is, knows more of me.
“Hello, Tristen,” the voice responds, “I’ve been trying to reach you for weeks now. I thought of visiting the resort, but decided to try your phone again.”
It hits me instantly. “Mateo?”
After settling back at the resort, I have a lot on my plate that I have not found the time to bond with old friends. “How’re you?”
“I’m great. It’s just that Vanessa and I happen to have fixed a date, so I decided to call you.”
“Vanessa?” Maybe it’s just the thrill of waking up, but I have a hard time thinking right now.
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