Welcome to my place!” Richard said as he and Maya entered the penthouse of an upscale condominium complex two streets away from Maya’s place. “Come, my sweetheart, make yourself comfortable.”
“Wow, this is a certainly huge place for one person, sweetheart! It’s also very beautiful!” Maya looked around as she followed Richard towards the living room of his spacious place which has two levels. She likes the hardwood floors used for the flooring instead of marble or tiles, and the floor-to-ceiling windows of the place, taking advantage of the light and highlighting the view. Hardwood was also used for the stairs that lead to the open second level of the beautiful place.”Did you design the interior of this condo?”
“Yes, I did. I got this unit bare. I requested the developer to leave the designs of the unit itself to me. I want to make it airy and laidback, for the place to flow. You know, comfort before useless aesthetics. I like to be able to move around comfortably since I also use this place as an office. I like thinking of new designs here than the office in Eastwood.” Richard explained as he guided Maya towards the sofa and sitting beside her, hugging her to his side.
“When I bought and designed this place, I also thought that it would be a suitable place to start a family, initially at least. Though at that time naman, wala pa akong planong magpakasal. I was not even in a serious relationship.” Richard added with a big loving smile for Maya.
“Really, sweetheart! No serious relationship!” Maya said lovingly.
“Nope, kasi I was pining for this beautiful princess. Mabuti na lang she came back and made my life full of colors.” Richard looked at Maya like she is the most beautiful girl in the world. At times, there is still a part of him that find it hard to believe that they are together now and that it had happened.
“Sweetheart naman talaga. Ikakasal na lang tayo para ka pa ring nanliligaw sa akin sa sobrang sweetness and pa-kilig.” Maya said, very thrilled.
“Of course, sweetheart! Hindi naman natatapos ang lahat sa proposal and sa marriage. Dapat araw-araw pa rin ang courtship and until our last breaths. That’s part of me, loving you, very, very much!” He cupped Maya’s face, then gave her a sweet kiss.
“Thank you, my sweetheart. I’m the the luckiest girl talaga. I love you very much.” Maya replied, giving Richard tiny kisses. “So, how about giving me a tour?”
“Sure, sweetheart.” Richard stood up and offered his hand to Maya. He showed her around the first level of the place first, which aside from the living room, has the dining room, kitchen, laundry area, an entertainment room, and a medium size room which Richard said is for a kasambahay. He made it bigger than the usual maid’s room by gutting out a storage room and combining it with the builders’ original very small maid’s room. The kitchen is a cook’s dream. However, Richard told Maya
Richard guided Maya to the second level of the house. The stairs led to a family room which has floor-to-ceiling windows too, then beyond it are two guest bedrooms. At the other side of the family room is Richard’s small gym, his study, then at the end is his bedroom. It is the best and the biggest room in the house, decorated in understated elegance.
“So, what do you think of the place, sweetheart?” Richard asked Maya as he led her to the sitting room of his bedroom. This part of the room led to a small balcony which Maya can see has a small lanai.
“I love your place, sweetheart, especially the way you have designed it. You are very talented. The place also has this positive feeling in it. I don’t know, hard to explain but I feel the positive aura of the place. Maybe, because I can feel the talent you have put in order to make this place a home. It is certainly big enough, not just for a family, but a big family!”
“Do you think you can live here? We can just also live in your place. I like it din and we have wonderful memories in that place already.” Richard told Maya, wanting to leave the decision to her as she has just started nesting, so to speak, after living abroad for years. He can adjust, for her. Besides, they need a house when their family expands. He wants kids. He is looking forward to the coming of his and Maya’s adorable angels.
“Thank you for saying that Ricky. I really appreciate your willingness to move to my small unit. But I know how you love this place too. It is evident in the way you made it a home. We can also make a home here. Kahit saan naman we can do that basta magkasama tayo. Us and the children we will have.” Maya said, putting her hand on top of Richard’s. “We can live here. I love the place already.”
“I’m glad, sweetheart. I look forward to sharing this place with you. In the meantime, let’s live in yours while you redecorate it the way you want to be.” Richard suggested. “Make this place your home too.”
“Oh, I don’t think it would need changes much. But let’s just live here after we got married.” Maya smiled sweetly at Richard. She, too, is looking forward to sharing this place wih Richard. She looks forward too, to children’s laughter that will fill the place, hers and Ricky’s beautiful kids.
“I can already see you here, with the kids we will have.” Richard said dreamily. “Siguro, maganda if we will have four kids, or six like what we have discussed before.”
“Four to six kids! Kaya ba natin iyan, sweetheart.” Maya said smiling, thinking already of three cute boys and three beautiful girls who will make her and Ricky crazy, but whom they will surely love to pieces.
