Six years ago...
stormed into the huge library in her preppy college uniform, red
headband and Manolo Blahnik mary janes. Kailangan nilang mag-usap ng
masinsinan ng kanyang magaling na kapatid.
Ginny Baumgartner, her
close friend of five years, went to her classroom early this morning.
She frantically wept on her shoulder because of a cold-hearted prick
that was her Kuya Charlie!
Kagaya ng inaasahan niya ay naroon nga
ang kanyang nakatatandang kapatid at prenteng nakaupo sa likod ng
malaking lamesa, with a near-empty bottle of whiskey on one side. "Kuya,
we need to talk!" she demanded.
He didn't even bother to raise
his head to look at her. "What about?" balewalang tanong nito. Charlie
was never one to be disturbed whenever he was scribbling something on
his scratch pad.
"I can't believe you slept with my friend Ginny
and callously dumped her the morning after!" namumula ang mukhang sumbat
niya rito. "I will never EVER forgive you for this!"
at her, pero nanatili itong nakayuko. "We had a deal, Georgiana. I can
sleep with any of your friends as long as she asks me three times,"
depensa nito. "Stacey-- I mean, Ginny, asked me four times."
shoulders sagged in utter shock, umawang ang kanyang mga labi. "Y-you
also slept with Stacey Mondragon!?" tukoy niya sa kanyang mortal na
kaaway mula pa kindergarten.
Huminto ito sa ginagawa at walang
anumang tinitigan siya. He tapped his Caran d'Ache Barrel Pen on the
table and flashed an unapologetic lopsided grin. "What's for dinner?"
Cheska saw him walk away with an irked expression, kaya isinuot niya ang kanyang printed sarong at lumapit sa kinaroroonan ng mga lalaki.
“Hi, Cheski, what do you want to drink?" Si Seth ang agad na bumati sa kanya. "Steady ka lang diyan at magpapakuha ako.”
ang leeg niya sa kakatanaw kay Devlin. His footsteps were livid and he
looked like he had no plans of turning back. “Where is he going?”
“Maghahanap na lang daw siya ng iba kasi ayaw mo naman sa kanya,” nanunuksong singit ni Nate.
Napamulagat siya. “Nick is that true? Seth?”
shrugged with a wicked smile playing on his lips. Si Nick naman ay
balewalang pinaglaro ang mga daliri sa ibabaw ng puting lamesa.
siya sa tabi ni Nick. “Ano bang sinabi niya sa inyo?" She repeatedly
tugged on his board shorts. "Did he meet anyone here?”
hindi naman yata siya makakapayag na mangyari ang ganoon sa kanila ni
Dev. She was the wife— ahem— future wife and no island slut was allowed
within his three-inch radius!
“Cheski, you girls outnumber us
ten-to-one." Si Seth. "You do the math. Kawawa naman ang ibang babae
kapag hindi nakatikim ng grasya.”
“There goes your answer,” Nate murmured.
Nanunumbat niyang tinitigan ang mga ito. “How about love and romance!?”
“Mizz Love and Mizz Romance
are the names of sexy bar room strippers I met at Ibiza." Seth answered
with a shrug. Naglagay ito ng ice sa hawak na baso. "Nothing more.”
Ngumiti si Nate. “Bitter ka lang yata, Pare.”
talaga ako. Namputsa, ginamit lang ng mga babaeng iyon ang katawan ko."
iiling-iling na wika ni Seth. The seriousness on his face elicited low
chuckles from his friends.
“Pero mukhang mas bitter ang isang
iyon nang umalis kanina,” biro uli ni Nate. “You better watch out,
Cheska. Baka ipagamit na lang ‘non ang katawan sa ibang babae dahil sa
Her air pipes constricted. Hindi siya
makapaniwalang magagawa ni Devlin ang bagay na iyon sa kanya. Despite
all his faults, she knew he was still an honorable man. “He would never
do that to me!”
“With all the Mexican models who arrived this
morning,” Seth teased her further. “I doubt it. Mahilig pa naman sa mga
seksing Latina iyang si Cervantes.”
“Aah, love those women!” Nate
directed his glance at her. “Ang lalakas umungol, Pare. Sobrang wild pa
sa kama. Ang swerte ng kaibigan natin kapag nagkataon.”
“Yeah, tingin ko sa mga iyan parang palaging mauubusan. Más rápido, por favor, por favor!” Seth replicated a female accent. “Me vuelves loca!”
si Nate. “What else can I say? Moaning is a universal language.”
Nag-toast ang dalawa, sa kanya pa rin nakatingin. “To Devlin and his hot
Nalukot na ng husto ang kanyang mukha.
na nga kayong dalawa,” maya-maya pa ay saway ni Nick sa mga ito. “Huwag
kang maniwala sa kanila. Ginu-goodtime ka lang ng mga ‘yan.”
noticed Nick had been the most protective of them, women. Ang sabi nila
ay talagang ganoon ito sa mga babaeng malapit rito lalo na sa kapatid
nitong si Alessandra.
