“Rainie, you must bring a handsome man if you want to attend your bastard ex fiancé’s blasted parties!” Chloe announced, standing hovered in the small passage of kitchen. Her beautiful face looked grim though the yellow sundress brought the glow of the visage of hers. “I’ll definitely look one for you.”
Rainie Yang did not say anything. Her eyes stayed staring at the pink, glossy printed-paper she had been holding tightly, too tight that it had already crumpled on every edge of it.
The engagement invitation, followed by the wedding invitation, was written in bold classic font at the corner of the card. She had been reading it with excruciating pain in the kitchen stool for half an hour since received it from her mailbox.
She read the names again that were beautifully carved with golden ink, slowly rubbed with her delicate fingers as though to erase it.
“Did you hear what I said?” Chloe’s voice brought her back to present.
She finally averted her gaze to Chloe. Her brown eyes narrowed as she took in the anger flush on her cheeks. “Yes, I heard you.”
“Excellent!” Chloe prompted with satisfaction. She moved from the kitchen door to the stool. “Let’s call some of escort agents then select which one is seemingly fit for you to come to that damned, show-off parties!”
Rainie gasped incredulously. “You’re not serious, are you? Do we really need to do it now? The engagement party is still in two weeks.” She would not dare to bring to herself to say that after the engagement, Jason would be getting married in another two weeks after the engagement.
Chloe swung around and headed to the kitchen counter. She did not reply immediately, instead she took her time to make herself a coffee. Only after that hot brew ready then she returned to the kitchen table and answered. “Of course.” She jolted delicately, placing her coffee mug on the table. “The sooner we find your suitor, the better.”
“What kind of suitor...” Rainie lifted her hands and made the quote on quote sign with each of her index and middle fingers between her head. Her long brown hair hung down and waved unevenly as she shook her head. “You’re going to get me one.”
Chloe sipped her coffee before she placed it again and then tapped her fingers on her cherry lips as she was thinking hard, while Rainie rested her chin on her hand, waiting for her another tremendous reply. Her faded jeans with white shirt framed her petite body as she leaned forward eagerly. She was curious what suggestion would come from Chloe’s brain.
Her dear friend always had very extreme ideas that sometimes barely acceptable to normal people.
“Oh I know, I know!” Suddenly Chloe shrieked, and Rainie almost jumped, literally from the seat.
“Gosh Chloe! One more time you’ll be the one who’d escort me to my grave.” Rainie commented derisively. “You almost made me having heart attack!” She added rubbing her chest severally.
Sometimes she wondered how Nathan Delaney, Chloe’s boyfriend, could handle her loud voice? Chloe, for most of time exaggerated little things either she was happy, sad or even angry. She was the type of woman who could easily express her feeling and emotion. It had clearly written on her face what was on her mood, on the contrarily, Nathan, he was a bit reserved. He had been brought up with manner that could not show emotion so openly. Perhaps only after dating Chloe, he had changed slightly. Rainie never understood how they could have had solid relation, she presumed that opposite attraction worked. Chloe and Nathan were living proof.
“Sorry.” Chloe said sheepishly. She pulled Rainie easily to her feet, swinging her around in the close-confined kitchen. “How about instead of paying a guy, we ask Draven?” She suggested joyfully as if her idea was the most brilliant thing had ever come from her mind.
Nevertheless what to according to Chloe was brilliant, for Rainie, it was a totally a spam one. Yet, only Chloe could have suggested something so lewd and provocative.
Shit! It’s the most preposterous suggestion. She thought.
“Will you stop dancing?!” Rainie snapped, irritated by both of her suggestion and the dancing. She started to feel dizzy and her sight became giddily blur. “Don’t ever think about asking him!”
“Why not?” Chloe asked still holding her hands and swaying around though in the lesser movement this time. “I’m sure he’ll say yes!” She announced happily. “He’s one of the finest guy and totally charming.” She winked and added triumphantly. “He’s loaded and not to mention powerful. It’s not...”
“Hey!” Rainie snapped impatiently. She already felt a terrible sense of foreboding at her best friend’s suggestion. It was starting to dawn her what exactly Chloe recommended. “He’s out of question, period.”
Chloe released her hands, grinning with satisfaction at her as she took another gulp of her coffee, did not say a word of Rainie’s statement.
“Chloe!” She called her name in warning tone and inhaled a deep breath taking her time to explain her objection. “Draven isn’t the only finest guy we’ve ever met.” She started. “He’s also one of the heartthrobs, so why would he want to spend his so precious time to help me when he can easily spare it with any women?”