“Why not. Mas marami, maganda. Malay mo, abutin pa talaga ng six ang kids natin. Why not?” Richard said, smiling.
“Six talaga, sweetheart!” Maya exclaimed, but not oppose to the idea. She would like a big family too. She got lucky with having cousins, but nevertheless, there are times that it is difficult to be an only child, especially of you have lost your parents at a very young age.
“Yes, baka nga we have started na on number one.” Richard said, touching Maya’s tummy. “We have not use any form of protection. How do you feel about that, sweetheart. Okay with you if we start having a family promptly.”
Maya blushed, but is liking the idea of a little Richard or a little Maya already in her tummy. “Of course, sweetheart, I’m okay with it. Product of our love iyon. Pero, baka naman wala pa.” Maya added, blushing.
“Hmmmm, then we have to be sure that there will be soon.” Richard grinned naughtily. He stood up, then put his left arm on Maya’s ankles and the other arm on her back, then lifted her towards his big bed. “I also imagine you here.” He said in a bedroom voice that sent tingles to Maya’s senses.
“Ricky….” Maya said breathlessly, still catching her breath, after Richard has put her down slowly, on his big bed. She interwined her hands on his nape, then lowered his head to hers, and gave him a searing kiss.
“Maya….” Richard returned the kiss heatedly.
The kiss turned into several kisses, with the two of them, touching each other urgently, heatedly, until they became one and managed to tempered down the ever burning fire between each other.
Richard kissed the top of Maya’s hand as he cradled her in his arms as they rest in the afterglow. He also touched her stomach reverently. Maya smiled at him. “So, did it live up to your imagination.” Maya teased Richard.
“More than, sweetheart. But I need a validation, you know, para sigurado.” Richard said naughtilly as he started caressing the underside of Maya’s right breast.
Maya gasped at the feeling. “Again, sweetheart?” She asked, smiling, but with an equally mischievous expression on her face.
Richard simply nodded. His eyes full of passion. But when he was about to move, Maya gently extricated herself from Richard’s embrace and with her hand on his broad chest, she motioned him to keep still. She then moved on top of Richard and started pampering him, first with tiny, loving kisses from his face to every part of his beautiful body, then driving him crazy with her maddening touch, until he can’t take it anymore. “Sweetheart…..” Richard said breathlessly. Maya then moved again, and drove the two of them to fulfillment.
“I love you very much, Maya. You are my life now.” Richard said after he had managed to catch his breath from Maya’s wonderful and unexpected treat to him. This is the first time she had done this. “Thank you, and I will not get tired of saying that, for making me so very happy. And I just want you to know I have never brought anyone here, before. It never felt right. Kaya pala, ikaw lang kasi ang para rito.”
“Oh, you made me very happy, too. You continue to make me happy. Ricky. Sobra-sobra.” Maya said lovingly, hugging Richard tight as her head rests on his chest, appreciating him telling her about it, getting his meaning and she felt very happy to know. Yes, intellectually, she knew that Richard could have not lived like a monk the past seven years. But she was really glad to know that no one has shared that bed with him, except her. “I love you very too, Ricky.”
Richard and Maya stayed like that for a while, content. They only moved when it got a bit late. Maya helped Richard packed his stuffs. They returned to Maya’s place around midnight, then promptly fell asleep in each other’s arms.
The following morning, Maya woke Richard with a breakfast in bed, and all the things he needed for work, laid down at the divan near the bathroom. He told her he will take care of the dishes since she cooked. He tidied up the kitchen while Maya was taking a bath.
“Thank you for the breakfast, and for preparing my things, sweetheart.” Richard told Maya, cupping her face when she was about to open the door of condo, then giving her a ‘thank you’ kiss that lasted several long seconds.
“You’re welcome, sweetheart.” Maya is happy to be taking care of Ricky. “Halika na, pasok na tayo.”
Richard and Maya rode down to the parking basement where Richard parked his car the night before. Maya has still a week to go to the office in Eastwood before she moves to her office in the new hotel in BGC. More than an hour of traveling, which the two of them spent chatting about their plans for the evening and the dinner with the families, they arrived at the offices of Lim Corporation. The employees are still not used to Richard Lim lovey-dovey with someone, as some of them said to their colleagues, but they find it so romantic. Richard deposited Maya at the entrance of Emerald’s, as he needed to see his father at the executive offices that morning.
“I’ll see you for lunch, sweetheart.” Richard kissed Maya on the lips, lightly. “Puntahan na lang kita sa conference room.”
