“I can’t believe I’m doing this.” I muttered to myself checking myself in the mirror. Xavier Whilson had successfully convinced me to go to a party with him. I don’t know what I was thinking when I agreed to it but right now I am wishing I hadn’t as I was more than nervous. Xavier had assured that its going to be a simple party and had also assured that there is going to be no media to put me to ease. He had even helped me pick out my outfit over facetime but I was still very anxious.
I let out a sigh hearing the doorbell ring and with a final look in the mirror I went to open the door already knowing its Xavier.
“You look absolutely stunning.” He said after a minute of silence. I was immediately relieved and could appreciate him in his tuxedo peacefully now.
“Why don’t we skip the party and go to dinner? Or we would stay home and eat in?” He asked wrapping his hand around me still looking at me in awe which made me a bit nervous.
“Didn’t you tell me that this party was unavoidable?” I asked not looking him in the eye but instead focused on straightening his slightly crooked bowtie.
“It is..but what’s the worst that could happen?” He asked and I knew if that if I even hummed in agreement he would actually cancel going to the party.
“I did not put so much effort to getting ready to stay home. Come on now. Let’s get going or we’ll be late.” I said pulling away and he reluctantly walked to the car. A driver who was not Peter drove us to the party as Peter was watching over Ace till Xavier’s return. We sat in comfortable silence throughout the ride and listened to soft music. Sometime during the ride Xavier had entangled his hands with mine and just before he got out of the car he brought them to his lips to kiss the back of my hand and I almost melted into a puddle.
We were swarmed by many people as soon as we got into the party but not once did he loosen or remove his arm wrapped around my waist. He spoke to everyone crisply and looked over at me every now and then to make sure I was comfortable. He also tried his best to include me in the conversations and it was nice to see that he was genuinely trying to make sure I have a good time.
“Why didn’t you tell that this whole party was arranged to honour you? And to think that you were planning to ditch this..” I said narrowing my eyes at him.
“It’s not that big of a deal.” He said playing it cool and before I could reply he pulled me closer so that my body was pressed against his.
“Xavier! What are you doing?” I asked trying to pull away but he tightened his hold on me.
“The host is coming towards us. And he is a hugger.” He explained and I rolled my eyes at this.
“Let go, Xavier.” I muttered just as a man in his late forties approached us with his arms open which he then awkwardly let down seeing not a way to hug either of us especially when Xavier took a step back taking me with him.
“Mr. Whilson. So delighted to see you. I hope you liked all the arrangements. Of course this is nothing in comparison to all that you have done for several organizations including mine but please do take this party as a token of our appreciation.” He said energetically.
“It’s my pleasure to be here.” Xavier said and I had to struggle to not snort at his lie.
“And who is this young lady here?” The man asked and Xavier introduced us to each other.
“You look absolutely lovely, dear. “ He said and pat my shoulder and did not remove his hand immediately being too much caught up in trying to talk to Xavier about all the arrangement he made. So I stood there awkwardly half hugging Xavier with a stranger’s hand gripping my shoulder till much to my horror Xavier moved his arm that was around my waist to wrap it around my shoulder casually brushing away Mr. Roger’s hand. He then even had the audacity to gently brush my shoulder as if trying to get the man’s germs off them. I gaped at him in shock while Mr. Roger weirdly took this act as Xavier caressing me lovingly and looked at us adoringly.
“Ah, young love. The boy can’t keep his hands off you.” He said and I almost chocked on my own saliva.
Mr. Roger then cheerfully introduced us to few more guest and when we were finally let alone tugged Xavier towards a seclude corner.
“What was that?”
“What?” He asked looking genuinely confused.
“With Mr. Roger. You were being so rude.” I said and he was quiet for few second trying to remember what he did wrong.
“I do not remember acting rudely with him.” He said sounding genuine.
“Oh so you don’t remember pushing away his hand and doing this?” I said and roughly dusted his shoulders to remind him of his actions.
“He was being a creep. He doesn’t know how to keep his hands to himself.” He justified while taking my hand from his shoulder and entangled it with his while his other was placed gently on my hip.
“Well, you don’t either.” I said pointedly.
“Well, I’m not a stranger to you as he is, now am I?” He asked tugging me closer and glanced at my lips. I was sure I stopped breathing as he leaned down to my height but before anything of that sought could happen between us an intentional cough interrupted us.
“Mr. Whilson, I have been looking everywhere for you and here you are with your sweet lady. I’m terribly sorry for interrupting your sweet session but it’s time for the award ceremony. I’m sure you love birds can wait to celebrate till after that.” Mr. Roger said grinning mischievously and even though I was reeling in embarrassment at having caught together like that by him, I had to put it aside and stand as a human barrier between him and Xavier in order to ensure the poor man’s safety from the angry and displeased Xavier.
