I prop my elbow while lying down on my stomach, listening intently to my cousin's words, she have been there for almost two hours sitting on the couch located near the window. She sounds desperate, and it figures what caused her to be in that chaos, it is about her family again. Sandra had has been pampered by her parents, given everything she wanted but not in the matters of love. She loves somebody else that her parents don't approve of and much to her dismay, lately she was being asked no forced is the right term to marry one of her Papa's associates in business.
Alexander Monteverde has a heart made of stone, everybody knows that, he gets what he wants and I'm sure as hell the word wife is not on his vocabulary, and thus I bet his cars are more important than having a wife around. Surely not the kind of guy Sandra wants to live with for the rest of for her life, in fact she wants to be with a passionate man who knows how to love a girl like Kurt. I sigh remembering the man's name, nobody knows I have a thing for him, even my cousin doesn't know about it, and surely I don't have a plan of blurting it out on her, what a coincidence that we like one man.
Hopefully, Sandra didn't notice my sigh and the change of the mood on my eyes, thus looking back at her again, I'm sure she has no idea what I was thinking then while she talks exasperatingly.
"Dios Mio Jasmine, were you listening to me?" She asks me with enlarged black eyes. Still she looks pissed off probably because of her mood since she arrived in my apartment, it is all she can do to displace her anger to me while I've been here as her listener, however awhile ago she doubted that fact.
"Of course Sand." I answer her hastily but in appeasing manner.
"Please, I'm so desperate, you know damn well I just can't marry that Alexander Monteverde." She seems about to cry, but comforting her is not what she needed right now, and I know what she wanted to happen making me shiver. She wanted to run away from her parents and from her fiancé. That is beyond the limits, and she can't hide forever from her fate.
"If only I can do something to help you Sand." I say earnestly, but all of a sudden her eyes light up and get up from the couch, stride towards my bed and assist me to get up too, thus I oblige her but I wonder what's happening to her. Does she losing her mind in desperation? Oh no, it can't be.
"Come Jas." She stretches out her hand, I take it while frowning and follow her footsteps though. We reach the mirror, and I look at the girl with black wavy hair and enlarged brown eyes staring back at me, while the other replica with huge black eyes and curly hair who smiles and her eyes telling me something which I can't fathom. "Did somebody ever tell you Jas you're beyond beautiful?"
At the top of my head, there's a crease forming there after hearing her question to me, I look back at my replica before me and it awes me that I blush. At twenty and three, I still have the capacity to go scarlet just hearing the word beautiful like a smitten teenager. I can't help it, Kurt once told me that I'm beautiful, well I know, he was only being polite then, I know all of the girls he meet he recite the same words. One way to a woman's heart is praising her indeed.
I don't answer her, I wonder why she said that, surely something is bugging on her mind, I have the feeling that I don't want the trail of her thoughts right now, even though I can't read her mind, but one look at her eyes gives her away. "What are you trying to say Sandra?" I ask her though eventually.
"You said, if only you could do something to help me right?" Sandra looks back at me, her back on the mirror; she takes my hand and squeezes it gently. I nod my head. "We can use your beauty to help me Jas." She adds matter-of-factly, as if it is nothing while she says the words. I shake my head, suddenly confused about what she's going to do involving me.
"I don't think that's possible." I utter hesitantly. I don't have a beauty I can brag to anyone else, I always knew I look plain and lacking of lustre in anyway.
"Please Jas, you're my last pawn, I always knew you can help me." Again she sounds desperate, it frightens me what is she going to do if I can't help her this time.
"How can I help you?" I ask her despite of my hesitation inwardly.
"Do you know that Alexander damn Monteverde right?" She sounds a little ecstatic this time, like earlier was only part of her drama, but I know she's desperate and that her emotions are mixing this time.
"Yes, and now what?" I answer and cock my eyebrows.
"Seduce him." She says it nonchalantly, not breaking contact with my eyes, her words really that effect on me, making me thought of a scene, an intimate one, making me shiver once again but different this time.
"You're insane Sandra." I retort a little annoyed, pulling my hand from her grasp. I leave her standing in the mirror and go back to my bed, sighing heavily this time. She follows me and sits at the edge of my bed.
