♠ RIA ♠
EPISODE •• THIRTY •• THREE
THEME: MORE THAN PARTNERS! ????
°°°°THREE WEEKS LATER°°°°
♦ RIA APARTMENT ♦
RIA POV ????♀
The ringing of a phone startled me and I almost spilled the water in my hand. I searched the room for the source of the sound and realized abruptly that it was my ringtone.
I spotted my phone on the end table just as it buzzed again.
It was Ian!
“Hello Ria” I heard him say after I picked
“I hope I’m not calling at a bad time”
“No of course not” I moved to the couch and sat in it
“I enjoyed every of our chats,But I missed hearing your voice”
“It good to hear from you Ian”
“So where are you?”
“I spoke to one of the designers not quite long..and she said that your place will be ready by the end of next week”
“Oh! Good to hear that.. But can I start working at the place when they’re done?”
“Yes you can move in the Machines But -”
“I was thinking of something”
“You can’t just move in like that and start work.. I mean we can launch the place.. Like organize a party whereby people can come around and check out your stuffs and the place too”
“Is that necessary?”
“Of course Ria! To create an awareness. We have to let them know about the place and what you’re doing. It gonna be like we’re bringing your business to spotlight”
We lapsed into silence
Over the past few weeks Ian has been working hard towards setting up my place.
Everything is almost set!
And I must admit that the place is incredible!
It more like a workshop with a boutique. Everything is just outstanding!
The designers did a great work!
Doing all their best to make it the Best Couture in state. That was what Ian told them he wanted for me!
He even paid an advertising Agency to advertise the place when everything is set!
And soon we’ll have the place on Billboards!
Giving my cards at Amber Event really helped. And virtually everyone at the party admired the dress on the kids. Mrs Perla introduced me to some people at the Event too.
Our orders for dresses has increased over the past few weeks and everyone is looking forward to seeing new designs of dresses on our Website!
“Look Ria -”
“Okay. How do we go about it?” I cut him off
“You have enough dresses right?”
“Yes..we are still working on it”
We’d have a lot of dresses. We’ve made more than enough from the contract with Principal Brenda.
“Good.. I’ll talk to mom about it too. I’m sure she will be willing to help. So for now let’s wait for the designers to finish up at the place”
“So what about tomorrow?”
“The party right?”
“Yes. Are you done with your dress?”
“Okay I’ll send Ben over tomorrow by 4:00pm. He will drive you to a friend who will help you prepare for the party”
“What about you?”
“I’ll be waiting at the party”
“See you tomorrow”
He hang up
“You’re still yet to finish up?”
Mrs Elise asked when she walked into the sitting room
“Almost” she picked up the dress from the machine
“You will turn out the best at the party”
“No..there will more pretty women at the party.. rich and mighty ladies..better than I am”
She shook her head
“You have to take away that low esteem about yourself”
“I don’t have a low self esteem”
“Well I thought I heard you talking to someone”
“It was Ian. He called to inform that the place will be ready next week”
“He didn’t talk about the party?”
“We talked about it. Ben is coming to take me to a place by 4:00”
“I don’t know..Ian said that a friend of his will help me prepare for the party”
“Hmm..maybe it a salon or spa or a make up shop..”
I nodded in agreement
“You know this is a big party..so I’m sure Mr Ian wants you to be the most beautiful woman of the night”
“You think so?” I asked
Itching the back of my neck
“Yes..But are you ready for it?.. I mean there will be Paparazzi waiting to take pictures of Mr Ian and you will be there with him”
“Wait – are you saying that I’ll walk the red carpet with Ian?”
“Exactly” she snapped her fingers
And am I ready for that?!
“You know it’s not that bad”
“But people will get the wrong idea about us”
“What idea?.. You’re going there has his date” she shrugged
“Nothing bad about it” she said
“Yeah his date at the party..but we’re just business partners”
Mrs Elise rolled her eyes
“So will you go about telling everyone at the party that you’re just business partners?.. I suggest you don’t!”
“Look Miss Ria..Mr Ian is every woman’s dream..a hotcake. And I know that many women at the party will be dying to be by his side”
“What are you trying today?”
