Author's Note: Hi! I'm back to writing again. Sorry if I had been on hiatus for a while but I promise that I'll update especially on this one. Please read and leave a review. Thanks a lot! :D
Chapter 1: Not Expecting You
It was a hot Monday morning for Rika. Despite the pleasure she should feel, she was now rushing towards her office. Her long hair was tied into a ponytail but her bangs had been damp already because she had been sweating while running. She was also wearing a white long-sleeved blouse that extended to her elbows, a black skirt along with a pair of black flat shoes and she was certainly late for work today because she met traffic on the way.
Oh great! I'm so late! And today's Monday! For sure, I'd get a blab from Takara! Rika thought nervously. Of all the supervisors I could ever have, why would it be her?! I'll be lucky if I don't receive a single word from her especially today!
Unfortunately, Rika arrived in the office a minute passed after nine. Rika already knew that she was definitely in for a punishment.
Arrgggghhhhh! Someday, I'll buy my own car so I won't be late like today! Rika thought miserably as she fixed her face and bangs.
"You're late, Rika!" a male employee named Masato said. He had been hitting on Rika for the past few months already.
"Sorry, Masato. I got caught up in the traffic…" Rika explained.
Masato was working in the same department as Rika. He also belonged in the financing department but he was under a different team.
"Oh… Is that so? Anyway, I was wondering if we could go out later tonight, Rika…" Masato offered.
"I can't… I have to go home early…" Rika said, dully. For the nth time, I have been using this excuse. Good thing he didn't catch on!
"Come on, Rika… I only ask you sometimes!" Masato insisted.
Rika raised an eyebrow. Sometimes? He always asks me almost every day! She thought. When will he stop?
In Rika's opinion, Masato was somehow handsome, kind and patient. But for Rika, nothing looked better than her "ex-husband" Henry, as far as she hated to admit.
Sorry, Masato but I really can't allow you… I don't want you to hope for nothing… Rika thought. "I'm sorry but I'm really not available today… Maybe next time will do…"
"Okay!" Masato said cheerfully and left for his worktable.
Rika shook her head, sat down and turned the computer on. She began to scan for some probable things to do.
"Hey, Rika! Have you heard the news?" a girl named Aimi Natsuke said to Rika.
"What news?" Rika asked, taken aback.
"You haven't heard that this company has a new owner?" Aimi asked, surprised because Rika seemed to know nothing at all.
"Yeah, I heard…" Rika said dully.
"And Sir Henry will be visiting the departments today!" Aimi continued. "Isn't that exciting?!"
Rika flinched at the mention of Henry. Her eyes even grew wider at the thought of him being her employer. She began to cough violently.
"What?! Sir Henry?!" Rika asked, very much surprised.
"Yeah!" Aimi answered.
Rika turned pale. Henry?! My boss?! What on earth?! How could this be possible?! And how come he had the ability to buy this company?
Aimi sensed that Rika did not speak after she said the new employer's last name. "Uh… Rika? You okay?" she asked.
"Uh… Yeah… Why?" Rika said to Aimi after recovering from her own shock.
"You seemed to be quiet after hearing his name. Well, anyway, as I was saying, he's kinda handsome and charming! Oh, how I wish he could ask me out someday!" Aimi said dreamily.
"You're such a baka, Natsuke. He must be married! How old was he anyway?" Rika protested, but she chuckled because she almost spilled Henry's secret.
"Oh no, Rika! He's only twenty-five!" Aimi corrected.
"Really?" Rika replied deviously.
"Yeah! I'm right! If you drooled over our boss, you owe me a yen, Rika!" Aimi smirked.
"Baka!" Rika answered back.
Aimi then shrugged and returned to her own worktable. Just as Rika was about to begin, Rika heard Miss Matsumoto speak up.
"Girls, the new owner will drop by here. Fix everything before he arrives. We need everything to be spic-and-span!" Miss Takara Matsumoto instructed with a slight glare.
"Yes, Ma'am!" Rika and the other ladies said in unison.
"And you, Rika…" Miss Matsumoto said to Rika sternly. "You're late again. This is the second time you've been late for work! You have to straighten your attendance in order for you to continue working here!"
"Yes, Ma'am… It won't happen again…" Rika said politely but it was definitely for show. Bitch.
"Just make sure IT WON'T HAPPEN AGAIN, Rika!" Miss Matsumoto continued before returning to her workplace.