"Yes you're right Jasmine, I'm insane." She croaks and starts crying, I look at her hesitantly, not knowing what I should do, in the end I let her finish. "Surely you don't want yourself to be married to a man cold as an ice." She adds with snort from her crying. Of course, I don't want to, I answer to myself. Now, I can feel what Sandra feels. "I want to be with the man I love." Oh there, she says it. "You know I love Kurt." Oh man, so do I.
Yet seducing a cold-hearted man is beyond my imagination, in fact that imagination of seducing him is leading me farther and farther. I shake my head violently trying to shove the images off my mind. Sandra notices it, her mascara dripping down on her cheeks but still she looks rather beautiful, "I see you can't help me." She comments, assuming the shake of my head means no, her voice full of disappointment and hopelessness.
"Sandra, it's not that." I start, my voice faltering.
"Then what?" She asks softly.
"I don't think I have a talent in seducing." I confess, making her form a wide grin on her mouth.
"And I take it as a yes then", she comments, "of course you have", and assures me. I don't think seducing a hard man like Alexander is sensible. Man, everyone looks up at him, seeing him as one of the magnates in the country. I doubt the task given to me yet my cousin has a faith in me.
Sandra is not yet convinced seeing me with a frown; I wonder why I have to seduce him. It sounds so hot, oh Por el Amor de Dios, where did I get that word? I remember the first time I met him, I was with Sandra's family and Alexander was there too as there guest, and that was six months ago.
I nearly dropped on the floor after accidentally stepping on my toes, but a protective arm suddenly surrounded me saving me from further embarrassment, I look up to say my gratitude but a dark feature welcomed me, his eyes were brown with a gold ring on it then his mouth, formed into a purse. "Watch your step lady next time." He said it coldly and pulled away hastily after setting me in place.
I blink instantly after realizing that Sandra has been talking to me, "I'm sorry, what did you say anyway?"
She rolls her eyeballs but answers me eventually, "I have to make my parents realize he's not worth of my hand."
"And that's my task then; I have to seduce him till your parents see us, right?" I ask her, surprisingly I sound calm and damn it my reputation is at risk here. Sandra seems to have read my mind assures me again.
"Don't worry, your reputation would be intact, before and after, that if you change your mind." Oh Sandra the tease. If I change my mind huh..surely not. To change my mind of staying my reputation as intact, what does Sandra thinking to continue the phase after seduction? Oh man…
"But Sandra we're going to use and deceive him." This time I sound desperate, deceiving Alexander is not healthy at all, and I know he's the kind of man who doesn't want scandal and hindrances on his plan. And I'm about to deceive him, I want to puke, I think I can't, oh, if only I can do other thing except deceiving him. I hope Sandra realize what is she trying to pass on me, and I wish it is only a dream.
"Sandra, can we have other choice?" I voice out desperately.
"No, nothing, if there are, but surely this one is the most effective, my parents would probably back out." She utters indignantly.
"But it also means his reputation would be jeopardized." I utter biting my lower lip.
"You seem more concern to the man's status." She comments. "Anyway, he can survive it." She adds senselessly. "No more buts", and snaps at me once again after seeing me opening my mouth to answer back. Thus I shrug my shoulders, there's no way I can escape the situation, knowing that I'm the only person she can trust and the one who can help her too. "Okay let's talk about the plan then." She utters seriously, and I nod my head in agreement.
We talk about everything, including the scene, the setting and oh the dress I should wear, but she hushes me up immediately upon sensing that I'm about to protest, "You're already a grown woman Jasmine, show us what you've got there hidden underneath your dress." Pointing at my body.
Everything she says seem so impossible, it's like I'm reading on her mouth the novels I'm so fond of, tempting the hero and whatnot. On the other hand, causing frisson to run down my spine, and to form butterflies in my stomach, I really wanted to throw up, but I'm afraid my cousin might be disgusted seeing that part of me, so I'd rather not.
"But Heavens, are you really sure I can do everything you instruct me to?" I ask in hesitation.
"Of course you can babe." She answers energetically, pulling something from the pocket of her jeans. "With the help of this", she places the thing in the air.
"You really plan for this ahead, aren't you?" I ask her, eyebrows shooting up.
"Oh you can't blame me, I know you're the perfect temptress for my plan." She utters sounding apologetically but teasingly.
