I arrived at the venue an hour before the event. Amanda ordered to me to check the decorations and also table arrangements. Everything was just perfect. Waiters scurried between tables, making final adjustments. Those white orchids looked very beautiful, adding some pureness in the atmosphere. I walked among tables for guests, tables with appetizers and looked at the scene. I can’t believe I am part of it. But truth to be told, I really proud of my work here.
“Well, Miss Davis, I think we actually did it. Don’t you think so?” Amanda was standing beside me, looking at started to arrive guests.
“I think, we did our best for this event.” I smiled at her. It was so unusual for her to talk to me like that.
“I must say, you look beautiful tonight, Vera. Our guests might think you’re one of them. Is it Armani’s?” Oh my god, was Amanda actually complimenting me?
“Yeah, it is. I guess I lost my mind throwing so much money on that dress. But I believe, it’s worth it.”
“Definitely, Vera. Enjoy yourself! But not too much, you still at work tonight.” Amanda said to me and went inside.
I guess I also better to go inside because I was here as an employee and needed to keep that in mind. But maybe I could help myself with one or two flutes of champagne? It won’t hurt, I’m sure.
“Whoa... Vera, you look stunning!” I heard Nate’s voice and realized that he was standing before me. He just arrived and apparently saw me standing on the stairs. I even didn’t see him coming. I was definitely deep in my thoughts, debating about alcohol or non-alcohol evening for me. Nate was in a black three-piece suit with a white shirt and oh God, even from his look I felt my knees go weak. He was too attractive and I had no power there, guess I really like him. Shit! I’m in trouble.
“Thank you, Mr. Donovan. You don’t look so bad yourself.” I smiled at him.
“As I remember, I told you to call me Nate. Or am I wrong?” He arched a brow at me, smiling.
“You remember correctly, but I am still your employee and I am here at work, so...”
“Guess it was wrong of me to invite you here...” My eyes went wide from his words. “Vera, I don’t mean it as you think. I should have invited you here as my date.”
“Oh...” What a nerve has he? Does he not see how it will be in the eyes of my colleagues?
“Yeah, but I want to fix this misunderstanding. So, maybe I could spend some time with you after the official part of the event? Give you a ride home at least? What do you say?”
“I would say that the night is still young. So we’ll see, will you be successful or not?” I don’t know, but it was really good and easy to talk to him. There was only one man, with whom I talked and flirted like that... No, it’s definitely not the time for my memories about Tyler. It will only ruin my mood!
“I am a successful man, Vera. So I think we both know the answer to your question. Shall we go inside?” He extended his hand to me and I accepted it. I walked inside the building with my boss hand in hand, like it was the most natural thing to do. When we stepped inside there was a commotion, there still are things, which needed Nate’s attention. With an apologetic look, he excused himself and went with the manager of this place to discuss some issues.
After I made another round around the hall, I realized that it was already full of people. Photographers worked almost non-stop, making photos, waiters were going from guest to guest offering drinks and appetizers. Seems that the party will be a huge success! Just then I heard Nate’s voice boosted with a microphone. He greeted our guests and invited them to their places at the tables. When everyone took their seats, Nate started talking about the work of the corporation, its donations, and social impact. I stood near the exit, listening to his speech and scanning the crowd altogether. There are many people, who I saw only on TV-screen: some actors, singers, politicians, and business-moguls.
I was fascinated by Nate, there was so much passion in his words! I could easily say that he really loves his company. I saw women, who looked at him with adoration. Of course, they did. He’s handsome, rich and successful! After his speech, the host of the event announced the beginning of the auction. I smiled, looking at these powerful people, who were raising bets, wanting to buy the lot they like. Amanda did a great job, negotiating about lots for the auction; there were pieces of jewelry, paintings, even one really massive sculpture and so more.
Just when it was time for the very unique lot, the first edition of the rare book, I saw man, who had been sitting with his back to me. He raised his hand, signalizing that he wanted to raise a bet. All in his movements were familiar to me. I froze at the spot. It can’t be him, no way! I nervously dag through my clutch, trying to find my phone. Finally! I walked out of the hall in the rush, dialing a number of the only one person in the world, who could calm me down.
“Vera, hey! I saw your picture on Instagram! Dang, you’re so beautiful! Red is definitely your color!” Tasha sounded cheerful and I was so glad to hear her voice, so I started smiling despite everything.
“Thank you, babe!” I answered her and she immediately sensed that something was off with me. She knew me too well, so there was no surprise here.
“What’s wrong? You know, you could tell me everything!” Her voice was full of care and concern this time.
“Tasha... I think, I just saw Tyler...” I almost whispered it.
“Tyler? Do you mean Douglas? Shit! Can you go home?” I know she’s worried about me. It took almost one year to look at his photos in magazines without emotions, without tears and now he was here! How could I be so stupid?! This event was his kind of thing! It was his world, world of rich and famous people. A world where I don’t belong.
“Unfortunately, no... I need Amanda’s permission to go home and the official part of the event is still on!” I sounded desperate and it was a bad sign.
“Shit, babe... I am sorry... You were so excited to go there and now this? What can I do for you, Vera?”
“I love you, girl! You’re my favorite person in the whole world, you know that? Just wish me luck, Tasha? Maybe I will be successful and might avoid meeting him?”
“Good luck, Vera! Jake also wishes you that! Call me when you will be home, okay?”
