One hour and a half later, I am still in my position. My bottom had started to feel sore and my nose had begun to itch, but I remained as still as possible. I didn't want the artists and Vincent to think that I am uncomfortable in my spot.
Actually, I am kinda having fun like this. It is just amazing to think that my face is being copied and immortalized in a canvas. I am honestly excited what the club members and Vincent's students would create. It would be great if I get to ask or buy at least one of it so that I can have a souvenir during my stay here in the chateau.
Aside from my bottom and my nose complaining, I have this dilemma right now which I can't seem to shrug off. Have you ever experienced not being able to move yet you have this urge to look at a certain direction? It is a nagging sensation in the back of your head that would never leave you alone. That's exactly what I'm feeling right now and that direction for me apparently is the door of the studio where Vincent had left open. My head was turned away from it so I can't see what was in the gallery that made me want to look.
Surely there's no interesting thing that was happening there. I can't even get a single wave of sound from the airconditioners. But, when a certain man stepped inside the studio, it was only then that I realized the reason for this weird urge of mine.
In the periphery of my vision, I could see Erik in his regal self, one hand tucked in his black jeans pocket while the other was dangling in the side. His slim jacket was a royal blue, partnered with a white shirt. It seems that he and Vincent had the same taste of clothing - simple but elegant -, but at this moment, Vincent's jacket was a bit edgier than his.
I don't know why my heart suddenly hammered when I saw him. Maybe because I haven't thought he would attend the Arts Class since he didn't have a painting of his own in the gallery.
No one bothered acknowledging his presence as he entered. Well... except for the three outside students who quickly stood up and bent their heads in his way. I saw Vincent produce a smirk, but it was just brief. The others were engrossed with their work, or were just acting the part. I can't really tell.
Erik didn't seem to care for their lack of respect though as he just continued on his way and picked a spot a few feet away from the door. Conveniently, there was already an easel with a canvas and a spread of oil tubes in a mini table close to his artist chair. When he started setting up the palette, that's when I realized that he intended to paint me.
As in me. I wondered then how it would turn out.
Daniella didn't ask for a break, but I decided to have one. I saw Erik enter thirty minutes ago and thought of one thing: how predictable. I had already invited him a couple of times in my Arts Class yet he didn't attend at least one session saying that it would bore him, but now that Daniella is the model, he magically comes here and begins to paint without even a morning greeting to us first.
Well, I have already expected that he would take the bait. I purposely made him listen to our conversation last night. It just amuses me how he begins to unravel that cold-hearted facade when it comes to Daniella. Never have I seen him like this; even last night when he impulsively retrieved her from that dangerous night club.
I knew that he had some kind of attachment to her after that incident last year, but it doesn't mean that because of it, I am just going to stand aside and be an audience. I like Daniella just to make things clear. She is refreshing to be with and her whimsical self is beyond compare. I would have loved to paint her, but I needed to do my job as the Art Instructor and critique my artists' work on-the-spot.
I saw her release a deep, thankful sigh when I called for a break. She rubbed her palms together and then cracked her knuckles in the most cute of ways. She even raised her arms to stretch her upper body in an unladylike manner, but it looked like she doesn't even care a damn thing that she was in a elevated, spotlighted area where all of us could witness it.
Really. She is such an adorable, amusing kitten. I just want to pinch that pink cheeks of hers right now.
Suri, who has been gushing over her since this early morning, was quick to hand Daniella a cup of tea, freshly-brewed from her personal, always-there butler. They talked about something and then I saw them share a good, cheerful laugh.
From where I stood in the back of the class, I saw Erik, still holding a fine brush although we were still on break. Suri's butler, Mr. Clyde, handed him a plate of lemon squares, but the blank-faced president just pointed the plate down. I saw the butler offer him a cup of tea and that's when he willingly accepted it, putting the brush on the mini table. With how serious he looked now, I couldn't help myself teasing him a little.
I left my spot and approached the two young women who were eating the squares with gusto.
"You look a lot cheerful today Daniella, " I said, my tone a little bit higher so that Erik could hear, "Did you have a nice dream last night?"
Taking a piece from their plate, I ate while waiting for her answer.
She made a face, one that showed she was skeptical of my unnecessary compliment about her. I expected her to brush off my question, but I was surprised when she answered in a partly-joking, partly-serious manner, "I'm not so sure... but I think I remember my dream having the theme of a Disney princess."
I couldn't keep myself from grinning. "Hmmm, which one?"
She pressed a finger on the corner of her lip and gazed at the ceiling, thinking.
"Hmmm... I think it was Sleeping Beauty. I believe I was kissed by my prince charming."
Then I heard Erik loudly choke on his tea.
Daniella, Suri and I turned to look at him and we saw the red-faced president, clearing his throat uncomfortably. Some of the tea spilled on his expensive jacket so Mr. Clyde quickly took his handkerchief and wiped the wet parts of the cloth.
"Are you okay President?" I heard the butler say.
Erik raised a hand to stop Mr. Clyde's nervous cleaning. "Never been better, " he replied coolly.
I watched Daniella's reaction on Erik's little drama and I saw her brows knit briefly.
"I see, " I expressed, determination burning within me. I wonder what had he done to Daniella last night to make him this...jumpy. "Well, I think the game is on now."
"Game?" Daniella spoke in confusion. She turned to me and asked again, "What game?"
I only smirked at her. "Ahh, nothing darling. I am just blabbering nonsensically with myself."
