Play Hard Game (Episode 3)

E

Present Time

Emmanuel Patrick stood up behind his desk when
his sister, Josephine entered his Lekki Phase 2 Office
on Monday morning. He was the Executive
Vice President of Patrick International
Holding Corporation, a multi-billion world
shipping company and recently joined the
global chain of luxury hotels, resorts,
casinos and restaurants. Since he earned his
Business Administration degree at
University Of Lagos, he devoted his time in their
family business, making it more profitable
and competitive around the Globe.
“You are late.” Emmanuel said firmly while
looking at the antique wall clock.
“No, I’m not.” Josephine frowned at her brother,
following his eyes, then, looked at her Gucci
watch. “Your clock is fifteen minutes
advance.”
He laughed and went to her side. “I always
enjoy teasing you. You immediately react,
like a scared mouse.” He hugged and kissed
her cheek, then playfully rumpled her hair.
“Emmanuel, no! You are messing my hair.”
“HAHA! I miss doing this to you.” He looked
at his sister adoringly.
“That’s because you seldom go home since
you bought your new mansion.”
“A man needs privacy sometimes, little
sis.”
“I understand, and please… will you stop
calling me little sis, I’m a grown-up woman
now, okay?”
Emmanuel sneered at her and said. “Okay, as you
wish… but you are always my little sister,
it’s my job to protect you.”
“I’m twenty one not eleven years old. Stop
protecting me Emmanuel, you are even more
protective than dad.”
“I just don’t want you getting hurt by
anyone, by men in particular.” He shrugged
and continued. “You are always so fragile,
naive and seem so… weak.”
“Weak?!”
“Yes, weak when it comes to men.”
“No, I’m not!”
“Yes you are.” He sat down on the couch
and patted the space beside him. “I heard
you are seriously dating. Is that true?”
Josephine smiled and sat down beside him.
“Yes. His name is Collins Micheal and he is
an artist.”
“A striving artist. Tsk.. tsk.. You should be
careful in going out with men like that. They
are extremely introverts and have idealistic
minds.”
“I know what you are trying to say, he is not
weird okay?”
He smirked. “I’m sure he knows that your
family is extremely rich. He could be an
opportunist.”
“Oh Emmanuel, Collins is different. You are just
like dad, both of you said the same thing.
Just trust me.”
“Well, I don’t trust him.” He shook his head.
Josephine sighed and put her arms together.
“You will like Collins once you’ll get to know
him.”
He grinned and shrugged. “Come, I’ll walk
you to your new office, then we can start
discussing the interior designs of our new
luxury hotel in Abuja.”
Josephine suddenly felt so excited at the same
time nervous. Nervous because, the new
hotel would be the world’s most luxurious
and grandest hotel and she would be
designing its entire interior. Another thing
was that, the hotel was a joint venture of
Patrick International Holdings Corporation
and Mensah Land Group Incorporated. She
was not against of the merger, only the
thought of meeting Sami Mensah again in
the process of decorating the hotel. She still
hated him for what he did to her five years
ago.“Is it done already?” She asked her brother.
“Almost. The building was ninety percent
done and our engineers are doing their best
to finish it in three months, in time for
summer.”
“So, it is ready for furnishing.”
“Yes, most of the rooms are ready. That’s
why we need to talk and schedule your trip
there.”
“Well, I’m excited to start on it.”
“You should be. This is your first project.”
He smiled at her. “Make us proud of you
work, little sis.”
“I’ll do my very best, big brother.” Josephine
said feeling so proud. She just graduated
the degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts in
Interior Design at Ibadan (University Of Ibadan). Now, she was ready to
practice her degree and assume a role in
their family business.
Later in Josephine’s new office, Eros showed her
the blue print of their new hotel. “This will
be the world’s most luxurious five-star hotel
and beach resort. So we are expecting you
to decorate world class interior designs.”
“Of course. Every design should be unique
and a masterpiece.”
“Yes. Remember, we only have three
months before the opening of the hotel.”
“Three months?”
Emmanuel chuckled. “I told you little sis, in time
for summer.” He touched her shoulder and
tapped it slowly. “You can do it, just
consider this as a big challenge in your
novice career.”
“Well, I don’t want to waste more time. I
have to be there in Abuja as soon as
possible.”
“Yes, you should.” Emma agreed.


