The bitter sweet taste of the wine burned down my throat as I took another sip from the glass. It wasn't as strong as I preferred, but my regular one was too expensive and vintage for a bar to keep in their collection even if it was one of the most luxurious clubs of the city, so it was the best I could get here.
Wasting time on bars like these wasn't my thing, I'd rather scheme another strategy on my next project.
But taking at least a night off was profitable for a workaholic man like me to keep their head going. So I needed some relaxation at least once a week.
It was what Uncle Andrew believed. Thus he gave Liam, his son and my party lover cousin the responsibility to drag me here every Saturday night. To keep my head clear.
Well, at first it wasn't that bad. The drinks and girls were alright. But now it was getting old for me. I only got bored coming here.
A sigh left me.
I should've just stayed back at the office and worked. This coming week had an important conference and I needed to make some major decisions about it. It was a significant project for us and I had to trust an insignificant company with it.
Alexander Blake. An old friend of uncle Andrew. Due to some past help Andrew took from him, he wanted to return the favor now by giving him this certain project. And as much as I didn't like that old Blake, Andrew personally requested me to consider it.
I didn't give a shit about the world, but he was like a father figure to me. So much to my dislike, I agreed and gave Blake a chance. Though my eyes would always be on him. It was an important project, and I wouldn't tolerate any leniency with it.
"Want to get away from here? I know a place where we can be all alone and have some fun," a sultry voice whispered into my ear, a pair of hands roamed on my chest and back.
But for the upteenth time, I ignored her.
My phone blared on the bar counter.
Reaching out, I cut the call and placed it back.
I didn't know why she even bothered to call when she was clearly aware of my rules. Only one meeting and conversation a week. No more. If she needed something, she could just inform John, my bodyguard about it and he would take care of it.
But for some reason she wanted more from me, more sweetness in our bitter relationship. Which I wouldn't tolerate. I knew her agenda behind it. But she wouldn't get what she wanted this time.
She did enough in the past.
"I promise, I can show you some real good times. All you have to do is leave this boring party and come with me." Her hot breath fanned my neck with her almost falling on my lap.
I turned to her slowly.
With strawberry blonde hair, catlike blue eyes, dark red plump lips, tall and killer body, she was an attractive woman. But her antics were too cheap and willing.
Turning away from her, I went back to my drink, bored. But she didn't seem to understand my disinterest as she started complaining, giving extra attention to her touches, too eager to open her legs for me. Her pungent perfume was now giving me a headache.
Placing the glass down, I threw her a sharp glance, causing her flinch and scatter away.
Women like her were like bees who peregrinated around money and power like honey. They would fall on your feet just to get your attention.
My mouth pursed into distaste. I hated them.
Though they could come handy as a stress reliever sometimes, I didn't need one tonight.
My mind was too occupied with work.
"Hey bro! Look, some beautiful girls want to meet you," came Liam's voice.
What's new in this?
I looked in his direction.
He stood there with three girls, with their eyes gawking at me, awestruck. They greeted me with giggles and sparkling eyes which I returned with a nonchalant face.
I would've turned my head back to my drink not wasting another second on one of the regular occurrences, if I didn't notice my always over confident cousin slipping aside with a slightly uncertain stance, to someone who sat behind the girls.
Though I couldn't see them as those girls were blocking my vision, I could hear their conversation.
The first thing that caught my attention was the sweet melodic voice that floated to my ear from that unknown person. And my curiosity only peaked when they rejected Liam's dance proposal rudely in a very polite way.
Though I couldn't see them, I could imagine the look on Liam's face. And it was expected. Not everyday a Larsen gets rejected by a girl.
Suddenly I got myself thoroughly intrigued. I wanted to see the person who gave Liam his first abdication in years.
And then the girls moved away from my line of vision, giving me the view of that person.
As if a solid strike hit in my gut, I choked on my breath. But my gaze didn't move away.
I took a sharp intake of breath as my eyes took her in.
She was… exquisite.
Her flawless porcelain skin shone under the neon light as she sat there elegantly with a glass of juice in her dainty hand. Her big doe eyes watched the people with disinterest while her sharp small nose slightly crinkled seeing something in the dancing crowd. My gaze followed as she brought the rim of her glass against her full pouty lips, taking a sip.
Her chestnut hair was in a messy bun leaving some wavy strands at the side of her oval face. And the tight black dress she flaunted ended right at her mid thighs; it was wrapped around her petite figure sensuously revealing her delicious curves.
Then my gaze slided down to those perfectly toned legs of hers.
