A man in the shadows, arms wrapped around the perfect princess pinning her close to his body where there was no escape. Teeth buried in her neck, blood trickling onto the priceless silver gown. The crimson blooming onto the dress staining it like a piece of art.
Blood-red wings arching over a powerful back, pure black eyes with a stone-cold gaze hit Trisha like a ton of bricks and she fought to hang onto those memories.
Was the monster stealing them? She wanted to open her mouth to scream to beg for help. But that wasn't possible when her lips were occupied with the set of another, the demon beast himself.
Her limbs were numb from his powers and she couldn't move if she tried. Hot tears dripped down her cheek as she prepared for death.
How had it all come to this?
~Seven hours earlier ~Trisha sat at her desk with a long sigh. A giant box sat on the edge of it and she glared at the thing, hoping it would catch flames, but it didn’t.
That kind of thing only happened in movies, and of course, she was just a normal run-of-the-mill human.
She got up, grabbed the box and plopped it down in the spot she had just occupied a moment before. With one hand she wiped everything from her desk straight into the box.
“We’re going to miss you, Trisha.” A saccharine sweet voice giggled behind her. “Did you need any help clearing it all out?”
“No, I’ve got it,” Trisha growled as she grabbed a pencil, almost snapping it in half. “Thank you for the offer, Chloe.”
The tall blonde with the flawless curls smirked as she waggled her fingers at Trisha.
The pencil broke in her grasp, and she snarled before flinging the rest of her items into the box. After a moment she unhooked her custom mouse and threw that in as well.
She wasn’t about to let them have her limited edition gaming mouse! Not only was the artwork stunning, but it made her gaming life far easier.
She hefted the box and waddled toward the exit door with it.
The door slammed open in front of her and Trisha winced as her former boss stormed through. His eyes scanned her from head to toe before he glowered.
“I thought you’d be out of here by now, Ms. Ford. My orders were quite clear, were they not?” He raised an eyebrow.
And to think that Trisha had previously thought he was the best boss she had ever had. “Crystal clear, Sir.” She lifted her box. “See? I’m leaving right now.”
“Leaving with company property? Really, Ms. Ford?” He said, grabbing the mouse off her stack.
“No! That’s mine!” She went to snatch it back with one hand, and the entire box tumbled out of her hands, landing with a “clunk!” on his foot.
Her mouse clattered, falling back among her things, and she had to back off a step as her now-former boss started to advance on her. “Get out of my sight, now!”
She went to grab her box again but he kicked it, throwing it only a couple of feet away since it was indeed heavy, and hurting himself in the process.
“This is my property now, I’ll return what things I know are not the company’s to you to the address you have given us.” He smirked at her as she glared up at him.
“You can’t take my stuff!” Trisha grabbed her phone. “I’ll sue you over this.”
He reached over and pushed a button on the phone on Chloe’s desk. “Security, I need your help escorting Ms. Ford off of the property.”
He turned his attention back to her with a cold glare. “You better believe that we will follow up on the report that proves you’ve been leaking company information, and when we do you can expect a far greater lawsuit than this.” He motioned to her box.
Trisha had to take a breath so she didn’t crush her phone in her grip. The security had already gotten there and was staring at her. She hated this place so very much!
“Fine.” She walked over to the guard. “Get me out of here, but I better get all my property back, including my signed mouse!”
Chloe, whom had stood in the corner with her hands over her mouth in feigned shock, was now at Mr. Leo’s side, simpering how she was so sorry he had to deal with a crazed maniac like Trisha.
She spared a glance as Trisha was about to go out the door and their eyes met. Chloe smiled in triumph.
Trisha got to her car, and once inside she slammed her palms on the steering wheel. Now, on top of everything else going on with her life, she was going to have to find another job! Which wouldn’t be easy considering she had just been painted as an inside mole.
No company would want to deal with her. She was tempted to beat her head against the wheel too for good measure but that wouldn’t solve anything, only give her another headache.
She had needed the stupid job.
Checking her account on her phone, she sighed. She couldn’t even go buy a replacement mouse until she got her old one back.
If she wanted a mouse, she’d have to go with the old fashioned two buttons and that was not happening, she’d just wait for her old faithful.
She couldn’t afford a splurge on anything until she got a new job. Noticing that the security guard was still watching her, Trisha turned beet red and slowly edged her car out of the parking, leaving the building’s lot.
She drove without a real destination in mind, yet she wasn’t surprised when she ended up in front of the old-style cafe.
It wasn’t fancy or special like other places, it just made really good food, and apparently that must have been what she was craving since her subconscious drove her there.
