Chapter 8

Tenderness matters


The next morning Sophie is supposed to go to her college for the admission process. She hears her mom calling her downstairs. Her mother is going for a job and wanted to wish her daughter a good day. After fifteen to twenty minutes later, when she gets ready to leave, she is sitting on the couch and having breakfast. She hears a doorbell. She jumps off to get the door, thinking that it might be Diana. She opens the door and finds Damien standing, wearing a formal outfit in which he looks striking. Sophie keeps gazing at him. He smiles, “you look beautiful yourself too,” Damien says. At the same time Sophie is shocked by finding him at her door instead of Diana. “What are you doing here, and where is Diana?” Sophie asks. Damien points out to his car and says, “let’s go. I am here to pick you up, if you don’t mind.” Sophie is thrilled by hearing him offering her a ride. “Are you really asking me to come with you?” asks Sophie surprisingly. “Well, yes I want to talk to you, so I thought why not give you a ride to the college and talk on our way,” Damien replies. Sophie pauses for a moment and rewinds everything that happened. She is also thinking that he himself has asked her to stay away and now he is here at her door picking her up, and wants to talk. She goes inside, leaving the door open behind her. After a few minutes, she returns and is ready to part with Damien. While they are on the way to college, Damien starts the conversation with a very peculiar question, “why do you like us so much?” Sophie gets confused, “what did you just ask, what do you mean by that?” Sophie asks. “Diana likes you, and I have seen you like her too. I have asked Diana a million times to stay away from you. You both got into this never apart bond within no time,” Damien says. “So, is that a problem, and I like Diana, not you, so you don’t include yourself by saying us,” Sophie says. 

Damien seems reluctant to say what he was about to say. However, he needed to make sure things were clear between him and Sophie, including Diana. 

“Sophie, there are a few things you don’t understand, and you never will, but for the sake of Diana and you, I request you to stay away from all of us as much as you can. The closer you get, the more trouble you will put yourself into, and I do not want that,” Damien says. “There is something wrong with you and Diana, I could feel that. I know you guys are hiding something from me because I am sure as hell that something unusual happened to me yesterday. Then, it looked like your house had been caught in a lightning storm,” Sophie remarks without hesitation.

He applies a sharp break before slowing down, saying, “Look, you’ve got to understand this. I cannot say much about it because I told you already what had happened. Yesterday, at home, there was an electrical issue.” While Damien is still speaking Sophie rolls her eyes and says, “Yeah! Sure it was.” Damien notices that but ignores and continues, “I ask you to stay away from us because I do not trust anybody other than my people, my family. Although you may perceive this differently, I am overprotective towards Diana as a result of who I am. Sometimes, your past makes you like this, and you cannot help it. I hope you got it now, any further questions?” Damien asks. Sophie replies in a very passive voice, “I got this, thanks.” He starts the engine and drives towards the college. 

When they reach the car park, Damien asks Sophie to get out of the vehicle and that he would come later after he parks. Sophie, without any questions or words, gets down and walks to an administration office. Sophie finishes the admission process and is heading home when she realizes that she did not have a car to go back home. She hears someone calling her. It is Damien standing in the distance. Damien is coming closer, Sophie stands where she is and thinks that Damien has asked her to stay away. He is approaching her. “Looks like you are free, let me drop you back home,” Damien says. Sophie quietly follows him without saying a word. Damien is looking at her while they are walking down the hallway. Sophie is not talking to him. He feels that she has taken what he said gravely. He tries his best not to say anything but he feels bad about it and could not resist. “Sophie, I am so sorry to react like that this morning. I am dropping you back home. I know you don’t have your car. Once you are home safe, after that, we can stop talking to each other,” Damien says. Sophie breathes heavily. “Yes, sure,” she replies. 

There are a bunch of boys and girls sitting outside waiting for Damien. Diana is one of them near the parking area. All of them look harsh and uncertain as Damien and Sophie walk out of campus together. Sophie can discern that the group is not giving her a charming look except for Daina, who is undoubtedly happy to see Sophie. 

