Posts Tagged Sir Chief & Maya

Only Love – Chapter 6

Chapter 6
Love sweet love

“Richard drive carefully, hijo.” Maya’s mom, Tessie Dela Rosa-Winters, told Richard as he and Maya were about to get into the car to drive back to New York  that Saturday after spending Thanksgiving with them. Richard and Maya arrived at the Winters family home Wednesday afternoon.

“Maya anak, ingat ha, and update me, please if possible on Monday evening. I want to know how’s your first day at work. Tapos if they will assign you somewhere soon, let me know also kaagad. I know it would not be like you being in the Philippines lang. I just want to know and prepare na there is a possibility na matagal kitang hindi makikita at baka nga mahirap ang communication sa lugar na pupuntahan mo. Good luck ulit anak and congratulations. I’m so proud of you.”

“Yes Mom, I will.” Maya promised her mother as she hugged her one more time. “Thank you for everything. Daddy Mark, than you very much also.” She went to her stepfather and gave him a tight hug too. She really owes this wonderful man a lot.

“Yes, Mrs. Winters, I will be careful po.” Richard promised Maya’s mom. “Thank you again for having me. Mr. Winters,” Richard shook Daddy Mark’s hand, who not only shook his hand in return, but gave him a pat in the back.

“It was nice meeting and having you, Richard. Take care of our daughter.” Maya’s stepfather told Richard. “Maya, honey, you take care okay and wow those diplomats at the UN with your skills.”

“Please see us again, ha.” Mommy Tessie told Richard. She was happy to meet Maya’s boyfriend, her daughter’s first. She was surprised when Maya called up several days before she came for a visit to ask if she could bring with her, her boyfriend. Mommy Tessie had no idea that her daughter already had a boyfriend. But she knew that Maya is of age and has been pretty independent and responsible most of her adult life. She didn’t give her any grief. She also knew that her daughter is not the type to rush into something she hasn’t thought about very well.

“We will, Mom, Daddy Mark. Pakisabi na lang kina Luke and Nikki na umalis na kami” Maya told her mother. Her siblings were still sleeping. All of them had a late night last night. They had a very nice family bonding time. They chatted, played cards and board games, had midnight snacks, and teased each other mercilessly, especially the kids. Richard fitted well in into their family dynamics. He also spent quite some time chatting with Maya’s stepfather.

Maya, on the other hand, during the visit, had an opportunity to talk to her mom alone about Richard and the circumstances of their meeting, and how they became a couple. She told her mother that she and Richard had been inseparable since they met each other and especially so, when they became boyfriend and girlfriend more than a week before the Thanksgiving week. Maya assured her mother that Richard is the nicest guy and a gentleman, who always takes care of her, and a very loving boyfriend. Mommy Tessie told her daughter that she is happy for her, and she will always be there for her if she needs advice. She also told Maya that she trusts her judgment and she is old enough, anyway, to forge her way through life. All she can do for her from then on, is to be there for her if she needs her.

“Did you have a wonderful time, my love?” Maya asked Richard after a while. She invited Richard to celebrate Thanksgiving with her family after she found out that he will be alone on that day. She wanted to from the beginning, but Richard might have made some plans already even before they became a couple. She was really glad that he said yes.

“Of course I did. I was very happy to meet your family. I like your parents, and Luke and Nikki are a joy. Tama ka ang kukulit nila. Pero at the same time, good kids. Maayos ang pagpapalaki ng Mom and Dad mo sa kanila.”

“True. Nakaka-miss nga rin sila.” Maya said. “But anyway, I will still see them from time to time. Hindi naman malayo ang New Jersey sa New York.”

“What are your plans for tomorrow, Maya?” Richard asked as tomorrow would be Maya’s last day before she started working for the UN.

“Wala naman. I’m planning to stay at home, rest before I report for work.” Maya replied as she settled more comfortable into her seat. Bakit pala?”

“Hmmm, baka you want to spend it with me since baka last day na natin ito to be together ng medyo matagal. From what I heard, baka you will have long hours din in your new job.” Richard suggested as he want to spend more time with Maya before both of them get very busy again. “How about a picnic at Central Park?”

“Great idea, Mr. Lim. Tara, sige. I will prepare everything na lang.” Maya suggested. “What would you like to eat?”

“No Maya, rest ka na lang. Di ba dapat relax ka nga lang. I will take care of everything. I will order a picnic basket at the deli near LHI.” Richard said. “This is my treat for my brilliant and beautiful girlfriend.”

“Thank you, my love. Ikaw talaga ang number one cheering squad ko.” Maya grinned. “Okay, if that is more convenient. I would need to go pa nga to the shop when we return if I will prepare the food. I’m looking forward to spending more time with you rin. Parang bitin ang three days natin with my family. I’m glad, though, that we got to spend those days with them.”

Most of the trip back, they just chatted about their visit to her family. Richard was touched when Maya asked him if he would like to go with her to New Jersey. He wanted really to spend Thanskgiving with her and her family, but was waiting for Maya to issue the invitation as her family might have a plan already for this occasion. He wanted to meet her family and got to know them. He knew that Maya is just starting her life, younger by five years, and still have a lot of goals and dreams to achieve, but in the long run, he wanted a life with her. He can wait. They are both young. He needed to forge his way within LHI too, but he, sort of, know know already where he will be and what he needs to do for the next couple of years.

Richard parked his car at the usual spot when they reached Maya’s apartment. He took out her bag and accompanied her to the front door.

“Dinner later?” He asked all of a sudden. “I will cook for you. Di ba, nasa Philadelphia pa si Emman. Wala kang kasama.”

“Really! Masarap ka bang magluto Mr. Lim?” She asked teasingly. “Or mali yata ang tanong, dapat ang tanong, marunong ka bang magluto?”

“Ha, ha, ha, of course I know how. Sayang naman ang mga itinuro sa akin ni Manang Fe.” Richard said, grinning

Maya grinned back. “Okay, pero don’t fetch me na. I need to go back to the hotel one last time din this evening to give something to Doris. I will walk to your place from there.”

“Hmmm, sure it would be safe to do so, on your own?” Richard asked. He got used to walking with Maya all the time.

“Naku, safe na safe, Mr Lim, hwag kang mag-aalala. I have been walking on my own, often, before I met you.” Maya assured her protective boyfriend.

“Okay, I will see you later. Bye, my love.” Richard said then kissed Maya lightly on the lips. “I love you.”

“See you. Ingat sa pagmamaneho.” Maya said. “I love you too.”

Richard waited until Maya was inside the apartment building before he drove off towards the direction of his apartment. As soon as he entered his unit, after parking his car at his slot, he inspected the place and was glad that it is very tidy. The cleaning lady did a thorough job of cleaning the apartment while he was away with Maya. This will be the first time that Maya will see his place and he is looking forward to that. He had been meaning to invite her here, but she was busy since she submitted her letter of resignation to the hotel.

More than an hour later, Richard was finished with the pasta sauce he cooked. He let it simmered while he took a shower, then changed into a polo shirt and a pair of jeans that suits him very well. He set the table. He wanted everything to be special.  Several minutes after he was done, the doorbell rang. He had left intstructions with the doorman to let Maya in, so this must be her.

“Hi my love, welcome to my home away from home.” He happily greeted Maya, then gave her a quick kiss on the lips. “You look very lovely, my love as always.”  Maya was wearing another sheath dress, violet this time, that hugged her curves and reached above the knee, showing her shapely legs.

“Hi my love. Thank you.” Maya said as she returned Richard’s kiss and gave him the flowers she was carrying and the beautiful vase that goes with it. “My ‘welome back home’ gift to you.”

“Thank you, it’s lovely, just want this place needs, some flowers to brighten things up, aside from your presence.” Richard smiled and gaze at Maya lovingly. He put the flowers on the console table. “Come, let’s eat na. Are you hungry? What would you like to drink, red wine, white wine or soda?”

“Hmmm, white wine please.” Maya said as Richard led her to the dining room of his spacious apartment. She saw that the dining table was beautifully set for two, with fine china and candles. “Wow, mukhang pinaghandaan mo ang dinner natin. Lovely table setting. Ricky. Saka parang ang sarap ng food. Kahit hindi ko pa natitkman, naniniwala na ako, that Manang Fe taught you well!”

“For my the most special lady in my life, maganda dapat parati ang lahat.” He said as he cupped her chin, then kissed her. They shared a sweet kiss. “Have a seat, my love.  I will just get your drink.” Richard told Maya as he pulled a chair for her, then opened the fridge to get a chilled bottle of white wine. He poured a glass each for Maya and him.

“To our first dinner here, my love. I hope you will consider this place as your home away from home too.” Richard said as he looked lovingly at Maya.

“Thank you, Ricky. To our first dinner here. Thank you for being the best boyfriend in the world!” Maya felt so happy at that moment. It was just so perfect. She felt like she was seeing a glimpse of what life would be like if she and Richard end up together. She was wishing then, and praying, that he will be the one she will spend the rest of her life with, no matter how far into the future would that be. She can’t think of another one, only him.

Richard and Maya had a lovely dinner, marked by their normal chatter and loving gazes. They got wrapped up in their own world again. After dinner, Maya offered to help Richard clean. At first, he told her to just relax, but she insisted, saying that they will finish the task faster if they work together. They went to the living room after they have started the dishwasher.

Richard carried with him, his and Maya’s wine glasses, then asked her to sit down in one of the armchairs by the window. He sat on the other one. He also opened the curtain and what was revelead was a breathtaking view of Manhattan at night. Maya loved it very much. They enjoyed their wine while chatting.

“This is a very nice place Ricky.” Maya remarked. “How long have you had this place?”

“I think, around three years. I fell in love with the location. Hindi lang kita masyado ngayon, pero this place as an incredible view of Central Park. Dapat the next time you are here, araw.” He said, in between sipping his wine and caressing Maya’s hand.

“Come, I will give you a tour.” Richard stood up and held out his hand to Maya, intertwining their fingers, he led her to the guest rooms of the house, then to his study, and finally his bedroom. It was huge, occupying half of the house, and decorated in masculine tones. “There is a terrace on one side of the bedroom, that corner, and the view there is very nice too.” He said as he pointed to the left side of the room.

Maya liked the whole place. Everything just flowed, uncluttered. “Thank you for the tour. I really like your place.” She said after their return to the living room, which she now notice has floor-to-ceiling windows.

“Well, my love, like I have told you earlier. Consider this your home too, In fact, here….” Richard gave Maya a key he got from his jeans’ pocket.

Maya was startled. “What for?” Her heart skipped a beat.

Mi casa es su casa, my love.” Richard said as he closed Maya’s hand with the key, then lifted it to his lips and kissed it. “My house is yours. Just come and go.”

“Ricky…..” She started to protest.

“Uh oh, no arguments please.” Richard put his index finger on Maya’s lips, then started caressing it. Maya caught her breath and looked at Richard.

Seeing the expression on Maya’s beautiful, expressive face, Richard lowered his lips to Maya’s and kissed her. Before long, they were exchanging heated kisses.

“Maya I love you very much.” Richard muttered in between driving Maya senseless with his kisses.

“I love you very much too, Ricky, so very much, that sometimes, it is making me afraid.” She said.

Richard stopped kissing Maya, and gently cupped her chin. “Why is that, my love?”

Maya took a deep breath and said, “The feeling I have for you is so intense. Minsan, I feel like my heart will burst from sheer happiness. In such a short time, you became the center of my universe. I guess, I’m overwhelmed, sometimes. Ngayon ko lang kasi ito naramdaman. My youthful crushes was nothing, not even a speck, of what I am feeling for you. Sometimes, I had a hard time believing you are in my life, parang feeling ko panaginip ang lahat.”

“I’m real, Maya, you and I, what we have, it’s not a dream. We are real. Don’t be overwhelmed. I feel the same. I’m so happy and so very, very thankful that you came into my life, that we met in the most unexpected place and in a unique circumstance. You made me so happy. Trust me on this, my love. I had relationships and those were nothing compared to what we have, to what we feel for each other. I’m so happy to know that I’m loved by you. I know you still have a lot of dreams and we still have a lot to face, but I want a future with you, no matter how long it takes.”

“Oh Ricky….” Maya said with so much emotion, then hugged Richard tight.

They hugged each other tight, and they stayed like that for quite some time. Then Richard loosen his embrace to kiss her gently on the forehead and said, “I love you.”

“I love you too.” Maya told him with a tremulous smile, and a look that conveyed all the love she is feeling.

“Dance with me.” Richard asked after while. “You know, it is something we haven’t done.”

“Now, without music?” Maya said, smiling.

“Madali lang iyan, wait here.” He went to the corner, powered up his iPod, and soon after the beautiful melody and lyrics of one of Richard’s favorite songs, Only Love  floated into the speakers discreetly placed in the living room. He first heard of this song through his mother.

“May I have this dance, Ms. Maya Dela Rosa?”

“Of course, Mr. Richard Lim.”

Richard and Maya swayed to the beautiful music, savoring their special moment together. They danced as close as two person could be. Richard’s cheek, against Maya’s, and from time to time they exchanged sweet kisses too.

“Maya, will you please stay the night?” Richard asked softly, still not letting go of Maya. “Promise, I will be a gentleman. I just want to spend every moment I could with you. I don’t know, there is this feeling that I have to hold on to whatever we have, to enjoy every moment I could with you.” He said all of a sudden. “Maybe it is beause you might be assigned to a far-flung corner of the world.”

“Yes Ricky, I will.” Maya replied as she touched Richard’s face lovingly as if committing everything to memory. Maya also felt the unexplained need to seize every moment with Richard. She attributed it to the big change in her professional life.

“Thank you, Maya. It means a lot to me.”

