Sitting there with six pairs of eyes on me was making me feel very uncomfortable. Conner picked up a shot and downed it in one gulp.
“You said your name is Shay?” His blue eyes pierced through me.
Dropping my head, I answered, “Yes, sir. My full name is Shaylee, but my friends call me Shay.”
“I like that name,” he said with a smile, seeing that I was very nervous. His voice had a thick accent to it as he talked.
“May I ask where you are originally from? You have a very nice accent.”
“We are from Italy originally. Born and raised there, then moved here when we got older. Zane’s parents still live there, but we wanted to move here and live on our own.”
Conner looked at me as he told me where they were from.
“Are you all friends or brothers?” They didn’t look anything like each other.
Noah slid forward in his seat. “We are lifelong friends; we have known each other since we were little. Our families are very close, and we grew up together.”
“I guess that was nice, always having someone to play with?” I fiddled with my fingers slowly.
“We were around each other every day. Zane’s parents are…” He trailed off and did not finish the sentence.
I looked at him, and he shook his head as I turned my attention to the murderous look Zane had in his eyes.
Looking back down, I saw that their drinks were out and stood up.
“Where are you going?” Zane had a mean and demanding look on his face.
“You are out of drinks; I was going to go and get more for you.”
“Not tonight, my love. You are to stay here to talk with us some more, and then I also want to get to know more about you.”
“Why do you call me that? It is not my name.”
Zane smirked with a devilish grin. “Where we are from, we call the women what we see with our own eyes. That is what you are; ‘my love’ will be your name for me to call you.”
“I wish I could believe that,” I said, still standing and looking at the curtain for a hopeful quick escape. “I don’t believe that I am.”
Zane was up in a flash and stalked toward me. I jumped as he backed me up against the floor-to-ceiling tinted glass overlooking the dance floor.
I laid my hands flat on the glass as he caged me in with his hands on each side of my head.
“You don’t think you are beautiful?” His breath was mixed with cigarette smoke and his tequila.
His eyes bored into mine as he waited for my answer. He leaned forward so that his lips were only millimeters away from mine. “Well? I asked you a question.”
“I have been told by many men that I am, but there are many other women who are prettier than I am.”
I tried to control my breathing, which was now starting to pick up due to the heat of his body only inches from mine.
“Why do you have this doubt in your mind that you are beneath others?” His eyes continued to bore into mine.
“I just don’t put myself on that high pedestal where I think I am untouchable. I know there is always another person out there who is smarter, prettier, or deserves things more than I do.” I kept my voice stern.
He pushed himself off the glass and took my hand, leading me back to the chair where I was sitting a few minutes ago.
“You need to put yourself up there because I am untouchable, and now you will be too,” he said.
“Excuse me?” I stared back in shock at him. “Exactly what are you talking about?”
“You are now mine, my love. You will be by my side from now on as my girlfriend, and then eventually, we will be married with children.”
I started to bolt out of the room, but two men stepped in front of me. I turned around to see that Zane had flicked his wrist, telling them to do exactly what he wanted.
“I am not a prize that can be told what to do or be won like that. I can make my own decisions on who I want to see and who I don’t.
“I know nothing of you, and you come in here thinking you can lay a claim on me like that, not knowing anything about me?” I said, crossing my arms and standing my ground where I was.
He slowly stood up and turned toward me with a look that scared me to death. His words were dripping with venom when he spoke.
“That is why you are here, so we can get to know each other better.” He snapped his finger, and another man handed him a folder, which he opened.
“Let’s see, you are Shaylee Morris, twenty-two years old, living at 2364 Parkinson Road. So you live in an upscale apartment building, sixth floor, suite two.
“Own a silver BMW that is six years old, and you just paid it off. Do I need to go into where you were born, grew up, how much money you have in the bank?”
“How did you get this private information on me?” I asked, dropping my arms and looking at the folder in his hand.
He grinned like the devil and sat down with his back to me.
“Come, I will tell you about myself,” he said, pointing to the chair that I had sat in a few minutes ago. I remained standing and didn't move.
I saw his head nod and the two men grabbed me and set me down in the chair, holding my arms back.
I was mad now and tried to fight them, but their grip was vice-like while Zane glared at me with a cold, hard look.
“I will not bite you, but if you don’t stop fighting my men, they will give you something to relax you so we can talk properly.”
One of the men pulled out a syringe with a clear liquid in it. He showed it to me, and I stopped.
“Good girl. Now relax, get comfortable, and we will have this nice little talk with each other.”
I looked around the room quickly; about seventy-five men were walking around, but they did not come anywhere near us.
I nodded to Zane, and the men let me go. I sank into the chair.
I had never been in this room before, so I slowly scanned it and saw exactly how lavishly it was decorated, from the high-dollar furniture to the plush carpet under our feet.
“Were you the one in the alley earlier?” I tried to calm my nerves, which were out of control right now.
Zane’s grin told me the answer to that question immediately.
“Yes, I was waiting for a friend to show up when you walked by. You caught my eye then, and when I saw you on the floor from up here, Alec was told to send you up here to be with me for the night.
“Now, let’s get to learning about each other.”
He snapped his finger again, and most of the men left except the two who had sat me down and the other men I had talked with earlier.
If I wanted to run, there was no way around the three men sitting in front of me and the other two men standing guard at the curtain to leave the room.
I sighed and got comfortable in the chair for the so-called talk.