Rachel’s Sweet Surrender chapter 5

Chapter 5

GOING somewhere?”

Rachel could recognize that voice even without looking at the speaker. She accelerated her pace even more. She thought that with the crowd, cars, and shops scattered along the sidewalk of Quiapo Market, she could lead the man astray. But she was wrong.

“Rachel.”

“Leave me alone, Melvin.”

“So, you are really running away from me.”

She stopped dead on her tracks. Melvin bumped her from behind.

“Sorry.”

Then she turned to him. “I’m not running away. Did you see me running?”

“No. It’s just that you’re walking so fast I thought—”

“This is how I normally walk. Fast. Because I’m in the middle of the crowded and noisy place of Quiapo.”

“I can see that. So, what are you doing here anyway?”

She was caught off guard with his question. She was quietly and peacefully searching that street of Quiapo where pirated CDs and VCDs were scattered when he suddenly appeared behind her. And now he had the guts to ask her that?

“How about you, what are you doing here?” she asked back.

He was squinting at the blinding lights of the mid-afternoon sun. His cheeks had a slight pinkish coloring in them, probably due to the summer heat. Gorgeous.

“I just purchased some local handicrafts for my business,” Melvin simply answered. “Your turn.”

“To what?”

“To answer my question.” He emphasized his every word. “What are you doing here?”

Doesn’t he even feel awkward when she’s near him? After what happened to them when they were… Never mind. Well, if he’s not awkward around her, then there was no reason why she should show he was making her uncomfortable. She was tough.

“I’m going to buy my collections.”

“Where?”

“Here?” she sarcastically replied before passing by him. Melvin followed. “You’re probably not trying to follow me anywhere I go, right?”

“Me? Oh, no. Of course, I’m not following you.” Then he simply looked at the pirated CDs displayed on the sidewalk. “Hmm, they already have a copy of this here.”

Even though she doesn’t want to admit it, she still could not control her heart from being giddy because of what the man was doing. He was obviously following her.

“There are animé CDs on the third floor of that building,” she said while pointing to a three-storey building. “Would you like to look around there, too?”

Melvin quickly left the CDs he was pretending to look at and smiled as he followed her.

“I can’t believe you’re still addicted to animé,” he said as they went up to the third floor. “I still remember when we were in high school, you’ve cut classes many times just to watch Voltes V.”

“Excuse me, I’ve never cut classes even once. I just left school immediately after our classes ended.”

“Oh, yeah. You were always the first high school student to leave the school. Didn’t our school give you a medal for that?”

“Do you want me to push you down the stairs?” Melvin just laughed. “Right, go ahead and make your day.”

He kept quiet but a smile never left his handsome face and sparkling eyes. She could feel her system calming down. It was the first time she had felt like that since the first day they reunited at the Gundam Lands office.

The third floor of that building was crowded and hot. The small space in the middle of the hallway is barely passable due to the stack of pirated CDs displayed there. She never patronized buying pirated movies. All she really wanted there were copies of her favorite animés that she was having a hard time finding in malls and authorized outlets.

They arrived at the far end of the third floor where the stall she often buys from was located. She was immediately given copies of the newly released animé series in Japan, the country from which all animé shows originated.

“Oh, what is that?” She looked at the three boxes lined up on the floor. There were also animated CDs inside it which are still disorganized.

“Only ten pesos each, Ma’am,” the salesperson said. “It’s because we haven’t fixed their containers yet.”

“Ten pesos?” She immediately sprawled on the floor and searched. Melvin sat down next to her. “Find me copies of Naruto episode thirteen up to the last episode you could find.”

“Okay.”

Rachel couldn’t help but secretly glimpse at her side from time to time as she rummaged through the piles of CDs. Melvin was probably over six feet tall, with an obvious air of wealth. And he was sitting beside her, flipping through stacks of dusty CDs. Not even in a dream, could she think that a day would come when he would be with her like that, especially in such a place.

“What?” Melvin smilingly asked as he noticed she was staring at him.

“H-huh?” She suddenly turned her attention back to searching among the boxes in front of her. “Nothing. I-I just thought that you shouldn’t be here.”

“And why is that?”

“You are not suitable in this kind of place. Look at you, you’re even wearing a suit. I will not be surprised if your wallet is no longer in your pants pocket.”

His hand automatically landed in the back pocket of his slacks. “Uh-oh. My wallet is gone.”

“What?!” Should she feel sorry for this man’s stupidity? “My goodness, Melvin! Just go home—”

Suddenly the people around them were in a commotion. The noise of people outside that building could also be heard from the nearby window.

