Note: This is a continuation to Someone Like You – part 11.
“Maya, take note. It’s almost lunch time. If we head out to Baguio, it will take us around seven to eight hours to get there considering this weather condition. So, we need a quick decision. Ako either way, pwede ako.” He was grinning that Maya was beginning to suspect that he was actually enjoying the situation.
“Richard, bakit natatawa ka? Parang niloloko mo naman ako eh.” She was getting upset.
“Anong niloloko? I’m just amused by your reaction. What’s so bad about sharing a room with me?” He asked with an eyebrow raised. Maya could feel crimson color rising from her neck to her face. She was mum. He understood her issue.
“If you worry that I may pounce on you tonight, then, don’t. I like my woman willing and able.” The way he said it made her more nervous than assured. She knew that if he would make an attempt, she will likely succumb to it. It would be difficult to say no because she’s in-love with him.
“Alright, alright. Baguio.” She declared with eyes tightly closed as she made the decision.
“Okay, it’s Baguio then, ma’m.” He thanked the hotel personnel and lead her out of the lobby.
As soon as they came out, Manong Sammy met them and told them “Sir, ang lakas ng hangin dahil sa bagyo. Ano ‘po sir, baba ko na ang mga bag n’yo?”
“Hindi muna Mang Sammy, pahatid kami sa inyo sa Baguio. Di ba, pwede tayong mag-land trip via Vizcaya,tapos pa-akyat ng Baguio?”
“Naku sir, sasabihin ko sana sa inyo na pagka-hatid ko sa inyo dito sa hotel, kung pwede umuwi na ako. Kasi sabi ni misis, yung bubong namin parang umaangat na dahil sa lakas ng hangin. Pwede kung pwedeng mag-land trip kaya lang sa panahon ngayon, kailangan n’yo ng driver na expert umakyat sa mountain region. Sir, ayaw kong ipagkatiwala kayo sa iba.” Manong Sammy explained apologetically. A concerned looked was all over his face.
“So, Maya did you hear what Mang Sammy said?” Richard eyed Maya who heard everything clearly. She understood that there was no choice. So without saying a word, she boarded the car. The two men followed and took their respective seats.
“Mang Sam, tara na po sa Holiday Plaza.” She gave the instruction to the driver.
The accommodation they got wasn’t as bad as Maya expected. The room was large with a king-size bed and two twin beds. As soon as they entered their room, she took the one of the twin beds farthest to the king bed.
“Are you sure you want to stay there? This bed is bigger.” He was pointing at the king-size bed beside him.
“Dito na lang ako.” She noticed he was grinning again. “Ikaw, Ricky kanina ka pa ha. Para talagang tuwang-tuwa ka.” She rolled her eyes in disgust of his behavior. She was beginning to think that Richard planned everything from the arrival of the typhoon up to the sharing of the room. The way events were unfolding one after the other, it was similar to how she was confirming within herself her true feelings for him.
Richard sensing her impatience tried to pacify her, “Maya, let’s be pragmatic about the whole situation. What can we do? It’s not as bad as you may think. In fact, mas safe nga tayo dito while waiting for weather to improve.”
Richard then started to unpack some of his things including his computer-related stuff as he set-up himself to work on the desk in the corner near the window. Maya thought that he made several good points. It is she who was over reacting. In fact, she should be happy because she can get to spend a night with him.
Finally, she let out a sigh. “Ricky, gutom na ako. Lunch na lang tayo.”
Richard stopped what he was doing and turned to see an already smiling Maya. “Alright, let’s go Mrs. Lim.” He started teasing her again. Her heart skipped a beat when he referred to her as Mrs. Lim.
“Ikaw talaga, nangloloko ka na naman. Hindi mo man lang kinorek yung bell-boy. Asyumero din naman kasi ‘yon.”
“Maya, that kind of assumption is something that you can just let pass. Alangan naman i-explain mo pa duon why are we in the same room.” Richard pointed out as he opened the door for them to leave their room.
