"Work for me".
The words left a vestigate of confused thoughts swirling around my head. I didn't want to reply until I had taken it all in. It didn't make any sense. Leaning back in the transparent chair, I felt its silk beneath me and thought out loud.
"Why?" I questioned carefully, watching his movements intensely, not wanting to challenge his motives. I just couldn't agree with the fact that I could be a model for him; something else told me that it may not have been the only reason. Plus, it would take me away from what I did best, what I loved most.
Mr. Styles studied my face for a while, inspecting every detail of my eyes, as if he was struggling with something deep within him. "You would be a natural" he shrugged "It's just convenient with your current disposition." His gaze dropped to my fore arms. I raised my eyebrows. Looking past me, he observed the rest of the floor through the sea of glass and pressed a button on his desk. The glass dimmed into a dark, more opaque black glass. "I might as well tell you." Peering deeply into me, he gave me a detailed and clear explanation on what had happened that night.
When I walked out of the office, I had more questions on the surface on my tongue, I was wise not to ask any questions. Mr. Styles had already said too much to me and I would be stepping over a deep line if I continued to shuffle any closer to the truth. My stomach pained me with a tight suffocating feeling around my abdomen as I walked faster towards the door; my escape out of here.
I stopped in my tracks for a while, realising his offer was still open. In all of the time he gave me, I never gave him an answer. He did still want me after all, even despite the whole affair; he made it clear from when we met that he would have taken me on.
Talking to the receptionist on the floor, I asked her if I could book an appointment with Mr. Styles and took a seat. Facing the hallway, I waited to be seen, thinking over everything that he said. Thoughts rolled around my head, as I waited and I lifted my head to take in my surroundings.
The ceiling seemed so far away from where I was, the brilliant white was like fluffy clouds, taking me back to simpler times. There was one large square in the centre of the ceiling, a window like opening that showed the great and vast amount of skyscrapers in the area.
It was the main source of light in the building, making beautiful shadows along the floor, puffy marshmallows, dark across the floor but moving elegantly. My train of thoughts derailed as as I could see Skylar coming towards the receptionist, looking rather pleased with herself.
"What?" I asked quizzically when she had finished signing out. She returned the same eyebrow I had raised. Not answering, she smiled at me before starting towards the exit. "I'll see you outside" she waved, not looking behind her and strut casually through the long hallway. I watched her until I couldn't see even a single trace of her red dress. There was no point in all this secrecy.
The receptionist, Marina, flicked stray strands of hair that had fallen from her bun, reaching for a hair grip to secure them in place. Her brunette hair was thick and shoulder length, her eyes matching her name, a crystal clear marine blue. Marina had small but full red lips and a bubblegum smile.
My lips pulled to one side, the corner of my mouth turning downwards. The look of envy. Marina was a visual beauty and so damn thin. Her black slim fit blazer matched impeccably with her contrasting white dress, curving effortlessly over her. And although she was a little pale, she could still stand out stunningly.
Catching my glance, she smiled and watched me for a small fraction of time. Smiling back sheepishly, I dropped my gaze and fiddled with my thumbs.
"I could recognise you from a mile away."
Her statement puzzled me and I racked my brain to register her face. At a loss, I gave her a confused grin "I don't really remember you from anywhere..." I stammered, shaking my head after a while for confirmation.
"There's no doubt that you don't know me" she laughed heavily, which only frustrated me slightly as I couldn't trace her at all and this teasing was only making my head hurt. "I'd remind you if you did... You're like Malik's mystery woman in this place."
"What?" I repeated audibly, the shock in my own voice astounding me. Whether or not my head completely wrapped around her words, it would have a positive correlation with what Mr. Styles had said. If it was the whole truth.
"Yeah," she continued "On the wall of inspiration? You have this picture..." She trailed off momentarily "But I'm sure you already know that now" Marina finished.
Then I realised, my cheeks burning, that every employee of Malik Galleries had seen that room of inspiration; had seen me. It was no wonder why they all would have thought that there was something more complicated about our relationship; something that even I was just beginning to scrape the surface of. The photograph itself was just a little more than provocative.
One thing that still mystified me was why they would assume a relationship between me and Malik, but not Skylar; she was there too.
"Why me then?" I sat back, fully intrigued in her every word.
"It's the way that he looks at you, like he lost you; like he's hurt" Her voice was soft and she mumbled through the last part, dropping her gaze. I cleared my throat and looked away; nothing I did could ever be neutral. I've hurt everyone. I should never had met him; with the small amount of time that I have, I've managed to break him.
"Marie?" The voice was concerned, undeniably sexy as his raspy voice melted me. Looking up at him, his hand was high on the frame of the glass door, exposing tattoos spiralling up his arm. I cleared my throat again.
"I'll work for you, Harry" I called him by his first name teasingly and smirked as he did. A small grin spread across his face and his crystal eyes smoothes like ripples of water. I could tell that he was getting excited.
"How soon do you want me?" I tried to act nonchalant, checking my nails, secretly avoiding eye contact; my thighs were already jelloing. It's a good thing that I wasn't standing up as I had planned to.
"Tonight" he answered, still smiling, the ravenous look returning to his eyes. 'This relationship might be dangerous' I made a mental note.
"Meet me on the bench at 8 pm."
Looking me up and then slowly down, he added "And wear something you can get in and out of, quickly". I shuddered with sheer anticipation. Coming towards me, we were two inches apart, his heavy cologne smelt musky and sweet, it was irresistible not to take in as much as I could. He leaned against my neck, our skin rough and hot against each other. He whispered almost inaudibly
"Oh and.. No more scars" my face flushed, half with hurt and embarrassment, half furious and defensive. I looked over to Marina, her eyes jealous, her lips curling into a half smile before she looked away.
He was still at my ear, shivers running all over me, leaving me icy, tingles rushing below my waist.
"Okay" I whispered. "Deal". I think he knew what he could do to me. He drew away. All that remained was a trail of his scent in the room. I tried to catch my breath.