New Novel to Watch Out for Under Timeless Bestsellers Inc.
All Rights Reserved
“Okay, let’s start the meeting ladies and gentlemen,” inilibot niya ang paningin sa mga taong nakaupo sa conference table ng may mapansin siya. Kulang ng tatlo ang Board of Directors ng GOC. “Where are Mr. Avida, delos Santos and Corona?”
“Don’t you know it yet, Ms. Elizalde?” Si Mrs. Socorro, isa sa Senior Board Members.
Nangunot ang noo niya. “Please tell me about it Mrs. Socorro.” Pormal na turan niya.
“Mr. Avida, along with Mr. delos Santos and Corona sold their shares just yesterday.” Sagot nito.
She was alarmed. Katumbas sa thirty percent and shares ng tatlo. Kung sinuman ang nakabili ng shares ng mga ito ay pumapangalawa na sa kanya. She owned forty-five percent of GOC and she was the major stockholder.
“Who bought their shares?” Bakit hindi ipinaalam sa kanya ang pangyayaring ito? Ang matalas na pang-amoy niya ay nakalanghap ng hindi maganda.
Noon bumukas ang pintuan ng conference room at pumasok ang isang matangkad na lalaki. He was looking so sleek and powerful in his three piece suit.
Colors departed her beautiful face. She wasn’t expecting the face of the devil to appear in her own conference room! She just wished he was but a product of her wild imagination.
But when he smiled dangerously, she knew he was real. His lips spoke a silent threat she never missed.
“Its payback time.”
Her flesh trembled. She looked at the devil’s goddamned face. Spite him! Well, she won’t turn her face at his challenge. He won’t dare. She was ready.
But when her sight riveted at his powerful lips, the very same lips that kissed her for like eternity, and she suddenly want to melt like an ice cream, she knew she was in trouble – big, big trouble.
Oh no, but she needed to put on her shield and the devil was around.
She closed her eyes as she saw her own self moaning and ranting unrecognizable sounds as his skillful lips introduced her to Nirvana.
Oh God, she wanted to die that very minute.
Mula sa floor to ceiling glass windows ng kanyang pent house unit sa isa sa pinakamataas na building sa buong Metro Manila, tinanaw ni Diadem ang makukulay na ilaw ng siyudad sa gabi.
Metro Manila’s dazzling skyline filled her restless eyes for minutes. Nilagok niya ang hawak na kopita ng alak ng makaramdam ng pagkabagot.
Sa mataas na kinalalagyan niya ay damang-dama niya ang lakas ng kanyang kapangyarihan. The pent house unit of her own building served as her second abode. It was a modern and luxuriously spacious pad for a woman who was always on the go and a pride of a shrewd businessman who had amassed massive wealth since her parents’ death ten years ago.
She felt her heart squirmed in sadness as memories of her dying mother filled her mind.
Halos magmakaawa siya noon sa ina na huwag siyang iiwan at wala siyang makakasama sa buhay ngunit hindi siya nito pinagbigyan. Her mother was too consumed of her lament over her father’s death. Her muscles tensed. Ang ama niyang namatay sa isang aksidente habang kasama ang ibang babae as they tried to run away.
Awang-awa siya sa kanyang ina na iniwan na nga ng asawa para sa ibang babae ngunit minahal pa rin ng todong-todo ang ama niya. Surely, her father did not deserve her mother’s unconditional love.
Cecilia Elizalde loved her husband so much that when he died, she lost the zest to continue living with the mortals and had always wanted to follow Roberto Elizalde from wherever realm he was with after his death. Cecilia suffered from great depression and anorexia until she contracted a deadly disease na naging dahilan ng pagkamatay nito.
She hated her father the moment she discovered about his illicit affair with another woman. And hated him more when her mother died. She was orphaned at the age of nineteen. Simula noon ay namuhay siya kasama ng mga yaya at tagataguyod.
She lived alone and lonely. If it was a consolation that her parents left her huge wealth to spend to whatever she wanted, her money did not do a thing to ease her pain and longing. But she had to continue living so she can protect her family’s legacy, the largest oil company in the country, lalo pa ng malaman niyang interesado ang mistress ng ama sa kayamanan nila.
