“Mr. Parker, with all due respect, we did not expect you would bring a different woman to every
event—“ Mr. Snyder says.
“What the fuck do you want me to do? I can’t fucking sit here and let them question my ability to
run my company and in turn handle billions of other people’s money, based upon whether or not I’m in a
relationship with someone. Everyone around this table knows I am not in a committed relationship right
now nor do I plan on being in one anytime soon. I keep my private life private for a reason! I don’t fucking
date because I don’t want the paparazzi to see me out with different women and then gossip about them
as well. This magazine, right here, is the exact reason I don’t fucking date!”
“Fuck, Alex! Did you not hear me when I said I am not in a relationship right now nor do I plan to
be in one?! Where the fuck do you propose I find someone who wants to drop everything and go to
events weekly, if not more often with me? Fuck, in the next month I have at least seven or eight events
that I need to attend… I don’t even want to go to these things, so how the fuck can I find someone else
It’s still hard to wrap my head around the thought that she is the type of woman who would accept
money in exchange for a date. I can’t help but wonder if her innocence is all some act, but at the same
time, that innocence was there the night we met her on the sidewalk after the rainstorm. If I believe her,
she had no idea who I was that night or even tonight, although I’m sure as soon as she gets home
tonight she will be on Google, finding out everything she can about me. She will not only learn that I’m
one of New York’s youngest billionaires, but she will also have the opportunity to read everything the
media has written about me including when they rake my name through mud over my personal life. Ever
since the plan my PR department came up with backfired, I have been attending events solo, which of
course the media still thinks means I’m hiding something, but at least I don’t have to hear about why I
bring a different woman to each event.
I wake up covered in sweat, my heart beating erratically as I frantically look around the room,
expecting him to be standing there. When my brain finally catches up to reality, my breathing finally
begins to slow down as I realize he isn’t here and can no longer hurt me. I haven’t had a nightmare in a
couple of weeks; they seem to come at random times and always without warning.
“I hadn’t been alone with a man, in more than two years, before I walked into your apartment that
night,” she finally says, albeit very quietly, almost as if she’s afraid of what she is saying.
But I won’t, and I can’t. I can’t jeopardize our arrangement, and more importantly I would never
hurt her. I’m not what she needs, what she deserves, and I don’t think I ever could be. She deserves
someone who comes without baggage, someone who won’t have issues trusting her completely. The
realization that I could never be that man is the equivalent of having a bucket of ice dumped down my
She pulls back slightly from me until her face is only a couple inches from me, her hands are still
wrapped around my neck and mine around her waist. My eyes find hers and immediately I feel like she is
looking at me differently. I feel like she can see right through me, as if she can see deep into me.
Suddenly, I feel… exposed.