“Sipsip!” ngingiting wika ni Nate. “Na-in
love ka lang bigla nang nag-iba ang ugali mo.” Nanatili pa rin siyang
nakasimangot. Her brain readily concocted an elaborate game plan.
bang in-love ang pinagsasabi mo?” natatawa na ring sabi ni Nick, sumipa
ng buhangin papunta kay Nate. “Si Devlin na lang kaya ang pag-usapan
natin. ‘Wanna make a bet?”
“W-what kind of bet?” she asked curiously.
si Seth, naglabas ng ilang lilibuhin mula sa kanyang pitaka. “Ten
thousand bucks says Cervantes will finally get laid tonight,” sabi nito
bago uminom ng beer. “Who’s in?”
“Well, ten thousand bucks says
I’m gonna cut his junior if I see him with another woman!” singit niya
na ikinahagalpak ng tawa ng lahat.
"Dear God," nangingiti pa ring wika ni Nate habang umiinom ng beer. "Please have mercy on his soul."
be a sweetheart and tell Georgie I had to go somewhere." Taas noo
niyang tinitigan ang mga kausap at nameywang. "Meron lang akong
She followed Devlin’s trail to the
restaurant with smoke piping out of her nostrils. Susundan niya ang
lalakeng iyon at baka kung sino na ang nilalandi nito habang wala siya!
Cheska hustled her way towards the limo. Ang sabi ni William ay naroroon daw ang amo nito at kanina pa naghihintay na makausap siya.
knew then it’s not William’s mouth that’s gonna be on the tail end of
her razor-sharp cigarette heels that lazy Wednesday afternoon.
Ang hudyong iyon! Ano’ng akala niya sa amin mga squatters na pwede niyang palayasin anumang oras niya gustuhin?
pa man siya tuluyang nakalalapit ay bumukas na ang isang pinto ng
sasakyan at umibis mula roon ang isang matangkad na lalake. Bigla siyang
natigilan, napalunok. Oh my!
before her was the precise definition of a gorgeous man in a dark gray
Hugo Boss pinstriped business suit, oozing with waves of animalistic
The man was flawlessly built and devastatingly handsome.
Hindi siya nakaimik at nakagat pa yata niya ang kanyang dila. Literally!
“Good afternoon, Ms. LaGuardia.” Ngumiti ito, showing an irritatingly perfect set of teeth.
siya nina Jack at Georgie pero ngayon pa lamang ay tila gusto na niyang
ibigay ang rental contract pati na rin ang kanyang sarili sa lalakeng
ito. Natigilan siya.
Ibigay ang kanyang sarili?! She chastised herself for the atrocity of her thoughts.
quietly gathered her scattered poise and momentarily looked away. My
God, hindi dapat malaman ng kunehong ito kung gaano siya ka-HOT!
sucked in a lot of air to calm her nerves. Minemorya niya ang lahat ng
kanyang nais sabihin. Devil Cervantes was the one who drew first blood
and she wasn’t gonna let him get away with it!
Nick couldn’t believe his eyes. Si Georgie ba talaga ang nakikita niya? It was the first time he saw her again since that beautiful night in Paris.
Beautiful night my ass! That greedy succubus drained all the juices in my body and then left me for dead!
Nasa second floor siya ng ancestral house at pababa na sa grand staircase kasama ng mga kaibigan nang mamataan niya ito.
“Hey man, kanina ka pa yata natutulala diyan?” Si Seth.
Iniwas niya ang tingin. “W-wala. May nakita lang akong kakilala.”
He faked a smile. “Very funny, Seth.”
mabaling ang atensyon ng kaibigan ay muli niyang sinulyapan ang dalaga.
She was a delicious vision to behold in her gray strapless dress and
matching peep-toe pumps.
Her hair was held in an easy bun with stud earrings and a simple diamond necklace around her neck. Fuck, she’s so pretty. I wanna take her home over and over again!
There were specks of untamed hair dangling on her nape and even that gave him a goddamn hard on.
“Lo and behold, an ample selection of Manila’s warm and wealthy pussies.” bulong sa kanya ni Seth.
was so right on the money when I volunteered to host this party, man.”
narinig niyang sabi ni Nate kay Devlin. “Ang daming magagandang chicks
na kilala ang mapapangasawa mo!”
“Yeah, especially that lovely lady in gray. She’s so hot, I wanna shag her already.” Si Seth.
umakyat ang ilang litro ng dugo sa ulo niya sa sinabi nito. He suddenly
felt like someone was trying to snatch away his priceless possession.
“Damn you, Seth! She’s mine!”
“Whoa! Easy lang bro. Maraming isda sa dagat.”
“You can go ahead and fuck all the fishes in the sea. Huwag mo lang siyang pakikialaman!”
Tumaas ang kilay ng apat niyang kasama.
"Someone you know, Nick?” Si Adrian.
Marahan siyang tumango habang matiim pa ring nakatitig sa babae.
Nakalinyang bumaba ang limang lalake mula
sa grand staircase para makisalamuha sa mga bisita. They looked as if
they were moving in slow and elegant motions, oblivious of the fact that
they were oggled at by all the ladies in the room.
Each one of them looked gorgeous in their own unique way yet all of them possessed an aura of charm and inbred authority.
