Exhausted from the long ride, and exploring the busy streets of this new city, Steffie was delighted when the day ended. Wanting to catch an early rest, she was delighted when they'd checked in. Finding her room, she wasted no time, jumping beneath the cool silk sheets and hitting the hay.
In the light of day, Steffie took in the atmosphere and environment of the establishment and found the ambience to be great. Standing beside the large bay window, she pulled back the curtains and took in the view silently.
The sun was slowly rising and despite the foggy atmosphere, the colors painted quite a lovely glow along the horizon. The view here was good also, she mused.
Gathering her leather jacket and her crossbody bag with her items needed for the day's trip, she left the room. Walking towards the elevator, she scrolled through her phone, not taking notice of her surroundings, and walked right into a wall. It was a moving wall though. Oops.
Uh-oh. What a klutz.
Looking up the wall, Steffie found herself looking up into eyes the color of the Caribbean sky. Giving her a feeling of homesickness. These eyes, were so captivating that any hot-blooded female would be lost in them. He was about a foot and half taller than her 5'4". What a good-looking man. She mused. Especially dressed in formal wear. Hmmm. He was mouthwatering, and she slowly took him all in. From his clacks, charcoal black suit and even the way his well shaved face seems to stand out. Though he looked unfriendly, she still found him to be a gorgeous specimen.
So lost was Steffie in her observation, that the ding of the cab jolted her back to the present. She mumbled quickly, "Sorry" and walked into the far end to the back to take support for her shaking knees. Closing her eyes, trying to regain some form of composure to her usually unruffled control, she hears a deep husky voice pull at her. Eyes snapped open, she stared at his strong back.
"Are you going up or down?" She felt mesmerized as if in a spell. He shifted to her slightly and repeated his question as if speaking to a dumb person.
"Uh-um-m... I'm going u-u-up." Realizing immediately she said the wrong thing, she hurriedly stuttered, "Shoot, I mean, I'm going d-d-down."
"Okay." His handsome face fitted into a smirk. Punching the button, he pocked his hands, standing like a soldier at ease. The lift immediately started descending.
From the corner of her eyes, she observed him, feeling her face and ears grow hot. She lifted hands to fan her face, hoping to ease the heat. Damnit!
As soon as the cab jolt to a stop and the doors pinged open, she rushed out, yet again, bumping into his hard body, and further embarrassing herself.
"Well, this doesn't seem to be my day," She mumbled and sighed.
"S-s-sorry." She whispered.
"It's all good," His face stiff lifted into a wide grin. "You seem to be in a rush." Gently, he steadied and released her. Despite the shock of feelings flowing through him, by holding on to her hand, his impersonal face never betrayed his reaction. Just as quickly as the grin came, it disappeared.
Face flushed, rapidly beating heart, she strained her brown eyes at his open collar chest and apologized more firmly. "I am sorry for bumping into you and thank you for your kind assistance. I really didn't mean to crash into you over and over."
Before he could respond, she escapes quickly, fighting the impulse to look back. A shiver of apprehension tingled down her arm and back, as if being watched.
Wanting not to stumble, of fear of making a fool of herself, on trembling legs Steff moved towards the twirling door and into the cold air. It was a refreshing welcome to her hot face.
What the hell was that?
Nicholas was quite intrigued by his reaction to this woman. She'd bumped into him twice within an hour. Then she'd flee, as if in a race, to wherever it was she was going to. He scoffed.
What a numskull.
Suddenly, a memory of the past, of a woman who slightly resembled this woman, surfaced. Its been years since they'd last crossed paths.
In a turmoil state of thoughts, he walked over to the dining area where he'd agreed to meet his client. Putting away his weighted thoughts in a box where all his emotions were sealed, he took a second to close his eyes and composed himself.
He'd never met the man before but had just one look at his photo. He scanned the room, hoping to find the face in a sea of unknown, and came across the man sitting at a table that sat two in a corner. He was indeed good at his job as an operative in the field.
Pasting on a smile, he walked over. Stopping before the table with a slight bow in greeting. "Good morning. I'm Nicholas Lovette from Novelty's Asylum Agency."
The dwarfish man swiftly stood and extended his hand. "Thanks for coming at such short notice." Then indicated that Nicholas take the available chair. Both men sat and chatted, getting down to business. The exchange was quite fruitful. Understanding the concerns of the man, Nicholas gave his agreement to undertake the job personally.
On his way back to his room, the incident of bumping into her, made him wonder who she was, where she came from and what she was doing. As he stepped off the elevator, he reflected. Would he bump into her again? She seemed to be on his floor. But that was highly unlikely. Mentally shaking away those thoughts, he pulled his key card from his pocket and swiped to enter his room. Removing his phone from his jacket pockets, he video called his best friend and business partner.
Connecting on the second ring, Lucas inquired straight away, "So, I'm guessing you decided to take the job?"
Nicholas could hear the shifting of papers through the phone before seeing Lucas face appeared through the screen. "Yes, I did. His case is a bit sensitive and tricky due to his position."
