Lucia’s phone rang. She lifted her head from the table and took it. It was Allen.
“What is it this time, Allen?”
“It’s your boyfriend, Lucia. He just pulled over.” Lucia got up.
“What do you mean, just pulled over?”
“He’s at my premises. What did you tell him?”
“Nothing; how did he know your residence?”
“He has been here before; he came looking for you when you kind of went missing.”
“Oh no, this is not good.”
“You think? Please get here immediately before things get ugly,” Allen said and hung up. Lucia grabbed her bag and rushed out of the office.
“I must say I’m surprised to see you here. I hope you’re not looking for your girl here,” Allen teased.
“Very funny; what is it you want from her, Allen?” Ted asked coolly.
“What do you mean?”
“What is this thing I’m hearing about videos of her about to be leaked onto the internet?”
“It is not what you think…”
“Oh really? Because I’m very certain I know what this is all about. You’re the coward kind of guy who hits women and later decides to use cheap means to extort money from the poor lady because fortunately she happens to hail from a very wealthy family,” Ted pointed out.
“Far from it! I’d never think of harming Lucia…”
“Oh yeah, so all the times you used her face as a punching bag, that was what, a token of your love for her?”
“I was really in a bad place then and I deeply regret hurting her the way I did.”
“I don’t believe you and I don’t trust you. If you’re a changed man as you profess, you’d leave her alone so she can move on with her life.”
“And I have…until this thing with the tapes happened.”
“And what kind of man would make intimate tapes of a woman without her consent?”
“A jerk, I know and I’m sorry for that too.”
“I want you to find those damned tapes and get rid of them or else God help me, I’ll end you,” Ted threatened.
“Duly noted,” Allen said, nodding.
“And after all this is over, I don’t want to see you anywhere near her.”
“You know she was mine first, right?”
“Well, she was lost then.”
“And now she’s been found? By who, you?” Allen snorted.
“You don’t seem to know who you’re…”
“Ted!” Lucia called out, bursting into the room. Ted was shocked.
“How did you know…?”
“I called her,” Allen said.
“Oh so apparently, you two are still in touch,” Ted remarked.
“I just wanted her to come just in case things got violent.”
Ted chuckled. “You thought I came here to fight you? And why would I do that?”
“I already have her; it only pisses me off that you still have a hold over her even though you two are history.”
“You know what is said about first loves…” Allen said.
“He doesn’t…” Lucia intervened.
“He doesn’t? Really? Why did you run here when he called?”
“Because of you! I did not want you to get hurt.”
“Oh I’m hurt; just not physically. If only I could hit him…”
“Would that make you feel better?” Allen asked.
“No; no one is hitting anyone. Please let’s just leave here, okay? We can talk somewhere,” Lucia urged. Ted eyed Allen carefully who only smiled coolly. Ted’s gaze fell on a framed photo of Allen and Lucia. He angrily punched it breaking the glass frame into pieces.
“Ted!” Ted groaned.
“Oh no, you’re bleeding.”
“Now you’ve ruined my carpet,” Allen said.
“Stop it, Allen. Come on Ted, let me take you to the hospital.”
“No, I’m fine.”
“No, you’re not. I’m taking you before it gets infected.”
“Talk to you soon, Lucy,” Allen said teasingly. Lucia glared at him and left the apartment with Ted. He was really bleeding now.
“You can’t drive with that. Let me take you.” They sat in her car and she drove away. He tried to stop the bleeding with a handkerchief.
“We’ll soon be there.” Ted did not answer.
“Not now, Lucia; just drive.” She pulled over at Peace General Hospital and Ted was immediately attended to.
Dr. Grant approached Lucia. Lucia was nervously biting her nails.
“How’s he doing?” she asked anxiously.
“He’ll be fine,” he assured her. She sighed in relief.
“But he seems upset. Did something happen?”
“Yeah, but we’ll be fine. Can I see him?”
“I’m sorry but you can’t. He says he wants to be left alone. Give him about an hour to cool it off. Then you can take him home.”
“Thanks, Dr. Grant.” He walked away with a nod and she sat down.
An hour later, Lucia and Dr. Grant entered the room where Ted lay. He was asleep. Lucia walked to him and took his hand in hers. She rubbed it with her other hand. Ted woke up.
“Hey,” Lucia said sweetly.
“I think it’s about time you went home, Ted,” Dr. Grant said.
“Yes doctor; thanks for everything.”
“You’re welcome. I’ll be in my office.”
“Thank you, Dr. Grant.” He nodded and left the room. Ted withdrew his hand from Lucia’s grip. He got up from the bed.
“Ted, I’m sorry. I know you’re disappointed in me and embarrassed…and I am too. I didn’t want to bring you and your family any shame…”
“Stop it, Lucia.”
“No, let me say what I need to say. I’m sure Anita has told you about it and I need you to hear me out. I had no idea about those tapes.”
“You think that’s what I’m upset about?” Ted asked.
“What else could it be?”
“I’m not mad about those tapes because you didn’t make them. You’re no angel and I’m cool with that because I’m no saint but that’s not the issue here. What hurts me is that I was the last person to hear about this. I had to hear it from Anita from all people…”
“Well, you didn’t have to…”
“I asked you to come clean with me, didn’t I but you hung up on me. You left me with no choice. I had to find out because you’re not of your own anymore. Whatever concerns you matters to me as well because we are together now unless that doesn’t mean anything to you,” Ted said.
“Of course it does.”
“Then why wouldn’t you come to me with this? Why can’t you talk to me about stuff like this? We’re a team now; we should have each other’s back.”
“I was embarrassed, okay? I couldn’t bring myself to face you confessing to such a shameful thing. I’m sorry.”
“Yeah, so am I.” Ted took his coat and walked out. Lucia followed.
Lucia pulled over in front of the Bourbon’s mansion. They both got out of the car. Ted walked to the front door and opened it.
“Ted,” Lucia called out. He paused and turned to face her.
“Can we please talk?”
“Okay, then give me your keys. I’ll go get it for you.”
“Don’t worry about it. I’ll let the driver to get it for me.”
“That’s not necessary; I could…”
“I don’t want you anywhere near that pervert,” Ted said firmly. Lucia flinched. She swallowed as she nodded. Ted entered the house. He glanced at her as he was about to close the door. He stopped and stepped outside. He walked towards Lucia and kissed her passionately on the forehead. He walked back inside.
“Ted?” He looked at her.
“What does that mean? Is that a goodbye kiss?” Lucia asked, her eyes filling with tears.
“It means I hate myself for loving you this much,” he said and closed the door shut. Tears ran down Lucia’s face.