Without my permission, an image appeared in my head with those legs tightly wrapped around my head as I…
Clenching my jaw, I shifted on the chair at the sudden discomfort in my nether region.
Damn it! No one had ever had this effect on me with just one glance in my entire life! And she didn't even look at me yet.
Who's this mysterious seductress?
I ordered another drink, a stronger one, while keeping my gaze on her the whole time.
I didn't know about a moment ago, but I definitely wanted someone now. Her.
As Liam walked away from her with a sour face, she slightly shifted on her seat and ordered another Apple juice for her.
I raised my brow, slightly amused.
Who drinks Apple juice at a club?
Ignoring Liam as he slumped beside me, I continued to watch her.
"Forget it. She's a lost case."
At Liam's grumbling, I finally tore my gaze away from her and turned to him. The raised brow of mine had him roll his eyes.
My jaw clenched. I didn't tolerate disrespect.
To his luck, he was one of the few people that I opted to go slightly lenient with. Just because he was family. Otherwise everyone knew the consequences of coming to Adrian Larsen's bad side.
At my glare, he let out a huff, his shoulders slumped. "Don't give me that look. I'm just saving you from getting a dent into your ego. Can you believe she rejected my offer to dance? Mine, Liam Larsen's!"
"So? Not every girl will fall on your feet, now everyone's taste can't be that bad, can it?"
His eyes went big in disbelief. "You're talking about me? Dude, I know you might be every girl's dream, but I'm not any less, alright? Huh, they literally beg me to be with them. But that Sofia… she- I'm telling you, she's a lesbian! That's why she didn't take any interest in me!"
His rambling went unheard by my ears after he took her name. My eyes went back to her. She was now talking to her friends, smiling at something they said.
A beautiful sight to behold.
So that's her name. Even her name held beauty.
"Are you hearing me? I'm talking to you!"
I turned back to him.
"Yes. Stop behaving like a spoiled brat now and start handling rejection like an adult," I said, sipping on my drink, taking another glance at her.
He snorted out a laugh. "We'll see how you react once you face the same fate as me. Welcome to my team, bro, because it looks like she's not interested in you either. So directly or indirectly, she has rejected you too with her not even throwing a glance towards the great Adrian Larsen."
I glared at him.
Flashing an idiotic smile at me, he fled away and took the black head friend of hers to the dance floor.
As much as I hated to admit, but he was right. She hasn't even sent a single glance towards my way, even after sitting not far away from me.
And that didn't sit well with me. No one ever could ignore my presence around them even if they wanted to.
Is she doing it purposely? Because her friends couldn't seem to stop themselves from taking glimpses from time to time.
She laughed as the red head whispered something into her ear, still not looking at me.
Irritation nagged under my skin at her ignorance.
Well, if she wanted to play a game, then let's take some fun out of it.
So gulping down the rest of my drink in one go, I stood up and swaggered to them.
Standing right in front of her, I shoved my hands in my pockets, my gaze set on her.
Her big doe eyes widened in surprise while gasps came from her friends.
The moment her forest green eyes met mine, I felt another blow in my gut, causing me to clench my jaw. Those were the most beautiful shades of green I've ever seen.
She was a trouble. A very dangerously enchanting trouble that could turn my world upside down.
I averted my gaze before those green orbs of hers could pull me in more, hypnotizing me.
Turning to the girl in white standing next to her chair, I extended my hand.
She gaped at me in astonishment but then sobered up soon, as she nodded her head in excitement and placed her hand on mine.
As I took her on the dance floor, I found Liam and that black head's curious gaze on me.
Ignoring them, we started swaying with the music.
My eyes slowly drifted back to the woman who was constantly on my mind, only to meet her gaze. But only for a second as she quickly averted her eyes.
My lips twitched at the side.
Too bad beautiful, I caught you.
"She is my best friend," the girl who was dancing with me, said.
I tilted my head in confusion.
Smiling, she jutted her chin towards Sofia. "The girl you're staring at, is my best friend, Sofia."
"I wasn't staring."
"Sure, you weren't." A mischievous glint danced across her hazel eyes. "I'm Chloe by the way."
I nodded at her, didn't need to introduce myself. She knew very well who I was.
"You guys come here often?" I knew they didn't, If they did, there was no way I wouldn't notice that green eyed beauty.
"Only me and Laura," she replied, pointing towards the black head, "Sofia and Jenna, they don't get to go out much." She shrugged.
"Why?" Curiosity rose in me.
Hesitancy flashed over her face, her eyes darting away. "Uh, nothing. They just like to stay at home."
