The watch hands in the Patek Philippe Tiffany & Co. White gold automatic Calatrava wristwatch was ticking too slowly towards 3 pm for Dominic. At least that’s what he felt, as he glanced at his wristwatch while having lunch at his villa. His best friend Sebastian Collins joined him for lunch.
Noticing his friend’s restlessness and repeated glancing at him towards his watch Sebastian finally spoke up.
“I never knew you have started having an obsession towards your wristwatch Nic.”
“I have an important appointment at 3.” He stated in an irritated tone.
“As far as I was aware, we were supposed to be on our way to New York and attaining the charity ball at the Vanderbilt’s later tonight, your deal with the Greek man is sealed and something tells me it has nothing to do with work, what is it.” Now that they had finished eating and the table cleared, he leaned on the chair stretching both his leg on the side-eyeing his friend curiously with his blue eyes. He had honey blond hair which was carelessly finger combed, he was of the same height as Dominic, and also a billionaire.
They were family friends the friendship dated back to their great grand Fathers. They were of Irish decent coming to the new world to make fortunes and they were very successful at that and despite the ups and downs of life, the two families managed to maintain the bond.
Their families were the wealthiest in the states, and also in the whole world for that matter, they were considered and treated almost like royals. But they were also very discreet on showing off their wealth, very guarded about their private life, seldom on the tabloids. So not many people knew much about them, but definitely, everyone knew how rich and powerful the Kings and the Collins family were.
“Nothing that would pique your interest,” said Dominic, unconsciously glancing at his watch, it was quarter to 1 pm, dammit it! it really was a slow day. He could have met her right now instead of 3 o’clock as planned. But he didn’t want to push himself on her too much, especially after what she said last night.
For God sake, even he doesn’t know what kind of relationship he wants with her. But one thing was sure from the kisses they shared and not only that just talking with her and being with her in her company made him feel alive.
This feeling was so new to him, he had been with countless women all casual relationships, all for the fulfillment of physical needs and company. The women he had been with never occupied his mind like the way Arabella was doing.
He felt the urge to tell her that she deserves more than just casual flings, she deserved to be appreciated, to be pampered, to be adored and to be loved. Loved??? Did he just say, Love? Fuck!! What the hell was wrong with him and flushed at that thought. He was pulled back from his conflicted thoughts by his friend.
“Nic I know you better than anyone else, heck even your parents don’t know you better than I do, I have got all day and if you don’t want to be delayed for the date and keep your lady waiting, I suggest you start talking,” now Sebastian was eyeing him with more intensity.
Dominic sighs irritated,” Fine, I met this girl yesterday,” but before he could continue Sebastian interrupted him.
“Aha I was right, is she hot, a Greek beauty I presume?”
“She is from New York.”
“Better! You can still continue whatever is going on with you guys back home,” he said in a whimsical tone.
“Not a slide chance of that happening, she wants it to be a onetime thing,” he said rather too bitterly then he intended it to be.
“Will isn’t that great, I mean most of the time the women we associate with no matter how clearly we put it across to them that it’s just casual, but they end up aiming at dragging us down the aisle.”
“But it’s different with her, I don’t know why but I don’t want it to be a onetime thing with her.”
“My friend, you are seriously disturbed, did you guys have sex?”
" I’m sure it’s just physical attraction, maybe once you guys have sex you won’t feel that strongly about her and besides it’s the first time a woman is setting the terms, not the great Dominic King so it might have hurt your ego a bit,” Sebastian chuckled as he said those last words.
Shaking his head, Dominic trying not to laugh at what his friend said,” you and your genius theories Sebastian,” Dominic chuckled checking his watch and smiled because it was 2:15 pm.
He can finally go and meet her.
“As much as I want your wise advice I have to go, I’ll see you in New York in two days,” saying that he stood up from his chair.
“Okay fine but mark my words Nic I’m always right if you want we can bet on knight,” he grinned evilly. Knight was a racing horse Dominic bought at an auction for $17 million last year and true to its price the horse was a powerhouse, winning races after the race.
“Not a chance, and no I don’t think you are ever right,” Dominic smugly replied.
They both walked out of the villa and before getting into their respective cars Sebastian asked,“where is the date at.”
“None of your fucking business Sebastian.”
“Oh so secretive are we, don’t worry I won’t spy on you guys like I did on your first date.” Sebastian chuckled.
