"Yes, I want you to push through with the plans," I tell the head of marketing, "I assure you, the launch will go on as planned."
It was two days after my 'dinner' with David and I was in my office trying to get my head together with this project. My position as COO would be questioned if I couldn't pull it off as I'd promised and I know it would reflect badly on my father as he's the one who practically handed it over to me. My uncle would have a field day with this news.
After I'd wrapped my head around the fact that I will not be talking David out of his shares any time soon, I figured I'd have to play nice and try to get him to go along with my plans as I come up with a plan to get the shares back.
Gina's assistant contacts me with news of another committee meeting this Saturday and with everything that's on my plate right now I wish I hadn't accepted that invitation. I stay in my office all day, not really in the mood to go out and meet anyone who could bring my mood further down than it already was.
A surprise in the form of David is waiting for me downstairs by the Grengali building lobby as I get off work.
"You just keep popping in everywhere, don't you?" I say to him as I walk past him and straight outside to my waiting car.
"Not so fast partner," he says from behind me as he walks up, he goes past me to my driver, taps the roof of the car signifying to him that he should leave and to my surprise he drives off.
"Who do you think you are dismissing my employee like that?" I demand hotly.
"Well for one, I'm your business partner now," comes his reply and I roll my eyes at that but he continues anyway, "and we need to discuss business."
"And what is your idea of a business meeting?" I ask him folding my hands which is difficult to do considering I'm holding two bags.
"We can talk on the way home; come on I'll drive you," he says as the valet brings his car over.
I contemplate standing my ground and not giving in to his preposterous plan. But I think against it seeing as I need something from him as much as he needs something from me. In the end I got in.
We drive in silence for about a minute and I can't stand the awkward silence that had befalls the luxurious interior of David's Porsche. I mess around with his sound system, until the familiar tune of a jazz song comes up and I remember how David liked the classics. It reminds me of our second date when we'd sneaked in to a movie theater in the dead of the night and David paid off a classmate of ours who worked there to plan the whole thing. He'd picked out the movie, which turned out to be West Side Story.
"Why did you pick out this movie?" She'd asked him when they'd got out of the theater.
"You didn't like it?" He asked stopping to glance at her nervously.
"I loved it, I'm just asking why you like it," she told him and resumed working prompting him to do the same.
"It's got tragedy and romance which I was sure you'd love, but it's not all sappy which is why I like it and it is a musical, what's not to love about it?"
She laughed at his response which seemed to reassure him that he made the right choice.
"I should take you home," he said although nothing in his tone suggested that he really wanted to take her home.
"More like sneak me back in," she teased with a smile.
They stopped in front of David's car not one of them making a move to get in.
"I had a great time David, thank you," she'd said finally.
"Thank you for coming out tonight," he replied shoving his hands in the front pockets of his jeans staring at the ground before looking back up at her.
They paused staring at each other.
"I don't think I'm ready for it to be quite over," she confessed something that David wanted too but could not say out loud.
He stayed silent for a moment before getting into his car leaving a stunned Katia outside. A few seconds later a song starts playing from the stereo of his classic muscle car.
"May I have this dance?" He extends a hand with a theatrical bow.
"You may," he put her own in his and he pulls her close as they start swaying on the sidewalk to the notes of a Billie Holiday track at 3 am. It was the best night in Katia's life.
"I see you got rid of the mustang," I comment willing the memories of their teenage romance away to the deep recesses of my mind which was hard to do considering that Billie Holiday's I Wished On The Moon filled the car so that there wasn't anything else, but the memory of their first dance. I slap the next button and some other song comes on.
"But the playlist is still the same," I state turning to stare out the window.
"Well some things never change," he retorts and she turns her head back to find him staring at her. Something told me that he meant more than the playlist in his car. I don't want to get into emotionally heavy subjects, so I try to find an upbeat song and decide on The Temptation's My Girl and begin to sing along. David tries to put on a straight face at my lousy attempt to mimic the guitar riff but gives in to laughter. Before we know it, we've reached my house. The gates open up to let him in and he parks out front.
