A few hours of flying, the helicopter landed on a building and from the looks and exterior, Rem knew it was the building where he first saw Lowell Heitzberg. They alighted from the aircraft, welcomed by beautiful women and walked towards the fancy hall. He was sure that none of the exteriors was changed when he first saw it eight years ago.
They reached the huge door leading to the fascinating office. They entered, and based on Rem’s memory, the place became more extravagant. As they walked nearer, he knew that the man smiling at them was Heitzberg, who was again sitting on a throne covered with gold and gems. At the left of his seat was a beautiful woman carrying his crane while at the right was a man wearing a hooded robe. The mysterious man slowly looked down when they entered. The hood completely covered his face from Rem’s view.
Heitzberg looked at his right and nodded. The mysterious man – without any gestures – slowly walked and entered a door beside the throne. Heitzberg then looked on his left and nodded, prompting the lady to hand him his crane. She also exited the podium.
Heitzberg smiled and gestured asking the group to come forwards. Vincent nodded and walked towards him.
“Welcome my dear Arkimans,” said Heitzberg giving Rem and Marybeth a handshake. “I heard lots of things about you guys. Especially you, young man.”
Rem bowed down. But, deep inside him, he can’t stand the old man.
“It will be an honor Mr. Heitzberg to serve,” said Rem with an obviously fake and nervous smile.
“Me too, my master,” Marybeth said. Her voice was trembling.
“Well then, take these as a token of appreciation,” said Heitzberg handing them a box each. He paused and smiled with his hand cross to each other.
“Ladies first. Open it, Marybeth,” said Heitzberg.
Marybeth opened the box revealing a silver-colored necklace with a pink stone.
“White gold — symbolizes malleability and beauty,” said Heitzberg picking the necklace from Marybeth’s hand. “Because you are such a flexible and gorgeous woman.”
“Pink diamond — symbolizes strength and rarity. They are one of a kind; just like you Miss Anderson,” Heitzberg added helping her to wear the jewelry.
Marybeth, who was obviously amazed, picked the pendant and looked at it.
“Burrows,” said Heitzberg.
Rem then opened the box and it revealed a silver bracelet with black pearls.
“Platinum,” said Heitzberg taking the bracelet from the box. “For strength, agility, and value.”
He then signaled asking Rem to raise his wrist. The young fighter obliged.
“And black pearls… rare, strong and created from wit and hard work. One-in-a-million,” Heitzberg added helping Rem to wear them.
Rem looked at the bracelet and it was obvious to his face that he was mesmerized. He took a closer look at the bracelet.
“Beautiful isn’t it,” asked Heitzberg.
Rem smiled and nodded while still looking at the bracelet.
“Well, bye for now. I know the travel was quite long and you guys needed some rests,” Heitzberg said. He looked at Vincent who nodded back. Vincent then poked Rem and Marybeth and asked them to follow him.
They immediately left the office and back to the rooftop. Rem wondered why the helicopter was not around. He concluded that they will travel by land after Vincent went straight to the elevator.
“Ground floor,” said Vincent to a speaker. He smiled and bobbed his eyebrows while smiling with tight lips. Then the button for the ground floor lighted. Rem and Marybeth looked and smiled at each other.
“Amazing isn’t it?” Vincent said. “You now belong to everything great. Do your job and you will live in abundance… forever.”
After the elevator opened, Vincent walked with Rem. Marybeth was following. He went straight to a black, long limousine where man in a suit gave him a salute and opened the door. He let the two trainees enter first.
Inside, Rem can’t help but be mesmerized. The seat was quite soft and comfortable. There was also a bar, mounted LCD screen, and many more luxurious things. Vincent lifted a cover and revealed a wine. He then picked three goblets, poured the alcoholic beverage and handed it to Rem and Marybeth. The two were first hesitant, but he insisted.
Rem first sniffed the drink and he liked it. He then took and a sip and got hooked by the exploding flavor inside his mouth.
“Hmmmmm… I love it,” said Rem. “This is one of the best alcohol I had.”
Marybeth nodded agreeing with Rem.
“What’s in it?” asked Rem.
“Well, this wine is called the Olah-Olah,” said Vincent. “Inverted Filipino word for ‘mix.’ This is made from fruits taken from the mountains of the Philippines, including those endemic ones. Want to know how much a bottle cost?”
“$120,000 dollars a bottle,” said Vincent.
Rem’s eye widened. He stared at his goblet. He was quite mesmerized.
“That’s how wealthy the Arkimans are,” said Vincent. “As what Heitzberg said, fulfill your duties and you will have this on a daily basis.”
Rem smiled dryly and looked at the window. However, he thought, he never needed such wealth. What he wanted was to be with Marybeth, his parents, and Angela.
After traveling for about an hour, the car stopped in front of a huge building. They alighted. Rem was again amazed at the modern exterior, featuring white and gray colors. The entire place was surrounded by men in suit and from their looks, they were guards. The entrance was an electronic door made of thick glass; it is 100-feet tall and 50-feet wide.
The door opened as they walked a few meter closer to it.
