In Hugs of Dream

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Dazzling lights of New-York, pacifying nature of a small town on Colorado, amazing beauty of Cote d’-Azur in France… wherever you are, the love will capture you in any place of the world.

Could a simple restaurateur Angie Northon imagine that her trip to New-York and meeting with the mogul Alexander Dimond would turn her life upside down and the sequence of events followed her crazy plan would lead her to true love?

Could a legendary mogul suspect that fallen to his hugs beauty would conquer his heart of the eternal bachelor and would become the love of his whole life?

Don’t you believe in love? Then believe!


Tall, dark-hair man was standing at the window and watching from the height of a skyscraper at the lying behind his feet huge metropolis, glittering with multicolored lights and neon sign-boards. High buildings, rising up to the sky, were reflecting blinks to the waters of Hudson and illuminated Riverside Park. Traffic jams, like long snakes, were spreading along the evening city and unstoppably appearing pedestrians were in a hurry to do their business. This everlasting, buzzing, looking like an anthill city absolutely dazzled, but for the standing person this scene was ordinary and even a bit boring. He was living in New-York for too long and started his way by no means in the Manhattan penthouse, but in Bronx, the poorest and most densely-populated part of Big Apple. A poor student, thanks to his brilliant mind and ingenuity could get the scholarship and after graduating from college, he wisely used his education, astonishing appearance and cute mind. During last ten years he had established contacts with top-level officials and set up his own business, contriving to make tons of money. By his thirty-one he owned a real business empire. His factories were all over the United Stated and now he was making the first, rather successful steps for conquering Europe. It was such a long and not a simple way from the very bottom right up to the top floor of the skyscraper Dimond-Westwood Building. But to his greater frustration he didn’t fell anything but boredom. His beautiful, cold face being reflected in the window expressed absolutely nothing. Dark-blue eyes were observing this festival of life with a slight alloy of disdain. Behind him a door banged and a male voice asked:

— Alex, are we going or you are planning to cool heels here alone, while everybody is celebrating?

Alexandre Dimond lifted a glass of whisky to his mouth, made a sip and turned to his friend and business partner, squinting a bit his unbelievably sapphire eyes, just indecently beautiful for a male and at the same time cold like the waters of the Arctic Ocean. An accurately delineated line of the lips, a straight nose and a manly chin put him into the list of the Most Beautiful People of America and consequently the advantageous grooms. The last thing dejected him the most. He screwed up remembering the final edition of “Stylish America” that called him the main prize for any female. Rich, successful, popular. As if it was not enough that women except for put up tent near his house. With such gorgeous appearance he could have become a famous model or even a movie star, but all his ambitions were in another direction. Business. Contracts with Reinford Building Enterprises gave him an opportunity of entry to the European markets and new projects that would surely increase his in any case huge wealth and make him something like an icon in a Business world. The lessons of what he had absorbed quite well during last ten years of fight for the place in the league the best of the best. Confident, ruthless, not taking the middle path, believing nothing and nobody except his own intuition and business sense. His opponents got the news who they would be going to face with, clutched their heads in despair and ordered tickets to the most remote areas of Mexico being ready to live on the beach, catch fish and weave baskets. Anything only to avoid getting face to face with him, as he was called in press “Man of Steel”. He had been coming to it so long and he finally reached everything he could only dream about, then why he didn’t feel any satisfaction. He was the golden standard of the great American dream… so where was, the hell, this true blue blood disease… boredom from.

He looked closely at the person who had been with him from the very beginning and had been standing next to him at the machine tool on the steel factory. Maximillian Westwood was a tall, well-set up man, wearing expensive tuxedo, hadn’t actually changed over those ten years. The same dark night eyes, the same black hair waving a bit on the ends, the same fabular sense of humor, the same insinuating genteel charisma and insolent irresistible smile, like his mother’s one — the real Italian. Despite Alex, Max was the son of wealthy parents, who ruined all their expectations. The star of the high society from the early childhood. Instead of entering the college of law and continuing the family tradition of lawyers, he quit school and tried everything that the life of a golden boy could suggest him. Parties, girls, drinks and drugs was just a dream for any fast liver who he actually was. Only after drunk car accident, in which three people were hurt and the only guilty man was him, he understood he had been going the wrong way. Taking all the blame upon for that, he got off with a big fine, that was paid by his father, and correctional labor at the factory where he met Alex. Much to his father’s displeasure, after college he didn’t go to work for his company, but he stayed with Alex and together step by step they built up a business empire. His attractiveness and amiability were just a façade that hid the acute mind, ingenuity and firmness. Contrary to Alex, he preferred to clip claws his enemies with the boundless charm firstly, and only then showed his teeth.

“So? Am I going to beat off all those desirous of getting married successfully ladies alone?” He looked at his friend raising his eyebrow expressively.

Alex smiled that exactly charmingly-foxy smile that pulled the wool over everybody’s eyes beginning from cleaners to his business partners.

“Since when have you become so diffident with female? Did the Hell freeze over?”

“Don’t make me laugh,” smirked Max. “It will come only with my last breath. Women is the only thing that brightens my boring life of a real work-addict. But today I am with an amazing lady, so the others are up to you. Moreover, who of us is the new live sex-symbol?” And he laughed, watching his friend’s face going dark.

“I don’t want to hear any word about that creepy article,” roared Alex, putting his glass on the edge of the table and buried his hands into the pockets. “I’ve got the feeling that I’m not a serious businessman, but some kind of an amusing toy-animal for female with the shedloads of credit cards.”

“That’s exactly what the solicitous for your attention women waiting downstairs think. If you want, I can tip off that you’re on the other side of the road, it will free you from the status of the main groom in a second.”

“Go to hell,” laughed Alex. “The last thing I need is to be grasped in the corners by men.” Max fell on the coach laughing.

“I imagine news headlines ‘big selling-news Alex Dimond is the main groom of the year who is wearing pink strings under his multi-bucks’ suits and sleeps only with the blondmen”.

“Back off,” Alex grumbled and burst out laughing. Max was the only person, who could say anything without getting a bruise on his model face. “If it comes like this, reporters won’t live our long-time friendship without any attention and you’ll get your piece of mud, mind that… sweetie,” Alex sang in a twangy voice and saluted with the glass of whiskey.

“No, no, just wait. You won’t sully my reputation of the first womanizer in New-York with your dirty hints and gossips.”

“Oh year, sure, our reporters are able even for worse, so don’t relax”

“In this case I’ll buy a pinky mansion and present it to you. Let the vultures feast. Maybe it will stop them from getting us married to every single lady in this city.”

“Perhaps, you should get married.”

“God save me!” Max exclaimed in a horror putting his hands up jokingly. “I am too polygamous and I don’t see myself with one woman. You marry.”

Alex choked with his whiskey. After clearing his voice, he ran an accusing eye over his friend.

“You want me dead, don’t you? And then you’ll sell all our business and go to Maldives with a flock of leggy girls to hell around at our bloody-earned millions. No way.”

“Wow, such a great idea. Why haven’t I thought about that before?! No more multipage contracts, multihours negotiations, only sun, ocean and women. Thanks for the idea, man! I hope I’m the beneficiary in your last will.”

“Sure! You’re the main chief manager of Trust Fund for Sherry. You won’t leave my sister unsupervised, will you?” asked Alex inquiringly.

“I won’t, of course. But firstly I’ll hire an army of detectives to find her. Have you any idea where she is now?”

“Figuratively, she’s somewhere in Italy. Precisely, I don’t know. She’s like the wind and goes where it blows. Though, last time she constantly says she’s found a job.”

“Seriously?” Max burst out laughing. “I’m afraid to ask as who? As a seller of designers’ stuff, moreover of her own?”

“In this case she won’t need to work at all,” Alex smiled. “Her clothes costs as the half of our business.”

“Maybe even all,” Max continued still laughing.

The joyance was interrupted with the phone call. Alex answered.

“Yes,” he said. “Sure. Coming.”


“It’s time to start. Guests are tired of waiting,” Alex answered, wearing his suit jacket and fixing his tie, slightly leasing it off. “Let’s go. This year was difficult for us, but successful, it’s time to celebrate it.”

In a moment men came out of the office and got into the lift, that took them to the last 105th floor, where a big hall for arrangements was situated.


Avangelina Camellia Northon at birth and just Angie in life, sneezed loudly and turned the air blue. How could she catch a cold in a such responsible day? So much depended on that, she just couldn’t let herself being sick. And nevertheless, she felt such adynamia that she barely raised her head from the pillow. Several efforts more and she came to the bathroom, however, she hardly took a look at herself in the mirror as she groaned and clutched her head. Swollen face, running eyes and red as Santa Claus’s nose. What a horror!!! She took another look and barely choke back tears. And how could she appear in Dimond-Westwood Steel Building looking like this and, moreover, attract the attention of such a person like Alexander Dimond? All she needed was to get close to him, met and broke into his office. But with such look the only place where she was welcome was the jakey-bum shelter. She rushed to her mobile and googled the nearest drug-stores. In fifteen minutes she was standing in the queue with a pack of cold-relief, antiviral and antipyretic drugs. The Pharmacist inspected the standing in front of him woman very attentively. Fair, wavy hair was in such a mess that she looked like a bogy, whose masters had gone away from their home far long ago leaving the poor thing to the mercy of fate. Glasses hid her eyes surrounded with flossy black eyelashes, but they couldn’t bury the unbelievable emerald shade of her external iris, which became of deep dark-green color near the apple of her eye. A straight nose, small poupy lips and an accurate stubborn chin. Despite her sicky look, the girl was a real bombshell. The Pharmacist unintentionally feasted his eyes on her soft milky skin with a light flush on her cheeks.

“Maybe, you should go to the hospital,” he addressed to her with gentle voice.

“No, thank you,” Angie answered, sniffing her nose. “Everything is fine; I’ve just got a little cold. But I have everything I need here,” she raised a basket with preparations.

The Pharmacist only shook his head and put through all the medicine, placing them into the packet. He had big doubts about this self-treatment. Too many drugs on the show glass that didn’t need any recipe, though the result of such uncontrollable usage of the medicine without doctor’s advice could lead to the dire consequences. The girl came back to the hotel and took the cold-relief and antiviral drugs immediately. After some thinking, she decided to take antipyretic one later, when it was the time to go to the social. And she called her assistant and also best friend Teresa Tailor.

“Hello? Teresa, how are you?”

“Hi, Angie. Nothing new. In our town even flies die from the boredom as if you don’t know that,” her friend answered. “You’d better tell me, how the Big Apple is. Is it all in the lights and debauch?”

