I didn’t even bother respond to him as a new song played in the background, popping our bubble. I glanced sideways and was relieved we didn’t attract everyone’s attention... but Rosalyn’s. She glared daggers at me. Fuck me.
Swaying with Wayne to the husky, dark sound of Sail Away by David Gray, I gave Rosalyn a bitchy look in return. She gritted her teeth and turned back to her own partner. I was still looking at her when I felt Wayne’s breath on my ear as he pulled me closer, murmuring, “You’ve got nothing to say about my statement?”
Tilting my head to him, I shrugged. “There’s no need for me to respond. It’s obvious you’re lying.”
His lips twitched, eyes like misty smoke. “Is that so?”
I harrumphed attractively. “You can’t keep your hands off me, you basically try to mold us together right now, and you want to screw me again. Which part supports your latest resolution?”
He grinned now. “Tangling with you needs to be acknowledged as art.”
Deciding not to answer to that as well, I sneaked a glance to Rosalyn, who was still watching us with hawk’s eyes. Her partner, Liam, seemed like he sneaked a glance here and there at Wayne and me, too. At the other end of the room, I saw Emma and Ford looking at us with open curiosity and suspicion, while my father and Scarlet seemed to be annoyed, like it was my fault Wayne picked me now to dance with.
They all pissed me off. I wanted to taunt them back.
Turning my head back to Wayne I gave him a slow, wicked grin. “My, you’re the belle of the ball today, Holden,” I pressed myself closer to him, cupping his cheeks with my hands. His body tensed, as though giving me an okay to continue what I was doing, while being curious as to what it was that I wanted to achieve. His eyes were locked on mine, unmovable, impenetrable. Good. “No one can take their eyes off you.”
His lips twitched but he controlled it as I stood on the tips of my toes so I could reach his ear. With a glance to Rosalyn, I whispered into his ear, “You’re so hot, all the girls want you. So hot, that the famous Rosalyn Howard wants to shred me for being so close to you. So hot, my father and step-mother wish Rosalyn was in my spot, because I would never be good enough for someone like you.” I chuckled and leaned back so I looked at him straight in the face.
Feeling the attention of the majority of the people, I let my grin spread wider, and gave Wayne a meaningful look. “They don’t know anything about either of us,” I whispered against his mouth, “absolutely nothing. They know nothing.” And, loud enough for most of them to hear, I murmured, “they don’t know that we fucked two years ago.”
Rosalyn’s eyes widened with rage. I smirked. Then, just for a grand finale, I pulled myself closer to him and, almost gently, I took his lower lip in my teeth and bit him. His eyes narrowed as his hands clenched on the lower of my back.
Sighing, I stepped back from Wayne and turned to look at my father with a bored expression. “Yes, yes, I pushed the boundaries,” I let out a yawn, “I think it’s time for me to leave anyway. Otherwise no young man here is safe.” I gave a pointed wink at Liam, who paled, and blew a kiss to Heath, who chuckled.
Dad’s face turned purple, and when I glanced to my sister, she had tears in her eyes and Ford was glaring... not at me, but at Wayne. Odd.
Sighing, I smiled at my father. “Remember our agreement, daddy dearest,” I gave him a dark look and then winked. “You’d better not break your end of the bargain or things will get ugly.”
He looked like he wanted to strangle me. Good. I didn’t want his love. I didn’t want anything from him. Hatred gave me the fuel I needed to keep on living. I needed his hatred. I needed to avenge myself. And he gave me what I wanted to easily, on a silver platter. The others, too.
As I grabbed my things and left the studio, I knew that, despite what I said or how I acted, I wanted all these people, my family and their friend from the world of fame, as far away from me as possible. Wayne – no, Holden needed to stay away from me. Because while I was a snake, and a barely civilized snake at that, they were backstabbing bastards. Nothing about people from the glamour world was either good or normal. They were all a bunch of assholes much worse than I could ever be.
I was a bitch for survival. They were jerks for fun. And that was the major difference between us.
* * *
I looked at the piano. The piano stared back blankly. I sighed and pressed the C key. It rang loud and clear in the room. I then pressed A and F respectively, creating F major chord. However, nothing rang in my head. No new piece, no composition, not even improvisation ideas.
