“Asher, you need to be careful. You’re giving her way too much.” Angela stated, giving her son a look of warning.
“Why? Cause she wants to study?” Asher snapped.
“No, because she is your employee! Are you paying her to do her job or to study?”
“Mom, she does her job well. It’s a matter of a couple of hours every day. What is the harm?”
“I fear that my son is being made into a fool.”
“I’ve already been made into a fool, and that was not by Siena.” He paused, his ocean eyes looking towards the wall. “Yet I hear that you still speak with Kate’s parents.”
“They were our friends long before you got together with Kate Asher! They feel terrible about what she did.”
Asher sighed, slumping down onto the couch at his parent’s house. “Mom, Siena is a good girl.”
“I know she is Asher. I just want you to be careful.” Angela sat next to her son.
“Do I dare ask what you’re planning for her birthday? She smirked, she knew her son was a sucker for a pretty face.
“I just like doing nice things for her mom, she appreciates it.”
“Well it’s good to know that my son is kind and generous, I raised a fine young man.” Angela smiled proudly at her son. He had been through a lot but if Siena was making him happy right now, that’s all that mattered.
The apartment was peaceful as Siena’s eyes fluttered open, she was a year older. She freshened up and slipped into a T-shirt and jeans before deciding to make a start on breakfast for Asher.
She froze beneath the frame of her door. “Dio mio!” She shrieked as her joyful eyes danced around the apartment. The main lounge was covered in pink and gold balloons, long streamers fell from the ceiling.
Siena couldn’t form words, as her wide joyful eyes danced around the room. How can someone do something like this for her? She walked over to the coffee table which had been lined with a metallic pink table cloth. Some gifts sat on top, wrapped in what looked like marble wrapping paper.
Siena’s glossy eyes glanced around to look for Asher before they fell to a note on the table.
Happy Birthday Siena, I had to pop out for the morning but please open your presents. I really hope you like them.
Siena squealed, jumping up and down before falling onto the couch in front of the gifts. She was shocked to unwrap the latest laptop and a new book back. In the birthday card Asher had left her was an unlimited gift card to which she could use on a shopping spree.
The door rang as Siena wiped away her overwhelmed tears.
“Happy Birthday Siena!” Sarah yelled, popping a party popper at Siena’s face.
“Thank you! Come in!”
“Oh my. Did Asher do this?” Sarah gushed, her amber eyes twinkling around the lounge.
“Yes.” Siena croaked. “It’s too much. I have to return all of this.”
“Awh don’t cry Siena. He clearly wants the best for you.” Sarah pulled out a gift of her own.
“Sarah I really wish you didn’t get me anything!” Siena snapped, holding the pink wrapping paper.
“Oh shush. Open it!” Sarah squealed.
Without hesitation Siena ripped it open to reveal a beautiful velvet, emerald dress. Siena gasped as she held it out in front of her. “Sarah!”
“I thought it was perfect for you, matches your eyes.”
“Thank you so much, I love it!”
“Good. You can wear it tonight” Sarah grinned excitingly. We’re going out, we haven’t even celebrated the fact you’re starting college.”
Siena threw Sarah a smirk. “I can’t wait.”
“Maybe you could invite your boyfriend along.” Sarah wiggled her brows as she admired the lavish laptop.
“Asher is not my boyfriend!”
“Who said anything about Asher?” Sarah smirked. She knew that there was something going on between Asher and Siena but couldn’t quite put her finger on it.
The sound of the door rattling caught both girls by surprise. Siena ran towards Asher as he walked in and hugged him. “You know I can’t accept your gifts Asher.”
“Don’t be silly Siena. Happy Birthday.”
“How will I ever thank you!”
“It’s not much Siena.”
“Sarah and I are going out tonight to celebrate, would you like to join?” Asher’s eyes glanced towards Sarah who was admiring the balloon arrangement.
“Sure, but I kind of booked a table for you at club halo.”