Chloe returned her gaze with guileless dark eyes, carefully she placed down the coffee mug. “I know, but he’s also our friend and why wouldn’t he help his friends?”
“Hm, I’m calling him now. I’m sure he’s with Nathan. He told me that he has a meeting with him.” She grinned at Rainie victoriously.
“You’re calling him now?” Rainie echoed faintly. Which part of her statement Chloe did not understand? Seriously, her best friend really needed to learn how to listen.
“Yes.” Chloe engorged enthusiastically, a total contrary to Rainie’s mood. As she reached her mobile phone that was on the corner of the table, she declared assuredly. “He’d love to help you, babe. Believe me...”
“I’d rather paying a man!” Rainie cut in incredulously, taking the phone from Chloe’s grip and placed it back on the table. She stared disbelievingly at her.
“That’s nonsense!” Her shrilling voice sounded upset. “Why should you hire a stranger while there’s one available?” She added, spread her arms in the air to give the sign of her scepticism.
Rainie closed her eyes in pained disbelief. “I’d rather to be with some stranger than indebted to Draven, besides, he might have a date also.”
“I need my coffee now.” Rainie said, walking to the kitchen table.
As she was making coffee with machinated movement, she recalled the situation she had.
Since Rainie had heard the news last week, her days had been quickly looming and for the next fortnight, it’d been a promise to be something of a torment for her.
And she was in the deep predicament. If she chose no to go, it would give the impression she was too much of a coward, nevertheless if she ought to go by herself, it would look as if she were still pining for him and not to mention how pathetic she would look like.
She had loved Jason for so long. He had been her high school sweetheart.
Their chain of friendships had consisted of Chloe, Chloe’s cousin Victor and Victor’s roommate, Seth. Jason and Rainie had been as the only couple amongst them. The friendships had been added when Nathan had started to date Chloe and become part of the circle. And Nathan had not come alone. He had tagged along another string of friends. Paige as Nathan’s sister in which finally had claimed the ever-playboy Seth, Whitney as a cousin of Draven and then Draven Knight himself.
Soon they had made strange friendships with Chloe, Rainie, Victor and Seth who were from the hardworking class people, whilst Nathan, Paige, Whitney and Draven were from elite class. Of course it had not been easy though, after awhile then, all of them had managed to blend and respected each other differences.
But with Draven, Rainie had never crossed words with each other. Definitely she knew the reason why and so he did. It had started the day she had met him for the first time and though she had been a fool, she had not known that he still held the grunge against her.
Genuinely, she had not really cared, as she had never bothered to seek any attention to that man.
That was why now, when Chloe had suggested bringing Draven, Nathan’s wealthy entrepreneurial best friend to go with her. She had rejected the idea. No matter how fit the criteria was.
Six-foot-three inch tall, dark and broodingly handsome, Draven was the ideal man to allay any doubts anyone might have thought that she still had any lingering feeling towards Jason.
“Why you’d rather hire an escort instead of asking help from him?” Chloe asked, waking her up from her reverie.
Rainie groaned frenziedly, pouring the hot water on the cup. “Because I know exactly what he feels if he agrees to go with me.”
Chloe paused in the act of sipping her coffee again. “And what’s that?” She asked placing the half empty coffee mug and stared at Rainie, she could read Rainie’s mark lack of interest.
Rainie stirred the black hot liquid drink before she took the cup and returned to the stool. “Like any guys, of course.”
Rainie inhaled a vanquished sigh, gathering her strength to tell her the truth. “I’m sure he feels sorry, that’s the last thing I need.” She affirmed.
Chloe stared at Rainie, taking her time before she finally began. “You know it’s just your assumption. He’s...”
“I know he’s a nice man.” Rainie cut her sentences edgily. “But isn’t the point.”
“So what’s the point?” Chloe drawled softly.
Chloe’s question caught her off guard. Still Rainie wasn’t eager to tell her the reason. “The point is...T...That...” She stammered hesitatingly. “The point is, bringing him to the party is out of question, okay?”
“Please.” Rainie interjected. “I’ll figure it out.”
Chloe puzzled, quite did not understand, though finally she did not pursue the matter. “Fine! But for your information, he would make the perfect escort.” She finished obdurately.
Rainie winced at her disarranging but truthful comment. Of course, Chloe was right, although at this desperate time required desperate measure kind of situation, proposing to Draven would be the last thing she would ever do.
“I’m sure there’ll be another man who could pretend to be powerful or act good enough to be perfect enough to be by my side.”
