"Put me down!" I yelled, my voice straining, but my order fell on deaf ears as the stranger continued to lift me as if I weighed nothing and marched down the stairs of the center stage.
I flung my hand in the air and squirmed from his hold, but he tightened his arms even more, insisting the bridal-style position he had put me in.
"Put me down I say!" I ordered again, this time feeling myself in panic yet in deep blush.
We passed the spacious dance hall, disregarding the look of surprise in my team's eyes. I gave them a silent look of help, but it seemed they were too engrossed with the drama that they failed to see my desperation.
"Wrap that damn wound of yours with the end of your blazer, woman. I don't want it dripping blood in the floor, " he grounded without looking at me.
His face, although fine-looking, was set in a hard scowl. He was angry over something or probably angry with me and that's the problem because I don't even know why.
I, however, wrapped my wounded fingers with the hem of my blazer, but I did it not because he commanded me to, but because I was worried seeing the gushing crimson liquid soaking the table napkin that I had temporarily used to bound it.
"And who the hell are you?!" I asked, glaring at him like I had the sharpest knife in my eyes.
Still, he didn't glance my way. He continued to the nearest exit door of the function hall and there, finally, he released me.
Before my feet could touch the carpeted floor, I jumped out from his hold and stepped back a couple of feet away. My bleeding fingers were nursed by my other hand and pressed against my chest while I clenched my teeth in irritation.
"Sheeshh, you're so noisy, " was his calm statement whilst massaging the bridge of his nose. It failed to soften his stone face though.
Swiftly, he reached for my uninjured hand and attempted to pull me towards the hallway leading to the main second floor foyer, but I stood my ground and made myself impossible to be towed.
"Where are you taking me?" I asked with one brow lifted to show my resistance. It was just a facade though for in truth I really was shaking inside. Although he looked like a guest in the chateau I am in, he was still a stranger to me and strangers definitely raise up a red flag.
"Just come with me, " was his cool reply acting as if he knew me. He pulled my hand again. I quickly stepped back to secure it. It left him clutching air instead.
"Uh no, " I voiced out, shaking my head. "Thank you Sir, but no, I will not go anywhere with you."
You might be a murderer or a rapist or something for all I know!
In my viewpoint, I saw his brow twitch and then he pressed his lips into a hard line as if it wasn't hard enough in the beginning.
"Suit yourself, " he calmly replied and then he pulled my arm with force.
With a huff, I remained still and unbending, but in the end, it was pointless for effortlessly, he used his advantageous masculine strength and pulled me again, leaving me stumbling and catching up my balance.
"Unhand me!" I cried out quickly, but he continued to drag me along the hallway, looking determined as hell to complete whatever he had planned on me....
Pause and rewind.
You are probably asking what the hell is going on, right?
Well, just as you have initially guessed, I am being held against my will by a stranger and it all started because of one unfortunate accident that happened minutes ago....
"Are you sure you want me to leave, boss?" Ericka, my ever-so-reliant assistant, asked whilst descending the portable metal ladder.
We were in the center stage of a function hall called the 'President's Hall' in Le Chateau de Esclavette decorating for a wedding reception that will happen four hours from now. We are best of friends really but when we are working, she prefers to call me 'boss' for purposes of respect and seniority. She was after all my mother's employee and under my supervision.
I nodded and stood up from squatting. Boxes of elegant decorations were on my feet ready and waiting to be glued and stapled on the stage background.
"Yeah, I can manage Kee, " I said, using her nickname. "Just leave the buckets in the platform. I'd like to handle the stage decor all by myself."
She looked at me, unsure, but nevertheless, nodded in surrender. "Alright, " she took one box labeled 'table decors' and stated before walking out of the stage, "Call me if you need anything boss."
"Thanks, " I smiled at her and watched as she walked down.
"Oh, by the way, " she paused and turned to look at me again, "Are you sure you want to wear that loose ring?"
My brows furrowed in confusion and then watched the said object nestled in my ring finger.
Of course, she'd be worried about it. It was bigger than my finger.
This loose ring was given by my mother as the Rosecraft family heirloom. Since I'm the only daughter, I became the undebatable recipient of it. She gave me this during my nineteenth birthday nine months ago. She says it brings good luck, charm on the holder, and untold romance — NOT that I need it. She called it 'The Emerald Flower' with diamond petals and an emerald stone in the middle.
