Primed for Sin | 18+

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nine : revelation

H E R A

♥ ♥ ♥

I COULDN’T KEEP the smirk of my face from the blond male standing in front of me. I tilt my head at him, my gaze staying in place while my eyes rake over his body discreetly.

The guy is hot; there is no denying that fact and I know that he knows it. The black suit—that I can tell is a Giorgio Armani original—is stretched across the muscles bulging from his arms. You can tell that he works out more times than me for a fact. The suit itself is black pants, an ivory dress shirt which has a black tie around his neck and rests just above mid-chest—since the rest of the tie is covered by the black jacket over the rest of his body. My eyes go down to his shoes, the black, rich leather sparkling in the dim light of the room but you can tell that it is downright expensive at the same time.

Then my eyes go up again, from the shoes to the muscle bunched thighs and calves to the toned chest of his, hidden by the clothing, to the thick neck which is on display, showing the veins bulging in them.

Up, up they go until my hazel green eyes rest on his face.

The sterling silver grey orbs are the first thing that my own orbs go to. The depths of them sparkling just like his shoes and drawing someone in at first glance. My eyes move to the thick dark blond eyebrows just above his eyes and how they narrow in anger.

I almost laugh at the emotion on display.

The blond curls of hair on his head are perfect, in my opinion, and displays the amount of masculinity he has. The hair itself looks soft at the moment but you can see the gel that was in his hair is now scattered around the strands.

Almost like someone was running their hands through them.

Looks like the guy had his own fun tonight. And now he is shouting at me.

The chin is the most spectacular part of his whole body. Next to the eyes, of course. It is chiselled to perfection that you can cut a fucking diamond with it. I’m will not be surprised that if the diamond will be cut on his chin, it’ll shatter because of how fucking sharp it is. Same goes for his cheekbones. Chiselled to fucking perfection too.

My eyes go to his mouth lastly when I can see it move up and down.

Well, fuck, I think. Looks like he was talking while I was checking him out.

“—you guys have got some fucking balls to be in this room,” were the only words that I hear coming from the thick lips. Why was everything of his so thick all of a sudden?

“I’m sorry.”

My eyes snap instantly to Colin. The man is shaking in his bare chest. The rest of his clothing now on the floor from when I shoved it off his chest in the heat of the moment.

The lust between us.

The brown hair of his is facing the ground, hiding his facial expressions from the male in front of the two of us.

The male that looks like he wants us six feet under this building. Most likely dead than alive being the best-case scenario.

“Why the fuck are you staring at the ground?” I hiss under my breath, questioning Colin. “Are you scared of this man? Is that the reason?” My gaze stays pinned on Colin’s face and body, waiting for when he is going to come back up to show what he is feeling.

After a few seconds of calls coming from me and curses as well, Colin finally pulls his face from the ground and to me.

And what I see makes me grit my teeth together.

Colin Addington is utterly fucking terrified right now. His eyes are wide, glimmering in the light from the room which shows the tears that are more likely going to fall down sooner rather than later. His hands are in front of him, both wrapped up together like he is going to church right after this party and his clenched fists are shaking.

From fear most likely.

Fucking pussy.

His hair’s a mess from when my fingers ran through the strands just moments ago.

And on top of that, his body is fucking shaking.

Man . . . this guy is scared of the blond male.

Colin’s brown orbs look into my hazel ones. “Not to be an asshole here, Hera, sweetie, but . . .” he looks around the room, “I’m going to go now.”

And then the motherfucking asshole bolts from his place at the glass table, in the direction of the door and past the male standing at the door. He even had the plan to close the door on his way out, leaving me and the mysterious man in the room. Alone.

I keep my eyes on Colin throughout the whole thing until the door shuts behind him.

He left me. The motherfucker left me in this room, to my death.

I then snap my eyes to the man only to see those orbs of his widen, realization coming into those silver orbs of his.

Silver orbs that look rather familiar to me right now.

He shakes his head after a few moments, muttering some words under his breath. The blond, after a few seconds, looks up at me, eyes narrowing and displaying anger.

“Looks like the guy that you were fucking on my desk is a pussy since he ran out of the room the first chance that he got.” The blond male takes a few steps towards the desk, towards me, arms crossed over his chest.

I shrug my shoulders at his words, the smirk still on my face but smaller than before. “What can I say except first, we weren’t fucking. It’s called making out.”

