Saved by the sofa
“Angela. What the heck are you doing?” An angry Robert Sleigh popped into view as my vision cleared. A concerned looking Isaac was standing by the door.
“Rob? What are you doing here I thought you’re still in Italy?” I ask confused and assessing if this was a dream or reality.
“My trip got cut short. Now tell me what the hell are you doing here alone at midnight? And where is your blasted phone, I’ve been trying to reach it.” He asks furry still clear in his face.
“I was finishing the papers and I think I doozed off as I was sorting these out. My phone is in my bag where else? Why are you so mad I’m doing what most of your employees do not do.” I retorted feelings bruised. I give effort and I get scolded? Geesh.
“Yes, no one is dumb enough to do what you did. Isaac and I thought you’ve been murdered or something. Your desk looks like a hanious crime scene, I didn’t hire you to slave yourself out here.” He says pacing in front of me running his fingers through his hair.
" You can leave now.” He says to Isaac who was standing by the doorway.
The room went silent and tensions were high, I just can’t believe he was mad at me while I was doing my job. I was furious at him telling me my efforts were not needed. He was silent and clearly mad at something. He leaned against his desk while I hastily cleaned up all the papers splayed on his coffee table. He was immobile and I needed to get out of there.
“I’m sorry to have stayed longer I had no intent to do so. As for my work I had to finish at least half of it, inorder for me to finish all these by friday. Now if you’ll excuse me,I have to clean up the crime scene before the police comes.” I say strongly trying to hold back my tears out of anger. How I wish I could smack his face so hard he’d slip to a comma.
Before I could leave, Robert walks towards me and takes all the paper work from my hands and sets it down on his desk.
“How long will this take you to finish?” He asks me as he sat on his chair facing me.
" A few minutes.” I say looking down at my feet trying to control my feelings.
“Well then, get started we’ll hed home together.” He says plainly without any trace of emotion, he was crazy like this, he can just switch it off and be all business-like.
I paused for a moment to process what he just said before I could react and walk towards his desk and start reading and placing one file on top of the other, took out a folder an labeling them by their classification. I continued working and still processing his words in my mind, my head reeling an emotions confused. Later did I realize he has been watching me work and it made me uncomfortable.
“Robert. You really dont have to stay. My car is still here in the basement. I could get home safety.” I inform him hoping he’d leave.
“In that case, I’ll call Isaac.” He says and I relax thankful, He got my hint,
While I stack the folders into the filing drawers. I then, went out his office to clean up the table and collect my belongings so I could go home. I then, he’d back to his office to file few folders in his office.
“Uh, aren’t you leaving?” I ask him wondering why he still is seated comfortably on his chair.
“No, we’ll take your car. I can’t possibly leave you. Seeing how tired you are, You couldn’t drive in your state, you might sleep and crash somewhere.” He answer
“The sleep I had is sufficient enough for me to drive home. Why is it you always presume I’d faint at any moment, or need any assistance?” I retort at the notion of him thinking I couldn’t handle myself.
“You just fell asleep out of exhaustion, you don’t know when to stop working, you don’t eat in time and you are stubborn like a child. Need I go on?” He inumerates
“For your information, Mr. Sleigh, I can manage myself , perfectly fine. I work because I want to , not because I need to. I have never been late to any deadline and I dont intend to start being late now.” I say filing the last of the papers and labeling them.
“Good, but it’s late Ms. Morley. Unless your a black belter and a secret spy assassin in your off hours, I don’t trust you working alone in a deserted office where your stalkers might be lurking around the building. What part of your my responsibility don’t you understand?” He lectures
“You must know Mr. Sleigh that I have never attracted anyone in my life to make them want to stalk me, there are no dangers of lurking stalkers here and Yes, you are responsible but my personal choices aren’t any of your business.” I counter lectured on a softer tone trying not to test his patience.
“Assassin? You’ve been watching way to much movies. Out of curiousity are you a black belter?” I giggled
“And I’m a sharp shooter. I think you need me more than you think. ” I teased. I studied his expression hoping I haven’t gone too far. When I saw a smile plastered on his face, I relax.
“You are really, something Ms. Morley. Now, if your done could we possibly leave now?” I nod at him, He stands fixing his tux and held out his hand. I look at his hands with a confused expression.
“Keys.” He says smirking at me.
“Oh. Here.” I say shuffling the inners of my bag and to locate my keys and handed them to him.
We reach the Centurion faster than usual. Robert gets out the car as we reached the curb, before I could open the door, he opens it and leads me out. He then shuts the door behind me and leads me in the lobby by the elevator.
“I’m giving you a day off this Friday, you deserve one after you’ve overworked yourself.” He says as we enter the elevator.
“Robert, you dont need to do that, I can manage.” I say
" I’m not asking you, I’m telling you.” He says looking at me this time he seems to have drawn closer to my person. That electric aura has once again taken over, making me uncomfortable.
“I’m giving you a day off, because you’d be working the whole weekend on a business trip with me and I don’t want you looking fatigued.” He saysr taking blankly at space. Such a weirdo.
" Yes, Mr. Sleigh. Do in need to arrange flights and lodging?” I ask as i stepped out the elevator and faced him.
“No need. It’s all being arranged we’re staying at my parent’s house. We also have galas to attend, I case if you needed to know.” He says, He seems to be enjoying my reaction because his smile was getting wider as if he was holding back laughter as the elevator doors slid shut leaving me speechless and in a nervous wreck. Parents?! What the- I need to prepare. Why am I so nervous? I felt the need to call aunt Brenda.
