“Good afternoon Donatella, I trust you had a great day at work.” Ehis’s smile greeted me as I entered the restaurant.
I returned the smile and walked towards him. “Good afternoon sir Ehis. Work was fine, and how are you doing yourself?”
“I’ve seen better days my dear.”
“Speaking of better days, can I ask you a personal question?” I gave him my sappy smile.
“Don’t try to bribe me with that sweet smile dear.” He laughed at me. “Just go ahead and ask me your question.”
I cleared my throat and winked at him. “So, I’ve been wondering, why did your nephew take over your position, and what’s your current position here at the restaurant?”
“I’ve been wondering when you’ll ask me that question.” He chuckled silently.
“Oh come on, don’t tell me I’m that predictable.”
“Not particularly. I know you. Anyway, I can only answer the second half of your question.” He leaned over the counter with a smile.
I scowled playfully at him. “But why?”
“Because the first part is not mine to answer. Ask Luke himself. As for the second part, I’m still a manager here. Luke’s job is temporary.”
I groaned while throwing my head back. “You’ve managed to confuse me the more.”
He laughed heartily, opened the barrier for me, and motioned for me to pass through. “He’s waiting for you in his office dear.”
I waved at Ehis and made my way to Luke’s office at the back. He was raging at someone on the phone when I got there, and his back was turned. So, I took the time to listen to what he was talking about.
Damn! That man is good looking.
“… I don’t care what you have to do, even if you have to dance ballet with her, but I want you to get my expansion plans back from that sneaky woman.”
He was silent for a while, listening to whatever the person on the other was saying.
“Look, I have a lot of money riding on this project, I have paid an architectural company, and I have paid publicists, advertisers, and co. If Serena doesn’t want me to bury her body under leaves, tell her to return the plans she stole.”
“Please placate mum. Tell her everything will soon be under control. I’ll call to tell her about my trip this weekend.”
He laughed at something the other person said.
“Yes, it’s with a woman. I am engaged to her. She’s my fiancée, and we are going to meet her family.”
He laughed loudly again.
“Stop that Michael. Of course it’s not real. She’s an amazing lady though. I acted like a dickhead to her, and I’m sure she’ll secretly hate my guts forever. Speaking of which, she’s supposed to be here by now. Uncle Ehis is probably delaying her outside. Let me just check and see if…”
He trailed off as he turned around and saw me standing by the door. I grinned and waved at him.
“Look Michael, I’ll talk to you later. Just go see Serena.”
He ended the call and stared at me for a heartbeat before moving towards me.
“Hi. Donnie. When did you get here?”
He ushered me into a seat and sat beside me.
“Just in time to hear you say how much you love me and how you are willing to die for me.” I winked at him and he laughed.
“You ehn. Let me notify them to bring the food. So, what would you like to eat?” He stood up to use the landline on his desk.
“I’m in the mood for swallow. Can I get pounded yam, efo riro, with lots of fish. I’m not going to pass up a free meal.” I gave him a cheeky smile.
He looked surprised, and he stared at me for a moment before picking up the landline.
“What?” I asked him.
“Nothing. You’re just… unexpected.”
I laughed at that. “Yeah, I hear that a lot.”
He relayed my selection and his to someone, and finally came to sit next to me again.
“So… you look beautiful this afternoon.” He started.
I pretended to be offended. “Are you saying I don’t look beautiful on a normal day?”
He was taken aback and he started apologizing. “What? No, of course not. That wasn’t what I meant. I meant you looked beautiful in a different way from the usual. Not that you don’t usually look beautiful or…”
He stopped talking when he saw me laughing my head off.
“Ha, good one. You got me there.” He joined me in my laughter spree.
Two servers came in with our foods respectively, and they retreated once they had set the trays on the desk. I thanked the two servers and prepared to dig into my food.
We made small talk as we ate, and I honestly enjoyed his company. I laughed more than I’d done that week, and he laughed at basically anything I said or did. After eating, he called the servers again, and they came to pack our used plates.
We started sipping our drinks quietly when he suddenly brought a small box out of his drawer. He came towards me, knelt down beside me and opened the box that contained the most gorgeous ring I’d ever seen.
“Donatella Adegboye, I know we’ve not known each other for long, but I can honestly say you’re the most amazing woman I’ve ever met.”
I started laughing and I interrupted his ridiculous heartfelt speech.
He rolled his eyes with a smile gracing his lips. “Do you mind? I’m trying to propose here.”
“sorry.” I snorted and pretended to be all teary and shocked. “Oh my God Luke.”
He rolled his eyes again, but he continued his speech. “I want to spend the rest of my life with you. So, will you Don Don, say yes to being my wife?”
“Yes baby. Yes.” I pretended to wipe fake tears from my eyes as I stretched my left hand to him.
He laughed, picked up the ring, and slowly slid it on my ring finger. It was almost a perfect fit, but it looked beautiful on my finger nonetheless.
“Do I get an engagement party?” I teased him.
“Anything for you baby.”
“So… I mean no offence, but this ring looks kinda expensive. Please, tell me I didn’t make you spend a fortune for me.”
He stood up from the floor and sat on the chair beside me. “First, you did not make me do anything. Second, my friend, the dumbass heir, sponsored it.”
I laughed when he said dumbass heir. “I’m still mortified that I called your friend a dumbass. What’s his name? And do I get to thank him myself?”
“His name is Imade. He’s always busy, but we can thank him after the weekend.”
I nodded and stared at the ring again. It was really beautiful.
“So, Donnie, how did we meet?” He asked me.
I thought long and hard. “Well… As a chef that you are, and the food lover that I am, we met at your restaurant obviously.”
“So, now we just have to come up with the name of a big hotel that I work for.”
I shook my head. “Nah, this one is okay.”
“But this particular branch is small, and from what you’ve said about your reason for cooking up this scheme, it seems your stepsister might jeer you for bringing a low class chef.”
I shook my head again. “That’s her problem. Who cares about your current profession? When I know you’ll become big soon.”
For the third time that day, he seemed shocked.
“What again?” I asked.
He shook his head. “Nothing. I’m just… never mind. I appreciate your trust in me, but you deserve to win her. So, like I’ve arranged with Imade, I’ll be the head Chef of African Oasis Hotel in Lake Estate.”
It was my turn to be shocked. “The one in Lake Estate? That huge, beautiful, and popular five star hotel? My salary is the cost of a bed for a night there.”
He laughed and shook his head. “Donnie, you’re something else. Trust me, it’s not that impressive.”
“Easy for you to say. You’ve been rolling around with the owner of the hotel.”
He only smiled mysteriously.
Who knew I could actually enjoy spending time with Luke of all people?