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   Chapter 21 Keeping Up With Shakespeare

The Fancy Pants Club By JMFelic Characters: 19299

Updated: 2018-05-07 17:17


POV: Vincent

"Vincent! Hey!" Daniella exclaimed the moment she realized it was I. With her surprised reaction, it didn't take me long to realize that she was in disbelief.

I couldn't blame her really. Returning to the chateau this early in the middle of our mission was unexpected. Circumstances had me deciding to come back here leaving the others to finish the task, most especially Erik since this mission had something to do with Iopata's Cloud Blue shipment - his old man's illegal trails.

Of course Erik didn't like me returning here. If he could put up a tantrum, he would have done so long ago and I tell you, his definition of tantrum meant putting a bullet in a man's head. But since we are in the same coterie and I am his friend, he couldn't do it other than giving me a warning glare to stay away from Daniella.

I knew that something was up between these two since they returned from Rohan's session. Unfortunately, the guru didn't give me the juicy details so I was left pondering on my own. I am sure of one thing though, that Erik's concrete moves on Daniella have already begun.

I guess the fire has already been lit.

Daniella beamed a smile on me just as I took her hand and kissed the back of it.

"You look stunning in green, Daniella, " I remarked.

"Thank you for the compliment Vincent." She shyly looked away whilst showing the beginnings of a blush.

"Let's go?"

"S-sure."

Opening my elbow a bit, she looped an arm around with tense shoulders. I didn't mind it when we started into the hallway but when she remained oddly silent, I decided to ask: "You look like you have seen a ghost Daniella. Please relax."

She stifled a laugh then. "I'm sorry. I am just surprised that you are here."

"Hmm..." I released a throaty grumble. "Were you expecting someone else?" I knew that she is and who this man is particularly but I tested her by asking instead.

"Ah no, no." She blinked rapidly, looking down on the floor. "I am not expecting anyone. Well, other than Suri and Mr. Ian, but that's beside the point. Why are you here anyway? I thought you are in some kind of classified work in who-knows-where?"

I raised an eyebrow, amused by the straightness of her answer.

"Oh, you noticed the secretiveness of the club huh?" I said as we entered the elevator.

"I've noticed quite enough since I became a member, " I heard her answer as I pushed the second floor button.

When I returned to her side, I gave her a wink. "What an observant woman you are."

She smirked at me in response. "So I've been told."

We were silent for a while just as the elevator started to descend down. Thinking about her earlier question, I suppose I needed to give her a good, reasonable answer.

"To tell you the truth, " I started after a heavy sigh. She looked up at me and waited patiently. "My presence in my classified work, as what you've put it, is not needed anymore. I prefer to return in the chateau and help you guys with the activities while Prez is absent."

Although Iopata men are better off dead, I have sworn off killing for personal reasons, so I chose not to get involved with the gory activities as much as possible.

"That's so thoughtful of you, Vincent, " she awarded me an understanding smile. "But hey, I know that it is restricted information but would you mind if I ask where the others are?"

Immediately my thoughts fell on Erik.

"You care that much with him huh?" This time, it was me who smirked.

"Come again?" She gave me a confused face. I don't know if she was just acting or she was really clueless of what her words meant.

"Nothing, " I answered quickly as I shook my head. "Bosnia. Erik and the others are in Bosnia right now, Daniella."

The elevator dinged and opened. The whole time we managed our way towards the second-largest function room where the party was held, I didn't hear one sound from her other than an audible gasp before we stepped outside the elevator.

"You are silent, why? That didn't surprise you at all?" I asked genuinely curious.

"It did actually, but I don't see the point of asking further questions when I know you won't divulge them anyway."

"Hmf, wise woman." I squeezed her arm.

"So I've been told. Again." She looked at me proudly.

"Why not stop this conversation about secrets and classified infos Daniella? Let's just enjoy this party. What's the name of the celebrant again?" I asked.

"Irisha Mitchell, " she answered immediately. "Daughter of a politician."

I was impressed. "Hmm... I see that you are doing your homework well."

