Trouble At First Sight
Davina King knew she was not on the guest list but she was getting into that party no matter what!
She was at the business reception of a business tycoon. No, not just any business tycoon but the man of the moment. He was the man who owned a chain of luxury hotels and resorts around the globe. The man who was the cause of her current predicament. The man who wanted to take everything from her. The man she was here to see.
She was at the reception of Vulcan Alvaro.
Davina clutched her purse and pursed her lips. She had to get into that party. But how? She was not on the guest list and she knew not a soul in this party. If she had not been here for something important she would have left a long time ago because everything here was making her nauseous. The reception was at one of Mister Alvaro’s luxury hotels. Tonight, the building’s auditorium was reserved just for the party. Limousines, SUV’s and other private cars zoomed into the impressive compound of Alvaro Hotel. She watched as valets drove the cars away and the guests made their way to the revolving doors, checking their names with the fearsome looking guards and disappearing into the building. She only came in a taxi and had to walk a quarter of a mile to the front door in six inch heels. Her legs were already killing her, and the night has barely started.
Davina watched as a plush sports car whizzed into the compound. After running along the pavement, it rounded the impressive fountain and stopped in front of the building. A valet rushed to open the driver’s side of the door and a man stepped out. This man wore a black tailored suit that suited his brawny features. His black hair was slicked back in a side part and the smile on his face showed his deep dimple. Handling the car keys to the valet, he slipped a hand into his pocket and started for the revolving doors.
He was alone.
Davina saw a chance. Straightening her back, she hurried towards the man. “Excuse me,” she called just before he stopped in front of the guard. The man stopped, turned his shoulders just a fraction and threw her a look. She put a smile on her face and tried not to feel intimidated by his piercing gaze.
“Hi,” he faced her fully, grey eyes sparkling as he pulled on a smile on his face. That gave Davina the courage to go on.
“Sorry to bother you, but are you coming for the party upstairs?” She asked, keeping the sweet smile on her face.
“Yes, I am.” He replied, voice heavy with a Spanish accent. “Are you here for that too?” He asked.
“Yes, but unfortunately my name is not on the list.” His smile dimmed a little at her reply and she knew she had to get his attention again before he changed his mind about talking to her. “The thing is I am an entrepreneur who wants funding for her business from Mr. Alvaro. I have been to his office for weeks and still do not have an appointment with him. My business is really in need of the money and I just want to meet him this once. This party is my only opportunity to do that. Please can you help me?”
Davina held her breath and prayed he believed her story. Although she felt sorry that she lied, but she could tell no one about the real reason why she was here. The real reason why she so desperately needed to see Vulcan Alvaro. They had serious business to discuss. Yet he ignored her emails, did not reply her letters and refused an appointment with her. She doubts if he even receives all that because he probably just throws documents related to her into the trash can. Anger sizzled inside her as she recalled the ruthless way his assistant had tossed her out of his office. Not to mention the rude way the security guards had hustled her out of the gates like some criminal. It all happened earlier today and those events had fueled her anger and led her to coming here. And she was not leaving this place until she had meet with that heartless egoistic manic called Vulcan Alvaro.
“Really?” The elegant man asked, brows knotting in thought. She focused her attention on him. “I did not know Vulcan was now into the sponsorship of small businesses.” A look crossed his face and she wondered what was going through his mind.
His gaze assessed her and she held her breath, heart skipping a nervous beat. She felt the drag of his eyes from her eyes to her red-stained lips. Down to the low cut plunging neckline of the red wrap dress Marisa lent her. His eyes stayed on her chest for a second longer and she shifted her weight uncomfortably on her right leg. Dear Marisa just had to insist on her wearing such a revealing dress. Davina had just been fine with the pantsuit she had worn from home but her dear friend just had to argue with her.
It is a reception, she said. You have to look the part!
“I am Antonio Valdes.” He held his hand out, drawing Davina from her thoughts.
She placed her hand in his and he clasped it. A shiver rushed down her spine as she replied. “Davina King.” When he remained silent, she added quickly. “…of King Enterprises.”
“This way,” He tucked her hand in his elbow and led her away. “…Miss King.”
Davina visibly let out the breath she was holding and flashed him a sweet smile. Antonio Valdes led her to the guard who checked his name from the list and then allowed them to proceed into the building.
It was the first time she was ever inside an Alvaro hotel and she had to attest to the fact that truly the magazines and critics did speak the truth. The building was wonderful, with a grand staircase, a beautiful antique chandelier that hang high in the ceiling and artifacts that probably cost millions. It was no wonder one night at this hotel costs a lot of serious money. Money that was getting to the bastard’s head and making him think of no one but himself. He was selfish and did not care that he was hurting people with what he was planning to do. But she would stop him. It does not matter to her what it takes. She would make sure to get justice.