“Okay, sweetheart. Have a great morning. Hello to Papa.” Maya said, then waved at Ricky. She waited until he boarded the elevator before going in. When she reached the conference room where they brainstormed the day before, she saw that there is only on person there, and its Diana. Maya hesitated a bit, but she realized that it is her chance to talk to Diana too. She sensed her coolness the day before.
“Good morning, Ms. Diana.” Maya greeted Diana cheerfully.
Diana looked at her with a raised eyebrow, then returned her greetings politely. “Good morning Ms. Dela Rosa.” Then she went back to the opened laptop before her.
“Ms. Diana,” Maya started.
Diana looked up inquiringly. “Yes, Ms. Dela Rosa.”
“May I talk to you about something.” Maya asked, then proceeded to do so when Diana nodded motioning for her to continue.
Maya opted to be straight with Diana as well. It was one of the things she learned while working and dealing with people of different nationalities in Macau, especially her colleagues and bosses who came from Australia, the States and some parts of Europe. While like with Ina, she knows that she does not need to explain, but she would like to. She wants to concentrate on her and Richard’s happiness and not on things like this, especially if can be smoothed out.
“I know that the fact that seeing Ricky and I together was a surprise to everyone, especially to you and Ms. Ina since it didn’t come up in my interview with you. Ricky also told me that he didn’t mention to you and Ina that he knows me when you gave him the resumes of the candidates. Yes, I have known Richard Lim from seven years ago, but at the time I was applying for a job here, he was not my boyfriend and I didn’t realize that his family owns the company. My headhunter took care of the job hunting for me. I didn’t tell him either since I wanted to be hired on my own merit. He, on the other hand, wanted to give you and Ina a free hand in deciding who is the best person for the job.” Maya said, then she told Diana the rest of wht she had told Ina too. Looking at Diana, she can see her expression changed.
“Maya, thank you very much for telling me. I appreciate it.” Diana said more warmly, then contritely, “I’m so sorry for reacting the way I reacted. On a level, I knew I was being unfair to you. You did get hired because of your excellent qualifications. I guess, my only excuse, or defense, is that I have been burned before by someone I hired who I thought was on the level with me. Like you, I really liked her. But because of what she did just so she got hired, and the bad judgement I thought I did, she cost me my job. Since then, I had a strong dislike of people who are not honest with me.”
“Thank rin for telling me, Ms. Diana. I understand.” Maya said, smiling at Diana. She is glad to have cleared the air with Diana too.
“Oh, please call me Diana.” Diana said, smiling now. “And I heard congratulations are in order.”
“Thank you Diana. Yes, Ricky and I are getting married soon.” Maya said happily.
“Hmmm, why do I sense that there is a beautiful love story behind that smile.” Diana teased Maya. She did like Maya a lot the first time she saw her.
Both of them laughed, with Maya promising that maybe, one day, she will tell her about it. Soon after Donya Esmeralda, Ina and the other managers arrived and the hours of the morning flew by. As he had promised, Richard picked her up for lunch. They were on their way to the elevator going up when someone called Richard.
“Brod, aakyat ka na ba? Sabay na tayong mag-lunch.” Ryan Molina asked Richard, then he noticed the beautiful girl beside him, his hand interlaced with hers. “Oh, sorry, I didn’t notice you right away, you must be Maya. I’m Ryan Molina….”
Richard continued the introduction. “Maya, sweetheart, this big lug, is Ryan Molina, our corporate legal counsel and a good friend of mine. Fraternity brothers din kami nung college and ninong ako ng anak niyang si Raymond. Brod, the beautiful lady is my fiancee, Maya dela Rosa, also Emerald’s new operations manager for our hotel in BGC.”
“The last one I know of, Brod, but not as your fiancee, until the office grapevine buzzed with it yesterday. Lakas ha.” Ryan said smiling, teasing Richard. “Now I understand, why. I’m very please to meet you Maya.”
“Hi Ryan, please to meet you too. Ikaw iyong kasama ni Ricky sa Macau, di ba? And a woman.” Maya realized why the lawyer looks familiar.
Now, it was Ryan’s turned to be surprised. “You saw us in Macau? I was with Richard nga there and also my wife Ivy sometime last year. Hmmm, feeling ko may mahaba-habang story diyan sa Macau na iyan. I now remember, my brod here, looking sad and pensive while we were there.”
“Hahaha, ikaw talaga Brod.” Richard laughed. “Halika, sumama ka na nga sa aming mag-lunch ni Maya and we will tell you all about Macau and our love story.” He gazed at Maya and the two of them shared a loving smile, remembering Macau.
