Where are you, Enrique? I glance at Jace and he gave me an encouraging but wry smile, revealing his pure white teeth.
"Your glance gives me some sort of clue that you might be thinking about my brother. If I may ask, have you fallen for him?" he wheezes.
"Who said I've fallen for your brother? he's not even my type to start with."
"I think you're very self-contained," he mutters.
how am I managing that? No way, I just lied about my feelings for Enrique. Am I just another kind of hedgehog?
"Except when you blush of course which is often. I just wish I knew what you were blushing about." He sips from his cup.
"Do you always make such personal observations?" I query him.
"I hadn't realized I was. Have I offended you?" He sounds surprised.
"No," I answer truthfully.
"Good." He mouthed.
"But you're very high-handed," I retaliate quietly. He raises his eyebrows and if I'm not mistaken, he flushes slightly too.
"I'm utilized in getting my way, Brielle Damara," he confides.
I'm surprised by my audacity. Why has this conversation become so serious? This isn't going the way I thought, I can't believe I'm feeling so antagonistic towards him It's like he's trying to warn me off, and he still hasn't said 'Call me Jace.'
"How is your mom? tell me about her." He insisted with a serious expression.
I don't like where this is simply going but I need to keep my cool for some while then I'll ask him if we've met before or something, I don't know, now is just the best time.
"Well, my mom lives in Milan, she sometimes comes to visit me."
"Your father?" he raises his suspicious eyebrows.
"My father died when I was only four." my face was down.
"I'm sorry," he mutters and a fleeting troubled look crosses his face.
"We have talked about some few things before," he smiled.
"I'm sorry Mr. De Leon but I don't remember talking to you about anything or meeting up with you except your brother, Enrique," I snort.
"He allows you to call him by his first name?" He raised a confused brow at me.
"Yeah! " I griped.
"Oh, I see, so you don't remember me?" He questioned with a disturbing face.
"I'm sorry Mr. De Leon, I know I've seen you before but I can't recall where." I signed.
He raised his face in an extremely attractive way, "From the library, the guy with the glasses that helped you during high school days, we sat together always, Jonathan?" He widened his eyes for me to remember.
Once again, I'm mortified In years to come, I know I'll need intensive therapy to not feel this embarrassed every time I can't recall some moment. I start babbling to remember that day, anything to unblock that memory.
Then it hits me real hard. "Only fuck! Jonathan Christopher?" I wow in a confused state. "I remembered fully well now, Jonathan Christopher from my class the boy with blonde hair, less concern, glasses, and hot temper, but you answered Jonathan Christopher, not Jace De Leon, why?" with confusion, I snarl.
Mr. De Leon raises his eyebrows in amazement. "Jonathan Christopher is the long name for Jace, the name is Jace so my mom just expanded it without putting the De Leon so that I can go to high school in peace like a normal kid to save me from the questioning about going to school for regular kids."
I smiled like a maniac, I knew I've meant him before but then he was a boy, but now! Jeez, he has grown up to become one sexy hot meat, He was my first crush back then.
I smile fondly. Mr. De Leon is watching me intently taking occasional sips of his tea, I really shouldn't look at his mouth. It's unsettling. Those lips.
"I know you had a crush on me once before, Hera said so back then shortly, after I finished beating up Mateo Castillo from calling you a freaky poor thing, remember ?" he winces.
I just look at him with wide eyes, he remembers Hera? But Hera didn't even remember Jonathan Christopher the boy we always hang out with during and after class, And now he's almighty De Leon? what a world, but why didn't he tell Hera when he saw her a few hours ago? He said (the persistent Hera)
"Of course, I once had a crush on you." I voiced out in a fable.
"And what about now Brielle?" He smiled. "That's it? Once had a crush?" Jace asks, surprised.
I shrug. What does this man expect? My life story? I refrain from rolling my eyes at him. He frowns as if he doesn't understand.
"You didn't want to tell me then?" he asks. I blush. This is none of his business.
"OK fine", he rolled his eyes at me making me look at him like that Jonathan Christopher from high school with the temper, he didn't change a bit, his cold personality, no smile line on his face, hot and sexy.
"Hmm tell me about your stepdads then " he smiled sitting down.
How the hell does he knows that I have stepdads? I swear I think my crush for him is coming back in full, like right now, but now I'm into Alex, I don't even know if he has a serious girlfriend, lord help me please or I'm gonna melt.
