Chapter 2: The Party
Ava Marquez’s POV
3 days ago...
Petrakis Empire Under Shambles
Leanne Green, ex-wife of Inigo Petrakis, caught in an affair with her father-in-law Saul Petrakis
Inigo Petrakis billionaire may not be a billionaire at the end of the year
I sighed as I read the headlines of the news for the past month. From the affair of Leanne to the state of almost bankruptcy of the Petrakis Empire, my heart goes out to Iñigo.
What kind of fortune cookie has he taken? Did he not know you have to trick the Chinese server to give you the best fortune cookie?
Or does he not wear red underwear for luck each day?
I do! It was what my mom used to tell me whenever I attended competitions or examinations. Perhaps he did not sprinkle coins in his office before starting his day. It’s another trick my mom taught me.
Or perhaps he should have sprinkled salt water on Leanne before dating her to ward off bad spirits. Look at what it caused him. His company and his reputation!
It must be hard for him considering he grew up with his parents having multiple affairs. Now his wife is having an affair and his company is in shambles. He had suffered so much for the past year.
From a well-known billionaire to a laughingstock in the industry.
He should have waited for me. A woman like me will never hurt him.
I wanted to help him. Like desperately help him because I had the resources. But, how? He had been shutting off every business proposal I gave him. It was as if he didn’t want to associate with a female anymore which is absurd!
Since when did he became a woman-hater?
Well, come to think of it. He hasn’t been photographed with a woman in his arms for months! Has he finally sworn off women?
I should have been glad, because I no longer had competition but how in the world can I attract him when he did not want women?
Caressing the glossed photo of Iñigo on the magazine, I sighed and swooned at his ocean blue hooded eyes. Hair as bright as the sun, eyes as blue as the ancient jewels, and lips as sinful as the devil, Iñigo is the very picture of sin.
The suit he was wearing did not hide the hard contours and shapely form of his arms and chest. Plus the smirk on his face did nothing to my already heated libido. It only made me want him more.
The first time I met him I was a 15 year old girl mourning my parents’ deaths. They died of a car accident on their way to work. I remembered giving a brave facade as I entertained our guests on my parents’ funeral. I didn’t notice him at first but it was hard not to. Iñigo Petrakis can swarm a whole space by just his presence.
Wearing a pin stripped suit, the then 25 year old millionaire, strode into the room and offered his condolences. I was tongue tied as I thanked him, for who wouldn’t be? Before me was the most handsome man I have ever seen.
I thought he will leave after the reception but he stayed until the last guests left. It was when he took his seat and offered his hand to my delicate ones that I let the tears fall from eyes. He held me in his arms as I cried like a child. He offered no words, only his strong arms holding me, giving me strength in his own way. And it was in that moment I fell in love with him. I promised myself under my parents’ graves that I will marry that workaholic beautiful man. He just have to wait.
He became my hero. My idol. At first he would send us gifts but overtime it became to grow less until it stopped when he got married. It broke my heart seeing on television how he married the socialite Leanne Greene. But it broke me all the more that after two years of marriage, he has been lied to by the very woman he called his wife.
If only he waited for me than marrying that woman. That man surely doesn’t know how to wait.
Now I have to help him. Maybe I can seduce him in marrying me instead? Ugh nope not going there. Shaking the devious thoughts on my head, I opted for the more civil and friendly plan.
Glancing at the phone number of the hired dancers, I dialled it and offered to become one of their dancers. But I didn’t notice my best friend, Emma, and my sister, Addie, grinning like fools from behind.
The night of the party...
“I am not a stripper!” I growled as I covered my body with my hands. I was wearing ridiculously flimsy lingerie. The girls handed me a mask and pushed me inside a big gift box. They were all giggling as they tied a huge ribbon on my back and handed me a drink and a microphone.
“You’re not, sis, but you can definitely pass as one.” My younger sister Adele or I’d like to call her Addie snickered. My eyes narrowed at seeing my sister here. Crossing my arms, I asked her pointedly. “Remind me again why you’re here and not at home doing your homework?”
