Chasing Love: Chapter 5


I slowly open my eyes and take in my surroundings.

It’s dark outside with the moonlight peeking through the drawn curtains. The empty bottle of bourbon is lying on the nightstand as well as my wallet and phone. There’s the stench of cheap perfume and sex in the air. Scattered across the floor are my clothes along with a red halter-top dress. I look at her sleeping peacefully beside me—a brunette—a rare slip-up. What’s her name again? Brandy, Betty, Bindi? I carefully move off the bed, dressing quickly, and grab my belongings to leave the room.

The elevator takes forever, and upon entering, I swipe my hotel room key to the top floor. As seconds pass, my head isn’t taking well to the copious amount of liquor I managed to drink last night.

Back inside my room, I start packing my suitcase and call my assistant, Kate. She answers almost immediately.

“Kate, what time is my flight to London?”

“Eleven, sir,” she yawns as she answers.

“Book me a room next to the airport. I’ll be there in twenty minutes.”

This isn’t the first time I have called Kate at five in the morning asking for a hotel change. I just don’t want the aftermath of trying to cut loose the hussy from last night.

I arrive at the new hotel and shower before grabbing a quick bite to eat. I have plenty of time to spare, heading straight to the airport to wait in the business lounge until boarding.

The flight is quiet, thank God, which gives me a chance to catch up on work for the first few hours. When my eyes begin to grow weary, I shut the lid of my laptop and close them, remembering how last night began.

“Excuse me, sir, you left your credit card at the bar.”

I looked up, and before me was a gorgeous woman wearing a red halter dress, black pumps, her long brown hair flowing down her back. Of course, she noticed when I eyed her from head to toe. Not bad, I thought to myself, it’s been a while since I got some pussy.

“Thank you…” I searched her face, waiting for an answer.

“Brandy,” she said, batting her eyelashes.

We sat at a table and started talking. She told me she was a flight attendant from Alaska and continued to talk, but all I could think about was the hair—the long, brown hair that flowed down her back. I ached to touch it, remembering how it felt running my fingers through it. Fuck no, don’t reminisce. Brandy smelled fantastic like sex. Probably wasn’t wearing anything underneath. Such a dirty little whore.

“So, tell me, Lex, what do you do?”

I broke out of my thoughts and quickly answered her question. This woman was really starting to bore me. I offered her another drink which she gladly accepted before inviting me to her room.

I don’t remember much, only that she was loud and wanted me to pull her hair harder. She enjoyed being dominated, playing the innocent woman begging to be fucked. I don’t do brunettes, but last night, I let my guard down. I fucked her twice before collapsing on the bed and passing out.

Lately, the tension has mounted. Many things are weighing on my mind, and blowing off steam usually does the trick, but as I sit here listening to the pilot announce our descent, I’m not any more relieved of the stress.

The plane arrives in London on time. As usual, my driver is waiting for me at the gate. I decide to go straight to the office, knowing I have a busy day ahead of me. It doesn’t come as a surprise when we drive out of Heathrow to see that the skies are gray, the clouds forming in a cluster. It’s summer, and you’d think that after five years of living in London, I’d be used to this, but I still miss the constant sunshine back home.

Our office is on the top floor and has a fantastic view of the River Thames. I’m proud of what I built from nothing. Years of pushing myself to build my empire, dedicating my life to my work, and goddamn, it’s paid off. I know what my net worth is, and so does everyone else after The Times article was published.

When it comes to business, I regret nothing. I’ve made hard and fast decisions, took risks, and never let anyone influence me any other way. I know becoming a doctor was my father’s dream, not mine. That’s not to say I don’t respect him. I’ve never met a man as driven as my father. His dedication and compassion astound me.

Yet our fallout years ago after I decided to quit the medical field and focus on building my empire was a kick in the guts I never expected from my own flesh and blood. Neither of us would back down. My mother was devastated, trying her best to repair our relationship. It took the passing of my grandfather for us to start talking to each other again, though our relationship still remains strained, something I choose to ignore.

I’m his son, and I failed him. Even Bill Gates would argue that in a heartbeat.

I enter the lobby to see the staff nervously shuffle around me. It fucking pisses me off every single time. They better not have been slacking off. I remind myself to contact human resources and have performance reviews done. These twenty-something girls think they have it all figured out, but gossiping during work on my time isn’t acceptable. Fuck, I’m getting more annoyed by the minute. Slamming the door behind me, I walk to my desk and press the speed dial button to reception.