I walked in the apartment and rushed to call aunt Brenda as I flopped on my bed. I waited for the ringing to stop.
“Angela? What’s wrong?”
“Aunt Brenda! Oh my! I’m so sorry to call you this late, or early, my mind is just all cluttered and I forgot.” I asked forgiveness from Aunt Brenda. what the heck is wrong with me,
“It’s ok dear, what is it?” She asks sounding really concerned
“Well it’s nothing, It’s really silly. I’ll just call you tomorrow.” I say dismissing my silliness to aunt Brenda and not bother her anymore.
“Dear, I’m already intrigued what is it really?” She says not having it
“Um- Have yoy ever met Robert’s parents?” I ask
“Ofcourse, I have they’re lovely. They live here around the area. They’re very kind. Why do you ask?” She asks
“Well, Robert and I are going over to his parents house, for some business trip. I don’t even know why he brings me along.” I whinned.
“Dear, you’re there to meet with clients, familiarize the people he deals with so you’d know who you’re booking meeting with. It’s part of your job to know who they are. You are there to observe and take in their lifestyle. Plus you get to eat gourmet food, I know you’d never pass that up.” She says.
“Fine. He says we have galas to attend what does that mean.” I ask
“It means you have to bring dresses, for the party, simple cocktail dress, but you really don’t have to worry dear. You’ll be ok.” She consoles me
“Really? Ok. I have Friday to pack, I guess I’ll figure it out by then.” I say finally calming my nerves down
“Aunt Brenda would you hate it if I visit this weekend if I get the chance?” I ask
“Oh darling, your room is empty without you. Of course I’d be delighted.” She says with enthusiasm in her voice.
“Ok. I’ll see you soon.” I say, Aunt Brenda bids me goodbye and hangs up. Calm and relaxed I decided to sleep on my couch and wait till morning, since it was really early anyway, I didn’t have time to change my clothes. Exhaustion has taken over.
After what seemed like a minute has passed my alarm blasted in my ears jerking me up to reality. It was already 7 in the morning and I was late. I rushed and changed in the best office clothes I could pull our of my closet and rushed down the lobby. I was too late that I figured bringing a car would hold me up. I grabbed a cab and begged him to go fast.
I arrived at the office, ready to charge the lobby. Everything around me is such a blur. After the nail-biting, crazy experience of being late, I finally reached the my floor. I rushed to my desk, not bothering of the people around me and stowed away my belongings, grabbing my planner , the itenerary I printed out yesterday and I knock to enter Robert’s office.
“Come in.” he calls and i walk in nervous, my heart pounding so loudly, I could go deaf in seconds.
“Angela? ” Roberts voice sounds surprised.
“Mr. Sleigh, I - I’m so sorry I came in late. I-” I got cut off by Robert as he cleared his throat, probably trying to stop me from embarrassing myself.
I then realthee, Robert was looking at the Sofa behind me and I realize there probably are guests seated and confused as to why I was there. I crinkled my nose as I close my eyes while breathing deeply. Robert helps me face his company and I breathe out. As I opened my eyes a familiar physique stop infront of me.
“Riley?” I say shocked to find him in the office looking much more polished than the usual clothes he dress with.
“Angela! Funny to see you here.” He swoops me off the floor and hugs me tight. He seems to be really happy to see me. The horror struck me when I realized this was totatlly inappropriate. He seemed to have thought the same way when he s lowly let me down. I’m totally embarassed in front of my boss who’s client had just gave me a huge bear hug.
“You two know each other?” Robert’s stern, confused voice interrupted Riley’s reverie. Oh great. This is the most awkward situation yet.
“Ofcourse, she’s the girl I told you about. The one I went bowling with?” Riley opens his mouth and I’m done for. What the heck, he’s been talking about me?
I’m really confused, how do they both know each other, this is just crazy. Is Riley the new business Robert has been working hard for? So many questions and I still can’t formulated the right question to ask. So I settled to fins my answers by surveying Robert and Riley for clues, but somehow I can’t put two and two together.
“Angela, this is my Brother. Riley Christopher Sleigh.” Robert finally clears the assosiation. What? This awkwardness is all Riley’s fault, why did he have to hug me infront of my boss and what has he been talking about me to Robert?
“We don’t look a like, I know. I’m the handsome son.” Riley joked and teased Robert, who seem to have been looking at me in a weird manner. Riley on the other hand relaxes on the couch while Robert faces me.
“Mr. Sleigh, I’m sorry again for-”
“Angela, It’s ok, I did tell you to have a day or two to recover.” He says in a much more caring voice.
“Thanks, but i really need to finish filing today. Well, if you dont need me I’ll continue filing now, by the way here is your itemerary for today.” I say waiting for his approval to let me out.
“Ok. If you must. I’ll call if I need you.” He says and off I go to my desk.
I stand in front closed doors and finally relaxed, a little tired but ready to finish what I came for. The day went by smoothly without interruptions. Maxine was as busy as I was so we didn’t have time to get lunch together. I have finally finished all the paperwork that I needed done, I finally relaxed after a very stressful long week. People on the floor were getting few so I decided to pack up and let myself relax. I was about to head out for Dinner and fetch Maxine when Robert and Riley caught me on the way out.
“Angela, you headed out?” Riley asks standing next to me.
“Um- yeah. I just finished.” I answered Riley, who was leaning against my desk.
