~The Halo Effect~ 3
The "Mathias" out in public was the "Mathias" Allistor had to be talking about. The moment you saw him in the office, you spotted him doing something along the lines of a pep talk for his coworkers. The very way in which his hands moved along with his body as he talked made his words enunciate themselves in ways his mouth didn’t need to. Mathias was fairly tall. The advantage of height gave him a successful-looking edge that made him stand out among even the thickets of crowds.
What captured your attention most of all, however, was his smile. On that faithful day when Allistor had introduced you to his friend, Mathias instantly won your heart over with his bright, beaming smile. Everything about his stance, the air he carried, and the way he delivered oozed charisma. You, like everyone else, wanted to be around him. Just laying your eyes on him made your heart beat a little faster and your breathing a littler shorter.
“Oh! ___________, over here!” Mathias’ voice called to you snapping you up from your dumbfounded space-out.
“Wh-Wha…? O-Oh, right.” Upon seeing your boyfriend walking over to your, you reached into your bag and pulled out his manila folder.
“I knew I could count on you, ____________!” Mathias beamed and gladly accepted your delivery. “Thank you!”
“It’s nothing, Mathias,” you timidly responded cowering behind your reflexively raised hand.
“Oh, K°hler*,” someone from the other end of the office spoke up. “Is that your little sweetheart you’re always telling us about?”
“Yep!” Mathias answered and slung his arm around your shoulder. “She’s the very one!”
His co-worker smiled. “You’re a lucky lady to have someone like K°hler, miss. He’s a hard worker and a lively fellow, that’s for sure.”
You couldn’t help but smile. “Yeah,” you chuckled. “I’m very lucky.”
“Aw, don’t say it like that, ____________,” Mathias laughed. “You’re amazing, too!”
“Not as much as you,” you humbly added.
“I can see why he chose you,” the co-worker grinned. “You compliment each other.”
“I don’t know about that,” you laughed and unconsciously rubbed your neck. You nearly flinched when you made contact with the sore spot Mathias had made.
“Uh, Mathias, am I interrupting anything?” you quietly asked. “Didn’t you say that file had something to do with one of your investors?”
“Oh, I was just lying about that,” he laughed. “This is for something I need later in the day.”
Your boyfriend gave you a light peck on your cheek despite being in the middle of the office where all of his co-workers could see the two of you.
“Mathias!” you gasped.
“I wanted to see you, ____________,” he smiled gently tilting your head up to his sky-blue eyes. “I’ve got to work late today so I won’t get to see you for a long time.”
You gave him a dubious look. “Well, when you put it that way…”
“Hey, K°hler, we need you over on the sixth floor,” a middle-aged man in a dress suit too tight for him called to Mathias.
“I’ll be there in a minute,” he responded. “Crap, looks like I’ve got to go, ______________. I was hoping we’d get some more time to chat.”
You giggled. “It’s not like we’re going to never see each other again. I see you just about every day, and I’ve already seen you twice today.”
“Twice a day or twenty-five hours a day isn’t enough,” Mathias told you with a soft mock-whining voice as he nuzzled your hair. It was strange knowing he did this at his work place, but he had done this to you on several occasions in the past.
“Mathias, there are only twenty-four hours in a day,” you chuckled.
“That’s why I emphasized that I can’t get enough of you, _____________~” he said in a singsong voice.
You rolled your eyes. “Save the sweet talk for the clients and investors.”
“Then there won’t be any for you,” Mathias pouted.
“I think I can live a day without hearing at least one compliment from you, Mathias—not that I mind, of course.”
“Okay, then,” your boyfriend sighed and gave you one more kiss on your cheek. “I’ll see you tonight, then?”
“Sure,” you smiled and kissed him back. “I love you, Mathias.”
“Love you, too, ___________,” Mathias grinned. “And thanks again for bringing this over.”
“No problem,” you replied and headed for the elevator after sending him off with a small wave.
After leaving Mathias’ work place and retuning to your apartment, there was virtually nothing for you to do except wait out the rest of the day. Everything that needed to be done was done: the chores were finished, your work was completed, the bills were paid, and the world remained spinning.
You had thought about taking up a hobby or two, but whenever Mathias was around, he would always keep you on your toes so there was no point in staying in one place for very long. Even after your initial excitement in being his girlfriend began to slow down, you still found yourself constantly occupied around him.
“Might as well take the rest of the day to make dinner,” you decided and went to pick up a recipe from the Internet. There were always fascinating things to discover on the web. And so, with the rest of the day ahead of you, you set to work on preparing a meal for a most likely exhausted Mathias.
When Mathias did come back that evening, he had come back exhausted as you had predicted, but that didn’t mean he came back when you had expected.
You had ended up waiting the entire night for Mathias to come home like a distraught housewife waiting for her husband, but you were no housewife, and the two of you were anything but married.
“______________, I’m home…” your boyfriend called out into your apartment.
At least he remembered to come here instead of his own place, you thought as you walked over to the door.
“Hey, Mathias,” you said to him as you saw him kicking off his shoe. “You came back really late. How was work?”
“Fine,, fine,” your boyfriend replied and suddenly leaned on your shoulder for support as he took off his other shoe.
You bit your lower lip. “I made dinner, but you took so long to get home so it’s cold.”
“Eh, sorry…” Mathias mumbled.
You forced a smile. “It’s fine. You’re home. That’s all that really matters.”
“_______________, I’m tired.”
“Do you want to sleep on my bed?” you offered. The way it worked was that when visiting one another’s apartments, the guest would sleep on the bed and the host would sleep on the sofa.