He raises a blond brow. “No? But it was still a close second to fucking.”

My mouth purses before I slowly nod my head, looking down at my open dress and my breasts on display for him. “Alright, I’ll give you that one.” I bring my arms to my sides, grab onto the straps of the dress and pull it up, resting where they were before I found Colin. I move my arms back and forth, making sure that the blue material stays comfortably on my body and then bring back my attention onto the blond.

He keeps on taking step after step in my direction until he stands right in front of the glass table, the other side of me. He leans in, baring his teeth while saying, “Tell me . . . have you answered my question yet?”

My head cocks to the side. “I don’t know. Maybe?” I shrug my shoulders. “I think that you can answer that question for yourself.”

“Seeing as you’re still in my office and not running out of this room, shitting your pants then I can confidently say that no.” He shakes his head. “You have not answered my question.”

“Pity.” I bring a hand forward, on the table and slowly, my fingers inch themselves in the direction of the silver clutch that matches with my shoes. “How about this,” I start off, keeping my gaze on those silver eyes while my hand continues on, “we forget that this happened and I will walk through those doors and forget about what I saw in that drawer.”

There is surprise in his eyes—only for a moment before they harden. “How about not.”

My tongue clicks against the top of my tongue and my hand—finally!—touches on silver fabric. “That is not how this will work.”

I stand up straight, my hands on the silver clutch that I place in the crook of my arms. My arms grab onto the fabric of my dress, bunch it together in my hands before making my way around the table. Then, I come face to face with the blond male, my eyes narrowing and baring my teeth, I say, “Nice having the opportunity to meet you. Hope to see you never.”

I turn rapidly, my hair flying around my head and take steps to the door. To the exit.

But, I didn’t expect for someone to grab onto my arm, forcing me to turn around and face the silver-eyed devil that is making my life hell right now.

Those eyes blaze fire directed right at me. “Don’t you dare turn away from me when you entered this room, my office, to do what you were going to do on my fucking desk.”

While his eyes blaze fire, a fire within me starts to blaze when I can feel the sleek feeling of his fingers on my skin. My eyes snap to him. “Get your fucking hands off me right now or we’re going to have a problem.”

He doesn’t listen to me.

He does the opposite though.

The fingers wrapped around my hand tightens in response to my words but I stand my ground. I keep my eyes on his face, waiting oh so patiently for him to listen to the words that are coming out of my mouth.

He doesn’t listen to my words.

The two of us just stare at each other; him waiting for me to crack and me waiting for the same thing to happen to him. But I know that one of us would never do that.

I’m way too stubborn to get off the high horse that I’ve placed myself on; he looks like that he has an ego that’s the size of the fucking universe. Maybe even bigger.

After a few seconds of the two of us glaring at each other, I just narrow my eyes and pull my arm from his tight grip. I knew that he was never going to let go and I just had to take the right turn and make the first move. Once my hand comes in contact with the touch of the red area on my arm, where his fingers were just moments ago, a slight wince comes upon my touch.

A movement is made in front of me.

I snap my head up, right in the direction of the male to see some fear come onto his face and into his eyes. But as quick as it came, his face went back to an unemotional state.

What’s with guys and hiding their feelings?

Rubbing my arms back and forth with my fingers, I keep my eyes on the blond to see him turn away from me, walk to the back of his desk, right towards the cabinet and opens it wide

Then he takes out what’s inside.

The silver string of pearls sparkles as it comes out of the drawer, his hand holding on tightly to the middle of the string before bringing it out so that I can get a better look at what it is.

I fold my arms over my chest, one hand clamping onto my purse. “Keeping a sex toy in an office—especially when there can be someone who can open the door at any time—is a bad idea,” I smirk. “Well, any toy, in general, is a bad idea.”

The nipple clamp shines in the light from the lamp. The pearl string also has a sort of shimmer on it when the light reflects off the whole thing. The ends of the string hold to clamps—placed on each of the nipples—and could be made out of fucking silver if the man wanted to.

He has money if he can afford an office in Whittaker Industries.

Maybe even a business partner of the company?

The male holds on tightly to the sex toy before throwing it harshly into the drawer, slamming it shut and then goes forward to lean on the wood. His fingers come up, brushing the bridge of his nose and I can hear and see the sigh that comes from his lips.

“Then it’s my own damn fault thinking that things that are in my office stay in my office. In secret.”

