"Alaric, listen to me please." Cassandra was circling him like a kid who would be in a need of his or her favourite chocolate.
"No." One word but the tone was firm and strong.
"Please listen to me. At least for once, you can just try to listen to my whole fact." Cassandra was hell bound to make him understand her point of view. No way she was willing to let this chance go.
"Your point of view is a shit." Alaric shouted for the first time like that on her.
"Alaric." She shouted back too but the hurt was prominent in her voice.
"Fine. You don't need to listen anything. You know what, you think yourself as the almighty one." She was not longer interested to carry on the conversation. Picking up her bag she turned on her feet to leave his office.
Three steps hardly towards the door when a sudden pull on her arm made her turn her face towards him. Though his jaw was clenched but still his face held some questions in stead of some void emotions.
"Why are you doing this Sandra?" He spoke in his composed and calm tone. Due to that sudden impact she already came closer to him. Now with such close proximity and his worried nature, she couldn't hold back her anger anymore.
Alaric started caressing her cheeks with his fingers while cupping her face in his calloused hands. He was observing her facial expression to learn something. Rather he wanted to read something more through her eyes.
"I didn't do anything Alaric. I just...." Before she could complete her sentences Alaric cut her in between.
"You've just decided to fly to Amsterdam. That too in De Wallen, the most popular red light area. Do you have any idea how dangerous the place is? What sort of people would be around you in that place?" He spoke in one go without any interruption to make her understand the impact of her so called "just a decision".
"Alaric Lizabeta would be there too. She would accompany me for a day before flying back to Canada." Cassandra tried her level best to put strong point just to support her decision. But with the ongoing situation she found it too tough to manipulate a man like Alaric. He would never listen to her or her pleadings.
"You expect me to accept your dumbest idea?" Alaric was on fire for the first time. He was not very sure under which circumstances Cassandra chose a plot to film documentary. Wild life was still fine but the way this girl was moving here and there, it won't take much time for her to land in a problematic trap.
"Since when it has become dumbest idea? Can you elaborate please?"
"Don't test my patience Sandra. You know exactly what you are doing right now. Is it even a topic to discuss?" Alaric was fuming where as Cassandra was no where showing any sign of submitting herself.
"I am not testing your patience Alaric. You never stopped me from going anywhere. I spent nights in the deep forests. It is barely a city. Why do you always stop me in this track only?" Cassandra did not know the reason behind his repulsion. For her he was just pushing her too much.
"Last week you went to a strip club without letting me know." Alaric moved towards the window while speaking his point.
"How do you know that?" Cassandra remembered of not telling him about her last visit to the strip club to take interviews of those girls available there.
"Do you think if you won't tell, I won't know."
"Are you stalking me Alaric?" She was shocked to her core. He was still standing near the broad window gazing towards the high rise through the glass.
"No, I did not. But that does not mean I Won't be able to know the reality." His voice seemed more calm than usual and they made Cassandra panic a bit. She was still hammering her own brain to grab one such string that could lead her to the point to get the exact answer.
"Stop putting huge pressure on your tiny brain. You are more good with your camera little girl." Alaric smiled without glancing back after adding one more sentence after sensing her numbness and loss of words.
"Alaric." Cassandra walked towards him with baby steps and grabbed him from behind wrapping her hands around his large frame. Barely his body came in her grip but she rested her head on his back while rubbing her nose on the fabric.
"Not again Sandra. This won't help you this time." Alaric tried to remove himself from her grip as he knew she would definitely make him listen to her pleading like this.
"Fine. Listen to me." Cassandra tightened her grip and made Alaric to turn his face and entire body towards her.
"See, I accept I did not inform you. But trust me there were some girls who were ready to share their stories. You know right, how Lizabeta's sister works in NGO."
"I know about their work pretty well. My point is different. Do you know two of their workers were attacked last time because their so called rescue mission led them to land in a mafia gang's den."
"I know. But at least later on the government took the responsibility and arrested them also." Cassandra showed him the positive side.
"Do you think it was that easy? There are plenty of gangs and whoever got arrested was a mere part or rather like some filthy mice. No way the bigger whales could be caught easily."
"But I have nothing to do with that right? I am just making a documentary. I did not even dare to step in the mafia world."
