“‘Di ka pa ba matutulog, babe?”
“Hmmmm?” Napangiti si Monique sabay yakap kay Raffy, ang kanyang fiance.
“Bukas nalang yan, babe. Leave it to me,” he sheepishly smiled. Napailing nalang siya.
She’s unpacking his suitcase. Nasa Davao sila ngayon para sa isang business trip. He’s trying to oversee the ongoing construction of his high rise condominium units. Hands-on ito sa pagpapatakbo ng negosyo. Even if naka-base sa Davao ang business partner nitong si Michael, nakakahanap pa rin ito ng panahon para i-check ang progress ng construction. Right now, they’re at the Marco Polo Hotel. Inaayos niya ang mga gamit nito sapagkat kung hindi, tiyak na hahayaan lang nito na magulo ang mga iyon.
“Are you sure, you’re not gonna stay here?” Nagpapa-cute na tanong nito sa kanya habang dahan-dahang hinahawakan ang kanyang baywang.
“You know I can’t be here. No, strike that. You know I shouldn’t be here,” sagot niya. And she gave him a quick peck on the lips.
“I’ll go to my room now. Good night, Raffy baby.” She hugged him tight. He hugged her back and kissed her.
“‘Lika na. Hatid na kita sa room mo.”
“No way. What am I? A four-year-old?” Natawa nalang siya.
He made face and pulled her out of the room.
“Seriously, babe, you don’t need to walk me to my room. Hello, we’re like two rooms apart,” aniya sabay tawa.
He just grunted. Ginawaran siya nito ng masuyong halik nang marating na nila ang kanyang suite room.
“‘Love you. Sleep tight, babe.”
“‘Love you too. ‘Night!”
She locked the door and headed straight to the bathroom to prepare her hot tub. Dahan dahan niyang ibinuhos doon ang bath salts. Babalikan niya nalang ito pagkatapos mag unpack ng mga gamit sa kanyang suitcase. Pagkatapos ayusin ang kanyang mga gamit ay lumublob na siya sa tub, completely naked.
She let out a long sigh. Ngayon lang siya nakaramdam ng pagod. The feel of the warm bubble bath against her skin feels like a soothing balm. She reached for the loofah and started rubbing all over her body. As she squeezed it, she noticed that she’s still wearing her rings. Nakalimutan niya palang hubarin at ilagay sa dresser.
A sudden rush of happiness filled her heart while she’s staring at her two precious rings. Ang isa ay ang kanyang engagement ring. It’s a 4 karat Cartier princess cut diamond ring given to her by her fiance. Ang isa naman ay ang kanyang Tiffany & Co. platinum band chastity ring. Mahalaga ang singsing na iyon para sa kanya. Binigay ito ng kanyang mommy noong fifteen years old pa lamang siya. It’s symbolic of her purity. She made a promise to God, to her mom, as well as to her own self that she will remain pure until marriage. And that she will only give herself to her husband and no one else.
Napangiti siya. She’s very thankful that she found the right man for her. Raffy is an epitome of a perfect boyfriend. Mabait, matalino, walang bisyo, at hands-on sa negosyo. And the best bonus is that he’s handsome and he perfectly understands her vow of chastity. He says that he loves her even more because of it. At sabi rin nito na mas nakaka-heighten daw ng kanilang sexual tension ang “waiting game” lalo pa’t papalapit na ang kanilang kasal.
MONIQUE WOKE UP feeling refreshed. Ginising siya ni Raffy at sinabihang kailangan niya nang maghanda para sa kanilang early breakfast. She told him to wait up. She’ll just take a quick shower and bababa na sila. Matapos magshower, tinungo niya ang walk-in closet. She’s contemplating on what to wear. Alam niyang pupunta sila sa construction site kaya kailangang comfy clothes ang suot niya.
“No stillettos and pumps huh,” she said while carefully checking each and every clothing she just unpacked last night.
Pinili niya ang isang mustard yellow Lacoste mid-thigh tennis dress. Since petite naman siya, hindi ito magmumukhang malaswa sa kanya. Plus, the color compliments her beyond-fair porcelain skin. She’ll pair it up with her white Nike sneakers. After dressing up, she blow-dried her hair so she could tie it up toa high pony. She grabbed her oversized Abercrombie canvas bag.
As she stepped out of her suite, she saw Raffy approaching towards her. He looks so dashing in an ash blue polo shirt tucked in his tailored jeans.
“So, are we heading to the golf course?” Biro niya rito while giving him a smack on the lips.
“You look so beautiful, babe.”
“And you’re equally handsome, Mr. Big Shot Business Tycoon.”
“You just simply know which buttons to push, ‘no?”
She just chuckled and they headed straight to the lobby to have their breakfast. He pulled up a chair for her. As she sat down, a familiar man approached their table.
