A satisfied smile appeared on his lips, and Victor glanced around his packed nightclub. He was the owner of all this… If there was one person to thank for the popularity of ‘The Sin Nightclub’, it was only him and his busy social life. In fact, he owned all twelve ‘The Sin Nightclub’ located throughout the States, from Vancouver to Miami.
His nightclubs were the perfect gathering place for celebrities and professional athletes… Even some members from a few of the most important European Royal houses graced his establishments.
And quite often, his picture was posted on gossip blogs right alongside them, with headlines like ‘Victor Lands a Princess’, ‘Mr. Hook and the Heiress’, and ‘Nightclub Mogul Parties Hard with the Dream Team’.
Victor shook his head, chuckling at the latest story linking him with the daughter of a senator. He was young, single, rich, and good-looking. That’s what people saw when they looked at him.
When people saw a picture of him standing next to a beautiful woman, Victor was automatically sleeping with her. If he’d actually slept with every woman that the so-called press had reported he did... well, he certainly wouldn’t have time to be the nightclub mogul they proclaimed him to be.
While it would be nice if he found himself frequently in the beds of actresses and all kinds of influencers, it simply, sadly, was not the case. What about if a picture of Victor Hook holding a beer bottle or a glass of whisky surfaced? Automatically, he was portrayed as an alcoholic, a chronic drug user, and a degenerate who partied too hard every night.
At first, Victor found it easy to laugh at how inaccurate the stories were… Any press is good press, right? As long as they talked about him, he was relevant and was good for business.
But it was starting to wear thin. The fifteen-hour days that he typically put into his work were starting to exhaust him, and the extreme workdays had gotten far more frequent and longer since his Personal Assistant quit the job.
Typically, Victor found only just enough free time in a day to eat, shower, hopefully, hit the gym, and maybe get a few hours of sleep. Women every night? Parties every day of the week? Sure… Maybe ten years ago, that reputation would have been warranted.
Victor had grown up with nothing and his first taste of success had been extremely sweet. He had admittedly overindulged in his youth, in alcohol, women… A wild kind of life.
But it was a local reporter scumbag Zack Slater who had been the catalyst for his turnaround. Slater had gotten a hold of a picture of Victor with a top model enjoying a… private moment, and then, he uncovered more and more of Victor’s bad deeds.
He’d dredged up the details of Victor’s less-than-ideal childhood, with an absentee father and a drug-addict mother, a past that Victor had guarded carefully. To say it was embarrassing was an understatement.
Victor had been cannon fodder for the reporter, who seemingly made a career of gathering information on him. Since then, Victor had kept it clean. He no longer overindulged. He never partied. He focused on his business and it had paid off.
Day after day, Victor enjoyed an unimaginable level of success. Still, no matter how many nightclubs he opened, how much he gave to charity, or how often his company showed up on lists of preferred employers, people still saw him as a billionaire/womanizer.
“Not bad for a Thursday,” Victor said to Dustin, one of his best friends, and definitely the best bartender he had ever met.
He was sipping the soda Dustin had handed him. Dustin finished preparing a Dirty Martini and a Negroni Sbagliato and handed them off to a waitress.
“Yeah, I agree. It must be the warm weather. Normally, the end of the semester makes college students hunker down, and study. But this place is clearly bumping tonight,” Dustin told him, throwing an appreciative glance over the scantily clad women dancing against each other on the dance floor.
“Keep it professional, Dusty,” Victor warned with a glare, before laughing.
Victor knew that he had nothing to worry about with his friend. Dustin was a pro and would never overserve a guest, or use his position to take advantage of the young women who patronized the club.
But it didn’t stop him from appreciating all the beauties that were in front of him. Victor bit back a yawn, and Dustin regarded him carefully.
“Listen, dude… Why don’t you go home and rest? I’ve totally got this.”
“I know you do, bro. But I’ve got a few things to finish up tonight. It’s been crazy since Vincent left.”
Victor frowned at the thought of his former Personal Assistant.
“I’ve got a couple of early morning meetings tomorrow and then I have to head to the university and give a talk with some graduate class about entrepreneurship, entertainment, hospitality, and some other stuff.”
“Seriously? You? Standing and talking in front of a graduate class? That doesn’t sound like something you would normally do,” Dustin replied, raising an eyebrow. “Who’s the fortunate teacher you’ve got the hots for?”
Victor was almost too tired to smirk at the question.
“It’s nothing like that, bro. I’m talking about Jonathan Behar. He’s the professor…”
“Oh, my bad... I see it now…”
“I owe him. It’s really the least I can do to pay him back for all his help.”
“Oh, of course…” Dustin nodded. “I remember what you told me about Professor B… And you’re doing this at the expense of any sleep you might get tonight?”
“Remember what the song says… I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”
After taking another sip of his soda, Victor turned to survey his nightclub. A packed club was always good news for Victor, and there had been plenty of that as of late.
