“I’m sorry, sweetie... it takes a little while for him to get ready.” My mother apologized to Vincent as they sat in the living room couch of my house. I’d been upstairs in my room for the past hour, getting ready for the new student’s welcome party.
“That’s quite all right, Mrs. Holmes. It’s a pleasure talking to you while I wait for Taylor,” he said smoothly. “I’m sorry I didn’t get to meet Mr. Holmes tonight though.”
I rolled my eyes as I walked down the stairs. He was such an ass-kisser, that boy…
My mother cleared her throat uncomfortably. “Y-yes... it’s a shame his father had to work extra hours today. You two can catch up some other time, dear.”
I had been hugely relieved about my father’s absence for the evening when Vincent came to pick me up for the party. Dad managed to embarrass me to death when he had to be introduced to any of my boyfriends. He took the protective role way too seriously and used to say that it was his duty as a father to protect me. No boy was ever good enough for me, and after what happened with David, he could never trust a boy near me again.
“Okay, I’m here, let’s get this show on the road!” I said, stepping into the living room and motioning for Vincent to get a move on. This party was supposed to be our first fake-date and part of his devious plan to make Matt jealous.
Yes, we were still playing his game. I hadn’t given up on it yet.
His plan seemed to be working as expected. Matt’s mood was consistently horrible the entire week. Even with the prospect of a raging party on the weekend, he still was cranky as hell. His bad mood increased considerably, whenever he spotted Vincent anywhere near me. If I got a dollar every time Matt shot Vincent a dirty look, I would be richer than Vincent by now.
“Let’s go then.” Vincent stood up from the couch, ready to leave. “It was nice seeing you again, Mrs. Holmes. Don’t worry, I’ll take care of Taylor and bring him home safe and sound.” Vincent promised, still smoothly kissing up to my mom.
“Good, good, but if you boys drink too much, stay put, sleep it over and come back in the morning, okay? I don’t want you drinking and driving. Oh, and also, if things heat up too much and you can’t control yourselves, remember to always use protect-”
“Oh, my God! Mom, shut up! Shut up! Shut up!” I wailed in horror.
I grabbed a chuckling Vincent by the hand and practically hauled him out of the house.
“Your mother is too awesome to be true,” Vincent said with a laugh as we both slid inside his car.
“Yeah, yeah, she’s a freaking rainbow of joy…” I muttered darkly, my ears still a boiling red from embarrassment.
“You look good, by the way.” He complimented, pushing his keys into the ignition to start the car.
“Thanks.” I mumbled awkwardly.
I had been slaying myself in my bedroom for hours, trying to look presentable for this party. It was nice that he had noticed it. Although, he could be still just playing his smooth fake date talk there.
“You don’t need to say that, there are no people around to see your boyfriend act, Vincent.” I said while he drove off.
He gave me a quick glance, one eyebrow slightly tilted in curiosity. “It’s not an act, Taylor. You do look good. Didn’t know you had self-esteem issues, you always act so confident. I thought you were aware you look good, but when you dress up, you look even better.” He noted.
“Oh. Okay. Sorry. Thanks. You look good, too.”
He really did look incredible, wearing a tailored black buttoned up shirt that hung nicely to his body and a snug expensive black jeans that made him look incredible sexy and fit. Damn those sexy, self-assured, fit billionaires. I was going to a party with a real-life, teenage-like, Bruce Wayne. How cool was that?
As we approached our destination, Vincent debriefed me once again. “I hope your head is focused on the game, Holmes. Remember, this party isn’t about having fun, it’s about working hard to get what you want. You know what you have to do, right?” he asked, parking the car.
“Make sure Matt gets jealous. I know.” I drawled, repeating his orders for the hundredth time as we stepped out of the car.
Vincent could be overbearingly bossy sometimes. I think it was his millionaire genes to order people around so effortlessly like that. I was an only child, I was used to getting things my way, but Vincent never let me. As much as I tried to whine or throw tantrums, he seemed to be immune to me, and never did anything I wanted.
Everything had to be done his way. It was so annoying!
I have to confess though, spending time with Vincent wasn’t the massive torturous ordeal I had originally imagined he would be. He was witty, sharp and smart, and also really fun to talk to. He was a nice company to have around, once you got past the imposing glares and the back off vibe that he put up, as a front to scare people away. In the end, I was enjoying this fake dating scheme he had planned for us – probably a bit too much.
The front of the house was bustling with people who were also arriving to the party. As soon as I walked through the front door, Jesse came running to me and hugged me until my eyes popped out of their sockets. Then she let go of me and stepped away to have a stare down contest with Vincent.
“Worthington. Looking hot. Still don’t like you.” She stated dryly.
