Fan Fiction prequel to The Arrangement: Before there was an arrangement, there was a transaction. Bradley Knight wasn’t always a kind benefactor. He had money, and he had ambitions and desires. He had no problem satisfying them no matter what the cost. But it was usually someone else who paid. When Amelia Donovan literally falls into Bradley’s lap at a benefit concert, he comes up with a plan for his needs to be met—no strings attached. Against her better judgement, Amelia enters into a contract with the billionaire. She tells herself it’s just for the money, but would she end up giving away more than she bargained for?
Age Rating: 18+
I fell into the guy’s lap.
The lights on the stage were going up, but it was pitch dark in the luxury box and I wasn’t used to heels. I inhaled sharply in my surprise, and I swear, his cologne made me feel drunk. It was something on the verge of familiar, but with its own brand of masculinity.
The concert hall brags about its luxury boxes and I had to admit this was the most comfortable seat I’d ever had.
He was solid, warm, and muscular, but relaxed, at least for a moment. Then his whole body went rigid as he recovered from the shock of me falling on him, and he pushed me away.
He was gentle about it, his hands just the right pressure on my arms, as he lifted me and resettled me in the seat next to him that I’d been aiming for.
“I am so sorry,” I whispered close to his ear. He jerked away a little.
“It’s fine,” he said in a tight voice that told me it wasn’t fine.
I turned to the orchestra. I was here for the music, not to make friends. And at the first note, I forgot to be embarrassed.
It wouldn’t have mattered if I was in a luxury box, or in the worst seat in the house, the music took me to a whole different place like it always does.
And I so desperately needed to get away from it all that night.
She fell into my lap. Literally. If I were a praying man, which I’m not, I would have considered that a sign.
She filled up my senses. Again, literally. Her wild hair covered my face for a moment, and I had no choice but to breathe her in. She smelled like candy.
And she felt like heaven. Like her ass was made for my lap.
I couldn’t even see her, but I got hard in an instant and pushed her away before she noticed. I had to grit my teeth when she practically put her lips to my ear.
The orchestra was settling in, quieting down and waiting—tense and expectant of the conductor to lift his baton—but I wasn’t watching the stage. I was staring at the woman in profile next to me.
I was still watching her when the lights went up suddenly for intermission. She turned to me, her soft brown eyes full of light, her curls dancing around her shapely face. She looked at me so openly, so directly.
“I did not think I was going to get lucky tonight, did you?”
“Excuse me?” Was she propositioning me?
“With these tickets. They never put the luxury boxes on the Wishlist.”
“You know, when seats aren’t filled, they give them out for free to the public. It’s an amazing program. It helps everyone. No performer wants to play to an empty house.
“And a lot of cultural venues talk about diversity and inclusion, but you can’t just level the playing field, you have to level the audience.”
She shook her head. “All right, that metaphor isn’t the best, but you know what I mean.”
She looked at me as if noticing me for the first time. “How did you get your tickets if not from the Wishlist, do you volunteer?”
“In a way,” I said.
“I do, too, with the outreach program. But things are just crazy right now, I can’t get enough hours for the free tickets.”
She yawned. I looked at her even more closely and saw she had dark shadows under her eyes. Some of it was makeup. Maybe she’d put it on haphazardly, or it had gotten smudged. But some of it was obviously exhaustion.
It made me feel tender towards her; it also made me want to do things to keep her up at night.
She put her hand on my thigh and I reacted to her immediately. I was glad the program was resting on my lap. And I realized that was what she wanted; she didn’t even know she was touching me.
“Could I see your program for a sec?” she asked.
“Maybe later,” I said curtly. I’d rather she thought I was rude than a creep who got an erection from just a touch. I pretended to be interested in the program myself. From the corner of my eye, I saw the corners of her full lips drop. I’d offended her and I felt a little bad.
I got the distinct impression money was tight for her. Not just that she was on the list for free tickets, but the way she was dressed. She wore a formfitting tank top, a baggy sweater, and I swear, what looked like a tablecloth pinned up as a skirt.
It was the ugliest outfit I’d ever seen, but nothing would look bad on a woman like her.
But she would have looked even better out of it. And that was all I could think of during the second half of the performance.
I didn’t enjoy the second half of the concert as much as the first. The guy was beautiful. He had a jaw like it had been carved out of rock, dark eyes and jet-black hair that fell over his forehead.
That lock of hair was the only part of him that was the slightest bit unorganized. Otherwise, he was so put together, it looked like his suit had been ironed before he sat down. His tie was straight, his dress shirt crisp and white.
He was amazingly attractive. He was also a prick. I guess he didn’t like people falling on him. And then, I made it even worse.
I love Brahms, but it’s no coincidence that people play him to get their kids to fall asleep at night. I was exhausted, and the music was so beautiful, and I hadn’t slept at all last night and…
I woke up with a sigh. My head was resting on a firm warm pillow that smelled so good. The room was getting bright. I didn’t know where I was, and then suddenly, I did.
I lifted my head from the guy’s shoulder. There was a dark spot on his suit jacket. I had drooled on him!
“Did you sleep well?” he asked sarcastically.
“I am so sorry!” I said. I sat up, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand. I tried to dab the wet spot on his jacket with the only thing that would reach it—the hem of my skirt.
I glanced up at his face. His jaw was tight, his teeth clenched, but his eyes had gone wide. I followed his gaze to my thighs, which I had completely exposed while trying to wipe his shoulder.
I pushed my skirt back down. He inhaled deeply and slowly like he was trying to remain patient.
“I am so, so sorry,” I said again.
“Don’t be,” he said through clenched teeth. He stretched out an arm to check his watch. It looked like gold. I never imagined then that it really was.
“Oh my gosh, is that the time? I’m going to miss my bus.” I got up so quickly and fell into him again, and this time he caught me around the waist and kept me upright.
I practically ran for the bus. I caught it easily, but I just wanted to get away.
I realized as we pulled away from the curb that I didn’t even know his name. Which was just as well because I’m sure he didn’t ever want to learn mine.
She ran away like a clumsy Cinderella. She didn’t leave a shoe behind or anything else, although I wouldn’t have been surprised if she did. She was beautiful chaos.
I like order and neatness, but there was something to be said for a whirlwind. I didn’t know her name, but I could find out easily enough, and I did.
I found the manager of the concert hall before I left. “Could you tell me who you let use my box tickets?” I asked.
Robin was apologetic. “I’m sorry, Mr. Knight, I don’t usually give those out, but you said you wouldn’t be here.”
“I asked you who was sitting next to me,” I reminded her.
“Amelia Donovan,” she said quickly. “She practically works here. I wouldn’t give those seats to just anyone. She does so much here or used to before…” She seemed to catch herself and stopped rambling.
“I made an exception, Sir. I promise you it won’t happen again.”
“And if I wanted it to?” I asked.
Her eyes went wide.
“See that she gets that seat for the rest of the season. If you can let her know I’d appreciate it.”
“You can tell her tomorrow. She’ll be presenting a project to the advisory board.”