Read His Allure, Her Passion Online

Authors: Juliana Haygert

His Allure, Her Passion (8 page)

BOOK: His Allure, Her Passion
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As expected, they didn’t have to wait in line. In fact, they were escorted to the VIP area by four gorillas. The men led them to a privileged area in the large gallery overlooking the dance floor.

The club was very fancy, with velvet sofas, mirrored walls, and giant colorful aquariums. The place was packed, and everyone looked like elite members, unlike her.

She stole a quick glance at Dylan. Like everyone else, he swayed to the rhythm of the loud music, a smile on his face, his eyes scanning the place. Looking for his next victim, she was sure. Why did he have to dance so well? It was impossible to look away.

A few famous models walked behind their sofa area, to take the one beside theirs.

The butterflies in her stomach took off and, without thinking, she leaned against Dylan for support.

His hand snaked around her waist. “Are you okay?”

Dizzy all of a sudden, Hayley looked up and found Dylan turned to her, staring down at her.

Her breath caught with the intensity of his stare.

“Just saw some top models and my stomach reacted,” she confessed, the heat of embarrassment spreading through her cheeks.

His hand brushed her reddened cheek. “Tell me if you need me to do something, all right? Grab water, carry you to the bathroom, anything. Okay?”

Why was he being this nice? “Okay.”

She stepped away from him and drank her glass of champagne in one long swallow. Apparently, she would need more of those tonight.

Near the bar, Hayley spotted a friend, another aspiring model, trying to take a place among the big names, just like her.

“Hey,” she called Dylan, shouting above the music, “I saw a friend. I’m going down there for a minute.”

He nodded. “Okay. Hurry back.”

Hayley darted from the VIP area and down the stairs, weaving through the heavy crowd in the “peasants” area, to the bar where her friend waited for a drink.

“Sarah!” she called, prying a place at the bar beside the other model.

“Oh my God, Hayley!” The girls hugged. “You look fabulous! What have you been up to?”

“Looking for gigs.”

Sarah nodded. “Same.” The bartender handed her a martini. “You alone here?”

“Nope.” Her eyes flew to the gallery where Dylan stood, sipping from his champagne and staring at her.

Sarah followed her gaze. “Oh, yeah, I saw about you two. Isn’t he kind of a jerk though?”

A nervous giggle escaped from Hayley’s mouth. “Sometimes. But I know how to deal with it.”

Not in the mood to talk about their complicated relationship, Hayley changed the subject. They discussed their latest jobs and how hard the path to success was.

Tired of standing and being shoved around by the crowd, Hayley invited Sarah to go up to the gallery. “Hey, don’t you want….” Her words died when she glanced up. Three girls surrounded Dylan, their dresses too short, their hands hovering over him, their mouths pouting suggestively. And Dylan talked to them as if he had known them for a long time, a grin on his face, a drink in his hand.

“What?” Sarah asked, yanking her out of the suffocating vision.

“Nothing.” She forced a smile and kept up the conversation, telling about her upcoming
Vogue
cover.

She kept glancing into Dylan’s direction, a stab of jealousy and hurt spreading through her chest. She wanted to claw those girls, or run away.

“Did you know…oh, shit.” Sarah’s expression tightened, and she pulled Hayley closer.

“What?” she asked, yelling over the loud music and noisy chatter.

“Don’t look now, but Patrick is coming your way.”

“Patrick?” Hayley blinked. “What is he doing here?”

“No idea, but he is definitely coming to you.”

Hayley looked around, trying to find an escape route through the crowd. The only way she could go would lead her straight into Patrick’s path.

“What do I do?”

Sarah opened her mouth to answer, but she clamped her lips when Patrick stepped into their circle.

“Hello, Hayley,” he said as if she were alone.

Sarah’s eyes widened. “I’m out of here.”

Hayley wanted to hold Sarah, but Patrick took the other model’s place as soon as she retreated.

“You look amazing.” Patrick smiled, his hazel eyes shining. “How have you been?”

“I-I’m fine.” Her stomach revolved like before she'd step onto the runway.

He stepped closer to her. “I’ve been trying to call you. Did you change your number?”

Hayley tried to put more distance in between them, but there was a wall of people behind her. And they smelled like cheap beer and cigars. “No, I didn’t.”

“We need to talk, Hayley.” He reached out and grasped her hand.

