"Mr. Qinn, I really love you!" a woman's voice echoed in the dimly lit underground garage, jolting Abigail and caused her phone to nearly slip from her grasp.
She was just on her way towards her parked car, but who would have thought that she would witness a confession in this dark, cold place?
"What did you say?" A frigid, husky male voice interjected, its depth sending a shiver down her spine—even though the words weren't directed at her. Maybe it was the sheer force of his voice, or perhaps the way his tone sliced through the air, devoid of all warmth.
"I said I love you," Abigail heard the woman's voice again, "I love you so much! I fell for you the first time I saw you."
Abigail held her breath, waiting for the man's response, but only silence followed. Despite her curiosity tempting her to steal a glance, she remained frozen, waiting until at last, the man broke the heavy silence.
"Is that all?" was all he responded, causing Abigail to gasp in disbelief at how heartless he sounded.
"W-what?" the woman was obviously utterly shocked.
"Tell me, what do you want?"
"I... I've been in love with you since the beginning. I've been your girl for two months now, but you have never said anything about how you feel about me. Mr. Qinn, I... all I want is... I just want you to love me back."
"We're finished," he declared. His voice remained devoid of any semblance of warmth, each syllable carved from ice and void of emotion.
"I won't repeat myself."
"W-why? Mr. Qinn, what a-are you saying? This is not... The contract I signed clearly stated that I would be your girl for three months! It's only been two months, but now you're saying we're over? What do you mean by—"
"Miss Moore... didn't you read the contract properly?" the man's tone became even colder, almost harsh. "Scott, come over and read the condition she didn't read."
Abigail was left utterly shocked by the conversation unfolding before her. "A contract?" Her mind raced with disbelief.
Realizing the situation was getting worse, she felt an urgent need to leave. But the fear of being seen kept her frozen. Stuck between escaping and the danger of being noticed, she could only reluctantly stay hidden.
"Miss Moore, here is one of the two conditions in that contract you signed." Another man started talking. "The contracted girlfriend can demand anything except for two things; love or affection. Once the contracted girlfriend demands to be loved in return, the contract will automatically become null and void."
Abi was so shocked she could no longer stop herself from taking a peek at them. She just couldn't believe what was happening. She couldn't believe that something as outrageous as this was happening in real life. This was absolute madness to someone like her.
When she saw the girl, her hands flew to her own mouth. Isn't that Ina Moore? The famous actress?!
She couldn't believe her eyes. Why would a beautiful woman like her beg for a man's love? More importantly, their relationship was contractual?! This beautiful diva, Ina Moore, was some ruthless man's contracted girlfriend?!
Abigail's widened eyes then shifted to the man, but she couldn't see his face because he had his back to her.
"I warned you long ago. I don't do love and never will. And you of all people should already be well aware of how I deal with anyone who breaks any conditions in the contract." the man's words resounded, and a shudder coursed through Abigail as she witnessed Ina Moore's collapse to her knees. The goddess that many males out there were praising now looked like all her blood was being drained all at once. Then just like that, she was dragged away by a bulky man in black towards another car.
When the car was gone, Abigail finally came back to her senses and quickly hid herself again.
"Come out. I know you're there. Now." The man's command echoed, leaving her so stunned that she remained motionless for an extended beat. She knew he was talking to her and she knew that he was a man who didn't want to repeat himself, so holding her breath, she finally stepped out.
"Come over," the man ordered, and Abigail slowly lifted her face. She was incredibly nervous. She couldn't remember if anyone had ever made her feel this scared and nervous before in her entire life.
As soon as their eyes met, Abigail almost gasped. The man standing before her wasn't merely good-looking; the term was a gross understatement. He existed on an entirely different plane of handsomeness, eclipsing any celebrity she'd ever laid eyes upon. His stature was imposing, his raven black hair seemed to fall naturally under the caress of his fingers, elegantly swept back from his face. Everything about him was a portrait of masculinity that could only be described as perfection. A man simply seemed too handsome to be real! How could a mortal man look this stunning? No wonder such a beautiful woman like Ina Moore begged for his love!
But this stunning creature was glaring down at her. His dark eyes were hostile, making her want to shrink to the floor and disappear. The way he looked at her was definitely the definition of the phrase 'if looks could kill'.
"Who are you? Paparazzi?" Abigail flinched back from the displeasure in his voice. His ice cold eyes glimmered with a dangerous light and it chilled her more than the freezing temperature. She couldn't help but think that this man was definitely the perfect example of the inhumanly beautiful male she often times read about in fictional books.
Swallowing, Abigail forced herself to respond to him. "No, I'm not." She shook her head, but the man's eyes narrowed and then, he moved, walking closer to her.
Every step he took felt like a ticking time bomb to her, but surprisingly, she was able to hold her ground despite her knees shaking a little. When the man stopped just less than a meter before her, she couldn't help but bite her bottom lip. The man was scrutinizing her, looking at her like she was his prey. She knew from one look in those eyes that 'dangerous' was an understatement to describe him.
"Little lamb... did you hear everything?" he asked, his gaze deadlier than the sharpest dagger. She had never seen eyes as beautiful but also as deadly cold as his. He had killer eyes that could pierce through anyone's soul.