“Michael, pare, it’s good to see you!” Halata ang fondness sa boses ni Raffy.
“Babe, you remember Michael? He’s my close friend from business school.”
She just nodded and smiled.
“We’re classmates in AdMU. Since then, we’ve been best friends,” singit ni Michael.
Again, she just smiled. Presko kasi ito. It actually kind of ruined her morning. And since she doesn’t want to upset her fiance, she just opted to be civil towards his business partner.
“Sit, have breakfast with us, pare.”
“Certainly, I wouldn’t pass on that offer, ‘tol.”
And so they had their breakfast. She had to painstakingly endure Michael’s braggy attitude for the entire duration of their meal.
“Hey, is that Xander?” Tanong ng kanyang fiance.
“It is! Huh, that bastard. What is he doing here?” sagot ni Michael.
“I’ll talk to him for a bit, babe, excuse me for a while.”
“Babe,” aniya sabay hawak sa kamay nito. “Don’t you think it’s inappropriate? I mean, are you gonna discuss business prospects with him? At this hour?”
“Yeah, but I’m just gonna ease into it slowly naman, babe. I’ll ask if he’s interested in putting up some condo units in CDO.”
“But, you’re practically trying to ambush his peaceful breakfast with his wife, babe.”
“C’mon, Monique, it’s just some harmless business chitchat,” singit ni Michael.
“Besides, we’re not even sure if that’s really his wife,” dagdag pa nito sabay ngisi at nag fist bump pa kay Raffy.
She gave him a disgusted look before turning to her fiance.
“But don’t forget, we’re heading to the construction site, babe.”
He held her hand and kissed her cheek.
“So, Monique, how’s your restaurant?” tanong ni Michael nang makaalis na si Raffy.
He’s talking about her gourmet restaurant in Bonifacio Global City.
“It’s doing great.”
“But you’re also an interior designer, right?”
“Perhaps we can head to the construction site now? Alam ko tapos na ang showroom sa first floor. I think you can help with its interior design.”
“Sure. Raffy and I will go there later.”
“How about we go there now? Sigurado ako matatagalan pa si Raffy sa pakikipag usap kina Xander.”
“Wait here, I’ll talk to him.”
Naglakad ito patungo kina Raffy. They talked for a bit and then she saw him heading towards her.
“Alright, Raffy told me to take you there. Let’s go?”
“Let’s go. Susunod nalang si Raffy.”
She looked at Raffy. Tumango ito at ngumiti sa kanila.
She found herself sitting on the passenger’s seat of Michael’s Ford Ranger. Malapit lang naman pala sa kanilang hotel ang ipinatatayong condo units nina Raffy. Ilang minuto lang nakarating na sila at nagpark na si Michael sa harap ng lobby ng condominium building. Sinalubong sila ng mga engineer ng site. Ipinakilala siya ni Michael at pumunta na sila sa showroom. It was huge and totally furnished. Although, she could say na marami pang pwedeng idagdag at baguhin para mas maging maganda ito.
Tinungo niya ang bintana.
“You guys can change the drapes, so it would look classy. And lose that coffee table, it contradicts the modern look that this showroom’s trying to achieve.”
“Yes, Ma’am.” Sabi ni Michael. Ini-lock nito ang pinto.
“What are you doing?”
He walked towards her.
“Ayokong maistorbo ng mga engineer at contractors. Ang daming demands at puro problema nalang ang inirereport sa’kin sa tuwing pumupunta ako dito.”
She did not react.
“So, tell me, anong gagawin natin dito?”
“I meant, what are we gonna do with this room? You’re in charge of its interior design, right?”
“Oh, uhm, yung drapes. And yung lamp dapat palitan.”
Lumapit ito sa kanya at sinagi ang braso niya.
“What’s wrong with these drapes?”
He asked in a very sensual voice. Habang hinahawakan nito ang kurtina. Pero nasa likuran niya ito kaya para mahawakan ang iyon, kailangang nakapalibot ang kamay nito sa baywang niya. It’s obvious that he’s sniffing her neck. He’s inhaling her scent.
Bago pa siya makapalag, hinapit ni Michael ang kanyang baywang at siniil siya ng halik sa labi. She was dumbfounded. Hindi siya nakapagreact agad lalo na nang pilit na ibuka ni Michael ang kanyang mga labi ipinasok nito ang dila nito sa kanyang bibig.
She finally gathered her strength and pushed him as hard as she can.
“Monique…” She gained her composure.
“I’ll be going back to the hotel.”
“No. Kiss me, Monique.”
Umiling siya. Kinuha niya ang kanyang bag at tinungo ang pintuan. Mabilis siyang naabutan ni Michael.
“Take your hands off me!”