Korbin followed me out into the foyer of our mansion.
"I slapped you. You got angry. Is that it?"
I ignored him until he grabbed my arm.
"Get off!" I hissed, smacking his hand away.
"What's going on?" My mother walked out of nowhere, making me and Korbin both jump.
"Nothing." He said, sighing. "Viola just told me she didn't like the gift I brought her."
I looked at Korbin in astonishment. What gift?
"Viola! That's not nice! He spent so much time choosing it that day, he took me shopping! He chose it especially!" My mother folded her arms at me.
I was about to open my mouth when Korbin cut in.
"Yes... I'm.. .I'm really quite upset." What a liar?! Since when did he become such a good actor?!
My mother sighed, a concerned look appearing on her face. "Don't feel sad! Viola! Apologize to him now. You've hurt his feelings! Come on, that's no way to accept a gift from your husband! I taught you better than that!"
I shook my head. "Mother, no-"
"No excuses!" She held her hand up. "I'll leave you to it, apologize, now." She walked away and hovered under the archway of the foyer... making it obvious she could still hear what we were saying.
I looked back at Korbin who was smiling at me smugly.
"Well, you heard your mother."
I could have cried, while he tried hard not to laugh.
"Do it." He said patronizingly.
I took a step away from him in disbelief.
"Do it right now." He leaned in close to whisper in my ear. "Or do I need to tell my father to continue with his plans...?"
I shuddered, sniffing tears back. "I apologize."
"For?" My mother called from the doorway.
I shook my head. "I apologize, for... not appreciating...." I looked at his sapphires. "For not appreciating the gift you brought me..." My words trailed off. My mother, clearly satisfied, thought it best to leave us alone at this moment in time by walking completely out of the foyer and out of earshot.
Korbin smiled, happy with himself.
"I also apologize for marrying you." I whispered.
His eyes widened in anger as I walked through the archway and out of the foyer. I was about to walk up the stairs when he added:
"Well if you're wondering where your present is.... It's around Graceanna's neck!" The malicious tone in his voice made me freeze in my steps.
"Why Korbin?" I whispered.
"Why what?" He spat.
"Why..." Tears were flowing. "Why are you doing this to me?"
He rolled his eyes.
"I'm serious. I'd rather you slapped me around the face ten more times, just like you did the other night. I'd rather that happened than all the things you've done to me these past few days! You've used my mother to get your own way! I had to apologize to you for something I didn't even do... I had to show remorse... Where's your apology for slapping me?!" I squinted the tears back.
"Well I-" Korbin was cut off by a shuffling sound.
We both looked to the top of the stairs...That's where the noise had come from... We were both silent for a few moments... When he was satisfied that there was nothing going on at the top of the stairs, he leaned in closer to me.
"I'm not going to apologize." He smirked. "And you know... I mean everything I say." With that he walked away... Leaving me standing alone with wetness on my cheeks....
"Oh my Vivi... How much he made you cry!" Gloria exclaimed as she chewed on a carrot. "What a bastard!"
"Horrendous! I can't believe you actually married that cock." Sandra shook her head.
Another girl from across the lunch table joined in. "You were too young and too stupid."
"She was foolishly in love... He didn't deserve the love you gave him!" Gloria sighed.
"Just out of curiosity, did he EVER apologize?" Another girl asked, trying to sound like she wasn't at all eager to know... A few of the girls laughed at her question, but all of them returned their glances back on me to see if I would indeed answer it...
Which I did...
That same evening we were all going to eat dinner together - like one big happy family... Well for my mother's sake. Korbin's father and his wife, my mother, Korbin himself... The only person not present was Graceanna as she was still away on business.
We were all seated. My mother opposite me. With Korbin's father at one end of the dining table on a large throne styled dining chair. His wife was sitting next to him and my mother... Leaving an empty seat next to me... which was to be occupied by Korbin... If he ever turned up.
"Korbin!" His father yelled, impatiently. "Come on. We're all waiting and the food will get cold."
There was no reply.
"Jeffrey!" He called for his butler... Yes... He had a private butler that followed him around to every hotel, holiday home and new mansion he stayed at... This is how rich Korbin's father was. Jeffrey soon entered, looking flustered as usual. "Get Korbin, now!" His father growled.
Jeffrey nodded his head obediently, making his way towards the door, when Korbin finally walked through it. Jeffrey then nodded his head back at Korbin's father and rushed off out of the room.
Korbin sighed and took his place next to me... I tried my best not to flinch at his presence.
"What have you been doing dear?" My mother asked him.
"Oh I'm sorry, were you all waiting?" Korbin smiled sweetly at my mother. "I didn't realize! I was just doing some work in my office."
My mother chuckled. "No matter dear, you're here now and that's all that matters."
Korbin chuckled back, placing his arm over my shoulder, which again caused a flinching reflex from me which I had great difficulty concealing. Soon he had moved himself closer to me and was nuzzling his nose in my neck.
