“I still don’t understand why I agreed to this?” I say, looking in the mirror. My best friend Samantha came up behind me.
“Because you’re a good friend and a sweetheart, and willing to help out your friends. Now stop bitching and let’s do your hair.”
I rolled my eyes. My brother and his best friend Bobby were invited to a ball, put on by RJI enterprises. The largest company in Chicago. My best friend Samantha Chow worked as an intern for the company. All three of them were invited. Bobby asked me to be his date. Both my brother and Sam had dates. Bobby and his girlfriend had just broken up and he didn’t want to go alone.
So, here I am doing them a favor. I hated these types of parties. Full of rich and snobby people, enjoying the good life. While my brother, Bobby, and Sam were in college studying business, I was in college studying fashion. I always wanted to design my own clothing line. The four of us decided to share an apartment here in Chicago. It was cheaper than living in the dorms. I followed Sam to the bathroom and sat down so she could do something with my hair.
“Let’s see, shall we put it up? Or leave it down?” Sam looked at me in the mirror while talking. Seth, my brother stuck his head in the bathroom door.
“I think you should leave it down.” He said. We both smiled at him and he winked at us and closed the door.
“Your brother is right, we leave it down,” Sam said, as she took the curling iron out from under the sink.
We all looked so good, all dressed up. Bobby, my brother’s best friend looked amazing. He has always been a very good-looking guy. He had decided to rent us a limo. He felt it was the best way to show up in style. We pulled up in front of a very large building. There were huge spotlights and the press was everywhere. We pulled up to the curb and the driver stopped to let us out. It was like something from the movies. These people must be loaded. I said to myself.
“Hey, are you okay?” Bobby asked while holding my hand.
“Yeah, I mean it’s a little intimidating,” I said. I had always had a soft spot in my heart for Bobby. He was gorgeous and I had a crush on him ever since we were little. He has always just treated me like his little sister. So eventually, I just let it go. I had to always sit back and watch him go out with so many girls. I knew I would never be anything more to him than just a friend.
We all stepped out of the car and the cameras started flashing. Bobby held my hand tight as we made our way inside the building. There were two large men dressed in all black standing at two huge double doors. They were taking people’s invitations. We stood in line for a moment. They were moving people inside pretty fast. We handed them our invitations and we entered into a large ballroom. Everyone was dressed up and people were dancing, drinking, and having a great time. The music played loudly over the speakers, that were set up along the walls. Beautiful classical music played. We made our way to a bunch of tables set up. We found one with all our names placed on it. I took a seat because my heels were killing me. I never dress up like this and I just wasn’t used to it.
“Would you like to dance?” Bobby asked me with his hand out. I nodded my head at him and we made our way to the dance floor. Bobby wrapped his arms around me and we started to dance. “Are you enjoying yourself?” He asked me.
“Yes, this is really beautiful.” I heard him giggle a little to himself.
“What’s so funny?” I asked, looking at him.
“Nothing, I just like to see you like this. It’s good to see you smile and enjoying yourself. Thank you again for coming with me tonight.” He said.
“Of course, you know I’m here for you.” I smiled softly at him. “I’m sorry Tiffany turned out to be a bitch.” Bobby started to laugh.
“You always know the right words to use Ivy.” He said. I smiled back at him.
“You know Bobby, one day you’re going to have to take a girl seriously,” I said and he winked at me.
“One day maybe, but I’m young and I like to play the field.” It wasn’t like he was kidding. Bobby really was into the women. I could count at least five different girlfriends he has had in the last six months.
“You know if you don’t start being careful, you’re going to catch something,” I said and he laughed. I just rolled my eyes.
That’s when I felt it. Do you know that feeling like you are being watched? I could feel eyes on me at that very moment. I started to scan the room. Just to make sure I wasn’t crazy. That’s when I saw him. His piercing crystal blue eyes staring straight at me. Our eyes locked. I realized we were staring at each other. I flashed him a smile, blushed, and looked away.
