He said it emphatically and seemed surprised at what I said. I nodded slowly and avoided looking at him. He chuckled, and his perfect white teeth showed up. He touched the bridge of his nose, and his expression became dark. There was some pain in my heart as I watched his mocking reaction.
He has a fiancée; this man in front of me has a fiancée. And I'm here asking him to pretend to be his girlfriend so her fiance will show up.
"So what is this? You'll use me as a cover up for your scandal?"
"Oh! Says the mighty, respectable CEO, who has some important meetings enclosed in his office for hours."
His auburn eyebrows met in one line, and then he laughed without humor after. "What?"
"Oh! You can't fool me. Meetings that last that long?" My voice trembled with extreme irritation.
I can feel my face heating up again. I want to cry at the thought that he believes in the scandal that is spreading. His eyes narrowed, seemingly unable to understand what I was saying. I rolled my eyes at him.
"We're sailing too far from our topic. I don't care who you fvck and how long you do your woman here—"
"Where did you learn those words, Ava? And what the fvck are you talking about?" His voice thundered. His hawk-like eyes are ready to destroy me. I rolled my eyes again.
"It's okay. Don't be so defensive; I'm open-minded. I'm used to—"
"You’re used to it!? What the actual fvck are you tryna say huh?"
"What else then? Your secretary said that you were having an important meeting, but it took another five hours? Really Levi? Who's the unprofessional now?"
"Look at me." He whispered. I didn’t follow him and focused on my nails.
"Look at me, please."
He touched my chin with his fingers and made me meet his eyes. The tenderness and sweetness of his voice shook the wall I had tried to build between the two of us. His deep set of eyes are soft and drunk. He grabbed the tip of my elbow and drew me closer to him, as if the thin space between us was still missing. I was like a flame dancing with the flow of the wind, letting him take me on his own swing.
"Katrina is my dad's employee. She arrived just as I ended my meeting with the attorney to drop off the documents I need."
His eyes were wide as he stared at me. I looked at his lips, and he gently grabbed my attention again to look him in the eye.
"It's your employee's fault." My voice was hoarse, and I couldn’t recognize it.
"Should I fire here?"
That's ridiculous! You don't fire people just because of that.
"Uh-huh?" His eyes were playful, so I avoided looking at him again.
"Now tell me, where did you learn those words, huh? Your accent is music to my ears, but it's not working with that dirty mouth of yours."
I gulped again when I felt his warm breath on my face. Now his eyes are on my lips.
"That's not what I came here for. If you'll not gonna accept my offer then I'm leaving." I said it without hesitation.
Gradually, I began to feel annoyed with myself because I was like a slave enslaved by his caresses. It's just like that, and I immediately weaken and give in to him.
"What's this all about, huh? The last time we talked, you asked me to pretend that we didn't know each other. And now this? What's with this pretending thing?"
I didn’t answer him because I just remembered what happened to us last week.
"What are you up to? Please tell me. He groaned and rested his forehead on my shoulder. It was as if something was missing in my stomach at the tenderness of his voice.
"So we'll pretend?" His palm is on my hands, and his other hand is on the side of my chair. "But the last time I checked, we didn't break up."
My heartbeat went berserk, like an animal that has long been confined and loves to get away.
"You won't bring the past to me again, Levi."
His eyes narrowed as he nodded. His hands slide down the side of my chair from mine. Now he seems to be confining me here in my chair. He sighed heavily. It seems like he's having a hard time concealing his emotions.
"I've waited for years... If that's the only thing you can offer, then I'll gladly accept what I deserve."
The corners of my eyes warmed at what he said. I can sense the pain in his words, which made me weak. How can I unlove this man? I can't just put all the blame on him when I know I'm hurting because I'm also allowing this to happen. When it comes to him, I am so weak. All the strength and plan I had developed over the years seemed to be disappearing. Everything has surrendered to me simply through his touch, words, and caress. He's good. He's good at pretending and playing with me.
"Great!" I said it enthusiastically, even as my tears were forming clouds in my eyes.
He raised his gaze at me as if confused. I'm wearing a fake smile on my lips.
"My company will soon give a statement about this, since you already know that our photos have been spread everywhere."
When I said it, his eyes went cold and silent.
"From now on, if you're asked by the press and media, say that I am your girlfriend."
"You are my girlfriend." I don’t know if he was imitating me or correcting what I said.
"Y-yeah! And if I'm asked, then I'll tell them that you are my boyfriend."
"So what am I? I'm sort of your boy toy, huh?"
"We'll both benefit from this, Levi, and you know that. Just cooperate!"
I almost said it was for his fiancée, but I resisted. He raised his brows and pursed his lips. He did not speak for a few seconds as I waited for his answer.
I narrowed my eyes at him. His eyes were very lazy.
"Treat me like your slave if you want, if that's the cooperation you're talking about."
Wow. So he agreed? That's easy.
"Okay, then, I'm good to go." I stood up, and he backed away from what I had done. He held my wrist and looked up at me with his handsome eyes.
"Where are you going?"
"I'm going home."
He cocked his head to the other side and glared at me.
"Let's go." He stood up and turned the table around again. I am confused by what he did.
"What? I'm going home alone!"
From his cellphone, he turned to me again. "And what do you want people to think? That I'm letting my girlfriend book a car service and go home alone, coming from the inside of my company? Really Ava?"
I looked at him innocently, as if I didn't understand what he was saying. He is correct, but we must pretend only to the press and not to the citizens of this country. He raised his eyebrows because I looked so puzzled looking at him.