“Why don’t you join us for Dinner?” Riley asks pulling me to his side
“It’s ok. I’m actually on my way to ask Maxine to grab a bite before heading home.” I said hoping Riley would let the conversation go plus, I did not want to join them both, alone.
“I already asked Maxine, but she couldn’t join me for dinner cause she has an appointment, so I asked Alexander instead.” He says. I had no way out.
“Alexander?” I asked
“I meant, Robert. So how about it, Angela? Will you join us?′ I look at Robert whose expression I couldn’t make out. I couldn’t tell whether he liked me to join them or not.
“Come. We’ll take you home after.” Robert finally says. Great another awkward alone time, No way!
“Yeah. My treat.” Riley says putting his hands on Robert’s shoulder.
“Ok.” I finally gave up, seeing that Riley wasn’t backing down on his offer.
As we head out the office building, people on the busy sidewalk has started to notice the handsome brothers who seems to have no idea of the effect they have to the people around them. They looked like models that came to life from a posh men’s magazine and I can’t help but feel lucky, judging from the envious stares that I was getting from the equally posh women who were waiting for a taxi ride.
The familiar car pulls up and Robert opens the door for me to get in as Riley takes the door on the opposite side of the car. I step in and was sandwiched by two very appealing men. The car ride was pretty much bearable with Riley entertaining the both of us with his jokes and his praise with Alain Ducasse’s masterpiece of a meal.
Minutes after the car pulls out to The Essex House. Robert helps me out of the car as Riley joins us in the lobby, Riley led the way as Robert and I followed. The lobby was exquisite with black marbled columns, dark wood walls and bright flooring, gave a very cozy and a feel of grandeur by the dark red accents all over the place. It’s a place I never could have gone if it wasn’t for Riley.
We reached the dining area and were greeted by a waitress who seems to be enjoying her view. I on the other hand was entranced by the bright and classic interior of the restaurant. I was enjoying perusing the place while taking a mental picture.
“Angela.” I snapped from my sightseeing as we were ushered us to a booth Riley lets me in first as he slides in next to me.
In minutes I was faced with Robert who seems to be studying something or someone behind me, I’d look back but I decided not to care. He can look all he want, I just hope his brother has the decency to bring me home himself rather than leave with a drop dead gorgeous diva and leave me behind.
“So, Angela, How are you?” Riley asks facing me
“Good. Accomplished.” I say
“Let’s order.” Robert says calling a waiter.
Both ordered simultaneously commenting on various spices, ingredient and wine, words I thought I’d only hear in biology. They seem to know so much on this thing and I’d never knew. After a few, the waiter left us and another replaced him to serve wine.
" Your Chef instincts are kicking in again, for a minute there I’d thought you’d go in the kitchen and cook our meal.” Robert smiles a warm, heart-melting smile.
“What can I say, I’m very picky.” Riley banters.
“You’re a chef?” I ask facing Riley.
“Yup. I’ve travel most of time, to learn cooking secrets. I plan to open a restaurant soon. I just got back from Asia when you first saw me.” He shares
" That’s awesome, I LOVE food. You should open a restaurant but maybe a bit less pricey, for those who couldn’t afford a sumptuous meal.” I say in fascination. Who would have thought this guy was a chef?
“You live in the same building as Robert right? Why don’t I cook you a meal at Robert’s place.” Riley says looking to Robert for approval
“Sure. Why not?” Robert says after a few moments of hesitation.
Our conversation consists of mostly Riley and an occasional comment from Robert; the meal was an exciting experience for my taste buds. Some dishes new to me but I’m no picky with food. I could only name a few dishes like the scallops and caviar in watercress vichyssoise, whose flavor was divine. The foie gras on lentils to-die-for and lastly pan-glazed scallops with pumpkin chutney and white truffles was cooked to perfection by angels. I was in heaven every time I took a bite of every dish I had. I was back to reality when I heard Riley address a question at me.
" So, Ange, Maxine agreed to go out with me tomorrow, if and only if, you join us.” He says with big round-brown hopeful eyes.
" Um – don’t you think it’s better if I wasn’t there?” I ask really not wanting to become the third wheel
" Well, She said she’d only go I you’d go.” He pleads like a child pleading for candy
“Oh, ok. I guess I could swing by, well depending on our flight tomorrow.” I say this time bravely facing Robert whose tantalizing emerald eyes I was avoiding to see, was piercing right through me, making my stomach summersault.
“Only if you don’t stay too long. We leave early saturday morning.” Robert says.
“It’s settled then” I say quickly looking back at Riley to avoid an embarrassing coloration of my cheeks.
Surprisingly, there wasn’t any dull moment as we conversed. Robert and Riley talking business, shifting to crazy times in their childhood to anything they could think of. I was starting to think the empty bottle of wine was the culprit, but I highly doubt two grown men would pass out with just a couple glasses of red wine. I guess they were just spontaneous that way.
The time flew by and we decided to head back to the Centurion. As we walk out of the hotel, I thought I was hallucinating for thinking someone was calling. I guessed it was all the wine that I drank, until someone yanked my arms from behind and almost made me fall down. I swished around and saw Luke’s megawatt smile and I hugged him instantly.
“Luke! what are you doing here?”
“Oh, I’m on my way to see Natalie. And we’re completely being rude.” Luke acknowledges the fact that there were two, slightly taller than him, men baffled at us as we ignored them.
I look at Robert who seems to be giving off his cool glare and Riley being weirdly guarded. They looked like body guards who wanted to hurt Luke for invading my space.
