As I saw him approach my table, I felt heat rush my face. My heartbeat quickened, my back tensed and my feet shot tingles up my leg. The people around me seemed to disappear and all that’s left is this man looking at me with an unreadable face.
For a moment, even though the light was dim, I saw his brows twitch and his eyes thinned as he saw me, but it was so brief, so fast that it felt like I was just dreaming it. When he arrived in the table, he didn’t care so much as to say ‘hi’ or ‘hello’ or even some damn greeting to acknowledge my presence. He just walked straight and sat in his seat that was at least two chairs away from me.
I gulped hard. I wonder if he still remembers me and that incident we had this afternoon.
“Ah, so Ms. Wild Woman is my escort, ” he then said without a head’s up.
Yup, he still remembers me alright! But of all the nicknames he could pick out, why that?
I hauled a deep breath and bit the inside of my bottom lip before I released a word. Knowing that he is the President of the Fancy Pants Club, I think it is wise that I should act properly and talk to him in a civil manner no matter how infuriated I am inside to be called a wild woman.
He was sitting regally with one arm in the table and his hand pressed in his chin. His face was turned towards the stage but I could feel his gaze riveted on me. His lips were in a neutral line; no hint of a smile whatsoever. Our eyes met and thanks to the close gap that we have, I could see that his were cold and calculating.
This man really puts people in their knees huh? But I am not just any normal person, I am Daniella Rosecraft, and I won’t let this man bully me with his mesmerizing blue-green hazel eyes! I shoved my thoughts away, down into the deepest part of my brain and summoned the femme fatale within me into the surface.
“Mr. Fancii, I do have a name you know. I am Daniella Rosecraft, the event organizer of this wedding reception. I am pleased to meet you and oh, just to clarify it, I am not your escort, ” said I with my chin lifted. I chose not to offer my hand to him as a handshake. He didn’t seem to mind it anyway.
“Hmmm... still feisty I see, ” he remarked and shifted his eyes to look at the stage where the host was announcing the start of our dinner. “I do know who you are Ms. Rosecraft, quite very well might I add, but that is beside the point. If you are not here as my escort this whole evening, then why bother sitting on this table?”
Oh, God, help me. I want to strangle this man! Does he even have girlfriends? Because I don’t think any woman would want to be with him with that kind of mouth. His string of words is like a barbed wire that quickly wraps a woman’s frail heart and bursts it open.
The good news for me however is that I consider myself unlike any other women, and I have a barb of my own.
“First, ” I pointed one finger in front and stared coldly at Mr. Erik, “I don’t like the word escort. To educate you, the term escort in our generation right now is defined as a woman paid for sex. I believe we have just met and in no way am I going to let you touch me by the end of this evening.”
What can I say, I’ve gotta be honest you know.
“Second, ” I raised my middle finger following it and said, “I prefer the word companion because it is proper and it makes sense. Why? Because in this evening only, I am your companion for conversation purposes; conversations that might bore you sooner or later I think. I would however prefer to watch the program presentations after our dinner. And third—”
I saw amusement curve in the president’s lips then.
“I am sitting in this table because the bride requests me to, because apparently, your most-esteemed club members didn’t have the kidney to show up in a beautiful party such as this. If you don’t like my presence, Mr. President, then I would be more than happy to leave you here alone. It would not be a big deal for me at all.”
I was already fuming inside, but thanks to my yoga classes every Tuesdays, I was able to bring them down with just two measured breaths. With all those points I have highlighted on him, I hope he understood what I was trying to say.
“Your mouth is quite full huh?” was his simple reply then. This time he turned towards me; body and face together, and looked deep into my eyes.
I squared myself up, showing no clue that I was one bit intimidated by him.
“It seems Ms. McKenzie was right to make you my companion. I don’t think our conversation will bore me at all.”
The way he looked at me changed then, it flickered mischief and danger all at once. “However, the first one sounds good too.”
What? What first one?
Ohhh, that first one...
My mouth dropped again and my face heated. Is he freaking flirting with me?
Five minutes. He had just sat in this table for five minutes and he is already hitting on me?
“No, Wild Woman, I am not flirting with you, ” was his remark then. Does he read minds or my reaction was too easy to read?
I think the latter is the right answer.
“I am just confirming how much our conversation wouldn’t bore me. See? Look at yourself. Your reaction amuses me so.”
Overbearing bastard! The devil! Why oh why am I sacrificed to this emotionless dickhead?! I so need my lucky ring right now, but where is that heirloom anyway? I hope someone was able to pick it up and submitted it in the Lost-and-Found Section of this chateau. Speaking of which, I need to visit that section tomorrow morning.
Our ‘fun’ conversation was cut off when our very-own assigned waiter approached us with the night’s dinner menu. As I was present when Ms. Elaine and Mr. Aaron decided the food selections with my mother, I knew already what the waiter will serve.
Deviled eggs and mozzarella cheese sprinkled with dried basil leaves and Beluga caviar as the hors d’oeuvre, pear and pecan salad as the second course, cream of asparagus soup as the third, supreme cheese lasagna for the pasta course, two main types of meat; one beef and the other lamb for the main entrée, and lastly, Guinness Book of World Records most expensive dessert, the ‘Frrrozen Haute Chocolate’ as the last course which is to die for.
