The Pursuit of Pleasure

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Chapter 14

There was a pond filled with water lilies and sun was bright, almost too bright that Victoria had to squint her eyes to be able to see the most beautiful garden that she stood in. There were birds flying high above her head, singing the most beautiful harmonious song. She stretched her toes, welcoming the gentle caress of the green grass at her feet.

And then she fell, endlessly, in a dark yet frightening abyss with red rose petals floating around her. Her body tingle as they laid kisses on her soft skin.

Petals?

Her eyes flashed open.

It wasn’t petals laying kissing on her neck and her shoulder. It wasn’t even the sun that was warming her up.

Nikolai. He was still in her bed and he was evidently keeping himself busy.

Nikolai felt her move, a smile grew on his lips at her failed attempt of pretending to be asleep. He had been awake for a while now and had slightly debated on the idea of leaving before she woke up but then the thought of seeing her open her eyes after the hours of making love, he couldn’t resist.

“I thought that you’d sleep through the whole night.” he whipered in her ear.

“Mmmm, so did I but you kissing me woke me up.”

“Would you be pissed if I said that I’m not sorry for that?”

Victoria giggled, thankful that the light was off and he couldn’t see her blush. “No. I think I like you kissing me awake.” She admitted, then froze. Her body tensing against his.

She hadn’t meant to say that out loud.

Nikolai moved and Victoria’s back was now flat on the bed. His eyes sparkled with delight as they ventured to her widened eyes, catching a glimpse of her slightly flushed cheeks.

“Well, since you like my kisses so much,” he smiled, “then maybe I should kiss you properly.”

Her lips parted under his the minute his lips touched hers. There was no denying that he could kiss because dear lord, he could and it made her head spin, her heart soar and wet between her thighs.

“Hey.” Nikolai whispered against her swollen lips once they broke apart.

Victoria smiled, bemused and temporarily out of words.

“Hey.” She whispered back in response then cringe inwardly. Surely she could have said something else other than ‘hey’.

“Do you want to go grab something to eat?” He asked, his blue eyes stared into hers so intensively that it caught her breath.

Victoria leaned into his touch as he caressed the side of her face. Everything about this moment that they had shared in bed and him staying afterwards made her want to scream yes but she knew better. They needed to talk and it would be preferable if it was behind closed doors.

So instead she exhaled heavily through her dissapoitment and said, “We can’t. I think we should talk.”

Nikolai stared at her for a minute with a light frown on his face. He had never been turned down before. Women would usual jump at the chance to be seen in public with him yet Victoria... he didn’t quite know what to make of this.

“Alright,” he sighed, “But we can still eat while talking, can’t we?”

“Yeah, that’s if we’re doing the eating here.”

She felt his weight shift off her and Victoria suddenly felt cold. Her body wanted him to stay a little while long in bed but her head was telling her that they needed to get up before things got a whole lot more complicated.

“How about I order us some take out?” Nikolai asked pulling on his boxer along with his pants.

“That would be great.” She nodded, shifting in discomfort as she laid naked under the comforter.

“How does Italian sound?”

“Perfect.” She muttered, “-I’ll just grab a shower and meet you in the living room.”

With a nod of the head, he opened her bedroom door and left in search for his phone.

“What were you thinking?” Victoria hissed at herself as the warm soothing water ran down her shoulders to her back and all the way to her feet.

Damn it Victoria! She shook, You need to end this! It was suppose to be one night. Just one.

She turned off the water and emerged out of the shower in a white towel. After she was done dressing herself, she left her bedroom in search of Nikolai.

The living was awfully quiet, Victoria thought as she made her way through the hallway. Her footsteps came to an abrupt stop and a small gasp left her mouth as she crashed into a hard wall of a chest.

“Careful.” Nikolai said, catching hold of her arms.

“Jesus,” She rasped, her hand immediately to her nose to assess the damage. “What do you have underneath that thing,” she gestured to his chest, “steel?”

Nikolai chuckled a laugh, raised her chin up and smiled when he saw that she was fine. “Wouldn’t that be something?”

She gave him a disapproving glare before stepping out of his embrace.

“I was coming to check on you. I’ve already called the restaurant, I wasn’t sure if you wanted anything special added to the delivery.” He explained following behind her as she made her way to the kitchen.

