|| 15. PAIZE 2 ♥ ||
Her heart bobbed looking at the digital screen, cheeks glowing with color, seeing herself with the famed fashion designer on the cover of the chic Sophista journal. The only botheration which knocked inside was the picture somehow appeared changed from how she remembered their stance of his arm being wrapped around her, the feeling of which she had kept reminiscing since.
As if having listened to her thoughts of dissatisfaction, Omar soothingly stroked her small back “It’s the last photograph from our collection, only one where I am not holding you, happened right before you had left after the vertical expanse discussion. For our purposes, we finalize this because it’s subtle, only shows your back and will amply convey our stand of being together. The team has also voted on this, from their perspective the mystery about the woman in my life will make a bump in sales”
Assured that she had not been outrightly imagining his strong bound, Mohana stared at the glass screen. Her heart knew no bounds to the happiness for seeing Omar Shaan on the cover, his shirt open yet without his entire spectacular torso on display, leaving his immaculateness only for her.
Her prior considerations had been to flip the cover to an earlier shot of him where all the buttons were secured properly, but this dream of searching Polo seemed to be making all her wishes come true, in ways she had never thought feasible. Eagerly wanting to revisit all their moments together, she queried “C..ollection?”
Murmuring “Yeah. Ours” Omar flipped along an entire set of photographs, giving her a glimpse to the many poses in which they had been clicked together, one after another pictures of her petite frame in the lush dress, affixed to Omar Shaan flowed through.
In every snap, her blonde hair were breezily swaying while she stood flushed against the designer celebrity, bound by his arm which halted her dress from ballooning higher from the wind. The only changes were the increasing expanse of his torso as his shirt got unbuttoned, the jeans closure got eased, and some shots where his abs were only partially visible getting hidden behind her frame.
Her cheeks blazed with color, shyly shifting on his lap, molding herself in the crook of his arm, she instinctively hid her reddened face on his chest. Seeing them together in the same frame sent a strange tingling throughout, one that made her want to live those moments in his proximity again.
“Finalize our selection?” Omar held the digital pen for her, his tone hardly posing an impression of a query but informing of a determined choice, that had already been made. A solution which ran in holistic sync with Mohana.
Agreeing with his decision, she hastily nodded on his chest. His pick seemed the safest bet to her delirious head, where Mohana almost covered his muscular torso, yet their pose of departure left a mysterious hint of subtle sensualness to spark reader interest. Slipping the cylindrical device from his fingers, holding her lower lip between her teeth she tentatively looked at the pristine man “But this is a dream?”
“It is our reality, m’anam, yours and mine” Omar confirmed in his masculine deep voice, raising a stir inside Mohana as she picked on his endearment for herself: my soul
Held protectively in his embrace, her body basked in warmth as her secret wishlist got so straightforwardly fulfilled: his presence in her life, his spectacular torso not on display for anyone else to see. Staring at him with an adoration filled gaze, uncertain how any of this could be happening beyond her own web of fantasy, she whispered seeking assurance for her delusional heart “Reality? Our reality?”
“Yeah, together” his affirmation had Mohana instinctively land a shy fingertip on his chest but the loud hammering at the skin contact made her hand nervously curl. Despite being larger than life, her stuffy Polo was excessively plush and its pillowy effect was definitely amiss from the taut chest ahead of her.
Her head badgered to accept the missing presence of her fluffy Polo while her heart swayed, rattling in enthusiasm of being his m’anam. Hesitantly clenching onto her tshirt, extremely puzzled at how she could have landed in Omar Shaan’s embrace, Mohana looked up. Contradictory to his eyes, which otherwise gave her glimpses of intriguing glimmer, today his spheres remained pitch black “Why is my Polo..”
“We’ll talk about him later. sometime later. when we get around to discussing other things, because right now what’s pressing is our need to finalize the journal cover, which requires your approval” Omar interjected, flipping aside the additional bundle of their pictures
Unable to find Polo and justify her stuffy’s continued absence in the facade of a dream, the bubble of her ardent imagination came to a shattering halt jolting Mohana to grapple the actuality which appeared anything but that. Recollecting the mention of a bed, some more beds and the baby, she curbed the fear frantically raising inside, gripping harder onto the tshirt in her clasp.
Hesitantly looking at their proposed cover shot she swallowed on a parched throat “How did we get these photographs? My staff wouldn’t be allowed to take my pictures like that and..”
