Chapter 14: Mr. Fate & Luck
“You’re not curious about my answer?”
“Nope,” Lucas said popping the ‘p’ glancing back at her as he pressed the G button of the elevator on a Friday night. Thorin leers at him as he closes his eyes, loosen his black necktie and pressed his back against the cold silver metal wall.
“Why not?” He flickered his eye open and peered at her, shrugging, “Because it takes time to think?” The rhetorical question made her sneer.
Gone was the placid, serious and calculated aura he had when he’s working with her, when he’s in a working situation. She hadn’t noticed this before, no wonder he never did once hit on her before. Business and pleasure was not in his vocabulary. Clearly.
Whenever he’s outside a working situation, he’s laid-back, honest, and charming. Very charming. Shifting her weight between her heels.
She shamelessly ogles at him, his two days old stubble made him rugged and sexy. Adding the fact that his white shirt was wrinkled, he quietly rolled up his sleeves to his elbow but froze when he noticed her stare.
She remembered him on the day where she saw him enter the ice cream parlor. Sighing at her memories. “Ms. Montréal is there something on my face?”
“You’re hot,” he momentarily glance away, probably processing what she just blurted out without thinking.
Then met her gaze again, “Is that why you like me? Because I’m... That?” He looked a matter-of-fact and businesslike, she was taken aback by his questions.
“What-- of course not!”
He nodded curtly, averting his eyes from her. Silence loomed over making Thorin uncomfortable. Of course, he didn’t like him because he’s good-looking! She likes him because she’s a great guy! And she’s never been with a good guy for crying out loud! Her list was full of jerky businessmen that she, herself chose.
“You didn’t believe me,” she concluded it to herself. “And so, you knew you were hot because you questioned me with that question. Hah!” Her words, chaotic and jumbled, she did not even understand what she said.
Lucas grunted, not even glancing at her, “I do not like the adjective when it refers to a human species. And, I’ve been described as such much to my dismay.”
She couldn’t help but laugh, overwhelmed by the new feeling of familiarity surging within her. She was about to say something when he picked up his phone and answered it.
Thorin listened quietly, watching him curl his lips, then would often shake his head and rolls his eyes.
“Where? .. Now? Okay, fine.” Lucas sighs as he slipped his phone back into his trouser pocket.
“Who was that?” She pipes, controlling her own curiosity. Lucas peek at her for a second, “My friend.”
“Who?” She was just curious, there’s nothing wrong in asking him the name of his friend or friends.
“Why are being cold to me all of a sudden?” It was an accusatory statement rather than a question out of curiosity. He puffs out air, “I was not, Ms. Montréal.”
“Yes,” she stands full as she faces him. “You are. Don’t tell me otherwise.”
Sighing, in his full stance he faces her and stare down at her. “I’m not.”
“Is this some kind of technique? I feel like you’re deliberately doing this, for me to say no.” Lucas clenched his jaw, tilting his head as he does so.
The elevator doors open, revealing an empty lobby, except for a few night guards on shift. She briskly walks away from the elevator. Heels clicking against the white cold marble floor of the vicinity.
Lucas groaned and followed her, with his full stride he catches up to her much to her dismay. He did not speak as they reach the doors.
Thorin stood quietly as she waited for her driver to pick her up. Hoping to hear a few words from him yet there has been none.
“I take that as a yes, then.” She was irritated and annoyed. She could feel her blood’s boiling point.
“Shut it!” Thorin hissed as she stood up front, arms crossed against her chest, eyebrows raising. Lucas gaped and froze, his right on his nape to rather massage it as he looks up and gaze at her again sighing, “Thorin that’s not-”
“Then, no. What do you even think of me, Lucas? Like some girl who cannot be tied down? Who hates commitment? Is that what you’ve been thinking?” Her orotund voice caught the attention of some passer-by.
“No. No,” Lucas looked like someone splash a cold water over him. Inspecting around as he edges closer to her, causing her to straighten her spine and look up to him. ” We can talk this out in private--”
The latter statement made Thorin’s brows hiked up higher, “Oh my God! That’s what you’re thinking all this time! No wonder you’ve been repulsive!”
He was appalled at her conclusion, he reached for Thorin’s hands, but she stepped away from him almost immediately. “Don’t dare come tomorrow,” her rough and raspy voice almost betraying her.
Thorin hastens to her waiting car, but stopped as she coldly glances back at him, “I don’t want to see you.”
“It’s been so long Veserati!” Mitchell hollered from the corner of the most secluded booth in a restaurant He was waving way too enthusiastically at Lucas who was frowning as he paves through the people.
Lucas was in a bad mood, he wasn’t the type to nurse over the type of mood. He was rarely in a bad mood. However, Thorin change that. He was hurt at how she concludes things at him.
He was tired from work and he didn’t want to engage in any conversation. He forgot how cold, he looked when he was tired. He was flippant and distant, he didn’t not want Thorin to think of that way. That would be the last thing he wanted her to think.
More so, he was angry at himself for being silent and rooted when Thorin’s outbursts hit him.
She was just that beautiful when angry and speaking her mind, amidst the danger of her words. She was that beautiful. Despite the dimly lit sidewalk, she was glowing.
Dios Mio. He liked it when she’s all riled up.
It gave him life. It was one of the odd things he liked about her. She sparked him. She makes him feel alive with her sudden change of mood, from displeasure, irritation, annoyance and anger, that intensity turned him on. Both mentally and physically.
“Just six months, it’s not that long Anderson,” Lucas sighs as he and Mitchell did their rusty old handshake.
“That’s a long time. I missed my BFF!” Mitchell said, patting his friend’s way too hard, causing him to frown at Mitchell.
“Please act try to act decent in front of me Anderson,” Lucas groans as he took the seat across Mitchell, placing his mirror like black helmet beside him. Mitchell immediately called the attention of the waiter which immediately gone after their table, “Bowl of vegetable-based soup. Yours, Veserati?”
Lucas quickly flips open the menu, skim through it, “Two lamb cutlets and vegetables, chicken strips with salad. Do you have Sauvignon Blanc?” Lucas inquired without glancing at the waiter as he continues to flip through the menu pages. He was hungry and quiet hurt so he need to shove some food in his stomach. It was tiresome to have such emotions.
“Yes, Sir,” Lucas nodded gaze up at Mitchell, who was observing his every move. “Do you want it?” Mitchell nodded, repeating and clearing their order once more the waiter left. Once the waiter was out of the earshot.
Mitchell leaned in, resting both his elbows on the table and held a scrutinizing gaze at Lucas who is currently staring at his phone.
"Veserati,” Mitchell called. Lucas looked up, raising his brows, with questioning looks, “Are you dating anyone right now?”
Lucas locked his gaze at his friend and shakes his head, looking down at his phone again. Mitchell leaned in closer, peering at the phone. Montréal. Probably his boss. Although the name was familiar, it can’t be though. There are plenty who possessed the same family name.
Mitchell sighs, “It’s been five years since your last relationship. Are you sure you’ve moved on?”
Lucas snorted, “Positive. Why?”
“Did you get enough sex for the past years?”
“No. I’ve been celibate, I’ve told you before.” he casually said as he unzips his black jacket. Mitchell coughs incredulously, “Until now? The fuck?! Are you preparing for marriage or something? Is this some kind of tradition of your Italian family?”
Lucas shakes his head as creases forming on his forehead, “Not really. But perhaps yes?”
“The hell does it mean? You knew I can’t marry until you get hitched. Do you remember that?” Mitchell groaned, giving his friend a pointed look.
“Huh? Whatever do you mean?” Lucas asked innocently, oblivious to his friend’s growing frustrations. He fished out and unlocked his phone, hoping for a message from Thorin. He swore he heard a beep, guess it was not his phone.
“That was our friendship pack!” Glancing up, Lucas stared at his friend like he grew a pair of horns.
“You were probably just drunk when you did that,” he prompted nonchalantly as he tried to dial Thorin’s number, but was declined immediately before he could place the phone beside his ear.
"Veserati,” Mitchell called him again. Mitchell furrows his brows as he rests his back. Observing ever move his friend made. Locking and unlocking of his phone. Mitchell peered again.
Miss Montréal. Montréal. No way.
Then he remembered that Lucas unconsciously talked about applying for an assisting job on some Montréal Inc. It was strange that the name itself was familiar and rang a bell. Then it hit him.
Lucas looked up with grave annoyance, “Come on! Stop calling me by that name, already. You’ve been swearing the whole time!”
“Shut up! You’ll always be a Veserati to me anyway. Ti voglio bene!” Mitchell trying so hard to copy the original accent.
“Stai zitto.” Lucas stares at his smirking friend. Lucas’ annoyance grew. He was annoyed that his text messages were not even read! His calls were going through voicemail. Great. This would be the end.
He was given the chance of a once in a lifetime and he messed it up by being a coward.
He’s been dreaming about this for the whole ten years. He was imagining this would happen. That his muse would like him back. Confess to him, kiss him, be with him. Now he just lost that chance.
“What was that?” Mitchell prompted as he straightened his spine distracted by the food that are served at their table. Lucas checks his phone once again, hoping there would be a reply but none came.
“Shut up.” Lucas curtly said as he started to devour his food. “Wow. You’re strangely mean today. Who wounded you? We should call up the gang. Our baby was hurt.”
