Maria’s sleep that night was as restless as a mother with a newborn. All through the night, her thoughts had been occupied with what transpired at the supposed dinner.
She was angry at Leon Oakley for being so god damn selfish. For fûcking existing. She really wished and hoped for a happy marriage with Samuel, but now she was doubting everything. She didn’t know how she would convince the man otherwise. She didn’t want to…she couldn’t go through with his request, and Maria was angry with herself because a small part of her being, found the prospect intriguing.
She groaned, feeling trapped. She would go meet him, that much she had decided on. She would try and talk him out of it, if that was even possible.
The ringing of her cell phone hauled Maria from her thoughts.
She sighed, not wanting to talk to anyone at the moment.
“Maria, hey” Sam’s voice rang out and Maria bit her lips.
“Hey, you OK?” she asked, really concerned.
“Yeah. Yeah I was wondering if we could meet me for lunch today at noon,” he supplied and as soon as Maria was going to say yes, she immediately remembered that she had to meet Leon.
She cringed, biting her bottom lip. “Sam, I’m afraid I can’t. I have -“
“It’s OK,” Sam stated a bit sharply, then disconnected the call.
Maria sighed, raking her fingers through her hair in frustration. Plopping on her bed in a huff, she contemplated on whether or not she should call Hannah to explain things and have her input.
She tapped her phone against her chin in indecision and sighed, throwing it to one side of the bed. She didn’t want Hannah to talk her into or out of anything. She was going to do this all by herself.
Could her fate be so malicious as to have her hurtful past, now in a happy present? Maria didn’t know, but she knew this much: She wanted Leon Oakley out of her life as soon as possible. He was the carrier of hurt and unhappiness and here he was, already showing that side.
“Yes, don’t put me through to any calls from noon, until I say you can”, Leon spoke firmly to his secretary.
He planned on making the afternoon business free and pleasure filled.
He disconnected the call, narrowing his gaze to the file that was in front him. He smiled contentedly, when he thought of how much of a lucky man he was. He had found Maria Chandler effortlessly, and today would prove just how lucky he was.
Skimming through the file his PI had handed him, Leon found some of the information shocking as well as expected.
She was one of New York’s most accomplished real estate agent, having sold countless amounts of houses in short periods of time. At one point she had also dated Emanuel Boswick. That, Leon had found shocking because based on the information his PI had provided, that was five years ago!
Leon gritted his teeth, knowing that the woman was indeed a vixen. If she had been the frail, innocent damsel she had claimed to be, she would still be getting over him at that point, but oh how quickly she had moved on to the next rich and handsome bachelor who could curl her toes in bed.
She didn’t love him like she claimed she had when she was with him, but he had. He had loved her with every fibre of his being. At that time, the oxygen that he breathed on a daily basis was not the source of his life…but Maria Chandler was. She was his oxygen, and the day she broke his heart, was the day he lost his soul, leaving his body to fall prey to an empty vessel that was occupied by a man he did not recognize as himself.
Slamming the file shut, Leon threw it to one corner of the room in disdain. He would teach Maria a lesson, one her body would pay for.
Maria entered the lobby of the hotel that Leon had said he’d be, at exactly twelve noon. She nervously clutched her purse at the side, whilst biting her lips. She scanned the area in search of him and saw the stature of a man that resembled Leon at the bar counter.
She swallowed hard, part of her wanting to leave and go as far away from him as possible. Maria sighed and began walking in his direction, her heart plummeting in her chest.
As she came upon him, he turned, feeling the presence of someone behind me. Maria gulped as she came face to face with the brown eyed devil. His eyes were steely, regardless of the small smile that was etched across his face.
Tremors ran down her body, when his intense eyes roamed along the length of her. Maria always felt nervous when he did such a thing. She watched as his eyes traveled down then upwards, stopping to linger at her cleavage. He looked up at her, his eyes filled with lust.
“I’m glad to see that you’ve made it. For awhile, I was worried you might not,” he exclaimed thickly, as he glued his eyes to her face.
Maria didn’t reply. She found it hard to even utter a word to the insufferable man.
He chuckled lightly at her silence, cocking a brow. “You don’t have to be shy around me angel, I think we both have passed that stage, years ago,” he winked and Maria flinched at the little endearment he had used so often over the years.
“Don’t call me that,” she finally decided on saying.
Leon shrugged. “I understand. After all, you are no longer the little angel you claimed to be in the past”, wanting to add on, In fact, you were never, but he decided to let it slide.
“Want a drink before we delve into the intricacies of business?” he asked and Maria offered a quick, no.
“Suit yourself then. Anyway, let’s go to my room, where we can have more privacy to discuss things,” he stated.
“What’s wrong with here?” she asked a bit disheveled.
Leon leaned closer towards her. “Well, I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want anyone overhearing our… Deal,” he whispered.
Maria didn’t want to venture into the man’s room, because she feared the worst would happen.
“Come on,” he said getting up from his stool. “Don’t act shy,” he teased, holding her arms.
A small gasp resonated from Maria’s mouth at the touch and she quickly began walking so he would release her arm.
They arrived at the elevator, and it was only then, did Leon release his hold on her. Leon was glad when they were the only one in the elevator, but Maria on the other hand was feeling hysterical.
They had enough space in the confined area, but Leon was so close to Maria that he felt her heat on his own skin. Her floral scented perfume filled the air, causing Leon’s senses to go in a frenzy. He wanted to kiss the woman. Have her soft, succulent lips massage his own. He wanted to take her right then and there, against the cool walls of the elevator.
He ground his teeth, so hard he thought they’d shatter, but he knew he had to restrain himself, at least, until they arrived at his room.
“I can’t do this,” Maria exclaimed as soon as they entered Leon’s hotel room.
“Can’t do what?” he asked, with a confused look on his face.
Maria swallowed, blinking back the burning in her eyes. “I can’t do what you expect me to,” she said, raising her voice an octave higher.
Leon sighed. “Why don’t you make yourself comfortable, then we can discuss this more calmly,” he suggested and Maria shook her head vigorously.
“No!” she choked out. “Please don’t disappoint Sam with-” she began to beg but was cut off by Leon.
“That decision solely depends on you,” he pointed out in agitation.
“I can’t just have sex with you!” she fired heatedly.
“You make it sound so uncouth. It is really an amazing thing. Don’t act like an innocent virgin Maria. I think we have both past that stage,” he told her.
“I’m engaged to be married. Did you not get that?” she spat.
“Loud and clear,” he assured. “I don’t care if you are single, engaged or married. I want what I want,” he pointed out sharply.
She scoffed. “Is- Isn’t there another option. Something else I can d-” she reasoned.
“No, my mind is made up. You will be my mistress for a week and if you fail to comply with my demands, I will more than just reject Samuel’s deal. I will ruin him, as well as you,” he threatened bitterly and Maria shivered from the tone in his voice, and the words in which he spoke.