EPISODE •THIRTY • FIVE
THEME:ABOVE EVERYTHING! ????
RIA POV ????
Ben drove us to the place where the dinner was. It was a big fancy Hotel. There was a long line of Limousines,Benz,BMW,Bentleys and expensive sports cars. As we got close to the entrance I could see all the people walking in. I did not look like them,the fancy clothes and suits and flashing lights from the paparazzi.
“Ziggy..I..don’t think I can do this..” I said shakily
“Ria just relax.. I’ll walk you to Ian. And all you have to do is smile,shake a few hands and look pretty for Ian. He is the main Man”
Look pretty for Ian?
That sounded like Mrs Elise.
I made the steps out of the car looking as graceful as possible.
I was blinded by Paparazzi camera flashes. They were packed behind red ropes yelling and taking pictures. Ziggy wrapped his arm around mine as he led me through the blind lights.
And i suddenly wished that it was Ian holding me.
How do celebrities put up with the lights on daily basis?
It took us more time to get to the door.
This is so annoying!
The inside was over packed and roomy. People were hoarded all around and this was just the lobby.
“You did well Ria..you didn’t fall or trip”
“I couldn’t do that not with 20 million dollar necklace hanging on my neck” he laughed
And I’m only doing this because of Ian.
We took the nearest elevator and started feeling nervous cause I was been stared at. I found a few people whispering in each other ear while staring in my direction.
“Are you okay?”
“Yes I’m fine”
I need to collect myself.. Act cool and calm if I was going to make it through tonight.
The ride to the top floor was long. I did feel a little exposed in the dress. And I worry that the back of the dress will slip down and my ass will be out..plus I wasn’t wearing a bra under the dress. That added to the nervousness.
When the elevator dinged and the door opened I gave a quick breath. We stepped out into the hallway.
I grabbed Ziggy’s arm again and we walked down the hallway. Few people were standing around and they stared and whispered.
“If you let that get to you..you’ll never survive the night” I nodded
“I’m glad Ian has an understanding with a woman now. This is the first time he’s coming here with a date”
“Yes. And I must say that Ian is lucky to have you by his side”
No! It the other way round..I’m lucky to have Ian by my side!
We walked up to a set of door and two men opened them when we got close.
The room was filled with rich people with Fancy million dollars outfits, accessories and services.
White tables were set up at side of the room…waiters walking around. And there was hardly any way to walk.
“Look..Ian is on the other side of the room”
I asked while following Ziggy. I tried to look for Ian but I couldn’t see him.
Eyes were plastered on me as we walked the room
I avoided their stares by looking at the ground.
“You have to get used to it. You will be a star soon”
“A fashion Star. Ian told me about your business”
“Yes.. You have to learn to get through with events like this”
This was going to be a Long night!
I will still have to give this Diamond back to Ian.
Talking of Ian..I spotted him as we got closer.
His hair sleeked back. He was dressed in a black suit which matched with a black tie,shoe and light brown handkerchief folded with just a triangle point sticking out of his breast pocket. He was different!
More handsome with the champagne glass in his hand.
He was talking to a man.
As Ziggy and I walked up.. Ian gave a quick glance but had to quickly turn back for a second stare. His eyes opened wide just staring -moving them to look over every inch of me.
“Ian I brought your date as promised” Ziggy said with a nod.
He slipped his arm out from mine.
Ian was still lost in trance.
Ziggy went to him,balled his fist and gave him a smack at his back. Ian jumped all the way back to reality.
“Your date” Ziggy pointed
“Oh!.. Thanks Ziggy” he stuttered
Ian leaned close and planted kisses on my cheeks. I saw the look on the other man’s face. He was amused.
He stared at me!
“Your date is very beautiful Ian, it would be rude not to introduce us” The man said
“Of course Harvey this is Ria Robert. Ria meet Harvey Wesley the deputy of the BMW association. He also owns the largest Construction Company in Chicago”
I hesitated before sticking out my hand for him to shake
“It’s a pleasure to meet you”
Harvey grabbed the wrap of my fingers and slowly pulled them up to his lips and planted a kiss just above my knuckle.
“Meeting a beauty like yourself the pleasure is all mine”
My impression of this guy is that..
He is a sweet talker. And he better not get any silly ideas in his head.
“You flatter me”
“A woman like yourself deserves much more than mere flattery”
I wasn’t comfortable with this guy.. Ian sensed it too even as he was losing his mind over a simple dress.
“Harvey would you please excuse us,I would like to talk to my date alone”
“Of course! It almost time for my speech”
Harvey gave Ian a stern handshake before disappearing into the crowd
“I’ll also take my leave” Ziggy said
“Thanks once again” Ian said and Ziggy left too
I raised an eye brow at Ian when he covered the inch between us.