“What’s happening?” she asked.

“Raid!” they heard someone shout from the lower floor. “There’s a raid! There’s a raid!”

Melvin quickly stood up and pulled her away so they could get out immediately. But with the narrowness of the passage and a few others who were also ascending on that floor to hide perhaps at the same time, they could no longer sneak out. They went straight to the fire exit but people were ascending even there. They heard gunshots moments later. They also noticed uniformed policemen going up the floor.

They will definitely be jailed once the police caught them. Melvin carefully pushed her into a small, narrow gap between the stalls there. He also pulled the cloth covering the cardboard CDs and VCDs so that they could be permanently hidden among the chaos. It was hot, dark, tight, and the possibility of them being caught was too big. But she no longer bothered with those things anymore. He had wrapped his arms securely around her she could feel the steady beating of his heart. Inadvertently, her chest pounded as loud as those outside the commotion. She had never been this close to him, in the dark or in the light of the day. And she didn’t know what the heck to do!

“Rachel,” she heard him whisper, calling her name.

“Yes?” she also asked in a whisper.

She could breathe in his minty fresh breath. Even though she could not see much of his face, she knew that their faces were just a distance away from each other. Thank goodness for the dark!

“Was that true?”

“What?”

“About your proposal. Were you really serious about marrying me?”

She was nearly choked by his question. How could he even choose this moment to discuss that matter? Her heart was hammering like crazy! She could have grabbed his beautiful hair hadn’t she worried that they might get noticed in their hiding place.

“O-of course not!” She was almost hissing.

“Ah. I thought so.”

Is it true that she can hear a hint of regret in his voice? “I’m sorry. I don’t know what happened to me that day and all of a sudden I just said those things. I’m really sorry.”

“Okay.” For a moment, Melvin didn’t say anything. “Damn!”

“Now what?”

“I already ordered a tuxedo.”

“What?!”

“Kidding.”

Melvin impishly laughed which caused him a slap on the chest from her. “Don’t be noisy!”

But instead of stopping, the freaking guy laughed even further. His shoulders are even shaking. She couldn’t do anything because she could feel his warm breath on her neck. Damn! When suddenly, they were dazzled by the light when the cloth that was covering them was unexpectedly lifted.

“Hey! You two, get out of there!” a police officer ordered. “You can continue whatever you’re doing at the precinct.”

***

MELVIN is happily observing the two families who are currently enjoying the large pool of Rancho Estate Village. Calvin and Lenard were watching their own families from their table. Ever since he got a house in the said village, he thought that it was probably the most perfect place for people who want a quiet family life. The people were friendly and concerned about each other. The children were smart and had a healthy sense of social values. He also thought that once he tried to settle down, that is the best place to choose.

“Bro, I heard that you’re caught by the police in Quiapo with a woman.”

He turned to Marx. Like him, he also became an official resident of Rancho Estate just last month. He was her schoolmate when they were still in high school. In fact, Marx Javellana was his batch’s corps commander.

The world is really small. His cousin Ylac and another Rancho resident, Ethan, were also there.

“How did you know that?”

“I told my wife,” Calvin answered, the young air force general was the one who bailed Rachel and him out of the precinct without any case. “Apparently, Leira told Pretzel about it. And knowing Pretzel, she also probably recounted what happened to everyone who stepped into her clinic. ”

“Damn!” Melvin exclaimed.

Pretzel was the village’s official vet and the wife of Alec, the homeowners’ president. Unfortunately, she was also the most talkative of all the people he probably had met.

“You know what, cous’,” Ylac said, smirking. “If you ever have a secret you want to keep, never mention them when the seven executioners of this village are just around the corner.”

“What do you mean?”

“Pretzel and Leira are best buds,” Lenard answered. “Including my wife May, Thad’s wife Lani, Byron’s wife Rhome, Dwight’s wife Chela, and Tanner’s wife Dallas.” (TN: This group of couples has another series too.)

“Never mess up with any of them,” Ethan jokingly warned him. “Well, actually, never mess up with any of the women here. If you still want to live peacefully in the world. Right, guys?” He turned to Lenard and Calvin who immediately nodded.

“Kinda like your women, huh?” Melvin said.

“Oh, that group of friends is even scarier.”

“I really hate to think what will happen in this place when you get married to those women,” Marx said. “Well, after all, that is still a long way off. How many more are left unattached to them? Three?”

“Two,” Lenard answered. “I heard from Lani that her cousin has also proposed to one of the three remaining singles of them.”

(TN: I don’t remember if it was also mentioned in this novel but Rachel’s group of friends all agreed that none of them would get married unless they all find the one for them which is, I’m not sure if loyalty to friends or plain stupidity.)