“Ter,” she laughed, “what could I see? I flew yesterday and got to the hotel at once. But it seems this climate doesn’t suit me at all. There is snow and rain, and God knows what else is outside. So I’m a bit sick and can’t wait coming back home,” Angie sighed.

“It’s awful. Aha, and I think why your voice is so hoarse. Damn, you need to be at the party today. How will you go there like this? Perhaps, this plan must be called off, we’ll think up something else.”

“No. There’s so little time left. Until he sees those documents, I need to put hands on them. You know how much it means for me. As for such conglomerate like Dimond-Westwood Enterprises it is just a couple of sacks of money. All I need is to take their attention off from our town, and everything will be great again.”

“Well, it’s up to you Angie. You’re the most rational person I’ve ever known. But time to time you just cut up didoes so much that all my hair stands on end. Can you imagine what it will cost you if he catches you fiddling with his papers? He’ll have you for dinner and won’t even choke over.”

“I know,” Angie said rankly, “but I’m not a little girl, I’ll take care of it. How are the preparations in the restaurant?”

“According to the plan. Everything is under my control.”

“Even aunty Daisy?” Angie interested slyly.

“Don’t say the name of Devil in talks,” Teresa hissed.

“That’s what I thought. Good luck and patience to you. See you at home.”

“Ocean of luck to you too. Ciao.”

Angie put down the phone and thought. She knew perfectly that there would be only the ashes left of her if she failed. She read everything she could find about Alexander Dimond. Three too. Too ruthless, too handsome, too rich. Damn, her knees were shaking as she was thinking about the things she had to do. Never mess with such people like him. Gasping, she went to the bathroom and had a shower. No matter what, there was no way back for her. She had thought through all possible versions of coming events, not for nothing her IQ was higher than some men had. Her plan was perfect.

At seven p.m. a black Mercedes stopped in front of the main entrance of Dimond-Westwood Building, a graceful, fair-hair lady in white fur wrap, black long dress and classical black high-hilled shoes came out of it. The wind almost blew her off while she was approaching to the front door. The doorman respectfully opened the glass door in front of her. She entered into the huge hall and looked around in an excitement. A big room with high ceiling, white columns in Greek style, marble floors and sofas impressed with its majesty and luxuriance. The walls were of soft beige color with slight patterns of decorative parget which were of mixed beige-peach shade with a bit of golden dust and covered with the wax surfacing. She had the feeling that she was in some kind of a fairy cave. Dark sofas and long reception desk of deep marengo shade added severity, as though reminding it was not some restaurant but a business office. However slight feeling of fabulousness didn’t leave her while she was coming to the reception. Secretary girl asked where she was going. She gave her the invitation card for Unity Dousons’ name. God should save the Mayor’s wife who had got this invitation for her and helped her in everything, no matter what the consequences this plan could bring. The only thing the girl was calming down her inner small voice with was the realization that everything was done purely for good. As for Alexander Dimond, he would survive. It would be just a little loss for him, while she could lose everything.

“You need the 105th floor. You can leave you fur wrap in the checkroom, it’s at the corner,” the secretary said and pointed the direction with her hand. Angie came to the checkgirl and with shaky hands gave her the wrap, the price of which was her year salary, not less. The Mayor’s wife was a good woman in fact but in clothing she was a real maniac. She would triply skin her alive in a way, if her most favorite fur wrap, of ten the same in her wardrobe if not more, lost at least one single hair. There was a big mirror near the checkroom. Angie came up to check her hairdo and make-up. A slim, sultry stunner with unbelievably green eyes with black wings, plush lips with a little touch of red lipstick and a model cheek-bone as sculpted from the thinnest porcelain. Fair hair with light curls playing the golden sheen was running down along her back till the waist. Angie had never been haughty but now she couldn’t help admitting that her look was fabulous. Black long drees with naked shoulders sexually fitted close her beautiful breasts and narrow waist dilating from her hips to the floor. Sexual slit opened her fastidious leg while the walking. She looked like a picture from the fashion magazine. In a real life she preferred hiding her slim figure under sack-like clothes and tied up her hair into the horse tail avoiding of using any make-up. An ordinary next door girl with brilliant grades at school, honor bachelor’s diploma of restaurant-keeper and this chic, sexual woman in the mirror was the one face, all round. The only thing that didn’t harmonize with her visual appearance was a big golden bag in a form of a folder which could be more suitable for documents, but not a small clutch that undoubtedly would be more idoneous. Though, in this case where would such batch of documents be put in? And whatever, in nowadays world it was normal to wear what the soul wanted and who didn’t like that could look to another direction.

Angie deeply sighed several times, fixed her hair and came into the lift. Pushing the button 105, she slightly lean to the lift wall feeling adynamia. She had the feeling that flu pills were invented in the search of the way to calm down the mad elephant. She let herself a bit relax and closed her eyes. Flashes of weakening came over her with waves and she seemed that if it went on like this, she would fall asleep standing in the lift. Suddenly the lift door opened, and she slightly winked from the bright light, pulled her up and came out. And immediately she appeared in a big room with high walls and cut-glass chandeliers. There were about fifty people there in the room, who were fussing around like the flock of ants, running from table to table, dragging food and at times snatching glasses with champagne from the waiters. In fact, it was quite similar to her parties in the camp, the only difference was the form of clothes. Women were in designer dresses, expensive jewels with perfectly stabbed faces and lips, all was done according to the today’s fashion, and pompous in smart suits with haughty looks men. God! What kind of nice mess she got into! That high society which was only for the chosen ones appeared in reality to be the demonstration of arrogance, vanity and affectation. Everything that Angie actually despised. She winked one more time and scanned the audience in a search of a person she went not one hundred miles for, herewith she had an over make-up and poshed up like a very expensive call girl.

And finally she saw him. Alexander Dimond was impossible to be noticed. He projected magnetism, strength and confidence which she felt thought the whole room. Dark hair a bit longer than it was supposed to be slightly waved on the collar of a very expensive suit. Dark-blue eyes fascinated and hypnotized. Light smile seemed to be deadly frozen to his lips. He was inexcusably posh. The magazines conveyed only a beautiful picture but in life his powerful male origin passed through every of his move. Tall, wide-shouldered, the one and the only real Greek God of seduction in flash walking down the Earth for the subjugation the whole women population on the planet. The real embodiment of sin passion. Angie stopped dead for a moment immediately forgetting about everything. She came into reality only when the waiter appeared right in front of her and offered her politely a tray with champagne. She grabbed a glass of it with shaky hands and drank it in one shot. She would pretty sure need all her composure, iron will and intellect, which she was really proud of to accomplish till the end her perfect plan despite her shaking knees. And raising her head proudly, she moved forward to her aim.


The perfect plan said:

Item number one: go past him and lightly slipping up, pour a little of champagne on him.

The main point that there wouldn’t be seen anything on his dark suit and the wet trousers weren’t deathly, of course, but very inconvenient. He would surely need to dress up. Variants were two: or he would go home or to his office. But as he was supposed to make a speech he would barely go home. So there was only the variant number one left: he would go to his office. She knew exactly from the Mayor’s wife, who had been acquainted with Alex from his childhood because she had been working with his mother in one company in Denver, that he had a huge clothes room in his office. That was exactly the place where he was supposed to go. As she in her turn in an image of bombshell for a night would offer him help because she was the guilty one who had messed up his suit. Such Romeo as him wouldn’t refuse to spend a little time with such a beauty according to his fact file in magazines and the Net. Thus, she would get a chance to come into his office. The seduction of men wasn’t her strong side but her nature beauty made all the job for her. All she had to do was to flirt a bit and men melt in front of her. Of course, such millionaires, like him, didn’t reserve a place in the queue near her front door but she didn’t actually have any other way out. She had to get into his office by any price, even if she was supposed to run after him.

Item number two: drink with him.

There was also no problem to be seen. She would offer him to drink with the look of remorseful sinner in the way of consolation. He wouldn’t refuse to make a couple of sips. It would be more than enough for the sleeping pills which were given to her by the drug-seller for her father to act. One crushed pill was lying in her overall bag.

Item number three: Talk him down. Flirt a bit. Wait until he falls asleep.

The drug-seller said that these sleeping pills were of short action and they were specially prescribed for a person to flack out. That’s enough for her. The most important was not to chicken out and did everything according to the plan.

Alex was ready to stuff the mouth of another blonde girl with a gag, Sally or Kelly, he even didn’t remember her name properly. He was just drinking his whiskey on a bar and she appeared faster than her less successful rivals and took her place near him. Despite all her beauty, she ran through his both ears into the brain with her squeaky voice. All she could talk about was her. How many magazines’ covers she appeared on this year. How many she was going to appear on the following one. How much she loved the movies. And, of course, she was a very talented actress. All she needed was to appear in any movie and she would surely be a movie star. She was the most invitable person to all parties this year and sometimes she even had to choose from several offers. And, oh, it was such a pity that there was no possibility to know in advance, which one of them would be better. Here was an example, last week she had been at the party of the chief editor of the magazine “Antren”. You wouldn’t believe! They offered warm champagne and the oysters tasted like snivels. It was a shame! Such a popular magazine and such plebeian party. And more, one Wall Street magnate’s wife dared, how she only could, it was just inadmissible, came to that party in a red dress, that color had been in trend last year, this one Burgundy was on the top stage. He had no idea what the Burgundy meant and what they ate or drank, God, he wished she would just shut up. It was unbearable! Nevertheless, his face stayed still and he continued smiling her with the tolerance, sipping his whiskey and nodded. Where was Max? Wasn’t that the right time for the speech? He was almost ready to bow off the persistent girl and exactly that moment some woman just butted into him, a glass of champagne dropped right into his face and unexpectedly he stepped back, snagged on the bar leg and fell to the floor with a great din, and that awkward woman landed up on him and… a bar stool too. For a second he thought, he became blind but it was only stranger’s hair that covered his face completely and moreover, stuck to the champagne. The girl started to murmur something at the same time trying to get up and kicked his tender bits with her knee. That was it, he grabbed her leg which was a real threat for his future sexual life forever, raised the stranger girt accurately and carefully got up holding the girl on his hands and cursing silently.

“Ladies and gentlemen, everything is fine, everybody is alive, nobody hurts, please come back to celebrating until we put into shape,” Alex said in a tense voice. Angie didn’t even raise her head up, she understood clearly that the whole audience was looking at them. All she wanted was to sink into the ground. God damned those pills. She felt that Alex was going somewhere but she didn’t move. Alex went into the lift, pushed the fifty-eighth button and carefully put the girl to the floor.

“Can you stand? Or maybe, should I call for a wheelchair for you?” a soft baritone sounded over her ear.

