This was the last thing she needed this evening, Olivia Bitter thought to herself as she reluctantly rolled out of bed after receiving a call from her mother. Today was supposed to be her work-free day, and she wanted to spend it alone, under the covers. Now she wished she had put off her cellphone. She could just disappoint her mum but she couldn't, that was the problem.
She managed to waddle her unresponsive, fatigued body down to the bathroom to have a quick shower. The trickle of spray that came out of the shower head was much colder, which made her yelp with surprise as it touched her skin. She tried to wash quickly, then dried herself. Her mother had insisted that she look her best so she dressed to kill.
She wore a strapless ankle-length gown, leaving the tops of her breasts, shoulders and arm completely bare. The simple style of the silky red gown allowed it to cling to every curvaceous inch of her full breast, slender waist and gently flaring hips, so much that it would make anyone looking at her wonder whether or not she wore something beneath it. Well, her mother called for it, so she delivered; and she definitely aced it. Wearing a mischievous smile on her face, she set out to give her mother a heart attack.
Mrs. Bittner Wright stood at the entrance welcoming her guests, when she saw her daughter walk up the red carpet, past the flashbulbs of the paparazzi. Her eyes nearly popped out of their sockets as her eyes took in what her daughter wore. Madness she would call it. Olivia was fond of provoking her, but tonight, she won’t fall for her antics; she'd just play along and act as if it doesn't bother her the least.
"Hello mum," Olivia greeted her mother as she was being ushered in by her.
"You look amazing darling," she responded, trying hard not to strangle her for being so sassy.
"I wish that came straight from your heart, mum. You know, I prefer you being frank with me. False flattery doesn't suit you," Olivia answered as she flashed her mother a wicked grin.
"Come let's get you acquainted with the others," her mother muttered under her breath as she led her further into the ballroom and introduced her to a beautiful movie star dressed in a tight sequined gown. While they exchanged pleasantries, two models joined them; complementing her on her beautiful dress and make-up. They asked her to hook them up with the designer via gram and excused themselves, carrying the movie star along.
As she went to get a drink with her mum, a young couple joined them. "You look stunning," the young man complemented, drooling over her and was rewarded with a glare from his wife, but he kept on staring without a minute blink, with a lustful smile plastered on his face.
"Please would you mind excusing us, I and my husband can't wait to have our first dance for the evening," she added as she dragged her husband away and dared him with her eyes shooting daggers to say otherwise. He just smiled and they walked away as they got into a heated argument.
"Oops! I really pity the young lady, she doesn't know what she has gotten herself into by marrying that shark. Can you imagine the disgusting look he gave me," Olivia hissed, obviously furious at the young fellow.
"Come on, there's so much people to meet that are much more interesting. Forget about the shark,” her mother replied with a laugh.
There was nothing interesting about all the people here. The first time she attended one of her mother's elaborate parties, she thought it was fun and exciting, meeting so many people with different views but the artificiality of it was all becoming a bit samey now. The conversations were repetitive and too fake, the laughter even more so, with everyone seemingly out to impress or better everyone else, their excessive wealth literally worn on their sleeves.
They greeted and acquainted themselves with so many people that she started getting really bored and tired.
"I know darling, come on, don't fret now, it will soon be over, her mother crooned sweetly as she batted her lashes pleadingly at her, and as usual she complied.
"Thank you darling, I know I can always count on you. Come on, you need to meet other people, there's still a whole lot more. Put a smile on that face Liv," she admonished.
As her mother's favorite, she was fondly called Liv but now she wasn't in the mood for her teasing; she just wanted to go home and sleep. She wondered if that was too much to ask. The night was on its way to getting worse than it was already as her mother led her further down the ballroom, filled with people dancing and drinking champagne beneath enormous crystal chandeliers high overhead.
“I'm Joey Major, and I believe you're the beautiful daughter of Mrs. Bittner?” A portly bellied, balding man, probably in his early forties, several inches shorter than her and stocky put out his hands.
