Theodore watched the sight in front of him with an amused smile. Mayi was sitting with her legs crossed beneath her on the kitchen counter. Wet hair framed her face and she was gazing thoughtfully at her laptop. She began giggling and looked up . Her gaze locked with Theodore's whose smile widened. Hurriedly she got down from the counter and placed her laptop on it.
" Forgetting common courtesy Sinclair. I believe there is a calling bell outside my house" Mayi asked frostily.
" I have a key and besides this is my sister's house" Theodore replied , placing his jacket on the back of a sofa.
" Well she doesn't leave alone here" Mayi countered.
" The other lady I believe is my wife" Theodore smirked
Mayi rolled her eyes " Wife under a deal , so not exactly your wife"
Theodore's smirk dropped " I called Mandy before coming here. She told me to come in" he said flatly "I knew she is in the house and that you were not improperly attired"
Mayi nodded. She knew she need not behave so coldly with him. After all she was in a deal with him. But something about him always set her on an edge. His devil- may-care attitude did not sit well with her. Watching him observe her silently had disturbed her. Something about his gaze was unsettling.
" Do you want something to drink?" Mayi asked , noting that he looked slightly nervous.
"Well actually am here to ask you out to a dinner" Theodore replied
Mayi raised her brows " Are we going public this soon?"
" No, which is why am going to take Mandy with me and you will follow in another car. We are dining with my mother. She wants to meet you" Theo said, keeping his gaze locked with Mayi's . Out of the corner of his eyes he noticed his sister watching Mayi as well.
Mayi let out a breath. This she had anticipated . Even though Rachel Sinclair didn't much care about her children she loved putting up public show according to Mandy. Mandy had warned her about such a possibility but also expected it to be at the party on Saturday.
"Why today? I thought we were meeting on Saturday" Mayi asked , turning to look at her friend with a worried frown.
" My mother as you know Miss . Blair , isn't on good terms with me. Though she is at her best in public , I don't want to give her a chance to, well , do anything untowardly on Saturday . Hence this earlier meeting" Theo explained "Mandy told me that your family knows the truth and hence won't be a problem"
Mayi noted the displeasure in his tone " I assure you Mr. Sinclair , my family will be of no trouble. They support me in this" she replied forcefully.
Theo nodded "I just hope the truth stays within this circle"
"It will Theo, don't worry" Mandy dismissed him "Now the dinner with Mom is at eight Mayi. Gives us enough time to get ready and leave separately. I have checked the reservations" she glanced at her brother and then at her friend who was gnawing at her bottom lip " It can be cancelled if you don't want to go Mayi . We will deal with Mom on Saturday"
" No it's okay . Even I want to know who I am dealing with." Mayi said , looking at Theo.
"I will ask one of my chauffer's to drive you" he said.
"Is that necessary . Can't I drive there myself?" Mayi asked , not liking the idea of taking help from Theodore in any form.
" If that suits you, it's fine with me" Theo agreed not wanting to antagonize her.
" That's good. I think we should leave half an hour apart . I am not sure whether it's my imagination working over time , but I think I saw some suspicious figures lurking around" Mayi said.
" Damn paparazzis!" Mandy cursed.
"We don't have anything to worry if we leave apart. After Saturday , hopefully they will leave us alone" Theo assured his sister. But each one of them knew that was highly unlikely. Paparazzi never truly left anyone alone.
Mayi almost chided herself for not taking Theodore's offer or calling one of her own chauffer's . Her nervousness was affecting her driving. But then she thought it was better not to accept any help from Theodore Sinclair. She didn't want to owe him anything. All they had was a deal and that's how it will be . Pure business.
She took a deep breath before getting out of her car. Mayi wondered if it would be to her advantage that this dinner was taking place at Silver Moon Hotel , owned by Blair Enterprise. That would probably impress Rachel Sinclair. Her looks , she was sure , wouldn't impress the old lady. She just hoped Theodore wouldn't be grilled extra time for marrying an Indian woman. She almost jumped out of her skin when a warm hand touched her bare shoulder.
"Seriously Theodore , you should warn before creeping upon a person" Mayi almost screamed , reminding herself in time that she was in a hotel. She glared at Theodore.
"Sorry , didn't mean to startle you. Was just going to call you. You are late you know" Theodore said , his tone not at all apologetic. He appeared more miffed with her tardiness.
Mayi felt an urge to give a scathing reply but checked herself. After all it was she who had declined his offer of providing a chauffer and had ended up as a bundle of nerves while driving. Rachel Sinclair must be miffed by now. She wasn't going to apologize though.
" Took time to get ready" she lied flatly. She did take time but that wasn't the reason for her late arrival. She was efficient at making herself look best within limited time. She noticed Theodore checking her out.
Theodore was satisfied with her dressing . She was wearing a navy blue dress which left one of her shoulders bare. Clinched at the waist it beautified her curvy figure. Her hair was done in an elegant side braid. She looked gorgeous and sophisticated in the dress. His mother wouldn't have much to complain about in her dressing style .Hiranmayi Blair knew how to carry herself. Even though she tested him sorely at times.
" My mother is waiting for us . Shall we Miss Blair?" he offered his hand with a smile which he was pleased to see she returned. She ran her eyes over the busy hotel lobby. She couldn't see any obvious flashes but technology was not too overt these days.
"It's Mayi" she corrected him 'Shouldn't we be going separate?" her forehead wrinkling in confusion.
"There aren't much guests in the exclusive restaurant . Those present are placed well apart. No one will notice"
"Are you sure?" Mayi was hesitant.
"It doesn't matter much Mayi . My mother will meet you now and your family knows. I have informed those who matters. It's okay if we are seen together" Theo assured her.
Mayi nodded and placed her hand in the crook of his arm. Taking the stairs to the exclusive restaurant she felt her nerves again. The restaurant was frequented by the most affluent of the society. Her family had connections with many and if one of them saw her now , the awkwardness wouldn't fit into words. The hotel staff also would probably notice and she knew the rumours would soon spread. Her hand exerted undue pressure on Theo's arm and he noticed.
"Nervous?" he asked softly , looking down at her.
"No" Mayi lied and Theo had to suppress a smirk. The woman would never admit that she was weak and he liked that about her.
Walking towards their designated table , Mayi's eyes locked with a pair of eyes identical to Theo's. The chocolate brown's clearly showed disapproval. Rachel Sinclair wasn't pleased with her son's choice.