Just make sure it won't happen again, Rika! Rika repeated in her mind. Look who's talking here, Takara! You're the one who's been setting the GOOD example! Being punctual, huh?
Two hours had passed before the boss arrived. He went through the offices which were located in the first and second floors. Rika's office was located in the third floor.
"Girls, Sir Henry's already here. Observe proper manners, okay?" Miss Matsumoto said.
"Yes, Ma'am…" Rika and the other girls said in a monotonic voice.
"Why the hell are you answering like that? But please, if Sir Henry talks to you, use a more sensible tone in talking, alright?" Miss Matsumoto scolded the girls.
Rika was already desensitized to Miss Matsumoto's scolding. But inside her mind was the possibility of her being Henry's so-called slave inside the company.
Will he fire us one by one if we had a cold and we used that voice? Anyway, that little Miss Perfect knows how to act surly when not in front of the division heads!
The new boss spent a few moments in the other room first where the other team worked. That was also the place where Masato belonged.
Eventually, the new boss or also known as Henry Wong entered the territory where Rika belonged.
"Good morning…" Henry greeted.
Henry was wearing a formal attire that was composed of a black coat and tie as well as a pair of slacks. His midnight blue hair was slightly laid to the side and his grey eyes were somehow sparkling and it tantalized almost all of the ladies inside the room.
"Good morning…" the employees returned.
Rika saw Aimi who got struck by Henry. Aimi's table was facing the door so she immediately can see who was going in and out of the office. While Rika's table was facing away from the door so she did not see who was coming.
She could also see that her supervisor, Miss Matsumoto, did not say anything. The latter had a poker face and Rika could not help but laugh at Miss Matsumoto's appearance.
While Rika took a closer look, her right hand slowly made its way to her face. She covered her mouth which was already agape.
Oh my gosh. I don't know what to do! Rika, this is just a dream! Rika thought as her mind mentally panicked as she saw the one she considered as her "ex-husband". THIS IS JUST A DREAM!
Rika confirmed that it was definitely not a dream when she heard Henry speak up.
"Hi! Who's the supervisor here?" she heard him ask.
Oh well… It's just reality… Rika concluded and removed her hand.
Eventually, she saw Miss Matsumoto approached Henry and introduced herself.
"I'm the supervisor, Sir Henry. I'm Miss Takara Matsumoto!" the supervisor replied, who also emphasized the word "Miss" and extended her right hand.
How foolish of my superior to flirt with Henry! She's even older than him! Rika thought. What a real flirt!
Rika's trail of thoughts was broken when she heard Henry speak up again.
"Hi, Miss Matsumoto! I can see that you only have three staff here," Henry said as he finished shaking the hand of Miss Matsumoto.
"Just call me Takara, Sir…" Miss Matsumoto said dreamily. "Yes, Sir. I only have three staff because we're only doing the records of finances. It's not that hard unlike in the Posting Team."
"Alright. If that's the case, I'd better get going. I just want to know my employees since I just purchased the company," Henry replied plainly.
"By the way, welcome to the company, Sir!" Miss Matsumoto added.
Rika could sense a feeling of longing coming from Henry's eyes but she shrugged off the thought. She could see Henry turning away from them and she gave a sigh of relief after that.
When he was completely out of sight, Aimi began screaming giddily.
"Oh my gosh! He's so handsome!" Aimi said to Rika.
"I know right, sister!" Sakura Yamamoto, Rika's other teammate, said. She noticed that Rika did not speak after Aimi began. "Hey, Rika! Why did you become so quiet all of a sudden? Were you struck by Sir Henry too?"
"Okay! Rika owes me a yen!" Aimi chuckled.
"Why? Is he handsome?" Rika answered nonchalantly. "He looks only neat to suit me!"
"Rika, you're such a tomboy! Don't tell me that you're not struck by that handsome young man!" Sakura chided.
I'm not really struck. It's really a small world after all… Rika thought. And until now, I can't believe that my boss is my estranged husband!
"Alright! Let's return to work! We'll probably not earn a thing even our boss is as handsome as what you think!" Miss Matsumoto replied. "But he's handsome, isn't he?"
What are these girls? Thinking that the one they're talking about is as handsome as a god! But actually, he did look more handsome and he definitely changed a lot today.
Because of that, Rika searched for the picture of her and Henry in her wallet after seeing him earlier. The picture was taken during her "wedding" with him. She remembered the event that changed her life almost three years ago.
Well, how did everything began? Actually, Henry and I used to be friends. But that changed when he made me as his wife so that he could get the inheritance he had been waiting from his family.
