The apartment was located at the corner of the Bard Street district, which, in all honesty, made sense.

The place was quite far from the crowded place and surrounded by trees with a view over the entire neighborhood, which meant fewer distractions.

The area itself is quite small compared to the rest of the city, which is exactly why its a prime destination for those who want a quieter place to live than the suburbs.

The building itself was just three-story-tall, but it stood out due to the different colored walls, giving it character.

Kate pushed open the front door gently, letting it swing back and forth before walking inside.

”Hey, Rachel! ” She shouted.

Rachel was her best friend from high school. They met through a group project during freshman year and were inseparable ever since.

******

The next couple of days went by quickly as she worked hard at University. Her work was always busy enough to make her forget about Ted.

Kate immersed herself into her work, working at the art galleries and helping around at the office. She was tired, but she had to keep going, she needed the money to help pay bills for the home.

”Why don you take my money to pay your bills ”, her friend Rachel said.

Rachel was a rich woman, Kate was not.

Rachel was a daughter of a rich man in the city, and Kate was working as an employee at her art gallery. Rachel knew she didn have enough money to afford a real home. So she would let her friend stay with her while she worked.

”I know, that I should take it ”, Kate replied, ”but what if I am broke and can ”

Kate hesitated for a moment but then nodded in agreement when Rachel insisted on her so much.

”I don want to be a burden on you ”

”I can accept Rachel. I know its not fair of me to ask for that much, youve been helping out for almost six months now, how many times have I taken your money for clothes, groceries, or even drinks? You
e a nice person, you helped me when I didn need it ” Kate explained, Rachel looked at her with sympathy.

”You should try taking a break from everything Kate, lets go out, grab a drink ”

Rachel suggested, Kate thought about it for a minute.

”Alright, why not ”.

******

Rachel invited Kate to come to a bar with her because ”It will be fun and Don worry about your life. ”

They took a cab, and the ride to the bar was quite long and quiet until they reached their destination.

And Kate was more than eager to go. As usual, when they got there, the loud music, lights flashing, and people dancing were almost overwhelming, but they didn seem to mind.

They went inside, it was heavily crowded so they ordered a table. Rachel had called some people that she knew so she could get them a table.

It was a cold evening, Kate wore a long black coat over her sweater. In the bar, the woman dressed to impress whereas Kate wasn interested at all. At least this is what she thought at first.

She tried not to pay it much mind and instead focused on finding some kind of peace in this large, noisy venue.

The blonde bartender smiled charmingly and held out a drink for her.

She thanked him and took it in her hands shaking from the sudden chill in the air.

The bartender walked away after pouring another glass of wine on her tab.

They talked, danced, and drank until their throats were burning with each sip of their drink.

After a few minutes, Rachel and Kate sat down, enjoying themselves.

Rachel took her phone out and started texting someone.

******

They talked for a while before getting bored. It was still pretty packed so they decided to leave.

When Kate tried to leave, Rachel stopped her.

They ordered two scotches, one glass for Rachel and one for Kate.

Kate was trying to get comfortable, sipping her drink.

Rachel noticed this and laughed.

”Im sorry Kate, do you prefer something else? ” she asked, Kate, shook her head.

Kate sat at the corner of the bar sipping wine and waiting for the bartender to finish. The air was thick with cigarette smoke, but the music that filled it was nothing like the usual noise shed come to expect from a night at an establishment like this. It was loud enough to be distracting but not deafening.

She was watching as the nightlife around her swirled with people. She couldn believe that in such a small town everyone knew about each other.

Her gaze drifted to her left. There she saw a woman hugging a man from behind.

The man kept pushing her away, whispering that he doesn know her but the other is too stubborn to listen, and she was just as stubborn in return.

The man wore a white shirt with his jacket on top of it; with long sleeves with rolled ends and jeans underneath. His side profile looked stunningly handsome.

He noticed that someone was staring at him. The man had turned her head slightly, and now Kate was looking the other side.

It was warm and beautiful, and the look in her eyes was so pure that the man can find the words to explain what he felt right then and there, all his feelings coming out as mere blanks.

”Its the same guy who was with me in the cab ”, Kate mumbled.

The woman was drunk and leaned forward into his ear to talk. Kate was confused as the girl giggled and looked up at him lovingly.

She wondered what they were talking about and when she saw them walking on stage in the pub, Kate felt a stab of jealousy. It was just another moment between two people in love and she knew it would never happen to her.

Kate glanced over and watched as the woman kissed him on his cheeks one last time before walking off stage and joining a group of friends near the stage door.

”W…what? ”

Her heart ached and all she could see was the smile and sparkle in her eyes.

Kate wished someone would look at her like that one day.

