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             I admitted that I had read those romance novels where the personal assistant to some billionaire mogul falls in love with the domineering brat of a man. As the story goes, they hated each other from the beginning. He made her life a living hell. At some point on impulse, they had a sexy, steamy moment in his office. Then, they fucked like jackrabbits and decided that they are made for each other.

            I was living that fantasy. In the arms of a billionaire, Jayson Harrison, CEO of Harrison Technologies, I wore a slate blue Zuhair Murad 2018 Spring Collection straight off the runway in Paris. Jayson hadn’t asked me to marry him, but we had looked at engagement rings. Twice. He looked magnificent in his charcoal Ferragamo suit. As we danced to the orchestra that played, he whispered naughty thoughts in my ears just to make me blush.

            Harrison Technologies charity event was the talk of the town. The guest list was full of the who is who in Nashville. From recording artists to chief executive officers, the event would headline all the papers tomorrow. 

            It was being held in a historic hotel in downtown Nashville. The building had been around since 1900, and it was an exquisite piece of architecture. In a Richardsonian-Romanesque style, the hotel stood with a beautifully gothic allure in downtown. The 65-foot barrel ceiling lobby was breath-taking. I loved the building which is why I planned for the party to be held here. I had to put my architecture degree to work somehow.

           Photographers took our picture as we entered pausing on the red carpet like we were celebrities. Our romance made the papers, not just the gossip columns. I promised him I’d never read any of it. He said it would drive us apart, and he didn’t want anything between us. As we entered the building, I wasn’t drawn by the lavishly done interiors. My gaze was fixed on Jayson as it had been since we began our relationship. He was a work of art.

            I’d given him all of me: body, mind, heart, and soul. He’d given me the same. We danced, drank champagne, and at the first opportunity, slipped out to the waiting Maybach Exelero. It wasn’t in front of the building, but at an entrance on the lower level. Jayson wanted to avoid the media since we were leaving early. The party was dwindling, and we hoped that no one would notice our sudden absence. Making our exit, I was excited to have him undress me and make love to me the way no man ever had before I met him.

            Just like in his job, he controlled every situation in the bedroom. It took me a long time to get used to his dominant personality, but after a while, I began to crave it. So many things in my life forced me to be independent. My mother died of breast cancer when I was in college. I never had a father that I knew. My brother spent most of his time in jail for drug-related issues. I interviewed for fifty different positions in my field, which was architecture, before taking the personal assistant job at Harrison Technologies out of desperation. It was okay that I had to forego my dream because I’d done it on my own. Whatever it took to survive, I did it. I was strong.

            Jayson made me weak. Just looking at him, before we actually made love for the first time on his desk, I trembled in his presence. The aura of a man in control repulsed and allured me all at once. That first time, which I wouldn’t call making love, would forever be engrained in my mind. It was a carnal lust that we both needed to fulfill, but it led to this beautiful relationship. He’d broken down his walls and let me in beyond his need for my body. I’d allowed him to enter my heart where I’d kept myself walled off from everyone. I loved him like I’d loved no other.

            As we ducked into the car, I heard a gruff voice say, “Get out of the car.”

            “Fuck off,” Jayson said to the man standing outside of his door. He tried to close the door, but the man grabbed it preventing him from doing so. He held a pistol in his hand with a silencer on the end.

            “Get out, and the woman too,” he said.

            “You aren’t taking my car,” Jayson protested.

            “Jayson,” I whimpered. I knew he wouldn’t back down. It was the man inside him. He’d fought and clawed his way to the top. No one would take it from him. Even though he could buy a new car just like this one in the morning, he wouldn’t give it up.

            The passenger door swung open and gloved hands dragged me out of the car. The cold tip of a barrel pressed into my temple.

            “Let her go!” Jayson growled in defiance.

            “Move away, Mr. Harrison,” the man demanded again.

            Jayson lunged for the gun, catching it with his right hand. It fired as the man tried to pull away shooting a bullet into the air. The hands that gripped me held me tight as I watched the struggle in horror.

            The man’s broad chest made him much wider than Jayson, but I knew he had trained in martial arts his entire life. He craved the discipline and routine of training. He wrestled with the man, but his efforts were futile when a second man came from behind him. This slender man wore a black mask revealing only his dark eyes. He pressed the gun to Jayson’s head as he struggled with the brute and pulled the trigger. His body immediately went limp, sinking to the ground. Red blood stained the ancient brick of the historic building just beyond the car. It ran down over the bricks and mortar to the foundation.

            I screamed before my attacker could put his hand over my mouth.

            “Fuck, man. Shut her up,” the slender man demanded.

            I felt a sharp pain in my temple and the world went black.

            My story started off as the typical billionaire romance novel. I had no idea that the love story I thought I had would take me to my breaking point. Nothing could have prepared me for the low point in my life. Never did I consider that watching the love of my life die right before my eyes would destroy me beyond repair. His death started the flood that consumed my life. I watched everything I built my life around being washed away in a tide of violent waters.

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