“Uh- yes. Luke this is Robert and Riley Sleigh. Rob, Riley, this is Luke Fletcher, my childhood ’s the one who designed those invitations that I sent.” I say looking at Rob surveying his emotions but he is as blank as an empty page. I have no idea why I had to state my relationship with this man but somehow something pushed me to do so.
“Please call me Luke.i’m a fan of your advertising company Mr. Sleigh.” He gushes
“Thanks.” Robert giving him a modest smile.
“hey man.” Riley says casually
“Nice to meet you guys.” Luke says shaking both their outstreched hands.
“So, I would love to invite you to join us but I see you’re a bit next time?” Luke looks back at me.
“Oh, yeah. Just call me.” I say
He hugs me once more “see you soon.”
“Say Hi, to Nat for me.” I say as he bid the brothers goodbye.
As Luke disappeared from view, we were all quiet standing on the pavement, waiting for the car to arrive.
“Another one of your admirers, Ange.” Riley’s teasing voice.
“No-“before I got defensive Riley laughed and I too laugh along.
The car arrived and in minutes we reached the Centurion. Worn out and in serious need of rest. We head to the elevator so we could all finally relax.
“Riley, Mr.- uh – Rob. Thank you so much for the extravagant meal.”
“Our pleasure, Ange. Least I could do, after you agreed to come with us tomorrow night.” Riley says patting my shoulder
“The pleasure was mine.” Robert says courteously
“Thanks for letting me stay, big brother. I really missed you.” Riley says jokingly at Robert who rolled his eyes with the childish acts his little brother was displaying
“I’ll just email you your schedule tomorrow, Rob. Do call if you need anything. Night. Riley.” I say as I head out the elevator and left two loving brothers in an elevator. Robert nods and Riley waves his hands wildly as the door shuts.
Friday night. I stood at The Marquee entrance at Midnight, cold with my light embellished black bondage dress’ hemline just above my knee and aching feet standing on sky-high heels, waiting for the lovebirds to arrive. After an afternoon of battling my closet as I packed lightly for the business trip and went out to buy Aunt Brenda a gift when I’d visit, I wanted to just stay home and relax, instead I’m in a place filled with too-cool people, models and more models and have a drink so my best-friend could date. I should get at least a plaque of appreciation for this.
“Ange! You came!” Maxine shows up stunning as ever wearing dress, a combination of leather, sheer pieces and fair skin complementing each other.
“Of course, I said I’d come, remember.” I say as Riley join us.
“You’re the Best!” Maxine whispers excitedly to me.
We walked in on a multi colored ambience with music you’d dance to. I fought the urge to bust a move to avoid embarrassment. We walked down the stairs to a slowly building crowd on the dance floor and made our way to the VIP area but the balcony. The music loud, the bass was dictating my heartbeat. Definitely not the best place to stay after a tiring day.
I sit on the side by the balcony as the drinks were being served like magic. Riley and Maxine seems to be having so much fun, dancing and being all over each other. I didn’t want to break up whatever was going on so I just sat and looked at the crowed pumped up by the music. A couple of dancers has taken over the floor, building the hype and I was enjoying whatever I was drinking. I swayed back and forth with the music trying to stay alive and throw enjoying happy fun looks at Maxine and Roley every time they call out my name.
30 minutes in and I wanted to hed out the door. I once again looked around after checking out my phone for any alerts but there were none. I scanned the room looking at desperate men trying to get girls that was way out of their league. Girls hot his dance infront of hot guys, others getting really drunk ouf their mind, dancing crazily for my amusement. On the couches there were couples who should have booked a room at the nearby hotel than come here I flinched at the sight of them making out. I tried to take the image out of my head by scanning the bar, I desperately needed water but I seem to not want to move and head down to the dance floor.
There was this guy n the corner of the bar, looking all cool, girls trying to get his attention. He looked up at where I was sitting and raised his drink at me. I tried to avoid his gaze by looking at the crazy dancers. I still feel his peircing state and this time I tried to have the courage to stare him down. I took a peek at the guy as I drank my drink and I almost choke when I discovered those eyes belonged to Robert Sleigh.
No. I’m sure he isn’t looking at me. for sure hot girls are behind me. I looked behind me Maxine and Riley seemed to have left me alone and in place hot model looking girls were there. I sighed in relief. Yup, didn’t see me. I looked back at the bar to where he was drinking and saw him being engulfed by this hot blonde clinging to him as if staking her claim and making the girls who were desperately trying to attract him. The ritual made me laugh, seeing Robert being claimed like a prize. I rolled my eyes and decided I had enough sight seeing and just decided to have fun alone.
“Thirty more minutes.” I toasted to myself and drank the tequilla shot. The alcohol drove heat through my throat and I flinched. Too strong.
“Easy with those shots.” Robert says standing gloriously at me.
“Sleigh, what are you doind here?” I asked
“Nothing, just thought I’d join you and Riley. By the way where is my brother?” He asks taking a seat beside me. If the drink made me feel hot him beside me felt like I was burning.
“Um- I think he’s down there with Maxine.” I say moving to the edge of my seat and face Robert trying to get some air to my back as I pointed below. Good thing my dress has a breathable fabric and a backless design.
“So are they hitting it off?” He gossips
“I guess” I replied and surveyed him once more. He looks so good sotting there. If this wasn’t my boss I would have flirted if I knew how. Gosh these lights are helping him look even better. His sculpted torso seems to be hugged by the fabric of his polo. His green eyes seems to be glinting over the changing lights. Strong and commanding. He looked really relax not having a care in the world, who would have thought Robert Sleigh has this persona. I’m loving and hating it at the same time.
