For a long time I could hear some footsteps behind me, but I chose to ignore that as I thought there might be other people heading this way as well. I cared less about other things, knowing that it was an off day; I thought I could get some relaxing time from myself. The city was calling me, but why not start from the hotel itself? The garden looked lavish and inviting. The lush green carpet invited me and I could not stop myself from paying a visit to such exquisite scenery. Just for once I thought of turning back when I felt there were hustles around. My curiosity kicked in and I turned back to check what was happening. Just after turning left, I found Alex standing in front of a hotel room looking intently inside with a shocked expression. It seemed like there was something unexpected inside the room and he quite didn't like the view. My curiosity was rising again and so I wanted to ask what was he doing there. But who was I to ask? I thought of going back on my way when he spotted me and my heart skipped a bit, but I was too good of an actor to show any emotion on my face. However before any word could escape from my lips he shushed me by pressing his index finger on his lips and motioned for me to come over. I looked here and there a little and hesitantly approached him, to see what he was looking at. And when I saw I had just mirrored his expression at what I witnessed.
There were Gary and Violet... In a very intimate position. Gary's one hand was right on top of the most sensitive part of a woman's body and his other hand was lost inside Vio's hair. Vio was working on his shirt buttons while they both didn't stop a moment to realize that two people were witnessing their act. Heavy breathing had clouded that much smaller and comparatively darker room while they continued exchanging their saliva. Now I understood why Gary told me a while before 'I'll be unavailable for an hour or so, if Alex needs anything just take care and by the way it's an off day, so do whatever you want.' Now I understood why Vio was even invited in this crew whereas she was not at all necessary.
My face grew bright red when I remembered that there was another audience sharing this view and it was none other than my boss Alex. I retreated back from the door and could not dare to meet his eyes. My fingers were all cold as I started fidgeting with them. I had no idea what Alex was thinking, all I could think of was how to escape from here.
He then just moved towards me and motioned me to go forward. I didn't know he was accompanying me or going his way, the garden thought long forgotten. Where were we going? I looked from the corner of my eyes to see that a shy smile was there on his lips while he looked down with his hands in his pockets and just marched forward, and I blindly accompanied him.
"Where were you going anyway?" I looked up to see that smile still intact on his face. This just increased the awkwardness and uneasiness. Why would he smile like that? What I had forgotten was, I had to answer him. That I realized when he spoke again.
"Probably to the garden." - I could only nod as a response, my face was too hot and too red that I had to look away immediately. How embarrassing - and he called me to join him. We soon reached at the garden and he chose a bench to sit. There was no more intention to admire the beauty of the garden. All I was thinking was - what was I doing with him after witnessing such an embarrassing thing?
We both sat on the bench and the awkwardness just grew more, both were silent other than the erroneous breathings. Finally, he decided to speak and that was not enough to erase the tension.
"I was thinking whether Violet was actually needed on this trip, but now I know why Gary pushed for her." He still looked down and I replied slowly, "I too thought the same thing."
And then he laughed. "Funny how things work." It was not funny for me at all, I was still red, probably like a tomato.
"Look at you, you look like cherry." I turned the other side and closed my eyes shut. Could this be any more embarrassing?
"Okay, okay." He paused in an attempt to stop his laughing, "I am sorry, nothing to get embarrassed, I just dunno why I called you to see that."
I finally looked back and saw in his eyes that he was genuine, it just happened that he called me and we both saw what was happening. We could just forget about it. Yes, that seemed right, I smiled a little and we both sat comfortably, finally being able to admire the lavish beauty of the garden.
It was so beautiful; the ground was carpeted with rich green leaving no space vacant other than the flowers. Flowers of different color, shape and sizes were grown at the edges of the whole garden. Clean wide benches were placed at regular intervals. There was a big fountain at the center of it, water was coming out in so many different fashions, it was nature and it's beauty that kept both of us captivated for a long time before I decided to break the silence.
"So you were also heading towards the garden?" In all this I had not known that why was he standing in front of that room at the first place.
"Um... Yeah..." Why did he stutter, probably he was lying, was he following Gary or Vi? Who was I to ask? I decided to leave it there.
"So Cat, what have you planned to do today, you know today no work, so..." He asked after we sat there for some time in silence.
"Nothing much really, maybe take some rest."
"Are you tired?"
"No, I am not, just like that."
"I see..." He paused before speaking again. 'Have you ever been to Hollywood?' I shook my head in denial. Hollywood was a place of my dream, but it stayed in my dreams only, never became a reality. Now I was very close and who knew I might go there during our stay here, but not to fulfill my dream, just for my job.
