Authors: Leeann Whitaker
The plot, characters, names, and settings are a result of the author’s imagination and in no way to be misrepresented as otherwise. If any similarities are noted, it is purely an unintentional coincident.
This novel is not to be copied, redistributed, or altered in any way, without contact and permission from the author.
Is this so wrong, have I lost my head?
All my life I’ve read fiction, and knew that’s exactly what it was. A story, fable, myth or legend. Nothing more. No truth in it. Just simple words of art that transpire into a wonderful masterpiece, created to feed the human imagination. Or so I thought.
What would you do if thrown into the midst of a being you never thought real? A being who made an unearthly impact on your mind, body, and soul. A being whose touch you couldn’t bear to live without. Would you forget and free your mind from those restrictive chains to be with them?
There is no other answer for me. Yes.
His irises flame, they scorch me from within
He boils my blood, we are skin on skin
His movements are great, overpowering my body
Causing a throb, a lust, a hip lift to copy
I pull at his hair, clawing his firm back
I wail his name in pleasure, there is nothing I lack
The end is near, a climaxing surge
His wet lips on my neck, and his breath is heard
Hell, he’s magnificent, and I’m falling deeper
My heart belongs to him, he’s a definite keeper
I don’t like it. It’s way over the top. I could have told Cate to leave my hair, but the moment she found out I’d be representing my university at some charity banquet, she couldn’t resist the opportunity. To share a flat with the female version of Vidal Sassoon, is impossible at times.
Cate works at Harriots, an upmarket hair salon in the city centre, and I’m studying English Literature and sociology at ICL. I’ve shared this flat with her for just over two years now, and it’s saved me a fortune in commuting fees.
We came to know each other in high school. She was a year above me, and took me under her wing when I had a run in with an ex-boyfriend of hers. Got to say, at first I found her overbearing. But once I cracked that party animal exterior, she has been like the big sister I never had. Protective, slightly crazed, and confident; all traits I’ve been grateful for. Sometimes feeling like an insignificant blip in this bustling city, has at times required a friend who is rather forthright.
So thanks to Cate, I’m now sat here with exactly five minutes to get these damn poodle curls to drop, before Nathan picks me up.
Good old Nath, he’s been my saviour. If it wasn’t for him, I’d be going to this stupid event alone. He knows how nervous I am. I’m also aware (from past experiences) that Nathan isn’t the best choice of a well behaved dinner guest. But needs must, and my nerves require a hand to hold.
It’s purely my own doing, why I’m in this ridiculous situation. My article on global warming and attitudes was, how did my lecturer put it,
‘of great substance and interest.’
Now she wants me to interview the bigwigs of the energy industry on their own turf. See if maybe I could catch some damaging words to put in print. I told her someone else would be better suited for the role. I’m shit when it comes to meeting new people. I always clam up and flush a bright shade of red. Until I get to know someone, I just don’t feel comfortable in my own skin around strangers. She thinks I’ll make one hell of a journalist. But my dream is to spend my life pulling apart words and rearranging them to make a better read. Either it be books or articles. I see myself in my own quirky office, embraced by a big brown leather chair, simply reading from my wall to wall bookshelf.
!” I pull my fingers through my hair, pat my locks down on my cream blouse, and thread my arms through Cate’s pinstripe jacket.
Cate is sprawled out on the couch in her green hoody, with large bowl of popcorn on her lap. She glares at me over the lime cushions with one eye larger than the other.
“What happened to you hair?”
I frown with a fake confusion. Well, I have to appear oblivious. Her knowing I’ve just spent twenty minutes flattening it out, would cause her to have an aneurism or something.
“Nothing, it looks great.” I smile faintly.
“Maybe I should just sort out some of those curls, they’ve fallen too much.” She shuffles on the sofa.
“No,” I snap. “It’s fine…plus Nathan will be here in a sec.”
There isn’t a chance I’m going through all that pulling and twirling again. I prefer the looser curl anyhow. If it were up to me, I’d be joining Cate on the sofa. Hair in a messy bun with my slipper boots on. Slouching and watching crap on TV. Not uncomfortable in this godforsaken pencil skirt that’s sucking in my thighs so tight, I can barely walk. And the heels she’s loaned me are a definite no go. The red patent stilts I will probably fall on my backside in, are going to remain on my bedroom floor. I’ll stick with my black flats; best thing to make a quick getaway if I need to.
