Mastermind Chapter 10
Published May 30, 2013

Written By



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Mastermind, Chapter 10.

Hello all! Sorry for the long wait, but if you must know, I have an explanation on my profile! Thank you again for reading!

Mastermind, Chapter 10.

Hello all! Sorry for the long wait, but if you must know, I have an explanation on my profile! Thank you again for reading!
She was in pain, and he couldn’t have it. This was ridiculous—her problems were not his problems. And yet, he felt their weight. Every tear drop shed by Laurie Fell was a raging storm in Seth’s brain. He gazed deeply into her sad, passionate eyes and caressed her rosy cheek with one rough hand.

He wanted to say her name, to tell her that he cared, but this was not a moment for words. Instead, he lowered his head and pressed his lips to hers.
Veronica giggled as Seth kissed her again and again, gently grazing every angle of her lips so as not to miss a spot. With one hand, he tucked a strand of hair behind her ears, then pulled her head closer for more.

“You’ve mastered the art of kissing,” Veronica said in her delicate German accent, delighted.

Seth opened his eyes, their flame extinguishing when they were forced to look upon the woman who was not Laurie. “I have work to do,” he sighed, settling back into his office chair. “I’ll call you in the evening.”

Veronica had been the perfect way to drive Laurie out of his office. He hated that it had worked so well—even without Laurie’s daily presence, she was constantly on his mind. It was as if Veronica had only made things worse for him.
Laurie had been a wreck for the past few days. She shut everyone out, unwilling to show her weakness. Derek had opened up very deep scars, leaving her in the same confused and lonely emotional state that she’d experienced in college.

“Why?” She railed. Why was she crying? Was it because she was angry? Did she want some kind of apology from Derek? Or perhaps… did she miss him? Were his sight, smell, and dance enough to reignite her feelings for him? Maybe it was all of that. She couldn’t tell.
During an inspection of her laboratory, Seth attempted to get some answers out of her—however, he didn’t possess the charisma to make a sad girl talk about her feelings.

“Has that man given you any more trouble?” he said sternly.

Laurie shrugged.

“Do you need time off?” Seth offered reluctantly.

Laurie shook her head. Finally, Seth turned to leave. “If he comes back, you call me or Mason. We’re always in the building.” He felt like a fool for lingering, and left quickly.

As he marched down the hall, he cursed himself for being so bad at communicating. He ached to know what was going through her head. He wished she would just reach out to him, like she always did.
Derek knew where Laurie lived, so he left notes on her door. Laurie ripped the paper down and read the first couple of lines…

“I’m so sorry, Laurie. I don’t know what came over me that night. You looked so great, and we were both drunk. It happens! Can we please just blow this whole thing off? I don’t—“

She crumbled the sheet harshly and threw it on the ground, not even bothering to take it into her apartment. She grinded her teeth at his excuse—he’d wanted her because he was drunk? It was an insult.
Having Veronica around certainly didn’t help Laurie’s mood. Her vivid lipstick, flashy outfits and sassy attitude were constantly present in Seth’s office. Veronica would always greet Laurie with a sweet “Hallo” and a fake smile, the way that snobby school girls do to their less-popular classmates.

Laurie greeted her back every time, with all the sincerity she could muster—no matter how sarcastic Veronica was, no matter how much cleavage her dress showed. But not today.
“Good morning, little Laurie. You’re still not smiling today. Why have your tears not dried yet?” Veronica purred.

Laurie’s lips formed a venomous grimace. “I have a report for Seth. Where is he?”

“DOCTOR Valentine,” Veronica corrected, emphasizing Seth’s renowned title. “…Is too busy for you right now, but I will gladly deliver your report to him.” She extended a hand for the paper, her mouth curling.
Laurie folded the paper under her arm. “I’m afraid this data is confidential and must be delivered to SETH,” Laurie emphasized, “…directly. While I’m sure you wouldn’t be able to understand its contents or be any kind of a threat to this company, I cannot risk my job. Thank you for understanding.”

