Row row row your boat
A sudden shift in movement woke me and I forced myself to open my eyes and the beautiful Paris greets me the sky just beginning to change it’s colors and the cool breeze was gentle. I looked up the and pillow that once held my head was no longer there but is replaced with a soundly asleep Robert Sleigh and I jerk up as quickly as I could and Robert slowly woke up.
I quickly fixed myself up and reoriented as he lazes there looking as handsome as he was.
“Good – Hang on, what happened?” I asked flustered and really disoriented
“We fell asleep on the terrace?” He says stating the obvious
“I can see that.”
“Wait, you don’t remember what happened?” He asks me looking like he had some embarrassing secret of me.
“Why? What happened?” I asked and I felt panic enveloping me, what did I do?
I’m panicking looking for signs of discarded pieces of clothes but everything was intact. I looked up and down and then I looked at him and finally got a glimpse of his face that’s trying so hard not to laugh.
“What – in – the – world – is – wrong – with – you- ? ” I say punching and slapping him as I utter the words
“What? I was just asking you if you forgot why you’re here on my terrace.” He explains blocking my slaps and punches.
“And you’re a ray of sunshine in the morning. Relax, you really didn’t think that we –” He says sitting up
“Not until you say I forgot something. You scared me for a moment there.” I say finally able to breathe
“Angela, I may be one of many things but I don’t touch-”
“Ok… again with the R-18s. Stop. I get it, moving on.” I say trying to stop him from explaining to me
“Ok. For the record nothing happened. So, Are you in the mood for breakfast?” He asks me with a huge grin plastered on his face.
“I think a bath would suffice as of the moment.” I say and he gives me a look that is too weird to explain
“Not like that you bubble head!” I say in shock, real mature Robert Sleigh.
“I was going to say there’s a bathroom in the guest bedroom if you’d like to stay.”
“Really with that face? No. no. no. I’d be very comfortable in my own suite thank you.”
“No problem, Let me accompany you.” He says as I was collecting my things and looking around for any items I could have left.
“Oh. No – Um, I’m sure we could both use some freshening up, so just stay here have breakfast and stuff. I can manage.” I say walking towards the living area
“Ok. So are you up for an adventure today?” He asks me changing the topic
“Um. Sure. That would be fun.”
“Good. I’ll call you then.” He says as he led me out of his suite.
I rushed in the elevator hoping no one will see me in this gown in the morning and think I was doing the walk of shame. I arrived at my floor I sprinted for my door and entered. Catching my breath I was faced with that clean fresh scent again and relaxed. I could really use a bubble bath right now.
I drew myself a hot bath and placed bath bombs that smelt so sweet. I slithered my way out of the dress and settled in the tub, I grabbed my Phone and earphones and let the music take me. I sat there thinking of what happened and how I even got here. I could not put all the pieces together, because it all just came at me so fast. I remember the first time I saw Robert where I swooned over him to the moment I shut my feelings off because of his reputation with women and now the Robert that I knew deeper turns out to be someone who I could, possibly, maybe really-really like.
I tried to take the pieces of memories out of my head but I just can’t, I’m in bliss in this tub smelling great and soaked in hot water, If I could I’d stay here the whole day but then again Robert asked me if I was up for an adventure, I could say I got sick because of our camping trip. But wait! Why would I stay cooped up in this room when I’m in Paris.
At the thought I stood and finished off my relaxation, dressed up. I went in the closet and look for jeans; it must be packed in here somewhere. I opened every drawer looked at the every hanger but there were no jeans! I didn’t want to wear a dress so I sat on the cushion chair in the middle of the room and thought. How am I going to get dressed?
The doorbell rang and I jerked, I looked for anything decent I could wear, in any case it could be Robert, and found a sweater dress, placed it over my head and went to the door. I peeked through the Judas hole to see who was on the other side, but I didn’t help I could see clearly.
“Isaac!” I squealed excited to see him I fling the door wide open and gave him a hug.
“Its nice to see you too.” He says and gets in as I usher him in the room.
“What are you doing here? I’m so glad you’re here. I think I’m going crazy.” I say plopping on the couch, stressed from over thinking.
“First, here. Robert asked me to get this for you.” He hands me a paper bag, in it was a pair of jeans and I felt immediate relief.
“Thank God! You have no idea what I have to do when I go to that closet in there.” I say and Isaac laughs and seat opposite of me.
“Now, what’s bothering you?” He asks me
“Well, I’m so confused Isaac, I don’t know if what we, Rob and I, are doing. This whole date seems to come at me so fast I didn’t see it coming. Is this ok? I mean, I kept thinking he might be doing this out of habit? Surely you might know something about this?” I bombarded him with questions
“Angie, if he is doing this out of habit he would have dated you a week after your first day. I haven’t seen him try this hard before. He planned all this, weeks before this date. As cliché as it may sound but you’ve got to listen to what your heart is saying.”
