Chapter 2: Big Blind

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She frowned at him.

He gave out a dry laugh. "Did I offend you? I didn't mean to but I understand if you feel slighted. After all, you and the Carbonels are birds of the same feather."

She bristled at his tone and the implications of his words. "By birds of the same feather, you mean those people who are in a league lower than yours?" she challenged.

"I didn't say that."

"But you implied it. Why would a bastard like you think so highly of himself?"

He visibly stiffened at the insult. "You play dirty, Nyxa Tantoco."

"I play fair, Leiandros Carbonel. And, yes, the Carbonels and the Tantocos are birds of the same feather as you would like to insolently call us. And the kind of birds that we are has what we call loyalty, a concept that might be foreign to you. You are right though, you are an outsider and you being a bitter, smart-mouthed asshole is not helping your cause at all."

"My cause? You seem to know more about me than I do about myself."

"I couldn't care less about you. Yes, I am taking offense because Lee Ann Carbonel is one of my closest friends and I won't have anyone including some high and mighty bastard speak ill of her and her family."

"You don't know subtlety at all, do you?"

"Subtlety is for the weak."

He laughed at her quip until someone knocked on the car's window.

The woman handed him two large paper bags. "Order's complete po! Enjoy your meal!" she said.

Leiandros stared at the paper bags that he was holding. "Um..."

Nyxa looked at him blankly. "Do you need help, Your Highness?" she asked her tone mocking.

"Do you want to eat, Your Majesty?"

She scoffed before she wordlessly took the paper bags from him then put them on her lap. She was wondering where they would be eating the take-out when he maneuvered the car towards the fast food's parking area.

"Perfect," he said giving her a smile, which, for reasons beyond what her brain could fathom, made her face flare.

Nalipasan na yata ako ng gutom...

He began taking the burgers out and Nyxa's stomach started to grumble.

I couldn't even remember what time I last ate, she thought to herself as she followed his movements with her eyes.

"Here," he said handing her the Big Mac. "You've been eyeing it with desire in your eyes," he added with a grin.

She glared at him but she was so hungry that she decided to let it slide.

They ate in silence and she would steal glances at him every now and then, a million questions running inside her head.

"May gusto ka bang itanong?" he suddenly asked. "Those gazes I am receiving from you are about to make me blush."

"As I have said, I really am not interested in you."

"Liar."

"Like I would spend my energy lying to someone as dull as you."

"Ouch," he said. "You're even colder than this Coke float."

"And you are as bad for my health as this burger."

He chuckled before they both grew silent again. The night was quiet and she let out a contented sigh.Who would have thought that I would be eating a Big Mac inside some stranger's car that's parked at at fast food's parking lot?

She heard a police's siren wail and her thoughts drifted to her brother. Did Janus call the police?

"May I borrow your phone?" she said.

"Sure." He handed his phone to her.

"For a kidnapper you're quite trusting," she flippantly commented.

"For someone I'd won at the poker table you're rather demanding," he countered and laughed out loud when he saw the look that she was giving him. "I'm just kidding."

"It's not funny."

"It is to me."

"Whatever..."

"Sinong tatawagan mo?"

"The Bureau of Animal Industry to verify if you have an import permit."

He scowled.

"That's how you properly tell a funny joke—Janus, it's me." She put a finger against her lips.

He nodded.

"Nyxa! Where are you? Just give me the address and I'll come get you—"

"I'm safe. Tell Mom and Dad that I am spending a night at Lee Ann's."

"What?! Nyxa—"

"Fuck you, Jan. Fuck you for using me as a bet. I have not forgiven you and I will never forgive you. I hope you wouldn't sleep a wink tonight."

"Nyxa, no—"

She ended the call then handed him back his phone.

"Fries?" he offered.

She took the box from him and started eating. "Wala akong dalang pera," she told him. "Wala rin akong dalang telepono."

"Okay..."

"But I will kill you if try anything funny.

"I won't."

"Good. Where are you checked in?"

"Anya."

"Okay."

She was taken aback when he gave her his phone before taking his wallet out of his pocket to give him one of his credit cards.

"Keep those with you so you'll feel safe."

It was her turn to laugh. "You think mobile phones and credit cards are women's weapon of choice?"

"It isn't?"

"No."

"Then what is?"

"I won't tell you, Mr. Carbonel, I'll just deal you the blow," she replied with a smile to faze him.

He smiled back. "What made you think that you haven't yet?" he answered before he gave her a wink.

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