Treat Me Just Like That [Part II]

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Chapter 4 You Are the One I Love

The next day, Caroline was about to leave to go to the company when Joseph stepped inside the penthouse with a middle-aged woman. “Ms. King, this is Mrs. Laurie Barlow.” Caroline extended out her hand and said, “pleasure to meet you.”

“The pleasure is all mine.” Caroline smiled and said, “I presume my assistant told you I will not be staying here for long.” Joseph handed Caroline the paper he held in his hands. “Now, this is my meal plan prepared by my nutritionist.” Caroline handed the woman the paper with detailed information. “I expect you to be here at eight in the morning and to leave at five in the afternoon.”

“Yes, Ms. King.”

“Then, we’ll be on our way.” Caroline and Joseph made their way to the elevator and got on.

When they arrived at the company, Caroline asked Joseph to get her some breakfast as she looked over some reports that were already on her desk. After Caroline had the breakfast Joseph brought for her from the cafeteria at the building, she resumed her work.

An hour passed; Caroline was drowning in work. She received a phone call and answered the call without looking at who it was. “Caroline, I need you to come with me to choose your bridesmaid dress. Caroline looked at the time marked on the computer screen and said, “can’t you do that for me? I’ll tell my stylist to give you my measurements.”

“No, Caroline. This is very important for me. I will send you the location.”

“Roxy.” Her cousin hung up the call before letting Caroline say she was too busy to leave her office. Caroline let out a sigh and turned off her computer. She stood up from her desk and grabbed her nude Chanel handbag. She grabbed her designer lavender wool coat and walked out of the office. Joseph stood up from his desk as soon as he saw the door open. “I need you to take me somewhere. Cancel all of my meetings.”

“Yes, Ms. King.” Caroline and Joseph made their way to the elevator. Caroline went in first, then Joseph pressed the button to the lobby of the building.

When Caroline arrived at Alexandra’s boutique where she was going to meet Roxy, she stepped inside and took off her coat. She was greeted by an employee, who then led Caroline to the VIP lounge. Roxy stood up from the armchair to greet Caroline. “I don’t have much time,” said Caroline.

“Okay, then let’s get started. I’ve already gone over a few options.”

“Please, come with me.” Caroline followed the employee that offered to take Caroline to the fitting room. After Caroline changed into the dress, she stepped out and said, “I don’t think we need to do this much for me. It’s your wedding day, after all. Do you have your wedding dress?”

“Of course. My mom designed it for me. I guess having a famous fashion designer as a mother has its perks after all.” Caroline chuckled. Roxy sipped the champagne she held in her hand and said, “it looks beautiful on you. Try the next one.” Caroline let out a sigh. “I don’t really have that much time, Roxy.”

“Yes, you said that already. Look at it this way, the more you cooperate, the sooner you may leave. Though I don’t understand why you are complaining. You have always enjoyed shopping. When was the last time you went shopping?”

“California, a week ago.”

“What did you buy?”

“A winery.” Roxy chuckled. “You have always been an alcoholic.” Caroline clicked her tongue. She turned around and went to change her dress. She stepped back into the lounge. Roxy looked at her and said, “I don’t really like this one. My other bridesmaids are wearing floor-length dresses.” Caroline turned around and went to change.

Caroline stepped into to lounge wearing another dress. “Now that I think about it, I will be attending your wedding and I don’t even know your husband to be.”

“You will meet him tonight, don’t worry.”

“If I don’t like him, will you call off the wedding?”

“Of course not.”

“What if I am only looking out for you, Roxy. I don’t want you to regret marrying him later.” Roxy countered, “Caroline, just because your marriage failed, doesn’t mean mine will.” Caroline opened her mouth in astonishment. Roxy stood up from the chair and hugged Caroline. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to say that. I don’t know what came over me. Please, forgive me.” Roxy separated from the hug to look at Caroline.

“There is no need to apologize. You were just being sincere.” Caroline turned around and went to change into another dress. As she changed, she wondered how Roxy knew about that. Then Caroline remembered how many people were witnessing the scandalous fight taking place in the venue. “It probably was all over the news,” Caroline thought, “I’m guessing the P.R Department managed to keep the scandal under control.”

Once Caroline stepped back into the lounge, Roxy exclaimed, “that one! That’s the one. It fits you perfectly and you will stand out from the other bridesmaids. Caroline wore a teal blue dress with an opening on her right leg. Roxy walked closer to Caroline and handed her a glass of champagne. They clicked their glasses together and Roxy said, “I can’t wait for it to be tomorrow!”

“Aren’t you nervous?”

“A little, but it’s fine. I will marry the love of my life and we will be happy forever.” Caroline chuckled. “I’m guessing that if Vincent and Chuck approve of him, he must be a good man.”

“He is. Though it took them a while to warm up to him, they finally came around and after three years, we are finally getting married. I am so happy that you are here with me, Caroline. Seriously, I am so grateful that you will be present at my wedding.” Caroline giggled. “When did you two meet?”

“Three years ago. We started dating six months later. And then I took him to meet my parents.”

“What did Alexandra think of him?”

“It’s my mom we are talking about, how do you think she reacted?” Caroline and Roxy laughed together.

When Caroline was finally done choosing a dress, she returned to her office. She sat on her chair and resumed her work. She was halfway through the piles of documents sitting on top of her desk when Joseph knocked on the door. “Come in.” Joseph stepped inside her office and said, “the candidates are here.” Caroline stood up from her desk and walked towards the door.