“Are you sure? I just don’t see him doing all those stuff, it’s just too hard to imagine. Weeks before this I was making reservations and sending out flowers, you know this, you heard me. I mean what about miss sexy-Italian-woman?” I whined.
“Maybe he was feeling certain things about you that he didn’t want to show. Maybe you’re afraid to trust your heart to follow it? Give him a chance. Don’t just shove the idea just because you’re afraid.” He smiles and looks at his watch.
“Well, that’s all for now. Don’t over think this. Just enjoy it.” Isaac says and leaves me.
I took deep breaths and though about what Isaac said and I decided to follow it, for now. I rushed to the closet and wore the dark jeans, put on a sleeveless collared blouse and I was good to go. While waiting I rummaged the suitcase that was on the bedroom and opened them. My laptop! Thank you Lord Jesus!
I sat on the couch and laid my laptop on the coffee table, put on some TV and checked my mails and whatever work I could get done. Grabbed my phone, checked with Scarlet and asked here what was happening over at the office. Now this is where I belong, checking emails, sorting out files, setting calendars, receiving calls for Robert, schedules and “Personal Schedules”. Totally into the zone I grab my headphones and work.
I was about to send an email when someone tapped me on my shoulders making me freak and completely fell of the sofa.
“It’s me!” Robert yells over my loud screech
“Rob?” I try untangling myself from the wires coiling as Robert pulls me up.
“What in the world is wrong with you? You gave me a freaking heart attack!” I say smacking his chest with irritation
“We knocked on your door and yelled, you didn’t answer.”
“How did you get in here?” I ask a completely irrelevant question
“I have a spare key. What were you doing?” He asks me looking at my laptop that’s discarded on the floor as it fell together with me.
“I was working. I figured since we were going to meet up later, I’d work a bit.” I explained as I picked up my laptop and checked if it’s broken, luckily it wasn’t so I hit send.
“You’re much more of a workaholic than I am.”
“I am not, I just didn’t know what to do while I wait.” I say closing the laptop and place in safely on the coffee table.
“Well I’m sorry if I scared you. I was just worried. So Isaac and I barged in.”
“Its ok, I understand now, but next time I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t sneak up on me like that.”
“No problem, as long as you promise to not place the volume to loud to a point that it makes you deaf. Isaac and I almost destroyed the door.”
I looked at the door and the chain was unattached to the stile of the door. Processing and letting my heart rate down I relaxed back down on the sofa as Isaac hands me some water.
“Are you ok?” Robert says looking really concerned.
“Yes, I am. I’m ok. My heart rate feels like I ran a race.”
Still trying to relax and lower my heart rate, Robert sat beside me as he went on and instructed Isaac to get his tux and other stuff to be placed in his suite. After awhile Isaac excused himself and left.
“Why do you need a tux, do you have an event to go to? Do want anything arranged?” I ask
“Angela Morley.” He starts and my mind is whirling why is he looking at me like this?
“I would love it if you’d accompany me to the Charity Gala tonight.”
“Of course, I always do that’s why I’m asking if you need anything.” He gives off a slight laugh and I got confused.
“Not like that Angela, I want you to be my date for tonight.” He clarifies
“Oh... Got you. Sorry it’s becoming a habit of mine.”
“I noticed.” He studies me with a stare that I could not explain and that awkward silence has started to fill the air. I look around the room just to avoid his stare but I feel it piercing through me.
“What?” I ask not taking the awkward silence
“Nothing. Since your already done changing, I’ll meet you down in 10 minutes?” He asks
“Where are we going?” I ask
“Explore. Like you said.” He says
“Ok. But my treat today you’ll live like a commoner.” I offered with my best business face
“I certainly can’t allow that.”
“Fine then I’ll just stay here, I have tons of work to do.” I say going back to my laptop.
“We’ll see. Lobby. 10 minutes.” He says firmly and headed out.
“Sure. Thanks for the jeans by the way.” I say and he nodded back.
Finally relaxed and finally reaching equilibrium, I grabbed a sling bag from the maze closet. I filled it with my electronics, of which I cannot live without, wallet, passport and other stuff that I would need to bring. Took one last look at the emails and head on out the door.
While waiting I sat on the plush sofa and listened to music as I took a mental picture for me to reminisce. The lobby was filled with people in expensive clothes and you can tell because of their glinting accessories making me feel like a fish-out-of-water. I was marveling at these luxurious people and thought I might see a star or maybe even royalty, then Robert steps on my sights in his casual clothes not looking like a CEO is just really refreshing. His laid back persona he has been showing me is now reflected in his wardrobe wearing a 3/4 sweater with a nautical theme and jeans is something I haven’t imagined him wearing, He looks less intimidating making me relaxed.