Veronica sat up, awakened by the jab. “Forgive me. I didn’t realize that your little note was so important. I assure you, I have no interest in your… lab results. After all, who are you? You have never invented anything. You are of little consequence to anyone. Don’t worry—you are safe from me.”
“I am glad to hear that I don’t have your attention. I feel very sorry for anyone who does,” Laurie snapped. “My experiments are demanded and monitored by Seth. I assure you… HE is very interested. Have a nice day.” She swung around and marched away before Veronica could utter one more poisonous word. Seth observed Veronica’s livid expression when he returned to his office, but he didn’t ask why because he didn’t care.

“Your underlings should show a bit more respect!” Veronica exclaimed hotly. “That weepy Fell girl has the nerve to march in here and insult me!”

Seth met her eyes, suddenly interested—he knew how fiery Laurie could be. “Really? What did she say?”

Veronica railed about who said what. Seth felt a pang of pride that Laurie had stood up for herself, yet again. He knew that Veronica could be a bully… perhaps that was why Veronica was well-suited for him, he thought grimly.
The denizens of the mansion had retired to their homes for the evening, but Laurie had remained hard at work. She didn’t want to go home. She didn’t want to be alone, to be vulnerable and risk seeing Derek. It had been hard enough to sleep at night. For some reason, she always felt like he was standing outside her window.

Laurie went back to the top floor of the mansion, where Seth’s piano dwelled. She began to play on it. The music eased her tension.

Before long, Seth was standing in the doorway, listening. His instrument showed signs of neglect, but beneath Laurie’s hands, it sang beautifully. Her song was sad and longing; Seth could hear it in the chords, feel it in his bones.
He approached the bench and sat down beside her. Laurie stopped playing abruptly. “Seth!” she gasped, surprised.

“Continue,” he said. Laurie blinked at him, then started playing again. He watched her hands for a while, and somehow, Laurie felt warm, comforted. After some time, he made a comment. “You made my girlfriend very angry today.” He almost smiled.

Laurie’s playing paused, then resumed, less passionate than before. Seth turned and saw that Laurie’s eyes were watering. His heart fell into the pit of his stomach.

“I’m sorry,” Laurie whimpered, wiping one tear away. “I’m sorry about Veronica, I didn’t mean to, I’ve had a crazy week and I’m just trying to get things done—I’m not crying, I swear.”

Seth cast his eyes down. “If you must cry, then cry,” he said awkwardly.
Laurie’s expression changed, and Seth saw the pain that she had been holding back. A couple of tears streamed down her lovely face. “I’m sorry,” she said, embarrassed. She knew from experience that crying was very unattractive.

Seth frowned. “Why? You don’t have to apologize.”

Laurie leaned over and put her head on Seth’s shoulder, wiping her tears on his suit. He sat perfectly still—he wasn’t sure if he should put an arm around her, or say something else, or just sit there and let her cry it out. He’d never encountered this situation before.
“What are you doing?” Veronica cried from the doorway, her hands gripping her perfectly thin waist. Laurie and Seth leapt up from the piano simultaneously, startled.

“Veronica,” Seth started, while Laurie made for the doorway.

Veronica glared at Laurie as she retreated from the room. “I’ve had enough of this crying and moping. She needs to leave her personal problems at home and act like a professional! It’s unacceptable that she dawdles around here, making you part of her troubles!”
“I was only trying to help,” Seth muttered. “Laurie is important to the company. I don’t want to hire another engineer all over again.”

“This isn’t a charity, Seth,” Veronica snapped back. “If she can’t do her job well, you should find someone who can!”

Seth pressed his lips together. He saw that Veronica was a reflection of himself, and he hated it.
Friday. Laurie had dreaded spending the weekend at home, where nothing could distract her from thinking of Derek. However, she knew she couldn’t stay at work, or Veronica would probably come down on her again.

As her car approached her apartment complex, she glimpsed Derek’s tall, dark figure waiting at the door. Her heart fluttered in terror, and she spun the wheel around.