One girl from the group walks towards Damien; she is a tall and elegant blond girl. Sophie looks fierce as a blonde girl approaches Damien. While glancing viciously at Sophie, she says, “babe, sometimes you become so kind. Why and who are you helping today?”. She is holding Damien, putting her arms around his neck, making Sophie feel uneasy. Damien is staring at Sophie and trying to get rid of the girl. Damien introduces her to Sophie. “She is Kristin, and Kristin, she is Sophie. Now, if you can, please let go of me,” says Damien to Kristen while still looking at Sophie. Kristen is getting mad, and she was not approving of Sophie at all. She gets closer. “What is this girl to you, and why is she with you, Damien?” Kristen asks silently.

Sophie can feel that Kristen is overreacting, which she is not ready to take in. Sophie comes a bit close to Damien, “yes, Damien, why don’t you tell your girlfriend that you are driving me home,” before Damien could say anything, Kristen gets out of control. “Wait, what?” Kristen reacts. Damien is in a sticky situation there. “Look, Kristen, I am not in a mood right now. I can explain to you later,” Damien says. 

Damien and Sophie both leave, followed by Diana. Sophie is not feeling so well. She is making herself understand that she is not jealous of Kristen being Damien’s girlfriend. Somehow, deep down, Sophie knows that she is feeling low about him seeing another girl. Damien realizes that Sophie did not like it back there. “Hey, I am sorry about what happened back there, Kristen gets a little overwhelmed sometimes.” Damien says. Sophie closes her eyes. “Damien, I don’t wanna talk about it. I mean, she is your girl what else do you expect?” Sophie replies. 

“Somebody is feeling jealous,” says Damien with a sarcastic smile. Sophie smiles, “It seems as if you have no feelings in there, Damien. You say that you do not trust people, and then there are quite a few people, I saw back there in a parking area. If I am not mistaken, they seem to be your friends. Instead, you also have a girlfriend, and for your kind information, I am not jealous at all. They are your friends, which is okay, and you feel safe for Diana if she hangs out with them, but you have some issues with me. I am also a human, if you will consider that for once,” Sophie shouts.

Sophie is in tears, and it appears like she has led out everything that was there inside her for days. Looking at her like that, and after listening to her, Damien drives a few miles and when he reaches where nobody could see them, he pulls over. Damien looks at Sophie. She had never seen him like that before. His eyes are filled with the tenderness of affection and care. 

“This is it, you said it yourself. You are human, and that is the reason I am asking you to stay away from all of us. We might hurt you, Sophie,” Damien says. Sophie did not understand. “What does that supposed to mean?” Sophie asks. Damien holds her hand and keeps looking at her. “You are a very kind and delicate girl, the most adorable girl I have ever seen. You are humble, respectful, brave, and whatnot. The people you saw today are not nice; we are not reliable, and we are not right for you. We do things that you could not possibly imagine. We do not belong to you, and I don’t trust anybody around us because we do not trust ourselves around anybody,” Damien says. Sophie moves closer to him as he holds her tightly around the waist with a firm hand. “You are too kind for these people, and we are terrible,” Damien whispers. Sophie feels the sensation of his touch, and the force of his grip could harden her backbone. His whisper and him being so close makes Sophie feel much more comfortable and protected. She pushes Damien back, “let’s go home,” Sophie says.

Sophie tries to connect everything from the day that car followed her to this day where Damien tells her that they were not the right people for her. Damien was right next to her at the time, and she couldn’t think clearly.

They are driving back home. Sophie is constantly thinking about him being so close to her. That thought is making her drown; then she thinks about Kristen.

“By the way, just to clear up any confusion, Kristen is not my girlfriend,” Damien says. Sophie did not respond, but the way she is looking at him is screaming how happy she feels. Sophie thinks, “Kristen is not his girlfriend, but she pretends like Damien belongs to her. I mean why not? Just look at him. I cannot believe he was so close to me.” 