“Looking for someone?”
“Oh, I was just observing.”
“You look different.” I continued
“Different weird? Different awful? Or Different good?” he asks
“I can’t quite choose, let me get back to you on that.” I teased and he grins at me.
“So are you ready?”
“Um. Yes sure, where are we going this time?” I asked
“We’ll continue being tourists and try to see the sights before the Gala.” He says
“Oh. Ok. But today is my turn, we did your lifestyle now lets just be ordinary tourists.” I say as we headed out the front door.
He holds out his hand for me to take. He leads me out of the hotel and into a midnight blue GT continental supersport Bently that just took my breath away.
“Finally, my car has arrived.” He says opening the front door.
“What?” he looks at me as I ache in excitement.
“Nothing, its just that as much as I love this car, you can’t be an ordinary tourist with this.” I explain and he looks disappointed as well
“Come on, we’ll still see it tonight.” I say pulling him away the driveway and out of the gates of Shangri-La and unto the streets of Paris.
“But we’ll take too long to travel by foot. We don’t have much time today.” Robert asks
“No whining! We’ll go wherever our feet will take us.”
We walked a bit and found a place called Rue Cler bakeries that smelt so good we just had to eat there. Robert refused to let me pay but after some convincing he caved and ate his croissant. The food was heavenly I could stay here and eat all day if I could. After which we hoped on a bus ride to the Eiffel tower. I wanted to see it in the morning and have my picture taken but he didn’t know that.
Getting off the bus, I was feeling giddy just seeing the magnificent tower there’s nothing like a huge sign telling me I am not dreaming and I really am in Paris with Robert Sleigh. I could not help but smile and it seemed infectious since Robert looked at me and showed off his megawatt smile.
“Come on!” I say running towards the grassy plain
“Where are you going?” Robert runs after me
“Indulge me.” I say facing him handing my camera to him and gestured for him to take my picture.
He laughs and takes quite a few and my quirky side just took over. He then stopped and talked to a guy who passed by and handed him the camera. He then ran to my side and posed in a silly fashion with me. After a few crazy fun photos Robert asked for a last photo he held me close and looked into my eyes and kissed my forehead and in that moment I was content having him so close to me yet again. He retracts and gives a slight laugh and then runs to the man and thanks him for taking our pictures. We sat around the grass and hang out for a bit enjoyed some sun.
“Come on! We don’t have a lot of time!” I say pulling him off the grass
“Where we going next?” He asks still firm and acting to pull me down.
“Come on, lazy pants. Everywhere. Explore.” I say
After a few moments we arrived at a place called Marche Aux Puces de Saint-Ouen. It was heaven for a flea market lover like myself. I don’t know what it is but its just fun and amazing. We roam the narrow streets and looked at a lot of vintage stuff. I had an idea of a surprise for him.
“What?” I ask as he looks at me
“Nothing its just, most girls I date don’t really get candid with me. I feel as if I make them do that.” He smiles
“Well, I don’t think its you, its you’re reputation and line of work. Its like you’re royalty, and women you date should be of noble blood or something.”
“Noble blood? Me? A Prince?” He laughs
“Ok not a prince. I don’t know most people think your life is far different from us normal folks. I’m just going to go with that.”
“I am normal. I just have more than the average person because I worked harder.” He expounds
“Yes you have way more than anyone on the planet but I do know your not different from us your just like any other guy, when your like this.” I say looking right at him. So many thoughts run through my mind but I knew I needed to stop. He looks right at me not saying a word. You could feel the awkwardness.
“I disagree, Bill Gates has more than anyone on the planet.”
We both laugh, I went on but before I could take another step a tug on my hand froze me, he laced his fingers with mine and led the way, meanwhile I try to be nonchalant about it but I couldn’t help but smile a bit wider. Awful. Stop embarrassing yourself. Come on, now Angela, keep it together.
After a bit of buying, more laughs and food, Robert reminds me that we needed to get ready for the Gala so at a moments notice Isaac arrived and off we went. The car stopped by the sidewalk facing the arc de triumph.
“Where are we going? I thought we needed to go and get ready?” I ask him
“Welcome to Champ Elysses, famous shopping area.” A guy cut off Robert, His fashion sense is crisper than mine making me feel really underdressed, met us on the street in front of Elie Saab’s store front.
“Colin, this is Angela Morley.” Rob introduces us.
“Angie darling, finally we meet. It’s certainly wonderful to have a face to a name that I’ve been talking with for the past months”
“Colin! It’s so great to finally meet you too.” I say as he gives me a bear hug. He looks really good, if he were straight tons of women would definitely be in to him, myself included. His sleek side parted blonde hair shows off his face, blue eyes to dive into and an aura that draws you in making you feel like you’ve been friends for ages.
