Eve almost spat out her martini.
She had forgotten about it since neither Cale nor Jordan asked her about Ambryan. The former, of course, already knew of the situation. The latter… must have not been thinking about it. Jordan had been more interested in her career—like a professional in this industry.
So what did Mikael want with this information?
She grabbed a paper napkin and dabbing the corners of her mouth. "Wow, Mr. Davis. That totally caught me by surprise. I have to say that I became more used to your passive aggressiveness on my modelling skills."
"I had nothing more to say when I was the one who taught you."
'How did one say 'arrogance' but in a polite manner?' Eve wondered. She wiped the tissue under her bottom lip, using an intense pressure. Her voice crisped when she spoke. "Then, I'd learn so much more if you wore a pair of heels and strutted down the stairs yourself. Not gonna lie, I think I'd pay good money for that."
Mikael's left eyebrow twitched. "I see Jordan has rubbed off on you."
"Oh? One more person who wants to see you in heels? Twice the reason to do it? This night just keeps getting better, doesn't it?" She giggled, taking another sip of her martini. The base barely left the counter since her glass was still almost full.
"My, my, Ms. Evangeline Reed," Mikael sneered with sarcasm. He regarded her amused face. "Is this how alcohol affects you?"
"Maybe," Eve chuckled. She placed her drink down and twisted the stool towards him. Her cheek rested on the back of her hand, her elbow supporting from the table. "While we're on the subject, Jordan and you aren't far in age. I'm guessing you also knew each other before you became a model. How did you two end up with this work relationship?"
Mikael frowned. Her words were true. He and Jordan did go way back. Other than Luna, his best friend was his top supporter when he started out. Strangers figured that Jordan hadn't been a modelling manager for long. They always act surprised to hear they'd been together since the beginning of his career.
But what did she want with this information?
"Since when were we on this subject?" He scrutinized.
Eve batted her eyelashes. A sickly sweet smile stretched on her lips. "Since Jordan asked me why I entered modelling. It sparked the same curiosity in me."
"You're trying to change the subject."
It was a statement not a fact. And Mikael knew it. It would have been easy to say that he only drove her here. Her hesitation hinted that it wasn't the case.
The man was inside the room.
"What subject?" She blinked, pure innocence in her hazel eyes.
He took a step closer. One stool stood between them. His gaze narrowed and tried to break her barrier with one look. If the couple wanted to be secretive, why else would they go to the party together?
"About your missing date."
Eve pressed her lights together. He got her there. She did try to deviate away from answering. Her head turned to the crowd. She actually hadn't seen him since they parted ways. Her reply was based on previous experiences. Even in social gatherings, Ambyran took the opportunity to converse with potential investors.
There wouldn't be anything else that would hold his interest.
Ambryan stretched his neck and scanned the crowd. The interviews for the models had ended. Their designated space had been replaced by tables and sales representatives. Buyers sat in front of them, completing the transactions about the pre-orders.
"Oh, my. That's quite a crowd. I wonder if that clutch from the red collection is still available." Stuart Wilson commented as he stared at the long lines. Athon Luxury prepared several tables but it still gained a queue of waiting.
"A gift for someone, Mr. Wilson?" Ambryan asked. He kept the conversation on the subject while his mind wandered elsewhere. His violet eyes lost sight of a redhead. It gave him an unsettling feeling.
Was she perhaps in the restrooms?
If so, she wouldn't happen to be crying again, right?
"You could say that since the payment would come from my money." Stuart laughed heftily. He clutched his stomach, trying to soothe pain from the sudden cramps. His sense of humor could kill him someday, he believed.
"Your daughter, I suppose?" Richard chuckled from the other side of the old man. He also watched the spectacle and looked for his secretary. He had asked the latter to order on his behalf.
It would make a lovely present for his mother's upcoming birthday.
"Yes, red really struck her," Mr. Wilson sighed. His head shook from the memory. Once his daughter wanted something, she'd never forget about it until she held it in her hands. "It was a beautiful display after all."
"Yes, Ms. Evangeline did really good," Richard agreed. He drank a bit of champagne and shuffled his feet. He felt a slight pain from standing too long. "I wouldn't have thought she was a complete rookie."
Stuart glanced at the lad from the corner of his eye. "Is that heart of yours being swayed, Mr. Kingston?"
Ambryan replaced his empty glass of wine with a full one. He savored at a snail pace and used it as a chance to seal his lips. Otherwise, he would have said something inappropriate. The 'permanent' scowl on his face deepened.
He stopped halfway, remembering that he would be driving later.
His lips thinned to a grim line.
"Oh, no. I just appreciate beauty, Mr. Wilson." Richard shook his head and chuckled. He felt the room's temperature rise several degrees. His free hand tugged on his collar, letting in some air.
Did the air-conditioning break down?
He drank the rest of his champagne so he could grab a colder one.
"Don't be shy!" The old man hollered and slapped Richard's back. It caused the latter to choke on his drink. "I'm sure Luna would give you the model's number."
Richard coughed. The beverage burned in his throat. His heart panicked while his steel gray eyes searched for an escape. If he didn't figure something out, he might also become a victim of matchmaking. Was this the new popular hobby for older people?
A groan rumbled in his chest. There didn't seem to be any hope.
Then, his gaze landed on the mini bar.
They lit up like stars.
"If there's anyone who'd be on par with Ms. Evangeline, it would be that gentleman with her." Richard said, trying to contain his excitement. He pointed his empty glass towards the far corner of the room.
Both Ambryan and Stuart followed his line of sight.
Evangeline sat on a stool. A cocktail drink sat on the counter beside her. She faced her left, her body also angled towards the same direction. An animated expression painted over her face as she conversed with another man. A slight flush colored her cheeks.
Her smile widened and her eyelashes fluttered.
"Ah, Mikael Davis." Stuart nodded, recognizing the gentleman.
Richard raised his eyebrows at the old man. "I didn't know you're well-versed about the modelling community, Mr. Wilson."
"I am not. I had heard his name constantly in my daughter's lips. That's why."
"Sounds like Jane is another person who appreciates beauty." He nodded, accepting the answer. It did make sense. Beads of sweat trickled down his neck. The temperature had risen up again. It tempted him to take off his jacket.
"That is very true."
Ambryan became deaf.
He didn't hear the exchange between his companions. Instead, all his senses focused on the mini bar. He studied Evangeline. Nothing hinted about her short moment of grief. It seemed that he worried for nothing.
She was doing just fine on her own.
"Oh, that," Eve snorted. She waved her hand, brushing off Mikael's implication. What did he think? That she lied about having a date? "He's talking with his social circle."
Mikael remained suspicious. He was far from convinced. "And left you here? Alone?"
Eve placed her hands on her hips. His tone made her temple throbbed. She scowled in his direction, saying, "What's wrong with being alone?"
'What wasn't wrong with leaving a taken woman alone?' Mikael mused to himself. If she had a date, Cale wouldn't have asked them to look after her. Her boyfriend should be the one to accompany her—if the man truly cared about his girlfriend.
"Nothing," Mikael said, averting his gaze. He sipped a bit of his champagne. "It does open the idea that this boyfriend is just a figment of your imagination."
"Oh, please! I am not that desperate!" Eve scoffed.
This conversation turned out differently than she expected. A dull pain throbbed at the sides of her head. She snatched the martini glass and threw her head back, gulping down a mouthful of her cocktail drink.
"Well, someone seems to be," Mikael blinked. His eyebrows rose up at the martini glass. A white piece of square stuck out at the bottom. He snatched it off and showed it to her. "This paper had been tapped to the bottom of your glass."
"What? Let me see that."
Eve curled her bottom lip inward. The paper contained a phone number. She stopped herself from looking at the bartender. It could have only been him who did such a thing. Her hazel eyes flickered towards the martini.
Then, she shook her head, throwing away the speculation.
If he had resorted to drugs, he wouldn't have left his number.
Eve folded the paper back to its original shape. Her hands went towards the floor, stretching her arms as far as possible. The sound of a rip pierced through the air. She tore off the number into tiny pieces and let it fall to the floor.
They rained like freshly fallen snow.
Mikael scrunched his brows. "What are you doing?"
Was there a need for such an action?
Eve drank the rest of her martini and slammed the glass on its coaster. She only had one answer for both his questions.
"I don't know if someone is watching but I don't want to create a misunderstanding."
Huehue. Such quick thinking. I love it. Hello, darlings and dears! I feel much better after 10 hours of sleep. There's still a bit of cramps but nothing intolerable. I hope you all stay healthy and well! Don't be like me!
Status check: We're on top 143! Aw, A-laab-yuu too! (≧▽≦)
Also, our family reached 1k members.! Welcome, new readers! Alabyu all as well even if we just met!ヽ(^o^)丿
Have a good day!
Other ongoing work: Trust and Believe in Love