Home > Her Unexpected Admirer

Her Unexpected Admirer
Author: Elizabeth Lennox

Prologue

Fifteen minutes, Davis told himself. Show up, pretend to look and get out. He glanced at his watch, noting the time of arrival and mentally anticipating his departure time even before he walked into the studio. Damn, he truly disliked art and all the pretensions that went along with it. Davis considered paintings and sculpture to be a monumental waste of time. Why people needed something to decorate their walls was a mystery to him. His decorator, an irritating woman with too many teeth, had insisted on “investment pieces”. So there were some ridiculous “art works” decorating his walls that had cost him a stupid amount of money. He’d acquiesced on the purchases simply because he knew that they would have a good return when he sold them.

Yep, he thought as he stepped into the crowded art gallery, white walls, a lot of people oohing and ahhing about art that….Davis’ eyes glanced at the first painting and his mind stopped functioning. All the disparaging comments he’d been about to think just left his mind as he took in the spectacular colors and shapes in front of him. He wasn’t exactly sure what he was viewing, but the colors…the vivid symbols that formed images in his mind that were almost…erotic! “Stunning” came to mind and stuck. He couldn’t think of anything else to describe these paintings. They weren’t traditional paintings with a subject and background. If he had to put words to what he was thinking, he would say they were sort of flashes of something, images…or maybe feelings? He wasn’t exactly sure. It looked both chaotic and yet, still organized into one feeling. Damn! It was a stimulating sensation and, just staring at the canvas, he felt his body respond, felt his pulse pound in his head and beat throughout his body.

He’d never had a physical reaction to a painting before but he couldn’t tear his eyes away from the first one. He wanted to stare at it, to figure out all the details and organize them in his mind but still just enjoy the entire experience.

As he stared, he realized that he didn’t just want this painting. He had to have it. He glanced down at the description and noticed no red dot indicating that the painting had been sold then turned to find the salesperson. He was determined to have that painting. But as he surveyed the room, his eyes caught on another painting, this one more relaxing but still causing a physical reaction in him. This one was almost serene with flashes of sunshine, flowers and…a rainbow? The artist was in an extremely happy mood when he or she painted this one and he actually felt a smile form on his face. Again, this was a painting he was determined to have. He already knew the artwork he was going to rip off of his walls so that he could put this one in its place.

Looking again, he caught another painting and his mood actually turned angry. Flashes of darkness, anguish and fury. The colors were shadier, somehow almost dangerous. He moved silently throughout the gallery, taking in each picture, each feeling and enjoying the crash of emotions that swelled up within him as he looked at each one in turn. His mind was already contemplating building an addition to his house, needing more space, a blank space with white walls just like this room with comfortable chairs in the center so he could easily move from one chair to the next, and one emotion after another.

“See anything you like?” A sophisticated woman with short, black hair and so much eye makeup, she almost looked like a raccoon sidled up to Davis, her eyes taking in all of him. She was painfully thin and her anorexic body was enhanced by the tightest dress he’d ever seen. “How many of them have been bought?” he asked, his voice deeper than usual because of all the emotions ripping through him. If his brothers and sister were here, they would laugh themselves silly because he was one of the least emotional of all of his siblings. Of the five of them, he was the most logical, the one that refused to let any sort of emotion cloud his judgment. He liked logic and common sense. He preferred analyzing life and figuring out the best path. It was how he’d created his empire, his brain understanding chemistry and how the world was created. He could look across a piece of land and could know exactly where to drill for oil. And he’d come up with a perfect way to capture that oil, improving the efficiency and capture rate of the product so the environment was safer.

But not only oil, he had just recently purchased the largest solar array in North America. He was experimenting with the chemical makeup of the solar glass, wanting to make even that more efficient. The earth was going to run out of fossil fuels very quickly and he was determined to introduce a new way to harvest the sun’s energy, make solar energy available even to people who lived in cloudy environments. The solution was out there, it just took an understanding of chemistry, logic and patience, to figure out the solution.

The scary woman standing next to him – obviously offering up herself as well as the paintings – replied, “The showing just opened ten minutes ago. So at this point, all of them are available. Which are you interested in?” Normally, she would wheedle a bit of information out of interested parties, just to make sure they knew how much a particular painting cost. In most cases, the cost ranged in the tens of thousands of dollars for just one piece. Also, of course, she wanted to find out if they could afford the artwork. In this case, she had no concerns. This was Davis Alfieri, after all. Rumor had it that he could afford the moon if he wanted it. It was whispered that this tall, dark, handsome financial guru owned a palace in Saudi Arabia, a penthouse in London, New York and Tokyo and had a fabulous house in Atlanta. Obscene wealth and harsh, good looks, she thought, actually licking her lips. The two were rarely in one package.

Davis considered his answer and, for the first time in his life, made a decision based on emotion. On need instead of financial logic. “All of them,” he replied.

The woman’s body froze even while her eyes widened with surprise. “All of them?” she asked, almost whispering the words because she was so stunned.

“Every one of them,” he confirmed.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw her Cheshire cat smile start to form. “Yes, Mr. Alfieri,” she said, clearing her throat and becoming all business.

He wasn’t surprised that she knew who he was. Davis had been in the news a lot recently. He rarely did interviews, but somehow, the obnoxious paparazzi found him and photographed him. It wasn’t like he was a celebrity, he thought with resentment. He just knew how to make money and did it extremely well. All of his brothers had the same problem but the idiots seemed to be plaguing him more than usual lately.

“Where is the artist?” he demanded, looking around at the gallery to try and guess which one of the guests milling around was the artist.

The woman hesitated, looking up at him for a moment. “The only way I could convince this particular artist to show these works was to guarantee anonymity.”

Davis thought about that for a moment as he looked at the other paintings. There were twelve in all and he wanted every one of them in his various properties and offices around the world.

“I want more of them,” he stated firmly, even shocking himself at that statement, but as he said it, he knew it was true. He wanted more. He wanted to surround himself with this art. “Tell me about the artist,” he demanded.

 

 

Chapter 1

 


“To what do you owe your phenomenal success?” the reporter asked, sending her “sexy” smile his way.

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