“And you are just a darling. I had no idea I’d been talking to this hot ticket.” he gushes to Rob and I blush.
“Come on, let’s dress you up.” He says dragging me in the store and Robert along.
As we went in I definitely felt that this store certainly is expensive, posh attendants, champagne, lush fitting room area. Colin shows me to the rack of clothes he has picked for me for the gala. He leaves me for a while to check on other clothes and I was left with Robert.
“What are we doing here?” I ask softly
“Shopping for your dress.” Rob says confused at my line of question
“Um, I’m just going to be blunt here, I can’t afford this, my whole savings and future salary is at stake here, if they had socks I bet I couldn’t even afford them. Isn’t there any place we could go and shop? A thrift store maybe or vintage shops? Or we could go back to the Saint-Ouen ” I said swiftly catching my breath at the end and Rob looks amused.
“Angela, don’t worry, my treat. Your the very first girl I took shopping who’d dodge this area all together and go thrift shopping.”
“Well not a lot of us could afford all this luxuries. I mean, I’d have to save for a long time to not be guilty of buying any one of Elie’s creations.” I say.
“I just can’t let you buy me clothes, Borrowing from you, I could consider but buying for me is too much. I mean there are a lot of clothes and gowns back in the closet, I could just pick one you know I’m not particularly picky.” I say pointing out of ways he could save himself some money.
“Angela, it’s a gift. Don’t overthink this, I’d be happy if you’d take my gift. A dress won’t bankrupt me if that’s what your thinking.” He says
“Fine. But what happened to my treat?” I say
“This is payback, you were on a spending spree during our exploring. Now it’s my turn.” He sits on the sofa fronting a small stage with 3 mirrors.
“That’s not part of the plan. Promise me that you’ll just let me borrow.” I say sitting beside him, as Colin comes in with more gowns that I’d have to fit.
“What am I going to do with a gown? I’d have to give it to you since I have of no use to it.” He explains
“Well, then lets not buy, there are a ton of dresses in the closet surely Colin can pick there.” I say looking at Colin who seems to be in panic mode maybe searching a dress for me in the closet that he has filled with clothes back in the hotel and judging from his face non would do justice for the Gala.
He throws a worried look at Robert and mouthing a readable NO.
“Ok, Now try in the clothes before Colin faints.” Rob laughs. Boy oh boy this is going to be a long afternoon.
I stepped into a very plush dressing room with a comfy sofa I could just lay down the whole day, but before I get the chance to sit Colin bursts in holding the first dress for me to fit. He hands the beautiful laced gown that I highly doubt might be the one, because for one it looks to high fashion with the high collar for my liking. he looks at me as I place the gown against myself, he just stood there so I hinted for him to leave. There isn’t anyway he’s seeing me in my knickers no matter how gay he is.
“Oh, Sorry I’ll give you a moment.” He says
I tried on the dress, wondering where I should place my arms or my head, it was like a maze. At one point my arms was up tangled with the sleeves and I accidentally bumped on the wall.
“Oh honey, do you need help? I could come in-” he says
“No no no, I got it.” I say looking at how ridiculous I looked at the mirror, I took off the dress again and planned as to where my arms needed to go. After one quick move I managed to get in the dress, hopefully not tearing anything cause I could not afford this dress.
I stepped out and Colin looks like a giddy child about to enter Disneyland. I on the other hand want to get out of this beautiful but unfortunately not a match for me gown.
“Were lucky this one fits the dresses exactly so we don’t need to make alterations, tearing away a part of the dress is just murder.” Colin says admiring the dress on me as i stepped on the platform facing three mirrors.
“So what do we think?” Colin asks as I look at myself looking like a lace ghost swallowed me.
I turn to face Robert, he laughs as I made a face. He looks at me seemingly asking non-verbally if I liked it and I quickly shook my head.
“I think, a simpler dress would be much more appropriate.” Robert finally speaks and Colin agrees.
After the third dress Colin hands me a long sleeved red dress cinched at the waist and I thought it looks promising, until I tried it on. A long slit in the front and a backless feature had me taking it off but Colin insisted that I take a look in better lighting.
“What I can’t go out there like this!” I exclaimed as he pushed me out the curtain, Robert looks directly straight at my exposed legs making me so uncomfortable. I wanted to head back the curtain but Colin was persistent singing praises that this would be perfect.
Colin makes me turn hesitantly. I hid my apparent embarrassment as not only did Robert see my legs he now is looking at a massive area of my back making me uncomfortable like crazy, I grab the cloth and swung it in front my very exposed leg.