Patrick was a handsome guy, not much taller than she was, but with broad shoulders and short, silky chestnut hair. And yet, the enchantment wasn’t there. The enchantment had never been there.

“No, Patrick.” She pulled her hand to herself. “We have talked. It’s over.”

“It can’t be over. I still love you.”

“I’m sorry,” she whispered, before stepping away from him.

But where would she go? Up to Dylan and his bimbos or leave and lose the opportunity of meeting some famous people in the fashion world? It wasn’t everyday she had VIP entrance to such a club. It also wasn’t everyday she felt such painful jealousy. She refused to look up. God, what if he was already kissing one of them? Or the three of them? And she was here, standing like a spare tire, waiting for the paparazzi to find her and take her photos and mock her. The next day, all the magazines and newspapers would have headlines of how stupid she was.

Her breathing grew shallow and she made up her mind. She turned to the exit, but Patrick appeared beside her, holding her arm.

“Can you please just listen to me?”

She turned to him. “Haven’t you heard? I’m dating.”

Patrick’s expression hardened. “Yes, I heard. But that guy is a womanizer. When he’s done with you, he’ll throw you away.” He slipped his hand to her shoulder, gripping it and pulling her closer to him. “I won’t ever do that to you.”

With her hands on his chest, Hayley pulled away. “That’s none of your business. And I’m not making up with you, Patrick. It’s over.”

“Are you really in love with that guy?” Patrick leaned over her, his eyes narrowed. “He’s a jerk, Hayley. He’ll use you and break your heart. He’ll even squash it with his feet afterward.”

“No, I won’t,” Dylan’s voice came loud and clear above the loud music from behind Patrick.

Hayley’s pulse quickened as Dylan stepped between them, taking her hand and weaving his fingers through hers.

Patrick straightened up, as if he could get as tall and menacing as Dylan. “Excuse me, but I’m talking to my girlfriend.”

“I’m not your girlfriend!” Rage boiled into Hayley’s stomach. How dare he? “I broke up with you five months ago. Get over it.”

Patrick flinched. “Suit yourself. But be warned. He,” his finger pointed to Dylan, “will break your heart. And when you come running and crying to me, I won’t be there for you.”

With a final glare at both of them, Patrick strutted away.

Dylan’s arm slid to her back, pressing her close to him. “First, I doubt he won’t be waiting for you, if you ever went after him, which I hope you won’t. Second,” he caressed her cheek with the back of his hand, “you know I would never use you, right?”

“As far as I know, we’re using each other,” she teased, hoping her fake smile covered how confused she felt. But Dylan remained serious and she had to avert her eyes. “I saw you were with a couple of girls up there. Planning on taking them home? If so, please, just be careful so no one sees you. I don’t want to be called a slut anymore.”

“Hayley, I—”

“That’s okay, Dylan. I know how you are.” She gently pushed his hands away. “Thanks for inviting me to this party. It would have been a great opportunity for me, but I just need to get home. Have fun.”

She turned her back to him, but he stepped into her path. “What do you think you’re doing?”

“Going home.”

“Not until I introduce you to the guy I was just talking to.”

“Dylan, please, I’m not in the mood.”

He smirked. “What if the guy is one of the owners of Gaz?”

“What? The modeling agency?
The
modeling agency? You’re kidding.”

“No, I’m not.” He offered his arm. “Come on.”

Hayley rested her hand on his arm and let him guide her upstairs. A dozen of people from Gaz filled a private area, sipping champagne, gossiping, and people-watching.

Frankie Cole, one of the agency owners, turned to them with a huge smile. “Mr. Deveraux, you’re back.”

Dylan glanced Hayley’s way before returning the smile. “I told you I would bring her to you.”

“Hello, Ms. Allen, I’m Frankie Cole. It’s an honor to meet you.” He extended his hand.

But Hayley couldn’t move.

Ever so discreetly, Dylan squeezed her hand on his arm, and, with his other hand, pushed the small of her back.

With the gentle pressure, she stepped forward and smiled. “Hello. It’s my honor to meet you, Mr. Cole.” She took his hand, hoping her shaking wasn’t too noticeable.

Mr. Cole sipped from his flute while his eyes travelled down and up her body. “My, I must say, you’re much more beautiful personally than in any of the photos I saw of you.”

