“What does she know, Cassius?” Hernan asked, still confused and a bit irritated for the sudden entrance of Cassius. He was stressed and wanted a few minutes alone.
“She knows about Danika. She is in the apartment!”
Hernan was taken aback by that.
‘Shit!’, he thought. How on earth did his mother find out about Danika? ‘She must have been the one calling! Fuck!’
“What am I supposed to do, sir?” Cassius asked, nervously.
“Damn it!” Hernan said. “Go to Danika’s place and let her know she’ll have to accompany me to the party next week.”
“The… family party, sir?” Cassius asked, not believing his ears.
“Of course. Now my mother knows, my grandfather will know as well. And I want to present Danika by my side before Xandros decides to interfere. You know how he is. It is like he is the plague itself.”
Cassius bowed and exited the office in a hurry. Hernan didn’t mean to present Danika at all. She was going to be his dirty little secret. He was just going to say he had a child on the way and it would buy him time. He was going to say she was shy and all. Since he does not visit her, there was no way anybody could follow him and know her whereabouts.
That was before. Now, he was going to have to introduce her. As his wife. He wanted to have no contact whatsoever with her. He was more than frustrated.
Cassius arrived at Danika’s apartment, but Leida had already gone. The phone call she received was to inform her her dress was ready and she had to try it one last time. When she asked Danika if she already had her dress, Danika said that yes, definitely. She didn’t even know what the dress was for…
“Mrs. Allaband!” Cassius greeted her, breathing hard.
“It is ok, Mr. Banks, she is gone.” Danika said and gave space so Cassius could enter.
“Ah.. I’m sorry for the inconvenience. I have no idea how that happened.”
“Well, maybe I’m the one saying sorry. She asked a lot and I kind of made up a few things.” Danika said with a weird smile.
“What did you say to her, Mrs.?” He was not sure he wanted to know.
“Well… I said that Hernan and I met at the beach.”
Cassius shut his eyes tightly. The beach… Hernan Allaband was in a wheelchair. He would never go to the beach.
“I see. Let me inform Mr. Allaband. I’m sure his mother won’t take long to appear in his office.”
“She said something about a dress for a party. Asked me about mine.”
“Oh, yeah, the party.” Cassius said after typing to Hernan. “We need to find you a dress.”
The next week was tiresome and Danika was not very fond of it. Hell, she wanted to be able to rest and feel ill in peace. But no, she had many lessons of etiquette, lessons about the family members and, of course, about Hernan.
No, not everything about him, but only a few things, as in his favorite color, his favorite food, his allergies.. how accomplishments in academic and professional matter. Danika’s head was almost going crazy.
The dress they found for her was a very beautiful dark blue one, strapless. The fabric was delicate and had small dots of glitter that made it gleam in a natural beautiful way. Danika never thought she would ever get her hands in such a piece of clothing.
The day of the party was hellish. She woke up at six with tons of people entering the apartment. Nails, hair, skin, a damn spa day!… But, by the end of it, she looked stunning!
“Is that me?” She asked, looking at her reflection in the mirror. The woman looking back at her was stunning! Her hair was in a high, well made bum, but not a classic one. It was modern. The make up was light, since she didn't want to look too much. The red lipstick made it all. She had never seen her as a sexy woman, until that moment.
“That’s you, dear. A very beautiful young woman!” The hairdresser said and all the crew applauded.
“Thank you very much!” She said, emotional. Danika was feeling like that so easily those last days. She didn’t know if that was happening because of the pregnancy hormones or just the amount of stress she had been through.
“Don’t you dare to cry!” The makeup artist warned.
Danika was a nice girl with a good temperament. Unless someone disturbed her pretty much, like Sokolov did.
Her phone’s screen lit up, telling her that the car was already there. She said goodbye to everyone and left the apartment. They would leave and the door locked itself when closed.
Danika was breathing hard inside the elevator. She was going to meet not only her husband in person, but all the Allaband family!
Hernan was inside the car, waiting. He was going to arrive with her, of course. If they were going to pretend to be a couple in love, he could never arrive at his grandfather's manor without the ‘woman of his life’.
He was impatient. He hated to wait for women to get ready. Catriona would take forever, always and he had forgotten how annoying that was. At least that he didn’t miss her.
“Oh, there she comes, sir!” Cassius said and when Hernan looked out the window, he had the most delightful vision. It was like the Beauty Goddess had just walked out of those doors, the wind making the strands of her hair move in a seductive way, meeting the swan of her hips.
Cassius observed Hernan’s reaction and he smiled widely. His boss was enchanted, mesmerized by the beautiful redhead walking to them. Indeed, she was the most beautiful woman he himself had seen, and he believed she was the perfect match for his boss.
Cassius left the car to open the door for Danika.
“Good evening, Mr. Banks!” She said, smiling widely.
“Good evening, Mrs. Allaband.” Cassius greeted. “You look lovely!”
She blushed and was thanking him. Inside the vehicle, Hernan was frowning. To what he could see, it seemed like Cassius was flirting with his wife! In front of him!
‘That bastard!’, he thought, making a mental note to have a little chat with Cassius by Monday.
The door opened and Danika noticed how the car was quite big. Not a limo as she imagined. Or the Bentley from before.
When she got in, it was all dark inside, but she could see the shadow of a man there. She gulped. That shadow was her husband.
“Good evening.” She said shyly and Hernan liked her voice.
“Good evening, wife.” He said and his voice was deep. Danika gulped again, and this time, because she was imaging a handsome and sexy man obscured by the shadows.
She took her place on the car seat and bit her lips nervously, but then she remembered she was wearing lipstick and stopped messing with her makeup.
Hernan kept looking at her, because the lights above her head were turned on. He was the one who chose that dress and he was very proud of that. Every curve of her was shown, but not in a vulgar way. She looked like a Queen.
“You look very beautiful tonight.” That voice, again. And she was confused, because she could swear that the man in the wheelchair, whose face she had not forgotten, were practically the same.
‘Must be my imagination’, she thought. There was no way!
Danika didn't expect him to talk to her at all.
“Thank you.” She said. “Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about you.”
“What?” Hernan asked, his voice a bit harsh.
“I mean.. I cannot see you.” Danika explained herself. “That is why I cannot.. it would be a lie. An empty compliment.”
“Ah, true.” Hernan said, impressed. He chuckled. “You surprise me.”
“Because you are not some insensitive person. Most of women I’ve known, were.”
“Maybe you were walking with the wrong people.” She answered and he could see she had a sharp tongue. It intrigued him.
“You’re interesting.” Was all he said and the car was silent again. Danika had no idea what to talk about and decided it was best if they remained like that. The party was going to be very stressful.
The car came to a stop and Cassius was the one opening the door for Danika.
“Thank you, Mr. Banks.”
“My pleasure.” Was his answer and, once again, Hernan didn’t like one bit.
When Cassius went to open the back door for his boss, Hernan murmured to him.
“Keep your eyes, your soft words and those sly hands away from my wife.”
Cassius widened his eyes, but nodded.
“Of course, sir.” Cassius answered, bowing and inside, he was smiling. The warning Hernan gave him implied that Hernan Allaband was more interested in his own wife than he was willing to admit.
Danika frowned slightly when the back door opened. What was going on? Then, a ramp appeared and she kept observing, as if she had been hypnotized.
A man left the car, in a wheelchair. He was.. He was that man from the hospital!