“What I’m saying is that – don’t act like a business partner..But Act like a Proper Date”
“What?!..like were in a relationship” I clarified waving my hand in a vague gesture
“Yes or else don’t be surprised if some lady tried to take him away tomorrow”
I rolled my eyes
Should I consider what Mrs Elise is trying to say?
If someone wants Ian them she should be better off than me!
“Hold up..are you thinking all this is still classified under Business Relationship?”
I shot her a confused look
And she raised a eyebrow at me
It a business Relationship!
“I think this is more than just business”
“It could be more than that to you..or Mr Ian..I don’t know”
She itched the bridge of her nose
And the fact remains that I didn’t want to admit that Ian wanted something more than just being Business Partners!
Or maybe I’m over thinking!
But the way he looked at me and even the kiss on the cheek!
Is that how he relates with his female business associate?
Pang of jealousy surged through me at the thought of Ian kissing another female!
What’s going on with me?!
What do i do if Ian wants a proper relationship?
Can I go into a relationship?
I doubt it!
I’d have to be intimate with him and I wasn’t ready! Not now!
My body isn’t ready to come in contact with any man! Don’t know how i knew..
But I know that fact about myself!
I’m still trying to get over what Lucas did to me!
But part of me wanted more that just being Business Partners with Ian.
And since I wasn’t ready so i won’t think about it!
°°°°°°°°° IDAHO °°°°°°°°
DRAKE POV ????????
“Any news from Lint Corp?” I asked Alex who in turned checked the device in his hands to see if there was any mail from Lint Corp.
“No mail Sir”
I dropped my ball point pen angrily.
It now clear that Ian Bryant won’t sign that deal until I accept to give in to 40%
Meeting up with Ian is the best option! So we can talk.
“Alex do i have any meetings tomorrow?”
Since today was already gone.
“No meetings but you have an invitation to a party tomorrow”
I waited patiently and watched him clicked on the devise. I placed my hands together and contemplated on what he said
“It says BMW”
“Why are you just telling me about it?”
“I’m sorry Sir. I forgot to click on the mail while I was checking the rest of it”
This is a chance to meet Ian
But will he at the party?
“Alex find out the list of people that will be at the BMW party?”
I hope he turned up at the party.
I wasn’t at the party last year but i attended it two years ago. Then my dad was about to stepped down as the CEO so he used the party as a chance to introduce me to his business Associates in Chicago.
“Check if Ian Bryant is on the list”
“Yes he is on the VVIP list”
Alex replied seconds later
“Okay..book the next available flight to Chicago”
“Okay Sir..anything else?”
“I will need the documents of the deals with Lint Corp”
“Okay” he exited the office
I will talk him at the party like a friend. Then we can sign the deal after party.
I’m not going to leave Chicago until Ian signs the deal.
He will agree to my demands even if it involves me doing some background check on him. I know someone like Ian must have a secret!
Or maybe I should entice him with a lady?
Whichever way it is..All I know is that I must get what I want!
IAN POV ????
“What’s up Ian?”
Ziggy Gray is my college friend. He is an international Model and one of the top most models in USA. I called him up so he could help me prepare Ria for the dinner party.
“I’m cool..did you get my text?”
“Text? What text?”
“I told you that i have a dinner party to attend and I want you to make my date into a member of high society”
“Oh! It was who sent the message?”
“Sorry i just received it this Morning. So what do i have to do?”
“I need you to get her an entirely new wardrobe,shoes,hair,make up and jewelry”
“When is the party?”
“Tomorrow by 7”
“It’s going to take lot of work”
“She already has a dress to wear. She’s a seamstress”
“Ian you know i don’t work like that. I pick out the dress myself to match the Accessories”
“Oh! Sorry I totally forgot! So now she doesn’t have to wear the dress?”
“Yes. What party is it?”
“Geez Man..you’d be spending a lot on your date for this party”
“I know. And its my money I will spend what I want”
“Okay then bring her over tomorrow”
“Brandon will bring her”
He hang up
♣ RIA ♣
EPISODE •• THIRTY •• FOUR
THEME:PARTY PREPARATION! ????
RIA POV ????♀
Ben came over to my home with a man who introduced himself as Brandon. Ian assigned them to take me to his friend.
Driving through the city I watched as we passed other shops. Every windows had a designer brand engraved on it. People walking in and out of the shops..they all looked high class.