I scrutinized her, not quite believing in her words.
But before I could throw some more of my queries, the song ended. Flashing me another smile, she mumbled a thank you for the dance and rushed back to her friends escaping my questions.
After the dance, I didn't find Sofia in her place. Liam and Laura also vanished from the dance floor. And I didn't need to guess where they disappeared after the song ended. I knew very well what kept them engaged.
I checked my watch for the second time.
Five minutes and twenty nine seconds. And she still wasn't back. The friends of her seemed to be lost into their own world, casting dreamy eyes in my way.
Where the hell is she?
For some reason, I found myself getting up from my seat and striding into the crowd, pushing aside another clingy woman who was trying to get into my bed.
It was just a hunch that she went to the ladies washroom. So I neared the washroom zone. Even here people were wildly enjoying the night.
A smirk tugged at my lips as I caught her sight in the crowd. I was right indeed.
She was looking somewhere over her shoulder while walking, not watching her way.
A chuckle left my lips, discerning what's coming.
It's not a brilliant idea to not see where you are going, sweetheart.
The swiftness of my strides increased as I walked forward; my gaze fixed on her, ready to prey.
"Oomph!" She winced, crashing into me. And my hands didn't take long to snake around her slender waist to keep her still on her feet.
Shock was evident on her face from the sudden collision. But surprise soon took over when her green orbs snapped up to mine, seeing the intruder.
And then I took in her features.
Her luscious plump lips were slightly parted. The tip of her little nose blushed along her already rosy cheeks while the golden streaks around her green irises glittered under the flashing lights, hypnotizing my senses.
Perfection. Everything about her was an epitome of perfection.
"Uh, I'm sorry! I didn't see you coming," she uttered in her sweet voice, her hands moving away from my shoulders she grasped for support.
"A little clumsy here, aren't you?" I asked, my eyes not moving from her green pools of sorcery that had me enchanted with just one glance.
Her brows creased in an adorable way. "Excuse me? You don't know me well enough to say that." She moved away from my arms, much to my dismay.
"But your mindless walking said otherwise." I cocked my head to the side, shoving my hands in my pockets.
"I said, I'm sorry!" Her lips set in a firm line. "I didn't do it intentionally."
I knew it was me who bumped into her, intentionally, but I couldn't help myself triggering her. Her expressions were adorable.
I shrugged. "Who knows? Girls often pull that stunt to draw my attention."
Anger flashed across her eyes as her jaw tightened. "I'm not one of those girls. I'd rather bump into a pillar than stumble against a man like you who lives in the misconception that every walking girl in this world would fall onto his feet to get his attention!" she snapped. "Get out of your bubble, will you?"
Feisty. I like that.
The corner of my mouth twitched as I watched her in amusement, while she was red with her eyes glaring at me.
The ringing of my phone interrupted our stare down and took my attention to my phone for a moment.
He is done playing around?
Declining the call, I put it back in my pocket and looked up, only to meet with nothing.
What the hell? Where is she?
Did she just disappear when I was fucking talking to her?!
No one ever dared to show me their back like this.
But instead of feeling anger, I felt a buzzing excitement run through my veins.
Challenge. She was a challenge.
And Adrian Larsen never throws a challenge away.
"Run as fast as you can, beautiful. Because the devil is coming to sweep you off your feet and lock you in his own personal hell." I smirked with my eyes staring into the nothingness she left in her place.
