There was something in her words, tenderness, need and love behind it.
It made me crack and bend. Many women spoke tender words to me, but not like this, not like her. I hated slow dancing, it felt it could be too intimate, too loving, but I danced with her, for Violet. And it was something special. That was the fucking problem. I didn’t know how to handle it.
She looked at me with searching eyes, her dark eyes soft and teary and my heart broke into two. She looked breath taking tonight. Fucking beautiful! I winced at the feeling and swallowed thickly.
Damn! I was hurting her, and I fucking knew it. I didn’t expect her to say this to me, that she’s in love with me. I scorned internally at myself, I didn’t know why I couldn’t accept her feelings, accept her love. Once again, my emotions turned jagged and my insides tight. I blocked out my emotions when it came to Violet, I had to. I never felt an urgency for no woman before, and I had a strong suspicion if I unblocked myself, I’ll crumble before her.
But I knew who I was. I wasn’t good for her, she deserved better than me. I wasn’t sure I could be the man she needs. Honestly, it fucking scared me pulling up short. Disappointing her. Hurting her, like I was doing fucking now.
“Why?” She whispered. Her eyes brimming with tears, a few escaping. She was fighting to keep them in. “Why can’t you be with me?”
I looked up and raked a hand through my hair, her words biting me hard. I thought dealing with my emotions with my father was difficult, but confronting Violet was harder.
I shook my head. “I’m not good for you Violet. You a good woman, that deserves a good man.” I said unsure of myself. “I don’t know if I can be that man.”
That’s all the reason or excuse I could give her. I didn’t know myself what the fuck I was feeling inside. She looked at me, disappointment etched in them. And it fucked me up. I swallowed hard fighting my own feelings down. My jaw tightened and my body went rigid. I felt like fucking punching myself in the gut!
I couldn’t stand to see that look in her eyes, especially when it was set on me. She fidgeted with her charm trinkets and sniffled. Her mouth opened to say something and I clammed up, but her gaze trailed beyond my shoulder and her eyes turned dim.
“Eric?” Rebecca called from behind, but my gaze was still focused on Violet’s sad ones. “I’ve been looking all over for you.” She chuckled.
Rebecca sauntered and stood between us, breaking our intense conversation. She placed her hand on my chest and I grimaced at her touch. “Everyone is waiting for you inside, to give your speech as the new CEO of the company.” She smirked and turned to Violet.
“Thank you Miss Harper, but we no longer require your services.” She sniped. My eyes snapped to Rebecca in a scowl, but Violet turned and walked away abruptly, wiping her eyes secretly. My hand reached out and touched her arm, but she pulled out of my grip and whisked away.
“Fuck!” I breathed out and closed my eyes tight, breathing everything in. Trying to numb the tormenting emotions inside. I watched Violet return to the gala. My body wanted to run after her to try and make her understand. But I couldn’t, I didn’t know what the fuck to do. I was a coward, a fucking jerk!
“What were you and your ex-assistant talking about Eric?” Rebecca questioned with an eyebrow raised.
“Whatever Violet and I discuss is none of your damn business Rebecca.” I said tightly. “I would take care to show her more respect... especially in front of me. Remember, you might be my partner for this evening. But you’re not my woman, not my girl, not my girlfriend and not my wife.”
Rebecca froze, blinking at me. I turned to the door, where Mr. Carson jogged up slightly out of breath.
“Eric! Shit it was difficult to find you. Your speech is up next.” He stammered.
I scowled, rubbing a hand over my face and moved towards him. I was failing again. I failed Violet. I tried to pull myself fucking together for a speech I didn’t want to do.
I marched inside the Auction House hall and it wasn’t the same as before. The crowd still enjoyed themselves, but my excitement died. I scanned the floor in search of Violet, while Mr. Carson was prompting me to go up the stage. The MC for the evening still on the mic, he announced the financial targets for the children’s hospital that were beyond met. The gala was a success. A loud applause and a few whistles vibrated throughout the place. I should be happy, but it was difficult right now. The gala was drawing to its close.
I walked past the people, their masks off. I guess the charade was over now. I stood at the edge of the steps leading up to the stage. My eyes still roaming the crowd. Could she have left already?
“Eric, are you ready for your big speech?” I turned abruptly and looked into my mother’s smiling face.
I cleared my throat. “Yeah... er... sure.” I grunted. My mother narrowed her eyes as she watched me look around the place. ”
My eyes caught Violet’s magenta dress in the distance, standing at the edge of the crowd. She stood out from the rest. She always stood out from the rest! My chest heaved as I gazed at her.
“You look upset and distracted honey? Are you looking for someone?” My mother searched in the direction I was staring out.
I shook my head remaining silent, ripping my eyes away from Violet and retrained them to the stage. I took out my que cards from the inside of my jacket pocket, trying to re-focus my fucking mind on the damn speech. I cracked my neck and took deep breaths.
Always be professional. No room for errors. Well, this night ended up in a fucking error!
“To take the stage now, your new CEO of Bolt Investment Inc.” The MC boomed out. “Mr. Eric Bolton.”
I walked up the steps forcing out a fake smile, as bright lights flashed across my eyes. Feeling like complete shit!