Angie looked at him through the sheet of her wet from champagne hair and froze. He was much more handsome than in magazines and the Net. He eyes of astonishing blue color watched smiling that actually made her glad. Everything happened so fast that she couldn’t invent a story to tell.

“Thank you,” she whispered in a husky voice, trying to move away from him, “but I can stand on my feet.”

He nodded silently and turn away. Angie, otherwise, couldn’t take her eyes from him. She had to admit that her perfect plan had some defects: if somebody of them could seduce, it was he. His sexual energetics filled the small space of the lift so quickly that she felt it on the physical level. The masculinity was reflected in every feature of his haughty face; she studied his proud profile, straight aristocratic nose, arrogant chin, sensual manly mouth, which crooked in a light sneer and felt waves of light vibration shaking her bode from the top to the heels. “God, he is just irresistible!” she thought. Her gaze moved and got caught up to the mirror wall of the lift. “God, who is this?” the thought run through her mind and for the second time on that day a wave of desperation covered her. She was in one lift with a walking sex machine and looked like a winy seamaid. Wet hair was hanging like icicles covering her face and breasts, one eye which avoided the fate of his brother being buried under the layer of her hair was in a captivity of flowing mascara. She felt utterly discouraged. So here was the seduction of a millionaire. In this form she could pour whiskey into him only with a force that didn’t fit her physical training level. She mournfully sighed and lowered her head. Bad luck today!

Alex was standing straight and looking at his companion with the corner of his eye, she was similar to a little kitten, who was poked into the milk with its face; so touchingly helpless and… wet. It all could be very funny, if not the fact that his tender bits were burning because of the quite impressive kick of her slim leg, which was shown flirty from the dress slit. The leg was dainty; the figure was good too, but her face was hard to be seen though he could more or less suggested that there was everything according to the price of the plastic surgeon. As the today’s world demanded. All that he had already seen, touched and tasted. Possibly he had a simple depression, even if the women made him feel boring. Thus, in a complete silence they reached the fifty-eighth floor. Lift doors opened and they came into the entrance hall with two massive oak tables on each side and a white carpet in the middle. Alex opened the door with his key and, giving her a bow, pronounced:

“Welcome to the holy of holies, milady. You didn’t name yourself, how shall I address to you?”

“Carrie Meeber,” Angie barely audibly soughed, calling the name one of her favorite characters, hoping that Mr. Perfection didn’t read American Classics’ books and went into the office. Through the layer of her hair, she saw a big room with an artificial fireplace and a huge table behind which there was the stained glass window and the whole New York was observed through it, like on the palm. She stood still for a second from such a magnificence, comparing it to her study in the restaurant which now seemed to be a mouse’s hole. She slowly approached to the window and saw the same picture that Alex had been observing from this place an hour ago. Big city never slept.

“If you want to take care of yourself, Carrie,” she heard a soft baritone behand her back, “you may go to the shower-room till I’ll change clothes.”

It didn’t slip away from her that he pointed out her name making it stressed. Possibly, except business papers he still read classics. However, it would be better for her sake if he didn’t. Not raising her head, she stole past Alex to the shower-room. Appeared in it, she immediately slammed the door behind her and leaned to it. Nervous tension and flu pulls brought her to the complete exhaustion. She slowly took her hair away from her face and observed one more miracle room. Decorated with black marbles and huge mirror to the floor the shower-room represented itself the wonder of the up-date technologies. The shower cabin was separated with the glass partition and had built into the wall sprays, which could change the direction depending from the adjustments. Really, she was like the newcomer from the cave, who firstly saw the real world. She sat down on the puff standing near the towel box and let herself to take another breath and thought calmly. The events of last ten minutes ran through her head. Here she was coming directly to Alex holding a glass of champagne at hand. Here was a moment, when she was a bit swung, damn flu pills, the following moment she tripped over, and here she almost recovered her balance, just a little bit… and then there was a sudden harsh kick to her shoulder. And as it was in the slow motion, she nosedived rightly onto the dream of all female America. How was it sung in the song? Something like: “I’m a loser, baby, so why don’t you kill me?” Yeap, it wasn’t her day today for sure”.

She came to the sink and, throwing her fair curls back, washed her face, made new wings, colored her eyelashes and slightly touched her lips with the lipstick. She fluffed her humid hair putting it to the side to make pomper those icicles. She glanced at the mirror and was satisfied. In spite of the feverish shine in her eyes and pinky cheeks and… God, the end of her nose too, she looked hot enough. Powdering her face a bit, she held her head up, straighten her shoulders and left her chic sanctuary. She still felt sick and swayed from the illness but it wasn’t the time for her to give up, she had to lead all this till the end.

From the opposite side of the office Alex came out buttoning his shirt. Humid, dark hair waved a little over his forehead. Angie made a gasp, when she saw his flat, tough belly with vivid cubes and light hair path going down. Such a perfect press she saw only in magazines. She had a mad wish to come closer and checked the hard relieves with a touch. Making couple of steps, he lifted his head and stopped. His hands froze on the second button, blue eyes rounded in astonishment, when he saw a beautiful girl, who was watching him with her dark, cyan eyes and a foxy smile over her lips. Breath-taking, just unbelievably beautiful eyes. Combination of aristocratic accurate nose, lifted cheek-bones and plump natural lips blew up the imagination. His gaze lowered to her voluptuous breasts, thin waist and well-rounded hips. Her legs were hidden under the dress but he somehow was pretty sure they were slender and nice. Though, why it shouldn’t be checked. At least he had to prove his reputation of a Latin lover, which was created for him by the reporters.

He smiled and said pointing to Angie’s bag:

“Why don’t you put your suitcase?”

“Yes… No.”

“So is it yes or no?” he sneered slyly. “Feel yourself at home, Carrie. Would you like to drink something?”

“Don’t you need to come back to the party?”

He shrugged his shoulders.

“I don’t think anything unusual can happen there without me. Moreover, my hair is still wet.”

He came to the ambry and pushed the button. The door slowly opened and Angie saw a mini bar. Alex plashed a little whiskey for him and turned to Angie raising his brow questioningly.

“I wouldn’t refuse form mineral water,” Angie answered. There was a desert in her throat and the room was going circles in front of her eyes. She quickly sat on the sofa.

He came back with two glasses, the one with mineral water he put ahead of her and sat on the opposite sofa. She saw penetratingly handsome, noble man who knew well what kind of effect he had on women. Everything was talking about that from his penetrating gaze of his blue, velvet eyes, strong hand brining the glass of whiskey to his lips to the loose pose he was sitting in. He, in his turn, saw a beauty girl with silk, milky skin, light natural blush on the cheek-bones and bush of fair hair tumbling down over her bare well-turned shoulders. The room was filled with invisible threads of sexual tension, which was sparkling in the air penetrating deeply under the skin of two strangers, who appeared in that room according to the will of the certain circumstances.

“Are you afraid of me, Carrie?” the husky voice sounded.

“Why do you think so?”

“Do you always answer questions?” she kept silence. He continued. “You are just pressing you glass with such strength that it seems to me it is asking for help”

Laughing, blue eyes pointed to the glass in her hands. She unhurriedly lowered her gaze and immediately understood what he meant. Her fingers convulsively clenched the glass so tightly that the fingertips became pale. She squirmed under his staring and quietly said:

“You are looking at me, as if I’ve got horns on my head.”

“Rather wing on your back,” Alex answered with a little smile. “You look like a little angel with innocent eyes, who had knocked me down in real and figurative sense.”

She blushed and made a sip of mineral water tormentingly thinking up an answer. It couln’t be said that she had never heard a word of a compliment in her life but that was the tone he used. Intense, silky baritone went under her skin making every inch of her body froze in long waiting. Sexual tension hadn’t let her from the moment she appeared in his hands.

“I didn’t plan this happened, just somebody pushed me and I couldn’t steady. I’m sorry,” she said quietly still trying to get out of the spider web of his charisma, which was sucking her in more and more with every second she spent with that man.

“If I find that person I will cash him a bonus.”

“For messing up you suit?”

“For making my evening from boring to intriguingly fascinating.”

His probing gaze went over her bare leg, which was opened for the observation. Angie was melting from his husky voice and sexual eyes but it was not the time and the place for the entertainment. She understood it with her brain but her body seemed to live its own life and needs. She drank more water and ordered herself to calm down and think clearly. No matter how appealing was that etalon of a male beauty, she came here not for becoming the next one-night amusement for that rich replete man. Her power wasn’t the beauty but her brain and she put a stake on it in this game. But the thing was that her brain being under the effect of pills refused to think clearly and sharply. Her thoughts were confused; her head was going around but all she needed was to get to his table. Really needed. What she could do to get him out of the room. A sudden idea came into her mind and she said:

“Do you fell some strange smell?”

Alex ran an eye over her and sniffed.

“When I was in the shower room it seemed that the strange smell was coming out from the ventilation system like somebody was smoking or something was burning somewhere but it was very strong. And I think I feel it, too, right now.”

“It’s weird,” Alex frowned, “smoking is allowed only in special rooms and if the fire is somewhere the safety system works immediately.” Nevertheless, he stood up and went to the shower room. It was exactly what Angie was wishing for, she opened her bag quickly and took a pack with white powder from a little pocket. The doctor prescribed such one to her father when he had bouts of insomnia. Angie dumped out it with trembling hands into his glass of whiskey, shook it a little and put it back on its place.

“No smell,” Alex’s voice sounded. “Or it seemed or somebody has already smoked and aired.”

He returned to his place and took his glass. Angie saw small parts of the powder in it and prayed to the God that he didn’t notice anything. He had to be taken away. Now.

“You’ve got a very nice office.” she nervously swallowed and came to the window. “And the panorama is amazing.” she turned to Alex. “Did you kill somebody to get it?”

“My soul. It seems that I had it before building this skyscraper.”

“Did you build it?” Angie’s eyes became round.

“I had projected it and hurried the contractors. They sincerely believed that I was the real resemblance of the Devil and secretly made crosses, when I turned my back.

“I wouldn’t say that. You’re too handsome for the Devil,” the girl softly mentioned and became horrified with her popped out hasty words.

Alex finished his whiskey with one shot and approached to Angie.

“You are beautiful, Carrie.”

He carefully got her hair off her face running his fingertips over her cheek. Her skin was silky by feel and very warm. He put her chin up slowly drawing a line with his thumb finger over her soft lower lip.

“I want to taste you.”