“Gretchen, get Kate in my office, now.”

“Yes, sir,” she rushes.

I sit at my desk and start checking my emails—same old bullshit. Honestly, some fuckers need me to hold their hand for everything. I may be the CEO, but fuck me, bend over, and I’ll wipe your ass too! I didn’t get to the top by playing on the safe side. The stress of this upcoming merger is really starting to aggravate me. I’m not a patient man, those around me know that. Years of planning and adhering to a strict project timeline has me itching to close the deal. I need to move forward, distract myself with another so-called impossible business venture which will pay off and add to the Edwards’ fortune.

Trying to take my mind off this merger, I wait for Kate to arrive, checking the share market and analyzing my stock.

“Good morning, Mr. Edwards.” Kate walks into my office, taking a seat opposite me and opens up her laptop. She starts reading from her calendar, reminding me of what I have scheduled this week and when. “You have a three o’clock conference call with The Windsor Group regarding the merger, and your flight to New York leaves tomorrow morning at six. I’ll accompany you on this flight, and your stay in New York will be till next Monday. During this time, you have meetings scheduled with the After Dark investors.” She continues to scroll through her schedule, typing as she speaks. “I have made an appointment with a commercial realtor to look at potential office locations.”

“Oh right, the Manhattan office.” I sigh, bored by the prospect already.

It isn’t my idea to have an office in Manhattan, but investors are pushing to dominate the U.S. market. They insist on a headquarters in North America, not just London, and Manhattan is the best place for this to happen according to the numerous market projections they made me sit through.

At first, I was reluctant. London is my home now, and the thought of being an hour away from my sister irritates me. I love her, as you would of family, but she’s just, well, just Adriana. Personal bullshit aside, it makes complete sense and is the right move. Just a lot of work and not the type of work which stimulates me.

“Your sister called to remind you that since you’ll be in the city next week, you have to attend that charity event.”

Exactly why I loathe visiting.

Adriana is like an annoying five-year-old in a toy store when it comes to charity events. This will not be the last time I hear about it. I expect a call shortly telling me what to wear, who I should bring, and how much I need to donate. Fuck, this day is going downhill fast.

“Is that all?” I ask, annoyed with all this social bullshit.

“Yes, sir.”

“It’s going to be busy. Please book the Waldorf penthouse suite for me.” I glance up from my screen. “That’s all, you may leave now.”

She scurries out the door, closing it behind her. I admire Kate for putting up with my arrogant persona. Originally, I hired her as an office junior, however, I was quick to notice she didn’t run for the hills like every other pathetic little thing here.

For a twenty-six-year-old, she’s by far the most mature of all the women working for me. Kate is originally from Manchester, having moved to London two years ago. At first, I really struggled with her accent and euphemisms, but after living in London for the past five years, I finally got the hang of it all. My mother often mentions my accent has changed, and my sister complains I call her a twat too often.

It only takes a few minutes before my phone starts ringing. I grab the phone, staring at the screen, debating whether or not I should answer. I place it against my forehead, willing it to stop.

“Adriana,” I answer in a stiff tone.

“Oh my God, Lex, finally! I know you got my messages regarding the charity ball. Don’t you dare hang up on me, Alexander Matthew Edwards! I’ve only got a few minutes to talk.”

She doesn’t stop to take a breath. Adriana is like an Energizer Bunny on Prozac. A few minutes to talk, bollocks! I expect this call to drag on for an hour at best.

“I’ve already RSVP’d your name on the guest list, and I have a date for you. Don’t worry, she’s blonde just like you like them. Her name is Brooke, and I know you’ll love her.” I can hear the trace of sarcasm in her tone. “So, I’ve ordered you a tux. I’ll meet you wherever you’re staying to drop it off. Oh, and the donation, we need to discuss that.”

“I can find my own dates, you know.”

“I know, dear brother, but Brooke is lovely, and it’s been a while since you settled down,” she says, lowering her voice.

“You know I don’t do ‘lovely.’ She better be a fit bird.”

“A fit bird? What the hell does that even mean? If by bird you mean because of the breasts, you’re such a jerkoff, Lex. However, yes, she’s a fit bird. I’ve gotta go, but I’ll get Kate to give me the details of the hotel. Love you.”

Our flight to New York is scheduled to leave at six. It’s the standard seven-hour flight, and thank God for first-class. Never would I ever fly cattle class.

