This is a continuation to The Rightful Owner – part 11.
A week after Richard and Maya made their relationship official, Richard was in his Lim Aviation Services office in a pensive mood. It’s been two weeks since he got that urgent call from Ryan.
With their discovery of Daniel’s acts of embezzling money out for L.A.S to the U.S., Richard realized that he had put so much attention to T.A. that he lost control of his own business. Daniel, his Finance Manager, had slowly moved company money into his own personal account. Although the amount would not cause the closure of L.A.S. but it was huge enough to make Richard re-think about their expansion plan in Davao since their assets and even credit in banks had been affected.
Richard was reviewing some options with Ryan when an incoming call from Maya came in. Richard immediately picked-up his phone on top of the table.
“Hi” Richard’s expression lightened up as he spoke on the phone. Ryan was on the other side of the table was observing him and wondered who was on the other line that caused his boss and friend to smile.
“Hmm, so what time are you arriving?” He asked, looking at his watch but still upbeat. “Your place or mine?… okay, your place then…. Bye.” All throughout the call, the smile on Richard’s face didn’t leave him.
“Uyyy, sinong kausap mo?” Ryan got very curious. He had seen that familiar expression before but it was very long time ago. “Baka naman pwedeng mag-share ka Brod.”
“Ryan, let’s get back to work. So, are you saying that we can still recover some of the money from Daniel?” Richard still in half smile.
“Yes, as discussed with Atty. Aguilar, mahahabol natin sa U.S.. We can cover the details tomorrow during our meeting with the legal team.” Ryan responded to his question but still pursued his topic of interest. “Pero, ‘wag mo i-divert ang attention ko sa issue. Who were you talking to?”
Richard and Ryan have been friends since college when they were taking up aeronautical engineering in the U.S. Since they were both foreign students from the same country, they immediately bonded together and formed a friendship. Ryan joined him at Lim Aviations only when his friend returned from the U.S. where he got married. So, Ryan has become his trusted friend and operations man when Richard was focusing on T.A. after his stepfather’s death.
“Ryan, ikaw, may pagka-chismoso ka rin. It’s someone I know.” Richard tried to evade the question.
“Pa I know I know ka pa. The way you are evading the question means this girl is very important that you want to keep her secret for now. Bakit? Baka may mang-agaw ba?” Ryan uttered the words innocently but later feared he must have hit something. “Ayyy, Brod, I didn’t mean anything by that, honestly.” He clarified. He is aware of what happened with Richard and James over Alex few years ago and he thought he might have offended Richard by what he said earlier.
Richard just smiled. “It’s okay Ryan. I know you didn’t and that is not the issue in this case.”
Ryan saw an opening, so he pushed further. “Aha! So its confirmed, it is a girl.” He couldn’t help but get excited some more.
“Ang galing mo talagang manghuli. Yes, it’s a girl. We just got together recently.” Richard finally admitted that made Ryan stand up from where he was seated to go over Richard’s side of the table. He gave slap on the back as if congratulating his friend then leaned on his table.
“Wow, this is good news. So, when can I meet her? I want to scrutinize the girl that you are seeing. Pare, it’s been a long time since I saw your expression light up just because a girl called you. So, dapat ipakilala mo s’ya sa akin. You know you can trust me, we are best friends.” Everything in Ryan’s expression and movements indicated that he was very interested in his girlfriend.
Richard eyed Ryan carefully as if he was considering his request. After a few seconds, he declared. “Okay, I’ll introduce you to her.”
“Yes! ano? Maganda ba, sexy ba? May picture ka ba d’yan?” He pushed some more.
“Ryan, ipapakilala na nga kita in person. You can judge for yourself.
Sama ka sa akin around lunch time, we’re going to meet her so let’s finish our work para makapunta tayo sa Terminal 3.”
Ryan was puzzled, “Eh bakit tayo pupunta sa Terminal 3, wala naman tayong planes to check there today.”
“She’s arriving from Cebu today. I’m picking her up at the airport. Then, you can join us for lunch.” Richard shared the plans to his friend.
Since Richard and Ryan have special privileges in the Manila airports, they waited for Maya inside the arrival area of terminal 3 near bay 8. Ryan was looking around, observing people when he noticed a girl clad in jeans and oversized shirt but one could see that she has a sexy figure.
She looked young and familiar to him but couldn’t put a name on her face since he can’t see her eyes; she was wearing dark sunglasses.
Richard was reading something on his phone but looked up the moment he heard Maya’s voice.
“Hi, Richard.” Her strides became faster as she approached him.
“Hi Maya.” Richard put an arm around her at the same time kissed her on the cheeks. Then, he turned to Ryan who was standing near them, observing them.
“By the way, I’d like you to meet my friend, Ryan.” He formally introduced them.
Maya removed her sunglasses as she extended her hand to Ryan. “Hi Ryan, I am pleased to meet you.” She was smiling at then star struck Ryan. It took a few seconds before he got to his senses but only after Richard prodded him in the arm.
“Hi, nice to meet you too Maya. I’m sorry, I was just surprised. I didn’t expect that it is you, I mean.. he is dating you?” Ryan was pointing a finger to Maya then to Richard emphasizing the connection between the two. Richard and Maya just nodded with smiles on their faces.
Maya eyed Richard as she teased him. “Siguro marami ng na-introduce sa’yo ‘to kaya na-surprise ka ngayon ano?” She looked at Ryan waiting for his answer. It was a joke but at the back of her mind, she wondered how many ex-girlfriends did Richard have.
“Hmm, konti pa lang naman kayo.” Ryan replied as he looked away feigning seriousness. Richard elbowed him.