“I’m sure that whatever you’ve ordered is fine. I’m not picky about food.” She told him.

Nikolai watched as she worked her way from the cutlery drawers to the cupboard filled with glasses. She seemed very determined in getting everything ready, it almost like she was avoiding him.

Avoiding him. Nikolai scoffed inwardly, he was going to enjoy seeing her do that because for one, there was too much of him standing in her kitchen for her to do so.

“Need any help with those?” He asked, smiling at the sight of her trying to balance everything in her hands.

“Uh- no, I’m good. Why don’t you have a seat? I’ll set the table.” She replied but Nikolai didn’t move.

The wine glasses wobbled against the plate as she tried to move past him. His presence and him nonetheless being half naked in her apartment, looking at her with those lust filled eyes of his made her nervous. It reminded her of how good he had made her feel just a few hours ago.

But she needed a clear head around him. Couldn’t afford to get distracted.

Nikolai sighed, shook his head then grabbed the glasses from her.

“Hey,” Victoria let out in protest.

“It was amusing at first Victoria but pretending that I’m not here isn’t going to cut it.” He said placing the wine glass on the table then glanced back at her, sighing when she didn’t move.

“Is it that bad to allow me to help you?” He questioned, his brow pulled up at her, daring her to challenge him.

She shook her head at him, “It’s not that Nikolai. I just --look, what happened, we can’t,” she swallowed on a dry throat,” I can’t allow it to happen again.”

A low smile tugged at Nikolai’s lips. “You can’t?” He asked, taking taking a step towards her.

Victoria took a step back, “I can’t.” She replied, tightening her grasp around the porcelain plates. And when he took yet another step, her breath hitched in her throat and her heart rate picked up a few notch.

“My father,” Victoria bit out, “he’ll summon a storm if he hears about this, about us.”

Thick brows pulled into a straight line as he tried to make sense of what she had just told him.

“Why would your father care about who you see?”

Her jaw twitched. “I don’t want to talk about the why’s and the --”

“Why?” He demanded, his hand caught hold of her arm as she made a move past him.

“Because he will. That’s why.” She snapped, wrenching out of his hold.

“So you do whatever Daddy dearest wants all the time? Even if it means marrying a prick like Chad?”

Her hand froze in mid air with the plate hovering over table. “You wouldn’t understand.” She muttered through her hurt at the mention of Chad’s name. Nobody would, she wanted to add.

“Wouldn’t I?” Nikolai pressed on, stuffing his hands in his pockets. “I’ve been around and have heard things.” He told her.

And he wasn’t lying. A few weeks ago while he was at the country club he had heard a few women gossiping about her and her relationship with Chad. It wasn’t like he entertained the idea of eavesdropping on other people’s conversation but they were sitting right across from his table which made it hard to not to.

Victoria pulled her upper lip between her teeth and bit down on it. Of course, the rumours were still going around. It wasn’t news to her but it still didn’t mean that it didn’t hurt to have other people sneer at her and whispered god awful things whenever she would walk past them.

“You honestly think that I care about what you’ve heard? People will say whatever they want, so let them.”

“Really?” Nikolai raised a brow at her, ” Well if you don’t care so much then why are you so afraid of your father finding out about this?”

“My father’s different.” She told him.

“Different how?”

Victoria wanted to scream. He was really being persistent. She sprang around, her narrowed eyes matching his but only in annoyance.

Well if he wanted a good reason to leave this she might as well tell him. And after that, well good riddance!

“Fine!“Victoria huffed, gritting at her teeth trying to keeps her emotions under control.

She hated talking about her father and how much dissapoitment he saw in her. She had tried so hard over the years, begged herself even, to not care about what he thought of her and yet still, no matter how hard she tried - the pain still squeezed at her heart and coursed it’s way to her eyes and they would burn.

Her lips quivered as she slowly parted them, “My father, he --“she drew in a deep breath and gave her head lightly shake. “I wasn’t the heir that he wanted. He wanted a son and my mother gave him a daughter. A weak, dissapoitment of a daughter.”

“Don’t say that.” Nikolai said taking a step towards her but stopped when she flinched.

A bitter sneered pulled at her lips in remembrance, “Oh, those are his words not mine.“She scoffed, “Since he didn’t have any control over my birth, he’s made it his mission to choose his successor. My husband.”

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