Richard kissed Maya tenderly, before taking hold of her hand, leading her to the terrace adjacent to his bedroom. They cuddled and watched the New York night lights from there, enjoying their quiet time together, declaring their love for each other from time to time with sweet kisses, heated looks, and caresses.

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Only Love – Chapter 5

Chapter 5
Out in the open

Richard was busy typing away on his laptop, drinking the coffee he ordered earlier, unmindful of the comings and goings of the people in the busy hotel, and the second, and admiring, glances, of some of the women who passed by his table to go to the hotel restaurant or to the reception area. He was sight to behold in his dress shirt, his tie loosen a bit, and his coat draped neatly over the back of the chair beside him. He looked rumply handsome.

He was waiting for Maya at the cafe at the lobby of the hotel where she works and where he stayed for over a month, his home away from home, and where he met Maya weeks ago. Several days ago, he moved back to his apartment. His cousin Rafi and her family vacated it over the weekend as their house renovation was finally done.

Richard was sad to leave the hotel as it had meant no more notes and flowers for Maya, but at the same time, he was happy to have his own place back. He rectified the situation by picking Maya from the hotel and taking her home most evenings, either after they have been to dinner or after seeing a Broadway show. They also talked on the phone on the nights they were not able to see each other. This afternoon, early evening actually, Maya was finishing up late for some reason she refused to elaborate. She just told him that she would have to stay at work late and it is okay if they don’t see each other. However, Richard requested that that they still meet since they haven’t seen each other for two days due to his busy schedule. He assured Maya that he can wait for her. They agreed to meet at the lobby cafe.

“Ricky, hi!” Maya rushed to Richard’s side with a big smile. From her work clothes, she changed into a long, flowing skirt, a purple top, a cardigan, and her favorite walking boots. Her big saddle bag was strapped across her body and her coat, in her left forearm. She and Richard are planning to walk around that evening, in whatever direction it would take them. The weather is getting colder but she had bundled up. She needed to get use again to the cold, after living in the Philippines for four years. Autumn in New York is beautiful, but it could also get very cold, especially for someone used to the hot Philippine weather. Her coat is pretty warm and the boots are her most comfortable pair.

“Hi Maya!” Richard stood up and gave Maya a kiss on the cheek. He had been doing that every time they will meet. It ever fails to make Maya feel kilig. “Give me a second. I will just put away my stuffs.” He said as he started gathering his things.

“No hurry, Ricky. I can wait. Baka, kailangan mo iyang ginagawa mo. Tapusin mo na muna. No hurry.” Maya said, as she knows Richard was pretty busy the past several days with all the stuffs he needed to finish at LHI before he goes back to the Philippines or take a vacation, what he decided on, she does not know yet. However, she was hoping and wishing that Richard will stay longer in the States. She does not want to think of the time that he will go back to Manila.

Richard smiled at Maya. “No, it’s okay. I was just killing time habang wala ka pa.” He put his MacBook in his backpack, then put on his coat. “Let’s go. Saan mo gustong pumunta? Kain muna tayo? Are you hungry na?”

“Hmmm, I know just the place. I have something to tell you.” Maya said excitedly, a little mysteriously. “We can eat later.”

“Now, I’m intrigued.” Richard said, smiling broadly at Maya. “But I can wait. I don’t want to spoil your surprise.”

They started walking with Richard intertwining their fingers. Maya is used to him doing this from time to time, while they are walking the streets of Manhattan, but still, her heart never fails to beat fast every time he does. Maya dragged Ricky towards the direction of Times Squares, and when they were in the middle of the place, amid the huge, brightly-lit billboards, she stopped.

“I think, this is a perfect place to tell you this. These huge signs will serve as my ‘fireworks’!” Maya said happily. “Rickyyyy, I got in!!!! I got into the UN! I will work for the UN!”

“Really!!! Congratulations, Maya!!! Wow. I’m so happy for you!” Richard said, sharing Maya’s happiness. Then to Maya’s surprise, he hugged her in the middle of Times Square. “Kailan mo nalaman? Parang wala ka namang nabanggit na interview sa akin.” He asked as he embraced her tight and she can’t breath , not because of the embrace, but its effect on her senses.

“This morning. They called me up the other day, asked me to go to the UN office today, and there I was told that they evaluated my exams and my qualifications. I also went through a panel interview and afterwards, they told me, I’m hired!” Maya narrated as she hugged Richard back. “It was nerve-wracking, at the same time, quite exciting. Plus, talaga sa akin the languages that I know. I thank God for giving me the talent to learn languages fast! I wanted to tell everything to you in person.”

“When will you start?” Richard asked as loosened his embrace, but still not letting go of Maya completely, unmindful of the people that hurriedly passed by them, his concentration, only for this lady he loves and her dream that is now starting to become a reality.

“I will start on December 4.” Maya replied. “Good din that I still have several days to spend with my family. I’m going to Jersey for several days until after Thanksgiving. Ricky, I’m so happy I have been dying to tell you kanina pa! Ikaw pa lang ang nakakaalam.”

“Really, I’m honored that you told me first!” Richard said, touched at Maya’s gesture. “I’m sure your family will be happy to know. You can call them now.”

“Mamaya na. I’m still trying to absorb everything pa. I can dance here in the middle of Times Square from sheer happiness.” Maya said her face lighting up, making her more beautiful to Richard. “Thank you Ricky, for listening to all my prattle about my dreams and my goals, and also for the encouragement.”

“They are not prattle, Maya. I like the fact that you shared your dreams and aspirations with me. I’m glad to have been a part of your dreaming and to see your dreams becoming real.” Richard replied, cupping her chin, gazing at her warmly.

“Thank you pa rin. You are a very good friend in such a short time I have known you. Para ngang ang tagal na kitang kilala.” Maya replied, her heart skipped with Richard’s latest gesture. She felt instinctively that the two of them are on the brink of something. Then said innocently, artlessly, “I will surely miss you and your company when you go back to the Philippines.”

“Maya, I love you.” Richard suddenly blurted out, the overwhelming emotion he was feeling at the moment coming to the surface, especially after hearing that Maya will miss him and that the reality of them getting separated in the future, when he goes back home, reared in.

“Ha, what did you say Ricky?” She thought she misheard him, after all there is a cacophony of voices of people of different nationalities around them.

“I love you.” He repeated, cupping her chin and looking deeply into her eyes. “I have been in love with you for quite sometime. I want to be more than friends with you. I don’t want to think of the time I will go back to the Philippines and not see you, not being with you.”

Suddenly, all the other sound faded away in Maya’s brain and her being got concentrated on Ricky’s face, so full of love for her, and what he just said, she was finally absorbing.

“I don’t expect you to say anything now, Maya. I just want you to know, seeing you so beautiful in your happiness and the start of the fulfillment of your dreams, made me very happy too.” Richard added when Maya was still not saying anything. “I want to be there with you as you make more milestones in your life.”

“Ricky, Ricky,” she said earnestly, then proceeded to cup his face. “You love me!” She said in wonder. Then she smiled, a smile that lit her whole face. “I love you too,” she said softly, lovingly.

Now, it was Richard’s turn to be speechless. He was hoping that Maya feels the same, but he never expected that his declaration will have an answer so soon, the answer that he was hoping for, wishing for.

“Maya, really! You love me too?” He asked, not really sinking in, completely, what she said.

“Yes, Mr.Richard Lim, I love you too!” Maya simply said, looking at him with all the love she feels for him. “Ayaw mo ba?” She teased.

“Maya, you made me the happiest guy in the world!” Richard said as he hugged Maya exuberantly, tightly, at the same time, he caressed her hair. “I love you very much.” Then he cupped her face, lowered his lips to hers, and kissed her gently, lovingly.

In the middle of Times Square and all the tourists taking pictures and absorbing the larger than life brightly-lit signs around them, Maya and Richard sealed their love with several more kisses. They broke apart after a while and grinned happily at each other. Maya blushed a bit, realizing that she had her ‘first kisses’ in the middle of a busy tourist area, but Richard will not have it. He intertwined their fingers and caressed her face, gazing at her heatedly, lovingly.

“Ms. Maya Dela Rosa, the love of my life, where do you want to celebrate? Double celebration na ito.” Richard said, looking at Maya like she was the only person in the whole world.

“Kahit saan, Ricky, basta kasama kita, okay lang naman sa akin.” Maya said shyly, all of a sudden.

Richard looked at his girlfriend, he likes the sound of it, then remembered something. “Oh, we can combine my treat for you with a dinner in the same place!”

“Treat? You have a treat for me this evening?” Maya asked, curious.

“Yes, you mentioned something that you missed while in the Philippines. So, I was plannng to take you there.” He said smiling.

“Hmmm, alin doon? Ang dami ko kayang nasabi sa iyo.” Maya asked, her brows knitted trying to remember.

“Basta, halika na.” Richard said, and let Maya towards the direction of Fifth Avenue.

They walked leisurely. Then they stopped at the Rockefeller Center. Maya smiled. She now know what is Richard’s treat for her. “Ice skating! We are going ice skating!”

“Yes. You said you missed this. I’m a bit rusty, but I think I will get by. Besides, hold me na lang and drag me around.” Richard said with a smile. “Don’t let me fall ha, except for you.”

“Hmmm, turning cheesy, Mr. Lim. Saka, baka nga you will be the one to guide me. I haven’t skated since I was 18 or so. Remember, the Philippines school season is different from here so I was there during autumn and most of winter.”

“Then we can just glide and fall together.” Richard said, looking forward to skating with Maya, another experience they will share.

Fifteen minutes or so later, they were in the rink. They helped each other with their ice skates. Contrary to what he said, Richard skated like a pro. He held Maya’s hand and they glided gracefully across the ice. They were lost in their own world, not noticing the envious glances of some of the women skaters. They looked so in love. Around an hour later, with the cool wind turning making Maya’s cheeks rosy, they stopped to catch their breath.

“Ikaw, Richard Lim, hindi naman pala rusty ang skills mo. Para ngang pang-olympics!” Maya teased Richard as they rested on the side of the rink.

“Hmmm, maybe, it is like riding a bicycle, it just comes back to you, the skills, I mean. Saka, I don’t want to fall naman in front of my beautiful girlfriend.” He said with a teasing smile.

“Sus, bola, Mr. Lim. Nambobola ka ba, sinagot na nga kita!” Maya bantered back.

“Hindi kaya iyan bola, Ms. Dela Rosa. Kahit nga noong I was sick, I found you so beautiful. I fell in love fast!” He said, gazing at her lovingly. “I love you.”

“Ricky naman, ikaw talaga.” Maya blushed prettily. “I love you too.”

Richard and Maya shared a brief sweet kiss before heading back to the center of the rink, gliding as they were one, as close as they could move around in their skates. They stayed there for half hour more. Afterwards, they headed to one of the restaurants wherein they can see the skaters as they enjoyed their dinner.  The unexpected exercise in the rink made them very hungry.

“That was wonderful! Daig ko pa ang naglinis ng 10 rooms sa exercise natin sa rink.” Maya said smiling while they were having coffee after their delicious dinner. “Thank you for this very nice treat, Ricky.”

“For you, Maya, anything.” Richard said as he put his hand on top of Maya’s. Maya then put her other hand on top of Ricky, and smiled at him sweetly. They stayed like that for quite sometime, enjoying and savoring their newly-declared love for each other.

When they got out of the restaurant, Maya and Richard were both reluctant for the evening to end, so they decided to go for a walk while thinking of what to do next.

“I know na. We can go for a carriage ride.” Richard suggested to Maya as he spotted the line for the carriage ride near Central Park.

Maya liked the idea and soon after they were ensconced snugly and warmly inside the carriage as it moved around. They were happy to enjoy each other company quietly. Sometimes they exchanged sweet kisses and loving gazes.

Richard took Maya home, as he always do, close to midnight. Maya asked Richard if he would like to come in for a cup of coffee before he goes home. Richard agreed, knowing that he and Maya can stay up until the wee hours of the morning, as the following day is a Saturday and they both don’t have to go to work.

“Here, home sweet home.” Maya said as she ushered Richard to her and Emman’s small living room. “Please have a seat, Ricky. Make yourself at home. I will just make the coffee.”

“Thank you, Maya.” Richard said as he proceeded to the usual place he has gotten used to sitting in while in Maya’s apartment, in the sofa near the window. He has been here several times, but mostly, only a short time, just while picking Maya up. In those cases, Emman was also home, unlike this evening. They usually chatted while he waited for Maya. He likes Maya’s friend. He is a very jolly person and he always tease him about introducing him to his twin. Sometimes, Emman also asked Richard teasingly if he can have him cloned, sayang daw ang lahi niya since only son pala siya, much to Richard’s and Maya’s amusement. They both told Emman he is incorrigible!

“Here’s your coffee, Ricky. I also found some cookies. I think Emman made these.” Maya came back to the living room, carrying a tray with two steaming cups of coffee and several chocolate chip cookies on a plate.

“Baka hindi na tayo makatulog nito, my love.” Richard said. “But still, I’ll have one.” He then grabbed a cookie and took a bite.

Maya was startled at first to hear the endearment from Richard, then smiled, liking it. She really need to control her kilig with Richard’s actions, her boyfriend! But how can she? Just the thought that he is now her boyfriend is sending her to kilig heaven.

“So, when are you going to New Jersey?” Richard asked as they enjoy their ‘midnight snack.’

“Hmmm, two days before Thanksgiving, I need to inform the hotel also that I’m resigning.” Maya replied. “Ikaw, what are your plans? Matagal pa ba ang work mo? When are you going back to the Philippines?” Maya asked, dreading the answer. Yes, they are now in a relationship, but there are a lot of unknown factors in it. But she is confident with Richard by her side, they can deal with everything. The important thing is their love for each other.

