Standing hunched over the counter in her bakeries kitchen, Ivy Moretti breathed in the heady aroma of freshly baked chocolate, as she created intricate white roses along the sides of the wedding cake perched in front of her.
Ivy's Aphrodisiac. The name came to her one night while she was out taking her nightly run. She always wanted for someone to crave her and now thousands did. Or at least they did her sweets. Her love life was a completely different story all together.
Ivy had always dreamed of owning her own bakery and three years ago that dream came true. Smiling to herself, she remembers how Kathy, her step-mother had reacted upon hearing of the bakery.
"What do you mean you want to open a bakery?" Questioned her step-mother.
"You misunderstood me Kathy. I have opened a bakery." Ivy smiled sweetly at her step-mom as she watched her perfectly polished face flush with tightly controlled anger.
Kathy's head snapped towards Cole, Ivy's father causing her coffered black hair to sway slightly in its tight confines. "Exactly how did she open a bakery? She doesn't have a cent to her name."
"Daddy helped me find a backer, and because I already found the perfect location in the Village, everything just fell in place." Ivy wanted to gloat in Kathy's face, but she wouldn't make this any harder on her father than it was already going to be.
"Cole," Kathy whined. "I thought we discussed this. Remember, you said we were not going to get involved with anymore of Ivy's little schemes."
"No Kathy, you discussed. I listened to your point-of-view and decided to help Ivy find a silent backer." Cole patient tone sounded as if he were talking to a child and not to his new wife.
Kathy face reddened as she became irate at Cole's explanation. "You never help Michael when he comes to you! Is that because he's my son and not you precious dead wife's little girl?" The word wife coming out as a sneer.
Ivy knew that her father could handle Kathy on his own, but she would not let the bitch talk about her mother with disrespect.
Ivy's eyes narrowed on Kathy as she walked towards her. "Don't you talk about my mother in that tone, you stupid bitch! She was more of wife and mother than you can ever hope to be!" Anger and pain radiated through her body as she came to a stop inches from Kathy.
Kathy stepped back in the face of Ivy's rage and looked to Cole for help.
"Ivy, honey. I sure Kathy didn't mean to disrespect your mother. You know how she tends to speak before she thinks." Cole said as he stepped between the two women, trying to defuse the situation.
Ivy could hear the pleading in he father's voice and see the fire in his ever changing smoke-gray eyes and backed away from Kathy. "I only tolerate you because I love my dad, but understand this. If you ever hurt him or speak badly of my mother again nothing will stop me from kicking your bony ass."
As Ivy stormed out of the room she heard the warning her father gave Kathy and smiled with the knowledge that Kathy would be out of their lives before the end of the year.
Nikolai Petrov sat surrounded by the black buttery leather of his big chair as he went over his companies figures from the last month.
Placing the folder down on his mahogany desk, he leans back in his chair and closes his gray-green eyes. Exhaling loudly, he links his hands together behind his head.
Nikolai opened his eyes to take in the lush opulence around him. It still amazed him to think that all of this was his. He still laughed to himself when he thought about his first splurge.
Spending two-hundred thousand dollars on the mother of pearl world globe that stood proudly in the corner of his office had nearly caused him to be sick. But, as his mother said, "You've worked too hard not to enjoy yourself Niko, just make sure you are not enjoying it alone."
His mother was constantly worrying about his marital status. Being forty-two and never married, he could understand her concerns. He just couldn't seem get motivated enough to do anything about it.
The buzz of his intercom pulls him from his thoughts and back to reality.
"Yes, Tracie." He answers.
"I'm sorry to interrupt you Mr. Petrov, but Mr. Fielding is here and insists on speaking with you." Tracie explains.
Releasing the intercom button Nikolai rubs at his suddenly throbbing temples. "It's okay Tracie. You can show him in."
The heavy mahogany door opens to reveal Tracie's elegantly long body, as she ushers in the aging Mr. Fielding. Nikolai knew that Tracie too was concerned with his single status, but for entirely selfish reasons. Unfortunately, he couldn't seem to get past her snobby, cold demeanor.
"Mr. Petrov," started the little old man before Tracie even had time to shut the door behind her. "I'm sorry to bother you without calling first, but I have something I think you should look at." Mr. Fielding said quickly.
"Is there some concern with my finances?" Asked Nikolai.
"Oh no Mr. Petrov, quite the opposite in fact. Do you recall agreeing to be a silent backer for Mr. Moretti's daughter's bakery?" Questioned the accountant.
Nikolai's dark brows drew together as he thought back to his friend coming to him with a harmless sounding proposition. "Yes, what was that about three years now? Has something happened?"
The little man hobbled over to one of the big chairs in front of Nikolai's desk and sat heavily. "Yes. I was just going over the numbers of some of your smaller holdings when the bakery caught my eye. It seems that it is not so little anymore. In fact in the past year it has tripled its revenues and upon further investigation I have discovered that the bakery is one of the top confectioners in the state."
Nikolai steeples his hands in front of his mouth as he leans towards his trusted accountant. "You know what Mr. Fielding? I do believe I'm starting to have the craving for something sweet today." Said Nikolai with a full smile.