"Good evening Dr. Hart." With a clenched jaw, Xavier spoke first.
"Good evening to you as well Mr. Harcard." So we are off the first name basis, okay she thought. Khryssa fought the urge to roll her eyes.
She punched a button on the elevator pad and swiped her card that would allow her access to the parking garage. They rode in silence. When Khryssa stepped out, so did Harcard. It was rather obvious that it was not the floor he needed.
Khryssa kept walking while ignoring her employer. Heading out to a pristine Audi, her steps were quick and efficient. Since Xavier was a few inches taller, he had no trouble keeping up with her long legged stride. In a moment of combined fury and frustration, he grabbed her shoulder to pull Khryssa around to face him.
"Don't you dare!" The words were growled at Harcard. Anger was tangible between the two and Khryssa did nothing to stop her show if it. “Next time you touch me, I am keeping whatever you touch me with.” She hissed.
"You do not have the manners to even say thank you?” Xavier was barely able to contain his fury.
Khryssa looked puzzled and started to laugh. THAT was what he was angry about? “I sent you a thank you note. Did you not receive it?”
“Yes I did. Impersonal was it not?”
“I am not going to go into your office and say thank you for a rather personal gift Mr. Harcard. That would be unseemly.”
“You are a very unusual woman.” The words were almost a curse.
She shook her head and turned away from Harcard. Lips pursed tight, she found her car keys.
"Talk to me Khryssa Hart. I will not allow you to shut me out."
She smiled a deadly smile. Dark eyes frosted with a cold stare. "Allow? I am not asking for your permission for anything Xavier."
"I want to know you." The words were spoken and he couldn't take them back. Xavier would not charm her to his will. He just refused to invoke the power he had to do so. Xavier was unsure that he would have used it either; he wanted her to be willing. He wanted her to come to him.
"Xavier you know me well enough. I come with public baggage. You don't need to know me anymore than you already do." Khryssa sounded frustrated.
"I should be able to decide that for myself I would think Khryssa." The words were mild. Yet, the implication was apparent.
She just stared at him. Not comprehending for a moment or three what he was saying. No one, outside of family, had ever fought for her. Teeth caught the lower swell of her lip, biting down on it with thought. She then nodded.
"You are right Xavier."
The vampire smiled in surprise at the words spoken. Xavier leaned in and kissed her lightly on the mouth. The kiss would have been nearly chaste, but the feeling behind it was apparent.
"Let's go talk.” Xavier paused.” please?" Asking, rather than demanding, was new to him.
Khryssa simply nodded in response He offered her his arm and she took it. Xavier held her lightly. Into the night they went, stopping only to climb into his chauffeured car. He asked the driver to take them to his lavish home. She stopped him with a shake of the head.
"Neutral grounds please Xavier?"
"With you my dear, there is no such thing." It was said with humor in his blue eyes. He turned to the driver once more. Xavier told the driver to take them to a small out of the way café that he knew she frequented.
"I appreciate it greatly. Thank you Xavier.”
They rode in silence. The pair sat close together but it was obvious that their thoughts made them drift further apart. Neither knew what to say or even how to say anything if they did know.
Khryssa stared out the window to the light drift of snow flurries that came down. Xavier edged closer to his companion. Sliding his arm over her shoulder, he enveloped her in warmth. It was just a heartbeat later that the car stopped. Xavier's chauffeur opened the door. The vampire got out first, to help Khryssa out of the luxurious Maybach. A blush lit her fair cheeks. She smiled at him, or at least tried to.
"It is my pleasure Khryssa; it is always a pleasure to be near you."
They entered the café hand in hand. The blush still lit up her cheeks. The light snow fall that dusted each of them. Along with the secretive smiles, it made the pair look like a young couple in love. The maître'd eyes grew large and then even larger upon seeing them. Two of the wealthiest people in the world, two of the most famous entrepreneurs in the world and they were together.
They were in his café.
Xavier asked for a quiet table, in the back, away from everyone. The maître’d led them into a darkened corner. With every step that they took, Xavier watched his companion closely. He admired the way she moved; Khryssa Hart was comfortable in her own skin he thought. Hm. Unusual for a woman of her age.
There was nary a soul near the table. A single candle illuminated the area, but that was all. They took seats and with a subtle touch Xavier curled Khryssa closer to him. Within darkness of the room they were hidden. Xavier ordered a bottle of wine.
Khryssa Hart stayed silent. She simply watched and listened to him. They began to speak quietly. They were the only souls that mattered in this moment. Their focus was on each other. A sip of wine was taken every so often and soon soft laughter filled the small room. Time stopped having all meaning.
Neither of the pair noticed the man at the far side of the room that glowered angrily at the sight of the two of them while sweeping up. The café had long since closed. Yet, no one dared to disturb the couple. They finally looked out into the room and realized hours had passed. The café was closed to all but them.
"Oh my, Xavier I am so sorry!"
He laughed. It was a lovely sound to Khryssa. "Why are you sorry?”
Harcard paid the tab, even at her protests. Leaving an extremely generous tip, along with the money for the wine, he spared no expense for the lovely evening with her. They walked back out to the waiting car. Xavier spoke to the driver once again, telling him to take Dr. Hart home.
"Xavier, I need to go back to the office. My car is there." She protested.
"I shall pick you up in the morning."
"That is quite sweet, but I arrive in the office around 5 in the morning.”
"Then we both shall arrive early." His tone left little room for argument.
She shook her head; there was no winning this battle. A nod was given, relenting to his wishes. He pulled her to him. An arm wrapped around Khryssa and held her with the possessiveness that Xavier felt.
