This Crazy Rich Boy Volume 1 Chapter 107 - The Surprise Soak
This is going to be mind-blowing, he thinks, as he watches Claire get the jet tub ready. She turns on the water, ensures it's the right warmth, then empties a small bottle of bubble bath. Foam quickly develops, filling the bathroom with that familiar floral fragrance he has begun to associate with her presence.
Outside, it is indeed a beautiful morning, with the morning sun bathing the city with its crisp, warm light. "I bought this hotel because of the view," he mutters as he gazes at the skyline, seemingly entranced. "And I specifically chose this suite for you, because of this very view." He smiles as he turns to her. "Isn't it wonderful?"
"It is magical," she says, as they stand there, facing the glass wall. That's why I love long soaks. Thank you for this, Gab."
"You deserve all the finest things, Claire," he says. He takes her hand. "Come on, the tub awaits."
"You go on ahead," she says. "Go, you need it."
"Go on, before the water gets too cold."
Timidly, Gabriel gets in the tub, one foot at a time. He's still wearing his hospital bottoms. He slips it out of his legs under the water and holds up the wet clothing. He turns and finds her no longer there. "Hey, where are you?"
"Go ahead, I'll be right there in a moment," says Claire's voice, probably from one of the rooms.
She's going to do something naughty, Gabriel thinks, his heart pounding in his chest. Jesus, she's going to be eye-poppingly awesome.
He tries to relax in the tub, feeling the perfectly warm soapy water caress his flesh. He realizes to his mild horror that he still has that distinct hospital antiseptic smell on him. How embarrassing! What did she think or feel about that? He dips his head in the water, scrubs his shoulder-length hair with the perfumed froth, and kneads the hospital smell off his skin. "I need some silicone brush," he says out loud to no one in particular. "There's this hard-to-reach spot on my back that—"
Gabriel is mildly surprised when someone starts gently scrubbing him on the back. "Oh, that's good," he says, purring like a cat. "God, I missed that." He doesn't look back just to relish this build-up of excitement. Claire must be standing behind him n.a.k.e.d, and she's wordlessly scrubbing his back with what he feels is a silicone brush, perhaps because she wants to surprise him, too. "That feels so good," he m.o.a.ns. Suddenly, the brush is gone and what directly massage his back are her hands. "Wow," he exclaims. "That's surprisingly bold." When the hands reach his shoulders, Gabriel touches it to caress it. "Have you been gardening lately? Your hand feels a bit rough, Claire," he says.
"My name is Dale, sir."
Gabriel's head spins around so fast it's comical. "What in hell are you doing here?"
"Uhh, Claire sent me, sir," Dale stammers. "She said you will need assistance. So I'm here." A pause. "Would you like me to continue, sir?"
"What? No! Get out," he says.
"Are you sure, sir? Because there seems to be a knot of muscle in your back that needs some—"
"I don't care about that f.u.c.k.i.n.g knot or whatever. Just get out, Dale. I don't…Just get out, please, before I lose it."
In Dale's panic, he bows as he leaves. "I'm sorry, sir." He slips out of the bathroom as quietly as he must have come in.
Gabriel abruptly stands up from the tub, like an angry Godzilla, water splashing about the bathroom. He's beet-red in the face. It's embarrassing. How could Claire do that? Water is still dripping all over his body, and there's an island of foam on his head, but he grabs a towel and wraps it around his h.i.p.s, grumbling. When he steps out of the bathroom, he finds Claire laughing like crazy.
"Very funny," he fumes.
Claire is already so red in the face from all that laughing. She's incredibly cute, he thinks, and it would have been a lot better under a different circ.u.mstance. But Gabriel has lost his temper.
"I'm sorry," she giggles, not really sorry. "It was just a prank, Gab. But wasn't it great? I thought you and Dale hit it off instantly."
Gabriel says nothing. He just tightens up the towel around his h.i.p.s, then he marches off without a word, toward the door.
