Saffi, on the other hand, had been Staffan’s fangirl since she was in her teens, and in the early days of their relationship, she had deliberately hidden her illustrious background to work for Staffan.
“It was Staffan’s birthday surprise.” Saffi’s eyes glowed every time she mentioned her husband’s name. “He told me he wouldn’t be able to accompany me because of business, but when I arrived at the airport, well—-” Saffi sighed. “There he was, and it was one of the dreamiest days of my life.”
“That’s so sweet!” Vivian was sincerely thrilled for her friend, but at the back of her mind, she couldn’t help wondering if St. Francis would have accepted her if she had been a little more like Saffi.
Unlike her, the older woman had all the right connections, and she also had a genius IQ to boot.
Maybe if she were as accomplished as Saffi, Vivian pondered glumly, fewer people would question Luca’s decision to marry her.
Vivian’s thoughts were interrupted when the restaurant’s redheaded receptionist, Coral, stepped forward, saying, “Your room’s ready, Mrs. Valencia. This way, please.”
As Coral led the way for the two billionaire’s wives, the receptionist made every effort to entertain her most important guests. She described the restaurant’s Art Nouveau interior in great detail, and when they reached the function room Coral quickly summoned waiting attendants to pull out chairs for their guests.
“A special menu has been prepared by the chef, Mrs. Valencia, Mrs. Aehrenthal, and we’ll be serving it in ten minutes.” Coral then added with a wink, “If there’s anything else you’d like, please just let me know.” Her two VIPs nodded and smiled, and Coral thought appreciatively, How wonderfully discreet.
She winked one last time at her guests, saying meaningfully, “Anything and everything, just let me know.”
Vivian waited for the door to the private function room they had reserved before glancing at Saffi in completely bafflement. “W-what was that about?”
“You’ll get used to it,” Saffi sighed. “She was basically offering us special services, the kind that’s not on the menu.”
Vivian still couldn’t get it. “What kind of special service?”
“Drugs, male escorts—-”
Vivian’s jaw dropped.
“Basically anything and everything we’d like and be willing to pay for,” Saffi finished. “It’s all part of the package that comes with being married to men like Luca and Staffan, I’m afraid.”
“I s-see.” Or rather, Vivian should see and understand that these offers would indeed be a normal part of her life for as long as she was married to Luca – but she didn’t. Over half a year had already passed since she married Luca, and yet the feeling that she wasn’t suitable to be his wife still hadn’t completely left her.
And maybe it never would, she worried uneasily.
“Is everything okay, Viv?” Saffi asked, noticing the look of dismay that had crossed her friend’s face.
“I was just thinking I wish I could be more like you,” Vivian confessed.
Saffi made a face. “Is this about the St. Francis thing?” At her friend’s nod, she said firmly, “You should stop wasting your time and emotions on that issue. It’s made you think too little of yourself—-”
“But maybe they’re right, you know? I’m literally nothing compared to Luca. If I were more like you—-”
The door to the function room opened, servers walking back in with their appetizers and both Saffi and Vivian automatically avoided speaking of anything too personal in nature. Even so, the rest of the meal was enjoyable as the two caught up with each other’s lives.
When they walked out of the restaurant’s function room, still laughing and chatting, the other patrons marveled at the sight, thinking that it was rare for two beautiful and wealthy women to get along so well.
While waiting for their rides outside the restaurant, paparazzi swarmed towards them, eagerly taking photos even as they shouted one intrusive question after another.
How was it being married to a billionaire? A sex god?
Was it true that Italian men and rockstars were like insatiable wild stallions in the bedroom?
What would they do if the rumors about their husbands having mistresses were true?
“Have you heard, Mrs. Valencia? Your husband’s been seen playing hooky with his ex-wife.”
When Vivian paled, Saffi hurriedly said under her breath, “They’re lying, Viv. This is what they do for a living, and they’re just baiting you to give them something juicy for tonight’s news.”
Vivian managed a smile. “I know.”
Saffi’s chauffeur-driven limousine arrived first, but the other woman hesitated to leave, seeing her friend’s still-troubled expression. “Are you sure you’ll be okay, Viv?”
“Yep,” she said brightly. Too brightly, Vivian thought with an inner wince, seeing Saffi frown. “Seriously, Saf, don’t worry about me.” She kissed her friend on the cheek goodbye, and a minute later, her own ride came up, and a helpless smile curved over her lips as Vivian recalled how she ended up with a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce.