I was stiff.
I should move. Get something to drink. Anything to get my mind off of that horrible viper Trish Greene. Her words swirled and stung within my thoughts. Her and Alec, from the sound of things had been on again off again for the last three years. During that same span in the last couple of months that he’d been with me.
A small pressure on my elbow jolted me to look up.
Alec stared at me with concern, written clear on his handsome face. The voices around us dimming as we stared at each other.
“Is everything ok Cas?” He asked, his touch was so light and simple, and yet it brought a sense of calm. Something I was thankful and yet slightly irritated for.
I needed to be upset, I needed to confront him about this.
But not here, I wouldn’t cause a scene.
I nodded forcing a smile. His eyes scrutinized my face, he sensed the lie, I could see it but I knew he wouldn’t dig further. If I wasn’t willing to talk about it now he knew i was going to blow later.
I was hanging by a thread. Hurt, anger and disbelief all balled up into one giant hole was swiftly sucking me down into its depths.
He gripped my hand and I squeezed back hard. He didn’t flinch or pull away, instead he let me take what I was feeling out on his hand.
I breathed threw my nose and glanced around at the unfamiliar faces. Everyone was still chatting, seeming to enjoy their time.
Various eyes continued to make their way towards me, looking me up and down. I smiled tightly at each person. The air in my lungs felt heavy, like thick fumes.
“Ah! Mr. Swade, I’ve been looking for you!” An older gentlemen stepped forward past the few groups of people loitering around. His suit caught my attention first, it was a dark evergreen green with a white and black checkered hanky folded neatly and sticking out of the small pocket of his nicely pressed jacket. His dark black hair was withering away, turning salt and pepper. His smile was wide and thin as his faded hazel eyes locked onto Alec’s.
“Oh, Mr. Sampson, I’m so glad you could make it” Alec said, surprise etched across his face. I watched his eyes flicker across the man in front of him nervously. He took Mr. Sampsons outstretched hand and shook it.
The older man, Mr. Sampson, eyes flickered towards me, his smile was still there as he looked me up and down.
I knew people would be looking and judging the moment Alec said he was a top notch business guy and that the paparazzi sometimes followed him. It was only natural for others to do so. But tonight had my patience wearing very thin. Everyone was simply waiting for the shoe to drop. As if Alec was going to come out and say “gotcha! Just kidding we’re not really together I was just messing with you all”
Sure I had self doubt, what girl didn’t have a time or two or more when they doubted whether they were pretty or skinny enough? But tonight had my doubts rising quickly, I felt myself questioning everything about me, was there something wrong with me? Could they read how unexposed to this big city life I was?
“Mr. Sampson, id like you to meet my girlfriend, Cassandra Joy” Alec said nodding and smiling in my direction.
I plastered an even bigger fake smile on my face, hating how awkward it felt and shook his outstretched hand, “hello” I said.
Mr. Sampson blinked at me before pulling his hand away and turning towards Alec, swiftly dismissing me. The two were suddenly pulled into another boring talk about statistics.
I licked my dry lips and slipped away from Alec. He didn’t even notice, not even so much as a twitch as my hand slipped from his and I strode away.
My heels clicked against his floor and I moved around the various amounts of people before passing around the corner into the large vast modernized kitchen. It didn’t look like it matched the rest of the style Alec had around the house but I suppose he wanted this room as updated as possible. The plus side, the room was completely empty.
I spotted a clear pitcher full of water and practically dove for it, snatching a glass from the large kitchen island.
I downed the first cup before nursing the second.
“Are you alright?”
I screamed, completely startled as I hadn’t realized anyone else had walked in. I turned and smashed my nose into a hard broad chest.
Nose stinging with the sudden onslaught of pain i stepped back and glared at the handsome stranger in the dark suit.
He laughed, a deep rich sound, “I’m sorry, I apologize for sneaking up on you.”
I waved him away, “What are you some kind of secret agent? I didn’t even hear you come in”
He ran a hand through his wheat colored hair, his blue eyes laughing at me, “No, I’m not a secret agent. I believe you were to busy tossing back glass after glass of water to even notice me” he shrugged.
My eyes roamed his muscular form, I shouldn’t have looked, as his eyes caught me checking him out a warm pink blush stole its way into my face, “um, well I was just really thirsty”
He nodded, “So whys a beautiful woman such as yourself hiding out in the kitchen?”
I narrowed my eyes at him, “I am not hiding out”
He gave me a yeah right kinda look before shoving his hands deep into his black slacks.
I rolled my eyes, “everyone out there are vultures” he laughed, something told me he knew that already, “so what’s your name?”
“Michael Wentworth, and yours?”
I took a gentle sip from the glass I still held, my throat already felt so much better, “Cassandra Joy” I replied.
He didn’t seem like a bad guy, but then again I’d only met him a few moments ago, and I wasn’t exactly the greatest and telling if someone was a good person or not.
Take Sarah and Brian for example.
“Do you work for S&S Corp.?” He asked, his eyes lingered over my form again and I couldn’t help but feel a little violated.
“Could you keep your eyes up here please” I asked pointing to my face with irritation, he smirked but obliged, “and no, actually I’m here with Alec”
Suddenly he changed, his posture turned a little stiff and his eyes hardened, “Alec Swade?”
I nodded, unsure what this guys problem was.
“I’ve never seen you around before, you must be an added extra” he said smugly.
What the? An added extra?
Suddenly the atmosphere changed, a thick undeniable tension stretched between us. I took another sip of water just as my stomach plummeted.
I had thought that this would be easy, that after Sarah was out of the way we could be together with no problems, but I was swiftly finding out that, that wasn’t the case at all.
“An extra?” I gritted out acidly. My hand shook slightly as I gripped the glass.
He stared at me completely unfazed by my reaction, “Yes, an extra. Did he not inform you? He usually tells his woman-”
“Tells them what?” I snapped. I was sure the glass would shatter in my hand. I was feeling so many things at the moment, fear, revulsion, anger and heartbreak.
This wasn’t how it was supposed to be.
“That-” he began, but the sound of heavy footsteps stopped him. We both turned as Alec entered the kitchen. His eyes swept across Michael before landing on me.
Relief swam in the depths of his eyes until he noticed my current mood.
“What’s going on? What did you do to her Mike?” He asked striding forward making a bee line for me.
He reached out to no doubt wrap me in his arms but inside stepped not wanting him to touch me. He looked hurt but at the moment I couldn’t care.
“It isn’t me she’s mad at, it’s you” Michael stated watching our interaction, “so you wanna explain to me why your adding another girl to your harem?”
Alec gritted his teeth, his fiats bunched tight, “I’m not adding her to a Harem you asshole. This is Cassandra, she’s my only one”
Michael laughed and in that moment I knew who Alec was in the city life. He was a bachelor, a super player. He didn’t have girlfriends or a family, people knew him for the hot piece of ass that wrapped around his arm.
“What happened to Trish and Veronica and-”
“Enough!” He roared, he shot me an apologetic look, I ignored it. This was bull. How could this have happened. “They’re gone, I’ve taken myself off the market. Cassandra is mine, she’ll always be mine, the only one for me” he said.
I wanted to believe him.
But I couldn’t.
I needed answers and I’d be getting them tonight.
“Alec I think we need to talk” I said trying my best to keep my voice steady and strong.
He nodded before looking back at Michael who stood there still watching us.
I stepped forward and offered my hand, he took it without hesitation, “Thank you, it was nice meeting you”
He gave me a crooked smile, causing him to look even more handsome, “I expect we’ll be meeting again soon” he said before turning and leaving Alec and I standing there.