The whole time I ate, I was silent and so was the man some few feet away from me. I felt like we were back to being strangers for he didn’t give one damn glance towards my way. Here I am fretting on how to make another good conversation while he was just there, looking all-too-superior even while dismantling the perfectly-grilled lamb chop.
When I noticed him drink his newly filled glass of champagne, that’s the time I grabbed the opportunity for an entry to erase the awkwardness between us.
“I am not ignorant you know, ” I said making a shaky eye contact.
“Come again?” Mr. Oh-I’m-The-King-of-the-World said with a raise of his brow. He placed his glass down and eyed me in confusion.
“I said I am not ignorant, ” I leaned back and crossed my arms in my chest. “It is just unfortunate of me that Google or Wikipedia, or any other God-forsaken website doesn’t provide any information about you and the club.”
“Ah, so you are talking about what happened earlier?” he drawled.
You think? Don’t you remember how you called me an ignorant woman?
I rolled my eyes and released a long sigh.
He leaned back in his cushioned chair too and took his wine flute with him, posing like a proud man that he is. Even though I can’t see, I bet he is crossing his legs under the table to add more effect.
“You know Ms. Rosecraft, ” he started, I was all ears then. “I and the club members value our private lives. We don’t wish for the internet world to boast our life achievements. I certainly can understand you were clueless as to who I am. Worry not.”
“You could have just told me you were the President, ” I pouted.
“I was rather enjoying your ignorance, Sweet Rose. I like it a lot. And also, I enjoy a sense of mystery from time to time, ” answered he before drinking his champagne.
Bastard. If he thinks I am a good candidate in the Big Brother reality game show, then he is so wrong.
I chose not to continue our conversation anymore. If I do, I might create nasty wrinkles in my forehead. Hearing him call me that endearment didn’t help at all. For all I know, he was just toying with me.
Acting as if my attention was caught in the sultry songstress, Emily West, singing “Chandelier” on stage, I shifted my position away from him.
The whole time I did so, I am clueless of what he was doing, but I seriously could feel heat radiating inside me. I don’t know why.
God, I hope he is not burning me alive with his eyes.
Then, after the songstress finished her piece, Mr. Erik suddenly spoke up catching my attention, “Quite a plain set-up you have here.”
His unfeeling statement gave me chills immediately. I shifted my face to his direction and said with a raised brow, “Plain?”
“A sufficient word, yes, ” was his only reply.
That made my volcano erupt.
“Do you know how many months I have prepared this party so that it wouldn’t just be called plain?”
I swear, my voice is tuned to the ‘angry preset’ now.
“I don’t know obviously, Ms. Rosecraft, ” he said in a clipped voice.
“Then to let you know, it took me five months okay, including countless sleepless nights just to make sure everything goes perfectly smooth.”
“Ahhh, that, is the word I like, perfect, ” he interjected, whilst touching the corner of his lips. He doesn’t seem to notice how flustered I am at all! “Everything in this reception should be perfectly fancy, but it seems that is the one thing you lack the most. This table cloth isn’t fancy. That backdrop isn’t fancy. The flowers are too tacky.”
“Well, excuse me?!” I gritted my teeth. “For your information, those flowers are those lovebirds choices.” I pointed my nail-polished, bandage-wrapped finger towards the newlyweds and frowned. “I don’t have a say in them, and besides, I don’t think they are tacky at all. They are beautiful in every way! You, sir, doesn’t seem to have taste.”
He snickered. “My taste is for finer things, Ms. Rosecraft. Just look around you, doesn’t that give you a clue?”
I thinned my eyes at him. “No wonder you were so worried about my blood dripping in your carpet earlier, ” I rolled out. For a moment there, I honestly thought he was worried about my cut that’s why he quickly dragged me to the clinic.
He shook his head and awarded me a faint smile (or at least what I think is a smile.)
“The incident earlier is a different case. I genuinely was concerned with your wound that’s why I did it.”
Ohhh...really? It doesn’t seem that way.
“I however didn’t except a woman like you could be na?ve, so much so that you thought I would murder you because of what you did to me.”
I didn’t say it out loud that time. How did he know? Or were my earlier horrified actions too easy to read?
“You mean glittering you?” I said, smothering a laugh. Really. That was a funny memory, for me at least.
He didn’t hold back in showing me his displeasure. “Know that it wasn’t easy for me to get the glue out of my hair, Ms. Rosecraft, and because of that, I wasn’t able to join the grand march. Lucky for you, I was just on time in giving my message to the bride and groom.”
Oh, God. I could see a murderous shadow from behind him!
“I—I didn’t mean it to happen, I already told you about it, ” I said suddenly feeling guilty, but I won’t show that to him. “Why do I feel that you want to prank me?”
“Prank you?” he scoffed. “You must be joking, my Sweet Rose.” He leaned towards me, but I guess it wasn’t enough for he stood up, motioned our personal waiter to take the two chairs that parted us and place his own chair near mine. “I don’t do pranks. It is not fancy at all, ” he continued after he sat down coolly inches away from me.
My breathing accelerated.
He leaned again and whispered close in my ear, “I however do worse than that.”
“What—what do you mean?” I choked and shivered. Shit! I just showed that I was intimidated by him!