"Oh if only I don't love you." I utter senselessly.
"And I'm glad you do." She replies sweetly pouting her lips. She pulls me to a hug then, I know Sandra is the sister I never had, and I would do anything for her. Call me martyr I don't care, family is way important to me, and oh Kurt, I should forget him for awhile besides I think he and Sandra already have some understanding while I, well, I might stay a spinster till the end.
I swing my swivel chair, hearing the knock on the door of my office. I compose myself, before clearing my throat and bid that whoever outside to enter. Grimacing upon noticing the visitor is not the one I'm expecting, I motion to dial the security outside, damn what's the work of my secretary anyway and the securities, I'm paying them a large amount of money and they can't even perform their jobs perfectly.
"Oh no, don't bother honey." The woman I already ditched a long time ago, utters seductively but I am far from seduced, thus I'm annoyed to the tips of my hair. "Aren't you surprise to see me?" She walks towards my table, with the irritating clicking sound of her heels on the floor.
"What do you want?" I ask her angrily.
"Oh you're asking me that, of course you my dear." She leans towards me and plants a quick kiss on my lips, just the door in my office opens and my secretary comes butting in.
"Oh I'm so sorry, Sir. I can't stop her." Thessa apologizes earnestly, I know she's afraid of losing her job.
"It's okay Thessa, just call the security now." I order with all the authority, which is also answered by Thessa's quick response by skittering out of the office.
"Oh that's you're going to say only, after she interrupted our private moment and security?" Hannah asks me disbelievingly, what does she expect anyway? I thought I've ditched her successfully.
"I thought that was clear to you when I said I end a relationship oh we never had one in my own basis", I watch her eyes narrow at me, "and didn't I tell you before that no emotional attachments shall be involved, and if you have forgotten I already ended a long time ago our affair." I finish while sitting back on the swivel chair comfortably while watching her about to retaliate to the words I have just uttered.
"No I didn't finish it, it was only you. Please Alex I love you. I'd do anything for you." She's sounding desperately, but I'm already used to this kind of scheme women used, thus it sounds a cliché in my ears.
"Really?" I ask her cocking my eyebrows to her. She nods her head.
"Then leave the office now and get out of my life." I utter while gritting my teeth.
"You pay for this Alexander Monteverde." She talks with fiery on her eyes and damaged pride.
"Talk to my lawyer. Good Day Ms. Gonzales." I dismiss her and she hastily scurries out of my office while crying. Huh that witch even threatened me. She's not the type of woman I wanted to pose as my wife in front of my associates. I wanted a woman who has this spark in her making everyone to look back and twice at her, with huge almond brown eyes and breathtaking mouth I can kiss all day without getting tired of doing so. That woman is..no..I'm about to marry her cousin in three weeks time and damn she's a forbidden fruit.
She doesn't deserve a man like me, but does Sandra deserve me? Not exactly and it wouldn't make a difference at all. But Jasmine is different. She's exceptional.
A telephone call brings me back to the reality, I grab the phone from its cradle and press it against my ear, I wait patiently for my secretary to speak.
"Sir, Miss Valenzuela is on the line." She informs me casually.
"Put her in the line Thessa." I order her authoritatively. As what I told her so, Sandra's line is connected to mine. There's a ragged breathing on the other line after how many seconds a voice speaks up. I wonder why Sandra is calling me, I always knew she's afraid of me, but then what the hell matter with her anyway phoning me all of a sudden.
"Good morning Mr. Monteverde." She greets me first yet she sounds tense. She has every reason to.
"Good morning, Miss Valenzuela right?" I reply back coolly.
"Ughm no, it's her cousin, Sandra can't call you personally, I was asked to inform you for a dinner tonight Sir." Says the voice on the other line rather softly this time. I review my appointments for tonight, and presto I don't have one.
"Her cousin?", I ask frowning, "who's this cousin I'm talking to if you don't mind?" I think I already knew who I am talking to.
"Jasmine." She replies plainly.
"Where's this dinner to be held anyway?"
"At her house." She replies nonchalantly, though I can sense that she's trying her very best not to sound tense.
"At her house?" I repeat it, "but don't you think it's rather awkward to have that dinner at her house?"
"No, I don't find any reason why it should be awkward Sir, besides her parents are involved Sir." She keeps emphasizing her address to me.