She narrowed her eyes at me, but didn't ask anymore.
I looked at Suri who seemed to catch what I was talking about, but just rolled her eyes. She nudged an elbow at me then and lightly frowned in the direction past my back. When I gave her a questioning brow, I felt a hand rest in my left shoulder.
"Mi amigo Vincent, you never told me you found a charming young woman in Ms. Elaine's wedding, " said my suave friend and club member, Enrique, all the while inserting himself in our midst with his eyes set on Daniella.
I turned to him and gave him a small smile. "Well, technically, Erik found her."
Highlighting Erik's name I believe would send him a clear message, but he just continued looking at Daniella like a single Goddess and dismissed Suri and I off.
"No matter, I think I should introduce myself properly to her."
He took Daniella's hand, the one who had held the teacup, and kissed the back of it like I would normally do. I saw Daniella look at him with a stunned reaction, then to me and Suri with a bemused face.
Enrique always has a way with women. In all of the male members of the club, I believe he has the most of the fan club since his undeniable charm always radiates like the sun. As a natural-born gentleman, I had expected that he would sooner or later introduce himself to Daniella.
"Buenos dias Se?orita Daniella. I am Enrique Lancastre Valiencoso, second son of Duque Alvaro and Duquesa Sofia of Aveiro, Espa?a. You can call me Enrique for short."
Daniella's cheeks tinged with red, but it was just brief. She smiled as expected and nodded on Enrique.
"Enrique it is then, " she said, "I'm pleased to meet you."
"The pleasure is mine, mi hermosa mujer."
She looked at me and without even saying a word, I knew exactly what her dilemma was.
"He says my beautiful woman, " I translated for her. She made an 'oh' in her mouth and returned her attention on Enrique who was smiling charmingly at her.
"Can I invite you for a coffee and lunch date after class?" he offered. I couldn't hide a twitch in my eye. He is that smooth on making the first step on women. When I had to pull strings using my Arts Class in order to spend time with Daniella, he gets to use the coffee/lunch trump card.
I gotta hand it to Enrique, he didn't waste time at all.
I watched Erik in the corner of my eye and saw that he was acting as if sitting bored but in fact, his ears were like a fox, all perked up and alert, listening on our conversation.
Daniella shook her head carefully and gave him an apologetic smile. "I'm not sure, Enrique. I have a flight at four in the afternoon."
Not dejected at all, Enrique held her hand and kissed it the second time. "I won't take too much of your time Se?orita, don't worry. I just want to celebrate my first meeting with you."
Daniella looked sheepish. "Oh, if so, then I guess—" She paused, then looked at me and Suri, an idea forming in her eyes. "Wait. How about you guys? Do you want to join us?"
Suri immediately waved her hand. "No, I'll have to pass. Amano and I have to go somewhere after class."
"And how about you Vincent?" Daniella asked, turning her attention on me quickly.
I have an appointment with my dentist after here, but I can always cancel it for her.
"That would be fun, " I said as I formed a smile. I saw Enrique frowned in a split-second, obviously not pleased with my answer.
Now, being a tease and to make things a lot interesting, I turned to look at Erik and asked, "How about you, President? Do you like to come with us?"
He arched a brow, drew his gaze at me and then to Daniella who released a faint gasp.
"I don't think that's a good idea, " he said. "She'd feel suffocated if three gorgeous guys would accompany her."
I want to laugh at his remark, but didn't. Instead, I turned to Daniella and asked her, "Would you Daniella?"
She frowned a little, pinched her thumb and heaved a breath. "I don't think so."
I could feel that she was simmering inside, maybe because of Erik's comment. Well, I am not surprised at all. His awesome personality is always a turn down when it comes to women, Daniella included.
Crossing my arms, feeling proud of the progress, I looked at Erik with a smug smile. "Then it's settled. You are coming with us President."
"Wait, " Enrique suddenly butted in. "Is there anyone who noticed my distress? I meant coffee with me and Daniella alone."
I patted his shoulder and shrugged, "I guess you should have voiced that earlier mi amigo."
He sighed heavily. "Clever. Really clever Vicente."
"It's Vincent, " I corrected, then turned my attention on front of the class. "Let's continue our session guys. We still have an hour and a half to go."
I can't really say I'm happy going with Enrique for a coffee and lunch later. Probably, it stems from the fact that I haven't went out to lunch with a guy and also, I'm not fond of drinking coffees. I prefer to drink lemon tea with creamer. But this is just a minor problem for me. What I'm really concerned about is the fact that I'm going out with three sexy Gods; two of which are fond kissing my hand and one who has a personal vendetta to me.
Other women would probably drool if they are in my shoes right now, but me, I'm already fretting. My circle of friends is composed of mostly women. Like I said before, I don't have much experience with men. I know having coffee and lunch are just simple things, but with three guys? I would probably suffocate.
It seems Erik was right earlier. I guess I shouldn't have agreed. God, me and my impulsivity.
I have just met Enrique for like two hours, but I know already that he is a charmer. He could be easily called a Casanova because of his finely-sculpted face and studly overall appearance. He has thick eye lashes and black hair just like Rohan, but his differs quite a lot since it is highlighted with blue and is curly. Enrique radiates a regal aura just like the other male members I have encountered so far, but he seems to take the crown as he is a son of a duke. For now, I will give him the benefit of the doubt and not tag him a Casanova. To learn more about him through his actions and attitude is better than simply basing it on appearance alone.