H slowly bended to her and devoted himself to the kiss. No matter what but kissing was his shot. He slightly touched her lips then tenderly sucked her upper one, after that the lower forcing them to open and captured them in an insatiable, burning liplock. His tongue mildly examined her mouth, penetrating deeper and deeper. Angie was drowning in that greedy, demanding kiss. Her deceitful body became light and submissive. All her feelings were tensed like bare wires, which the sexual sparks were running through. Alex continued unbearable, delicate seduction making Angie shiver from passion. His tongue teased, penetrated in the depth of her mouth and slowly went out and then rushed into it again, until Angie didn’t give up to the mercy of the winner and hogged clinging to his body continuing wild, incomparable to anything enjoyment. Their tongues merged together in a mad dance of desire and lust till their kiss was finally out of control. She was furiously kissing him burying her hands into his hair, while his hands greedily went over her breasts hips penetrating into the dress’s slit. Their figures united in one body were lighted up with the bright lights of New York. Continuing learning each other bodies with their hands, lips, tongues, they slowly approached right to the sofa. In a moment they lied on it being captured with a crazy desire. Angie appeared to be on the top and, sitting on him, she leaned back giving the free will to his hands, what he successfully used. He pulled down the upper part of her dress setting her breasts free and nestled with his mouth up to her sharp-edged nipples. He slowly and teasingly licked with his tongue over one nipple, until Angie didn’t arched towards his insatiable mouth. Being captured with that wild primal passion they were sinking in each other’s cuddles. Suddenly his hands stopped forcing her to his hips; his tongue didn’t torture her breasts with delightful kisses anymore. Angie lowered her head and saw that Alex leaned back to the pillow and… was sleeping. For some moment she became numb then the whole reality fell upon her. She had just been wriggling in a hugs of a stranger man being ready to give herself to him right here in his office. Her body was in a flame of lust and her bare breasts were watching straight at Alex. Angie shut her eye tightly from the horror and quickly slipped down from the coach pulling her dress up. It wasn’t her, it was all about the flu pills and champagne, which she had drunk at the party. They drove her crazy, darken all rational thought in her head and almost made her one-used girl for a night. She looked back at Alex. He was lying in a relaxing pose, one hand was hanging from the coach while the another one was on his belly, his eyes were closed. She was afraid, wasn’t the doze she had given him too strong? What would happen if he died? Oh God, could it be possible that she had killed the subject of desire of every woman in New York? She shook him on his shoulder in panic but he didn’t react. She bended over him to listen to his breath and with a relief heard his light snorting. He was simply sleeping.

Without losing the time Angie with unbending legs rushed to his table. Everything was swimming in front of her eyes; her head was splitting and the light nausea came to her throat. Organizing all her strength, she started to seek through his table. There had to be the envelope from Monte-South; the most important thing was that he hadn’t made it to read. But if all her reckonings were right, he had been supposed to get it yesterday. She prayed that the envelope was there still packed. She watched through all his mail and didn’t find anything. Where could he put it? She was ruminating on frantically, putting her fingers to her temples and slightly massaging them trying to reduce the pain. The desperation was invading her. She leaned back on the back of his president chair and closed her eyes; for a moment it seemed that the dream was wrapping her. She quickly threw open them and suddenly her look fell over the little table near the door. She didn’t believe her luck, there was a sheaf of the letters on it. Possibly, this table was especially for the new correspondence not to swamp the working table. She ran to it and picked the sheaf over with shaky hands. Huston, Jacksonville, Seattle, Kansas-City. Not that! There was such a feeling that this man was corresponding with all the States. Finally! She even screamed with delight. Monte-South. That was it. That was the right letter. She put out a cuticle scissors from her bag and softly cut open big thick envelope. There was a report with full estimate and detailed description of the land that was in five kilometers from her town, where Covert Steel Production, one of Dimond-Westwood Enterprises companies, was planning to build the factory of the converts production which was necessary for steel manufacturing. These converts would be made as for the inner usage of Dimond-Westwood Enterprises factories so for the selling all over the world as a separate product. It offered a mega profit for Dimond-Westwood Enterprises. Angie knew it all and understood that where the big money was involved, nobody was going to think what kind of loss the building of such factory could bring to the area, where the places of leisure and camps were situated. Including the camp of her father. The place that became her own home since the moment her father had quit going all over the States and bought out a little camp near the lake. His whole life Darren Northon had been travelling from one state to another one, painting pictures and playing the guitar in different bars. After meeting with merry widow Marry Catwall, he understood that he was too old for such riotous life and decided to settle down. Almost all money was spent for the reconstruction of the camp, building new cottages, making a small football field, basketball court and the berth for boats. Darren and Marry didn’t simply lived with that place, they breathed with it. Her father painted his best pictures there inspired with an amazing nature and an unusual atmosphere of that place. Situated in the depth of the woods, surrounded with the mountains from one side and with a big lake Belnesh from the other one, the camp was a real resort for everybody desirous to get the best leisure in the world. In winter people came there to skiing and in summer to swim in the lake, catch fish and have long walks in the woods. Extraordinary warm aura being created by them became a home not only for her but for a huge amount of people coming to them every year. She quickly found the common ground with new father’s wife, who appeared to be a brisk, cheerful woman with big heart with no children of her own, that’s why she accepted Angie as her own one. For Angie she became a second mother after her aunt who had fostered her. The real mother she never knew. She was gone soon after Angie’s birth. Hard form of pneumonia. And now when she found her family, the building of that factory in several kilometers from the camp could lead to the catastrophe. Who would rest in the camp if the air wasn’t so much filled with an oxygen? Who would gather mushrooms from the ground polluted with factory’s emissions? Who would swim in the lake and catch fish in the water, which was affected as carcinoma with toxic industrial wastes? It would be death for the camp. And what would happen to her parents who dedicated themselves for creation of such magical place? It was too scary even to just think about it. That was the reason why she was sitting in the office of that man, who could destroy everything that had been created by her family during years, and trying to put the situation in which they had appeared because of DWE’s ambitions and greed right, at least in some way.

She glanced at sleeping Alex Dimond. His face relaxed in the sleep the rough expression was changed with the boyish one. He was undisputedly the most handsome man who she had ever met in her life given her the real whirlpool of passion. Remembering what had been going on in this room a few minutes earlier, her skin was covered with goosebumps. He didn’t do anything bad to her actually but his company aimed at the most important thing in her life, at the calm of her parents. She didn’t have any other way out. She accurately cut the thread which was the report sewn with and got out the inner content of it, then she took the same report from her bag, put the title and the last pages of Alex’s report to it, stuck the attaching with number of pages at the last list. Then she put the new report into the envelope and carefully glued it again, then put it back on the table to the other correspondence. The previous report she placed into her bag. The data in the new report were corrupted so much that the building of such factory was not only unprofitable but in fact impossible. Now she had to get out of there. When Alex woke up she would be far away from him and he would hardly understand what had happened in real. Overdid, drank and fell asleep. Pleasing herself with those thoughts Angie softly got up from her knees and felt the headrush again. Clenching her teeth, she made couple of steps, opened the door and froze. The pair of two black eyes were watching her cautiously.

“Who are you?” Maximillian Westwood asked.

Angie opened her mouth to answer him and everything went dark. Max only could hold out his hands and catch the falling girl. He stared at her in dismay. That was the same girl, who had fallen on Alex today. Evidently she had a day of fallings today. Or she was the another huntress for super rich husband and had casted out the lines for Alex who possibly slipped away from the set trap in some magically way and a real lady had nothing to do but try her charms of temptation on him. By the way where was Alex himself? Max peeped into the office and surprisingly saw his best friend and partner sprawling on the couch and slightly snorting.

“What the hell?” Max blew up.


Max was measuring with his steps the hospital hall expecting for the doctor. He had a chaos in his head and he really needed to know what the hell had happened. He remembered the events of this evening with horror. Falling on his hands girl, his friend in a complete blackout, an ambulance and now it was the hospital. Concerning to the fact that he couldn’t stand the hospitals since the moment he had got into it after the car accident and all in blood a fourteen-year-old girl had appeared to be near him in an oxygen mask. And he was lying right beside her and watching, and as from the side he saw himself as a person who had taken the wheel being in alcohol and drug intoxication and was the one and only guilty in that accident. The accident, that caused them both being in one ambulance. Then the months of rehabilitation and alcohol and drug treatment followed. That accident had completely changed him and now he was the another person. But the memory of that horrible evening kept the disgust to the hospitals for the whole life. And now he was stuck here for the full hour in an expectation and complete ignorance, when finally, at least somebody would explain him what was going on. What happened in that office? Who was that girl? What happened to her? And at last, what happened to Alex?

Suddenly the door of Alex’s ward opened and the doctor came out of it. Max got up from the sofa and rushed to her.

“What’s wrong with him?” he roared.

Doctor staggered back from his abruptness, her light blue eyes being covered behind the glassed slightly rounded. She quickly took herself in hand and answered:

“Don’t scream at me, Mr. We are doing everything possible but I can’t tell you exactly what the problem is without the results of analyses. Now he is sleeping.”

“What do you mean he is sleeping? He is in the blackout. I couldn’t wake him up no matter how hard I was shaking him and yelling.”

“It’s true,” the doctor confirmed calmly, “but all his vital activities are in norm. Do you know how much did he drink?”

“He’s the hollow leg, no matters how much you pour into him he will be fresher that any of us. He couldn’t be dead on feet like this only because of alcohol. How long should those damn analyses be waited for?” Max blew up. “I’m stuck here for the full hour. I can’t stand these dead-houses.”

Doctor gave him another strange look and said:

“They will be ready tomorrow morning. And now excuse me, I need to visit my other patients.”

“Wait Doc, and what’s wrong with the girl? And who is she?”

“The girl had a fever. And it is impossible to ask her any questions about the other symptoms because she is still unconscious. The only thing I can tell is that her temperature was subdued and her vital activities were in norm. Tomorrow after getting all the analyses I’ll be ready to answer all your questions. You don’t have to stay here till morning, anyway, nothing new will happen. Come tomorrow morning. Excuse me.”

She walked around him and went back to her study. Something clicked in Max’s head; something on the subconscious level but he couldn’t understand what it exactly was. A strange feeling that he had already met that woman somewhere. Though, who knew in his being of the young fast liver he had women in his life more than there was hair on his head. He spun for a while and decided that it was really nothing here for him to do. He needed to go home, had a bit of sleep, if possible and came back here in the morning.

