The Hunt Masquerade - Milly Taiden

Chapter One


The bar was packed way past capacity. If there were a fire emergency — or any kind of emergency, really — it would be a bloodbath to get to an exit. Chantal pulled at the hem of her sweater, the soft material suddenly itchy against her skin. There were too many people, all shouting over the already blasting noise of the music. Who knew the electronic dance music was terrible?

Chantal did.

She hadn’t picked the bar, though. That was all Margie. The model knew the city’s hot spots, and with a flip of her long, silky, black hair and a few eyelash bats, Margie could get in anywhere. Including Stink, which was the name of the trendy bar they were currently sitting in.

“Why is this place called Stink?” Chantal asked, sniffing the air. All she could smell was booze and sweat rolling off the dance floor. Not stinky, exactly, but not roses either.

“Because the DJ who owns it is DJ Stink.” The duh was implied.

Chantal grimaced. “I wouldn’t want to stand near a man who chooses to call himself something unpleasant.”

Margie giggled and rolled her eyes. “Don’t be like that. He is actually really hot. Talented? No. But he’s got a huge dick, and he knows how to fuck.”

“Margie!” Chantal gasped and looked around the crowded room to make sure no one had heard the crude words. “You can’t talk like that in public.”

“Sure I can.” Margie argued through peals of laughter. “There are people literally dry humping on the dance floor. I can talk about dicks and fucking all I want. Don’t be such a prude. Remember, I’ve known you for a while. I heard you and Paolo.” Margie wiggled her eyebrows suggestively.

“Can we please not bring my ex-boyfriend into this?” Chantal shuttered. Paolo had been a sexy Italian who was only in the United States for art school. He had gone back to his native country right after graduation, taking Chantal’s heart with him. He had been her first… well, her first and only everything.




It had been devastating to lose him, but not as much as it had been to learn that he had a sexy model girlfriend waiting for him back at home. After learning of the betrayal, Chantal had decided she was never going to date again. At least, not until she was an established designer. Then maybe she would give dating another go.

So long as the man she dated was tall, handsome, built like a quarterback, and behaved like Prince Charming.

Chantal knew her list of demands was hardly feasible, but she didn’t care. She wanted what she wanted, and if it meant she never got it? Well, at least she would never be disappointed or broken-hearted again.

It was a win-win.

“Keep them coming,” Margie told the bartender when he placed two enormous strawberry daiquiris in front of them.

“I don’t think that is a good idea.” Chantal was dead-set on keeping to her one drink maximum. She was a notorious lightweight. Booze had a startling effect on her. It was basically a gateway to dirty, flirty Chantal. That part of her needed to be locked down until she had her career all lined up like she wanted it to be.

“Nope, don’t be a stick in the mud. This is basically your big break.” Margie raised her cocktail high in the air, pink slush sloshing over the side.

“Don’t jinx me!” Chantal crossed her fingers as she jumped to her feet. She spun three times, softly chanting, “Unjinx, unjinx, unjinx.”

“You’re so weird,” Margie snorted before licking the edge of her glass. Her best friend had clearly been drinking before getting to the bar, which always spelled trouble for Chantal.

If anyone else was doing that, making a mess and being all drunkenly sloppy, it would have looked sad and desperate. The bartender would have kicked another woman out of the bar for being too drunk.

Not Margie, though.

Margaret was tall, rail-thin, with a rack that was all-natural and altogether too perky to be God-given. So, of course, it was. Chantal didn’t feel bad about her own body, but there was just no way to compete next to Margie. The woman was a model, for fuck’s sake. Her job was all about looking good. She was literally a pro at dripping class and sexiness out of her pores instead of sweat and blackheads.

Chantal’s job was making ladies like Margie look even better.

Not that Chantal was a schlub. She was of average height and average weight. Her hair was average brown. Basically: everything about Copyright 2016 - 2023