The car pulled over to the side of the street and parked close to a curb. Looking out the window I saw glittery gown and silk dresses in the window. The name of the shop was Maxwell. Brandon and I got out of car and walked in. The inside was what I imagined very decorated,clothing racks filled with clothes in their abstract shapes and designs and colors.
Brandon walked up to a man who I knew would be a model. His figure was lean, his skin tanned. He wore a designer outfit. A red three quarter length shirt with a white vest and red pants with a necklace.
“Brandon” he called
His eyes looked passed Brandon and onto me.
“So this is the lady Ian told me about” he said
And they turned their eyes on me
“Yes” Brandon replied
The man seem puzzled while I waited for him to say something.
Then he held out his hand
“Ziggy Gray” I took his hand
“Ian told me about you. So let’s see what i can do”
A smile formed on Ziggy’s face
“Come with me”
He pointed to a direction
Ziggy walked over to a section of the store that had all the dress and there were a lot.
Two women were standing near a blue couch in front of a set of mirrors
“Mr Gray what can we do for you today?”
I watched Ziggy walked over to the girls and dropped his arms over them
“I need a dress for my friend here”
He said looking at me
“And it need to stand out. Something that says I’m the best”
The women smiled
“We gave few things we can try”
Both women grabbed my arms and pulled me through the store. They threw clothes into each other hands as we walk by hangers. I tried checking the price tags and they are expensive outfits.
Ian should have allowed me wear the dress I made.
It wasn’t his fault,Ziggy had said that he would be the one to pick out a dress.
Ziggy had me try on all the clothes the ladies had picked out. Some were awful,too large,weird and even bad color scheme.
I questioned the fashion sense of some clothes designers in this time.
I was in and out of dresses for almost an hour. I was trying on this dress when Ziggy said to the women.
“Oh take off that awful dress. I don’t think Ian need some Zombie as his partner”
I did my best to hold in my laugh. That was pretty funny.
“We still have one last dress to try”
One of the women said to him
I moved away from the pedestal and walked back into the dressing room.
The last dress was hanging on the door. It was a long bright gown with a deep V neck and it had one strap around the neck. It was open back dress. The back was halfway down.
I slipped into it and the fabric hugged every square inch of my body and beyond my thighs the dress open up allowing for free flow.
Ziggy and the ladies practically froze when I walked out. Their eyes were glued to me. I stopped on the pedestals in front of the mirror and waited for someone to say a word.
“Well its perfect” Ziggy said
“Really?” I asked
One of the ladies walked around me
“The dress compliments the right accessories. You’ll be the maim attraction”
“Lily where is the diamond from Perla store?”
“It is In the display case on the last floor”
“Go and prepare it. We’ll meet you on the floor”
“Lolly go and get a pair of silver shoes to go along with the diamonds”
Both lily and lolly walked away in a hurry.
Ziggy grabbed my hand
“What on the next floor?”
I asked as he pulled me along
“Hair and make up”
“Shouldn’t I change out of this before that?”
“No need. Ian is buying everything”
He dragged me through the store
“Let’s go we’ve gat lots to do today”
Passing people were staring at us. And to make it worse the elevator was filled with people.
The next floor was a salon. All the employees dressed the same and they all looked professional.
They were six people I could see sitting at each station. Four getting their hair cut,one was getting her hair dried and the last one was getting her hair washed.
“Rita” Ziggy walked the middle row to a woman.
Her hair was pure black cut in a sassy way and setting green eyes. She was beautiful.
“She needs something to compliment the dress”
Rita stepped closer and began pulling at strands of my hair gently.
“When was the last time you had a proper treatment and haircut?”
“I don’t remember -”
I was blind so i didn’t have the chance to visit the salon. I just wash my hair in the shower.
“Once or twice a year?”
“Way too long – it has a damage and it’s too dry” she looked over at Ziggy
“What is she wearing for Accessories?”
“Very nice,I’ll start out with the treatment to bring the hair back to life. A few highlight,then a simple bun in the back”
“Fine” Ziggy replied
So this is what it feels to be dressed up by the foremost stylists. Rita took me over to the wash basin. She undid my braid and dunked my hair under water. Her fingers massaged my scalp and hair. She wrapped my hair in a towel when she finished and Led me to a chair
I sat while she mixed colors in a foil on her counter. Rita pulled my hair covering it with her color concoction.