“Like you opening my buttons? Good thing Indigo was trying a new lens with Efe during the break. These were some samples, but they work out great for us to build our collection” his explanation sounded matter-of-factly, but just the mention of buttoning and unbuttoning those closures on him, made color deepen on her blushing cheeks
“Indigo, ya, ya. sure. fine. If Efe was there and Leya has approved of the shot, the quality, lighting, angles, all that there is to photography, we are fine. Everything’s fine” glancing at herself in the picture with Omar Shaan, her nervous fingers slightly shook hovering above the signature line. Not wanting to interpret the tumultuous banging of her heart, ignoring her shallow breathing, she formally authorized the Sophista December cover
Slipping the thin gadget from her fingers, Omar offered “How about I’ll get you something to eat and we can then approve of the accompanying set?”
“No. Am not hungry. There are more pictures? but we don’t need to review any more samples, because this is done?” her query nearly ended on a plea, not certain anymore if she wanted to get caught red handed for drooling over more of his photographs
“Nah, not pics. Just these bunch of words and legalities to ensure everything is on track for us to proceed with the cover and any next steps needed from there” setting aside the cover samples for the December issue, Omar flipped to another document
The tumble of reality teasing apart from the concocted web of dreams sent a stern reminder of her erroneous actions, but mainly having landed on one of the many beds of Omar Shaan pricked terribly at her heart. Nearing on a sob, clenching the tshirt across her abdomen, Mohana rattled “Next steps..? I.. I can be out of my mind, but why aren’t you smart? You’re a playboy, you have other beds, you know this game, why didn’t you tell me not to do it? you obviously don’t end up giving babies to all the Peggys in this world”
Cupping her cheek Omar tenderly stroked the salty drop that had rolled “I didn’t know, but it doesn’t matter. I am with you and I’ll take care of everything. We’ll sign this and get it out of our way”
Her heart and butterflies agreed to his assurance, yet the maze of drastic occurrences had Mohana nervously shift on his lap. Determined to stop his bare torso from becoming a printed accessory in the stacks of a published journal for perpetuity, even the muddling events leading to her own inconvenient presence on the cover seemed acceptable “Hm. Yaah”
Tugging her to rest her face on his chest, mapping fingers along her nape, his thumb gently caressed the column of her neck as he began the walk-through of the paperwork. While his touch felt protectively soothing, it stirred a strange upheaval, keeping her severely diverted and despite every effort she took to listen to his explanations, none of the legal jargon made sense
Being pictured on the cover with one of the world’s hottest heart-throb, an eligible bachelor with an unsurmountable crazy fan following, Mohana clearly understood the risks that could come from the pretense of their suggested togetherness. She relished his voice explaining the worldly details, but descriptions on residences, ownership around entire lists of entities, then address changes, made it all overwhelming.
Swallowing nervously she slightly shifted “I can’t change my address because I.. I stay at my office? It is a paired loft, its not mine, I pay rent but there’s exceptional security, I’ll be safe if there’s a hype about your cover”
“We’ll let the address stay same if you want, no one will dare to bother you anyways” his gruff voice bordering on a threat made Mohana unconsciously shuffle back closer to him. On her whispered hum of agreement, Omar continued their review of the contract which delved into even stranger subjects of bonds of possession, rights on a variety of another set of lists and more details around proprietorship, leaving her further rattled in confusion.
“I am only an employee of Stauox Media House.. under their journal? Sophista? I get a paycheck, there are no bonds to my name that any reader can challenge” Mohana earnestly informed, uncertain how beyond a certain level of security any such complex documentation could be needed to fend raging fans
Offering her the digital pen, Omar explained “It’s a blanket of paperwork for all things that could be investments on your behalf or mine ensuring it all to remain sorted. This document accounts for us to add any approved clauses at a later stage if we decide to include changes. Based on my review I’d say it looks good, the only thing from here is for us to sign and we’ll dispatch it to the team to formalize the December cover”
A shooting pain buzzed through her, honing in on the fact that the extensive contract wasn’t for the rowdy readers or her protection but his team had documented every speck of the detail to shield the mighty Omar Shaan, his investments, his ownerships from the fear of her clutches, lest Mohana considered defaming him through the cover.
Acutely embarrassed to assume they were together through this, as if it was yet another one of her fantasy filled dreams, Mohana pulled back, ashamed of her desperation to cling onto him.