Admin Note: This is a continuation to Restless – Chapter 14.
Author’s note: Hello EB readers. How’s everyone? Sorry it took me looooooong to post this chapter. I’ve been very busy with a lot of stuff, writing a very important script for a big event this coming April so have to shelve my social networking for awhile. Anyway, thank you for your super duper patience 😀
Chapter 15 – Expectations
James led Maya discreetly towards the exit of the ballroom. After a few exchange of words with him on the time that they’re supposed to leave tomorrow, Maya walked towards the hallway and entered the lift with a sigh of relief. The elevator door was about to close when someone’s shoes dash in to keep the door from closing. She looked up, and was caught into immobility when she saw him – Richard.
“Maya. We need to talk.” He said grimly. His face taut, his eyes narrowed dangerously as he looked at her.
Somehow, Maya managed to adopt a calm expression. “Richard. Please go away.” She said firmly. “We have nothing to talk about.”
A scowl settled over Richard’s face as he pushed the button of the lift to his floor. “I’m not going anywhere, and we will have that talk.”
It was clear that he won’t allow her any escape so she brace herself for the battle that is ahead and kept her silence.
When the elevator door opened, he waited on her to come out first, but Maya shook her head, refusing to budge from where she was standing.
Torn between frustration and amusement, Richard tried to gentle his tone. “Either you get off voluntarily or we will have our talk here in the elevator – it’s entirely up to you.”
Reluctantly, she went out of the elevator a few steps and hesitated. “This is a mistake.”
“No it’s not” He urged and reached for her arm to which Maya flinched away, scorched by the light touch on her arm, awakening her senses from her passiveness.
She lifted her chin and snapped at him as soon as she step out of the elevator. “Now, talk!”
“Here? In the hallway? Richard inquired, glancing at her with a meaningful smile. “I don’t think you want the people passing by to witness our nice big fight.”
“Fine. Where to?”
“You must be kidding me.”
“Your room then?” Richard chuckled, amused by her fiery look and show of temper. Better to face her in this mood than in her indifference.
“What a choice!” Maya told him sharply in her frustrated tone. “And how dare you imply… you arrogant, egotistical…!” She stopped long enough to draw a steadying breath and said tightly. “I’m not that kind of person, and… I don’t want to be involve with you.”
“You were involved with me rather well months ago. In fact, we were so much involved that we can’t get our hands off each other.”
“I thought you were special then. If I’d known who you really were, I wouldn’t have bothered with you.” She shot back at him angrily. “You deceived me, and I was stupid to trust you.”
Richard looked at the tempestuous beauty standing across him, and was enchanted by her. She’s the only one who’s able to touch his cold heart like this; And even with her flare of temper and scornful defiance, he found her adorable, and wanted to rile her more just to see that fiery brilliance in her eyes. “You are lovely when you are angry.” He said softly.
“What? –” She hissed but her words were cut off when Richard pulled her in his arms, and captured her lips in a tender kiss. The instant he touched her, she was lost and pleasure swept through her, helplessly caught up in the stirring sensations his kiss always evoked, flooding her nerves and senses.
Instinctively, her hands slid up his shirt, inside his tux, her fingers splaying wide of their own accord, spreading warmth against his chest. As soon as she did, his arms tightened around her, his mouth move with devouring hunger over hers, his tongue stroking intimately against hers. Maya welcomed the invasion of his tongue, helplessly kissing him back with all the desperation and need amidst the confusion rioting inside her.
She trembled in confusion as she responded, intensely aware of his scent and the warmth of his hands. “This isn’t right. You’re committed.” She whispered while her pulse throbbed madly.
“I’m not… and even if you are, I don’t care.” He spoke against her, his lips touching the lobe of her ear with each word, kissing her jaw, his teeth nipping at her neck. “I would do anything to touch you like this, anything just to be close to you.” He further demonstrated the rightness of what they’re doing by moving his hands behind her lower back, molding her tightly against him letting her feel his need, until she shivered and made an inarticulate sound.