They were having lunch at Max’s located at the hotel’s first floor when Maya’s phone rang. The caller was Noel, one of people they met at dinner the other night. Thinking it was business related, Maya picked up the call while Richard listened to the conversation. It wasn’t about business judging from her facial expression and voice. She was smiling throughout and was using her pleasant tone with her caller.
“So, what was that about?” Richard asked as soon as the phone call ended. He had an idea what they talked about but he needed confirmation.
“Well, he was checking if our flight pushed through because it’s quite common that flights here get cancelled when weather is bad. He also volunteered to provide accommodation in his house. Taga dito pala s’ya.” She explained.
“And?” He knew there was more.
“and… he was asking if I am free for dinner tonight.” Maya finally shared the last piece of the phone conversation. If at first she was excited at the invitation, telling Richard about it and his way of inquiring about it made her lose interest in it.
“and, of course, you said “Yes, I am free tonight.”” Richard finished off the remainder of their conversation.
“Maya, even if you’re free, it’s a stormy night. It’s not safe to go out.” He cautioned her; his mood suddenly changed. He became quiet as he forked his food. Obviously, he didn’t want her to go out and that was very clear from his tone. Somehow, she felt giddy with the thought that he is concerned over her welfare.
After the phone call discussion, the two finished their lunch and returned to their room in silence.
Although it was stormy outside, their room had enough lighting and strong WIFI connection that enabled both of them to do work. Richard pulled open all the curtains of the glass windows for the added lighting. It looked like a typical business day with them working. Richard made several phone calls and Maya even prepared coffee for him; instant coffee was available in their room.
By six o’clock, Maya shut down her computer and secured it back in her bag. She took her personal things and went to the bathroom to shower. Thirty minutes later, she came out dressed in jeans and white flimsy blouse over a black tank top. It showed a silhouette of her sexy small frame. She had a light make-up on. The sweet smell of her cologne engulfed him as she passed by his table to go to hang her towel in a chair.
“Maya, are you going somewhere?” His eyes remained on his computer screen but he was distracted by her scent.
“Eh… hindi ba tayo mag-di-dinner?” She asked as stood beside his table. She had actually cancelled the dinner appointment with Noel.
It was then Richard looked up. “I thought you have a dinner date?” His eyes were drawn to the pretty lady waiting for him.
“I cancelled it. i sent him a text message. Di ba may bagyo. So, I said I’d rather stay in-doors tonight. So, would you like to have dinner together or I’ll go by myself?” She asked again.
Richard immediately shut down his computer and walked towards to his bag. “Wait, I’ll go for a quick shower. He smiled to himself in satisfaction; she heeded his advise.
When he came out later, he was in a fresh set of gray shirt and jeans. He looked and smelled so good that Maya was staring at him in admiration. She didn’t hear him say her name. He called her out again.
He was already at the doorway. “Maya, we’re going”. It was only then that Maya came to her senses.
Richard’s hand was on her back as he lead her inside the elevator going down to the restaurant.
Out of the blue, Maya commented. “Weren’t you bored today? Whole day tayong walang nagawa sa room. We only go out to eat.”
He turned to face her. “Maya, I’m not bored besides there’s you in the room, that doesn’t happen every day. But if you are suggesting we do something else, let me know.” He winked at her. She a caught glimpse of naughtiness in his eyes; she blushed at the thought of what he meant.
On their way to the restaurant, Richard noticed a bright signage “O, meron palang bar dito sa hotel. I didn’t notice this earlier.” He pointed at the lighted entrance of Levitate bar on the inner area of the lobby. “Do you want to have drinks later?”
“Ha,ha,ha. Nope. Hindi ako pwedeng uminom.” She clearly remembered Emman’s reminder for her not on drinking especially with Richard. If she becomes tipsy, she may run the risk of disclosing her secret feelings to him.