“Manila’s five most eligible bachelors, minus two.” Kinindatan siya ng kaibigan bago umalis. “One of them is mine.”
“At magkakaibigan pa talaga ang limang iyan ha,” narinig niyang sabi ng isang tinig mula sa likuran.
“Only perfection can stand the presence of perfection, dearie.” sagot rito ng kasama. She couldn’t agree more.
last one of them suddenly caught her eyes. Paano ba niya makakalimutan
ang mga matang iyon? And those sensual lips that conquered her body like
a tender beast.
Oh dear, I think I’m gonna faint. He
looked more dazzling now in his white button down shirt and black
trousers. Huli na nang mapagtanto niyang nakatingin din ito sa direksyon
She stood there as if witnessing an apparition of sorts.
Nick, on the other hand, descended the stairs with her eyes on her and
her alone. Ang walanghiya at may gana pang titigan ako.
kabila ng galit ay bigla na lamang siyang sinundot ng pangungulila para
rito. Sambahin ba naman nito ang katawan niya pati kaluluwa.
Ipinilig niya ang ulo sa naisip. Georgiana Marie, galit ka sa kanya, remember? REMEMBER?
“Nicky, honey, nandito ka lang pala!” narinig niyang tawag rito ng isang malanding tinig.
She could almost swear that he was going to her direction if not for the sudden interruption.
dumoble ang nararamdaman niyang inis nang makitang yumakap rito ang
isang sopistikadang babae. She looked older than him by a few years. Aba
at mahilig pala ang kunehong ito sa senior citizen.
But who was she kidding? The woman was gorgeous, with legs that went on forever.
ang mata niya nang makitang hinalikan ito ng babae sa labi. She was
furious. Why, the jerk had a girlfriend and he had the guts to make love
to her with reckless abandon!
Tila nagkapatong-patong na ang
kasalanan sa kanya ng binata. She didn’t wanna be there anymore. Baka
kung ano pa ang magawa niya rito.
I need some air.
Padabog niyang kinuha ang isang kopita sa kalapit na bar at nilagok ang
laman niyon bago binirahan ng alis para hanapin si Cheska.
“You look peeved. What happened?” agad na tanong niya nang makitang bumalik ang kaibigan.
“The bitch was guarding George like she was some kind of maximum security prison! I hate her!”
Natawa siya sa nakitang inis sa mukha nito. “I told you already. That woman’s ready to draw blood to protect her territory.”
the way, look at that guy from twelve o’clock.” bulong nito sa kanya.
“He’s been looking at you for like, forever. Buti ka pa!”
Pasimple niyang tiningnan ang direksyong tinutukoy ni nito. Her heart skipped a beat when their eyes met. My he’s sexy!
didn’t have to look at her face in the mirror to see that she was
blushing. One look at him and she suddenly felt like tiny flames lit
inside her body. Weird.
“I’ll just powder my nose.” maya-maya pa
ay narinig niyang paalam sa kanya ni Alexa. Marahang tango lang ang
isinagot niya rito. Her thoughts were busy wandering toward twelve
The scrumptious man was wearing a white shirt with a
black leather jacket slung over his left shoulder. Wow. He must have
been the man in mind when they coined the term hunk.
He was tall
and lean and ripped in all the right places. Maging ang mga banyagang
babaeng naroroon ay kanina pa tingin ng tingin dito. He obviously had
more hots in his right thumb than all the men in that room combined.
The best part of it all was the fact that he was looking at her as if she were the only one present in the room. Gosh, he’s melting me with his gaze!
niya ang mukha at pasimpleng iniiwas ang tingin. The man looked
handsome like the devil but she didn’t want to make the first move.
Napasinghap siya nang makitang tumayo ang lalake at marahang naglakad patungo sa kinauupuan niya. Is he going to come up to me? What am I gonna say? Yes? No? Maybe? YES!
“Georgie!” pagkuway masayang bati sa kanya ng isang boses mula sa likuran. “I can’t believe I’d see you here!”
siyang bumalik sa huwisyo nang makilala kung sino ang nagsalita.
“Vincenzo!” aniya sa modelong nakilala niya sa isang fashion show sa
Milan dalawang taon na ang nakararaan.
They dated a couple of
times but that was it. He was a bit too possessive for her taste. That
and the fact that she wasn’t really attracted to him.
“Where have you been all these years?” he said in his sexy Italian accent.
was studying fashion design at Parson’s the whole time.” aniya habang
ang misteryosong lalake pa rin ang laman ng isip niya. “My, I had a
charmed life in the Big Apple!”
She thought that there was
something off about Vincenzo that night but her mind was too crammed to
even make a big deal out of it.
Her eyes secretly searched for
the handsome stranger. Too bad Vincenzo’s broad shoulders covered her
line of sight towards him. Nasaan na kaya siya?
“Rubbing elbows with the best now eh, cucciola mia?” tukso nito. “Is that why you broke my heart two years ago?
Tumawa siya. “Vincenzo, you’re making me blush!” aniya. “Did I really?”
“Nah!” Iwinagayway nito ang kamay sa harapan niya. “I’m over it now. Let’s just drink.”
Tumango siya. “Fair enough.”