“You look beautiful” he complimented and my cheeks flushed pink.
“Of course I’m wearing $3000 dress,$500 make up,$700 shoes and $20millom Diamond -” Ian rolled his eyes
“Stop being concerned about the money. And you will still look beautiful even without the accessories”
And I realized I was blushing..but I shied away from it.
We grabbed a few glasses of Champagne before dinner started. I was amazed at all the people Ian introduced me to. I got to meet a couple of people, famous business owners,oil tycoons and fashion designers some who admired the dress I made for Amber Foundation Kids. Some of the people Ian introduced me to attended the event and had received my cards.
Walking around all these people was actually kind of interesting.
And for the champagne, I had never had one before.. It was pretty good but I didn’t drink too much.
A man on the stage said into the microphone. A spotlight was on him.
It was the same guy.. Harvey Wesley!
“I’d like to start out by telling you thank you for attending the party. And on behalf of Amber Foundation, Madam Charity is saying a big thank you to everyone that attended the last party. She’s also using this medium to appreciate Ian Bryant for donating $2million to the Foundation”
A spotlight found us
“And BMW is saying Thank You too for giving $1million for today’s dinner party” He completed
People turned to us and began to clap.
He donated such huge amount of money to the foundation! And for the party too!
“That quiet generous of you”
I said to him
“Well I do like helping others when I can”
The spotlight disappeared and reappeared back on the stage
“Now Ladies and gentlemen, I bring to you Charles Willard! The president of the Association!”
And elderly man with white hair wearing a grey suit stepped on the stage.
“Hello Everyone” He said
“That man you’re seeing up there is the richest man in USA” Ian said
“Really?” I looked back at the man on stage
And I wondered what it feels to be the “richest”
“I would like to start by thanking you all for coming. This Association is still bent on making the country a better place!” Everyone began to clap
“And i Hope you all enjoy the evening. Thank you”
He stepped off the stage.
He and Harvey disappeared below the crowd level
“Let’s grab something to eat at the table” Ian said
I was hungry!
We both turned towards the direction of where the table was. But Ian stopped on track.
I saw the woman standing in front to us.
She was dressed in a skimpy red cocktail dress. If it was lifted higher she’d be showing the world her ass.
She was well toned like models, her skin was tanned gold and her hair was blond. Her chest was large too.
“Please tell me this is your girl?”
Ian met her eyes and tensed up
“Valerisa” he said
His arms came around my side as he squeezed me closer.
Her eyes turned away from him and stared directly at me. I could see her sizing me up.
“Ian,don’t be rude you should introduce me to your friend here”
He cracked a smile on his face
“Darling this is Valerisa -”
What?! Did he just call me Darling?!
Valerisa interrupted Ian as she held out her hand for me to shake
“We used to date..and you are?”
I cringed at the word “date”
She is Ian Ex!
Well Ian hasn’t told me anything about his past girlfriends or relationships.
Did she live with him when They were together?
Different questions flooded my mind that moment and at the same time I tried to imagine Ian’s relationship with Valerisa.
“Ria Robert. It’s a pleasure”
I replied with a half smile
Suddenly feeling like Ian invited me to this party to warn off his Ex girlfriend!
He called me Darling and even squeezed me to his chest when he saw Valerisa.
Harvey Wesley came up behind Valerisa.
“Valerisa can I talk to you for a second?”
He said to her
Valerisa looked at me before giving Harvey a hard nod.
He winked at Ian before pulling Valeria along with him
“It OK” I cuts him off quickly
He stared at me in shock
I bit my lower lip and clenched my fist.
“Valeria and I -”
“Ian I said it okay”
Pang of anger shot through me as I recalled the look on Valerisa face while she was sizing me up.
“Okay” he pointed to the table
“I’m not hungry”
Ian closed his eyes
I looked around to avoid his gaze.
I saw this man out of the corner of my eyes. He was searching the room.
He was dressed in a brown suit,his black hair wasn’t geled back, instead it fell naturally on his face.
And I didn’t know why he seems to hold on to my attention but he did.
EPISODE •• THIRTY •• SIX
RIA POV ????
I looked back at Ian who had a confused look on his face. He must be wondering why i changed.
I balled my fist for a second and relax.
I shouldn’t make a scene out here because I met his Ex today.
It shouldn’t bother me!
I drew in a deep breathe
“I understand that you and Valerisa used to be together”
“It not the way it -”
“Look what we have here..”
A voice interrupted Ian
I glanced up and saw the man that caught my attention earlier
“I’ve been searching the whole room Ian”
He said before his gaze fell on me
His eyes did a slow crawl from my feet to my face.
From his expression I knew he liked what he saw.
A smile formed on his face.
