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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15. The Kidnapper

“Iris. I can’t say I’m surprised to see you here.”

    Damon glares at me with cunning eyes. A small smirk pulls against his lips as he leans against the doorframe, as if I should be embarrassed.

    “Come with me, I have some information which you might find… of use.” Damon emphasizes the last word, leaving a frost like tension hanging in the air. He examines my face in an attempt to search for a response.

    He offers me a hand towards his car. I hesitate. “Fine, Mr. Rodgers. I’ll hear you out.”

~

    The caride leaving Aiden’s penthouse was awkward to say the least. It was in the same vehicle that Damon tried to force himself onto me, and tried to kiss me with little success.

    Half an hour later, we finally arrived at a little coffee house along the outskirts of Manhattan. Damon gruffly stopped the car and grabbed a briefcase from the trunk. He opened the door for me and then rushed me with force into the coffee house.

    “What would you like?” The waitress asked once we settled at a booth.

    “A black coffee for me and an espresso for the lady,” Damon responds. He puts his arm around my waist and offers her a warm smile, but it belies his cold temperament in the car. After she leaves I push myself away from his grasp, and I sit as far away from him as the booth allows.

    “How’s your assignment going?” He grits while forming his hands into a steeple, reminding me of my purpose. I don’t respond to his bait.

    “I’d like to remind you, Miss Adaline, that you were assigned to expose him. We both know he’s corrupt. But I fear you might be getting a little subjective.”

    Damon was right. Now, more than ever, I felt as if I was crossing the line. What Anderson Enterprises had done to my father was vile, but surely the new monarch of the company was different. “I assure you I have it under control,” I state. “Yesterday I was able to discover that they are planning to lobby against the protection of the Arctic.”

    “Good. Just remember to record everything important. Now I have something to show you which will reinforce your determination.” Damon stares objectively at me but nonetheless opens his briefcase.

    He runs through a large file of papers and pulls out a thin stack of paper. Devoid of emotion, he slides it across the table to me. In faint print, it reads reads “Anderson”.

    “What is this?”

    “It’s a case. Just like yours.”

    His eyes are objective and unmoving. He stares at the files, and gestures for me to flip through them. With shaking hands I go through it.

    My eyes scan through hundreds of pages. Hundreds of names, hundreds of arguments, but only one verdict. In favor of Anderson Enterprises. I began to feel sick. The emotions I’d somehow repressed before of not only my father, but this family as well began to rise.

    This can’t be… Aiden would never do this…

    “But this was Aiden’s father. He… He’s different.” I whisper, more to myself than to him.

    “Aiden’s just the same, Iris. Are you actually defending him? Look at the dates of the court case.” As much as I hate to admit it, Damon was right. The verdicts were reached far after Aiden became CEO.

~

    Our conversation was interrupted when Damon’s phone rang. I examined every court case at length in an attempt to find any shred of evidence that convinced me otherwise. Aiden had made me weak, subjective, uncalculated. He managed to play me like a fool.

The waitress came by to give us our receipt, and Damon signed it absentmindedly while he was deep in conversation on the other line. It seemed urgent; he gripped the pen roughly in annoyance. Finally he ended the call with a frustrated face.

Damon turned and smiled at me with satisfaction. He then lifted my chin to meet his eyes.

“Do what you will, but just know that Aiden’s nothing but a monster. Just like his father. We’ve been trying to expose them for years. Now you have that chance. You are finally on the inside. Do the right thing.”

I don’t respond to him. I was trying to shroud away from my feelings.

“I have to leave for the office, but I look forward to reading your story soon.” With that he left the cafe.

~

    That afternoon, I rode the metro home to my apartment. My fingers fumbled with the receipt in my pocket and the clasps of the briefcase.

    When I arrived home I was exhausted, every part of my body was screaming for sleep. I flopped down on the sofa, which was right in front the priceless piece of art Aiden bought me on the night of the Met Gala,- the Portrait of Madame X.

My phone kept ringing again and again. At first, I thought they were from Jasmine, who managed to snag a date with Ambassador Cindermil. But instead I had five missed calls and six messages from Aiden. I was sick of his games, his excuses, his manipulation.

The doorbell rang, interrupting my thoughts. I open the door believing my roommate came back. But the devil himself dressed in a tailored suit stood in the doorway.

    I tried as fast as I could to slam the door in Aiden’s face, but he was faster. He overpowered me and forced his way into my apartment. I tried to retreat into my room but before I could, Aiden pulled my wrist into him.

    “Iris what’s going on?” His eyes are genuinely worried. But I now knew the truth to his facade.

    “You know exactly what’s going on.” I glare.

    “No. I don’t know,” he states, “if I did I wouldn’t be here. Why didn’t you return my calls? You had me worried throughout the entire day.”

“I know what you’ve done. You’re just like your father. Nothing but a monster.”

“I am nothing like my father,” he spits, “You have no idea the choices I’ve had to make to keep the company alive.”

“At the expense of what? Of lives? Of families? Think about what you’ve done to my family.” I could feel tears brimming up to my eyes. I thought he genuinely cared, but it was nothing but a ploy. And I will forever regret falling for it.

~

    For once Aiden’s silent. He stares at me with cold and calculating eyes. Suddenly, he grabs my waist and hoists me over his shoulder. He restrains me in his arms even as I kick and scream.

“Can you stop screaming?” Aiden asks as he rolls his eyes. “We need to talk.”

“No I will not keep my screaming to a minimum! When you kidnap someone you will always elicit this response.”

By the time we got into his car I’d already accepted my fate. No one in my entire apartment building seem to cared that a billionaire was actually kidnapping me.

 
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