"Oh" I raise my eyebrow, throwing my latest wristwatch a quick glance, "what time then?"
"Seven sharp." She replies instantly.
"Very well then, you still have something to say Miss Jasmine?"
"I'm afraid nothing." She replies with a clunk of her tongue I hear on the other line. Then we end the call shortly. Several calls follow, until my ears burn and my head throbs. Perhaps, we're going to talk about the date tonight, ah I'm marrying. Even my ears can't believe that word, but I have to, this is for my business and for my future as well.
"Are you dead serious Sandra?" I hurl the words to Sandra a little louder. "I don't think I can wear this?" I hold out to her that black tiny dress in abhorrence.
"Don't be naive Jasmine, how can you seduce a man if you only wear pajamas or jeans like you usually wear?" She snaps at me trying to control her temper. I think of the words she said too. Surely she's right. But wearing that dress she threw at me awhile ago is unthinkable. It's very daring, no daring is very modest though describing to that dress, it's rather arousing indeed.
Damn, damn this naughty idea of Sandra, and to think that I'm going to sacrifice a little of my dignity just to help her, oh it's not little which is at risk here, it's my whole personality for crying out loud.
"Don't tell me you're going to back out this time?" She asks me anxiously.
"Rubbish, I've already phoned him right?" I ask her back too pursing my lips.
"We can always cancel what was being agreed.." I cut her off.
"No, we will continue your bright idea." I utter plainly.
"Are you sure, tell me, if you don't want to then I will not force you." She says earnestly changing her mood.
"Yes I'm sure, anyway, it's too late, the sooner we finish the better." I reply back though my head is spinning silently. I'm getting cold now, and in less than an hour I have to get dressed and brace myself together, there are those butterflies on my stomach once again causing me the urge to throw up in anticipation and anxiety of meeting our victim later.
True to Sandra's words to help me dress up, she pushes me into the dressing room to get everything I need for tonight's exploit. Then next thing she does, she watches me dress up and it's a bit of embarrassing that somebody is there and watching me. "Oh come on Girl. Quick! And I will apply some cosmetics on your face." Sometimes she's so pushy and bossy, nevertheless I still love her.
After donning that loathsome dress, she stands up and claps her hand after studying me from head to toe, "you're stunning, and you indeed look like a goddess." Goddess huh, or Cleopatra, says the other half of my brain.
I snort and roll my eyeballs to her, "a lost goddess indeed."
"Yeah lost and soon to be found by her prince." She retorts back mischievously.
"He's not a prince, he's a devil." I utter matter-of-factly.
She chuckles clutching her stomach, "and you are soon to be sacrificed to that devil."
"Stop." I snap at her that really makes her halt laughing and thus looks serious again while looking at me.
"Oh you take it so seriously, come on, I was just trying to lighten the situation, you're anxious, aren't you?"
"You have no idea Sandra, I just can't sit here while waiting and wondering what would happen to me later." I answer lengthily.
"Everything will be alright Jasmine, and you have no idea either how grateful I am to have you around."
"Ah you should be bitch." I snap but smiling this time, making her to grin too.
After half an hour indeed, I'm almost ready physically, but not mentally, while sitting down on Sandra's bed, I look down watching my straps of my sandals shine, I was not used in wearing high-heeled shoes and it's all strange to me.
Get a grip of yourself, you still have a mission tonight Jasmine.
And that is to mess with the billionaire, sounds so naughty right?
I pace back and forth inside Sandra's room, the heels that I'm wearing making an irritating noise, and catching Sandra's attention causing her eyebrows to raise questioningly, it's already six in the evening and in an hour, I'm going to be hanged, hell no, meeting that remarkable Monteverde is like meeting death himself, surely he won't kill me if he finds out about my cousin's plan.
"At 6:30 I'm going to leave." Sandra informs me causing to stop on my track and look back at her in surprise. "I'm going to fetch for my parents."
Ah right, but I'm going to be left alone with Alexander Mondeverde, sounds not right and it sounds unnerving, "I'm going to be left alone with Monteverde himself?" I voice out my question to her.
"Yeah." She answers me coolly, while I blink how many times, I hope she senses my hesitation and I wish she can feel those butterflies on my stomach once again.