The Pursuit of Pleasure

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Chapter 1

Victoria Sinn’s head jerked up at the sound of the auctioneer’s voice oozing from the loudspeaker calling for number six to take the stage. She nervously tugged at her long silver cocktail dress before patting at her dark hair which was neatly pinned up into a bun.

There was no backing out now. This was it.

She shifted uncomfortably in her chair and quickly unfold the small scrap of paper that Tanya had slipped into her hand before disappearing backstage for her so called hosting duties.

Her light brown eyes laid glued to the number written on the piece of paper. Tanya had assured her that she would go over all the bachelors and let her know which one was safe, being that she was the only one aloud to see their face.

She lightly frowned over the number unable to make out whether it was a six or nine. Her eyes flared up and casted a panic look around the room but her patner in crime was nowhere to be found.

Curse Tanya and her inability to write numbers down properly, Victoria thought. She was probably still busy backstage ensuring that everything was running as smoothly as possible.

There was no time to waste, she had to mentally roll the dice and take a pick.

Number six it is.

She tugged lightly at her golden sequenced mask.

Everything will be fine, as along as the mask stays on, she said to herself as a last conviction before she grabbed her bidding pad. Tonight was not about proving something to those gossiping hags, tonight was about proving something her ; that she was not as cold or as boring as everybody had said.

She took a deep breath and shifted in her chair. The whole room had gone quiet and all stares were fixed on stage. The little voice in her head kept insisting that this was a bad idea but once again she pushed it aside. She needed this. Chad’s words still hurted her, they had been together for two years and for him to go around with his now new fiancée after they had broken up and spreading all sorts of gossips about her was unbearable.

Of course it was silly of her to come here and bid on a stranger, why should she even care about what Chad has to say? He was her first, so if anything he should have taught her all the things the she had lacked.

She had loved him or so she thought, if she really had then why had she been so relived when they had broken up?

But all that was not important right now. She did not want to live the rest of her life with the belief that Chad had been right.

Call it ego but ice princess was not a title that she wanted stuck to her name.

The auctioneer called the next bachelor to take the stage. As soon as he stepped up the podium, the supposedly shy women of Starnfords gathered in the ballroom of Sinn Plaza Hotel, began to hoot, cheer and some even pierced a wolf whistle.

The auctioneer began to do his intro and once again revealing nothing about his name or what he did for a leaving, only the traits being offered for the bid.

“Our bachelor number six knows how to take care of a woman, pays attention to details and will take you on a whirlwind romantic date to Paris for a very good price. Ladies, I think we have a winner on our hands.” Her voice rang approvingly through the room, earning yet another cheer from the crowd.

Don’t Victoria, don’t do it. The persisting voice inside her head screamed.

Victoria slowly bit her lower lip and slowly raised her head.

Her eyes followed the rest of the women’s as they gawked and drooled over him.

Awareness sizzled throughout her body and every nerve stood on ends.

There he stood with his fingers running through his thick black hair then smoothed down to the lapel of his tux. She could see from across the room that his eyes were grey and the small but pure masculine smile of arrogance that spread across his lips made her shiver.

Everything about him was calling out to her. His broad shoulders, the way he stood with his long legs slightly parted. He looked just like a power sleek animal ready to pounce on his prey. Her lips slightly parted involuntarily as she drank in his appearance. She knew the message that he was sending out as his eyes scanned over the room. It was not difficult to grasp.

I’ll be yours and you’ll be mine, he was saying, and when we’re alone...

She swallowed nervously at the thought alone. He was perfect, no doubt this was the right number. Tanya wasn’t kidding when she said that she was find her a stud.

“Do I hear five thousand dollars to start with?” The auctioneer said.

“How about ten thousand?” A blonde sitting right across from where he stood spurred adding a wink for effect.

A cheer swarmed across the room sending a smile on number six’ face and he looked at her. He was looking right at her and her heart spinned furiously inside her chest as a wave of hot flush spread over her face. Lord, she was grateful that nobody could tell that it was her because she wouldn’t know how to explain this to her father. Her father was strict man, he was never fully on board with the idea of Victoria dating. She was sure that if he could have his way he would have already married her off to one of his business partner - just so that he could have piece of mind.

“Ladies, I have ten thousand now do I hear eleven?” The auctioneer shouted.

“Eleven.” A red head at back shouted and number six gave her a sexy smile.

“Twelve!” A stunning brunette in the front seat yelled. He blew her a kiss and she squealed.

“Thirty.” The lady from her right yelled and the crowd cheered in approval.

“Come on ladies, I can assure you that he is worth more than that. Oh, what ever will you do with a stud muffin for and entire weekend?” The auctioneer said and swarm of laughter overflowed the room.

Victoria knew that it was joke but some reason her comment sent Victoria’s heart flying inside her chest. She knew that this was legitimate auction and that what ever fund was raised tonight would go to charity ; but she felt somewhat guilty as her intention was not going to be so honorable.

“Thirty-five!” She heard from somewhere at the back of the room.

Victoria’s hands began to sweat. It seemed like they all wanted him, she noted, silently debatwhether it was worth over bidding them.

Maybe if she got a closer look.

She got up and walked towards the stage causing multiple of his fans to growl at her.

“How about I take him home right now, one million dollars.” Another lady said from the crowd.

Victoria had gotten close enough,her head tilted from side to side as her eyes swept over him, slowly examining every inch of his perfectly sculpted body. His head sprung around and his brow peeved her way, the defiance in his jaws ticked as if he was annoyed by her boldness to come this close. Infact, she seemed to be the only one who’d dare to come and have closer look. It could be that or it could be the simple fact that she was assessing him like a merchandise.

Once she was satisfied, she turned and started to make her way back.

“One million dollars to the lady with the silver fan going once.... do I have anymore offers?... going twice...”

Victoria stopped in her track.

“Two hundred and fifty million dollars.”

The whole room went quiet-- too quiet. She could hear the drumming sound of her own heart beating as she slowly turned around to face him.

He was already gazing at her with his brows jolting sky high. They held on to each others gaze and for a moment it felt like there was only the two of them in the room, hell, it felt like it was the two of them in the universe.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t quite catch that.”

“I said two hundred and fifty million dollars.” She repeated firmly, daring any of those women to bid against her.

“Well--oh my,” the auctioneer cleared her throat. “Two hundred and fifty million dollars going once.... twice....Sold --” the auctioneer exclaimed triumphantly, banging her gavel.

“--to the lady with the golden sequenced mask.”

The echoing sound of the gavel snapped Victoria out of the daze that she seemed to have been in as people came to congratulate her.

Everything was starting to feel too real, too fast.

A quarter of a billion dollars! What was she thinking?

She had just bought herself a man, an alpha one at that and he was making his way down the steps towards her.

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