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Savage Beauty - Jonathan & Valentina English

Omschrijving van de inhoud of de flaptekst

After an intense summer holiday in 2001 and many unpleasant events in recent years, Valentina decided to change course.
She completed her studies as a lawyer and moved in to the heart of London to leave a very ugly past behind her.
Valentina thought she could take it easy, but again a whirlwind of incidents arose around her.

Her new life is exciting and extremely dangerous.

When she does her best to hide her true identity, she meets the man of her life who at first sight seems to be doing nothing for her.
Through his mystical character and fierce beauty, she discovers sides of herself that she had never dared to dream about.
Nothing is what it seems, even salt is confused with sugar.
Jonathan does everything in his power to protect her. Yet it is up to Valentina herself to face her old demons.

Fragment

My new job at V. Enterprise was the icing on the cake. Now that I had my life back in order, I decided to settle in London forever.
Fortunately, I didn't have to go house-hunting because I was the proud owner of a beautiful house on Eldon Road Street since when I was eighteen years old. An apartment in the heart of London was priceless - I had a beautiful three-storey mansion at my disposal.
My neighbours were wealthy businessmen and women and many famous artists. I was just a lawyer with a lot of money, which quickly brought me a lot of new freelance clients.
I was working on an assignment in my office and I looked at the plastic boxes with the post stickers on them, which still had to be unpacked. I wasn't in a hurry, however, because what were hidden in them were relics from another life that now lay behind me forever.
I realized that in an hour I had an appointment with Mark Parker at V. Enterprise for a tour and my work instructions for the new week. I was in a hurry and changed into something simple yet chic, so that I could make a little impression on the people I was going to working with and then I left home.
V. Enterprise is located in the heart of London, with the Underground from my home it's easy to reach but I chose to take my car for safety reasons.
I looked at my watch and still had time; I had arrived at the imposing building a quarter of an hour earlier. I pushed open the huge glass door and found myself in a huge hall. To my left was the reception, where five people could sit behind the counter, and to my right was a luxurious lounge area where you could wait and help yourself with coffee, tea and something tasty.

A blonde girl of about twenty-five with a friendly smile greeted me. Her name was Rachel according to the name pin on her jacket.
"Good afternoon, welcome to V. Enterprise? Can I help you?"
"Good afternoon, Rachel. Valentina Bianco, I'm here to see Mark Parker!" She looked surprised at first, but later she looked at her jacket and with enthusiasm she said:
"Come Valentina, I'll take you to Mark."
We got into the elevator and I noticed that the lady next to me was a very nice conversation partner.
I asked, "Do you work at V. Enterprise for a long time?”
"Yes, from day one," she said cheerfully.
"And, do you like it?"
"Yes, V. Enterprise is like a big family, you'll notice when you meet your colleagues in your department on Monday. Mark is a little reserved, but he's a sweetheart. Are you new here in London?"
"New? No. London is my second home. I lived here for a long time during my studies, in the meantime I had moved to Dubai and Amsterdam for work and now I'm back again."
"Amsterdam and Dubai... Must be great places," Rachel asked and I saw her smile disappear.
"Absolutely, you've never been there?" I asked in amazement.
"No. I always say that I want to travel around Europe during my holidays, but nothing ever comes of it. I'm stuck in Cornwall."
"I understand you! I do too! I am half Italian and half Greek and I stay in Italy in the summer. I travel in the winter. Then I come out of my summer sleep", I said to cheer her up and we laugh our hearts out.
We kept chatting and without realizing it our elevator had arrived on the floor where I was going to work from Monday on. Rachel walked with me to Mark's office and introduced me to the C.F.O. of V. Enterprise.
A young man at his desk started waving at Rachel. It was clear that I had not gone unnoticed. I quickly looked in his direction and saw a nice tall guy with strong stature, dark blond hair and beautiful green eyes looking at me. I gave him a nice smile and walked on.

Mark was short but powerful in the instructions he gave me for the upcoming week. I got my own space next to his office but I noticed that the workspace at that handsome man's desk was free.

