His Dark Obsession Chapter 7

Knowing me all too well, Amy has a vanilla bean tea waiting for me in my office when I come back in from the conference room. I slump down at my desk; she’s the only one I’ll show weakness in front of. It’s important to keep up appearances, even when things are at their worst.

“So you’re not selling to Titus?” she asks.

“No.”

“Then what’s with the roses? Were they a personal gift?”

“No,” I reply firmly, wishing the tea was something stronger. Like vodka. “He’s just – he’s just being an as*sh0le.”

“I see.” Amy nods. She doesn’t, but she knows better than to press me further.

I close my eyes and breathe in the warm scent of the tea and try to clear my mind, but as soon as I do, Titus’ face appears, grinning down at me, his gorgeous face taunting me with its beauty.

Why does he have to be so handsome? Of course I, as a woman, would respond to that. I can’t blame myself for having those kind of feelings for him. And I can’t blame myself for coming either. That’s on him. But I can blame myself for the fact that there’s something deeper going on inside me. Something about the way he treated me last night that still has him solidly embedded in my mind.

As I feel the responsibility of the day weighing down on me, the fact that I very well may lose my company, I understand now why he did what he did; he wanted to take control out of my hands and into his. He knew it would be impossible for me to do it on my own, so he did it for me. He walked up to my throne, pulled me off and forced me to sit at his feet and obey.

And…I loved it.

But how did he know that’s what I wanted when I didn’t even know?

“Do I have any more meetings today, Amy?” I ask.

“No, you’re good. Do you want me to have the car ready?”

“Please.”

“Okay,” Amy says warmly. I take a sip of my tea and close my eyes again, praying I won’t see Titus’ face. But sure enough, there it is, eyes filled with lust and strength, looking at me as though daring me to try and defy him.

“I’m sorry, sir, but you can’t go in there!” Amy’s voice comes from outside. I glance up just as the door opens, and two men in suits walk in like they own the place. “I tried to stop them, Chanel!”

“It’s okay, Amy.” I turn my eyes to the men. One of them looks like a freshly graduated frat boy, and one looks like old New England money. “Give me one reason to not have security drag you out of here right now.”

“You could do that,” the frat boy laughs. “That’d make for a good story.”

“Or you could sign these papers,” Old Money suggests. He gestures to me with both hands, one holding a tablet and the other a binder. I don’t even have to ask to know who sent them.

“Titus,” I mutter. His attorneys. After I didn’t respond to his e-mail and didn’t show up at his office, he sent his minions over to intimidate me, pressure me into giving in. “Sorry, boys. But that won’t be happening.”

I nod to Amy, who quickly races off to get security. But the two smarmy suits just smile and bow their heads ever so slightly.

“No need for that,” Old Money says. “We’ll be leaving now.”

“I know there’s such a thing as signing your own death warrant,” the frat boy remarks. “But is there a thing as not signing it and still ending up dead?”

“Don’t speak to me like that, fvckboy,” I lash out. “I could buy and sell your entire fvcking family. Now get out of my office before my boys drag you out and use your faces to open the door for them.”

Old Money takes me seriously and keeps walking, but the frat boy looks like he wants to push his luck. Thankfully, he’s pulled out of my office by his partner, and I watch them both as they make their way to the exit, wishing I had Death Star-style lasers I could shoot out of my eyes at them.

“Unbelievable,” I mutter. Amy rushes into the room in a tizzy.

“I’m so sorry! I tried to stop them, but they’re…”

“Big men?” I suggest. Amy nods. “Yeah, big men bullying women. There’s a lot of that going on right now. Have the car ready for me, please.”

“I will,” Amy says quickly. “Again, I’m so sorry!”

I’m going over. I don’t care if this was part of his master plan or not. He’s made it clear that he’s not going to stop harassing me, and if I don’t confront him, he’s just going to keep going.

Still fuming, I make my way down to the car and get in. It isn’t a long drive to Titus Industries, and I spend the drive going over and over in my mind what I’m going to say to him. But everything I come up with seems wrong. Weak. As I get out and march into his building, I already feel like I’m on the back foot.