Hinding-hindi siya papayag na magkaroon ng anumang parte sa kayamanan nila ang oportunistang kabit ng ama lalo pa at ang Global Oil Company ay minana pa ng ina mula sa mga ninuno nito. Kung tutuusin ay isa lamang na hamak na empleyado ang kanyang ama na nagustuhan ng ina at minahal ng todo-todo. Hindi naging CEO ng GOC si Roberto kung hindi dahil kay Cecilia. Her mother did not only give her father unconditional love but riches too. Pero hindi iyon pinahalagahan ni Roberto at nagawa pang ipagpalit ang ina niya sa ibang babae! Sa ibang babae na mas matanda pa ng ilang taon sa ina niya!
She was really surprised. Ang akala niya ay nahalina ng isang maganda at batam-batang babae ang ama niya. But Winona, though still beautiful despite of her age, was even older than her mother! Hindi niya lubos maisip kung bakit nagawa silang ipagpalit ng ama sa babaeng iyon!
Pagkatapos niyang magtapos sa college sa kursong Business Administration sa edad na beinte, kaagad na pinamahalaan niya ang pagpapatakbo sa GOC. Likas siyang matalino at katunayan ay nagtapos siyang Cum Laude sa Ateneo de Manila University.
Kung iniisip ni Winona na isa lamang siyang batang ulila, puwes patutunayan niya sa oportunistang iyon na may utak siya at hindi siya maloloko ninuman.
She pooled her own competent and loyal Human Resources, mula sa mga executives ng kumpanya, hanggang sa mga accountants at company lawyers.
She kicked Winona out of her way. Katunayan ay nagawa pa niya itong ipakulong. Ginamit niya ang pera niya upang pahirapan ang babae.
Two years after, nakalaya si Winona at magmula noon ay nawala itong parang bula. At ipinagpasalamat niya iyon at natahimik ang buhay niya.
She continued to work hard and propelled GOC to more success and skyrocketing profits. And with her surprising shrewdness in business, an unusual skill for a woman, she was able to double the company’s worth into a whooping three hundred fifty million dollars.
She was regarded as one of the most powerful woman in the Philippines and the most eligible bachelorette in town.
Well, yes, she was still single. Ilang buwan na lang at magse-celebrate na siya ng kanyang ika-30th Birthday.
And since malapit na siyang mawala sa kalendaryo, may mga plano na rin siya para sa sarili.
Isa na roon ang pagkakaroon niya ng pamilya at tagapagmana. She was not getting any younger and she knew she needed to find someone she can marry and be her companion and business partner.
Yes, she was looking for someone who can match her wealth or even surpass her worth, so that their union would produce a more stable and promising business venture.
She believed that marriage is like signing a big business enterprise and profiting a lot from it. She didn’t believe in marriage for love. Naalibadbaran siya sa isiping iyon. Her parents’ tragedy taught her a lesson she won’t ever forget. At hinding-hindi niya tutularan ang ina. Hindi niya gustong danasin ang dinanas nito.
She will never marry for love. Ang kailangan niya ay isang mayaman at makapangyarihang lalaki na maging responsableng ama ng kanyang mga anak at maging katuwang niya upang mapalago pa ang kanilang mga kayamanan.
She wanted a stable and no drama but strongly bonded family.
She already told her executive secretary to do a research about the most eligible bachelors in the country. Titingnan niya kung sino sa mga ito ang pupuwede niyang piliin na mapangasawa niya kung saka-sakali.
And she will get the comprehensive report tomorrow.
“Next!” Nayayamot na utos niya kay Roshelle, ang executive secretary niya. Naroroon sila sa loob ng state of the art na conference room ng GOC at kasalukuyang pinepresenta nito sa kanya ang report nito, the list of most eligible bachelors in the Philippines.
More or less ay may two hundred lists ito ng mga single na lalaking may kayamanang hindi bababa ng 100 Million pesos.
My Ass! 100 Million pesos?! Eh halos ni hindi man lang iyon nakakalahati sa bilyones na halaga niya!
She told Roshelle to cut her list into bachelors with at least 1 Billion pesos worth of fortune. She came up with at least fifty of them. Subalit karamihan sa mga iyon ay halos matatanda na. Gusto na tuloy niya itong patigilin ng makita niya ang picture na nagflash back sa projector.
The man was sporting a nice, friendly smile. Mukhang mabait. And he had striking good looks to match his fat bank accounts.
