4 | Introductions
So, basically, I wasted my entire day locking myself up inside the luxurious bedroom and going through the safety precautions and ornaments that were ordered. By the time evening came, I let out a huge yawn and checked my phone to see texts from my parents and 30 missed calls from Ava.
Fucking shit! Ava’s going to skin me alive for not picking up her calls.
I send a quick reply to my parents and leave a voicemail for Ava saying that I was absorbed with work.
As I placed my phone on the nightstand, a soft knock resonated through the room. I shouted ‘come in’ and a maid in her mid-forties entered the room.
She smiled at me warmly and said “Hello dear, my name is Silvia. I came here to tell you that Master Noah requested your presence in the private dining hall. The dinner will be served within a few minutes”
I smile back at her and look down “Sure I’ll be there”
After she leaves the room, I flop down on the bed which is currently sprawled with blueprints, and look at the ceiling.
It almost feels as if the twinkling crystals can read my face and understand. I was nervous.
I was nervous to face those deep blue orbs again. What I felt for that stranger was not right. It was wrong and I clearly hated myself for the way my body reacted around him.
I mean for fuck’s sake, I don’t even know who he is!
Yet I felt my body clenching on the southern region with his presence. He undoubtedly was attractive and all those books I read about prince charming back in nursery came back to me. But the difference was he was no prince charming. His face held no emotions and he looked ruthless and was harsh with a domineering stance. And being the sucker I was for these types of men, I was instantly drawn to him. I knew for a matter of fact that my attraction towards him was going to be my demise yet I couldn’t stop thinking about him. From the looks of his appearance, he looked like a very important person.
God, I just hope he isn’t one of the CEOs from Hunter and Russo Industries.
Shaking my head to clear my thoughts, I pull myself up from the bed and go to the en suite bathroom to freshen up. After that, I make my way to the closet where I spent half of the noon unpacking. I choose a simple black bodycon dress with a crisscross back and sweetheart neckline. It wasn’t too revealing and gave a teasing glimpse of my cleavage. After putting the dress on, I brush my hair into a high ponytail, so that my neck is visible and apply mascara and blush pink lip-gloss to make myself look presentable.
Deep down I know that despite all my drowsiness, I was trying to make a good impression on that stranger which seemed quite stupid given that I don’t even know if he’s going to be present at the dinner.
Checking my appearance, one last time in the mirror, I make my way towards the door and push it open.
I frown when I spot Gerard outside my door. He nods at me briskly and asks me to follow him. Truth be told, I didn’t like Gerard at all and I can bet that the feeling is quite mutual.
The route towards the dinner hall was a long one. I was surprised that I didn’t get lost here with Gerard walking so quickly and me stopping here and there to admire the paintings. The castle looked quite ancient with arches and thick pillars but it was also modernized with dim mellow halogens in every corner. The place had a romantic feel to it. One where newlyweds would love to lounge.
It took us a long time to reach the dining hall where I spotted my employees and immediately went to talk with them.
As I went towards my crew, I felt someone tugging at my wrists and pulling me backward. Startled, I look behind to find Ava with a grim expression on her face.
Oh, dear! I sure was in deep trouble.
She was wearing a tight blue halter neck dress paired with sky-high heels. Her makeup was totally spot on and she looked elegant. With her hands on her hips, she looks me square in the eyes and says “Yo, what the hell? Why weren’t you picking up your phone? I literally had to find out from your parents about your arrival. It hasn’t even been a day in a different country and you are already acting weird! “She fumed.
I quickly flush at the truthfulness of her words. She was right. I really was acting strange.
Getting hooked over strangers.
Nice Pheebs, really nice...
Which was really odd since I never did any of those. I was always the one to be staying out of all the trouble and dangers. Yet here I was acting like an idiot, fawning over a stranger whom I just met for a few seconds.
Speaking of strangers, the handsome devil entered the hall and immediately dominated the room with his powerful presence. Everyone stopped loudly chattering and the whole room was cloaked with gentle whispers.
