She never loved the spotlight, she always did what she could to avoid it, but life had a twisted way of giving her the middle finger.
A few partners of the company came up to meet them congratulating and appreciating Cainan’s leadership at the company for the last eight years and after shaking hands and holding a smile on her face for forty minutes straight, she grew weary.
“Bored already?” she heard Cainan’s voice and she snapped out of her zoning.
Her mouth twitched to the side, “Yeah, never been so bored around so many rich people before.” she murmured and she meant it.
The only time she was ever excited to be around so many rich people was when she was hoping to steal a thing or two from them, but not doing that and only listening to their business talk was as boring as watching herself twerk in the mirror.
“What are the things that excite you then?” he asked with an interest filled voice.
She suppressed a guilty look, “There are the basic things but none of them would make one a Billionaire or a CEO which is what you are.”
He chuckled, “You’re right, did I ever tell you that you have a very weird sense of humour?”
“You’re telling me now.” she sassily told him with a bat of her eyelashes. “and FYI, only boring people think me weird.
Cainan eyes fell shut and he muttered something under his breath before opening them and glancing at her “You need to stop calling me boring and being witty, Ms Whyte.”
She grinned and poked his nose with her finger, “You’re adorable when you’re upset.”
His mouth twitched, “And you are a handful.” He groaned.
She didn’t try to deny who she was and a mischievous smile dominated her face, “You wouldn’t have me any other way.” She said before wrapping her hands around his arms.
“Mr Inferno,” a feminine voice called from behind and he turned to see who it was. “It’s so good to meet you.” She said, stepping towards them. Cainan approached her and took her hand in for a shake. After the two began to talk, Jasmin realised that they were also business partners and the woman was Margaret Lupe, a business partner from Mexico.
Cainan introduced them almost immediately and Jasmin smiled warmly at Margaret before shaking hands.
Stepping into Cainan’s world was overwhelming and it would have felt like she was floating in an open sea if Cainan wasn’t there with her. His world was sophisticated and principled and being around the elites in the state made her feel out of place. There were prettier women present, she didn’t fail to notice, but Cainan was proud when he introduced her to those he dimmed important as his girlfriend. She didn’t miss the surprise in the faces of some, confusion on others and other disappointment. Whatever their reaction though Cainan paid no mind to it because he was either occupied with business talks or staring at her.
Finally, he was welcomed to the stage to give his appreciation speech with a round of applause, he kissed the back of her hand which he was holding onto, “I’m making us official.” he mumbled into her ears before going up to take the stand and all eyes fixated on him.
“I just want to say, thank you all for coming. I know schedules can be tight and emergencies can happen, but you took the time out to be here and celebrate with us and for that I am grateful. We’ve come a long way this past eight years with success and I know next year will be greater.” the crowds applauded and Cainan raised his glass and his green eyes locked in hers and he smiled, “I wouldn’t want the night to end without thanking my mother for believing in me. Without her we would not be here,” after the crowd gave a round of applauds, he continued, “I want to thank my business partners and associates, together we have made it this far, I will not forget to thank my family and friends for believing and holding on to me even when all hope was lost, thank you” the crowd gave another applaud.
“And lastly I want to thank Jasmin Whyte, my girlfriend, she’s the woman who has kept me going for a while now.”
Jasmin felt goosebumps broke over her skin at the sincerity of his words and she felt the eyes of almost everyone close turn to her and a soft mumble went through the crowd, but she kept her attention fixed on Cainan.
“I count the day you came into my life as a blessing and I hope you never leave.” he finished speaking and his eyes left hers and she gasped, finally taking a breath because he had literally taken her breath away with the speech he gave and the emotions present in his eyes.
“So let’s raise a glass to greater heights.” the crowd cheered and raised their glasses as well and cheered.
He climbed down the stage and walked over to her, his eyes smiling. Her heart was hammering so loud she was certain he could hear it. “That was beautiful.”
The corner of his lips lifted in a mischievous smirk, “I’m glad you bought it too.”
At his response, her heart sank painfully.
He was a good actor, maybe even better than she gave him credit for because she almost believed the words he said especially the last part.
“Yeah,” she played along, “I was almost convinced.” She casually stated but her heart was still sinking away like the titanic. She kept her expression reserved because the last thing she wanted to give him was the knowledge that he had crushed her heart with his words. She did it to herself when she decided to take his words more than what they were, mere words.
A few other executives at the Inferno group came up to them with their congratulations and they eased the tension going on and she settled into playing the role of a perfect girlfriend.
Soon she zoned out and her eyes caught sight of Lisa and an unfamiliar man at the corner of the hall, having what looked like a heated argument. Lisa was very good when it came down to controlling her emotions and even when her eyes were pained, she managed to retain a calm composure. The man she was with however kept throwing his hands up in frustration and had little to no control even though in public.
She wandered away from Cainan towards Lisa, letting her concern and need to protect a good friend lead her on.
“We wouldn’t have so much problem if you didn’t keep dragging yourself into it!” he snapped harshly, but Lisa didn’t even flinch she seemed to be used to such outbursts with him.
“Lisa, I hope everything is well.” She spoke, announcing her presence.
“We are fine,” the man abruptly slurred, hinting that he was drunk already. “get me another glass of wine.” he handed her his wine glass.
Being drunk didn’t make one this stupid, he must have been born that way.
“I am not a waiter.”
She was, but she wasn’t here to get drinks for anyone especially someone as rude and as stupid as the man over here. “I wasn’t asking you.”
The man turned to her, disbelief and anger in his eyes, “Why don’t you just run along to your rich master, whoever he is.”
Lisa gasped in disbelief and glared at him, finally showing an angry face. “That’s my brother’s girlfriend, Xavier, don’t be an idiot.”
He was the same Xavier? Her boyfriend Xavier? The one Lisa gushed about over a month ago?
Jasmin glanced at him from head to toe, he was a good looking man, blonde hair, blue eyes, full red lips, standing over six feet tall and good built to go with it. However, he was rude and arrogant and prideful and those were the three combinations she couldn’t stand and she boiled.
He grabbed her by the arm and she winced and tried to pry her hand away from his grip, “I am not an idiot.”
“I never said you were, I said don’t be one.” she finally yanked her hand free from his hold.
Jasmin couldn’t believe what was happening before her eyes especially with Lisa being so calm. Yes, he was a bit drunk but that was no excuse to treat her badly.
“Lisa, does this man have to leave?” she asked and raised a brow, hoping that she would say yes so she could have the security throw him out after she was done punching him in the face.
“No,” she said and Jasmin’s heart broke for her and her eyes dropped while he smirked, “he’s this way because he’s drunk,” she added as if that made his actions excusable.
Clearly, this woman was in love with an asshole.
She took his wrist and though he rebelled, she didn’t let go, “We will go home now, send Cainan my love and congratulations, tell him I’m sorry but I had to leave.”
She wanted to go after her and tell her not to leave, especially with him because the man throwing fizzle earlier might do worse when they were alone and in the comfort of their home, but it was her decision at the end of the day. What Lisa had with Xavier was unhealthy but as long as she didn’t see it that way, there was nothing that could be done.
She felt angry and upset at the same time and she knew she couldn’t go back to Cainan looking this way without him asking what had happened. She knew she would be forced to tell him Lisa’s had a rude arrogant asshole as a boyfriend, but that would make matters worse for Lisa who was trying to keep her affairs private.
She needed help though, being reserved and quiet was only going to get her so far…