“So what does your company do?” Antonio Valdes’s thick accent cut through her angry thoughts and drew her back to reality.
They were now entering the main hall where the reception was ongoing. Davina instantly started searching through the crowd for Vulcan Alvaro. “We deal in housewares.” She replied, scanning the faces as they moved.
Antonio Valdes nodded. “I see it now. He invests in business that would produce the goods for his hotels. Clever.” A smirk appeared on his face at his words.
Davina did not notice it as she had finally noticed the devil. There he was, Vulcan Alvaro. The man who has promised to ruin her town. The man who has humiliated her. Just the sight of him enraged her. Fire burned in her veins just seeing the smile on his face. He was happy. She could not believe it. He was standing here enjoying his life while those he hurt were suffering. He did not care about what he was doing.
Despite the fact that the sight of him enraged her, she was also nervous and afraid. Davina was only seeing him for the first time. Hence, she was nervous. She knew he gave ruthless, heartless orders but she did not know how he was physically. What if, he was a violent man and her presence triggers that side of him. What if he gets the guards to hustle her out of here, or even worse, he does that himself. She swallowed the bile that rose in her throat.
“Ah, there is the man you want to see.” Antonio Valdes whispered to her. If only he knew, she had noticed him first. “Let’s go say hi, shall we?”
Great, better to get this finished right away. “Thank you.” She whispered to Antonio Valdes as he led her through the crowd. Davina was so concentrated on getting to Vulcan Alvaro she did not notice the guests greeting her partner as they moved. She was recalling that speech she wrote and rehearsed for when she finally came face to face with Mr. Alvaro.
All thoughts left her when she stopped right before Vulcan Alvaro. The guests that were around him a moment ago were nowhere to be seen now. He was alone, watching her with hawk like brown eyes. Instantly, all her speech was gone and she was left watching his face like a deer in headlights. She was stunned speechless by his presence.
Maybe Vulcan Alvaro was not someone she should be messing with. He looked dangerous; with his black hair slicked backwards, in that dark tailored suit which fit his huge and fearsome frame, and the face that looked like it belongs on the cover of GQ magazine. Maybe dangerous was not the word she was looking for here.
Vulcan Alvaro was handsome. No, scratch that, dangerously handsome. The pictures she has seen of him, does not do justice to the man in person. He was a thousand times more handsome and she had to agree that he deserved that win for the most handsome eligible bachelor in the world. If only his heart was as beautiful as his face, she would have liked him.
“Vulcan Alvaro,” Antonio Valdes said beside her and she finally blinked.
Vulcan was not in the best of moods that week. He had just split from his girlfriend. More like, she dumped him for her ex. He did not hate her for what she did. In fact he liked that she told him genuinely why she could not be with him anymore. She still loved the man and she could never feel that way about him. He was hurt to hear those words from her, but he respected her for speaking out. Yet, he was hurt that they split up. Of course, which break up did not hurt?
That whole week, since his return from the Groove, he had been in a foul mood. Every little thing ticked him off. He had yelled at his personal assistant twice. That had never happened before. Now Derek must think he hates him because of his behavior.
Vulcan had postponed his meetings and taken the week off from work to clear his head. This reception had been organized weeks ago, so he could not postpone it as much as he had wanted to. This party was very important for his business. Especially, that new project that was about to start in Little Hill. He did not know why it had not started yet even. That project was slated to start two days ago. He was still to get the briefing on its delay, but since he had not been to the office in a week he had no idea what was happening with it. Hopefully, it was nothing important and they could start immediately.
With all these happening, Vulcan knew he had to take charge once again. Derek was a good assistant, but he could not handle the company like him. He had so much to learn before he could take on a company. Vulcan Alvaro then decided tonight was the right time to get himself back to business. He came here looking and feeling like his old self. All it took was for him to slip into a suit and he was the ruthless business owner everyone knew and respected.
All his business partners were at the reception and some of his rivals of course. There were those that came in support of him and those who came to plot against him. He saw them all. However, he had not yet noticed his toughest business rival. Vulcan was almost convinced the snake would not show up until he saw him moving between the crowds with his newest plaything flung around him.
Antonio Valdes. The man had no scruples whatsoever. He was shady in business and everything else he does.
Valdes came to him and the only thing he could do to stop himself from punching the bastard was to look at the woman at his side. Vulcan took in her face, as innocent as an angel’s and wondered if Valdes’s taste in women had changed. This one was much younger and much more innocent looking than the other’s he had met before. She was different and had a natural glow to her. He noticed that she did not wear so much makeup and had no serious jewelry. Although she was dressed to kill in that fitting, wrap dress that showed her soft feminine curves. She sure was different from the others. Vulcan found himself wondering where he got her.
