Powerful People

FIRST PLACE IN VALENTINE'S DAY CONTEST

Power
“Synonymous with Corruption, Dominance, Control. The naïve want the power to change nations, the cynical want power for selfish gains. But I want it in the name of Revenge.”

Iris Adaline is dauntless.

When she is assigned to write her first story on Aiden Anderson, it ignites a flame in her that will only be extinguished after seeing every part of his empire collapse. She had the perfect plan. Gain his trust, expose his secrets, then see him fall.

Aiden Anderson liked control.

When he first laid his eyes on Iris Adaline, he knew exactly who she was. He knew her intentions, he knew her drive, and he knew the danger. But he couldn’t keep away. He was adamant on seeing her on her knees, begging for mercy, and begging for him.

Sparks fly when two determined forces collide in a battle of power, control, and desire.

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5. The Gala

The first thing to greet me was the blinding flash of countless cameras. As soon as the doors of our limo opened Aiden stepped out confidently. All the media followed him like a magnet, with all the attention averting to us.

  I clutched Aiden's arm tightly for the enjoyment of the paparazzi.

  "Nervous, Iris?" He whispered into my ear through a smile. Teasingly, he wrapped his arm around my waist, caressing the small of my back. I stared daggers at him when he chuckled at the red coming to my face.

  "Please Aiden," I sneer while flashing the crowd a smile, "you could pay me a billion dollars and I still wouldn't like you."

  "Then lucky for me, I have several billion."

~

  The crowd threw questions at us, like "how did you two meet" or "who is she". A reporter from a large magazine approached us for a short interview. The reporter was wearing a small black dress and seemed to be infatuated with Aiden. She twirled her hair around her finger and bit her lip abnormally when speaking to him.

  "I'm going to ask the question on everyone's minds. How did you guys meet?" She giggled.

  "I bumped into her at a coffee shop, she was the barista and I fell for her immediately. You know what they say, the quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach." Aiden responded nonchalantly and even chuckled. He pretended to be blind to the reporter's obvious flirting.

  She was ignoring me altogether, and playfully pushed him. How is he so good at lying effortlessly? How can he just control the atmosphere around him? I suppose he is a businessman after all.

  After various interviews, we finally enter the inside of the museum where no press is allowed.

~

  The interior of the Met was stunning in preparation for the gala. The tall, castle-like, ivory ceilings hung numerous gold strung chandeliers. The marble flooring was covered with another red carpet and there were various round tables set up. There were countless waiters in uniform passing out champagne and horderves among the excited guests.

  Aiden left me for a group of fellow executives, but he promised he wouldn't leave me alone for long. Asshole.

  The scene emitted a sophisticated ambiance, even though half of the attendees were drunk and ditzy. There was nothing I had in common with any of these influential people or this luxury. But just tonight, I simply looked like I belonged. A group of three giggly actresses waved me over to join them.

  "Oh my god are you that girl Aiden came in with?" Alcohol reeked from her breath, but if I didn't have to be sober after this event I would drink as well. She was wearing a violet dress with lace petals around her torso. She clung to my arm for balance, not being able to stand from the alcohol.

  "I suppose," I laugh. I recognized some of these people, but couldn't name any of them.

  Crossing all boundaries, she asks, "how's he... in bed..."

  "No, no, not at all. Our relationship is strictly platonic," I rush, nearly choking on my water. Clearly bored with my response they continued to talk to one another. The world of being famous seemed so natural to them. Traveling from one side of the globe to the other, having fans everywhere they turn.

  Exhausted, I retreated from the celebrities' circle to one that I felt more comfortable with. There were four men sitting on sofas which were facing one another in a secluded corner. This time, I knew all of them. Two were high-ranking ambassadors, one was a media exec, and the other was a senator. The men were deeply engaged in a conversation about oil and energy.

~

  "We need to expand the United State's global stakehold on petroleum!" One of them clamored.

  Boldly I cleared my throat and took a seat on the sofa. All of them stared at me with blunt disbelief. "Are you looking for something, darling?" Ambassador Cindermil questioned, annoyed at my interruption.

  "I think it is you who is looking for a solution. And I have that solution," I confidently respond. "I've looked into this problem myself, and I know exactly what you need to do."

  Taking their silence as an invitation to continue I proceed. "Well first conquer the Asian market through Japan, a strong ally. Afterwards, start to introduce eco-friendly renewable resources. Simply focusing on fossil fuels will kill the environment and any chance the States want to compete with Middle Eastern oil reserves in the 21st century. Build the reliance, then take down the opposition."

  The senator nods approvingly at my proposal. "I think I can pitch it to the house at the next congressional session. What's your name?"

  "Please. Congress doesn't have jurisdiction over foreign affairs, the only way to properly enforce this is through the United Nations," I respond. "My name is Iris Adaline, contact me at the New York Times if you want to discuss more."

  They look at me with dumbstruck expressions. Only Ambassador Cindermil seems skeptical. "Well, what company would have the audacity to be the first to embark on that challenge?"

  "Anderson Enterprises would be honored to lead the transition to renewable energy," I smile.

~

  When Aiden is finally done prancing around with his rich friends he rudely pulls me away from my conversation. I should really thank him, we started to debate about women's rights and I was about to unleash some very unladylike words at them.

  "Iris come with me. We have some time before the auction begins and I want to show you something,” Aiden’s breath is seeped in alcohol, but he didn’t seem to be affected. His gaze landed on my lips which caused my breath to hitch.

  "Where are we going? The rest of the museum is closed." He trails down to my exposed collarbones in the dress and I tense once again under his scrutiny. Aiden flashes me a smirk when he realizes my unconscious reactions.

  Before I could protest he drags me away from the main room and into an exhibit featuring impressionism. There were no security guards, all of them were placed in the main hall with all the guests.

  The gallery was breathtaking with its Grecian architecture. On the walls were all notable works, but nothing stood out to me more than the "Portrait of Madame X". Seeing it in person in all its grace and delicately was easily the most spectacular thing I'd seen all night.

  "The Portrait of Madame X," I whisper breathlessly, "the powerful socialite of Parisian society who was disgraced for infidelity. Defiant, ambitious, yet fragile. It's magnificent."

  Aiden smiles genuinely at me for the first time. It's a small smile, but it's enough to notice his one dimple. He took my hand and led me over to the masterpiece. Then Aiden stepped behind me and wrapped his arms around my waist. I feel myself melt from the warmth radiating from his touch. The coldness I felt towards him dissipated.

  "I'm glad you like it. She reminds me of you."

My heartbeat increases dramatically, causing my body to melt into his frame. This moment was perfect. Just us, Aiden holding me. For a brief eternity I forgot about my hatred of him, I forgot what he did to my family. It was just so safe in his steady arms.

His lips make their way down to the crook of my neck, forcing from me a small moan as I wilt in his arms. “There’s nothing more I want to do than to take you right here, right now.” A gruff and primitive emotion takes a hold of Aiden. His hands roam over my dress, making me bend to his will.

My once rational mind was consumed by an irrational body. Is it possible that I feel something for him? No, it’s purely physical… Perhaps in another lifetime, Aiden Anderson. But you wronged me in this one.

“Wait wait, let’s go back. The auction should be starting soon,” I whisper.

“Such a tease,” he smirks into my hair. “But I saw your body react, Miss Adaline. And you can’t control your body forever.”

 
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