"Can I sit there? A bit of conviviality can't hurt" I asked.
"Do as you wish, Valentina, but don't forget that when private conversations have to be held, they have to be held in your own office. Okay?"
"Of course, Mark."
I greeted Mark and I walked to Rachel, who was talking to that Adonis.
"Hey, done so soon?" she asked.
"Yes, and I can sit here if I want." I looked at the guy in front of me who almost looked at me drooling.
"Valentina Bianco", I introduced myself and I reached out my hand.
"James Lewis. So you're coming to work with us," he asked.
"Yes, from Monday on." I was ready to leave but James said:
"Hey, there's a concert at Underground Strand Station tonight, do you ladies feel like coming along?" he asked with his beautiful puppy eyes.
I almost said no, but because it was almost weekend and I would be home alone, I accepted his offer.
"Yes sure, if Rachel comes too," I asked because I needed some friends anyway.
"Are you crazy? Of course I'll come. It will be fun."
"Okay, can I pick you up at your house?" he asked and I immediately thought he was very cute.
"You don't let any grass grow over it either. Huh, James?" Rachel teased him.
"Hey, I want to have a chance before Valentina falls for the charms of Victor or Alex..."
"And those are...?" I asked quite curiously.
"The smooth talkers who work on the white tower," James joked.
"Deal James, you can pick me up. I'm your date tonight."

We changed phone numbers and I saw how happy he was.

"And James?" I said and he looked me deep into my eyes and gave me goose bumps. "I'm not that superficial, I might fall for a wild rocker rather than a man tight in his suit."
Rachel laughed warmly and said:
"Then this evening is right for you."
"Why?" I asked.
"You'll see, baby..." said James and he kissed me on the cheek.

I said goodbye to my new friends and went home to change my clothes. I put on a lace top and my torn jeans and black pumps underneath. I styled my hair and corrected my makeup.
At nine o'clock in the evening I heard the doorbell ringing and I opened it. It was James, I noticed how attractive he was without his three-piece costume. Like me, he was wearing torn jeans, a white T-shirt and a leather jacket. His hair fell wild for his beautiful green eyes and he stared at me drooling.
"You're a gift from heaven..." he joked.
"You yourself are a piece..." I took my leather jacket and my bag from the coat rack to match his outfit. He looked at me amused and he said:
"Do you like motorcycles?"
"Yes," I said. When I walked down the stairs of my house, I saw that James' transport was a tough motorcycle. I immediately thought of Eric and Sebastian and their love for motorcycles. Apparently the handsome man with the neat suit also had a wild side.
I got a helmet and he helped me to sit behind him. I put my arms around his waist, James started his motorcycle and there we went. He didn't drive fast and I liked to discover London on a motorbike.
My thoughts wandered everywhere and nowhere. I didn't really want to think much either, this was the beginning of a new life.
James parked his motorcycle for the entrance to the Underground Strand Station and helped me to get off.

"How was it? Did you like it?"
"Was super fun" I said. He looked at me and burst out laughing.
"What's the matter?" I asked in amazement.
"Your hair exploded and is static..." With his fingers he slid through my hair to fix it up a bit. I watched him how he tried to make me beautiful again.
"There, that's better" he said and pointed to the mirror of a car that was standing next to us.
"Thank you James."

He puts his arm around my waist and together we walked to the pub a few meters from the station.

"Next week they will perform in the main hall but today it is nice and cozy and for guests only", said James and he pushed the old pub door open. I entered a cozy bar with old-fashioned English wooden furniture and in the depth was a small stage for performances. James pulled me to the bar and he ordered two beers.

