COPYRIGHT © 2019 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, where have you gone to? Maxine asked the moment Alvaro returned and took his seat beside hers. From the smile that never left his face, she could guess something had happened for him to be in a joyful mood.
“Just took some fresh air in the veranda,” Alvaro answered, not looking at Maxine.
Clasping her hands near her heart, Maxine thought it was the right moment since Alvaro was in a good mood. Ever since they arrived in Frizkiel, he was giving her the silent treatment. She was aware he was angry at her for the sudden flight to Frizkiel. She admitted it was a desperate move. Using her father and her grandfather to force him to marry her, but she had found herself helpless at the sudden arrival of a threat in the form of Evangeline Heart.
She hadn’t been idle since they arrived in Frizkiel. She had made every opportunity to get close to him, even forgetting her dignity when he barged inside his room late at night, wearing nothing but a lingerie.
But still, Alvaro was not affected by her charms and allure like all he saw was but an unappealing block of dirty stone. He just glanced at her and walked out of the room saying he had somewhere to go with a flat smile on his face. And since then, he was in constant alert around her. Never eating food she prepared. Never open the door in his room no matter how much she knocked. Never even staying in a place, he knew they would be alone.
Such prudence and rejection hurt her heart.
But now he was in a better mood. Maybe it was her chance.
“Alvaro, after the auction, why don’t we explore Frizkiel––”
“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen!”
Before she could finish her sentence, however, the auction started. Her low, muffled voice drowned in the sea of speeches and background music.
Pursing her lips, Maxine forced herself to stare at the stage where the auctioneer introduced the first item. She had no choice but to postpone what she had to say for later.
The auction lasted for some time, and Maxine sometimes raised her number if something catches her fancy, but she wouldn’t fight for it if someone bid higher than her. She was not there for the items, after all. The auction was a cover-up so he could be with Alvaro in a different country. Just the two of them.
She would sometimes glance at Alvaro from time to time, but the man was busy with his phone, appearing to be reading something. She lowered her head and bit her lips, musing to herself. What do I have to do so I can have a bit of your attention?
The auction continued with its last special item. Alvaro, who was reading something on his phone while a sly smile never left his place, had his ears perked up when something caught his line of sight.
The spiraling blue glow caught his attention. It was a rose carved in ice. The details were exquisite, like coils of bluish hues surrounded its crystalline form. So enchanting.
If not for the fogs it constantly emitted, Alvaro would think it was a rare breed of flower encased in a protective crystal glass. It was different from the previous items sold. In fact, it was the only piece that was not a piece of jewelry.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you a newly discovered stone in the northern region of Frizkiel. The Never Melting Glowing Ice. Its molecular composition was greatly altered from its million years’ captivity inside a freezing glacier. It could withstand fire put on hundred degrees and what’s more, its glow never dim. This stone is very limited and not available in the market. You, dear guests, are the first to lay your eyes on this piece of art. And the lucky winner will take home this rare sculpted rose and have the honor of acquiring the ever first newly found stone!”
Everyone gossiped in murmurs while every lady eyed the sculpted rose with greed and longing, wanting the ice beauty for themselves. While the title of acquiring the very first newly found stone was enough to make the collectors salivate.
The auctioneer continued, raising the tension as he did, “A carat of this stone is estimated at one million. The bidding price starts at twenty million!”
The bidding war started. And like expected, the price spiked to a jaw-dropping price within minutes. Only a few voices were heard mostly from the private glass balcony above, while everyone in the bottom stage pursed their lips in grievances for unable to get the rose.
There was nothing special about it. It was just a beautiful sculpted rose made from a very never heard stone with special glowing features. It could be used as a decoration or lampshade beside the bed. But that didn’t stop the novoue riche and aristocrats to bid for it. Against the prestigious title of the first to acquire it –– how much is too much?
Pointing her hand on her lips, Maxine ogled longingly for the rose. She didn’t know why, but the more she stared at it, the more she wanted to acquire it. She was in a spell. The glow it emitted was drawing her bit by bit.
For sure, my family would understand once I brought it back home.
Raising her hand, she parted her lips.
But the voice didn’t come from her. Her head snapped towards the man beside her, and she was dumbstruck to find Alvaro was the one who spoke just now.
Maxine’s eyes glittered like she was about to cry. She was so happy and pleased at the moment. Alvaro must have noticed she wanted it for herself.
Her lips quivered. “Alvaro . . .”
Meanwhile, in one of the private glass balcony, Rozarria watched the auction with rapt attention. She raised her hand, and the price spike once more.
“Forty-two,” someone countered in an instant.
It was like that someone was adamant about winning the sculpted rose, and it was good news to her. True that she was only there to spike the price, but in the deepest corner of her heart, she was hesitating to auction that piece of art. It was always her policy to never make the same piece, and thus, that sculpted rose was unique in the world –– the only one of its kind.
Still, she had already grown out of her greed, long conquered it. If it was not useful to her, she might as well sell it no matter how rare and beautiful it was.
She raised her hand again, and her assistant pushed a button once more.
“Forty-four!” that someone countered again.
Rozarria was curious at the voice since it was somewhat familiar to her. She asked, “Who is that?” Though she already had an inkling.
“Miss, it’s Mr. Alvaro Cole.”
Prompting her head on the back of her palm, Rozarria’s gaze didn’t waver as she raised her hand once more.
“. . .”
There was silence, and the count of hammer took rounds.
Frowning, Rozarria thought she made a mistake. She was sure with Alvaro’s personality, he would never give up in acquiring what he wanted. She was just spiking the price, but she wouldn’t actually raise it to the point that nobody would buy.
Closing her eyes, she rested on her chair. No matter, I’ll just sell it to one of the highest bidders later.
Then her eyes flung open when a voice silence everything.
Her eyes zoomed, and her calm face registered a shock as her head pulled away from her chair.
“Miss . . . should we raised the price?”
Asked one of her assistants when the hammer slammed against the battered wooden block.
Slowly, she raised her hand.
“No. It’s fine.”
She would let him have it as a commemoration of their newly built cooperation.
She stood to her feet and sauntered out from the room, accompanied by her entourage.
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