The break of dawn was almost upon Bridta.
Nonetheless, the Sunrise Club still blazed with lights, its vibrant atmosphere undiminished. Inside a VIP private room, opulence reigned supreme, and Lena Yates was perched on a plush sofa that threatened to engulf her. More than once, she had considered making a discreet exit.
After a week of waiting, Lena had resigned herself to the idea that the film crew she had interviewed with had moved on without her. However, just an hour ago, her phone rang, and the producer delivered unexpected news. Apparently, the coveted position of assistant director would be hers, provided she could secure an investor.
"Lena... Lena!" someone urgently called, jolting her from her momentary reverie, and nudging her on the arm.
She turned to find the producer frantically gesturing at her. "What on earth are you daydreaming about? Mr. Wallace is asking you a question!"
Lena struggled to collect herself, but her vacant gaze gave away the fact that she hadn't heard a word of what Josh Wallace had said.
Growing slightly exasperated, Josh questioned, "Is this how your subordinates typically behave, Mr. Higgins? I'm beginning to reconsider my investment—"
"Please, Mr. Wallace. You're a person of great stature, while this young lady is still in the process of learning the ropes. Please forgive her," Timothy Higgins interjected with a placating smile. He then turned to Lena and added, "Lena, apologize to Mr. Wallace."
Lena couldn't help but steal a surreptitious glance at Josh's excessively shiny forehead, and a surge of distaste washed over her. Nevertheless, she replaced her expression with a welcoming smile. "I am deeply sorry, Mr. Wallace. Please accept my sincere apology. You're the esteemed business tycoon of our city, and I must say I was a little starstruck, making me lose my train of thought."
She cringed internally at the coquettish tone she had momentarily taken on. Then, she reached for a wine glass and suppressed her urge to gag. "Allow me to make amends with a drink. Mr. Wallace, please accept my apologies."
As the red wine slid down her throat, the discomfort lingered like an unwelcome guest.
"It's not enough." Timothy placed a wine bottle in Lena's hand and continued, "Lena, why don't you pour Mr. Wallace a glass? Since he hasn't brought a female companion tonight, you can keep him company."
Upon hearing this, Lena fought to maintain her smile.
Word had already spread about Josh's unrelenting infatuation with Lena. Despite Roderick Barton, Lena's ex, having shielded her from Josh's advances in the past, Josh remained undeterred.
After being a coward for so long, Lena was finally beginning to face reality.
Roderick had left her.
"Mr. Higgins, I'm not feeling well. Maybe you should find someone else to accompany Mr. Wallace," Lena suggested, a faint ache in her heart at the sudden realization. She set the wine bottle and glass down on the table and reached for her bag on the sofa.
Before coming here, she had no idea that the significant investor she was meeting tonight happened to be Josh. And she was also in the dark about the intentions they had in store for her.
Lena's gaze flicked to a shadowy corner of the room, but she didn't have the luxury of dwelling on it. Suddenly, Timothy's grip tightened around her arm, and he asked, "Hey, where are you going? You don't want to be the assistant director?"
"Mr. Higgins! Don't be so impolite to such a gorgeous lady," Josh intervened.
Lena's arm was liberated from Timothy's grasp as Josh inserted himself into the situation. With intentions far from noble, he insinuated, "So, you aspire to be the assistant director? If that's so, spend the evening with me, and I'll invest in the project immediately. Forget about the assistant director position. Perhaps you'd prefer to be the leading lady? Rest assured, no one will dare to oppose my choice."
Lena deftly evaded Josh's hand, which had ventured toward her waist, and struggled to wrench her arm free from his grip. "Mr. Wallace, let me go!"
Her resistance left Josh feeling somewhat humiliated.
"Lena, it would be wise for you to cooperate while I'm still generous," he warned in a low, menacing tone. "Since you're already here, you might as well meet all my expectations. Do you honestly believe Roderick still loves you?"