Heart’s True Desire – part 26

A/N: This is a continuation to Heart’s True Desire – part 25

“Protecting Her”

Maya remained at the kitchen for a few minutes giving herself time to calm down. Although she felt the pangs of jealousy earlier when she overheard Richard’s conversation on the phone, she repeatedly told herself that her husband loves her. She needed to trust him.

When she finally came out of the dining room, Richard was already in their bedroom. She followed him there and found him in the bathroom taking a shower. While waiting for him to finish, she started to prepare her nightclothes and open her computer first to check on her emails.

Maya noticed that his shower time took longer than usual. And when Richard came out, he looked pensive. He didn’t talk even when she passed him by as she entered the bathroom for her turn to take the shower.

Later, when she was done with her nightly beauty routine, he was already lying on their bed with his eyes closed. For the first time since they became a couple, he slept earlier than her. When she joined him thirty minutes later, he instinctively reached out to her to hug her. He was asleep as she heard his steady breathing on her neck.

~*~

The following day, Richard called up Maya at around 10:00 a.m. to tell her a change in his plan for the day.

“Hon, I’m going out to see Arnold for lunch and then will attend a meeting this afternoon.” He informed her over the phone.

“Ricky, di ba magkikita naman tayo nina Arnold tomorrow? Aren’t we all going to Boracay?” She was curious what they would be discussing about.

“Yeah, but he wanted to discuss another matter. I think it’s a business proposal so I am going to see him.” He explained.

She went silent for a while. She recalled what she overheard the previous night. She was thinking when would he actually meet Sugar during that day. Obviously, he wasn’t telling her everything and she wondered why. She didn’t want to ask as she hoped he would be honest with her.

“Ahh, ganu’n? O sige. So, I’ll just wait for you here later para sabay tayo umuwi.” She responded calmly. However, deep inside, her heart was pounding. She knew she shouldn’t feel that way but her instinct was telling her something else.

~*~

At about lunchtime, a special food delivery arrived at her office. She was surprised to receive a Japanese set lunch that came from her favorite Japanese restaurant. It turned out that Richard ordered lunch for her and her assistant picked it up.

“Ms. Maya, here’s your lunch.” Mica placed the package on top of Maya’s table.

She was about to say something when her assistant added. “Ang sweet naman po ni Sir Richard. Early this morning, pinagbilin pa niya yan sa akin. He made sure that I follow-up baka daw kasi hindi ma-prepare on time.”

“Thanks Mica. Si Ricky talaga. Eh, may Asian food chef naman tayo.” She took the package and checked what was inside.

“Well, sabi po ni Sir Richard, favorite n’yo raw po yang Japanese restaurant na ‘yan.”

Maya smiled as she saw her favorite dishes in the package. In the end, she shared her lunch with her assistant as the servings were good for two people.

The gesture of Richard alleviated her worries. She has a loving husband; he takes care of her in every opportunity he has. So, for the rest of the afternoon, Maya stopped worrying. She will give him time and will wait until he tells her how he managed Grace.

~*~

Maya was watching TV when Richard arrived home that night. She went home by herself taking the hotel car service after Richard sent her a text message that he would be late coming home.

When he entered their condo unit, he looked so tired that she instantly came to him to check how he was.

“Hi, hon.” She greeted him lovingly.

“Hi, have you eaten?” He returned her smile after giving her a kiss on her lips.

“Uhumm.” She nodded. “You look tired. Kumain ka na?” She probed.

“Hindi pa nga eh.” He placed an arm around her shoulder as they walked towards their dining room.

“Sige, I’ll just warm some food for you. Upo ka muna diyan.” She asked him to sit on the dining chair as she went to the kitchen to take out some food from the fridge.

Maya was waiting for the microwave to finish heating the dish she was going to serve him when she suddenly felt being enveloped in his arms. He hugged her from behind and when she turned around, Richard was looking into her eyes tenderly.

“Hon, may problem?” She asked out of curiosity. There was something in his eyes beyond the love he was trying to convey to her.

“Wala. I’m just so in love with my wife.” He smiled and then kissed her in the lips. His arms still around her. The kiss he gave her was breathtaking and if not for the sound coming from microwave reminding them that the food was ready, they would have stopped.

“Ricky…gutom lang ‘yan.” She pushed him lightly away from her as she was about to take the dishes and set them on the table.

“Yeah…I am hungry for you.” He replied as he stole one more kiss from her.

Moments later, Maya accompanied Richard while he ate his dinner. She served him ensuring he got the full meal. She also thanked him for sending her lunch that day.

“You’re welcome, hon. Naiisip ko kasi talaga na mag Japanese food tayo for lunch kanina. But, Arnold called me up. Hindi naman ako makatanggi sa kanya.” He explained.

