Authors: Natalie Dieudonné
Worth The Risk
Written By: N T
This book is dedicated to Chavell Dieudonne. Thank you for always being my proof reader and support. And to Lola St.Vil, thank you for all your help, advice, and support.
Hollywood movies and television
have people believing that being rich equals happiness. Well, I can say first hand that, that is a lie. I have lived in California all my life. I’ve been around the rich, the famous, the well off, and even the posers. Gosh, there are so many posers. They try so hard to be like the rich or famous but more than anything they end up looking like idiots. I am considered the wealthy, ridiculously wealthy. My father is the owner of the largest hotel chain in America, Frederick Enterprise; on top of that he has invested in several other businesses. So, you can say I will be set for life. But with all this wealth sadly happiness doesn’t come with it.
I can’t remember experiencing true happiness in
all my twenty-three years of life. Well, I can’t say never, when my mom was still alive I remember being happy. She was like an angel on earth. She died of breast cancer when I was only ten years old. Even in her last days, she tried to make me happy though she knew what was to come.
Her last words to me were, “Take care of your father. And always remember that I love you and I’ll always be with you in your heart
.” A normal ten year old would be confused about certain things, but I was never normal. I grow up way too fast before my time. I understood death and I understood a disease was killing her. Losing my mother was the hardest thing I had to go through, but I saw it as God needing an extra angel in heaven.
My father didn’t handle her
death well. He became very distant towards me. Probably because I reminded him too much of her; I mean the resemblance was like looking into a mirror. He was overprotective and distant, which was really an annoying combination. I never felt like I could come to him with any problem. It was like I had lost both my parents. Out of desperation, one day I dyed my hair red just to see if I could lessen the resemblance. Fat chance, it changed nothing. My father was furious. Apparently, changing my hair color doesn’t change my genes.
In addition to the distance, h
e was always busy at work between meetings, conferences, and travelling that we hardly saw each other. Because of this, I was raised by my nanny Gigi. She taught me all the things a mother would teach her daughter. Gigi didn’t have any kids of her own so in a way I was hers. She tried her best to get my father and me to reconnect, but it never worked. He was too busy and he wasn’t ready to deal with the past. I always told her it would only happen when he was ready but she stubbornly tried anyway.
Once I graduated high school, I wanted to go to college out of state to experience life
. But of course my father declined and said it would be better to go to a local college like UCLA. He didn’t even want me to stay in the dorms; he said there are some creepy people out there and the possibility of living with one was too likely. So, of course I lived at home through college.
at twenty-three years of age, I’ve graduated from culinary school as a Pastry Chef, on top of the two Bachelors degrees I have in Business Management and Hospitality Management. My father always told me I would be taking over the business one day so getting degrees in business was a must. Culinary School was something I decided to do for myself. At least I had one accomplishment I chose myself because it made me happy.
I’ve never had much of a social life so having three degrees at the age of twenty-three was normal to me, but it fascinated everybody else, including my father. So, he decided to throw an evening gala in honor of my achievements. I really didn’t want one. Being surrounded by people who either wanted what we had or kissed up to my father because of who he was, is not my idea of a fun evening. But he loved to entertain people and praise my achievements, like every parent. So, I went along with it because it actually brought him some type of joy.
Stepping out of the shower, I made my way to my closet. It was full of overly expensive, extravagant evening dresses and designer clothes and shoes. I had no clue what to wear; a common problem all women faced but when you have too much clothes its far worse. My father had a tendency to overly gift me with material things, thinking it would make me happy and make up for the time he didn’t spend with me.
“Sweetpea, have you found something to wear yet?” Gigi called from my bedroom door.
“I’m still looking.” My hand skimmed through different dress all amazingly beautiful. I finally opted to go with a long strapless peach chiffon dress. “What do you think about this one Gigi?” I held the dress to myself and twirled around to show her.
“Great choice! That color will look beautiful on you
.” She said enthusiastically. She was a little more excited than usual.
“Why are you so excited?”
“This wonderful gala is in honor of you. I’m just so proud of you!” Oh gosh, she was going to get all sentimental and start crying. If that happened eventually I would start crying as well. I tried my best to avoid those moments. Tears solved nothing.
“Plus, you might me
et a handsome young man to sweep you off your feet.” She said nudging me with her elbow.
Here we go again
. Gigi had brought up me finding a man in every conversation we had. She expected me to be married by now or at least in a serious relationship; I had neither. Being that my last name gives away who I am, I find it hard to trust people. I have dated a few guys, but they all turned out to be either assholes or interested in me for my money.
“Gigi, please don’t start with that again.” I plead
“I just want you to be happy sweetpea.”
“As do I. Therefore, I deserve a man that is going to treat me right; and when its time for me to meet the right man, I will. Now, help me zip this will you?” Gigi knew not to push the matter any further. So, she silently zipped up my dress and brushed my long gold brown hair. Once she was done, I looked at myself in the mirror. The dress complemented my coca cola shape and mocha skin perfectly.
