COPYRIGHT © 2018 Miu
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the Author.
This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and events are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
All pictures and multimedia used are not the author’s work and doesn’t claim any legal rights.
MATURE CONTENT and VULGAR words not suited for young readers below eighteen (18) years old.
Alvaro inwardly sighed. He didn’t know how long he had to wait for Maxine to pick a dress. The jolly mood he had that morning was gone, replaced by irritation and impatience.
Still, he maintained his gentleman facade. He had an obligation as the firstborn son of the Cole family, after all. He had to preserve relations for the sake of the two families.
“Álvaro, what do you think about this dress?” Maxine asked. Her face showed no sign of exhaustion from the endless shopping.
Smiling, Alvaro nodded. He was currently sitting comfortably on a couch inside a private fitting room of a well-known designer studio at Blue River city’s wealthy district.
“It looks good.”
He didn’t know how many times he said that phrase that it almost came out from his mouth like automatic.
While Maxine didn’t mind Álvaro’s lack of comments. Beaming, she clasped her hands. “Then, I’ll also take this.”
Álvaro pursed his lips. His eyes peered at his side where bags after bags of dresses, accessories, handbags, shoes, lined the cold marble floor. He didn’t understand why Maxine wanted so many dresses for a birthday. It was not like she would change her dress for every course of the meal.
At the thought, he couldn’t help but chuckle.
After paying for the dress, he hurriedly went out of the store with Maxine following behind, still maintaining the façade that he was not in a hurry to go home. He secretly heaved a sigh of relief when Maxine finally showed signs that she was going home.
His lips opened, wanting to ask her about dinner when he felt a sudden heaviness from his coat. Looking behind his shoulder, he found Maxine’s gaze zeroing on a store. Specifically, at the dress displayed at the storefront.
They were strolling along the famous shopping district in Blue River City were various luxury and branded stores lined the wide pathway.
Alvaro cursed in silent.
Every time that Maxine found something to her liking, she would try it and buy it without a second thought that he was tempted to blindfold her the rest of the day.
Nevertheless, he pushed back the impatient and irritation boiling inside him and asked in an accommodating manner.
“Should we go in and have a look?” Please say no.
Beaming, Maxine happily nodded, choosing to ignore Alvaro’s silent plea to go home. After all, this was a rare chance for her to be alone for the whole day together with the man she loves.
Inside, there were not many people in the store, and Álvaro and Maxine were pleasantly surprised when they saw a familiar face.
“What are you doing here?” Alvaro asked while smirking at the man who was busy looking at the dresses like his life depended on it. The man was accompanied by scary men with clothes in each hand while the store clerks eyed them at the side, afraid to come any closer.
Asher, who was engrossed in selecting dresses and accessories for his darling Evangeline, stopped and raised his head only to see the only person he didn’t want to see the most.
“What are you doing here?” Asher asked back. His eyes shifting towards the woman beside his older brother and the frown on his face lessened while his lips quirked in a taunting smile.
“Maxine, you’re also here? What brings you here in Burberry? Still chasing this man around?”
Maxine didn’t mind Asher’s disrespectful tone one bit. She was already used to his personality since they were young. She and Asher didn’t get along that much for the reason that she used to cry a lot in her younger days because Asher was always a bully who would say whatever in his mind without filter. Fortunately, she had grown accustomed and immune to it.
Maintaining a friendly attitude towards his future brother in law, Maxine beamed and answered in her usual friendly tone, “Hello, Asher. It’s nice to see you again. I’m here to attend a birthday party of a friend.”
“Hmm . . .”
Asher hummed in response before he completely ignored Maxine and stared at his brother. “And you’re supposed to be accompanying her, right?” He smirked. His tone was mocking while his face was very pleased with his older brother’s misfortune.
He knew his older brother had no feelings towards Maxine. Yet, because of their families, Alvaro had to put up with the woman, which made him feel elated at seeing the rare sight of his older brother being tortured to death. Though Alvaro was utterly masking it with his usual gentleman façade which made him even more pleased.
Alvaro didn’t mind Asher’s tone of voice and asked in a calm manner, “And what brings you here? Don’t tell me you finally decided to come out and expose yourself to the world?” He chuckled, eyeing the dresses on Asher’s hand rather suggestively.
Secretly shivering, the men at Asher’s side gawked at each other. This lean man who appeared out of nowhere was mocking their boss, the leader of nightmare, so openly that not even the authority would dare gaze at their boss’s eyes.
Who is this man?
Asher’s face turned dim as he barked out, “Stop misleading people with your words. These are for my darling Evangeline! Mind your own business!”
He snatched a dress and marched on the other side to escape Alvaro’s line of sight.
The men at Asher’s side all gaped at their boss. Contrary to their expectations, it was their boss who backed out and walked away. Their gazes fell on the lean, handsome man, eyes full of curiosity and reverence before they scrambled, chasing after their boss when they heard his roaring voice.
“Get your asses here, now!”
Maxine watched this all happened with a questioning look while she gently tugged Álvaro’s coat.
“Is Evangeline the girl he likes? You know, the reason why he decided to stay in Burberry?”
At first, she was skeptical at Asher liking a woman to the extent of even staying to another country for her. She always knew Asher as a man who was rude and without manners, whether it was a man or a woman he was speaking to. Yes, he had many girlfriends in the past. He was a lady killer. But from her knowledge, Asher never gave them even half the attention he was giving to this woman called Evangeline.