“We will be there in a minute, Mr. Roger.” I said warily eying the raging man behind me.
“Let’s leave, love.” Xavier said sternly after Mr. Roger walked away.
“Xavier, you are acting like a petulant child who did not get his way. Please calm that temper of yours and do what you came here to do. They are all waiting for you.” I chided and he let out a long sigh before nodding at me.
I was sure I was the one clapping the loudest when Xavier received the memento. He gave a short speech after that and came back to sit beside me.
“Congratulations!” I said grinning widely at him. I was clearly the one who was more excited about this than him.
“You really are happy for me, aren’t you?’ He asked looked at me with a hint of adoration and amazement.
“Of course, I am. I don’t understand how you can be so chill about this. I mean I’m sure you might have achieved greater things than this but this is also very prestigious and-“ He interrupted my rambles by abruptly kissing my cheek.
“You are so precious.” He said caressing my cheek.
“Hey, this isn’t about me. This is about you. And I want you to know that I am very proud of you.”
“That is a greater honor to me that this.” He said truthfully while pointing at the award.
“Xavier, don’t be silly.” I said looking away from his gaze.
We were both then led to a huge hall for dinner. There were too many dishes and all of them were splendid. Xavier kept on putting various food that he thought I would like in my plate till there wasn’t even an inch of empty space left. And while we were still relishing in the food many couples had already began to dance to the music played by the band and soon we were also forced to do the same.
“Remember the last time we did this?” Xavier asked and I laughed out aloud attracting others attention.
“Should we try the same technique and give this people a nice show?” Xavier asked while I was now trying hide from others people’s curious gaze.
“Oh God, no.” I said chuckling. Neither of us were very good dancers so we just swayed gently to the music the entire time. Xavier then softly drew small letters on my back with his forefinger and I tried to guess them ignoring the feeling those little caress evoked in me.
“H.” I said and he hummed in agreement.
“A.” I guessed next.
“D.” I said next.
“Try again.” He whispered in my ear and my heartbeat grew louder.
“P.” I said after few attempts.
“Correct.” He said placing a feather light kiss on my jaw.
“P.” I whispered as his finger again formed letter on my skin.
“Happy.” I murmured before he even wrote the last letter.
“You are happy?” I asked him pulling back slightly to look at him. He cupped my cheek with his right hand while the other still held me close to him and he softly rubbed his nose against mine before murmuring a yes in reply.
I did not know how to react. I was fighting the urge to flee. And in the end I said nothing till the music ended. But even then the silence between us wasn’t awkward. It was familiar and soothing.
After the dance we were drawn into few more conversation with other people. For the first time that night Xavier and I were separated as I talked to Miss. Quinne, a highly inspiring entrepreneur. But even then I could feel his eyes on me and I smiled at him in assurance before indulging completely in my conversation with Quinne. However as soon he could get rid of whoever he was talking to he was once again beside me. He barely spoke and only listened to us the entire time.
“It was really nice talking to you. Please do visit me whenever you come to London.” Quinne said and I agreed to her immediately. She gave us one last approving smile before walking away and only then realized my stance. Completely into the conversation I was not aware that I had leaned my entire body weight onto Xavier who stood behind me with one of his arms wrapped around me. We were once again standing on the middle of the party looking like we are cuddling. I then shifted myself so quickly that I almost tripped on my own feet.
“Careful, Love.” Xavier said gripping my arm to balance me.
“Shall we leave?” He asked and I nodded realizing that it was already 11:00pm.
“Xavier, wait. We forgot the award.” I said just as we were about to walk out of the party hall.
“Do we really need it?” He asked hesitant to search for it. I glared at him in reply and then both of us began hunting for it until we finally found it laying on the floor beside the chair Xavier sat in for dinner.
As soon as I got in the car I removed my heels and loosened my hair that was in a tight and sleek ponytail. Xavier got in beside me and gently guided my head to rest on his shoulder.
“Did you have a good time, Love?” He asked and I nodded tiredly in reply.
“You may rest, Angel. I will call you when we reach home.” He said and kissed my hair.
“It better be my own home, Xavier.” I warned him and he chuckled before agreeing.
For once he listened and the car was parked outside my home. Xavier walked along with me to the house and bid goodbye only after I got in.
“See you later, Love. Take care.” He murmured and leaned in and I closed my eyes expecting the usual dose of kiss on the cheek but he surprised me by placing a chaste kiss on the corner of my lips and it took away all my sleep for the night.
I stood gaping at his figure walking away and saw him turn back to look at me. It would have been fine if he had given me the signature smirk of Xavier Whilson. I could have bared it better than that rare full charming smile that he gave me.