All of his nightclubs were outperforming expectations on a nightly basis. But his brain was always working, knowing that he had to keep the guest experience fresh in each of his clubs to keep people coming back.
Every time he looked around, Victor saw areas for improvement. Ways to make the continuous lineup to the front door more efficient, an enhanced VIP experience, flair bartenders and entertainers, A-list DJs and performers… The list was always growing.
It was while he was surveying his domain, rolling through his mental to-do list, that Victor noticed a breathtaking young woman walking toward him. She wasn’t just… stunning. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
Her long dark hair… maybe dark red, but he wasn’t sure, cascaded in loose waves over her shoulders, and a little black dress wrapped around her perfect body, highlighted legs that seemed to go on forever.
She was looking straight at him, making a beeline for where he was standing at the bar. He sighed quietly and slightly shook his head. She obviously knew who he was. The gorgeous party girl wanted to cozy up to the single, rich owner of ‘The Sin Nightclub’.
Even though her beauty was unique, Victor was exhausted and he didn’t have time for the attention of groupies tonight… No matter how gorgeous. When she was close enough to him, Victor extended his hand to her and put on his most cordial smile.
“Hi! What can I do for…”
His words were stopped in his throat when her arms wrapped around his neck and pulled him forward until his lips found hers. His eyes widened as she kissed him. But they soon closed when he felt her tongue stroke his bottom lip. He stifled a moan and opened his mouth, to let himself be taken over by the feeling of this mysterious woman in his arms.
Victor couldn’t remember ever being kissed so fiercely by a woman without him initiating the kiss. She was so delicious… and Victor was wondering if he was dreaming.
Everything else seemed to disappear. There was no music, no flashing lights, no crowd of thirsty patrons lined up at the bar, and no Dustin, who, without a shadow of a doubt, was staring at them.
It was when his hands found her hips, the spell broke and the sounds and lights of the club and all of the people around them came rushing back. The gorgeous beauty broke away from him.
Still standing just inches apart, Victor saw the flush that stained her face and felt her breath on his chin. He got a good look at her and the thing that stood out most was the frightened, guilty look in those amazingly green, almond-shaped eyes.
She was a second from hightailing it away from him, out of his life, and Victor knew it. He wanted to ask her name, maybe buy her a drink, anything to make her stay.
After a beat, she shook out of her trance, mumbled an ‘I’m so sorry’, and did exactly what he thought she would. His mysterious lady turned on her heel and walked away, almost running, disappearing in the crowd of bodies on the dancefloor.
Victor was rendered speechless for a moment, before he turned to Dustin, bewildered and out of breath.
“Bro, do you know who that goddess was?”
Dustin laughed heartily.
“I have no idea, dude. But that kiss… You mean to tell me you didn’t know the woman who took your breath away with just one kiss?”
“No, I don’t know her…”
“Well… It definitely seemed as if you two were familiar… Wait a minute!”
The bartender snapped his fingers in a moment of inspiration. Dustin turned to the computer behind the bar and consulted the names of the customers who had started drink tabs.
“Navy Remington is her name. She’s here with a friend, she’s drinking vodka-cran and the friend is a light-beer girl.”
Victor ran a hand through his brown hair and checked his watch.
“Damn it! I’ve got to head back upstairs…”
He turned to go, but stopped and faced Dustin again.
“Take care of their tab, will you? Make sure they get whatever they want.”
“Will do… Mr. Hook!” Dustin replied with a smirk.
‘Was it me? Did I just do that? Did I just go straight to that gorgeous piece of man and shoved my tongue in his mouth?’ Wobbling slightly, Navy returned to Paige. But it seemed that while she was gone, her friend had made a… friend of her own. Navy watched Paige as she talked to a guy who had taken up residence at their booth. Feeling kinda bold after two drinks and a quick session of French kissing, Navy scooted in on the far side and looked straight at the stranger. Looking at her and Paige, that guy thought he was getting lucky. He started smirking at Navy, in his head already planning a threesome.“Not going to happen… Beat it, buddy!” Navy exclaimed. She hooked a thumb over her shoulder and scowled. When he left with a confused shrug, Navy buried her face in her hands.“Oh, my God… Paige, what did I do?! I can’t believe I kissed a stranger! I went to him, put my arms around his neck, and stick my tongue down his throat… And now
The next morning, Navy awoke with the worst hangover of her life… Not that she had many in her life to compare it to but this was definitely the worst one ever… maybe in the history of mankind! She groaned at the buzzing alarm on her cellphone and, with her eyes tightly shut, felt around her night table for it. When she couldn’t manage to turn it off with her eyes still closed, Navy threw it into the pile of dirty clothes in the corner of her room. But much to her despair, doing so did nothing to silence the dreadful noise, Navy groaned and pulled her quilt over her head. Once Navy managed to roll out of her bed, she pulled on a tank top and a pair of shorts.“Never again…” Navy whispered. She padded barefoot to the kitchen, where she found Paige sitting at the narrow breakfast bar, with her head on the table… Thankfully, her friend had managed to make some coffee.“Kill me… please…” Navy said to Paige. “This time I mean it…” “Too much work…
