Richard Lim got out of his hotel room at the Conrad Resort at Nusa Dua, Bali feeling refreshed and ready for his day’s schedules. He arrived at the hotel very late the previous night coming from Singapore where he had a meeting prior to going to Bali.
That particular morning, he was going to meet TAs potential image model, Maya Dela Rosa, a well-known actress. Liza, his executive assistant, sent several reminders to him to ensure he meets her. Their marketing team needs his agreement before they formalize anything with Ms. Dela Rosa.
Although he was supposed to be on vacation, he relented on Liza’s request.
Richard decided to call up Maya’s room to speak to her.
“Good morning. This is Richard Lim. May I speak with Ms. Dela Rosa?”
Richard introduced himself as he made the call thru the reception desk of the hotel.
“Good morning sir. But Ms. Dela Rosa is not in her suite right now. She’s out exercising.” A lady on the other end responded.
“Thank you. Could you just please take a message and let her know that I will be at the suite’s lounge. I will wait for her there. Our meeting is at 8:30.” Richard looked at his watch and realized he was an hour early for their meeting. He has forgotten that Manila and Bali are in the same time zone unlike the rest of Indonesia.
After the call, Richard decided to walk around the hotel and then towards the suites. In his thoughts, their future model has a luxurious taste. The suites section of the hotel could cost at least double than the rate of the room he was occupying. But then again, she’s an actress. She might be used to the pampering of the showbiz world. Although he is not into show business, he has heard that she is a good in her profession but has a reputation for being a heartbreaker. She had been linked to several actors and even politicians.
On the way to the lounge, Richard decided to pass by the suites’ pool. He wondered what it looked like as the place is exclusive to only the suites’ guests. When he saw blue green water of the swimming pool, he was taken by the serenity of the place. It was surrounded by lush midget palm trees, ferns and some other flowering plants. Most of the cabanas around the pool were empty except for one. Obviously, it was still early for the guests to go swimming.
Richard’s appreciation of the place was distracted when a figure came out of the water. It was a woman with a whistle bait slim figure in a taupe 2 piece bikini that left little to a man’s imagination. Her skin glistened as the water in her body caught rays of the sun that shone in between the trees. Her shoulder length hair was swept away from her face, hence, showing her natural pretty looks. A normal man that he is, Richard couldn’t help but stare at the vision that was a few meters away from him.
As the woman walked to her cabana and sipped her drink, Richard remained glued on the spot, appreciating the scene. When she turned sideways in his direction that was the only time that she noticed him. Their eyes met and locked.
Maya came out of her suite early that morning to exercise. She still had a lot of time before her meeting with Time Airways President, Richard Lim. She is on vacation, the only few occurrences that she could get away from work and yet she still agreed to have a short meeting for a potential project with his company.
She originally planned on going to the gym but changed her mind the moment she saw the swimming pool that looked very enticing. Although she has just learned how to swim as required in her new film, she changed to swimming attire. She had only 2 sets with and both were too skimpy for her taste. Unfortunately, it was her personal assistant who packed her things for this particular travel. She chose the less revealing one. Since she is not in the Philippines, she braved the attire thinking she is unknown in Bali and what were the chances of her being recognized in the place.
Maya had been in the pool for thirty minutes when she decided leave the pool and drink the juice she earlier ordered. She checked on the time to ensure that she wouldn’t be late for her meeting. Then, Maya felt that someone was staring at her. When she looked around, she saw a Chinese-looking guy in eyeglasses looking at her. And when their eyes met and locked, her heart thumped loudly.
In her thoughts. “Gosh, grabe naman makatitig itong Chinese na ‘to. But in fairness, he is very good looking. He’s quite tall and must be in late 30s. Hmmm, if only he wouldn’t look at me like I am naked.” She felt self-conscious to the point that she returned to the pool.
Seeing her return to the pool, Richard decided to proceed to the lounge. He was still thinking about her when a thought crossed his mind. The woman at the pool is Maya dela Rosa. He had seen some photos of her and the woman looked similar to Maya. Thinking that it might really be her, he decided to return to the pool area to confirm his guess.
It was fortunate that he came back because as soon as he was near, he heard a woman’s voice screaming for help. Richard saw her in the middle of the pool with her head bobbing up and down and her arms flailing wildly in the air. She was drowning.
Without second thoughts, Richard took off his shoes, run towards the water and plunged into the pool. He swam towards her with fast and powerful strokes.
Moments later, he laid her body on the side of the pool; she wasn’t breathing. So, he pumped her chest and blew air into her mouth to allow oxygen back in her body. After two attempts, she moved and released some water from her mouth. When she opened her eyes, Richard face so close to hers.
“Miss, are you okay?” He asked; his face and hair were dripping with water. It seemed to Maya that he was going to kiss her.