“He must truly love her . . . ,” Maxine mumbled in a daze.
Peering at Maxine beside him, Alvaro didn’t comment. Only the Cole’s and their right-hand man, and he guessed, Eric, through Evangeline, knew she was a Cole. In fact, the only woman left in the direct line of the main family. Making her status more important even than his. Making her safety as the most important priority that even her identity was kept from the branch family.
Alvaro ignored Maxine’s words as he urged, “Let’s go and have you try the dress on.”
Maxine blinked before beaming. Her attention focused on the man she loves once more.
Meanwhile, the entrance door of that luxurious boutique opened and came in Jen together with Sisley, happily chatting away.
“I have my father reserved an accessory here. One for you and me. It’s a matching pair, and it should arrive here by now from Italy,” Jen chattered in excitement as she pulled Sisley along.
“This is perfect for Angel’s birthday party. You have to look your best since you’re Daniel’s partner.”
Blushing, Sisley giggled. “Jen, it’s fine. I think the price here is too much. You don’t have to.”
Jen rolled her eyes. “Oh, shut up. Don’t give me that. I thought I already told you that money should never be an issue between us. Besides, consider it as my early Christmas gift to you. I’m sure you’ll love it and––!”
Jen’s next words never came out from her mouth. Air was knocked from her lungs while her eyes watered, focusing so hard at that man who was busy picking out dresses.
Jen’s heart beat a hundred times more, feeling dizzy at the surging blood. Her heart was pounding like crazy!
She searched high and low for him. Only God knew how much she longed to see him that she almost went mad of thinking about him every day. Only to be caught off guard at meeting him in the most unexpected places.
And before she knew it, her feet led her towards him.
On the other side, Asher was minding his own business at ignoring Alvaro, who was harassing him from time to time while his other attention kept on picking out dresses and accessories for his darling Evangeline while his men were very busy licking his boots.
“Do you think Eva will love this?” Holding the skirt with one hand, Asher asked at particularly no one. Evangeline was in a bad mood recently, and he wanted to cheer her up.
“Boss, our Queen, will absolutely love everything you buy for her!” one of the men said. His face was stretching to the limits, showing his creepy smile.
“Yes! Her Highness is very lucky that boss loves her so much!” another chimed.
“I would bet my life that Our Goddess will absolutely be ecstatic once she sees this, boss! She will love you more than she already does!”
Asher’s mood turned better at the thought of Evangeline’s happy face.
Of course, Evangeline’s identity as his cousin was kept a secret from everyone. And only D, his best friend/ right-hand man/ personal guard, knew his true relationship with her while everyone thought he was courting her.
He didn’t mind it since it kept men from buzzing around his precious Eva.
He hummed in satisfaction as he gazed at his haul and signaled everyone to head for the counter. Everyone scurried towards the counter while Asher was the last to walk towards the cashier’s direction, eager and excited to see Evangeline’s happy face.
However, he stopped when someone blocked his way.
Said a sweet voice, which could make any man bewitched.
But the tone only irritated Asher’s ears. Lowering his head, his intimidating pair of eyes complete with furrowed brows stared at the woman who was blocking his way.
“Do I know you?” Asher asked in irritation and displeasure.
Didn’t notice the harshness of Asher’s tone, Jen’s whole view was dominated by Asher’s handsome features that she was left in full reverence and awe. Her feelings for him intensified by the seconds as a consuming desire to take him all for herself subjugated her mind.
Asher’s brows furrowed even further. His eyes snapped forward, couldn’t stomach the look the woman was giving him. He was oh so familiar with that kind of look. He had gotten it a lot. If it were any ordinary day where he was not in a hurry to see Evangeline’s happy face, he would accommodate this woman and fuck her all night. But at this moment, he was in no mood.
He took long strides, radiating impatience as he passed the woman who was still in a daze.
Reverting to her senses when Asher unexpectedly took long steps passed her, Jen straightaway followed him. Her smile was a tad bit forced as she stammered. Nevertheless, her tone was haughty and arrogant, while her beautiful face held every bit of her confidence.
“You probably know me. I’m Jen Combrelle, the prime minister’s daughter.” Jogging a bit, she caught up to Asher and blocked his way once more when he showed no sign of stopping.
Asher, who was impatient from the start, started to get annoyed and angry when the woman blocked his way –– yet again. He didn’t even hear what she was spouting.
“Move ugly! I’m in a hurry!” Asher barked.
He didn’t wait for the woman to speak and walked passed her. His broad shoulder bumped against hers without a care if she stumbled back. He didn’t pause nor bothered to take a second look.
He walked towards the counter, paid for his hauls, and stormed out from the store with his men following behind.
. . .
. . .
Moments passed, and Jen was still paralyzed in place. She didn’t even know what happened. The only thing ringing inside her head was the word ugly, which shocked her entire system.
She was devastated. Never in her life that she was called ugly even more so coming from the man she likes. She was utterly dumbfounded, and her mind even blocked what had transpired while Sisley kept on cheering her from the side.
On the other side, Maxine couldn’t help but sympathize with Jen. She had first-hand experience of how Asher could be a jerk.
While Alvaro’s face pretended to be stern and disapproving at his brother’s attitude, but in reality, he was laughing inside at Jen’s miserable face.
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