“I still have a month or so, maybe, until before Christmas to wrap up everything. Then I will take a vacation here, and think what I would like to do next, since we are now in a relationship. But one thing is sure, I want to be with you. Baka I will ask for a transfer in NYC na lang if possible.” Richard declared earnestly. “How about you? Will the UN send you somewhere?”

“That I don’t know yet.” Maya replied. “I would know when I start working, I think. But there is a big possibility that I will be sent somewhere. Would that be okay?”

“Of course, Maya, this is your dream. Us, in a relationship does not mean you will let go of that just to be with me. Somewhow we will make things work. I know this is so new to you, and despite the fact that I had relationships before, this is new to me also. This is the first time, I fell in love. This is the first time, I feel like this. I love you. We will make things work.” Richard vowed to Maya.

“Ricky! Thank you. I never felt like this. You are my first boyfriend. I love you with all my heart. I want ‘us’ to work too.” Maya said earnestly.

“We will Maya.” Richard promised. “Now that I found you, I will not let you go.”

They looked at each other lovingly, then slowly their faces moved closer and closer until their lips touched and they ignited. Before long, they were kissing hotly. Richard moved, then lifted Maya on to his lap, then they started touching each other in between their heated kisses.

“Maya, I love you….” Richard whispered before he lowered his lips and used his tongue to open the seam of Maya’s mouth. When he gained entrance, his tongue sought Maya’s and before long, their tongues were mating as Richard lowered his hand to the underside of Maya’s breast. Maya was also doing a lot of touching of her own.

They were reaching the point of no return, when their passionate interlude was interrupted by a loud click in the lock. Someone was opening the front door. Maya scrambled out of Richard’s lap, straightened her clothes and her hair. She just remembered that Emman was out, so it must be him. Richard grabbed a throw pillow to hide the evidence of his desire for Maya. When Emman managed to open the difficult lock, all he saw at first glance was Richard and Maya drinking their coffee. But when he came nearer to say hello, he saw Maya’s well-kissed lips, and smiled. He quickly said good night.

Richard and Maya smiled and looked at each other sheepishly.

“Maya, my love. I think I better head home. Rest ka na. I will see you tomorrow.” Richard said as he stood up.

“Okay, my love. Ingat sa pag-uwi. Thank you for the most wonderful night of my life.” Maya said as she intertwined her hands around Richard’s neck, then lightly kissed him on the lips. “I love you.”

“I love you too.” Richard said as he kissed her back. “I better stop at baka hindi ko na makayanang umuwi. Hindi na makaya ng willpower ko.” He said ruefully.

“Oh,” Maya uttered, understanding what he meant, then blushed. “Good night. Sweet dreams.”

“I’ll dream of you.” Richard said sweetly. “Lock after me. Huwag mo na akong ihatid sa labas. I will text you na lang when I’m home na.”

Maya nodded, waved at Richard, then locked the door. After she did so, she leaned against it, with a big smile on her face, so very happy and in love.

Richard on the other hand, happily drove home. It was hard to pay attention to where he was going, with thoughts of Maya and their wonderful evening, filling his head. He is so looking forward to being with her again and starting their journey as a couple. He entered his apartment whistling, then sent a message to Maya.

Home now, my love. Good night. I love you, my beautiful girlfriend.  

Maya smiled broadly when she saw his message.

Good night, my love. I love you too, my handsome boyfriend. 

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Only Love – Chapter 3

Chapter 3
Dinner date

Maya arrived at the Italian restaurant near Central Park, where she was supposed to meet Richard, at exactly seven o’clock in the evening. It took her a while to find a taxi from her place. She is familiar with the restaurant as she had dinner here with her family just after she arrived back in the States. Her mom and Daddy Mark insisted that they celebrate her graduation from university since they were not able to make it to the Philippines for the ceremony. Only Mamang went with her. Mamang turned emotional when she saw her in her toga. She was very proud of her achievement too, having received the highest honor from her college. After the ceremony, they went to dinner with her Tito Jose, Tita Pilar, Cristina Rose and Simon. Her parents, brother and sister did a video call and congratulated her.

The maitre d’ greeted Maya as soon as she entered the elegant restaurant’s main dining room after depositing her coat. She took an instant liking to this place. It is very relaxing and very welcoming. “Maya, bella, nice to see you here again! Are you with your parents?”  The burly and jolly man greeted Maya effusively.

“Uncle Bobby! Hello! How are you? Good to see you! I was not so sure you will be here this evening.”  Maya happily hugged Roberto Antonini, ‘Bobby’ to friends and family. He is a close friend of her parents, and their neighbor in New Jersey. He is like an uncle to her also as she grew up with two of his children. “I’m meeting someone here.”

“Today is my rest day, yes. But we are understaffed so the Signora asked me if I could work this evening.” Bobby told Maya as he looked at her closely and her nice dress. “You are very beautiful this evening, my dear Maya. Are you meeting your special someone here? Your boyfriend?”

Maya laughed. She is used to Uncle Bobby asking personal questions. He has been trying to fix her with one of his many nephews. “No, Uncle Bobby, not a boyfriend, just a friend. His name is Richard Lim. Is he here?”

“How’s your job at the hotel? Any news on your job applications at the UN?” Bobby asked as he checked in their register for the reservation under the name of Maya’s friend. He is good with faces, so he had an inkling who among the guests he seated earlier is Maya’s ‘beau’. A handsome young man politely requested earlier if he could give him one of the best tables in the place as he wanted to make his first date with the lady he likes a lot a very memorable one. Bobby’s romantic bent kicked, and led the guy to a secluded, and the nicest table, in the restaurant.

“It’s okay. I like my colleagues and it’s not difficult. I know the experience will help me in the long run, especially if I will make it to the UN.” Maya replied. “No news yet about the applications. But I just sent them out so it may take time before someone replied. If not, I will just go to graduate school next semester.”

“I’m sure you will get hired, with your qualifications, top honors from your school, and you being multilingual.” Bobby said confidently.

“Thanks for the vote of confidence, Uncle Bobby. For always believing in me.” Maya told the old guy affectionately. “If I get accepted, I will come back here and treat everyone, my family and yours.”

“If you get hired, Maya, the treat is on me.” Bobby said generously and patted Maya’s arm and said happily, “I’m right, that was your young man whom I gave best table in the restaurant earlier. Come, I will bring you to him.”

Richard, looked at his watch for the nth time. He knew he was early. But he can’t concentrate anymore with what he was doing so he dressed up, took his car out, bought something for Maya, parked it back. Then, he walked from the hotel to the restaurant 20 minutes early than his agreed time with Maya. He had called the restaurant earlier and made a reservation. He likes this elegant place which he discovered during one of his previous trips to New York. The food is superb and the ambiance is very relaxing and inviting.

He saw Maya walking towards him, chatting with the maitre d’ who gave him this very nice table. When Maya got nearer, she took his breath away, If she was beautiful in her plain uniform, she was very, very lovely in her evening clothes. She was wearing a classic cut white dress that hugged all her curves, her hair down, and from what he could see, wearing minimal make-up. She walked gracefully and elegantly towards him, unaware of his admiring look, and the equally admiring glances of all the males within the vicinity.

“Here you go, Maya. Hello, again Mr. Lim .” Bobby said as they reached the table, and Richard stood up.

“Uncle Bobby, this is my friend Richard Lim, from the Philippines too.” Maya said, smiling, trying to still her galloping heart. Richard looked dashing and very handsome in his evening clothes. ”Richard, this is my Uncle Bobby, Roberto Antonini, the best maitre d’ in Manhattan, a friend of my family and like a dad to me too since I am friends with his youngest daughters Carolina and Isabela.”

“Good evening Sir, please to meet a friend of Maya’s.” Richard shook the old man’s hand.

Bobby likes Maya’s ‘young man’. “I’m glad to meet a special friend of Maya too. ”Then, he can’t help it, he teased Richard, “I hope the table is special enough for a very special night, Mr. Lim.”

Richard smiled broadly at the maitre d’, remembering his request to him earlier. “I hope so too, Mr. Antonini. Call me Richard please.”

“Call me Uncle Bobby too, like Maya here.” Bobby said. “Maya, I will leave the two of you. I will just send Cesar, to attend to you. I will just tell your parents that we saw each other when I see them tomorrow. Have a wonderful evening and nice meeting you, Richard.”

“Thank you, Uncle Bobby.”  Maya said.

“Thank you, Uncle Bobby.” Richard added as he pulled the chair for Maya and seated her.

Soon after, Cesar arrived, and after exchanging some pleasantries with Maya, took their order. Richard ordered one of their best wine vintage to go with their dinner.

“Parang kilala mo ang buong restaurant, Maya.” Richard remarked, teasing, when they were alone and waiting for their food and drinks. “Madalas ka ba rito?”

Maya laughed. “Not really. This is actually my second time here. Cesar is Uncle Bobby’s nephew. The first time I was here was several weeks ago, when my parents, that is my mom, stepdad and my siblings had a wonderful dinner here. Graduation treat daw nila sa akin.”

“How many brothers and sisters do you have?” Richard asked, wanting to know Maya’s family too.

“One brother and a sister, both years younger than I am since they are my mom’s kids with my Daddy Mark, my stepdad, pero we are close naman. Makukulit nga lang ang mga iyon.” Maya said fondly. “Ikaw?”

“I’m an only child. Kaya heto, I’m 27 years old na pero my mom calls me pa rin regularly to check on me.” Richard said, smiling. “When I was a kid, I wished I had siblings too. Parang mas masaya. I do have cousins, though, na almost the same age as me, kaya not so bad naman not having a sibling.”

“Masaya naman ang may mga kapatid. Iyon nga lang, minsan, I don’t see them often. I also have cousins in the Philippines na parang mga kapatid ko na rin. They are in Oriental Mindoro.” Maya added.

“Oh, so your family was from there!” Richard remarked. “Marami ka pang relatives doon or nandito na rin sila sa States?”

“Marami, including my Mamang, that is, my maternal grandmother. Kami lang ng mom ko ang nandito, though may mga iba siyang medyo malayo nang kamag-anak here. Mas gusto ko nga roon.” Maya said. “Iyon nga lang, this is home na rin since my mother migrated here after she married Daddy Mark. My dad died when I was a kid.”

“I agree. Me, too, I prefer the Philippines.” Richard said. “Nandoon rin ang parents ko and immediate family. Meron din dito, and the closest would be my cousin Rafi who is currently staying in my apartment with her family. Inaayos kasi ang bahay nila. So, in the meantime, dito ka muna sa New York and New Jersey?”

“Yes, depende pa rin. I promised kasi my parents I will return to the States after college so heto.” Maya said as she made a sweeping gesture and shrugged. “Then, I’m also applying for a job sa UN. Hopefully, and I’m really praying, that I will get in, kahit saan pa nila ako ipadala.” Maya told Richard as Cesar approached their table with the wine Richard ordered, and some antipasti.

Cesar showed Richard the wine for inspection. Richard nodded in acknowledgement that he had read the label and that it was the wine he ordered. The waiter then went through the ritual of wine tasting. Richard swirled the wine, tasted it, then nodded to the waiter, that everything is okay. Cesar, then poured wine in both Maya and Richard’s glasses. Then, he left them again to attend to other customers and check on their main course being prepared by the restaurant’s talented chef.

Richard lifted his wine glass, and offered Maya a toast. “Here’s to meetings and beginnings. Here’s to us, Maya. I’m glad to have met you.” He finished gazing at Maya warmly.

Maya smiled, felt herself blushing a bit, for some reason. “Here’s to us, Ricky. I’m glad to have met you too.”

They toasted, drank and then smiled intently at each other, hearts beating faster. Both felt that they are on the precipice, that something wonderful is starting, and it is just a matter of whether when they will take a leap for it.

“So, you plan to work for the UN? That’s good. In line also with your course.” Richard said, picking up the thread of their previous conversation.

“Yes, it’s a dream. It is one of the reasons why I took this course, and also why I learned all the languages I could learn in between, para mas may advantage ako when I apply.” Maya told Richard in between sipping her wine. Then she proceeded to talk animatedly about her adventures in language learning, that sometimes, she dreamed in whatever language she was studying.

Richard listened intently, talking passionately about her ideals and dreams, and what she would like to do to help make a better world. In the warm glow of the night, she looked so beautiful and full of life. He can listen to her for hours. In that instant, Richard had a realization, he is falling in love for the first time, despite his previous relationships, Alex included! His heart galloped and he felt breathless with the sudden rush of feelings for the wonderful woman before him. He needed to slow down, though, he just met her.

Maya, after a while, noticed that Richard was silent, and was just staring at her, while she was talking.

“Oh, sorry, Ricky. I got carried away. You should have stopped me.” Maya said sheepishly. “My mother said I have a tendency to talk a mile long when really feel strongly about something.”

“No, no, no, don’t be sorry Maya. I enjoyed listening to you. I admire your idealism and your dreams.” Richard assured Maya, at the same time, he was also thinking that if Maya directs the same passion for the man she loves or would love, then that person would be the luckiest guy in the world. “In fact, I can listen to you the whole night and I don’t think I will get bored.”

Maya blushed and gave Ricky the sweetest smile, and simply said,  “Thank you.”  She felt very happy at that moment. Normally, she is not chatty with a guy she just met, but she felt very comfortable with Richard. His dinner invitation was the first one she has accepted from a guy since she returned to the States. Others have invited her before, but she declined, not really interested.

Soon after, the rest of the food they ordered arrived and they proceeded to have a wonderful dinner. They chatted in between courses and never ran out of things to say and find out from each other. Before they knew it, they finished everything, including the wine, and the restaurant was about to close. They just forgot about the time and everyone around them as they were focused on finding everything they could about each other.

Maya found out that Richard studied at Harvard Business School for his postgraduate degree, that he spent a lot of years living in Boston, and also in New York while doing so. Now, he is here to study their operations here, as when he returns to the Philippines, he will assume a higher management position than the one he had at that time. She was surprised to know that he belongs to the Lim family that owns quite a number of big companies in the Philippines. He is so down to earth, acts like a regular guy, and dresses simply, though very elegantly.