“Do something Sebastian go get laid I think you are sexually frustrated.”
“Oh I intend to, maybe I’ll score one at the charity ball.”
“Only you would go with those thoughts to a charity ball,” Dominic returned shaking his head,“I’ll see you in New York.”
“Sure and don’t do anything you need rescuing from Nic,” Sebastian chuckled and they both slide inside their respective cars. Sebastian’s was a black Bugatti Charon and Dominic’s was a silver Mercedes Benz Maybach Exelero. He drove off first followed by Dominic.
She was pacing around the hotel room contemplating whether she should call Dominic and find out if their plan was still on, apart from the”Good morning Arabella can’t wait to see you,” message around six in the morning, she hadn’t heard from him and it was now quarter to 3 she was already ready. She wore a nonfussy short white summer wrap dress and underneath she wore her one piece rose vintage yellow maillot swimsuit.
Chewing on her lower lip nervously debating where to call him or not than her phone rang she picked up the phone which was lying on her bed wishing it was him. She gave a small smile at the caller and answered the phone trying her best to sound calm and not excited nervous.
“Hey Arabella I hope you are ready, I’ll be there in 15 minutes.”
“Yes, I’m ready, Dominic.”
“Cool, I’ll see you then.”
She wore her aqua green ballerinas and quickly checked herself one last time in the mirror took her tote bag, locked her room and went downstairs to wait for him in the hotel lobby.
No sooner she reached the lobby of the hotel, Dominic appeared. He was wearing casual light color jeans and a gray t-shirt which nicely hugged his body showing his toned body. Arabella tried hard not to ogle at him but her eyes won’t stop ogling at him and what’s worse she stood in the spot as if she was rooted there permanently.
He strode towards her and gave a peck on her lip,” it looks better without the t-shirt on, don’t worry you will get to see it soon.” Winking at her and chuckled seeing how mortified she was.
Arabella flushed deeply, she could literally feel her cheeks burn out of nervousness she threw him a playful punch on his left shoulder, “You wish, I just zoned out, sorry you don’t affect me at all,” She scrunched her nose and walked out of the hotel with Dominic closely following behind her.
Once they settled into the vehicle and Dominic started driving, Arabella asked him, “so where are we going for the cliff diving, are we going to the usual tourist spots or.”
“It’s a surprise,” he said glancing briefly at her, he had a secretive smile about him.
“Oh good I like surprises,” she smiled looking ahead, after a second or so she glanced at him grinning evilly,“hope you remember the threat I made yesterday.”
Dominic chuckled,“I have imprinted that in my mind don’t worry. So you like surprises huh good, I like surprising people, doing things on a whim except for work, at work I like things to be in order always,” he stated with conviction.
“We have the same work ethic but I’m afraid it’s the same for me outside work too, I never do things on a whim, except now.”
“I am glad I’m the reason you broke out of your shell.”
“Yes I guess it’s not bad maybe I should try to inculcate this in me,” he smiled when she said that. Arabella noticed that they have headed towards the deck the same place where they were yesterday. Once Dominic parked the car in the parking space, they got out of the car and walked down the deck towards his yacht.
Once they were on board his captain greeted them and they sailed towards the destination. After what seemed to be nearly an hour of sailing they approached an island it was a sight to behold the whole island was dressed in greenery and a lone house which looked more like a mini-mansion was nestled on the mount of the island surrounded by the greenery and rocky edges.
“Welcome to Aine my private slice of heaven, I come here when I want peace and quiet, I named the island after the Irish goddess.”
“It is so beautiful Dominic, I love it. Thank you for bringing me here,” she was awestruck by the view, the white sand beach, the clear blue water, and the greenery all mashed up together made the island feel so surreal.
“I’m glad you like it,” he held her hand and led her towards the house which was about roughly 20 minutes of walking from the beach, and just as she suspected it was a mini-mansion. They were greeted by the housekeeper, she was a Greek lady, and she seemed to be in her early forties.
“Welcome mister Dominic,” she gave a warm smile.
He returned her smile,” Thank you. Helena, this is Arabella.”
“Nice to meet you, Miss Arabella, please come in,” the older lady smiled at her and ushered them into the house.
