Fire & Silk··On-going Novl duration N/A
Fire & Silk
Friday – 8th January
“You promised you wouldn’t be late,” Aya said grumpily as Fay walked into their luxurious upper state apartment.
“And you agreed to keep this place clean!” Fay retorted back. It had been twelve slow hours at work; and the only thing she craved was to bathe and sleep, but she had committed to go out with her friend tonight. Carefully walking by canvases and paints, making sure not to trip, she made her way to her room. “I’ll be ready in twenty minutes.” She shouted.
Aya rolled her eyes, picking up her brushes off the floor. She was in her thirties, single, and living with her workaholic best friend. She met Fay ten years ago; around the time she wanted to leave her family, who demanded she marry someone from their elite class. Her rebellious nature left no room for following social rules, much to the dismay of her parents. So she walked out on them, their money, and started making a living on her own. She was a successful artist painting murals per demand; that included a lot of work for organizations, children’s sections at hospitals, and homes.
Fay worked as a senior director of communications at a pharmaceutical company. She had little social life or no life to begin with. She was immersed in her job as she wanted to be a successful career woman; her ambition to be at the top of the business world had turned her into a workaholic fiend. She was a lovely person outside of work, but since time was of the essence to her–primarily while at work–most people considered her as the Ice Queen of the corporate world.
I should have expected that; Aya thought, moving a canvas out of the way. It had taken a lot of coercing and begging to get her friend to go out with her tonight.
Turning around, she caught her reflection in the mirror; looking back at her was a woman in tattered skinny black jeans wearing a white top and a leather jacket. She wore military ankle boots to match her outfit. Sharp green eyes stared back at her and wild curly bleached hair framed her face. Noticing from the mirror that Fay had come out of her room, she smiled thinking how hot her friend looked in her ankle length-beige pants and a black leather tube top.
A Gucci belt and Gucci Horesbit chain high leather sandals complemented Fay’s outfit. She was holding on her arms a black Theory double-face cashmere scarf coat, and in her hand was a black mini pouch. She accessorized her look with a Cartier love necklace and bangle.
“Don’t you miss dressing up?” Aya asked, picking up her wallet. “You look sexy as hell, babe!” she winked with a smile.
“No,” Fay answered placidly, moving her hands through her long dark hair. She had quickly blown-dried it, therefore allowed it to fall loosely on her shoulders, descending all the way to her breasts. “Let’s leave before I change my mind.”
Rolling her eyes, Aya followed her friend to the lift. Fay was already standing there waiting for the doors to open. Entering, she pressed the button for the basement to get to her black Mercedes G wagon. Looking sideways at her friend, I don’t understand why she didn’t buy that car she wanted, Fay thought and sighed softly. Aya always wanted to buy a light blue Chevy truck, but it would not fit their parking, so she decided against getting a vehicle for now.
Turning on her car, Fay reversed to leave the parking, driving them down the busy streets of Manhattan to the lounge address that Aya gave her. She loved to drive; it was her moment of bliss.
“Let’s have fun!” Aya joyfully cheered. “Maybe we’ll meet someone.”
“Yeah. Yeah.” She muttered, stifling a yawn.
On the 30th floor of the Kimberly Hotel, the Upstairs Lounge is the swankiest bar in midtown. Sitting in the indoor area of the premise on a big black leather couch, Jordan blew smoke, glancing around, taking in the beautifully decorated bar. “Nice place,” he mused, putting out his cigarette.
“I know,” Mika replied with a lazy smile painted across his face. “Nice view too,” he winked and nudged his head towards a group of girls.
Jordan turned around to look in the direction his friend was staring, “average,” he commented as he picked his whiskey and took a sip. He enjoyed hanging out with Mika because he was a man that didn’t give a rat’s ass about anything. He lived his life at his own pace and indulged no one but himself. What a flirt, he thought with a chuckle.
Mika was sitting across the couch casually dressed in dark blue jeans with a white shirt. His black leather jacket was resting on the back of the couch while Jordan was classier apparelled in black Versace pants and jacket, adorned with a black shirt unbuttoned at the top.
