Love in the air
The ballroom of one of the fanciest hotels in Makati was filled with men wearing suits and ties, women dressed in beautiful and expensive gowns, sipping their favorite cocktails as they chatted in small groups, while soft music played in the background.
In the middle of the gathering, Richard Lim was commanding attention, not only because of his good looks and the confident way he carries himself, but because this was the first time, he was out in a social setting since he left the country more than two years ago, and after the death of his father. People were very curious about the new CEO of Lim Corporation. Added to that, a beautiful girl, wearing a simple, but very elegant royal blue chiffon gown, was with him, and they looked so good together. They also looked very much in love. People noticed it in the way they gazed at each other, sought each other out when they got separated, and the little touches they exchanged when they thought people were not looking.
Richard was reluctant to go to this event. However, Lisa told him that the award that they were supposed to receive from the organization who gives this annual recognition is one of the most prestigious in the business. The winners were pre-selected, and the organization just holds an awarding ceremony, then a party for the winners. His executive assistant also added that it wouldn’t hurt for the new CEO of the LC to be seen in a very important and well-attended event like this. He asked Maya to go with him. He wanted her to share this moment with him. This was also their first outing into society since they became a couple two weeks ago.
It had been a wonderful two weeks for Maya and Richard as they expressed their feelings for each other after clearing the air in the rooftop garden. They ended up staying there the whole afternoon, just being with each other, and making up for lost moments. They told their respective offices that they will just go on leave the rest of the afternoon. When they got down from the rooftop garden, Marissa knew that her boss and the beautiful and well-liked head of their foundation are now a couple. The whole company noticed the change in their status the following days. The employees were happy that their boss has found love, and to such a lovely person as Maya Dela Rosa. Richard also introduced Maya to his mother. Mrs. Lim and Maya took an instant liking to each other. It turned out also that Mama Esme, as she wanted to be called by Maya, knew Maya’s dad and mom. They met each other in some embassy function in Beijing many years ago. Richard and Maya spent all their free time together. Sometimes in the roof garden for lunch, and the evenings, having dinner in the restaurants that struck their fancy, or at Maya’s family home, where she cooked for him. Richard couldn’t be happier. Maya felt she is the luckiest girl in the world as Richard is the sweetest boyfriend.
“Sweetheart, are you okay? Hindi ka ba bored?” Richard whispered to Maya when they got a respite from all the business associates, and friends of Sir Roberto saying hello to Richard, and those who approached them because they were curious about Maya. “This event sometimes last for hours. See, it is not even starting!”
“Don’t worry about me Ricky. I’m okay. I attend charity events for the foundation, and those too, sometimes went on for hours. I also accompanied my dad before to functions when mom was not around or didn’t want to go , so I got used to to this kind of thing.” Maya assured Richard as she holds on to his arm.
“Thank you, sweetheart. Have I told you that you looked so beautiful tonight and that I am the envy of all the guys here?” Richard told Maya as he gazed lovingly at her. “I can’t even leave your side for so long, someone might snatch you right under my nose.”
“Naku, Mr. Lim, I can’t count na nga how many times you told me that this evening. Pero, thank you pa rin. Saka, kilig pa rin kaya ako every time you say that.” Maya smiled sweetly at Richard, then affectionately rubbed his arm.
They private moment was interrupted by someone who suddenly went too close to Richard and tried to kiss him on the lips. Good thing he got good reflexes, Richard thought. He managed to sidestep the kiss, and it landed on his cheek.
“Richard, darling, how are you? It has been a while.” The lady wearing a low-cut gown that showed a lot of skin, said to Richard in a smoky voice. “Let’s hang out soon.”
“Hi Josephine.” Richard said cooly. “I didn’t know that your father’s company is also one of the awardees.”
“Our company is on the committee this year. When I saw in the list that LC is going to be one of the awardees, I made an effort to come, for you. “Josephine said flirtingly. “You are bad ha, for not been returning my calls and your witch of a secretary always told me you were unavailable when I go to LC.”
Richard ignored her flirty censure that sounded like they had something going, then put his hand on Maya’s back, pulled her closer to him, and introduced her to Josephine.
“Josephine, please meet my lovely girlfriend, Maya dela Rosa.” He said proudly. “Maya, sweetheart, this is Josephine del Rosario of RDR Group of Companies. “Her dad Ramon was a friend of Papa.”