She didn’t respond. But, she soon realized that his hand was on her thigh as he spoke to her. Richard, on his part, was unaware where his hand was since he was concerned about her. Maya suddenly sat-up, quickly brushed away his hand and had her hand flying to his face.
“Pak!” There was ringing sound on Richard’s ear after her palm landed on the left side of hs face. It stung.
He was so shocked that he asked in a loud voice. “What the hell… what was that for?” He was angry.
She tried to move away from him but her head spun a bit, she almost fell again on the water. Richard’s quick response of pulling towards him prevented her fall.
Maya now in panic, started screaming. “Ayyy, you were going to kiss me!! You were taking advantage of me.” She was almost hysterical.
“Hey, miss, I didn’t do anything to you. I just saved you from drowning.” Richard answered, still holding her in both arms. He was still mad at her for slapping him.
Maya violently tried to release her arms from his hold such that the front clasp of her strapless bikini top broke and exposed her breasts. She screamed some more, “Ayyyyyyy!” She covered her chest with her arms. But, Richard eyes were faster than her arms so he got a view of what she tried to cover. He was momentarily stunned.
Maya stood up and run towards her cabana to get a towel to wrap around herself. She was teary eyed from embarrassment and confusion with what happened to her.
“Miss, are you sure you are okay? Maybe I think you need to go the hotel’s clinic.” Richard shouted. He has recovered from being hit. She then noticed that he was indeed wet all over, a proof that he did save her earlier.
Maya ignored him and hurriedly run back to her room.
An hour later, Richard walked into the lounge and saw Maya waiting. A few minutes after the swimming pool incident, he got a message that she would be late for their meeting. It was good that he left his phone in his room earlier. Otherwise, it would have been nonfunctional if he dove in the pool with it in his pocket.
Maya was fully covered in a maxi-dress with a very light make-up on. She was on the table with a drink while patiently waiting for Richard. She had managed to regain some self-composure after she nearly drowned an hour ago. While in her room, she realized that she might have misjudged her savior in the pool. Thinking he was a foreigner, she hoped that she wouldn’t see him again and just forget the incident.
However, her ordeal that morning wasn’t done yet when she he saw the man from the pool walked towards her table. Her heart beat nervously. She prayed that her hunch was incorrect and so when the man stopped in front of her, she almost collapsed from mixed emotions.
“Hi, Ms. Dela Rosa, I’m Richard Lim, President of Time Airways. I didn’t get a chance to introduce myself earlier.” He had a stern face as he looked directly in her eyes.
Richard extended his hand and Maya nervously shook it. “Hi… Mr. Lim… I’m Maya dela Rosa.” They had a firm handshake signifying formality of the situation. Her hands were cold as ice. Richard motioned for them to sit on the sofa. Maya was conscious of his presence beside her.
Then, slowly she felt her blood rising from her neck to her face. She was blushing. It wasn’t about the drowning but more about slapping and the bikini top accident that kept replaying in her memory. She was going to apologize when Richard beat her to speaking first.
“Ms. Dela Rosa, I think the pool incident takes precedence over our business discussion. So, I would like to understand why you slapped me?” His tone was demanding an explanation.
“I’m sorry Mr. Lim. I must have been disoriented. I thought… well I thought you took advantage of me.” She explained. She averted her eyes from him.
Richard was observing her as she spoke. If he initially thought that she had a pretty face, he quickly realized that he was wrong. She is beautiful. She had an expressive eyes and sexy lips. There was something about her that was contrasting. Her photos and body showed her as a woman of the world and yet in person, she had an air of innocence around her. But still, he was mad at her. No one has ever hit him and so he was feeling vengeful at that moment.
“So, you must have forgotten that you drowned. I took you out of the pool and had to perform CPR to revive you. It was the only reason why I was in front of you.” He explained while his lips thinned. Maya wouldn’t look at him which was making him more upset. He wanted her to apologize profusely but she wouldn’t. “Well, what can you say Ms. Dela Rosa?”
“Sir, I’m sorry but I just thought that..” Richard cut her off.
“That won’t do miss. I’ve never been hit before by a woman not that I ever deserved one. So, I will demand a compensation.”
“Ha?” She was confused by what he meant. She looked at him with questioning eyes.
Richard covered the space between them on the sofa. He cupped her faced with his hand. Dumbfounded by the situation, Maya froze as she saw Richard’s face descend on hers. He kissed her on the lips. It was few seconds press on the lips but nevertheless it sent jitters to her heart.
“Now, that kiss justifies the slap you gave me.” He spoke with his lips just millimeters away from hers. “For saving your life, I will collect later.”
Richard walked out of the lounge leaving Maya open-mouthed in disbelief as to what happened.