He’s beautiful, one of the most beautiful men I’ve ever laid eyes on with his short, white blonde hair, and baby blue eyes. His bone structure is flawless. Sharp cheekbones, a straight nose, and soft, kissable lips.

But his beauty does nothing but leave me feeling empty. No matter how hard I try to connect with him the connection just isn’t there.

Sipping my wine, I know I should be flattered that a man like him is interested in a girl like me. And in the beginning, I was flattered… but no longer.

I’ve glimpsed the monster behind the beautiful mask and now I can’t unsee it.

Two shadows move behind Ivan and I drink deeper.

I’m totally fucked and I don’t know how to get myself out of this mess. Those two shadows are guarding Ivan’s back, and I know there are at least two more at each exit. I could try to slip away, but even if I do succeed, what about Abigail?

My heart starts to race and I quickly have to shut down my panic. Freaking out will only make this worse.

So what if I don’t have an excuse tonight to keep him out of my bed? Maybe it won’t even come to that…

Ivan’s rapid Russian slows and his blue eyes focus once more on me. He watches me drain the remaining wine in my glass and makes a motion with his hand. A waiter lingering beside the table rushes forward, refilling my glass before I even get it back down to the table.

Ivan’s soft lips spread into a pleased smile and he picks up his glass of vodka, cheering me before tipping it back.

His eyes never leave my face as he drinks, and I know he expects me to join him. I also know that if I refuse the invitation that it will most likely make him angry… so I pick up my glass and tip it back.

Ivan drains his glass and the waiter steps forward to refill it but Ivan waves him away. I finish off half of my glass, feeling the warm buzz of alcohol warming my belly before I set it down on the table gently.

Ivan motions for the waiter to refill my glass for me.

Clenching my teeth together, I watch the waiter top my glass off and my cheeks burn with heat.

So it’s come to this? He’s resorting to getting me drunk so he can finally sleep with me…

Lifting my glass, I drain down the wine, drinking deeply. I need the alcohol’s false courage to fortify me so I can make it through this night.

Ivan smirks and his eyes warm as he watches me.

He’s been trying to sleep with me for weeks now, and I’m not sure how I’m going to blow him off tonight. I’m running out of excuses.

How did my life come to this? Dreading the affections of such a man…

I bet half the women in this room would probably give their left tit to sleep with him.

They can have them if they want him.

I fucking hate him.

Eight weeks ago, Ivan walked into my life, and I wish he would have walked right back out of it. He walked into my work, a little clothing boutique downtown, looking for a present for his sister. Shamelessly, he flirted with me the entire time I helped him pick out a scarf. And given that he’s so damn handsome, I was immediately taken with him.

I was over the moon when he returned the next week, and the week after that.

When he asked me out on a date, it was like a dream come true.

He’s rich, beautiful, and powerful. And for those first couple of weeks, I wondered if I had somehow stepped into a fairy tale. He lavished me with expensive gifts and took me out to expensive restaurants. He even gifted me an entire new designer wardrobe.

But after a while, it was becoming very apparent that he expected me to repay him for the favors.

That was when the illusion started to fade for me. I began to notice his perfection was flawed. All the little things became more apparent. Still, I tried to return his affection, up to a point, but he always wanted more.

He demanded it.

I tried to break things off. I even attempted to return everything he ever gifted me, but he’s a man who refuses to accept the word no.

After the first night I refused him, I started to notice strange men following me to work. They’d linger outside the boutique during my shift, keeping tabs on me and everyone I interacted with.

At night, Ivan would show up at my door, questioning me about my day, and becoming more and more obsessive. I became afraid, and even looked into a restraining order, but all that did was piss him off and show me just how powerful he truly is…

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