It might not be on the same scale as Callum, but still, it was progress.
I did get what I wanted, though. I was held all night long. For me to even admit that he acted like a true gentleman, truly surprised me.
Clive didn’t even dare attempt once. That alone placed him in my top list. However, when I woke up the next morning to a full English breakfast and freshly brewed coffee, I was swaying towards him.
His persistence to drive me to work as he acted like the man in my life, really made me think long and hard.
Yeah, I definitely liked Clive Barrington. Now, what did I plan to do about it?
Patience was one of the key ingredients in running a PR firm. Today, it seemed, that I didn’t have any tolerance for spoilt debutants and their holier than thou mothers.
We were planning to have a ball with ten princesses turning eighteen. The event was in three weeks time, and yet, they wouldn’t let me make a decision without consulting them with every single detail. They had to have their own caterers chosen or how they wanted each waiter to look like Abercrombie models. Did they know how difficult it was to find twenty perfect looking male specimens in less than a month? On top of this specific dilemma, they had a steep budget.
It was only ten-thirty in the morning and I was ready to go home and sleep the day away.
“Do you need me to get you some coffee and aspirin?” Sienna Richards—now Knightly—my intern/assistant for the day, offered with sympathy in her eyes.
I could tell she was drowning with me.
“I need a vacation. This is killing me,” I muttered under my breath. Listening to the mothers discuss about tidbits when we were supposed to be done and over this subject weeks ago was making my survival difficult.
After another minute of high-pitched idiocy, Sienna and I excused ourselves to get some refreshments. Once we were at the table laid out with refreshments and snacks bar, I sighed with relief. “This job can be taxing at times. How do you find it so far? Is this what you want to do for the rest of your life?”
Her gold-green eyes lit up. “Honestly? I like putting events and parties together, but right now, I’m not all that sure.”
“Yeah, these are far in between, but when they do come up, it’s very draining.” I studied her beautiful face, wondering how she got to nab a man like Knightly. “Congratulations, by the way. I wasn’t aware you were dating Blake Knightly.”
Sienna blushed. “Thank you. I don’t normally name-drop him. He was a friend before things shifted into something serious.”
“I met him a few times.” I grinned. “I admit, I was tongue-tied for the most part. The man is bloody gorgeous! How do you even function around him, let alone marry the man himself.”
“He can be very intimidating.” Sienna took a china plate and placed mini cakes on it before she glanced at me with a raised brow. “I hope you don’t mind me asking, but are you dating Clive Barrington? Blake’s cousin? There were photos on the internet of you and Clive leaving his apartment this morning.”
My eyes bulged out. Internet? Me? Fucking shit. “You’re joking.”
She shook her head, biting her lip, serious about this information.
“Bugger. Bugger. Bugger,” I groaned. “How in God’s name did I forget that he was a pap favorite? How? How!”
Shitty shit. This day was getting worse.
For some reason, I had an inkling that my day was just starting. The worst was yet to come.
An hour and half later, I was back in my office, nursing a throbbing headache when by phone beeped, indicating a text message arrived.
Derek: You’re dating a playboy? You’d be better off with me! I feel insulted that you would rather be with someone like Clive Barrington than be with me!
I barely finished reading the text when my door opened. “Stella you’re all over the internet!” Luciana breezed through my office, iPad in hand as she showed me clips and articles about me. “Everyone’s talking about you and how you didn’t come out of Clive’s house until the next day and how he dropped you off to work. They even have a countdown to see how long it’ll last!”
How rude. And mean. Did these people have anything better to do? “Wow, news spreads fast around this town, huh? Four fucking hours and I’m an instant celebrity.”
“They’re dubbing you as the Lonely Heiress.”
I made a sour face. “How fitting.” I gave Luciana two minutes before I kicked her out of my working space.
This wasn’t fun at all.
I huffed out a frustrated grunt and then placed my forehead against my desk. “Aaaand it keeps getting better!” I muttered, closing my eyes as I took deep breaths.
“For you maybe.”
I immediately shot to my feet when I heard the familiar voice. “Callum,” I whispered, breathless.
He strode before me, just a few inches apart, before he inserted his hands inside his pockets. He had his poker face on, assessing me thoroughly. “Is Clive one of your many men, Stella?”
“We’re getting to know each other.”
Why was he interrogating me? I caught him fucking another woman two nights ago. I inwardly flinch when I recalled the humiliating experience of getting caught watching them go at it like rabbits. “Who I date is seriously none of your concern.”
“You were a virgin two weeks ago! Now you go around town dating a man who is notorious for having two girlfriends at the same time! Not to mention that he greatly enjoys the two in and out of the bedroom. Together.” His dark eyes flashed. Dark. Primitive.
He was angry. Great, ‘cause I didn’t care.
I wasn’t going to sit back and wait until kingdom come to enjoy my sexuality. “I’m twenty-two, about to turn twenty-three soon. It is a prime age to experience, experiment or what of it.” I raised my brow, goading him. “And your point is what exactly?”
“My point?” He charged towards me, pushing me backwards until my butt cheeks hit the edge of my desk. “My point, Stella?” he gritted out. “Had I known that you were going to ‘experiment’ with the likes of Clive Barrington, I wouldn’t have granted your wish.” His heated eyes dropped lower, noting the erratic pulse in my throat as his eyes slid lower, watching my breasts rise and fall in quick succession. “Experiment with me.”
No. Not after what I’d witnessed with that redhead. “Not with you.” I shook my head.
He pressed his hips against mine, making me feel his epically solid state. I almost convulsed at the feel of him this close to me. It certainly muddled my brain function.
My breath caught when I felt his thumb making circles on my belly button at the same time that his hot breath in my ear sent tingles everywhere. “Are you quite sure?”
Callum was pressing his hardness directly above my pussy and I was panting, excited and yet, needing to prove a point that I wasn’t like that redhead on his dining table.
He caged me with his body, unyielding. “How many men have you had since me, Stella?”
Her breath caught as I softly blew air on her ear, as I let my bottom lip caress the side of her neck. The weakening woman slightly shook, like an unbidden prey; she anticipated my attack, to be wholly consumed by me, by my touch.
The name alone brought bitter taste on my tongue. He lured Zara once and I wasn’t going to let him do the same thing with Stella.
It took everything in me not to contact her because I was busy trying to convince myself that she was young, and thus needed to figure out her feelings for Derek. I was also constantly reminding myself that had her feelings changed; she was going to come to me. How wrong was I? Apparently, I was off by a long shot. “How many men have you had since me, Stella?”
It was a crass question, but if she was prancing around town with Barrington, which could mean only one thing… that she got a healthy dose of exploration herself.
“Enlighten me, Callum. How many have you had since me? Then you might just get what you’re demanding from me.”
My nose flared. “What you witnessed, was the only time.” Not that I wasn’t interested it about sex because I surely was, the problem was the woman I had to do it with. The redhead was a test I had to go through, to convince myself that I wasn’t losing my manhood over a virgin who no longer wanted, or needed me. It was to show that I was in control.
When things started heating up, I was grateful that I still had it in me, but all those monumental emotions eroded the second my gaze caught hers.
Until then, I was convinced that Stella didn’t fancy me, but when she came to visit in my home, though her excuse was plausible, for some reason, my gut feeling was telling me that there was more to it, that Stella was lying about the real reason why she came to see me that night.