“I think that you should know that nothing is a secret anymore. You can’t hide things that are meant to come into light one way or the other.”

His eyes snap to mine after I finish the words. His silver eyes lit up after. “Who the fuck are you?”

Finally! The question that I’ve been waiting for.

I bring a handout. “Hera Langford, nice to meet you.”

The silver eyes go down to my hand and then back to my eyes, boredom clearly shown in them. “And? Should I know who that is? Give me some more details?”

"What? You don’t know what that name means?

That couldn’t be. Everyone knows who I am. Hell, even walking down the streets of New York City, I get bombarded by random people, asking for autographs, pictures, questions asking about what my next project could be in the future. They know who I am; they know the right questions to ask to get the right answers. And in response, I must be careful of what I say. Any little thing I say can either make my life bigger, greater or it can ruin me bit by bit in front of the public.

Everything that I do is in front of the public eye.

“I’m not a mindreader, Langford. Just tell me what that name means and then you can be on your merry way—” his words stop for a moment, a gleam coming into his eyes and a smirk coming onto his lips—one that makes me fear what will come out of his mouth. “And then . . . I’d sue you.”

My eyes widen the hold on my clutch loosening just a bit. “What!? You’d sue me? For what?”

His arms wrap around his upper torso, the movement making his arms stretch over the taut muscles of his eyes. My eyes dart over it for a moment before going back to his face. “For entering this room. You have no reason to have been in this room,” he clicks his tongue, “you know, private property and all.”

“Really?” I snort at the words. “I don’t think that you know this but you see all those other rooms out there—” my hand motions to the door, to the other rooms lining the hall and all the others in the hotel, “—they have people in there. Talking, fighting, fucking, you know, the usual.”

The blond’s eyes narrow at my mocking tone of two words.

“So that means that you can’t sue me for this. You don’t even own this building being a business partner of the Whittaker’s and all.”

His lips tilt, a smirk coming on with a hint of smugness in the way that he looks at me.

“You have no idea who I am, do you?”

“I don’t need to know who you are since you are just a measly investor of this hotel building and that the Whittaker family holds more of the power here.”

His smirk deepens. “Trust me, you should know who I am.”

My head cocks to the side, the curls following the movement. “I don’t want to know your name but . . . seeing as you want to tell me, go ahead.”

The male brings a handout, in front of me. “Phillip.”

“Phillip, who?”

“Phillip Whittaker.” My whole world explodes. “Ring a bell?”

Of course, it just has to be Phillip fucking Whittaker. I have the most shittest luck ever since the night of the premiere of Black Marks and the meeting with Nadene fucking Nix right after the movie. It was expected that my unlucky streak would continue to follow me from that day.

At least you got a great dress in the end.

Yeah, I snort. A great fucking dress.

“Seems that I’ve made you speechless.”

The male—Phillip concludes, with that same smirk on his face because he knows that I got myself in a dilemma that I can’t get out of.

He could sue me—even though I am in no way at fault. I have an invitation for the night, for this party. It’s a hotel too; it would’ve been expected that people would come and go through these doors, doing whatever they deem necessary and hope on their graves that they don’t get caught and then kicked out of the hotel afterwards.

But at the same time, this place is private property, owned by Whittaker Industries and all that they represent. This company could kick me out if they want to. And seeing that its CEO is staring daggers at me, imagining maybe to gut me with that same nipple clamp in his drawer and make me bleed all over the damn floors and then drag my body to the nearest cliff and throw it over the edge.

That won’t surprise me at all.

“That’s great you know,” Phillip starts off the words with but my mind was remembering just a pair of words.

Nipple clamp.

“This means that you are going to listen to me and listen well.”

Nipple clamp.

Nadine Nix.

“This means that you are going to walk out of this office.”

Nipple clamp.

Nadine Nix.

Blackmail.

“Down the hallway and out the door.”

Nipple Clamp.

Nadine Nix.

Blackmail.

Phillip Whittaker.

“Out the door. To your shitty apartment.”

Nipple Clamp.

Nadine Nix.

Blackmail.

Phillip Whittaker.

Phillip Whittaker. Blackmail.

“And wait to get a letter from my lawyers.”

Blackmail and Phillip Whittaker.

Nadine Nix and her blackmail against me.

What happens if I were to do the same thing that Nadine did to me to this man in front of me but to my advantage? I ask myself.

He has secrets.

And I have my own.