He seemed to have noticed so I qudivert looked away from him and unto the dance floor. I spotted Riley and Maxine dancing the night away or in my case morning. I spotted the blonde with at was clinging to Robert awhile ago, she seems to be frantic like she lost something.
“Seems like your date is looking for you.” I say turning back to Robert who looked like he was thinking of something.
“Date? She just clung to me when I got in the bar. We exchanged a conversation one minute and the next minute I was her boyfriend.” He says. It looked like he was over the blonde and is looking for another to replace her.
“Come on. She must not be that bad. She’s pretty and hot.” I sort of shouted my encouragement resulting him drawingg closer to me for him to hear.
“Pretty and hot doesn’t really go that far for me. What good is it to have someone who looks interesting but has a personality as flat as a paper and is only concern on how she looks but us nothing up in her head.” He says, his face really close to mine.
“I guess, but maybe you led her on into thinking you liked her.” I say defending the poor blonde.
“I only asked her where the VIP was and then offered her a drink for answer.”
“See, you should have never offered her a drink. For a guy so smooth with the ladies, you’re completely oblivious to how these girls react to you.” I say rolling my eyes at him for being so clueless.
“Now, you’ll have to think of a way for her to leave you alone. She seems to have stalkers tendencies. Imagine, if she found out your super rich. You’ll never get rid of her.” I teased as we both laugh. I leaned back as my body regained its normal temperature.
“Ok, Ms. Girl power, you’ll have to help me get rid of her. Now you mentioned her incredible stalker tendencies.” He says this time placing his arm on the backrest of the sofa, his hands touching my shoulders lightly, seemigly cornering me. Trying so hard not to fall for those stern commanding eyes I quickly retorted.
“Not my problem. You have to do that on your own.”
“As far as I remembered, you owed me a dare. Riley told me our team won.” He says as I was thinking of a ways get out of this.
“So sorry, Mr. Sleigh but the bet was off when you left.” I with my haha-I-win-smile.
“I don’t recall saying it was off,Ms. Morley. Since Riley took my place, bet still is in place. I do recall Riley telling me he had a higher score than you when you won. So that means, you owe me a dare. Now if it was you who had a higher score I’d be willing to do any dare you’d like to think of.” He says wipping my victorious smile off my face.
“That’s not fair your slot is non-transferrable, so I don’t owe you anything.” I retorted.
“There was no agreement made about that Ms. Morley. Now, chop chop. You have a dare to accomplish.” He says Not buying my reasoning. He extened his hands for me to take. He was really out of character tonight and he clearly wasn’t drunk. He was just different, playful even and his mood was contagious and I was caught up in it.
We headed down and stayed on a side of a wall, the place was really crowded and there was no room for us to move. He stayed behind me shielding me from people around us. I’m usually shorter than he is, but tonight my eyes are able to take a closer look of his lip.
I was stuck with my back facing the wall, he stood close to me, unmoved he leaned over trying to talk over the music thy seemed to get louder by the minute.
“So, I’ll hed back to the bar and sit until she comes over and finds me. I dare you to act as my jealous girlfriend and force her to stop following me.” He says clearly in my ear.
“What? Are you our of you mind? I can’t do that! she’s just going to want you more. Come on! I can’t compete with her.” I whinned in his ear.
“If you don’t do this then , you’ll have to do a double dare.” He smiles wickedly back at me.
He then leaves me and heads to the bar ordering a drink.” Gosh he looks really good. Come on, Angela, just pretend. When will you ever get a chance to fake date a drop dead gorgeous guy ever. I tried to talk myself into doing this ridiculous request. As soon as Robert recieved his drink the blonde returned and was completely over him, desprately clinging to him. I ordered a shot from the bartender and gulped it down. A little liquid courage.
I looked at Robert prying off the clingy hands from his person. It was really amusing and I decided to make fun of him. I stood to a spot where he saw me and mouthed “I can’t do it!” And waved at him. His eyes were so big I thought it’d pop out his sockets. Hilarious. I sneaked in the crowed weaving my way a little behind Robert and the girl. He seems to be trying to get rid of her, but she was insistent this one. I pulled up my skirt to show more leg seeing how I was overdressed, volumes up my hair and cleared my throat and made me way to the bar. Let’s do this
“Xander? What are you doing?” I ask in a surprised betrayal look.
“Babe, I’m just getting us drinks.” He says acting all scared
“I leave for a while and I come back to this? Who are you and what are you doing wih my boyfriend?” I say annoyed at the vavavoom blonde infront of me. He really want to get rid of this? How crazy is this guy?
“You’re his girlfriend? Well, he never mentioned you.” She says all snotty and I know she’s thinking what he’s doing with a girl like me. I’ll show you!
“He asked you where the VIP area was right? He was looking for me.” I snapped back at her claiming what is fake-mine. Other girls has seemed to notice, I’m guessing her friends.
“Well you don’t look like the part. Maybe he needs a woman, instead of a girl.” She says fleetingly touching his torso. I was so pumped up with alcohol and my mind was racing with anger toward this girl, she’s not backing off. Darn it! i’ll show you doesn’t look the part.