Ryan looked at them. “Hmmm, baka naman mainggit lang ako sa sobrang sweetness niyong dalawa.” He teased, “Maya, pasensya ka na sa amin ng brod ko. Ganyan lang kaming magkulitan. If you don’t mind, sama na lang ako sa inyo ni Richard sa lunch, I want to hear the whole thing.”
“Of course, Ryan. Please do join us for lunch.” Maya said graciously, liking Richard’s jolly friend immediately.
The three of them went to the company restaurant in the top floor of the building. The place offers a wonderful view. At that time of the day the place was a bit full. Richard led Maya to a corner table, and Ryan followed them. It took them a while to get there as a lot hailed Richard and he introduced Maya to other company executives.
While they were eating lunch, Richard and Maya alternately told Ryan of their love story. Ryan listened with rapt attention. Then when they were finished, he said, “Hayun, kaya naman pala parang feeling ko pinagsukluban ng langit at lupa si Brod sa Macau. Now I also understand Brod, kung bakit ilang dates lang, goodbye na ang mga date mo. Pero don’t worry Maya, ikaw lang ang nag-iisa rito kay Brod. Sa iyo lang siya nagkaganyan.” Ryan assured Maya, smiling. “Pero Brod, Maya, grabe ang love story niyong dalawa, parang iyong paboritong teleserye lang ni Ivy. Masayang-masaya ako para sa inyong dalawa.”
Maya gave Ryan a big smile. “I know. Otherwise, hindi ko siya sasagutin.” She said in jest, then looked at Richard lovingly. “Thank you, Ryan.”
“Sweetheart, thank you. Love you.” Richard smiled atMaya and then addressed Ryan. “Tama iyan, Brod. By the way, talagang pupuntahan kita later this afternoon, to ask if you and Ivy would like to have dinner with Maya and I on Friday. Gusto ko ngang magkakilala kayo formally.”
“Ivy will like that, Richard, Maya. I will tell her. For sure, tuwang-tuwa iyon that you are getting married na and of course, she would like to meet the girl who finally captured your heart.” Ryan said.
“Great, Brod! Then one more thing, will you be my best man?” Richard asked.
“Of course, Brod. Magtatampo naman ako ng todo-todo niyan kung hindi ako ang best man mo, hahahaha.”
“Thank you, Brod.”
The three of them chatted about the wedding during the rest of the meal. Richard and Maya parted with Ryan at the elevator again. He took Maya back to the conference room, agreeing to meet at the lobby after Maya finishes for the day.
Richard and Maya managed to get home at half past seven o’clock that evening.
“Sa wakas, solo na naman kita.” Richard grinned as he reeled Maya towards him, on his lap. “Dalawang beses ng interrupted ang lunch natin ah.” He remarked.
“Ikaw talaga, Mr. Lim. solo mo naman ako. Ikaw at tanging ikaw lang.” Maya said lovingly as she wiggled a bit and settled comfortably into Richard’s lap. “What would you like to eat? I’ll make dinner.”
“Huwag na sweetheart, alam kong pagod ka na rin. Let’s order dinner na lang. When we move to the new house, let’s ask Mama if she can recommend a good kasambahay to us para hindi ka mapagod ng husto.” Richard said. “For now, it is nice to be like this, just the two of us. What do you think?”
“Yes, I agree, sweetheart. Gusto ko the two of us muna, like this.” Maya said. “I’ll order na. Pizza, pasta and salad, okay with you?”
Richard nodded. When Maya put the phone down after ordering. “Now I know the best way to pass the time while waiting for our order.” He then whispered something to Maya which made Maya blushed and raised an eyebrow. “Is that possible, sweetheart, remember normally, 30 to 45 minutes lang ang tagal bago dumating ang delivery.”
“Wanna bet, my love.” Richard grinned naughtily. “If I lose, I will give you the best massage ever. If I win, you have to grant a wish of mine.”
“Hmmmm….” Maya murmured, pretending to think deeply, then she, too, grinned. “Call.”
Richard grinned, then carried Maya to their bedroom to do what he whispered lovingly to her. Thirty minutes later, with Maya cradled in his arms, he said, “I won, sweetheart. Then you have to grant my wish.”
“Okay, what is it?” Maya said as she caressed Richard’s arm, still basking in the afterglow. She felt so relaxed and sated at that moment.
“I’ll think about it.” Richard grinned, and he was about to give Maya another searing kiss on the lips when the in house phone rang. “Oh, that’s our food. Stay in bed, I will get it.” Richard said as he looked for the shirt and pants, he and Maya hastily discarded in their hurry earlier.
Richard and Maya ended up eating their dinner on the bed. It lasted longer than usual as they fed each other slowly, teasingly, and lovingly.