A frown marred his handsome features when the ride ended too soon. He wanted to see more of this woman. He wanted to know her cries. He craved her touch to the bottom of his very soul. Reluctantly, Xavier helped her out of the car and to the door. A soft kiss was placed upon her lips. She cradled his cheek in the palm of her hand.
"Sleep sweet Xavier. I shall see you in the morning."
"Good night Khryssa. Unfortunately morning will not come quickly enough."
She wanted to invite him in. He wanted to stay. Their parting was, needless to say, made rather reluctantly. Entering her home, Khryssa stood by the window. Watching him walk down the path, she did not turn away until the car left.
It was five in the morning when the knock on the door startled her. She was up and dressed, of course. There would be a meeting later in the day that she had to attend. Khryssa was dressed to kill in a black on black suit with the red soles of heels flashing with every step, she didn't even finish making the morning coffee. Grabbing the needed items such as keys, purse and briefcase, Dr. Khryssa Hart slipped out into the still dark morning. She was greeted with a kiss. Unable to help herself, she started to laugh.
"Well good morning to you as well Mr. Harcard."
"It is a very good morning Dr. Hart; I get to share it with you."
Xavier Harcard escorted his morning companion to the car. Upon letting her get comfortable he slid in next to her. A large mug of coffee was placed in her hand. She took a sip and smiled.
"How did you know how I liked my coffee Xavier?" She asked.
"I have started vetting my employees much better." Looking into her eyes he leaned in, a kiss was brushed against painted lips.
They spoke on the ride to the office. Xavier's driver could not help but glance to the back of the car through the rearview mirror. He had never seen Harcard behave like this. Oh yes, there had been many women to pass through his employer's clutches. This was different. This was extremely different.
Xavier helped Khryssa out of the car. His hand rested on the small of her back, guiding her into the building. There were very few people inside of Harcard Industries so early in the morning. Yet, the ones that were there stopped and stared at the pair entering.
All eyes were on the two of them. There were words whispered of slut and whore about the newest Harcard acquisition. For Xavier words of cradle robber hit the whisper stream. Many of the other employees' looks grew hard when Khryssa walked past. She was oblivious to it all.
They parted ways in the elevator. Xavier going up to the top floor and Khryssa heading to the lowest level of the building. Khryssa immediately made more coffee and dove into the pile of paperwork upon her desk. Xavier walked into the quiet and dark office, sitting down to think.
At 11 in the morning the meeting started. It was a business lunch, catered in by one of the finest restaurants in the city. Xavier Harcard figured if he had to dine with employees instead of on them, it might as well be worth his time.
Work was hashed out for hours. Tempers were running high. Financial aspects had been discussed, rehashed and discussed again. Khryssa brought to the table about how the US had finally passed two FDA approvals of patents that she had held for the last decade, but had been unable to put into wide spread production. The patents were in her name, but legally they belonged to Harcard Industries. It was a productive meeting until one of the men that were sitting in on the meeting sneered at Khryssa.
"That is fine Khryssa, but it only took ten years to get this passed." Stephen Burke looked at the woman with a mixture of lust and hatred in his eyes. “Are the next products going to take as long?”
"Stephen" She replied calmly. "I realize that you are new to the pharmaceutical side of things. We have to go through many clinical trials in the US in order to get approval. The drugs have both been active across most of Europe for a few years now."
"You need to up your ability to transfer these items into commerce Doctor." He positively snarled at her.
Khryssa looked at the man curiously. It had not been that long ago that they were speaking together at Harcard Industries' Winter Ball. Something had happened and she wasn't sure what it was. Whatever it was, he needed to stop attacking her. Khryssa could remain pleasant most of the time, but even she had her limits. Xavier spoke smoothly.
"Stephen if you have an issue, it needs to be tabled for now. Harcard Industries venture into pharmaceuticals has grown at a rate of over 5000%. That is in a single year."
The meeting played on throughout the day and well into the early evening. Finally at seven p.m. they decided to return the next day to finish. Khryssa waited while the others spoke to Xavier. She rubbed a tired hand across her forehead. So much had happened in the span of a few days and she was now spent. The last of the men had left. Xavier came over to her. He tipped her chin upwards with the press of fingers. A kiss was given while both smiled beneath it.
"What was that all about?"
"I don't know to be honest. I have never had a cross word with Stephen until now." Frowning slightly, she began to speak again. "I did notice something for the first time though. I am the only female director you have."
"You are the only one I want."
She frowned at him. "You know what I mean."
"And you know what I mean."
She couldn't help but shake her head at the vampire.
"Khryssa, you need to go home. You look like you haven't slept."
"I need to get some work done Xavier." The words were mild. "I will go home in a bit."
She was about to snap at him before realizing that he was correct. “I will make a deal with you. I will head home in a half hour. I need to check on a few things first."
His eyes narrowed. It was not in his nature to compromise. It was a look that would send most people running. Khryssa did not even flinch. There was a chord of discomfort; the two of them were being too intimate. With Xavier standing so close, Khryssa was mildly uncomfortable, although she did nothing to stop it. Finally Xavier relented.
"Very well, but I am taking you home in exactly thirty minutes."
"Xavier, my car is here."
"It is perfectly safe here."
"That is not the point!"
"Khryssa Hart, may I remind you that I do not compromise, ever. I have already given in once to your desires. Do not expect it to happen often."
"May I remind you that I am not your property?"
"Yet." He smiled.
There was a strange sense that he was not kidding. Khryssa gave his shoulder a little shove. The hard corded muscle beneath the elegant suit surprised her somewhat. She knew he was strong, but that was not what she was expecting. Khryssa blinked for a second and realized that she was getting herself into something that she may not be able to handle.