“This door is sound and bulletproof,” said Vincent. “It will only open with the use of a sensor for the eyes.”
Rem looked at him with confused looks.
“Yep, every information, which includes your fingerprints, eyes, blood type and much more, were already added here,” said Vincent. “So those sensors knew you were part of this place.”
“It will never open and will even notify these guards when an intruder tried to come in,” Vincent added.
The place was quite unusual from what the two used to see. Guards were everywhere, which was quite ironic because there are a few people in the area.
“I forgot to tell you guys,” said Vincent. “This is the place where high-ranking officials, as well as new members of the Arkimans – like you – are living here. Unfortunately, you won’t usually see the Arkiman officials because they usually own buildings.”
They went to an area, which was about 30 meters squared but was dedicated solely for the elevators. They rode the door with markings 40-50th floor. Vincent pressed the 42nd button.
“How many floors are there in this building?” Rem asked.
“92. Penthouse exempted,” said Vincent.
The 42nd floor features a small space that was about 8 x 6 feet, only showing a tempered thick glass partition with an electronic door.
“This floor is all yours,” said Vincent as he swiped his card through the sensor.
Rem smiled but looking confused. Marybeth, on the other hand, showed excitement.
The floor was like a huge house that was completed with everything they can think of — kitchen, dining table, gym and a lot more. It was also equipped with extravagant luxurious items like fountains, golden figurines, and statues. Two rooms were at the corner.
“Room A,” said Vincent pointing at Rem. “Room B,” he added pointing at Marybeth.
“Those doors have electronic locks that can only be opened using your thumbprints,” said Vincent
“So now, I will leave you guys, so you can take a rest,” said Vincent walking slowly towards the exit. “Your meals will be served. So, no need for you to go out.”
“For the meantime, you guys are prohibited to go outside because we are still cooking your missions,” said Vincent. “I have to go,” he added opening the door.
“Oh, by the way,” said Vincent going back. “Most of your mentors are aware of what is happening between the two of you. Please, no sleeping in one room.”
Right after Vincent left, Rem smiled at Marybeth. The woman smiled back.
“Let’s check your room,” said Rem.
Marybeth agreed and walked towards the room b. She put her right thumb on the sensor.
“Welcome to this room Ms. Anderson,” a computerized voice of a woman was heard much to the delight of the two. “I am Aulen and I will be your virtual butler. If you needed something, just call my name and state what you wanted. That will be all Ms. Anderson.”
The two looked at each other and laughed. Rem walked to the door of his room and put his thumb.
“Welcome, Mr. Burrows,” this time it’s a man’s voice. “I am Carklein, your butler here. Just call my name and say your request. I am always ready to serve. That is my only message.”
Rem looked at Marybeth and smiled.
“Check yours and I’ll check mine,” said Rem.
Marybeth nodded and entered her room.
Rem’s room, which was about 50 meters squared, was a blue, gray, and white theme. His walls were of that combination while his bed was covered with a white mattress and a light blue comforter. He also has his own sofa set while the bean bags were scattered around the carpeted floor.
Rem sat on his bed to test how soft it was. His buttocks sank well and he knew the bed was great. He let his back lay on it and closed his eyes.
“Yes, I am living in wealth,” Rem blurted. He was talking to himself. “But, it’s not what I wanted. What I want is to live with them,” he added followed by a deep sigh.
“Oh that was deep,” Marybeth’s voice was heard.
Rem raised his head. He said after seeing Marybeth.
“Hey,” Rem said smiling. “I’m just feeling the bed.”
“The door is open so I just entered,” said Marybeth.
“How’s my room?” Rem asked.
“I kind of liked it more than mine. I liked the colors. Mine is a combination of white, red, and purple… too girly.”
“Let’s check your bathroom,” said Marybeth pulling Rem’s hand.
“This time, I liked my bathroom more,” said Marybeth.
The comfort room was quite simple. The shower and bathtub were located at the same area on the left while the toilet bowl was just beside them. They were only separated by a shower curtain. A small window was located at the right and below it was a sink and a small wooden cabinet containing Rem’s toiletries.
“Me, I love it,” said Rem. “Simpler, the better.”
“Come, I’ll show you my room,” said Marybeth pulling his hand.
They entered the room and indeed, the accent was too girly. For Rem, combining white, red and purple was a pain in the eyes. The bed had one huge teddy bear and at least five pillows. She also had this sofa bed and a collapsible dressing area.
Rem then walked into the bathroom and smile seeing that it’s about double the size of his. The shower was separated from the bathtub but belongs to one area. The toilet bowl was not far away from the bath area. A sink was located at the side of the toilet bowl and above it was a 24 x 24-inches cabinet with a clear glass cover showing hefty toiletries that Marybeth can use.
“Extravagant,” said Rem. But, it looks like he’s not impressed.
“Come let’s check the gym,” Rem said.
The gym was about 120 meters squared. It was equipped with everything they needed from dumbbells up to large equipment like thread mill. It also had mallets and tires as well as a pool-like area with huge chunks of foams.
They also checked the other parts of the house such as the living room, kitchen, and dining area. All in all, they were amazed.