It was too late; Derek had caught sight of her. “Laurie, wait!” he cried.
“Go away, go away!” Laurie hissed to herself, but Derek chased after her car. Other cars honked and swerved, narrowly missing him.

He knocked on her window, but she refused to look at him. “Laurie, stop the car! I just want to talk, ok? Please, this is ridiculous!”
Laurie hit the gas, finally putting some space between herself and her ex-fiancé. After some length, Derek stopped running. He just stood in the middle of the road and watched her go.

Laurie couldn’t help but glance at his tall figure in the rearview mirror. This was crazy—he was crazy! And somehow, after all this time… she still wasn’t over him. That was why she had to stay away, to distract herself. She knew that if she gave in to his pleas for even a moment, he’d have her again. He knew it, too. She couldn’t be his prisoner again, not while she still had a shred of dignity.

She swallowed hard and made her way back to the Valentine Mansion.
Laurie had dreaded returning to work and having to face Veronica, but Seth was the only one who made her feel really safe. She hated to admit it, but his kindness and attention in the past week had been her greatest consolation. She knocked on the door and waited, rocking back and forth between her heels and her toes. When he answered the door himself, Laurie swallowed nervously; he was wearing his night clothes. It was unusual to see him in non-working attire. “Is Veronica here?” she asked.

“Yes. Why are you here? What’s wrong?” he asked, looking more concerned than angry.

“Derek, he showed up at my place and… I need to breathe, I need to walk. Can I come in?” she asked.

Seth moved aside without hesitating. “We can walk.” He was glad that she was taking the lead on this one. He really had no idea what to do with her when she was upset.
They made their way through the gardens behind the mansion. “Derek calls every day. He leaves me notes… he shows up at my doorstep. And I can’t get him out of my head!” Laurie ranted into the fresh night air. “I don’t know what to do, Seth. I just want to forget about him. I’m too emotional—I wish I were more like you. Stronger. Less attached.”

Seth raised an eyebrow—he dared not say how ironic that was. “You don’t want to be like me. If anything, I should try to be more like you.”

Laurie sniffed, flattered. “Maybe we should trade a piece of our personalities. Then we’d both be better.”
The two wandered into the pool area. The dark water glimmered in the moonlight. Seth growled, “You should get a restraining order. That man should not be harassing you like this.” He clenched his fists, relishing the idea of bashing Derek’s skull into a brick wall. It was so unfair that this imbecile had a piece of Laurie’s heart.

Laurie sighed. “I know. You’re right. Do you mind if I… stay here for a few nights?”

“There is always room for you here,” Seth replied quietly. He picked up a rock from his lawn and turned it in his hands.

Laurie swallowed. “Thank you, Seth… I knew I would be safe here, with you. You’re good at outsmarting people, and at punching them, too.” She chuckled to herself. “You’ve been so nice to me this week, and I really needed it. You’re a good friend.”
At the word “friend,” Seth flung the rock into the pool with all his strength. To Laurie’s amazement, it bounced one, two, three times before coming to a stop. “Wow,” she said.

Seth knew that there was nothing for him here except more emotional torture. He knew he should go back inside to Veronica, but somehow, he didn’t want to leave. He just wanted to be near Laurie again—as a friend, as a lover, it didn’t matter anymore.

He picked up another rock and inspected it. “I used to do this a lot as a kid.” He approached her and pressed the rock into her hand. Her skin briefly came into contact with his. “Try it. It helps.”

Her eyes lit up a little at the thought of a new game. “Okay.” She stood back, then whirled the rock into the pool. With one pathetic “sploosh,” it sunk to the floor.
Seth snorted. “Well, it helps me.”

Laurie looked at him incredulously. “Give me another!” she demanded.

He picked out another rock for her, and she snatched it away. Just before she could throw it, Seth took her shoulders and stopped her. “Breathe,” he insisted. “Don’t throw it directly at the water. Throw it almost parallel.” He released her, his heart fluttering a little at the thrill of holding her.