I meet Kate at the gate area. She’s dressed casually compared to her normal corporate attire—tight jeans, tan-colored knee-high boots, and a white button-up shirt. With her blonde hair tied into a bun and bright blue eyes staring back at me, I’ll admit she’s very attractive. Not that I’d ever go there.

Golden rule number one—never shit on your own doorstep.

“Good morning, Mr. Edwards.” She half-smiles.

“Good morning, Kate. Are you ready to board?

She nods. We grab our bags, making our way to the priority line to board the plane first.

I adjust myself in my seat and grab the New York Times to read. Kate is busily typing on her phone, smiling while she answers a text—boyfriend, I bet. Women are so easy to read. Trying my best to ignore her, I busy myself by reading an article on tax evasion in the U.S.

The flight takes off at exactly six.

After we are at altitude, the seat belt signs go off, prompting the stewardess to start serving drinks.

“Good morning, sir. Would you like anything to drink?” She licks her lips as she waits for my response.

A redhead. Interesting.

“Bourbon and Coke, please. It’s been a while since I’d joined the Mile-High Club. I might need directions to the restroom later, miss…” I searched for her name tag “… Miss Horne.”

“And for your girlfriend?” she asks.

Kate bursts out laughing, rudely. I stare at her, waiting for her to stop.

Why is that so funny?

I’m a fucking catch.

I know I’m handsome. Call me conceited if you want, but I’m six-foot-two, work out at the gym every fucking day, plus I’m filthy rich. Women throw themselves at me daily.

“I’m sorry.” She laughs, wiping a tear from her eye. “Just a gin and tonic, please.”

Gritting my teeth, I pry, “Why is that so funny?”

“It’s just that, well, Mr. Edwards, you aren’t the relationship type. Far from it.”

She stops laughing, her eyebrows drawing together with a worried look.

“I guess you’re right, I don’t do girlfriends or relationships,” I admit, knowing exactly why I despise commitment.

Thank God, the bourbon is filled to the brim. Drinking it all in one go, my wandering mind, which has attempted to take a trip down memory lane, is immediately squashed. I press the call button, needing a top-off immediately.

“And you? I’m guessing you do. Hence, why your eyes light up every time your phone goes off?”

“Sorry, Mr. Edwards. That’s my boyfriend, Jeff. He’s in Australia visiting his parents, and the time difference is driving us crazy.”

We speak more about how long they have been together and how they met. Kate is an interesting woman to speak to, always with an anecdote and holds your attention rather easily. Speaking to women, apart from my mother and sister, isn’t something I do very often.

Kate knows what she wants in life, and I admire that.

We stop talking, but I’m left feeling somewhat bothered by the conversation about relationships. While Kate sleeps beside me, I stand up and stretch my arms, making my way to the restroom, passing Miss Horne on purpose.

After a quick glance, she follows me to the restroom at the back of the plane, closing the door behind her. Then I push her head down to my cock, finally releasing the tension building up inside.

We arrive at JFK at six o’clock Eastern time. The driver takes us straight to the hotel where I change into my sweats to go for a run. I love the city in the morning. The streets are getting busy, but there’s still an eerie sense of calm. I run through Central Park alongside others trying to get in a quick morning run needing to burn off this energy. The past few days have been draining, and all I want to do is put them behind me. I run harder, pushing myself until my lungs burn. I debate heading back to my room but decide on hitting the gym first.

It’s just before nine when I get back. Taking my time, I linger inside the steaming shower, allowing the water to ease my tense muscles. Crossing my arms with my eyes closed, I’m aware my cock is standing rock hard. What’s fucking new. Ignoring its presence, I turn the faucet to cold, welcoming the brutally cold water.

My first meeting is with a commercial broker. After changing and eating the gourmet breakfast room service delivered, my driver drives me to the financial district, but not without the usual headache of the peak morning traffic.

The first office space is a small building with views mainly facing a brick wall with a neon sign for Chows Chinese Takeout. Seriously, do I have to do the job myself? Frustrated with my time being wasted, I glance at my watch to check the time.

“Mrs. Hampden, I’m not sure what my assistant has told you, but the Lexed Group does not have offices facing brick walls. Do I need to find another broker?”

Looking flustered and embarrassed, she pulls out her portfolio. What the fuck is this woman thinking? This is what happens when some geriatric has-been is still working when they should be retired and living in Boca. Pulling out my phone, I’m ready to blast the person who recommended her to me.

