“Sweetheart naman, good night na, really, really!” Maya whispered lovingly, giving in to another smouldering kiss from Richard that left her catching her breath. They have been trying to say good night for the past several minutes. But both of them were very reluctant to part for the night as it will be the first night since they have been to Mindoro that they will be sleeping in different places, and the first night they will be sleeping on different beds.
“Okay, okay, I’m going. I’ll you see tomorrow for our dinner with my parents.” Richard stole another kiss, then grinned naughtily. “I need something to tide me over, until tomorrow.”
“Sweetheart, ikaw talaga. Humirit pa!“ Maya pinched Richard’s cheek lovingly. “I’ll see you tomorrow. Sweet dreams.”
Richard gave in and with a wave of his hand, left Maya’s condominium unit to go back to his own. He has not been home for a week now. He was reluctant to go home as he just wanted to stay in Maya’s place. He wanted to be with Maya, always. Soon, it will happen, he sighed. He just needed to be patient pa. Three months na lang, and he and Maya can be together under one roof for the rest of their lives.
Maya was already missing Richard too, even before the door fully closed on his departing figure. She is used to being with him everyday, especially when she wakes up cuddled up in his arms. For sure, it would be difficult to sleep without him by her side this evening. She sat on the sofa, and sighed, remembering their wonderful vacation. It was just a week, and so many wonderful things have happened. She looked at her beautiful ring and smiled. She remembered Richard’s unforgettable proposal dreamily and their night together after that. She blushed a bit, remembering them coming together as one, and the fireworks they created in the privacy of the bungalow as they welcome the new year.
If Maya will be asked what would have been the most perfect new year’s day celebration for her, she would say that it was the one she spent with Richard two days before. She and Richard just lazed around the bungalow, ate brunch, took a nap after, made love when they woke up as they couldn’t get enough of each other and this overwhelming passion for each other, then when the sun was not so hot, they spent the rest of the day in the beach, swimming and lazing around in each other’s arms as they watched the sun set, then later, the stars. After dinner, they retired early, not to sleep but to be with each other again, finding out more what pleasures the other. They slept in each other’s arms, naked and sated.
The following day, the last day of their vacation, Maya told Richard she had a special treat for husband-to-be. She told him they will stay somewhere for the night. She also packed their bags so that they don’t have to do it the following day. Maya took Richard to her family’s ancestral home which she had asked Mang Larry to open for their stay. She wanted to give Richard a special treat too after the many wonderful treats he had prepared for her. She wanted to pamper her fiance too.
Richard loved the architecture of the Dela Paz’s house. When Maya mentioned that it needed to be restored, Richard told her he has a friend from university who is into restoration work, especially ancestral homes. They spent the rest of the day exploring more of San Nicolas. It was capped with a dinner at the San Nicolas Golf and Country Club where they met of all people, Rebecca Bermudez, and her family! The elegant older lady was very happy to know, got very teary-eyed in fact, when she found out that Richard and Maya are together and that their incredible love story started the night of the pageant she organized seven years ago.
Richard and Maya spent the night in Maya’s old room in the ancestral home which Manang Vilma and Sabel cleaned to perfection. Maya felt very happy to be sharing that special place with Richard that night.
The following day, it was time to go back to Manila. James and Andy arrived at ten o’clock that morning to pick them up. However, they had to wait 30 minutes more before Maya and Richard made it to the helipad, running. James, seeing Maya’s ring, offered his congratulations. He told them, now he knows what he was carrying several days ago and why! Andy also offered his congratulations. James even teased them that they were forgiven for being late for the pick up.
Maya and Richard thought it was a good thing they packed their bags before heading to San Nicolas, otherwise, they would be very much late from the agreed pick up time, as they overslept. They didn’t exactly go to sleep promptly when they retired to Maya’s antique bed. They made love several times throughout the night, their passion for each other getting more intense.
When Richard saw Maya looking longingly at the place they were leaving behind, when the chopper was taking off, he promised her that they will be back there as soon as possible. Mindoro has became the most special place for both of them. It holds most of their milestones and moments as a couple.
James and Andy let them off again at Lim Corporation’s helipad. Instead of going off on their separate ways when they arrived back in Makati, they went straight to the Francisco’s residence. Maya called her Tita Lulu when they were driving back to Makati from Eastwood and found out that both her and her Tito Mario are home, In fact, the whole family was about to have lunch, and that included her Ate Cris, Kuya Jeff, Cho, Lino and Lindsay! Lulu invited them to join if they are not too tired from the trip. Maya took that as an opportunity to tell everyone hers and Richard’s good news. Everyone was elated at their news, especially her Tita Lulu who cried. She promptly told Maya that it was tears of happiness, and that her Mamang would have been happy for her too. Maya and Richard told the family that the wedding is in three months time, prompting a ribbing and a teasing from Jeff and Lino about the paspasan na wedding. The newly-engaged couple just looked at them and grinned happily.