"Good, good." Lucas was pleased. Suddenly he cursed out beneath his breath. "Damnit." Taking a pause, he focused on Nicholas, "What document do you need me to draft up for you?"
"Are you okay, man?" Nicholas squinted at Lucas, ignoring for the time being the business matter.
"Yea, man." Letting out a frustrated breath. "Trying to get a client of Lissa's under control, but he's getting me annoyed with his clinging and inconsiderate attitude. Don't know how she deals with this guy."
"Oh. Why are you the one trying to handle him? Can't she deal with him herself?" Nick asked curiously.
"Lissa can, but she's on vacation right now."
"Oh!" Pondering on what Luc said, he paused before responding. "Sounds like a demanding client indeed."
"He is. The only demanding one from all her clients. The guy can't seem to understand what a vacation is." Lucas grumbled.
"Oi. So, she finally took one?"
"What?" Lucas wasn't paying attention.
"A vacation." Nick teased.
"Yes. After much encouragement though."
"Well, that's good. I thought she was just like you. Work, work, work, and more work." Nick chuckled.
Lucas joined in. "She had to. Because I think work and the wedding planning was starting to get to her."
"Oh, well that not a good thing."
"Not good indeed. She was starting to pass the frustration on me."
"So, where did she go?"
"She's somewhere over where you at, probably."
Pulling in Lucas attention in his reaction. "Yep-p." said Luc with a pop, leaning back into his chair and eyeing the phone screen with interest.
Nicholas stopped what he was doing and replayed what Lucas said.
"Are you saying, we're in the same country at present?"
"Yes. That's exactly what I'm saying." Luc nodded.
"Oh. Well that's good. Hope she enjoys the visit."
"Did you bump into them?"
"Them?" Nick cocked his eyes at Lucas. Muddle in thought, he wondered what Lucas was asking. "What do you mean 'them'?"
Smiling with all intentions of amusement, Lucas closely observed Nick as he divulged.
"I mean," he paused for effect, "Lissa and the girls. Steffie and Julianna are with her."
Nicholas who was sitting on the bed of his room, immediately stood up and started pacing.
Lucas wasn't done yet, he mocked Nick some more by filling him on the plans of the girls.
"They're on a girls trip. Touring across a couple towns meeting people and visiting sites." Lucas made himself more comfortable into his chair, crossing his arms along his chest. Smirking at his friend through the phone. "Who did you meet?"
"What do you mean, who did I meet?"
"From your reaction, I'm sure you met one of them."
"I don't know what you mean."
"Oh, you know what I mean. I want to know who you meet." Lucas laughed gleefully. "Was it Julianna? Or Lissa?... Or was it the love you never got over, Steffie?"
Looking into the phone, Nick quickly masked his reaction, but was too late. His sharp friend didn't miss nothing. "What do you mean? I haven't met none of the girls." he tried playing it cool.
"Did you forget that I know you all our lives?"
"How could I forget?" Nick responded dryly.
"Hmmm." Luc smile and Letting it go for now, got back to looking for the file he was searching for, leaving Nick to his thoughts.
Could it be that I ran into her today? Is that why I felt the way I did? A chill crawl along his skin leaving him feeling lost and uncomfortable.
"They're vising for a week and should be leaving on the weekend." Luc provided.
Could it really be her? Nick lost in his own thoughts, didn't hear Lucas' last words.
"Hey!" With no response, Lucas stared at a loss Nick into the phone. Smirking he called out to him again. "Hey Nick! Earth to Nick."
"Uh, yeah. What up?"
Lucas thought of further teasing Nick but felt that it was best he let him process the information he gave him.
"Which document did you want me to send to you?"
"Uh - the top priority." He said thoughtfully.
"Nick! Are you okay?"
"Y-yeah man. I'm good. Was checking out something."
"Uh-huh. What were you checking out?"
Nick had a feeling that he would be throwing himself into a trap if he responded Lucas question. The concept of throwing himself under the bus wasn't sitting right with him. That feeling brough him back to the present and made him take note of his surroundings. He was here to get a job done and he would get it done. Taking a chance at changing the subject, he responded with a question of his own.
"Were you able to get the necessary information regarding the other matter for me?"
Seeing through what Nick did, Lucas dropped it all. "Yeah. I am still gathering information on this. This been so hushed that digging into it may create problems. Are you sure you want to go there?"
"Yes." Nicholas responded quite seriously. "I need to know all there is to know about this. I have never heard of this before until now. What do you think?"
Nodding in agreement, Lucas thought to himself. "I would want too know also."
"Let me know anything about your findings."
"Are you going to tell her?"
"No. She doesn't need to know."
"But it affects her life as well."
"I will implement the necessary measure for her security. But I won't tell her."
"Are you sure you not telling her is the right thing to do?"
"Yes. For now, she doesn't need to know. All she has to do is live her life."
Smiling Lucas said, "You know she'll stew you when she finds out what you're doing?"
"We will deal with that when we get to that bridge."