There was only one person who made Kate feel that way no one but Ted. But this was different. This wasn a game or an act. It was real and she loved him back.

Kate sighed deeply, finishing her glass of wine and looking down at the half-empty bottle beside her.

Kate knew she should probably go home now.

******

The man turns around and saw Kate sitting alone at the bar.

She frowns as she looks at him with disgust and he can help but stare back at her. Kate was beautiful with her dark hair and her bright dark eyes.

They matched her dress perfectly. The way she held herself and the way she spoke was almost angelic. Her skin seemed to glow in the light and her lips curved upwards.

He thought his heart might stop as soon as he heard the voice speak.

The soft, gentle tones filled the air like a lullaby and the man found himself staring right at her with adoration in his eyes.

”Can I get you anything else? ” he asked in a husky voice.

She turned back to him, ”No thank you. ”

”You know… I don even know your name ” she says, not bothering to hide the bitterness in her tone.

Her face scrunches up in disgust, trying to hide how much anger shes feeling.

He shakes his head, smiling slightly, and takes a seat next to her on the bench.

”Im Ryan, Ryan Shaw ”, he said softly, taking Kates hand in his own.

*******

Ryan was 30 years old, tall, strong personality, with dark hair, and sea-green eyes. He was handsome, muscular, and wore black, but he was very popular. He had a chiseled face with thick dark eyebrows, high cheekbones, and a strong jawline. Sharp jawline, perfect lips, and pale olive skin made him look like someone out of a magazine. He grew up in a wealthy neighborhood and went to private school until middle school and graduated with an Economics subject.

He is now CEO and founder of a chain of The Oriental Island hotels in Port Woodnette as well as Bosdow Haven.

*******

She stares at his hand and then slowly moves her eyes to meet his gaze. She sees a warmth there and something akin to fear. The young girl wonders what is happening before shaking her head, forcing her thoughts to leave that direction.

”Kate, my name is Kate Hart ”.

He smiles and gives her hand a slight squeeze before letting go.

”I hope we can become friends someday Kate ”.

And he meant it with every fiber of his being.

Ryan nods and then hesitantly places his arm around her waist pulling her closer.

”It seems like you need me, Kate. ”

Kate pushes him back and declines whatever he has to say.

”I am sorry, I don need a pervert like you ”

”Don try to play with me as I am not interested in your foolish games ”

She stood up from her chair, grabs her purse and without looking back she walks out without budging Rachel.

*******

She walked out in a drunken state and Ryan quickly followed, worried. She stumbled down the street, barely able to keep her balance while the rain began to fall faster.

She didn notice the snow melting onto the pavement below as she passed by, the ground underneath her feet wet and slippery.

She was in deep thought; too much going through her mind to even realize someone had walked up behind her.

He caught up to her easily but before he could get a word out he noticed she had begun to get annoyed.

The tears bubbled up in her eyes and she curled into herself as if she wanted to disappear. Ryans brow furrowed as he moved toward her.

”Hey, wait! ”

”I was just teasing you ”

He walked fast to catch up with her and thought about what kind of girl she is who gets annoyed easily.

”Please, ” she said, her voice cracking slightly. ”Go away ”.

She just walked further until a rough hand touched her shoulder and roughly yanked her backward.

But Ryan didn want to and he grabbed her arms stopping her from moving further ahead.

His body instinctively pulled her closer and he wrapped his arms around the girl who sobbed in his embrace.

For some reason, Ryan didn care. He didn care about anyone or anything anymore except for Kate. And even though her presence didn make him happy it still eased a part of him, knowing she was here with him.

The girl buried herself deeper into Ryans chest and tried to push him away. But she couldn . His arms were too warm and strong as he hugged her close.

”Please stop. ” She whispered.

”This isn funny ”.

Ryan shook his head and gently rubbed her back. He pressed a gentle kiss to the top of her head. He didn know why he cared about this girl so much. Why did he want her to be okay? Why did he care? Wasn this just some game to him?

But no matter how hard she pushed him away Ryan would not let her go.

When he eventually broke apart from her and looked down at her he saw tears running down her cheeks again. Her eyes met his and she let out a breath that sounded suspiciously like a sob.

******

Rachel came running after both of them, thinking a man chasing her friend and she must stop him.

Before Rachel could do anything, she saw Kate hugging him and how he was caressing her hair like a lover.

”Please take care of her ”, Ryan said to Rachel.

He wasn looking at Kate, but he could hear the slight tremble in his voice, the way it shook a little when Rachel nodded back, agreeing to take her best friends younger sister home for a few weeks.

”Thank you. ” She said again, softly, as she placed her hands on Kates arms.

”You are so lucky ”, Rachel said to Kate with concern.

Kate was unaware of her surroundings and her vision went blurry.

She took Kate to her home.

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