An idea plays in my head, forming together to create something extraordinary. Something that will get me out of my own problem that I have with Nadine Nix. And that something has been placed right in front of me.

But it can’t be so simple.

I need to use this secret to the best of my ability. And that means that I need to see if this theory of mine is correct.

Does Phillip Whittaker have a dominant side that he wants to keep from the public eye?

There are only a few things that I have heard about Brooks’ brother and that is all from the magazines that I’ve seen over the years that I’ve come to NYC. Not that much from her own mouth. But besides that, the man is known to be silent, cold and ruthless to the people around him. Phillip Whittaker has a reputation for a reason other than being super hot on every magazine cover that he graces. He is known to be meanwhile also barely speaking to the people around him. The guy is quiet and yet quite loud in the face of the public.

Phillip Whittaker is basically summed up in the words, Can be quiet one moment, aggressive and loud the next.

What a fucking hypocrite he is.

“How about this,” I say, placing a finger on my chin and tapping it discreetly, gazing into those silver depths. “We don’t do what you were just talking about and talk about that thing in your drawer. What does it mean?”

Phillip’s eyes dart to the drawer, a dark look overcoming his face and his jaw clenching afterwards. You could physically hear his teeth grinding together, the teeth getting smaller and smaller with each swipe. “You don’t need to know what it means. It has nothing to do with you.”

“Really?” I snort. “This has nothing to do with me? Are you sure? Because I found out that at your brand new office, there is a nipple clamp, a fucking sex toy, here. Why would it be here?

“But the better question is: are there more of them?

“Do you really think that there are more?” He shakes his head, a chuckle escaping his lips while he grins. “That item was confiscated by one of my employees who thought that it was a great fucking idea to fuck someone in one of the suites on the upper floor.”

For some weird reason, my eyebrows rise. “I get the fucking thing in the scenario, I really do, but who in their right mind and time would one of your employees bring a nipple clamp?” a shake of my head. “Aren’t those things for like, dominants and shit? You know, people who find BDSM as a way to have fun.”

That last sentence makes his head snap to me. “What did you say?”

I look at him, my eyes crinkling and my lips forming their own smirk. Checkmate, bitch. “I was just saying that aren’t those nipple clamps for like dominants and—”

But my words die on my lips when something flies past my head. My eyes widen, and then the sound of glass breaking sounds from behind me. In response, I rapidly shift my eyes at the liquid dripping down the walls, making a path until landing on the marble floors where glass lay in pieces.

Did this guy just throw a wine bottle at me?

All because I said some words?

I bring my eyes to him, my chest rising and falling fastly. The adrenaline in my body making an appearance from the shock that has happened from the action made by Phillip

Looking and Phillip, he has the same reaction too. His chest lifts and drops at a fast rate and his arm stands open, at his side, above his head, in a hand gesture that shows that he is the one who threw it at the wall, almost hitting me in the process.

My eyes narrow, anger burning harsher, more deeper and hotter than before. “What the fuck is your problem? Why the hell did you throw a bottle at the wall and almost hit me?”

“What can I say,” that hand that was holding the bottle now rubs the back of his head, “just a good shot.”

“More like a bad fucking shot!? Are you crazy?”

“Maybe.”

“I’ll take that as a yes to my question.”

“Good.”

My mouth pursues. What’s this guy’s deal? He acts all high and mighty towards everything and everyone and when I speak words of what I found, he shuts up and looks like a dog with his tail between his two legs and walks away.

Or throw a bottle at someone.

“Well, at least your bad shot. And missed at the same time.” I shrug my shoulders, placing my clutch on the glass table and make a move to look around the room. “That just means that I can continue to do what I do best: act.”

Looking around the room now is like looking at it with brand new eyes. The first time that I looked at the room, I was half hazy and half lustful after making out with that fucking dick outside the halls. Everything that I saw, that I felt was rushed from a different angle. It was like I was high on a recent drug that is on the streets and hoping that the high would go on for a long time after.

Now, everything is more defined. The dark colours are dark but hold a little shine from the expensive taste that these rich people have. The dark now holds shadows with the furniture and everything that was light is now too fucking light and I felt like passing out and waking up in a different country.

Where there is no Nadine and Phillip and no problems and no difficulties.

Where everything is easy.

My eyes narrow when I see a door that was not there before. A door that is coloured ebony and has red rims. A door that is definitely not normal in the type of colour scheme, the gold and white and everything in between, that they have at the hotel.