"The places you visit come under mafia's den. Your so called documentary can bring some unexpected news. Last time you met an unwilling girl who was trafficked via Nepal. Do you think the human trafficker would sit idle to let you ruin their business by promoting your videos?"
Alaric was aware of such situation. This female selling or illegal prostitution are infamous in various places. Girls are being kidnapped from various places and sold out in different areas. Last time one single girl escaped and her video made a gang suffer a lot. Though the big whales survived but the Cassandra's work was enough to bring out unanswered questions.
Cassandra heard all of his words minutely and then spoke her part while moving her fingers over his suit jacket.
"See Alaric, I know your concern part. I understand what do you feel. But if we do not take up such steps things would be in dark always. I am not taking a stance against anyone. I am just filming their life. Lizabeta's sister's NGO does the same thing. We are just trying to help them." She took a deep breath and hugged him more while nuzzling below his chest. She was shorty and to reach up to Alaric's face was a dream to her while standing on flats. She was trying to read his face as there was another trail of emotion apart from concern.
"I can let you go on one condition." Alaric finally wrapped his arms around her while rubbing one of his hand on her head.
"What?" She whispered dipping her face on his suit only. She was whining like a kid when Alaric pulled her face up to meet her beautiful orbs.
"Marry me." That's all he has said while she was still digesting the fact of being married. Her degree was not completed, she was barely 18 years old and the man in front of her was asking her to get married. Everything seemed to be happening in other universe where as her mind was still occupied in the present.
"Alaric." A fumble voice left her mouth with her wide eyes.
"Yes, Miss Cassandra. Will you be Mrs. Zeitsov?" He was holding her tightly like a kid who holds his favourite toy. He gripped her body pulled her up to carry towards the desk. Settling her on the desk he cupped her face once more and pecked her lips. She was still in such a daze that the mere kiss even felt something odd to her.
"My parents are not aware of you. I mean I did not tell them prominently about you."
"So tell them. Or do you want me to fly back to Athens to bring them here?" A small smile appeared on his face while he was enjoying the beauty sitting in front of him.
"No. I mean, I am just 18 Alaric. Marriage at this time, I mean..." Cassandra tried to speak but could not find any specific reason to support her point. Alaric was no doubt a man what every girls dream of. But how would she express that there was something that was lacking between them. Some sort of mismatch or space that worked as a void. Just to film a documentary on a sensitive topic in a red light area, why on earth she needed to marry. Either Alaric gone completely mad or he had just lost his entire basic senses.
"Why are you stuttering now? If I am proposing you the what is the issue? Do you know how many girls just crave to hear this simple word?" Alaric put on a proud smile while looking at her shocked expression.
"That's the point. I mean we have just spent a year together. Don't you think it's too early?" She tried to make him understand that marriage could never be an ultimate solution. Her freedom could never be earned by marrying a person. She knew with time they both grew feelings for each other. He started caring for her but that could never lead to a decision like this.
"No. I don't think so. As you call me oldie, I think it is the time for the old man to get married. Should I call your parents to share the news?" Alaric licked his lower lips leaned towards her to kiss her once more.
"Don't. They don't have clear idea about us. Tell me Alaric, how come marriage could be the permission pass for my travel? Am I not an individual to live and work freely?" She pulled out her final cards. Of course she won't mind marrying Alaric and he was the man of her life. There was no doubt in that. But she needed time to know more and squeeze out the spaces that they had between them.
"You are a free person to do anything Sandra. But believe me, it's me who is eager to bind myself to you. I can not let you go on taking risks in this way. At least my name would be enough to protect you even if circumstances demand." He hugged her dropping his face on crook of her neck.
"Why I can't protect myself." She demanded an answer this time.
"You can but what I want is to be with you." He kept on nuzzling while she felt a tingling sensation. Before it could lead to something more she pushed herself a bit back to meet his eyes.
"Hey, would you propose me in same way if I did not take up this project?" She held a lot of emotions on her face.
"Of course yes. I was anyhow planning for this. My dear Greek Goddess." He pulled her into another hug as he knew how little she is. Her naivety always made him crave for her more. She was literally a Greek goddess.
"I will need some time to think Alaric." Cassandra spoke while kissing him back on his lips like a little kid.