Richard waited for her to deny him, to push him away, but instead her arms went around his neck, and held him close. HeHe groaned, and hungrily deepened the kiss. “This is crazy. Anytime now, someone will walk this way, and see us.” He muttered as he swung her into his arms, and carried her towards his suite at the end of the hallway.
He let her slide from him but continued to hold her. He felt the rise and fall of her chest as it matched his labored breathing.
“I’m not that kind of person…” She said in a muffled voice against the fabric of his tux, dazed and in conflict with her emotions. “I can’t handle being the thirdparty or the cause of your misunderstanding with Hana.”
“Why do you keep bringing up her name?”
“To remind you that you are committed.” Maya informed him as she lowered his eyes from him.
“Maya, look at me.” He tipped her chin up so he can look at her eyes. “Hana and I are not exclusive. I’ve approached the relationship with her with the understanding that it’s just a temporary arrangement.
“That’s a very cold arrangement.” She told him in a miserable tone, knowing that this same arrangement applies to any woman in his life, including her. How did I end up loving this complicated man? She thought, and kept her silence as she contemplated on how to go about with her feelings for him.
Richard was puzzled as he saw her hid her thoughts and expressions from him. Though not physically, he felt her detached from him in what seems to be an impenetrable wall. Alarmed of her silence, he held her close and coaxed her to talk. “Maya, please tell me what’s going on in your mind right now… Look, I’m no saint. I’ve done other things that will probably offend your sensibilities, but I’ve never deceive Hana or anyone into thinking that there’ll be any commitment.”
There. She had her answer – holds true to anyone. “She may have expectations from you.” She said wearily, and wedged her arms between them.
“No expectations, and that’s it. And just to ease your mind about it, I’ve already informed her that I will no longer see her.” He said with finality, his voice vibrant with frustrations.
“Am I her replacement then?” Maya demanded as she wrapped her arms in front of her. “Tell me, Richard, what are the rules? Am I supposed to just go with the flow, be with you today, and tomorrow after you found a replacement for me, I’m not supposed to care, right? And I also can be with other men, and you won’t care? Is that how it works?
Richard jaw tightened, unable to respond at the bluntness of her words. Coming from Maya, his usual arrangement with the women in his life seemed crude. Angry regret flared in his eyes and his body tensed with torment at the thought of her having that same arrangement with James.
“I thought so.” Maya sighed when he kept his silence. Inwardly, she flinched at the realization that he was incurably a cynic – he’s just made that way, and she’s not about to change him. Summoning her pride, she lifted her chin up, and informed him casually, “Now that we settled the rules, I’d like to think this over.
Richard stared at her intently, his gaze causing the hairs at the back of her neck to lift. They stood facing each other in silence – both held captive by something deep and profound, but positively unnerving; each grappling at the puzzling irony that something was terribly wrong between them, and yet it felt right. The long silence became stifling, and Maya fidgeted as she tried to find a way to break it.
“I want to hold you.” Richard said in a low voice, his face blank except for the tightening of the muscles in his cheeks.
For some reason, that break in silence from him was a relief. Flustered, she gave a nervous catch of laughter and nodded. Before she even made a step forward, Richard reached for her in a warm embrace, so perfectly close that she fitted against him as if she’d been made for him.
Maya relaxed fully in his arms felt every breath, thought, and heartbeat between them. If it’s possible for love to be expressed without words, or sexual union, then it is this moment.
She lost track of time standing there with him but eventually Richard pulled away from her and said something about her staying with him for the night. Maya nodded blindly, knowing within her that this will be the last time that she can be with him.
As much as she wanted to be with him, she realized that she’s not sophisticated enough to handle the kind of relationship that Richard wants – an affair without emotional involvement, without expectations. She could do it but was afraid of the possibility that anytime soon she would make a mess, and humiliate herself by blurting out how much she loves him. The words are there, hovering in her mind, on her lips, desperate to be said. Her self-preservation was the only one standing, and giving her the strength not to succumb to the temptation.
[For your listening pleasure while reading this chapter —> I Wanna Be With You by Mandy Moore]