“Mr. Edwards, I apologize for the communication error. I do have one that I think will be more suited to your business.”

The other building is two blocks over. The building is tall with modern architecture which stands out amongst the other generic buildings. Inside, my eyes scan the floor space. It’s fully furnished, the reception area formal with black leather sofas and a large marble desk. I follow her around the floor before walking through the double doors to what would be my office. The view is amazing, the East River with the Brooklyn Bridge on the far left.

I call Kate right away, knowing office spaces like this in Manhattan are hard to come by.

“Kate, please have the lawyers draw up the contracts for this new office,” I command, rushing through this conversation. “Human Resources can start recruiting for the jobs we discussed last week. I’ll forward you a list of everything else I want taken care of by Monday morning.

I leave the building, finally relieved we have found a space that represents the Lexed brand.

It’s lunchtime now, and the streets are busy. People around me are piling into restaurants, others darting in and out of boutiques. I find the restaurant where my sister and mother are meeting me for a quick lunch. At least that’s what I anticipate but, of course, women can talk for days without taking a breath. Seriously, do they ever shut the fuck up?

My mother is the first to greet me, reaching up to place a kiss on my cheek, then rubbing her fingers across it to wipe off the lipstick she left behind. “Here’s my boy. Why haven’t you returned my calls, Lex? I know you’re busy, but not hearing from you weeks on end worries me.”

“C’mon, Mom. You know what it’s like.”

“No, I don’t, Lex. I understand you’re busy running an empire and all, but a quick call, text, or even an email wouldn’t kill you. Better yet, send me a friend request…”

Thank God, for once my sister’s timing is perfect. Practically running over to the table, she kisses my mother, then whacks the back of my head.

“What the fuck, Adriana?”

“Oh, hello, big brother of mine.” She laughs while taking a seat.

Adriana is seven years younger. My parents would often tell me that when I was six, I begged Santa to bring me a brother or sister. Unfortunately, Santa delivered a year later.

Some say she looks like me. I can’t see the resemblance apart from our eyes. She has light brown hair like mine, but today she’s blonde. I can’t keep up with her ever-changing hairstyles. Typical woman, of course.

“So, Elijah and I have set a date. It’s February 14th, the day we officially started dating.”

“Oh, honey, I’m so happy for you. Aren’t you, Lex?”

I look over at my mother, her face willing me to say something pleasant. What possible thing can I say about a fucking Valentine’s Day wedding? The holiday itself is a load of shit. Like we need a day to show someone we love them with candy hearts and giant bears which serve absolutely no purpose, and don’t get me started on weddings.

“Sounds bloody ace.”

“Bloody ace? Is that all you have to say?” Adriana asks, frustrated with my British slang.

“What would you like me to say? Tying yourself to someone will guarantee you a lifetime of happiness. Weddings are magical.”

“You’re such a jerk.”

“So I’ve been told.”

At this point, my mother places her hand over Adriana’s, trying to calm her down. I order a drink while I wait for them to change the subject, then take my phone out of my pocket and scroll through my emails until my mother scolds me for my behavior. Again.

“Alexander, this isn’t the man I raised you to be, nor the man I know and love. I know you have a tarnished view of marriage, but that doesn’t excuse your rude behavior toward your sister.”

Here we go again.

I grab some cash out of my pocket and throw it on the table. Standing, I walk away without a goodbye, knowing I haven’t acted the way I should have, but I don’t give a fuck anymore. People can get married as long as I’m not involved in any way, shape, or form. The word marriage itself hits a nerve with me. It ruins everything. It ruins people.

Back at my hotel, I bury myself in work until the night falls. This is what my life has become—working round the clock, not knowing when the day begins or the night sets in. I travel all over the world for business, not once taking a vacation. I isolate myself, losing contact with old friends. Relationships aren’t for me. I fuck when I need to let off steam, and that’s that. When a rare opportunity for peace presents itself, I sit with a bourbon in my hand. Those are the moments I dread the most—they bring my failures to the surface and allow me to think of the past.

I’m not that Alexander anymore.

He was buried the day I left Carmel.

I’m Lex Edwards, CEO of the Lexed Group. I control everything in my life and thrive on the power I hold.

No one tells me what to do.

I live my life exactly how I want.

Everything in my life makes sense now.

Everything is perfect.

Except for one minor thing—I’m fucking miserable.


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