Eight Years Ago
Colten Riley Bexx appeared to be an expert at everything he did. He was the kind of man most women wanted to be with-rich, smart, deviant, good looking, and devoted to having fun. He was a world renowned skier, had access to his daddy’s jet and most importantly an extraordinary knowledge of art. It helped that his father owned one of the most famous collections in the world. He was knowledgeable in wines, architecture, sailing, and most importantly, he had a PHD in women. He devoured the finest things in life, and enjoyed sharing them with the fabulous ladies he wined and dined. His expensive education, not to mention his entire life was devoted to self-indulgence, pleasure, and sharing them with those he deemed worthy. Rarely had a week slipped by that the name Cole Bexx Jr. not warranted mention in the society pages or paparazzi shot in one of the glossies. He was like the male version of ‘Paris Hilton’ but sweet naïve Sophia had never been a big gossip rags consumer and so the first time she met the charming and handsome younger Cole in Nice she had no idea who he really was. She had been rollerblading along the Promenade des Anglais on the Baie des Anges. The beautiful broad boulevard was shaded by palms and romantically lit by lamps and Sophia had saved her money and counted her blessings for two years just to experience it. The press had been screaming over Cole’s last public affair with a very married English painter which was why he was currently hiding out in Nice. Cole had been wandering back to the aristocratic Hotel Negresco where he was staying with his family when Sophia had lost her balance falling right into his arms. Sophia was a vision at eighteen with all the right curves in all the right places and look of innocence so refreshing that it pierced Cole’s ego if only for a moment. He was more accustomed to women resembling sharks with a look of lust and a hunger for his money. After enjoying a drink on the café terrace, he invited her to join him for dinner that night at the Chantecler Restaurant in the Hotel Negresco. Sophia had talked for 30 minutes straight, divulging her love for history, the ochre coloured streets and her appreciation of the "Niçois" and their savory cooking. So, being the charming yet scheming host, he figured the Chantecler would be the perfect place for her to swoon over the showcased epic periods in the history of France. He was right, later that evening approaching the lit up palatial hotel constructed in 1912, Sophia had been in awe over the huge pink dome. It faced the sea and was completely reminiscent of the Edwardian era. They had sat in the corner for hours drinking Chianti and eating oysters while Sophia drooled over the fine art and the Louis XIV ensembles. Fueling her passion for history and thirst for knowledge, he knew all the right buttons to push. A sweet innocent small town girl with saucers for eyes and a love for history, she was completely swept up in the romance of it all. Basically she was putty in his dirty little rich boy hands. Cole had been on his best behavior chaperoning her back to the meager basics of her hostel accommodations after their date, showering her with compliments and of course leaving her with a promise to meet the following day at 10am. He continued all week regaling her with his most intriguing and funny tales of his travels. Spanish-style bullfights in the old Roman arenas at Arles, the glittering casinos of Monte Carlo and of course christening the yachts on the Cote d'Azure.
Cole made his travels sound so enticing that finally by their third date, safe, practical Sophia had let her guard down and was ready to follow him anywhere and try almost anything. So, alas, sipping champagne and relaxing in the moonlight completely out of character, she had laughingly accepted his invitation to travel for the following month. She didn't think about what she was getting into or even the fact that he could be a psychopath. For the first time in her life, she wasn’t thinking or worrying about being responsible. Later she wondered how she had ever let him talk her into it; but he just had that charismatic magnetism that drew her in. All of Sophia’s friends thought he was the catch of the century.
However, now years later, Sophia knew he was not the catch of the century but rather a spoiled overindulged child. She was aware of his many dalliances and knew that there had been many questionable notches in his fashionable headboard. A member of parliament’s wife, the pop star who had wrote a song about their sexual escapades and his bedroom technique, and the underage actress, rumor had it, who had attempted to drive her car off a cliff after he dumped her. Yes, Sophia was definitely a little worldlier and she was a little less impressed with the Bexx family fortune. Unfortunately for her, the obnoxiously vain and self-centered Colten Riley Jr. had decided a long time ago that Sophia was his and his alone. A private trophy to conquer and posses and he did not intend to give up.