Chapter 1 - The Bitter Taste of Fame
NOTE: This is the sequel to 'Hooked on You', also found here on Inkitt. Please read the other story first for the storyline to make sense. And of course, enjoy!
Adam Cunningham was normally used to getting what he wanted out of life... the world was his oyster, so to speak.
Being the future heir to a billion-dollar investment business known as Cunningham Industries, he was soon to take the reins from his father Eugene Cunningham who had set to retire, and Adam was about to become the youngest CEO in New York City.
Even with so much money and influence Adam was a smart man with a gentle soul, grounded with a good head for business.
That’s what made him the perfect candidate for the CEO position.
That and the fact that he was the eldest of the four Cunningham brothers.
But right now, none of it mattered.
The power, the money, the fortune. None of it.
The only thing that mattered stood right before him, in the middle of a crowded airport with a small suitcase sitting beside her long legs as she gazed deeply into his chocolate brown eyes lovingly.
Her name was Scarlett Workman and Adam had just announced his feelings for her, in an effort to prevent her from leaving.
That he loved her.
Her long blonde hair was in large, thick wavy curls cascading down her shoulders and back.
A bright smile formed revealing her perfectly straight white teeth as her eyes appeared to sparkle with delight at what she had just heard him admit.
“So, is that a yes?” Adam asked, both his arms wrapped around her slender waist as he held the bouquet of fresh roses behind her back.
“Will you stay?”
“Of course I will.” she replied happily.
As his smile widened, the two leaned in once again for yet another slow and passionate kiss while their hands began to roam freely over one another’s body in slow and sensuous circles.
Just as they parted lips a passer-by happened to speak, causing the pair to blush with embarrassment.
“Oh, don’t you two make an adorable couple?”
The older woman with silver hair smiled, looking from one to the other as she continued.
“Love is a beautiful thing dear...”
The woman reached out and placed her hand onto Scarlett’s arm as she spoke kindly, “Once you find it, don’t ever let it go.”
Within the blink of an eye the older woman was gone, having disappeared back into the crowd of travellers and leaving the couple alone.
“That was... strange?” Adam commented with a confused frown.
“I think she was sweet.” Scarlett admitted.
“Oh, I almost forgot…”
Caught up in his erupting emotions, Adam had only just remembered the large bouquet of fresh long-stemmed roses he was still holding onto and lifted them up for her to take as he spoke.
“These are for you. I hope you like them. They were all I could manage at such late notice-”
“-They’re beautiful.” she announced admiringly.
As she took the bouquet from him and lifted them up to rest just beneath her nose Adam watched on fondly as she took in a deep breath and inhaled their sweet scent while closing her eyes and making a soft moan.
“I love it when you make that sound.” he grinned devilishly, taking her right hand in his.
Her left brow rose at his cheeky comment.
“Really? And what other sounds do you like me making?”
Her voice showed deep lust as she stepped in closer towards him and looked up into his hooded eyes, their faces mere inches apart as if they were about to go in for another kiss.
“Maybe we’d better find out.”
He spoke suggestively with a grin as his other arm wrapped around the small of her back, guiding her along with him as they began to head toward the Airport’s exit.
“I like the sound of that.” Scarlett replied with a grin.
After leading her towards the main entrance of the incredibly massive New York City airport, Adam pulled her small suitcase along with them as the loving couple walked hand in hand, each sporting dazzling smiles as they passed by hundreds of strangers.
Adam held onto her hand tightly, possessively.
He wasn’t going to let her get away ever again...
The moment they had stepped outside of the Airport, Scarlett was shocked to come face to face with a frenzy of bright flashing lights and insistent questions being directed towards them.
She unknowingly stepped back as Adam moved in to wrap both arms around her, shielding her from the onslaught of reporters who had apparently been waiting to ambush them when they exited.
Within a matter of seconds both she and Adam had been surrounded by well-dressed strangers holding up phones, cameras and microphones.
Some were demanding questions from them, others barking out comments as they held their microphones out toward the surprised couple.
Scarlett seemed confused, fearful even as they moved in on them like a wave of chattering monkeys, blocking off their path to the waiting town car.
It was less than two metres away from where they were now.
Sensing her obvious fear and unease in this unusual and sudden situation, Adam tightened his grip on her hand comfortingly as he leaned in to whisper into her ear.
“Don’t let go of me.”
Using his body’s incredible stature Adam picked up the suitcase and used it as a shield to part the crowd as he guided her through the cloud of reporters towards where the sleek black town car waited by the curb.
Scarlett could hear several voices of complete strangers calling out to her, to Adam, asking a flurry of different questions.
“Mr. Cunningham, is this your fiancé?” one called out eagerly.
“Adam, we’ve heard rumours of an impending engagement. Is this the lucky woman?” another added.
“Care to comment about what happened at the Mancini Mansion, involving your kidnapping?”
“Was a ransom involved?” a voice shouted out from the back of the crowd, "...we heard rumours that they were seeking a ransom for your safe return."
“Are the kidnappers still at large?”
Adam didn’t comment or make eye contact with any of them.
His eyes were focused and intense as they continued through the crowd, Scarlett's hand wrapped in his strong embrace.
Instead he focused on what was important; getting the woman he cared about through this mass of reporters and to somewhere safe.
Before too long they had reached the curb side and the waiting town car parked there.
The driver wore a tailored suit and stood waiting as he held the door to the backseat open for their apparent escape from such an uncomfortable situation.
Scarlett was helped into the back seat of the town car, Adam following along close behind before the door was promptly closed behind them and the driver moved around the car.
As Scarlett sat there, her heart thudding and adrenalin coursing throughout her veins, she wondered to herself.
That final question she had heard called out repeated over and over in her head.
‘Are the kidnappers still at large?’
She wondered to herself if the reporters were onto something, if their lives were still in danger from the Mafia, even with Dimitri out of the picture.
It was always a possibility, she knew that.
She looked out through the window at the hundreds of faces she could now see, all peering into the car at her, all eager to get a photo of her through the tinted glass.
She’d never felt so scared and confused all at once, as if she was in some kind of danger, though from what she could not understand.
But his warm hold on her hand and a comforting squeeze from the man she cared about gave her sudden comfort.
She turned from the flashes at the window and smiled warmly back at him; at the man she loved.
In a matter of seconds the car had peeled off with a loud squeal and into the city’s afternoon traffic, leaving the flashing crowd of vultures behind in their wake.
What Scarlett didn’t yet know was this was but a taste of what was to come...
Just a small, bitter taste.