PAST FLAME

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Chapter 6. Black Rose

HAILEY’S POINT OF VIEW

Simon led me to a room at the end of a long corridor. He opened the door for me and ushered me to go inside.

A woman about my age welcomed me. She laced her arms on mine and guided me to the bathroom.

“Welcome to your room, Ms. Hailey Blake. I’m Emelia Morante, I’ll be your make up artist for today.” She spoke.

“Emilia Morante? The famous makeup artist?” I’m surprised again.

She smiled and nodded. “Yes, exactly. The Bails are one of my favorite clients, Ms. Blake.”

Oh god, I must be dreaming. She’s the makeup artist of the rich and the famous. How was Gian able to hire her?

My jaw dropped. Gian is an Electrical Engineer. He’s got a great job and all, but he can’t hire someone like her. How could his family afford Emilia’s services?

I’m quite puzzled at all these mysteries. Gian has been my colleague for a year, and we’ve been great friends for that span of time. But with all these, I’m really shocked.

My eyes grew wide, as she showed me a huge bathtub filled with rose and sunflower petals. God, the aroma snuggled into my nose, and my heart melts instantly. I never thought that Gian is capable of such sweetness.

“You have 15 minutes to finish your bath, Ms. Blake. After that, I’ll do your hair and makeup in 30 minutes. Sorry, it’s Mr. Bail’s instruction, we really need to rush this.” She spoke softly.

I pursed my lips. How could I ever take a bath in 15 minutes? I shook my head and shut the bathroom door.

After a good 15 minutes soak, I stood up and wrap myself in a towel. My skin smelled like rose and sunflower altogether. I loved every bit of it.

I opened the bathroom door and slowly stepped outside. Emilia immediately led me to another room a few steps away. Oh god, we’re at a walk-in closet.

She handed me a black beaded dress and a pair of black beaded stilettoes. It's the most wonderful dress I’ve ever seen in my whole life.

She also helped me put the dress on. I fished the stilettoes out of the box, and my feet immediately glide on them.

Emilia smiled as she looked at me. “Let’s go. I’m gonna do your make up.”

We walk outside the closet, and she guided me to sit on a luxurious chair. “Since the theme of the party is black-rose. Your makeup will be as seductive and vulnerable like that of a black rose, sweetie.” She spoke with confidence.

I glanced at her, her face lit up. I can feel her excitement as she used her makeup brushes on me.

After thirty minutes, Emilia clapped her hands. “We’re done now, just as scheduled. You look really beautiful, sweetheart.”

She handed me a mirror and wow I’m surprised. Now I know why she’s paid big time. She’s definitely the best.

My eyeshadows were a mixture of smoke and crimson, and my lips were simply just pinkish nude. I loved it, and I couldn’t ask for more. “I like it. Thanks, Emilia.”

“Sure thing, Sweetie. Wait, I’ll call Mr. Bail, he said he’s gonna get you here.” She reached for her phone.

But before she could ever dial his number, we heard a faint knock on the door.

“It’s probably, Gian.” I stood up and opened the door myself. Indeed, it was him.

“Good day to you Mr. Bail.” Emelia greeted him. She immediately bowed her head. What the heck? Why are they all acting strangely towards him? Is he some kind of royalty? Probably, the prince of planet Neptune. I hold down a chuckle.

“I’ve just finished her make up.” She declared.

“Thank you, Emilia. You may leave now.” He spoke with authority.

She then gathered her things and left me and Gian alone.

“Gian, thank you for everything.” As I spoke, I bowed my head too.

I don’t know why I’m doing this, but all people here seemed to do it, so I somewhat thought that I should just imitate them.

“What are you doing?” He chuckled.

“It seems like a customary trait of all the people here, so I thought that I should just imitate them.” I spoke defending myself.

I was expecting that he’s gonna explain everything to me, but he didn’t. He was really silent.

He walks toward a distant cupboard and took a bottle of whiskey and two tulip glasses inside. He poured the fluid into the glasses and gave the other one to me.

I drank the fluid at once and grimaced as I felt the taste explode within me. God, it’s so good.

I stared at Gian and watched him as he slowly smelled the glass and gulped the fluid at a slow pace. Wow, he’s such a gracious drinker. I grinned at him.

He shot me a malicious smile. “Let’s go to the party. We’ll finish this later my, love.” He spoke.

Love? I looked at him puzzled. “Gian, what are we supposed to do at the party? Are we really gonna act out as lovers to make Harold jealous?”

I asked him, to at least clarify where I stand. He glared at me, his face suddenly turned sour. “Hailey, we’re not gonna act out as lovers. We are lovers, aren’t we? I already told you that you can have Harold and me. The game is survival of fittest. Whoever stays, wins the game and takes home the price.”

He rants. I froze for a while until I finally managed to talk. “And the price that you’re talking about is me. I’m no trophy, Gian. I can’t do this. We can act out as lovers, but we can’t be for real lovers.” I blurted out.

“Okay. Then, I’m sorry Hailey, if that’s the case, I won’t be able to help you with your troubles. How could I ever act out that I liked you when I really do like you? I thought that you’re cool about the idea that Harold and I will be your for real boyfriends.” He paced up and down.

“And I thought that you could help me the way I wanted to. We didn’t get each other.” I let out a heavy sigh.

The thought of having two boyfriends at the same time is really not me, I can’t do it. “I thought you could help me. I’m sorry too. Perhaps, I should go.”

I picked up my bag, and was about to leave, but he stopped me. “Don’t go. We’re still friends, right? Then please do join the party.”

I gave him a little nod. He leaned towards me and gently caressed my cheeks. “I really want to help you Hailey, but I can’t agree with your idea. I’ll only hurt myself in the end if we do it that way. I don’t wanna be the one sitting at the losing end of the bargain. I want to at least have an of assurance that one way or another I’m gonna have you all for myself. Do you understand what I mean?”

“I’m sorry.” I uttered as I gazed at him.


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