Chapter 7: The Resto
Ava Marquez’s POV
Pulling Iñigo away, I left the book at the table and took the backdoor. Once we were far away from the library and from the people, I dropped his hand and angrily pointed a finger at him.
“What were you doing inside a library with your ex?” I angrily snarled at him “Need a remind you that agreed to give my marriage proposal a chance.”
“And need I remind you that I lost from a deal hence I have to consider it.”
“Unbelievable!” I angrily gasped at him “I am giving you a chance to make everything right and you’re shying away from it? Why?”
“Why are you treating marriage so easily? Shouldn’t the man be the one proposing?” He said deflecting my question
“Iñigo we live in the 21st century. Men and women now have equal rights.” I gritted out “And I’m not treating marriage lightly. I’ve thought about it and I know we can work it out even if we started for all the wrong reasons. All I’m asking from you is to keep an open mind about it.”
The frown on his forehead dimmed and he expelled a breath. Crossing my arms in front of my chest I asked him, “Now what were you doing with her?”
He expelled a breathe again and run his hands through his face “I don’t know. I was busy reading when she casually sat right next to me. I didn’t want anyone to see us so, I pulled her towards the shelves.”
I nodded at him still not liking he was with his ex-wife. I’ll give Leanne credit for being persistent. But I’m more determined than her.
“Ava?” He softly asked walking towards me and tilting my chin up “I’m sorry.”
My eyebrows dipped above my eyes “What for?”
“You’re right. I should keep an open mind on your proposal and I’m sorry for yelling at you earlier.”
Cocking my chin to the side, I gave him my infamous smirk “I told you I’m right.”
He chuckled at my haughtiness and I gape in shock at the sound of it. “What?”
“Damn Iñigo even the sound of your laughter was hot.”
Oh shoot I did not just said that. My cheeks scalded, “I-I mean y-you’re hot but I mean -umm never mind.”
He chuckled at my embarrassment. Again. And are those two dimples on his cheeks. Whoa! No way!
Grabbing my phone, I quickly snagged a shot and posted it on my instagram account.
“Hey what did you just do?” He frowned trying to grab my phone. “Why did you post my photo?”
It was now my turn to frown at him as I look at my notifications “I think I should not have posted it. You gained over a hundred likes in just a few seconds. Look!” I shoved my phone in his face “Not once did I ever got these many likes at this kind of rate. No wonder we are being hounded by the paparazzi. Your beauty is lethal!”
Ignoring my ramblings, he continued to irritatingly frown at me “Delete that photo. The paparazzi will definitely be on our doorsteps asking for our relationship with that damn photo.”
“Then let them. Besides we just told your ex-wife that I’m your fiance so, its only proper that I have photo of you on my social media account.” I confidently told him, grabbing his phone from his pocket, I opened its camera and handed it to him “Here take a photo of me so she can show it to them.”
I said striking a pose while he angrily closed his phone and placed it in his pocket. “I am not taking your photo.”
“Fine. I’ll just send you my nudes.” I mischievously grinned at him earning me scowl from him.
“Why do you have nudes on your phone? Are you not scared that someone may hack and share it to the public? Value yourself Señorita.” He started lecturing me while I just nodded in return. He really is handsome guy. With the way his hair shine like a halo on the moonlight and the way it would curl at the top of his head. His jaw was very prominent from his anger, his eyes were full of depth and passion, and his lips gosh she wanted to kiss those lips and get lost in them.
“Are you listening?” he snapped at me.
How can I listen when he was sinfully so close to me that I am tempted to crawl up into his body and give him a kiss. Dispersing the thoughts out of my head, I seductively crawled my hand on top of his and peered at him through my lashes. “Yes yes I heard you. But you should probably know by now that I am a bold and fearless woman who works until she gets what she wants.”
I gave him a winning smile and bit my lip “You can always reform me if you want. Would you like a dutiful and compliant wife or would you like some bit of naughtiness in it? Either way, I can do both.”
Wiggling my eyebrows at him, a grin formed on his lips and he shook his head as he gently peeled my hands from his body. Just when I was about to enjoy myself, he had to stop it. Such a party pooper.
“You are incorrigible Ava Marquez.” He chuckled.
“Just one of my fine qualities.” I sassily replied. Grabbing his hand, I lead him towards my favorite restaurant “I’m starving and you have to feed me as payment for saving your arse back at the library.”
Laughing at the frown on his face, I pulled him towards Grace and Rome Resto. Opening the door I was greeted by a 70-year old man wearing a red shirt and black pants.