In an instant, I grabbed Robert by his collar and removed him from the clutches of that desperate woman. I didn’t know what else to do but to show them who I was. I pulled Robert close who seems to be in shock and I kiss him as passionately as I could. I take a peek at the girls who seemed to back off except for one unconvinced girl. I pulled him closer and deepem the kiss, grabbing his hair at the back of his head, as his hands felt my back. Finally the blonde, backed off and walked away in shame. I soon realize I was kissing my boss, and he kissing me back pulling me in close. I had to stop this. I pushed him a few inches away to break our kiss. This was not supposed to happen.
I looked up at him and he seemed stunned. I had to think a quick way out and at the moment all I could think of is
“I have to go to the ladies room. I’ll be back.” I say not even wanting to wait for his reply.
I am so getting fired! What were you thinking Angela! Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. What on earth possessed you to do this! Well for starters a couple of tequilas and other drinks? Gosh how could you be darn crazy! I argued with my self for a few minutes and managed to compose myself again as I stared at the mirror. I touch my just kissed lips and strangely I wanted more, but I know I had to salvage this or my career will be over. I decided to look for Maxine and Luke and hed home lock my doors and never come out.
I walked out the restroom determined until Robert meets me. Then I felt like crumbling and turn to ashes, but something inside me made me want to lunge at him and risk everything but I’m running on liquid courage and i might regret my decisions in the morning. I feel all the alcohol I just drank kicking in and my head starts pounding.
“Rob, I need to head home. I’ll just look for Maxine before I do.”
“I’ll come with you. Our flight leaves soon and we need to head to the airport.” He says checking his watch. Great!
“Angela, I’m sure Maxine can handle herself, just leave her a message, my brother can take care of her.” He assures me as I start to bite my nails out of embarrassment, shame and fear.
“Come, Isaac is waiting for us. I’ll have Riley take Maxine home safety.” He says leading me out the club and unto his car that was waiting infront of the entrance door. Without any possible route of escape, I entered the car dreading for the conversation we might have.
He enters the other side of the car and slides beside me at the back seat, orders Isaac to head back to the Centurion to collect our things. I was bait relieved, in thinking I could still freshen up and change before seeing Robert’s parents. I was getting drowsy as the car runs thought the lanes smoothly, Robert was preoccupied with something in his blackberry and it reminded me to text Maxinbetray we left and I was sorry for not telling her so.
We reached the centurion and I was about to get down and collect my stuff
“Where are you going?” Robert asks
“To get my stuff. For the trip. I’ll be quick, I packed light.” I assured him
“Don’t bother. Angela, you’re baggage has been sent down. I’m afraid we can’t delay.” He says
“What? Don’t you think it’d be best for me to change before meeting your parents?” I ask horrified thinking how hideous I must look.
“What for? We’ll arrive there very early in the morning no one will see you dressed like this.” He says giving me an assuring smile.
“Well, first I look like a – a- just its inappropriate.”
“You look respectable and that dress doesn’t scream inappropriate.” He says
“How did my stuff get down here?” I asked as Isaac loaded my luggage in the trunk.
“I own the place remember, I had Glenda fetch it for you. “He says looking at me with glee and then faced the front as Isaac finished loading our luggage and returned to the driver seat.
“Thanks.” I say and we both fell silent as Isaac drove off.
I rested my head on the window the soothing jazz music that filled the car made it seem more relaxing, so I just closed my eyes and rest for a bit, as my head started swirling around. We arrived at the La guardia ariport about 2:30 in the morning. Draggy and very sleepy I got out the car and followed Robert, my blood rushed as I saw the magnificent private plane that was parked graciously on the lane. I marveled at its glossiness and the pristinely placed logo of Sleigh Holdings Incorporated. I’m a sucker for huge toys such as this. I followed Robert eagerly aboard the plane. Two incredibly beautiful blondes ushers me and Robert to our respective seats and gives us the usual flight monologue. After buckling my self in the seat, I sink into the plush chair and dozed off.
Later I find myself in a rocking sensation, I jerk up and try to reorient myself. I was sleeping in a window down car with a coat on top of me. I then realized we were ridding the ferry on the way to Robert’s house. I felt refreshed but not quite rested. I got out the car and the air was crisp and cool, so I quickly wrapped the oversized coat over me. I later regained the feel of my legs and walked around to find Robert or anyone I knew.
The sky was dark purple with hints of lights streaking across the sky signaling for the sunrise. I walked and hugged the coat closer to me ad the wind grew stronger. I found Robert hunched on a railing looking outwards to the calm sea with reflections of the sky painted on. He seemed serene and calm inhaling a huge gulp of air and releasing again. His face lit up as a glorious grin was plastered on his face. Something in me made me want to hug him close to feel his warmth, his scent to cover me, but I just couldn’t risk anything. So, I walk up to him, resisting the urge and stared out the sea, mesmerized by its rhythm of colors playing as the ferry passes through.
“It’s so beautiful.” I say in a sigh
“Yeah, you slept well?”
“Mhm- how about you? You need some rest. We’ve been out since midnight.” I say trying hard to hide my concern.
“Well, the meeting starts after lunch and the party will start at dinner, plenty of time for me to rest.” He explains as we draw nearer the Island.
“Oh. Ok.” The throbbing pain in my head reminded me of the crazy night that I had.
“Um- I’d like to apologize for what happened Earlier.” As I said he didn’t respond he was just silent and I felt the need to expound a little more.
“I didn’t mean for things to go that far. It’s just that I couldn’t think of anything else for that blonde to back off. I’m really sorry.” I blabbed in my nervous voice.