"Do you drink beer?" He realized that he hadn't asked what I wanted to drink but had decided for me.
"Yes sure. A beer is fine..." I thought it was funny and very sweet that a man pampered me like that, even though he had spoken to me for the first time a few hours earlier. He wanted to make sure he had a chance with me and I let it happen.
"Do you come here often, James?"
"When I say I know all the best pubs in London, do you believe me?"
"Could be, London is a beautiful city and even every stone is unique." I took a sip of my beer. He looked at me amused.
"Have you lived here long?" he asked.
"As I said to Rachel this afternoon, London is my second home. I lived here for a long time during my studies, in the meantime I had moved to Dubai and Amsterdam for work and now I'm back again."
"How are Amsterdam and Dubai? A world of difference with London for sure. And why did you choose to move back to the cold north?"
"Dubai is fun, but for a mole like me who loves cozy and dark winters, Dubai is too sunny and warm. Amsterdam is just like London, nice and busy and yet I'm missing something. My feeling is that I belong here James. London feels good, it's just home to me." I wanted to erase my life in Amsterdam from my memory from the recent years for good.
James wanted to say something when a lady with dark blue hair, heavily make up and with piercings sat next to James.
"Are you trying to pick up your next groupie again?" she asked grumpily and ordered a beer. James looked at her irritated.
"Good to see you too, Sam. Valentina is my new colleague at V. Enterprise and she is my date for tonight."
Sam looked me from head to toe and answered just as bluntly.
"I don't see any difference, all the ladies you take with you have worn you out and forgotten in one night. I hope it doesn't get you into an office drama, Val."
"Thank you for your advice, Sam." I toasted and she copied my gesture when she realized I didn't feel intimidated by her.
She continued to drink her beer in silence and observed my conversation with James and she was clearly impressed because when she had to leave to go behind the scenes she said to James:
"Don't ruin this one, for once. Nice to see you, Val," and she was gone before I could say thank you.
"What does she mean James?"
"Don't mind Sam, it's rare that she compliments another woman", he said and he pulled me in front of the stage and all the lights went out.

James came behind me and I felt him putting his arms around my waist and resting his chin on my shoulder. I knew James for a couple of hours but he made me feel familiar.

The lights went on again and Sam came on stage with her guitar, a blond god sat behind the drums and a dark Adonis followed them and started singing right away:

“Savage”
I've seen this face before
So many times I swore never again
But I can't escape who I am
The savage I've become
From the freak that I was first
Here I am I can't escape who I am
I can feel every breath push me to the other side
Every beat in my chest bring the dark in me to life
I don't go home to hold my soul
Every day I try to hide deep inside I know
I've seen this face before
So many times I swore never again
But I can't escape who I am
The savage I've become
From the freak that I was first
Here I am I can't escape who I am
You would think while I sank
I'd been feeling so alone
You'd be wrong because all along
I could feel it in my bones
Under the skin where monsters live
Terrified of the lies I tell myself
I've seen this face before
So many times I swore never again
But I can't escape who I am
The savage I've become
From the freak that I was first
Here I am I can't escape who I am
My reflection, the broken glass
The animal is free at last
(I can feel the change, trying to feel the change,
falling over me, falling over me, I can feel the change)
My reflection, the broken glass
The animal is free at last
Free at last
Free at last
I've seen this face before
So many times I swore never again
But I can't escape who I am
The savage I've become
From the freak that I was first
Here I am (here I am)
I can't escape who I am
Never again (I am a savage)
Never again
Never again
Who I am (I can't escape who I am)
Who I am
Never again
Never again (Who I am)
Never again
I am a savage
As if petrified, I kept looking at the singer, but James took me out of my dream.

"Meet our rocker Jonathan. He is the eyes and ears of V. Enterprise. He's like a mole like you but between his computers", he joked and I saw that he had spotted James among the audience and gave him a wink.

Then his eye fell on me, I looked him right in the eye and a mischievous smile curled around his mouth and I felt like I was sugar cotton melting front of his stage. His second song was as dynamic as the first. This song seemed familiar to me but I had no idea who was singing it, I turned around and looked at James and together we went crazy dancing and singing on it.

"Get Me Out"
The sky is falling on you
I know what you're after
My eyes so cold and abused
I know what you're after

I feel the pain wake up inside
I take the blame so I can hide
All the scars
You've stayed the same so long I've tried
To break the chains now I can find
All your scars

Get me out of here
So I can breathe
It's all become so clear
What lies beneath
Your skin (your skin), it's thin (it's thin)
You're never gonna keep me down
Get me out, just get me out of here

I've tried for so long, for you
I know what you're after
Your lies, still unknown (unknown)
The truth (the truth)
I know what you're after

I feel the pain wake up inside
I take the blame so I can hide
All the scars
You've stayed the same so long I've tried
To break the chains now I can find
All your scars

Get me out of here
So I can breathe
It's all become so clear
What lies beneath
Your skin (your skin), it's thin (it's thin)
You're never gonna keep me down
Get me out, just get me out of here

Whoa, whoa [x8]

Life cannot go on this way
You're a walking tragedy (tragedy)
Stuck in here I need to leave (need to leave)
Stuck in here I'm breaking free (breaking free)

Get me out of here
So I can breathe
It's all become so clear
What lies beneath
Your skin (your skin), it's thin (it's thin)
You're never gonna keep me down
Get me out, just get me out of here

I feel the pain wake up inside
I take the blame so I can hide
All the scars
You've stayed the same so long I've tried
To break the chains now I can find
All your scars
Jonathan sang like an angel from heaven and it was nice to look at him, I couldn't imagine that he was also wearing a suit on his normal working day.
His next song started with a serene tone and the music was very romantic. James took me back in his arms and looked at me and started dancing with me.

