Chapter Six - Daniel
I lay in the dark staring up at the ceiling for so long that the shadows began to look like other things. Guilt coursed through me, and for more than one reason. I had promised Kyla everything would be okay, but she was already being forced to go against something she had specifically asked for. Aside from that, the night before was still playing in my mind. The scumbag of a fiance was probably at home cheating on her, and I didn’t have the balls to speak up.
Kyla was going to hate me, and I didn’t blame her.
Once she had fallen asleep I slipped out of the room and made my way down to the kitchen. Warren’s daughter Delilah was nursing a glass of something. She looked up at me and smiled.
She was beautiful, and exactly the type of girl I’d usually take home for a bit of fun. But that urge was gone now and I wasn’t sure why.
“Care for a night cap?” She grinned, already turning to grab another glass.
She leaned across the kitchen island to slid the glass to me, and then, as she leaned over, allowing the top of her breasts to spill from her singlet she poured the drink. I wait for my body to be affected, for even the slightest rise of a hard on, but there was nothing. It was probably just as well. I couldn’t sleep with the potential business partner’s daughter, fake engaged or not.
I lifted the glass and swallowed the liquid.
“I’d better go to sleep.” I smiled placing the glass down. “Thanks for the drink.”
“Anytime.” She murmured, giving me a sultry smile.
I went back to the bedroom, the sound of Kyla softly breathing was comforting. I lay down and allowed myself to just listening to her sleep. Eventually I relaxed enough that I dropped off.
When I woke the next morning Kyla was already awake. She was tapping away on her keyboard, biting on the end of a pen. I watched her, so focused on what she was doing. An attribute that had help get our business to where it was.
“Morning wife to be.” I said sitting up. “Working first thing?”
“Tom sent me another email. I’m just sending him the info he needs. We should probably head down for breakfast together.” She said glancing away from the screen for a moment. “You know, to put a united front forward… or whatever.”
I smiled and nodded. “I might grab a shower first.”
“Go right ahead, I’m about ten minutes away from being finished anyway.” She replied, looking back at her work.
The day passed quickly. Warren had a car organised to take us around the city. For a while the reality of our situation was nothing but a distant memory. It was just us and London’s sights.
When we arrived back it was late afternoon.
Kyla and I walked into the kitchen, Delilah who sat at the table looked up and smiled.
“Lovely day?” She murmured sweetly, her voice stripped of the sex appeal she had thrown my way the night before.
“It was.” Kyla smiled. “So much beauty, I’m afraid one trip around might not be enough for me.”
“Well, in that case, how about we head out to a karaoke bar tonight, you may as well see some night life. It won’t be much I’m afraid, being a Monday.”
“That actually sounds kind of amazing.” Kyla said elbowing me in the side. “Don’t you think? It’s been an age since I sang.”
I smiled and nodded. I hadn’t heard Kyla’s voice for years. Since high school at least, unless you counted the humming she sometimes did in the office when she was really concentrating.
“Alright, well I’ll have Harry take us around 8:30. Help yourselves to anything. Daddy said you should both make yourselves at home.”
Delilah stood up and walked over to the archway by the stairs. “I’ll be upstairs, shout if you need anything.”
The double meaning behind Delilah’s offer went over Kyla’s head. Which was just as well, even though I wasn’t interested in the slightest, Delilah’s continued flirtation could cause trouble for us.
Later that night we headed to the bar. Kyla swiped through the song choices on the tablet while Delilah got a round of drinks. She had barely rejoined the table when she picked a song and ran up on stage.
The song was “Need a little sugar in my bowl.” I’d heard the song before, the lyrics were basically a euphemism for sex.
Delilah sung the song, and she sung it well, but it was very obvious, to everyone in the room she was singing to me. Even Kyla picked up on it. SHe leaned over the table and placed her hand over mine. “Something I should know fake fiance?” SHe grunted through gritted teeth.
“No.” I replied, turning my attention to her, focusing on her.
“You got up last night, I was awake. Now the daughter of our potential business partner is singing about sleeping with you.”
“Nothing happened.” I replied.
“If you say so.”
“You sound like a jealous girlfriend.” I teased.
“We’re meant to be engaged remember. If you’re off canoodling with the bosses daughter at first opportunity we’re sunk before we’ve set sail.”
“Like I said, nothing happened and nothing will happen.”
Delilah finally finished her song. She swaggered herself back to the table and sat down. “How about you Danny boy.” She soothed. “Are you going to serenade us ladies?”
I looked at Kyla and grinned. Girl could sing…. And not just run of the mill singing, she could blow the roof off this place. I grabbed Kyla’s hand and nodded. “Together, just like everything else right babe?”
Kyla went to say no, I guess after Delilah’s display she had grown iffy, but she glanced at Delilah who was already amping to take her place. Finally she grinned and stood up. “Just like everything else babe.” She repeated.
We picked ‘Because you loved me’ by celine Dion and even though it had been a while since Kyla had sung, at least in my presence, she smashed it out of the park. The entire bar burst into applause as he hit the penultimate note together, and then again as the song finished. I stood there, surprised to find myself shaking. I wasn’t the kind of person to get stage fright, but I wasn’t exactly sure that was what this was anyway. I smiled at Kyla and wrapped my spare arm around her waist, pulling her in close.
“Think she’s jealous?” She whispered, smiling up at me with mischief in her eyes.
“Why don’t you give her something to be jealous of.” I replied back, aware I was playing with fire.
