Onyx

 

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Prologue

It was the cold that woke her up. She surmised that she probably was shivering for a good ten minutes already when the cold became unbearable enough for her to finally rouse from her slumber. It was still dark when she opened her eyes and the sound of crickets outside told her that it was most likely not even five in the morning. Hmmm… she still got two hours of sleep before she needed to wake up early to go to work, so might as well sleep again.

She searched blindly in the dark room for her lost blanket when she hit something, something hard and smooth that curiously felt like another person’s body. Huh? That instantly woke Amy up completely and she hastily turned on the lamplight on the table beside the bed and finally saw what, or rather, who it was.

“No way…” she whispered to herself. Why was Chris here? On her bed? And most of all, naked?!

That was when it occurred to her to check upon herself too, and guess what? She was naked too. That explained why she felt cold earlier. She could feel herself starting to panic but she forced herself to calm down and analyze the situation she was in as she usually did. She sucked in a deep breath and tried to remember whatever happened before she found the place she was in right now.

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Chapter 1

It doesn’t matter if I’m not enough

For the future or the things to come

 

Two days before…

 

            “No, you can’t.” Amy said in a resolute voice, leaving the hapless employee with a visible disappointed face.

            “But Ma’am Amy–”

            “No.”

            The male employee left the office with a sigh.

 

            “So?” Chris greeted his coworker Vance after he left the HR Manager’s office.

            “The bitch said no,” Vance answered in a harsh tone. He was fuming, but he was trying to rein it in because their lady boss might still hear them.

            “I told you so…”

            Chris knew that what Vance wanted to request for booze was doomed from the start. After all, the company outing was supposed to be used for team-building purposes and not for mere frivolity. Not to mention, Ms. Amy was known for being strict and no-nonsense.

            Ms. Amy was not popular with the employees of the company, but she was a feared entity. Just one glance from her was enough to silence any irate subordinate, as such, ensuring discipline in the workers. That did not stop the employees from wagging their tongues out and rumors about the HR Head being a woman who’s bound to be an old maid because no one wanted a bossy girl abound. It also did not help that no one knew much about Ms. Amy as she was a very private individual.

            Chris did not participate in spreading the rumors because he actually liked the discipline that Ms. Amy instituted in their company. Unlike his coworkers, he brought his play outside the office.

            “Well, it’s better to just follow the rules, dude.” Chris patted Vance’s shoulder as an advice.

            “Nah. I’ll just sneak in booze,” said his coworker.

            “Bro, what if she finds out?”

            “She won’t because we won’t invite her anyway,” Vance told him in a mischievous voice.

            Chris just sighed. “Alright. But don’t say I didn’t warn ya.”

            Vance smiled. It’ll be okay. Besides, Regine will be there. You’ll have a chance to make your move on her there.”

            That made Chris smirk. “I like that idea. Alright, count me in.”

            Regine was the busty marketing assistant that Chris had a crush on for a long time. Chris also had a hunch that the woman liked him back, if he had to judge the lingering stares and cryptic smiles that she sent him everytime he went to request a report from their department. The only real problem was that he hadn’t gotten a chance to talk to her, but now, the company outing provided a good opportunity. He would make sure that he would at least reach first base then, or better yet, go all the way with her.

 

10 hours before…

 

            Amy had suddenly felt dizzy right after they ate buffet, and so, she was desperately trying to find her back to her hotel room. The whole day was spent for fun activities like games and challenges so that employees from different departments could socialize with each other. Amy, as the head organizer of this event, was exempt from participating and mostly just observed the results of her planning. She needed to get this done and over with, because she was given another task over the creation of a new sister company.

            The only time she really mingled with the rest was when they came down for the buffet dinner served. However, it seemed that something was wrong with the punch she drank. Somehow, it made her a bit tipsy. After dinner, she excused herself right away while the others were left still singing karaoke in the pavilion.

            It probably was because of her confusion out of her dizziness that she somehow ended up in a secluded area on her way to the hotel. Once she realized her mistake, she set out to turn the other way when she heard a laughing voice speak loudly.

            “I saw Ma’am Amy drunk as fuck earlier. She was entirely clueless that the punch was spiked!” It seemed to have had been Vance’s voice.

            Loud chuckles followed but it was stopped by another voice.

            “Hey, why did you do that? You probably made the whole company drunk!” That was most likely Chris who just spoke.

            “It’s that feminazi’s fault! Let’s see what she does about the booze now that she herself is drunk, hah.”

