Chapter 5: Care

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 sooner.

"Krasivaya…" he said.

"What?" Ara asked skeptically.

"I said, 'beautiful'."

"Why would you say that?"

"Because I see a beautiful girl in front of me."

Her cheeks flush red instantly. She's not used to compliments. Especially from men. She's not good with having a conversation with men to even start with. Vanluke also knew that. After running a background check on her he found out everything about her. Including a year long experience with only one guy.

Vanluke's hand turned into fists secretly. He has the name of her ex. He'll make sure he suffers. For now, the agenda is to keep her here with him in the vacation house for as long as he can before he goes back to Russia.

"What do you want to talk about?" She started. She's meeting up with his gaze intentionally.

"Be my caregiver."

"You asked for my family's blessing in marriage yet you ask for me to be your caregiver?"

"You won't stay here without a reason, Ara. If we don't get to know each other how will there be a wedding?"

"That's very romantic of you."

"I won't harm you if you stay here be it simply staying or being my caregiver."

"I doubt that." She walked towards the tall window blinded by thick navy blue curtains. "Why me? If you're looking for a plaything please just choose anybody else."

"It doesn't matter why I chose you. I want you."

"What is it that you really want?" She hugged herself. Guessing 'right' but not putting it into words.

Vanluke travelled the distance between them. Facing her back he put both his arms at each side of her. Palms on the windowsill. She held her breath. Her bare shoulder is teasing him to have a taste. It arouses him to smell her so naturally fragrant along with the soap and shampoo she used to take a bath. "You have no idea…" he inhaled her scent, "how much I'm holding back."

He can hear her heart beating loud. How she gasps air each time his hot breath touches her skin.

"You don't know how much I want to undress you now." He leaned his mouth to her right ear on purpose. "And have a taste of your whole body right from where you're standing," gently, teasing he whispers. She shivered. He can clearly see her goosebump.

Before he loses control he distanced himself meters away, back to his table to lean on it again. He crossed his arms on his chest. "Don't worry, I won't harm you like I said. Let us know each other a little. Or if you want, we can do the honeymoon first," he teased.

Fuming in embarrassment, she finally met his eyes. "No thank you!" The defiance in her eyes made him feel more aroused.

"Alright. If you agree to be my caregiver your salary will be fifty thousand philippine peso a month."

Fifty thousand? That's bigger than her salary in the clinic. She has to close it down because it's not getting any more patients caused by the pandemic. It's hard to seek a job opportunity nowadays. It's a chance to earn big for the time being. "Are you sure you're not going to harm me?"

Vanluke smiled in his mind victoriously. She took his bait. "Yes. We have a contract to sign so you can review it here now."


He shrugged his shoulders. "You're not getting out of here for three months starting today."

"Hold on a moment. You can't do that."

"I can. You have options. Stay for free, or stay while being paid legally. How's that sound?"

"It sounds just absurd." Ara shook her head in disbelief. She gathered all her strength to give him with a deathly glare. If she's going to be imprisoned with or without her permission, she might as well make the full use of the chance to be brave. At least on the outside. "I'll stay. Not for free."

"Good. Fedor will show you to your room. I'll have Czar deliver you the contract. Let me know if you disagree with the terms," Vanluke casually says.

As mentioned, Fedor showed her her room on the third floor of the mansion where she has a breathtaking view of Mount Cabuyao. Her room is unexpectedly spacious, clean and filled with only the necessary furnitures and fixtures such as the bed, bedside tables along with night lamps above each, a wardrobe, real Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa) plants in all four corners of the room, a small glass-like chandelier in the middle of the ceiling, vases above a cabinet and more. The room's motif is modern russian. It's elegant despite the simpleness.

A portrait painting of a lonely Russian woman above the bed's headboard caught her attention. The woman is not smiling nor sad. Her eyes are lifeless yet subtle like every stroke of her picture. It was a masterpiece. Stunning.