Realizing that the wedding is quite near, and with Maya, just about to start a new job, Lulu offered to help with the preparations, so did Lindsay. Maya thanked them gratefully. With her Tita Lulu, Lindsay, even her Ate Cris and Richard’s mom, she is sure she will have the best support in preparing for hers and Richard’s dream wedding.
Richard and Maya stayed at the Franciscos not only for lunch, but until dinner earlier as the day became a party of sorts, for their engagement. Tito Mario took out his whiskey, and the guys have a round of drinks in the veranda, while the ladies on the other hand, made food and chatted about the upcoming wedding. Lulu, Lindsay, and Maya had wines, while Cris and Cho had juice. It was only an hour ago that Richard and Maya left the Franciscos to go home to their places. As it was, it was difficult for them to say good night to each other and sleep in different places after being together as close as too people could be.
Maya sighed happily, hugged the throw pillow she kept there, and the same time missing Richard. She took comfort in the fact that they will see each other the following day. She was about to get up and go to shower when her phone beeped. She fished it out of the bag she dropped at the entranceway, very distracted by Richard’s kisses. She checked the message. The text was from Richard.
Ricky: Sleeping now, Sweetheart?
Maya: Not yet. I was about to go to bath.
Ricky: Good. I’ll join you! 🙂
Before she can ask how, there was a knock on the door. Maya knows who it is. She opened the door with a smile. She found a sheepish Richard leaning against the wall beside the door, with a bag in hand, still wearing the same clothes he wore earlier.
“I missed you very much. My place is so lonesome. Can I stay here with you, super please?” Richard asked with a loving, beguiling expression. “I don’t think I will be able to sleep without you by my side.”
“Ricky, ikaw talaga.” Maya said lovingly, but nevertheless, very happy that she will not be spending the night without Richard beside her. “Come in.”
“Thank you, Sweetheart.” Richard said happily, giving Maya a searing kiss. Then whispered naughtily, ‘Now about that bath, let’s go.”
Maya giggled, but led Richard to her bedroom. However, it was an hour after that before they made it to bath and two more hours before they succumbed to a very restful sleep, bodies sated, and intertwined. They both woke in the wee hours of the morning, smiled sleepily at each other, then the awareness again. Richard lowered his lips to Maya and it started another fire between them that needed to be doused.
“Rise and shine, sleepyhead.” Richard rained little kisses on Maya’s face as he tried to wake her up the following morning.
“Rickyyyy, I want to sleep some more.” Maya protested sleepily, then burrowed deep into the warm of Richard’s chest.
“But, Sweetheart, hindi ka ba pa gutom, it is almost noon!” Richard remarked, caressing Maya’s near the underside of her breast, as if his hand has a mind of its own. “Come, I have ordered lunch.”
Richard woke up more than an hour ago as his stomach was already protesting. He didn’t have the heart to wake up Maya who was sleeping so peacefully beside him. He decided to order food as he knew that Maya’s pantry is empty. Then he took a shower. The food arrived 10 minutes ago so he decided to wake Maya up. She also mentioned last night that she wanted to run errands before they go to his parents house. At first he tried calling her name, but she didn’t wake up. Instead, she seemed to have been looking for him in bed the way her hand groped sleepily where he had lain down. It touched his heart very much seeing this. He laid down beside her again and gave her little kisses to wake her up slowly and because he can’t help it.
“Ha, tanghali na!” Maya suddenly sat up. “I slept a long time. Bakit hindi mo ako ginising kaagad.”
Richard grinned. “Sweetheart, kanina pa kita ginigising. Masyado ba kitang pinagod,” Richard added naughtily. And that earned him a loving pinch from his beautiful, sleep-tousled fiancee.
“Ricky, ikaw, ha, ang aga-aga pa.” Maya said with a big smile. “Halika na nga, bangon na tayo. Suddenly, I feel hungry. I will just make myself presentable.”
“Maganda ka na. You are the most beautiful girl in the world kahit bagong gising.” Richard teasead her lovingly. Then he too, got out of the bed, gave Maya a quick kiss. “Okay, do what you have to do. I’ll just wait for you in the dining room.”
Fifteen minutes or so later, and after a quick shower, Maya sought Richard and found him sitting on the dining table, drinking a cup of coffee. Before him, were mouthwatering Chinese food of all sorts. “Wow, a feast! Lalo akong ginutom. Thank you very much for this, Sweetheart. You are the best!”
Richard stood up and seated Maya. “I hope you will like the food. Coffee, Sweetheart?”
