It was a bad idea to kiss her. Wayne realized as he glanced at the closed door of his office. She tasted sweet and he relished in the way she responded to him.
When he was forming the contract in his mind, he thought he might as well satisfy his physical needs. She would be his wife, anyway, so kissing and having sex should be normal. He would admit that she’s attractive and he was attracted. At least, physically.
But that kiss… he hasn’t engaged in bedroom activities since the divorce. He was fairly disgusted with women at that point and didn’t want anything to do with them. It worked well for his business as he shifted all his attention to that. How long was it since he enjoyed a woman’s body and relished in carnal pleasures?
Six months would be too long, he groaned as he realized that now.
The plan has been set in motion. His sisters know she’d come to see him. He’d let her visit his office a few more times before they go on their first date. He called his secretary in to ask what kind of first date would suit him or what would be preferable to supposedly sweep someone off their feet. It was just for show, but he’s very attentive to details. If they’re to convince his family that their relationship is legit, they would have to take proper measures. She seemed to understand earlier, but in any case, he would clearly discuss it to her at a later date.
Tina suggested that booking an entire place would be what’s expected from his status. At least, that’s what women on the internet are saying to be their ideal date with a wealthy bachelor.
Do men of wealth actually do such a thing? Even Wayne had to ask. What he realized when he started earning more and more is that he becomes more reluctant to spend his money. Unless it’s to expand his businesses. That’s how he keeps becoming richer. Still, money is meant to be spent. Women appreciates gifts and grand gestures. Alright. He gave Tina instructions on how to go about it.
Andrea went to his company a few times in the weeks after their agreement. She busily worked with Jay until they managed to finalize the initial plan. Normally, she would quickly see Wayne at the end of her visits to update him and express her gratitude before leaving. They hadn’t kissed again after the first one.
It didn’t bother her as much as she initially thought. Or so she thought. It was when Aria asked to meet that she’s suddenly reminded of who Wayne was. She hadn’t considered what her friends would think.
When she reached the café, Aria was already seated and waiting for her. She was still as bubbly as ever. Andrea suddenly felt nervous. She couldn’t look her in the eye and she stuttered. Boy was she so obvious? She almost wanted to say bye and go hide.
Aria noticed her odd behavior and frowned. She acts like she’s guilty of something. What could Andrea do to make her like this? As she’s used to being direct, she figured the same approach would work well in this situation.
“Alright, spill. What are you hiding? You can’t even look at me.” She kept trying to catch her sight, but with her statement, Andrea finally looked at her. Her expression was so apologetic.
“I’m sorry.” Andrea stated. How to say it? Did Wayne tell her that they should keep it a secret for now? No, there wasn’t anything like that. He did say they should make it as convincing as possible, for his mother.
“What are you sorry about?” Now she’s curious. Between the two of them, it was Aria who would do something that irritates people. Normally, she’s late. She has a sharp tongue. She doesn’t censor her words. It’s always expected that she would be misunderstood.
How to open this topic? Andrea searched her mind but nothing. She bit her lip as she stayed silent. When so much time has passed already, with the silence between them, Aria decided to let it go for now.
She shrugged it off, “If it’s difficult to say, it’s fine. Tell me when you’re ready.”
Andrea smiled at her. “Thank you.”
This time she’s able to look at her friend. In a way, oddly, she can now see the resemblance between her and her brother.
Aria decided a change of topic is in order. What else could they talk about aside from their careers and prior experiences?
“Right. Have you been to see my brother? How did it go? Did he agree to help you?”
At the mention of her brother, Andrea wanted to cry. She was just hoping to avoid this topic for now. How did it suddenly become the focus? She was flustered and Aria’s eyes widened at her reaction.
“It has something to do with my brother, isn’t it? What did he do?” Now she’s curious. Wayne has become an enigma to his family in recent years. That is, after his divorce. The family doesn’t blame him. If anything, it was that shameless woman’s fault. Still, the scandal was spread widely and it embarrassed the whole family. He has chosen to distance himself from the rest of them.
Andrea’s face reddened at recalling the contents of the contract, and of course, their kiss. It was almost consuming.
“Oh, this I must know. What happened?” Aria watched with wide eyes.
She knew she should say something, otherwise, who knew what things could get inside Aria’s head?
“Well, uhm… he agreed to help me. I’ve been to his company a few times and he assigned someone to work with me. It’s all going well.”
The truth, but that doesn’t explain why she’s flustered.
“Uh huh, and then?” Aria wasn’t exactly positive that her brother would help Andrea. She just tried. But what she said shouldn’t make her flustered.
“Well, uhm…” Her gaze wouldn’t meet hers again.
“Wait, wait, wait… why are you like this? I’m about to assume that you two… did something happen between the two of you?” Her eyes remained wide and her lip twitched. She slightly shook her head. Wait. Andrea and Wayne? Well, they were quite close when they were kids. Looking at Andrea, she’s definitely beautiful.
“What did my brother do?” She’s not interested to know what her brother does with women but this is her friend.
Before she misunderstands, Andrea decided she can tell her about the kiss. She wouldn’t be able to face her friend if she thinks they did more than that.
“It was just a kiss!” She finally confessed while turning even redder.
Aria had her mouth open in surprise. Damn, that was unexpected. Wait, is it?
