Chapter One - Wake Up Alone

It's okay in the day I'm staying busy
Tied up enough so I don't have to wonder where is he
Got so sick of crying
So just lately
When I catch myself I do a 180
I stay up clean the house
At least I'm not drinking
Run around just so I don't have to think about thinking
That silent sense of content
That everyone gets
Just disappears soon as the sun sets

-Amy Winehouse


I was lying on the bed naked. Matt was in the bathroom getting cleaned up after he'd had sex with me. At least that's what I'd call it. Sex with Matt over the past five months had involved a couple of open mouth kisses, a few lick and nibbles to my breasts, a finger in me, then he would push himself inside of me and within seconds he'd come in the condom, leaving me unsatisfied, every single time.

All I really wanted to do was curl up on my side and cry.

Matt and I have been together since high school, some seven years. We were both seventeen when he moved to the high school I was attending and within a week of him starting school, we were inseparable.

He was my first kiss and my first lover. We lived together while we attended the same college and then moved to the same city after graduation. We even worked for the same company, up until two weeks ago, when I lost my job, along with two hundred other employees. Matt still worked there, and he'd been making comments about my unemployed status, as though it was my fault I no longer had a job.

Secretly, I'd been looking for another job, because I'd started to want something else. I actually felt relief when the company let me go. For the first time in a long time I was free and there was nothing Matt could say about it or so I thought.

I noticed a change in him around five months ago when sex turned into a one-man-show. Up until then, we had what I'd call a 'normal' sex life. Not always full of passion, but mutual enjoyment. Well, I can honestly say I hadn't had an orgasm since then, and I really didn't think Matt gave a damn.

Matt was my only family since both my parents had died five years ago and I had no siblings. I'd clung to Matt even more. He was my security blanket. I came to this conclusion after I'd talked with a shrink for three years after their death – without his knowledge.

I was due to start a new job in the offices of Salvatore's Holdings. The company belonged to a group of brothers, Enzo, Damon, Stefan, Mason, and Tyler. Damon Salvatore, the former boss of the company's first born son was always in the paper with one harlet after another. Enzo, the second oldest, was only ever in the paper when the company was mentioned and there was never a photograph. Stefan and Mason made the paper, but not as often as their brother Damon.

I'd never met the brothers, a Mr. Gilbert had interviewed me for the position. If I had to guess, he was in his late forties and he seemed to act like everyone's father. I'd signed the contract then and there and I was to be Mr. Gilbert's assistant, which I had to say, I was really looked forward to.

The bathroom door started to open, so I quickly covered myself with the duvet and pretended to still be asleep. Having a conversation with him was the last thing I wanted to do.

I peeped through my eyelashes and watched Matt fasten his watch onto his wrist, and put his wallet into the inside pocket of his suit jacket. He then collected his keys and walked out of the bedroom. A few minutes later, I heard the front door to the apartment open then close and the lock slip into place. He did all this without one glance in my direction.

I was slowly coming to the conclusion that perhaps our relationship was over. Part of me just wanted to lie in bed all day and cry, another part of me felt relief. The only problem I had was, if – or should I say when – I left, I didn't have anywhere to go or enough money to pay a deposit on another apartment. I was going to have to save every dollar I could from now on and bide my time.

With a sigh, I climbed out of bed and walked into the bathroom. I brushed my teeth before I slipped into the scorching shower and scrubbed Matt from my skin.

With a towel wrapped around me and my hair still wet, dripping down my back. I took my navy blue suit from the hanger, then placed it on the bed while I hunted around for the white blouse I liked to wear with it. I spotted it hiding in the back of the closet, so I pulled it out and placed it on the bed with my other clothes. I quickly dressed in my white lace underwear – wearing sexy underwear under my suits always made me feel more confident.

I fastened the blouse and pulled up the skirt, which was fitted to my shape and came to rest a couple of inches above my knees. I found the blue matching heels, which made my legs look longer than they were. I stood back to look at myself in the mirror – I looked hot, especially with my hair pinned up in disarray on my head.

With my head cleared of unpleasant thoughts, I walked out of the apartment and headed for my new job.


My temper was gradually on the rise. If Damon didn't answer his damn phone soon, he'd find himself without any financial resources. He would then have to contact me, which he would, because he'd have no money.

I'd been trying to get hold of my brother for the past two days, since I returned home. Oh, I knew he was having a ball, with a woman he'd picked up in the hotel bar during the conference in San Diego.

The woman had been giving me the eye, until she'd spotted Damon. Was I bothered? No. My brothers loved nothing better than to have a dig at me for keeping my private life, just what it was…. private.