Running a hand through his jet-black messy hair Mika sighed, “You have impossibly high standards for women.” He took a sip from his whiskey, “it’s just a hook-up! She doesn’t need to be a supermodel.”
Jordan laughed, “I know that,” he shook his head, “but she doesn’t have to be average too.” He reflected. “It’s not bad to have standards for the women you want to meet.”
“I guess I can agree with that,” Mika retorted and gestured to a server to bring him another drink. Jordan was his closest friend ever since college; the two clicked away from day one. Both loved to flirt with women and had a passion for fast cars. “What happened with that woman you were dating?” he asked, nodding a thank you to the server.
Mika just smiled and sipped his drink. Other than women and cars, he indulged in drinking expensive single malt scotch.
“Dumped her after the company dinner party,” Jordan responded with disdain, “gold-digger!” he finished and leaned back on the couch, shifting to sit more comfortably. “What about you, Mika? You haven’t dated in a while.” He asked his friend and lit a cigarette.
“Hmm...” Mika exhaled, “none that caught my interest. It’s like the women I meet lack substance. I don’t mind an ass on a woman, but I need to have a conversation with her.”
“And you say I have high standards!” Jordan laughed, placing his cig on the ashtray. “You know, I want to do something wild.” He pierced his friend with his hazel eyes that shined with mischief. “It’s been a long time since we got dirty.” He winked with an impish smile gracing his lips.
Mika’s grey eyes lit up playfully, “what do you have in mind?” he inquired excitedly.
“Haven’t done that since that trip in Ibiza six years ago,” Mika replied with a grin. “I am game.”
Both men laughed, remembering the time they spend on the small Mediterranean island of Ibiza. Jordan had just come out of a messy breakup and needed to unwind, so they travelled for that purpose alone. Two weeks of drunken partying and wild sex escapades bonded these two wild spirits with a friendship that made them grow in ways they never expected.
Jordan tried to keep his cool, but all this talk down memory lane made him laugh like a small child. “Damn you, Mika, how are we going to get women to go with us when we are laughing like idiots?”
“Like that would be a problem,” Mika responded eagerly. “All you have to do is look at them and they’ll fall at your feet.”
Well, he’s not wrong there, Jordan thought. He looked around at the women that were staring and trying to get his attention until his gaze fell on a beautiful woman with long dark hair and an alluring figure dolled up in a sexy outfit. “Damn...” he whistled, making his friend turn his attention to him. “She’s so my type.”
Mika glanced in the same direction and his eyes fell on a hot blonde attired in seductive casual apparel, “hell yeah... definitely my type.” He voiced sitting up in full attention.
Jordan gave him a side glance, “the blonde?”
“Of course...” he laughed, “but I am talking about the woman next to her.” He pointed out, raising his chin towards the girls that had just entered the lounge and were looking for a place to sit.
Mika stared at the woman next to the blonde and laughed, “holy shit... that’s Fay!”
“I hope that you’re referring to the dark-haired one.” Jordan grinned, putting his glass of whiskey on the table. “By all means, make her come this way.”
Mika smirked, then whistled loudly, catching everyone’s attention. He waved at Fay, who had noticed him. “I should have known it was you.” Fay assumed, reaching their table with Aya, noticing that many people were indiscreetly looking their way.
“Hey. What’s my favourite woman doing here?” Mika hugged her then kissed her forehead. “I have missed you.”
Fay smiled; her hand on his chest. “I’m sure you probably called me over because you wanted to meet my friend.” She said knowingly, kissing his cheek. She loved Mika like a brother as they had lived in the same neighbourhood. Growing older they lost touch ending up studying in different colleges, however, they still called each other occasionally.
“Touché.” He joked as he pulled her closer in his arms, “Don’t waste time not introducing her then.” He flirted, winking at Aya, who blushed a bit.
“Mika, this is my friend Aya Landers.” Fay moved away from Mika. She took off her coat and placed it on the sofa looking around the bar admiring the Art déco interior design. Pulling her top up a bit, she felt a breeze that made her shiver from the open terrace doors.