Rohan Tantuco. 35 yrs. Old. Real Estate Magnate. 10 Billion pesos. Self-made.
Hmmnn… Not bad!
She snapped her finger. “That’s it, Roshelle. I want that Rohan Tantuco. I want you to dig more information about him and get his contact info. I want the report on my desk next week.”
“Yes, Ma’am. Pero hindi pa po ako tapos–”
“It’s okay,” she cut her off. “I got my choice already.”
“Are you sure Ma’am Diadem? I think you should take a look at this one. He’s richer than Mr. Tantuco and he looks far—“
“Don’t bother anymore Roshelle. I’m okay with 10 Billion pesos. That’s not bad at all. And besides, I have good vibes with this guy, Rohan Tantuco. He seems very easy to handle.” And with that, what she actually meant was she can easily make the guy dance at whatever tune she wanted. And that was all that mattered to her.
Tumayo na siya, signaling that the reporting was over. “Don’t forget to give me your report about Rohan Tantuco first thing on Monday.”
“Yes, Ma’am.” Maagap na sagot nito.
“I have to go now Roshelle. Great work, as usual.” She knew how her employees worked hard and she never fails to acknowledge their efforts.
Isang malapad na ngiti ang iginanti ni Roshelle. “Thank you, Ma’am.” Pagkatapos ay pinatay na nito ang projector.
Nauna siyang lumabas ng conference room at bumalik sa kanyang opisina.
She donned an itchy, bitchy two piece Brazilian Bikini at sinumang nadadaanan niya, mapababae man o mapalalaki ay napapalingon sa kanya.
Sanay na siya sa ganuong atensiyon kapag nakasuot siya ng bikini. She was thankful to have a naturally curvaceous body despite of her thin frame.
It was unusual to see a woman with model thin figure but with fully packed breasts and behind. Many women envied her lingerie perfect figure, a must have body she never worked hard to get. It was but natural.
Iilang pagkakataon lamang na naiidisplay niya ang seksing katawan at bihira siyang magbakasyon lalo na sa isang beach resort. She was always busy in the corporate world. Kaliwa’t kanan ang kanyang appointments. Lalo na noong nag-uumpisa pa lamang siya.
Bilang isang newbie na businesswoman, marami pa siyang dapat malaman at matutunan kung papaano patatakbuhin ng maayos ang GOC. And she was very eager to learn.
Pero kinausap niya si Roshelle na ayusin ang schedule niya. Kailangan niya ng dalawang linggong bakasyon. Ang future niya ay nakasalalay sa dalawang linggong bakasyon niya sa isang Five Star Hotel and Beach Resort sa Mindoro.
She was out to get the man of her dreams. Of course, she was not referring to the romantic inclination of it but to the stability and financial promise of the man of her dreams.
Base sa research ni Roshelle, she would find Rohan Tantuco in Temptress Hotel and Beach Resort in Mindoro. Ito ang bagong-bagong Five Star Hotel and Beach Resort na dinidevelop ng Real Estate Magnate na si Rohan Tantuco, ang pakay niya sa lugar na iyon. It was an imposing, modern tourist attraction aimed to entertain both elite local and international tourists. Meron itong five star hotel na tumataginting na fifty thousand pesos per night ang charge sa Presidential suites, may infinity pool, golf course, modernong facilities para sa iba’t-ibang water sports, a runway for private jets and a wide stretch of powdery white sanded shoreline and crystal clear seawater.
The place was a paradise, an expensive paradise to be exact!
Actually ay hindi pa tapos ang construction sa resort at may dalawa pang structures na itinatayo. At iyon ang pinagkakaabalahan ni Rohan.
Dumating siya sa resort kanina lulan ng kanyang private jet. Kaagad siyang nagcheck in sa hotel. Matapos ayusin sa drawer ang gamit niya ng PA na kasama niya, she instructed her, along with her two security personnel, to go back to Manila with the pilot.
Of course, hindi niya gustong may bubuntot-buntot sa kanya while she was out to get Rohan. Tiwala naman siya sa security sa loob ng resort. Wala naman sigurong masamang tao na makakapasok at maglalagay sa kanya sa peligro. She won’t pay fifty thousand pesos a night for nothing!