“Alright you can seat here”
She moved me over to the hair drier.
All I did was give a nod
There were no words to describe how uncomfortable I felt.
To be honest,I’m nervous about the party. I’m sure I look like a scared young woman who is out of her mind.
Few minutes passed when Rita came around pushing the drier up with a smile on her face.
“Now let’s make you the best”
“I hope so”
We both laughed as we walked back to her station. My hair was mostly dry,Rita grabbed the blow drier and finished it using a brush to straighten my hair..looking into the mirror I could see the highlights Rita had put in.
I almost didn’t recognize myself
I never took care of myself like this. Of course! I was a blind lady..never knew or cared about this things.
And even now that I can see I’m more concerned about the kids. How do I pay the bills? And feeding too?
But I felt refreshed by the makeover.
This fairytale would only last tonight.
So even if I wasn’t living the rich life I wanted, was going to feel like it today.
Rita put my hair up,she pulled and twisted it back in a bun holding it in with a lot of Bobby pins that Jammed at my scalp. It hurt a bit!
Rita added hair spray for a finishing touch which made the hair glitter.
“If I hadn’t seen you earlier I would have thought you were another person”
I looked over my shoulder and there was Ziggy with lily and lolly. The fashion Trio!
“All that is left is final touches. And that nervous attitude of yours had better disappear by the time we get to the dinner”
Ziggy looked at his watch
“We still enough time to turn you into the main lady”
“So what next?”
“Make up next”
Ziggy pulled out a green box and set it on the counter.
“Are you doing my make up?”
“Yes. 5 years of being an international model..so I can do a woman’s make up”
“You’re a model”
“Yes and one of the best. Please close your eyes”
I did as he instructed.
Minutes clicked by and he said,
“Alright I’m done. What do you think?”
I opened my eyes and i didn’t know who I was looking at In The mirror!
It certainly wasn’t me!
The woman in the mirror looked like she was born for a rich life!
I was born blind and poor!
But now I’m different!
Beautiful with darker lashes, dark eye shadows sidelined with bright color on the side and a red lipstick.
“Now try the shoes”
Lolly set the box on the floor and pulled out a stunning pair of pure silver three inches heels.
I slipped on the shoes and they fit in perfectly!
“How did you know what my size was?”
“Ian told me. And I also checked your shoe while you were trying on dresses. Ian was right about your size”
Ziggy grabbed a small box from Lilly
“Now for the Diamond. These are the Perla Diamond. Ian wants you to wear it to the party. They are not to be lost cause these are worth over $20million”
“What?!” My jaw dropped
$20million dollars and they want me to wear it!
“Wait a minute.. I can’t wear it”
Ziggy rolled his eyes
“He wants you to wear it”
“He paid for it?”
He shook his head
“Yes. And as a matter of fact it the latest Diamond in the country. Every woman is wishing to have it”
Why did he buy such an expensive diamond.. Worth 20 million dollars because of a party?!
“just make sure that you don’t lose it at the party”
He opened the box and it took my breath away
The diamonds are gorgeous!
Diamonds with little heart shapes topped with blue sapphires draped in a necklace. The earrings were refined in a heart like shape with sapphire at the centre.
He took the necklace out of the case and sting it around my neck.
“I think you’re ready for the party”
Ziggy said as he reached his hands out to me.
“You’re worth beyond the thousand reason why…”
Wow! A 20million dollars Diamond! Hen what about dress,shoes,make up etc.
No doubt that Ria will be the main of attention!
How true is that?
For me I think someone will dress better than Ria!
I don’t know..!
♠ RIA ♠
EPISODE •THIRTY • FIVE
THEME:ABOVE EVERYTHING! ????
RIA POV ????♀
Ben drove us to the place where the dinner was. It was a big fancy Hotel. There was a long line of Limousines,Benz,BMW,Bentleys and expensive sports cars. As we got close to the entrance I could see all the people walking in. I did not look like them,the fancy clothes and suits and flashing lights from the paparazzi.