Her cheeks heated up. “Thank you,” she said. What she really wanted to ask was where he had seen photos of her.

He squinted his eyes and tilted his head. “You know, one of our most valuable clients is looking for new faces.” He pulled a card out of his shirt pocket. “Here. Maybe we should schedule an interview.”

Again, Hayley froze. It was Dylan who snatched the card from him and said, “Thank you.” He nudged her on the back.

“Yes, thank you,” she blurted, feeling incredibly stupid and small.

Before moving his attention back to his companions, Mr. Cole asked Dylan about cars.

Apparently, the man wanted to buy a new a car and, even though he didn’t understand much about them, he wanted a nice, sleek one. In a daze, Hayley didn’t comprehend one word.

She just stared at the card on her hand. She had Frankie Cole’s business card, and he told her that
maybe
they should schedule an interview. Maybe was good. Maybe was wonderful, and she was pleased to take a maybe.

“So?”

Hayley looked up at Dylan. She glanced past his shoulder and saw Mr. Cole talking to his business colleagues.

“I don’t know what to say,” she mumbled. Apparently, her tongue was as numb as her mind. “This is…amazing.”

“I know.” With his award-winning smile, Dylan gave her a flute of champagne and raised his own to her. “Congratulations. To your success.”

“Thank you.” She sipped from the flute. “I mean it. Thank you. You’re the one who brought me here.”

Yes, she was thankful, but she was also frustrated and annoyed. She wanted to be the one to make her career flourish. Now it seemed Dylan would be solely responsible for it if she ever became famous.

“You’re welcome.” In a long gulp, Dylan emptied his flute.

His Adam’s apple moved up and down, his strong jaw popped when he tightened his lickable lips, before turning to her with a new smile. It was hard to keep mad at him like this.

Hayley set her barely touched glass down and straightened her back. “Thank you.”

She walked away from the VIP area.

A few seconds later, Dylan caught up with her on the stairs. “Where are you going?”

“Home.”

He took the step down from her and stayed eye-level with her. “Why?”

The crowd going up and down pressed her against him, and he grasped her elbows.

“I’m tired. And I don’t think I’ll get more than this.” She brandished the card in the little space between them. “I just want to go home, so, if you’ll excuse me.”

Hayley tried going around Dylan, but the crowd pushed her against him again and, on the same step, he ended up with his back to the wall and Hayley pressed against his body.

She needed to get away from him, his sweet scent, his soft touch, and his intoxicating stare.

He held on to her. “You’re not going home alone. I brought you. I’ll take you home.”

“But you love parties. Stay, have fun.” Her hands on his upper arms, she pushed away from him. “We’ll see each other at the Valentine’s Day ball.”

His forehead creased. “Stop being so stubborn.”

“I’m a grown-up. I can be stubborn if I want to.”

Still holding her elbows, Dylan twisted her to the stairs and gently pushed her down one step. He positioned himself behind her, one of his hands on her waist. “If you want to go, then we’ll go together.”

 

 

Chapter Twelve

 

 

Dylan tried thinking of a subject to initiate a conversation with Hayley, but nothing seemed adequate. He peeked at her as she stared out the window, appearing not interested in talking at all.

Or so he thought.

“Patrick proposed to me,” she finally said.

The car jerked to the side with his momentary shock. Thank God the streets were almost quiet in the middle of the night.

Dylan cleared his throat. “What happened?”

“As I’m not engaged, it’s obvious I said no.”

“Why?” He kept glancing at her, wishing he could stop the car and just look at her, read her expression.

She didn’t answer. Not for a few minutes. Dylan was going insane when she said, “I didn’t love him. Never did. It was comfortable being with him, but there was no passion. Not from my side, anyway.”

“You stayed with him for over a year when you didn’t love him? I don’t understand.”

“Look who’s talking.” She flashed a brief smile before becoming serious again. “I don’t understand either. But when he proposed, I realized I couldn’t do that to him, keep him with me when my feelings didn’t match his. So I broke up with him.” She leaned her head back and closed her eyes. “But he never gave up. He said I just needed time to sort things out, that I would miss him and go back to him. Poor guy. I never missed him.”

They were only a few blocks from her building, and he wished he could take a detour, a long detour, to talk to her a little more before dropping her off.

BOOK: His Allure, Her Passion
6.71Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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