"I'm sorry, I... I didn't mean to—" Abigail managed to answer when the man suddenly raised his hand towards her. She flinched in fear and instinctively shut her eyes, thinking that the man was going to strangle her.
But that didn't happen.
Slowly, Abigail opened her eyes.
He did not say a word. He was solely focused on her bright yellow knitted scarf. For some reason, the daggers and the ancient glaciers in his eyes seemed to have been washed away and were suddenly replaced with an odd, calm blankness.
She glanced downward and noticed his fingers fiddling with the edge of her knitted scarf. Abigail froze in place once more, her heart racing erratically.
"Yellow..." he murmured to himself as he dropped his hand, and then the look in his eyes changed again but he didn't look harsh and cold anymore like he did moments ago. "Go home," he said, and just like that, he turned to leave.
Abigail exhaled as she watched him moving away from her. She should've been running away now that he finally let her go unscathed, but she just stood there, unmoving, her gaze watching his retreating graceful figure.
Closing her hands so tightly that her knuckles turned white, she suddenly called out.
"Wait, mister, please wait!"
The chauffer had already opened the door for him to enter when her voice echoed in the cold garage.
"What?" he replied without turning to look at her.
Fearlessly, Abigail began walking towards him. She was suddenly high on adrenalin and she felt brave. Her knees had stopped trembling and the fear in her eyes was replaced with something else—resolve.
"Was everything you said true? That you do not do love?" she asked as she stood less than a meter behind him. "Are you really sure you won't fall for anyone?"
The man finally turned to look at her. His dark gray eyes assessed her with disbelief and then, interest.
"From what I understand, you're willing to make someone your girlfriend as long as she won't demand your love, right?" she asked again, her doe eyes, looked determined.
Silence reigned between them for a moment. The man stared at her through his narrowed eyes and he seemed astonished as if he was looking at a certain unbelievable creature.
"Why are you asking?" His lips now curved up in a wicked, amused smile.
"I'm just curious. Is it true?" she answered.
"What if it is?"
Abigail pressed her lips tight. "If it's true, how can you be so sure? Do you really believe that you will never fall for anyone? Ever?"
What she got as a response was a low chuckle. His laughter bore a devilish quality, accentuating his striking appearance. The mirth didn't quite reach his eyes, yet there lingered a trace of amusement in his demeanor—though she struggled to decipher it fully. He was just an enigma, his expressions a puzzle she found elusive to solve.
"Tell me. What exactly are you trying to say?" he fiddled with the edge of her scarf again, his thin lips still curved up in a dangerous and mischievous smile.
"I... I'm just saying that I don't think you'll be an exception. Maybe you just haven't met that special someone who has an axe to force your heart open."
"Little Yellow, are you saying you want to try me?"
Looking at his eyes, Abigail fell silent for a moment before she nodded her answer. Her eyes were decisive. He laughed.
Creasing her brows, Abigail tried to show him how serious she was, but when she said she was serious, her intensity seemed to have only made the man more amused.
After he stopped laughing, the man spoke. "Are you perhaps thinking that you could eventually make me fall in love? Too bad, Yellow... Countless women have already tried that and besides... I don't think you are capable of it." His eyes traveled from her head down to her toes. "And you heard me correctly, I don't do love. Never. So don't waste your brain cells thinking about it." His voice was smoldering, despite the smile on his face.
But Abigail was unfazed. "How about you try me? I promise, I will not demand for you to love me back." she promised, even raising her hand like a girl scout, causing the man to laugh again.
"Yellow, you're such a brave little girl." His smile faded and a hard edge crept into his voice.
"Please stop calling me Yellow! My name is Abigail. And I'm not a little girl! I'm about to turn twenty-two."
The man's expression abruptly shifted once again and and a chuckle slipped from his lips. His laughter really held a certain enchantment that weaved through her ears like a spell. His unexpected laughter held a remarkably pleasant allure, a sensation she found unexpectedly captivating.
"Indeed, you are one brave, little girl, Yellow. Do you know who I am?"
"And yet, you're still here blindly offering yourself?"
She nodded, and the man now smirked evilly. He stared at her from her head to toe for the second time as he licked his sexy lips and then stepped forward. His long, graceful finger lifted her chin. "Little lamb, let me tell you this. You're standing before the gates of hell right now. Are you ready to step down to hell with me?" His eyes blazed. A warning was burning within them, and Abigail knew he was more than serious and that the danger might be more than real.
And yet, his warning wasn't enough to make her give in. She had never been this brave—or crazy—in her life.
She was already imagining lots of things in her head. The possible outcome of this madness she was trying to throw herself into of course terrified her, but... every time she thought about her future, was there anything scarier to her at this point Wasn't she looking for something like this? For a man like this?
As the silence dragged on, the man's lips curved up into a triumphant, mocking smile, and his hand landed on her head. He ruffled her straight black hair and leaned in on her. "Hell is not a good place, at least for a little lamb like you. I'm sure you're aware of that. Now run away while this big bad wolf is still being nice and calm."
And then, he turned to leave so casually, as if nothing had happened. But after three steps, Abigail stopped him again.
"The hell you're talking about," she mumbled, "I... I'd like to see it for myself. Take me there."