Then, Mathias unexpectedly grabbed your wrist and pressed his lips underneath your chin. You were afraid he was going to bite you again, but a strange part of you secretly wanted him to hurt you. As twisted as it was, it compelled you to want to be closer to him no matter what sort of relationship it was. But Mathias didn’t even do that.
“______________,” he whispered rather tiredly, “you wanna sleep together?”
You blinked. It was very rare for you and Mathias to sleep together in the same bed. It wasn’t that any of you had a problem with each other’s company; it was just how things were in your relationship. What was the point of your boyfriend suddenly bringing this suggestion up?
“Mathias, are you feeling okay?” you asked in a soft voice. You ran your fingers through his wild locks and pulled his head up to see his face. He looked like he was in some sort of star-struck daze.
“I’m fine, ______________,” he answered. “I just want to be with you.”
Something tugged at your heartstrings. Mathias had often told you that he loved you, but there was something about the way he would always tell you that he wanted to be around you that made you feel special. He never told that to anyone else as far as you were concerned. That fact made you feel special and above everyone else who felt compelled to make Mathias a part of their lives.
“If you’re really that tired, we can sleep together if you want,” you smiled and took your boyfriend’s hand in yours and dragged him to your bedroom. You were already dressed in clothes casual enough to sleep in. Mathias, on the other hand, had a tendency to pass out with his work clothes still on from time to time after long nights. Tonight, however, the two of you would be in the same bed together. The wardrobe choices might have clashed, but—
“Eek!” you cried out when you felt Mathias nudge you onto the bed. “Mathias, you could have give me a warning!”
“I was just trying to have a little fun, _____________,” Mathias cooed and pinned you in between his arms on your mattress.
You frowned. “I don’t want to have fun right now, Mathias. I’m tired, and I’ll bet you’re even more tired than I am. Now stop playing around so we can go to sleep. We have work in the morning.”
“That kind of tone just makes me excited,” your boyfriend grinned and leaned over kissing you full on your lips. You could feel his tongue entering your mouth.
Oh no, you thought as you tasted something familiarly bitter. Mathias is—
“Ungh!” you cried as he squeezed your wrist. This was all wrong. This wasn’t like him. He wasn’t supposed to do this to you.
“Mathias, stop…” you whimpered. His lips had left yours and began to move down to your neck. Even if you wanted to get away, Mathias could have easily overpowered you with his muscular build.
“Why?” Mathias breathed as he planted butterfly kisses on your neck.
You swallowed. You couldn’t deny that it felt good, but it also felt wrong. This wasn’t the Mathias you had known and loved. This was a different person. Mathias was always different when he drank too much.
“Mathias, you’re drunk.”
All of a sudden, you felt his lips wrap around a tender spot on your skin and begin to suck. Your mind was racing. What was going on? You shouldn’t have been afraid. There were hundreds of other women out there who would have killed for a chance to be in your position and would have been willing to endure even worse things from Mathias. Once upon a time, you had been one of those women, too. So why were you so afraid to let him do this? You should have welcomed his embrace. You should have known what he was about to imply when he suddenly came to your apartment and asked you to sleep with him. Who were you kidding?
Allistor was right… you sniffed.
Mathias was stunningly handsome. That fact was only proven further when he easily tore off his dress shirt revealing his hard, ripped muscles. Even when he was drunk, he was still attractive. It was that sort of instinctual preference any human being would have felt when seeing someone of breathtaking physical attributions. Just seeing such physique was enough to make you swoon—perhaps even enough for you to look past the fact that he was starting to work at your top, too.
“I love you, ______________,” Mathias heavily whispered into your ear. You shuddered. It was like a spell; he could render your common sense useless just by saying the right things and being as handsome as he was. He had a ravenous look in his eyes. A sly smile was spread on his perfect lips, like he was plotting something.
The part of you that was spellbound by your boyfriend wanted to do nothing. At this rate, just lying there and letting Mathias do his thing would be enough to satisfy you a thousand times over than trying to resist, and why would you even try? Hadn’t you wanted this? Didn't you tell yourself that one day, he would trust you enough to give you a purpose to fulfill—to make him happy?
But…is Mathias truly happy? you wondered as he crushed your chest while smashing his lips straight into yours. Is this the real Mathias?
“_____________...” Mathias hungrily panted. “Come on, ____________, say something.”
What do you want me to say?
“Tch,” he hissed. “I guess I’ll have to make you talk then.”
Make me? How could he—
“Ouch!” you screamed. “Mathias, stop it!”
Your boyfriend didn’t stop. He continued to bite down on a spot below your collarbone pinning your wrists all the while.
“Mathias, it hurts!” you wailed. “Stop it! I told you to stop!”
Allistor had a point: if your boyfriend had been some stranger with poor hygiene and a hideous appearance, you wouldn’t have wanted him to do this. Even if that stranger had been every bit as smart and athletic as Mathias was, you would have kicked him away in a heartbeat. There was absolutely no possibility you would let someone defile you like that. So why should you have let Mathias do the same? Because he was handsome? Because he knew what to say and how to make you smile and feel good about yourself? Were these reasons enough to truly love him?
Well, you weren’t about to find out because before Mathias was going to bite through your skin, you delivered a hard kick straight into his crotch sending him reeling off and doubling up into a ball.
“Shit, ___________!” he hissed in agony.
You cursed and pulled your top back over your body and stormed out of your bedroom afraid that if you looked back, that “halo effect” Allistor had told you about would start to drown your common sense.
Speaking of Allistor, you wanted to see him. Anywhere was better than here. You wanted to get away from Mathias, and the closest person around would be him. Call it dumb intuition or plain stupidity, but you wanted to see him and confess to him of what a fool you had been.