Chapter 12: Maybe, I Will
I trail behind Red silently, he swipes our key card and pushes through into a large hallway, rolling our bags with him. Stepping into the space, I slip out of my heels, thankful for the free sensation that follows. Walking forward into the living space, I gawk at the sheer size and luxury of the kitchen, lounge room and dining area.
Red releases our suitcases beside a ridiculous oversized sofa. He turns to face me while removing his suit and beginning to tug at the black tie around his neck. “You hungry?” He mutters, fidgeting uncomfortably.
I shake my head, “no. You?”
“Yeah…” He mutters, finally freeing himself from the material.
I head to the kitchen and open the fridge and pantry. Nothing much aside from small cartons of milk and other basic necessities. Grabbing up complimentary chocolate bars, I hold them out to Red with a small shrug. He frowns, before taking them off me. Knowing this won’t keep him satisfied, I decide to head out and do some shopping.
Exploring the hotel room, I quickly come to terms with the lack of a bedroom. I move our bags into the one presidential bedroom and locate my wallet and phone. Moving back into the living space, I find Red gazing out the window. “Sir…” I gain his attention. He faces me, instantly zeroing in on my wallet, “I’m just going to head out for a minute.” I state.
He shakes his head, “why?”
“We need groceries, Red.” I deadpan.
He shrugs, “this is a hotel, Julia. Call room service.”
“Are you going to be happy with their selection?” I cock my head to the side.
He looks down for a moment, thinking something through. “It’s late.” He walks forward and takes my wallet from me. “I have a conference call, so I can’t come with you.” He also snags my phone. I stare with wide eyes as he discards of my items in his back pockets. “So… order something for us.”
“Sir!” I gape at him. Ignoring me he grabs his laptop and takes a seat on the couch. Fuming I place my hands on my hips, he must think I’m a child… incapable of doing anything myself! His dark eyes flicker up at me, they glint with something unfamiliar before drifting back to his screen. Pick your battles, wisely. Biting my lower lip, I step up to the breakfast bar and dial up room service. I thoroughly explain our order to the lady on the other side of the line, expressing vividly Red’s dish. She assures me it’ll be to his liking.
I cut the call and lean against the barstool, my eyes trail over Red as he converses with shareholders. Every now and then he’ll look up at me, before clenching his jaw and returning to the conversation. It’s then I realise just how far Red is from me, he’s untouchable. Before I can wallow in self-pity there’s a knock on the door. I can feel my boss’ eyes on me as I walk barefoot to the door. Pulling it open, I smile at the young butler.
Opening the door wide, I allow him to brush past me with our trolley of food. “Where would you like it, ma’am?” He speaks quietly when I nod at Red.
Looking up at the waiter, I lead him to the living room and assist in transferring our food from the metal carrier to the marble coffee table. “Thank you,” I smile at him. I then hold my hand out to Red for my wallet, he holds out his own leather one. Rolling my eyes, I go to take it, before I can pull back his large hand wraps around my wrist. Tugging me forward, he wraps the same arm around my hip before opening the wallet.
I pull out some cash and hand it to the stunned waiter. Yeah join the party mate. Red’s actions leave me speechless. He squeezes my hip twice and I find myself glad that the conference isn’t webcam based. I swiftly remove his hold on my body and side step his following movements. Sending my boss, a confused look, I lead the young worker to the door. Disregarding the whole incident, I close the door and take a breath while leaning against it. It’s going to be one long business trip…
Pulling it together, I walk back to Red. He glares up at me. “I’m going to go change,” I mouth to him, overlooking his expression. Without waiting for his response, I quickly head for the bedroom. Glaring at the damn fogged glass wall, that separates this space from the lounge room. Who needs privacy these days, right.
Red’s silhouette mocks me, cursing I grab my bag and place it on the king size bed. Unzipping it, I take out a pair of sweatpants and a baggy t-shirt, before walking into the adjoining bathroom and removing my tight dress. Stepping into my clothes, I finally relax. Moving back to my bag, I tug on some socks before closing my dress inside the suitcase.
Exiting the room, I pull my long hair up into a bun. Red’s doesn’t notice my presence. His shoulders seem tense, his voice strained. Walking around, I sit opposite him on the ground and begin to dish out our food. I give him a thumbs up and his gaze softens. The call ends shortly after, he closes his laptop and I push it to the side, replacing it with a bowl of pasta. “Anything wrong?” I question.
“They’re fuckers, the lot of them.” He runs a frustrated hand through his hair.
I bite my tongue. “Do you want to take a shower, I’ll reheat your food?” I question.
He shakes his head, standing up and rounding the marble block. Lowering next to me, Red pulls his bowl towards back. Our bodies are inches apart, shuffling away slightly, I hope he doesn’t catch onto my reaction to the close proximity. “What are you doing?” Of course he knows. Keeping the urge to face palm at bay, I refuse to answer and he takes a bite. “Julia…”
“Hm?” I look up at him, instantly reeling at his lowered face.
