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26_ His loss

Mr. Kuznetsov insists that they call him Sylvesto instead of going on with the formality and hurries them away into their rooms to let them take a rest.

Sylvesto inquires if Niall would like to share the room with his girlfriend (as he says) and if to order any special gifts for her but Niall corrects him saying that she is his assistant and they are not dating.

Well, that made Stefan beam dashingly again at Emma and she grins back at him. Much to Niall's envious ass.

Stefan is into me, she thinks and waves at him following Sylvesto as he shows her the room.

Sylvesto promises them to show around the place and talk business after they take a rest and shower.

He yells after Stefan when he follows Emma to her floor and flirts with her.

He apologizes and rushes down faster than he came and tags along with his dad.

Emma is showering. Several thoughts cross her mind as the water flows down through her head.

Why is Niall so rude to me even though I didn't do anything wrong? Is that his way of telling himself that he shouldn't be friends with me? Who knows? Gee, that dude is bipolar sunshine.

Bipolar but quite a charmer.

If he weren't such an asshole, I would've surely developed a crush on him. His loss.

She gets out of the shower after a brief ten minutes and puts on her inner wears and pulls a bathrobe over her thin figure.

She unlocks her phone and laughs as she looks at pictures she took from the plane.

Emma quickly clicks on Instagram and follows Niall.

She nods approvingly at his photos and followers.

12.5 million. Not bad, she thinks but frowns seeing that most of the followers are women.

He is a lady's man and not my man. Hold your horses, Emma. Everything has its own time to work.

She quickly sends him the photo and falls on the bed content with what she did.

Someone knocks. She raises her head and stares at the door. The knock comes again but she realizes that it's not from the door.

It's from the window behind me.

She jumps up and pads to the window and opens it. "Stefan? What are-- Uh, How did you even get up there!?"

Stefan smiles gracefully and licks his lips. "There's a ladder that leads to this window."

"Oh...... So what brings you here?"

He grins. "I was planning to take you somewhere. I'm sure you'll like it."

She looks thoughtful for a moment before asking, "But your dad said that he'll show us around. Wouldn't that be--"

"No, it'll be fine", he interrupts and looks at her with puppy eyes. "Will you come?"

"Let me ask Mr. Parker if he'd like to tag along", she says walking out before Stefan could object.

She knocks on the door and hears the ruffling of bedsheets and a groan.

"What do you want?", He asks in an annoyed tone, barely opening his eyes.

"I was thinking maybe you'd like to take a walk with me. And Stefan."

He rubs his face and murmurs, "Go wherever you like to go with your loverboy. Just leave me alone."

And shuts the door in her face. What is up with him?

Emma walks back into her room but Stefan quickly looks away blushing. "What?"

Stefan slowly averts his gaze to her face trying hard to not look down. "Your-- uh, the robe."

She looks down at herself and swiftly tugs at her robe, pulling it closer to her chest. Why am I embarrassing myself?

Her robe was not tight enough that Stefan can see most of her breasts.

Her cheeks tints as she bites on her bottom lip. "I'll get dressed. He's not coming."

Stefan beams again and nods. "I'll wait."

Emma is walking beside Stefan's hand in hand after she finds him stealing glances at her hand wanting to hold it.

She lets him. She finds it a little adorable that the boy piqued an interest in her.

Stefan keeps talking to her about several cars and machinery that he is interested in but she nods to everything even though she doesn't understand anything.

His Russian accent makes her giggle in between making the boy believe that she likes whatever jokes he is saying. He tells her that his mother and sister are traveling back to Moscow to meet the guest. His sister is a 15-year-old girl with braces and crutches.

She fell downstairs sometime and broke her leg. Stefan says that he just got legally allowed to drive and Emma realizes that he has only turned 18.

How cute.

Emma could only imagine him as her little brother. She misses Max. Whenever Stefan makes a funny face to make her laugh and run around to chase her, she remembers Maxmillian.

Her half-brother Max is far away, in New York, studying to become one of the best doctors that America has ever seen.

Emma is wakened from her trance when Stefan shakes her. "Yeah?"

"We are here", he announces happily and when she looks up, her breath is taken away.

"Oh my-- I, Jesus Christ, this is beautiful."

He nods at her and pulls her to the frozen lake. "Walk with me."

She gently walks over it with him, hoping that the ice won't break. "You like it?", He asks her with a glint of twinkle in his eyes.

"I love it, Stefan. This is beautiful. Why did you take me here?"

He looks straight ahead of them, his eyes traveling a thousand miles away into nothing. He looks sad and thoughtful.

"My mom died two years ago and this was her favorite place. She used to tell me that when Papi married her and brought her here, this lake was the first place he showed her before showing her the house. She said that this lake was the symbol of their love and respect for each other."

Emma is quiet as she listens.

He continues, "Here, they promised to love each other and cherish for the rest of their lives only just to break it."

His eyes shine as a tear trickle down his face. "She was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago and died the next year."

Emma holds his hand. "I'm so sorry Stefan. I didn't know about it. But I thought Lada was your mom."

He shakes his head in no. "She is my stepmother. But loves me like her own son."

"That's good", she mutters not knowing how to calm him.

"So why bring me here?", She asks him in confusion.

He grins. "Mom used to tell me that when I meet a new person and like then as fast as a lightning, bring her to this place to show her that, I will always have a place for them in my heart."

Emma gasps. Is this boy for real? He just announced that he likes me. And what will I say to that? Even Calvin took a whole 2 months to build up the courage to tell me that he likes me. And Stefan over here just needed half an hour.

He is not what he appears to be.

"Stefan, I--"

"I know. You think of me as your brother but I have a chance, don't I?"

Emma purses her lips. He is not the shy boy I thought him to be. Not bad.

She smiles. "Let's see."

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