I take my car keys out of the empty fruit dish on the phone unit. The knots in my stomach reproduce by the second. I’m so anxious, sweat is beginning to gather on my top lip. Soon, I’ll have ghastly wet patches soaking through the underarms of this jacket, if I don’t calm the hell down. I glance in the oval wall-mirror by the door, my pale skin rosy, and dark fringe skewed.
“Liz.” Cate mooches across to me, hugging the plastic bowl. I hum, automatically knowing her next word. “Shoes?” She questions.
A knock on the door breaks her cross gaze on me. She slams the popcorn on the unit. She’s pissed at me. I’ve been her pet project all afternoon. An awkward, ungrateful one, at that. I’m just not big on the whole pamper preening thing like her.
As soon as my eyes fall onto Nathan, not only does my jaw drop, but dread fills me. He’s in a damn tuxedo. Black tie, the whole frigging works. He’s like James bond stood there with his arm high against the doorframe: dark blonde hair sleek, polished shoes, and his scent knockout.
Cate turns to me. The panic lines on her face silently telling me I’m way underdressed. I don’t have time to change now. I own a grand total of two dresses. One of which is a peach satin meringue number, I wore when I was eighteen for my mum’s third wedding. And Cate, well, I can’t possibly wear one of hers. Every single dress she owns, shows a hell of a lot more than a bit of leg. I’ve been through her closet already today, and the most subtle thing I found was this ridiculous skirt and matching jacket.
“Ready?” Nathan asks with a curve of his pink lips.
. I’ll have to wear them now. The six inch patent death-trap heels Cate loaned me, might just rescue this image. The image of a foolish inexperienced student going for a job interview.
I dash into my room, hurdle over a pile of dirty laundry, and flick off my flats as sprightly as a gazelle. I slip my feet into the Cate stilettoes while removing the jacket, then I take one last look in my dressing mirror. My eyes are fine, coated lashes framing my dark green eyes.
Perhaps I should colour things up a little more
. I flip the lid off my red lipstick, and smear it across my lips.
Great, now I do look like a stripper
. I pull out a wet wipe and quickly scrub it off as I stagger to the door.
I grab my Dictaphone from the phone-stand, then rummage through my small black clutch bag, making sure the sticky notes I jotted questions on are in there.
“Liz, it’s a girls purgative to be late, but come on.” Nathan takes my arms. “Calm the fuck down, it’s just dinner,” he says, pressing his lips tightly. “It’s free so enjoy it.” I reel my eyes. “You look great, you always do,” he compliments.
I smile idly, following him out into the hall. He opens up his elbow and I slip my hand through, linking up to the soft fabric of his suit.
It was agreed by both of us beforehand, no alcohol tonight. Clear head; clear questions. But I’m so tempted to forget that rule. If I could just have the one. Get to the stage of, ‘
hi I’m Liz, pleased to meet you
,’ tonight might go smoothly.
It’s now 7.45pm, and we have to be seated by eight. Nathan pulls up in front of Churchill’s. We don’t have to be concerned about parking. The benefactor of this event, a new bigshot from the states, has made arrangements with the high and mighty of London. Basically, I hand the keys over to Beryl, mine and Cate’s Mini Cooper, and she is taken and cared for.
I sigh out with a shiver as Nathan takes my hand in the cold winter breeze. I look through the glass into the foyer.
. I’m going to stand out like a sore thumb. I didn’t think I’d have to wear a damn ball-gown. All I see are black ties and business suits. God, I just want to go home.
Nathan holds his hand up to the doorman. He takes his place and opens it for me with that cheeky grin displayed; the one I used to get back in the day. Most say you can’t be friends after being lovers. We tried both, and was in absolute agreement, we were best suited purely as friends. We dated approximately one month, and in that time realised that we were something different. He’s kind of like the yin to my yang. I can laugh with him, and talk to him about things I wouldn’t dream of telling Cate.
I see pressed trousers and designer leather shoes everywhere as I keep my head down, hoping to blend in somehow. For a moment I think I’m the only female here. Until I see two middle aged women in extravagant evening dresses.
Nathan glances down at the cream marble reception desk, where laminated name tags have been set out.
“Can I help you sir?”
A girl my age, slim, pale skin, with light blonde hair scraped back tight, aims her big brown eyes at Nathan. Her bright red painted lips form a lusty smile for him. She hasn’t noticed me yet. I seem to be invisible.