“Hi…” Mika began, but Jordan interrupted him. “Are you Judge Landers’s daughter?”
Aya peered over Mika’s shoulder, finding another gentleman there. He was studying her carefully. A bit wild for my type, she thought, noticing the piercings on his left ear; two cuffs and three diamond studs. I can never understand guys and their piercings. “Yes, I am.”
“Interesting,” he whispered smoking, then his eyes fell on Fay who was observing everywhere but him. That is a fine woman, he smiled, still smoking; I like what I see. Jordan stubbed out the cigarette in the ashtray. It has been a while since someone boiled my blood. Standing up, “I’m Jordan.” He extended his hand to shake Aya’s.
Aya returned the shake. “Do I know you?” she questioned, raising her eyebrow.
“No, but I know your father.” He eyed Fay again, who was swaying lightly to the music. She seemed carefree. “Who’s your friend?” Jordan inclined his head towards her. He liked her sense of style, making his imagination take a life of its own the moment she took off her coat. Modesty wasn’t a word he’d used to describe her attire, but loved how her hair nicely concealed the top part of her tube top, revealing only part of her cleavage.
Aya peered at him. I’m sure I’ve seen him before. “Hey Fay…” she called out.
Mika placed his arm around Fay’s waist. “This is my babe, Fay Mishima. We grew up together.” He grinned, “I am Mika. It is nice to meet you, Aya. That is Jordan, Fay.” He pushed her slightly towards him. “Now that everyone knows each other, let’s sit and have a drink.”
Aya and Jordan sat on the single leather couches on opposite sides, while Fay took a seat next to Mika. “What brings you, girls, here?” Mika ordered another drink and told the server to ask Aya and Fay what they wanted in return.
“I wanted to hang out. I dragged her with me.” Aya teased, noticing that Fay had leaned back on the sofa.
“Is she still working her ass off and not living her life?” Mika asked dryly.
“I heard that!”
“Oh, my days! You think so too.” Aya exclaimed, leaning forward. Mika moved past Fay, scooting closer to Aya. I think she is cute, and I am not the type to waste time. “I’m going to keep this woman entertained. You keep him company,” he forced Fay to sit on the edge of the couch so she was closer to Jordan.
Aya stared at Mika a little bewildered, he’s eager, she thought trying to hide her smile. “So, what do you think is the cure for her workaholic tendencies?” she inquired, winking at him.
Fay glared at Mika while Jordan and Aya burst out laughing. She knew Mika was brutally blunt and never sugar-coated his words, that was one reason she was friends with him; he always had a way to bring her back to reality when she got too consumed with work. Today, once again, he was right. She hadn’t had a relationship in a couple of years, and she hated hooking up with strange men just for the heck of having sex.
Jordan gave Fay a once over and admired the elegance in the way she sat, graceful like a swan floating in the sea. I can’t take my eyes off her, he admitted to himself, pulling another cigarette out of the pack with his mouth. He flicked his lighter, inhaling the smoke as it flamed. “Fay, what do you do?” he asked, piercing her with his eyes.
“I head the Communications division at a pharmaceutical company,” she responded raising her eyebrow noticing his gaze. “What about you, Jordan... was it?” she teased discreetly, eliciting a glance from her friend to which Fay responded with a wink and resumed to sip her diet Coke.
“Are you the senior director?” he took a couple of peanuts from the bowl.
Interesting! He smiled; Very Interesting. You must be a bitch to handle that role. He thought amused, laughing softly. Jordan took a quick look around, knowing the other women were staring. By now, they were wondering who was keeping him company. He was not sure if the girls knew whom he really was. Fay at least seemed clueless. He would not call her dumb, but he felt that she was someone who did not care about who anyone was. Maybe more like Mika?
Averting his gaze to Mika, he noticed that he was engaged in a conversation with Aya. That is what I like about him. He reflected. He does not fiddle about when someone attracts him. She seems cool, though. His eyes went back to Fay, who was typing on her phone. And what’s your story?
