3 min read

Groomed from the Get-Go

Groomed from the Get-Go

I will never forget how Nick burst into my life; I was 23 and just beginning to discover myself after a fractious and difficult period.  At that stage in my life, I felt like Bambi, learning to walk on fresh legs.  Despite this, I had clawed my way to a senior-level job in the media industry, which I truly loved.  With the help of my elevated salary, I had recently moved out of a flat-share and was renting my own little place on the outskirts of London.  It wasn't much, but it was mine, and I loved everything about the peace and calm that came with it.

I had a small group of really close-knit girlfriends I had known since secondary school, and we did everything together; I thought a partner was the only thing missing in my life.  To be honest, I was lonely.  I had been in and out of a toxic relationship for a few years, and when it had finally ended for good the year before, I was devastated.  Looking back, I wish I had the strength to appreciate what I had achieved by this point rather than pining for a partner.

The first time we met, I was in an important board mtg at work; it was very stiff, very formal; everyone was suited and booted and in walked Nick in jeans and an open-neck shirt, sunglasses on.  He instantly took over.  Every person in the room deferred to him, which I found incredibly attractive.  I realise now this was the first red flag, the grandiose and arrogant behaviour, but I was hooked from the get-go.

We had to work together on various projects, and it wasn't long before the flirty emails began.  Subtly at first and then more explicit declarations of how attractive he found me.  In a matter of days, he told me how much he wanted to take me skiing, move in together, and travel to all the countries I yearned to visit as a couple.  It felt like he had read my mind; in some ways, he had.  I  now know he knew all these things about me from my Facebook profile which he had studied in depth.  I hate to think he could smell my vulnerability like a shark can smell blood, but I know it is true.

I was at the time being considered for a job abroad and unsure whether or not to talk the leap and move; Nick reassured me that if I were to go, he would fly over and spend the weekends with me.  I found this incredibly supportive as everyone around me told me not to go, and deep down, I yearned for adventure.  To say I was flattered by the attention is an understatement.  It was intense and overwhelming but did wonders for my fragile self-image.

The second red flag came on a weekend he was in town for a work project; he was staying at a local hotel and wanted me to join him.  I had plans I was not particularly eager to cancel, and he called relentlessly, trying to get me to change my mind, but I didn't feel comfortable and stuck to my guns.

Something told me it wasn't a good idea, and he was livid.  I took his impassioned behaviour as a sign of how much he cared for me and, again, was very flattered.  I felt empowered and in control of the situation.  Oh, how wrong I was.

The flirtation continued; we were at a work party when the inevitable happened.  Making covert eye contact from across the room, it was obvious how much we wanted each other.  At the first opportunity, we made excuses and left.  The ride back to the hotel was excruciating.  He followed me up to my room in total silence, and needless to say, the sex was incredible though more dominant than I had experienced before.  We spent the rest of the night talking (in hindsight, mostly about me).  It is clear now Nick was intel gathering whilst my guard was down.

We talked about my fractured family, friendships, prospective job offer and hopes for the future.  I thought I had met the one and went to sleep in the early hours, exhausted but ecstatic.  So I was stunned to wake up to an empty bed the next morning.   Humiliated, I took a shower.  Letting the water run over me, I told myself I was a strong independent woman entirely capable of having casual sex, but I felt like anything but.

When I saw the note on the table, I gasped and raced over to read it,  giddy with excitement.

"Morning angel, you have no idea how hard it was to leave you this morning.  I didn't want to, but I must get back so Liza doesn't get suspicious.  I miss you already."

- Nick X