“Club halo!?” Sarah shrieked, rushing over.
Siena watched her friend jump up and down. “Oh my God Siena, that’s like the most prestigious club there is.”
Sarah bounced towards the door. “I have to go and get ready, I’ll be back early to help you get dressed. Oh we should totally curl your hair.” She insisted with such joy before leaving through the door.
Siena turned to Asher who stood in the kitchen. “Why are you so nice to me?” Her voice was low, as though she was talking to herself.
Asher chuckled. “Were you expecting me to be a monster?”
“No. It’s just. No one is this nice Asher.” Siena thought of how that Kate had hurt him. How could she do that to him? He must have given her the world.
“You’re my friend Siena. I care about you.” He shrugged.
“Thank you so much.” She choked.
“Mr Hayden, what can I do for you?”
“I need your services. Club halo tonight.”
“How many of you?”
“Consider it done.”
Asher hung up and decided to start getting ready. He had invited Millie and Jackson to club halo as well. The more the merrier.
Sarah was in her element, she looked stunning in an off the shoulder black dress whilst clearing away her makeup. Her fiery hair fell down in waves. She had just finished with Siena’s hair and makeup and was waiting for her to come out of the bathroom in her dress.
Fuck! A little eyeshadow powder fell on the floor, with fear that it would stain the floorboard, Sarah ran out to get a wet cloth. Her body slammed into a hard frame and she went flying towards the couch. Two hands grabbed her sides and pulled her up.
“You are crazy clumsy.” Asher furrowed his brows at the redhead.
“S... Sorry.” Sarah whispered. His crystal eyes showed no emotion as he stared at her. His ash blonde hair swept to the side, his black shirt enhancing each ripple of each muscle like a second skin. The man was drop dead gorgeous.
Sarah gulped nervously as she picked up the cloth and rushed towards Siena’s room to clean the mess.
“Waiting here!” She yelled.
“I’ll be out in a minute. Oh god I hope I can pull this off.”
“I’ve seen your body, if anyone can pull off that dress it’s you Siena, now come out.”
Siena stepped out and Sarah gasped. “Oh I’m good!” She sang as she gushed over the birthday girl.
Siena’s deep brown hair was down in big curls, framing her face perfectly. Her dress was a velvet material, hugging each curve and groove of her body. Her smokey emerald eyes popped as they twinkled at Sarah.
Asher froze as the two girls entered the lounge, he stood in the kitchen with a champagne bottle in his hands. His eyes danced between them.
“Wow!” Was all he could say as they walked up to him.“ He popped open the bottle and poured it into some glasses.
Millie and Jackson arrived after a few minutes and the pre party was in full swing.
“Why do you keep checking your phone?” Sarah asked, watching Siena glance at her phone for the tenth time.
“Oh just receiving lots of birthday texts.” Siena smiled, though in reality the one text she was waiting for didn’t come.
Did he forget it was her birthday?
“Happy Birthday Siena you look amazing.” Millie hugged Siena and pecked her cheek.
“Thank you, so do you.” Siena gushed over Millie who was wearing a short cobalt dress.
Sarah went to pour some more champagne in for herself. Asher watched as she picked up the bottle.
“Are you sure you don’t want me to do that for you?” He asked, a hint of a smirk playing on his face.
Sarah looked back as if Asher was talking to someone behind her. There’s no way he would be talking to her, he rarely made conversation.
“No I got it.”
“Right.” Asher nodded, his brow cocked up as he watched her. Sarah tried to hide the blush creeping up on her face. Why was he watching, did he think she was going to steal something?
Sarah couldn’t stop staring as he turned back into lounge, how can someone be so good looking? It should be illegal.
Siena checked her phone again, she was going to invite Alec tonight but since he couldn’t even be bothered to text her a simple ‘happy birthday’, she decided against it.
Siena’s eyes narrowed slightly as the alcohol took affect. She felt like she was floating on air and was ready to celebrate.
