Chapter Twenty-Seven

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Gradually, I started coming back to my senses. The echo of the birds' chirping became nearer and the touch of soft silk rolling over my skin became clearer. I forced my heavy eyelids open to find myself blinded by a ray of sunlight falling directly on where I lay. I blinked repeatedly until my vision adjusted to the room, and my gaze took in my surrounding. It was a large, grandeur bedroom and I was seated in the center of it, lied on a king-sized bed with grey silk bed-sheets that were unbelievably soft against my skin.

It took a few minutes too long to recall the last events that went down before my sleep. I didn't know how long ago that was, because I had no idea what time of day it was at that moment. Abruptly, I sat upright in bed, the sheets falling off my torso. I backed against the headboard and immediately grabbed my pounding head. I was familiar with that pain; I must have slept for way too long.

My gaze shifted to my right where I searched the nightstand for a clock, but found it bearing none. There was only a single lamp that was switched on even though the sunlight provided more than enough brightness to the room.

My eyes moved down to my body to find that I was still in last night's attire; they allowed me to sleep in jeans? No wonder I was so uncomfortable.

I'd wished someone would've woken me just so I'd changed into a more comfortable attire then gone back to sleep. I would've enjoyed being wrapped by those silk sheets much better.

I shifted my weight to the side of the bed, where I had to literally roll to reach the end because of how big the mattress was, and I dropped my legs to the cold-tiled floor. When my skin adjusted to the cool surface, I pushed my body to stand straight and instantly grabbed the headboard for balance. My vision turned black for a second then returned to normal.

That's when my stomach gave a deep rumble.

I was so starved to the point where I was craving the taste of literally anything and everything.

But within the next few seconds, the haze that was clouding over my mind blocking the memories of last night, began to back fade away and the events started to become clearer. I started to remember the story I narrated to Xavier word by word, and a strong sense of shame and embarrassment nestled deep in my chest. I could feel my face begin to heat up, and I face-palmed so hard I heard the slap echo in the quiet of the room.

Why?

That was the only question running through my mind. Why the hell did I tell him all of that? Why didn't I lie? Why didn't I come up with a story that wouldn't have ruined my image the way I know it is ruined now?

My hands were beginning to tremble with the shame I felt and I couldn't bear the thought of running into Xavier ever again; of looking him in the eyes when I knew he was fully aware of my past stupidity and vulnerability.

I searched the room to check whether my purse had been brought up here, but I couldn't find it anywhere. Groaning, I began to walk towards the open door leading to the bathroom, where I splashed my face with ice-cold water and brushed my teeth with the spare toothbrush I found in the cabinet behind the mirror. I dried off my face then fixed my messy hair into a tight bun. After a few minutes spent focusing on my breathing and gathering up the courage, I decided to walk out of the bedroom.

I was in the same hall from earlier, directly across the wall covered in family portraits. The amount of characters within the pictures was unbelievable, and I had to fight against my curiosity and force my feet to continue moving towards the staircase instead of examining the portraits.

I began to slowly tip-toe towards the staircase, my senses on high alert in case someone suddenly steps out of any of the bedrooms - I distinctly remember Xavier informing me that three families are staying in this house.

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