She looked at the image of Henry intently. For her, Henry changed a lot. But she still continued her reminiscing.
Henry was also holding a part of the Wong family business at that time but it did not belong to him totally. There was a condition that in order for Henry to acquire everything, he would have to marry someone. But that someone happened to be me and that marriage was only a ploy for his family.
After that, Rika decided to keep the picture back into her wallet. It was the only proof of her current secret so she tried her best to hide it.
Also that time, according to Mr. Wong, everything will be put to charity if Henry doesn't get married. So in order to save his family business, he married me. Well, I didn't take the marriage seriously because we also had an agreement. NO STRINGS ATTACHED. Meaning, no one will fall in love at the course of the marriage.
Rika's thoughts were badly ruined by Miss Matsumoto.
"Rika, can you please bring this to Mika so these papers will be sent to Sir Henry?" Miss Matsumoto instructed.
My thoughts are now at great timing! All about Henry! Well at least I won't be the one to send this to Henry! Rika thought sarcastically. "Okay. Let me have them!" she said.
Miss Matsumoto placed a folder of papers on Rika's desk. Rika's eyes only went wide at what happened.
"Make sure that these papers will reach Sir Henry, okay?" Miss Matsumoto insisted firmly.
"Okay okay! No need to repeat everything!" Rika said and eventually stood up from her chair and whispered. "Bitch…"
With that, Rika brought the folder to the office of Henry which was located at the fifth floor.
How stupid of me to accept it! Rika thought again. Now I can't even think of everything right because Henry and I are now working at the same roof!
Rika's thoughts were running already far away when she heard the elevator sound. She grunted and slowly made her way towards the office of her "ex-husband", as she proudly calls. But she had to pass through Mika's desk in order for the papers to get signed.
When Rika reached Mika's desk, she found the woman talking to someone on the phone.
"Hey, Mika! These papers are needed to be sent to Henry!" Rika said. "It's from the Financing Department…"
"Oh… I'm sorry but I'm on an urgent phone call right now. Why don't you bring them to Sir Henry? Hope you won't mind!" Mika said. "Anyway, I already phoned the boss after Miss Matsumoto said that she would send some papers that needed his signature…"
Though she was thankful that Miss Matsumoto informed Mika about her sending some documents, Rika became aghast. She would bring it to Henry's office?!
What the hell? Maybe fate is setting me up to really meet Henry! Rika thought. I just hope nothing happens here!
When Mika looked at Rika, she was startled.
"Are you okay, Rika?" Mika said, noticing that Rika looked at somewhere else.
"Yeah! I'm fine… Just had lack of sleep…" Rika lied.
"Okay… Anyway, all you have to do is to drop the papers and you can go…" Mika instructed.
Rika was holding the folder but she was already developing some complicated thoughts in her head.
Oh man. I'm so unlucky today! First, I was late. And second, I'm really going to face him! Rika thought to herself. Aaargh! I wonder what he'll say to me if he asks me about the past. Hmmph! Stop yourself, Nonaka! Just play cool!
When Rika was on her way, she saw Henry's office which was white and had only the necessary things. She was aghast when she saw his name plate that stood on the top of his desk.
He's indeed my boss… Rika concluded. And it hurts!
She saw Henry somehow typing some reports in his laptop. Rika then mentally slapped herself because she had to use her polite mode when talking to her superiors. Henry was very busy and that was the reason why he did not feel Rika's presence.
Oh well. Here goes nothing! Rika thought. "Uhm… Sir Henry? Where am I going to place these papers?" she eventually asked.
Henry was surprised and looked at Rika intently. Rika could sense the shock that Henry felt because she was sure that he did not expect her to bring the files to him.
"Just put them over there…" Henry instructed Rika monotonously, pointing a vacant space that was near a bookshelf.
When Rika placed the papers on the vacant space, she felt a need to talk to him. But her mind was quarreling over the other part so she stalled in front of Henry's desk.
Henry felt Rika did not leave yet. He then looked at her intently.
"Do you need anything, Miss Nonaka?" Henry asked sternly, emphasizing Rika's maiden name.
Rika was speechless for a moment. She was actually a bit surprised at Henry's tone as well as his emphasizing her maiden name earlier. She did not move further because of that.
"Hey, you need anything?!" Henry asked again after he saw Rika stalled in front of him.
"No, Sir. Thank you, Sir… I'm going to leave now…" Rika said. Okay, Nonaka. You did your part and now you can go!