“We’re here for the charity banquet.” He peers up to her chest and won’t take his lusting eyes off her, until I nudge his arm.
“Okay, do you have a name?” She angles her head, apparently liking his sleazy attention.
“Yes, I most certainly do,” he flirts as I clench my teeth. “Sara.” He points at her gold name tag.
I take a shaky step nearer to the shiny desk and my ankles bow out so I nearly collapse. I redden instantly with shame, holding the edge to keep me steady.
I swear when I get out of here, these shoes are going in the frigging Thames.
“It’s Elizabeth Lovell, and Nathan Hardy.”
She runs her index finger over the name cards as I subtly flail my arms several times, trying to get some air under there. I don’t understand why I feel so damn hot. Even in this classy joint I can see my breath.
“Here we are Miss Lovell.” She hands me a white card with plastic clip. “And Mr Hardy.” She curves over the desk, and clips his name tag onto his breast pocket seductively. “You’re in conference room A.” She points. “Have a wonderful evening.”
Nathan lingers, eyeballing his potential conquest. I yank on his arm. He’s like a dog on heat and I don’t want to have to drag him around all night, because he want to bang some slut who has probably got herpes.
“You jealous?” he asks. “Because I’m absolutely free tonight if you want a blast from the past,” he smirks.
“Nathan, shut up.”
He hurries to my side. “Okay, I’m sorry… sometimes I see a pretty girl, I can’t help myself.”
“You can do what you want,” I yap. “After we get this out of the way with. You promised you’d behave… so please, for the next few hours, use your brain.”
There’s a long queue to see the table plan. The room is vast, with big round tables symmetrically set out. Each one is clad in white, with gold candle centrepieces, surrounded by beautiful red and white winter flowers.
Nathan being Nathan, couldn’t just wait. He’s pushing right to the front, leaving me struggling to stop my legs from flexing into some contortion move, while he studies the white board to find our table. I thought just for once he would try his best to blend in. But him and his loud impatience, and me unable to stop wobbling on the spot. We are as alien as you can get in this room full of the high society socialites. I need a drink. I really need a drink.
We find our table to the far left hand corner, next to the inviting bar that’s calling out to me. I place my clutch bag on a red velvet chair, nervously scanning the other guests. All male, middle age, either skinny or stout, bolding and sweaty. I’m not going to get anything out of these guys.
I hobble to the bar, desperately wanting to take off these shoes. Maybe after a few I will. I’ll simply slip them out under the table. Who will know?
The bartender (who frankly doesn’t even look old enough to drink himself) asks me what I’d like as Nathan prods my arm.
“Can I have a large glass of chardonnay please?”
“What happened to staying sober?” Nathan sniggers. “All good for me… excuse me mate, I’ll have a double vodka and coke,” he calls.
The glass is placed in front of me. I want to neck it down in one and get another. I don’t want to turn back to that table. I’m quite alright at this bar.
“Thanks mate.” Nathan pulls out his wallet, and starts flicking through an inch thick wad of cash.
Why he does that, I don’t know. It doesn’t impress me. He’s found the perfect job with perks, working at Westons plc, an engineering company, while most of us normal folk work two jobs to get by. He shouldn’t wave his riches in people’s faces. But then, I suppose apart from this guy behind the bar, I’m probably the poorest person in this room. So I guess I’m the one with the problem.
“Sir it’s a free bar.” The bartender points to a sign.
“Well thanks to the host.” Nathan raises his glass as I take a sip of the cool wine. “Who is by the way? I should thank him face to face.”
“Mr Adrien Knight Sir… but he’s running late.”
Apart from my lecturer mentioning his name, I don’t know much of this Adrien Knight. All I know is he moved here from the states several months ago, and has pumped millions into the city. His forte, real-estate.
I take my glass and return to the table. All the bloodshot wrinkled eyes, watch my every move, confounded as to why a pauper is in their presence. Perhaps they think I’m a member of staff here, or I’m in the wrong room. Nathan has no problem with adjusting. Things just don’t faze him like they do me.
“Hi, I’m Nathan.” He shakes hands with every single one of them. “This is Liz… she’s going to be writing an article about you, so on your best behaviour, okay,” he jokes.
I want to slide off this chair, and sink into the cream carpet beneath my feet. I take another large gulp of the wine, noting an empty seat directly across from me. Probably someone who did what I should have done, and had the sense to turn down the invite.