Only With You(6)By: Lauren Layne
She’d thought herself immune to surprised disdain and friendly condescension. She’d learned to deal with the label of “law school dropout.”
A prostitute? It was a whole other ball game of embarrassment.
It was worse than the time she’d seen her mother’s golf instructor at the bachelor party where she’d been working as a bartender. Worse than the time she’d been uninvited from her former best friend’s engagement party for being too “showy.” Worse than Brian accusing her of floating.
Sophie was still reeling when the lights flickered on. The elevator gave another sharp jolt before it began a downward descent. A very slow, normal downward descent.
“Looks like they fixed it,” Gray said.
He climbed to his feet, and although he avoided her eyes, he must have had some long-stifled seed of humanity floating around, because he extended a hand to help her up. But there was no way Sophie would let her hooker hands touch his saintly ones, so she ignored the hand and crawled to her feet, more conscious than ever that she wasn’t wearing enough fabric to cover a Chihuahua.
His gaze was fixed once more on the door, and she realized that he wasn’t going to discuss the misunderstanding. He hadn’t even asked if she was a hooker. He’d just assumed.
“You think I’m a prostitute,” she repeated, her voice stronger this time.
His silver gaze flicked to hers. Then away. “Look, it’s not that I don’t respect your choices. I’ve just never been in the market for an escort service,” he said.
“An escort service, is it? At least have the balls to call us what we really are. Call girl. Hooker. Whore.”
He flinched but didn’t refute her.
“You know what I think of you?” she hissed, humiliation sending her into attack mode.
“I can hardly wait to hear,” he drawled in a bored voice.
But he never heard. The elevator gave a small beep as they arrived at the lobby level, and the doors opened. A flood of voices and faces swarmed toward them. Correction: they swarmed toward him.
“Mr. Wyatt!” A small man in a flashy striped suit rushed forward to greet her fellow captive. “I can’t believe it was you on that elevator. I’m so sorry, sir. I assure you, it will never happen again. I’m Philip Clinksy; as manager of the hotel, I’m personally horrified. If there’s anything I can do—”
“No matter,” Gray interrupted. “I’d like to continue with my dinner plans as soon as possible.”
Sophie rolled her eyes at the sheer injustice of it all. It figured that the world’s biggest jerk was apparently some sort of VIP.
“Very good, sir,” Mr. Clinksy said. The man was practically bowing. “Mr. Wyatt, of course, your dinner will be on the hotel after this harrowing experience. We don’t know what happened, but rest assured we have every possible technician looking into what affected your elevator…”
Gray shot him a cold look, and the manager stopped his ass-kissing abruptly. Silver eyes shifted to Sophie, and for the briefest moment she thought she saw something slightly human. Regret? An apology? Pity?
Oh God, please don’t let it be pity.
He held her gaze for a moment before nodding his head slightly in the barest form of acknowledgment. And then he walked away.
Without a word.
Without an apology.
Without giving her a chance to explain that she was not who he thought she was. Or what he thought she was.
She waited for him to look back. Waited for him to realize that at the very least, some verbal acknowledgment of their minicatastrophe was required. But he kept walking.
A gorgeous shithead in a beautiful suit.
“Will you be joining Mr. Wyatt tonight?”
It took Sophie a moment to realize that the ingratiating Mr. Clinksy was talking to her.
“Oh! No. Definitely not. We’re not together.” Not even if he paid me. “Just two strangers stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
“Ah, I see.” Was it her imagination, or did the hotel manager look slightly disdainful? The skimpy attire that had seemed like a good-natured joke in her hotel room now felt horribly demeaning. She longed for a sweatshirt.
“Well, I’m very sorry about all this, Ms.…”