I make my way towards the door, my hand on the handle before looking over my shoulder. “What’s in the room?”

“Nothing. So there is no reason for you to go in there.”

I am surprised that he stands right in the space that he is in. He hasn’t moved an inch from his place at the front of the glass table, in front of the drawer that holds the nipple clamp in it. I expect him to rush to me, to wrap his hand around my wrist once more and force me to not open the door.

But he just stands there, like me entering this room or closet or something would do nothing for him.

What if there is something in this room? What if he is doing all this, acting casual and shit, so that I don’t enter this room and I will follow his words?

My hand tightens on the handle, ready for my command to open the door. “Well, if there is nothing behind this door except a bunch of papers—which will be odd for a hotel that was so recently opened—then it will be perfect for me to open this door, no?”

My stare stays on Phillip as if my words have any sort of action on him. He stays still.

I smirk and then turn the handle to open it.

“Wait—”

And what I see on the other side makes me widen my eyes. Wider than when I saw the nipple clamp a few moments ago.

The room’s door might have a black colour but the whole room is red. A red that is all different shades of the colour. Some are fire engine red, some a dark red that matches the colour of garnet, some are shades of rubies. Most of it is red; some black.

Then there is the deal with a whipa fucking whip that could be used on a horse—just lying on a table like it belongs there.

But that was all I saw before the door closed on me.

“I told you that it was nothing. So explain to me why you opened the fucking door?” Phillip growls at me, his hand pressed tightly against the door and I’m thankful that my whole body was outside the door before it happened.

Because I know that if my hand was still in the door when it was closing, another red colour is going to stain the marble floors. And not one that was in the room.

“It looks like you have more than one secret, Phillip Whittaker.”

“And what is it?” He questions me, a key slipping from his pocket and then pushes it into the lock, turning it, locking the door, before sliding it back to where he found it. “What could possibly be my secret?”

“That you’re a dominant. You like punishing your woman when you fuck them and that you’re into BDSM.” I tap a finger on my chin, looking at him deep in those grey depths. “What does it stand for again? B is for bondage; D is for discipline and/or dominance; S for submission and/or sadism. And then M is for masochism. What a weird acronym for people who do those types of things?”

I have no idea how I know those things. I just do.

I take a step forward, my finger that was on my chin now going down the length of his shirt. “And I know that it’s your secret. Do you want to know why? It’s because if it wasn’t a secret, the rest of the world must’ve known about it by now. And yet, I’ve heard nothing about it yet.”

Phillip’s eyes just look at the motions of my hand, up and down that it goes. “Maybe it’s because nobody cares about the people of wealth. That they only care about themselves.”

My gaze goes down to my finger, watching it as well. “I find that hard to believe . . The poor eat up the things that happen to the rich like its liquid gold that they have no need to pay for.”

“Are you sure about that?”

“Have you heard about the things circling around about Marie and Sabrina Clarke?” I start off, bringing my finger back to me, looking into his eyes.

Phillip narrows his eyes but shakes his head at my words. He doesn’t know.

“I thought so,” a smirk, “because if you did then you would have heard the rumours about that particular couple and how Marie is cheating on Sabrina. I heard some bitches talking about it at the party. They talked about the couple, all of the details about Marie going on a trip to the Maldives with another woman, on her wife’s private jet, while Sabrina stayed at home, working tirelessly on her upcoming designs. Even Marie was a no one before she fell in love with Sabrina Clarke and now, she’s something, someone. A woman with a name.

“So you see, even if you’re a nobody or a someone, the media will care what you do. Everyone will care what you do.” I look at Philip, staring into those orbs and tell him the truth of the world. “The bigger the secret, the harder you’ll fall.”

Phillip looks right at me. Looking into my soul for something.

A pity for him because he’s going to find no mercy in my heart.

“And you say my secret is big.”

“Your’s, Phillip Whittaker, is the biggest of them all.”

Phillip’s mouth pursues to the side, his lips slanting, jaw clenching at the words. “One question: what would get you to keep this secret of mine a secret as you said?”

The grin that comes onto my face holds delight, violent ones. My teeth bare, the feralness that belongs to me—and only me—coming onto my lips and showing what I actually feel. “It’s rather simple now that I think of it.”

I look him dead in the eye. “Marry me.”

♥ ♥ ♥

PHILLIP’S RESPONSE TO my words is wide eyes.