“Hep,hep. Baka kung saan pa mauwi itong usapan na ‘to.” Richard shook his head as he looked at Ryan with his eyes already bigger hinting Ryan to stop. “Let’s go. Let’s have lunch first. Then, we’ll go to the office and drop Ryan. But where are your bags?” Richard remembered Maya must have checked-in luggage.
“Si Angie na ang nag-claim and then she’ll bring them sa bahay. We’ve arranged for an airport pick-up kanina after I called you up.” She clung on to Richard’s arm unmindful of some onlookers at the arrival area.
After the discussion on her luggage, the three went out for lunch in a nearby restaurant.
Maya found Ryan quite entertaining. Unlike Richard who at first impression is a serious guy, his best friend is more outgoing. It was easy to like him and be comfortable with him.
Employees of L.A.S. were all eyes on Richard and Maya as their entered their premises. Being a celebrity, people were curious on why she was at their office. Maya kept smiling as they walked through the hallway leading to his office.
Richard and Maya were holding hands when they met Liza. “Hi Liza.” Maya greeted her. They’ve already been introduced during the signing of contract.
“Hi Maya.” She seemed surprised finding her in Lim Aviations. “You’re here for the shoot?”
“Ayy, hindi. Next week pa ‘yon. Dumaan lang kami ni Richard dito.” Maya responded.
Liza noticed that the two were holding hands. It dawned on her that there must be something ongoing between the two which was beyond business. She smiled at Richard. “Boss, yung pinadeliver mo, nasa loob na ng office mo.”
“Thank you Liza.” Richard then led Maya towards his room, his fingers intertwining with hers.
When Richard and Maya entered his office, they found a big bouquet of pink tulips on top of his table. He took the flowers from his desk and handed it to her.
“For you, welcome back.” The smile on his face and his eyes told her he was really glad she was back.
“I missed you.” Richard gathered her in his arms and kissed her. He kissed her with warmth and tenderness.
“Everyday naman tayo sa phone, ah.” She caressed his cheeks after she wiped off with her thumb the trace of red lipstick on his lips.
“Even then, iba pa rin yung I see you and be able to hold you like this.” He tightened his hug.
“Hmm, Mr. Lim ang sweet mo naman.” She escaped from his hug and walked towards his office table as she looked around.
“So, this is Lim Aviations. Is this part of T.A.?” She was interested to know more about him. She just found out during lunch about Lim Aviations from Ryan and she had a few clarifications to make. She sat on the visitor’s chair; the flowers on her lap.
“This is my company. I started this after I got back from the U.S. Dito ko nilagay yung money na iniwan ng Dad ko and then si Papa, yung father ni James, lent me some money too when I was starting.” Richard explained as he sat down on the chair opposite Maya.
“Ahh, ganuon. Ang galing mo pala, kasi you have this and then may T.A. ka pa. How do you manage all of this? Di ba mahirap magbalance?” Maya was quite impressed with his accomplishments.
“Time Airways will be James’s company. We’re just waiting for the time for him to be ready. I will remain on T.A. board though. Si Ryan is managing Lim Aviations for now but I think I need to concentrate here more after all the recent issues we uncovered here.” Richard then shared with Maya the case they have against Daniel.
“Is that the reason why you are busy lately?” Maya realized the extent of his business issues after Richard told her everything.
“Yes. I learned about the problem the week that I didn’t call you. Yung week na nagtampo ka sa akin kasi isang beses lang kita tinawagan. There was too much work here at that time.” Richard explained.
Maya moved close to where Richard was. He took her hand and pulled her to him such that she ended up sitting on his lap. “Sorry ‘Chard, inaway kita nuon. Akala ko kasi I didn’t mean anything to you.” She hugged him.
“Sorry din but I really missed you that time. Tapos this week again, you travelled. Gaano ba kadalas ‘yang mga out-of-town trips mo?”
Maya faced him. “When I have locations shoots or shows sa provinces.”
Richard’s brows furrowed. “Dapat siguro you give me a copy of your schedules so I know where you are going ahead of time. Then, I could also plan yung mga dates natin. Parang ang hirap mo yatang maging girlfriend, ah, by appointment ka.”
Maya’s expression changed to worry after he mentioned about the potential issues they will have when it comes to her schedules and their time together. “Mr. Lim, ano gigive-up ka na?” She had a sad look on her face.
“Of course not! Did I say that? We’ve just started, give up kaagad ang word mo? I’d rather you say, you want to spend all your free time with me kaya nga hinihingi ko ang schedule mo. I will adjust accordingly.” His hand were on her hips patting her, then it moved inside her shirt to caress her side. She shifted her position as his touch was distracting her from their conversation.
She lips curved into a smile and had his face in between her hands. “Okay” She gave him a smack on the lips and wrapped her arms around his neck. “Chard, have patience ha, minsan kasi I will be very busy and also ‘tong work ko sometimes have intrigues and all, sana you won’t get affected.”
“I won’t if you promise you won’t do anything that will hurt us.” He looked at her tenderly as his hands left her body and used them to cup her face. He was about to kiss her when she asked.
“Hmmm, are you the jealous type?” It was a question that just popped out of her mind.
“No. I’m not.” Richard gave his response with conviction. He kissed her lightly.
“Then, we should be okay, as in good and good.” Maya looked forward to stable relationship with Richard. She hoped they could progress further until he would finally declare in words how much he loves her. But for now, she is content with what they have and the attention he was showering her.
They spent a few moments locked in each other’s embrace until Liza knocked on the door to remind Richard that he had a meeting due in 5 minutes.
“Richard, okay lang, I can wait. I have my iPad here or I can read my new project.” Maya assured him that it was okay for her to wait.
“Alright, I’ll make sure we wrap up in an hour. Then, we’ll go home.” Richard left Maya in his room.