Maya knew the moment Richard uttered the name “Josephine” that this was the girl that his father wanted him to marry.
“Nice to meet you Josephine!” She said with a polite smile.
Josephine looked at Maya from head to foot, then smiled cooly, as if she is dismissing her as nobody worth of her time and attention. Maya also felt the hostility coming from Josephine. But she decided to let it pass , and keep her cool. When Josephine noticed Richard was not really reacting to what she was saying and that his attention was just focused on the girl beside him, she left in a huff.
Soon after the awards ceremony started and they went back to their table. Lisa was there and several other officers of LC. True to Richard’s prediction, the event lasted long, having started late. But with Maya beside him, he didn’t feel bored or didn’t notice the passing of the hours. They whispered at each other from time to time and held hands under the table.
Maya was waiting for Richard, who got cornered by one of his father’s longtime friend, at the lounge of the hotel, when she heard Josephine’s smoky voice and another girl’s. She looked at them from her peripheral vision.
“Josephine girl, have you seen Richard Lim’s girlfriend? She is very lovely ha. I also heard that she is the daughter of our ambassador to Spain.” The girl said conversationally. “Nagkakilala raw sila sa Sweden, from what I heard.”
“What, lovely??? She looks ordinary to me. And I am not interested in her background and the circumstances of their meeting each other. I wonder how long will she last as Richard’s girlfriend? You’ve heard of him before and I know him. I don’t think he is really into her. Besides, girlfriend, Richard is mine and di ba, we almost got married two years ago! He just decided to go abroad because of his feud with Tito Roberto.” Josephine stressed to the other girl. “That Maya Dela Rosa is no competition to me! Watch out, the next time you read the society colums, you will read about my engagement to Richard!”
Maybe, it was the lateness of the hour, or she just genuinely dislikes that spoiled brat, but Maya had enough of the rude girl and her lies. She approached Josephine and her friend calmly. I have to hold on to my temper, she mused, think of Ricky!
“Excuse me, hi Josephine, and hello to you too, Ms…..” She said. “I’m Maya Dela Rosa.”
“Hi, I’m Mayen Carlos!” The other girl said and gave Maya a tentative smile, recognizing her as the girl with Richard Lim. “And you are Richard Lim’s girlfriend he had been proudly introducing around earlier. That was sweet of him.”
“Girlfriend! Not for long!” Josephine said cattily, ignoring Maya.
“If I may speak Josephine, sorry I can’t help, but heard what you two were talking about, as your voice was quite loud. Pardon for this, Mayen.” Maya said politely and apologetically to the other girl. “Josephine, please respect the fact that Richard is in a relationship and the lucky girl is me. It is not you or any of the girls who ran after him before he left for abroad. You can’t force love the way you have done. Yes, he had told me about you. And yes, we are perfectly happy and very much in love. And please don’t spread lies about my boyfriend. Thank you! Nice to meet you Mayen. I just wish it was in a better setting.” She added for Mayen.
Maya made her exit after saying her piece. She didn’t really want to get into a cat fight with the girl who was after her man. Besides, on hindsight, she should have just ignored her. She would have, if Josephine was not rude and mean. She left Josephine getting red in the face.
Richard heard what Maya said and asked her when they were in the car. Good thing, they have decided to ask Mang Lem, the Lim family driver to drive them to this event. It ended to be much better. Now they can sit together, chat and cuddle in the back seat.
“What was that all about with Josephine, sweetheart.” He asked, though, based on what he heard, he have a pretty good idea.
“Naku, never mind Ricky. I should have not said anything to that Josephine.” Maya said, sighing. “She just got on my nerves with the stuffs she was saying about you.”
“Hmmm, kaya pala you were starting to look fierce, sweetheart. Just ignore her.” Richard said as he settled Maya comfortably in his arms and teased. “Inggit lang iyon sa iyon kasi your boyfriend is handsome, na kahit marathon na yata ang ginawa niyang paghahabol di niya nakuha! Saka, I heard yata na you told her you are the lucky girl I chose!”
“Yabang mo, sweetheart.” Maya jested and lovingly pinched him on the side. “Swerte ka rin sa akin ah. Imagine, kahit sa kabilang panig ng mundo, nabighani ka.”
