Admin Note: This is a continuation to The Player – part 11.
Chapter 12 – Quickie
A bouquet of red roses greeted Maya when she came in to her office. She took the card, and saw a simple scribble, “Love, Richard.”
A secret smile formed in her lips as memories came flashing from yesterday’s confrontation with him. After their confessions last night, they held each other for a long time, and openly talk just about everything with none of the recriminations.
Richard took her home after their long talk and spent the night at her condo, insisting that he wants to make up for the lost year that they were not together – an excuse that she was too willing to accept. Honesty, and their openness with each other’s feelings, she decided, had a very profound effect because last night’s stormy lovemaking had completely eclipsed everything that happened in the past.
Her thoughts were interrupted when her cell phone rang. It was Richard, and she wondered if he forgot something for they just parted a while ago when he brought her to the office.
“It’s still early. Lunch agad?
“I missed you already.” Richard drawled huskily on the other line.
“I missed you too, and as much as I wanted to have lunch with you, I can’t. I have a lunch meeting with VCE’s management and staffs later.” Maya said softly, smiling in hearing his seductive voice. She heard him expelled a breath of harsh sigh on the other line, so she asked, “How about dinner?”
“Dinner then.” Richard acknowledged, and inquired on something that’s bugging him, “Will James be in the meeting?”
“Of course. He is management.”
“I don’t like it.” He said adamantly, and heard Maya giggled at the other line.
“Mr. Lim. This is so unlike you. Since when did you become insecure?”
“Since I met you. I’ll pick you up at 7pm later.” Richard replied in a serious voice, and then hung up the phone.
“Ay, biglang nag sungit.” Maya mumbled, looking at her phone, and imagining Richard pacing around his office in his tiger mood. She smiled at the thought, “How can I not love him – his sweetness, his bout of jealousy, his pagka masungit – it’s a package deal, and I’m not about to complain.”
Richard was indeed pacing in his office after he hung up the phone. He’s feeling that twinge of something again. “This will not do.” He thought.
Maya’s moving in with him is not enough. He realized that he can’t be satisfied anymore with their setup. He wants exclusivity, he wants commitment. He wants more – to love her, to give her more of himself, even if it means marching through the aisle. He loves her beyond his trauma of being stood up, his fear of commitment, and even beyond everything possible excuses that he can think of.
Richard seated himself at the VCE’s lounge area while waiting for Maya. He busied himself by browsing on some magazines, while alternately looking at his cell phone for messages. He remembered this place, where he first saw Maya staring at him. He smiled at the thought of how a simple situation has brought them together.
After 30 minutes of waiting, he saw her coming out of the lift, followed by James. He refrained himself from standing up, and waited for Maya to look his way.
“James, thanks for bailing me out kanina sa meeting ha. Whew! That was a close call.”
“No problem. Mahirap talaga yong customer na yon – they’re always complaining.”
Maya hugged him, and said. “Thanks ulit. I owe you one. I’ll get going na.”
“Ok. See you tomorrow. You take care.”
She felt his presence first before she saw him at the lounge, looking at her in his relax, and somewhat scary kind of cool way. “Oh no! – I’ve seen that expression before. Mukhang tiger mood na naman.” Maya thought as she approached him at the lounge with a smile pinned on her face. “Kanina ka pa?”
Richard was trying hard not to be affected by what he saw. He stood up, slid his arms on Maya’s waist, and gave her a peck on the cheek. “So so – “ He took her computer bag, and led her quietly outside the parking area.
Maya took his hand, her fingers sliding into his warm handclasp, as if to comfort him. She knows something is brewing in his mind.
Inside the car, Richard was silent – images of Maya and James hugging each other kept rewinding in his mind. He was jealous, and trying to control himself.
“Richard, are you trying to scare me with your silence?” Maya uttered softly as she searched his expression.
Richard realized that he was assuming too much from an innocent gestures, and making a mess out of it. “I’m sorry. That’s the last thing I would ever want to do.” He took a deep breath and honestly admitted to her of what he felt when he saw her with James at the VCE’s lounge.
“You’re jealous?” Maya gaped at him in astonishment. She stopped, didn’t speak, couldn’t speak. Instead, she choked on a giggle.
“Maya? – “ Richard looked at her shaking shoulders and couldn’t believe that she’s laughing at him.
“I’m sorry. I can’t help myself. I was actually bracing for your anger on something else. I didn’t realize that you have an element of jealousy in you.”
“I have when it comes to you, and I find the feeling novel and unpleasant.” Richard said somberly with seriousness in his expression.
Maya reached out to his hand, and said soothingly, “Richard, there’s nothing going on between me and James. We’re good friends. What you saw kanina was just a friendly hug, nothing more.” Maya related more of what happened in her meeting with the customer, and how James helped her.
“I still don’t like it.”
“Ay, ang sungit pa ren. What would you have me do? Iwasan ko sya? He’s my boss, and also my friend.”
After a few minutes of silence, Maya closed their gap by seating herself on his lap, and wrapping her arms around him. She cleared her throat, looked into his eyes, and said, “Richard, are you still sulking, hmm?”
Richard smiled showing his dimple. He slowly wrapped his arms around her waist, and buried his face in her hair, “With you seated in that position, how could I possibly sulk?”
“Want a quickie?” Maya whispered in his ear, naughtily smiling at him while tugging at his belt and opening his zipper.
Richard expelled his breath in a startled laugh as he indulged her. Afterwards, he gave her a thorough kiss that left both of them breathless – the green-eyed monster, forgotten.
Richard took her to dinner in one of fancy restaurant in Makati.
He was admirably looking at her across the table while she animatedly talks about her day, and all her activities for the next coming week. She’s indeed beautiful inside and out that it takes his breath away.
“Marry me.” Richard said tenderly and implacably as he took a box from his pocket, and slides it on the table, looking at her intently.
Maya paused, and searched at his face. Did she imagine it? She was speechless, grasping at the words that came out from him, while looking alternately at him and the box. “Richard, I don’t know what to say.”
“A ‘Yes’ will do.”
“I’ve already said ‘Yes’ to moving in with you. I’m exclusively yours so you don’t have to go this far.” Maya said, trying to make light of the situation. She can’t believe that he’s proposing marriage to her.
“I want more – a commitment, a lifetime with you, children with you.” He was getting impatient and fearful. “Maya, please do me the honor by becoming my wife.”
He was about to say more when finally he heard her gently said, “Yes.”
Richard heaved a long, shaking breath of relief – the first easy breath he’d drawn since they came in for dinner. “I adore you.” He whispered as he took both her hands, and kissed her palms – admiration, love, and joy reflected in his eyes.
“Uhmm, Richard – A lot of woman will jump off the cliff when they find out that you’re engaged.” Maya teased him as she gazed lovingly into his eyes.