I knew that this was reckless; that this man in front of me could just say no to my words, sue me for trespassing and that then lead to a full-on war between the two of us, maybe some court cases because I know that I won’t go down without a fight.

But this was a quick way to solve my problem.

Phillip Whittaker might just have the biggest secret in NYC. A dominant; a man that does BDSM with women—or men. I don’t know which way he swings and I don’t really care in the end.

If we do get married, it is going to be just on paper. I won’t love him—hell, I won’t even like him but what I will do is be married to him for a certain amount of time to get Nadine Nix off my back and onto someone else’s and then move forward with my life. Do a couple of dozen movies, grow old with old age and then die with my name known on this planet.

Because this is what it is all about.

Having people know me.

What is the point of living if you are not known in this world before and after you die?

"What!?"

My thoughts snap back to the present when only a single word is heard. I stare into those silver eyes—that are now narrowed onto my being. I take a quick glance at his hands to see them clenched tightly at his sides, where you can even see his veins popping against the skin.

Even on his neck and forehead, there is a vein that’s popping. Either from annoyance or from anger or from some other emotion that he is feeling at this moment.

But I think that it is most likely anger.

“You heard what I said.” I raise my eyebrows. “What? Are you deaf now too?”

Phillip’s hands at his sides are now shaking. Like they are just waiting for me to say one wrong word or make a wrong move and wrap it around my neck, squeezing the life outta me and making sure that I drop dead most likely.

“No.” He shakes his head but even the movement is stiff. “I was just wondering if what I heard was correct.”

“What did you hear exactly?”

“You said two words only.”

I nod my head. “You are correct. Is there anything else you want to add?”

“Two words that consisted of ‘Marry Me.’

“Well, you should get an award for most likely to hear what you have to say.”

He did not find that joke funny. “Cut the crap.” I didn’t but I just kept silent. For now. “Now why would you want to marry me?”

I am not going to tell him the reason. “I have no reason to answer your question. I don’t need to answer your question; that is not important in any way. But what does matter is if you agree to my terms.”

“What terms now?” He looks at me funny now. “You have only stated the one: that the only way that you’ll not spill my secret is if I marry you. You haven’t told me for how long because trust me,“—Phillip looks down at my figure, over everything,— “you might be hot in a porno way but I won’t stay married to you long.”

Porno? Really?

I feel kinda sorry for what I’m doing. But what I’m doing is for me. The evidence that Nadine has against me can ruin everything that I am trying to run from. Everything that’s the reason that I have to run away from everything that I have ever known.

From my own family.

“Don’t worry, darling—”

Phillip growls at the word.

“We won’t be married for that long. Maybe a year, less than that. Depends on my mood,”

I walk away from the door knowing that everything is done and over with. I have got the Phillip Whittaker in my back pocket. I can tell him to do whatever I want. If I want him to jump, he’ll jump. If I want him to give me his black card to go shopping, he’ll hand it over with a smile on his face while his eyes say fuck you to me in every language available. He will listen to each one of my words, each one of my demands and will do nothing but comply with them.

Whether he wants to, or not.

“And what mood is that?” That question doesn’t stop me from walking over to the table that I was on before Phillip walked through the door and he brought with him the answer to my problem.

Honestly, I feel that Phillip is a fallen angel that has been sent to me on his path for redemption.

Maybe this party was a good idea to attend anyway. Thank you, Brooks.

“No mood,” I shrug my shoulders, sitting down on one of the many chairs in this office space. “Just after everything has finished in my life and I can tell her to fuck off,” I mutter, softly under my breath and place the purse on the chair arms.

I keep my gaze on the door, the door that might as well be dubbed the room of pain and torture before the sound of something scraping against the floor sounds from beside me.

Phillip brings a chair closer to me, the chair right in front of me so that we can look at each other like long lost lovers reuniting.

That makes me want to barf in my mouth.

“I didn’t quite catch the last of your words,” he grumbles to me. He leans back in the black leather, a leg propped on the other and the fabric of his tux stretching against the taut skin of his. My god this guy is hot; his muscles have muscles over muscles.

Lucky son of a bitch this one is.

“Hmmm . . . nothing that important, don’t worry about that,” I reassure the man, a small grin on my lips. “You just need to listen to my demands. And then maybe think about it. It’s up to you really, if you say no to my demands, you can see your secret on the latest cover of a gossip magazine and if you say yes, well then, I’ll see you at the courthouse to sign some papers and bam!” I shout, my hands clapping together. “We’ll be married and your secret will stay a secret.”

