HomeStephanie MarzellInsufferable ProximityInsufferable Proximity 2The Luck Deciding FactorThe Stand Off
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​The Stand Off
It was a grey-washed day. Thick drops of rain assaulted anyone daring enough to venture out under the sky. The unusually thick fog and ominous howl of the wind spoke volumes of the mood inside the large office building.  
Lux sat in the room filled with poshly-dressed business men. She had taken over an hour to find the perfect outfit. Her black blazer, black button-down shirt and black skirt seemed business appropriate at the time. Now she felt utterly fashionable in a tank filled with blood seeking sharks. She knew she was way out of her league, but she didn’t care. She was here for a reason.

She kept her head held high despite her nervousness. These men ate weakness for late night snacks; there was no way she would win if they sensed her nervousness. Besides, these men were not the ones she should be afraid of. She was still waiting for that source of overly aggressive energy to walk through the doors.

Suddenly the large double doors swung open and in walked the source of her frustration.

Dean Blake.

Lux sat at the table, eyeing Dean as he walked towards her. He did not disappoint; his mere presence screamed aggression. His cocky demeanor was as obvious as the color of his eyes. The pale grey orbs seemed to fit his insensitive personality as well. He wore his arrogance with more ease than he wore his expensive suit.  

Even his walk is cocky, she thought as she refrained from shaking her head.

Although she hated to admit it, he had a right to be arrogant. He was an intimidating figure, his 6-foot-1 frame towering over her as he stood across the table. His wide shoulders and chest blocked the rest of the room from her and it felt as if the two of them were suddenly alone.

She’d researched all the stories; he was a ruthless businessman. He was vengeful and eager to destroy those who dared to oppose him. He was known for his quick temper, insensitivity and volatile moods. He was also extremely wealthy and had a lot of connections, which did not help her current situation. 

She shifted in her chair as Dean stared at her from the other side of the table, his pale eyes boring into hers. His cocky look momentarily replaced by what could be considered surprise.

“Who are you?” he barked impatiently.

“Lux Hart.”

“You’re Lux Hart?” he asked.

“Yes.” She nodded. Lux was shocked at the way his deep, commanding voice seemed to slide down into her panties and blow against her newly ignited vagina. It was the first time that hearing her name repeated back to her had been stimulating. She shifted in her chair, stunned by her reaction and confused by the hussy who suddenly possessed her body.  

Really, Lux? 24 years without a flicker of sexual activity going on in that brain of yours and now suddenly it sparks? What the hell is wrong with you, you simpleton? You’re here for business! This man is trying to destroy The Music Hall!  

She took a deep breath as he placed the paperwork on the table.

“I need your signature…here.” He pointed to the line with the red X. 

As if she were registering everything in slow motion, she looked at this thick finger and then the words on the paper. She looked back up to him and was caught off guard by the look on his face.

He was looking at her as if he were bored with her very presence, as if she’d wasted his valuable time. 

Sexy and a pompous prick. She felt the annoyance ride up her spine like a pesky insect.

The strange sexual sensation wreaking havoc in her nether region shut off like a light. The unease she had felt coming into the meeting was now replaced by anger. She looked up at him, keeping her emotions in check while the ball of fury began to build inside.

Who the hell does he think he is?

“I’m not selling my portion of the building to you. I came here to talk you into selling the portion that you own back to me,” she explained as calmly as she could.

“Then you’ve wasted my time; that’s out of the question,” he said in no uncertain terms.

She tried to reason with him. “You can see the dilemma. If my mother had known that small portion of the property did not belong to her, she would have purchased it as well. You must admit the circumstances are very strange.” 

“I could care less about the circumstances. I want you to sell your portion to me,” he said as the look of boredom returned to his face.

It was more than obvious to Lux that he wasn’t going to sell without a fight.

“No.” She raised her chin and squared her shoulders. 

“No?” He arched his brow as if he were not used to hearing the word.

“No,” she repeated in a flat tone as if she were the bored one now.

“Then you leave me no choice.” Dean swooped the paperwork from the table and stared at her for a moment before he spoke. “There will be a wrecking crew to tear down the portion that I own at 7 am sharp.”

“You can’t do that!” Lux stood up, all thoughts of being civil erased from her mind.

“I can do whatever I want with what I own. You know the terms as well as I do.”

“No you can’t! That is my building! We fought hard to get it where it is. I will not sit by idly and watch you destroy it.”

“Then don’t be there when I arrive and you won’t have to watch.”