"My home was in Milan and you know my mom was newly married. He's a nice man but my peace of mind is also important so I moved to Sicily since I know Hera lives here." I stop.
This is none of his business but two play at this game."Tell me about your parents," I ask then he shrugs.
"My dad is the retired founder of DARIO AND SONS DEV.CO, my mom is a gynecologist. They live in Mexico."
he's had an affluent upbringing and I wonder about a successful couple who gave birth to three kids and two of them turn into a beautiful man who takes on the business world and conquers it single-handed. What drove him to be a honey jar for the lady bees? He's a successful man and everybody knows about his everyday scandals of different women, gosh! why I'm I behaving strangely inside, now thinking like Hera, at least Enrique is different, he never has scandals with a lot of women.
"What do your siblings do?" I questioned out of my thought not to make the conversations awkward.
"You know Marcelo right?"He questioned,
"Who's Marcelo?" I questioned back at him,
"The one who investigated about you by my order," He gags.
"Enrique?" I furrowed my question brow. Did he send him? "You were the one that sends him to Mrs. Sicilio coffee shop?" my eyes wherein horridness.
"Yes! And I've been to your working place countless times too," he adds.
Then again, it strikes me. That man! The one that always comes, the one with expensive-looking suits!
"That means you were that man, the man that was always wearing a blue expensive-looking, you came in last week backing us at the relaxing point that day, it was you I remember your scent and your hair, that means if not for you I wouldn't have met up with Enrique, right?" I halt.
that means, Enrique wasn't stalking me, he was just a rope to the fan. dammit. I almost fell for those blue eyes and strong manly hands. Hera will get terrified if she gets to know about all this.
He smiled, "I was." he continued,
"My little sister Hermione is in Paris with her husband." he stopped with an irritating graze.
"I hear Paris is lovely," I murmur.
"It's beautiful. Have you been there?" he asks.
"I've never left mainland Italy.
"Would you like to go?" He asks.
"To Paris?" I squeak. This has thrown me - who wouldn't want to go to Paris? "Of course," I concede. "But it's Mexico or Cuba that I'd like to visit." He cocks his head to one side, running his index finger across his lower lip.
"Because?" He questions again.
I blink rapidly. Concentrate Brielle. "It's the home of Lucas wallies, Thomas revile, Jean Paget, Camilla Cabello." All this talk of Economics greats and best musicians reminds me that I should be studying. I glance at my watch.
"I'd better go. I have to study for my exams it's on Wednesday, Thank you for the tea, Mr. De Leon." He smiles.
"You're welcome, Brielle. It's my pleasure," he smiles. "Do you always wear jeans?" he asks out of the blue.
"Mostly." I wince without self-confidence. He nods.
"Do you have a girlfriend?" I blurt out. Holy crap - I just said that out loud? Jonathan Christopher ugh.
His lips quirk up in a half-smile and he looks down at me. "Do you want me, Elle? Is that little girl crush still there?" he seems unpleasant.
Did he just call me Brie? he still remembered that name he used to call me? But I was silent still.
"No, Brie. I don't do the girlfriend stuff," he says softly.
what does that mean? He's not into ladies, but Hera told me he has a lot of girlfriends. That's he's a Casanova, that he's never serious in his life. Oh, maybe he is no longer the Jonathan Christopher that I once knew, the Jonathan that doesn't flirt back then - crap! He must have lied to me and for a moment I think he's going to follow on with some explanation, some clue to this cryptic statement - but he doesn't. I have to go. I have to try to reassemble my thoughts. I have to get away from him.
I stood up but suddenly felt dizzy, my head spins. He grabs me, making me resting my body on his chest. I inhale his clean, vital manly scent. He smells of freshly laundered linen and some expensive body wash. Oh my, it's intoxicating. I inhale deeply.
"Are you okay?" he whispers. He has one arm around me, clasping me to him while the fingers of his other hand softly trace my face, gently probing, examining me. His thumb brushes my lower lip and I hear his breath hitch.
He's staring into my eyes and I hold his anxious burning gaze for a moment or maybe it's forever, but eventually, my attention was drawn to his beautiful mouth. Oh my, I remember when I pecked him back then on his lip on our senior prom and for the first time in twenty-six years, I want to be kissed, I want to feel his lips on me again.