Two days after, Josephine was aboard the
Patrick jet plane flying to Abuja
together with her two male assistants. She
was so eager to start with the project that
she already made prospective interior
designs for the hotel; the wall colors,
window treatments, mouldings, ceiling
designs, lights, curtains, carpets, beds,
pillow patterns, etc. She went beyond
cosmetic concerns to ensure that a space
would feel harmonious through and through,
from its floor plan and architectural
envelope to the last nail head, tassel and
tuft.
The moment they arrived at the new hotel,
it was already dusk. One of the project
engineers, Engr. Van Louis showed them
some part of the hotel and gave them the
details of the project.
Construction was still going on, dust were
scattered everywhere. Tiles, paints, electric
wires, cements and other construction
materials were on the floor. The whole
building even smelled of paint. All rooms
were barren, even the lobby was free of
furniture or fixtures.
Bunkhouses were made for the workers,
employees and engineers. It was located
near the hotel beach. Josephine and her staffs,
Bola and Rasheed were introduced to them.
She realized she was the only female in
there.
A special dinner was set at the beach. They
continued discussing the status of the
construction and the interior designs she
planned in decorating the hotel. After
dinner, Josephine decided to retire early. She
was so tired after two nights of not sleeping
well, planning, making designs and layouts
for the hotel.
She left her staffs, Bola and Rasheed. They
would be staying at the bunkhouse with the
project engineers.
A young male employee, Peter showed her to
her room. “Miss Patrick’s, you will be
staying at the loft 5Stars. Your luggage
is already there.”
“Thank you, Peter. Is it fully furnished?”
“Yes. Mr. Mensah made sure of that. The
5Stars is a 2,000-square-foot, multilevel
stunner, features a floating glass staircase,
two bedrooms, Jacuzzi, full kitchen with
Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances, dining and
living rooms, and a 600-square-foot private
roof terrace overlooking Abuja artificial Beach.”
Josephine wanted to ask if he was referring to
the older or younger Mensah. Most
probably to the older one, Mr. Atsu
Mensah, Sami’s father. But she decided to
set aside her curiosity. She was so tired
after the six-hour plane travel and wanted
so badly to relax.
She was so relieved when she entered the
5Stars. It was indeed fully furnished and
beautifully decorated.
“Do you like it Miss Patrick?” Peter asked
her.
“Very much.”
“If you need help, there’s an intercom that
connects you to the bunkhouse.” Peter said
pointing to the intercom near the main door.
“Okay thanks. Well, I’m so tired. Goodnight
Peter.”
“Goodnight Miss.”
The moment Josephine was alone she studied
the furniture and interior designs of the
penthouse. She ascended the floating glass
staircase and inspected each bedroom. The
master room was very homey with a big
Jacuzzi hot tub on it. ‘I’m going to sleep
here.’ She thought.
The Jacuzzi was so tempting that she
suddenly longed to have a relaxing soak in
nice, warm water. She felt so sticky and
itchy after being exposed to the
construction site but her luggage was still
downstairs. She forgot to ask Luis to carry it
upstairs. It was a bit heavy because she
brought her sample textiles, wood and tiles
swatches and other materials. She brought
a few dresses since she decided to stay for
at least a week only. ‘I’ll just carry it later.’
She said to herself.
At that moment, she wanted to enjoy a nice
bath and couldn’t wait to get into the tub.
She turned the Jacuzzi on and went to the
master bedroom to undress. Standing naked
in front of a mirror, she twisted her hair in a
bun and secured it firmly with a rubber
band.
Like a child, feeling so young and carefree,
Josephine ran to the Jacuzzi and settled herself
into it. She enjoyed the water jet movement
massaging her back. It eased the stiffness
and tension she felt after her long travel.
She leaned her head in the pearl tile and
closed her eyes, feeling the pressure of the
water on her back.
She must have dozed off because she was
dreaming… of a man. She couldn’t figure
out who he is, but he looked so confident,
tall and so strong. He exuded power and
magnificence. He slowly pushed open the
door. In the dim light, he saw her form lying
on the tub. Slowly but surely he approached
the tub.
He looked down at her, looking so young
and beautiful and unbelievably naked in the
water. He stood looking at her for several
minutes; then he bent over and kissed her
on the lips.
She stirred, her eyelids fluttered; then she
opened her eyes and saw the same
eyes of the man who hurt her five years
ago.
“Sami?”
“Nice to see you again, Josephine.” He smiled
and stood up.

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