Yours For A Week

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We promised each other no strings attached, but soon enough, we found ourselves tangled in those very red strings of lust. Passion. Desire. We knew we had to cut those and move on, but we couldn't. We held on. To that one week together in his penthouse in Paris, we held on. I can't help but wonder sometimes....what would have happened if we hadn't met that night? Would it have saved me from the heartache? And him from the pain? I don't know. But what I do know is that I'll never regret it. Ever. Because I wouldn't have known love without having met him. Sebastien Renouard.

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Gargoyles of Lust

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✧・Evangelyn De Cruz・✧

╚═══*.·:·.✧ ✦ ✧.·:·.*═══╝

Paris fashion week was crazy.

And that was further proven when I had to step out of my limousine to come face to face with the large crowd gathering outside. The moment my red high heels touched the floor, they fled towards me like magnets, cameras flashing and hands grabbing onto whatever they could. I smiled into one of the flashing cameras as I looked around and waved.

“Eva! So nice to see you here! And congrats on your win!” A reporter yelled, making my heart clench tightly with pride at the mention.

I nodded brightly, giving them the same smile that won me Miss Universe. Every time I stood in front of any crowd, I felt like I was back to that enormous stage again. And not once did I feel the gratitude diminish from my chest, it had already etched a permanent place in my heart. It forever will. And it only grew with every passing day.

“Eva” Louise, my manager, called out silently in an effort to redirect my focus to her.

I found myself glancing at her with a question in my eyes. Louise was an elegant and composed woman, striking in both looks and personality. Since I was titled Miss Universe, she’s been by my side through all the stress and the blessings. We’ve also been on the same level about everything, except for our heights. Since she was slightly shorter than me, I had to lean towards her to hear her over the crowd.

“We need to hurry, sweety. It’ll be packed in there,” She whispered. I nodded to signal that I understood her over the noise.

And then the crowd made way for me as I navigated my way through it and towards the staircase that led to the entrance of the event. This year, Paris fashion week was taking place at an ancient gallery of the art museum. Maybe that’s why there were such beautiful water fountains on either side of the entrance, painting the scenery with the touch of a sculptor’s hand. Two very tall gargoyle statues guarded the picturesque building, adding a touch of magic to its overall beauty.

I looked down at my black lace mesh bodysuit and the red pencil skirt that matched with my red heels. The diamond choker around my neck reflected the light from the cameras, and the silver bangles on my hands danced with my movements. My hair dangled loosely down my hips in dark waves, just how I liked it.

I just hoped my outfit for today matched the event’s insane elegance. I’ve never attended fashion week before, so I was slightly nervous. But mostly just filled with excitement.

I couldn’t wait to go in!

The entrance was only a step away from me when I felt the hair on the nape of my neck stand on edge. Tensing ever so slightly, I surprised myself by looking over my shoulder. The noise from the reporters and photographers faded into the background as my gaze searched for the object of my distraction. My eyes flickered across the road and then my breath hitched as my gaze settled on the admirer looking back at me with just as much as curiosity.

Or intensity.

I took him in. His solid stance, his graceful build. The man stood tall, with wide shoulders that bore more than just responsibilities filling his designer black suit. His navy blue shirt clung to his hard chest, and so did my eyes. Even from a distance, I could tell he was muscular and well built. And as much as I wanted to take my sweet time and continue exploring his body, my eyes were impatient to look more. Find more. And as they paused on his face, another gasp of surprise threatened to escape my lips.

I’ve seen that face before.

The dishevelled dark hair, the piercing light blue eyes along with the pronounced cheekbones and sharp jawline. His lips stayed sealed in a beautiful frown as he watched me. Like, as if he was as stupefied by the connection between us as I was. I had the sudden desire to kiss it away and watch as it formed into a smile over my flushed and exposed skin. I wanted to tug and lick at those luscious lips; I wanted them on my breasts and on my…

No, no, no! What am I thinking about? He’s just a stranger! I scolded myself.

And as I glanced back at him, I realised that he was a very, very familiar stranger. I couldn’t quite put my fingers around it, but I’ve definitely seen him before. Where could I have seen him though? From the manner he stood in, watching me as carefully as I watched him, I could tell that we were so obviously from two different worlds. The gold watch on his wrist could have been a sign, but so was the silver brooch resting on his lapel. This man was obviously rich. And it was wrong of me to share this intimate moment with him without even knowing him first.

But when his eyes lowered under their lashes as they greedily travelled down my flushed body and back up again, I had to inhale the consuming desire that jolted through me and push it inside a box at the back of my mind. I felt like squirming, overwhelmed under his blatant perusal, though usually if a man checked me out like that, I would just smile back flirtatiously. But with him, I froze. The moment his eyes came back to my face, he offered me one last searing look—a look that I felt like a callused caress down my body—and then dragged his gaze away. Feeling dazed and decidedly turned on, I watched him stride off behind one of the black cars.

And apparently, I wasn’t the only one.

“That’s Sebastien Renouard! The jewellery business conglomerate owner!” One of the reporters hissed under their breath as they tried to catch up with the man. And that’s when realisation dawned into me.

Sebastien Renouard.

Of course, I heard of him. He has been on the thirty under thirty list on the New York Times and Forbes magazine only a few months ago after officially taking over his father’s company. A France-based company that operated on the jewellery and accessory markets. Sebastien started off as an average worker after he got his degree in economics and had to work his way up the corporate ladder due to his father’s strict request. Fortunately, he was a powerful businessman and his success made him an internationally well-known man amongst the socially elite.

Besides being one of the most wanted bachelors in Paris, the man was also a well-known player with a different woman in his arms every other night. So it was of no surprise that he had been looking at me. I wasn’t anything special. I was just another woman in the immense line of women he’d be going through. And knowing that… strangely hurt.

My heart plummeted low in my chest as I turned around to face Louise’s inquisitive look.

She must have noted my sudden fall in demeanour because she patted my hand gently and asked, “You ok? You look a little crestfallen, Eva”

I shook my head and brightened my expression with a smile I hoped would flush my negative thoughts down the drainage.

“Nothing to worry about. I’m just a bit nervous, that’s all” I lied, putting the gorgeous man behind me at the back of my mind. I was here to fill a role, I reminded myself. To look happy and glamorous and be the Miss Universe they meant me to be. I couldn’t let stupid feelings over a stranger impede that.

So, mustering up all the dignity I had, I turned on my heels and headed for the giant grey stone entrance. And I was proud to say I didn’t look back.

Sebastien Renouard couldn’t stop me today.

He was just part of a dream that was too far out of my reach. It didn’t matter that I had extended knowledge on him and have been looking out on the latest gossip about him for the last few months. It didn’t matter that I was so taken by him and his elegance and eloquence that I’ve watched most of his interviews on my hotel flat screen. He was still this unreachable man that I was better without. He was part of a world that I didn’t belong to. And that could never change.

So I decided that I would enjoy myself at this fashion week without letting my tiny crush on the mysterious man get in the way.

As I entered through the gates and discovered the crowd waiting inside, I knew for sure I could live by those words. Because I loved the spotlight, but more than that… I loved a good Louis Vuitton runway show.

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