Admin Note: *Contributed Story* Please give credit and thanks to Ricci. This is a continuation to The Player – part 10.
Chapter 11 – Darling
He led her out of the conference room and into the parking lot where his car was parked. When Richard opened the door for her, she stopped and turned around to face him.
“So, Mr. Lim, what is this that you want to discuss?” Maya said icily.
Richard’s jaw clenched hearing the coldness in her voice, and said in an impatient tone, “Get in the car, Maya. This is not the right place for us to discuss our personal matters.”
“What personal matter? I didn’t realize we have one.” Maya replied trying not to lose her grip on her temper. After all her effort for the past year to be indifferent to him, and then comes this one encounter. Admittedly, she doesn’t stand a chance of denying him – she felt shallow and putty in his hands. Anytime now, she’ll be begging for him to love her, just like the other women in his life – desperate.
He ran his hand behind his neck, and flexed his shoulders as if trying to loosen the tension in his body. He was frustrated that his ability to be in control deserted him as he stared at her with distracted uncertainty. “Fine. We can discuss it here in public eye about what happened to us a year ago.”
“Us? There was no us.” Maya snapped at him. “And there’s no need to reminisce the past. I’ve moved on. Now, if you have nothing else to say, I’ll go back to the summit.” She turned away, and walked out, too blinded by her own torment to see the regret and sadness in Richard’s expression.
“Maya, please wait –“ He stepped into her path and reached for her.
“Don’t touch me! Stay away from me!” Maya hissed as she back away, recoiling wildly from his hands.
Stunned by her dismissal, he caught her by the arms, and held her. It was the last straw for Maya as she’s already on the verge of tears – all her well kept hurts and frustrations from a year ago came back rushing like a flood.
“Let go of me.” She cried, pushing him hard, and pounding on his chest as she struggled to be free from his arms.
“No!… I will not let you go this time.” Richard said with finality. It took all of his strength to hold her struggling form until she spent all her strength and leaned against him. She covered her face with her hands as she wept brokenly, her body racked with wrenching sobs.
“I’m sorry.” He whispered hoarsely, his expression stung with remorse. He held her tightly against his chest in a protective embrace, his jaw on top of her head, his hand drifting soothingly up and down her spine, comforting her. Suppressed memories from last year spun through his mind.
He missed her more that he’d ever thought possible. As hard as he tried, it was becoming harder for him to deny his feelings. The truth was that he’s in love with her. He’d been struggling for years to keep his emotions in check, but he knew now that it was a battle he was destined to lose. It was time to stake his claim. If he didn’t, he would lose her again, and he can’t imagine life without her.
“Richard, I’m fine now. “ She quietly interrupted his thoughts as she gently tried to push him away after she exhausted all her tears.
Refusing to let her go, he touched his lips on top of her head. “Forgive me…” His voice choked with pleading. “Darling…please…”
Maya’s defenses crumbled when she heard the raw ache in his voice; hearing his plea, and terms of endearment for her for the first time. She saw the desperation in his eyes as he tried so hard to express himself. She longed to comfort him seeing his tormented expression.
“Darling, let me make it up to you…” He whispered as he struggled to find the words.
She inclined her head in acquiescence, as she stepped back out of Richard’s reach, which disappointed him until he realized that she couldn’t possibly read his mind, no matter how tightly he held her.
“Maya.” He said gently. “Please get in the car. Let’s talk about this.”
She nodded curtly, and turned her face away, unable to look at him, afraid that he’ll see from her overburdened emotions – her longing and love for him.
Richard led her into the living room area of his pad. The minute he flipped opened the lights, Maya’s mind flashed back to their last night together. Her stomach knotted at the memory, and painful questions popped into her mind.
And yet despite of all that happened in the past, of his callousness and insensitiveness to her feelings, she deeply loves him. She realized that her love for him will not change even with his reputation; even after he answered all her questions.
All she ever wanted was to be with him even if it’s just temporary – that’s how blinded and desperate she had become. She resolved to do exactly just that and avoid any recriminations of the past. If the only thing that will work out for them is their previous setup, then she will face it head on.
“I’m sorry for hurting you. I was selfish. I shouldn’t have let you go. I have no excuse… –” Richard started enumerating his shortcomings, but Maya interrupted and dismissed his barrage of explanations.
“Richard, stop! It doesn’t matter anymore. Really – You don’t have to say anything just to appease me.”
“I’m not trying to appease you.” He paused, and looked at her with disbelief. “You don’t believe me, do you?”
“Let’s just say that I’ve already come to terms with reality. You don’t have to try so hard. If you want to resume our previous setup, then I have no qualms about it.” Maya bravely put everything into words.
Richard was dumbstruck by what he’s hearing. He can’t believe that she was now agreeing to a temporary arrangement with him when in the past, she was against it. Her words echoed in his ears, as he turned away and walked towards the window looking at the skyline. That is not what he wants. He has his own agenda in mind, and he refuse to let her divert him from it.
After a few minutes of silence, Maya walked towards him. She slid her arms from behind him, hugging him, her cheeks on his back. “Richard, if you still want me to move in with you, I’ll do it. Diba eto naman ang gusto mo?”
Richard took a deep breath, and slowly turned to face her. He gazed into her eye, his heart on his sleeve, and whispered solemnly, “I love you.”
He watched her stepped back – the color drained from her cheeks as she bowed her head down, but not before Richard saw the tears sparkling on her eyes, and realized exactly why she was reacting that way.
She loves him. The realization was so poignant that he almost lost his balance. He recognized that emotion hovering on her even from previous years. It’s been there all the time, but he was so dense and foolish for taking it for granted.
He made no move to touch her until seconds tick, looking closely at her, wanting desperately to pull her into his arms. “Would you please” he whispered achingly “let me hold you?”
After what felt like an eternity for Richard, she finally lifted her head, and raised her eyes shining with surrender to his.
He reached for her and jerked her to him crushing her against his chest as his mouth came down hungrily on hers. With a small smothered moan of joy, she returns his kiss glorying in the feel of his lips locked fiercely into hers.
After a few minutes, he placed his hand on her face, his thumb brushing some errant tears from her cheeks, and closed his eyes as he dropped his forehead onto hers.
Time stood still for both of them.
“I love you.” Only these whispered words were heard in their stillness, as they both uttered it at the same time.
Note on embedded song <Baby, Can I hold You by Boyzone>
As this fanfic was inspired by this song, it’s just appropriate that I give credit and include it in this chapter. When I first heard of this song, ideas flowed in for this story to revolve on the premise that it will come to this (as depicted in Chapter 11).
‘I love you’ – should be uttered with emotions and expressions, and I hope the characters in BCWMH will not just do lip service when they say these words.