Koya’s Choice – 11

11 – I Miss You, I Hate You, I Love You

Koya glanced up to see Adele and a man dressed in a white t-shirt and jeans walking toward them.

“Oh no, here comes Addie,” she said with a groan.

Kim chuckled and bumped her arm with his shoulder.

“She’s harmless,” he teased.

Koya shook her head and would have responded but Kim held on to her hand and pushed off the table.

“Koya,” he said his tone too quiet.

Frowning at his serious voice, she looked at him and found his gaze focused on the man with Adele.  Returning her attention to the two approaching, she studied the man walking beside Adele.

He moved with assured confidence.  He laughed and she gripped Kim’s arm in recognition.

It couldn’t be.

Her heart filled with apprehension, it felt as though her heart was going to burst out of her chest.  A sudden urge to run in the opposite direction had her shaking.

“Koya,” Adele greeted with excitement.  Her eyes were shining in triumph.  She’d finally found a weakness.  Koya would have happily strangled her right then.

“Guess who has come to our little gala.  Mr. Charles Dhali came in person.  Can you imagine?  I was just thanking him for his generous contribution today.  I insisted that you would want to thank him too.”

Koya was sure Adele was put in this world to torture her.

In which planet would she want to thank Charlie for anything?  Charlie, the bastard who chewed on her heart and spat it out like garbage.  This Charlie with a smug smile on his ridiculously handsome face….

What would he do if she shoved the bunch of flowers on the stand beside him into his mouth?

“Hello, Koya Kalahari.  How have you been?” Charlie greeted in a voice that seemed to travel through her.

“Oh, you know each other,” Adele said, still smiling.  “Good, Mr. Dhali, I will leave you in Koya’s capable hands.  We shall talk later.”

Adele patted Charlie’s arm and walked away with quick strides.  Koya could barely breathe.  She doubted she could keep standing if it weren’t for the tight grip she had on Kim’s arm.  How was it possible that Charlie still had such power over her?

“Don’t I even get a hello?”

“What are you doing here?” Koya heard herself ask.  Her anger was so strong; she feared she would break in half at the force of it.

“It’s a gala,” Charlie replied with that stupid smile that showed off perfect teeth.  It seemed his love for sweet things hadn’t destroyed them yet.

Koya turned away from Charlie then.  She needed to get a hold of the bubbling emotions inside her.

“At least call before you show,” Kim said, his arm going around Koya’s waist.  She was glad for his strength.

“Best friend, you won’t give me a hug either?” Charlie asked his tone full of sarcasm.

“It’s difficult.  We haven’t been best friends for so long,” Kim said, his tone tinged with mild amusement.

Charlie’s gaze narrowed.

“Well, sorry to surprise you with my presence.  But—, I really wanted to see you guys.”

“You chose the wrong time,” Kim said.

“It’s never the wrong time with friends,” Charlie countered. 

“Strange, how long has it been, Charlie, since you left—

“Leave, Charlie,” Koya interrupted Kim.

She couldn’t take the sight of him.  She just couldn’t listen to him, with that voice—so many memories returning.

“Go back to where you came from,” she said.

“Come on, Koya,” Charlie said with a smile.  “I’m starting to have fun.”

“Please,” Koya heard herself beg.

Nausea rose and she took in air to control it.  She’d be darned if she lost control in front of Charlie.

“You don’t have to contribute here.  Your money is not needed, so leave.”

“Ask me anything else,” Charlie said.

“I don’t want anything else,” Koya said.

Koya was sure if she could physically carry Charlie out of this field, she would.  But then there was the intense need to run into his arms and hug him, how she’d missed him, missed seeing him…she shook her head.  The best thing was for him to leave.

***

Did she need to keep holding on to Kim?

Charlie scowled.

It was taking all he had not to walk up to her and grab her hand away from Kim’s bulging bicep.  They made such a pretty picture, it annoyed him.  The tall muscular man, supporting the graceful damsel in distress.  Charlie’s gaze met Koya’s angry eyes and he adjusted his thoughts.  Damsel wasn’t right; she looked more like a furious valkyrie with fire burning deep inside.  God she was beautiful.  Her skin brown and warm in the sun, her braids falling down her back, the wind teased them gently.  Her tantalizing figure wrapped in green fabric, made him think of mermaids in the deep sea, seducing men to their deaths.

The woman was driving him crazy.

What did she mean by leave?  He wasn’t going anywhere when another man was staking a claim on his territory.  Thinking of her in Kim’s arms was going to drive him to murder.

Were they together, he wondered.

She looked comfortable by Kim’s side.  And the way Kim’s arm wrapped around her waist, there was no awkwardness.  Rage blew through him like a storm.

He looked around the busy field and gave Koya a small smile.

“I’m not making this easy for you two.  I’m staying all day, my love.  You’d better practice your smile, you’re going to have to flash it when I’m handing you a check for your precious foundation.”

Turning away before he punched Kim for his betrayal, Charlie headed for the drinks tent hoping they were selling something stronger than juice and punch.

***

Thanks for reading! ^_^

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