VANLUKE has spent his entire day recovering in a cheap motel. The girl left last night and he knows nothing about her besides being a veterinary practitioner. He never cared for any woman, much less for a girl. He brushes off memories of her and calls for his backup. He has more important matters to attend to.
His men came to bring him back to his suite in a five star hotel less than an hour away from where the nightclub was. His cousin, Danil Kromatova was waiting for him to arrive.
"Vanluke! It's so nice to see you in one shape!" Danil greeted him with a manly handshake which he gladly took.
"Call the boss," Vanluke started. Serving himself a glass of beer from the mini bar. "Tell him the bastards ran away with the money."
"Where were the goods?" What Danil was talking about was the guns their family was illegally selling throughout Asia. The last shipment was supposed to be successful but the contractor's shitty wife leaked the operation last night all because she didn't get a higher cut. Plus the contractor's bitch mistress was receiving as much as cut she got so everything was damn shit involving the NBI.
"The damn NBI got them," Vanluke took a shot of beer to his mouth.
"The money?" Danil joined him, serving himself.
"I didn't get it. Before we were able to make the exchange we were interrupted."
"Damn," his cousin drank all his beer in one go. "The boss will hunt him to his grave. His wife and mistress will be buried alive with him," he said in a grimace with pretentious pity. "Anyways, how were you able to patch yourself up clean? I believe you almost died last night according to your men. You were bleeding hard when they last saw you before today."
"I slipped into a nightclub, blend in. I met a girl, a Filipina. She's a veterinary practitioner. She helped me."
"What luck. You got treated by the right person."
"I thought otherwise. It's ridiculous I was mended by an animal lover."
"Vanluke, you are an animal," Danil laughs. "Did you sleep with her after?"
"She didn't like me."
"What woman would not? Maybe she's not into men?"
"Shut up. Forget about her, we need to make a plan on how to retrieve the loss. The boss will take our heads if we don't."
"You don't need to ask," groans Danil.
VANLUKE and Danil spent the next forty-eight hours planning to make up for the loss. To complete that, a search party for the contractor and the two women with him was sent out under their command. While they wait for the result the two men leisured in the lounge to speak about the girl, a nice, private time to have some boy talk despite the crisis.
At the hotel's open veranda, the two of them shared a drink under the dark sky.
"What was she like?" Danil asks while sipping on his coconut juice in a real coconut shell. He didn't bother removing the blue paper umbrella placed on its side.
Vanluke slightly tilted his head, wondering. Carefully constructing the right sentences to reveal. "I don't know. She was common."
"Common girls drool over you. Come on, spill the beans, Van," Danil urged.
"She is just common, Dan. You're right, she should have fallen for me at first sight. But she wasn't interested in me at all. Not even sexual desire. I don't know her name nor did she bother to know mine. She left as soon as she got the chance. Besides knowing she is a vet, I don't know anything about her. Except she kept dodging my questions about how many times has been in a motel with someone."
Danil's lips drew the biggest smile yet. "Van, you know girls like her are the best fit for the family's women criteria. Simple, innocent but not so innocent, doesn't give a damn about you, uninterested in your face and body.
"I doubt it."
Danil stares at him meaningfully and says, "Van, if you don't think about her like I do, you would've forced her to sleep with you."
"I wasn't interested."
"Stop lying, jerk."
"Can you shut up?"
"No way. In our line of work it's very critical to choose a woman you can trust your life with. Oh, I know! Let's run a background check, yeah?"
Vanluke heaves out a breath. His cousin loves to vex the hell out of his sanity. He focused on eating his steak instead of listening to the absurd ideas Danil come up with.
"If you still don't want her then I'll have her."
"Do whatever you want."
"Oh, come on! Vanluke, are you seriously not going to believe I won't take her away from you?"
Vanluke took a slice of steak in his mouth. "Yes."
"What makes you think that?" Danil challenge.
He didn't reply. He wasn't lying when he said he doesn't care that Danil will take the girl's breath away from him. Because he's not the sentimental type of person. He plans on marrying but he hasn't decided with whom yet. Especially when he's still securing his position as the heir to his father's job description, being the head of the Kromatova Family. He can't make another family while maintaining the other one.
