The Woman Who Won His Heart

Paul Gabriel Black had just moved to Cania, for his new job as Events Director for Defence and Safety in Paire Amster Events. Leaving his girlfriend back home in Mirinthul, who refused his offer of joining him in Lightham and start a new life together, he was determined to persuade her to come and lay out all the reasons in the world that they'd both work out alright.

Scarlett Lee Ryder, researcher for Paire Amster Events had a principle in life: never get into a relationship with colleagues. She was doing just fine for three years with the company, until this new guy suddenly shows her interest.

Paul didn't want to lose his girlfriend, but it was out of his hand if she won't do anything to help their relationship. There are other women in Lightham anyway, and most Paire Amster female specie are obviously dropping hints of liking him, except for Scarlett Lee Ryder

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6. FIVE

NINE MONTHS LATER...

CADE or Calletar Air Defence Exhibition had just ended last week, and Paul will be free for a year but of course he will be getting ready for the Guze Military Defence Exhibition. 

Paul, Kevin and Vincent were hanging out at Kamikaze. A pub and a gaming place, he'd been there several times with Lee and her team. Kevin and Paul were playing Battle Tanks, Paul excused himself and went to the men's room.

He was about to open push open the door, when it flung open and Lee came out. 

"Lee!"

"Paul!" 

They said in unison.

"What are you doing in the men's room?" he asked smiling at her.

"Is full in the ladies room," she answered her voice slurred. She must have a lot to drink.

"Who's with you?" he asked.

"Me and the team and thei significant otha, except for Penelope. But if she knows you here she's proly gonna come flying," she laughed.

"Why?" he asked.

"She likes you," Lee answered. "Hey I gotta go,"

"I'll walk you to your table," Paul offered.

"Nah, am fine." She started to walk but hit someone who was coming.

Paul quickly placed an arm on her back to keep her balance. "I'll walk you to them, I insist."

"Yeah," she guided him to room fifteen on the first floor. "Hey guys look who's here!"

"Paul! Come in!" Benjamin said.

"I'm with Kevin and Vincent," Paul said. "I came to drop your director off, she's kind of tipsy," he was looking at Lee who smiled widely at him and drank her beer then rested her back on the wall.

"Tell them to come join us," Alex said.

"Sure I will," Paul left, then went to the men's room to do what he has to do and joined his team. "Hey guys, research team is on the first floor you wanna join them?"

"Is Lee there?" Kevin asked.

"Yeah," Paul answered, wondering why Kevin asked if Lee was there.

"Let's go then," Kevin was suddenly out of the room. "What room number Paul?"

"Fifteen," Paul called. Helping Vincent carry their mugs he asked, "Why is he asking if Lee's here?"

"He's trying to get her on a date. He feels so down after his break up with his girlfriend last month, and he thought Lee could help him move on."

"Oh," was all Paul said. He didn't like the idea at all. Kevin can have other women from their office but not Lee, she's too respectable to be chosen as rebound. What an asshole Kevin was!

In room 15, Kevin had already settled himself beside Lee and was all touchy. Lee who may be tipsy kept moving his hands away from where Kevin touched her. Paul didn't like the sight at all. He was sitting beside Ethan drinking his beer and watching Kevin.

"You like her," Ethan said in a voice only the two of them could hear.

"What?" Paul asked looking at Ethan.

"You like Lee," he repeated.

"I like her as a friend," Paul said. He never thought about liking Lee more than a friend at all!

Ethan shook his head. "I've been observing you for a year Paul. You keep staring at her when you can, you look at her when she laughs. You always sit beside her when we go out for drinks, even when you come late you always find a way to sit beside her."

"You've been observing me? I never knew what I was doing Ethan, my conscience is clean I swear I only like her as a friend."

Ethan laughed. "Come on Paul, what's not to like with Lee? We both know she's different from the women in our office."

Paul glanced at Lee, who now looked pissed off from Kevin. "Yes of course she's different."