“Yes naman sweetheart, I am the luckiest guy in the world. Besides there is only one girl I see, since I met that lovely girl in Sweden. I will hold on to her and never let her go.” Richard then kissed Maya on the forehead and hugged her tight. They settled more comfortably in the car for the trip to Antipolo where Maya lives, with her old nanny, Manang Fe and another househelp, Sabel, since her parents are in Europe.
“Maya, sweetheart, we are here.” Richard said as he tried to wake up a sleeping Maya.
“Ricky, I just want to stay here” She said as she burrowed deeper into Richard’s embrace.
It took several more minutes before Richard managed to wake up Maya. He accompanied her inside. She opened the door, Manang Fe and Sabel, having gone to sleep. Maya asked if Ricky wants a cup of coffee before he goes back to Makati where he lives.
“Thank you, sweetheart, but I better head home. Saka para you can rest na also.” Richard said as he brought Maya to the foot of the stairs. “Go up na please, and I will just lock after me.”
Maya nodded, kissed Richard on the lips and started going up the stairs of the dimly-lit house, when she realized something. She was hesitant, but decided anyway to ask him.
“Errr, Ricky, before you you. I need a favor.” She said, getting red in the face a little bit. “Can you help me unbutton the top buttons of my gown. I can’t do it. I don’t want to wake up Manang and Sabel, anymore. Sabel was actually the one who helped me earlier.”
Richard smiled and assured Maya it is okay. Maya stood on the steps with her back to Richard, who started unbuttoning Maya’s gown. The more skin that got exposed, the harder for Richard to breath. He didn’t realize Maya’s effect on him and her innocent request. He can’t move promptly after undoing the buttons. He needed to collect himself.
“Ricky, sweetheart, are you done? I think I can manage undoing the rest.” Maya said as she turned to face Richard and caught the longing and the desire on his face. It triggered something in her. She touched his face and whispered softly, “Ricky”.
Richard looked at Maya and his control snapped. He started kissing her. It started as a simple meeting of their lips, but it progressed to much more. They kissed hotly, passionately and he started caressing Maya’s exposed back. Maya was also caressing Richard’s back and they were as close as two person could be. They were so at it, that they didn’t notice the lights going up. Until the sound of someone clearing her throat penetrated their private world.
“Ehhmmm, Maya hija, and Richard, good evening.” Manang Fe greeted the two with a poker face. “Ginabi na kayo ah.”
Richard and Maya broke apart, with Richard trying to cover Maya’s exposed back by putting her infront of him.
“Good evening po, Manang Fe.” Richard said respectfully. He liked Manang Fe and the past several times he had been here, she acted like a mom to Maya and made him felt at home also. Maya told him that she is like a mom to her since her parents were either abroad or quite busy.
“Hi Manang.” Maya said, blushing. “Gising pa po pala kayo?”
“Kukuha sana ako ng maiinom. Bigla akong nauhaw, eh. Saka, titingnan ko rin sana kung nakauwi ka na. Alam mo namang hindi ako mapakali, kahit alam kung okay ka naman, kapag ginagabi ka.” Manang said, looking closely at the two, but didn’t say anything anymore. “O sige, maiwan ko na kayo. Good night, Richard, ingat sa pag-uwi.”
“Thank you po, Manang Fe, paalis na rin po ako.” Richard said.
They waited until Manang Fe was out of sight before they moved from where they were. They looked at each other and smiled sheepishly.
“Naku, baka i-ban na ako ni Manang dito.” Richard said while smiling at Maya. “Ikaw kasi eh.”
“Ha, bakit ako, ikaw yata ang nagsimula ng lahat.” Maya good-naturedly bantered. “Para, I was asking you lang to unbutton my gown.”
“Maya sweetheart, you don’t know your effect on me.” Richard said lovingly, then affectionately kissed her on the nose. “But I better get going, baka nga tuluyan na akong i-ban ni Manang. Good night, I love you very much.”
“I love you too, sweetheart. Take care and text me when you get home.” Maya said and hugged Richard.
They kissed goodbye, and it took two more kisses before they let go of each other that evening. Maya and Richard both went to bed smiling, remembering the perfect ending to their evening.
Note: My apologies for the delayed update. Got busy in the real world. I needed to catch up on two days of sleep yesterday! Anyways, I hope you liked the continuation of SL. Have a nice evening, or morning! 🙂