Kerry S. Gordon
Copyright © 2018 by Kerry S. Gordon
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be used, copied, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording in any manner whatsoever, or otherwise, without the prior consent of the Author.
This book is intended for mature audiences only.
The bright cerulean blue car commenced to the roundabout, abruptly halting in front of the Gallant Hotel. The valet attendant promptly ushers over, and Hyde Reed steps out. The valet attendant beams, and though he saw expensive cars all the time, he was ineffectively unable to hide his excitement. Hyde’s car, much like his persona was bold and far from ordinary.
“This car is stunning.”
“She is. Make sure to keep it that way.”
“Yes, sir, will see to it as if she were my own.”
Hyde heads to the front entrance, winking at the doorman. He steps inside, the marble floors glistening and freshly polished, dreading every moment.
Hyde stood out among the more conservatively wealthy group. Most of the men wore meek colored navy blue suites, while others were dressed in a standard black suite. Hyde on the other hand, sported black designer jeans, and a long sleeved fitted V-neck shirt. But he could care less; he was never the kind who sought to fit in. Though if he wanted to maintain his connections and keep his supporters happy, he had to hobnob and attend such events from time to time.
The room was filled with the usual, Governors, Mayors, and business moguls. And just like his constituents, Hyde strived for success and loved making money, though through different means. He was great at what he did, but shied away from the political arena. He too enjoyed power and control, just not in the political realm. He hated political mumbo jumbo, and preferred the entertaining side of things. But to keep his sponsors and devotees happy, would do whatever it required.
He makes his rounds, greeting everyone, engaging in short, but effective conversations. And just as he was about to end the night, spots a gorgeous woman across the room. She immediately greets the Mayor, kissing him on both cheeks. Knowing the women was not the Mayor’s wife, having been to the Mayors home and met his wife and family, assumes she may be a mistress. And Hyde succumbed by her presence, likes what he sees. And because he always gets what he wants, had no intention of backing away, no matter the cost.
…A Month Earlier…
Downtown as expected is in full swing, the bars and clubs packed. Kara and I stop in at Peso’s, one of her favorite bars, immediately running into a guy she dated briefly last year. He’s already drunk, slurring his words, wiping his forehead peddling with sweat. He is far more touchy feely than she cares for, stroking and rubbing her shoulders.
He is in a good mood though, being generous, buying us drinks after drinks. And after downing four fireball shots, and two beers, knew I would regret it later.
“Shit!” That last shot got me good.” Kara yells.
“What the hell was that about?”
“I thought we could pick up where we left off.”
“They hell we will!” Kara belts wiping her mouth.
While Kara hashes it out with her old fling, the alcohol is parading my body. Heat has begun rising from my toes to my neck, making standing difficult.
“Sophie, you okay?”
“Yea. Just need some air.”
She rubs my back. “Food will help soak up the alcohol. How about some pizza?”
“Yes.” Responding quickly.
We make our way down the strip, stopping at Donnie’s pizza. The aroma of dough and cheese smelling so good, my stomach growling instantly.
“I’m going to find us a seat. Order a large meat lover’s pie. I’m starving,” she says.
The line is long, and my bladder about to erupt is making the wait that much longer.
“You dropped this.” He’s holding my diamond bracelet. And I’m surprised by his courtesy which is unlike the rich playboy persona he’s deemed to have.
“That’s a beautiful bracelet, wouldn’t want to lose it.” I’m now privy to the brunette standing next to him.
“My name is Hyde by the way.” He states in a charismatic, but conceited way.
“I know,” cementing a large grin across his face.
“I’m Sophie.” I rebut as if announcing a title, like the duchess of something.
“Our table is ready.” A brunette interrupts clearly agitated, judging by the annoying look on her face.
“Go have a seat. I’ll be there shortly.” She grunts, but obliges scurrying off.
“And what is that you do Sophie?”
“What do you mean?”
He chuckles. “I should clarify. “Are you in school, working?”
“Not in school, graduated a few years ago, and I own an event planning business.”
“What exactly is so interesting?”
“Nothing. I just never forget a face. Did you attend a gala at the Gallant hotel about a month ago?”
“I did. Why do you ask?”
“Told you. I never forget a face.”
“Anymore questions? Or did I already satisfy your inquisition?”
“You mentioned you owned an event company. What’s the name of your company?”
“Alluring Events. Is that also interesting to you?”
“Maybe.” He takes a closer step just as my phone rings.
“I’ll let you get that.”
“I’m still in line,” answering Kara.
“Okay. I got us a table on the second floor. Text or call when you’re coming up.”
I approach the counter, place my order, pay then head straight to the restroom. Relieved and feeling two pounds lighter, wash my hands, running into the brunette from earlier on the way out. She says nothing and neither do I. And I couldn’t help but wonder if she’s new, or one of Hyde’s regulars.
I pick up the pizza, then head to the second floor to meet Kara.
“Finally,” she gripes. “I’m starving,” inhaling a big bite.
“This is so good.” She voices and I agree, divulging my first slice.
Four slices later, I’m stuffed, though far from sober. “I’m still drunk.”
Kara laughs, spitting out her sprite. “You’re a light weight now.” She antagonizes.
“It’s called getting older.”
“Maybe, but you’re still a light weight. It’s still early. Let’s go to Fringe.”
“Are you crazy? I need to take my ass to bed. You can go without me.”
