I woke up the following morning, my back pressed against Bradley’s chest as his arm enveloped me. Bradley must have sensed I was awake as he started moving almost immediately, pulling me closer to him before peppering my neck and shoulder with kisses.
‘Morning Angel’ his voice was seductive, but that wasn’t his intention. I rolled over so that I was now lying on my back, wincing slightly as my left shoulder was hurting.
Keeping the bed sheet lightly draped over me I gazed deep into Bradley’s eyes, leaning in to kiss him.
‘Did I hurt you last night?’ I looked at Bradley confused as his question caught me by surprise ‘you were in pain when you rolled over, I’m sorry Angel, I should have waited until you recovered. I need to learn to control myself when I’m around you’ his voice trailed as I leaned forward and whispered ‘Thank you’ in his ear.
‘Why are you thanking me?’ now it was his turn to look confused.
‘Last night was perfect, you’re perfect and lying here with you is perfect. Which is why I’m thanking you’ and before he could say anything, I added ‘sweetheart, you didn’t hurt me. I was content sleeping so close to you that I didn’t want to move; unfortunately, because of my desires I’m now feeling a little discomfort’. I playfully winked before reminding Bradley that he needed to hurry up and go to work.
Today was an important day in the embezzlement case. Bradley was meeting with auditors and investigators and I knew he needed to arrive at the office early.
Reluctantly Bradley pulled himself away from me and quickly had a shower before getting dressed. All the while I lay in bed watching him.
‘Tell me you didn’t just adjust the mattress so that you could watch me get dressed?’ Bradley chuckled. I raised my right hand in defeat ‘Guilty as charged’ I chuckled ‘I mean look at you’ I waved my arm up and down at him ‘you’re a walking Adonis’.
‘You really think so?’ Bradley laughed and I could have sworn my words caused him to blush.
‘You make Greek Gods look lame. Now you need to hurry up and leave’ I laughed as he kissed me goodbye and left.
Not long after Bradley left, I showered before pulling on a dress. It had been a few days since I last did the laundry so I decided to spend the day catching up. There wasn’t much else I could do around the house with one arm, so laundry was the one thing that gave me some satisfaction.
While waiting for the first load of laundry to finish, I tended to the dishes from the night prior. Today was going to be a long day, I could feel it. It was around 10.30am when I started ironing, so to help the time pass, I turned on some music.
A few minutes in and I found Victoria in the living room watching me iron.
‘Victoria, what a lovely surprise’ I greeted her surprised. I wasn’t expecting a visitor and I certainly was not expecting to see her, particularly after Sunday’s fiasco.
‘I hope you don’t mind’ she said before looking at the iron ‘you know we can employ a maid to do that?’
‘There’s not much I can do with one arm’ I answered honestly ‘so truth be known, I actually enjoy doing this. It’s just about the only way I can help out around the house’ I said while switching off the iron.
‘Before I forget, I got this for you’ Victoria announced while holding a giftbag at me.
I was taken aback, was Victoria bringing me a gift. ‘Open it’ she stated and I did as I was told. Inside the bag were two gorgeous designer dresses, one with a floral print and the other in a deep emerald green.
‘They’re gorgeous’ I exclaimed as I held each dress against myself. ‘Well, we can’t have you living in Bradley’s t-shirts now can we’ she almost snapped at me.
‘Thank you, but you really didn’t have to do this. It’s just nice to have some company during the day. Can I make you a coffee?’ I offered.
We sat down in the living room with our coffees. I wasn’t sure why Victoria was here; surely she hadn’t come all this way to give me two dresses and insult me.
‘You’re probably wondering why I’m here’ Victoria stated as though reading my mind. I looked at her to continue. 'I’m sorry for my behavior the other day. It wasn’t the first time I’d seen a female here; but it was the first time Bradley didn’t need my help in getting rid of an unwanted female guest.′ She paused before continuing
′You see my boys have always had girls throw themselves at them. Like all men, they have needs and have been known to accept the advances of some girls; but they’ve never wanted the girls to hang around. Seeing Bradley stand up for you, well let’s just say his reaction caught me off guard.’ She stopped for a while and sipped her coffee as I considered what she had just said.
‘Victoria, please don’t take this the wrong way, but was that an apology or were you trying to upset me by portraying Bradley’s home as a bachelor pad?’ I couldn’t help but ask, as her apology was coming across as insincere and troublesome.
‘No dear, that’s not what I meant. What I’m saying is my son can get any girl, but I can see that he’s very fond of you. He’s 31 and I’ve never seen him like this around a girl. He can control a boardroom or a media conference with ease; but with you, I can see he’s different' she took a sip of her coffer before continuing
'You're a nice girl, very career minded. An asset to our business. I don't want you to lose yourself over a bit of infatuation. I hope what I'm saying makes sense’ .
Victoria response had me nodding in understanding; though I still wasn't convinced by her motives ‘Sorry, I misunderstood what you were trying to say earlier’ I said feigning a smile; still not entirely convinced by her words.
‘It’s fine dear. Anyway, I’ll let you get back to your ironing; I have a luncheon to attend’ Victoria got up to leave almost as suddenly as she had arrived.
‘Thank you for coming and for my beautiful dresses’ I paused briefly before continuing ‘Do you think you’ll be able to visit again?’ I knew Victoria was important to Bradley and this was my opportunity to lay our differences to rest and start afresh.
‘Would you like me to?’ she asked, almost shocked.
‘Of course I would’ I replied ‘Other than my mother, I have no female contact. I’d really like to use this opportunity to get to know you better’. Victoria smiled and patted my shoulder, telling me she’d be in touch, then she left.
I returned to my ironing and laundering, thinking about my strange conversation with Victoria. I couldn’t help but feel upset.
Could it be I was simply just another woman Bradley had the desire to conquer, or was there really something between us?
Everyone kept telling me that they could see our connection; but now I was wondering if I was a prisoner to lust. Was this a classic case of Stockholm Syndrome; I was virtually being held captive in Bradley’s apartment and was finding myself falling for my abductor.
Was this Bradley's plan? Was he capable of harming me on a physical and emotional level ...
This is the end of Book 1. The sequel will be available shortly
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