Maria had to admit the pounding in her chest was from the result of a heart that was fearful as well as it was anxious. She glanced at Leon and was surprised to see that he was displaying a rather calm and collected demeanor. After the information she had been fed just a minute ago, she was still a bit shaky and not at all composed.
She swallowed hard, thinking that just maybe she was blowing things out of proportion and making everything more than it was.
“Who is it?” she questioned Leon and just as he was about to reply, a voice on the outside prevented him from doing so.
“Room service!” A politely cool person exclaimed.
Maria swallowed the lump that had seemingly been stuck in her throat. As relief coursed through her body and killed the tension in her limbs, she closed her eyes to revel in the feeling.
Leon turned to her, a sheepish smile parting his lips. “I forgot,” he explained. “I ordered room service earlier; I thought you might be hungry.”
Without waiting on a reply from Maria, he was already strolling towards the door to attend to the steward. Maria silently watched as the man pushed in a cart with goodies, still maintaining a smile on his boyish face. Leon thanked him before reaching into his pocket and tipping the man a twenty dollar bill. He smiled enthusiastically, gave a curt nod and left the room.
Leon turned with a small smile on his face, his eyes roaming admirably over Maria, who stood in the center of the room hugging her shoulders.
“I ordered grilled lamb chops and potatoes– I wasn’t sure if it was still your favorite, but I took a chance,” he shrugged, anticipating a reaction from her.
Maria couldn’t help but smile, finding his gesture adorable. She’d never thought she would see this side of him ever again and it surprised as well as reminded her of how he was years ago when they had met.
She smiled. “It is, thank you,” she supplied softly, watching the pearly white smile that he gave in return.
They ate in companionable silence for awhile, Leon watching from under his eyes as Maria ate, satisfaction imprinted on her features. He had always admired her love for food; she was never once hesitant or afraid of calories like some women were.
The subject of California often wanted to resurface for an answer but Leon found himself hesitating even at times when his mouth opened– but he had quickly clamped it shut. Maria suddenly glanced at him, finding him staring at her, and instantly, a blush warmed her cheeks as she paused.
“What?” She questioned, placing her fork down and using the napkin to dab her mouth.
Leon sighed lightly, taking a sip of the chilled water to somehow lubricate what he wanted to say. He looked into her eyes, not wanting to lose eye contact when he said what he had to.
“I was just wondering what your answer will be to the question I posed earlier,” he said, watching the way her shoulders stiffened at his declaration and so he quickly added, “It won’t be forever, just until things calm down.”
“And when will that be?” She asked, wanting an answer to the question as well.
“I have no idea,” he admitted honestly. “I just want to ensure that you’re safe and away from the clutches of a psychopath. We have no clue of where he is or what he will do.”
She sat there in a world of indecision, being conflicted with her own self, seeing that one part of her screamed to go with him, while the other side was yelling no. But how could she truly trust herself with a man who would turn her world upside down and break her heart into a million pieces? How could she be sure that he too wasn’t plotting to bring her to an absolute downfall? With all these questions of confusion and confliction that thrummed in her head in eager anticipation to provide an answer, Maria still found herself speechless and at a complete loss of stability. She glanced at Leon who was watching her reaction like a hawk, his face a bit ghastly and brows furrowed. She could see that he was eager for a reply, it was evident on her features and for a moment she wondered if his concern was genuine or if it was a façade he was putting up.
A voice in the back of her head told her she was being paranoid, but she thought she had a right to deeply contemplate and analyse the situation. Everyone who had put up a smiling face to her had been masked with a greater need to destroy her, betray her and everything unthinkably hurtful, so how could she truly trust? Who could she truly trust?
Leon, her subconscious demanded and Maria couldn’t help but find solace in that one word. Regardless of the misunderstanding that they evidently had, she knew deep down that she could trust him – if not completely, partially.
Maria heaved a sigh and took a drink of her water before answering, “Ok.”
A slow, wide grin smeared his face, taking years off it as happiness swam in his eyes.
“Great. Well get yourself ready, while I make arrangements for the jet.” He was already getting up from his chair, whilst fishing his phone from his pocket.
“Wait– what?” Maria shrieked, nonplussed by his statement.
His phone paused in mid air, he gave Maria his full attention. “Well it’s best to get moving as quickly as possible. A man with the wiles of Sam will pop up like a popcorn at a hundred degrees heat.”
“But I –” an index finger shoved in her direction silenced her as Leon brought the phone to his ear.
“Yes, I want you to get the private jet ready in about forty five minutes, for California,” he spoke, then paused when the person on the other end replied.
“Yes, thank you,” he smiled faintly before disconnecting the call and glancing at Maria.
“I’m sorry for cutting you off; what were you saying?”
She shook her head. “Never mind.”
“Are you sure?” He queried, his eyes searching her face.
She nodded. “Yeah I er– I better go take a quick shower then,” she said, knowing that, that would make her feel a lot better and less nervous.
“Sure,” he said, his eyes following her as she left the room and headed in the direction of the bathroom.
Leon grinned contentedly before moving off to arrange his things.
“Come on!” Samuel protested angrily as he glared at the unmoving traffic ahead.
He hissed, muttering a line of distasteful expletives as he fell back into his car seat. It has been minutes and there was still no improvement to the statued traffic. News that there was an accident ahead floated amongst the drivers which left Sam more aggravated because he knew it might take a long time to clear.
“I don’t think they will be leaving that hotel anytime soon, so why don’t you calm down; we still have time,” Marianne stated, finding his temper tantrums annoying and exhausting.
“I don’t give a fuck!” he growled, still glaring ahead with his lips drawn in a grim line. He hoped to God the persons in the accident would die, because if they weren’t, he planned on killing them himself for keeping up his time. He might not have meant it literally, but his expression was in fact, murderous.
Bitter laughter bubbled up from within him after a moment of deafening silence between them. “I wonder if Oakley’s cöck is big, because if it isn’t, Maria better have a good reason for betraying me,” he said, his face once again stony.
Marianne smiled deviously. “I can give you an answer to that,” she announced rather proudly.
Being the curious person that he was, Samuel turned instantly. “What the hell do you mean?”
She sighed, a smile on her face as she relaxed in the softness of the seat. “Well, where do you want me to start?” she asked as a slow, sly smile stretched her lips.