I wiped the tears with the back of my hand, sucking in a deep breath. I was in the females’ washroom.
Why was Zaiden’s scolding affecting me so much? It never made me feel this bad before. Him scolding me was nothing new, yet I was upset. I felt like curling myself in a ball and crying in one corner.
This was the first time I made such a huge mistake, which would ruin the company. I have never been this much careless before. It was so foolish of me to do that. Getting distracted after a single kiss like a teenager, it was not my thing. It was not me. Just because Zaiden kissed me, it didn’t mean I should occupy my mind with the thoughts of him.
For me, the Storm Fashion Industry was in trouble, and I had to fix it to make myself feel less guilty. Mr. Raymond was a person we knew, he was an old business partner so I was sure if I talked to him, he would consider the situation. Since he was short-tempered, he took a decision of canceling the deal in the heat of the moment. I could talk to him.
If I didn’t fix the problem I have created, the guilt would eat me alive. Also, not to forget that my boss would taunt me forever. I didn’t want Zaiden to see me as a destructive person who ruined his business. The thought of him even hating me seemed bothersome. Now, I knew how Zaiden felt every time I saw him as a murderer.
The feeling sucked.
Wiping my tears for the last time, I splashed some cold water on my face. Then I decided to get out of the washroom and head to my cabin, with my head held high. I made a mistake, I will apologize to Zaiden and rectify it. I was not the person to run away from my mistakes.
Running away is what the cowards do, and Aria Anastasia is not a coward.
Feeling sufficiently motivated, I stepped into my cabin, only to find Zaiden standing there, watching the cleaners clean the mess he had created by breaking the coffee machine. When he noticed me, our eyes met for a brief second, until I closed my eyes due to the stinging feeling in my foot, slightly hissing in pain.
I opened my eyes, finding Zaiden still looking at me—his eyes softening. We stayed in silence until the cleaners left after cleaning the room properly. Once they were gone, I took a deep breath, taking a step towards Zaiden.
“Zaiden, I am sorry for the loss,” I started speaking. “I promise, I will rectify my mistake and convince Mr. Raymond to not cancel the deal. I will correct it all, I swear.”
Zaiden placed his index finger on my lips, shushing me. “Just sit on the couch. I need to check your left foot,” he informed me.
I didn’t utter a word and quietly sat on the couch, not wanting to argue with him anymore. I didn’t want him to yell at me once again. After I sat, he took out the first aid kit from the second drawer and sat next to me.
“Lean on the couch properly so that I can check it,” he ordered, and I followed his words. He placed my legs on his lap after opening my heels, and he started examining my left foot. I felt uncomfortable thinking my legs were on the lap of my boss, but when I thought only about Zaiden, I didn’t feel any discomfort. Rather, I felt comfortable.
I liked being with him. The only thing stopping me from trying to feel something for him was because he was my boss. Also, he was in the Mafia Thunder—scratch that, he was a leader of that gang.
I snapped out of my thoughts when Zaiden placed a cotton on my toes, making me groan in pain.
“This is why, you should’ve moved when I threw that thing,” he grumbled. “Also, why didn’t you get yourself treated when you got hurt? You should have bandaged or applied antiseptic at least.”
“How would have I known my boss would throw the coffee machine in anger?” I retorted, and added when something got into my mind, “On a second thought, you did the right thing by throwing that machine. When it wasn’t working, I wanted to break it as well but I couldn’t since you bought it.”
He chuckled, shaking his head lightly in amusement. “You were supposed to be angry at me.”
“I should be?” I arched an eyebrow. “Yeah, I was angry until I realized that your anger is justified. I brought a major loss for the company and I will fix it up.”
“But I should have controlled my anger,” he reasoned out.
I sighed. “That you should have. You could’ve yelled at me, Zaiden, it was okay. But your words were harsh, and you lost control over your temper.”
“I know,” he said once he finished applying the antiseptic. “I promise, I will never hurt you, Aria.”
I smiled, hearing the assurance in his words. I mumbled, “I trust you.”
