Chapter 66 - Gaze
My hand kept slipping and I had trouble adjusting my clothes. I finally managed to fix my ensemble and comb my hair back with my fingers to top it off. Even after that, however, it wasn’t an easy feat to pull myself together.
“This is your fault,” he had said. He was right. It was my fault.
I already knew that Keith would regret it. I also knew that I should have been the one to stop him.
I had let it be despite knowing the outcome because I didn’t want to let go of that momentary sweetness.
I had left it solely because of my greed, even though I knew it would end in misery.
When I finally mustered up the courage to step out into the hallway, Keith was talking to Whitaker about something. It felt like a lot of time had passed, but the clock in the hallway told me that barely 20 minutes had passed.
Thankfully, Keith had his back turned away from me. Staying conscious of my expression, I silently stood behind him.
Keith must have felt my presence, but he didn’t turn around. He didn’t even throw a glance.
“…And that’s what we will do regarding that,” Whitaker reported, nodding as he finished his sentence. Without saying anything in response, Keith turned around and began to walk away. I quickly followed after him. The clacking of our shoes mixed together. Despite the sound of our footsteps echoing in my ears, I felt a heavy silence.
It felt like everything was falling together like destiny—like a push on the back.
I thought as I got into the car after Keith, ‘I have to put away my feelings as soon as possible.’
The faint scent of his pheromones lingered inside the car. I closed my eyes.
I didn’t want to feel my chest throb from this scent anymore.
“Good morning,” I greeted habitually as I walked into the dining hall, just as I did every other morning.
Keith was already there. As much as I was relieved, I was concerned.
“Um, is your arm okay?” I asked carefully as I sat down.
Instead of replying, he glanced at me and nodded.
“That’s a relief. If it starts hurting, be sure to take the painkillers I left in your bathroom,” I added unnecessarily. However, I couldn’t not say it.
Keith’s eyes darted back to me. Not knowing if he had something to tell me or if he had simply rested his gaze without any other meaning, I quietly gazed back at him and waited for Keith to say something.
Keith didn’t speak even when Charles walked up to the table and placed down our food in front of us. I intentionally cleared my throat. I was trying to subtly rush him, but nothing changed. In the end, I decided to ignore his gaze and picked up my fork. Only then did Keith turn his head. I internally sighed in relief.
Keith also got started on his breakfast, but he seemed somewhat absentminded. He meaninglessly poked around his scrambled egg and soon stopped entirely. When I tried to steal a glance, I ended up meeting eyes with Keith yet again.
He was staring at me way too much today. I became nervous.
“Um, was there something you wanted to say?” I finally asked, unable to take it anymore.
However, Keith stared straight into my face without even the slightest sign of embarrassment and replied, “No.”
“Nothing,” he emphasized once more. He stared at me some more before finally retracting his gaze.
“Ah, your food—” I blurted unknowingly as Keith stood up from his seat.
“It’s fine,” Keith murmured before leaving the dining hall.
Left behind, I muttered blankly, “You have to take your medicine…” Just in time, Charles walked up to the dining table. As he picked up Keith’s plate, I began, “Um, about the prescribed antibiotics—”
“You mean for Mr. Pittman? I am aware of it. I’ll make sure he takes them,” replied Charles.
“Thank you,” I said, having finally gained some peace of mind.
Charles replied as indifferently as usual, “It is my job, after all—my job when he’s at home, your job when he’s at work.”
He stared at me as if to confirm his statement. I nodded. “Yes, right.”
Just as I thought to myself that I should make sure to take Keith’s afternoon dose with me, Charles added, “I gave Mr. Pittman’s work dose to Whitaker. I would appreciate it if you could just check if he didn’t miss them later.”
“Oh, thank you,” I blinked, marveling at his attentiveness. “I should follow your example, Charles. I almost forgot about it.”
Charles responded artlessly, “Once you hit 10 years of experience, it will also become second nature for you.”
Was it his way of comforting me? Whatever it was, it put a smile on my face. I didn’t know if I would be by Keith’s side 10 years from now, but I nodded in affirmation anyway.
Charles continued, “It seemed like Mr. Pittman wasn’t in his best state this morning, so it might be best to watch him more carefully at work today.”
I recalled Keith staring at me intently. “Since he was attacked, he might be more on edge for a while,” I said, even though I didn’t think that Extreme Alphas—Keith included—were that sensitive. They too were human, however, so it wasn’t entirely impossible. I added quickly, “I’ll pay more attention as well.”
After Charles left with the empty plate, I finished my breakfast alone. When Keith and I met again a little later in front of the front door, Keith stared intently at my face some more before getting into the car first.
For a moment, I became concerned. What if he was suffering from trauma like me?
Feeling anxious, I watched him all morning, but nothing in particular seemed amiss—other than the fact that he was staring at me more tenaciously than before whenever I entered his office to report back to him.
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