“Yes please.” Maya said as she started serving Richard yang chow fried rice, hakaw, siomai, broccoli with garlic, and salt and pepper spare ribs. “Enough na ba ang mga ito, Sweetheart?”
“Sobra na, Sweetheart. Thank you. Here’s your coffee. Sorry, hindi iyan kasing sarap ng timpla mo.” Richard sat down on Maya’s left.
“Thank you, Ricky! Okay naman ah. Kasing sarap na rin ng sa akin kasi with love ito.” Maya said with a smile.
Maya and Richard looked at each other and smiled happily. They proceeded to enjoy their hearty lunch. After they have put away the left overs, they got ready for their trip to the nearby shops and the supermarket to replenish Maya’s pantry. They returned to Maya’s condo two hours after. Since they had time, they just rested on the sofa, watching Maya’s favorite old films while driving themselves crazy with little touches here and there. When they can’t take it anymore, Richard carried Maya to the bedroom and they passed the rest of the afternoon delightfully.
Richard parked his BMW in the driveway of a beautiful and huge mansion at a corner lot inside La Vista, three hours later. Maya felt a bit nervous meeting Richard’s mother, though she seemed very nice when she interviewed her. More so, in meeting Roberto Lim, whom according to Richard does not know yet that they are engaged. He asked him mother to keep it between them as he wanted to tell his Papa himself about it.
Richard opened the passenger door and assisted Maya out of the car by offering his hand. “Don’t be nervous, Sweetheart.” Richard assured Maya noticing how cold Maya’s hand is. “They will love you. Mama does already. I’m sure, Papa will be the same.”
“Okay.” Maya said, putting her other hand on top of Richard’s and smiling at her. “Halika na.”
“Maya welcome to our house!” Donya Esmeralda greeted Maya warmly as soon as the door opened. She was waiting for them by the living room. “Ricky son, so nice to see you. Thank you for bringing Maya here, finally. Congratulations to the both of you.”
“Congratulations, on what or why?” Don Roberto asked, upon hearing his wife’s statement. He walked towards them from the direction of his study. “You must be, Maya. Welcome to our house, hija. Finally, nakilala ka rin namin.” He said with a friendly smile to Maya.
“I’m please to meet you po, Mr. Lim, Mrs. Lim.” Maya said, unsure of whether to make beso or shake their hands. However, Donya Esmeralda made the decision for her. She went to Maya, kissed her on the cheek and hugged her. Don Roberto did the same.
“Thank you for inviting me to your home.” Maya said, a bit overwhelmed at Richard’s parents warm welcome to her.
“Naku, nga pala Maya hija, please call me Mama, and ito namang si Roberto, Papa.” Donya Esmeralda said, then looked at her husband. “Roberto, about that congratulations thing, may wonderful news sa iyo ang mga bata. Ricky, ikaw na nga ang magsabi sa Papa mo, tutal iyan ang request mo.”
Richard took hold of Maya’s hand and intertwined it with his. “Papa, Maya and I are getting married in three months. She agreed to be my wife while we were in Mindoro. I told Mama, ako na lang ang magsasabi sa iyo.” He told his father while looking at his fiancee with all the love he is feeling.
Don Roberto looked at his son, then at his fiancee. He was startled when Richard mentioned that they are getting married already! He thought they were just in the initial stage of being boyfriend and girlfriend, based on what his wife has told him. But he know his son, they may butt heads in business, but he is not the type to rush into something he is not sure of. Besides, from where he was standing, he can see how much his son loves Maya and she is the same, judging by the way she was looking at him and supporting him while he tells him about their engagement.
“Indeed, congratulations to both of you! Welcome to our family, Maya.” Don Roberto said with a big smile. “Son, I’m happy for you. Sa wakas, magkakaapo na rin kami nitong Mama mo.”
Richard breathed easily with that. So far, so good with his and Maya’s road to forever. “Thank you very much, Papa. About the apo, Maya and I need to work doubly hard for that pa.” He said teasingly.
Maya blushed a bit. “Donya…errr, Mama, Papa, thank you very much po, especially sa pagtanggap.”
“Maya hija, this maybe the first time we met you, but I know how much my son loves you. Saka, base sa kwento sa amin ni Ricky, swerte nga siya sa iyo.” Donya Esmeralda said.
“I agree with Esme, Maya.” Don Roberto assured Maya. “Saka, sa tinagal-tagal pumili nitong anak ko ng makakatuwang niya sa buhay, I’m sure, he picked the best girl for him and the one he would love for life. Di ba, Ricky.”
“Yes Papa. Like I have told you before. I will just get married to the girl I will love very much and can’t live without.” Richard said, with Maya’s image entering his consciousness when he was telling his father about it, years ago.