Sofia's POV My lips were firmly set as I passed through the half wasted population, away from that arrogant man with an ego bigger than the sky itself. Eyes narrowed and the irritation still formed on my forehead, I tried to ignore the racing of my heart along with the flutterings down my stomach despite the frenzy. The sudden temperature I felt in the room wasn't due to tons of people dancing around me, or my anger. It was an effect of staying too close to someone. A set of electric blue eyes still stared at me at the back of my mind, where his deep husky voice still could be heard. And among the adverse smell of alcohol and sweat, his intoxicating cologne still lingered in my senses. I shook my head, taking my mind off the outer beauty to the inner. I swear to God, I haven't seen such an ill-mannered, arrogant and infuriating man in my whole life! He really thought I was pu
Walking through the busy street, I let myself lose in the swarm of rushing people with little pink clouds of cotton candy melting into my mouth. The fresh morning breeze swayed my chestnut locks away from my shoulders as tender sunlight delicately kissed my skin. My eyes roamed around, and I felt content in my heart. I felt ordinary. Just like the moving crowd around me. No guards breathing on my neck. No weapons surrounding me. With a content smile stretched across my lips, I closed my eyes for a moment and drew in a fistful air of breath. But the smile slipped away from my lips as I stumbled on my legs due to a sudden collision against a hard chest. Looking up, I found a pair of electric blue eyes peering down at my soul. And my heart palpitated beneath my chest at the intensity of them. What's he doing here? Suddenly, a black shadow passed beside me
When we reached the penthouse, the guards took post right behind me. Loud music floated outside through the closed door. Is he working out at this time? He had a habit of enjoying blasting music while he worked out. Knowing he wouldn't hear the bell, I pounded my fist on the door several times and waited. After a moment, the music slowed down before the door cracked open. Thus a girl with wild hair and a skimpy black dress, one sleeve hanging down her shoulder, came out. Cheeks flushed, breathing laboured and lips swollen as she eyed me up and down. An annoyance set on her forehead. Well, he definitely was working out. Clearing my throat, I stretched my lips into a smile. "Hi! I'm here to see Max." She raised one of her arched brows. "May I know why?" Her eyes went to the paper bag of cupcakes in my hand. "I don't think we ordered anything." My eyes widened slightly. Did she think I was a delivery girl? Not that it was something bad. Those who did this job worked pretty
My visit to the pizza shop in a busy street, despite the guards' disagreement, reached Dad's ears. And that didn't sit well with him. I reached home to a fuming Dad welcoming me with his wrath. I didn't understand why he was so mad? It's not that I went there without any protection. And who would dare to attack me in the middle of a busy store? But that didn't deter him from insulting me before the guards, enunciating how careless and foolish I was. And that only fueled the fire of my smoldering temperament. "Didn't you think what could be the result of your ridiculous act? How can you be so foolish going between so many unknown people? Did you forget your promise that easily?" "I didn't break my promise. I promised not to go anywhere without any protection, and I didn't. They were with me all the time." "There is no point taking protection if you're t
I wiped my sweaty palm against the black pencil skirt and smoothed the royal blue blouse I chose to wear today for this special day. My first day at the office. I still couldn't believe I was standing here today, before the large office building. It's not that it was my first time coming here. I did, many times. But I didn't come here as an employee then. Though I could just work here as an owner, beside Alex. I had chosen to prove my worth before expecting people to work for me. Despite the dismay of my family, they were proud of my decision, I knew it. I saw it in Dad and Mom's eyes. It was still a matter of disbelief for me; the sudden change of my life. I still couldn't believe Dad would give me the permission to work with Alex. Even if I was going to work in my own family business, with my own brother, I was nervous. I couldn't tame the restless butterflies flutte
Letting out a huff, I slumped on the stairs, providing my butt and legs some rest. My arms held the bunch of folders tight against my chest. Sweat trickled down my spine and forehead from all the marathons I did using the staircase between the third and fifth floor. Not only me, the entire office was racing in this marathon that Adrian Larsen held kindly giving us this project. Even one minute late became a crime here now. So waiting for the elevator was out of the question. I had never seen the employees here working so fast before. That Larsen king wouldn't accept any default and sluggishness under his command. He was making sure he wouldn't have to face any kind of loss where he invested his money. He had set his eyes on here like a hawk all the time, if not him, then it would be his soldiers. I still remember the shock I got when Alex told me he was the one who gave this company this project. Though
Adrian's POV Loosing the knot of my tie, I paced around my office. My jaw clenched and unclenched, fists shook to destroy something; my vision turned red. How dare that leech come into my office building and abuse one of my employees! And then he dared try to hit Sofia! My Sofia! Fucking criminal bastard! My entire frame shook with rage. My hands itched to curl around his throat and… The thoughts disturbed me. My lips thinned at my own lack of self control. No! I've handed him over to the police, and made sure he rots behind the cells for the rest of his life. I didn't need to stoop to his standard. I didn't need to behave like a mindless criminal, some dirt of a local gang. I was not him. Even the word: criminal, brought a bitte
"Sofia, can you print those documents for me, please?" Tiffany, a girl from Blake Corporation, who was also working on the project, asked me from her cubicle. Temporary cubicle. Because we will be working here only for one and a half month. "Sure, just give me a minute." I took the documents from her hand and put them on my desk. As my neighbor cubicle, she was the one I interacted the most with. Thanking me, she went back to her work, exhaling an exhausted sigh. Work was running at its highest speed. Even if we started here just yesterday, it felt like we were doing this for weeks now. After the kickback Adrian Larsen gave us in yesterday's meeting, the team working on this project of our company and Blake's company immediately transferred to Larsen Group Of Industries. Well, for a time being. They spar