The lobby was soon filled with laughter and chatter as the group walked through.
As the cold breeze grazed Siena’s soft skin, her eyes met his. He leaned against his car in a white button down shirt, dark slacks. His almost black hair tousled above his head, long from the top and shorter at the sides, one strand falling above his brow. A cigar in one hand as a cloud of smoke escaped his full lips. He bit his lip as Siena walked towards him, his sharp silver eyes so mysterious, deadly and beautiful.
“Happy Birthday tesoro.” His voice rough as he watched her approach him.
“Thank you Alec.” Siena replied deadpan, she tried to hide how fast her heart was beating. The man was a God and he was looking at her as if undressing her with his eyes.
Sarah ran out behind Siena. “Oh hey Alec.”
“Sarah.” Alec nodded before getting back into the driver’s seat. The others all joined shortly after and soon they were on there way to club halo.
“Fuck he’s so hot!” Sarah whispered, but she was a lot louder than she thought and the ear she thought she was whispering into was actually Asher’s.
He furrowed his brows and turned to face her, Sarah gulped under his dark gaze. She bit her lip as she stared into his crystal eyes. Asher was the first to turn away.
Sarah wanted to roll her eyes, he was so nice to Siena but acted like Sarah didn’t even exist. One minute he would speak to her and the next he would act cold. She sighed.
The club was electric, massive and loud. So many different rooms, so many bouncing lights. The music was thumping, people everywhere, dancing, making out, drinking.
Siena could hardly hear herself think as they all sat at a vip table, the drinks were flowing. She gasped as she spotted the sky dancers flying off the walls, this place was magical.
Asher smiled as the barmaid brought over a bottle of Dom Pérignon with a sparkler attached to it, she placed it in front of a shocked Siena. Her emerald eyes reflecting the sparkle before her.
Sarah decided to brave the dance floor, the music called to her as she swayed her hips earning a wolf whistle from Siena. Sarah waved at Millie and Siena, they smirked before joining her on the dance floor.
“God they’re all so hot.” Jackson admitted to Asher who was sipping on his drink. He had to admit, his eyes couldn’t wander anywhere else. Those girls demanded attention, each dance move, the way their bodies moved under the lights. It was hard to look away, there was no doubt that every man in here had their eyes on them.
The girls were swaying their hips and moving to the music, smiling, laughing, enjoying themselves. Of course three beautiful girls were bound to cause some attention amongst the other tables. Most full of rich, arrogant men on the prowl.
Sarah felt a hand grab at her waist, she spun around in disgust. A tall man with a goatee glared down at her, touching her like he owned her.
“Hey get off her. Idiota!” Siena snapped, but the man tightened his grip as he roughly slammed his body against Sarah. Millie ran towards Asher and Jackson for help.
Asher arrived in no time, his ocean eyes turning dark as he gave the man a look of warning. The man took one look at Asher and sneered.
“Get your own bitch. This one is mine.” The man grunted.
“Get the fuck off her!” Asher roared, he glanced at Sarah who looked terrified.
“Why don’t you make me, pretty boy.” The man quipped as he squared up to Asher, challenging him. Jackson stood by Asher giving the man a death stare. He was prepared for a fight.
Suddenly two more large men stood behind the man with the goatee before he pushed Asher. “Come on then pretty boy, show me what you got!”
“Stop it!” Siena screamed, her heart was pounding. She wanted her friend safe but she didn’t want Asher getting hurt. These men looked dangerous, they were not to be fucked with.
Asher stepped forward, his eyes full of rage. Just as the man with the goatee swung for Asher, the man was pushed back with full force. He fell and slid towards the middle of the dance floor, a crowd surrounded him as he flipped back up but his dark eyes met two silver slits.
“Alec?” The man grunted.
“Fun’s over Hector.” Alec growled, his body towering and stiff, his expression not to be fucked with.