            “Feminazi?” It was Chris again.

            “Yeah. You know, bossy girls who think they’re much better than us men when the truth is that they’re miserable because no man wanted them?”

            A female voice butted in. “Hey, don’t be too loud. Someone might hear us and tell Ms. Amy.”

            Vance piped up. “Hah. Let her. I ain’t afraid of that bitch.”

            That was Amy’s cue to butt in. Even while tipsy, her mind was surprisingly lucid when she revealed herself and saw how there were five people sitting in a circle in makeshift seats with bottles of booze in front of them. Chris froze as he was the one who first spotted her.

            “Since you are not afraid of me anyway, I guess it wouldn’t be too much of a trouble if all of you face the disciplinary committee on Monday. With the fact that you even spiked the punch which affected everyone, I can’t promise you that the punishment would just be a mere reprimand.”

            Vance jumped in his seat when he heard her voice. “Ma-ma’am Amy! I-it’s not what you think!”

            She shook her head. “You don’t need to pretend because I heard everything. If I were you, I’d start looking for another job.” Amy then turned around to head for her room, leaving her subordinates in a stupor.

           

            She was already in front of her room, having trouble inserting her key when Chris came running on the hallway calling her name. He was making so much noise, but luckily, it seemed that they were the only people there since others were still in the pavilion. Damn, she was not in the mood to talk to anyone right now.

            “Ms. Amy, please listen to me first,” Chris told her as he was panting from the chase he did.

            “I’ve seen and heard all that I needed to see, Mr. Pascual.” She said as she finally managed to insert her key and turned the doorknob to open it.

            Chris stopped her by holding on her right shoulder as she made a gesture to step inside her room.

            “Please give Vance another chance. He’s the only breadwinner of his family and he really needs this job.”

            Amy flicked the hand that was holding on her shoulder and continued on stepping inside her room. “He should have thought of that before he decided to break the rules,” she answered she finally faced Chris.

            “Now, Mr. Pascual, I would need to lie down and sleep off this drunkenness courtesy of your childish pranks.”

            Amy expected Chris to heed her command, but he surprised her when he went inside the room with her and even locked the door behind him.

            “You’re taking this personally, Ms. Amy.” Chris’ tone changed into a challenging one. “I know you’re being like that because you heard Vance bashing you.”

            Amy raised her eyebrow as a brief chuckle escaped her mouth. “Oh, you mean that? Did you think I’m stupid enough not to know of the rumors about me? I’ve observed people enough in the company to know that they call me ‘miserable virgin’ behind my back, not that it bothers me.”

            “Then if you’re not bothered, why do you want to fire us?” Chris asked.

            “Simply because you guys broke the rules. Indecent and insubordinate employees are not good for the company.”

            “Then I guess what they say about you as a miserable virgin was true after all.”

            Amy’s face reddened out of anger and she fought to restrain her emotions. “I don’t care what you think about me,” she hissed.

            Chris’ jaw dropped to the ground. “W-wait. You’re really a virgin?”

            “What about it? It’s a choice, okay?!”

            “Huh. You’re missing out on life, Ma’am.” Chris even had a smirk on his face as he said it.

            That was the last straw for Amy and she advanced towards Chris, intending to push him out of her room. The six foot tall man resisted though and she was left helplessly pushing out his sturdy chest.

            Panting, she looked up at him and shouted on his face. “Why are you still here? I’ve had enough of this talk!”

            Amy was not expecting it when Chris suddenly swooped down to catch her lips.

 

            “The majority of the shares is actually registered to that of his sister, so you’ll need to buy them from her before you can assume the full control of the company.” The man sitting across from him told the man who was currently looking out the high window of the skyscraper they were in.

            “And how do I contact this woman?” The man in front of the window asked as he went on to observe the hustle and bustle of the cars below.

            “That’s the problem, Sir. His sister’s existence was kept secret and even the board members have never met her. It will be hard to establish communication with her.”

            “Then it’s your job to find her and let me get to her without her brother’s knowledge,” the man answered as he took a side glance on the man behind. His brief look and delicate voice was enough to instill fear on his subordinate.

            “I understand, Sir.”

 

Chapter Soundtrack:

Love – Lana del Rey

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Chapter 2

Please don’t be in love with someone else,

Please don’t have somebody waiting on you.