“Hey there Rome!” I merrily greeted him.
“Well if it isn’t Sweet Ava. Honey, Ava is around.” Rome called out to an old woman the same age as his. “You haven’t been able to visit in quite some time now.”
“Been busy with work.” I said, enveloping them in a hug.
“Yup we can see that now on the front news.” Rome grimly replied. I cringed at them knowing about it.
“I’m working on it.” I shyly replied. Pulling Iñigo who was watching us the whole time I introduced him to them “Rome and Grace this is Iñigo. Iñigo these are Rome and Grace, they own this place.”
“It is nice to meet you Sir and Maam.” Iñigo politely held out his hand while Rome and Ava took his.
“Its nice to get to know the man who put you in this predicament.”
I cringed at the glare Rome was giving Iñigo.
“Now Rome be nice.” Grace reprimanded Rome “Don’t scare the poor boy away. I apologize he is just protective of Ava since she and Addie are like our granddaughters.”
“I understand Maam. I take no offense.” Iñigo kindly replied
“Oh you’re such a handsome fella.” Grace gushed which made me chuckle when Rome gave her a glare “Now why don’t you sit on your favourite spot while I get you your orders.”
“Right maam.” I nodded leading Iñigo towards my favorite booth which is near the karaoke and mini dance floor. “Sorry about that. I didn’t know they would recognize you.”
“It’s fine. I would reacted the same way too if I had a sister or a granddaughter.”
Nodding, I watched as he scanned his eyes around the restaurant. It had an 80′s Riverdale theme to it with neon lights, brick walls, stripe theme to its chairs and 80′s decoration. He watched in awe at the old and young couples dancing to the song on the karaoke.
“My parents met here when they were younger.” I told him as he finished taking in the interior of the place “It holds a special meaning to them so, every Sunday after Church we would go here and eat. Afterwards, we would turn on the karaoke to sing and dance.”
I grin and happiness descended on me as I remember the good old days. Just in time Rome came to take our orders.
“They have the best baby back ribs and burgers in town.” I suggested.
“Then I’ll have them.” Iñigo replied giving Rome a sincere smile.
“Alright two baby ribs and burger for the two love birds.” Rome winked and sauntered towards Grace.
Iñigo watched as the two interacted. Grace was instructing Rome while Rome lovingly nodded at his wife and caressed her hair. Grace scowled at him for not listening but Rome kissed her forehead and said that he was listening.
“They look really beautiful don’t they?” I asked Iñigo whose lips were tilted in awe.
He nodded “I thought that was only in movies.”
“I thought so too but when I look at them it made me realize that true love is real. You just have to meet the right person.” I gently stated. Pointing towards the photos on the wall, he followed my gaze “You see Rome was part of the Nazi soldiers while Grace was a jew when they first met. They first met at a library back in Paris when Rome was searching the area for rebels. He saw Grace being manhandled by a fellow soldier and step in. Instead of thanking Rome, Grace gave him an earful.”
“She did?” Iñigo asked in awe and a chuckle reverberated off of his chest.
I grinned as I imagined Grace berating Rome. “She did. Rome should have detained her but he just couldn’t. He was transfixed by this beautiful and brave woman who dared stand up to him. So he began to make every possible way to make their paths meet. It wasn’t long before they began to have feelings for each other. At that time Grace’s family were headed to camp. Rome couldn’t bear to see her suffer so, he arranged a way to get them out.”
Drinking the glass of water, I continued “It was difficult. They barely made it out alive. To avoid suspicion Grace’s family went to Australia while they went here in the Philippines. They has no penny and no livelihood but they made it work. Grace knew how to cook and Rome knew how to manage so, they established this restaurant. It grew since then.”
Looking at Rome and Grace, tears lined my eyes “People say that Grace is much compliant and weak for my grandfather but what they don’t know is how she holds much power.” I gazed at Iñigo’s eyes “She holds the heart of a powerful man. With her nurturing him with love and affection, she nurtures this business for it drives Rome to do more and become better for her and their family.”
“Damn right you are Sweet Eva.” Rome startled us both as he both placed our orders “You see young man riches and empires will come and go. But that woman right over there” he said pointing towards Grace “That only comes once so, cherish it.”
Iñigo was at lost for words as he sinked in everything Rome has said. Giving Rome a soft smile, I squeezed “Thank you Rome.”
“Anything for you lass.” He winked “Enjoy your meal.”
“Thank you Rome.” Iñigo sincerely said.
Nodding, Rome left us to our meal.