Creeper much, I said about myself. I have to say he was amazing looking. At least six feet tall with wavy dirty blond hair and the most amazing blues eyes I had ever seen. He was dancing with a beautiful rich looking woman. When I glanced back over at him. He was still looking at me with a huge smile on his face. I smiled back at him and looked at Bobby.
“Hey, do you know who that man is over there?” Bobby looked around the room.
“Who are you talking about?” He asked me. I looked over at him. He was no longer looking in my direction. He was still dancing with that woman.
“That man over there, dancing with that woman in the long black dress.” Bobby looked in the direction I was looking in. Then he looked back at me with wide eyes.
“That’s Justin Tanner, he is partners with Reese Jackson. Reese Jackson started this company with Justin Tanner. They are two of the most powerful men in Chicago.” Bobby snickered when he said that. “Why are you asking?” I just smiled at Bobby.
“No reason, I was just wondering who he was.” Bobby smiled at me.
“Does someone think Mr. Tanner is sexy?” Bobby said smiling. I playfully shoved Bobby.
“No, I don’t think he is sexy. I was just wondering who he was is all.” Of course a total lie.
“Please Ivy, every woman thinks he is sexy. What makes you so different?” I just shrugged my shoulders at him.
“I just don’t think he is all that,” I said. As soon as I made that statement, I knew I was full of it. Justin Tanner was gorgeous, and it was hard not to keep looking over at him. Plus he was smiling at me first. “Bobby, do you mind if we get a drink and have a seat? My feet are killing me.” We left the dance floor and walked over to our table. Bobby walked over to the bar to get us some drinks. My brother and Sam were on the dance floor with their dates. Sam waved to me, as I was waving back to her I heard an unfamiliar voice just behind me.
“Excuse me miss, I was just wondering if I could know your name?” When I turned around to see who was speaking to me. I had to take a deep breath. It was Justin Tanner. I smiled up at him and realized I had forgotten how to speak. He reached his hand out to me. I placed my hand on his and finally remembered how to talk.
“I’m so sorry, I’m Ivy Rose.” He smiled and shook my hand.
“Allow me to introduce myself, Ivy, my name is Justin Tanner. I own the company that is hosting this ball tonight. I have to say that I don’t think that I have ever seen such a beautiful sight until I laid eyes on you tonight. I was wondering if at some point tonight you would dance with me?” He said, very confident.
I couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of his mouth. I didn’t know what or who he thought he was? Here he is running his game on me. I must really look that stupid? Okay whatever, I’ll play his games.
“Sure thing Mr. Tanner. I’d love to dance with you. Are you free right now?” He smiled at me and pulled me to him. I follow him out onto the dance floor. He placed his arm around my waist and pulled me close to his chest. I did my best to place my arms around his neck. I was only five foot six and he was very tall and muscular. My long red hair brushed his arms behind me. I felt a spark between us almost instantly, but I tried to ignore it. He smelled wonderful and I could clearly see why all the women fell at his feet. I tried to decide that I was not going to be one of those women.
“Tell me, Ivy, why are you here tonight?” He whispered into my ear.
“I was actually invited by a close friend of mine. My best friend is an intern in your office. My brother and his best friend are in school for business. I’m only here because my brother’s best friend needed a date and he didn’t want to come alone.” He looked at me.
“So, the gentlemen I saw you dancing with, he is not your boyfriend?” I laughed a little.
“No, I’ve known Bobby since I was six years old. He just broke up with his girlfriend.” I said smiling. Justin kind of stared at me for a moment.
“Are you in college?” He asked me. I nodded at him. “How come your not an intern at my company?” He asked me.
“You sure ask a lot of questions, but no I’m not an intern and I’m not in college for business. I’m studying fashion.” He smiled at me again and I bit my bottom lip.
“I hope I’m not keeping you from your friends Miss Rose, it looks like they’re all watching us.” I looked around the room and sure enough. My brother, Bobby, and Sam were staring right at us. I looked back at Justin and smiled.
“Yeah, I’m sorry about that. I’m pretty sure they’re wondering how I ended up dancing with you. I should really get back to my friend’s Mr. Tanner.” He nodded at me.