“Jessica. Lovely to see you. Still don’t really care if you like me or not.” He remarked impeccably calm. Then he sauntered into the room as if he owned the damn place, like the fearless bastard that he was.
I skipped through the crowd, greeting people as I went along and caught sight of Matt drinking with his jock buddies, but he didn’t acknowledge me, which was odd, because we always looked for each other and hung out together in parties.
I lost track of Vincent’s whereabouts for a moment, distracted by a few friends who called me into their group to chat. When I caught sight of him again, Vincent was sitting on a small side table, next to the fireplace. He was watching the room with attentive eyes, under the loud beat of the music, while people tried to subtly avoid him.
He didn’t want interaction and this was evident in his face and his body language. The clear warning silently radiated off him: Do not approach me.
His gaze drifted in my direction and when we locked eyes, he made a quick sign with his head (he even had an imposing head tilt, for God’s sake!), signaling for me to come over. I marched over to him with a slight sulk, feeling like a trained lap dog inside.
“Now that you’ve done your share of gossiping around, you think you can get your head back to the game?” He drawled sharply as soon as I approached him. “I want to get this over with so I can go back home.”
The irritation in his voice and the hardness of his stare made me take a scared step back. He noticed my reaction and softened his features immediately. “I’m sorry. It came out a bit too harsh. I get edgy sometimes, when there’s too many people crowding the room.” He explained, giving me a weak smile.
“I think the crowded room is aware of your edginess.” I noted, glancing at all the vacant space around him.
He reached out, grabbing me by the hips and pulling me to stand between his legs. ”Don’t worry. You have boyfriend privileges. You can come as close as you want.” He offered, wrapping his arms around my waist.
I gave him a tentative shy smile. “Promise you won’t bite?”
“Not unless you want me to.” He teased, making me blush. His eyes twinkled with mischief and his lips tugged up at the corners in a sexy smirk.
I almost forgot about the whole fake-dating thing, as he wrapped me around his arms. He was holding me like he was really my boyfriend. It felt really nice.
“I didn’t know you hated crowds this much. I’m sorry you had to come over, we could have worked something else to help me with my… problem.”
“That’s okay. I’m doing this because I want to. And the party is not so bad.”
I chuckled, with a skeptical eyebrow raised. “That’s kind of hard to believe, but okay, if you say so.”
“No, seriously, it’s been interesting observing people in this party. I have information to blackmail half the school population now,” he said with a wicked glint in his green eyes.
“Come on! What could you possibly have found, by just sitting here and looking at people?” I jeered incredulously.
He leaned forward until his face was next to me and his lips were close to my ear. “Let’s see… shall we start with that girl over there, with the lanky boyfriend leaning over her shoulder?” I followed his gaze to a blonde girl to our right. “She’s cheating on him. Can you see the look of lust and guilt on her face, whenever she glances at that other boy at the other side of the room? I’d bet good money they’re having a thing. Want to hear something juicier?” He turned to a group of football jocks that were playing some card game at the dinner table. “I didn’t realize there were so many closet gays in the football team. That was a pleasant surprise for the evening. At least three of them had made a naughty move with their feet or hands under that table.”
“Shut. The front. Door.” I gasped in outrageous shocked surprise.
“What else?” Vincent continued, as if none of these was a big deal. “Oh, yeah, that creepy guy over there has been staring at you wherever you go. It’s quite stalky of him, if you ask me. And your ex-boyfriend, Kyle, I believe it’s his name, is trying to make the new transfer student feel very welcomed, if you catch my drift.” He hummed full of innuendo, as I turned my head to watch Kyle leaning close to the new student to talk something into his ear, in a dark corner of the room. They seemed very friendly over there for sure.
“Now, let’s talk about you, my lovely, beautiful, boyfriend. You have been trying to figure out why Matt is avoiding you, since we’ve arrived to this party.” Vincent soft whisper tickled at my skin as he spoke.
He brushed his lips along my neck in butterfly kisses while his hands slid up and down my back, making me fight hard not to shiver. “How am I doing so far with my guesses?” He murmured and nibbled lightly into my earlobe, making me a shiver away from completely losing it right then and there. “I’ll tell you why Mathew is avoiding you, Taylor. He’s mad because you came to the party with me. He’s trying to punish you by not talking to you tonight. This means he’s already jealous, and we’re one step closer to make him realize what he truly feels about you.”
It was kind of hard to concentrate, with Vincent’s hands brushing lightly over my hips, teasingly brushing the hem of my shirt away with his fingers so he could feel the warm skin underneath. It was almost impossible to stop the goosebumps that kept running up and down my spine. We were giving people quite the intimate show here and to my upmost shame, I was enjoying it way more than I should have.
“Just to make it clear, I am so going to win this game.” Vincent added his last remark into my ear, when someone abruptly pushed me away from him.