After roaming around, the two ended in the kitchen. Rem felt his gastric juice. He sat on one of the high chairs of the bar.
“Carklein, can we have something to eat?” asked Rem.
“Specifically do you want to eat sir?” the computerized butler said.
“I want some fruits and bread. Please also give us Olah-Olah.”
“As you wish, young master.”
“Aulen, can I have some pastries? I want moist brownies,” said Marybeth.
“Is that all Miss Anderson?” Aulen replied.
“And a fresh watermelon juice please.”
“Coming up, Miss Anderson.”
In less than 15 minutes, a bellman buzzed the door.
“Ms. Anderson, Mr. Burrows, here are your requests,” said the bellman. “Enjoy your meal.”
In the dining room, Rem sat beside Marybeth and little by little, he let the side of his biceps touch hers. He started to peel some fruits and will put them on her plate. He will also kiss her cheeks. She only allowed him.
During the midst of their meals, a voice was heard.
“Good to see you again, Burrows,” a man with of familiar voice said. “I think we are destined to each other.”
Rem and Marybeth looked and it was Dricks along with smiling Jimmy.
“We will be your official security experts here,” said Jimmy.
Rem stood and gave the escorts handshakes. Marybeth followed and gave them a hug.
“Where are Malik and Alwell?” asked Marybeth referring to her escorts in the island.
“They are tasked with guarding other Wildcats,” said Dricks.
“Wildcats? What is that?” Rem asked.
Jimmy hit Dricks with his elbow, making him realize that the two had no idea.
“Oh… Nothing,” said Jimmy. “Don’t mind me.”
“Anyway, I will be your personal bodyguard,” said Jimmy to Rem. “And Ms. Anderson, Dricks will do the honors of protecting you.”
“We will be here all day, looking after you guys,” Dricks added.
Rem smiled but at the back of his head, he became sad, because he can’t be with Marybeth alone.
“But don’t worry young fighters,” said Jimmy. “We will just stay in the living room. And, we’ll leave you and your sessions now.”
“Loving sessions,” Dricks added in a teasing manner.
Rem looked at Marybeth, who was already looking at him. They both laughed and continued eating. Later, they both decided to take a rest in their corresponding rooms. His plans of watching her sleep and lying beside her were set aside. He knew that their two escorts won’t allow them to sleep in one room.
Inside his room, Rem again remembered his plans. He again became emotional and felt powerless thinking of the tight security waiting for him. He was also getting impatient. He again tried his best to motivate himself by thinking of his family meeting his girlfriend.
Rem actually hated thinking about his frustrations. He decided to just hit the gym. He spent about two hours lifting weights. While cooling down he got hungry.
“Carklein, can I have steak? I want it well done and fruits please,” said Rem while sitting on a bench in the gym.
“Is that all Mr. Burrows?” The voice said.
“And a bottle of beer. Give me also a glass full of ice.”
“Coming up, Mr. Burrows.”
Rem went to the dining table and drank lots of water. He also grabbed the bottle of Olah-Olah and took a sip. He tried to erase all his thought and just wanted to concentrate on what was happening. Then, the bellman rang.
“Mr. Burrows, here is your meal,” said the bellman. “Enjoy sir!”
Rem dug through his meal and enjoyed each and every bite because he doesn’t want any thoughts going inside him.
“You are eating without me?” Marybeth asked while hugging him from behind.
“I just worked out and wanted to replenish,” said Rem.
“I have been sleeping for more than two hours now,” said Marybeth, sitting beside him.
“Me too, I’ve been working out for two hours now,” he said while slicing the steak.
Rem pointed it to Marybeth. She just took the small slice and drank water from his glass.
“What’s wrong?” asked Marybeth.
“Huh?” Rem said.
“We’ve been in one place for almost a decade, Rem. It’s quite impossible for me not to memorize your moods,” said Marybeth.
Rem sighed deeply. He smiled dryly.
“See? There is something bothering you,” she added.
“Nothing Marybeth,” said Rem. “Believe me, you won’t understand,” he added. His eyes showed grim.
“You don’t want to tell me?”
“Alright. As I said, we’ve been on the island for years. So, I know when you want to speak or not. If you chose to blurt, I am here,” she said standing.
She then went behind him and massaged his shoulders.
“It’s the only thing that I can do. I’ll just keep you relaxed and will help you to release those negatives, alright?” Marybeth said to his ear. “Just tell me what’s wrong. Both of us are the only people who can understand each other. So, we should also be having each other’s back,” she added kissing Rem’s cheek.
Rem was turned on.
“I’ll just leave you now and think of those thoughts, you introvert man,” said Marybeth leaving Rem.
“No, you can’t understand me, Marybeth,” said Rem to himself.
After cooling down, Rem opted to clean himself. He passed by the gym and saw Marybeth doing some boxing session with Dricks. She noticed him, stopped and gave him a wink. He smiled and nodded.
Rem went straight to his room, got naked and to the bathroom. He knew that during the shower, he will again think of something. So, he only took a bath for a couple of minutes and get dressed. He then let his body fall on his bed, closed his eyes, relaxed his mind and in a few minutes, fell asleep.