Vanluke felt relief when Danil finally gave up. Or so he thought.
"First to track her down, is going to have her for a wife. Deal?"
"To hell with it."
AFTER the dinner, Danil left to go to his own hotel. Vanluke came back to his suite to change the gauze pads on his wounds. While standing in front of a mirror in the bathroom, he gazed over the clumsy stitches the girl gave him on the gut. As he reminisced the times she was casually touching his skin, he imagined what she looked like. She has real long eyelashes. Her eyebrows are infinitely thick, not drawn by make up. Her lips wore no color but natural pink applied, probably, with a gloss. Her nose is fairly pointed for an Asian. He saw no jewelry hanging from any parts of her. Her chest…
Vanluke stopped. He blinked at his own thoughts. "What the hell are you thinking, Vanluke Kromatova? Fantasizing about a commoner? Have you gone low?" He scolded his own reflection. He shook his head in disbelief. He can't believe he thinks about that girl, of all women starting whom he had been with.
He stepped in the shower. He thinks it'll help him cool his thoughts. Then as the water rains on him from head to toe, a picture of that certain girl flashes before his wildest imagination. In his head, the girl is with him, no, that is not quite right. She was taking a shower alone naked. He entered the scene with the intent to seduce her. In his imaginary world he was caressing her all over, before taking her hard and wild. The cold water was nothing compared to the heat of the moment.
Vanluke opened his eyes abruptly. He was shocked at his own foolish waking dream. What's more shocking is he's already hard between his muscled legs. "What the hell…" he cursed. He closed his eyes unwillingly. When was the last time he cooled his hardness by himself? No other choice he continued on his evil desires. It took him no less than a minute before he came.
Cursing more he stepped out of the bathroom to take a phone call. "Dominika?!" He fumes over the call.
"What the hell are you angry about!" Dominika Kromatova, his elder sister, the head of intelligence central in the family, curses back.
"I need you to find someone."
"Is this how you ask your sister a favor?"
"Damn it." He calmed his voice down. He walked past his bedroom with a white towel around his still hard manhood. "Please, Dominika."
"Tell me why."
He can sense her grinning from the other side of the world. She wouldn't take any excuse or she'll never help him. "I found her."
"Your future sister-in-law."
"YOU'RE fast, Van," Danil smirks.
Vanluke and Danil are standing right in front of a simple apartment in a quiet, but populated subdivision. "I really was serious about stealing her. Father will definitely like her," he said in dismay.
"I found her first. Line is already drawn," he gave his final warning, not giving his cousin even a bat of an eye.
Danil put his hands up like he was hearing a warrant of arrest. "Okay! So what's your plan? What the hell are we doing in front of her family's home?"
"I'll be taking her with me back in Russia."
"She's a Filipina, Van. You think her family will just let you grab her and fly her to another side of the world? In the Philippines it's more like you live with your parents even when you're already married. I've done my research, and trust me, her father is strict but her mother will eat you alive."
ARA can never be more stupefied in her entire life. Opening the door and being surprised with one familiar and one unfamiliar face. And it's the familiar face she's afraid of.Smiling and handsome, no doubt Russian, the unfamiliar faced one first spoke, "Hi! I'm Danil," he offered his hand for a shake.Her eyes didn't left Danil's smile. She turns her focus on the man she will never ever forget. His face is in pokerface mode. "What are you doing here? Why are you here?!" She squealed in whispers.Before either man can answer her father and mother are already at her back."Ara, sino sila?" her father asked in their own Filipino language.(Ara, who are they?)"Mga foreigner
"SHE just walked away? And you let her?" Danil couldn't believe what Vanluke was saying. They're on their way to a warehouse where the bastard contractor, his wife and his mistress are hiding like rats separating themselves from the crowded outside world."I did," Vanluke replied poker face."A girl head on rejected you still you're calm about it.""I figured she would reject me. I would've been so disappointed if she agreed out of fear.""What made you want her?" Danil is suspicious of his intentions."Dan, you were the one who told me she's the best fit criteria to be the new lady of Kromatova.""Well I did mention she's a good fit to be in the family. I didn't say marry her."