Laurie looked at him curiously, surprised that he could be so gentle. For a moment, she wondered what it would be like to dance with him. She quickly turned back to the water and threw the other rock, failing to heed his advice. Once again, it tumbled to the pool floor.
She shot Seth a dirty look. “Okay, so you have more skills than me. We get it,” Laurie huffed. Seth smirked back at her, then turned his eyes to the ground, unable to hold her gaze. Laurie’s expression softened into a smile—she hadn’t smiled in a whole week. “I miss hanging out with you,” she admitted.

He looked at her. How was she able to express herself so easily? Just say a few words and boom! It was out in the open. Was that really all it took? If so… all he had to do was open his mouth, and… “I miss you, too.”
All was silent but for the chirping crickets. Light reflected off the rippling pool water and danced against their faces. Laurie stopped smiling; she was touched by his words, but… “Veronica,” she muttered.

Seth shook his head, as if that were irrelevant. “Do you care about this Derek guy?” he asked.

“I… I don’t know. I guess, a little,” she admitted. “We have history but… I think, maybe I just miss… kissing someone.” Her last two words were a whisper—she hated that she was such an open book.

Oh. Seth swallowed, hard. He realized that Laurie was looking at his lips. Mentally, he tried to stop himself—this is a very bad idea, don’t do it, she’s too much trouble—but resisting her was like trying to climb a mountain during an avalanche. Like trying to swim out of quicksand…
In one fell swoop, he turned her body and opened her mouth with his own, kissing her as if he needed it to survive. Laurie gasped with surprise, but she didn’t push him away.

All the silent, unspoken emotions he had felt for her, he expressed now. Every single high-pitched laugh, every silly joke, every time she had joined him for lunch, all the attention that she gave him that he didn’t deserve… his gratitude, his humility, his adoration poured back into her through this kiss. With his right hand, he reached around her waist and pulled her in so that her spine arched backward. With the left, he stroked her jaw.
Laurie felt overwhelmed by the sensation—she had not realized the extent of his desire for her. Although she hadn’t exactly intended this, it was impossible not to enjoy; her shock melted into pleasure, which then turned to delight. Her fingers wound their way through his jet black hair, and he sighed in response to her touch.

No one had ever kissed her this way before. It was like a dream.
Laurie’s head began to spin. She lost her footing and nearly fell into the pool, but Seth held on to her. In her clumsiness, her lips finally detached from his. They stared at each other, equally breathless.

Coherent thought finally began to return to Seth’s mind. He looked alarmed. “Laurie,” he whispered, his heart fluttering. He took a big step backward. “I shouldn’t have…”

Laurie reached for him with one hand, but the moment was over. Seth trekked past her and went back into his mansion, his face set with dread.

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7 Comment(s) so far

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#1spladoumJun 1, 2013

Really glad to see this story back! I'm enjoying it as always \:wub\:

#2mandi518Jun 1, 2013

I just found this story today. And I must say it is just superb! I've read all 10 chapters. Probably the best story I have ever read on here. It is definitely my favorite! Please try and post the next chapter soon! \:D

#3enid30Jun 1, 2013

yay! \:wub\:\:wub\:

#4Bo0GeRBELLJun 1, 2013

That was great! The last few slides were awesome! Didn't realize how much I missed the series until I read the chapter before to familiarize myself again. \:rah\: Don't be a stranger now, ya hear?

#5KatherineLady09Jun 1, 2013

Hey friends! Thank you for your compliments yet again, they're an inspiration! And yes of course, I'm so sorry that I had to quit the Sims for a whole year because of school! I will always do the best I can with my time! \:\)

#6jadababy2003VIPJun 2, 2013

Oh my goodness! Cliffhanger!!!

#7EphyAug 10, 2013

Seth you… You… ARGH!!!!!! Throw this damn Veronica out and kiss Laurie all night long!!!! >______>"""""""""""

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