Nikolai Hoffman stood behind the thick black curtain sealed off from the improvised stage at Sinn Plaaza Hotel. The ballroom was filled with numerous single ladies who were impatiently waiting for their next victim to take the stage.
He hadn’t seen just how full it was but the sound of their harmonious cheer echoed throughout the room causing him to sigh out grimly. Who would have thought that the shy women of Starnfords could be so -- bold.
Huh! Shy? He scoffed over the word that he had used to describe them numerous times over the years.
Wasn’t this a hell of a thing to be sold to the highest bidder and to think that some of these guys actually volunteered.
Being lured or should he say, trapped into this freak of a show was not at the top of his Friday night agenda.
“Wish me luck...”
Nikolai heard from behind him before feeling a hand gently pat on his shoulder.
“I’m aiming for at least ten thousand.” The skinny guy said before disappearing through the curtains. Evident that he was amongst the many who was here willingly.
And once again, they went wild. Unbelievable! Nikolai shook.
He could only imagine what it would be like once he goes out there.
His hands travelled through his thick black hair as he begged for patience and the strength not to strangle his sister for entering him in the annual auction off of bachelors. He had no business being here and he sure as hell didn’t need help to get a woman, he already had plenty to choose from.
The last place he needed to be seen was here, in Vladimir’s hotel being bided on. He had just gotten out of a business dinner when Tanya had dragged him back here telling him that she needed him to step in as one of her so called “man prize” had called in sick.
“Hey bud,--” one of the guy being auctioned said looking at Nikolai’s gloomed expression , “-- it’s for charity, right?”
Nikolai merely grunt.
Right now, he only had one thing in mind and that is to find Tanya, so that he could get this over and done with. He briefly scanned over scattered crowd and his eyes narrowed in and finally spotted her already making her way towards him.
His grey orbs layed fixed on her petite figure, as she nervously pulled a few of her dark locks behind her ears. How was it possible for someone who looked so innocent to be so cunning?
“Here is your number romeo.” Tanya said handing him over the tag.
“The last time!” He hissed through clenched teeth as took it from her.
“For what?” She batted her lashes at him.
“It’s the last time you do this to me. I mean it, Tanya!”
“Relax Nikolai, it’s for charity. The ladies are going to fight over you, I just know it and remember it’s for a great cause.” She smiled sweetly at him.
He flexed his jaws as he straightened his bow and smoothed out his tux.
Of course it was for charity, and for that and only that was why he didn’t turned around and leave. He already had a room here so, he might as well just get this over with and after that he could go through his little black book and decide on who to end his night with.
He’ll just have to fixed a date with whomever buys him and then politely excuse himself.
Buys him? Great choice of word. He just made it sound like he was a prostitute. He silently cursed inwardly.
“Atleast act like you’re enjoying yourself.” Tanya said glancing down at her programme list then back up at him.
He thrusted his hand into his pockets and stared at her.
“You know I’m not. I have better things to do than being ogled by a room filled with desperation.” He grimaced.
“Come on Nik, be nice. Who knows, your soul mate might even be out there, then you’ll have me to thank for.” She grinned, moving over to the curtain to steal a look from the crowd.
She smiled at the sound of the banging of the auctioneer’s gavel. Another bachelor had been sold.
“You’ll be happy to know that there are alot of potential out there. Lots of blondes and redheads, just the way you like them.” She smirked looking back at him.
“Can you not do that?” He said, giving her a slightly annoyed look.
“What?” She asked innocently.
“It’s a complete turn off having your sister talk about your love life.”
“Oh my goodness Nikolai, I know where babies come from already. Argh! I’m twenty-two, what do you think Chris and I do when we’re alone?” She gave him a challenging look.
“I hope by that you mean you cuddle or something.” His eyes narrowed down at her.
“Yeah, we cuddle alright.” She said rolling her eyes at him then mumbled,“If being naked counts as cuddling.”
“What was that?” He quirked a brow at her.
“Nothing. Just...never mind.” She shook returning her attention back to the ballroom.
“Before I forget, the guy that you are filling in for, he promised a romantic date to Paris. You’re going to have to roll with it cause it’s too late to change it now, it’s on all the brochures.”
“It’s fine-” he huffed, “--just make sure nobody knows it’s me. I’m about to close a deal with Vladimir Sinn, I don’t want him to think that this is what I do with my spare time.”
“Don’t worry, just relax and smile, and try to act sexy, just make sure you go for more than a thousa--oh my goodness!” Tanya hitched and her dark orbs grew wide.
“What is it?“Nikolai frowned at her.
“I can’t believe she wore that, that little vixen.” She said shaking her head in disbelief.
“Nothing.” Tanya replied with a mischievous grin stuck on her face, closing back the curtains. “Don’t forget to put your mask on and don’t wonder off because you’re up next.” She said, moving away from where he stood.
“I just need to go give something to someone. I’ll be back.” She said waving off as she dissappeared through the double doors which led to the lounge.