Not What It Seems Ch. 03byAscii©
I really want to thank readers who have left me a comment. It means a lot to me, knowing that some readers are enjoying the story. To be honest, after the response of the first chapter, I didn't know if I should carry on... Never-the-less please continue to comment, vote or just enjoy the story :)
Jared had made his initial modest fortune on the stock market in his early twenties. He had then ventured in the dot com business, setting up BankSafe.com in 1999 The Company was an e-commerce business that became a hugely profitable company by its third year. His life, his business was going well, until someone betrayed him. He had to compensate millions of dollars, nearly destroying him. However, he had bounced back and he was determined to do whatever he can to ruin her life...
The auction had already started but nothing had been particular impressive.
Alin was conscious of Jared's intense gaze burning into her back. She wanted so badly to turn and look at his mesmerising eyes but she couldn't. He was her past.
"Honey are you bored? Hmm..." John was nipping on her ear lobe, the act was a blatant display of public affection.
John was irritated with Alin's lack of enthusiasm but he was now raging with the fact Jared Valentine was so openly staring at his fiancée as if he wasn't there. He purposely put on an act to piss Valentine off further. He knew it got to him when he saw Jared's expression change. He flashed a smile that said 'she's mine' before continuing to whisper in her ear.
"Our next item is a diamond necklace. I can hear from the gasps that the ladies are going to enjoy this one. This necklace is not your usual Cartier necklace. It was donated by the generous late Mrs Maria Smith. Her marriage to her husband lasted fifty years until he tragically passed away. Some of you might think I'm trying to say that this diamond necklace is a curse trying to purposely bind two people together, but Mrs Smith had said in her will that this necklace represents true love, fate and companionship and by donating this necklace these wonderful things can be passed on and people can cherish what love brings. So ladies...well and gentlemen the opening bid for this necklace is $50,000, do I hear any bidders?"
The necklace had two rings locked together both encrusted with diamonds. It was a simple yet elegant and beautiful design. Alin was not a big fan of jewelery as it always got in the way of practical work, but this necklace caught her eye. It was a similar one to....what Jared got her. The necklace he got her was something she had love, however upon their bitter separation she had given it back to him.
John had noticed the glint in Alin's eyes when she saw the necklace. He loved the fact that if it were other women they would do all the tricks they can to make him get it. Not his Alin though she didn't have to ask for anything but he knew men would give her anything she desires. God if he got her that maybe she would finally 'reward' him?
Jared saw the necklace and it immediately reminded him of the one he had given Alin. When they split up she had pulled the necklace off her neck and threw it right back in his face. He had been so angry he threw the necklace against the wall seeing it shatter into a thousand pieces.
The bid quickly proceeded to $100,000.
"$110,000" John casually raised his number card enjoying the feeling that he was center of attention again.
Gasping Alin turned to John and mumbled in his ear, "John, what are you doing?"
"Baby I know you want this necklace...so I'm doing this for you!" he whispered, while tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear. The gesture was so sweet accompanied by his words, Alin felt guilty for thinking about Jared.
"Wow thanks John...please ladies and gentlemen that is Mr John Haltor and soon-to-be Mrs John Haltor." Alin blushed not enjoying the attention while the auctioneer continued, "Okay do I hear a bid for $115,000"
Not to be outdone by the young Haltor, other wealthy men started bidding for the necklace for the young women draping in their arms.
The bid had been heatedly pushed to $250,000 and it was now between John and another older rich man, who was desperate to impress the hot young woman in his arms. John wanted so badly to win this necklace he was not about to give up,
"John please stop this-"
"Baby I want the best for you."
Alin hated the irony of the situation. John so desperately wanted her to have the necklace and yet the meaning behind the necklace...she sighed and wanted to leave this whole extravagant charade.
"Wow! Mrs John Haltor tell me what have you done to this man? Do I hear a bid for $305,000?"
The other man had given up. No fucking way was he paying $300,000 plus for a second hand piece of crap. He had wanted to impress the young thing so he can get between her legs but nothing Tiffany can't do- at a cheaper price.