Rika then opened the door and went outside as quietly as she can. She walked as fast as she can so that she would forget that she went inside Henry's office and mumbled a couple of words to each other.
I'm so glad he didn't care to lift the past between us! I don't even know what to answer if that happens! Rika thought. But the Miss Nonaka thing? Wonder what's on his mind right now!
Meanwhile, back in Henry's office, Henry began to ponder on what happened in his office a while ago.
Funny because after almost three years, you finally met up with the one who broke your heart, Henry! I still can't forgive her for leaving me… But, today she still looked beautiful.
With that, Henry's eyes diverted to his picture frame. It was the picture where he and Rika made the biggest lie they could have possibly done: their "wedding".
I wonder how she is right now. She still looks fine. The company had been giving her a high salary… Where could she be living right now? Aww. What the heck? Why am I thinking of her? Well, Henry, that's because you're in love with her… Nice job of breaking the rule, Henry… No strings attached. But that was almost three years ago.
Henry realized that almost three years had passed since he and Rika made that show for his parents. With that, he returned to his work but his focus was still about Rika.
But almost three years had made a difference for us, Rika. I just hope that things will still be the same for us, even if we're only married by law and papers. Wait a minute, what if… Hmm…
Henry suddenly had an idea. In order to get Rika's identity inside his new firm, he decided to call the ones who held the records of the past and present employees.
"Hello? Miss Etsuko? Do you have the records of a certain Rika Nonaka who works here in our firm?!" Henry called.
"I'll try and check, Mr. Wong!" the woman in the other line replied.
"Please do so!" Henry instructed. "If you found anything, just please let me know…"
Henry was still preoccupied with Rika. After all, she was his "wife" and they will be already reaching their third anniversary soon.
After a few minutes, the one Henry phoned earlier called.
"Sir, we don't have a Rika Nonaka here…" Etsuko replied. "Are you sure she's working here?"
"Hmm…" Henry contemplated. If Rika didn't use her maiden name, what did she use?
"Sir? Are you still there?" the caller asked, sensing that Henry did not speak for almost two minutes.
"Yeah… I'm still here… Uh… Why don't you check a Rika Wong here?" Henry asked, taking the possibility that Rika used his last name.
"Okay, Sir!" the caller said.
Then the caller went off for several minutes. Henry scratched his head while waiting.
"Sir…" the caller returned. "We have here a Rika Wong who's currently under the supervision of Takara Matsumoto…"
"Okay then… Can you bring her records to me immediately?" Henry added.
"Yes, Sir…" the caller said. "I'll have it sent right away!"
"Thank you!" Henry said good-naturedly.
After Henry dropped the phone, he began chuckling to himself.
Rika Wong… You're still definitely my wife… Henry thought. And that's funny because you're also my subordinate!
A couple of minutes later, Henry's secretary came inside the door.
"Sir Henry?" the secretary said and handed Rika's documents to Henry. "Here are the documents of Rika Wong that you requested from Miss Etsuko…"
"Thank you, Mika!" Henry said after reaching for them.
"Do you need anything more, Sir?" Mika asked.
"No, no, I'm fine. Thank you!" Henry said pleasantly. "You may now go…"
Meanwhile, as Rika was approaching her table, she met Miss Matsumoto who was almost fuming in anger because Rika just showed up.
"What took you so long, Rika?!" Miss Matsumoto asked Rika.
"Uh… I was the one who brought in the files to Sir Henry…" Rika explained.
When Miss Matsumoto heard Henry's name, her eyes began to twinkle.
"Is that so?" Miss Matsumoto asked flirtatiously.
Why are you acting like a teenager, Ma'am Matsumoto? Rika thought dryly. "Yeah, it was…"
Rika eventually returned to her worktable. But she found herself unable to concentrate because of what occurred inside Henry's office earlier.
I'm so glad that this job is not rushed. It can last even tomorrow! Rika thought. Aaarrrgh! I can't even focus because of him! My job's the one which'll be affected here!
After an hour, Rika only finished one-fourth of her task. It was a good thing that her supervisor was not roaming around to see if she finished already.
What a productive day, Rika Nonaka! Rika thought as she placed her head on her desk. Now you can't even think right!
Rika eventually fixed her things and settled for leaving her office.
Uhhhh! Finally, I can go home! Rika thought. I need to talk to Jeri! I wish she's already there…
Rika then hailed a taxi and got inside it. She eventually started her journey home.