I didn’t expect Kyla to do anything. We had set ground rules and I was goading her into breaking one of them. She stepped in closer as she slipped the microphone into the stand, then placed her hand on my chest. I felt my jaw clench involuntarily and then, before i could say or do anything else she pressed her lips against mine. My eyes closed, and the sound of the bar and people all around us seemed to quieten until it was silent in my head, all I could focus on was her lips on mine. I let my body take over, my reactions became an extension of myself. I let my tongue graze hers, and for a moment I forgot that this was fake, that it was just a way to pull the wool over Delilah’s eyes and as a bonus, make her jealous. But the reminder of the truth came swiftly when Kyla pulled back, my eyes opened and I could see the horror in hers. I smiled and slipped my hand around hers, leading her down off the stage.
“Wow, you guys have some amazing voices.” Delilah cooed.
“Thanks.” Kyla smiled, but I’d known her long enough to know the smile was fake. She looked at me and yawned. “I think I’m a little overtired. Do you mind if we head back?”
I shook my head. “No it’s fine. Uh should we find our own way back or did you want to come too?”
Delilah nodded and grabbed her purse from the table. “Yes, let’s head home. I’ve got a bottle of jack with our names written all over it.”
“Count me out.” Kyla murmured. “I’m ready for sleep.”
“All the more for us then huh Daniel.”
Kyla was silent the entire ride home, and even though Delilah tried to make small talk, I was toc. I was far too worried about how Kyla felt. How our kiss had affected her. In less than 24 hours we had thrown two of our own rules aside. She had to be feeling stressed out.
When the cab pulled up outside the mansion Delilah led us inside. Kyla slipped away, upstairs. I wanted to follow her, but I wasn’t sure what I was going to say yet. I didn’t have words to fix this situation right now.
I follow Delilah into the kitchen. She poured us both a glass of whiskey then walk over to me, placing the cup in my hand. “I have to ask.” She said slowly. “With a voice like yours, why didn’t you follow in the family footsteps.”
I looked down at the glass and smiled. I had contemplated it once, but it had been little more than a fleeting thought. I had a mind for business, and it was where my passions lay.
“I liked being behind the scenes more I guess.” I smiled.
“With a face like yours.” She whispered. “Such a waste.”
I knew she was flirting, but I ignored it and drank the drink. “I should probably head to bed.”
“Your bed, or mine.” She whispered.
“Delilah.” I replied slowly.
“Relax Daniel. I won’t tell if you don’t. People like us, we have a high sex drive. We need it.”
“People like us?” I mirrored back.
Delilah didn’t answer, instead she stepped closer to me, and before I knew what was really happening her lips were on mine. It felt wrong, and despite the fact Kyla wasn’t really my fiance, it felt like cheating.
I took hold of Delilah’s shoulders and moved her backward.
“I don’t know what kind of person you think I am Delilah. But I love my fiance and I would never want to hurt her.”
Delilah frowned, she bit her lip and shrugged. “Your loss I spose.”
I left the room, escaping the awkward situation and walked up stairs as I tried to work out what had just happened. I hadn’t given Delilah any indication I was interested, because truth be told. I wasn’t. I walked into the room and Kyla had her suitcase on the bed. She was furiously repacking it. My heart sunk.
“I’m sorry. This was a mistake, We’ve been here such a short time already and I’ve put you out of your comfort zone and as a result we’ve already broken two of the rules.” I groaned and closed the door behind me.
“Three.” She said under her breath as she zipped the case up.
“It’s none of my business.” She replied dismissively, pulling her case off the bed. Then she stopped and looked up at me. “Actually, it is. How the hell is Warren Star going to believe we’re serious if you’re down there canoodling with his daughter. I mean sure she’s beautiful, but we’re meant to be engaged.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I replied. “I’m not interested in Delilah.”
She sighed and rolled her eyes. “I came downstairs. I changed my mind about the drink. Turns out hard liquor might just be the only thing to wipe the memory of the kiss that shouldn’t have happened from my mind.” She folded her arms across her chest. “Only I find you two kissing. In the middle of the kitchen for cripes sake. What if I had been Warren.”
I clicked and shook my head. “She kissed me, she’s got it in her head that we’re compatible.” I offered. “But I’m not interested Kyla. I told her as much. Despite what you think of me, I care about you and respect you too much to chase tail when the stakes are so high.”
Kyla huffed and leaned back on the ball of her heel. “Do you expect me to be thankful Daniel? Even if the kiss wasn’t reciprocated, you said yourself. We’ve broken two rules already. I’ve cheated on my fiance. Cheated! I’m not like that Daniel.”
I clenched my teeth, if I could have told her about Jeff I would have, but in this moment I was too worried about keeping her here. We’d come too far to falter so close to the finish line.
“I wouldn’t sweat it Kyla. It was a kiss and were just acting.” I replied.
I’d have to dissect the kiss we’d shared when we were back home. At some point it had switched gears from acting to feel as real as any kiss I’d ever had, and then some.
“If you say so. I’m going home though. Calling it quits while we’re ahead.” She muttered. “Or behind.” She dragged the suitcase across the floor, pulling it toward the door.
“Please, don’t go.” I sounded more desperate than I had planned too, but it caught her attention anyway. She turned to look at me and shrugged. “Why Daniel. We shouldn’t have to jump through hoops like this to get a company to want to work with us. I should have nixed this when I had the chance.”
“We’re here now, In two days time when we have the final business meeting we can come clean and hopefully leave with a signed agreement. But if we don’t, if we fail don’t you at least want to be able to say we gave it our all?”
I knew I was clutching at straws, but appealing to her inner ambition might just be the only way to get her to stay. I watched her as her shoulders slumped, her fingers slid off the handle of her case and she looked over at me.
“Don’t let me regret this.”