“Vibes”
The way you're lookin' at me is like we both understand
I didn't see you lookin' at the other man
Caught in a moment
Feel it in the air tonight

Keep it coming, don't stop
(C'mon, c'mon)
Let me see that body rock
(C'mon, c'mon)
Love it when that bass drops
(C'mon, c'mon)
(C'mon, c'mon)

I can feel your vibe
Can you show me what it's like?
I can feel your vibe when we cross that line
Can you show me what it's like?
I can feel your vibe
Can you show me what it's like?
I can feel your vibe when we cross that line
Can you show me what it's like?

Take what you whisper to me
Like I got gold in my hands
The way you're wearing my sheets
You know I got it bad
Caught in a moment
Feel it in the air tonight
Keep it coming, don't stop
(C'mon, c'mon)
Let me see that body rock
(C'mon, c'mon)
Love it when that bass drops
(C'mon, c'mon)
(C'mon, c'mon)

I can feel your vibe
Can you show me what it's like?
I can feel your vibe when we cross that line
Can you show me what it's like?
I can feel your vibe
Can you show me what it's like?
I can feel your vibe when we cross that line
Can you show me what it's like?

(I can feel your vibe
Feel your vibe
Feel your, feel your vibe
I can feel your vibe
Feel your vibe
Feel your, feel your vibe)
I feel your vibe, feel your vibe
(I can feel your vibe
Feel your vibe
Feel your, feel your vibe)

The way you're lookin' at me is like we both understand
I didn't see you lookin' at the other man

I can feel your vibe
Can you show me what it's like?
I can feel your vibe when we cross that line
Can you show me what it's like?
I can feel your vibe
Can you show me what it's like?
I can feel your vibe when we cross that line
Can you show me what it's like?

Ooh
(I can feel your vibe
Feel your vibe
Feel your, feel your vibe
I can feel your vibe
Feel your vibe
Feel your, feel your vibe)
I feel your vibe, feel your vibe, feel your vibe
(I can feel your vibe
Feel your vibe
Feel your, feel your vibe)
When the song was over I saw Rachel across the room and I waved at her, in a hurry she made a way between the audience to come to us and she didn't go unnoticed by the men. On the other hand, on stage Jonathan was always looking at our side. His beautiful azure eyes penetrated my soul. He was beautiful to look at. And James did everything he could to get my attention for Jonathan for himself.

"You almost look like a couple..." she joked and I let go of James' arms to greet Rachel.
"Still, it's not us..." I winked at James.
"Are you going to make it difficult for me?" he asked and he took me in his arms again.
"Maybe... Who knows..." I said and together we enjoyed the last song of the group. When it was over, James took us back to the bar and he ordered us drinks. It didn't take long before Sam, Jonathan and their drummer came to sit with us. Jonathan greeted James and Rachel. Sam introduced me to Adam the drummer and finally I met Jonathan.
"He asked James emotionlessly, "Did you score a new lady?
"Don't judge quickly..." I heard Sam say, and Jonathan looked at her in amazement. In turn, I said:
"Valentina Bianco, Mark's new lawyer at V. Enterprise..."
"Another shark in the pond? Kelly will be very amused when she finds out" he said very bluntly and he came to sit next to me without looking at me any further.
If he was wind, he was the east wind from Siberia. His remark spontaneously made me feel cold, but I wouldn't let him ruin my evening.
Rachel and James had welcomed me warmly but with him I would need a drill bit to break through his ice wall.
I went on with my new friends to drink, dance and have fun and so the evening went by quickly. James brought me back home on his motorcycle and we had agreed to see each other again at the office on Monday.
Full of expectation I was looking forward to Monday, not realizing that I would get the scare of my life.

Uitgever

Martha de Graaf-Poupaki

ISBN

9789082845587

Bladzijden

330