After a fleeting moment of idle talk between them, a song started playing, “Hey. Hey. This is my song.” Mika suddenly snapped his fingers; He jumped off the couch and grabbed Fay’s hand, “You and I need to catch up.” He joked, pulling her away. “I’m going to burrow her while you get to spend time with my woman.” He shouted at Jordan, walking with Fay to the dance floor.
Both Jordan and Aya laughed, hearing Fay swear at Mika as he dragged her along.
Turning her attention back to Jordan; “His woman?” Aya repeated a little taken aback. Her first impression of Mika was that he was a relentless flirt; something she liked in a man but also regarded as a red flag when it came down to personality qualities. She considered his looks and noted that he was ridiculously handsome, an attribute also shared by his friend Jordan, who was on the same level of hotness, another red flag. Oh well, she thought with a small smile gracing her lips, let’s just have fun tonight.
Jordan chuckled, rubbing his spiked darkish-brown hair. “He says crazy things like that, just ignore him.” He waived to the server, “another drink?”
Aya nodded as she peered at the man sitting opposite from her. He looks reserved. She thought and glanced at the dance floor where her friend was obviously having a good time; she quickly averted her attention back to Jordan. Could he be…? “You’re Jordan DeMarco, right?”
Jordan took off his jacket, thanking the server, “Depends on who’s asking.” He winked playfully.
“Well, I guess I got my answer.”
She’s smart, Jordan contemplated; “Fay doesn’t seem to know me,” he said looking directly at Aya, “I would appreciate if we keep it that way for now.” He smiled when she nodded. “Thank you!” The woman sitting in front of him was cute by his standards, but she didn’t turn him on. In the social circles that he integrated, the rumour was that Judge Landers’s youngest daughter had left the family. Having met her only briefly; he could tell that the rumour was true. She’s gutsy enough to walk out on that fortune, he mused, smoking as they both kept their eyes on the dance floor. “May I ask you a personal question?”
Aya’s focus returned to the man known to all as the Genius Corporate Mogul of New York, “go ahead” she responded, “but I won’t promise to answer!” she winked, imitating his previous action.
Jordan laughed, “Fine, fine.” Placing his glass on the table, he moved forward, “what do you do for a living?” he asked, entwining his fingers.
“That’s the personal question you wanted to ask?” she laughed, shaking her head. “I am a painter. I usually paint murals, but I do some canvas works too.”
“Was it easy to walk away from the financial security of your family to do your thing?”
Aya’s eyes widened, realising that this was his personal question, “why do you want to know?” she questioned in return.
“Just curious, I guess,” he replied scratching the back of his head. While in college, the thought had crossed his mind; leave his family’s fortune and walk his own path, but he loved the life of luxury and he also enjoyed working in his father’s business. He had a healthy rivalry with his elder brother Adam, even though the magazines and tabloids would always compare the two. Jordan’s genius business leadership helped him advance in the family corporation and branch out on some personal developments, earning him the respect of his brother.
“It was hard at first,” Aya admitted deciding to answer; she never thought her life was difficult without her family’s money, and when things didn’t seem promising enough, Fay was there to help her out. Her sisters cared little for her anyway, they were always fighting over who would get the bigger share, so Fay was not only a best friend to her but also a substitute sister, which she loved more that she could ever express. “But, it’s a pleasant feeling being able to stand on your own legs.”
Jordan smiled, sitting back on his sofa, “thank you for answering.” He said, “So, what’s Fay’s story?” he inquired with a nod in her direction over at the dance floor. “Single? Married?”
“That’s all I get? Single!” he laughed.
Aya took a sip from her drink, “well, there is nothing more to add. The girl is all about work!” she admitted; “Unhealthy, I know, but she doesn’t listen. You have no idea how much pleading it took to get her out for one night.” She rolled her eyes, thinking back on the times she literally had to beg her friend to even consider going out.
Jordan chuckled, “I see.” Well, that is something we should have to remedy, is it not? He debated with himself, glancing once more at the woman that caught his interest.
“Does she run in the same snooty circle as us?” he inquired, his eyes glued on the girl dancing with Mika.
