Chapter 41 - Surprise!
Just as Dimitri and Gabrielle had reached the foot of the staircase Dimitri was suddenly stopped in his tracks as Gabrielle’s arm quickly held him back, alerting him to look up to the top of the staircase they now stood before.
As luck would have it there stood Scarlett, arm in arm with Jessica as the two stunning women began to descend the staircase side by side. Jessica had her trade-mark dazzling smile spread across her face as if she herself ruled the entire world, but Scarlett looked uneasy as she continued along down the stairs, skilfully guided along by her new companion.
Dimitri’s eyes were fixed on his prize and nothing else until she had finally reached where he was waiting for her at the bottom of the staircase.
He gave her a smile as he reached out his hand for her to take.
At first Scarlett seemed to hesitate with defiance, but with a quick bump of Jessica’s hip against hers, she then reached out and took Dimitri’s hand as he continued to lead her further in towards where the night's celebrations were taking place.
Once they reached the main foyer Dimitri led Scarlett straight out onto the already-packed dancefloor, took her in his arms and began to slowly waltz with her, all the while keeping his eyes fixed on hers, hungrily.
"You look ravishing baby." he tried complimenting her.
"It's your dress. You paid for it. I'm just wearing it." she spoke dryly in her response.
"Mmmm... but it's not the dress I'm admiring Scarlett." he smirked, running his hand down the side of her curved hip, "It's what's underneath it. I can't wait to get you out of it later on."
Scarlett swallowed her anger and nerves.
Her body language showed how she felt, deep down and Dimitri was well aware of this. But he was a master of disguises himself and he would not allow anything to ruin this night. He had everything planned out perfectly; a sure way to ensure Scarlett would remain loyal and true to him.
She couldn’t help but gasp slightly Dimitri suddenly leaned in closer towards her, apparently to whisper something into her ear.
“I’m glad you chose to come down.” he whispered sensually into her ear, causing her to feel a little uncomfortable as his lips brushed against her soft earlobe, “For a moment there, I thought that I may have to come up and get you.”
“I’m not here for you Dimitri.” she snapped sternly, not even looking him in the eye as he pulled back slowly and stared back at her with nothing less than obvious desire while the two continued to waltz along slowly in each other’s arms.
Then he noticed the bandage around her arm and pulled it up with a frown.
“What the hell’s this?”
“I slipped…” she replied sternly, pulling her arm out of his grip as they continued to dance, “If you must know, I fell in the shower.”
Dimitri gave Gabrielle a quick glare, to which his second in command seemed to lower his head with guilt. Scarlett’s voice pulled his attention back once more.
“Just who are all of these people here anyway? What’s going on here Dimitri?”
“Oh, I can’t… it’s a surprise you see.” he smirked menacingly, causing her skin to crawl as he slowly spun her around and then held her by the waist once again.
“I don’t like surprises Dimitri. You know that.” she reminded him.
“Now, now. Lighten up baby. You’ll like this one.” he leaned in once again, purposely rubbing his freshly-shaven skin against her bruised left cheek, now covered by make-up thanks to Jessica’s work. Scarlett winced at the tingle of pain she felt.
She could smell his overpowering cologne and it made her stomach turn. But what made her feel even worse was what he whispered into her ear next.
“It’s to die for.”
After a couple more dances and a few glasses of bubbly to help calm Scarlett’s nerves even a little, Dimitri continued to keep his arm around her lower back as he turned to whisper something to Gabrielle.
His right-hand man had worked to ensure that he was always within a close proximity to the couple-of-the-evening. Once he had his orders Gabrielle nodded and left, disappearing into the crowd as Dimitri began to lead Scarlett from the dance floor up to the large podium where the instrumental orchestra were gathered off to one side.
“What’s going on?” she asked, clearly unsure of her surroundings as she seemed to stumble a little up the small steps. Dimitri assisted her up the rest of the way safely and to the front of the podium beside him.
“You’ll see.” was his only reply.