"Are you just gonna watch her now?" Ethan asked.

Dammit, he was irritated by Kevin being touchy on Lee but most of all he was confused with Ethan having the conclusion that he is attracted to Lee?! Crazy right? But he's got to do something with what's going on with Kevin and Lee first.

"Hey Kevin can I borrow Lee for moment," Paul said standing from where he sat.

"Yeah sure pal," Kevin nodded his head and drank his beer.

Paul nodded his head at Lee and motioned her out the room, once outside he took her wrist and guided her out the pub.

"Thanks Paul," Lee said. "I'm glad you notice. Kevin's getting to my nerve."

"Do you wanna go home?" Paul asked.

"Yeah," she said nodding her head, she was somehow back to her normal self.

"Do you have your bag with you?" he asked.

"I've got my phone and my house key with me, so we're ready to go."

"Come on," Paul lead the way to the parking lot and opened the passenger door for her, which he usually does all the time.

Lee hopped in and Paul drove away. 

Her phone rang, Paul glanced at her checking if she's gonna answer or not. She did. "Hey, I'm on my way home now... please Ethan don't give him my number!... I'm with Paul..." she blushed. "Whatever... tomorrow?... hold up let me ask him..."

Lee turned to him and asked, "Ethan's asking if you want to come with us sailing tomorrow."

"Hey of course I'd love to!" Paul answered excitedly.

"Yeah, he's coming," Lee told Ethan. "Okay, see you tomorrow."

Paul parked his car in the basement and they took the elevator towards their floor. "Goodnight Lee," he squeezed her hand before they went to their respective doors.

"Goodnight Paul," she squeezed his hand in response.

 

***     ***     ***

 

Ethan dropped anchor at Edrana Islands, and put the volume a little louder. 

Lee, Darlene and Ethan's childhood friend and now girlfriend Kassidy were preparing breakfast at the galley.

"Where are Alex, Benjamin and Penelope?" Lee asked Darlene who was making chicken sandwich.

Lee cooked ham, and egg while Kassidy prepared coffee and set the table at the mess hall.

"Alex and Benjamin will be here soon, I don't think Penelope is coming." Darlene answered. "I'd like it a lot that she isn't coming, or else she will be flirting too much with Paul again it's really disgusting."

Lee laughed. "She badly wants to have a boyfriend."

"Well she turned down Ethan," Darlene said in a whisper avoiding Kassidy from hearing.

"I know."

Paul and Wayne, Darlene's two year boyfriend came to the galley to join them. Darlene and Wayne kissed, Lee and Paul locked eyes then suppressed a laugh.

"How come you didn't brought me sailing?" Paul asked her.

"Ethan and Benjamin just bought their yacht three months ago and we were very busy with CADE. This is only the second time I joined them sailing." Lee explained.

"I love the islands," Paul said. "I can't wait to go for a swim."

"We will once were done with breakfast," Lee assured him.

"Just a heads up Paul and Lee," Ethan peered in the galley. "Penelope is coming with the guys, but not to worry she's got a male friend with her."

Lee raised an eyebrow and exchange looks with Paul. Why does she have to be included in the heads up? "I never knew Penelope has got a crush on me," Lee said innocently.

Darlene rolled her eyes. "That's not what Ethan meant,"

"Then what?" Lee asked.

"Nothing," Darlene said sighing.

Lee turned to Paul. "Do you know anything?"

Paul shook his head.

After breakfast, the guys cleaned the mess hall and washed the dishes. The women changed to their bikini's and sat on the edge of the pool deck, their legs dangling as they rested their arms on the railings leaning forward watching the clear water below.

Lee threw a life bouy on the water with a rope who's end was tied on the railing. "Aren't you girls gonna swim?" she asked Darlene and Kassidy.

"I will in a while," Kassidy said.

Lee climbed the railing but remembered that dropped conversation with Darlene about Penelope. She climbed back down and sat beside her friend. "I was wondering what you were talking about earlier."