Aya laughed, making him look back at her. “She is a Mishima, but I doubt she’d remember anyone she has met. I am telling you, all she knows is her work. And I don’t run in that circle anymore.” She confirmed.
“Mishima Pharmaceuticals?” he asked, received a simple nod from Aya. Maybe we can make her forget about work. “What flowers does your friend like?”
Ooohh... this should be fun! She thought with delight, “white tulips.” Aya replied; “Why Mr DeMarco are you thinking of romancing, my friend?” she teased full-heartedly.
“Who knows? Maybe.”
Meanwhile, Fay and Mika were dancing to a slow vide while conversing about old memories they both shared. “I’ve missed hanging out with you love.” Mika admitted twirling her around and pulling her back into his arms. “Anything new for you other than work?”
“Nope,” Fay said with a hint of embarrassment. “I have lots of work and no time to dawdle around.” She looked in the direction where Aya was conversing with Jordan, I wonder what those two are talking about; she thought for a split second and turned her attention to her friend. “So, anything new with you?” she put her arms around his neck while they danced together.
“Not much to be honest,” he professed; “Work is good, my parents begging me to get married as usual. Women flock around my way...” Fay kicked him in the shin. “Hey...” he complained; “what was that for?”
“Don’t be a jerk.”
Mika sighed, “Fine. Fine. Forgot you’re an uptight bitch sometimes.” He smiled, kissing her cheek.
Fay rolled her eyes, same old Mika. Growing up, Fay had a neutral relationship with her brother because of their age difference; Jin was older than her, as she was a surprise pregnancy for her parents. Being the baby girl of the family, her parents dotted on her and she lived like a princess. Her brother was away to college by the time she was seven, so she didn’t see him much after that. Missing that sibling interaction that other children have, she grew close to Mika who was only four years older than her. Mika’s sister died young from cancer so both found in each other what they missed the most, a sibling love. The reason they both refused to get engaged when their parents brought up the subject.
“Tell me about your friend,” Mika asked out of the blue, jolting Fay from her thoughts. He looked at her with great interest; “what were you thinking?” he teased her.
“Nothing important,” she replied with a smile. “Why do you want to know about Aya?” she questioned fake glaring her friend; “and since when did she become your woman?” The comment stupefied her when she heard Mika refer to Aya as his woman; she knew he was a flirt and a tease, but she never realised the extent of those qualities. Obviously she hadn’t seen him in a long while, so there were things that she probably didn’t know about him, but still it was funny how unreserved he could be.
Mika shrugged. “She seems carefree. I like that.” He twirled around holding Fay close, “I liked her from first sight.” He admitted smiling. “Just look at the way she walked in the bar full of confidence, not even half dressed like the sluts in here.”
Fay put her hand on his shoulders, swaying to the music. “Mika,” her voiced sounded serious, “Aya is not a fuck and run kind of girl.” She pointed out. “Don’t be so eager. You haven’t spoken to her properly.” She saw that he was seriously listening to her, so she lightened up. “I like, Aya and I can put a friendly word in for you, but if you only want to hook-up for the night, you’re on your own.”
Mika grinned, ignoring her statement. “She’ll say yes if I ask for her number?”
“I don’t know. She’s a big girl.” She laughed as he twirled her around again. Fay loved everything about this man whose arms she danced in. She had missed her friend. She missed Mika.
Mika pulled her towards him from her back and went close to her ear. “Are you seeing anyone? “
Fay held the surrounding arms, shaking her head. She looked up at him from her shoulder, “Nope. I know you will hate me for saying this, but I don’t have time for a relationship.” And my last one was a total disaster, remembering the last guy she used to date.
Mika didn’t say more. They danced one more song and walked back to the others. Fay took a seat next to Aya, who had moved to sit on the middle couch. She asked for a bottle of water from the server as Mika plopped on the armrest of the couch Jordan was sitting on. He took the cigarette from Jordan’s fingers, moving it to his lips, inhaling it. “I love the cigarette brands you get.” He said as smoke puffed out of his mouth.
Jordan did not comment. He was quiet, trying to listen in on the girl’s conversations, but they were speaking softly so he could not make out their words. He just leaned back on the sofa, raising his head towards Mika. “What’s up? How come you never spoke of her?”