 

            Amy didn’t know how she did it, but she was able to get out of the bed without waking Chris up. It was not easy as his arms were wrapped around her waist and his muscular leg draped over hers. With her head pounding and whole body sore (especially down under), she carefully and quietly put away Chris’ body parts then blindly searched for her discarded clothes.

She stole a look at the alarm clock at the night table beside the bed. It was 3:59 AM. Good. That meant she could still go out without anybody noticing. She didn’t want to face anyone right now. She wouldn’t want to take their company bus with everyone back to Manila because that also meant that she would be seeing Chris and that would be hella awkward. That meant she must use the Harley-Davidson that she kept in the resort.

It had been a few weeks since she last used it and she was thankful that had it as an option. Taking only her backpack with her, she set out at the dark of the dawn. As she walked to the shed where she kept the vehicle, she saw the old caretaker of the resort.

“Good morning, Ma’am Amy. You’re going out so early?”

 “Good morning to you to Uncle Tom,” she greeted back. “If anyone looks for me, please tell them I had to go back to Manila early.”

“Got it, Ma’am. Am I going to prepare your motorcycle?”

“Yes, please. Thank you.”

Ten minutes after, Amy was strolling down the deserted National Highway with her helmet on. She was on the middle of the road when she spotted someone blocking the road about five meters away. Feeling suspicious about it, she simply readied the pocket taser that always hang on her jeans. As she always travelled alone, she made it a priority to always protect herself from anyone who might try to assault her on the highway.

As she neared whoever it was, she saw that it was a tall man wearing a disheveled polo shirt and slacks. This one was gotta be from the city, she thought. She wondered what kind of misfortune could have had befallen the guy, but she knew that she should still remain vigilant because he was still a stranger and she was a woman travelling alone.

She stopped a few distance away from the said guy. He made to step closer but she stopped him.

“Stay where you are! If you come closer, I would have to tase you!” She informed the man.

“I’m not a dangerous guy, woman.” The man’s monotone voice chided her. She still wouldn’t lower her guard though.

“Yeah, whatever. I don’t care. Stay there! Why are you blocking the road anyway?”

The man answered while he stayed where he was. “My car broke down, my phone had zero battery, there’s no near house or establishment I can ask help for, and on top of that, it even rained hard on me. Now, can I ask you to lend me a phone so that I can contact my secretary or better yet, bring me to the closest gasoline or towing station so that I can finally move my car?”

He spoke continuously without breaking a breath in a flat voice that Amy had to force herself not to gape at him.

“Oh. Okay.” She fished out her phone out of her jacket that she wore to combat the morning breeze earlier and pressed its open button while still keeping an eye on the guy in front of her. To her disappointment, it would not open.

“Fuck,” she muttered lowly. “I forgot to charge my phone last night.” She smiled sheepishly at the guy.

“So what do we do?” The man tilted his head into her direction, his face stony with just a hint of annoyance.

Amy released a big sigh. “Welp. That leaves us no option but to take you to the nearest gasoline station. That would be 20 minutes away from here. But first…” She stared at him hard, hoping he would get what she meant.

The man blinked as an indifferent expression flooded his face. “What?”

“Uhmm… I don’t think you should ride with me with those wet clothes on. You’ll get a nasty case of cold.”

“So?”

“A-and well, it’s not really presentable at all, especially when you talk to the police officer stationed out there.”

The mysterious man then shrugged his shoulders. “So what do you propose to do?”

“Wear this jacket on.” Amy then peeled off hers and tossed it to the man. The leather jacket would fit him just fine. It was sizes too big on hers anyway.

However, the man just stood there silently while holding her jacket with his left hand. Amy raised her eyebrow in question. “Well? What are you waiting for?”

He assumed an unimpressed look in response. “Are you sure you want me to wear this jacket?”

“Yeah?” She angled her body to face the man properly.

“Because you have just exposed your bare nipples to me,” the man answered straight while his gaze leveled to her small chest.

Her eyes widened in panic and she hastily looked down to confirm what the man said. Damn it… he was right. She did not realize that she had left her bra in the room with her haste, and now she stood in front of a stranger with her nipples very visible under the thin white shirt she wore.

“Errr…” she was out of words as she fought to fight the blush that threatened to appear on her face. “I-I’m sure you can handle the cold. Let me have my jacket back.”

The man clucked his tongue before he tossed it back to her. He then waited for her further instructions.

“Okay,” she said as she finished putting on her jacket back. “Climb behind me and make sure to hold on to something. I don’t have a spare helmet with me so you’ll be sure to crack your skull open if you fall off.”

