I was in class and I just couldn't concentrate. My eyes were looking straight at Dr. McKey, my Cell Biology Professor, but my brain wasn't registering anything that was coming out of his mouth. All I could think about was how the conversation between Artemis and I ended last night—with him giving me no explanation whatsoever.
I kept replaying the scene in my head to see if I could find any clues that might help answer my question.
The scene started with me asking him why he married me.
He didn't respond so I repeated the question louder the second time around. "Why did you marry me?" I asked half curious and half concerned.
His friendly open face slowly closed off and all I got was: "It's late. You should go to bed. We'll talk about this later."
I didn't know why I didn't fight back. I could've argued that it wasn't that late or that I deserved to know or accused him of avoiding the question or any number of excuses just to rile him enough to get him to answer.
However, something stopped me. Maybe it was the look in his eyes or the tone of his voice that forced my mouth shut from saying anything further.
It was only 9:00 p.m. by the time I got back to my room and tried to continue to work on my research. The keyword was 'tried' because my mind was bombarded with questions.
Why was he trying to avoid answering one simple question? How hard was it to tell me why he married me? I mean it was obvious why I married him and we both knew it...so why did he marry me?
What was in it for him? That would be the next question that would follow the first if he ever decided to answer.
I was brought out of my thoughts by the sounds of students getting up and leaving. Class was over and the only thing I wrote down on my notebook was 'Cell Biology - Chapter 15.' I sighed depressingly as I started to put my stuff back into my school bag.
I walked to the library planning on going over the powerpoint slides my Professor just presented and took my own notes when my phone dinged. I saw a text message from The Playboy. My tummy did a flip and I smiled to myself. I guess Artemis did listen to me when I told him he didn't text or call me. However, I was not willing to change his contact name just yet until he proved himself to be nicer and more agreeable.
I pulled up the message and it said: Have lunch with me.
I frowned at those four words. I got him to text, but now I had to teach him how to text with a little bit more manners. That was a demand and not a friendly question.
I texted back: No. I'm busy with class.
He replied: You had only one class today and it was already over.
Flabbergasted, I wrote: How did you know that? *Angry face emoji*
I investigated you, he wrote. He made it sound like it was the most natural thing in the world. Did this man know no shame?
Ugh. How was it that he can push my buttons with only a few words. I got mad and didn't bother to reply.
I put my phone away and continued to walk toward the library. What right did he have to investigate me? I puffed my cheeks out of irritation.
Then my phone started ringing and I automatically picked up without looking at who was calling. “He..."
"Have lunch with me." He rudely interrupted.
"Hello?" I finished my greeting.
"Have lunch with me." He repeated like a monotone broken record.
"No." I said defiantly.
"Why.” It wasn’t a question.
"Because I don't want to." I sounded like a whiny brat.
"You don't want to have lunch with your handsome husband?" I pictured him smirking with a naughty glint in his eyes.
I scoffed. "I don't want to have lunch with someone who investigated me. If you wanted to know something about me, just ask."
"I had to since I was in a hurry to sign the marriage contract and there was just no time in getting to know you." He said it calmly and so easily like it was the most logical thing he did.
I paused as I tried to rationalize what he just said. Before I could make out what he meant about being in a hurry to sign the contract, he said. "Have lunch with me. I have something to tell you." And he hung up.
Ugh. This guy needed to learn some phone etiquette. He acted like he was in a hurry but I bet he was just pretending. My phone dinged again and I opened his text: bring your school work with you and be at the Jame Tower by noon. Don't be late.
Such an annoying person—demanding and bossy. I exhaled loudly. I looked at my watch and it was only 10:00 a.m. I decided to go to the Jame Tower right now because part of me was excited to see him—the part that wondered what it was he needed to tell me. Maybe he would give me an answer to my question today. Whatever that 'something to tell me' was, it better be good.
The Jame Tower was a 30 minute drive away from school. It was a big building between 50 to 55 floors high. It took me awhile to find a parking space in the underground parking lot because I've never been in this building before. After parking my car, I took an elevator to the main floor and went to the front desk. A young pretty girl a few years older than me stood behind the desk. She had her hair in a tight bun and she looked professional in her white button shirt.
"Welcome to the Jame Tower. How can I help you?" She asked with a friendly smile.
"Hi." I smiled back. "I'm here to see Artemis Jame." She gave me an odd look the moment I mentioned his name. I looked down at my simple yellow T-shirt tucked in the front of my dark blue skinny jeans and wondered if I looked too casual compared to all the people that came through here.
"Do you have an appointment?" She had that customer service smile on.
"I'm not sure...would having lunch be considered an appointment?" She gave me another odd look as though to say she couldn't image me having lunch with someone like Artemis.
"I’m sorry Miss, but I can't let you go up to the top floor if you don't have an appointment." She did not seem sorry in the slightest.
"Can you call him and let him know that I'm here?" I asked slightly frustrated. “He’ll vouch for me.”
"No m'am. I can't just call and ask him that whenever someone asks me to do so or I would lose my job."
"Fine. I'll call him myself." I said as I took out my phone and dialed his number. When he didn't pick up, the front desk girl smirked and mumbled under her breath. "I knew you were bluffing just like all the other girls that pretended to know our CEO."
I rolled my eyes. Suddenly, I remembered that I had his assistant's number when he texted me the other day about not waiting for Artemis for dinner. I dialed the assistant's number and luckily he picked up after the third ring.
"Hi. This is Grace Taylor. I'm supposed to have lunch with Artemis but the front desk won't let me go up to the top floor."
"Hi, Miss Taylor. I'm sorry about the inconvenience. I will take care of it immediately."
"Thank you." The moment I hung up, the front desk phone rang.
She picked up the phone and said pleasantly. "Hi. This is the Jame Tower's front desk. How can I help you?" She listened for a whole minute before answering. "Yes. I'm sorry about my mistake. I will surely do that next time."
She hung up and looked apologetically at me. "I'm so sorry for the misunderstanding. You just looked different from the women..." Her hands shot up to cover her mouth from saying things she shouldn't have.
I decided to finish her sentence for her. "Different from the women who usually come to meet Artemis Jame you mean."
She nodded and said professionally. "You may use the private elevator to go to the 53rd floor."
"Okay. Thank you."
I got out of the elevator and walked toward Artemis's office. I greeted the secretary as I passed her.
She stood up and hastily said. "Mr. Jame is busy at the moment, you can wait for him..."
Before she could finish, I interrupted her. "I'll just wait for him in his office." I pulled opened the double opaque glass doors as she finished with "here in the waiting room."
I stared at the scene in front of me: a woman in a well fitted red dress bending over the desk. I couldn't see anything besides her blonde head, her round butt, and her slim legs; her torso was somehow hidden from where I was standing.