"Earth to Catriona." His fingers flashed in front of me, I felt embarrassed again.
"Sorry, were you saying something?"
"Nothing, we will be traveling to Hollywood someday, most probably on next Tuesday."
"Good." And we sat in silence again. I had no idea what he was thinking, why he was spending time with me, but memories had engulfed me all of a sudden. What I used to be and what I had become? How did I change this much? Where from all these things started?
"Do you watch my movies?" I was brought back to present again and I nodded with a smile. His movies were always too good, he had acted very well in all the movies so far, he didn't get the best actor award for doing nothing, he had worked marvelous to achieve it. The storyline was always strong in his movies, but it still had a funny touch, so that audience will stay captivated.
"Have you watched my all movies?"
"Yes, I have watched everything, starting from..." I wanted to say, but stopped myself and said, "I am not sure, maybe or maybe not."
"Okay, have you watched the last one?"
"Of course, you got best actor for that, it was too good." The excitement in my voice was surfacing and it was not good where the conversation was heading, I was being so open which was not my motto.
"So you liked it!" Now I knew that he was eager to know my answer, but I just said "Yes, it was good," and before he could hide, I had seen his face fall a little. I felt bad for a moment for behaving that way to him when he was just trying to be friendly, but I was an employee and our relationship was supposed to stay that way. Why was he trying to be friendly anyway?
We had stopped talking and just sat there for some good 10 minutes, before I could not stop myself from taking a walk around the garden. Not wanting to be rude I asked him "Would you like to take a walk?"
I was nervous myself, how could I ask my boss to take a walk with me. What if he didn't want to and I was just forcing this upon him? Maybe he just wanted to sit there. But to my surprise he stood up with a bright smile and motioned for me to go. It was a pretty big garden and took us around 15 minutes to go round the garden. The walk through the garden was awkward to say the least. I was still thinking why I was walking with him and he seemed to be in a dilemma, maybe he was thinking what to talk. Butterflies swarmed around my stomach all the time. I was too careful while walking - just in case if I touched him or anything. Just when we were about to reach the bench, I felt his hand on my back, everything seemed to stop suddenly; it burnt where he touched. There was this narrow road there and so he probably wanted me to go first so that he could follow, but I was in some other world and I had not seen when he motioned for me until he placed his hand on my back.
Everything seemed so clouded in my mind at that very moment, it was a slow and slight touch and it lasted for not even a second, but my whole body heated up. I quickly passed the narrow passage and reached the bench. Without inquiring whether he wanted to go back or not, I started going towards the hotel.
Just then a loud sound and bright light made both of us to look up and the sky was jeweled with beautiful colored light at once. Fireworks! I had not realized that it was almost evening, but it looked so beautiful in the evening sky.
Before I could comprehend what was happening I was dragged across the garden.
"Come on it'll be so much fun." I heard him saying while I stuck to my cardigan and purse.
"But we have to inform someone, maybe we should not..." I tried protesting but was stopped by him.
"All that can be handled, but this firework won't be there tomorrow, come on."
He was still leading the way and I allowed myself to be dragged. What's wrong in enjoying once in a while. My hand was in his till we got to the main road and stopped a taxi. As soon as we hopped into it, we both tried to look at the window. Fireworks were just starting and it was already so beautiful. A smile automatically grew on my face seeing these beautiful man-made things.
When I finally noticed, I saw Alex was leaning a little too much on me, of course it was unintentional, but now that I had noticed it became awkward. His one hand was on the window of the taxi and his other hand was on my shoulder. I slowly tried to sit back straight and he was still looking through the window. Finally when he realized that I had sat straight and he was leaning over my thighs, he looked back at me with an unreadable expression.
Our eyes locked and despite my best effort, I could not avert from his eyes until the taxi slowed down and he stopped looking at me all of a sudden. We both looked separate ways and he sat straight in his side of the seat. Awkward.
Soon we reached at the fireworks; the taxi driver finally noticed that it was the Alexander Fleming while he paid the fare. He asked for autograph and he signed smilingly and we left for the firework. There was entry fee and Alex paid for both of us before I could protest.
"I have brought you here, so let me pay, when we go somewhere on your wish, you pay, okay." I was stunned, what was he up to? There was a next time too?
"Come on, we did not come here so that you could stand and stare at me, we came to watch fireworks, remember?" I shook myself mentally and followed him. There were small outlets for some fancy things, he stopped abruptly at one and bought one hat that covered a large part of his face. I eyed him questioningly, so he said, "This way people can't recognize me easily."
