Chapter 4: Dangerous.
I let out a small gasp as the man grabbed my shoulder and pushed me against the wall, his black lashes casting dangerous shadows across defined cheekbones.
Slipping on a white bathrobe after a long, hot shower, I make my way to the lounge with a mug of freshly brewed coffee in my hand. The floor to ceiling glass windows gave a breathtaking view over the city and I sigh with content, my eyes half closed... THAT was how I'd imagined my future mornings at Summer Hill Views. Well, it didn't happen.
I hopped off the cab, lifting my lightweight luggage with ease. My ride stuck out like a sore thumb as I found myself maneuvering between limousines, Rolls Royce, BMWs and what seemed to be an endless list of high end automobiles. The cab driver managed to wink and wave at me before disappearing into the sunset on his less than gallant steed.
Finally, I stood wide eyed in the reception area. A huge crystal chandelier hung from the center of the ceiling. Under it was a small, running fountain. There were about six or seven reception staff standing behind the counter, all with blazing smiles etched onto perfectly made up faces. A man carting a trolley had taken my luggage after I told him I was going to the top level penthouse so I found myself empty handed as I walked nervously towards the row of picture perfect ladies.
The receptionist quickly covered her look of disdain at my jeans and t-shirt with a professional smile. "Welcome to Summer Hill Views!" She sings brightly. "How may I be of service?"
"Elena told me to collect a card from here?"
Wrinkling her nose, the girl punched my details into the computer system, muttering "Elena?" And then her head snapped up. "Oh, that Elena."
Handing over a swipe card attached to a shiny gold key ring, she proceeded to reel off general management knowledge. "Room service is... and don't... we value... please... ok, got that?"
I returned to earth, realizing that I'd accidentally tuned her out for the better part of the fifteen minute lecture. Nodding meekly, I follow a uniformed staff member to the elevators where they pressed the button for me and stuck my card in the slot beneath the floor numbers. When the light flashed blue, the butler pressed the Level 32 button, removing my card and handing it back to me with a formal bow. The shiny mirror doors pull apart with a sweet ding and I step onto plush cream carpet, marveling at the amount of room that was available in the hallway.
Walking to the door of my new home, I press the card against the reader. The electronic door slides open.
A stench hit my nose as I surveyed my surroundings with disgusted wonder.
Magazines, empty pizza boxes and drink bottles littered the floor. Pieces pf clothing appeared to have been flung around the room randomly. The spacious kitchen area was cluttered with unwashed dishes and half open packets of junk food as well as vegetable residue clinging to the chopping board and knife. The windows needed a good wiping and the cream tiles looked grimy and were slightly sticky from lack of care. And the carpet- not only were there suspicious bread crumbs in peculiar places but someone had spilled coffee near the couch and never bothered to get rid of the ugly brown stain.
I was wondering why staff or management didn't clean up the mess when it hit me- this wasn't a hotel. This was actually someone's home. And soon to be my residence for the next few months. I groan, rubbing my temples at the thought of day after day of spring cleaning.
I finally allow myself to sink onto the sofa, my back aching. Two large black rubbish bags were piled near the door. I sigh. At least the rubbish had been cleared up. Now for the rest of the... my eyelids droop close as lack of sleep caught up with me. Releasing a massive yawn, I decide that the rest of the cleaning... could be done sometime... later.
I jerk awake with a start, and blink in the darkness. "Shit," I mutter to myself, immediately whipping out my mobile. 10 missed calls and 7 voice messages. I press the play button.
"Kristin Donovan! Get your ass to the agency right now!" I wince, noting that Marie's message was recorded at 3pm and it was now 7pm.
"Sooo, how's the lifestyle of the rich and famous?" Caitlyn was bursting with excitement. "And WHEN am I invited?"
The next messages were from various members of the Donovan clan.
"By the way lil sis," I could almost see the smug look on Sam's face. "I'm not returning the car." That's when I knew that next time I saw my brother, I was going to rearrange his facial features for him.
"KK! Sam's hogging your car and won't drive me to soccer practice!" Jason whines. Good riddance for not begging me to stay.
"I'm missing you already sweetheart," Dad grovels. "Forgive me?" He adds hopefully. Uh, no. I letting him off that easy.
Matt's message consisted of more grunts than actual words. "Urghn... just lettin' you know mum arrives tomorrow, uh, if you want, join us at the airport." Like hell I was!
The final message was a little surprising. "You moved." Logan stated flatly. And then nothing. End of message. Really? He called just to state the obvious?
Marie's number was saved onto my favorites list and I quickly called her back.
"Hello?" An unfamiliar male voice answered.
"Oh sorry, wrong number!" I hang up, confused. Then it hit me, Marie was on my favorites list- eliminating any possibility of wrong number dialing.
I nearly jump out of my skin when Beyonce's "If I Were a Boy" blasts from my phone.
"Hey, do you know this woman?" The same unfamiliar voice asked, slightly amused. There was a bit of static and fumbling around before the phone was no doubt pressed against Marie's cheek. "One vodka hic... shot... urrrnnn... hic..."
The phone was passed back. "As you can see, she had a little too much to drink."
"Where is she?" I snap, convinced that this man had somehow managed to drug my agent.
"Lagoon-" he replies casually.
I end the conversation, throwing on a jacket and grabbing my wallet.
I jump out of the cab and run into the dark, throbbing mob. Lagoon was really more of a club than a bar, so you can imagine how crowded it was on a busy Friday night.
I'm sure I elbowed a few people in the eye and probably accidentally whacked a few more with my wallet in my fight to get to the the bar area. After a stream of "Excuse Me"s and "I'm Sorry"s I caught sight of Marie's shiny brown bob in front of 5 empty shot glasses.
"What's going on?" I demand to the dark haired stranger standing guard.
"Nothing much," he replies in a tone that insinuated how much he wished that wasn't the truth. "She's pretty out of it."
Marie lifts her head, takes one look at me and bursts into tears.
Taken aback, I hug the older woman awkwardly.
"Kristin Donovan," she hiccups, mascara running freely down her face. "I'm getting divorced."
"Help me," I gasp under Marie's dead weight. "The swipe card's in my back pocket."
"You don't look like you could afford to live here." The stranger mumbles through his face mask. Yes, I'm not kidding here. He was actually wearing a half-mask similar to those that soared in popularity when SARs was a threat to humanity. Lifting the card out of my pocket with two fingers, he furrows his brow in disgust.
"Just insert the damn card," I growl, bangs falling into my eyes.
"Excuse me?" He asks.
"I said Level 32! Or did you need me to show you how to press a button?"
He glowers, but does as I ask.
Dumping Marie on the couch and covering her with a spare blanket I'd found in one of the wardrobes, I finally turn to the stranger standing in my living room.
"You can leave now," I mutter, finding my way to the light switch and flicking it on.
I let out a small gasp as the man grabbed my shoulder and pushed me against the wall, his black lashes casting dangerous shadows across defined cheekbones. Leaning in closer, he casually unhooks the face mask, steel grey eyes narrowed.
"What," he accentuates, mask dangling from one ear, "Are you doing in my house?"
The wall is cold against my back as I stare open mouthed at Chase Henderson's fuming features.
A/N: I'm disappointed that 18 people (thanks traffic stats) read the last chapter but no one bothered to leave a review. So I'm ending this one on a little cliffhanger. Please review and turn my :'-( into :-)