“What is there to apologize for, don’t worry about it, it’s was just a dare.” He says and pauses, I don’t know what he’s thinking but I hope it wasn’t thoughts of finding a new assistant.
“You make one heck of an actress. Could have done the same thing.” He half laughed, I guess to make the conversation lighter.
“I’m glad I amused you, Drinking and dares are not a good combination.”
“That’s why you shouldn’t have drank so much. Going for shots did not help you. You should have stayed with the cocktail drink I ordered for your table.” He says
I relaxed after our calm discussion of my stupidy runs a mock. I stared in the water and contemplated of what he just said.
“You bought us drinks?” I was shocked
“I thought you needed one. Being a third wheel is a tough job; I thought you handled it well. Plus it wouldn’t be safe if you got some drink from a random stranger, he might have placed something in it and you might be headlining tomorrow’s paper.” He praises and sets out a chilling scenario.
“You’re too paranoid Mr. Sleigh. If it makes you feel better I don’t drink anything that’s handed by a complete stranger unless of course it’s from a waiter.” I say shaking my head, wondering how he always sees the negative side of things.
“And thanks, it took me months of practice for being an incredible third wheel.” I say recalling the many times Robert and I shared together with her “girlfriends”. The Yacht dates, the expensive dinner reservation, renting out a movie house and other dates that has come and gone for the months that I had worked for him.
“And it wasn’t like I was surrounded by guys. All there was on that VIP section were smoking hot models, I was even surprised you haven’t gone up there and sweeping them off their feet.” I further explained.
“Who do you think sent those girls up there?” He asks looking at me with a diabolic grin on his face.
“So you’re the one I should thank for being so damned out of place.” I say elbowing him comically.
“Angela, you were never out of place, believe me guys were all over you from down below, eyeing you like a hawk. If I haven’t sent them up there they might have come after you and you could have been stuck of ways to get rid of them, If I hadn’t sent those girls up there.” he says looking out the sea as if recalling a fascinating scenario in his mind.
“Mhm. Mr. Sleigh and his idea of comedy.” I say imposing to him that he was just making fun of me. I didn’t even see those guys and I was able to scan the room while I was sitting on the sofa, no way I couldn’t have seen those men he was talking about.
“Suit your self if you don’t believe me, I only did what I could to protect you.” He says looking straight at me with his blazing green eyes make me chocolate brown eyes feel like they could melt any second now.
“Thanks for your concern, if it was true, I can take care of myself. You need not worry.” I say looking back down the sea folding my arms on the railing and placing my head on my folded arms.
“I made a promise to Brenda and I intend to keep them. Come, were here.” He says holding out his hand for me to take and pulls me to the car already warmed up and waiting for us. In the car I didn’t sleep since we were closer to Robert’s parents house that I could just rest there and save my self with some rude awakening.
After minutes of travel time, the car takes a left to a private lane with lined trees that arches to make a shade. A huge estate with a classic European countryside style came into view as the trees clear out. The place looks cozy and very traditional. I stepped out into the open and smelt the freshness of the clean air. I stood in awe with the way the dawn has wrapped the whole house in a beautiful shade of blue with only the front porch was being lit.
“Angela, Isaac will be leading you to the pool cabana to get settled and freshen up. I also would like for you to come get me in my suite before lunch about 10 am for a briefing before the meeting. Have all necessary paper works readied as well. A computer and printer have been set up in your room. Anything else you need don’t hesitate to ask Maggie or Isaac.” He instructed
“Ok Mr. Sleigh, have a good rest.” I say and he disappears through the double doors.
Isaac leads me to another path on the side of the house leading to an open courtyard. A woman, who looked like she was in her early 50s, was rounder than most women but very gleeful. She looked like a nana that bakes you cookies and gives you pies kind of person. She greeted us by the entrance of the pool cabana with the sweetest smile.
“Please call me Angela. You must be?” I ask as she shakes my hand to welcome me.
“Call me Maggie, Please come in.”
She ushers us both in and I felt like I was in a beautiful hotel with the most cozy receiving area. Isaac briefly disappears up the stairs on our side and returns without my bags.
" I’ll take it from here Isaac.” Maggie smiles dearly at Isaac.
" Thanks Isaac.” I say
“You’re always welcome Ms. I’ll be leaving now. Don’t hesitate to come for me if you need anything.” He says and disappears out the front door.
“So dear, I hear you had a long night so I wont bother you any longer. You’ll be staying in the guest room upstairs, Feel free to use all amenities in this cabana dear, I’m your only company, since the mansion is all fully booked with Mr. & Mrs. Sleigh’s guests. ” She says gesturing me to go up
“Thank you so much Mrs. Maggie.”
“You’re welcome deary, we’ll get to know each other later, right now you have to rest.” She says and disappears through the kitchen as I make my way up the stairs.
I stand on the top of the stairs and once again captured in awe of the room. The white sheets and the intricate lace embroidered on the linen. The wicker furniture painted in turquoise with hints of gold has tied the classic feeling of the place. The room slightly lit by the plain lamp was so tempting for me to just crash on the bed and never wake. It took great restraint for me to unpack my garments unto the dresser. I observed the clothes on my bed and started to pick out my outfit for tomorrow’s meeting. I sat on the computer and picked out files from my USB and print out, file and bind the contracts. Later I took a warm bath to soothe me and cleanse my self from the cigarette booze smell that stuck to me from the bar. Fresh, clean and accomplished I later dozed off my soft bed letting all my awkwardness, stupidy and crazy day pass as I lay under the sheets that smelt of fresh flowers.
