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.
Answering to Satele’s question, Asher rolled his eyes. “Who do you think it is? Santa Clause?”
Satele couldn’t answer for a second before she burst out laughing. “Well, yeah. I mean . . .” She ran through Asher’s appearance and burst laughing once more. “I never saw you so untidy before.”
“You know what, that’s judgmental.” Asher tagged his collar when he heard Satele’s soft giggly laughter and saw her smiling face. “Doesn’t mean a guy is sporting a beard and messy, unkempt hair that he’s already untidy.”
Raising a brow, Satele rested a hand on her waist and tilted to the side. “Yeah? What do you call it then?”
“I don’t know,” Asher said, irritation in his voice. “And why would I even care about what it’s called?”
Satele opened her mouth but was cut when one of her co-workers signaled her to take it outside since Asher was holding the line.
“Sorry.” She apologized before facing Asher. “Why are you here, anyway? Need another cigarette?”
Asher curled his lips inwardly for a moment before he fished something inside his pocket and flung it towards Satele’s direction.
“I stumbled upon this. It’s one of the gifts given to me, and I don’t want it. So you can keep it,” he said, uncomfortable as he kept frowning for no particular reason. His tone snappy, and his eyes roving around.
“Anyway, I was walking towards my unit and happened to see this place and remembered you work her and happen to have that weird gift on me, so . . . ,” he said, rubbing the back of his nape, “so . . . so don’t think anything out of it. That’s all!”
He turned and bolted out of the store while Satele was still dumbstruck. Her eyes never strayed on that small box on the table with mouth open. She only recovered at the familiar tingling sound of the door and saw Asher hurrying out.
“Asher!” she called. She signaled for her co-workers to take over for her before she grabbed the gift and chaste after the man.
“Asher!” she called once more when she was outside the open air, hurrying to ran after him.
Asher stopped and faced her, irritation in his voice when he spoke.
Satele didn’t deter. Instead, Asher was surprised when she smiled.
“I . . . I haven’t exactly been nice to you, and we haven’t been exactly on good terms the last time . . . and . . .”
Satele lowered her head, fingers swiping her hair from her forehead. “And . . . I realized I was mean and wanted to apologize for my behavior . . . and I also wanted to express my gratitude by treating you to dinner later.”
When she was finished talking, she met Asher’s gaze and was struck by his expression. She wasn’t sure because most of his face was covered with facial hair, but she got the feeling he was repressing a grin from the way his lips stretched and the squinting of his eyes.
“Hey, have you heard what I said?” she asked when the man stood there unmoving and quiet.
That was when Asher finally reacted. He tugged his coat, appearing not affected and indifferent though he was having a hard time removing the silly grin on his face.
“Sure. Since you ask so forcefully, I guess I have no choice but to accompany you then.”
Satele resisted the urge to wipe her eyeballs clean. “Alright, meet you here around seven later?” She was about to turn and walked back to the store when she remembered something.
Smiling, she flashed the small box in her hand. “And thank you for the Christmas gift.” Though she didn’t know what was exactly inside.
Asher watched Satele went back to the store with a happy feeling inside his chest while his brain was floating in heaven. He didn’t know what happened for the woman’s sudden change of attitude towards him. Was it the almost two months that they haven’t seen each other? Did she miss him? Did she develop feelings for him?
The grin on his face turned in a full-blown smile. He realized he was oddly happy about the thought which he shook his head in a desperate attempt to kill that feeling to no success.
Right, we’re going to have a date later!
With this thought, his legs hurried towards his unit, even forgetting about Evangeline as he dialed someone on his phone.
“D, ready the stylist and designer. I want a whole facial and a new look.”
Satele continued her usual day of work in the convenience store, and as the day gradually dimmed, she almost forgot she was treating Asher to dinner if not for the small box she found inside her bag when she packed her things to go home.
Right . . . she almost forgot about his gift. She honestly didn’t believe the whole explanation about his gift, but she contented to shut her mouth. That guy was a sucker at lying.