Isinuot niya ang signature shades na hawak niya sa isang kamay at inayos ang malapad na hand made abaca hat. Mainit na ang sikat ng araw.
Naglalakad siya sa dalampasigan na may mangilan-ngilang tao habang sinisipsip ang cocktail drink na hawak niya gamit ang straw. Patuloy siya sa paglalakad ng bigla siyang mapatili sa pagkabigla.
She collided into a sturdy body at tumapon sa dibdib niya ang iniinom niyang malamig na cocktail drink.
Malakas siyang napasinghap. Kaagad na itinapon niya ang wala ng lamang baso at pinagpag ang dibdib na natapunan ng malamig na inumin at ice cubes. She was cursing repeatedly. Ang lamig-lamig ng ice cubes na dumampi sa manipis na balat niya!
“Let me help you.”
Hindi niya pinansin ang bruskong boses na iyon at abala siya sa pagpagpag sa sarili. Bigla siyang napaigtad ng may malaking kamay na dumapo sa dibdib niya. May hawak iyong panyo at pinunasan ang basang dibdib niya. Kaagad na nagtaas siya ng paningin ng masagi nito ang dibdib niya. She was electrified from head to foot. Her nipples hardened under her bikini bra. Siya man ay nabigla sa naging reaksiyon ng katawan niya.
For Pete’s sake but she was harassed!
Magtataray sana siya ng biglang maumid ang dila niya. Her eyes landed to a devastatingly attractive face. He got the darkest but sarcastic eyes in the world. He had powerful thin lips and suddenly she imagined her first kiss.
Napakurap si Diadem. Buti na lamang at nakasuot siya ng shades at hindi nito nakita ang panlalaki ng mga mata niya at ang pagkatulala niya rito.
Damn! But she momentarily lost her wits dahil sa guwapong mukha na nakita niya. He looked rough and stubborn but undeniably gorgeous and oh well, sexy too!
He was wearing faded jeans inked with an expensive brand but torn in the knees. He was bare on top and her eyes lingered at his muscled chest and washboard abs.
She swallowed hard, real hard. Hindi niya alam ngunit bigla siyang nakaramdam ng alinsangan sa nakita. He was hot! That was undeniable.
But she didn’t like the smirk on his devilishly, handsome face. Namaywang siya. Akma nitong papahirang muli ang dibdib niya at napaatras siya upang iwasan ito.
He was looking at her breasts na ngayon ay nakabakat na sa basa niyang bikini bra. Niyuko niya ang sarili and she was mortified to see her nipples peeking behind the fabric.
“You brute!” She angrily retorted. “Bakit ka tatanga-tanga at binangga ako?!”
He shrugged his broad shoulders. She looked at his flexing biceps. Gosh, but he exuded power beyond her wildest imaginings. The man was tall and big. And she was intimidated.
Oh well, she was the queen of the boardrooms at hindi siya ang tipong masisindak ng kahit na sinumang lalaki. Kahit na ang pinakaguwapo pang kalahi ni Adan. Kagaya ng kaharap niya.
“I’m sorry Miss but see, ikaw actually ang bumangga sa akin. Hindi ka yata tumitingin sa dinadaanan mo.”
Pakiramdam niya ay nagtayuan ang lampas balikat na buhok niya sa narinig.
“Hindi ako ang tatanga-tanga. Ikaw iyon!” Gusto ng manlaki ng butas ng ilong niya sa inis.
“I beg to disagree but it’s really you. Baka hindi mo nakikita ng maayos ang daan at madilim ang suot mong shades.” He answered, amused.
Padarag na tinanggal niya ang suot na shades. Ayaw niya sanang gawin iyon at makikita nito ang mga mata niya. “There, I am not wearing shades anymore and correction, hindi siya madilim. Mukha lang sa paningin mo.”
He smiled irresistibly. She was unprepared as she felt her heart jumped in delight. Gosh, bakit biglang nanlambot ang tuhod niya sa ngiti nito?
“I was right. You’re eyes are a chameleon of colors. Suits you just fine. Thanks for taking off your shades for me.” He winked at her at tumalikod at naglakad palayo.
Naiwan siyang nakatunganga. Ano raw? Her eyes are a chameleon of colors daw?
Para siyang engot na tiningnan ang mga mata mula sa reflection sa hawak na shades. Pagkatapos ay hinabol ng paningin ang lalaki.