She ordered some of their classic chicken strips and while sitting cross-legged at her booth she bounced her foot as she went over her choices.
There was no way out of it, she was going to have to freelance for a while to try to make ends meet.
“Your food.” The plate was set before her and with a smile, she went for a bite when she noticed something strange. Her chicken strips were a really odd color.
It kind of reminded her of that whole Midas touch story as if it had been dipped in gold. She looked around to ask the waiter what was going on, but they had already scurried away to another table.
With a shrug, Trisha took a bite and her eyes fluttered. Oh, that was good.
Like, really good.
That was far better than it normally was and had any business being considering she wasn’t at a fancy restaurant.
She enjoyed the food so much, she ended up devouring it in the span of a few minutes. She was blushing as the waiter came back to her table her apron in her hands as she wrung it.
“I’m so sorry, there’s been a terrible mistake!”
Trisha frowned. She never liked those words. “What happened?”
“The order I gave you, it wasn’t meant for you.” The waitress bobbed her head back to the mysterious table. “It was meant for him.”
She stopped talking as she noticed Trisha’s empty plate. “You ate them all already?” she was staring at Trisha in perfect horror.
“How did you eat them so fast? I wasn’t gone five minutes!” Her cheeks were two twin pinpoints of red as she stared Trisha down.
Trisha stared at the table as her cheeks flamed. “I’m sorry, normally I don’t eat like that but they were just too good. I couldn’t stop and I just kept going. I didn’t mean to have my order done before someone else that was here first.”
“That’s not the problem.” She set down a tray and pulled off the lid revealing their normal and classic chicken strips Trisha was accustomed to. “This is.”
“Those look different.”
“Yes!” she hissed then blushed as she covered her mouth and shot a look over her shoulder.
“You ate someone else’s specially made food! And you ate it all! Do you know how expensive that was? They brought their own ingredients from home for this, ingredients this place can’t replace! Do you realize you just destroyed this restaurant?”
Trisha scrunched down on her seat as the waitress yelled at her. “I didn’t know, can’t you just make more?”
“No! I just told you we can’t replace those ingredients, we don’t just have gold leaf sitting on the shelf here!”
“What seems to be the problem?” A smooth voice interrupted the woman’s tirade.
With a heaving breast and crazed eyes, the waitress turned to confront the person foolish enough to stop her from yelling at Trisha.
Trisha watched as the pretty waitress’s eyes traveled up a pair of long legs, a very fancy suit, a perfectly chiseled jaw, a perfect nose, and inquisitive deep blue eyes.
The waitress paled and plastered a fake sunny smile on her lips. “I’m so sorry about your order sir, please don’t take it out on the restaurant, just let me know what I can do to help fix this.”
“I think I ate your food.” Trisha all but whispered as she started to put the conversations together
“You’re yelling at her for eating my order?” He chuckled and shook his head.
“There’s no need to panic. It was an accident. I can eat the normal chicken strips. I brought the special ingredients because I knew you guys are unmatched when it comes to your chicken, I’ll be just as happy with the normal ones, I promise.” He smiled at her.
“But you brought us those ingredients, we can never pay you back for that. If she would have just been paying attention and noticed the difference-”
He held up a finger to his lips and smiled at her with a wink “It’s alright, accidents happen.” He turned his attention to Trisha and gave such a warm smile her insides melted.
“I’m so sorry for all this trouble, Miss, would you be so kind as to accompany me at my table? My companion had to leave early so I have no one to bore with idle chatter, would you be willing to take the job? You could let me know how my special dinner tasted as well.”
The way his eyes twinkled, she knew he wasn’t being serious about the last part and she grinned in relief.
“I couldn’t possibly intrude. Here, let me try to pay you back. I don’t have much, but I need to at least pay part of the cost of that incredible meal.”
He chuckled. “Oh? I’m not sure if you really want to do that Ms...? Apologies, I haven’t got your name yet.”
Trisha found it hard to look at him in the eyes. He looked like a model out of a business magazine. “Trisha, Trisha Ford.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Ms. Ford, but I’m afraid if I told you the actual cost of the ingredients you might try to run out on me before I got to bore you. Please, as payment just sit with me while I eat. I can’t stand eating alone.
Trisha nodded. It couldn’t hurt and this guy wasn’t hard on the eyes. “You’re sure about me not paying?”
He nodded. “Oh, I’m quite positive. Now, come with me, sit.”
Trisha scooted out of the booth seat and pushed some of her red hair behind her ear as she took a seat across from him in the back of the tiny shop.
“It’s really hard to see back here,” Trisha commented as she noticed all the lights were out in this corner and only candlelight remained. It made her hair stand on end, just what had she agreed to?