“Ziggy..I..don’t think I can do this..” I said shakily
“Ria just relax.. I’ll walk you to Ian. And all you have to do is smile,shake a few hands and look pretty for Ian. He is the main Man”
Look pretty for Ian?
That sounded like Mrs Elise.
I made the steps out of the car looking as graceful as possible.
I was blinded by Paparazzi camera flashes. They were packed behind red ropes yelling and taking pictures. Ziggy wrapped his arm around mine as he led me through the blind lights.
And i suddenly wished that it was Ian holding me.
How do celebrities put up with the lights on daily basis?
It took us more time to get to the door.
This is so annoying!
The inside was over packed and roomy. People were hoarded all around and this was just the lobby.
“You did well Ria..you didn’t fall or trip”
“I couldn’t do that not with 20 million dollar necklace hanging on my neck” he laughed
And I’m only doing this because of Ian.
We took the nearest elevator and started feeling nervous cause I was been stared at. I found a few people whispering in each other ear while staring in my direction.
“Are you okay?”
“Yes I’m fine”
I need to collect myself.. Act cool and calm if I was going to make it through tonight.
The ride to the top floor was long. I did feel a little exposed in the dress. And I worry that the back of the dress will slip down and my ass will be out..plus I wasn’t wearing a bra under the dress. That added to the nervousness.
When the elevator dinged and the door opened I gave a quick breath. We stepped out into the hallway.
I grabbed Ziggy’s arm again and we walked down the hallway. Few people were standing around and they stared and whispered.
“If you let that get to you..you’ll never survive the night” I nodded
“I’m glad Ian has an understanding with a woman now. This is the first time he’s coming here with a date”
“Yes. And I must say that Ian is lucky to have you by his side”
No! It the other way round..I’m lucky to have Ian by my side!
We walked up to a set of door and two men opened them when we got close.
The room was filled with rich people with Fancy million dollars outfits, accessories and services.
White tables were set up at side of the room…waiters walking around. And there was hardly any way to walk.
“Look..Ian is on the other side of the room”
I asked while following Ziggy. I tried to look for Ian but I couldn’t see him.
Eyes were plastered on me as we walked the room
I avoided their stares by looking at the ground.
“You have to get used to it. You will be a star soon”
“A fashion Star. Ian told me about your business”
“Yes.. You have to learn to get through with events like this”
This was going to be a Long night!
I will still have to give this Diamond back to Ian.
Talking of Ian..I spotted him as we got closer.
His hair sleeked back. He was dressed in a black suit which matched with a black tie,shoe and light brown handkerchief folded with just a triangle point sticking out of his breast pocket. He was different!
More handsome with the champagne glass in his hand.
He was talking to a man.
As Ziggy and I walked up.. Ian gave a quick glance but had to quickly turn back for a second stare. His eyes opened wide just staring -moving them to look over every inch of me.
“Ian I brought your date as promised” Ziggy said with a nod.
He slipped his arm out from mine.
Ian was still lost in trance.
Ziggy went to him,balled his fist and gave him a smack at his back. Ian jumped all the way back to reality.
“Your date” Ziggy pointed
“Oh!.. Thanks Ziggy” he stuttered
Ian leaned close and planted kisses on my cheeks. I saw the look on the other man’s face. He was amused.
He stared at me!
“Your date is very beautiful Ian, it would be rude not to introduce us” The man said
“Of course Harvey this is Ria Robert. Ria meet Harvey Wesley the deputy of the BMW association. He also owns the largest Construction Company in Chicago”
I hesitated before sticking out my hand for him to shake
“It’s a pleasure to meet you”
Harvey grabbed the wrap of my fingers and slowly pulled them up to his lips and planted a kiss just above my knuckle.
“Meeting a beauty like yourself the pleasure is all mine”
My impression of this guy is that..
He is a sweet talker. And he better not get any silly ideas in his head.
“You flatter me”
“A woman like yourself deserves much more than mere flattery”
I wasn’t comfortable with this guy.. Ian sensed it too even as he was losing his mind over a simple dress.
“Harvey would you please excuse us,I would like to talk to my date alone”
“Of course! It almost time for my speech”
Harvey gave Ian a stern handshake before disappearing into the crowd
“I’ll also take my leave” Ziggy said
“Thanks once again” Ian said and Ziggy left too
I raised an eye brow at Ian when he covered the inch between us.