"Well this is me," I say as I unstrap the seat belt. I make a move to open the door and I catch my reflection on the side mirror. An easy smile rests on my lips and I quickly chase it away not willing to admit that David put it there. How easy it would be to just fall back to old habits. I get out and pull my things with me and David does the same.
"We still haven't discussed business," he reminds me and I motion for him to follow inside.
We are met with Richards who greets us before asking, "Will Mr. David be staying for dinner?"
"No, he won't be staying long," I say giving him a pointed look.
"Please wait for me out in the living room, I won't be long," I tell David and he makes his way.
"Is my father in?" I ask Richards.
"Yes, he is in his study," he replies.
"Good, then we won't disturb him," I tell him and he understands that father is not to be notified of David's visit.
I make my way to my room, take a quick shower and dress in a casual sundress before coming back down. I find David seated with a computer in his lap and a cup of coffee on the table.
"Hey," he looks up at my greeting and smiles.
"Why don't we take a walk?" I suggest and he closes his laptop and sets it down replying, "Sure,"
He offers his arm and I loop mine through his as we wind our way out to the gardens.
"So what did you want to discuss?" I prompt.
"I gave a little thought to what you'd asked me and I decided that I'm going to sell my shares to you," he said and I halt mid stride as I turn to stare at him unbelievingly.
"What?" I ask incredulously.
"I'm sure you heard me."
"I did I just need you to repeat what you said for it to sink in, cause last time we talked you made it clear you weren't going to sell."
"Can't a man change his mind?"
"Well as much as I'd like to believe that you would do that out of the goodness of your heart, something tells me that you have an agenda."
"You're right, I will sell you the shares after you do one little favor for me," he supplies a mischievous glint in his eyes.
I groan before replying, "David how many times am I going to have to tell you that I'm not going out with you for you to get it."
"Oh, I'm not asking you to go out with me, you're already doing that," he says smugly and I fix him a stern look. Bringing me home from work is not me going out with him.
"So what is it you want?" I ask ignoring his last statement.
"I want you to paint me," I stared at him blinking twice, trying to clear my head in case my hearing had gone bad for a moment there. The same words came back to mind so guess he had really asked me to paint. Him.
"You want me to paint you?" I ask for confirmation.
"Yes, I just told you."
"It's just a portrait, I know a few painters but you're the best artist I know," he says and the genuineness of his voice almost makes me cave "If you do this for me I promise I will sell you the shares and leave you alone for good."
That last part sounds so tempting I almost blurt out yes.
I don't give him a reply but continue walking down the path cutting through the grass making my way towards the old tree that was my favorite place as a child. He follows closely behind me quietly. The leaves of the tree rustle slowly as the winds picks up speed and I wrap my hands around me rubbing my arms to create warmth. David notices and takes off his suit jacket he'd grabbed on his way out draping it over my shoulders. He'd probably anticipated the cold evening air.
"Thank you," I mutter turning to face the house. We stand there quietly for a few more minutes.
I sigh and turn to face him, "I will paint you, but you will not need to be there for the sessions, just give me your picture. The day I present the portrait you will sign the shares over to Grengali Group. And we will get out of each other's lives."
"It's a deal," he smiled extending his hand. I shook it firmly once and offered a small smile. As we walked back to the house I truly hoped that it would be the end of things.
So guys, I finally had the time to sit down and write the next installment of this story. I promise I will try to update every week until the story is done. In my rough sketch the story has... like thirty chapters so we still have a way to go. Things are about to get interesting for our characters and I hope you stick around to the end. I hope you enjoyed reading this. Don't forget to drop a comment and tell me your thoughts. What do you think of David's unusual request?
P. S - This chapter is dedicated to Miha for being an amazing reader and for always commenting if I could hug you I would. Thank you for supporting me always!!!