Sinful Abandon(5)

By: Jeannine Colette

I roll my eyes to the heavens. “And I’m not offering it to you. Just a drink. I might even have some cash upstairs to pay you back.”

He thinks this over for a second.

I find myself growing impatient. “Any minute now.”

“How do you know I’m not a serial killer or a rapist?” he asks.

Oh, for the love of Christ.

I walk over to the cabbie and motion for him to lower his window. When he does, I talk to the driver, “I want you to record the time and place of this conversation. My name is Heather McCallister, and this is Ryan…” I pause and then look over to Ryan. “What’s your last name?”

“Pierson.” His brows are furrowed.

“His name is Ryan Pierson. If I go missing tomorrow or am found hanging in my bathroom, I want you to alert the media that you dropped off a devastatingly beautiful brunette name Heather McCallister at her residence at ten thirty-two in the evening. Got it?”

“The fare is twelve dollars. You gonna pay or what?” The driver sounds very concerned for my safety.

I turn to Ryan for the fare. Instead of handing it over, he just looks at me. It’s an odd look, one I’m not used to sharing with men, and quite frankly, it makes me a little uncomfortable.

His eyes are slanted ever so slightly. His brows gently curve in. There’s an intensity. A knowing aspect that makes me want to tell him that he knows nothing about me, so he should stop trying to figure me out.

Ryan gives him twenty and then closes the door.

When the two of us are alone on the sidewalk, we stare at each other for a moment. I turn and walk into the building, him following me like some sort of lost puppy.

Charlie, the doorman, is on duty. I pull Ryan by the hand and walk him to Charlie’s desk.

Nudging Ryan, I say, “Give him your shoes.”

Not asking any questions, Ryan takes off his shoes and hands them to Charlie.

With my hands on the concierge desk, I look at Charlie with a serious expression. “This is Ryan Pierson. You are not allowed to return his shoes until I call from upstairs and say that I am alive and safe. Sound good?”

Not one to argue with me, Charlie takes Ryan’s shoes and hands him a valet ticket.

Pulling on Ryan’s hand, I drag him to the elevator bank and up to my apartment. With my stilettos on, I’m as tall as he is, giving me the brass balls I need to be commanding over him. For someone who was arguing with me twenty minutes ago, he sure is playing the submissive awfully well.

I open my front door, turn on the light, and let my trench coat fall to the credenza.

“Um, did you mean to do that?” he asks from the threshold.

I raise a bare shoulder and smirk. “You’ve already seen the goods. What difference does it make now? Want a drink?”

I’m halfway to the minibar when Ryan decides to take a tentative step into my house. I have the tumblers out and the vodka poured when I catch him eyeing up my apartment.

I hand him a glass and hold mine out for a cheers. Our glasses clink.

“Nice place you have here,” Ryan says.

“Goes with the package. A woman needs the right aesthetics to attract the right buyer.” I take a sip from my glass.

“Are you selling?” he asks. It’s somewhat endearing.

“No.” I smirk. “I’m in the market for a man. A rich one.” As the words come out of my mouth, I think of Jarrod and his pelvic thrusts into Misty Waters.

Oh my God, he was still pumping, even while I was standing there!

I take a deep breath through my nose and blow it out my mouth. Why do I always pick the shittiest men? Last year, I was two years into throwing myself at my last boss, Alexander Asher, only to have the man, who said he would never marry, meet another woman and marry her. She probably drugged him or some other nonsense. For two years, I’d tried to get that guy and nothing, not even a one-night stand.

At least with Jarrod, we’ve had a relationship. I couldn’t tell anyone, of course. He is my boss, and that kind of thing is frowned upon. But, once he proposed, who would care if they fired me? I could find work somewhere else, but I couldn’t find another Jarrod.

At least, not another Jarrod with his kind of trust fund.

“You have a CD collection?” Ryan walks over to the entertainment unit and fingers through my music. “I’ve never met anyone who actually owns CDs.”