"Yes I am," Olivia replied as she took the offered hands, smiling politely at him. "Pleased to meet you sir"
He responded with a smile of his own, "The pleasure is all mine dear."
"Joey Major is an international banker and a renowned philanthropist. He's the owner of Jo Major Textiles," her mother beamed.
"Wow! That's fulfilling," Olivia replied with awe.
"Thanks Olivia, it really is. My wife has been my backbone and inspiration. I've got to run now, hope to see you soon." While Major excused himself two young men joined them. One of them looked over her appreciatively. "Where did you keep this beautiful creature hidden, dear?"
"Yes, you should have introduced us," the other man said. He was quite a sight but not enough to distract her for long.
"Forgive me. Meet my daughter Olivia. Liv, this is Mr. Johnson, an English movie star and Clive Tom, his best friend," her mother introduced.
“Wonderful meeting you guys__” her cellphone rang at that moment and she had to excuse herself.
“Sorry, I have to pick this call, it's very important," she explained to her mother and the young men as she tried to excuse herself, pleading with her eyes that her mother makes no fuss about it. “I'm very sorry, excuse me." She walked down to a corner that was a little isolated, where no one could hear her so she could call back since the line had dropped.
"I need your help," her sister sounded worried over the line.
"What's wrong big sis?" she asked with concern laced in her voice.
"My baby is having a terrible fever and I don't have enough money for his drugs. His father is having issues at work now and can't really help. I'm stranded, my business is not moving as it used to before," she responded with a sniff.
"It's okay big sis, I'll send some money to your account. Don't worry he'll be fine, you just have to cheer up for me, okay?" Olivia replied, trying to comfort her only sister.
"Thanks Liv, love you. Bye," she dropped the call.
Cynthia got married to a man she fell in love with against their mother's wish and that resulted in a big problem between mother and child. Their mother was so furious that she wanted to marry a pauper despite her warning. As a result, she refused to help her sister in anyway and deliberately cut her from her will, but that didn't stop Cynthia from getting married to who she wanted. Though Cynthia's husband wasn't rich, he was a loving and caring husband and father, but their mum refused to see that. Since then Cynthia has been resorting to her junior sister for help anytime she has problems. Olivia loved her sister way too much to refuse her. Oh hell! She loved her family too much and they always came first.
"What could be bothering the boss lady...?"
Olivia tensed, a shiver of awareness quivering down the length of her spine at the sound of that deep voice behind her. No one could make her limbs go all jelly just at the sight or sound except him... Wariness humming through her body at the sound of the deep seductive timbre of his voice said a definite yes to her fears. Turning quickly, she came face to face with Aiden Smith, her ex-boyfriend from college. She took in sight of him, he was taller and still as she remembered him but now he was undeniably masculine and incredibly handsome, yet still the same; long aquiline nose, sharp cheekbones, square jaw, chiseled lips, and those deep set of eyes, black as midnight, you could get lost in their depths. He still had that killer lean athletic figure and shoulders so broad that would make any woman feel safe in his arms. Enough of him already, he was not welcomed here.
"What are you doing here?" she asked through clenched teeth.
"Come on, Liv. Take it easy. Is that how you greet an old friend? You've been avoiding me all this years and that's not gonna happen anymore because I'm here now" he said, chuckling at the look she gave him.
“I'm not in the mood for your games now. Just leave me in peace because you are not welcomed here," Olivia replied, wishing he'd just vanish as he came.
"You look ravishing as ever," he whispered huskily as he drew close to her. Olivia's heart skipped a beat, her nerve-endings going on high alert as her senses were instantly filled with the light smell of mint__ his cologne? Accompanied by an insidious maleness. This was causing havoc to her senses. She so much wanted to run away from all this, but she stood her ground.
Refusing to fall prey to his attempt on making her feel nervous, she braced herself up, willing her body to listen to reason and ignore his magnetic and tempting presence.
"Tell me why you are here?"
"Aren't you pleased to see me?" he murmured as he seized her up.
