Antonia Visits Laird

Antonia watched them–Martina and her male friend. They had just come out of the restaurant and were standing in front, laughing and talking. It was the attractive black man who had been at the wedding. His fiancée had been there too.

As Antonia watched them, she wondered if Laird and the man’s fiancée knew that they were together. She didn’t care about the fiancée but it was important that Laird knew about it. And she was going to be the one to tell him.

A smile tugged at her lips. This was her pay back for the humiliation she went through at the lunch she had with Martina and her friend, Emma. In case he didn’t believe her, she would take pictures. Her phone camera had the best zoom. She took it out and snapped after zooming in. She watched them as they continued talking and then, she turned and headed for her car which was parked nearby.

She thought of calling Laird to tell him that she was stopping by but decided not to. He might discourage her from going or avoid her altogether. Instead, she drove straight over to the flat he now shared with Martina, parked and walked to the building. She rang the bell. Several minutes passed before the door opened and he stood there in the aperture. He didn’t look at all pleased to see her.

“Hello, Laird.”

“Hello.”

“May I come in?”

Reluctantly, he stepped aside for her to go inside. “If you’re here to see Martina, she isn’t home.”

“I know. I saw her at the mall with that attractive black man who was at the wedding. They didn’t see me.”

“Yes, they’re having lunch together.”

“And you don’t mind?”

“Why should I?”

“They looked pretty friendly.” She debated whether or not to show him the photos.

“That’s hardly surprising, considering that they are friends.”

“Are you sure that they don’t have a history?”

“Why are you here, Antonia? To insinuate that there is something going on between Martina and Steven?”

“No, I’m not insinuating anything. I just thought that I would mention that I saw them, that’s all.”

“So, you mentioned that you saw them but you also implied that there was something else between them. It won’t work, Antonia. Now, if you don’t mind, I have to run.”

“Why weren’t you having lunch with them?”

“For your information, I was invited to but, I have things to do.”

“Why did you marry her, Laird?”

“I would have thought that was obvious but I’ll spell it out for you. I love her and I want to spend the rest of my life with her.”

His words were like a knife being thrust deep into her heart. “How could you be so cruel?”

“Cruel? You should be one to talk about cruelty.”

“If you’re talking about what happened with Karson, I don’t want to hear it. I’m sick and tired of you throwing him in my face. I’m sick and tired of you dredging up the past. He’s dead and buried. You and I are alive. It’s you, Laird whom I love. It was never Karson. I love you and I will never stop loving you.”

“I don’t want your love, Antonia. I never did.”

“Well, you have it whether you want it or not. I will never love anyone else. It will always be you, Laird.”

“Then, I feel very sorry for you–“

“I don’t want your pity. I want your love.”

“You will never get it.”

“Why, because of Martina?”

“Even if she weren’t in the picture, you and I would never be more than brother and sister.”

“What about Embeth? Was there ever anything between her and you?”

“No.”

“What about the marriage pact you and she made?”

“It was a joke.”

“Well, I didn’t find it funny when she told me about it.”

“When did she tell you? At the wedding?”

“No. When I went to her art gallery on the afternoon before the wedding.”

“Why on earth did you go there?”

“To-to see the exhibitions. Emma mentioned that Bradley and she went recently.”

“How did Embeth and you wind up talking about the marriage joke?”

“She mentioned it. She was surprised when I introduced myself. She didn’t even know that I existed. You never told her about me.”

“I never saw the need to.”

That hurt. “You never mentioned her to me either. I had to find out about her from Martina and Emma. They know more about you than I do and I’ve known you the longest.”

“That’s because Emma’s my good friend and Martina is my wife.”

“Speaking of Emma, were you and she ever more than friends?”

“People assumed that we were.”

“But were you?”

“No!”

“I don’t think she likes me.”

“Maybe she has good reason not to.”

“How could you say that?”

“She told me what happened at lunch, how you went to a lot of trouble to tell them how the hostess at the restaurant thought that you and I were a couple. I know you did that for Martina’s benefit but it didn’t work, though, did it?”

Antonia’s mouth tightened. “I wish I hadn’t bothered to take them for lunch. It was a complete disaster and waste of time. I don’t want to be their friend anymore.”

“Good. I’m relieved to hear that. I told Martina that I didn’t like the idea of you and her being friends although I left the decision up to her. I told her that I didn’t trust you but she told me to give you the benefit of the doubt. It was she who encouraged me to be nice to you and to forgive you for what happened with Karson. And she’s the reason why I had lunch with you. Several times I wanted to call you and cancel but she persuaded me not to–“

“I don’t want to hear anymore. I hate her just as much as I hated Karson.”

“You hated Karson?”

“Yes. I did. It was his fault that you left Oxfordshire and moved to London where you met Martina. If it weren’t for him, you wouldn’t be married to her. You would still be at Oxfordshire with your father and me.”

“Martina and I were destined to meet. I met her through Bradley and Emma. And as for Karson, you have a bloody nerve blaming him for anything. It was your fault that he died and you are the reason why I left Oxfordshire and moved here. Now, I want you to leave right this minute before I throw you out.”

“Laird, I’m–I’m sorry. I said things I shouldn’t have said. It’s just that I’m hurt and angry and jealous.”

“You spewed out all the poison that was in your heart. Now, I want you to leave and don’t ever show your face around here again.”

“Laird, please…”

“I want nothing more to do with someone who is full of so much hate for the two most decent people I know. Karson loved you and Martina wanted to be your friend. You didn’t deserve his love and you sure as hell don’t deserve her friendship. Now get out!”

She throw him a tearful look before she turned, wrenched open the door and ran out.

Sources: Antidote’s Blog

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