With that he took a glass of champagne handed to him by a waiter, another waiter handing Scarlett one at the same time. Unsure of what Dimitri was up to, she took it but refused to lift it to her lips as she eyed him cautiously.
Suddenly the room began to grow silent as the orchestra ceased their song and the guests all turned with intrigue towards the happy couple standing at the centre of the podium before them.
A true power couple in the making it would appear.
Scarlett looked out at the sea of eyes currently on her and her stomach turned as the nerves began to kick in. She only recognised a handful of the people in attendance here tonight and for some reason, felt totally out of place in all of the glitz and glamour. Something she had never felt about this kind of lifestyle before.
Dimitri’s voice caught her immediate attention as he began his announcement to their adoring guests waiting below them.
“Ladies and gentlemen, friends and acquaintances, welcome. On behalf of my fiancé Scarlett and I, we would like to welcome you to our home and thank you for your gracious choice to attend with us on our special night.”
The room roared into applause as the guests smiled and clapped politely.
“When I met this woman…” he paused as he turned to face her with a dominant smile, “…I knew immediately that she was the one for me. The one I would share the rest of my life with. The woman who would one day give me a family and with it all the joys that family can bring a man.”
Scarlett frowned, looking to the floor to try and hide her disgust at the suggestion of creating a family with this sadistic psychopath. Dimitri kept his hand around hers, holding purposely onto her hand firmly as he continued.
“So with all of you here in attendance, I would like to officially announce this to be our Engagement Party.”
Scarlett froze up, unable to react as she fought to hold back the need to tear into the man standing before her. Her eyes practically bored into his as her lips pursed tightly to prevent her from screaming at him.
That sneaky, lying son of a bitch!
This was all a rue to announce their fucking engagement to the world!
“Please eat, drink and enjoy yourselves.” Dimitri finished with a smile, raising his glass, “And I can only hope that you are all as blessed as I am to have found such a rare jewel.”
With that another round of applause came thundering throughout the room as guests smiled, joined in the toast and clapped; some even wiped tears away at his apparently adoring speech.
Everyone but Scarlett.
Suddenly everyone in the room began to chant in unison, filling the room with one united voice. Scarlett heard their chants and swallowed nervously at the idea.
“Kiss, kiss, kiss!”
Dimitri raised a brow and held his hand out to rest against her face, as if the mongrel actually thought she would intentionally kiss him here, in front of hundreds of strangers!
Her expression was that of desperation as she fought to shake her head in front of everyone. This was the last thing she wanted to do, but she had a part to play.
One night of glitz and glamour with Dimitri and then she would learn about Adam and his whereabouts; that was their deal, hers and Jessica's.
Fighting back all of her gut instincts and emotions of being on the spot, Scarlett allowed him to pull her in closer and press his soft lips against hers. As she closed her eyes, a single tear rolled down the side of her left cheek, luckily on the side the audience couldn’t view as their tender moment was shared for all in attendance to see.
Clearly enjoying himself and utilizing this moment of intimacy to his advantage, as their kiss deepened Dimitri lowered his hand from the small of her back down to grasp a good handful of her left butt cheek, causing her to gasp into his mouth as their kiss continued.
The guests cheered and clapped proudly at the apparent happy couple.
As they pulled away from one another Scarlett slowly opened her eyes, visibly glistening with the tears she was fighting so hard to hold back.
Dimitri only grinned; he had won.
But the horror she felt in that moment of betrayal wasn’t even close to what she was about to endure only a moment later as her eyes darted over Dimitri’s shoulder to where several of his suited henchmen stood by a doorway just inside of the foyer.
And there in the middle of them, clearly being subdued from moving or talking to anyone by the henchmen surrounding him was another well-dressed gentleman; one she knew and recognised all too well.
Her heart sank as she looked into his chocolate brown eyes and saw the pain and hurt staring back at her.
She gasped, only able to utter one word aloud.
Dimitri grinned as he raised his glass in front of her.