"What are you doing?" Olivia asked breathlessly, struggling to pull air into her depleted lungs as he's lean hands trailed down her lower back.
"What I wanted to do the first minute I saw you walk in with your mother," he husked. To taste the sweet nectar I've missed for so long."
Olivia tried to repress another quiver of awareness, the warmth that suffused her flesh. Her breast trembled against the hard width of his chest as her breathing accelerated.
A low deliberate cough came behind them. Startled, she turned her head, and Aiden straightened. Her mum stood there with shock registered on her face but she quickly masked it with a smile. "Excuse me, I didn't mean to intrude," she murmured. Can I speak with you Liv, if you don't mind?
"It's okay mum, I was about leaving," she answered, grateful for the distraction and more than happy to escape Aiden's tempting presence.
"I'll be waiting for you outside Liv” he drawled mockingly as he left her to stare at him blankly, not able to form any word at the moment. She couldn't understand how he could still make her feel so aware of him and unable to think clearly when around him. She couldn't let this happen to her. She couldn't lose herself this way anytime he came around her. She was matured and very much in control of her feelings and she'll keep that in mind next time. Oh hell! There won’t be a next time.
Now she wished she had never accepted to follow her sister to the cinema that fateful evening. Her sister so much wanted to see Steve, who is now her husband and there was no way their mother would let her go alone except they went together. To please her sister, she followed her to the cinema. Steve came with his best friend, Aiden and introduced them. She wished he had looked ugly then and had less brain but he was the exact opposite... He was more than everything she wished for in a man.
Aiden was in his third year in college while she was a fresher. They hooked up and eventually fell in love with each other. It was the best thing that had ever happened to her. She still saw him in her dreams which now made her despise him the more because she still couldn't get over him.
After he had graduated from college, his aunt requested that he move to Germany to stay with her and further his education over there. This was a big blow to Olivia because he had promised her that he'd never leave her and nothing was going to separate them. She had expected him to decline his aunt's offer but he told her that he couldn't; his hands were tied and there was nothing he could do about it even if he didn't want it. She didn't understand why. She begged and pleaded for him to stay but it didn't work out.
Distraught, she left his house in tears, running into the road without looking, only to be hit by an incoming vehicle. She was rushed to the hospital but the accident was severe. She was in a coma for months. When she recovered, he was already gone. He wrote her letters but she never read them. His betrayal had stung deep, and she wanted nothing to do with him anymore.
Eventually, the letters stopped coming since there wasn't a reply from her. That was a big relief to her because she thought he had finally given up. She never thought she'd see him again until now, and she wished she never agreed to attend her mother's party.
Tensing, she waited for her mother who looked momentarily confused to pounce on her. Then the confusion dissolved into suspicion followed immediately by anger. "Olivia Bittner Wright!"
"We didn't do anything mum," she rolled her eyes, wishing her mother would stop being silly.
Dragging her daughter back into the party, she said, "You have to stay away from that man. He's only going to give you trouble. You know Richard will be back in three days from now. I'll advice you stop whatever is going on now."
Trying to move away from her mother, she turned to see Aiden leaning on the bar, sipping his drink lazily as if nothing in the world mattered. His smile was radiant when he looked up and saw her approaching him. "I thought you wanted to wait for me outside?" she asked as she fixed a no nonsense glare at him.
"I wasn't sure if you'd come, so I waited to move with you instead," he responded with a wicked grin as he took her hands in his, knowing fully well that she wouldn't want to make a scene with so many people around them.
When they were finally out and away from peering eyes, she snatched away her hands and made a move to walk away but he stopped her. "Could we go somewhere quiet and have a drink together and talk for a while?"
Olivia blinked those long lashes. "I beg your pardon...?"
Aiden gave a hard humorless smile. "We need to talk Liv, and you know that. Here isn't conducive enough."
She looked at him blankly, trying not to throw harsh words at him. "And what makes you think I want to talk to you?"
