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Chapter 4 Devilishly Handsome

  • | RHEA'S POV |
  • "You can't afford not to do this , Rhea, lam sorry", His words felt like a dagger going through my back. "We all have contracts to fullfil, and this is too much money to turn down", He went on. I angled away from the dancer choreographer, Luke and crossed my hands to hold myself as if that would stop the ice freezing the blood in my veins. Even if I didn't want to hear his words. He was right.
  • "We have you set up in the skyview suite at the New York palace. It's fifteen minutes away and you have just about one hour to meet this guy on time", My eyes snapped up to Luke who was standing in the studio doorway. He drummed his fingers on the frame of the door as if he was waiting for me to say anything else. I simply nodded my head. It was enough of a sign for Luke to turn and leave.
  • After the grueling performance tonight , I was so exhausted. The moment the curtains closed,the show left my mind and all I could think about was thinking into my bed. The other dancers had tried to pull me along to the after party, but l certainly didn't want to make an appearance there. Too many people would sap what was left of my energy.
  • Fate had other plans for me. What I wanted to do or not didn't matter and this was something I really didn't want to do. Not tonight.
  • I had a contract, and I did really need the money.
  • As I quickly used the shower in the studio locker room and got myself ready , my mind raced with tonight's possibilities. This wasn't my first time fullfilling the term of the unpleasant contract I had signed. It could be any one meeting me there tonight and there was nothing I could do to back out.
  • I brushed through and rushed to blow dry my hair. Thankfully, I had a decent stock of clothes in my locker to pick from. It was early winter , so I grabbed an olive green sweater dress and boots. After throwing my hair into a loose bun, I reapplied simple make up and headed outside the theater.
  • "I don't want to do this," I grumbled to myself as i hailed a taxi. The chilly air nipped at the tip of my nose and shuddered from a gust of wind , blowing a few stray wisps of hair into my face. These "meetings" were common for the performers who took on the secret contracts. The terms of them weren't exactly legal, but there was enough incentive to follow through. God knew I had my reasons.
  • I watched the lights of the city through the cab window as we raced down the busy streets. The saturday night traffic might make me late, and with these meetings I preferred to be early. In minutes we passed Central Park and turned onto 5th avenue. My heart began pounding uncomfortably, as if it didn't belong in my chest any longer.
  • "Can you drop me off here?" I leapt forward to beg the driver. "Sure, no problem", The older man waved as I paid and got out of the cab in front of St Patrick's cathedral. The massive luxury hotel was across the street and I would turn that away in a minute but as I looked over the towering cathedral, I sent a silent prayer to the heavens. To save the ones I cared for and calm my nerves for what I was about to face.
  • Or who I was about to face tonight.
  • Anyone could come tonight and it was the not knowing that made this worse. Perhaps if we could see who they were beforehand, it might have prepared me for what I was about to do. I swallowed those thoughts and walked the rest of the way to the hotel entrance. I got the key to the room at the front desk and kept my eyes down as I made my way through the lobby. The chances of anyone recognizing me this late at night was low , yet I kept my eyes on the ground.
  • At the door my hand trembled, and I had to force myself to inhale deep breaths before I could swipe the key card. I had been in this room before, but it didn't get easier each time like they told us it would. Holding my breath, I pushed open the door. When I found the massive suite empty with the lights off, I exhaled loudly.
  • "Whoever he is, he is not here yet", I whispered to myself. "Thank God", Putting my purse on the counter next to the minibar, I started making myself a drink. This was the reason I preferred to arrive early. The small fridge was full of tinny little bottles and I downed three of them and discarded the trash in a flash. As tired as I was, the alcohol made quick work of stripping away the last stone of anxiety settled in my chest.
  • The liquor clouded my head and before I knew it, I no longer cared who walked through the door. My body was now going through the motions. I pulled out more mini bottles and made a basic cocktail over ice.
  • Just as I lowered myself onto the couch with my back to the wall of windows facing the city, the door clicked. My body immediately tensed and I know I was holding my breath as I listened to leather shoes against the floor. My body moved it's self and I rose to my feet. I closed my eyes and inhaled deeply, silently, so whoever he was couldn't hear me steadying my self.
  • But then when he came around the corner, my breath immediately left me. His presence sucked all the air out of the room and my body shivered of its own volition.
  • Black hair styled back , slightly longer in the front than on the sides, with a few stray stands falling over his forehead. A short, neatly trimmed beard graced his perfectly square jawline. His features were strong, and he was devastatingly handsome.