Claire is still laughing, but her laughter slowly fades as she sees Gabriel stomping out of the suite. "I'm sorry. Gab. Gab? Where are you going? You're not dressed!"
But Gabriel doesn't even look back; he goes straight to the elevator lobby. Claire tries to catch up with him, but she arrives just as the elevator doors close. She yells, "Gabriel! That was only a prank!" But he's gone.
Claire catches her breath as she walks back to her suite. Jesus, that was only a prank, she thinks. Sometimes you really don't know what happens next with Gabriel. Others would be mildly amused; they might even find the prank funny, even at the expense of themselves. But it turns out, not so with Gabriel. He's as unpredictable as a hurricane, sometimes. She can't believe he'd walk away like that—wearing nothing but the bathroom towel! Who does something like that? He's really eccentric. Crazy. Yet, sometimes Claire feels like she's probably the only person, aside from Miguel, of course, who truly understands the quirks of Gabriel's personality.
As she steps back into her suite, the phone rings.
"This is the Concierge, Miss Claire. We have spotted a half-n.a.k.e.d Gabriel Tan striding out of the Residence. Should we be concerned? Do we capture him?"
That makes Claire laughs, despite the context. Gabriel is first and foremost their boss, but the Residence's people seem to have begun treating her as their absolute ruler or something. "Please let him be. Is he safe?"
"We believe so, Miss Claire. He is now driving away in his fast car."
"All right. Thank you."
They had planned to spend the day together. Their plan was to have no plan at all. But now, the whole thing's gone. As Claire quietly gets ready for the day—it's still the work week and she's expected at the office, especially with Michelle around—she begins to realize how it was her fault. Gabriel is Gabriel, and she can't change him, anymore. She could have just tried to better understand him. She could have, for instance, actually joined him in the tub. But she had no intention of doing that—they're not yet totally a couple. There are still a lot of gray areas in their so-called relationship. And she had wanted to spend the day with him not to fool around or have s.e.x (she's still a v.i.r.g.i.n, didn't he remember that?) but to talk to him about her fears; how afraid she was when he got sick, what she felt, all the deepest terrors. But like all men, Gabriel tends to think with his smaller head than his big head.
Claire goes through the motions of the morning. She has a light breakfast of sausage and eggs (had she let Gabriel have his way, she could be having a different kind of "sausage and eggs" at this very minute; she giggles at the thought), after which Miss Cassandra's assistant, Ashley, brings in her outfit for the day, complete with a new, clean blond wig. The sight of the knee-length sleeveless pencil dress, complete with a pearl necklace, almost takes her breath away—as always, Miss Cassandra never fails in impressing her. Claire always looks so simple, elegant, yet incredibly s.e.xy in the clothes the stylist makes her wear each day. Ashley even helps her put it on. Fixing the blond wig on her head is the icing on this cake.
"You are beautiful, Miss Claire," Ashley says.
"Thank you," she beams, standing before the full-length mirror. "All thanks to Miss Cassandra."
The phone rings again just before she leaves.
"It's Dale, Madam. Mr. Gabriel's butler is here, says he's supposed to bring to your place Mr. Gabriel's medicine."
"What? But Gabriel left almost an hour ago."
"Should I tell him to bring it instead to Mr. Gabriel's place, then?"
Claire hesitates for a moment. Gabriel could be at the office, which is why she's also going there now. She'll ask for forgiveness over that stupid prank. But only if there's a quiet moment, away from Michelle. But it's also possible that Gabriel would not come to work today. She could bring the medicine to his place. That would be a great chance to say sorry and bond with him. Maybe. "No, Dale. Tell him to leave the meds there with you. I'll get it from you. I'm going down now."
"Are you sure, Miss Claire, because—"
"I'm quite sure. I want to personally bring Gabriel his meds. You know I have an unfinished business with him."
If Dale wants to giggle at what Claire hints at, he does not let her know. He keeps a straight face, a serious voice. "Yes, Madam. Absolutely. Mr. Gabriel's meds will be here when you're ready."