He chuckled again. “I’m sorry my dear, I just really love the dark. I would say it’s my favorite time of the day.”
He waited until she was well adjusted in her seat before he started asking her questions. “So, were they good?”
Trisha grinned. “They were the most heavenly thing I’ve ever had in my mouth.” Her eyes widened a bit, and with a quick flush, she checked to see if he had caught her mistake.
Usually, if she mentioned anything to do with a mouth, a guy had to make a lame joke about it. Instead, he just gave her a normal smile and nodded for her to continue.
“Every bite just melted on my tongue and before I knew it I had finished it all.” She realized something and frowned as she sat forward. “I don’t think I got your name yet.”
“Me? I’m so sorry, I really should have introduced myself sooner. My name is Ryan Rosewood.”
He watched Trisha as the gears whirred in her head, and he smiled politely when the connection hit her. “Oh, wow! You’re that really famous actor! What are you doing here? In this kind of place?”
She gestured to the worn-out diner. “You could go anywhere you wanted.”
“I could, but I really enjoy their chicken strips. My chef just isn’t as skilled when it comes to this perfect flavor, no matter how many times they try it just lacks- ”
His phone buzzed on the side of the table, and glancing at the screen his perfect smile turned into a dark scowl before flipping the phone over.
“Not important?” Trisha questioned.
“Not at that moment when I’m enjoying dinner with a beautiful woman. So tell me, Ms. Ford. What do you do?”
“It’s Trisha, please don’t call me Ms. Ford, my boss calls me that. Well, ex-boss now.”
He raised an eyebrow. “Oh? You were recently let go?” He leaned closer, his eyes getting darker. “Tell me about it.” he was still smiling, but the words that came out were almost an order, something she felt compelled to obey.
Trisha’s fist clenched at her side in memory of Chloe’s face. “It was a misunderstanding, but that would be the simple way of putting it.”
She nodded to the diner. “I was having one last great meal before I get back to my life of ramen noodles and peanut butter sandwiches while I look for a new job.”
As soon as the words left her mouth she slapped a hand over her face in horror. Why had she told him all that? What kind of person just blurts out about being fired and why did she tell him how broke she was?
Maybe she was having a mental breakdown.
Ryan steepled his fingers in front of him and smiled at her, one of his warmest yet.
“I think that we have run into each other like this for a reason. Fate has dropped you right here right when I needed help most. What would you say if I told you I could prevent such a dramatic downturn in fortunes for you? I have a proposal of sorts and if you agree you won’t even have to worry about a job.”
Trisha frowned in response why would some stranger offer all of that. “How can I help you? I just admitted I lost my job and I’m virtually broke. That doesn’t leave me a lot of avenues to be helpful or the hand of fate or whatever you’re suggesting.”
He chuckled at her. “That is not what I was suggesting, Ms. Fo-, sorry Trisha. I said I had a proposal right?” She nodded. “What would you say to the idea of being my wife?”
With perfect timing, the waitress behind the couple dropped the fresh tray of chicken strips to the ground as Trisha’s mind went blank.
Trisha stared at the very serious actor. No laugh lines, nothing but that sparkling smile and his serious blue eyes that stared straight into her soul. Was this some sort of trick? Were there cameras hidden somewhere, and once she said yes they would spring out and laugh at her foolishness? She peeked over her shoulder to see if she could spot one. The waitress was scrambling to pick up the mess of chicken strips that had scattered everywhere her cheeks glowed beet red. Trisha turned back to Ryan Rosewood who was still sitting there waiting for her answer. “What kind of joke is this?” she managed to sputter.