“This is not simple, its just less cloth.” I whined
I swing around and saw Robert’s eyes pierced towards me and Colin getting giddy on the side, his eyes grew darker and his expression was blank and spaced. I cleared my throat and Robert finally snapped out of his stare, and I gave him a frown protesting me from wearing it.
“Um- Colin, as much as I love the idea of this dress, I think its too distracting and very um- .” he makes silly actions trying to describe as too what he means.
“I have got the perfect one, I think this one might be it, come on hon!” Colin grabs me letting me let go of the cloth covering my leg again.
“Colin!” I shrieked as my leg was once more exposed.
“Don’t worry Hon, there’s nothing to hide under there. You’re flawless!” He praised me making me blush.
After Colin has decided he lets Robert leave and ready himself telling him to meet us in the lobby at eight. When Robert has left Colin brought me back to my suite that didn’t look like my suite because there was a makeup station, a few people that Colin bosses around. It was hectic.
After a few hours Colin then came out from my room, in a black suit and a playful ascot, still bossing people around and when he saw me he made a loud gasp.
“What?” I freaked with his reaction, thinking my hair had turn blue or green.
“You look wonderful darling. If I was straight I’d totally be on my knees for you.” He says pleased with everybody’s work.
“Colin! For a moment there I thought I looked aweful.”
“No, no darling come see for yourself.” He says bringing me to 3 full length mirrors.
In a few hours they managed to give ma a new healthy auburn hair complementing complementing my deep blue eyes, gave me a bit of color to my cheeks, I hardly recognize myself that I started pinching myself to believe this was all real.
“Wow.” I say as Colin nodded behind me
“You look awesome by the way.” I complement him
“Awe. Thank you. Now put on your dress, we only have a few minutes till the gala. Chop chop.” He orders me while pushing me in the bedroom.
All dressed up in my borrowed Elie Saab Black tube top gown, with white gradient from bottom to top making the dress look like I walked on snow with my black dress on, Colin and I headed down the lobby. We descended the grand staircase, all Colin’s Idea, and waiting on the foot of the stairs was Robert who locked eyes with me not taking off his stare.
“So, Did I deliver or what?” Colin asks Robert proudly
“You have outdone yourself.” Robert comments as Colin releases my arm and passes me unto Robert whose arms awaited me.
“I’ll meet you both at the Gala. See you there.” Colin says as he gracefully walk through the lobby and out the double doors.
Stepping out the Shangri-La, Robert’s Bentley displayed for everyone to admire. Robert looked at me with a huge grin. I can tell he was excited and so was I. The plush seats and the awesome interior of the car made me understand why he was whining earlier, If I could, I would drive miles on this magnificent vehicle. I could not contain my smile and tonight I did not care, because tonight is my last night to be with Robert and not be his assistant.
We arrived at The Peninsula Hotel and the first thing I noticed was the steel canopy juxtaposing with the incredible classic façade. Robert got out the car handed his keys to the valet driver and opened the door for me to get out.
When I did, flashes of light went off making it really hard for me to see, I had no other choice but to hold on to Robert like a blind person and smile like there’s no tomorrow. After all the flashing lights I started to regain my sight and saw the lushness of the event with women in their extravagant gowns and men in their sharp suits this seems to be a very important night and for the first time I didn’t know what I was attending and I usually know this stuff.
“What exactly are we here for?” I ask Robert making our way out to an open area weaving through a sea of people.
“It’s the grand opening of the Peninsula, Sleigh Holdings is in negotiation to buy assets of The Peninsula Hotels. We’re also here to make a good impression to the owner.” He says
“Oh. So there really was a meeting?” I ask
“No. They cancelled the last minute but courteously invited us. We are set to do another meeting by next week.” He casually says
“Enough talk of business, I don’t want to bore you with all the business talk.” He continues
“No. It’s really fascinating.” I say as we enter the most beautiful set up of that I have ever seen.
The lobby was filled with guests but this time there was room to breathe, I clearly see the amazing drops of what looks like leaves made of crystal, it glinted with the expertly positioned lighting.
“Wow, I can see why I had to wear this gown. This is beautiful and soon your company will own this? You must be very pleased by what you see.” I say in awe of the beautiful intricate details of the interior.
“Yes, I am.” He says looking around as well
After all my observations I catch a glimpse of Robert looking at me and made me question what he was looking at.
“What? Did something unravel?” I ask inspecting the borrowed dress.
“No, it’s just. You look really beautiful tonight and that dress suits you. Snow.” He says with wit looking at the bottom of my dress.
“Thanks, but it’s all Colin’s superb work.” I say not taking any credit because I don’t deserve it.
“Well, he certainly favors you.” Robert says
We made past the crowded lobby and into a grand display of wealth, the ballroom exploding in grandeur with glittering details everywhere. There were exquisite flowers and centerpieces that I would have never thought of. I was in awe of the magnitude of its elegance with sweet jazz music filling the air and the whispered conversations of a hundred have mixed with the music. Just when I thought nothing would amaze me even more.