I wake as the sun shone through my window and unto my bed. I slowly regain my eyesight and found a glass of water and Advil on my bedside table. It was still early and I had time to kill. After I drank my medicine and finally reorient myself as to where I was, I went to brush my hair, applied a thin layer of make-up and changed into my usual office clothes. I walk slowly across the wooden floors as to not scratch it with my sky-high heels.
I go down to the receiving area and search for something to nibble on. My stomach was growling at me as I was changing. I pass the receiving area when Mrs.. Maggie came out bringing a tray of breakfast.
“Good Morning, Mrs. Maggie. Did I wake you? I’m sorry if I made too much noise.” I say apologizing to feeling really guilty clanking my heels on the hard wood floors.
“Oh dear, No. You didn’t wake me. You’re just in time for breakfast. Come.” She says settling down the toast some scrambled eggs and yummy crispy bacon. I sat and she heads for the kitchen.
“Mrs. Maggie, why don’ t you join me?” I ask her
“Oh dear, I couldn’t.” She declines
“Please. Isn’t it a good time to get to know each other?” I convinced her
“Very well, I’ll grab the orange juice first and I’ll be back. Would you like anything like coffee or milk?”
“Orange juice sounds lovely.” I say and she leaves.
Maggie and I shared a little something about each other. She told me the crazy stories about Robert being really playful and always pulling pranks on her, Her days when Robert started to grow a little older and wasn’t the same after his mother’s death. I on the other hand, shared about my close relationship with Aunt Brenda whom she adores as well and how I never see eye to eye with my mother. The morning was really relaxing and fun with Maggie around telling me fun stories.
Later I realized it was already 9:45 and I had to get moving.
“Maggie, I’m sorry but I have to keep moving. Robert requested me to fetch him in his room.” I say standing up collecting my stuff on the coffee table in the receiving area.
" Sure, I’ll see you later tonight.” She says
" Um- one more thing, where do I go?”
She and I went in the house passing various rooms that was classically decorated. I loved the sense of history of the place. WE walked pass the staircase, as I looked up there a was a chandelier that looked like a compass, I found my self restraining from gushing over all the cool vintage stuff inside this amazing house. We reached the second floor and were greeted by a credenza and a painting that looked like the view from outside. Pass the game room as I assumed because of the cool pool table and walked through hallway and stopped at the door.
" Here we are. I’ll see you later dear.” Maggie says and off she goes.
“Mr. Sleigh?” I call as I knock on the door.
" Come in.” Robert calls
I took a deep breath and fixed myself before entering the room. A very huge brown leather bed with blue greeted me and white beddings that looked like they were never slept in, the walls were denim blue and making the room light and cozy. I found Robert dressed in his usual office suit with his tie hanging undone, hunched on his desk, engrossed reading an article.
“Mr. Sleigh, Shall we start?”
“Oh. Angela. Come we’ll discuss matters in the office.” He says standing up leading me out his bedroom into a study in the house.
He sits on the huge armchair on the corner and I opposite him on a Cleopatra lounge chase. I laid out the contracts and spreadsheets on the table fixing them by priority and brought life to my planner.
“Mr. Sleigh these are the spreadsheets Maxine has sent me for this meeting and the contracts as well. I have taken it upon me to move all your appointments until after 4th of July, due to the merger I had a leeway for you to adjust if there would be changes regarding your calendar.” I say as he studies the sheets and the contracts, I so am hoping I proof read enough to make no mistakes.
“Good. After my meeting, I’ll see you tonight.” He says filing everything up.
“Rob, I’ve been meaning to ask you since you don’t need me for this meeting, could I possibly head out to aunt Brenda’s house if it’s not too much to ask, I promised her I’d visit. I wont be long. ” I asked him
“Of course just as long as you come back in time for the gala.” He says and gave him my most grateful smile.
After our meeting was adjourned, I said farewell to the mansion and head out to aunt Brenda’s place. She lives an hour away from the Sleighs. I drove in to a familiar driveway and got out bearing my small gift for her.
I rang the bell, after a few aunt Brenda came rushing to the front door screaming excitedly as she opens the door she lounges at me, holding me tightly.
“Aunt Brenda! I have a present for you.” I say as I handed her my gift.
“Oh, sweetie, you didn’t have too come on, I made lunch and your favorite cinnamon cookies.” She says as she leads me to the kitchen.
“Oh, you didn’t have to Aunt Brenda, but you know I can’t say no to food.” I say super pumped up to eat her scrumptious meal. I love her cooking, they always tasted so yummy.
We talked all afternoon about my work and how I was doing. Talked a little about my mum and dad, how business I doing great and of course the dreaded invitation from cousin Jane.
“Ugh! Do I really have to join this?” I point to the invitation.
" Yes, I know how you feel about Jane but you shouldn’t let her get to you Buggie. She’s just competitive.” Classic Aunt Brenda always sees the good side of everybody.
“She wants to kill me and take all that I have.” I say with harsh bitterness. Jane has always been the evil cousin. We used to get along together until we grew apart in high school she became obsessed with putting me down and her being in the spotlight.
“Oh, I have to head back, to get ready for the gala, See you later?” I asked
“Sure, Honey. Oh, before I forget, I wanted to give you this a little something to wear to the gala.” She says handing a paper bag to me.
“Oh. Aunt Brenda! That’s just perfect. Thank you so much!” I say clutching it close to me as Aunt Brenda shows me off to the driveway.