The road is quiet as it gets dark. Sophie continues to think, “I think we are about to reach our destination. What? Sophie feels unconscious as she thinks they will never see each other again. She, all of a sudden shouts, “Damien pull over, please.” Damien stops the car. “What happened, are you all right?” Damien asks. Sophie turns toward him, “no, I am kinda high, we are not meeting again ever, right?” Sophie asks. Damien remains silent, and after a moment, he says, “no, as far as I know, and I want.”

Sophie leans closer to Damien, wrapping her hand around his neck. Damien gets uneasy. “What are you doing?” he asks. Sophie shushes him and gets closer. She whispers into his ear, “you are a kind man and a liar too.” She gets away from him, her hand still resting on his neck. “You lied about being a bad guy. I do not know about the rest of your friends, and they might be of the character you described. But you are not. You are driving me away because you cannot resist me or control your emotions around me,” she remarks.

Damien holds Sophie’s hand around his neck. It was a dark night, a lonely road, and they could hear the breeze pass through. Their hearts were pounding rapidly. Damien’s hands are glowing, so he hides them. “I want to get out,” says Damien. Damien steps out of the car and tries to calm down. After a while he offers a hand to Sophie to come out with him. He takes her to a picturesque lake across the road through the woods. 

Sophie is speechless, marveling at the beauty of nature around her. It is twilight, the sky is looking like a splash of yellow and orange colours. The lake is acting like a mirror. Damien did not want to disrupt what Sophie is enjoying. Sophie looks back and approaches Damien. “See, I told you, you are a very decent man,” she says.

They spent quite a time together that night talking and giggling.

After a few minutes around 8:00 pm, she reaches home and says goodbye to Damien. Her mother is waiting for her in the dining room. “Someone got late, and look at that smile and glow,” quips Sophie’s mother while teasing her. Sophie is timid. “I am tired, mom,” she says. Her mother looks outside the window towards Damien and Diana’s house. “Really, I found my daughter coming back at 8:oo pm and dropping off one good looking hunk. Then I hear my daughter taking a deep breath and saying that she was tired,” mother chuckles. “Mom, please, we were just hanging out with our friends,” Sophie replies. She is looking away while talking and pausing in between while speaking because, of course, she is lying. “Sophie, you know you can never lie to me,” her mother says. “You caught me, mom, why?” Sophie mumbles indignantly. Sophie tells her mother everything that happened. Her mother is not very amused after listening to her, but she is happy that Sophie now has friends. Well, her mother did not know that Sophie would never see neither Damien nor Daina again. “Sophie, to my knowledge, you did not quite get along with Damien, and now it looks like you are developing feelings for him. That’s huge, but take care of these things now that you’re an adult. Do not let things slip away from your hand,” Mother says and kisses Sophie goodnight.

Sophie is stuck between so many things. Sophie wants to stay friends with Diana, but her brother does not want her to come anywhere near her. She is developing feelings for Damien but cannot say it, wants to stay away, but cannot stay. She has no choice because Damien does not wish to see or talk to her. Now, she is thinking about what her mother said to her. She is in a state of delusion because she has no one to share her feelings with. So, she writes a blog about it. 

Damien is also thinking about Sophie. He cannot let her striking face be forgotten, he thinks about her every second. 

He is wondering about how Sophie held him in the car earlier. Suddenly out of nowhere, thunder strikes the area. Damien runs to Daina to make sure she is okay. “Are you alright?” Damien asks. “I am fine, but this isn’t good,” Diana responds. 

Approximately half an hour later, it’s pleasant outside, and Sophie can see the bright moon and twinkling stars. But, Damien and Diana were not ready to come out. Sophie looks out of the window at their house and hopes to see Damien. She stands by the window for a while and when she finds no one, she heads to bed. 

What happened that night between Damien and Sophie was like a turning point for both of them. Sophie’s life was about to get changed after that, not entirely, but she got herself into some real mystery.

Why are they unreliable people? Why does Damien want Sophie to cut off completely from their lives?

Let’s dig more into the story and find out.