“Sweet Buffet. That is incredible.” I gawk at the large spread of food displayed in the most amazing way with vibrant colors and awesome aroma.
“I thought you’d like that.”
“Oh yes I do.” I say as Robert and I moved away from the buffet and unto our seats.
On the table where we sat were a couple of businessmen and their wives I’m presuming. One man stood up while Robert and I was approaching the table.
“Angela Morley, this is Mr. Kwok, CEO of Hongkong and Shanghi Hotels.”
“Mr. Kwok, It’s such an honor to meet you and might I say how wonderfully breath-taking this Hotel is. The building looks amazing and the workmanship of the various artisans is incredible and the details are impeccably done.” I say not being able to contain my enthusiasm about the incredible reconstruction.
“Thank you Ms. Morley. You have a very keen eye. Tell me what drives your fascination in the interiors of this building?” Mr. Kwok asks
“Well, I’m an Interior Design graduate.” I say proudly without any hesitation.
“I see.” At that note another man approached the table along with a woman with their respective plus ones. Mr. Kwok greets them. The late thirties man looked really polished and proper; they all stepped nearer to where Robert and I was standing.
“Mr. Sleigh this is Nicolas Beliard, General Manager of The Peninsula. Nicolas this is Mr. Robert Sleigh and his delightful date Ms. Morley.” Mr. Kwok introduces us.
“Mr. Sleigh and Mademoiselle, I am your guide whenever you’re here in Paris, do not hesitate to call. I am at your service.” Nicolas gave a little bow
“Thank you, your hospitality is very much appreciated I’ll make sure to have me assistant call you soon.” Robert acknowledges Nicolas.
After all the greetings, we all sat down the table as Robert and Mr. Kwok were in deep talk, I was sharing a delightful chat with one of the team leader who worked with the restoration and also the famous Xavier Corbero who was a joy to speak with. The evening went smoothly until after the lovely meal when everyone started to get up and dance with their significant others and Robert was nowhere to be found.
“It’s you again.” A voice came from behind me
“Alistaire, Remember from the Lobby.” He looks really handsome in a deep navy blue suit.
“Yes, I remember.” I acknowledged
“Why do I always find you alone? I think we need to remedy that.” He asks
“Well, I wasn’t alone earlier.” I say
“If I was your date I would never leave you alone, especially in that stunning dress.”
Having no words I uttered a haha and smiled since I do not know how to respond to that and he just smiles right back at me. After a long pause if him staring and me nervously and weirdly laughing he asks me to dance.
“Dance. Mmm. I’m not really good at it.” I say in full honesty
“Well, it’s a good thing I’m a great dancer.” He says grabbing my hand, leading me across the dance floor and he started to teach me. Placing my hand of this shoulders and taking my hand on his and with the other hand pulled me closer.
“Follow me” He says and then we were off moving in a weird way, well I was, but since he was so commanding I couldn’t help but follow.
“See your dancing. It isn’t all that bad is it?” He asks me after a few minutes of us dancing, still I had no answer so I just nodded, this was very uncomfortable, we just met and boy does this guy ooze in charm.
“May I cut in?” A voice said from behind and we both stop dancing. Alistair swings me to his side as we faced a stern Robert Sleigh whose eyes were greener than before.
“Of course. Nice chat with Mr. Kwok? ” Alistair asks Robert in a smug way
“Till the next time I find you alone.” Alistair says kissing my hand before he disappeared in the crowd of dancers.
Robert then took my hand and this time lead me to a slower dance. I looked at him and he still had a look on his face that tells me something was wrong.
“What happened with Mr. Kwok? Did he decline to consider you?” I ask him worried as well
“No, everything’s fine we just need to up my company’s image a bit that’s all.” He says
“Ok, that seems workable.” I say and his look still hasn’t change, I’m starting to think he was sort of jealous but I can’t assume, he might think I’m crazy, plus I don’t think he would be intimidated.
As we were dancing my mind was engulfed in different scenarios of why has this look on his face with green eyes clearer than ever.
“Why is it, when your alone Alistair shows up?” He asks me, and now the face made sense and I wasn’t assuming at all
“Is Mr. Robert Sleigh, CEO of Sleigh Holdings Inc., greatest catch, one of GQ’s 100 eligible bachelors, jealous?” I teased not being able to control myself from smiling at least until he turns it down that would kill me.
“So you’ve been looking up on the articles.” His face then relaxes into an amused face
“I just saw that in the newsstand, your face was plastered on it how could I miss that?” I defended myself hoping he hadn’t catch the jealousy bit because he just right there and then ignored it.