“Sure, though the fact is, Draven doesn’t need to act or pretend.” Chloe told her with irritation. “I can’t see what your problem is.” She shook her head disbelief, did not understand why Rainie rejected a man as caliber as Draven Knight.
Obviously Chloe could not see! The problem was, Rainie felt totally ridiculous and completely humiliated. She had no intention to embarrass herself further more.
“There’s no problem.” Rainie lied.
Chloe took a sharp breath. “Fine.” She said and picked her mug. “Just think about it.” She added and walked to the sink, washed her mug swiftly.
“No, I don’t want to think about it.” Rainie stubbornly replied. She cradled the cup with both of her hand and drank her coffee again.
Chloe placed the cleaned mug on the shelves and turned around. “Think about it.” She repeated and walked out from kitchen. “You’ll never know!” She added before disappeared into her room.
Rainie shook her head though she did not reply, as the thought of Draven returned to her mind the reason why she was so adamant not bring him to the party.
Brown eyes blazed every time she contemplated her humiliation that had printed in her mind. Every quota of her five-foot-two-inch frame seemingly to bristle with indignation and her brown shoulder-length hair seemed to crackle with the force of anger, the anger to herself.
She still remembered vividly that one faithful day two years ago. The first time she had encountered Draven.
Back then, Chloe had informed her that so-called handsome boyfriend would have come to visit to pick her up and Rainie had listened half-heartedly as she had been reading the Business Week about the lists of the rising tycoon in the country and she had not even realize that Chloe had gone taking shower and had left her alone in the living room.
How could she have known, the person who had visited the apartment had not been Nathan Delaney? How should she have known that it had been Draven Knight who had shown up and decided to come along also, only not together?
At that time, a knock on the door had brought a mental groan. Rainie had not been in mood for the visitor. She had had a menstruation, and that had explained her mood swing.
Rainie had scanned the living room, only to realize that she had been totally unaccompanied. She had cursed Chloe, why she had been the one that welcomed her boyfriend.
The third knock finally had brought her to her feet. Its firmness had let her know that whoever had been behind the door would not have gone to leave. Well, who would? She had thought crossly. Nathan, as Chloe had described, had been a typical alpha man.
She had taken a deep breath and composed the pretending welcoming speech and smile as she had opened the door.
Well, well, well...
The first impression as she had looked at the man in front of her had been compelling. He had been tall and dark hair had kept deliberately on neck-length. Extremely handsome. Opaque silvery eyes beneath arched dark brows, an arrogant slash on high nose, chiselled lips curved into a smile somehow had not reached the eyes. An up-to-date-season tan had darkened those distinctive features. He had looked successful, even at that day, the semi-casual clothes he had been wearing, a black shirt and dark denim, which had obviously bore designers labels.
No wonder, Chloe had been crazy about him, she had thought.
For split seconds, she had forgotten her manners. She had gasped until gradually her common senses had returned.
Regrettably, it had not returned completely.
Without even had asked him or any introduction, like any normal people had done, she had only shaken his hand vastly and ushered him to enter. She had even bragged to tell him how pleased she had finally met Chloe’s boyfriend. She had kept telling him that Chloe had been lucky to have a sweet boyfriend and not snob as the person she had read on the magazine, one of the rising tycoon, Draven Knight!
She had not realized the change in his expression as she had mentioned the name until she had picked the magazine and showed it to him, right in front of his face. She had looked the magazine and the man back and forth until the realization had dawned her.
He had been after all Draven Knight, the CEO of the Knight Petroleum empire, not Nathan Delaney.
And as she had wished the ground to open and swallowed her up at that moment, Chloe had come from inside and introduced him, properly in which made the confirmation clearer. She had had no idea how her face had looked like. She had not even dared to see her own reflection in the mirror.
It had been totally the most embarrassing moment in her life. Not only she had wrongly miscalled him, she had also accused him, a total snob, who had had nothing but good-look and overloaded sperms he had spread to every women he had encountered.
She had blamed her cramp menstruation timing.
Oh, another thing that she still remembered intensely about his mocking gaze. How could she ever forget that?
Fortunately, he had never mentioned to anyone and their friends had never known the reason why they had not really exchanged towards each other, only few curtly nod or polite conversation probability to bring that embarrassing memory would never have surfaced.
For sure, the explicit suggestion Chloe had mentioned, would be big spam no matter how she desperately needed an escort. She had had that mocking gaze, before certainly she did not plan to have the second time.