Richard and Maya also found out that they have similar taste in literature, differ in the movies they enjoy watching, and that they both like the theater a lot. They promise to see all the show in Broadway while they are both in New York, or while Richard is there, as Maya said, she may have to wait for those job applications a while and continue with her job at the hotel.

“Hindi pa mahirap ang job mo doon, Maya?” Richard asked, thinking about Maya’s welfare. “It is an honorable job, of course, don’t get me wrong please.”

“Okay lang Richard, I like the job. Hindi naman siya ganoon kahirap. Mostly naman madali lang linisin the rooms. It was also something that came up when I was getting restless, staying at my parents’ house.” Maya replied. “I know, I could probably find something related to my course. But I consider this naman as part of that. I get to practice my language skills. Iba-ibang nationalities kaya ang guests sa hotel. Tapos the work naman will be a useful skill and experience if I get a job in the UN, doing work in remote parts of the globe.” Maya finished with a smile.

Richard liked Maya’s attitude and positivism. She is not a spoiled, rich girl, unlike some he knew that the measure of their universe was whether they have the latest designer stuffs or not. They got into talking about housework. Richard told Maya that his old nanny, Manang Fe, also taught him some housework. It was a useful skill when he moved to the States to study. They were laughing at an anecdote that Richard was telling when they both noticed the time!

‘Wow, we have been talking for hours, Ricky!” Maya remarked, realizing how late it was already. “Magsasara na yata sina Uncle Bobby.”

“Ikaw kasi, I like chatting with you. I forgot about the time.” Richard teased Maya. He really had a wonderful time and was feeling a bit sad that his evening with her was about to end. He then signaled for Cesar to approach them, and when waiter did, he asked for the bill.

Several minutes after they got Maya’s coat, said their goodbyes to Uncle Bobby and thanked him, they were out in the street leading to the hotel.

“Maya, I will take you home please, and no arguments on it.” Richard insisted. “I have a car in the hotel. Let us just get it.”

Maya was about to, but seeng Richard’s determined expression, she said yes. While they were walking back, she told him where she lives with Emman. They asked the hotel valet to get Richard’s car, which turned out to be a BMW. Richard opened the door for Maya, after thanking and tipping the valet. Soon after, they were on their way. Several minutes later, they arrived infront of a brownstone, which Maya told Richard has been converted into several small apartments. The apartment was a gift from her parents also. She didn’t want to take it, but it was one of her mother’s conditions in allowing her to live on her own in New York.

“Here we are.” Maya said as they were standing near the steps. “Would you like to come in and have coffee?”

“Thank you, Maya. Maybe next time na lang. Late na rin. Kailangan mo na ring mag-rest.” Richard said, gazing at Maya. “Thank you for a wonderful evening, Maya. I hope we can do this again.”

Maya smiled at Richard. “I had a wonderful time too, Ricky. Sure, just let me know.”

“O, you go in na.” Richard said.

“No, I will wait for you to drive away. Ingat ha.” Maya insisted. “Huwag kang mag-aalala sa akin, teritoryo ko ito, kahit paano.”

Richard gave Maya a warm smile, then said softly, “Good night, Maya.” Then turned to his car, when he remembered something.

“Maya wait.” He said, as he grabbed something from the back seat of the car. Then went back to where Maya was standing, holding a beautiful bouquet. “For you, thank you again for taking care of me.”

Maya was surprised, touched and she admitted, felt kilig, when she saw the flowers. “Ricky, you don’t have to, but thank you. It’s lovely.”

“Thank you again for a lovely evening. Good night. Bye. I’ll see you.” Richard said softly, meaningfully, then gave Maya a kiss on the cheek, before getting in his car, and driving off into the night, leaving Maya looking at the departing car, her mouth agape, hand on the cheek he just kissed.

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Only Love – Chapter 2

Chapter 2
Blossoming

Richard woke up early the following day. He felt so much better. Whatever virus he caught the past two days was flushed out of his system overnight. He was glad. He really hated getting sick. He also doesn’t like hospitals as a favorite uncle died in one after having a stroke and going into coma for a month. Until now, he can’t bear to be in a hospital. He would like to avoid it if he can.

Looking at the clock, Richard noticed that it was already 9 o’clock in the morning. He really slept a long time. As he got out of the bed to open the curtain and let some sunlight in, he saw the empty bowl of ramen on the side table by his bed. He smiled, remembering Maya’s thoughtfulness and caring. Who would have thought he would meet someone nice while lying in his bed, sick like a dog.

Soon, she will be here. Richard thought, calculating the time the cleaning service usually arrives at his room, judging by his previous experience the past several weeks he had been staying in the hotel. He is looking forward to seeing her again. He also hopes that she is the one assigned to his side of the hotel today and in the remaining time he is in New York.

Richard opted to stay in this hotel near the NYC headquarters of LHI, instead of renting an apartment, as it is more convenient.  Besides, he will just be in the city for three months or less, this time, depending on the amount of work he needed to do here. He does have an apartment in 5th Avenue, but his cousin Rafaela and her family are currently staying there while theirs is being remodelled and refurbished. Rafi said she and Charlie had some problems with the contractors they got that delayed their move. They were still in Richard’s apartment by the time he needed his place. It was easier for him to stay in a hotel than uproot Rafaela’s family.

Suddenly, Richard felt he needed a bath. He decided to do that before he tackles back the work he was doing before he got sick. He was working on some financial analysis of their operations here. His family’s company has varied interests, from manufacturing, import and export, shipping, communications and so on. He felt refreshed after his quick shower. He started brewing coffee. He need that to perk him up. He usually starts his day with a hot cup.

Richard was deep into the figures, graphs and charts he was studying on his laptop when the ringing of the door bell interrupted his concentration. He was startled at first, but his heart beat faster in anticipation when his brain registered who might be at the other side of the door. He checked the time. He was almost sure it is going to be her. He just feels it.

“Come in, please.” Richard said, waiting with bated breath, and he was not wrong. He gave Maya a very warm lopsided smile when he caught sight of her, holding her cleaning supplies. “Hello Maya. Good afternoon.”

“Good afternoon Mr. Lim, errr, Ricky pala.” Maya greeted, her heart skipping a beat with the handsome sight before her. Richard was wearing jeans and a t-shirt that showed off his muscular built. He also looked and smelled nice. It looked liked he had just been to the shower. His eyeglasses suits him.  She is drawn to everything she is seeing, especially that smile. “How are you?  Is the fever gone?”

“Oh, I’m okay now, Maya. Wala na akong fever. Thanks to the medicine you gave me, the ramen, and also a long, deep sleep. I slept the rest of the day after eating your very filling ramen, then the whole night, I slept like a baby.” Richard told the beautiful girl standing by the entrance of his room. She is really very lovely, even in the plain uniform she was wearing, with her heart-shaped face, pert nose, pouty lips, doe-shaped eyes framed by long lashes and her hair in a bun, making her beautiful face and high cheekbones more prominent. “Thank you very much again for your help yesterday, Maya. I really appreciate it.”

“That’s good to know. Akala ko dadalhin na kita sa hospital today.” Maya said, with a smile, getting a bit self-conscious all of a sudden, she, who always appear confident and sure of herself. “I was glad to be able to help you.”

They smiled at each other, content to do that for several seconds, until Maya realized that they were doing it again, just like yesterday.

“Is it a good time to clean the room? Busy ka yata. I can come back na lang after the last one I will be cleaning.” She suddenly asked, noticing the papers scattered on the desk by the window and his computer blinking figures , from what she could see where she was standing.

“Oh, it is okay. I need a break anyway. I’m getting cross-eyed na yata with all the figures I was looking at.” Richard assured Maya, then got up from the desk, and stretched his arms a bit, making his shirt hugged his muscular and well-toned body more, then went to the coffee maker in the corner. “Would you like a cup of coffee first before you clean?”

“None for me, thank you. But please go ahead. I had two cups na before I started my shift today.” Maya said as she started tidying up the room, a bit harder to do as she is used to doing it while the occupant was out. It is bad enough that she was very much aware of Richard already.

“Oh you like drinking coffee too?” Richard asked, wanting to find out her likes, dislikes and interests.

“Naku, yes, lalo na when I started working here.”  Maya replied.

“Matagal ka na ba here?” Richard asked as he sat by the floor-to-ceiling window of the room, with his cup, looking at her as he sips his hot brew.

“You mean, here sa NY, or sa hotel or sa States?” Maya asked.

“Yes to all.” Richard clarified, smiling, wanting to know everything he could about this girl that so fascinates him. He can see her in a runway or in television  or movies as an actress or as maybe as flight attendant and yet, she is here, cleaning rooms, not that there is anything wrong with that. He just felt that she belongs somewhere else. He felt there is something so much more to her than being a cleaning staff in a hotel. He sense a depth in her that draws him a lot. It was evident in the way she speaks and carries herself.

“Oh, dito sa NYC, bago lang, since I started this job several weeks ago. My family lives in  New Jersey. I grew up there, well, sort of, since I also spent my young life in the Philippines. We moved here when I was a kid, tapos every summer vacation and long holidays, I was in the Philippines. Then, I spent the last four years or so in Manila, studying.” Maya said as she removed Richard’s beddings and started putting on the new one on. “Magulo ba? I shuttled back and forth kasi. I like it there. Mas gusto ko nga sa Pilipinas.”

“No, no, I will do this. This is my job. Just enjoy your coffee.” Maya protested and shooed away Richard, gently as he tried to help her with the other corner.

Richard went back to his old place by the window. “Oh you mean, you studied in the Philippines, instead of here?” He asked, intrigued.

“Yes, I went to PUS.” Maya said simply, then asked Richard, “Hw about you, are you here on business?”

“Yes, I am. I also finished my undergraduate degree at PUS. But I think I was already finished when you started there. Otherwise, we would have met.” Richard remarked offhand.

Maya smiled at that. “Are you sure we would have met kung nagkasabay tayo ng time sa university? Ang laki kaya ng PUS. Saka magkaiba tayo ng course, medyo magkalayo pa. I took up Development Communication. You, I think took up a management course.”

“I think we would have. I had a feeling we would.” Richard insisted enigmatically, gazing at Maya meaningfully. “Even if you were right, I took up a management course, somehow we would have met. See, of all places nga, we met here.”

Maya didn’t know how to interpret Richard’s statement so she just let it passed, then shifted the conversation. “How long will you be in New York?”

“I’m not sure yet, depending on the amount of work in store for me here.” Richard said, then shrugged. “I’m not in a hurry to go back to the Philippines, anyway. I might combine a short vacation with this trip.”

Richard realized he really wanted to do that now. Before, he was just thinking of it. But the idea of staying in New York longer just got better. Besides, he needed to get away from stuffs, or specifically, from someone for a while. Before he could ask Maya more about her course and her work, his mobile phone rang. He looked at the screen and saw that it is his mom. He smiled.

“Maya, please excuse me. It is my mom.” He said, wondering why his mom is calling. She just called the day before he got sick.

“Oh, okay lang. I need to clean the bathroom anyway.” Maya said as she moved towards the direction of the bathroom to give Richard privacy. She closed the bathroom door as she started cleaning.

“Hi Mama!” Richard greeted his mom, Esmeralda. He always likes chatting with his mother. He is closer to her than his father who is a bit strict and distant, always busy with his various businesses when he was growing up. He knew he loved him in in his own way, but there were times he had a hard time believing it. “Napatawag ka po. Not that I don’t want to hear from my beautiful, bubbly mother.”

“Naku, Ricky. Ikaw talaga, son. Binobola mo na naman ang mama mo.” Donya Esmeralda laughed heartily at other end of the line. “Kumusta ka na diyan?”

“Okay naman po ako. I got sick, flu lang naman. Pero magaling na ako.” Richard said as he transferred to the armchair by the window with his cup of coffee.

“Naku, son, take good care of yourself. Siguro puyat ka na ng puyat and trabaho ng trabaho. Take enough rest. You don’t have to be a workaholic like your Papa. You are young, enjoy life.” Donya Esmeralda admonished her son. “Balance, son, balance.”

“Yes, Ma, I know. Don’t worry, after the work here, I will take a short vacation.”  Richard informed his mother.

“Good, good. You need it, especially after your….” Donya Esmeralda said.

Richard interrupted his mother. “Mama, don’t worry about me. I’m really, really okay. It was for the best. Alexandra and I were not really compatible. We are just too different. I thought I have learned to love with her, but I realized I didn’t. It was not love, it was just a fleeting attraction. Hindi ko na sana pinabayaan pang umabot sa engagement. I thought it was what I wanted too, but it was not.”

“Yes, I know. I understand son. Ito rin naman kasing Papa mo, ang tingin sa iyo bata pa rin. He was also treating your lovelife as part of his business negotiation. Pero, she was asking me about you. I called you up na kasi kinukulit ako ni Alexandra. Hindi mo raw kasi sinasagot ang mga tawag niya. She does not know where you are. Rafaela naman will not tell her din.” Donya Esmeralda narrated. “Kausapin mo na kaya.”

“Mama, I think wala na kaming dapat pang pag-usapan. I thought we understood each other when we parted ways. Maayos naman kaming naghiwalay.” Richard insisted. He didn’t really want to talk to his ex-fiancee anymore. He really thought they understood each other when they parted ways. It was not a smooth parting, but he really thought Alexandra understood, got his point and his lengthy explanation why she and him will not work out in the long run, and capitulated, even if it was a bit out of her character to do so.

“Okay, ikaw ang bahala, son. It’s your life.” Donya Esmeralda said, resigned  to the fact that she can’t sway her son anymore once he had made up his mind. Richard can be very stubborn, especially for something he really believes in.