Not a moment later Czar came knocking at her door to deliver the contract. She spent the next hour reviewing it for any hidden agenda. So far nothing was suspicious. It's all simply about the terms and conditions of caregiving, a healthy professional employer-employee relationship. Nothing mentioned anything about Vanluke's real intentions. "This is going to be hectic," she told herself.

ARA called in her parents so they wouldn't have to worry. Thankfully they didn't ask much about why she won't be home for a few months. They just wished her well and safe and to go home whenever she can.

"I hope I can still come home in one," she mumbled. She glared at the new clothes in the wardrobe. Everything was prepared literally starting from the word 'hygiene'. She even checked the bathroom five minutes ago. It surprised her to see the brands she uses for showering. It's official, Vanluke is a total red flag. Confronting him will be useless. That guy really planned her 'stay'.

The next day she presented Vanluke with the signed contract. He was busy with paperworks and didn't give her time to start her job for the whole day. She killed time by exploring the mansion, appreciating the exteriors and interiors at the very least. In spite of her expectation she was allowed to walk outside the mansion. Vanluke's men are just keeping their eyes on her not to fall on a cliff. She enjoyed the landscape view from the gazebo. She watched the sun set and the moon took over the night sky. Stars shine one after another. She inhaled the cool breeze of Benguet as Fedor served her dinner there as per her humble request.

It's seven o'clock in the evening when she was called in to Vanluke's room. Her eyes narrow in suspicion to Czar. "Why in his room?" she asked.

"Sir Vanluke needs your assistance in changing his bandages."

Ara has no choice but to act professional. She brought the medical kit Czar handed her. Upon arriving in front of Vanluke's door, her forehead crumpled. It's right next to her room's door. Either way she knocked. "It's me," she said.

"Come in," she heard a reply.

She pushed the door open. Vanluke's sitting on an accent bench at the foot of his bed. He looked exhausted. "Did you take a bath earlier?" she started the conversation as she closed the door behind her.

"I did," he simply replied, taking off his black coat.

She put the kit next to him. She helped him remove the rest of his top clothes. Vanluke let her do it. He was enjoying watching her. She remained calm to do her thing. The familiar wounds were still healing. The gauze pads need to be changed. Aside from that she couldn't deny how nice his body is. Both figure and texture are to be drooled upon. His muscles are hard like stone. His dark chest and abdomen hairs are seductive. She mistakenly imagines her hands rubbing up and down his torso. Realizing that she immediately averted her eyes.

Vanluke saw this opportunity to tease her. "I never said you can't touch me. I'm all open for your caress."

She can feel her cheeks boiling red. "C-cut it. It's only natural that I at least appreciate your figure."

"You can appreciate it intimately."

"The only intimacy I'd grant you is putting my finger in your wounds," she retorted.

"Put it in my mouth instead."

Her brown eyes met his grayish eyes. Her hands stopped working for a moment. Her gaze went down his lips. Her years of abstinence aren't helping. "Using my lack of sex life is unfair," she growl at him. "Don't play me, Vanluke. I don't have sex with a person that's not my boyfriend."

"Make me your boyfriend."

She reverted her eyes to cleaning the wound area. "You look healthy enough to play around two or more women at the same time. Why don't you just pick on somebody else?"

"I'm serious about you, Ara. I'm not going to say the cheezy word as 'love' to define it. But I know you are the 'right' girl for me."

"I'm not."

"Yes you are."

"Why do you think that?"

"I just felt it. The night I met you I knew you were something else."


"You don't have to love me. Just be with me."

Exhausted slouching she knelt in front of him. Between his legs. A kind of both teasing and keeping her focus on the task to apply new gauze pads. She looked up at him. "I don't want to be with you. I don't need to guess you are a dangerous guy. The extent you do now is already a huge sign on my face. This mansion has everything I would like. You're giving me the good treatment. I can feel it. Sooner or later you will treat me badly."

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