Their dinner went well as usual. Having shared many meals together, Maya already knew Richard’s favorite food and which ones he wouldn’t eat. They continue to know more about each other as they spend more time together.
On their way back to their room, they passed by the bar again. Richard’s intention to visit the bar was renewed.
“Maya, come on, let’s have a few drinks.” He pointed at the entrance of the bar. She shook her head.
“Alright, if you don’t want to drink. Samahan mo na lang ako unless you want to be alone in the room muna.” He insisted. “Besides, it’s still early. I think I need few drinks to help me sleep.”
Maya eventually relented and went to the bar with him. Since they arrived early, the place was still half-filled. However, the loud music was already playing and couple of people was at the dance floor. They chose a corner table and sat side by side in a couch. He ordered a beer for himself while Maya chose a long island tea.
“I thought you didn’t want to drink.” He said close to her ear so she could hear him.
It was her turn to say close to his ear. “I changed my mind. At saka isa lang naman.”
Their gazes met and locked with the proximity of their faces. However, they were interrupted when their drinks arrived.
Richard was on his third bottle when he excused himself to go to the men’s room leaving Maya by herself. A few minutes later, two men approached her introducing themselves. Being friendly, she gave her name. One of the guys, then, invited to her to dance. She declined politely but the guy was insistent on his invitation.
From a distance, Richard saw what was happening. It looked like the two guys were interested in her. He didn’t like what he saw so walked fast towards their table. She can’t be entertaining others when he is just there.
Maya was saying “No” when she noticed that Richard was back. “Ricky.” She sighed in relief as it was becoming uncomfortable being alone with strangers extending invitation to her.
“Excuse me but she’s with me.” He glared at the two guys as he took the seat beside Maya. The two newcomers had a look of surprise when Richard placed his arm around her shoulder. They apologized and left in a huff. He moved closer to her; his hand rested on her waist.
“Are you okay?” He checked. She just nodded conscious of his arm in her body.
Maya felt the change in the atmosphere around them. She turned a bit and saw his eyes intently looking at her. She didn’t know what to say; his eyes were making her heart flutter.
“Why are you so popular that the moment I leave you, guys come after you?” In a low voice, he spoke close to her ear. His face was too close for comfort.
“Ewan ko.” Was her response. Richard barely heard her. Although the music was fast and loud, they were more aware of other’s presence than their surroundings. Their attraction to each other very evident. Maya’s heartbeats were racing; she was nervous of what lies ahead.
With the dancing lights changing colors all over them, Maya caught Richard’s gaze shift to her lips. Slowly his face moved closer until his lips were millimeters away from her lips. She didn’t move away, instead, she turned slightly to face him directly. His hand was circling around her lower back. Then, his lips touched hers for a light kiss. She leaned forward to kiss him back. She didn’t care anymore what would happen next.
“Let’s go back to our room.” He muttered under his breath. He motioned her to follow as he slid out of the couch where they were seated. He paid for their drinks at the bar counter and they left hand in hand; their fingers intertwined.
Inside the elevator, they got curious stares from other people. They looked good together and very loving with Richard leaning on the wall hugging Maya from behind as the lift moved upwards. She accommodated him. They both knew well what would happen when their return to their room.
Richard placed a hand under her chin and tilted her head up. He kissed her forehead and her lips. With fingers tracing the curve of her sides, he spoke “So, hindi ka na NBSB ngayon .” He was gazing at her.
“Ha? You mean…?” She clarified as she searched the meaning in his eyes.
He chuckled. “Why, ayaw mo akong boyfriend? Or you want me to convince you..again?” He asked huskily as he shifted his body to be on top of her.
“So, what Maya?” He was raining kisses in her neck.
She smiled when she held his face in her two hand. “Hmmm… ikaw. Sabi mo eh.”
She parted her lips as he savored her lips for the nth time. In her mind, there was no doubt, she loves him very much.