“Drake -” he stretched his hands.
He didn’t wait from Ian to do the introduction
“Drake Robert CEO of Limos company”
My heart skipped beat at his word
“Limos Company” echoed in my head
Trying to figure out which Limos was his company?
Could it be the same Limos?
Ian cleared his throat
” Ria meet Drake Robert one Of the most successful business man in Idaho” He introduced
Idaho?! Limos in Idaho?
“And Drake this is Ria Robert” he completed
“Ria Robert? What a coincidence.. Robert meeting another Robert” He winked
His hand still hanging in the air.
“It a pleasure to meet a beauty like you” He said
And slowly I took his hand
“Nice to meet you” I said in low tone
I tried to put two and two together!
It can’t be!
This man can’t be who I’m thinking he is!
But I need to be sure?
Drake held my hand for a bit As he stared at me.
“Perhaps Mr Drake are you related to Frederick Robert?” I asked with a false smile
“Yes..He is my father”
I withdrew my hand gently
“Have you met him?” He asked
“No..i only.. heard about him”
My knees became weak and it was as if I was going to hit the ground anytime soon
No! No! It couldn’t possibly be!
But it is!…this man is Fredrick’s son!
Slowly I turned to Ian
“I’ll be right back”
My vision getting blurry at the tears that threatened to spill anytime soon
“Are you okay?” Ian asked
“Yes..I need to use the toilet”
A perfect excuse to think!
“Okay just go out the door -”
I walked away at a close run before Ian could finish his statement.
Not wanting to accept what my mind was telling me!
I ran for seconds..people stopped to stare but I didn’t Care!
What was going on in my mind was more than their stares!
Finally,I managed to find the female toilet and luckily for me no one was inside.
Hot tears burned down my cheeks as I looked at myself in the large mirror close to the sink.
I clenched my fist tightly almost causing my knuckles to crack.
Anger and Fury roared within me and I screamed when I couldn’t take it amymore.
I placed my palms on my mouth to stop myself from screaming again
“No” I muttered
That Murderer! That Bastard! Frederick Robert has a Son!
And i just met him!
I sobbed and beat at my chest cause of the pain that was going to rip my heart apart.
I recalled that day..that terrible day MML killed my parents!
And that monster sent them to kill my parents just because he wanted my dad’s inheritance!
I can’t take this anymore!
All those years i couldn’t do any thing because I was hopeless! I was blind!
But now its different!
I’ve been trying to find a way to get back at Frederick for what he did to my parents, for the pains he caused me!
Every mental images I’d formed with words of that night came to me.
And all I could think of was getting Revenge on Frederick.
I will make him pay for his crimes!
I will inflict pains on him and watch him plead for his life!
I will do all it takes to bring him down! And limos!
Even if it means me taking law into my own hands!
I heard a tap on the door and I quickly grabbed a tissue and dashed it over my cheeks.
Drawing in a deep breathe
I hope that I could bluff my way through the next minutes without Ian noticing the tears at the party.
I opened the door and tried to keep my face shadowed
“Ria” i heard Ian’s voice
He was standing at the door
“I was worried that you won’t be able to find -” his voice trailed off as he searched my face.
And all my hope of hiding the ravages of tears bashed
“I was able to -”
But Ian was already inside, the door closed behind him.
His hand on my Chin as he gently lifted face
“You’ve been crying”
“No..I’m fine.. I wasn’t”
Of course! I was a mess! And I wanted nothing more than to burrow into his arms and just lose myself until I regained self sufficiency.
But I wouldn’t do that!
I can’t let him know anything!
“Ria talk to me..what’s going on? Is it something about the party?.. Or is there anything you want? I can do it”
His obvious sincerity made tears hover again,but I blinked them back impatiently. I was not a crier but my hormones are just in a real mess for me to behave like this.
“I don’t need anything”
Ian shook his head impatiently though his time was to gently when he said
“You wanna get out of this lame party?”
I think it best if I go home now. I don’t think I can be able to survive the rest of the dinner when I know the son of the one who killed my parents was in the same room with me.
No wonder he’d caught my attention!
“Yes” I said to Ian
“Let’s go” he held my hand and we stepped out to the hallway.
IAN POV ????
I had no idea what had gone wrong. Was it something I had done or said?
It must be Valerisa walking up to us and telling Ria that we used to date.
But what was that change after Drake introduced himself?
I don’t know!
I can’t figure out why she’d cried in toilet!
And the problem was,she wasn’t talking. For the first time since we left the party.
Her usually animated,expressive and approachable face was closed the moment she opened that door.
Her expression was distant!
Even when I’d tried to talk to her about her place she’d responded to my conversation over politely,cold and somewhat absent.
Something was definitely wrong!
