I enter what seems to be the living area and once again, I’m overwhelmed by how luxurious the place is. I mean, never in my life would I even have dreamed of being in such place, never would I have been able to experience this too.
The first thing that catches my attention is the huge flat screen TV plastered on the wall on top of some gold plated or is it platinum looking fireplace.
There are two couches all wide and long in a reddish brown colour and a clear glass table with red stands in the middle. The place looks almost like a home instead of hotel penthouse.
On the other side of the room stands a huge dining table which is surrounded by eight sofa-like red chairs. I’m now guessing his colour must be red.
Before I can fully assess the whole room, I’ve caught the owner of this whole luxurious room’s attention. Jeremy Lawson.
He sits in the middle of the dining table with both of his elbows on the table and his face on his hands as he stares at me with that sly look, as if I’m some exotic creature to be fascinated about.
Immediately my stomach does a double flip and my cheeks redden. He holds my gaze for a few moments and I’m trapped in that bluish grey pool of his eyes.
It doesn’t take long until I’m freed and that’s when I realize the amount of food on the dining table. As if on cue, my stomach makes that embarrassing growling noise and I clutch it, in an attempt to subdue the noise. I know, however, that he has heard it because now his smirk has grown to full extent.
“Why don’t you sit down?” He suggests after a while of me standing there awkwardly. I hesitate for a moment.
“C’mon I don’t bite, you must know that by now. You shouldn’t be afraid of me.” He says sternly, the smirk on his face gone.
“I’m not afraid of y-you,” I try to say it in my best serious tone but I fail as my voice wavers at the end.
I’m not afraid; I’m just intimidated by you.
He frowns at me but his eyes tell me he’s amused as they twinkle. He puts his index finger across his lower lip and smothers it. Once again my stomach does that butterfly dance as my eyes glue on his lips. My brain, obviously in a gutter, begins recalling the kisses we’ve shared.
I shut my eyes briefly, inhaling deeply just to get rid of these dark thoughts. It’s completely disarming how much he affects me by just small gestures like that. I open my eyes at the same time exhaling out, my intentions resolved.
I avoid his burning gaze as I call in for courage and I confidently stroll towards his dining table and sit directly across him.
My eyes are set on the array of choices of food to choose from. There’s plates containing breakfast meals; eggs, bacon, sausages along with waffles and pancakes and choices of breakfast cereal and there are also lunch meals; sandwiches and full meals; pasta with salmon and vegetables.
I look up to him, in confusion. Why so much food?
“I call it brunch. You can have everything you want.” He smiles lazily, the flick of blue glimmering in his eyes.
Is he being cocky because he knows he can afford hence how rich he is or he’s just amused by my reaction?
I have no time to assess his mood, my stomach is growling like there’s no tomorrow. I think he’s laughing at me because of it. I’m afraid to meet his burning gaze as I fiddle my thumbs unsure of what to do.
“Do eat.” He orders as if sensing my hesitation. I look up. He’s opted for eggs, bacon and waffles and I watch for a moment as he eats. I’m entranced by the way his mouth chews. I blush momentarily, thinking of where his mouth has been on me. He smirks when he sees my blush.
“What are you thinking of?” He asks.
I blush even more, I don’t even know why. I shake my head to answer his question. Picking out a bowl, I add Coco Pops in the bowl along with milk in the mix.
He raises one of his eyebrows at my choice and I ignore him, as I take spoon of Coco Pops into my mouth.
Chocolate. I’ve been longing for this. I close my eyes to savour the taste.
I open my eyes and Jeremy is watching me heatedly. His eyes penetrate right through me, sending impulses to that familiar pull deep within. My stomach churns with butterflies and my insides coil with heat. I shift uncomfortably in my seat.
We stare at each other for a few moments each of us holding their breaths. A sudden ringtone from a phone somewhere in the room, disengages our contact. It breaks whatever pull that made us stare at each other.
Jeremy moves away from the table and I watch as he walks toward his desk where the telephone along with his laptop and briefcase sat. I’m guessing that’s his mini office area.
I look away when he turns to face me, shoving cereal into my mouth. I try my best to ignore the burning holes of my back from his gaze.
“Lawson.” He answers. “Yes…Excellent… Brief me in my email…Okay.” He hangs up.
Seconds later he strolls back to the table and sits. His eyes never leave my sight as he continues where he left off with his food.
“You know you never answered my question.” He says casually.
I stare at him in confusion.
“About your leaving,” he answers my unspoken question.
I press my lips together in thought. What exactly is he implying?
“Do you really have to go or you want to?” He asks.
I look up and he’s staring intently at me, with a new emotion on his expression. It’s almost as if he’s anxious for my answer.
“I have to.”
“Because I…” I sigh. “Because the old woman will wonder of my whereabouts.” I tell him.
“Are you close with this woman?” He frowns.
I shake my head, avoiding his burning eyes.
“Then that’s not a reason why you have to leave.” He stabs a fork on his pancake and then eats, his eyes concentrating on mine.
“I owe her.”
He frowns and cocks his head to one side. “Owe her what?”
“Money.” I twirl the spoon on my half eaten cereal, the bowl now a chocolate milk colour.
“Is that why you–” He stops himself. I don’t need for him to finish his sentence to know what he meant. Once again I’m reminded just how I met him.
“Yes.” I answer his unfinished question.
He chews momentarily and I think he is deep in thought. I avoid his gaze completely, staring only at my bowl of cereal.
After a minute I hear him ask, “How much?”
My head snaps up at him, frowning at him. I shake my head. I don’t know where he was going with this but if he thinks he can give me his money. I won’t accept.
“How much?” He insists.
I press my lips together, shaking my head at him.
“Leyla. How much?” His tone is insistent but at the same time demanding.
“Five hundred,” I lie to him, out of pure intimidation. He is even more intimidating when he is demanding.
I bite my lower lip and frown down at my cereal.
He is quiet for a while and I can’t help but look up to gauge his reaction. He looks to be deep in thought. His elbow is on the table as his index finger strokes his lips, while gazing deeply at me at the same time.
“I want to help you,” he finally says after what seems like an eternity of silence.
I shake my head immediately. I can’t accept his help. I won’t allow it.
“Please, let me help you.” He pleads and that my breath hitches. My eyes become lost on that pool of blue grey from his. They show true genuine concern.
Why does he want to help me? I’m a trashy no good for no one girl. Why will he even care?
“Why?” I find my voice.
“Because, I can’t just let you leave, only for you to go back out there on your own without even a cent. These world is dangerous out there.” He says this as if it’s the obvious thing.
“I’ve survived before,” I tell him. “I know these streets well enough.”
He scowls at me. “I won’t let you.”
I scowl back. Whoa, sudden change of events. One minute I’m nervous and intimidated by him and now I’m angry at him.
We glower at each other for what seems to be a long moment before he speaks again.
“Why won’t you let me help you?” He demands an answer.
“Because…” I trail. I almost tell him why.
Because I will feel like trash if he gives me the money; I don’t want to him to. Because what we shared impacted me deeply and if he gives me the money, it will just make me be exactly like what I came here for in the first place. It will make me a prostitute. That Monica woman was right, I definitely did not belong in that category.
I sigh shaking my head at him, “I don’t want your help.”
He presses his lips together as he narrows his eyes at me.
“But you need it.” He cocks his head to one side.
I do. I really do.
No I can’t, not from him.
Then how will you pay back the old lady. My inner voice questions.
………………….To be continued………………..
In this kind of situation, I want you guys to give Leyla the best choice.