20 YEARS EARLIER
7 year old Mila set on a hardwood floor in front of a glass wall in the middle of the night, watching lightnings pierce through the night sky one after the other.
"What are we going to do, James?" Mila's aunt looked at her husband pleadingly.
"Nothing, Rose, you know the therapist said that this is her way of coping."
"But, it's been two years since..." Rose always tried avoiding mentioning the accident in which her sister and brother in law lost their lives, leaving Mila in their care. It was too painful, it was so painful that their mother's heart couldn't handle it and her death followed shortly after.
"Yes, but she's been blocking us out less frequently and I'd rather she blocked us than her having night terrors."
Rose walked over to Mila, kissing her forehead, moving loose strands of hair behind her ears. "Let's go to bed, love." No answer, not even a flinch. "It's cold, you are going to get sick."
James had watched his wife for a while as she tried to get Mila to react before he went to take a blanked and a pillow. He put the pillow next to Mila and the blanket around her back. "You can sleep here tonight if you want to, honey."
He helped his wife get up and he kissed away her tears, feeling her sadness deep inside him, wishing he could do something to take it away. "Maybe we should move back to our place, I think it will be good for the both of you. You won't be surrounded with so many memories."
"We have nothing to lose." She embraced her husband. "Do you know how much I love you, James?"
"I can feel it, the Moon of my life."
10 YEARS EARLIER
"Is there anything new, my child?" Warm smile with teeth barely showing was the most prominent feature of Mila's grandfather's face.
Mila knew what her grandpa was referring to and she knew he was teasing her, but to her it was a very serious subject. "No, gramps. How long do I have to wait? Some of the kids in school already found their soulmates."
"You can't force it and you shouldn't put your life on hold while waiting. You should meet people, travel, enjoy life."
"Which reminds me, can I live alone?" Mila's eyes twinkled with hope.
"Not before you start University next year, then all decisions, but all responsibilities will be on you." He took her hand across the table. "Do you have any problems with your aunt and uncle?"
"I don't, but, even though I know that they don't see me as such, I feel like I'm a burden to them, especially now when kids started school."
"They'd be offended if they knew you told me that."
"And that's why you won't tell them anything. Can you take me on a tour around the hotel again?" Mila loved coming here, she wanted to know every single detail about every hotel her grandfather owned. She came to the one where the headquarter was most often, so she really enjoyed this opportunity, visiting this downtown New York one. Her grandfather made an empire from scratch with many sacrifices, patience, devotion and a lot of risk.
"I have 30 minutes before my next meeting, so let's go." Robert chose to show his granddaughter everything that has changed since her last visit and he ended the tour on the rooftop, Mila's favorite place. "You know, one day, all of this will be yours. You will continue my legacy."
"I'm sure aunt Rose and the twins will continue it too."
"Your aunt is not interested in this the slightest and if the twins take after their parents, they will be even less interested. Of course, they will have a steady income from here, but nothing more. You are the one who cares, you have my drive for success in this business and, most importantly, you love it. You will run it, but you have to start from zero, as if you weren't my granddaughter."
"I wouldn't have it any other way, gramps."
6 MONTHS EARLIER
The twins barely even spoke to Mila after dinner, both of them were watching a basketball game, while their mother sipped wine with Mila. "I can't believe it's been a year since you went to Hawaii."
"Me neither, I absolutely loved it there and I loved working at front desk." Mila relaxed in a chair, swirling the wine.
"So, there's only one department left before you take the place as a CEO."
"I tried to talk my way out of it, but it was in vain. I'm completely hopeless when it comes to F&B sector, I mean serving especially. I can barely remember an order. Plus, this will be mostly banquets involved, I'm going to suffer for the next 6 months. Seriously, waiters are tough people." Her caps and ankles started hurting at just the thought of her previous job as a waitress.
"It will be over in no time and I'm sure you will be an even better manager than my father. Will you be working at the downtown hotel the whole 6 months?"
"Yes, I want to slowly get accustomed to everything. I mean, it's not like they are just going to leave me as a CEO to manage all by myself, but still... And, this way I will get to see if there's a need for change anywhere."
Henry left the bathroom with only a towel on and Elaine looked at the mirror reflecting him as if she saw him for the first time. She loved his body, his heart and his soul. "I wonder how much somebody is ready to pay just to have dinner with you, darling." She got up, walking to her partner, only dressed in a black bra and thong.
"We'll find out tonight. Since it's for charity, I hope a lot." He slammed his body against hers, grabbing her ass with both hands.
"Not now, we don't have time for this." He moved one of his hands to between her legs, rubbing her gently.
"Are you sure?" He moved her panties, slipping one finger inside her, while he continued to rub her with his thumb.
Instead of answering, she removed his towel, letting it drop to the floor. She grabbed his already semi-hard shaft, pumping in gently, until he was fully erect. Her pants became quicker as Henry's movements became faster. As she was getting close to ecstasy, she selfishly let go of Henry, throwing her head back as he held her firmly. "I love it when you come for me, but let's do it together." He guided her to a wall, loving that she was almost his height, so he didn't have to lift her up. It was enough to hook one of her legs over his hip to enter her slowly, keeping her panties to the side until he was inside her completely. He latched his lips on her throat as his movement soon fell out of rhythm, signaling he was close to reaching his peak and Elaine's nails digging in his shoulder blades showed that she was close too. A few more thrusts and she was screaming Henry's name, a few more and he filled her up. As their breathing was coming to normal speed, he kissed every par of her body he could reach. "Elaine, I love you so much. Fuck soulmates, I could never love someone as much as I love you."
"So, it's your last day, Mila. I can't believe I won't be seeing those blue eyes of yours anymore." Martha and Mila took a little break before guests started arriving.
"Who said that?" Mila tried to tame one lock of her brown hair that kept falling out of her bun while looking in the mirror.
"You said you weren't going to work here from tomorrow. Did you change your mind? Or... Wait, wait, there's a rumor that a new CEO will be appointed next week. Do you know him? Are you just changing the department?"
"I have a feeling that it will be a she and I sort of am." Mila straightened Martha's collar a bit. "Let's go."