John was sure he was going to win after outbidding the older man.
"$300,000 going once, twice and-"
"$500,000" everyone in the room turned to see who the bidder was. Jared Valentine. Jared fucking Valentine. He knew he was fucking with him because he was now staring at his fiancee. What was his problem?
"WOAH! Okay so do I hear $505,000? John?"
John couldn't lose this fucking bet. He can't lose face.
Catherine Haltor knew her son was trying to prove a point, but she knew that Jared Valentine and Alin had history so she also desperately wanted her son to win the bid. She just didn't enjoy the news tomorrow. Already she can picture the headlines, "old and new lovers at war" or something tasteless like that. Lately her son had been in the news A LOT for his infidelity so he couldn't afford to have any more negative press.
Tension was building around the room as people around the room await a higher bid from someone, well hopefully Jared to make this evening even more interesting.
"I'm still in shock but do I hear $605,000 Jared?"
"Going once going twice and so-"
"$1milllion" Jared stated nonchalantly.
"Jared the woman in your arms must make quite an impression" the auctioneer said. "Do I hear any higher bidders?"
John wanted so badly to wipe the arrogant expression on Jared's face. "John, please just leave it." It really upset Alin that Jared had purposefully bid for the necklace. She knew he wanted to buy it for the model in his arms to spite her.
"$1 million going once, going twice and ...finally sold to Mr Jared Valentine! Congratulations!"
Everyone was applauding but Jared didn't particular feel like he had won. Haltor had mouthed to him, so what? I'm the one who's fucking her!" Jared was angry but he told himself that soon he would wipe that smug look off his face.
After the auction had ended, champagne and conversation were flowing even more. John had asked Alin to dance and she felt oblige to do so, seeing as he was giving her that annoying puppy-dog expression.
The woman Hallie was talking to had gone to get them both drinks and Ryan saw this chance to go over to talk, to see how much damage he's done.
"Ryan what do you want? Hallie stated sarcastically
"I want to apologize."
"Apology not accepted now leave me alone."
One thing Ryan liked about Hallie was her sense of dry humor and loyalty to her friends, "Hallie let me explain-"
"No Ryan what else is there to explain? I don't know what Jared's ulterior motive is and I don't know why you had to hide the fact you know him, but one thing I'm sure is, there is no damn way I'm going to let you hurt Alin!" Hallie was angry yet, she wanted to give Ryan a chance. She liked him. The thing is she was married with two children why would he find her even attractive? Wait! Where the hell did that connotation come from? She shook the thought from her head and continued to blatantly ignore him.
People around them were starting to look at them noticing the tense look on their faces. Not wanting to draw any more attention he murmured, "Hallie dance with me and I'll explain it to you." Before she could say 'no' he had already dragged her on the dance floor. To be honest he didn't have to drag her on the dance floor he could have just sat down in a quieter area and explained it to her but he needed to feel her in his arms even if it were just for a few minutes.
"You better explain yourself Ryan"
"I want your big cock in my wet pussy and then I want you to fuck me hard until we both come"
The woman in Jared's arm kept whispering in his ear hoping her words would turn him on. Okay he did get a semi but he was only a man and her pussy coming so close to his cock was not exactly helping the situation. He didn't really want her but it was better than a lonely night. Back when he was younger these women would have been his dreams. But as you get older (and richer) you tend to crave the things you can't have.
When the dance ended, Alin and John were moving to their seats, when Jared walked over to Alin and announced, "Please would you give me the pleasure to dance with you?"
Of all the things she thought he would say this was one thing she didn't expect. His companion had looked pretty shocked too and went back to her seat in a tantrum. Jared had announced his request loudly so she couldn't exactly turn him down as people would think that there was still a grudge between them, and yet she can't accept as people might think there was still something going on. She knew of Jared's intention! He wanted to embarrass her, and anger John!
John was furious. He was hissing but he managed to just contain his rising temper. "Jared what the fuck do you want? She's mine. Can you not fucking see she loves me? Why else would she have left you a week before-"
It was Alin's turn to cut in before the situation escalated, "John let him play his games. One dance and that's it." She whispered but her statement was hinted with venom.