“Okay, thanks!” I was ready to hang up.
“Vera, wait, maybe Jake and I could meet you and give you the ride home?”
“Ugh... I guess I have a ride for tonight...”
“What are you talking about? Who?”
“Nate... Mr. Donovan... Well, it’s my boss.”
“Wait... That guy, with whom Chloe is totally in love? Like Nathaniel Donovan? Freaking CEO of Donovan Corporation? Fuck, Vera! Come to us tomorrow! Guess, I need to give you a piece of my mind because you’re crazy!”
“I’ll come... Let’s just say, it’s complicated for now...”
“With you, it’s always like that. Be a good girl tonight, will you?”
“Promise! I really need to get going, Tasha. See you and Jake tomorrow?”
“You bet! Bye!”
“Bye!” I said and stayed here in the alcove in the hallway for several minutes. However, I really should come back, because I was still at work here no matter what. As I came back to the hall, I stayed away from the table when I saw a man, who reminded me about Tyler. When the official part was over, I decided to find Amanda, maybe I was free to go now? She was there, standing near the scene, looking at guests. Most of them were enjoying their meals, while waiters were scurrying around tables.
“Mrs. Myers?” I said to her, to attract her attention.
“Oh, Vera, it’s you. The charity event was successful, we outdid ourselves with planning and decorations, no matter what! Well... I guess I owe you an apology... This situation with flowers wasn’t your fault, it could actually happen to anyone. But you managed to solve it without my help...”
“Thank you, Mrs. Myers! I think I learned from the best!” I smiled at her. It’s really nice to hear her praise.
“You’re good girl, Vera and I could tell, that you’re enjoying your job for the corporation. So again, thank you for your work. If you want, you could stay here as a guest or you can go home. It’s up to you right now.” Amanda said and started to go to the table with appetizers, showing me that our conversation was over. I guess it was my cue to leave.
Should I find Nate to tell him that I am going home? Or it’s for the best if I don’t meet him? Fuck, why was my life so complicated? I walked to the door, still not decided what to do, when I heard Nate’s voice.
“There you are! I thought that maybe you left me, like Cinderella, without even a word. But you’re here!” I turned my head to look at him and found him in the company of the man, who I hoped to avoid tonight. Now I was certain, that it was Tyler, who I saw earlier. Because there he was, standing half-turned to Nate. I had a few seconds because he didn’t see me at first. Shit, shit, shit! I don’t see the way out of this situation, so I just decided to go to Nate and to see what will happen next.
“Yes, I am here, but I actually was on my way home.” I looked only at Nate, totally ignoring Tyler’s presence, while I walked to them.
“Are you seriously wanted to run away from me, Vera?” Nate said and I saw with my peripheral vision that Tyler’s head turned in my direction.
“I told you before, that we will see if you will be successful with me tonight. Besides, I don’t think that you may leave your own event.” I stopped before Nate, smiling to him, still avoiding Tyler.
“Just watch me, Vera... Oh, sorry, mate! Vera, this is my friend Tyler Douglas. We know each other since college. And this is Vera, well... she works for me, but you already figured that’s not the issue there, right?”
“Nice to meet you,” I said to Tyler, locking my eyes with his. He looked almost like I remembered him. Only he was more mature now and his hair on top was a little messy with short shaved sides. When I saw him in person last time, his hair was a lot shorter, but this asshole was still handsome as hell.
“Yeah, me too.” His eyes roamed over my body without any shyness. Okay, so we both were pretending not to know each other. I wanted it myself, but dang! It hurts! Why was he like that?
“Vera, could you wait for me outside? I will go say my goodbyes and we could leave.” Nate’s voice brought me back to reality.
“Sure, I’ll wait for you. Bye, Tyler! It was really nice to meet one of Nate’s friends.” I said and turned around to go to the exit, without giving him time to answer me.
I stood outside, waiting for Nate, trying to collect my thoughts when I sensed the presence of someone behind me. Without even looking back, I know who it is.
“What do you want, Tyler?”
“So, you’re not pretending anymore, that you don’t know me?” He walked and stood before me, a step lower on the stairs.
“And you?” I answered him with growing annoyance.
“Well, you didn’t give me a choice back there, didn’t you?” Shit, he was right, but ugh! I can’t stand him!
“Even if you’re right, it still doesn’t answer my question. What do you want?”
“Fuck, you’re still stubborn as hell! I didn’t have a chance to see you for... for four years and you’re giving me a cold shoulder?!” Now I see that Tyler started to lose his composure.
“If I remember correctly, three years ago I told you, that I don’t want to see you ever again... So why are you so surprised?”
“Well, Davis, it’s bullshit! Do you want my answer? It’s easy. You became even hotter than I remember, and I honestly thought it’s not possible. So I want you and I think you will be in my bed in no matter of time. I know your needs, I know how to pleasure you only with my fingers or tongue, I know the way you like to be fucked.” Tyler said all this and grabbed my arm with his hand.
“Douglas, you don’t have any rights to talk to me like that! I am not one of your sluts! You don’t know anything about me right now! And yet you assume that I only good for banging!” I almost screamed at him, trying to rip my arm from his grip, but it was no use – he was too strong. “Let go of me, Tyler!”
“What is going on here?” I heard Nate’s voice and turned around to look at him. He was standing at the entryway looking confused between me and Tyler.