ARA refused to sit anywhere. Vanluke can see her fidgeting. He smirked in his mind. Just like a commoner she does feel fear for her life. She knew she had to be strong despite the trap he did set for her. If he were not serious about getting her trust he would have already grabbed her. Taken her to his table. He will force himself inside her just for the sake of his physical desires. With the girl he’s been sexualizing in his mind in front of him like an open prey, his mind refuses to work. All he could think about is ‘when’ will he be able to feel her skin against his skin? How does she smell up close? Does she look just like how he perceives it when she’s at her limits? He can’t wait any longer. He must have her. Yet the feeling that gaining her trust is far more important than that. He must bear to wait. Although seeing how his reward is wrapped conservatively in clothes the more he hopes to unwrap it
ARA is not going to lie to herself. It's her fantasy to meet a brute man and make him humane. After meeting Vanluke, she doesn't know if she does want to anymore. It's scary being in the real situation. She'd never know when he'll treat her badly. She could end up losing her life. It's really lucky that she's still alive.Vanluke stared down at her. He knew she was telling a fact. He might or he will treat her badly if the time comes he's not fond of her anymore. He couldn't answer back. Because it's all the reason why he wants to get to know her better. To see it for himself if he's a hundred percent sure she's the one he will spend the rest of his life with. But…"You're right," he confessed. "Although I know for a fact that you're the first person I even thought of growing old with." It's embarrassing. Though, in order to g
IT'S Ara's third day staying at Vanluke's mansion. Last night was half regretful and half… wondrous. Since the kiss Vanluke seems to be always smiling mischievously at her. Unlike the other days today he's never busy. He's practically doing nothing. They had breakfast as usual. Danil had already left so they were alone. After that he invited her to the open backyard pool to spend the day in leisure.Ara couldn't stand his glances and awfully handsome smile. "You look like you've got a good night's sleep," she wasn't hiding her sarcasm because she's really pissed right now."What smile?" He denies with a big grin. His black polo shirt hugged the broadness of his torso. His wood color capri pants are screaming the deadly snake sleeping between his legs and she finds it hard not to notice.
"DANIL what the hell are you still doing here?" Vanluke hid no remorse for his cousin's comeback in the mansion. He thought he had left for good for Russia. Now he's joining the dinner table, flirting with Ara. The sour look on his face is clearly visible. He couldn't even touch his food knowing he could touch her so casually."I'm staying for a few nights. It's about work so I hope you understand," Danil explained but not removing his eyes from Ara like she's the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. He has her left hand imprisoned in his hands caressing it like a precious gem."I don't," he firmly said. "Keep your hands off her," he strictfully warned Danil between gritted teeth. Any moment he will pounce at him to personally rip him away from the girl he likes. "Damn it, Vanluke. Since wh
SOMETHING ticklish behind Ara's ear woke her up from her slumber. She's greeted by a handsome soft smile with a pretty white set of teeth. Grayish eyes peering down her morning face. Suddenly aware of her morning stars she covered her face. Her breath must have stunk too!"Why are you covering your face?" Vanluke asked grinning. Damn it, why does he look like a supermodel so early in the morning while she probably looks more like a zombie who just came out of a grave."I look ugly.""I know."She glared at him. Did he need to be honest? "I'm taking a shower.""Do it later. Let's stay like this all day." He wrapped his arms around her like she's some bolster
FIVE years ago Ara had decided to love an opposite sex. She met him in college. She gave him herself thinking she found the person she can spend her life with. Everything was fine. Everything was smooth. They faced ups and downs of a relationship. The challenges they came through made her think she found the right man. But it was all in her head. She ignored the signs. Until she was confronted by the truth that hurted her inside badly. He had someone else. If she didn't find out about the other girl she would look not only stupid but an idiot. She loved him for real. And he broke her heart. Not wanting to discuss nor fix it she never spoke of him again. Guilty, he refused to show himself in front of her again.Five years later she saw him again. Not in normal circumstances. She was behind worn out wooden boxes listening, watching quietly of what's going on in a storage room near the mansion s