The man looked towards Asher who was checking to see if Sarah was okay. Then back to Alec, it was a tense moment as the man looked into Alec’s eyes. Both men saying a lot to each other in silence. After what felt like forever, the man scoffed and nodded to his men before they all walked away.
Siena let out a breath she didn’t know she had been holding in. That was really scary. The problem with these high end nightclubs was that they attracted rich and powerful men who were use to getting what they wanted.
“I thought we were celebrating.” Alec grinned, casually making his way over to the vip table as if he didn’t just push someone.
Siena watched him with curious eyes. Was he here the whole time?
Sarah ran as fast as her beating heart, she pushed open a door that lead onto a large balcony. She rushed passed people smoking, talking and making out before reaching to the end where she took a deep breath.
That awful man’s tight hold on her had brought back so many unwanted memories. The tears stung her eyes, and she fought to hold them back.
“Hey. Are you okay?” She turned around to spot Asher. Why would he follow her?
Sarah sighed. “Yes I’ll be okay.” Asher inched closer to her.
“Thank you for defending me back there.” She spoke, looking out towards the city.
“Oh it was nothing, I would have done that for-”
“For anyone, I know.” She interrupted deadpan. She was irritated and she didn’t even know why.
“Do you even know my name Asher?” She scoffed, her amber eyes turning dark.
Asher stayed quiet as he witnessed her outburst, he assumed it was the alcohol mixed with adrenaline taking affect.
“Of course you don’t.” She shook her head with disappointment. She had only known Asher for four years. She was present at almost every event large or small in his life, waiting on his parent’s guests.
“I’m fine here. You can join the others.” She spoke, not once turning to look at him.
“Sarah.” She heard his deep voice whisper, she wondered whether it was a gush of wind. She turned around to face him, his intense stare was making her nervous. She had never experienced his undivided attention like this. Asher took a step closer.
“There you are. Dio Mio! I was so worried about you.” Siena shrieked, running over to her. “Are you okay?”
“I’m okay.” Sarah smiled, snatching her eyes away from Asher and turning to her friend.
Asher, Sarah and Siena joined the others back at the table. Siena cocked up her brow at what she was witnessing.
Millie sat on Alec’s lap as he whispered things in her ear, her smile seductive and alluring as she fluttered her lashes up at him. Siena’s lips turned into a distasteful grimace. She didn’t expect to feel so irritated.
This night was turning into a shit show. She sighed as she slumped down next to Jackson. She picked up a large glass filled with amber liquid and immediately poured the whole thing down her throat, watching Millie and Alec.
Jackson smiled at Siena with wide eyes before she snatched the drink from his hand, and it met the same fate as her previous drink.
Siena stood up, her vision blurring as the walls danced around her. People everywhere flying around her, she giggled to herself with a plan of action in place. Stopping by one of the pole dancers, she climbed up and shoved the dancer away who happily obliged.
Siena gripped the hot pole between her fingers, she already had a group of men forming around her. The music thumped around the room as Siena stretched out her leg to meet the pole. Her head fell back as she flicked her hair behind her, wiggling and twerking her bottom.
She could hear the cheers and roars of men around her, but she couldn’t see much with the blinding lights shining on her flushed face.
Suddenly two muscly arms grabbed her from behind and pulled her back, within seconds she was staring into two sharp beaded eyes. So much anger conveyed through them that they had turned into slits.
She giggled. “What’s your problem scontroso? (grumpy)”
She was pushed back towards the wall. "What the fuck do you think you were doing?" His voice rough and hoarse.
With all her courage she smirked up at him. "I can do what I want!"
"You're going home. Now!" His deep voice roared. Siena bit her lip, grazing her soft finger against his jawline.
"Stop it Siena." He warned.
"Or what?" She cocked her brow and moved her finger to his plush lips.
Alec grabbed her hands and held them behind her, spinning her around. Her backside thrashing against his hard frame. He grunted in her ear, the vibration made Siena's body shudder.
"Don't fuck with me tesoro."