Darlene shook her head. "Kassidy, I'm really sorry but my friend here don't seem to realize what's going on around her."

Kassidy laughed. "It's okay, she looks cute when she's clueless."

Lee raised an eyebrow at them.

"You know that Penelope likes Paul right?" Darlene said.

"Yes," Lee answered.

"And you are here with Paul,"

"Wait, Paul and I are here," Lee rephrased.

Darlene shook her head. "No YOU are here with PAUL. There's a difference with you and Paul being here, and you are here with Paul."

"You mean he's my date?" Lee asked.

"Of course, look around. I am with my boyfriend and Ethan is with Kassidy."

Lee held up her hands. "Guys listen, I didn't plan this alright. I only asked Paul because Ethan asked me to ask him."

"Ethan wants you to bring Paul because you are the only one in the group who doesn't have a partner. Penelope isn't supposed to come, and Ethan said that she changed her mind because she's taking someone with her." Darlene explained.

"Alright, so what does that have to do with me and Paul?"

Darlene groaned. "God Lee I want to push you right now! It has to do something with you because Penelope will think that you are dating Paul!"

"Oh yeah, how come I didn't realize that?" she asked.

Kassidy laughed. "You're so cute Lee! How long since you haven't dated?"

"Almost six years, and I'm already twenty eight."

"Don't you think it's time to start dating and let all those love juice out?" Darlene asked wiggling her eyebrows.

"Yeah, I think I should. Maybe Kevin?" Lee asked.  She was pissed off with Kevin last night for being so touchy on her. He's got a lot to drink for sure that's why he done that. But other than that, Kevin is such a sweet guy.

"Why the hell would you want Kevin when Paul is there?"

"Because Paul got a girlfriend," Lee answered. "So who wants to join me? I can hold your hands if you're scared to jump."

"You go ahead," Darlene said.

"Kassidy?" Lee asked.

"Later," Kassidy answered.

She then climbed on the railing, balanced herself the screamed as she jumped into the clear blue water. The cold water engulfed her and she sunk faster, she then kicked out her legs and paddled upwards to get some air. Finally out she shivered and paddled towards the life bouy. "Holy crap the water is freezing!" she called at the girls who gave her a thumbs up.

"Excited to be out there already?!" Ethan called down to her, he sat beside Kassidy.

"The water is r-r-really nice!" she called out trying to convince them to jump in.

"Yeah, I hear that!" Ethan called back laughing.

Wayne sat beside Darlene.

Paul leaned on the railings smiling at her. "You want some company?" he called to her.

"I need a blanket it's freakin' cold out here!" she called to him.

"Be right there!" Paul called out.

Lee shivered as she held on the the life bouy, a few minutes more and her body will get used to the temperature and the sun will be up soon. Why the hell did she forgot that it's only seven in the morning! Moments later there was a loud splash, then Paul emerged out of the water and paddled towards her. He positioned himself behind her, and pressed against her body his arm resting on the life bouy. Lee stiffened. She was wearing only a pair of bikini's and her skin felt the body heat of Paul. It was nice, but very awkward. She had never been in this situation with an office mate before!

"I thought I saw you freezing," he said.

She felt his breath on the side of her neck. "Y-yeah, I am freezing."

"Come on lets go towards the shore where I can stand on the seabed and keep you warm." Paul said.

To her surprise she paddled obediently after Paul. And when she saw that he was now standing on his feet, with the water up to his neck, Lee paused a few meters away from him.

"Warmer now?" he asked.

She shook her head.

"Come on," he extended his arms for her to get in there.

"It's really awkward Paul," she said looking at him.

He smiled at her. "I'm just offering."

She felt his body heat, which will really stop her from freezing so she decided to get into his arms and keep herself warm. Her mind quickly calculated that if she leaned her back against Paul, his arms will be around her and may touch her breasts so she decided to face him, pulled her arms across her breasts as Paul circled his arms around her. God, it's so warm in here, she thought silently. 

 

 

 

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