The Pursuit of Pleasure

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Chapter 8

Victoria swallowed nervously, gripping hard on her handbag so that he wouldn’t notice her fingers trembling .

“Nothing.” She bit out through a half smile, “She’s just being --” she glanced over at Tanya, wanting to say a ‘a bitch’ but instead said, “silly.”

The look he gave her told her that he wasn’t convinced, she drew in a breath when his jaws twitched.

This was as a good time as any to leave. It was awkward and Tanya was abit unpredictable. Lord knows that she might say something that could piss her brother off and make her want to dig up a hole and bury herself in.

“I have to go.“Victoria said, hooking her bag on her shoulder as she manoeuvred her way around her chair.

“Oh?” Nikolai frowned, giving her a long hard stare.

Her body quivered under his gaze. It was only a look, she knew that, but his eyes, it made her skin tingled all over and her legs weak. What the hell was wrong with her?

“Yeah, I have to run back to the office. My father his expecting me.” she glanced at the table in the far end where his date sat glancing their way.

Whatever her name was, she was gorgeous. Blonde, flawless skin and the body of a sex goddess. Yeah. She was the perfect description of Nikolai Hoffman’s type.

Who was she kidding? Last night was just sex for him, the little slip back of her being the one in his bed was evidently just a little mistake that he had obviously overlooked and moved on from, she thought bitterly.

She needed to stop being foolish. She said that she wasn’t going to be clinging. No strings attached. Just sex. And that was exactly what happened. He got over it, so she should do the same. It wasn’t as though she was looking for a relationship with anyone. She wanted to enjoy her freedom and experience everything that people her age did. Playing the perfect fiance to Chad had only meant doing what he wanted whenever he wanted. She had promised herself to never let that happen again and she wasn’t going to.

“I’ll uh, see you around.” She said, forcing yet another smile.

“Bye, Vi. Call me.”

Victoria nodded at her friend and waved at her before making her way out of the restaurant. Never once did she dare to turn around, not when she could still feel his eyes on her.

Her father hadn’t stopped complaining. It was Victoria this and Victoria that eversince she had walked in a couple of minutes ago. This time, like all the times before he was making it as though everything for on her, her mistake and he would never just come right out and say it but he had a fine way of putting his point across.

And like all the times before, she would swallow down her anger, lock her thoughts away and nod like a perfectly well trained dogs. She had never dared confront him about anything. She knew better than that. Nobody questions Vladimir Sinn, ever. Not even her mother.

“I honestly, I don’t see what the problem is dad. I worked on the Hamilton project myself, I’ve overseen every detail of the design stage by stage. Their project manager seemed perfectly content with it.” She explained, opening the binding folder and placed it infront of him to show him proof of her work.

He father face had a firm grim, the ageing lines his forehead remained in place as he regarded her from under his thick loops. She hated whenever he did that. Look at her with disinterest, it was his way of telling her that what she was doing wasn’t good enough.

He then leant forward away from his chair and surveyed the displayed contents on his desk.

She waited to see some sighs of hope, any sigh at all that meant he that her work was proof enough. But there was none.

“You must have missed something Victoria. I’ve just spoken to Albert and he’s thinking about switching companies. This is our name, my name and if words get out that we can’t deliver on our promise then what good are we?” He roared, getting out of his chair.

Victoria cringed under his harsh tone. She hadn’t missed anything, she was certain of it. The designs were there and they were flawless. She had made sure of it because she didn’t want to be seated right were she was right now with her father, questioning her ability and credibility.

“I’ll call Tom. ” She informed him, “I’ll see what the problem is and we can sit down and start fresh if they want.”

“Not good enough.” He replied, shuffling through the files in his cabinet.

Her lips quivered and her lids burned from unshed tears.

It was never good enough.

She was never good enough. And she knew exactly why. She didn’t have the male anatomy that he wanted. She wasn’t the son that he always dreamed of having. And she was well reminded of that every day.

“I’ll fix this.“She said more confidently, trying to convince him that she was well capable of doing the job that he had assigned her to.

“Don’t bother.” He told her, returning to his seat with a stack of new folders in his hands.

Her heart fell, “But why? This is my project. I’ll talk to them, dad.” She said trying to reason with him.

This Hamilton project was her baby, her pride and joy. All she needed to do was to talk to Tom.

“I’m handing the project over to Stephen. It’s what I should have done in the first place. I don’t know why I thought you could handle this.” He muttered into a disapproving grunt.

It advent so much of how he said it but of what he said. It felt like a iced cold bucket of water being thrown in her face. Victoria stared at her father in disbelief.

She was a failure. That’s what he was telling her.

And now he was taking her months of hard work and lack of sleep and was handing it over to Stephen, just. Like. That.

It hurt. Tears burned her eyes as she feverishly blinked to keep them at bay not wanted him to see them. He hated tears, hated seeing women cry. Though it made them look weak, too weak for his liking.

And just on queue, as if he knew that she was fighting to hold herself together, he dismissed her. Not words, just a flick of a hand.

She wanted to stay, to argue with him, convince him that she was the right person for the project but there was just no reasoning with him. She out of all people knew that.

So she quietly got up and crossed the floors to to the door.

She remembered her father telling her how he wanted her to get a feel of the family business before he handed it over to her. Wanted her to have as much experience as she possibly could.

How was she suppose to do that? she thought walking out of his office, if he insisted on removing her from every scene whenever there was a mishap?

She needed to have a conversation with Tom, one where he tells her exactly what the hell went wrong.

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