Arabella noticed that the inside of the house was as breathtaking as the outside, the floors were of European walnut floors and it had coral stone walls. The housekeeper excused herself to the kitchen probably to bring refreshments. Dominic ushered her upstairs, they climbed the stairs and when they reached the top Dominic directed her towards a room on the right, “You can use this room for changing.”
“You’re welcome; I’ll see you in a bit.” He smiled and strode towards his bedroom.
She went inside the room that Dominic directed her to use. The bedroom had a queen size bed with tall glass clear windows overlooking the sea, the interior were modern and chic. She quickly discarded her dress and now that she realized she will be going out only with the swimsuit she felt so conscious.
She fished her beige sarong and her flip-flops from her oversize tote bag. Ah! The magic bag for every girl you can dump your whole world in it, she tied the sarong around her waist, wore the flip-flop and took a last nervous breath and ushered herself out of the room.
Dominic was also coming out of his room which was to the far left. He was shirtless just wearing casual shorts and a flip-flop, she tried her best not to ogle at him but it was just so impossible, the air suddenly became so thick to breathe. And to make matters worse he was unflinching in the way his gaze roamed over her from head to toe, clearing his throat, he walked towards her.
“Ready?“He said holding her hand and ushered her towards the terrace.
“Yes, but to be honest I’m nervous.” She confessed her apprehension.
“Don’t worry you will be fine,” he said squeezing her hand gently reassuring her.
“I don’t get freaked out by heights but jumping to great heights is something else,” she returned nervously.
They climbed a fleet of stairs that led them to the terrace which was at the back of the house; the floor of the terrace was all covered in polished ipe-wood. It was quite spacious with a Jacuzzi in the far right corner, rows of four big chaise lounge chairs, she untied her sarong and left it on one of the chairs.
The open terrace walks right towards the cliff overlooking the sea below. As they stand at the end of the cliff, she started panicking, sensing her fear he said still holding her hand and caressing the back of her hand with his thumb.
He assured her, “Arabella don’t worry we will jump together okay, you will enjoy it trust me,” he cupped her face with both his hands and spoke gently,” you trust me right?” to which she nodded.
Inhaling a deep breath, “Okay let’s get this over with, the more the delay the more I’ll panic.” She gave a soft nervous laugh trying her best not to look down but just straight towards the vast expanding ocean.
“Let’s do it then, here hold my hand and on the count of 3 we jump okay.” He held her hand in a firm grip.
“Roger that,” she playfully added making both of them laugh.
Dominic started counting and the moment he hit the number three they jumped, Arabella closed her eyes tightly, her feet floating lightly his firm grip never leaving. Despite her nervousness earlier, she liked the adrenaline rush it gave her and just when she thought they were free falling in a never ending way, their bodies splash in the warm salty ocean water. Once they surfaced on the water, wiping the water from her face she started laughing, “Oh my God Dominic I loved it.”
“Told you, you’d love it,” he moved closer to her and wrapped his hands around her waist and gazing down at her with smiling eyes.
“You are so adorable you know that.” He smiled bending down and giving a peck on her lips.
Blushing profusely at how their body was so close to each other, she playfully pushed him away from her.
“Want to race me to the shore?”
“Sure if that’s going to stop you from blushing.” He cocked his left brow smirking at her.
“I wasn’t blushing,” she giggled and started swimming towards the shore which wasn’t that far. Once they were on shore, Dominic suggested they go relax in the Jacuzzi.
They settled themselves in the Jacuzzi sitting side by side sipping on champagne and enjoying the view of the sea.
“Do you often come here?” asked Arabella.
“I try to, but it’s been long, I am coming here after a year now, work sucks up all my time.” It was true if it weren’t for her, he wouldn’t be here he would be in New York.
“Ah that’s a shame, this is place is a Paradise,” she said dreamily her gaze locked on the view before them.
“I’m glad I brought you here, why don’t we stay back here for the night we can go back tomorrow if that’s okay with you,” he suggested keeping the glass on the stool near him and turned to face her.
Toying carelessly with her glass, contemplating whether to accept his offer.
But he spoke up before she could come up with a definite answer,” don’t worry I won’t try to seduce if that is what you are worried about.” He teased.
Arabella let out a small laugh blushing profusely and kept the glass on the stool beside her and turned to face him, poking her index finger on his chest,” I am not easily seducible Dominic.”
