Derek Titan looked around the crowded room and had to force himself not to yawn. He couldn’t stand attending events where everyone drank too much, laughed too loud and tried far too hard to impress each other.
Derek knew he was what women considered a real catch. Hell, a stupid magazine had done a write up on Seattle’s most eligible bachelors and placed his picture as number one. He’d been furious and tried to have himself taken out of the article but his attorney had spouted some crap about freedom of speech. Since the article, he was being approached by even more materialistic females.
The magazine listed his net worth as equal to Bill Gates. They’d also said he was tall, dark and handsome. He stood over six feet, with broad shoulders and muscles that rippled throughout his entire body. He hated gyms but he ran every morning and sometime in the evenings too. He’d discovered at a young age running was a great form of relieving his stress.
He knew the second best way to relieve stress was to take a woman to bed. The minute he was done with her, he walked away, though. There were many women who tried to get him to stay but no one held his interest longer than it took him to button up his pants.
After his heart had been shattered by Jasmine, he wasn’t interested in any other woman. He figured once he got his revenge, he’d think about settling down.
A woman breezed by him wearing entirely too much perfume and he snapped back to reality. He sighed as he grabbed a glass of wine from a passing waiter.
These parties were all about who had the most to offer. The women were on the prowl and the men were fishing. He wasn’t interested. If he wanted a woman, he could have one at any time. He wasn’t interested in superficial, wanna-be socialites.
He watched as a couple of ladies passed by, dripping in diamonds and low cut gowns. They were trying to catch his eye and normally he’d make their day by flirting a little, giving them the impression they stood a chance but today wasn’t that day. He had a raging headache and he was pissed he’d been summoned.
“There you are, boy. What are you doing hiding in the corner?” Daniel Titan, his father, walked up and questioned him.
“I’m wondering why I’m here when I’d rather be home with a scotch and my feet up,” Derek replied.
“You’re here because you received a request from your father. I have some things to discuss with you later,” Daniel said in his no nonsense voice.
“And it couldn’t wait until later?” Derek questioned.
“Oh live it up a little. You’re always so busy adding a few more million to your bank account you don’t stop to smell the roses,” his father admonished him.
“I live it up plenty, hell I was in Milan last week.”
“You were in Milan on business, that doesn’t count,” his dad told him, a bit exasperated.
“For me, the ideal time is mixing business with pleasure,” Derek told his father, with a waggle of his brows. Both men relaxed.
“Seriously, Dad I do have a headache. What’s so important it couldn’t wait until morning?” Derek asked. Once Derek had made his first million he’d moved his father to the city and Daniel was the Chief Financial Officer of his huge corporation. His father was brilliant and had helped the company grow further. His dad may have had several hard times while Derek was growing up but he was essential to Derek’s company now.
“David Freeman’s here tonight and he’s talking to some people, trying to get investors,” Daniel answered him. Derek was on instant alert. He searched the room, spotting his enemy. He was the one who’d made him the cut throat business man he’d turned into.
“It’s far too late for him. By tomorrow morning his company will be mine, no matter what he tries tonight,” Derek said with a sneer.
As Derek watched David, a beautiful woman approached him, stepping up on her tip toes to kiss him on the cheek. David didn’t even bother to turn and acknowledge her, which she didn’t seem to notice. The man noticed nothing around him if it didn’t have dollar signs on it, not even his stunning daughter. Derek’s eyes narrowed to slits. He hadn’t seen Jasmine for ten years and those years had been very good to her.
Her dress was skin tight on top, dipping low in both the front and back. Her curves were even more pronounced now that her body had matured. She had dark hair, which was swept up in a classic bun, with tendrils floating around her delicate face. Her dark brown eyes had once mesmerized him. They had a hypnotic quality, with their deceiving innocence shining through and the thick, dark lashes surrounding them.
He was angry at the tightening in his gut at just the sight of her. She’d nearly destroyed him and yet he still wanted her. His full revenge included her though, so he’d have her in his bed again and then she’d be begging him not to leave.
“I’m leaving now. He won’t make any progress tonight and tomorrow’s a busy day for me. I appreciate you calling, though,” Derek said. He then turned away and walked out of the room, without once looking behind him.
Jasmine spotted Derek across the room and her insides went up in flames. She narrowed her eyes in anger at the man as he walked around like he owned the place. She knew the kinder, gentler side of him but that boy was long gone. He may have never really existed beyond her imagination.
He wasn’t the boy who had taken her virginity and promised her forever. She thought back to that summer so many years ago. She’d waited at the abandoned church all day hoping something had happened to make him run late. When the sun had faded from the sky she’d finally had to admit he wasn’t coming. It had all been lies.