“Thank you, Ivy Rose, I hope to see you again soon.” I smiled and nodded at him. I turned to walk towards my friends. Sam came out and grabbed me by the arm and pushed me towards the bar.
“Do you know who you were just dancing with?” She asked me. I smiled and started to laugh.
“Yes, I was dancing with Justin Tanner.” She still had a shocked look on her face.
“Do you even know who that is?” I still continue to laugh.
“Yes Sam, I know who he is, and just let me tell you, he is smooth as a baby’s butt.” Sam just shook her head and walked back to her date. I found Bobby over in the corner of the room, entertaining some woman. I just decided to sit at the bar and have a drink and people-watch. That’s when tall dark, sexy and handsome walked up to the bar and asked for a whiskey neat. My god, are all the men in this place good-looking? I thought to myself. This man was much taller and broader than Justin, with dark chocolate hair and very dark eyes. He had a clean-cut beard and I could see the hint of tattoos on his arms. He was the complete opposite of Justin Tanner. Both were equally gorgeous. I wondered who he was? I said to myself. The bartender handed me a glass of white wine and immediately went to the man sitting next to me.
“I’m sorry Mr. Jackson, what can I get for you, sir?”
Jackson? I said to myself. Where have I heard that name before? Then I realized it was Reese Jackson. The other owner of RJI enterprises. I almost spit out my wine. Of course, the two owners of an extremely successful company are both extremely hot. I just rolled my eyes. I tried to keep my face forward so that he didn’t see me staring at him, but obviously, that didn’t work because I can see him looking at me in the corner of my eye. Shit, I said to myself. I took a deep breath and turned to face him. He just smiled at me and walked off. Really? Not even one word? Not even a hello? I guess being rich and having women at your feet, entitle you to have no common courtesy. I decided since Bobby was consumed with some other woman. I would take my glass of wine and have a look around.
There was a giant staircase in the room and I started to head up it. I found some giant glass double doors. When I opened them it leads out to a large balcony. It was hot here inside, so I decided to walk out onto the balcony to catch some cool air. It was dark out there, but I could see the city lights and it was actually really beautiful. The cool air felt good against my skin. I leaned against the rail and closed my eyes.
“Guest are not supposed to be out here.” His deep voice made me jump back and grab my chest. I turned around to see Reese Jackson leaned up against the wall smoking a cigarette.
“I’m so sorry. I didn’t know sir. I was just looking for some cool air. If you will excuse me.” I said. I could barely see his face, but I knew it was him. He was just looking right at me. I started to leave, but he jumped in front of me.
“Don’t leave on my account, I don’t mind if you’re out here.” I stopped in my tracks because honestly, he was really intimidating. Nothing like Justin at all. It made me wonder how the two of them were even partners at all? Reese walked back over to the wall and leaned back against it. I turned and went back to the railing.
“What’s your name, little girl?” I heard him ask me. Little girl? What the hell? I started to laugh.
“What’s so funny?”
“Nothing sir, but my name is Ivy Rose and I’m not a little girl,” I said without even looking at him. I heard him snicker to himself. Then he moved closer to me. Almost too close.
“I normally know all the people that attend my parties Miss Rose, but I don’t know you. To me, you look like a little girl. Enjoy your fresh air.” He turned to start to walk away. What an arrogant prick. Who the hell does he think he is?
“Excuse me Mr. Jackson, but don’t you think that was just a little rude? I’m not a little girl and I was brought as a date to your party.” He stopped in his tracks with his back still facing me.
“Well, well Miss Rose has a little bit of an attitude. I kind of like that. Maybe your not a little girl after all. Please excuse me, but I must get back to my guest.” What in fresh hell is this man even saying? He is the one with the attitude problem.
“Mr. Jackson, with all due respect. I think you’re the one with the attitude.” With that, I turned back away from him and continued to look at the city. I felt his arms go around my waist and pull me back into his chest.
“You should really watch your tongue, Miss Rose. I’d like to teach you just how to use that tongue of yours properly.” He let go of me and left the balcony.
I had to stop and catch my breath. That was scary, but at the same time it turned me on. In ways, I’ve never felt before.