Doctor Jordanna Ann Pierce approached to her study with fast steps, opened the door with a tug and bang it down behind her with force. Leaning to it she shut her eyes tightly and felt the tears of powerlessness and fury running over her face. The folder with hospital cards of her patients fell down from her shaking hands and she slowly slumped on the floor. Maximillian Westwood. The person she hated with fierce hatred. The person who deprived her the possibility to live normal human life. The person who put her into the wheel chair for long six years. The person who in his cool BMW buzzed into her parents’ car on the cross roads being in absolutely crazy insane. All that scary evening with its horrible details swept in front of her eyes. She was coming back home with her parents from the school evening where she had acted in the play. It was late and the strong rain was falling down. Suddenly there was a strong crash and everything got darken. Opened her eyes, she saw strange people who said something but she didn’t understand them. There was a noise in her ears. The rain poured with all its strength. She felt somebody’s hands carrying her somewhere. The darkness fell again. A little light penetrated through the closed eyelids; she opened them. There were people in white everywhere and something covered her face. She turned her head a bit and met the look of a young man lying beside her. He was looking at her but his gaze didn’t focus on anything. Like two dark, yawning holes stared at her. She closed and opened her eyes again understanding that she was sitting on the floor in her study and there were her folders throwing around everywhere. These nightmares followed her time to time but only in her dreams. Now she had a feeling that she survived this all one more time. She needed to calm down; she was at work in the hospital and her patients were waiting for her help. She didn’t expect in any way to meet him right here and right now. It was all so sudden. She planned their meeting to be different it was the thing that knocked her off. She had to make great efforts to answer his questions calmly. Though everything inside her was burning and roaring. She would have gladly stuck her pen into his black heart and no surprise if his blood had appeared to be of the same black color as his eyes. She violently shook her head, got up and came to the mirror. A pale face surrounded with dark red curls and big full of horror grey-blue eyes ware reflected in it. Obviously he didn’t recognize her. It was not surprisingly at all; ten years had passed since that tragic evening for her. Moreover, as she learnt later he had been in such toxic fever that he couldn’t even remember his name, not saying about the girl who he had crippled and sentenced to the six-year hell. She opened the tap with cold water and washed her face. She had to cool her nerves and just forget about it. For some time. Until she wasn’t ready.

Angie slowly opened her eyes and blinked several times. She was lying in a room. And it wasn’t Alex’s office. Despite the weak illumination, she saw the white walls, a small wardrobe, a small locker near the bed and a door. Where was she? What happened? She raised up on her elbows and looked around. The room wasn’t big and reminded the hospital ward. She shifted her eyes to her hand and saw a needle in it, which the colorless liquid was running into through the tube. Oh God, she was really in the hospital. And the kaleidoscope on yesterday events spun through her head. Alex’s fall, his office, breath-taking kisses on the coach, substitution of the report, the door, frozen in astonishment man and… darkness. She groaned and leaned back to the pillow. And how did she manage to get into such trouble? It was all the damn flu and the pills. And champagne. Right, she poured in two glasses of it for the courage at the party. And her whole perfect plan was down the drain. And now? She got stuck up to her ears in her own intrigue and she had no idea how to set herself free. The door handle ran low. Angie took her breath. What if it was the police? She pressed into the pillow. But a doctor in the white gown came to the ward and took a look at her patient with attentive silver-blue eyes.

“How do you feel?” she asked warmly. Angie glanced at her silently and point her hands to her ears and lips then made a helpless gesture.

“Are you deaf and mute?” the doctor asked. Angie nodded. “Can you read the lips?”

Angie nodded again. Pretending to be deaf and mute was the best way to avoid answering the inconvenient questions; she had learnt it from her aunt on her father’s side. Aunty Daisy always acted like deaf and mute when some annoying sellers of nobody needed goods or tax officers knocked her door.

“How do you feel?” the doctor repeated slowly articulating the words. Angie showed a thumb finger and smiled.

“You had a fever. We need to wait for your analyses to make a diagnosis and assign а therapy for you. I guess you’d like to know how your friend feels.”

Angie quizzically winked. What friend? But the doctor continued:

“He is fine; he is sleeping well in the next ward. His vital activities are in norm like yours. We’re waiting for the analyses but there is a little suspicion that he overdrunk a bit or… a lot.” she smiled. “Well for now, you will stay under our care. I’ll call our anesthesiologist, he has got a deaf and mute sister so he knows this language. He will ask you questions about the symptoms of your disease, your name and insurance.”

The doctor smiled cheerily one more time and left the ward. Angie closed her eyes. Really! Her friend. Alexander Dimond. Jesus Christ, so they got to the hospital together. Worse sequence of events she even couldn’t imagine. Only if he called the police force to arrest her for the stealing of the documents and the attempt of murder. It was good of course, that she was fine now but on the other hand, she needed to escape from the hospital and faster. She pulled out the needle from her hand and ran to the small wardrobe near the door. Opened it, she desperately moaned as there was her evening dress and her bag. She turned to the window. All she saw was the white sheet of snow which was falling down with big flakes from the sky. If she came outside in that dress, she would be taken to completely another hospital; where nobody would ask her any questions but would simply put on the straight jacket on her and… hello, everybody. Though, in that case she could probably play on insanity. Oh, how much she stuck in such trouble! What should she do now? She sat on the edge of the bed and thought of. So, here surely had to be the nurse room for changing. She determinately stood up, took her bag from the wardrobe, opened the door and peeled out the hall. There was nobody there. Yes, rather! The night was outside. It was very good that she regained consciousness now, not in the morning. She carefully slid to the hall.

Max had been hanging out in the hall since morning. He came to the nurse at the registration several times and asked, when the doctor was going to come. He simply charmed that severe madam with the body built from Rembrandt pictures, bright-red and definitely died hair and the vampire mouth. He really did his best in wringing as a water snake in front of that basket; smiled, blandished. Finally, she gave up and called for the doctor. After that he didn’t take another risk of coming to here again; it could happen that she would hurl him over her shoulder and carry to her hole. He shuddered, when he imagined such a picture. At that moment the lift door opened and yesterday doctor came out towards him. She was coming with a confident gait; her natural, dark red hair was fluttering while walking. Her medical gown emphasized the slim figure of the woman. She went directly to him but she stayed in a couple of steps distance.

“It’s good you are here. The analyses are ready,” she said in a husky voice.

Max couldn’t take his eyes off her for a moment. There was something about her that he couldn’t remember what exactly it was. Her beautiful, slightly slanting eyes of melted silver with blue shimmer were covered with glasses in a cat’s form with thin rim and diamond bits on the ends. Most of all his attention was attracted with her beautiful form mouth. The upper lip was a bit plumper than the lower one, what makes it catchy sexual. He shook his head. What was he thinking about in the hospital where possibly his best friend was dying?

“What’s wrong with him?” he asked.

“He is fine. As I have already told you he is just sleeping. However, his analyses showed Nitrazepam in his blood,” the doctor answered nonchalantly.

“What’s this?”

“Sedative medications.”

“Seductive?” Max exclaimed. “Are you out of your mind doctor? Alex doesn’t even take pills from a headache. What the seductive! You should check the analyses one more time, possibly your brilliant glasses obstruct you to differentiate one analyses from another one. It’s just can’t be Alex’s analyses.”

“Get out of here now!” Jordanna pronounced quietly, slowly articulating words.

“What?” Max was startled of such rudeness from the mouth of the woman in white doctor’s gown. He glanced at her and swallowed his words. So much hatred was burning in her eyes that it seemed to penetrate deeply inside of him. Her lips were fasten, red blushes appeared on her ideal cheek-bones.

“I repeat; get out of here until I call the security and you will be kicked out of here in your fivethousanddollar suit to the sidewalk.”

“Wait, Doc. I just want to be sure that you put the right diagnoses. Everybody makes mistakes without any exceptions, especially doctors. OK, OK. I understand. The seductive.” he put his hands up placatingly, seeing her eyes looking daggers into him. He couldn’t understand at all, why his simple harmless remark caused such a stormy reaction from a very calm, tranquil doctor.

“I’m not going to stay here and hear out so dirty comments about my competence. I’m saving lives here but not drinking tea. Respect the profession of the doctor. Is it clear to you?”

She abruptly turned her back to him, came to Alex’s ward and threw it open. She was still shaking from fury; she was ready to kill that snobbish jerk. As much as she worked to get that diploma, despite all that he had done to her and that hincty Mr. Fancy pats just spoke her ill before the stuff and the patients eyes.

Alex slowly opened his eyes and immediately closed them because of the bright day light. He was woken up with a loud voice, he listened to; it seemed like Max’s. He winked several times and sat on the bed. He didn’t understand anything. Why was he in some unknown place looking like the hospital ward? He froze for a second. Hospital ward! What was he doing there, God damn? He forcefully dropped off his blanket and got up from the bed. Coming to the middle of the room he understood that he was wearing the hospital gown. Who put off all his clothes and where took it?

The door of his ward opened and a woman in a white gown came in, she was very angry according to her very tightly pressed lips. She gave him a look and asked:

“Why are you out of the bed?”

“Who are you?” Alex grumbled.

“I’m Doctor Jordanna Pierce. I’m asking you to get back to the bed until you are in the hospital I’m responsible for you.”

“Why am I here? “Alex lowered his voice.

“You were taken here by an ambulance yesterday. We were waiting for your blood analyses to define, why you were in a condition of such a strong sleep that you couldn’t be woken up. Despite the fact that all your indications were well. Now the analyses are ready and everything is clear.”

“Clear? It’s not clear for me. Explain doctor.”

“Nitrazepam was found in your blood, it’s the seductive medication.”

“What the seductive medication do you mean?”

“Nitrazepam, it is the soporific drug from benzodiazepine group. It is prescribed according to the recipe and used in a cases of insomnia, anxiety sleep and also to reduce the emotional stress, to lease off alert, fear, annoyance. Did you take any sleeping pills?”

“What?” his eyes rounded in astonishment and the voice lowered to the whisper. “The only seductive I use is whisky.”

“Alcohol is also found in your blood. It was exactly its combination with the seductive that drown you into such a deep sleep.”

“You were filled up with the drug for abusers, my friend,” Max who seemed to be really amused with that information stood leaning to the jamb of the door. “The bombshell obviously decided that the expectation in the queue to the access to your chic body could be elongated to the next Advent, so she decided simply to drink you up and take a lark.”

Come into the ward, he dropped on a small sofa with a smile of Cheshire cat. He frankly made fun to his heart enjoying almost the panic expression on his usually imperturbable friend’s face.

“The drug that is really used for women abuse is called rohypnol and it is forbidden for spreading in the USA,” the doctor couldn’t stop to put a hair spin. It was such a pleasure to put Max into his wrongness with its nose.

“Ah, no matter,” the last one unabashedly responded. “I hope, the lady took care about the safety or it can happen that you’ll be in a role of Daddy in nine months term.”

“You’re an idiot, Max! What crap are you talking about? Drugs for abusers? As if it’s not enough that I’m standing here in some sucky hospital ward in a vest and with a bare ass, you wanna to finish me off.”

Alex’s roar was heard around the whole hospital. Jordanna screwed up a little; the last thing she needed was to get a trauma of her eardrums from his screams. Without turning to Max, she addressed to Alex.