“Who? Fay?” Mika looked at him. “She’s not the girl I’d speak about. She is a fine woman, but I can’t imagine doing any wild stuff with her. You can have her if you want her.”
Mika watched the girls too. He liked what he saw. They were in their own world just conversing, not paying attention to their surroundings or who was in their company. Maybe Fay and Jordan can work out? He thought. “Just ask her for her number.”
“Nope.” Jordan replied, “If its fate, then it’ll work out. I would never ask someone for it the first-time I meet them, plus, she seems reserved. I doubt she’d give it to me.”
Mika put the cigarette out. “Of course you don’t, you just sleep with them.” He placed hand on his friend’s shoulder ignoring the glare, “well, I have her number so whenever you lose hope you can come and ask me.” He grinned at Jordan, who swore at him. Just then Fay’s phone rang. Sitting with her back on the coach and her legs crossed, she fiddled through her bag trying to find her phone. She was in a rush to answer, but it slipped and fell to the ground.
Jordan leaned forward. Picking it up, his eyes fell on the screen that flashed, Mark - Work. Seriously? It’s half past 1 in the morning and she gets a call from work? He handed her the phone, but by then it stopped ringing.
Fay muttered her thanks as she checked the number; she groaned and then threw the phone on the table, not bothering to call back.
“That guy again?” Aya scolded, narrowing her eyes at Fay. “When you answer it then people think it’s ok to call.”
“She’s right. We have all taken that stupid road so don’t make the same mistake as we did.” Mika added, chuckling.
“No, we haven’t and this is different.” Aya glared at the man who spoke.
“He’ll get the hint.” Fay interrupted, her eyes darting between the two. “I didn’t answer, so let it go?”
At that moment her phone rang again. Every eye stared at the screen that flashed once again ‘Mark-work’. Aya sighed “he’s married, what an ass.”
Jordan cleared his throat diverting everyone’s attention to him, “let me get this straight.” He sat up. “This guy from work is calling you at this hour for what purpose? He likes you and he’s married?” he inquired, eyeing Fay, who in return rolled her eyes.
“Yes! Exactly that,” Aya responded, noticing that her friend was ignoring the whole situation. “She told him to back off but he just won’t stop!” she exclaimed annoyed.
The phone rang a third time with the same caller id. Fay was about to pick up her phone when Jordan took it from the table and answered it. “Hello?” he said nonchalantly. “I suggest you don’t finish that sentence and keep in mind that if you call my girl again, your wife will find out what kind of man she married.” He hung up and returned the phone to its owner. “You’re welcome!”
Fay starred at him with mouth agape while Mika and Aya were trying hard not to laugh out loud. “What the hell just happened?” she asked, coming back to her senses.
“I took care of your insignificant problem.”
That moment Aya couldn’t hold it in any longer and started laughing. “Seriously Jordan, you’ve got balls!” Mika followed suite laughing aloud holding on to his stomach.
Fay just gave him a side look while Jordan grinned, drinking her in. She made a delicious sight, flabbergasted with his audacity. Her body was tensed like she wanted to smack him and her legs were almost ready to kick him. He noticed that Aya caught him staring, but he did not care.
“I think we’ll call it a night. The Ice Queen is about to rip your head off.” Aya joked, looking at her friend she pulled her tongue out. “Let’s go, woman.” Aya said, pulling her up by her hand, making Fay groan. In a few minutes, both girls stood up. Fay put on her coat, rubbing her eyes a bit while Aya picked up her bag.
Fay said nothing as she glanced at Jordan. She just turned to Mika. “It was good to see you.” She kissed his cheek. “Thanks for the company.”
“Yep. I’m sure I’ll see you both around.” Mika replied, trying to keep a straight face. “It was nice meeting you, Aya.” He winked playfully.
Aya gave him a thumb up as the girls walked out.
Jordan raised his eyebrow at Mika when the girls left. “How come you didn’t get her number?”
Mika put his hands in his pockets. “If it’s fate, then it’ll work out, right?”