No, I wasn't a monk, although for the past couple of years I had been. I didn't draw attention to what I got up to and the minute I was seen with anyone the press would have a field day. The last time the press took a photograph of me with a woman was six years ago, and the woman in the photograph had been my wife, Maggie, just before she died.

I poured a coffee and stood with my back against the cabinets. I crossed my ankles while I thought about the meeting I had at eleven. John Gilbert had assured me that my new assistant, who I'd yet to meet, would be perfect and not let me down. Bonnie Bennett. She had no idea her new position was as my assistant. John had interviewed her for me, intentionally giving her the impression the position was with him. At least that way, I'd get someone who knew how to use a computer instead of how to apply polish to her nails.

Every time I interviewed anyone, the interview had a habit of going downhill fast, as the young woman in question seemed more interested in me and my brothers than the actual job, which was damn frustrating.

John had done a background check on Bonnie and checked the reference she'd received from her previous employer, where she'd been let go due to the company downsizing. What I found difficult to understand was why she'd been one of the ones to be let go. She had an outstanding record with the company, a lot better than some of the people who'd kept their jobs, especially her boyfriend. I'd asked a friend of a friend who worked at the company and did favors for money, to dig deep, and see what he could find out as to why she was really let go.

I took a seat in the breakfast nook just off the kitchen, which I favored due to the amazing view of the garden and the mountains beyond. On the odd occasion I'd sit here and wish I had a woman to share this with – not often – but occasionally. Ever since Maggie died, I'd been alone. She died on her way to the meeting with our divorce lawyers. We'd been married three years, and in those three years I'd lost count of how many men she'd been with. She'd completely soured my perception on relationships, making me a skeptic. Being alone you couldn't get hurt, but sometimes it sucked.

It had taken a long time to believe that she was the one with the problem, not me. I owed that revelation to my brothers after they knocked some sense into me. Literally.

With breakfast finished, I collected my keys and headed out front to be greeted by my driver, Alaric. I actually loved to drive, or rather I loved to sit on my Harley and just let her rip. It made me crazy, driving in to the city with all the traffic, and trying to find parking. So Alaric drove me to the office, left me there and parked up at a hotel close by where he spent the day inside drinking coffee, flirting with Jenna, one of the receptionists, and awaited my call for a ride.

"Morning, Alaric," I said in greeting.

"Morning, Mr. St. John."

Once I'd climbed into the car, I sat back and tried to relax. Normally I would read the newspaper on my way into the city, but Damon was across the front page, so I thought I would pass. I'd been so lost in my own thoughts for the past twenty minutes, that when I looked out of the window, Alaric had already pulled up outside the Salvatore building. "I'll see you later, Alaric. Have a good day."

He blushed slightly. Jenna was going to have him hot under the collar for the most part. After the first week, I'd refused to allow him to climb in and out of the car every time I needed the door opened.

It took a while to get used to being driven around, but I wasn't lazy enough to have the door opened for me. I closed the door after I'd climbed out and watched him pull away, doing a U-turn to head to the hotel.

As I walked into the lobby, I waved over to Beau, the security guard, and carried on through to the elevators. Beau was fussing over a woman at the front desk and I couldn't help but do a double take. She was what Damon would call a babe.

She had long legs with pumps for shoes, a tight fitting skirt with equally fitted jacket and dark hair pinned loosely on the top of her head. I carried on and as I waited for the elevator, I turned and watched the woman from the front desk walk towards me with her head down. She had no idea I was stood watching her.

When the doors opened, I stepped inside and held them open for the mystery lady. As she walked closer, I caught her scent and my cock immediately hardened. Shit, that was not good. I had never had such a quick reaction to a woman's scent before.

She looked up and when her eyes met mine they visibly widened. She stopped mid-step and just gazed up at me. I was reluctant, but I managed to drag my eyes away from her penetrating stare. "Your carriage awaits," I told her rather roughly.

Hell, I felt as though I'd been hit over the head. I watched her closely and noticed how her throat moved when she gulped then took a deep breath, before she stepped into the elevator with me. Was she as affected by me as I was by her?

I felt damn uncomfortable. My cock throbbed and I wanted to believe it was from lack of use and not because of the sexy woman who stood beside me.

Yeah, keep telling yourself that.

Author's Note:

This story will includes lots of sexual tension and smut, warning from now. Also it will be explained about Enzo's family tree with the Salvatores and Lockwoods, basically they are half-brothers but we'll get more into that family history later on.