I see that Phillip takes my words into consideration. He is a businessman; he must do this every second of his day. Do meetings, get proposals, think about the pros and cons of the deal. If he likes it, he agrees about it; if he hates it, he says no and tells them to get lost.

I kinda wish that I could do that too.

He looks around the office space, over everything and I notice something that makes me frown. His breathing is off. He inhales more deeply; exhales more roughly. His eyes move, only stopping on a few things before he looks down at his hands—the ones that are wrapped up together tightly on his lap.

Phillip just stares at his hands now.

I take that as my cue to leave.

“I’ll leave your fate in your hands,” I stand from my spot, grab my purse and walk towards the door. My hand wraps around the handle and then stops. Taking a deep breath in, I turn in my place and look at the blond male. “If you would like to chat some more, you have my number.”

I smirk a small one. “And if you don’t have it, just ask your sister. And on that note, ask her about me. Hera Langford. She’ll have some things to say about me.”

I turn the handle and walk out the door, that smirk still on my face because I’ve found a solution to my problem.

And it seems that Phillip Whittaker is it.

♥ ♥ ♥

LESS THAN FIVE minutes later and I come face to face with the person who caused my problem. She is the root of everything, of all my problems.

“Langford,” she smirks, those ocean blue eyes crinkling. She looks down at my dress and I look at her own. Nothing fancy except her small boobs on display. “Your time is running out. Soon. You don’t have that much time left.”

I didn’t want to have the opportunity to meet Nadine Nix tonight. Or any other night. I didn’t even know that she was invited. If I knew that she was going to come tonight, I would have ran away as soon as I heard the words come from Brooks’ mouth. My informal invitation to this grand opening. I wish so badly that I didn’t come today.

But if you didn’t come, you would have never come upon Phillip Whittaker and his secrets.

That little voice of reasoning in my head is right. I know that.

I just didn’t expect to come face to face with her after the phone call she gave me at the time I visited Banbridge Hall—the place where Brooklyn’s twenty-third birthday will be celebrated next month when she finally gets her trust fund from her parents.

That’s all that she’s been talking about for the last year.

But Nadine Nix just needs to come into my life and fuck everything up in the process. Maybe she likes doing this.

I bet she does.

I cross my arms over my dress, my breasts being pushed up with the motion and I stare down the strawberry blonde woman. “And?” I question, shrugging my shoulders. “Is it such a bad thing that my time is running out?”

I can see her face falter from my words.

She knows that something is up.

But a few seconds later, she coughs, small and dainty—nothing like what she’s like in real life (trust me, I know that fact), before her composure comes back on.

A mask that covers her face.

“It should be.” she looks at me, eyes hardening ever so slightly, “I have everything that could bring you down to burn.”

“Maybe it is no longer a secret.” I take one step forward in her direction—she takes one back. This goes on and on until, in one of the many hallways in this fucking hotel, I have pushed her against the wall. I can feel her body against mine; the heat that is coming off her makes me want to pull away in disgust and then proceed to hurl in a corner.

“Maybe you should make a choice to post the photos.” I look at her and can see just a smudge amount of fear in her eye. “And then you can face the consequences that will come upon you in return.”

“What consequences?”

“The consequences that will happen if you post those photos and spill the beans of what my life was like before this.”

Nadine gets just a little bit of courage to push her body off the wall—and now, we are pressed against each other, skin to skin. “I have got to say, Langford, you had a tragic set of teenage years, right? Sad what everyone did to you.”

I see red.

Pure hot anger burns in my body. I don’t want this. I don’t need this. I never wanted a retelling of what happened to me, of what they did to me because of something that I had no control over.

I take harsh steps back from Nadine. My breathing uneven from my memories but I hide that action well.

I need to keep calm. Showing anger will not solve my problem in any way.

I smile at the strawberry blonde. “You can do whatever you want with those photos and your information. Sell them, post them, print them on the first gossip magazine you see but listen to me well when I say these words.

“Please, kindly fuck off, Nadine Nix.”

I turn and walk away from her.

From my past.

♥ ♥ ♥

and this is chapter nine done.
done and dusted.
place your thoughts about this chap in the comments.
and thoughts about what the next chap would be about.
in phillip’s pov, of course.

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