Thursday, February 4, 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance
“As I’m sure you’ve figured out,” Daniel says, “you’re here for a competition. You’ve probably also predicted some of the nature of this contest, though I assure you, you could not have predicted it all.
Some of you have, quite separately, decided to mingle with these three fine young men here and with each other. That is, of course, your business. Not something we’ve asked or requested in any way.”
Some of the girls look at each other, and even though I don’t want to, I find my eyes turning toward Erin’s. She still won’t look at me. It’s the oddest thing. She and Jessica don’t strike me like the others do, though it’s possible that’s only because the three of us are the newest. But I’d swear, we seem like three peas in a pod. Girls who aren’t right for this scene, even if Erin proved me wrong.
Maybe that’s why she’s looking away — because she thinks I’m judging her. It’s also possible, given what happened and the way she looked at me back in my room, that she’s interested in me the way she was in Tony.
Still, something is wrong here. Something I’m missing.
Daniel has paused for a few meaningful seconds. I know what he’s doing —reminding them all that just because some billionaire invited them over and they decided to start screwing around with each other, there was and won’t be any coercion. I’d guess it’s also drawing the first of many lines between the contestants: those who were proactive enough to act early, those who abstained, and those who got their rocks off because they were horny — all contest considerations aside.
My mind flashes back to the mind games Daniel played with me when we met. Games at the website on the card included with my invitation. The survey. The interview. Little things, like Daniel tricking me into admissions I didn’t want to make.
“If your guesses about this competition in any way make you uncomfortable,” Daniel continues, “I’ll ask you to let us know now. I’ll have one of our pilots fly you back the second you’re ready to go, and we will pay you five thousand dollars for leaving.”
He looks around the room. His eyes stop on me for a fraction of a second too long, and a few more heads turn before he moves on.
Five thousand isn’t enough.
Come hell or high water, I’ll stay until morning.
“By staying past the end of this sentence,” Daniel says, “you are waiving your right to any action against anyone here barring overt criminal behavior, as stipulated in the contract you signed earlier.”
My brow furrows. Contract? I didn’t sign any contract.
He pauses again.
“Perfect,” Daniel says when no one objects.
He turns to Trevor, who again stands. The two men nod mutual thanks, and Daniel sits in his chair beside the throne.
“I guess I’ll take it from here,” Trevor says, smiling down at Daniel, “since I’m the one looking for a bride.”
About the Author:
I love to write stories with characters that feel real enough to friend on Facebook, or slap across the face. I write to make you feel, think, and burn with the thrill that can only come from getting lost in the pages. I love to write unforgettable characters who wrestle with life's largest problems.
My books may always end with a Happily Ever After, but there will always be drama on the way there.
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