“So, what business ba ang napag-usapan n’yo?” She asked like a normal wife would ask her husband.

“Well, he wants to enter the hospitality industry pero sa province nila. He was offering a partnership. I told him I’ll have to discuss with the board lalo na kay Lolo Liwen.” He shared with her.

For the rest of the evening, Richard shared with her the opportunities that could open for them if they enter into a partnership with Arnold’s family.

Later that night, they went to bed with Maya feeling secure that everything was well with Richard. As she slept well that night, she didn’t see that Richard actually woke up in the middle of the night and worked on his computer. He looked as if something was troubling him.

~*~

A day later at Lim Boutique Hotel, Boracay

Richard and Maya got out of the LBH’s van with smiles on their faces as their hotel staff welcomed them. They have just arrived at Boracay’s station 1 where their hotel was located. It had been a long time since Richard visited them while it was Maya’s first time. The hotel staff already knew that they are newly weds.

“Good morning Sir Ricky. Good morning Mrs. Lim.” The hotel manager, Auldry, greeted them. Then, the two hotel staff, placed a lei of sampaguita and puka shells on their necks.

“Good morning, Auldry.” Richard responded. “Bagong welcome ito ah.” He was referring to the lei.

“Opo sir. Actually, it was an idea from Mrs. Lim.” Maya and Auldry have spoken on the phone two weeks ago and that was one of the suggestions Maya gave them to improve their service.

“Good morning Auldry, ikaw naman don’t be so formal. You can call me Maya.” She responded as she offered her hand and pulled their hotel manager towards her to give her a kiss on the cheek.

“Thank you, Ma’m Maya.” The other woman responded. “Ahh, Sir, may nauna na pong dumating sa grupo n’yo this morning. May 4 couples na po na naka check-in. The next group should be coming in within 2 hours.” She immediately reported.

“Okay…thanks again. We’ll just settle our things first and then pwede mo na rin pa-ready yung lunch.” Richard instructed after Auldry handed him their room key. He took Maya’s hand. “Hon, punta muna tayo sa room so we can change to a more comfortable attire before lunch.”

~*~

Maya was already in a fashionable red short shorts and sleeves white blouse when Richard came out of the bathroom. He too has changed into a light blue shirt. After seeing his wife dressed the way she was, his eyes narrowed a bit.

“Maya, are you going out like that?” He asked as he scanned her generously exposed legs.

“Oo Ricky, bakit? Pangit ba ako dito?” She asked innocently.

“No” Richard’s quick response. “But, do you feel comfortable in it? Hindi ba masyadong maiksi yang shorts mo?” He added.

“Hindi naman. Sanay naman akong ganito. Di ba when I am at home ganito rin naman kahaba ang shorts ko, ah.” She argued back. She was beginning to sense that Richard wanted her to change her shorts.

“Sa bahay, tayong dalawa lang and so I don’t mind kung ganyan ka-iksi ang shorts mo. But here, there are lots of people.” He sat down on the bed as he scrutinized her attire one more time.

“Mr. Lim, we are on the beach. I think I am properly attired. If you want me to change into something else, I am sorry to tell you, I will not. Besides, 2 pairs of pants lang dala ko for this trip. So, you might have to get used to seeing me in shorts.” She told him while she tried to pull him to stand up and leave the room.

Instead of standing up, Richard caressed her legs that it jolted her. His hand touching her inner thighs sent electric shock to her body. Richard felt her reaction. “See that’s the reason why I don’t want to expose your legs. I get distracted. Have I told you that you have very beautiful legs?” By this time, he was already embracing her.

She smiled as looked into her husband’s eyes. “Hmm, hindi pa. Pero ngayon alam ko na.” She cupped his face between her two hands.

Richard chuckled as he pressed his body closer to her. “Ricky, let’s go. Naghihintay na sa atin yung mga friends mo.” She tried to distract him as she anticipated what he was thinking.

He took a deep sigh in frustration. “I thought we could have one round before lunch.” There was disappointment in his tone.

“Well, Mr. Lim, hindi pa po pwede. Alam mo na kung bakit, di ba?” She disengaged from him and walked towards the door.

“Yeah, the red flag is up. Ilang araw ba talaga yan? Parang tagal naman.” He was in his complaining tone as he approached her.

“Around 1 week.” She teased him and saw the dismay in his expression.

“One week? Naman!!!” was all he could say as they left their room.

~*~

Throughout lunch and as they welcomed Richard’s friends in their hotel, Maya stayed close to Richard. Most of them were aware that Maya worked for Richard but when he announced that he and Maya were actually married to each other, they were surprised. They’ve seen Richard with Steph in one of their dinner parties and so one of his friends couldn’t help but tease him.

“Uy pare, kasal ka na? Di ba noong isang araw lang iba ang kasama mo?”