"Yeah, you know this is my lucky charm Kee, " I stated with a lopsided grin.
"It is intended to be that, but will you be able to work properly with it?" she asked knowing that many times in our wedding decorating activities, the said ring had limited me from doing my best.
"Mmmh, you mean managing the ribbons and the glitters?" I clarified.
"Well, I'll manage, " I answered, pretty sure of myself.
"Right, " she said and then turned heels towards the half-decorated tables.
I am an advanced Fine Arts graduate. My eyes are keen on artsy details and decorative styles which kinda suited well with the family business of organizing weddings and other events.
My mother is the CEO and I am the sole heir of our business. Since she thinks that I am of right age to be given a project, she gave me this: as the head of the wedding reception of one of our very important clients: Ms. Elaine Mckenzie, a ten-time Grammy Award Winning actress and major socialite and her outrageously-rich beau, Mr. Aaron Roslin.
They chose to hold their wedding reception in Le Chateau de Esclavette - my ultimate wedding destination.
For me, it is my crème de la crème of all wedding receptions. My ideal dreamland where the haut monde and elite especially gathers during a party. Picture the interiors of Palace of Versailles, the facade of Hotel de Paris - Monte Carlo and the Drummond Castle gardens joined in one.
Everyone wants in, but not all has the opportunity to graze its halls. It is owned by the Fancy Pants Club. Only accessed by either its members, or those permitted by the Club council, or if the person or the couple are rich enough to pay for the outrageous rent payments.
Yup! Think about nine and five and add four zeros after it. That's the rent. Outrageous right?
But anyway, it is so worth it. The place is just hands-down magnificent.
The Fancy Pants Club considers the chateau as basically their clubhouse. It is located in Beverly Hills, California and that unfortunately is where my knowledge ends. Since I was born in London but raised in the Big Apple, I have no idea who the members of the club are. All I know is that I just adore their clubhouse ever since I saw it in one of my mother's hanging photos in her Manhattan office.
Now, I am no elite and so is my family, but because our business is the most sought-after in London and the US, and because my current clients are popular people, we are able to enter the chateau.
I have been here for almost five hours busily setting up the things that are needed during the star-studded party. My team is with me, provided of course by the Company, but in this occasion, I personally chose to decorate the center stage all by myself.
"Alright, here I go, " I uttered to myself before climbing the ladder that was secured against the background wall.
It wasn't high really, just about ten feet. Next to it was a makeshift platform set up earlier with two buckets on top that I instructed Ericka to leave. She had been using these to paint the ceiling cherubs with gold luster dusts.
Now, I will do the same, but before doing that, I took out a cutter next to the bucket of glue and trimmed the cherub's ribbons first.
With the loose ring, it took me quite a few minutes to do the trimming. I had thought of taking it out and putting it in my slacks pocket, but I opted to keep it in my hand instead. Like I said, it brings good luck which was something that I am praying for in a big project such as this.
I was so intent on doing it right that I lost focus on other matters. What happened next was me feeling a sharp slicing pain in my forefinger and thumb.
The cutter had made a deep cut on them.
I immediately placed the object down and on impulse, shook my left hand vigorously to ease the pain. Noticing my blood oozing excessively and staining my white slacks and cream top, I quickly took a table napkin from my blazer and wrapped it around the wounds.
"Shoot. Oh God... This is not good." I winced again, gritting my teeth as I felt the stinging sensation. Tears actually collected in the corner of my eyes but I blinked it out.
'Why must this happen to me now?' I cried out loud. I thought the ring brings good luck? Why is it not worki—
A red flag immediately appeared on my head. That's when I realized that my ring wasn't on my finger anymore.
"Oh God, where is that ring!" On top the ladder, I was torn between nursing my wounds and finding the heirloom. Panic rushed through me when the thought of my mother's angry face popped out.
Then, in the middle of my dread, a cold hand suddenly touched my right ankle.
"Shit!" I shouted, jerking in surprise. I whirled around, arms flailing unceremoniously in all sides and because of that I accidentally hit the buckets. The contents in them spilled quickly and guess where it all landed?
In the head of a stranger looking murderously at me. Yup, no biggie really.