He caught her hand and brought it to his lips and planted a kiss,” I like that I make you blush,” saying that he pulled her towards him spreading her legs and wrapped it around his waist and captured her lips kissing her passionately.
“I want you, Arabella. Do you want me,” He asked pressing his forehead against hers both of them panting with that torrid kissing.
“I am not ready, I can’t. I’m sorry,” she released herself from him and moved a little further away from him but he came closer to her pinning her against the Jacuzzi. He tilted her chin upwards to meet her gaze.
“I understand, I won’t force you to do anything you don’t want okay. But please don’t push me away, I want to really get to know you more,” cupping her face with both his hands,“I don’t want it to be a onetime thing between us, you are far more special to me than that.”
She just stared at him wanting to say so much and at the same time blank as to what or how to say. He was trying to break down the walls that she had build so thick since Richard.
Part of her wants to just stop building that wall around her heart making herself harden which was not her at all. But that’s the only way she knew, she would never let someone hurt her and seeing how easily she is letting her guard down in front of Dominic scared her.
“Dominic I don’t know what to say, I wish I could tell the things you want to hear but I just can’t.” She heaved a deep sigh, “It’s complicated.” She whispered looking down.
“Complicated as in, you have someone back home, some unresolved issue, if.....”
“NO, I don’t have anyone waiting for me back home if that’s what you meant,” she returned abruptly cutting him off.
“Then what is it, Arabella, I am not asking us to be exclusive right away. I want us to spend more time together without any silly rules hanging around us and if what we feel for each other is more than the fulfilment of physical needs then we can think about being exclusive,” he released his hands from her and run his hand through his hair feeling a bit frustrated. But controlling himself because he didn’t want to appear pushy and scare her away.
“I really don’t want to talk about it Dominic, if you can’t get that I understand, I’ll leave,” she was starting to get annoyed but more at herself because she wasn’t prepared for this and she was so close to giving into him.
She started to climb out of the Jacuzzi but he pulled towards her and pinned her against the Jacuzzi his arms tightly wrapped around her waist, bringing his face so near to hers.
“Fine as you wish Arabella. But like I said last night I like challenges,” He stated. His grey-blue eyes darken with determination.
“I’m sorry.” She apologized for so many unsaid reasons. It was her fault she thought. She shouldn’t have given in to this kind of intimacy giving him false hope and also when her heart was still raw with heartache.
“I am not sorry at all for wanting you Arabella, I want you and I’ll pursue you.” He stated with so much passion and gave her a searing kiss making her go weak in the knees, heart palpitating at an alarmingly faster rate.
Her brain was telling her to deny him, but her emotions got the better of her and she heard herself say.
“Okay Dominic, I’ll give us a chance,” she smiled giving a peck on his lip.
He hugged her tightly and whispered in her ears,” You won’t regret it Arabella. I want all of you and there is no way I am letting you go remember that.” His determined words gave goose bumps all over her body making her shiver.
One thing was absolutely clear for Dominic, he wants her and that was it. He was not clear how it happened but she was it for him, there was no turning back.
“ Let’s go change and have dinner.” He suggested breaking their hug.
“Okay but can you please say yes to something.” she grinned.
“Anything for you babe.”
“Can we eat our dinner here, I’m still not done with the view here?” she said gesturing her hand towards the sea.
He gave a low laugh kissing her forehead,” I’ll tell Helena to set up the dinner here.”
The dinner went well and after downing the last glass of her wine, eyes so heavy she gave a small yawn.
“I think I should take you to bed and before you say anything don’t worry it’s only for sleeping unless you suggest of something else,” He teased smirking at her.
“Not a chance,” she replied and let out a long yawn but she quickly covered her mouth with the palm of her right hand.
Dominic stood up from his chair and scooped her into his arms, she didn’t protest she was too tired and sleepy to move even an inch. She was wearing his T-shirt which loosely fitted her and his pajamas which had to be rolled many times because it was too long for her.
Instead of taking her to the room she used today, he took her to his room. Once inside the room he gently laid her down on the bed putting her head on the soft fluffy feather pillow, she was already half asleep. He switched off the light and climbed the bed under the covers from the other side and before pulling her into his arms he gave a peck on her lips,“goodnight Arabella.”
To which she murmured a muffled goodnight which was barely audible. She was sleeping peacefully after what seemed to be days, resting her head on his chest like this was where she belonged all along.