“And Yes, Remind me to never leave you alone in Paris.” He says, acknowledging the fact the he was indeed jealous. We danced to classic standards of all time, swaying to the music my head resting on his chest, I wished I could stay like this but I knew it would be difficult to do so.
“Do you want to go?” He asks me as he pulled away and I nodded.
“Isn’t that going to leave a bad impression with the host?” I ask him
“Let’s just sneak out. Nobody will notice.” He says like a kid about to ditch class.
“Where would we go?”
“We’ll take the last trip of the Seine River like we planned.” He proposed
“Fine, but if we get caught, I’m telling on you.” I joked
We escaped from the ballroom full of people and out the cold Parisian air. We stood there as the valet arrived with Robert’s car in front of us and then headed to the Seine River dock.
Upon arriving we headed down the dock and booked the last tickets on the last trip. Since our boat hasn’t arrived yet I decided to treat Robert with a cup of cheap coffee. We sat on the waiting area while waiting for the boat.
“Mom, there aren’t any tickets left, they close at 9pm.” A teenager complained in the background.
I looked at here and then at my ticket. No more trips? I looked at my watch and it was already 11pm. Confused as I was I looked up at Robert who was passively waiting.
“What does she mean there aren’t any more tickets?” I ask and Robert gives me an I-got-caught look
“Maybe she means the tickets sold out already.” He says and before I could react again he stood telling me the boat has arrived.
Without another word we hopped into an empty boat while the assistant lead us up the second floor. The deck had chairs and tables for dining surrounding a dance floor with incandescent series light creating a cozy feel to the area complementing the star lit skies. We situated ourselves on the table closes to a coffee station on the side. Hugging my coat and feeling the warmness of the coffee cup I sank unto my seat ready to take in the sights. After a few moments the boat sailed off from the dock.
“Rob. Why are there no people on this boat when that girl clearly said it was all out?” I interrogated as I looked around and saw no one but us.
“Well. It was sold out.” He says plainly
“What did you do? Tell me or I’m jumping off this boat and into Seine River” I demanded
“I might have bought all the tickets double the price so this boat can sail tonight at this hour.”
“Rob! What did I say about this lavish spending?” I ask him as I punched his arm which did not seem to make a dent
“Angela, buying out this boat is hardly lavish, cruising the Seine River on my yacht is.” He reasons out
“I thought you promised that today the most you’re spending is this borrowed dress?”
“Well, I remembered how you said you’d want to ride down the Seine River and I thought if we rode the yacht it wouldn’t be as authentic as you’d like it. Plus you know how I like my privacy.” He says now sipping the coffee that I had bought for him. Before I could fight with him more I was just engulfed by the beautiful city lights and the wonderful structures unveiling before my eyes.
“Well, thank you for taking me on this trip.” I say giving in
“No. Thank you for treating me tonight.” He says and I looked at him all confused
“You paid for my ticket right? I just paid everyone else’s ticket.”
“You and your lavish display of wealth.” I say rolling my eyes.
“It’s a privilege that I take an advantage of. I’d like to think I deserve it after all my hard work. This is the first vacation I had in two years and the other vacations I still had to work.” He explains as he stands and refills his cup and I find myself mimicking him.
“So is this coffee station really free or did you have this placed her?” I ask
“To my defense this is borrowed equipment from my yacht.” He says
“Ok. That’s good to know. So now you’re like a reformed shopaholic.“I laugh and he does as well
We moved to the railings looking out the beautiful historic buildings and incredible lighting, everything was just beautiful. I looked at him and thought how he would be if he didn’t have any titles associated with him. What then?
I stare out and I gasp at the sight of the Notre Dame and its beautiful lighting perfectly showcasing this historical landmark, it was breathtakingly spectacular. I watched as it’s reflection shown unto the river and how prestigious it looked.
“You were wonderful today, Angela.” Robert says looking at me.
“Tonight you mean.” I corrected him
“No, Angela. You were amazing being a tourist and exploring the streets and a very good sport with fitting those expensive clothes-”
“Expensive gowns and delicate tulle skirts? It wasn’t expensive enough. I almost died.” I joked pretending to be one of his usual stuffy dates.
“I only complained because I wanted it so much but I couldn’t take them without working for it, as you already know.” I explained
“Yes, I do. You also were amazing with Mr. Kwok and the rest of the design team; you had their attention talking about art and interior jargons. I’ve never seen Xavier talk so animatedly as well as Mr. Kwok.” He says
“Xavier was so kind; he looked a bit like my dad so warm, charming and fluffy.“I sang praises about the guests and how nice their company was. As our conversation turned to silence music saved the awkwardness.
“Shall we?” Robert asks me holding out his hand and I nod taking it.