“Thanks a lot, Ma. I love you.” Richard said.

“O siya, siya, hindi na ako makikialam. And I will not tell her where you are.” Donya Esmeralda said. “I love you too, son. See you soon. I have to go na. Your Tita Stella is waiting for me sa South Curves. We are having lunch to discuss the latest project of Lim Foundation.”

“Bye, Mama. See you soon.” Richard ended the call, put his phone down and stared at the view, but not really seeing it the fascinating New York skyline.

This is how Maya saw him after she emerged from the bathroom. Richard seemed to be deep in thought, she mused. She hated to interrupt his musing. But she needed to get going. Suddenly, he looked up, focused on her, and gave her another of his charming lopsided grin.

“You’re done na?” He asked, as if waking up from whatever maudlin thoughts he was having.

“Yes, I was about to say goodbye to you na nga sana. Kaso, parang ang lalim ng iniisip mo.” Maya remarked as she started assembling her cleaning stuffs.

“Oh, wala iyon. I don’t want to think about it na rin.” Richard said, then asked. “What time do you finish your shift?’

“In two hours or so?” Maya replied, curious on where his question is leading to.

“Good! Do you have any plans, some place you need to be, or a date after your shift?” Richard asked earnestly, hoping she would answer negative to all.

“Hmmm, wala naman. I will just go home with Emman.” Maya said.

Richard suddenly looked crestfallen upon hearing Emman’s name. She is already taken, he thought. May boyfriend na si Maya. “Oh, you are going home with your boyfriend, then.”

Maya smiled, then corrected Richard’s assumption. “Oh no, Emman is my housemate. He works here also. Siya iyong pinabili ko ng ramen, and he is gay. Pinoy din siya. You should meet him. Funny iyon and very masayahin.”

Richard felt immense relief, and very happy, after hearing Maya’s clarification. Everything is alright  again in the world. There is something very strong pulling him to this girl, for some reason.

“If you are free then, would you like to have dinner with me?” Richard asked suddenly, feeling a bit nervous.

Maya was surprised at Richard’s invitation, at the same time, her heart skipped a beat. Then, she tried to calm herself with the thought that maybe, like what he said yesterday, Richard would just like to thank her lang for the ramen.

“I would like to. Pero are you sure you are okay na? Baka mabinat ka kapag lumabas ka. Medyo malamig na. Saka hindi mo naman ako kailangang ilibre because I bought you that ramen.” She said.

“Maya, it was not because of that. I would really, really like to have dinner with you. I want to get to know you better.” Richard said directly, wanting fervently for Maya to say yes. “Sige na, have a pity na on poor me, all alone in New York.”

“Hahahaha, as if…I’m sure, marami kang kakilala or may kamag-anak ka rito.” Maya guessed. “Saka you are working here for now, di ba. So may officemates ka dito.”

Richard smiled sheepishly and admitted yes, may cousin siya sa city, then some relatives of his father, and yes he knows people here. But insisted that he would still like to have dinner with Maya, that she is the one he would like to have dinner with. Maya said yes with a smile. Richard could really be very charming when he wanted something, she realized.

“I need to go home first. Let me know na lang where we can meet.” Maya told Richard. She only had jeans and a simple blouse in her locker downstairs. She had an inkling that those are not going to be suitable for the dinner with Richard.

“Oh, I can pick you up na lang. Where do you live?” Richard said.

“No, huwag na. Maaabala ka pa. I will take the subway na lang and meet you later.” Maya insisted, not wanting to inconvenience Richard. Basides, kagagaling lang niya sa sakit.

Richard agreed, seeing that Maya was adamant about meeting him somewhere instead of being picked up. However, he has plans of taking Maya home. They agreed to meet at a cozy Italian restaurant near the hotel. Maya said goodbye to Richard to clean the last room on the floor. She had a goofy grin on her face as she cleaned, looking forward to having dinner with Richard.

Richard on other hand, went back to his paperwork. However, he had a hard time concentrating on the figures before him. His mind was already on the ‘date’ he will have with Maya. He felt very happy thinking about it. Just the thought of it, removed all the sad feelings he had earlier as he stared out of the window, thinking of what happened with him and the girl he was supposed to get married to.

In such a short time, Maya was occupying his thoughts, one thing that Alexandra never really managed to do in their tumultous and volatile relationship. Maya is different. Richard already had an inkling then that Maya will be an important part of his life.

 

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Only Love – Chapter 1

Chapter 1
Meetings and beginnings

2006

Maya busily went from room to room, doing the job she was supposed to do, as a cleaning staff of a hotel in New York City. She learned of this job opening through a friend of her stepdad. She wanted a job in between pursuing higher studies or waiting for a job opening at one of the United Nations’ agencies she applied for, or anything related to the Development Communication course she finished. Her plan was to go back to school if nothing turns up by the time the new semester is about to start. A masteral degree will really help her a lot, anyway, with the field she want to be. She hated being idle so she looked for a job. Besides, since she was finished with university and was back in the States, she didn’t want to be dependent on her mother and stepfather. It was good enough that they sent her to a very good school, paid for her tuition and bought her a place to stay while she was studying.

Teresita Dela Rosa, Maya’s mother moved to America, several years after the death of her father, Arturo, when Maya was around 10 years old. She met an American through a friend, remarried and uprooted them to New Jersey. Maya, even at a young age, expressed her wish that she wanted to stay with her grandmother, Mamang, in Oriental Mindoro, but her mother explained to her that her place was with her and she will get use to  the life in their new country. Her stepfather, turned out to be the nicest guy, after her dad. He treated her like a real daughter and it didn’t change, even after her siblings were born. Her Daddy Mark is like a real dad to her. She also loves her half-brother and half-sister, Luke Andrew and Nikki Grace very much. Despite their more 15 years age gap, she is very close to them.

However, home was still the Philippines, for some reason she can’t explain, the pull of the old country was very strong despite her very nice life in the US.  She spent most of her summer vacations and school breaks in Mindoro, with Mamang and her cousins, Cristina Rose and Simon, children of her Tito Jose and Tita Pilar. When she finished high school, she persuaded her parents to let her study in a university in the Philippines. She promised them she will return to the States as soon as she finish her course. Maya was happy in the Philippines and living alone was not really a difficulty since she has an independent streak even when she was very young.

Now, she is back, in New York, two months after her graduation, sort of, in a limbo. She tried to enjoy the time in between working or studying again, spending time with her family. But after two weeks, she was feeling house crazy.  She told her mother about it. Her dad heard their conversation, understood her restlessness, and suggested asking his friend, Jeffrey, if there is a job opening in the hotel where he was working as a manager. There was, he said after two days, but not in reception but as part of the cleaning staff. Maya told her stepdad that it was okay with her. She applied and got the job.

Maya likes the routine of the job. Besides, she was no stranger to housework as Mamang and her mom taught her to clean after herself and help out in the house. She didn’t grow up as a pampered princess, despite the fact that her stepdad is well-off, and her Mamang is also comfortably off, with all her lands and businesses in San Nicolas. This job suits her fine for now. Her supervisor was nice enough and the hours are okay. She also made fast friends with her colleagues, especially Emman, another Filipino working in the hotel. He is gay and fun to be with. He ended up sharing Maya’s small apartment. She was happy to have Emman as a roommate and it made her parents feel so much better too. Kampante na sila since may kasama na siya sa bahay.

Maya rang the bell of room 1115, checking if the person staying there was inside. This is the second to the last room on this floor. It has the best view and quite spacious. It could pass for a small apartment. In fact, it is much bigger than the current place she is sharing with Emman. She was told by her colleague who was previously assigned to this section that the guest staying there is a very handsome Asian, probably Chinese, very nice and he has been staying in the hotel for quite sometime already. It seemed like Doris, her colleague already had a crush on him, the way she waxed poetic about this guy. Maya just shrugged it off. At that moment, getting attracted, crushing on someone or falling in love was the farthest thing from Maya’s mind. She listed down the goals she needed to accomplish before she is 30 and falling in love and settling down were somewhere in the bottom.

Maya rang the bell again and when no one replied, she opened the door with her card key. She was surprised to see someone on the bed, with the comforter moving a bit. She was about to apologize for disturbing whoever was there when she heard a moan, as if the one who uttered it was in pain. Maya threw away her reservation and approached the bed. It looked like the occupant of the room, a guy, was in need of help.

“H-h-hello, sorry for disturbing you. I thought the room was empty. Are you okay, Sir?”  Maya tentatively asked the lone occupant of the bed, his face to the side where she was, but buried under the thick comforter up to his chin. He was shaking.

“C-c-c-old.” was all he said. By now she has a pretty good idea that the guy in the bed was sick. She slowly approached the guy, asked him if she can touch his forehead to check if he is running a temperature as she can’t find a thermometer nearby. He just nodded.  She almost recoiled from the heat her hand came into contact with. He was running a very high fever!

“Oh my God, you are running a very high temperature! You need to go to the hospital!” Maya told the guy in the bed.

“No, no, no doctor please or hospital.” The chinito guy stressed. She saw him focusing with much effort on her face and then he appealed to her in English. “Please, could you just get me some medicine. It is on the table. I think I just have flu. I’m very thirsty too, but I feel boneless at the moment. I don’t think I cant stand.”

Maya looked at the direction he pointed out, and saw some tablets on the table. She grabbed a paracetamol among the pile, and gave it to the guy who tried to recline, sort of, against the head board of the bed, still covered up to his chin, wearing his glasses now. She also gave him a glass of water.

“Thank you very much.” He told her simply. He took the medicine from her, swallowed it, followed it up with a big gulp of water. He didn’t stop drinking until the glass was empty. He did look very thirsty.

“You’re welcome. Are you sure, you don’t want to go the hospital? Or at least let me inform the front desk that you are sick so they can get a doctor for you.” Maya suggested to the chinito guy.

“No, please, I will really be okay. I just got a bad case of flu. It happened before. Thank you for you help Ms….” The chinito guy asked Maya.

“Oh, I’m Maya Dela Rosa, Sir.” Maya said, really looking at the guy and noticing how handsome he is. Her colleague was right!  He looked like to be in his late 20s, several years older than her.

“Dela Rosa? Maya? Filipino-American?” The guy asked again. croaking a bit.

“Errr, yes Sir.” Maya replied simply, still not sure where this is leading.

“I’m Richard Lim, Ms. Dela Rosa. I’m a Filipino too, Filipino of Chinese ancestry.” He managed to say weakly before he winced in pain again.

“Mr. Lim, I think you should rest, and not talk anymore. If you want, I will just come back to clean your room. I can also get you a bowl of soup. It would do you good, I think.” Maya suggested.

“Oh no, no.” Richard said. “You can clean the room. It is okay. I don’t mind. Besides, I like the company. I have been cooped up in this room since yesterday afternoon.”

“You have been sick since yesterday? You should have called the front desk, Sir.” Maya was surprised to know.

“I’m okay. This happened to me before.” Richard said. “And please call me Ricky. May I call you Maya, too?”

Maya nodded, then really looked at him. She saw a wan smile on his still very handsome face, despite being sick. She was instantly drawn to this guy. Magaan ang pakiramdam niya. Her heart also beat faster by just looking at him, which she found strange. She smiled at him. “Oh, okay, Ricky. I will go ahead then and clean your room. I will do it as quietly as I could.”

Maya went on with her task with a graceful efficiency and cheerfulness that Richard like. He was also instantly got drawn to this beautiful girl. Yes, he noticed that even in his sick state. She also seems very nice, kind and caring. But before his thoughts could go farther, he felt a sudden tiredness. He laid down again and close his eyes. Before his head fully hit the pillow, he was asleep again.

Maya finished cleaning the bathroom, then she moved quietly around the room, so as not to wake up Richard, and tidied up. There was not much to tidy up anyway, as the room was relatively in order. She guessed that Richard is a very organized person when he is not sick. When she was done, she tiptoed out of the room, closed the door without a sound and proceeded to the last room she needed to clean before heading home.

However, Maya can’t help but felt worried about Richard’s condition. It looked like he has not eaten since he got sick, judging by what he said earlier. Then, suddenly, she thought of a way of help him out before she leaves for the day. She called up Emman, who was already off duty and was just waiting for her, and requested him to buy a big bowl of ramen from their favorite place one block away from the hotel. Since she knows Emman and all his questions, especially with something out of her usual norm, she also told him beforehand not to ask any question, and that she will explain everything when they get home. Emman arrived with a big bowl of very hot ramen when Maya was about finished with the last room.

“Sis, here. Hindi na talaga ako magtatanong kahit curious na curious na curious na ako kung bakit ka nagpabili nito samantalang pauwi na tayo at saka we just ate. Tapos pinadala mo pa rito. Pag-uwi na lang natin ang million dollar questions ko.” Emman said with a raised eyebrow. “I will wait for you downstairs na lang.”

Maya thanked Emman and then entered Richard’s room again, wanting to quietly place the bowl on the side table so he has at least something to eat when he wakes up kahit medyo malamig na. Richard’s eyes were still close, so he seemed to be in deep sleep pa.  But suddenly, he opened his eyes after she put the bowl on the table.

“Maya?” Richard said as he tried to focus on her, and sat up.

“Errr, yes. I thought you might want something to eat. Baka kasi kahapon ka pa hindi kumakain. Pinabili ko ito. This is good. My mom always give me a hot bowl of noodles or lugaw or basta any hot soup when I’m sick.” Maya told Richard hurriedly. She never intended for him to see her leaving the ramen.

“I hope this is okay.” She finished, trailing off.

Richard looked at Maya, touched at her gesture for a stranger, and her caring.  He gave her a lopsided smile. He actually felt better after taking the medicine and his nap.