He places a palm against rug behind me, the other reaches out to my face. I hold my breath as he pushes a loose strand of hair behind my ear, “this tastes like shit.” He breathes out in the most sensual voice I’ve ever heard, I almost miss the words.
“Oh…” Is my oh-so-intelligent response. Fucksake.
A small smirk crafts the corner of his mouth, leaning back he pushes up off the ground. “I’m going to go take that shower, tell them to bring up something else.” He places his wallet on the table before striding away from me. I can’t help but watch after him. Snapping out of my daze, I finally register his words. Picking up my fork, I taste his dish… moaning at the taste of the creamy pasta. Oh my… is he insane! I don’t know what shit he’s eating, but bloody hell is this good.
Grunting my annoyance at his behaviour, I think of a good plan.
Calling once again, this time I ask for them to bring up ingredients. “Are you sure ma’am?” The same woman I’d spoken to earlier questions. For the seventh time, I say, yes.
“He’s very picky,” I reply before giving her a list of items.
Several minutes later, there’s another knock on the door. Just as I step down from the barstool, Red emerges from the bedroom. My knees weaken at the site of him. Shirtless, clad in grey sweats. His hair is damp, small trails of water tease down his neck and defined torso. I find it hard to remember this man is my boss.
He doesn’t acknowledge my stunned state and looks towards the front door as there’s another knock. Snapping into action, I practically run to the entry. Pulling the panel open I smile up weakly at the same butler. He scans me for a second. Yes, well women don’t always look schmick! I go to tell the guy off, when he smiles down at me gently. His eyes sparkle and I quickly take the bags off him. “Shit!” I swear, realising I didn’t pick up Red’s card.
All of a sudden, the waiter steps back. I look up at him confused, and then I feel it. Red’s shadow falls over us, his brawny arm reaches over my shoulder as he passes the young man his credit card. “Enjoy the rest of your night…” He stutters out before handing Red his card back.
“Cheers, kid. We will.” I could practically feel the innuendo in Red’s tone. The man gives us a nod before scurrying away.
Unable to turn around, I allow Red to close the door. His front remains against my back, almost as if he’s intentionally trying to intimidate me. My chest rises and falls, his breath fans the back of my neck as his palms barricade me against the door. “What’s in the bag, Julia.” It’s not a question. Nothing escapes my mouth, instead I open the bag. “Smart girl.” He compliments, seeming pleased with my decision to cook.
All of a sudden, the loud shrill of his phone shatters the atmosphere, he swears in his mother tongue. I can’t help but wonder if Red’s purposely toying with me, there’s no way he’s unaware of his effect on women. Pushing away from the door, his shadow moves from me. I allow my shoulders to sag and clutch the bag tightly.
Turning slowly, I see Red move into the bedroom with his phone plastered to his ear. Taking this moment, I use the wall as support and enter the kitchen. Dropping the bag on the counter, I splash my face with cool water. Get a grip! Drying my face on one of the hand towels, I give myself a small pep-talk.
By the time Red returns, I’m in a much calmer position and chopping vegetables for his stir-fry. He slips onto a barstool and cups his chin, watching me with an examining gaze. It doesn’t take long for the tension in the room to rise. I can’t be imagining this… I count to a thousand in my head, going over pointless figures just to keep focused on the task at hand and not the brooding man across from me.
Fifteen minutes later, I place a large plate of lamb stir-fry in front of Red. He doesn’t think twice about digging in, I can’t help but smile at his behaviour. I start cleaning up, “Julia,” He demands my attention.
“Yes?” I question, bringing the untouched food from the lounge room to the kitchen. Its only then that I realise he’s pouting, biting my lower lip I don’t wait for him to continue, “I just want to put this in the fridge and then I’ll eat.
Leaning back, he waits for me to do just that, when I finish tidying the kitchen he takes our plates and heads for the lounge. I follow with some hand-squeeze lemon and orange juice. As soon as Red notices the beverages in my hand, he reaches out for a cup. I hold them away from him and gesture towards the sofa. “Julia…” He threatens. I raise an eyebrow, “fine.” He grunts before taking a seat.
I hand him the tall glass and take a seat beside him on the ground, together we finish our food with light banter. “Hotel room service, huh…” I mock, laughing as he nudges me with his knee. We place our dishes down on the coffee table “Just how long will you continue to bring that up?” If I didn’t know better, I’d believe he rolled his eyes.
I look up at him with a smirk, “I’m sure the chef won’t be too pleased…” Jokingly I tease him further, “what are you going to do without me,” the comment seems to set him off.
“Shut up, Julia.” He grunts.
Unaware of his mood, I can’t help but continue to chuckle, “make me.”
The laugh is cut short, before I can react; I find myself pushed back onto the plush rug. Red’s large body hovers over mine, his lips inches from my own. “Maybe, I will…”