When they arrived at the meeting room, Caroline walked inside first. Her aura frightened the candidates. She sat down and the meeting began. With her busy schedule, Caroline could only do a meeting like this. After all, Joseph had already picked the candidates himself. Caroline was just doing one final check.

After the meeting ended, Caroline and Joseph sat in the large meeting room. Caroline looked around the giant rectangular table and said, “I liked the woman. She has the same vision as me when I first started in this industry. She seems to have quite the amount of experience, too.” Caroline sat up and walked towards the floor-to-ceiling window. “How are the numbers going?”

“They keep rising. Soon, they will go back to normal.”

“Good, the sooner they go back to normal, the sooner we can leave.”

Caroline walked to the door and opened it. She left the meeting room and walked to the elevator. She pressed the button to the top floor of the building and went to her office. The elevator arrived and she got off. She walked past the secretary division and went inside her office. She sat on her seat again to continue her work.

When she finally got off work, it was at a decent time, unlike yesterday. She looked at the time on her phone and remembered she had to get ready for Roxy’s rehearsal dinner. As Joseph drove to her penthouse, she decided to make a quick stop somewhere else.

When they arrived at the apartment building, Caroline got off the car and went inside. She got on the elevator and pressed the button to the fortieth floor of the building. When she arrived, she got off and went to apartment number four hundred forty-four. She knocked on the door in hopes of seeing the person she had been dreading to meet in the past four years.

“Care Bear?” The man called out as soon as he opened the door. “Teddy,” Caroline spoke. “Caroline, I can’t believe you are here.” Sebastian suddenly embraced Caroline in a hug. “I’ve missed you so much.”

“I’ve missed you, too, Teddy.” Caroline and Sebastian entered the apartment and sat on the couch in the living room. “I’m so glad you are still living here,” Caroline commented. “And I’m so glad to finally see you again. I never thought you would come back to New York,” Sebastian spoke, “I can’t believe you left, just like that and never contacted me.”

“I’m sorry, Teddy. I never planned for this to happen. The day I called you, that same day I destroyed my phone. I wanted to forget about my life here. I wanted to forget everything, but I never could.”

“But at least you are back now.”

“Not for long. I’m here for business then I will be going back to Miami.” Caroline looked around and added, “where is Jennifer?”

“We broke up two years ago.”

“What? Why?”

“She broke up with me because she knew I didn’t have the same feelings she had for me.”

“What? But you were together for many years.”

“Caroline, I- I liked her, but I never loved her.” Sebastian took a deep breath. “You are the one I love. I’ve been in love with you all these years, but I never got the courage to tell you... Before you can say anything, I want you to know that I know how you feel about me. I know you only see me as a brother, and I am fine with that.”

“Teddy-.” Then Caroline’s phone began to ring. “You should take that.” Caroline looked in her handbag for her cellphone. She looked at the caller ID and offered, “would you like to meet my kids?” Stunned by the question, Sebastian responded after a second, “ye- yes, of course.” Caroline answered the FaceTime call and the sweet voice of the little girl on the screen echoed in the living room. “Hi, mommy.” Caroline smiled and moved closer to Sebastian. “Hi, my little angel.”

“Who is that, mommy?” Asked the little girl as she saw Sebastian. “This is my best friend, Sebastian. Say hi, Mia.”

“Hi, mommy’s friend. I’m Mia and this is my brother, Ian.” Mia moved closer to Ian and they both showed a sweet smile while looking at the phone screen. Sebastian looked at Caroline and whispered, “you had twins?” Caroline nodded.

After talking with the twins for a while, Caroline hung up the phone. Sebastian looked at Caroline and asked, “are you with someone right now?”

“No,” Caroline responded. “Then who is the father?” Caroline said nothing. After a pause, Sebastian added, “are they his?” Caroline instantly knew who he was referring to. Caroline stayed quiet. Her silence told him the answer. “They look a lot like him,” he commented.

“Your breakup with him was pretty bad. I know it has been a long time, but do you still have feelings for him?” Caroline stayed silent. To avoid answering the question, Caroline hugged him and said, “it was great seeing you again, Teddy.”

After saying goodbye, Caroline left to go to her penthouse. She went straight to her bedroom. She went to the bathroom and took a shower.

As she showered, she remembered the confession Sebastian made. Then, she remembered how Jennifer used to say that if a man and a woman had a rather long friendship, it was because at least one of them was in love with the other.

When she finished taking a shower, she stood in front of the vanity in the bathroom and blow-dried her beautiful chestnut hair. She stepped inside her closet and chose an outfit for tonight.

After Caroline got ready, she went to the restaurant the rehearsal dinner was being held. She went inside and found Roxy close by. “Caroline King, as fashionably late as ever,” Roxy commented. Caroline laughed and gave Caroline a hug. “This is my fiancé, Maximo Diaz.” Caroline extended out her hand. “Pleasure to meet you, Caroline King, Roxy’s cousin.”

“She is the one I told you about.”

“The pleasure is all mine.” As soon as they stopped shaking hands, Roxy grabbed Maximo’s arm and said, “let’s go greet some other guests.” Maximo nodded as they walked away. Caroline stood alone looking around the restaurant when someone grabbed her arm. She turned to look at the person gripping her arm so tightly.

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