After one of the most uncomfortable hours of his life, Victor said goodbye to the class and wished them luck in their future careers. He shook Professor Behar’s hand and quickly left the classroom. He stopped in the hallway outside to pull out his cell phone to see how many calls, texts, and emails he had missed. There were many of each, and Victor sighed. Once again, he thought of the empty PA’s desk in the corner of his office and remembered that he had to get on with hiring someone new. Vincent wasn’t coming back, no matter what price Victor offered him. Victor put his cell phone to his ear when he felt the soft touch of a hand on his arm. He turned and saw her. ‘Navy Remington.’ The woman he saw last night, the one from the bar. The woman who had been sitting front and center during his talk. How many times was he forced to tear his gaze from her, only to have it roam, out of his control, back in her d
Curled up on the couch with a wool blanket over her legs, Navy settled in after she reached for her bowl of popcorn. She didn’t care what Paige thought. Curling up on the couch and binge-watching TV series was fun. ‘All the fun I need, in fact.’ She queued up the next episode and sat back, letting the plush couch cuddle her in a way that no man would ever know how. ‘Well, Victor Hook might know how, I’m sure.’ The man looked as wicked as sin, and those strong arms she’d felt wrapped around her, and those delicious lips she’d touched with her own, would certainly know how to hold and caress all of the most sensitive parts of her body. Realizing that she had been lost in thoughts of Victor Hook and not paying attention to the beginning of the episode, Navy stopped to rewind it when her phone rang. She picked it up to look at the screen and frowned when she didn’t recognize the number as she brought it to her ear.“Hello?” she m
Victor already regretted it. After he had sent her off to the HR department, Victor sighed and rubbed his hands through his brown hair.“Damn! What was I thinking hiring her?” he whispered and sighed. In the short time Navy Remington had been in his office, Victor found it impossible to think of anything but how her copper hair shimmered, the scent of her perfume, her sharp green eyes, and her amazing smile. How could he be expected to get any work done with her sitting in his office, day in and day out? Since the night that Navy had kissed him, she was all he had been able to think about. All Victor wanted to do, more than anything, was kiss her again and feel her hair in his hands. His hands were itching, willing to rip that amazing-looking suit from her body and feel her soft skin against his own.“Vic, my man… You’re in deep trouble… One of your own making,” he said and groaned in frustration. “Well, she’s here now. You’ve got to m
Around seven o’clock, Navy entered her apartment. She knew that Victor was staying late for a conference call to settle some things with a presentation he would be giving at an upcoming conference in Las Vegas. She had offered to help him and stay just in case, but Victor didn’t want to hear about it and dismissed her, sending her home, to rest and prepare for the next day.“‘Really, Victor, I can stay… It’s no problem…’” she told him.“‘You already did what was asked of you. For today, you’re done. Have a great evening, Navy,’” Victor replied and without adding another word, left the office. It still felt like a brush-off, all the same. She couldn’t shake the feeling that he was uncomfortable being in the same room with her, and Navy wondered why he hired her if her presence made him so grouchy… so cranky? Navy made her way to the kitchen and poured herself a glass of red wine, and when Paige ran into the kitchen to greet her, she poured one fo
Victor put the finishing touches on his presentation, and, satisfied with the result, sat back in his chair. The upcoming trip to Las Vegas was a critical turning point for him, personally and professionally, and he couldn’t leave anything to chance. His plans of expanding his empire were still a secret, but he knew that the Las Vegas Strip would be the place to start if he wanted to make an entrance people would notice. And there was only one person who could’ve helped him accomplish that… He was the most important name on his investors' list. Ben Randall, the most influential name amongst all. He desperately needed an appointment with the businessman but, so far, Randall hadn’t taken any of Victor’s calls, and that frustrated him to no end. He thought about the presentations and workshops that he and Navy would be attending during the conference. This trip would also be an extremely good opportunity for her as well, and he developed their sche
“Up to this point, this place is absolutely perfect for your plans…” Navy says looking thoroughly around.“I agree… This part right here… this is going to be the spa,” Victor told Navy as he opened the door to a large, dusty room and ushered her inside. He was taking her on a tour of the foreclosed hotel property he had bought in downtown Seattle, the one that he was in the process of rebuilding and renovating to turn it into the first ‘Mirage Hotel’.“This place used to be a ballroom,” he explained, taking a look around the expansive room. “It’s the only space big enough to install all of the features we want in the spa, and we’re going to renovate some old guest rooms to make smaller event and conference spaces.” Victor watched her eyes survey the room, no doubt envisioning all that he did when he looked around the old hotel.“My, God, Victor… I’m kinda speechless,” she whispered. “This is going to be the most incredible hotel in Seattle.” He smiled. He