The game is just beginning he thought as he took her hand and led her to onto the floor. Open mouthed guests were glancing their way.
"So your saying Jared knew you were setting up a base here and wanted you to hire Alin when she graduated from college because he wanted you to look out for her?" she noted the nod of his head before a realization hit her, "but when you hired her she was so happy because you liked her portfolio and thought she was talented? Don't tell me you lied to her about that! Do you realize how hurt she'll be?"
"No! Listen in the beginning I was reluctant. I didn't want an amateur to mess up a brand I have worked so hard to establish but when I saw her portfolio I genuinely wanted to hire her!"
Jared and Ryan had met in middle school and became good friends. Although they came from different social class Ryan had never looked down on Jared. Their friendship continued into high school where both were accepted into the prestigious West Tiffin's School. They parted ways when Ryan decided to go to college in Italy and Jared wanted to get a job so that he could afford an adequate lifestyle for him and his grandma.
He had wanted to introduce Ryan to Alin before their marriage but Ryan was always busy in Europe so there was never a chance. When they broke up Jared had called Ryan to tell him part of the story and then asked if he could take her up as a junior architect at his firm. He never said anymore and Jared being Jared, Ryan knew not to ask any more questions.
This was like a game of 20 questions for Ryan as Hallie asked more questions, "Why didn't you tell us you and Jared was friends? And if he hated her why would he help her out? I mean shouldn't his role be to sabotage her? Why would he even ask you to hire her and help her out?"
These questions were also on his mind, "First of all, logically if I had said I know him, you and Alin would not even want to know me. And you know I've been thinking the same thing as well. I was setting up here and needed someone who could give me fresh and inspirational ideas. He knew how talented she was so he was sort of helping me out in a way. This is looking at it with no other factors. But if we throw in the fact that they use to be a couple and the fact that Jared supposedly hate her, he's not suppose to help her out, so... I think his feelings for her are battling between love and hate."
"What do you want Jared? Alin tried to pretend this was not affecting her but she was tensed.
Jared bent down and whispered in her ear while his hand trailed down to the small of her back. He was putting on an act like John had early. He smiled knowing that John was trying hard to contain his anger.
"Alin relax...is this a way to greet someone you claim you love?"
"Loved. That was the past and we both know that."
He was now looking at her with an unreadable expression. "Alin, you do know that the necklace was for you? There are a lot of unanswered questions between us and I need to know all of them. Come to my suite tonight."
His words about the necklace surprised her. She hated it, but it felt a relief that the necklace was for her. "Jared you know I can't, I'm getting married. I don't want to complicate things further and-"
"My suite 11pm tonight. If you don't come, I'll come find you"
The music ended at that moment and Alin didn't have time to decide. Hallie and Ryan had also noticed them dancing and both realized what Ryan said might have been right.
"Alin are you okay what did Valentine say to you?" John harsh tone was a warning sign.
"Nothing that was worth my time and yours." She lied. "John I'm tired I just want to go home. If you want to stay then I'll go myself."
She didn't answer his question and he was beyond pissed. He was sure what he said had made her want to go home. He was not going when there were women here who wanted him. There was a cute blond and brunette in the corner who had been giving him flirtatious looks the whole night. 'Nothing cures stress like a good fucking threesome.' If she wanted to go home she was welcome to. Besides after the wedding he'll just go back to fucking any woman he wanted. "No Alin I need to stay. I have things to sort out. I'll send Peter to take you home."
She watched him walk away. She knew he was pissed but truthfully she didn't care.
She had bid goodbye to everyone at the ball, except Jared. For some strange reason Hallie and Ryan looked strangely happy together. Alin haven't seen Hallie look this happy for a long time and she felt that it was probably down to Ryan. Somehow Alin had noticed there was something different about Hallie at that moment when she saw her. Was it happiness Hallie lacked over these past five years?