I loved it when he would be soft towards me. It was all a different feeling, and since it was the first time we talked after our kiss, it felt nice. I wanted to ask why he had kissed me, but somewhere in my heart, I already knew the answer. I was afraid whether I would have the same answer or not. So I decided not to ruin our moment. A peaceful silence took over the room, but it was calm and soothing. I enjoyed living every moment with him.
“You really don't have to trouble yourself that much for me. I can handle myse—”
“Not a word, Aria. I'm dropping you to the restaurant,” Zaiden forbade me sternly.
I was going to a restaurant for lunch with Mr. Raymond after I almost begged him to meet me during lunch, to which he agreed at last. But as I was heading out while limping, Zaiden saw me and said that he would drop me there himself since I wouldn't be able to drive with my injured foot.
Right now, my one hand was around his neck while his hand was on my waist to support me.
Zaiden opened the door of his car for me and helped me settle in the front passenger seat before getting in himself. After a few minutes of comfortable silence, he started speaking, “You know, if Mr. Raymond doesn't agree to the deal and acts rude with you, there's no need to pursue him any longer.”
I gaped at him in disbelief. “It doesn't matter if he acts rude with me. I'm going to get the deal back for you and our company, no matter what I have to do.”
“Not at the cost of your self-respect. I'm okay with losing the deal, but I won't be okay if he disrespects you anyhow,” he let out. I noticed his grip tightening around the steering wheel as he clenched his jaw at the thought.
I could feel my heart fluttering, so I couldn't help but smile at him. I placed my hand on his over the gear lever and gave it a squeeze. “Everyone should have a boss like you.”
“If everyone has a boss like me, wouldn't our competitions in the market increase? I bet that will cost you a lot of overtimes,” he retorted, earning a short chuckle from me.
“Then I guess, I will just have to keep you to myself,” I blurted out but immediately averted my eyes to the outside of the window when I felt his gaze burning holes through me.
Zaiden didn't say anything anymore and pulled over near a shopping district. “I will be back in a few minutes.” With that, he stepped out of the car and went into an expensive shoe shop.
I pouted and fiddled with my finger, thinking of ways to convince Me. Raymond. Soon enough, Zaiden was back with a shopping bag.
Settling down on his seat, he handed me the bag and said, “Wear it.”
A big smile formed on my face as I saw comfortable shoes inside it. He knew that these heels were hurting my feet even more by putting pressure on my injured toes.
“Thank you, Zaiden,” I mumbled and wore the shoes.
“They look good on you,” he muttered and started driving once again, now leaving me occupied in his thoughts again.
How could he expect me not to think about him when he did sweet gestures like this?
Finally, I arrived at the restaurant where I was supposed to meet Mr. Raymond. For now, Zaiden would leave but he would send me a driver to drop me home since he gave me a half-day off.
“Don't move around too much with those feet, and take care of yourself,” Zaiden said with concern before driving away.
After that, I found Mr. Raymond was sitting on our reserved seat, so I made my way to him and sat on a chair.
“Mr. Raymond, thank you so much for agreeing to meet me,” I said with a smile.
“I don’t have much time to spare, Ms. Anastasia,” he said sternly. “After the deal got canceled with the Storm Fashion, I am in a haste to look into a new company.”
“Uh, well, Mr. Raymond, I want to tell you the truth,” I spoke up. “I apologize for my mistake. I sent the wrong files, but I revised the correct files. I made a mistake in selecting files as an attachment in email. It is because I was distracted.”
“Distracted?” That seemed to pique the interest of Mr. Raymond. He raised his brows. “What distracted you during work hours?”
“I was distracted because my thoughts were filled with Zaiden,” I blurted out. “He is all over my mind and I cannot stop thinking about him.”
Mr. Raymond had a blank look on his face while I bit my lip in nervousness.
It was so unprofessional of me.
Suddenly, a light chuckle filled the air. Mr. Raymond was chuckling and said, “Does that mean, you like Zaiden, Ms. Anastasia?”
I replied without any hesitation, “Yes.”