AUTHOR POV ????????
The Limousine driver pulled into the private driveway in Ria’s home. Ria got out of the car,Ian did the same too. He followed her to the front door still wondering what had made Ria change so suddenly.
Ria expected him to say goodnight but again he didn’t. Ian just stayed studying her.
“I’m really glad that you attended the party as my date” He said as if it were a confession.
He leaned in close and paused. He worked his courage before speaking up again.
“Ria, I’ve thought about you since the day we met at the park”
She definitely didn’t want to talk about that day..Not today. But Ria knew how much she had started to think about him since he stepped into her life to help her. She didn’t want to accept it. Especially not now that the air around them seemed to have taken a shift to intimacy. So instead she said.
“I should probably go in and rest.. you do -”
Ian ignored the exit line and just went on looking into her eyes
“It’s almost like I’ve been carrying around a part of you since then”
And certainly she realized that she’d been carrying around a part of him ever since she found out she was attracted to him.
But again,not something she wanted to say. Amymore than she wanted to feel the warm rush his words were standing through her.
“Don’t do this to me Ian”
“Don’t do what to you?”
He smiled at her. His eyes made it hard for her to maintain her train of thought.
Did he have to look at her that way?
“Don’t compliment me..or be too nice or -”
“what do you want me to do?.. Insult you?” Ian asked
He leaned forward,just slightly.
Was he testing her resolve?
Was he wondering what she would do?
Was he going to kiss her again?
“Let’s just be Business partners..nothing more”
It took her a lot of courage to say that to him
“Is that what you want?”
Ria said before she’d decided which it was. But her own tone was almost a whisper because her resolve really was weak.
And at the moment her gaze attached itself to his lips. But just as she thought he was going to close the inch and press his lips on hers.
He took her words and drew back.
“Maybe..you’re right” he said
There was actually a part of Ria that tell her to say that
“No! I wasn’t right”
A part of her that craved that almost kiss but that shouldn’t be happening.
So Ria drew back too… standing a little taller.
“I’ll see you tomorrow” he said
Ian turned back to his car
Ria slipped inside when the car drove away.
Then she realized that she felt something for him!
She was even more attracted to him now.
But with what she just found out.. Drake Robert..and that decision to get Revenge!
there was no way she could give in.
She had too much at stake.
Tears burned down her cheeks when she recalled the look on Ian’s face when she had clarified things.. Business Partner..nothing more.
“Miss Ria” Elise called
Ria went to her quickly and wrapped her arms around her.
She lasted all of two minutes in tears. Her hands were shaking when Elise led her to the Couch.
“What’s wrong?” She asked
Ria took in a shaky breathe
The thought of her parents set the tears flowing again
“Just relax..Miss Ria” she nodded
“I..I..met Frederick’s Son at the party”
“What?!” Elise jaw dropped
Ria stood up and paced the room
“The same one that ordered the killings of my parents”
“Unbelievable!” She placed her hands on her mouth
“This guy came to Ian and introduced himself as Drake Robert”
“How sure..are you that he is your uncle’s son..he could be another Robert”
“He is the CEO of Limos Company in Idaho.. And i even asked if he was related to Frederick and he said yes. Frederick is his Father”
“Oh my God..” Elise gasped in shock
“I was shocked too..and I couldn’t stand him” she sobbed
“Is he friends with Mr Ian?”
“It seems Drake is Ian Business Partner”
Elise stood up and went to her
“At this point I suggest you tell Mr Ian the whole truth” she blurted
“It the best option..telling him will make things easier for you”
“No..” She whispered
“Ian is my present”
“But you can let him know your past too”
“No..I don’t want him to get caught in my past”
“You know – if you explain things to him..with Mr Ian’s connection he could file in a case of reinvestigation on your parents death. You’re a living witness which is enough to put Frederick behind bars”
“Ian already has too much to handle..and I don’t want him to know about it. I’ll sort things my self” she wiped her tears with the back of her hands
“Just wait and see” she replied sternly
Elise shook her head slowly when she saw Ria’s expression.
Revenge! A bloody one!
Which might get Ria in trouble in the end!
She realized that Ria was willing to take law into her hands!
And right at that moment Ria swore that she’d bring Frederick down when the time comes!
She will even if she end up dying after the fight!
She would avenge her parents death and make him pay for his crimes!
But deep down Ria’s heart, There was a great fear.
Not the fear of getting revenge or what would happen to her in the course of getting revenge on Frederick..But
It was the fear of Ian finding out what she used to be Six years ago.
What would he do?
Ria shook her ahead slowly
The best way to avoid rejection is to hide her past!
The thought of not seeing Ian again made the tears flow again and this time she couldn’t control it.
She motioned towards her room.
Elise was lost in thought