She gave me a pleased grin. "I have to at least show the guests that I am worthy of being called a Fancy Pants Club member, Mr. VP."

"And you are, even if you do not try at all. You're a natural Daniella." I gave her another wink.

She smiled silently and drew her gaze on the double doors ahead of us. A male retainer was waiting for us to enter, preparing himself to open the doors.

Before we could proceed though, I paused and nudged at her.

"By the way, Suri can't join us. She tells me to give you a heads up, " I informed.

Daniella's brows lifted and asked me directly, "Why?"

I shyly ran my fingers on my gelled slick-back hair - a style that best suited my black Armani suit and glanced at her way. "She needs to...type a report in Karl's office, " I replied.

Still, I had to put some degree of confidentiality. I wouldn't want for her to worry about Suri when she finds out that her pink-haired friend is having withdrawal symptoms because of Amano's absence.

"Oh, I see." She bent her head down as if contemplating on something.

"You're probably thinking that it is one of those secret information we have right?"

"No, I'm

done, Vincent turned his attention on me again and asked, "Daniella, would you mind if I request something from you?"

I nodded without hesitation since I trusted him. "Sure, anything as long as it is reasonable."

"Can you model for me again? I really want to paint you."

My breath paused for a second. A model? Me? Again?

"Wow, I feel honored with your invitation Vince." I traced the corner of my wine glass in a slow motion, thinking and weighing things down, especially the fact that Erik still owned my schedules. But with him being MIA, I think I can decide on my own. "Would that include being nude?" I thinned my eyes and gave him a suspicious look.

I heard him chuckle then. "No, but if you're suggesting, I am always open for a new perspective."

"Haha, very funny, " I rolled my eyes in mock annoyance.

"So what do you think?" He grabbed my hand, the one that was playing the glass and sandwiched it with his own. He looked genuinely waiting for my reply with high hopes.

"Yeah, I can be your class model again, " I finally agreed, but then his brows furrowed.

"No, Daniella. Not in the class but my solo session."

"Oh, " my eyes widened briefly. "I...I see." The thought of him and me in his studio alone had my heart immediately leaping for a second, but I dismissed the reaction away as just a simple womanly response. I didn't care to think of it again.

The rest of the evening had us eating the contents of our plates while talking about the painting session tomorrow and some other related topics like his passion on music and arts and my family life. I told him about many things; about my mother being born in Monaco, France and my father, an all naturale Londoner; about how they met and the fact that I was born in London but raised mostly in my mother's homeland. In connection with that, I mentioned to him about my month-long admission in the hospital a year ago and the reason why I got there in the first place.

Vincent remained silent the whole time, nodding and showing that he was interested on my recollected memories. I, however, didn't dismiss the fact that he smiled at me like he had some secret - a very important secret. With all the classified information of the club declined to me, I was used to it but somehow this kind of secretive smile he showed felt different. Really different.

Amidst this, in the end, we had a great time. Our friendship had advanced to the next level and I was happy with it and I know that he felt the same way.

*

*

*

"Thank you for spending this wonderful night with me, Daniella, " he said whilst standing in my doorway.

"Likewise, thank you too, Vince."

He leaned closer and kissed me in the cheek. I allowed him to without putting any meaning to it.

"Good night then." He winked and beamed a smile while waving a hand.

I waved back, "Yeah, good night, " and after which closed the door.

After three steps toward my receiving room, my hand found its way into the lock button of my purse. For some reason, I found myself having this unconscious habit of checking on my phone from time to time. While together with Vincent, I never thought of checking it, but now that I am left alone in my room, I am back to this routine.

Nope. There was nothing that showed on my phone except for the picture of an orchard landscape that Erik had already set up in my home screen. There were no calls or even a text message from him that would bother me.

I felt happy with it, but somehow a part of me wanted to have someone to talk to. After sauntering inside my bedroom, that's when my silent wish came true. Ericka's number popped out and her 'Twerk It Like Miley' ringtone sounded.

I smiled to myself before I pressed the accept button. Yep. I believe tonight we are going to have a long, long chat.

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