“And I heard our beloved Doctor Raizen’s doing a great job taking care of Jereth’s broken heart.” Then his cousin turned to him. There was a glint of teasing in his eyes. “And you, my dear cousin, who was that again you were making out with in that dingy Quiapo building?”

“Shut up, Ylac. I didn’t make out with Rachel back there.”

They all simultaneously exclaimed- “ooohh!” before finally laughing out loud. He just shook his head. The only drawback living in that village was that one could never keep a secret, even from the men themselves. He just let them make a noise when Marx suddenly chatted.

“Hey, guys, did you know that Melvin and Rachel have a ‘past’? They’re the campus’ hottest couple when we were in high school.”

He lightly hit Marx, “You’re saying nonsense again.”

“Well, it’s true, right?”

“I never courted Rachel. So, technically, we were never a couple.”

“Oh, yeah. That’s exactly what I was wondering. Why didn’t you court her? It was too obvious that she liked you before.”

He noticed that their companions were now paying close attention to him. He could just sigh. He thought that only women love to gossip.

“Because I thought you had a thing for her,” he answered.

Everyone turned their attention to Marx who, after a few minutes, laughed out loud. Something seemed to flicker the bridge of his nose.

“Don’t make fun of Rachel, Marx,” he warned. “Otherwise, you’ll get the best of me.”

Marx’s face was already red when he finally seemed to come to his senses. But his impish laughs still lingered.

“Did you think I used to like Rachel before?” Marx asked. “Oh, man! I never fall for non-human beings, you dimwit!”

He sat up straight on his seat. He could already feel the grinding of his jaws and the clenching of his fists. The other men felt the tension building up and tried to calm the situation. But the both of them didn’t heed. Marx continued on his sniggering and he kept glaring at him.

“What do you mean, Marx?”

“What? That it’s impossible for me to fall for someone like Rachel? It’s true.”

“Marx, that’s enough,” Lenard rebuked.

But the person in front of them seemed to hear nothing. “Rachel is not a girl, okay? Because any normal girl would admire me in some way—”

Marx couldn’t finish what he was going to say when Melvin suddenly grabbed him. They go straight to the wide swimming pool. The children bathing there shrieked in shock while their mothers were just watching and wondering. He intended to just drown Marx into the pool but the guy was also strong and was able to compete with him in strength. And because they were in the water, they both ran out of energy quickly.

“Ouch!” Marx complained when his punch hit him. Consecutive profane words came out of his mouth.

“Marx!” May shouted angrily. “If I hear you swear in front of the children one more time, I will pull out that tongue.”

But Marx just ignored Lenard’s wife. They were both gasping for breath when they filed their arms into the gutter of the swimming pool.

“Once I hear you insulting Rachel again, I will beat you again, Marx. Remember that,” he threatened.

“Yes, yes. I understand. Why don’t you also invite her to our high school reunion on Saturday? Better yet, ask her to marry you so that your head doesn’t boil for nothing anymore.” Marx gasped when he touched his cheek that was hit by Melvin’s punch. “Damn it, Melvin! Do you really have to damage my beauty just because of Rachel?”

“Serves you right,” Ethan said. He and the others with them earlier at the table did not even plan to stop their scuffle in the pool. “Didn’t we just say not to mess up with any woman from this village?”

“Rachel’s not from this village.”

“You still don’t get it, do you, Marx?” Calvin shook his head while smiling. “When you mess up with the women from this village, you’re not going against the women themselves. You’re going against the men behind them.”

“Whatever.” Marx rose out of the pool, then turned to him again. “I’m sorry, man. You are lucky with Rachel.” He grinned. “That woman will also definitely start a fight just for you.”


Rachel’s Sweet Surrender

Rachel’s Sweet Surrender

Rachel's Sweet Surrender
Score 6.6
Status: Completed Type: Author: Released: 2006 Native Language: Filipino
“I love everything about you. And that includes your entire digestive system .” ‘Don’t open your eyes, Rachel’, she whispered inside her head. ‘Don’t open your d**n eyes.’ But still, she couldn’t keep herself in the end. She opened her eyes and she was greeted by the most handsome face she had ever wanted to see in her entire life, only a few inches away from hers! “Hi!” Melvin greeted with a smile. Then without any preamble, she just heard herself speak. “Will you marry me?” She almost slapped herself. How could she ask him that thing when they had only been together again for only a few minutes after eleven years of not seeing each other? “Yes, Rachel,” Melvin answered. “I will marry you.” Okay. Now, what?

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