I’m used to business meetings. They don’t shake me. I’m never nervous. But as I ride the elevator up to Titus’ floor, I have a storm of butterflies in my stomach.

Seeing him again after what happened would already be enough to have a girl freaking out. But having to deal with business on top of that? Yeah, I don’t know what I’m going to do.

The elevator dings, and I’m greeted by a smiling young man with glasses. Titus’ assistant, or one of them. They must have spotted me when I came in through the lobby.

“Chanel? Hi, my name’s—”

“Out of my way, kiddo.” I brush past the boy, obviously in his early 20s, and march straight past the row of desks toward the enormous mahogany door indicating Titus’ power office.

“He’s in a meeting!”

“Yeah, with me,” I snap. “In about five seconds.”

I may not know what I’m going to say to him, but I damn sure know how I’m going to say it.

I barge right in to find Titus sitting back in his chair, legs up on his desk, holding a cigar in one hand and a cup of what looks like whiskey in the other. Sitting in front of him is a mole of a man stuffed in a suit – obviously a lawyer.

“Well, well, well,” Titus remarks, flashing that patented grin of his. “I thought I’d be seeing you earlier.”

Infuriating. So infuriating.

“I can see you’re hard at work,” I reply sarcastically. No jacket. Shirt collar open to show a patch of chest hair. He looks more like a model doing a “billionaire-bad-boy” photoshoot than an actual businessman.

“Doing more than you are,” he quips back. “You sign those papers yet?”

The mole-man is eyeing me with interest, so I snap my fingers and point behind me. “Out.”

He glances at Titus, who simply nods. I wait for him to be gone before launching into my diatribe.

“Are you crazy?!”

“Yes.” He smiles.

“You don’t just send men to my office like that! What the hell were you thinking?”

He takes a casual sip of his whiskey. To him, we could be chatting about the game last night. “You didn’t answer my e-mail.”

“I don’t need to!” I counter. “My life is not under your control—”

“But you wish it was,” he replies as he gets to his feet. My God. He’s so tall. “You haven’t thanked me for the roses yet, baby.”

Baby? Did he really just call me baby?

This has to be a joke. Am I on some kind of twisted reality TV show right now? He’s so absurdly good-looking that he must be an actor hired to play the real Titus, and this is all a setup just to see what I’ll do when he treats me this way.

No. This is really happening, and my tongue is twisted into a knot like a cherry stem.

“I came here for one reason,” I start to say. Titus nods and makes a patronizing mmm-hmm sound. I ignore it and continue. “To tell you to leave me alone and that you will not be buying my company. Not now. Not in the future. Not ever. Okay?”

Titus looks at me like something I just said was funny. He walks right up to me like he’s the king of the universe and stops just inches from me. Flashbacks of last night flicker through me. I try telling my body not to respond, but it’s just not possible. Every womanly instinct I have is screaming back at me to let him do whatever he wants to me. The org*sm is still fresh in my mind, like an incredible meal that you can almost taste if you think about it hard enough. And apparently, my thoughts are written all over my face.

“Close the door.”

It’s a simple statement, but from Titus, it’s a command. Normally, I would ignore something like that. In fact, I would probably snap back at a man for speaking to me that way. But for some reason, like he’s using the Jedi mind-trick on me, a switch flips in my brain, and a little voice in my head tells me to listen and obey.

But not right away. First, I glare at him to let him know that I’m not just some wimpy little girl. But he just smiles back at me as though daring me to say something in defiance. I don’t. I walk over to the door and close it.

“Lock it,” he adds.

I do.

What is happening? Why am I doing this?

I’m not hypnotized. This isn’t mind-control. I haven’t been roofied or anything. I’m really just responding to Titus’ dominance. It’s been years since anyone has told me what to do – or even thought about trying – and yet he came into my life as though he already knew I would listen. As though I belong to him.

“Good girl. Now come over here and get on your knees.”

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