She squeaked as her eyes darted from side to side looking for an escape route. You can’t mess with me dear little sister. I might just cut off your allowance as payment.
“Oh cut your sister some slack Ava. Shouldn’t you be grateful that were helping you seduce your future husband?” my bestfriend, Emma, stated earning a few grin from our friends.
“I wasn’t supposed to seduce him, I was just going to talk to him!” I cried out running my hands at my curled black hair. It was true I was just planning on talking to Iñigo Petrakis but my friends decided it was better to seduce him.
“Tsk tsk why talk to him when you can just bang him?” Addie stated earning her an even bigger glare.
“It’s true Ava. You’ve done the friendly and conventional way. It’s time to step up your game and now is the chance.” Emma stated with a grin on her face “He wouldn’t be able to get his eyes off you with you wearing that.”
I sighed in exasperation at my friend and sister’s persistence. After hearing the news that Iñigo’s best friend, Calyx Marco, shall be hosting his birthday party at The Pearl and there were dancers invited, I quickly contacted the dance club and applied for the position. I wanted to get near Iñigo so, I can propose in helping him with his business. After his ex-wife stole money from the company and damaged its reputation, Iñigo shut off everyone from helping him. I asked my secretary to contact Iñigo for a business meeting but he always declined. It is also as if he has shut off women from doing business with his company.
With his company declining at a rapid phase, I knew if he didn’t grab my help, he will face himself in a desperate situation. Helping him would entail getting his company back and it was also a great chance for me to show him that he can love another woman. Like me.
My original plan was to sign up as a dancer, get Iñigo into a secluded place and offer a proposition. It wasn’t on my plan to dance at his best friend’s bachelor party and be offered as a gift! Apparently, my friends found out about it thanks to my chatter box of a sister. Now I’m wearing a bright red lace push up bra, red and black corset, red lacy bra with black strings and knee high stockings. I was wearing a feather cap, a beautiful mask to cover my face and 3-inch black high heels. They also did my makeup to make my green eyes stand out. Overall, I actually look pretty good.
“You better get ready because we’re about to perform in five minutes.” Addie, my sister, stated as she peaked at the good-looking men outside.
“They all look so hot. Imagine those wealthy and beautiful men running their hands on your body and worshipping you.” Emma sighed as she peaked outside “But they also look a bit drunk.”
“All the better.” Addie stated. Turning towards me, she fixed my hair and urged me to drink the alcohol “Now drink you will need it.”
“You don’t have to me tell twice.” I grumbled as I drink the contents of the bottle. The bitter taste of alcohol on my throat made me want to gag but I hold it in. If I’m going to meet the guy I’ve been crazy about in the most unusual way then I will need a lot of strength. And those strength and confidence shall be through this alcohol.
Finishing the contents of the bottle, Addie gave me a glass of water and a thumbs up. Rolling my eyes at her, I took a mint and instructed Emma to get everyone ready.
Nodding her head, Emma instructed everyone to their places. Expelling a breath, I crouched inside as they closed the lid of the box. I felt the box moving and her friends moving to their places.
The loud thumping beat of the jazz music echoed throughout the room as it was followed by the cheers and raucous laughter of men. By the applause and whistles from the new, I can only imagine the red curtain being opened to reveal my friends. The song started as my friends moved to the rhythm of the beat, swaying their hips, arms and body. They took dance classes together hence, she knew they were mesmerizing. With their hips gyrating and captivating eyes, they were like gypsies at the court of a high king.
As the howls and groans from the men grew louder, the first verse of another song started indicating that it was almost her time to perform. Gathering my wits and clearing my head, I pasted on my most seductive smile that men often commented as lethal.
“It’s show time.” I muttered to myself as the lid of the box opened and I stepped out into the spotlight like the goddess Venus.