“You look beautiful” he complimented and my cheeks flushed pink.
“Of course I’m wearing $3000 dress,$500 make up,$700 shoes and $20millom Diamond -” Ian rolled his eyes
“Stop being concerned about the money. And you will still look beautiful even without the accessories”
And I realized I was blushing..but I shied away from it.
We grabbed a few glasses of Champagne before dinner started. I was amazed at all the people Ian introduced me to. I got to meet a couple of people, famous business owners,oil tycoons and fashion designers some who admired the dress I made for Amber Foundation Kids. Some of the people Ian introduced me to attended the event and had received my cards.
Walking around all these people was actually kind of interesting.
And for the champagne, I had never had one before.. It was pretty good but I didn’t drink too much.
A man on the stage said into the microphone. A spotlight was on him.
It was the same guy.. Harvey Wesley!
“I’d like to start out by telling you thank you for attending the party. And on behalf of Amber Foundation, Madam Charity is saying a big thank you to everyone that attended the last party. She’s also using this medium to appreciate Ian Bryant for donating $2million to the Foundation”
A spotlight found us
“And BMW is saying Thank You too for giving $1million for today’s dinner party” He completed
People turned to us and began to clap.
He donated such huge amount of money to the foundation! And for the party too!
“That quiet generous of you”
I said to him
“Well I do like helping others when I can”
The spotlight disappeared and reappeared back on the stage
“Now Ladies and gentlemen, I bring to you Charles Willard! The president of the Association!”
And elderly man with white hair wearing a grey suit stepped on the stage.
“Hello Everyone” He said
“That man you’re seeing up there is the richest man in USA” Ian said
“Really?” I looked back at the man on stage
And I wondered what it feels to be the “richest”
“I would like to start by thanking you all for coming. This Association is still bent on making the country a better place!” Everyone began to clap
“And i Hope you all enjoy the evening. Thank you”
He stepped off the stage.
He and Harvey disappeared below the crowd level
“Let’s grab something to eat at the table” Ian said
I was hungry!
We both turned towards the direction of where the table was. But Ian stopped on track.
I saw the woman standing in front to us.
She was dressed in a skimpy red cocktail dress. If it was lifted higher she’d be showing the world her ass.
She was well toned like models, her skin was tanned gold and her hair was blond. Her chest was large too.
“Please tell me this is your girl?”
Ian met her eyes and tensed up
“Valerisa” he said
His arms came around my side as he squeezed me closer.
Her eyes turned away from him and stared directly at me. I could see her sizing me up.
“Ian,don’t be rude you should introduce me to your friend here”
He cracked a smile on his face
“Darling this is Valerisa -”
What?! Did he just call me Darling?!
Valerisa interrupted Ian as she held out her hand for me to shake
“We used to date..and you are?”
I cringed at the word “date”
She is Ian Ex!
Well Ian hasn’t told me anything about his past girlfriends or relationships.
Did she live with him when They were together?
Different questions flooded my mind that moment and at the same time I tried to imagine Ian’s relationship with Valerisa.
“Ria Robert. It’s a pleasure”
I replied with a half smile
Suddenly feeling like Ian invited me to this party to warn off his Ex girlfriend!
He called me Darling and even squeezed me to his chest when he saw Valerisa.
Harvey Wesley came up behind Valerisa.
“Valerisa can I talk to you for a second?”
He said to her
Valerisa looked at me before giving Harvey a hard nod.
He winked at Ian before pulling Valeria along with him
“It OK” I cuts him off quickly
He stared at me in shock
I bit my lower lip and clenched my fist.
“Valeria and I -”
“Ian I said it okay”
Pang of anger shot through me as I recalled the look on Valerisa face while she was sizing me up.
“Okay” he pointed to the table
“I’m not hungry”
Ian closed his eyes
I looked around to avoid his gaze.
I saw this man out of the corner of my eyes. He was searching the room.
He was dressed in a brown suit,his black hair wasn’t geled back, instead it fell naturally on his face.
And I didn’t know why he seems to hold on to my attention but he did.
“I wanna be an open book
Lately I’ve been hard to reach…”