“In spite of the fact that, there is no danger for your life existing, I would strongly recommend you to stay in the hospital till tomorrow morning.”

“Leave your recommendations, doctor, for the feeble old bones who has no other trouble in their lives as lying on the bed and let to stick in them all possible tubes,” he cut off.

Jordanna blushed, she was insulted for the second time in the last five minutes. And not controlling herself, she burned off:

“Mr. Dimond, in a case if you forget, I remind you I am a doctor. And I am here to do my job to save people, but not for serving as a punching bag for two self-centered egoists. That’s why if you make up your mind to get to this hospital one more time I advise you to check my schedule before that and try not to get in my shift here. Because the next time, I’ll prescribe for you and your overconfident friend a very good two-liter clyster. For each of you.”

And throwing back the bunch of gorgeous dark red hair, she went to the door. While holding the handle, she turned and added:

“With soup and glycerin. For better and faster cleaning up. I can’t wait for our new meeting gentlemen.”

And she was out with the banging door. Alex was standing with his mouth light open in a dismay. Such brainblow he didn’t get for years, especially from the woman. Some strange sounds like sobbing or grunting were heard aside. He turned and saw his ever best friend in the world and partner cracking up with a mute laughing holding his belly. That was the real support. He glared at his friend putting his hand on his hips. Max squeezed out from laughing.

“You won’t… believe. This toughy… lady — the doctor prescribed me… the same pill… in the corridor. Apparently it… will be necessary to check her schedule… as I’m not ready for the sacrificial sitting on the toilet.”

And laughed his head off. Alex just shook his head.

“Instead of neighing, you’d better help me to find the pants and at least some clothes. It’s time to get out of this dead-house.”

He messed his hair up in irritation. His memory didn’t want to recover in any way. He hardly could remember what had happened yesterday. He remembered that he was drinking with a model then a posh blonde appeared, who spilled the champagne on him, then his memory shifted him to the lift and that was it… the blackout.

“Max,” he hailed his friend, who was already out of the door, “that girt who I left the party with; do you know her?”

“Actually she is in the next wart to yours,” Max declared with a smirk, seeing his friend’s face losing its imperturbability for second time in a few minutes.

“How can she be in the next ward? What’s wrong with her?”

“Have no idea. She fell on my hands when I came to your office. It’s a sin to think like this but I got an idea that I was the next victim for the greedy madam, but the doctor said that she had a fever.”

Alex plucked up his head and fell down to the bed. Several seconds he was lying still then he got up and directed to the door with broad steps. He was holding the divergent sides of the gown on his fifth bare point with one hand and going to the next room. “The scene for the cover of the magazine”, Max thought with a smile and followed his friend foretasting another turning of the scandal. What else the real lawyer needed.

Coming into the next ward, they saw a bewildered nurse who was holding a dropper in her hand and a man — a doctor.

“Where is the girl from this room?” Alex asked.

They turned to him.

“We don’t know. We’ve just come here,” the man said, “doctor Pierce sent me here because the patient was mute and deaf and I had to talk to her with a help of the signs. But she had disappeared somewhere.”

“Mute and deaf?” Alex turned to Max questionably raising his eyebrow. “It’s very interesting.”

“Do you happen to know her name?”

“Carrie Meeber,” Alex answered automatically. He was surprised to remember her name actually.

Doctor’s eyes widen. He obviously read Theodore Dreiser too. And that meant the only one thing that the girl with a fake name hardly had an insurance.

“I need to report about it to doctor Pirece,” the man said to the nurse, “the girl’s name is a real fake and who is going to pay for her being here.”

“Max, ask the hospital to send the bill for the girl to our company’s address. What happened to her? Was the seductive medication found in her blood too?”

“No, there was found the medication from flu. Strong enough. And a little of alcohol. All together it caused fainting.”

Alex nodded and mutually left the ward. Sitting in the car, he was watching to the window and trying to recover the events of yesterday evening. His memory didn’t want to come back, no matter how hard he tried.

“What the hell is going on Max? I can’t remember anything, except the moment I came to the lift with the girl who’s face is a real mystery to me. And I don’t remember what happened in the office. How long was I absent?”

“Half an hour approximately, plus minus five minutes.”

“I need to know who she was and find her. Maybe it was she, who gave me those sleepy pills.”

“It could be anybody at the party as you didn’t watch at your glass all the time.”

“Why? It’s the main question Max. I want to check the office immediately. Is everything on its place there? Maybe she is just a thief and decided to steal something from there. Though, there is nothing valuable there and, moreover, there’s no money.”

“Possibly you were the only precious thing for her in the office and apparently she didn’t have strength to take you out on her back. Or maybe it was somebody else and the girl just wasn’t lucky enough. Though, it is unknown when you had a blackout after or before.

“Not funny. Don’t even dare to hint about the rape in the sleep. I’ll choke you.”

“Gotta,” Max chuckled. “Be sure, I forgot.”

Alex turned and looked into the laughing eyes of his best friend and clearly sensed that he didn’t simply forget but he would remind about it in every convenient and inconvenient moment. He sighed, nodded his head and turn to the window. He would remember. One day he would certainly remember. And he would know who gave him the seductive and the most important thing why?!


Five months later

Angie went to the doorstep of the small cottage in her parents’ camp. Now in the end of May there weren’t too many people there, so she enjoyed with all her soul with the warm weather and calmness. In a month all those houses would be full and find a place where she could sit alone would be almost impossible. She sat into the twisted chair and put the cup of coffee on the little glass table with twisted legs and frame which she had bought last summer at the fair in the nearest town and loved it a lot. It created the coziness on her terrace. In the morning she met sunrise, in the evening enjoyed the sunset and she was always astonished with the beauty of the nature in that paradise place. She was unbelievably happy that she had been able to defend that place even in the way of such a risky adventure which she had dared to at Christmas. She still shuddered with horror remembering her escape from the hospital in somebody’s clothes, taxi to the hotel and then the plane here to Monte-South. She had to stay in the hospital several days because the flu caused the complication in a form of bronchitis, and the doctor strongly recommended her to be inpatient. She felt so bad that she agreed without thinking. At once after the discharge from the hospital, she lost herself in her work trying to raze from her memory so dishonorable act she had to commit. She didn’t know what ate her away more: roguish change of the report with a help of the seductive or passionate embraces with Alex on his couch. She didn’t remember when her body had reacted so willingness to the pettings as if it wasn’t her but some another strange, crazy from frenetic passion in her blood woman. He woke up something in her that had been dreaming all twenty-sixth years, a mad desire. The desire that still came to her in her dreams with Alex. That man was a real obsession if you tried him once you would be lost forever. Her body remembered his tender touches, soft lips, insatiable tongue which found the most sensitive parts and made her languishing in the lust. She shook her head getting memories about Alex away, deeply into her conscience. The only thing that made her completely happy was the abolish of the factory building. She was personally informed about it by the Mayor’s wife, Unity Douson.

A stout lady in her mid-fifties she proudly wore things that were likely more suitable for the young girls. She died her hair platinum blond and always put the long chignon in a form of a horse tail. She reminded aunty-fairy from the cartoon “Sleeping beauty”, so much brisk, nimble and sharp-tongued. God save to be her enemy. She destroyed her enemies slowly but clearly. That’s why there were no wishers in the town; the old ones she had already driven out and the queue of new ones nobody strived to replenish. Unity was a real intrigante, she took part in every event of their small town. It seemed that not a marriage, a baby birth, birthday or a divorce could happen without her personal participation. She adored gossips, secrets; the more awful the better. She gladly supported Angie in her crazy decision to stop the factory building near their town despite the fact that she knew Alex Dimond personally because she had been Alex’s mother friend. Her intention to help Angie was based on the simple points: A) Alex was rich enough to build at least ten such factories in any other places and he wouldn’t suffer a lot without that land. B) Angie was like a daughter for her she had known her from the birth and understood well how hard it had been for the girl to live here without her father, how she was happy when he bought that camp and how much it meant for her and her family. That’s why her decision to Angie’s side was natural and the only true one. Two months after her trip to New York she called personally and informed with her thin, squeaky voice:

“Sweetie! All’s hunky-dory. The bird has brought me the news that Dimond-Westwood Enterprises refused to buy this land. Short and clear. It’s not suitable. Dot. Congratulations, you’ve done a great job. I hope, in a way to thank me you’ll leave me that cottage where I always stay.”

Angie smiled, question-order. That was how Unity kept in her small fist the whole town including her kind, calm as a bear, husband. Mayor Timothy Douson.

“Of course, Unity. You know this cottage is always at your hand,” — Angie answered.

“Awesome,” Unity yawped. “I’ll go and ask Timmy whether he goes with me.”

“Yeah, right, you ask” Angie thought with a smile and said goodbye.

After the talk with Unity she slept calmly for the first time since Christmas. False report served her aim and likely vanished in nonebeing in a shredder. Nobody would ever check. Alex read the false report and understood that he would lose more if he built it in that exact place, and like a real businessman he would find another one. In a result, she didn’t steal anything from him. For him whether that land or any other one was just a place for building up. She made a sip of strong, morning coffee and unblocked her mobile. There was a message from Teresa.

“Did you get up sleepyhead? Don’t forget about the celebration of anniversary of our hero-town on Saturday. And on Sunday there will be the opening of the restaurant. Everything must be prepared. We are all here, waiting for you.”

She smiled. She was very glad that all her workers became her friends in spite of the main rule in business, friendship comes with friendship and work with work, she couldn’t play a role of unpassionate boss and based all her work on the mutual understanding and support. Though, that role of cold-blooded boss was acted by her aunty Daisy with great pleasure. That was the right person to give orders. Moreover, she was an accountant both according to her education and to the calling, that’s why all hassles with the internal service were lying on her delicate shoulders. If it wasn’t her, Angie would never be able to make her dream of opening her own restaurant come true. Almost one year she prepared the project, then she found contractors and looked for the financing. She wanted that opening to be the main event of the town. She worked so long in completing her dream that now, when only two days separated her from it, her knees were knocking down with fear. She dialed Teresa’s number.

“Hi, hi! Are you hinting that I’m a lazybones sitting here and drinking coffee while you are all working like slaves?”

“Not me, aunty Daisy.”

“Is she already there?” Angie was appalled. “She was supposed to come back from Denver only after the dinner.”

“I’ll open you a secret,” Teresa whispered to the phone, “your aunt has magical abilities to transfer from one place to another one during mere hours. She is a witch, for sure.”

“Watch out that she doesn’t hear you or we’ll spend the whole holidays not at the fair but on the restaurant’s kitchen.”

“That’s why I’m whispering. Common, get ready and come here until she doesn’t drink all our blood.”