She watched him now, as he turned and walked from the room. He was by far the sexiest man in the room, with his custom tuxedo and piercing blue eyes. He had a delectable body, even though he sat in an office all day. Her heart fluttered, remembering those long summer nights of running her hands and tongue down those hard muscles.
She had no idea her world was about to flip upside down. She was soon to learn the man she thought of as her hero, her father, wasn’t who she really thought he was. This would truly be her last night of innocence. When morning came, nothing would ever be the same again.
As Derek disappeared around the corner, she couldn’t help but think back to the summer ten years before. It had been a time when she’d really believed in fairytales and magic.
She’d grown up very wealthy in the small town outside of Seattle Washington. Her father owned a multi-million dollar company and she’d always had more than most people could ever hope to.
He’d chosen their home in the small town, she’d thought so she could live in a nicer area. She’d later learn he’d really chosen to live there so he could be the big man on campus. He liked lording his wealth over all those around him but she didn’t know any of that then. She’d been young and naïve. She’d learn in the next few months how much her father had kept from her.
Her mother died during childbirth so she’d never known her. Her father never remarried, though he dated a lot of women. None of them really acknowledged her presence so she didn’t get attached to any of them. Sometimes, she thought it would be nice to have a woman help her pick out a dress or teach her how to do her hair. The staff was great and always spoiled her a bit, which irritated her father.
She’d seen Derek in school from the time she was young but she really got to know him the summer before her senior year in high school. He’d been from the proverbial wrong side of the tracks. His family was dirt poor but he was always determined to make a success out of his own life and turn things around. He ended up helping her with her math and soon they were inseparable. She’d loved his hunger and motivation and the way he never talked down about anyone. She thought he was every one of her fairytales come to life.
She found she was spending every waking moment with him. When her father found out she was dating a boy from the poor side of town he’d been furious and demanded her to end the relationship. It was the first time in her life her father told her she couldn’t have something she wanted. It also was the first time she’d defied him.
She’d been stubborn, putting her foot down and continued to see Derek behind her father’s back. She loved that he seemed to like her for her and not her money. He wouldn’t let her spend money on him, ever. He worked hard for a construction company, which would frustrate her at times, because she wanted him to be with her and not at a job.
He’d just laugh but always made it up to her on the weekend. That last weekend they’d been together they snuck off and went camping in the woods. She’d made love to him for the first time. It was the most magical experience she’d ever had. He proposed marriage to her that night and she said yes. They were going to meet at the old abandoned church on the outside of town on Sunday and run away together. He’d been saving all his money and was heading to the city to make something of himself.
She’d gone home, after being gone all night and her father had been spitting he was so angry with her. She’d told him she was of legal age and could do what she wanted. She told her father she loved Derek and she was going to marry him. Her father had seemed to accept her decision, because he’d become eerily calm and kissed her on the cheek. That was a rare thing as he wasn’t normally a man to openly show affection.
He said she was right and he was proud of her for making adult decisions. He then asked if he could help with anything. She’d been so happy her dad accepted her decision she told him everything.
The next day she ended up being late to the church, because she had a few errands her dad had asked her to do for him. She knew she had the rest of her life with Derek so she could wait a couple of hours to run away with him. She knew he’d wait for her. She was confident in their relationship.
She got to the church and was surprised he wasn’t there but figured he’d gotten busy like her. She waited and then waited some more. She sat there all afternoon until she finally accepted he wasn’t coming as the sun started to set in the sky.
She’d dragged herself home, crying the entire way. When she walked into the house and her father saw her, he’d taken her into his arms and asked her what was wrong. She’d cried against him and finally told him Derek hadn’t shown up.
He continued to stroke her back and tell her everything was okay. He’d explained to her he never trusted the boy and that’s why he’d been so overprotective. She never suspected her father had anything to do with Derek not arriving.
Derek left the hotel and was thinking back to that summer as well but his memories were far different from those of Jasmine’s. He had so much bitterness about that day but if he really thought back to it that’s what shaped him into the man he was now.
He’d fallen head over heels for the girl. He’d never thought he was worthy of dating someone as amazing as her but he was determined to make himself so. When he ended up helping her with her school work and found a connection together, he was unable to stay away from her.
He thought she was so different from the other kids who had money. Her family was the richest in town and her father reveled in that fact. He walked around in his custom made suits and drove his expensive cars. Hell, the man’s house was a showpiece so all the people lower than him could worship at his doorstep.