We danced under the moonlight and with the Paris views as a background nothing would top this great feeling I had making me wish it could be like this forever.
“Thank you for the fun and enjoying dates. I can’t thank you enough for the lovely Parisian experience that I’ll always cherish and maybe be able to share to my grandchildren. Paris truly is a wonderful place.” I say sincerely
“Thank you for not telling the police that I dragged you under false pretenses.” He says
“No, Thank you. If you told me months ago that I’d be in Paris in this gorgeous expensive borrowed gown, eating amazing food, strolling down the streets and biking through Versailles gardens, going on a date with you, I would laugh at you thinking there’s just no way. I can’t thank you enough for the lovely Parisian experience that I’ll always cherish and maybe be able to share to my grandchildren. Paris truly is a wonderful place.” This time looking right at him but as if the sight of him was too much for me to look I placed me head back on his chest hiding my apparent blush.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I picture you with me. I will never forget this moment.” I say
When the Eiffel tower finally came to view, I pulled away, went over the rails and stared at its gleaming majesty, I didn’t think anything could top this warm happy content feeling in me.
Then there it was; Fireworks and he leaned in for a kiss. As his lips gently caressed mine in that instant the whole world slowed down and froze. We slowly faced each other and that moment when the shock of the kiss died down his arms pulled me closer to him as my hands found its way weaving though his hair as his kiss deepened.
Moments later we broke free from the kiss my lips tingling in delight and his eyes brighter as it looked deeply to mine. I took hold of his arm, leaned my head on it and continued staring at the sights with a huge, silly, undeniable gleam plastered on my face. He then free his hand from my clutches and pulled me closer to his side making me hug his mid section with delight.
The cruise ended real soon making me wish the boat could loop the river one more time but seeing the time we had to get going. We walked hand in hand smiling silly at each other as Isaac waited for us at the dock entrance. When Isaac saw me he gave me a satisfied smile and I tried so hard to demurely smile trying not to be obvious but who was I kidding my face has harden and that smile permanent. Robert ushered me in and I stay at my usual spot then Robert took hold of my hand tugging me to move in closer. He took my left arm and placed it across his body, stroking my bare arms as I held him close feeling his warmth soaking up his scent falling comfortably against him as I feel his breath on my head.
A short-lived moment of bliss wrapped up with each other, we had not choice but to straighten up as we arrived at the Shangri-La, whose gates were wide open as cars lined up. Paparazzi and the media filling the driveway with flashing lights going off as it is rumored an exclusive after party is being held inside.
It was our turn to head out and Robert back in character and head out the door first facing the paparazzi as I scurry behind him, covering my eyes from the blinding lights. Once we were safely inside the lively lobby Robert dragged me unto the elevator. The air was heavy and electric; it felt as if the elevator was moving at a slower pace. My head whirling trying to arrange the events in my mind and tried thinking about something else but my mind chooses to play our kiss over and over. I can see Rob in the corner of my eye, staring out as well but then he looks at me and I at him. He was about to move when the elevator door opens.
A woman with two teens and kid got in and Robert and I were against the door at both ends. Robert smiles at me like a kid with a big secret that only he knows and I try to compose myself. The family gets off the floor below my floor and it seemed so fast when the elevator doors opened to my floor.
“This is me.” I said stepping out the elevator car.
He stops the doors from closing on me, pulling me back and kissing me intensely this time he pulls me to his frame making me feel things I’ve never felt before there was a surprising warmth pooling inside me. His breath thick and heavy as his lips makes its way to my neck his hands claiming my body unto his. I have to stop this its too soon but – no. No Angela be strong, fight.
“I- I-” I say as he trails unto my neck
“I-think-we-better-get-some-rest.” I say in between breaths as I cower and draw myself inward into his embrace. He then kisses me on my forehead, making me wish I didn’t say anything and we’d be just be in each other’s company.
“Good night, I’ll see you tomorrow.” He says giving me his awesome smile as I look up at him and I nod.
I stepped out the door with a bit of regret in the back of my mind and watched those gleaming emeralds one more time as the doors shut.
I let myself in the room. I sat on the plush sofa playing back my whole weekend in Paris and when memories reached my shared kiss; I touched my tingling lips sending me in an undeniable bliss. I changed in my nightgown and silk robe as I thought how the night ended and I realized that I was craving that feeling of having him close to me and wanting more. But how do I get that? Do I just ask him? Do I tell him I had nightmares? Scared of the lightning? Do I beg? How do you seduce an experienced ladies man? Will he jump right at me? Ok. Nope. Nope. Too much.
I let out a frustrated annoyance and went in the walk-in. I don’t know how this will help me but I need all the help I could get. I applied a bit of gloss and pinched the skittles out of my cheeks and when I was satisfied, walked out the door before I could stop myself.