Trisha fidgeted in the long plus leather seat. Ryan, as before, was completely relaxed as they got closer to their destination. Just what had she signed herself up for? It was one night, but here she was wearing a dress that would easily have taken an entire year’s worth of salary. She had pearls around her neck, and the whole styling he had insisted on made her too nervous. She couldn’t stop wondering what would happen if she messed it all up and ruined everything that he was working so hard for.“You look worried. I’ve told you to relax, Trisha.” He gave her another one of his smooth smiles but this time it didn’t relieve the knots in
Kanda caught up to Trisha as they descended the stairs. “What’s first? Do you want to meet the hot supermodel, do you want to check out the mansion, or maybe you’d like some one-on-one time with me?” He smirked at her.Trisha snorted. “I’m here to help Ryan, I don’t know you and I don’t intend to.”Kanda put a hand over his heart. “So cold.”Trisha shrugged. “Why get to know you for one night?” She hissed the words so no one else would hear her.Kanda grinned. “It can be far longer than one night, Trisha. Don’t worry about that.” Kanda’s glare wasn’t for Trisha, it was focused extensively on Logan.“I know I wanted you to meet her, but I wasn’t expecting you to just start undressing in front of her. What are you even doing, Logan?”The other man let his shirt flutter back down covering his flawless body and allowing Trisha’s brain to function again.“I was trying to jog her memory, that’s all.” He shook his head at Trisha. “How can you not recognize me? You’re just kidding right?”“You do know she’s married, right?” Kanda demanded. He grabbed Trisha by the shoulders and pulled her against his body.“She’s not one of your groupies that hang on your every word. I wanted to see that ego of yours shattered, Logan, but I never expected you to try to seduce Ryan’s wife. What’s with you?”Logan scowled and shook his head. “I wasn’t trying to se
My Pretend Marriage to the Vampire Billionaire The Model
Kanda’s glare wasn’t for Trisha, it was focused extensively on Logan.“I know I wanted you to meet her, but I wasn’t expecting you to just start undressing in front of her. What are you even doing, Logan?”The other man let his shirt flutter back down covering his flawless body and allowing Trisha’s brain to function again.“I was trying to jog her memory, that’s all.” He shook his head at Trisha. “How can you not recognize me? You’re just kidding right?”“You do know she’s married, right?” Kanda demanded. He grabbed Trisha by the shoulders and pulled her against his body.“She’s not one of your groupies that hang on your every word. I wanted to see that ego of yours shattered, Logan, but I never expected you to try to seduce Ryan’s wife. What’s with you?”Logan scowled and shook his head. “I wasn’t trying to se
Trisha watched as the group walked away and shuddered. Kanda and Logan were still watching her closely and she forced a smile at them."What am I supposed to do now?" she demanded through grit teeth. All she wanted to do was retreat into a bedroom and play her game and be far away from Ryan's relatives."Spend time with me," Logan offered with an easy-going smile. "You have no reason not to.""She has every reason not to," Kanda countered as he scowled. "She'd be better off with that perverted butler at this rate."Trisha frowned at the conversation. "Perverted butler? Are you talking about Nakuni?"Kanda groaned. "You had to say his name." He sighed. "Yes, you need to be careful around him."Trisha rolled her eyes. "The only person I know I need to be careful around is you," she pointed to Logan, "and you as well." She held up her hand and pointed her ring at them. "I am a ma
Trisha cleared her throat. Her mind was blank, her throat dry, she didn't even know if she could form two words by this point. She cast a glance at Ryan but he still held that warmth in his eyes that made her feel like she could do no wrong. She held up her drink and blinked at the reporters who were all waiting for her to speak. "Thank you for all coming to celebrate mine and Ryan's wedding party." she chirped.She hoped they couldn't hear every breath she was taking. What was he thinking making her do this? This should have been him, not her. She scanned the crowd. She spotted Logan beyond the cameras. He gave her a little smile and a thumbs up. Was that his idea of encouragement?"Is that it, honey?" Ryan questioned.Trisha shook her head. "No, of course not, I'm just so touched that so many are here. Our family, our friends," she nodded to Logan who smiled at her. She was positive she'd
Trisha stared at him. No, she had not heard that right. Had she? Why in the world would a famous model want to date a nobody like her? "What?"He smiled. "I think you heard me. You want my help, and I"ll agree to it, but I want you to be my girlfriend."Trisha's brain continued to refuse to work. "What?" she demanded again.Logan laughed at her. He leaned forward his hand grazing against her cheek."Listen, all I have around me are shallow people that just want my fame. I never get to be a normal person. Call me selfish, call me arrogant, call me whatever you want. But I'm going to use this secret of yours so I can get what I want. Date me, Trisha, date me so I can have a normal girlfriend."Trisha wrinkled her nose as she scooted back. "You're supposed to date someone you like."His lips twitched. "And you're supposed to marry someone you love."Damn, that wa
Trisha tossed and turned. The bed wasn't at fault, far from it, it was the most comfortable thing she'd ever been on. Was this what famous people did? Sleep on clouds? Because that's what it felt like. She turned over again and tried to bury her face against her hands. Maybe it would help if she was able to take this fancy dress off.Trisha shrugged out of the folds and let the material crumple to the floor in a shimmery heap. Just being in her light slip felt better. She pulled the covers back once more and pulled the comforter to her chin as she closed her eyes.She was treated to a mental recollection of Logan's abs and his insistence that she should remember him. Trisha tried to shake the image out of her mind but it stuck. All she could see was her fake boyfriend's abs. She had never considered herself a skin person, but when it came to Logan, apparently she was. <