“You look beautiful
“Thanks Gigi. Now it is
time to plaster a smile on my face and mingle with society.” I said sarcastically. Gigi nudged me playfully as she laughed. Leaving the nice comfort of my room, I went downstairs. As I walked down, the room slowly went silent as every head turned to stare at me. You’d think after seeing me time and time again people would stop staring. Unfortunately, that was never the case and it made me uncomfortable. I didn’t like being the center of everyone’s attention.
As my father waited
for me at the bottom of the stairs; I saw his eyes widen and pain filled them for a split second. My heart cracked. I reminded him of his lost love and there was nothing I could do about it. I wanted to bolt back to me room but it was too late. He shook off the pain, grabbed my hand, and kissed it.
“You look gorgeous darling.” I saw love in
his eye which brought warmth to my heart.
“Thank you father.” I smiled at him
, ready for him to parade me around. He introduced me to some of his business colleagues, most of them I’d never seen before. After a while they all began to look the same to me; as they all displayed the same grin on their face and carried the same business demeanor. But one of them made me pause for a second. As I greeted him, his beautiful light brown eyes captivated me. I found such comfort and tenderness in them. Unfortunately, the others had quite the opposite effect. The way they stared at me made me uncomfortable. So I smiled at them and excused myself to greet the other guest. Among them were my “friends.” I would consider them more like acquaintances really. They hung with me because of my status not because they truly enjoyed my company. It really didn’t matter to me either way. I kept them at a distance.
“Wow, Catalina you look great.” Heather said.
She was one of the decent ones, easy to tolerate.
They all began discussing the newest fashions, which was really not a topic I liked. Yeah sure I had tons of clothes but most of them were picked out from a personal shopper, I knew my father hired. Cars were more my thing, but these women knew nothing about cars of course. They knew the names of the real expensive ones, but had no clue what the difference between a V6 and V8 was, or what horsepower meant. So, when they discussed fashion I zoned out. I would nod my head now and again, but I was really paying attention to my surroundings. Once I couldn’t take it anymore, I found an excuse to leave them and headed outside to the balcony. I needed some air, to get away for a little bit.
I reached the balcony and
a cool breeze welcomed me. I closed my eyes wishing I was someplace else, in the arms of a strong man that loved me laid out on a beach somewhere. Just the two of us away from the world. Though I put up a front, I did get lonely and I did wish I had a man in my life. The warmth between my legs had only felt
touch for years. It yearned for the touch of a man. My body cried for the sweet caress of strong hands. But my heart would not allow it to be a random stranger. It had to be someone I connected with, someone who cared about me.
“You know the big
celebration inside is in your honor, right?” A voice called behind me, interrupting my reverie. I turned my head and saw that it was one of my father’s colleagues, Mr. Brown Eyes. “You’re missing all the fun, and some people are missing your presence,” he continued.
I snorted, “I highly doubt anyone is truly missing my presence.”
“Well, I can name at least one.”
“Really, who? And my father doesn’t count.”
“Me,” he smiled. I tried to mask my shock to his answer and the way his smile made me feel. I just met this man so I knew nothing about him.
Why would that be his response
? This man had to be at like thirty, even though he looked like he was in his late twenties. He was handsome, that mature handsome. His clean cut shape-up looked sexy. I had always liked a man in a suit, and his black suit fit him perfectly. And his lips were full and looked so soft; looking at it made me lick my own lips with anticipation. Noticing I was staring too long, I turned my attention to the evening lights not knowing how to respond.
“I’m sorry, di
d I offend you?” He walked toward me and stood right next to me, facing me to take in my expression. The breeze tickled my nose with his scent. He smelled so good; I couldn’t tell if that was his cologne or just his natural scent. It was a masculine yet sweet scent.
“No. I’m just… surprised that’s all.”
My heart was pounding with a mixture of excitement and nerves. I was usually poise in these types of situations but he somehow threw me off balance.
He gave me this confused look, “I don’t understand why you would be surp
rised. You are a beautiful, intelligent, and sweet woman. You give off this confidence and humility.” He sounded so fascinated describing me.
“You just met
me. What makes you think you know me so well?”
“I’m not claiming to know you so well, but I would like to. I’
m going off what I have seen and what your father has said. He talks about you all the time; your accomplishments, your charity work. You’re an amazing woman.” His eyes never left mine as his words caressed me. I had never heard anyone describe me the way he did.
“Your words are kind.”
“I’m only speaking the truth. And I am serious about getting to know you better.”
old are you?” I blurted out before I could stop myself.
Real smooth Lina
He chuckled, “Does age bother
you Catalina?” His tongue stroked my name, making me quiver on the inside.
“On the contrary, I prefer older men and I try to surround myself with older people. They are wiser,” I admitted. He smiled at my response, excitement in his eyes. “But…”