“It’s… uhm…” What else can she say? Andrea should’ve thought this through before meeting her. Who knew she couldn’t even bring herself to hide?
“Wait, wait, wait… so you went to meet him?”
“He agreed to help you?”
“You’ve been to his office a few times?”
“He kissed you?”
Andrea bit her lip again before nodding.
Wait, her reaction doesn’t seem like she’s angry. Andrea glanced at her.
Wow? What does she mean with that?
“What should I do?” Instead of asking what Aria is feeling, she thought it would be best to ask her for advice. If she says to stay away, then that means she doesn’t like her for her brother. Wait, she already agreed to him. Would he allow her to back out?
“What do you mean? What are you asking?” Aria wasn’t expecting that question.
“Well, he is your brother.”
“What do you think I should do? Stay away? Keep going? But he’s helping me, so…”
“Wait, wait, wait…” Aria organized her thoughts.
After a while she asked again, “He kissed you?”
“Yes.” This… how many times would she be asked this question?
“Did he force you or something?” By the way Andrea was asking her, Aria can’t fathom why she would be asking what she should do.
“Well, no… he didn’t ask but…” How to say it? It wasn’t unwelcome? Her eyes riveted left and right as she searched for the right word.
“Did you like the kiss? Do you even like him?”
“Well… yes.” She could only admit. And it’s the truth as well. Frankly, she didn’t need to fake liking him. He’s a very attractive man.
Andrea frowned, finally staring at her. “And?”
“The second question? Do you like him?”
She blushed again and that was answer enough. Aria sighed before shrugging.
“Well… it’s not my place to say anything. I can only assume that he won’t have kissed you if he doesn’t like you. He didn’t ask for anything weird after agreeing to help you, did he?”
“No, nothing like that.” She lied and it seemed normal. It was not proper to say bad things about him. When she thought about it, she feels that she should protect him. That was weird. She can’t let others spread rumors or talk badly about him. What was it he wrote? A virtuous wife.
Aria shrugged again before taking a bite out of a donut.
Andrea reached for her glass of cold coffee.
“I mean… would you…” In the end, she couldn’t ask anything and simply sighed. They were silent for some time.
When her phone rang, she scrambled to take it out of her bag. She froze when his name showed on screen.
“Aren’t you going to answer?” Aria asked, having heard it ring for too long. It would be disconnected soon and it did.
“Why didn’t you answer?”
“Uh, nothing. Must be a wrong number.” Andrea replied but then the phone rang again.
She quickly answered and turned to her side.
Wayne stated an establishment and its address. “If you can’t come to my office on Friday afternoon, meet me there.”
“What’s up with the place?” She whispered.
“Why are you whispering?” He noticed the way her voice changed.
She cleared her throat before using her natural voice. “Nothing. I’m outside, so…”
“Would you be available on Friday?”
“Friday? This Friday?” What’s the situation? Are they meeting investors?
“Of course, what time should I show up?”
Aria listened to her side of the conversation and noticed how strange it was.
“That’s not my brother, is it?” Her voice floated into the call.
“Who’s that?” Wayne couldn’t place the voice but he heard someone talk.
“I’m with Aria.” She grimaced as Aria grinned.
Andrea waited for him to say more or maybe greet his sister but he merely hung up.
Wait, what just happened?
“What was it about?”
“I’m not sure. I think we’ll be meeting investors. You know, for my business proposal.”
“Uh huh, doesn’t sound like it.” She took out her own phone and dialed Wayne’s number.
“What?” He wasn’t very friendly when answering her calls.
“Are you going out with Andrea on Friday?”
Wayne could almost picture what happened when she mentioned she’s with his sister.
“That’s none of your business.”
“Uh huh, she thinks you’ll be meeting investors, though. Is she right?”
“What investors?” He hung up on her and left Aria dumbfounded.
Andrea couldn’t help giggling at her reaction. Then, her phone rang again.
“Yes?” She remained polite in answering his calls.
“We’re going on a date.” He flatly informed her.
“What?” But he already hung up even before she could ask. Her mind was spinning as she stared at her phone. It was Aria’s turn to giggle.
“What did he say? Was it a meeting with investors?” She already knew the answer, though. She’s only teasing.
“Uh, no.” When she shook her head a little, Aria openly chuckled.
“Did he say something so hard to believe? He asked you out on a date, didn’t he?”
Despite not answering, Aria continued.
“I’m guessing he only informed you and wasn’t asking. I hope you don’t mind and still go. My brother could be eccentric.”
“You don’t mind if I go?” The reasoning behind her question was simple. Andrea wasn’t about to choose him over her friends. If Aria says to stop seeing him, she would do so.
“Why not? Maybe you’ll do my whole family a favor if you do date him.”
Her lip twitched at her statement.
And so, Aria offered to answer any questions she may have about her brother. Yes, she’s about ready to sell him off. To be honest, Andrea’s mostly concerned about his dating life.
“Nah. We think the divorce affected him very much. We haven’t heard him get involved with anyone after that. Maybe he’s recovered. It’s been years already.”
“I see…” She was about to ask about his previous marriage but she didn’t think it would be appropriate at this point. They’re just starting to date.
Aria, too. Whatever his plan was, she didn’t want to sabotage his brother. She was careful not to talk about his failures in that marriage. She didn’t want to scare Andrea away, in case Wayne actually likes her and there’s a chance they could work out being together.