However, that did not stop Ava from saying, a bit loudly if I should add “Hey! What are you daydreaming about? Are you really ok? You look a bit pale” Her face clouded with concern and she put a hand over my forehead to probably check my temperature.
This exchange however did not go unnoticed by the handsome stranger. He glanced up from his phone and his Egyptian blue eyes held me captive and stirred something in me. His stare was intense and was filled with heavy desire as he checked me out from head to toe.
I smiled inwardly knowing that my little effort did pay off.
Turning my attention back to my best friend's waiting face I say “I’m fine, trust me” I raise my hand to reassure her and continue “The whole project is a big deal and the venue is quite difficult to coordinate given to its dating and all. I was just figuring out how to arrange the furniture and what to do with the vast lakeside area” which was partially true.
I did spend little time cooking up ideas about the palace when I was not thinking of that brute.
Oh for fuck’s sake Phoebe! It’s just a crush. It will eventually wear off. For all I know, he might even be one of the French royal aristocrats.
Shit, do aristocrats and royals even exist anymore in these parts?
He might be given to his tyrant attitude inside the study this morning.
A soft vibration of a phone captures my attention and I find Ava looking at her phone with contempt. Moving closer I notice that the caller is no one other than the asshat of the century, John.
Ava looks at me with a sad expression and says “He has been calling me non-stop since last week for apologizing. He even sent flowers to my office daily whereas he did not even make a single effort while we were dating. Oh Pheebs, deep down I did forgive him but I don’t think I can ever be in a relationship with him again because I can never trust him again” She exhales loudly and her shoulders slump with defeat.
And for the first time in my life, I really feel bad for her. Sure she bought this on herself. I mean we all warned her about John but she always brushed us off.
The phone starts vibrating again with a buzzing sound and I snatch the phone from her hand and cut the call and switch it off.
She looks at me with wide eyes and after a while breaks into a huge grin.
“You don’t need him, Ava. You have your friends and most importantly you have me. You don’t have to talk with him if you don’t want to. Better yet move on and start fresh again. There are plenty of men in this world. And do me a huge favor and block that asshole. He doesn’t deserve your forgiveness or anything. You don’t owe him shit. Capiche?" I end my speech with a loud huff and drag her towards the table before she can disagree with me.
On our way towards the grand table, which was laden with mouthwatering dishes and flowers, Noah approached us with that stranger by his side and I stop abruptly.
Ava looks at me quizzically after noticing the change in my steps as I stop a few yards before the approaching duo.
Reaching us, Noah hugs Ava and turns to hug me too. I avoid meeting those blue orbs which I can feel burning holes through my being.
The man lets out a fake cough, forcing Noah to separate from me.
“Hey girls! I hope you are enjoying your stay in here and of course, working hard judging from your tired faces” Noah says to which we both throw him a harsh glare.
“So, brother meet my close friends, Ava and Phoebe” he gestures towards us and before he can introduce his brother, the man steps forward and introduces himself.
“Allow me to introduce myself, I’m Blaze Hunter. CEO of the Hunter Industries” he drawls out in a rich accent as he approaches me and offers me his hand for a handshake. His voice soon registers in my head as the same voice that interrupted Noah the day when I first called him to ask about the event details.
Still dazed by his sudden interest in me, I somehow manage to raise my hand to meet his warm ones. His palm was warm with a slightly rough edge compared to my cold ones.
“It’s a pleasure to be of your acquaintance, Mr. Hunter” I manage to speak.
Something quickly flashes in his eyes before he shields it and offers me a gorgeous dazzling half-smile and says “Trust me Ciccino, the pleasure’s all mine" He emphasizes his words ‘all mine’ whilst sliding his index finger brushes gently on my palm, the action paired with his intense burning gaze ignites something in me, causing me to drop his hand.
And like a light bulb going off, my eyes widen in the realization that he is no one other than the bloody CEO of Hunter industries!
A/N - Sorry to end this chapter here. But I promise the next chapter will totally be worth reading!