“Wala ‘yon.” Richard let out a soft laugh as he glanced at Maya who sat comfortably beside him. There was no reaction from her. “Huyy, wag n’yo naman akong biruin ng ganyan at baka maniwala si misis.” He added.

The group laughed especially after one of his friends said. “Oh, oh. I think we have a new member in the Takusa club.”

That started the men’s bantering about their married life. While most enjoyed the sharing of experiences, Maya noted the one person who had a forced smile on his lips. It was James. James, being one of Richard’s clubmates, was there with them for that welcome lunch.

~*~

It was an hour after lunch that the group went for their individual plans. Richard remained with his friend Arnold at the restaurant. Maya, on the other hand, took the opportunity to sit by the beach as there were fewer people that time. She laid down on the lounge chair taking a sip of her fresh orange juice with the intent of appreciating the ocean view.

Then, James joined her. She wasn’t surprised that he followed her there since she had noticed that on several occasions during lunch, he was looking at her.

Since their arrival at Boracay that morning, she had purposely avoided him. She was aware that his wife, Arlene was going to join them too in Boracay. She didn’t want to speak to him nor his wife and wasn’t interested in any developments with regards to their separation.

“Hi, mind if I join you?” James sat on the other chair opposite her. Maya sat up.

“James, di ba sabi ko, I’d rather not see you for the meantime. Hindi ka kasi makaka move on if we keep on seeing each other.” She replied as she sat up and planned on leaving him.

“Maya, wait. I know you said that but I am not sure if I could really do it.” James was about to move to her chair to be closer to Maya when another female voice spoke from their back.

“So, dito pa talaga kayo nag-usap?” It was Arlene, James’s wife. Maya had not seen her in a long time. Although they were friends in college, they didn’t really have that close relationship unlike James.

“Arlene, don’t make a scandal here.” James stood up as he warned his wife.

“Don’t worry James, wala akong planong mag-eskandalo dito. I won’t stoop down to her level.” Arlene looked at Maya with full of disdain in her eyes.

It was at this point that Maya stood up and faced her former classmate. “Arlene, whatever it is with you and James, I hope hindi n’yo ako idadamay. I have no interest in your husband.” She responded firmly as she looked at the other woman straight in her eyes.

“Wow, ang galing mong mag-deny. As if naman hindi ko alam na matagal ka ng nakakapit tuko sa asawa ko pretending that you are friends with him.” Arlene accused.

Maya’s brows furrowed as she exclaimed “Excuse me?”

James uttered in disbelief. “Arlene, ano ka ba?”

The three glared at each other. It was at that Richard joined them. He actually heard most part of the conversation but just listened as Maya held her ground. However, it came to a point that he couldn’t take it anymore. He needed to step in.

“Arlene.” Richard took the attention of the woman who immediately turned her heard when she heard another man’s voice.

“Richard?” Arlene was surprised to see him there. Although she was aware that the hotel they were staying was his family’s property, she wasn’t sure why he would be butt in in their conversation. She soon found out why. She wasn’t aware about Richard and Maya relationship having missed lunch with their group.

“I understand that you are James’s wife and that you are one of the guests of our hotel. However, I couldn’t just stand here and listen as you malign my wife. I will not tolerate disrespect towards my wife or any member of my family. So, kung may issue kayong mag-asawa, I suggest that you move out of our premises.” Richard had a stern look. Then, he took Maya’s hand who was just staring at him. She admired how he came in to her rescue.

“Let’s go honey. The other guests are waiting for us.” He pulled her away from them. After taking a few steps, he stopped and instructed her, “Hon, can you go ahead? May sasabihin pa pala ako kay James.”

Richard retraced his steps and called James who was glued to where he was standing watching the couple leave. Arlene who got embarrassed left James seconds earlier.

Facing James, Richard had his final words. “By the way James, please stay away from my wife from now on. Konting respect lang sana sa amin, sa akin. When Maya and I weren’t a real couple, I respected her. I was aware that you were pursuing her even if you were married and I didn’t say a thing. Hinayaan lang kita. Pero ngayon, our situation is different. She has told you about us so I expect you to back off.”

Richard stared at James squarely. He waited for James’s reaction or even get into a brawl with him but James didn’t say a word. Instead, he just moved away and left Richard standing with his arms akimbo.

A minute later, he felt Maya’s hand on his upper arm. “Ricky… let’s go.” He looked at her with a tentative smile. “I love you Mr. Lim, thanks for the rescue.”

Richard’s smile became wider. “Of course I’d rescue my dear wife. I’ll always be here to protect you.” He assured her. “And by the way Mrs. Lim, I forbid you to come near that guy again.” He declared in a tender tone.

“Opo, sir.” She gave him a kiss on the cheek before they walked back to the hotel.

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