Scarlet – 5 years ago
Vix looked at me and tossed a Manila folder across her cheap, scratched up desk. She never even tried to make her office look welcoming. The windows had no curtain. The stark white walls were bare and the desk held nothing personal, just some pens and paper. A wall sized filing cabinet filled with what I assumed were the secrets of the clients we serviced lined one wall.
“This is a long term one, if you think you can handle it.” Vix’s voice was gravelly and low due to the cigarette’s she smoked almost constantly. It was her signature voice and matched her Ingrid Bergman-esque looks.
I glanced down at the folder and then up into Vix’s brown eyes. She was never easy to read and this time was no different. She stared blankly at me with a hint of a challenge in her eyes.
Bitch. She knew I couldn’t resist a challenge.
I reached over and slid the folder toward me with a perfectly manicured French-tipped finger. If I knew the consequences of that one action, I may very well have walked out of that room at that moment and never looked back. But I didn’t.
The only sound in the room was the slide of folder against finger and a single sheet stared up at me. There was no photo of the client and I instantly knew that she wanted the initial meeting to feel organic. The reason behind that logic was that certain clients had no idea the woman they were meeting was being paid to be there by someone else.
I skimmed the details of the contract and wondered who held such a grudge against this man. I hesitated.
“I thought as such.” Vix let out a short, gruff laugh and slid a check across the desk. “The agreement will give you half of the full payment up front as a good faith gesture. To give you incentive to complete the assignment, the other half will be issued to you after it has been completed.”
I didn’t want to look, but I had gotten used to the checks that had brought me out of the streets and into a modest apartment in SoHo where I could safely lay my head at night, have a fully stocked refrigerator, and a place to call my own. I reached for the check and when I saw the amount, my heart practically stopped and then pumped into overdrive.
And it was only half? Holy shit.
I still hadn’t said anything.
“I could always give the assignment to Kandy.” Vix threatened softly.
I tried in vain to hide my disgust at Kandy “with a K” as she always had to remind everyone. The little slut was not getting this assignment because I was suddenly wrestling with my moral compass.
I reached grabbed one of the pens on the desk and scrawled my signature on the line. I didn’t need to see the look of triumph in Vix’s eyes to know it was there. If my payment was that much, I knew that her cut was just as substantial and she would happily send anyone into this situation in order to get her money.
I closed the folder and stood up, sliding the check into my purse.
“Your first meeting will be this Friday night at the Annual Winter Festival Charity event at the Met.” Viz stood as well and held out a credit card. “Besides the first and last bulk payments, you will use this credit card for any expenses throughout the next several months while you work your Darke magic over on this man. So head up to 5th Avenue to buy yourself some clothes and a dress for the charity event.”
I reached over and gripped the credit card, dazed. What kind of millionaire just throws money at a prostitute to fuck up someone’s life like that?
I turned to leave and paused when Vix called out my name.
I didn’t turn around, I just stared at my hand on the door knob.
“Don’t come here again. When this is over, it will be very ugly and likely very public, and you and I both cannot have that kind of scrutiny.”
I schooled my stunned features and turned to look at her then. Her features had hardened even more.
“The contract insists that you are required to take a leave of absence of at least one year after you have succeeded in your mission. I will expect to see you here on the day that clause ends. Until then, don’t call or text me or any of the girls here. In fact, buy a new phone with your newfound wealth and find new friends.”
“So that’s it? You just drop this insane contract on me and then leave me to the wolves to fend for myself?” I finally spoke and it just came out because I had been working with Vix for about five years. She pulled me from that ally and made me into the woman I was that day, and now she was just going to abandon me. And for what? A whole lotta zeros on a fucking check. If my check was as high as it was, that meant her cut, was almost just as good.
The pitying look she gave me cut me to the core, her words even more so.
“I’m not your mother, Scarlet. I never have been and never will be. You were always just a means to an end. Don’t ever forget that. Now get the hell out of here before I change my mind and give that contract to Kandy instead.”
I clenched my jaw and left without another word. I hated that woman with a passion and if I never saw her face again, it would be too soon.
As soon as I burst forth into the frigid air, I tugged my coat tighter around my body. December in New York City was always the worst, and windy days made the freezing air feel even more frosty. My nose was instantly pink and my eyes stung as the wind whipped through the street sending trash flying up around me. I laughed at the irony.