Angie put her mobile and smiled. Aunty Daisy was really a lady with an engine. How she managed to do everything on time was a riddle for Angie form the childhood.

She finished her coffee and went to dress up for the restaurant. The camp was situated only in two miles from the town. That’s why the way to the work and back home didn’t take a lot of time. All her life consisted from the work and the camp. There was not a word about her personal life. After school relationships and a short marriage with Henry Millestone, she was dating with economist Steve from the local Mayor’s office during four years. When she was ready to put a ring on her finger, buy herself an apron and bring up a couple of children, her groom realized that he wasn’t actually ready for such a determinate step, and, yeah his career, oh what a miracle, went up. He was invited for the training period in Finance Department in Denver. He got away from the town with a lightspeed, forgetting not only about his fiancée but also about his dog. Small, golden-fur beauty named Goldie the breed of King Charles Spaniel had jumped into his car at the gas station and didn’t get out of it until he came home. Steve decided that the safe-keeping wouldn’t be inapplicable. But when the question of moving to Denver arose he was murmuring awkwardly something about the rental apartment and the problem of walking the dog that Angie simple didn’t have any other way out. Getting such sweet thing to the shelter for euthanasia, she just couldn’t so she took the dog to her place. Now Goldie was the only mistress in the camp and demanded all other dogs coming to leisure with their masters played with her. Angie bended and scratched her softy fur. Goldie immediately turned on her back asking for continuation. She could lie by hours and enjoy her belly being scratched. Taken a look at her watch, she left Goldie warming under the sun and drove to the restaurant.

In a several minutes she was standing in the restaurant’s kitchen near the huge batch of unpacked boxes. Her faithful fellows were standing near. Teresa was her main assistant; a tall woman in her thirty-five with earthy manner of speech and a very tart-tongued sense of humor. Kate was Teresas’s assistant, small, brisk with the same age as Angie, a fan of making jokes and laughing. Danny was her economist, a computer genius of twenty-eight; in glasses, always shaggy looking whether the student or a vagabond, crazy in love with Kate and ready for everything to win her favor. He was invited to work in the leading companies in Denver but he appeared to be the faithful soldier and was true to Angie helping aunt Daisy to betide the computer submission of document and handover the reports through the online system. Teddy was the chief cook; big, bulky man with dark hair tied in a tail and with the same color moustache. The master of any dish. Angie met him in Denver where she worked as a restaurateur in a popular restaurant. He accepted her suggestion to move to Monte-South and became in charge of her kitchen without thinking. That veteran of Iraq war wanted only silence and calmness. And here in Monte-South he founded both. And the most important as Angie suspected, he found Teresa who blatantly ignored him but the attention of such an impressive man evidently flattered her. Angie proudly looked at her team and smiled; everything was like anywhere else: work, love, intrigues. They were her family.

“So, are we going to stand like this and stare or maybe some men start to open these all?” Teresa declared out loudly, squinting at Danny.

Teddy mutually accepted the order and rushed to open the boxes. Danny immediately blushed and snapped: “You personally banned to touch anything until Angie came.”

“Angie is here. What are we waiting for?”

Danny blushed more and joined to Teddy. Teresa glanced at Angie and winked. Angie only shook her head. For all seasons, Teresa didn’t miss a chance to tease the boy and it really amused her in fact as she liked to check people’s endurance and often quirked and needled. Only Danny took it all too seriously especially in Kate’s presence. As for Teddy, she preferred to turn a blind eye on him. In next several hours they were unpacking all the boxes, taking out all the products and putting them into the fridges. In the end of the day, when everything was done Angie gave a stretch and with a content smile said: “Great. Everything we had ordered came. I think, there’s more than enough, so we will be able to send some food to the fair as an advertisement and leave here for the opening.”

“We don’t need any advertisement, the whole town can’t wait the moment when you take off the sheet from the building and show everybody your masterpiece. All town will be here, well, and some tourists too.” Teresa declared.

“There aren’t too many tourists right now here but if some of them appear here, I’m sure, their Socials will be filled with selfies against the restaurant,” Kate interfered. “In this case we will possibly have to open more such restaurants or sell them in franchising.”

“Your words to the God’s ears, Katie,” Angie laughed. “But for now, we start from what we’ve got. Teddy, do you have enough assistants or I shall hire some additionally?”

“No, I chose and checked every who is going to work on my kitchen personally,” the powerful bass of the chief cook sounded. “I’ve got everything ready Angie, don’t worry. Just do one thing for me, keep aunty Daisy with her advices as far as possible from my kitchen. With all my respect to her but the kitchen is my territory. Until I’m here, I’m in charge.”

“Don’t worry, I’ve already talked to her after your loud hassle which was heard to the whole town or even the whole state. She understood everything, so as you see she isn’t here. She is in her study making her accounts and planning our murder.”

Teddy nodded satisfied and went to make correction to the menu. Angie thanked her friendly team and left. She was so tired for the last few days that she fell asleep as soon as her head touched the pill.


Five months later

Alex Dimond made himself comfortable in the chair, took his i-pod with a fixed keyboard from the bag and opened the last draft variant of the contract with Rainford Building Enterprises for building the steel factory in France. The President of that company Christian Rainford had to come into Denver for negotiations. Building that factory with such constructional giant like Rainford-Building Enterprises was supposed to open the supplements of the steel products all over Europe and, in prospect, the possibility of collaborative building of one of the most expensive, up-date complexes for leisure on Cote d’Azur. Those were his first steps in construction including DWB, but he was learning fast and now he was going to get a Master’s degree in civil engineering. This education was strikingly different from his first one, which he had got while working at the steel factory at the same time. It was the place where he understood that for the creation his own company, he needed to learn the bases of economy. That’s why he successfully finished New York University and got the bachelor’s degree in economy at the age of twenty-four.

He ran his hand over his eyes and closed i-pad. The contract was on the level as usually, Max knew his business very well and it was he who coped with all those crafty twists and turns of the legal nuances. It was his passion. The only thing to do was to meet with Christian Rainford and discuss all the details. He looked at his friend who was sprawling in the opposite chair and snuffling calmly. Alex pushed him lightly with his leg. Max rolled over and opened one eye.

“Hmmm,” he murmured sleepily. “I can’t see you.”

And turning on his side tried to bend his legs but with his height of 6 feet 10 inches it was really hard to do and his legs constantly slid down to the floor. Suddenly he made a sound obviously showing the extreme degree of annoyance and sat with a sigh still sprawling his legs. He didn’t look his best way with his shaggy hair and scrub, he could easily be taken as a vagabond if it wasn’t his expensive suit and Rolex on his hand. He said hoarsely glancing at Alex dreamingly:

“I hate you! With all my heart and my soul”

“Do the lawyers have them?” Alex interested with a smirk.

“Touché,” Max murmured watching though the illuminator. “How long shall we fly?”

“Forty minutes,” Alex answered thoughtfully. “I’m working here and you’re shamelessly flopping. It won’t go.”

“Awsome,” Max exclaimed, “it is not enough that you got me out of the great party where I almost found the only one who I was ready to live in the richness and poverty with and here, in a few minutes, all my plans went down the chute and I’m a hostage on the board of the plane.”

“Your every mistress is a wife and a mother. You’re killing me, Max. Until you get marry the Atlantic Ocean will dry out. And you as a company’s lawyer must be present on the meeting. Moreover, there is a possibility that somebody will need to go to France to see everything on the location.”

“Somebody you mean me. Talk the true. I know you set sights on some village near Denver for holidays.”

“Wanna an exchange? Unity craves to behold you personally not according to my stories.”

“Oh, Gods, no way.” Max’s face sprawled with horror. “I’m going to France. There is business up to my neck I’m needed there as the air.”

“So we finished off. Christian is leaving in three days. We’ll have to discuss everything now before his departure. And being there in France you’ll check everything and call me out for the signing the contract. So stop whimpering. By the way, did you pay the detective services?”

“Yes. Everything is paid, the detective has already started to work. But for now, there is no move. I have no idea how she could just disappear that even the detective tripped out. She didn’t leave any tracks.” Max shrugged his broad shoulders. Foxy girl, nothing to say. And why do you need her?”

“I want to brighten some events of that night, Max. I didn’t use to forget what happens with me. I’m not an old man suffering Alzheimer.”

“But you aren’t sure that it was she who gave you the seductive. Moreover, we searched the whole office from the floor up to the ceiling. Nothing missed either money or documents.”

“I’m up a gum tree what she needed in fact.” Alex said thoughtfully. He mistily remembered the beautiful stranger girl and here his memory failed him. He couldn’t remember anything more. “Not a word.” he gave Max a warning look.

“I’m mutual,” Max grinned, “the detective also checks everybody who was at the party. That seductive is ethical, so if it was prescribed to anybody he’ll find.”

“I really hope.”

In forty minutes the plane landed in Denver. Coming out from the plane, Alex made a deep breath of the air of his native town with pleasure. He came here today not as a usual worker of the steel factory but as a busy successful man who created himself. Yawning Max was standing nearby.

“Back to the past,” he smirked coming down the air stairs. “I remember us coming here as eager beavers from the steel factory and going to all companies and banks in a search of the financing.”

“If you’ve got a nostalgia we can attach you to one of our factories,” Alex needled his friend.

“Oh, big thank you. Now I’m a lawyer, so you better kill me.”

Still laughing, they came down the stairs and sat in an awaiting limousine. The advantage of big money was that there was no need of getting get through the severe control.”

The next morning, they were sitting in restaurant “Glenn” — the best one in Denver.

“There is nothing healthier than a full breakfast,” Max noticed and ordered special scrambled eggs with fried bacon slices and orange juice.

“Agree,” Alex answered and made an identical order, plus toasts with jam and black coffee.

“The same for me,” Christian Rainford said, taking off his expensive suit. Tall, sinewy with the aristocratic appearance inherited from his mother who was pure French, and had in her family tree the nobles with the royal blood, he effected the lasting impression. Arrogance appeared in every part of his beautiful face. Thin with a small crook nose, firm chin, clear formed mouth and light-grey like melted silver eyes. Light brown hair with the sun burned golden lines only emphasized the eyes color and the steady tan. He was more handsome than many modern top-models.

There was such a feeling that the faith had fun and brought together those three dreamboats in one place. If one by one they effected the lasting impression, so together it was the killing one, attracting the attention of all women in the restaurant. They were successful, wealthy, confident and handsome, every of them was in his own manner. Alex was handsome with the fast, rampageous, strong beauty; Max was one with the boyish, insolent charm while Christian was the one with the aristocratic arrogance. Without paying any attention to the interested looks, they took i-pads and opened the contract they had to sign and create a new age of collaboration for their companies.