“How was your game?” Lucas redirected the topic. He did not want to tell about his booboo that was caused by Thorin, again. “Same old. It would be better--”
“We play soccer together,” Lucas finished his sentence. Mitchell had never moved on from his sentiments, since they’ve gone their separate ways after high school. Mitchell got a scholarship for playing the sports and got his dreams come true. Made it to a professional team and made it big. Lucas wiped his mouth with a table napkin.
“It was your dream too. But you were too distracted that day, which caused you to lose the bacon. If it weren’t for Montréal--”
“Come on, I did my best. So drop it, it was bound to happen either way,” Lucas sighs as he leaned back and took a swig of the wine.
“That’s why you’ll always be a Veserati, Lucas. You tried to repress the things you deserve,” Lucas stared at the liquid on his wine glass as he placed it back on the table. Shaking his head.
“Same old. Same old,” Mitchell nodded as he remembers something he thought a while ago. How could he forget the most important thing? Right. Lucas redirected the topic. Again. Like he always does when he doesn’t want to answer a question.
“Speaking of work. So, Montreal huh?” Lucas laugh dryly at Mitchell as he finishes his wine. “Which one? Since your face have been glued to your phone. I’ll just guess.”
Lucas tried so hard to deter the topic. The last thing he wanted to do is to spill some raising eyebrow details about him and his lady boss. But due to the persistence of his friend, who wouldn’t want to drop the topic, he spilled it out. Begrudgingly.
“It’s been 10? Turning 11 years?! Who would fucking thought Lucas?”
“I remembered when you pointed her out, and you were like “Anderson, that’s her. I would make her my wife.” However, you’ve been a coward, so here we are,” dropping his fork as he sized up Lucas.
“You’ve been throwing some shade on me since I got here in Anderson. I know that, okay? Stop pointing it out.”
“Grow some man balls. Tell her you’ve been completely, utterly and madly in love with her since you’re 14. I even designed your tattoo so you won’t forget --- oh shit.”
“You prick!” Lucas coldly scoffed at the sudden slip of the tongue confession. He stood up and tried to reach him, “You’re the one who took advantage of the situation.”
Mitchell dodged his punch expertly as he guffawed, “You’re not supposed to know about this! Fuck!” The were getting louder and earned a few glances from near tables. Yet they paid no attention.
“I almost went homeless!” The statement causing them to stop and laugh. Lucas took his seat once again as they let their laughter died down. Comfortable silence took over as they ordered their desserts and another glass of wine.
“Hey, you know the drill when I’m in the city right?” Lucas only nodded as he smirked at his friend. The two continued to catch up on what’s going on with their lives. From Lucas’s mother’s chemotherapy, to their other high school friend who recently had his first born, to Mitchell’s upcoming marriage, up to the sudden invitation to their high school reunion. He was already dreading the idea that Thorin might be there. She would totally freak out. The thought the gone to the same high school. Where everyone he knew, knows that he’s head over heels for the Student Council president, except her of course.
Later on, Mitchell cleared his throat, “Lucas, my advice woul--”
“I did not ask for it,” he said smugly, quickly changing his mood.
“That’s why I’m telling you,” Mitchell throw a used napkin at Lucas’s direction as he leaned in. “I think, this would be the time to be brave. To lay out your weapons, tell her the truth, shed those masks of yours. Don’t you think so?”
Lucas furrowed his brows at Mitchell’s unneeded advice. He crosses his arms over his chest as he pondered over his friend’s words.
“Isn’t it fate?” Lucas only shrugged at his questions. He heard it twice now.
“She’s my boss, Anderson,” he tried to act blasè about his statement. Making sure there wouldn’t be any leaks of a coward being.
Mitchell rubbed his face with both his hands and scowl at Lucas. “Christ! You’re killing me! Cut that bullshit excuse!”
“She doesn’t give second chances either.”
Mitchell sighs as he rumpled his wavy brunette locks. He size Lucas up, his hands stretching towards him as he said, “At least you tried and honest about your feelings. If it does not work after all this year, then I guess she’s not the one.”
“Then again Veserati, you better prepare your heart for the risk you’re about to take,” Mitchell thoughtfully added.
Lucas gazes through an empty space as he pondered over and over again. He can’t be a coward, he’s been a coward for years and he can’t live through it again.
The risks he would take would be difficult and unpredictable. That he knew about it. He will be pawning his heart and soul for her. He will get hurt, he might hurt her. She might hurt him. That would be ugly, and he did not want that to happen.
Needless, he knew for sure that he would be the happiest man alive. If he was given a chance, he doubts that he would be given though.
“What the fuck man? Go after her. Fuck! Don’t sit there and wait!”
Guess, it’s a game of fate and luck then.