At the mention of his name, he tore his gaze from the young woman’s surprising attractive sky blue eyes. Vulcan could not resist the urge to say his name as well. “Antonio Valdes” and the sneer, was not missed from his tone. He was sure Valdes’s woman heard it too because her brow raised in question at him. It was clear this one was unfamiliar with their rivalry. Where did Valdes find her anyway? She was no doubt gorgeous.
“I brought someone to meet you.” Antonio smirked while tapping the woman’s hand.
Vulcan wanted to roll his eyes because he was not interested in meeting Valdes’s mistresses. But immediately she averted those bright eyes on him, he stopped himself. There was a gut feeling telling him things were not as it looked.
Withdrawing her hand from his elbow, she straightened her spine, raised her chin in an air of confidence and spoke in a soft tone. “Davina King.” Something flushed in her eyes and he blinked.
Davina King, is it? He thought. Why did that name ring a bell?
“Okay, I will leave you two to talk.” Antonio said, throwing Vulcan a look. “Take care of my date. I will be back for her.” With those words, he turned and disappeared into the crowd.
Vulcan found it strange that Valdes would just leave him with his… date. There was nothing… That was when it hit him. Davina King? Perhaps could it be her? Apparently, there was someone wanting to stop the construction and the mastermind was Davina King.
“Mr. Alvaro, you must know why I am here.” She began. “You have rejected my emails, letters and appointments. Hence forcing me to come here.”
“What do you want?” He disliked it when people beat about the bush.
“For you to stop that construction. Those homes belong to people and they have nowhere to…”
“So it’s all Valdes’s doing.” Vulcan cut her short. A muscle twitched in his jaw as his hand folded into a fist by his side. He should have known this was Valdes’s doing. He was the one trying to stop the construction. This time however, he got someone else to do the dirty work for him. Not just anyone, but an innocent young woman. Looking at her, he felt sorry for her. How much money did he pay her to do this? Moreover, she was stupid to think she could stop his plans. She and Valdes was both stupid to think he would not go ahead with the construction because she said so.
“Stop whatever you are doing and tell Valdes this won’t stop me from going ahead with the construction.” Disgust dripped from his voice so thick there was no doubt in his mind that she felt it herself.
“Valdes or whoever isn’t part of this, but the people of Little Hill are. I came so we could talk and maybe come to a compromise…”
“There is nothing to talk about Miss Davina King.” His raised his voice above her, silencing her and equally gaining the attention of the guests standing nearby.
Her mouth twisted in annoyance and he knew he had hit a nerve. Yeah, she could go ahead and burn up for all he cared. But he was no longer going to stand here and listen to Valdes’s accomplice. He would meet with the bastard in the boardroom tomorrow and they would settle things there.
Vulcan stuffed his hand into his pocket and made to leave. But the unexpected thing happened. She grabbed his arm and stopped him. “You are going nowhere until you listen to me.” The determination in her voice stunned him and he turned around. It reminded him of when he is also bent on making someone listen to him.
He came back around and she slowly let him go. The fire burning in her eyes scorched a hole right through him. If looks could kill, he would have melted at her feet in a pool of magma right now. “Little Hill is a small town which is not ready for the mega constructions you intend to put up there. People are living in those homes you intend to pull down. If you would just…”
“No.” He interjected her once again.
“What?” She seemed shocked.
“No!” His voice raised an octave. “And you better stop whatever you are doing or am filing a lawsuit against you.”
Her eyes bulged and her mouth, hang open in shock. Vulcan smirked. Good, that threat might work. Her expression suddenly changed before him so fast, he was surprised at it. “Great.” She smiled. Opening her bag, she pulled out a brown envelope. “I have a lawsuit of my own to file against you, Mr. Alvaro.” With those words, she flung it at him.
The envelope hit his face with a thud and a gasp let his lips, mixing with the collective gasp that came from the guests standing around. He felt a sting on his cheek as if he had been slapped. Next thing, papers were flying around him as they spilled from the envelope. Vulcan was beyond the word stunned, as he stood frozen to the spot. Time seemed to have come to a standstill as he locked gazes with her. A myriad of emotions clashed on her face. Davina King threw him one last look before turning on her heels and walking away.
Vulcan kept his gaze on her retreating back, as cameras began to flash around him. Whispers erupted around him and journalists came pointing microphones at his face. At that moment, he saw the headlines of tomorrow’s newspapers.TROUBLE FOR VULCAN ALVARO.