Iñigo Petrakis’s POV
The air was cold and the loud beeping noise of car horns can be heard from outside. Hundreds of commuters and vehicles pass by at the towering building of the Petrakis group of companies. Employees rush outside to get in the different public vehicles while others chose to work overtime to pass the rush hour. It was a normal working day for many but not for me. Nothing about my day was normal.
Arriving at 8am in the morning, I was greeted by reporters asking the scandalous betrayal of my ex-wife with my father, Saul Petrakis, and the billions of pesos they were able to squander from the company. Add on to it were the numerous resignation letters due to the dwindling income of the company and the heated discussion I had with my board of directors. An important investor declined our offer and there are suspicions that one of my BOD may be working for his ex-wife. The local banks are also demanding payment from the loans we acquired over the years.
My head began to pound at the enormity of his situation. I tried for days to provide a solution to keep my company afloat but it seems that there is always something that stops us. I can only believe that someone from the inside wants the company’s demise. But who?
Running my hand through my hair, I took a gulp of the whisky on my glass while I stared outside. I needs investors and money to continue the company’s operations. And I need them fast.
A soft knock came from the door, and my secretary, Andrew, walked in.
“Sir?” my secretary and personal assistant Andrew walked in with a paper on his hand. My eyebrows rose up and beckoned him to come near. Sitting at my swivel chair, I clasped my hands together as Andrew sat at the opposite chair. “I would like to send in my resignation Sir.”
My insides fell at the news. “My wife is still recovering from her childbirth sir. Hence, I would like to take care of her.”
“How shall you be able to provide for her Andrew?” I asked as I saw Andrew’s face fell.
“I have enough savings to last us for a few months Sir.” Andrew explained as he shook his head “Actually I still want to work for you Mr. Petrakis. I’m afraid that I wouldn’t be able to work full-time considering I want to take care of my wife and my triplets.”
“How about you can work part-time each day while I look for another assistant that will finish your task once your shift is over? “I suggested as I see his face brightening.
“Yes. Yes I would like that Sir.” His head bounced up and down at the prospect of earning but still taking caring of his family “I can help you look for another assistant.”
“I would appreciate it Andrew.” A small grin on his face “Now go home to your wife and kids.”
Nodding his thanks, I watch as he left the room and close the door. Sighing, I called the Human Resource Department to find me another assistant. And I want it fast.
Opening my monitor I began to finish some of my work. On most days, I would be out by 7pm but this is not like most days. I have a company to save. I was busy writing a plan when I heard my phone ringing.
Glancing at the screen, I saw my best friend’s ID. Immediately I rejected it. But in a few seconds it began to ring again. Grumbling I answered it, “What? I’m busy.”
“Aww man you actually forgot what day it is?” Calyx’s annoying voice greeted me.
“What do you want?” I demanded. I don’t have time for his games.
“Tsk tsk always such in a pissy mode.” Calyx Marco teased which only made me angrier “Since you’ve been declining my calls for the past hour, I believe you are holed up in your office. You’re slowly becoming a hermit; that is no way of living my friend. Get out and love again. Life wouldn’t be colorful without a woman in your arms and children to color you’re pristine white walls.”
“If you only called to annoy me then I will hang this up.” I threatened.
“No wait!” Calyx immediately stopped me “Tonight is my birthday party and we’ve been waiting for you for already an hour.”
I sighed as I pinched the bridge of my nose. Of course it was my best friend’s birthday party. I was too busy running the business that I actually forgot the day. Shaking my head, I closed my monitor “I will be there in an hour.”
“Excellent! The ladies are already here so hurry.”
Hanging up, I grabbed my keys and went to my car. In less than an hour I arrived at The Pearl. It was an exclusive hotel that Calyx owns. I own the 30th floor which is below the penthouse where the party was held. Using my VIP card, I punched in the top floor and was greeted by the melodic voice of a woman wearing the sexiest lingerie.
Glancing up, I was rooted on the spot as the greenest eyes I have ever seen clashed with mine. For the first time in months, my dick twitched. Fuck.