It made sense; it was tough for a famous actor like him to enjoy these small things in public without being recognized. The fireworks were amazing and when it ended it was dark. All the time I was there, I had forgotten everything, I was so excited and happy, as if nothing really mattered. Not caring that Alex was my boss, I had laughed with him, enjoyed with him. Only by the time we returned and we drove in the taxi, that I remembered what I had done, I had become friendly. And it was not any other person, but Alex! How could I do that?
My day could not have been any better, it was pure bliss. Even if not planned, it seemed like a date. Though I thought later I should not have forced her to come with me, but that moment when the fireworks lit her face, I just didn't think of anything and dragged her with me. The time we sat on the bench was plain awkward, and it started from the moment I realized that we are watching two people having sex live. How much more awkward it could have been. But I'd be lying if I tell I was not afraid before. When I had heard the ruffle in that room and I thought something was wrong with Cat, because last I had seen her only crossing that hall. But the good thing was she was safe.
All the time we were in the fireworks, I discovered another side of Cat. This was not the Cat who used to have nothing but professionalism with me, this Cat did not mind me telling her jokes, she actually laughed with me, her eyes shone and reflected the bright lights, her laugh illuminated the place more. This was someone whom I'd like more, but then if this was one part of her, why was she always hiding it. Shrugging that thought aside, I decided to live the moment with her. But it did not last forever.
As soon as we came out of the firework, she was her old self, back into her bubble, as if she just remembered that she was doing something wrong and so she stopped doing that. Talking with me, hanging out with me, laughing and enjoying with me was that wrong? I could not stop my mind to create these questions, but then sure there was something which was not clicking. Why the mood swing? There had to be something behind it, something personal, something hidden and my curiosity just increased. Not only curiosity, but it felt like a passion to find out what is behind all this.
In the taxi she looked at one side window and I alternatively looked between window and her. She seemed to hide a lot of emotions; she didn't allow her eyes to express anything. She looked so distant, like she was running away from something, maybe some fear or some inability or some past incident? Yes this seemed to fit, there might have been a past, but I was not so sure, but now I had to find out anyhow, I had to bring her out of her bubble.
There was this beautiful world waiting outside to accompany this better side of her where she was a charming, fun-loving and enjoying person. Whatever the reason might be, but it could not be so much to stop a person from being happy. If I could find out her problem and maybe solve it, then she could stay happy always, she would not have to stay alone like now.
I would not fool myself, I was being selfish as well, I wanted to explore this side of Cat and I wanted to be involved in her life. Yes, she might not like me back, but at least I had to try for her own good and for my good.
Soon we reached at the hotel. I was expecting that she would be angry with me for forcing her and she would run into the hotel as soon as we reached, but nothing like that happened. She waited for me till I paid the fare. A smile crept up on my lips, maybe she was changing. Soon I joined her and we both started walking into the hotel. The receptionist smiled at us, I smiled back and saw Cat smile a bit, but I was not sure that was a casual smile or a formal, but I was still happy. Once we were at the elevator, I got in, but didn't see her following. When I turned back, she was standing there with a bold poster and with her signature formal smile.
"I'll just talk with Sean and check about your dinner. You may please freshen up while I send your dinner to your room."
She was back with her professionalism. I muttered a "thank you" and the elevator door closed. But this didn't lower my determination. As the elevator went one by one floor up, I was more determined to find out what was holding her back. And the mission started from now.
@Amira - Hmm, it's not like what it seemed last chapter, I hope you are happy that reality is different.
@Rashmi - I will try to not stop writing, but lately it has become hectic.
@Mahak - Thanks a lot for understanding me so well, hope you like this chapter.
@Maha - Thanks so much, I did try to post soon, but... again late, hope you don't stop reading.
@Aashi - Thanks so much, hope you like this chapter.
@Sammer - Hey Sammer, your new story is going good already, keep reading.
@Crackerz - Thanks, I know I am late again, but... hope you like this chapter.
@Shelly - Thanks so much.
@Isha - Oh yes, I'll finish both stories, no matter what and thanks for reading.
@Tia - Thanks a lot.
@Unzel:) - Thanks so much, hope you like this chapter.
@Taffy - Hmm, I am sure you already found out whether it was Cat or not.
@Ams Kingston - Thanks so much.
@Soul Searcher - I am so happy that I could make you happy. Cat has got a past and we... well Alex will find it out. Let's wait a bit.
@Somya - Thanks a lot..
@Alyssa - Thanks so much... And please keep reading.
@Ishaqzaade - Thanks for understanding... Well it's a... love marriage turned into an arranged one. This guy has been in love with me for so many years... And I kept him waiting for around 7 years.