Vix just threw me out with the trash, as if I was just a scrap of nothing. Once she bled me of as much money as she possible could, she was done with me. My only solace at being thrown out on my ass, was that this time at least I had a five million dollar check burning a hole in my pocket.
I realized I gripped the credit card in my frozen hand and I looked down at it. It had my name on it and that could only mean one thing.
She knew I’d say yes and agreed to everything before I ever saw that contract.
I sucked in a cleansing breath and continued on a brisk walk toward 3rd. I was done with her. If she thought for even a moment that I’d ever step foot back in her seedy office and sleep with another one of her clients — after this last one, of course — she had another thing coming.
I hailed a taxi and headed uptown. It was time for some retail therapy.
Little Green Man
I stepped from the town car I had ordered to bring me to the charity event on Friday and was taken aback by the flashing lights from the media that crowded behind velvet ropes.
I put on my mask of indifference, which I had honed since I lived with my parents, and tried to slip unobserved into the building where I would search for my target. Vix sent me one last message to my old phone with extra details that she thought I may need. I was thankful, but never replied to her because fuck her.
Reported shouted around me, stopping many others I recognized from a few movies I’d seen. Many were unrecognizable to me and I really didn’t care who they were. I just wanted to find the man I was there for and begin the ritualistic dance I had crafted over the past five years.
I didn’t slow when many reporters begged me to stop for a photo op. They shouted questions asking who I was wearing and, god forbid they ask my name because it would make them feel foolish for not knowing who the beauty was that everyone was looking at over the famous actress to my right.
I smirked slightly. Red was always a good color on me, and the long shimmery gown hugged my every luscious curve. The real reason I didn’t stop was that I was fucking freezing and I forgot my coat at my apartment in my rush to get there on time.
I slid into the vast entryway of the event space at the Met and was thankful for the blast of heat warming my skin.
A flurry of activity behind me gave me pause and I turned, stepping to the side as others proceeded past. I would have laughed at what transpired if I hadn’t been so enthralled. It was like a movie.
In what felt like slow motion, the people on the red carpet parted like the Red Sea and our eyes met as he stepped from the limo and into the limelight. His dark brown hair was slicked back and shining. His clean shaven face was likely crafted by Michaelangelo himself. High cheek bones and a strong jaw that held a smile so vibrant my heart skipped a beat.
Those eyes. Little did I know that they would haunt me for years.
He seemed startled as he stared right at me, right through to my soul. He recovered quickly from his falter and held his hand out to whomever was in the limo behind him. A gorgeous brunette slipped gracefully from the back seat and he helped her stand.
For some reason, the little green man decided to show his face in that moment. The envy I felt at that woman’s place by that man’s side was consuming and I wanted to tear her eyes out. I didn’t know either of them, but I wanted him more than I wanted my next breath.
Whoa, Scarlet, slow down. You have a job to do and it is not to steal that woman’s man just so you can have one night of unpaid, wild abandon.
I squared my shoulders and turned on my stiletto heel, holding my head high. I was on a mission and I was not to be distracted. Vix said the man I was looking for was the main speaker for the night, Grant something-or-other. He was some big-wig in renewable energy and I was about to be his downfall.
The night moved energetically and I found myself fascinated with the extravagance. It was so long since I’d attended a party such as that one, and for a split second I panicked at the thought that my parents may very well be in attendance. I didn’t need that old wound to be scratched open anytime soon. As far as they were concerned, I was dead. They may have told the press that they sent me off to boarding school, but in reality, they had no idea where I was or what I had been doing for the past five years. That was my revenge on them.
Let them stew and wonder where I was and what I was doing. When I was good and ready, I would decide to come back into their lives to wreak havoc. I didn’t watch television much, but the night of the election three years ago, I watched in sick fascination as my father lost to some other political asshat who now ran the country.
I fucking hated politics but that was sweet, sweet glory for me to see my father fall from his pedestal just a little bit. I may have heard that he was going to try and run again, but I didn’t even care.
I gratefully took a flute of champagne from the waiter in a tuxedo when he offered it to me from his tray. He was cute, with wavy blonde hair and dreamy blue eyes. He gave me a flirtatious smile and let his eyes rove over my form, but all I could think about were those delectable pools of dark ink on that man earlier.
I sipped and made my way to the front of the room where I knew my placard sat, waiting for me sit. I could feel eyes on me and I glanced to the right to see the man himself staring at me while he spoke with some men near another table. I looked around and when I saw his date on the opposite side of the room chatting away with a group of what I could only call high society women, I allowed myself to look back at him just to take in the feeling of warmth that he exuded. He was making his way toward me and my heart doubled it’s efforts.