“I learned attentively the contract and I don’t see any barriers for its signing. You did you best Max, taking into account all my remarks,” Christian sounded equally, raising his silver eyes from his i-pad. “My lawyers would like to write down the item about the possible involvement of the third persons for investing but I think we’ll manage to go with our own assets. I wouldn’t like anybody to have the right to interfere into the production and building. It is fine for me to have fifty per fifty as we have dealt. In a case of the funds loss, we can apply for banks to get a credit.”

“Agree,” Alex answered, “I’m ready to deal with American banks and the European are up to you.”

“In this case, we have an agreement to the main points. Some details will be cleared with in France. Who is going to fly with me?”

“Me,” Max answered, quickly raising his hand up, “I adore France with its heavenly wine and glamorous women. I hope it hasn’t changed since my last trip.”

“Only the best wine and the best women,” Christian agreed with a light smile, touching only the corners of his lips.

“I think you both will find the common ground. As soon you prepare everything, call me and I’ll fly immediately.”

“Great, we’re leaving after tomorrow,” Christian nodded. The men continued the breakfast talking about France, States, politics and their future business. After Christian left Max addressed to Alex.

“Does it seem to me or there is a normal man under this cold appearance?”

“I thought the same.”

“How much are you sure in him as a partner?”

“Sure enough to put my signature and tighten our deal with a handshake. At the age of nineteen, he inherited from his father a broken, spilled by creditors and direction company that was on the stage of the bankruptcy and during five years he has made it a powerful, building empire. And what did you when you were nineteen?”

“Drank, smoke, inhaled and slept with any female person in a ten mile radius. But I’ve changed, it’s all is in the past.”

“Except women, of course,” Alex couldn’t hold on.

“True,” Max answered and broke into his charming smile. “Maybe I’ll marry a French girl,” he added dreamingly.

Alex grinned and shook his head, that one won’t change his spot.


Monte-South was founded as a small, trade town in 1848. In 1858 it was attacked by Indians that took many lives of the locals and only few of them stayed alive and continued to live on their land. In 1861 the town flourished thanks to the founded gold fields here in Colorado. People came here with the whole families and in several decades the town became twice bigger of its initial size, so the population increased too. During the time Monte-South became one of the best places for leisure that was actively supported by the locals, because their budget depended directly from the tourists’ flow.

At the anniversary of town foundation which was celebrated on 10th June many tourists came, and this day was officially considered to be the beginning of the summer season. Everybody dressed up in traditional clothes of Americans and Indians of the 19th century and made a joking battle on the big field. After the battle the Mayor made a speech in the honor of their great town and its nice livers. Immediately after that, the celebration which was lasting couple of days began. Locals together with the tourists danced directly on the streets, sang songs and had a lot of fun.

Angie thoroughly got ready to the performance. She as a true local of this town considered herself as a part of the history, no matter she hasn’t been living here from the early childhood, and this holiday was her favorite one. The whole hour she was twisting in front of the mirror, touching up, retouching some parts; she really wanted to look perfectly according to the character. This year she decided to robe as an Indian. The only problem was her golden, burned with the sun hair and light green eyes. It was solved with the help of black wig with the hair length down to the waist which she decorated with Indian strings and talismans, and dark brown lens. Her forehead was embraced with the thin, twisted from colorful threads fillet with long white feather aside it. A dark, brown tunic hardly touched her knees and opened slender legs with the delicate ankles. Lighter fringe was sewn on the edges of it. In front and on the back, it went down in a form of a triangle opening well-rounded hips. Her feet were dressed in golden sandals on the flat sole with the lacing up to the knees. Fair brown and golden shadows emphasized her beautiful, almond eyes. A bit of a blush-beige lipstick and, voila, she was a completely different person. A swarthy, dark hair beauty-Indian girl who was ready to meet her enemies on the battle field was looking at her from the mirror. Angie was very glad. Her character was brisk and at the same time extremely realistic. She twisted in front of the mirror one more time and went to the celebration.

Black jeep was driving along the road from Denver to the South in direction to Monte-South. Two men were sitting in a deadly silence. Finally, one of them couldn’t restrain himself.

“What the hell, Alex? I’m not your nanny. I don’t understand why I have to drag with you somewhere, I have no idea where to. I wanted to go back to New York, finish my things and fly to France with Christian.”

“Because you’re my best friend, my support and armor. You’ll stand for one day.” Max frowned and squinted his dark, astonishing eyes. “You know, Unity was my Mom’s friend and the only person who offered her help, when Mom got a cancer. She came to her, gave her medicine and look after her, until I beavered away at the factory and studied. And why am I telling you this, you know it too well.”

“I do,” beetle browed Max huffed. “But I refuse being her victim.”

“A victim?! Oh, you’re just a moaner and a pessimist. Look at the things more optimistically. There will be a celebration, everybody will have a good time and fun, that won’t be a bother for us. Last six months were incredibly hard.”

“Without leaving the place, I can offer you as a minima dozen variants of a great leisure.” Alex reproachingly squinted at his friend. Max rolled his eyes up and turned to the window. “You send her expensive presents every holiday. Why do you want to meet her right now?”

“I haven’t seen her for ten years, since the moment when my Mom was gone. It seemed to me that, if she looked at me with such a compassion as she did at the funeral one more time, I’d cry out. She is the part of the past I’d like to forget but it’s impossible.” he screwed up. “Moreover, she can’t stop searching for a wife for me and this is unbearable. She constantly sends me photos of her sisters, cousins, aunts, friends, neighbors, thanks God, she’s got some mercy for me and don’t send her grannies.”

“Oh, don’t tell it to me,” Max smirked, “my Mom constantly manages to make the another bride show. I’m afraid that at one wonderful moment woken up in their house, I’ll see a priest standing near my bed and proclaiming marriage vows; there is a ring on my finger and next to me in my bed… my wife. And don’t laugh, you’re the next one after me. So save me as an apple of the eye. Mommy sleeps and sees us being married, respectful Misters with big beer bellies and a batch of children.”

“I do save you as a crystal statuette.”

“That’s it.”

Max nodded contented with the answer and looked at his friend who he had known many years and saw a usual, smiling man having nothing in common with the man who spiflicated his opponents without missing a beat. They had been best friends and partners in business for almost ten years already but even he couldn’t peek under his skin. Alex never opened completely to anybody. A board appeared ahead “Welcome to Monte-South, town of love and piece. Population 2000.”

The celebration of the town anniversary was in a full swing. Bright, trade stalls with different things were spreading from the center till the border of the town where the woods line started. All sorts of things were at that fair: and clothes and handcrafts and different household stuff and postcards; everything the soul could desire. The music from 80th up to nowadays was sounded from the columns, creating the atmosphere of the joyance and happiness. People worn in costumes of Indians and simple Americans of the 19th century were walking among the stalls, bartering for the fancy thing, singing in karaoke and dancing. There was made a special battle field near the woods for the fight between Indians and the locals that was appointed precisely at four in the evening. That’s why most of people were going slowly but clearly to the place of the epic battle for the town.

Unity Douson, a short, ample-bodied woman spiffed in a luxuriant dress of the lemon color in which she looked like an overeaten canary was standing near the battle field and accepting the congratulations with her birthday. It happened so, that her birthday matched with the anniversary of the town foundation that made her incredibly happy. She didn’t forget to announce everybody who appeared in her sight that it was the fait itself to make her the hostess of this town. All the locals tolerantly referred to this talkative woman and congratulated her with the smiles.

“I’m so happy,” she twittered watching bottom-up at her good-tempered, lanky husband who was smiling, nodding and keeping close at hand his bright, noisy wifie. Mayor Douson had a very easy-going, good temper and, evidently, was firmly fixed with his wife’s heels. But it didn’t prevent them to be the most strong and happy couple in Monte-South. Their only sorrow was the absence of their own children. But they always told that the locals were their only and beloved children.

“Unity?” the voice called from behind.

Unity stood still for a moment, it seemed to her that she heard the voice from the past. She turned abruptly and drove with a nose into the broad chest stretched with dark blue t-shirt.

“Alexander!” Unity sobbed and ran into the embrace of Alex Dimond. The sobbing became louder, and Alex lightly stepped back, looked into her eyes and understood, how much he had missed this unusual woman.

“May I congratulate so charming woman with her birthday?” he smiled with his most charming smile.

“You’re a nasty boy,” Unity continued sobbing, wiping the tears running down her face. “Why didn’t you call or notify? I’m very happy to see you. How much handsome you’ve become, my boy. Of course all that time you were OK, but now you’re just unbelievably sexual.”

The stifled chuckle sounded aside. Unity turned and eyed from the head down to the feet the insolent fellow who dared to do such a thing. Seeing stunned Max, she tempered justice for mercy.

“What a dreamboat!” She purred. “I’m Unity Douson and this is my husband — Mayor Timothy Douson,” and she pointed at absolutely imperturbable moustache man in a top hat, who shook men’s hands. Obviously, he was insensitive to all madcap tricks of his wife. “And who are you? Why don’t I you as I know every person in this town?

Max lost his courage for a second from such a vigor of that killingly funny woman but he quickly came back to his feet and gave her a smile, that made all women lose their heads and planned to become Mrs. Westwood, affably pronounced:

“I’m Maimillian Westwood, madam. The layer and the partner of Alex.”

“Oh, Max. I’ve heard so much about you from Alex. Call me simply Unity,” she chattered, “I’m so happy to meet you personally, lost for words. You aren’t married yet, are you? I’ve got a sister here, she’s just a viewtiful. Let’s go I’ll meet you. She’s a good girl but there is not enough good men, you’re an exception.”

She stood between two men, took them arm-in-arm and commanded to everybody including her husband: “Let’s go.”

Max gave Alex a begging for the mercy look and articulated with his lips: “What did you get me into?” Alex shrugged his shoulders and nodded his head forward. Max raised his brow and obeyed to the silent command of his friend.

People turned round watching two tall, handsome men who were walking bending their heads to the small, plump woman and attentively listened to her every word. A bit behind, as usually, the imperturbable Mayor was going. They directed to the place of the battle where the brave locals were supposed to hit back the attack of the Indians. Opposite to the legend, the locals always came as the winners in that fight, perfecting in such a way the events of the past years into their account, showing the strength and the power of simple American people. They came to the knot of Indians who were getting ready to the fight. Unity was going to them with the direct route like Titanic to the iceberg, leading the two men as the trophies which were showed up to the total review. Coming to them, she proudly put her nose up and with her tinny voice, that didn’t hitch with her rich size at all, announced: “My dear, let me introduce you my favorite Alexander Dimond who you heard so much about from me and his friend Maximillain Westwood.”


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