“Thank you very much, Maya, for your kindness. You don’t have to, but I’m very grateful. Your guess was correct, I haven’t eaten since yesterday. I didn’t have appetite din kasi. But now with that mouthwatering smell, I think I can eat something na.

Maya felt a bit self-conscious with Richard’s smile and stare. She can feel the effect of his charm, which he was unconsciously showing her. My God, may sakit pa siya ng lagay na ito, she mused.

“No worries, Ricky, lalo na para sa isang kababayan.” She simply said, thinking that it was very sad din naman to get sick in a foreign land and in a hotel pa, malayo sa mga kamag-anak. “Paano I will go ahead, a friend is waiting for me downstairs. Tapos na rin ang shift ko.”

“Oh okay. Thank you ulit. By the way, how much do I owe you for the food?” Richard belatedly asked.

“Naku, hindi na. Okay na iyan.”  Maya stressed, then gave Richard the full wattage of her smile that transformed her already lovely face. “Libre ko na.”

Richard smiled back. “Thank you, Maya. When I get better, it’s my turn.”

“You don’t have to….” Maya insisted.

“Basta, I will.” Richard countered. “And please don’t argue with a sick person, hindi ka mananalo.” He finished with a smile.

They smiled and gazed at each other. When they realized that they have been doing it quiet some time, Maya hastily said goodbye. Richard continued to gaze at her departing figure. He stayed like that even after Maya had closed the door silently. He felt so much better, happier for some reason, he can’t explained at that time. Parang nagka-energy ulit siya. He finished his ramen with a happy smile. Maya, on the other hand, felt like there was spring on her steps when she took the service elevator and ended her shift for the day.

 

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Crossroads – Epilogue

Epilogue
Honeybun and Babe (and the little munchkins)

Maya and Richard exited the busy terminal at past three o’clock in the afternoon. Richard insisted that he will take care of their luggage. Hand intertwined  with Maya’s, he led his wife to a waiting taxi by the curb. The driver helped Richard put their luggage in the compartment. Then, Richard escorted Maya to the back seat of the obviously, new taxi. As soon as they did, the driver gave them a huge smile and a very warm greeting.

“Magandang hapon po sa inyo, Sir Richard, Mam Maya. Congratulations po sa kasal ninyo.” The kindly, old driver, greeted the happy couple.

“Good afternoon din po sa inyo Mang Gener.” Richard said smiling, while Maya was puzzled at the exchange. How come the driver knows them!

“Good afternoon din po sa inyo, Mang Gener. Kilala niyo po kami, or si Ricky?” Maya asked the driver, trying to recall if she had met him before.

But before the driver can reply, Richard held Maya’s hand, brought it to his lips, then smiled at her lovingly.

“Honeybun, hindi mo ba siya naaalala?”

Maya looked at the driver again, then noticed the name of the cab they were in, then it clicked in her brain.

“Manong, ikaw iyon!!! Iyong taxi driver namin ni Ricky noong nag-agawan kami sa taxi!” She said happily. “Saan at paano po kayo nagkita ulit nitong si Ricky?”

“Mam Maya ako nga po iyon. Ang saya-saya ko nga po nang malaman kong nagkatuluyan pala kayo ni Sir!” Mang Gener told her, as he started the car and  navigated the roads going to Quezon City. “Akalain niyo, matapos kayong mag-agawan ng taxi, sa kasalan nauwi ang lahat. Sabi ko na nga po, parang bagay na bagay kayo noong sakay ko kayo pareho!”

Richard and Maya gazed at each other lovingly and smiled, both remembering their meeting. They have come a long way since that day, more than six months ago. Who would have thought.

“Pero, itong taxi niyo, paano po na “Honeybun and Babe” na ang pangalan?” Maya asked, thinking that it was not a coincidence that the cab bore hers and Richard’s endearment for each other.

“Errr, tungkol po diyan, mas mabuti po sigurong si Sir Richard na ang magsabi sa inyo.” Mang Gener smiled, thinking of the day this nice gentleman sought him out and offered him a lifeline, without him knowing it. He had saved his family. He never thought it would happen to him by taking in this very nice couple to their destination.

“My love,” Richard started, taking his cue from the taxi driver, “even though we would eventually met through Cris, even if we didn’t share a taxi ride, I felt that our journey started, and became more meaningful, colorful, and something to tell our children and grandchildren when we shared that taxi ride. That would always be special to me. The idea of seeking Mang Gener out started with the MMS you sent to Cris, which I asked from her, with the idea of thanking Mang Gener in some way, for unknowingly throwing us together.”

Maya smiled, remembering the photos she took of Mang Gener’s ID and the name of the taxi they were in, which she sent to Cris. “Yes, I remembered you telling me you want to thank him.”

“I had my assistant looked for Mang Gener. Liza found him kaagad. So, pinuntahan ko siya doon. Malapit lang naman sa office ko.”

“Opo, Mam. Noon po kasi, medyo wala po akong biyahe, kasi po iyong taxi kung saan ko kayo naisakay, nasira po. Kaya nag-aabang po ako ng pwedeng imaneho at maka-extra man lang para sa pambili ng pagkain naming mag-anak at pambaon ng anak sa eskwela.” Mang Gener narrated.

“Nagpasalamat po si Sir Richard sa akin, tapos ibinigay niya ang card niya matapos kaming magkakwentuhan. Sabi po niya kung may kailangan ako, tumawag lang doon. Akala ko po, doon na natapos ang lahat, pero pagkalipas ng mahigit isang linggo, ipinatawag niya ako sa office niya, tapos ibinigay niya po sa akin itong taxi. Hindi nga po ako makapaniwala! Pakiramdam ko noon, tumama ako sa lotto!” Mang Gener continued.

“Talaga po, Mang Gener! Mabuti po naalala niyo pa itong si Ricky nang magkita kayo sa garahe!” Maya smiled and gazed lovingly at her generous husband.

“Mam, mahirap naman po kayong makalimutan ni Sir.” The driver smiled. “Ang sweet niyo nga pong magtalo doon sa agawan niyo sa taxi. Saka wala pa po akong mga pasahero na nagkaagawan na katulad ninyo.”

Maya and Richard smiled, and looked at each other lovingly. Forgetting Mang Gener for a while, and where they were, they kissed sweetly. Maya have a lot of questions for Richard, but she would ask him later.

They chatted with Mang Gener all the way to Eastwood. Maya found out that he has two children and one of them was supposed to be in college, the other one in high school. Mang Gener said  his panganay will go back to school again since may taxi na siya and steady income. He told them that he really want his children to have a better life. Iyon na lang daw ang maipapamana nilang mag-asawa sa mga anak nila. Soon after, they arrived at their place.

“Mang Gener, thank you po sa pagsundo niyo sa amin ni Maya.” Richard told the driver as they were standing at the driveway of their building. He also gave Mang Gener an envelope.

“Naku, Sir Richard, huwag na po ito. Sobra-sobra na po ang naitulong niyo sa akin at sa pamilya ko. Dahil sa inyo makakapag-aral ulit ang anak kong panganay. Hindi niyo lang po alam kung gaano ko na katagal na pinangarap magkaroon ng sariling taxi. Dahil sa inyo, malaki na ang naiuuwi kong kita sa pamilya ko.” Mang Gener put the envelope back in Richard’s hand.

“Mang Gener, huwag niyo po sanang tanggihan, please.” Richard insisted, pressing the envelope on the kind, old man’s hand. “Gusto ko po sana talagang maging bahagi ito ng celebration ng marriage namin ni Maya. Alam ko naman po na hindi niyo sasayangin ang lahat.”

Maya also prodded Mang Gener to accept the envelope, having an inkling that this gesture is important for her generous husband. She still remember the caretakers in Mindoro that he also helped. “Mang Gener, tanggapin niyo na po. Hala kayo, malulungkot po kami. Parte po iyan ng celebration ng wedding namin ni Ricky. Malaking bahagi po kayo noon. Imagine, sa lahat po ng mangyayari sa amin sa araw na iyon, para po kaming pinagtagpo ng tadhana sa taxi ninyo!”

With husband and wife, insisting, Mang Gener accepted the envelope. He thanked them profusely, then said goodbye to this wonderful, generous couple na parang guardian angels niya. When they went inside their building, he looked inside the envelope, and felt like going out and thanking them profusely again with what were inside it. Feeling ni Mang Gener at that time, kahit isanlibong ‘thank you’ kulang para sa kabaitan ng mag-asawang Lim.

Inside the envelope, Mang Gener discovered two educational plans for his kids, already paid for, aside from a generous amount of money, for his wife to start a sari-sari store, according to the note he found in it. Mang Gener thought, hinding-hindi niya sasayangin ang oportunidad na ibinigay sa kanya ng mag-asawang Lim. Habambuhay siyang tatanaw ng utang na loob sa mga ito.

Maya and Richard, hands intertwined, rode the elevator to Maya’s old unit, their home for now, sharing a loving smile. They decided that they will just sell Richard’s unit and live in this one. It is on the same tower as Cafe M. Richard also said that it is easier for him to move as he just moved to his unit anyway. Manang Fe went back to the Lim family home. She offered to stay with the couple if they need her. Maya and Richard thanked her but told her, Donya Esemeralda also misses her and that they can fend for themselves. Tutal, they told her, may cleaning lady naman sila. They assured Manang Fe na huwag na silang intindihin at mag-relax na lang. Richard also teased Maya that if she will be the one to move to the other unit, baka ilang linggo na hindi pa sila tapos maglipat sa dami ng gamit niya. It earned him a loving pinch from Maya.

“Home sweet home, my husband!” Maya said happily, as she opened the door of their home for now. She thinks they will need another one with the coming of their baby.

“Yes, my wife.” Richard said. Then just like in Vigan, carried Maya in his arms from the door, across the living room,  to their favorite armchair by the window. He sat down and adjusted his position so Maya can sit comfortably in his lap.

“Happy, my love?” He asked, as he played with her hair.

“Of course, Babe! Sobra-sobra! I’m the happiest girl in the world, with a husband like you.” Maya lovingly said, then she reached out, cupped Richard’s face and gave him a kiss.

Richard responded, deepened the kiss, and before long, husband and wife were sharing another very hot kiss. Richard’s hand crept up inside the loose blouse Maya was wearing, and started playing with her breasts. His move drove her crazy and started touching Richard also everywhere she could.

When they can’t get enough of touching each othee through their clothes, Richard carried Maya to their bedroom, and made passionate love to her the whole afternoon. They fell aslept after. After taking a shower together, Richard and Maya, went back to the living room, cuddled together and just relaxed.

“Babe, now back to my question, how come you ended up giving Mang Gener a taxi at saka ang name pa “Honeybun and Babe”, which I liked a lot by the way. It was a very generous thing to do at hindi na ako nagtataka, knowing what you did for Manong Benito and Manang Linda, and their kids.” Maya said while she settled comfortably in between Richard’s legs and his broad chest.

Richard put his chin on his wife shoulder while his arms were around her waist, hugging her from behind. “You know, my love, I will always be grateful for you coming to my life. Like I have mentioned, I wanted to thank Mang Gener, which I did noong pinahanap ko siya. I also found out during the course of paghahanap sa kanya how good a person he is. Kilala siya lahat ng mga kasama niya and lahat sila without Liza asking volunteered na ang bait niya, mahusay makisama at matulungin kahit pangkain na lang ng pamilya.

When Liza reported back to me, I was thinking of ways to thank him. Pero at the time I met him, wala ako masyadong concrete idea pa. Sabi ko sa sarili ko I will just return. In the meantime, I left him my card. Pero noong paalis na ako ng garahe, after I found out na extra-extra na lang siya, I thought of giving him the taxi, for him to earn for his family. Tapos, I want something to remember our meeting din, so the name of the cab.” Richard happily narrated to his Honeybun.

“I just felt tha helping someone would be the best way to thank God for bringing you into my life. Then to celebrate our marriage, I want to do something more for Mang Gener and his family. I called him from Vigan and requested that he pick us up. I want you to see ‘our special taxi’. Then give him the gift.” He finished while lovingly kissing his wife’s shoulder blades.

“What was in the envelope ba, Babe?” Maya asked, loving her husband more with his unending and imaginative ways of showing her how much he loves her and how happy he is with their lives together.

Richard told her about the educational plan for the kids, and also a little puhunan for Mang Gener’s wife, Pilar. “Liza found out na matatalino ang mga bata. Honor students. Natigil lang iyong panganay kasi humina ang kita ni Mang Gener sa pagta-taxi. Tumaas daw ang boundary, mahal pa ang gas, tapos kalaban niya pa ang matinding traffic. Tapos the wife naman, earning money from sewing rags na ibinebenta sa kalye. I just thought they deserve our help naman. Di ba, mas meaningful, kaysa naman dole-out.”

“I love you, Babe.” Maya said, teary-eyed. “You are a very good person and the best husband in the whole world.”

“I love you too, my Honeybun.” Richard said, happy to see his wife happy, then hugged her tight and then caressed her tummy. “And you too, little buddy.”

The rest of the day was spent in their apartment, having a quiet time together.  They ordered dinner from a nearby restaurant. They chatted like old married couple, marked by their ‘Honeybun and Babe’ banters. The night, like all their nights since they first made love, was spent pleasuring each other, discovering each other’s body more.

The following day, Richard and Maya went to Dr. Gonzaga’s clinic. Luckily, she had a schedule that day. She confirmed that Maya was, indeed, 12 weeks pregnant. When they returned home, Maya and Richard called their families and told them of the good news.

“Son, I’m so happy. Excited na ako sa magiging apo namin ng Papa mo.” Donya Esmeralda said, while Don Roberto listened on, smiling.

“Esme, sabihin mo kina Maya and Ricky na ako na ang bahalang mag-alaga sa apo ko, paglabas.” He added. “Isasama ko sa paggo-golf ko.”