It would be rude to turn and walk away. Don’t draw attention to yourself. Just have a polite conversation and move on so you can find your target and make him fall in love with you.
I smiled as he drew near and he smiled in return. My god, the man was gorgeous.
“Hello, I feel like we’ve met before, but I can’t place my finger on it.” His voice was like silk and if I had been wearing panties, I knew they’d be soaked. Instead, my core pulsed and I knew it would be dripping down my thighs at any moment.
I smiled coyly.
“Do men think that line actually works on women?” I said softer than usual. It had the desired effect and he stepped closer so he could hear better. Drawing them in was so easy it was almost pathetic. But this man was one of a kind and if this was the only conversation I’d ever have with him, I’d damn well make it a good one.
He chuckled softly and it tickled my skin as if he touched me. The hair on my arms stood at attention and I sucked in a breath.
“If I wanted to get you into my bed, you better believe I’d say something much, much different. But, alas, you really do look so familiar and I just can’t place it.”
“If you wanted to?” I arched a perfectly manicured brow at his use of words.
The side of his mouth lifted and his eyes flicked in the direction of where I knew the brunette stood with her friends.
“If I wanted to, I’d probably start with telling you that I haven’t been able to take my eyes off you and your gorgeous face from the moment I saw you.” He leaned slightly closer and took a slow deep breath, his nostrils flaring slightly. “If I wanted to, I’d also tell you that I can smell the desire making your panties wet and when it mixes with that subtle, sweet perfume you’re wearing, it makes me want to bend you over this table right here and slide my cock into you while this whole fucking room watches.”
I licked my lips and couldn’t look away.
“Go on.” I murmured.
His eyes flicked again toward his date and I he stiffened slightly and then looked back at me with fire and regret mingling in his eyes.
“Excuse me if I was a little too forward, Miss. My mouth tends to get me into more trouble than I’m worth.” He chuckled ruefully and then rubbed the back of his neck self-consciously.
I frowned slightly. I could feel eyes on my back, shooting daggers into my flesh. I knew I was playing with fire, but I didn’t give a flying fuck who that woman was.
“If you wanted to, sir.” I began, watching his eyes flare to life again. The fire within was undeniable. Mmm. He was one of those kinds of men. I swallowed, imagining all the filthy things he’d do to me, and then finished what I was going to say. “I’d let you do anything you wanted to me in front of whomever you wanted.”
He took a deep breath and let it out slowly.
“You certainly are quite a creature, aren’t you?” He murmured thoughtfully, giving me a slow once over.
“Yes sir, I am. And I never settle for anything less than what I deserve.” It may not have been true before, but after Vix tossed me out on my ass, that was my new inner mantra – never settle for anything less than what I deserve and always go after what I want.
“Mmm, good girl.” He rasped out. That’s when I realized I was so wet, that my thighs were sticking together.
“I know your date is heading this way, so I will graciously leave your side, even though I don’t want to. But know this. You can do much better than a close minded, jealous individual. There are many women out there who would accept you for what you are, and, in fact, revel in it.”
“And what am I?”
I gave him devious smile.
“You know exactly what you are. But, for some reason, you allow yourself to be confined to the mold she’s put you in. When you’re ready to be the man you really are, sign me up.” I looked him up and down before I walked away, then turned at the last second to glance over my shoulder.
“Oh, and by the way. You’re right. I am dripping wet. But I’m not wearing any panties…or perfume.” I winked and sauntered away to my seat. His gaze burned two holes in my back while I tried to re-focus on my goal. I couldn’t afford to fuck this night up.
Soon, everyone was seated and dinner was served. I chatted away with the couples at my table, eager for my target to take the stage so that I could finally get a look at him.
The introduction went smoothly and I tried to keep my gaze away from the man I’d spoken with earlier. He sat a few tables down and anytime I looked in his direction, I was met with his heated focus.
“…so let me bring your attention to the man who has spearheaded this selfless, incredible vision that will help so many people in need all over the country and, eventually, the world. So, without further ado, please welcome the founder of the Lyght of the World organization, Grant Lyght, III.”
The applause was almost deafening and my heart stuttered to a stop as the man who wanted to slide his cock into me in front of the entire room, was none other than the man I was contracted for ten million dollars to make him fall in love with me just so I could break his heart.