"Hey gorgeous." He whispered, loud enough for everyone to hear.
I attempted a smile back, while my mother giggled at Korbin's public display of affection.
"Well before we eat." Korbin's father interrupted Korbin's strange moment. "I have a pressing matter to discuss."
We all looked at him; Korbin dropped his arm from around my shoulder and placed both of them on the table... As if he were at a meeting or something... As if he were getting ready to attack with a business plan...
"What's the matter? Isn't the food getting cold?" Korbin asked quickly. "Can't it wait until after dinner? Perhaps when we're alone?"
"I'm afraid not Korbin... Because this matter is of great importance." His father cleared his throat. "You see my son; I want you to do something."
"Wow father, since you married that young, youthful wife of yours, dinner times with you have become more and more exciting!" Korbin raised his eyebrows, fake sarcasm creeping into his voice.
"I'm not in any mood to play around with soup now Korbin." His father continued. "But if you don't do what I tell you to do... You'll know exactly what excitement is." His eyes widened.
Korbin chuckled. "Well right now I'm excited to see what you're going to make me do?!"
His father stared at Korbin; I couldn't make out the meaning of his expression... Was it angry... Was it happy? I couldn't tell....
"I want you to turn to your wife, and beg her forgiveness... That you even dared to slap her face!" His father's voice gained momentum with each new word.
Korbin immediately shot me an angry look as he listened to his father. Did he think I had told his father about what happened? I hadn't done such a thing! How did his father even know? Korbin wouldn't have told his father!
"That you even dared, to think of her in such a bad way, that you could touch her in such violence! You're meant to bring happiness to her, not hurt!" His father's temple vein appeared as he spoke.
I looked from Korbin, to his father, to my mother... Who was now gasping as she stared at Korbin.
"If I didn't hear what she said to you earlier today by the stairs... Then I would not have known or guessed even for a second, that you did this disgusting thing." His father's eyes trembled. "Though your wife isn't taking action. Though she hasn't run to her mother in tears, or told anyone how troubled she has been by this, I cannot accept it! You must apologize now, in front of everyone! I know you 'mean everything you say', but this will have to be an exception!"
Korbin stared at his dad with evil eyes. "Alright." He stood up quickly, looking down at his father. "I'll apologize to her...That's if you apologize to ME, for slapping MY face first."
My mother let out another gasp. I looked at her face, she was horrified... Tears were dwelling in her eyes. The perfect image we had been forecasting in front of her for the last week was being beaten down in an explicit way.
His father's wife cut in. "He only slapped you because you were being a horrible little boy!"
Korbin shot her an evil look.
"Why didn't you tell me about this Viola?" My mother asked quietly, staring at me in disbelief.
I stuttered, not knowing what to say. "I-"
"Actually." Korbin interrupted, smirking. "Isn't it funny how she didn't tell you?" He looked down at me. "Why didn't you tell your mother what I did?"
I stared at him, flinching as he spoke.
"Why didn't you tell my father? Were you afraid of something?" He leaned down closer to me. "Were you afraid of what they might do to me? What they might say?"
"I wasn't!" I squealed.
"Were you trying to protect me for once?" Korbin asked, flaunting himself in my face.
I pushed him away... My mother covered her mouth with her hand as his father's wife spoke.
"Maybe she doesn't have evil intentions, like you! Maybe she just wants everybody to get along. Unlike you! All you want is for all of us to suffer and fall out. Is that when you'll be happy?"
"Enough!" Korbin's father bellowed. "I will apologize to you Korbin."
Korbin smirked, looking at his father, who stood up and walked to stand next to his son.
Korbin shot his eyes down to the floor. "On your knees."
His father sighed, getting down on his knees in front of his son. "I apol-"
"NO!" I shouted. "Don't do it!"
Everyone turned to look at me in shock.
"Be quiet! This has nothing to do with you!" Korbin spat.
"It has everything to do with me! I'm the cause!"
"No, my father is the cause. He's the one who hit me, he's the one who brought that bitch into my house, he's the one who-"
"Stop it!" I shouted, passionately. "You're the reason everyone is upset right now, Korbin. Making your father apologize to you? You deserved a slap around the face for what you did to your mother-in-law!" His eyes grew in anger as he turned to face me. "Just stop messing everyone around Korbin! You're embarrassing me!"
The room was silent... And after a few moments of watching his vengeful expression... I decided it would be best if I vacated the room.
I ran out of the dining room and up the stairs... Into mine and my mother's guestroom... I perched on the edge of the bed... I wasn't crying... I was just shaken... Shaken... So shaken... At the fact that... For the first time ever... I had not protected Korbin...
I'm uploading several chapters at a time but I don't always know when they'll be submitted. So if you comment, and then see that I've not replied in the next chapter, then please don't think I've done it on purpose.
Shout-outs to Lucy, Martha and Skylar Grace who commented on Chapter 18. Thanks for that.