“Hay naku, Roberto, hindi pa pwede kapag baby pa.” Donya Esmeralda teased her husband, then went back to her son and daughter-in-law, “Hay naku, itong Papa niyo, volunteering to be the baby’s yaya. Isasama raw sa golf course.”

Richard and Maya laughed. They said goodbye to Richard’s parents after promising to see them after their return from Mindoro. Then they called Maya’s mom and sister. Patty activated the speaker phone.

“Maya, anak, Richard, I’m so happy to know. Magkakaapo na kami ng Dad mo!” Mommy Tessie said, teary-eyed. “I’m sure, masayang-masaya rin ang daddy mo, anak kung nabubuhay pa siya.”

“Yes!!!! Ate Maya, Kuya Ricky, magiging tita na ako!” Patty chirped in happily. “Sana kamukha ko!”

“Hay naku, Patricia, bago ikaw, ako muna.” Mommy Tessie teased her other daughter. “Saka sana, hindi maging kasing kulit mo itong pamangkin mo! O sige na mga anak, enjoy your honeymoon, ha. Tawag na lang kayo pagbalik niyo ng Maynila.”

“Sige po, Mommy Tessie. Baka po, we can have a celebration dinner for the baby, with Mama and Papa.” Richard suggested to his mother-in-law.

“Oh, that would be nice. Sige, let Patty and I know when. Ingat kayo. I love you, mga anak.”

“I love you, Mom. You took, kulit little sister. See you.” Maya can’t just helped but egged her sister.

Next they called were Cris and Stephen, who were then in Palawan. Stephen went diving, Cris said while she stayed in their cottage, resting. Pagod pa raw siya sa biyahe nila.

“Talaga namang hindi lang pala mala-tornado ang ligawan niyo, pati pala sa pagiging parents. Boston Marathon lang ang peg!” Cris teased. “Nauna pa kayong naka-finish line sa akin ha.”

“Hahahahaha, bessie. True. Ito kasing pinsan mo eh…..” Maya said.

“Ha, bakit ako. Ikaw nga itong…..” Richard countered.

“Hahahaha, kayo talagang mag-HoneyBabe, walang kakupas-kupas.” Cris laughed. “Congratulations sa baby ha. O ninang ako niyan, ha.”

“Of course, pinsan, ikaw pa.” Richard assured his cousin.

“I’m sure Stephen will be glad to know. Hayan, maiinggit pati iyon sa inyo.” Cris said smiling.

They said goodbye to Cris after chatting with her and confirming the date they will see her and Stephen before they return to the States.

The following day, Richard and Maya flew to Mindoro with Captain Ventura and Captain Corpuz who congratulated them on their marriage. The two pilots will pick them up after two weeks, and they even teased na mukhang hindi na sila ma-i-stranded this time. Richard assured them that okay na okay lang namang ma-stranded. Maya laughed and blushed.

If Manang Linda prepared a lot of food the last time they were here, that was nothing compared to what they saw on the veranda this time, parang wedding reception ulit, with matching flowers and candles pa. Manang Linda said, this is to celebrate their marriage.

“Maligayang pagbati po sa inyo Sir Richard, Mam Maya.” Manang Linda said as she led the couple to the veranda.

“Thank you very much po Manang Linda.” Maya said. “Maraming salamat po dito. Ang dami nito, saluhan niyo kami ni Ricky.”

“Oo nga po Manang. Nasaan po si Manong Benito?” Richard added.

“Naku, Mam, Sir, salamat po. Tapos na po kami ni Benny. Para po sa inyo talaga iyan. Nandoon po si Benny sa kabilang isla, bumibili ng fresh seafood para sa inyo, para po bukas.” Manang Linda explain. “Maiwan ko po muna kayo. Enjoy po sa pananghalian niyo. Nasa kusina po ako kung may kailangan kayo.”

Richard and Maya thanked Manang Linda. They enjoyed the delicious food Manang prepared. Afterwards, they went for a walk, and ended up at their hammock at the other side of the island.

“Babe, it’s so very nice to be back here. This beats having a honeymoon abroad.”  Maya said as she nuzzled Richard’s neck as she laid very comfortably on his broad chest.

“I agree 101 percent, Honeybun. Feeling ko nasa private paradise tayo, lalo na at tayong dalawa lang ang maiiwan dito.” Richard said with a naughty grin.

Maya felt Richard’s teasing and intention in the way his voice change, sounding ‘bedroomy’. She smiled. She really love this very passionate side of her husband.

They stayed in the hammock most of the afternoon. When the sun was setting, they returned to the house. The caretakers were about to leave. They will stay in their house in the main island during the night and just come back for them for several hours during the daytime, giving them privacy.

Richard and Maya decided to take a swim, and have dinner at the beach afterwards.  They went to their room to change. Richard caught his breath when he saw what his wife was wearing, a very becoming and very sexy two-piece swimsuit, much more revealing than the one she wore the last time they were here.

“Wow! I love it my Honeybun!” Richard said, looking at Maya with desire in his eyes.

Maya’s whole being reacted to Richard’s heated gaze, added by the fact that  her husband was also wearing a fitted swimming shorts, that showed the shape of his hard length a lot. She also will never get tired of looking, and touching, his muscular chest.

They moved closer to each other, then started playing and touching, removing each other’s clothes, what little of it, hurriedly. They fell to the bed, and doused the fire they have created with their heated gazes. It was already quite dark when they made it to the beach with a big mat, a blanket, and a picnic hamper.

They had dinner first, feeding each other morsels of food, that also turned into a love play. They tested each other’s threshold of passion, with a touch here and there, and with their heated kisses and gazes. They continued their love play in the water, heating the cool night with their intense passion for each other.

“Maya, my love….” Richard said, his control almost to snapping point as they stood in the shallow side, with Maya caressing Richard’s hard length vigorously, while giving him a heated kiss, their tongues dueling.

Maya was just giving back Richard, what he evoked in her when he played with her breasts, with his tongue and hands, and with it, he also assaulted her corse, making her want to fly.

“Ricky, babe…..” Maya moaned against Ricky’s mouth as he increased the pressure of his caresss on her core. She also did the same on Richard’s hard length.

Richard’s control snapped. He carried Maya to the blanket they have laid with before going to the water, then proceed to love Maya thoroughly, every inch of her. Maya did the same. Their sighs and moans mixed with the sound of the wind and surf, until their cries of fulfillment echoed strongly in the dark night.

The rest of their stay in the island was spent like that, with their passion for each other, not diminishing, but getting stronger and stronger. The more they slake their desire and passion for each other, the more they want more. They were so attuned with each other’s body that a mere heated touch or a gaze, sets their passion ablaze.

Maya and Richard returned to Manila two weeks after, happy and more and more in love with each other. They settled into their newly-married life, with Richard going to work five days a week, but cutting back on his long hours at work. Maya also cut back on her travels as her tummy got bigger, concentrated on the cafe, and found that she also have a talent writing children’s stories. She created a website for her stories, which she shared with other moms.

Six months after they got married, one beautiful Saturday evening, Maya gave birth to their first borns, Robert Arthur and Emerald Therese. They lovingly called them Sky and Sunshine for what they represent in their lives. Their joy doubled when Maya’s next ultrasound several weeks after their honeymoon to Mindoro revealed that they will have twins. They decided to name them after the grandparents who were overjoyed with the honor.

Maya and Richard soon moved to a bigger house, with Manang Fe, her niece Fely who also works for them now, and the children’s nanny Leah. They settled into the life of doting parents to their lovable, adorable and super cute babies. They don’t want to take their eyes off them, and can gaze at them for hours, and marvel at the peaceful way they sleep. Their heart skipped a beat when they bestowed them a toothless smile.

“Babe….?” Maya sat up when she realized she was alone in the bedroom, when she woke up in the middle of the night. She got out of the bed. She have a pretty good idea where her husband is. She went to the nursery and stood by the door, watching her husband lovingly.

“Sky, it’s Sunshine’s turn okay. Settle in, little buddy.” He lovingly told his boy, while he was changing Sunshine’s smelly diaper. When he was done, he had a satisfied smile on his face, as if he had closed a very lucrative business deal. “See, that was not so bad. Daddy can do it too!”

“Wow, Babe, ang galing ah. Congratulations. Bakit hindi mo na lang ako ginising or si Leah.” Maya approached her husband and hugged him from behind, looking at their now happy, sleepy babies. He usually leave the diaper-changing to her or the children’s nanny after he mangled his several attempts. He looked so cute then, when he sheepishly smiled and showed her the crooked diapers he put on their twins.

“You were sleeping so soundly, my love. Alam ko naman na you just finished feeding them.” Richard said, as he kissed his wife lightly on the cheek. “Beside I want to do it too talaga. Gusto ko rin na kasama mo akong hands on to our babies. Courage lang, Honeybun and try and try. Sorry nga pala, I got home late, and missed dinner earlier. Marami kasi kaming ni-review na contracts ni Ryan.”

“Okay lang, Babe! Kumain ka na ba?” Maya said as she and her husband walked out of the nursery, arms around each other having put their little angels to sleep.

“Yes, I did. I was about to join you in bed nga when I heard the twins making noises. Before they wake you up, I decided to check on them.” Richard said as they entered their bedroom. He then noticed his wife wearing a very nice, black, lace night gown under her wrap.

“Hmmmm, Honeybun, is that new?” He asked, liking the way his wife looks in it. His wife got more and more beautiful and alluring with each passing day. He will never get tired of looking at her like this for the rest of their lives,

“Errr, yes. I bought it this morning after I have seen Dr. Gonzaga.” Maya replied, suddenly getting a bit conscious.

Richard picked up the subtleties of his wife’s gesture and what she was subliminally saying. He grinned, went to her with a seductive voice. “You mean to say, Honeybun…..???”

Maya smiled lovingly and alluringly at her wonderful, handsome, and the best husband in the world. “Yes, Babe…..”

Richard grinned, then proceeded to carry his wife to bed, turned off the light, and loved her thoroughly, most of the night. The twins, for once, slept through the night too, as if they know their parents will give them a baby sister in nine months time, so they better be quiet and behave like little angels.

 

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Crossroads – Chapter 21

Chapter 21
‘Infinite unfinished business’

“Wow!” Maya and Richard uttered when they opened the door of their room, the old room that became so special to them, with Richard carrying Maya over the threshold as per tradition. Lots and lots of rose petals of all colors were scattered all over the floor of the room, especially around the antique four-poster bed, draped with delicate lace curtains, giving the room a very romantic feel. The bed itself, was also covered with a vintage and especially-woven coverlet. The soft antique lamps around the room gave it a romantic glow, fit for a special night.

Evelyn and her wonderful sense of romance! Maya thought. But she liked what the gracious lady of the house has done to their special room. She even put a chilling bottle of champagne in a bucket on the table by the bed. Beside it was two delicate wine glasses that looked like they are heirloom pieces.

Richard put Maya on the bed gently. He gave her a long, lingering kiss, before he stood up again. He poured a glass of champagne each for Maya and him. Richard saw a note beside the glasses and handed it to Maya. It was from Evelyn, wishing them the best on their wedding day, and telling them to enjoy the night, with several winking smileys on it. Lastly, she wrote, that she hoped they will like what she and her staff did to their ‘special room’ and that the champagne and the flowers were her gift to them.

“Honeybun, to us! I love you very much, my dearest wife.”

“My Babe, I love you very much too, my dearest husband. Here’s to our wondeerful journey together!”

They toasted each other and proceeded to drink their bubbly. However, Maya only managed to drink a sip. She grimaced a bit after swallowing the first sip.

“Maya, is something wrong? Masama ba ang lasa? Di mo gusto, Honeybun?” Richard asked, puzzled.

“Babe, okay naman. I just felt a bit off drinking it. Parang may lasa siya na hindi agree sa tummy ko. Okay lang bang hindi ko ubusin?”

“Sure, Honeybun. Do you feel okay? Do you want me to get you anything?” Richard asked solicitously.

“No, thank you. I’m okay. Mauna ka na sa bathroom, Babe. Ayusin ko lang ang mga gamit natin. Nasaan na iyong suitcase mo? Nadala ba from the hotel where you stayed with Papa, Luke and John?” Maya asked, then she saw it by the other side of the bed, together with hers. She asked Patty to bring it here this evening.

She stayed in another hotel with Patty and her mom, saving this special place for the reception and their first night as husband and wife. That was where she prepared for the wedding too. She, her sister, and her mother had a wonderful bonding time on the eve of her marriage. Her sister and mom are staying there one more night, then with everyone who attended the wedding, will travel back to Manila in the morning. She and Richard will return to Manila the day after. They wanted to stay one more day in Vigan.

“Sure ka, Honeybun? You know, we can go together.” Richard said with a naughty grin.

“Babeee, ikaw talaga.” Maya was still grinning when she gave Richard his things. “Mauna ka na.”

“Thank you, my wife.” Richard said lovingly, then gave her a quick, hot kiss before sauntering off to the bathroom.

Maya smiled as she watched her husband walked to the bathroom. Husband. Wife. She felt so happy hearing those words.  She continued putting away their clothes, then when she was done, sat on the bed to wait for her husband.

Like the last time they were here, Richard took a quick shower. He noticed the tub full, and  was covered with rose petals too. He smiled, wishing he could go in it with Maya. Maybe tomorrow, he mused. It was already late. Maya might be quite tired already. Their wonderful day had started early. Prior to this, they have been very busy with finishing up pending work, and last minute stuffs. for the wedding. He hurriedly showered and came out of the bathroom wearing a white t-shirt and blue pajamas.

“It’s your turn, Honeybun.” Richard hugged Maya from behind and nuzzled her neck, while his arms found its way on her waist.

“Babe, you smell so nice.” Maya smiled and turned and lightly kissed him on the lips, then his neck. He felt his breath quickened. “Go and rest. We had a long day. Baka tired ka na.” She added while she gathered her things, which was bundled up tightly.

“No, my love. The shower refreshed me. I will wait for you.” Richard said as he settled on the bed, petals and all to wait for his wife and the possibilities the night will offer, depending on Maya. He would understand if they will just cuddle to sleep, plenty of other time to indulge in their passion for each other that has been growing stronger, the more intimate they became.

Maya, like Richard, took a quick bath. She dried herself with one of the soft towels in the bathroom, then grab her sleeping clothes, if one can call it that. It was a red negligee, with spaghetti straps, transparent bodice, and a matching barely there undies. It was a gift from Emman and Eleonor during her bridal shower. It elicited much teasing and giggling. Maya blushed then.  But at the same time, she also thought of the all the possibilities with that dress. She smiled. Her Babe will be in for a treat this evening. She wanted this night to be extra special for her husband, her very wonderful love. She put the dress on and she felt very sexy in it. Though, she also noticed that her tummy seemed bigger and her breasts fuller. But just shrugged it off. Maya opened the bathroom door and sought out her husband, who zeroed in on her and what she was wearing, then grinned.

“Wow!” For the second time that night, Richard uttered the word. However, the second time, it was with a matching gulp, quickness of breath and his whole body heating up quickly. He was gazing intently, almost speechless, at his lovely bride and the very nice ‘non-dress’ she was wearing. He loved it very much.

“Do you like it, Babe?” Maya asked, getting a bit conscious.

“Honeybun, you can wear that every evening.” Richard said smiling hugely, lovingly, as he approached Maya and cupped her face.

Richard lowered his head to kiss Maya. He nibbled on Maya’s lips, teasing it. Then he used his tongue to open the seam of her lips and gained entrance to her mouth. He explored her mouth, their tongues  started doing a mating dance.

“My love, seeing you in that dress is making me crazy with want and desire for you. I can’t think straight.”  Richard said, then he deepened the kiss, at the same time, he cupped her breast, massaging it through the thin material of her dress, and using his thumb to play with her nipple.

“Rickyyy…..”  Maya undulated against Richard, wanting more, instinctively.

Richard increased his teasing of Maya’s breast, at the same time their tongues are dueling, mating, the feelings between them getting more intense. Maya can feel the effect of what Ricky was doing up to her core. Her breasts also felt heavier, fuller. She rubbed herself against Ricky, wanting to be closer to him, wanting more. She can feel through his pajamas the burgeoning evidence of his desire for her.

Richard cupped Maya’s buttocks, and almost lost it, when instead of touching her undies, he touched flesh. He realized that Maya was wearing undies  that barely covered her. He transferred his hand to her other breast, giving it the same attention that the other got. Maya was going crazy too with what Richard was doing. She started exploring his body. Wanting to feel skin against skin, she started removing his t-shirt. Richard helped her by raising his arm and pulling the shirt off him, himself. While he was doing that, Maya started kissing his chest, zeroing on his male nipples, giving them the same pleasure he gave her by playing with hers.

“Maya. my love…..” Richard moaned. He almost failed to remove his shirt with that she was doing. “What you do to me!”

Maya continued with her assault on Richard’s senses, at the same time, she sought Richard’s hard length and starting touching it too, loving it.

“Honeybun……” Richard sighed, liking very much what she was doing to him.

“Babe, I want to make you happy this evening. Will you show me how.” She whispered, huskily, her voice heavy with desire.

Richard understood what Maya wanted. She wanted to take the lead this evening. He carried her to the bed, laid her gently on the fragrant bed of rose petals, and started wrecking havoc to her senses before he cede control to her. He kissed her forehead, her lips, down to the side of her neck, the sensitive area between her collarbones, to the valley between her breasts, at the same time, his hand slowly crept under the short hemline of her dress, to tease her thighs, until he reach her core, which already felt very hot with what he was doing, touched it, played with it, making Maya burn. Maya thought she will not be able to stand it when his lips touched her nipple and used his tongue to play with it through the flimsy material of her dress. He did the same to the other one. The twin assault to her senses was just too much.

“Rickyyyy…..” She said helplessly as she felt like flying and reaching for fulfillment. Richard increased the wonderful, loving pressure on both her nipples, and her core, until she can’t take it anymore. There was no other way, and with Richard’s encouragement and sweet, loving words, she flew to her fulfilment.

She kissed Richard’s neck, still breathing deeply, boneless from pleasure that only he could give her. She wanted to do the same to him. Maya started kissing Ricky, from his lower lip, which she lovingly touched with her tongue, then kissed him full on the lips, opening his mouth and seeking his tongue. At the same time, she started massaging his hard length. Now it was Richard’s turn to moan helplessly with the pleasure her hands and mouth were evoking. Before he lost it, Richard moved, putting Maya on top of him, guiding her to straddle him.

“Like this, Babe?” Maya asked, at the same time, getting excited about being on top. They have not done this before, but she thought she know, sort of, what do to.

Richard sat up a bit while Maya was on his lap. Then he proceeded to remove her thin covering. He also slowly and lovingly removed her remaining piece of garment until she was naked before his eyes, so beautiful. His wife. The love of his life.

“You are so beautiful, my love.” Richard lovingly said, reverently, then he started touching her breasts and using his thumbs, loved them thoroughly. Maya felt her desire reawakened and the heat she banked, getting stoke again, when he swirled his tongue around her nipples and loved her twin peaks, until she felt like she was on fire.

Richard also felt that he was just going to get consumed with the passion she was arousing in him, especially when she instinctively, unconsciously undulated on top of him.

“My love, I want to be inside you, now.” Richard said with ragged breath while he continued playing with her breasts that became more accessible with Maya on top of him. Maya nodded, but silently asked Richard to show her how.

Richard guided Maya, and then he was inside her. They started moving together until they have established a rhythm that got more and more frenzied, until they combusted, and reached fulfillment together. Their moans and sighs of pleasure filled the room.

Maya collapsed on top of Richard, too sated to move. Richard caressed her back, up and down, up to her buttocks, rhythmically.

“I love you my Honeybun. That was just awesome.” Richard said lovingly. “Thank you.”

“I love you too, Babe.” Maya grinned, too happy to say anything else.

“Hmmm, so no more energy for round two?” Richard teased, when he noticed her barely moving and was lazing like a cat on his broad chest. Maya just giggled.

Richard gathered the blanket and covered themselves. They slept like that. But several hours after, when they had  enough energy again, they made love as dawn was breaking. By morning, they were sharing the tub, in which bathing was not the only thing they did. Maya felt like Richard was torturing her already sensitive flesh with a wash cloth he used all over her body. She did the same to him and soon after, the bathroom was also filled with their moans and sighs of pleasure.

Richard and Maya managed to surface from their own sensual bliss around lunch. Maya felt queasy. Richard thought it was from lack of food. They dressed up and went to their favorite inn, as Evelyn and her family only serve breakfast, and they don’t want to bother her with lunch, considering what she has done already. The hotel was closed to other guests too, for their wedding reception and during the duration of their stay. Maya felt better after having some food in her stomach, but felt sleepy and dizzy. They went back to the hotel instead of going around, to take a nap.

Maya woke up with Richard playing with her then extra sensitive nipples. The mere touch of his hand and thumb sent them on fire. The nap turned into another bout of lovemaking. They managed to go for a walk just before dinner time to Calle Crisologo and the inn. Maya looked lovely in her halter maxi dress that hugged her curves and Richard so handsome in his khaki pants and polo shirt. They made a striking couple and it was obvious to people who noticed them that they were newly-weds and were so very much in love.

During their second night as husband and wife, they explored each other’s body again thoroughly and drove each other mad with the strength of their passion for each other. They slept with nary a stitch on, just the blanket they shared, covering their naked bodies, sated at that moment.

Richard woke up with the sound Maya was making in the bathroom. He listened carefully and realized that she sounded like she was throwing up. Without clothes on, he hurried to the bathroom. He knocked, found the door unlocked, so he just entered. He found her standing by the sink, clutching her tummy.

“Honeybun, are you okay? Kanina ka pa ba nagsusuka? Bakit hindi mo ako ginising kaagad?” Richard asked, getting worried.

“I’m okay, Babe. Wala naman ako halos inilabas! My stomach felt quesy lang.”  Maya replied still gripping the side of the sink.

“I think you should see a doctor. Baka na-food poison ka doon sa kinain natin last night. I’m sure, Evelyn knows a doctor here.” Richard suggested. He want to be sure that Maya is really okay.

“I’m okay, Babe. Kailangan ko lang sigurong uminom ng tea para mag-settle itong stomach ko.” Maya assured her husband, not wanting to disrupt their schedule and not wanting him to worry.

“Honeybun, wala namang mawawala kung magpa-check up ka please, for my peace of mind. Let’s stay here one more day. Our trip to Mindoro can wait naman. I will just call Captain Ventura.”

Maya saw that Richard was really getting worried. She would have been the same if he was the one who got a bad stomach, so she agreed to see a doctor and to stay one more day in Vigan.

Evelyn called up their family doctor. She told Maya that the doctor and his wife were also friends of her parents, and that her older sister went to school with the daughter who is also a doctor, so she knew them pretty well. An hour later, Maya and Richard were at the doctor’s clinic, more like a small hospital than a simple clinic. Dr. Lindsay Ramirez, attended to them, saying that her father got called in to the provincial hospital due to an emergency surgery. She asked Maya about her symptoms and then brought her to to the examination room to physically examine her. She had an inkling on what Maya’s condition is, but she needed to be sure. With the help of her medical staff, she asked Maya for urine and blood samples.

Richard and Maya waited for the doctor in the spacious waiting room that was already starting to get filled with other patients, holding hands. Dr. Ramirez’s assistant called them back inside the consultation room. Upon seeing them, the doctor stood up from the chart and test results she was reviewing. She was smiling.

“I guessed as much. I just needed to be sure.” The doctor told Maya and Richard, when they were all seated. “Congratulations, to both of you.” She said grinning.

Richard and Maya looked at the doctor, her words not registering at first. Then it sank in, and they both have huge smiles on their faces when they realized what she meant.

“We will have a baby!” They both blurted out. Then they hugged each other tightly, forgetting about the doctor, who looked at the couple indulgently.

“My love, dear husband, we will have a baby. I’m pregnant!” Maya said, wonder in her voice at the  same time touching her tummy reverently.

“My dear wife, my love, yes, and I’m so happy. We will be parents na!” Richard put his hands on top of Maya’s. Then he kissed her gently. They shared a touching moment, hugging tightly. Then they remembered the doctor.

“Oopps, Doctor, sorry po.” Maya said sheepishly.

Dr. Ramirez smiled. “It is okay, I’m happy for both of you. I’m both a general practitioner and an obstetrician, I’m not sure if Evelyn had mentioned. I thought that you might be pregnant when you told me what you have been feeling lately and up to this morning. May I asked, Mrs. Lim, when was the first day of your last period?”

Maya thought, but unable to remember the exact date, so she gave the doctor an estimate. “Sorry Doctor, I have always been quite irregular, and then to add to that, Ricky and I have been preoccupied with his cousin’s wedding in the States, and preparing for our own. I was not really paying attention to my cycle.”

“That’s fine. I think you are around 11 or 12 weeks pregnant.” She estimated. “Pero to be more accurate, at para mas sure, have an ultrasound done as soon as possible.”

Richard and Maya looked at each other, then smiled. Both were thinking, so our baby was ‘made’ in Vigan! They felt so. They believed so.

The doctor prescribed some vitamins for Maya, gave her instructions, and told her to see her OB when she returns to Manila. Maya said she does not really have one. Dr. Ramirez recommended one of her classmates who practices at a big hospital in Quezon City. She assured them that Maya and the baby will be in good hands with Dr. Emily Gonzaga.

Maya and Richard thanked the doctor profusely. They got of of her clinic, still in daze. They will be parents in six months time!

“Babe, you will be a Daddy and I will be a Mommy! “ Maya squeled in delight and unmindful of them being in a busy part of the city, hugged and kissed Richard, who hugged and kissed her back.

They walked back to the hotel and Evelyn was the first person who knew Maya’s condition, beside the doctor. She congratulated them, sharing their joy. They also informed her that they will be staying another night. Evelyn said it was perfectly fine as they didn’t really book anyone until the day after that.

Richard and Maya decided to save informing their parents, and immediate families, when they return from their trip to Mindoro. For their honeymoon, they decided they would like to spend it in the Lim island, another special place for them.

“Honeybun, sa palagay mo, okay pa if we take that trip to Mindoro? We can just do it another time.” Richard asked, his protective side rearing up.

“Babe, I am perfectly okay. Meron lang akong morning sickness, I think. Saka better nga doon, presko ang hangin and you will be there to take of me naman and our baby.” Maya assured Ricky.

They agreed that they will just go to Mindoro two days from their return to Manila from Vigan or after they have seen Dr. Gonzaga and have an ultrasound done. For the rest of the day, they just floated in happiness of their impending parenthood. After dinner, they walked around a quiet Calle Crisologo, the tourists were all gone for the night, the souvenir shops were closed and only the quiet of the elegant houses surrounded them. They were back where one of the most treasured moments in their live occured. They were there again, with another momentous occasion in their lives.

“I love you very much, my wife.” Richard touched his Maya’s tummy, gently, lovingly. “ I hope you are okay there my little buddy.”

Maya smiled lovingly at her husband. She know Richard will be a wonderful dad. He is already the best husband in the world. “I love you too, my husband. Life couldn’t be more perfect than this.”

Like the last time they were here, amid the ancestral homes which nurtured generation after generation, Richard and Maya shared a loving kiss, looking forward to the birth of their precious child, the product of their love for one another, in several months.

 

Note: ….and so, Honeybun and Babe, lived happily ever after with their little munchkins!  🙂

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