That only meant one thing. I had a musician block, at this time of all times it could happen.
Sighing, I closed the lid over the keyboard and rose from the chair. I went to the kitchen and fixed myself a sandwich when my phone rang. Groaning, I took a bite of my sandwich before looking at the screen and seeing the number was not one I recognized. With my luck it would be Wayne. “Hello?” I answered in a dry voice.
“Did I tell you I like your voice, Cleo?” just as I’d thought, it was Wayne. Lovely.
“What do you want?” I asked, annoyed.
“It’s nine in the evening and the guys and I are bored,” he said, “I thought we could come over for a visit.”
I blinked. “Run that by me again?”
“We’re bored, oh my beautiful Cleopatra,” he said dramatically, “please agree for us to come over.”
“Are you drunk or simply out of your mind?” I asked conversationally, even though anger built inside me. I planned to have a quiet evening. What the hell did he want from me?
“C’mon, Cleo,” he said, sounding to cheery for my taste, “why not?”
I closed my eyes and counted to five. Nope. This was not some crazy dream. “I’ll be awake till eleven,” I told him, “if you find where I live without my family’s help, including Ford, then you will get to come and I’ll even make you coffee.”
“Are you seriously challenging me?” he asked, then barked out a kind of laughter that was positively tipsy. “Fine, bitch. We’ll get your address.”
“Whatever,” I said and hung up. Stupid, frustrating man.
Grabbing my sandwich, I took it to the living room and as I watched some Breaking Bad reruns, I munched into the bread, and tried my hardest not to think about what the hell Wayne wanted from me. Why was he so fixated on me? Did I want to have sex with him again?
Nope. I certainly didn’t.
As I watched the TV, nibbling at my sandwich, I became anxious. What if he would find my address and come over? I really, really didn’t want to make him a cup of coffee. Maybe he was so drunk he forgot about it all? It’d been half an hour since he called. He must’ve forgotten. Really, I was not that important to him to even think about. He’d probably rang me for a potential booty call. But I was not his booty call. My booty was not his. We had sex once about two years ago for God’s sake! Why the heck did he think it was legitimate to –
Knocks on the door interrupted my irritating course of thoughts. Tensing, I glanced at the door. Was it him, and was Liam still with him? If so, how the heck did they get through the building’s entrance door? It had an intercom!
Gritting my teeth, I strode to the door and flung it open to reveal, as I suspected, Wayne and Liam. Wayne reeked of beer and cigarettes – a smell that most women found appalling but I didn’t care much for – and he was leaning against the door frame, giving me a lopsided smirk. “Gotcha.” Behind him Liam pinched the skin between his eyebrows, seemingly tortured. What the fuck was going on with these two?
“For the record, you’re not get any from me tonight,” I warned him as I moved aside to let them in. Wayne stumbled inside, smirk still intact, and wriggled his eyebrows at me. I scowled. His smirk deepened.
Liam pushed Wayne inside the apartment with a scowl of his own, entering as well. I closed the door behind them and led them to the living room. “Deposit this thing here,” I instructed Liam, who now had Wayne leaning on his shoulders with an odd hiccup attack.
Giving me a dirty look that kind of surprised me, Liam did as I said and practically dumped Wayne on the sofa. He then turned to give me another disgusted look. “I’m here because Holden wouldn’t shut up about wanting to see you. Not because you’re some girl I’m interested in or anything like that. I’m not a guy who would be seduced by whores like you.”
I arched an eyebrow. “You do realize you’re degrading me in my own home, right?” When his eyes narrowed, I gave him a wicked grin that made him pale a little. Someone was afraid of attractive girls, it seemed. It explained why he’d been so terse when we danced and why he refused to make an eye contact with me... well, until today.
Stepping closer to him, I made as if I was going to be toe-to-toe with him when I ventured left. When I passed him, I purred, “You’re no special snowflake yourself, pudding, but I’d totally do you. ’Cause I’m a whore like that.”
At that, he blanched. I winked at him and went to the kitchen. It appeared I owed the drunk award-winning director sprawled drunkenly on my sofa some coffee.