The man did what she said, but he surprised her when he went on to wrap his arms around her waist. Gaping as she swiveled to face him, he just told her in his monotone:

“You said to hold on to something.”

She did not want to prolong the talk anymore so she just sighed and wore her helmet again. She then restarted the engine, but in doing so, she unwittingly put pressure somewhere between her legs. Ouch, she inwardly grimaced.

The man behind must have had felt her briefly stiffen. “What’s the matter?” He asked.

She brushed off the uncomfortable feeling and answered the man without looking back at him. “Nothing.”

She speed up on the lonely highway, the man behind her holding on for dear life.

 

It was the blinding light coming from the window that woke Chris up. As he shielded his eyes with his arm, the memories from last night came rushing into his mind. He abruptly sat up. Wait… this wasn’t his room. When he looked down upon himself, he was stark naked, but alone.

He inspected the empty side beside him, which, judging by the crumpled sheets, was definitely occupied last night. There was dried blood stain left on the bedding. He did sleep with his boss. Fuck.

He got up and hastily put on his clothes so that he could search for his boss, and maybe, talk to her. He didn’t know what to tell her, but common courtesy told him that he must face the consequences of his drunken actions. However, he did not find her around the room, and when he went outside the room, he encountered the caretaker of the resort whom he asked. The old man told him that Ms. Amy went back to Manila about two hours ago. Dejected, he went back to his boss’ room.

He supposed he should be thankful that he wouldn’t have had to face her this morning, but he was not that kind of guy. He did not run away from his problems. He weakly sat again on the bed they shared and looked down, thinking of his next steps when he saw his boss again on Monday next week. However, as he did so, something black caught the corner of his eye on the floor. He bent down to pick whatever it was, and when it emerged, he did not know how to feel… it was Ms. Amy’s bra.

 

“You need to pay Php 2000 for the tow fee,” the policeman sitting in the help desk in the gasoline station told them after talking with someone in his radio.

The mysterious guy who needed Amy’s help finally showed a crack in his stony face as he glanced at her with a hint of worry. She, however, merely waited for what he would say.

“I don’t have my wallet here with me. I left it inside the car when I locked it.” He informed her in his characteristic monotone.

Amy considered what he told her with her logical mind. If that was the problem, then this guy would surely not be able to have his car pulled out of the road. Since she was already helping the guy, then Amy supposed that taking it a bit further would not be too bad. Once this was done and over with, then she could finally go on her own merry way.

“Don’t worry. I’ll pay it.” She said as she begun to dig her own wallet from the pocket of her jeans. She then counted down her bills and handed it to the policeman who went on to write a receipt for her, where she was asked to sign her name. Amy did it fast and handed the receipt to the silent man.

“Here, hold this one. It’s your car anyway, not mine. I’ll be going now,” Amy told him.

“How do I contact you so I can pay you back?” The man asked her as he looked straight to her eyes.

Amy shook her head. “Nah, it’s nothing.” She then started to walk away and towards her motorbike. “I’ll be going now, bye.”

She then mounted the vehicle, wore her helmet, restarted the engine, and finally, took off, leaving the man standing in the gasoline station and staring at her back.

 

Trevor did not move from his position at all until he finally lost sight of the woman’s form. He had only talked with her for such a short while, but he must admit: he found her a very curious creature. He looked down at the receipt where the woman signed on her name– Amethyst Flores, it said. He looked back again at the corner where this particular Amethyst Flores disappeared to, folded the receipt neatly, and went back to check in with the procedure being done to tow his car.

 

            Amy had been driving for more than two hours after she left the mysterious man at the gasoline station when she remembered one of the big reasons why she left so early, aside from wanting to avoid Chris. She was going to buy a morning after pill… but she kind of forgotten it when her mind was occupied with helping the stranger from earlier. Too bad though, she was in the middle of a highway and the next exit wouldn’t be for another hour where there would a pharmacy to buy it from.

            She supposed it was still okay. She still hasn’t had breakfast yet, so she would just take the pill after she had eaten. From what she remembered, the morning after pill would still be effective even after three days. She would be fine… she had to be. She panicked a bit earlier, but now, she was beginning to calmly plot her next actions. One thing was sure though: she wouldn’t make a big deal regarding what happened, and the next time she saw Chris, she would act her normal way. That was what it meant to be a professional, right?

 

Chapter Soundtrack:

Enchanted – Taylor Swift

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Chapter 36 and Epilogue

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