“I won’t let you do this.”

“What choice do you have?”

“I have a choice.”

“There’s nothing you can do to stop me.” He almost grinned.  

“We’ll see about that.” Lux grabbed her things and left the room with all the regality of a queen, despite the rage emanating from her hazel eyes.

All eyes were on her as she walked to the elevator. She held herself together as she walked in, but the moment the elevator door shut, she growled and kicked the wall. 

“Asshole!” She wanted to choke that man; he was unbending… unyielding. She kicked the wall again. 

“You condescending, non-budging brick wall, spoiled, greedy…ugh!” She kicked the wall with too much gusto and then winced.  

The pain shot through her toes and slowly spread to her ankle. She exhaled the deep breath she’d been holding as she felt her body begin to relax around the pain. There was nothing like a quick jolt of pain to grip the thought process and force it to slow down.

“He’s crazy if he thinks this is over. This is not over, not by a long shot.” The elevator doors opened at the precise moment she composed herself. She walked out as if she hadn’t just lost her temper, assaulted the elevator, and mangled her foot. 

I will get you, Dean Blake. One way or another. I will win, she mentally vowed. She kept her head held high and walked to the front doors with the air of a queen, despite her slight limp.

***

Dean was still staring at the closed elevator doors after Lux had gone. She’d been a quick jolt to his life, in and out like lightening; leaving him stiff, shocked and dumbfounded. She’d caught him off guard…he was never caught off guard. He’d never been in a meeting that had left him unsettled and angered as well as stimulated. 

“I didn’t expect that,” Johann said to his brother Dean after everyone else had left.

“No,” Dean agreed. 

“No one has ever said no to the all-knowing and all powerful Dean Blake.” Johann could not stop the smirk from spreading across his face. “You look a little shaken.”

“Don’t you have work to do?” he gave his brother a stern look.

Dean was a master when it came to property; most of his deals were over quickly and always ended in his favor. He wanted that property and he would resort to drastic measures if need be. However, the little obstacle in his way had upped the ante and turned it from business to a bet.

She’d almost made it personal…

And what a delicious little obstacle she was. All anger and justification; he would enjoy breaking through her stony exterior. He’d get that property one way or another, he always won…she would learn that quickly. She was no match for him. Maybe he would sweeten the deal for himself and take his little obstacle out to dinner. 

I bet she fucks as hard as she fights. He thought to himself before grinning.

Watching her cum would be amusing; watching her break when she changed her mind would be fun. But watching her sign over the very building that she’d fought so hard to keep…would be exquisite. 

***

Lux stood before the music hall and sighed. She looked at the sign and thought back to the day they had designed it. This building was filled with so many memories, good and bad. Her whole life revolved around the music hall. She would never give it up without a battle.

Lux took a deep breath and walked into her house. Although her heart was heavy, there was still a great deal of anger. She felt like a caged animal and she was ready to spit fire straight down Dean Blake’s spine. Unfortunately she would have to hide her true feelings, lest she panic everyone in the house. 

She hated to have to tell them the bad news. She knew her mother would be distraught and scared. She walked inside and straight to the kitchen where she could hear her sister Pixie and her adopted sister Kiki. She walked in and sat down in the retro, red and white, diner style chair.

“Where’s mom?” Lux asked, although she was relieved that Pax was not in the kitchen.

“She was tired, she went to bed. I made some snacks,” Kiki told her as she pulled out the tray of treats.

“How did it go?” Pixie asked.

“As expected,” Lux sneered.

“I still can’t believe we’re going toe to toe with Dean Blake.” Kiki shook her head as she grabbed a peanut butter cookie.

“So now what do we do?” Pixie asked.

“Plan B.” Lux turned to face her sister with a serious expression on her face as she continued, “I don’t have a choice; I tried to be nice… I tried to play by the rules.” 

“I know,” Pixie put her hand over her sisters.

“Sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do,” Kiki added.

“Are you sure?” Pixie asked Lux.

“Most definitely,” Lux said with conviction.

“I’ll make that phone call right now.” Pixie grabbed her phone.

“I don’t know how you’re going to get us out of this one Lux, but if anyone can do it, it’s you. We have full faith in you.” Kiki said.

Although her words were meant to pacify, they made the seriousness of the situation much more serious to Lux. It reminded Lux that they were depending on her again. She couldn’t fail them.

Lux took a deep breath and began to mentally prepare herself…this was going to be a nasty fight.


Chapter 1
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