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Chapter 7

  • Daniel
  • When I expressed my interest in buying her painting, her expression changed completely. I could tell that I had unintentionally offended her, but I couldn't help myself. My desire for the painting was genuine and I couldn't quite put my finger on why I wanted the piece.
  • Ever since Bella appeared before me, I've been a little out of sorts. As she explained her work, my mind kept drifting off to the thought of how strange it was that I had run into her again, here of all places. Her face was one that still lingered in my memory, and I had been longing to see her again for some time now.
  • The first time I met her was six months ago and I couldn't seem to get her out of my mind. She had walked up to me in a hotel and asked to borrow my cap, and before I knew it, she ran off with it without waiting to get my permission. Later that night, I saw her again, and then I noticed that she had tears in her eyes. I wanted to ask her what was wrong, but she disappeared before I could get the chance.
  • Now, here she was, as one of the artists at an exhibition that I had partly sponsored. I felt like fate had brought us together again, and I couldn't let this opportunity slip away.
  • "I appreciate that you like my work, Daniel, but this painting is not for sale," she replied, her tone firm.
  • She explained that her other pieces would be available for purchase later, but I didn't want to wait. I was leaving soon, and I didn't know when I would have the chance to see her again.
  • "I understand that you have other works that will be available for purchase later, but I'm leaving soon, and I can't wait for them. I want to buy this painting from you, no matter what the cost is," I insisted and I could tell that she didn't like my persistence very much.
  • "I can recommend a painting that I think would be to your taste, or I can send pictures of my other works for you to choose from. However, this particular painting is not for sale, and I don't appreciate your continued insistence," she said, her voice firm but polite.
  • "I apologize if my persistence is bothering you, but I truly appreciate your work. And when I say that, I mean specifically this painting you described. I understand it's frustrating that I'm being pushy, but when I see something I like, I don't give up easily. I'm not trying to be rude, but I won't back down on this," I explained, trying my best to be respectful.
  • Her expression showed her judgment of me, but I was used to people assuming that I used the money to get what I wanted. However, Bella wasn't budging, and it only made me want the painting more.
  • "Please, name your price. I'll even double or triple it. I just want to buy that painting, and I won't give up until you say yes," I said, hoping to change her mind.
  • Her chuckle was dark and short, and it indicated that she wasn't pleased. "I've met plenty of cocky and arrogant people who think money can buy them anything. But you, you're just disrespectful and irritating. I already offered you other options because I thought you were reasonable, but now I don't feel obligated to continue being polite to you. None of the artworks here today are for sale, including this painting. If you're so desperate for artwork that you can't relate to, you're going to have to go somewhere else,"
  • Her calm demeanor and stern voice only made me more interested in her. I could tell that she was a feisty woman, and I found that attractive. I didn't even care about the painting anymore; I just wanted to get a reaction out of her.
  • "I'm not trying to flaunt my wealth, Bella. I just want to do business with you," I explained, but she cut me off.
  • "A liberty I now regret, Mr. Russo. If you had any respect at all for me as an artist, you wouldn't be trying so hard to get me to sell my work to you, especially when I've already told you that it's not for sale. A few moments ago, you called it rubbish, and now you're suddenly desperate to have it? What changed your mind?" she snapped, her tone rising.
  • I tried to calm her down. "I'd appreciate it if you didn't raise your voice, Bella. We don't want to cause a scene here. And I have to ask, is it that you don't want to sell this particular painting at all, or is it just me that you don't want to sell it to?" I asked.
  • "I have no intention of selling any of the displayed paintings, and that's what I already communicated to you earlier," she said, her tone indicating that she was frustrated. "And frankly, someone as clueless as you doesn't even understand the meaning behind the art. I can't just sell these pieces to someone who doesn't truly appreciate them,"
  • She continued, "We've been talking for far too long and I have other things to attend to at this exhibition. And just to be clear, if you're ever genuinely interested in purchasing a painting, you can let Mary know, and she'll help you find something that's to your liking."
  • Without giving me a chance to respond, she walked away, and I couldn't help but feel intrigued.
  • "Interesting," I murmured to myself, smiling slightly.