Her pulse accelerated, her heart started to beat loud like a drum and fear began to sprout in her heart the longer she looked at him just looking back at her, still as statue. She didn't mean to say it. Her plan was just to let him know she had fallen for him through a song because she thought she still wasn't brave enough to say it. She was scared that things would change for the worse if those words ever came out of her mouth. But she had said it. Her heart made a move on its own before she realized it and now, she didn't know what to do.
Abi tried to open her lips but it just trembled slightly and no words came out of it until Alex finally moved. He blinked a few times like he was waking up from a dream. His pupils dilated for a split second, his jaw clenched and he half bit his lip. Just like her, he seemed to have lost his tongue as well as no words came out of his mouth.
But it was then that Abi finally found her tongue. "Uhm… d-don't worry, Alex. I… I'm not going to ask you to love me back," she stuttered as her hands on his face slightly trembled. And then, she hugged him tight, as if she was trying to chain him down using her arms, as if she was so scared that he would leave and never come back again. "I… I am not going to demand for your love so please don't get angry with me, okay?" she added, her voice weak and fearful.
"I just wanted to tell you what I feel towards you now. And… you didn't forbid me from loving you. You only forbade me from asking for your love so I am allowed say that I have fallen in love with you, right?" she asked again as her grip on him tightened, determined to hold him.
Alex's Adam's apple moved. His eyes were dark and his face was stiff and hard as he silently gritted his teeth before he spoke. "That's right," was all he responded and Abi pulled away with wide eyes.
"Y-you're not angry with me, right?" Abi looked at him and the man stared at her before he replied decisively.
"I'm not, Abigail."
Abi hugged him again. She was so relieved and even though she saw something odd in Alex eyes right now, the most important thing was that Alex wasn't angry and that he wasn't going to disappear.
Alex shut his eyes closed the moment his face was hidden from Abi. His brows knotted so tightly that the veins on his forehead and neck were bulging out.
"Thank you, Alex," she uttered and she moved her face away slightly without letting go. Her lips landed on his, gently, causing Alex's face to loosen up. "Please let me love you. I won't ask for anything. Just let me love you, okay?" she pleaded against his lips and Alex's jaw tightened again.
He lifted his hand to her head and pulled her into his embrace. He gritted his teeth once again, hiding his expression from her before he forced out his next words.
"Do what you want," he replied and Abi smiled, thanking him again. She was so relieved and she couldn't deny that this made her happy. Having the freedom to love him, to tell him 'I love you' every time she wanted to and as many times as she could, was just a wish before, but now, it was actually going to become her reality. He granted her a wish once again. This was the best birthday gift she received today and she couldn't ask for more.
With a smile on her face, Abi let him go and stood.
"Let's go to bed now, Alex." She pulled him up, holding his hand tightly as they went upstairs.
Abi was animated as she lay on the bed. Once Alex sat next to her, Abi jumped on him and she cuddled him. She wrapped her arm around his torso as she snuggled herself closer until their bodies were sharing heat.
"Alex… you made this day my happiest birthday ever. Thank you for everything," she told him, her eyes glistening with genuine happiness.
Alex suddenly pulled her towards him but he made her back face him and spooned her from behind. Abi didn't notice but Alex seemed like he was trying to stop her from looking at his face.
They were silent for a long while before Alex spoke again. "I didn't buy you a present so you can ask me one thing and I will fulfill it," he suddenly said, causing Abi's eyes to widen in surprise. She tried to move to turn and look at his face but the man didn't let her. "You can ask me anything, Abigail," he added and Abi swallowed.
"A-anything?" she echoed, still looking at him with wonder and disbelief.
"E-even if it's against your rules?" she asked in hesitation. Her heartbeat raced wildly as she waited in anticipation even though she already knew the answer based on his silence. She knew his rules was surely an exception.
But Alex's answer made her mouth turn agape.
"Yes," he replied and Abi couldn't believe it. She struggled and slipped away from his arms before she sat up and looked down at him in disbelief.
He wasn't smirking and there was no mischief in his eyes. He was serious and Abi just couldn't believe it. She couldn't talk for a long while until Alex broke the silence again.
"I'm serious, Abigail. Ask me anything and I will grant it," he repeated as he looked her deeply in the eyes.
"I love you, Alex." As these heartfelt words came out of Abi's lips, everything seemed to stand still. Seconds slowly ticked by as their eyes locked and Abi started to realize what just came out of her mouth.