The steady regard of those eyes and the grimness of his expression told her that he was serious about the matter and there was no way he was going to back down. Olivia gave a weary shake of her head as she tried to dissuade him. "I don't think this is a good idea."
"Stop being so persistent." She frowned.
He quirked one dark eyebrow. "What are you running from?"
She glared at him. "Fine, let's go but I promise you'll regret your decision not to leave me in peace."
He wasn't even touching her, and yet he managed to hold her mesmerized just by the way he murmured her name in that deeply seductive voice, sending more rivulets of awareness down her spine and causing a return of tingling sensation in her breasts, accompanied by a familiar warmth between her thighs.
"Yes...?" she answered breathlessly.
An emotion flickered across his eyes but they were quickly masked and his expression became blank. "Don't worry, we have to go now. Get in the car," he said as he opened it for her to step in.
Sighing, she finally climbed awkwardly into his car and he closed it when he saw that she was settled. As he got into the driver's seat, she glared her irritation at him. "I don't like being pressured into doing something against my wish."
"Any more than I suspect you do," his gaze was hooded as he answered her.
Once again in the confines of the car which seemed too small at the moment, she could smell his mint scent again, the insidious musk of the man himself, all mixed together with the expensive smell of the leather interior of the car.
Her irritation deepened along with the blush in her cheeks. "Where are you going to?"
He turned, smiling as he fixed his gaze on her lips. "Point of correction darling, it's 'We,' you and I."
He smiled slightly, the reckless glitter in his eyes told her that she just relinquished all her powers when she accepted to go with him for a drink. She got lost in her thoughts of him, she barely noticed they had reached their destination.
She turned sharply to look at Aiden, flicking her tongue out to moisten the dryness of her lips, only to freeze in the action as his dark gaze followed the movement. The pure desire she saw in his eyes was enough to burn her alive; eat her up. She needed to get out of the car immediately.
"I... really need that drink now, if you don't mind," she said, very aware of his disturbing presence.
His chuckle was low but he left her in peace. "Let's go get it then."
Once the two of them were seated opposite each other at the small window of the restaurant, where they could look out over the city, a waiter came to their table and asked for their orders.
They both ordered for lobsters and red wine. "So are you telling me that you actually hired out the whole restaurant just to take me out for a drink?"
"Yes, why does it surprise you?" he mused lightly.
“It's quite unusual. You're trying to impress me," Olivia replied, wondering why he had to go through so much trouble.
He chuckled as he took in the expression on her face. "So are you impressed?"
Glaring at him, she crossed her arms as she spat out, "Keep on wishing."
With a nod, he pointed at her meal. "How is it?"
"It tastes sensational." She made him feel weak as she savored the taste with a hungry look on her face unknown to her. "I'm glad you like it," he smiled as he lifted his glass of wine. "A toast to friendship and something more."
"There's no friendship, neither will there be anything more, Aiden. I'm engaged to someone else and it would be better for all of us if you stay away."
“I'm sorry about everything that happened. You know my parents weren't as rich as yours. That was my only chance to apply for my masters program. I never stopped loving you, Liv."
She almost softened at his tone but her heart iced over when she remembered her accident and how he left her. "This conversation is over, Aiden. I'd like to leave now, if you don't mind.”
He didn't want to push her so he allowed her. "I asked someone to drive your car home, here are your keys." He tried to kiss her but she moved away.
“I'm in love with another and I definitely don't see you in that spotlight anymore, so drop the drama and move on. Thanks for the meal. I guess I'll get a taxi back home"
"I'll take you home myself." Seeing the wary look on her face, he add, “don't worry, I'll be a perfect gentleman. No advances, Liv. Not today, but be sure that tomorrow is going to be different. You're mine and no one else's. Start getting used to it, darling."
He gave a soft chuckle as she glared at him as they walked out of the restaurant. He knew he wronged her, but he was determined to show her that he did it for a good reason. He wouldn't stop until he won back her love. He made it big as the founder of Lion's Den Club and the host of a popular TV show. His hard work yielded and he was back for his lost love, Olivia Bittner Wright.
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