“Naku, teka, bakit ba nandito tayo. Let’s go na nga sa kumedor at let’s have our dinner. Doon na lang tayo magkwentuhan.” Donya Esmeralda said. “Roberto, halika na.”
“See, I told you, everything will be okay, Sweetheart.” Richard whispered to Maya as he accompanied her to the dining room. “I love you. I’m so happy.”
“I love you too, Sweetheart. Walang pagsidlan. I’m happy that we have your parents’ blessings too.” Maya said, looking at Richard lovingly and with a big smile.
Maya and the Lims had a wonderful dinner. Partly, it was them getting to know Maya more as they ate the wonderful food prepared by the Lim’s cook, Sabel, and also celebrating Maya and Richard’s engagement. From their vacation in Mindoro, with Maya and Richard telling the Lims about the trip they took around San Nicolas, to their stay in the resort and the ancestral home of Maya’s family, the discussion shifted to the preparations for the wedding, with Donya Esmeralda offering to help like Tita Lulu did. Maya mentioned that her aunt also offered to help, also her cousin-in-law, Lindsay.
“Maybe, the four of us can have lunch soon, so we can discuss the preparations.” Donya Esmeralda suggested.
“Sure po. I’m sure, Tita Lulu would like to meet you also.” Maya replied.
“I have a better idea,” Don Roberto said. “Maybe it’s better if our families meet over dinner, para magkakilala na rin tayo ng husto. Parang, sort of, pamamahikan nitong si Ricky.” He suggested.
“Brilliant idea, Roberto.” Donya Esmeralda seconded happily. “Isn’t it Maya? Can you please ask your aunt and uncle if they are free next Saturday. We can meet at the Polo Club.”
“Sige po, I will ask them tomorrow.” Maya said. She also likes the idea of the two families meeting each other and getting to know each other. Richard felt the same.
Maya and Richard stayed with the elder Lims until past 10 o’clock in the evening, just chatting and having a wonderful time. As the evening wore on, Don Roberto got more than convinced that his son has found his lifelong mate. Whatever tiny misgiving he had at the start of the evening was gone. He likes Maya a lot. Earlier, he must admit, he had a bit of misgiving due to the shortness of their courtship, but he realized that his son made the right decision. He is looking forward to gaining a daughter and some grandchildren soon. Donya Esmerald was feeling very happy, looking at her son and Maya. It reminded her of the time she and Roberto fell in love and was about to get married. Her son chose well. She is glad to finally have a daughter.
“O paano, Ma, Pa, magpapaalam na po kami ni Maya.” Richard said after their last round of coffee and dessert. “May pasok na pala tayong lahat tomorrow.”
“Oo nga, but we can take it easy naman, son. Start pa lang ulit ng office, and we own the company after all.” Donya Esmeralda teased. “Maya, I’ll see you at the office tomorrow. Thank you for coming to dinner. Hwag mong kalimutan ang dinner invitation to your family, and a lunch out, with us ladies lang.”
“Yes po, Mama. I will remember. Thank you for having me. Papa, magpapaalam na po kami ni Ricky.” Maya said as she hugged Richard’s parents one after the other.
“O sige, mag-ingat kayo. By the way, if there will be a ladies lunch out, maybe I can invite your Tito Mario na mag-golf.” Don Roberto said.
“Sure po, he will like that.” Maya replied, smiling.
“Pa, Ma, aalis na kami. See you po sa office.” Richard gave his parents a hug and a kiss.
More than an hour later, Richard and Maya were inside Maya’s condo. They went there by default. There was no question now of Richard going home to his place.
“Ricky, paano pala ang office clothes mo? Did you bring those too?” Maya remembered when they were about to sleep.
“Hmmm, I’ll just go to my place tomorrow morning while you are getting ready for work.” Richard said as he reclined against the headboard. “Kayang-kaya ko iyon.”
“Ikaw, okay lang ba. Di mo naman ako kailangang samahan. Baka kailangan ka ng mas maaga sa work.” Maya said.
“I want to take you to work my Mrs. Lim-to-be. First day mo yata. Siyempre dapat full support ako sa iyo.” Richard said. “Halika na tulog na tayo. Enough of talk about work.” He then reeled Maya towards him, then started planting little kisses on her face, then her neck.
“Hmmm, parang hindi naman tulog ang nasa isip mo ngayon.” Maya said teasingly, liking what Richard is doing.
Richard grinned naughtily, gazing at Maya heatedly, then he shut Maya’s half-hearted protest with a searing kiss as he dimmed the lights with his other hand. It was after midnight when they finally managed to sleep.
“I love you my wife-to-be.” Richard whispered before sleep claim them.
“I love you too, my husband-to-be.” Maya replied as she settled in into the crook of Richard’s left arm.