After Peter had dropped her off, she went inside the apartment and tided the already immaculate place, even prepared her next shopping list, doing everything not to think of Jared's words. She hadn't changed her clothes, so she was giving herself options to go. Eventually she sighed and looked out from the balcony. Her heart told her go but her brain logically told her she was stepping into a trap.
Grabbing her bag she rushed out the door before she changed her mind...
Alin nervously knocked on the door. Her heart beat was thumping abnormally fast. Nervous, excited or scared? She didn't have time to collect her feelings before the door opened and standing there looking devilishly handsome was Jared. He was still dressed in what he wore earlier minus his suit jacket...and the top five buttons of his shirt. He let her in and proceeded to the bar stocked with variety of liquor.
"Jared I thought you wanted to talk to me. I don't think drinking is a good idea. Just say what you have to say. I've got a meeting tomorrow and-"
"Alin, it's just a drink. One drink"
"Fine. Just give me whatever. "
"I'll fix up the drink so wait for me in the balcony." It was a command rather than a request and she hated the fact that she let him have the upper hand. She wandered into the balcony and stared out into the peaceful night sky.
Jared had the drinks in his hand, but he left it on the table just before he stepped outside of the balcony. He watched her gazing into the darkness, lit only by the moonlight. Five years. She was nineteen when he had first met her, she was also standing looking out into the sky on a balcony. Now standing there, she was more mature and sophisticated with a slight hint of innocence, her tight dress clinging to every curve she possessed. She looked beautiful, truly beautiful.
Alin was about to go back inside to see what was taking Jared so long when suddenly both his hands were braced on both sides of her with the balcony rail as support. He did not rest himself against her back but he was close...too close for comfort.
"Jared - what are you doing?" she was supposed to sound angry but it came out like a whimper. Strangely she wanted him to wrap his arm around her waist like he used to but she willed herself to fight the lust he ignited within her. His scent was driving her insides crazy.
"Alin... I want to give you something" She heard something snap open. Before she could turn around and see what it was, Jared had clasped the necklace on.
The diamond was glistening under the full moon. It was beautiful clasped around Alin's neck. Jared rested both his arm around her waist now, he was breathing heavily against her neck.
"Remember one of the first things I gave you?" Alin wanted to say something but she couldn't. Jared continued, "It was a necklace just like this one. When I saw this I had to get it. No way was I going to let Haltor get it. This necklace belongs to me...and so do you"
The last statement made Alin snap back to reality. She turned round and glared at him "Jared how many times..." Alin sighed in frustration, "I'm getting married in three weeks and I have no intention of getting back with you, so forget it!" Alin wanted to get out of here. She pushed past him and walked towards the main door when Jared grabbed hold of her wrist and pulled her back.
"Get off me!"
Jared was done with this whole seduction crap. He still didn't know what he wanted from her but it hell ain't gonna be no sweet treatment. He was going treat her like the whore she is.
"Alin let me tell you this straight, I didn't come back because I wanted you, I came back to tell the world..." he paused and the corner of his mouth curled up, "what's mine will always be mine until I say so."
"What is wrong with you? Get it in your head that I am getting married and it's not with you!"
The tension in the air was obvious. The smile on his face appeared again. It was disturbing and Alin wanted to get the hell out of his suite. She reached for the door when his next words came crashing down on her.
"Your dad owes my company $5 million dollars with interest," He let his words sink in, "No actually YOU owe my company the money... Alin, how in the world do you think you're going to repay this?"
"But... but the company is a-"
"Illegitimate business? Thanks to you I now own a share of it."
She didn't understand what he was talking about, but realization sunk in at what he was playing at, "You bastard! You knew my dad couldn't repay the money and you let him borrow that much!"
"I didn't point a gun to his head nor did I let him borrow that much. Let me remind you, he doesn't owe me money YOU do. Alin you know you're fortunate that you owe my company the money otherwise I don't know who would allow no payment for three fucking months."
"Thank you for your generosity." Her words were dripped with sarcasm.
"You know karma's a bitch. You left me humiliated and now it's your turn."