Chapter 7

Back at the hotel, they bumped into each other at the doors. Their hotel rooms’ doors to be exact.
“I’m not sharing a room with him tonight,” Wallace rattled out as soon as he saw Nic and Cyndi walking up toward them.
“Like I want to,” Nic snapped, having heard that.
“You’re not starting a fight here either,” Angela spoke up, stepping in between Wallace and Nic. “He’s with me, so you can go with Nic.” That was meant for Cyndi.
“What?!” Nic exclaimed, turning to his sister. “You’re letting that pervert into your room? Let him sleep in the lobby! There are plenty of chairs!”
Wallace shoved Angela aside slightly – just enough so he could face Nic again. “Who are you calling a pervert? Like you’re not! I don’t think it’s safe to let my assistant go with you!”
Angela pushed Wallace back, resuming the spot between the two guys. “I made my decision and that’s final. Come on.” That last bit was meant for Wallace as she tugged him toward her and Cyndi’s room.
“Hey!” Nic called out to them, following the two.
Cyndi grabbed onto his shoulder and pulled him back. “Angela could take care of herself. Let’s go.”
Nic looked reluctant but he silently knew Cyndi was right. Angela could look after herself just fine. Wallace did not know what types of situation he was getting himself into. Perhaps it was even worse than sharing a room with Nic himself.

*****

“If I knew where I was going to end up, I would’ve started that fight sooner,” Wallace said after closing and locking the door.
“All right,” Angela said, taking some pillows and a blanket from the bed. She tossed it Wallace’s way. “Pick a comfortable spot.”
Wallace jumped on the bed, smiling. “All set.”
“You wish!” She pushed him off the bed, not caring if he crashed down on his back. “I meant on the floor.”
Wallace sprained up from the floor. “You can’t be serious!”
“What did you expect after backing down on your words?”
Wallace threw his hands up. “Aw, come on! He was asking for it!”
“Hmp.” That was the last of her words as she got ready for bed.
Wallace had no idea he was left out in the cold – literally – after that appealing offer.

*****

It seemed like Nic lucked out better than Wallace since Nic was seen on a bed. Actually, it was Wallace who forgot that his and Nic’s room was one of those with two beds apart from each other while the girls had taken on a room with a single bed because they were as close as sisters anyway and did not mind sharing. If only Wallace had remembered rather than fighting so fiercely with Nic earlier. Losing your head during the heat of anger was not cool at all. And this time, Wallace had to pay for it. Yet Nic was not immersed in joy either since Cyndi was giving him the silent treatment again. Between the two guys, who won the battle and who lost?

*****

The next day arrived and the two couples had breakfast down on 3rd floor in one of the shops inside the hotel. Wallace was rubbing his back when the girls brought foods and drinks back to the table.
“You got beat up last night, didn’t you?” Nic asked, eyeing Wallace’s movement suspiciously. “Serves you right for…”
“Of course not,” Wallace said, cutting Nic off since he knew where it was going. He was not going to let Nic have the ultimatum. “Didn’t you hear us last night? Need to check on your hearing, old man.”
“Still fighting?” Angela asked, returning with the food tray.
Wallace turned to her, helping her set the foods down. “No, not after what happened last night in bed, dear.”
“What happened?” Cyndi asked, bringing the drinks over to them.” She was getting napkins earlier, only catching the last bit.
“Didn’t you guys hear us? We were anything but quiet – unlike your side. So placid. Probably because someone was given the silent treatment.”
Nic got up from his seat, pointing at Wallace. “You!” He turned to Angela. “You two…”
Angela turned to him. “What are you thinking? You still fall for his words? Sit down! You’re going to make a scene again.”
Nic ended up going to get the newspaper. When he returned, the others were already eating. He made sure it was Cyndi who prepared his coffee before downing it as he read the news. Cyndi leaned over his shoulder to scan the headlines.
“What did we tell you?” Cyndi spoke up in an as a matter of fact tone, spreading jam over her bread at the same time. “You made the headlines just for being silly.”
Wallace grabbed the newspaper away from Nic at that time and skimmed the paper.
“Hey!” Nic was too late – again.
“Two of the most young and most brilliant businessmen of our time were seen fighting at last night’s promotional event,” Wallace read, his voice passive – though the headline had sounded appealing – for people who weren’t there. “They were pulled away from the crowd by their dates. It was only until they left that they continued the heated argument.” He stopped, lowered the paper, and smiled at the others.  “What did I tell you? Thank me for giving us some publicity.”
Nic used the opportunity to grab the paper back – earning a laugh from Wallace sine he was already done. Nic scanned the markets to see the damaging effects of it all. The things he did. How could he let himself be triggered by Wallace that easily? Especially at such an important event. Sure, it was just some gathering within their field. But it was still a matter of face and reputation.
“Whoa,” Nic uttered out a minute later, having found the right section. “It’s actually soaring.”
Wallace let out his smug smile again. “See? They love us.”
“But why…”
“Two important business dudes fighting, bad for business.” Wallace made a face. “Wrong! People are naturally nosy. They would love to find out what’s up with us, etc. Getting closer to us.”
Nic folded his paper, thinking to himself.
Wallace still displayed that smile. “You got a lot to learn, Junior.”
Angela and Cyndi ignored both guys for the rest of the meal. They knew it was useless to try and figure the guys out. It was strange that they were arguing like two kids last night but now they were able to sit around and talk about business.
© Wednesday, November 17th, 2010
Posted: Friday, March 18th, 2011

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