Opening the small box, inside was a ring carved in amethyst. It had no decoration nor ornaments. It was so simple, and she was smiling already when it twinkled.
Shaking her head, she collected her thoughts. It wasn’t because she had a change of heart about Asher. That was why she was treating him differently now. It was just . . . the hate wasn’t as much as before. It was like, it was not hate anymore, but . . . she didn’t even know how to describe it. But now, his presence wasn’t suffocating and intolerable, unlike before.
And for the past two months that she didn’t saw him, she was kind of . . . sad? And to her surprised, there was even a part of her that misses him!
What was wrong with me? After that night for almost two years ago, she had nothing but hate and loathing for him. But when they saw each other again and again . . . she wasn’t sure what to feel anymore.
It was like when he was near, she was irritated and annoyed, and when he did disappear for almost two months, she misses him?
Was that even normal?
Sighing, she wore the ring on her finger and changed out from her store’s uniform and got dress before she sauntered out, saying goodbye to her co-workers along the way.
The moment she was outside, her eyes automatically spot him. Rather, he was standing right in front of the store, and she almost choked her saliva at first sight of him.
For a moment, she wanted to run and pretended that she didn’t know the man who was wearing a very formal eye-catching blue suit and tie complete with vest and cufflinks –– all neatly pressed and brand-new like they were purchased not a second long.
It was very hard not to spot him leaning against his Bentley motorcycle, especially when he was so handsome in a clean-shaven face and new cut hair.
But it was all the more awkward considering she was wearing like she was going to the market with a simple shirt jacket, pants, and sneakers, and he was looking like he was going to attend a ball or something.
“What are you wearing?” she couldn’t help but ask.
Asher frowned, didn’t get why Satele was asking that question. “What’s wrong with it? Aren’t we going to dinner?” Eyeing her, his eyebrow rose. “Rather, what are you wearing? Are you still going home to change dress? If so, let’s go. I’m a busy man, and we don’t have time to waste around.” Though he wasted half a day to prepare for their date.
Satele stifled a laugh, didn’t know what to say. She honestly didn’t know.
“Let’s walk, it’s near here,” she said instead and walked forward.
“Aren’t you going to change first?” Asher asked, hesitating for a moment before following her.
“No need,” Satele replied, mumbling, “Rather, it’s you who should change your clothes. And stay a distance away from me.”
“What was that?”
“You wore the ring?” Asher asked, eyeing the twinkling jewelry on her hand when Satele tucked a hair behind her ear.
“Am I not allowed?” Satele asked back, sarcastic in her voice.
“I’m just asking,” Asher retorted. “Why is it you always love to irritate me?”
Pursing her lips, Satele didn’t say anything. It was not like she intentionally wanted to argue with him. Her words came out from her mouth without thinking.
“By the way, how’s your Christmas?” she changed the topic when it turned uncomfortable, trying to ignore the stares came their way. The contrast in their appearance must have been pronounced to caught everyone’s attention.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” Asher answered. His temper was losing every time he remembered what Alvaro did to him and how he was an idiot to actually believe his evil older brother.
“How’s yours?” he asked before he could stop himself. It came out since he didn’t want to end the conversation. They were talking and conversing like normal friends . . . Well, not exactly as friends, but a proper conversation between humans, which was a start.
“Well . . . It was like any other Christmas, and I celebrated it with my mom and Seth. Seth is my younger brother in case you ask. We cook this fruit cake, and it actually turned into something like a brownie for some reason. And my brother is like . . .”
Satele carried on and on. It was her habit once she started talking. It was tough for her to stop.
And for another odd reason which Asher didn’t want to discover the reason, he didn’t find her loud or annoying.
In fact, he was enjoying every tug of her lips when she smiled and sparkle in her eyes when she talked about her family. It was like, all the buzzing, all the people around them didn’t exist. Only this woman, only her . . . she alone existed in his eyes.
And he realized . . . he was falling for her, and there was no stopping it.
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