“Come on, we need to dance off the carbs.” And as usual, she wins, knowing if I didn’t, she wouldn’t let it rest until I agreed.
Kara stuffing her mouth with the mints she grabbed from the counter tosses the empty wrappers on the floor. I scold her for this, while she’s talking a hundred miles an hour.
“What!” She shrugs. “That’s why I pay taxes, someone will clean it up. So what do you think?”
“Think about what?”
“I just asked you a second ago. You weren’t listening were you?”
“No.” I rebut. “I was hoping for some quiet time.”
She laughs. “Stop being so dramatic. And I was asking about Hyde. You think he’ll be at the club tonight?”
“Does it matter?” Though I’m not sure why I bothered to ask. I already knew the answer. Knowing it mattered to almost every single female in Missouri.
“I heard he was amazing.” She mentions, unapologetic and vociferous about wanting to bed him, announcing and glorifying his rumored bed skills like a commenter would an Olympic Gold medalist’s victory.
“Don’t act like you’re not interested.”
“I’m not acting. I’m not.” But she dismisses me, sticking her tongue out, waving me off.
“You weren’t this pious a few years ago.”
“I was young and dumb.”
“Oh please, we’re still young. You just need a good lay.”
“I don’t need your help, and I’m not looking for a random hook up.”
“Speaking of hooking up. When was the last time you had sex?”
“None of your damn business,” I snap. “My vagina’s my business.”
“Yea, and it needs to be someone else’s.” Kara laughs jabbing her finger into my chest, and I hate when she does that. “Or maybe just a rich guy then---you know Hyde Reed is an eligible bachelor and rich.”
“I don’t care about Hyde Reed.” I shout.
“I think you do care. Why else are you getting riled up?”
I ignore her and keep walking.
With Fringe’s opening night only three weeks ago, and already garnering a reputation as one of the hottest clubs in town, it’s no surprise the line is almost around the corner.
“Don’t worry, with our connections we won’t have to wait.”
“Maybe we should just go home. I am tired and still drunk.”
“No, we’re already here. And I know the DJ, so let’s go.”
Kara though pettily framed and 5’3 is not intimated by the burly doorman built like a truck. “My friend Sophie here is great friends with the Mayor, and you already know the DJ and I go way back, so there shouldn’t be any problems,” yanking my hand, charging past him as if she were six feet tall.
“You are crazy.”
“He knows who I am. Besides, he wasn’t going to turn away two attractive females.”
The brand new club is large with three floors, though with all the packed bodies piled next to one another feels more like a can of sardines.
Kara shuffles us both through the crowd, swinging her free hand from side to side. We manage to squeeze through a pool of grinding sweaty bodies thrusting on one another. I expected inside to be loud, but the music searing beyond comprehension with an even louder bass thumping casting a haze over the club, makes it incredible difficult to hear even though she is yelling.
“Come, I want to dance.” Kara screams above the loud music.
“That girl has moves.” She addresses.
One of the guys in the crowd must think so too, caressing his hand down the dancers boot, immediately getting removed by a bouncer.
“I’ve always wanted to do that,” Joining the gawks and stares of several guys bopping their heads to the dancer’s in tiny bikini tops, short shorts, and boots dancing to the music blasting and booming.
“Sophie come on.” She shouts taking off.
I glance around the packed club wishing I was home in bed.
“You know, we have to stop meeting like this.” His eyes are chartreuse from the glow of the strobe lights flashing back and forth. And though I hate to admit it, his mere presence sends a tingle between my legs.
“I apologize again.” He quickly ushers one of the bartenders over.
He takes his time, gliding the towel the bartender brought over, glancing at me with an arrogant smirk.
“You have to give me a chance to redeem myself. Are you okay?” He asks, stroking the damp cloth up my leg.
His features are soft and defined, though still possessing an eminent jawline, which is masculine, but delicate.
He’s examining me as if trying to uncover a riddle. And I really hate that I find him attractive. Men like Hyde always get what they want, typically parading women around like trophies.
“Yes, and you don’t owe me anything.” I revise. “It was an accident.”
I’m suddenly aware of the sea of people around us, though suspect most are too drunk to care what’s going on. “At least let me get you a drink, since I spilled mine all over you.”
And just as I was about to excuse myself, catch sight of Kara in the crowd. I rush over, Hyde right beside me.
“You alright?” I’m glancing at my friend with her ass on the floor.
“I am now.” She states, absorbing the attention while Hyde picks her up.
“It feels stiff.” She is rubbing her ankle, while sustaining her embrace in his arms.
“It might be for a little while. And those heels aren’t going to help.” He places her on the barstool, glancing at her black stilettos, stroking her flushed face, making her blush even more.
And just as Kara is enjoying Hyde, one of the bouncers taps him on the shoulder, whispering something in his ear.
“I’m so sorry ladies.” He addresses. “But I have some business matters to attend to. How about a rain check?”
“Oh man.” Kara whines. “I was looking forward to hanging out with you tonight.”
He gives her a smile. “Forgive me.” He takes her hand, planting it with a kiss. “I’ll make it up to you both. Come back next Saturday, you won’t be disappointed.”
“We’ll be here.” Kara yells.
“Wear a dress similar to the one you have on. It suites you,” bathing me with a grin.
I adjust my black open back dress, suddenly feeling exposed, watching as he walks off, two bouncers trailing him.
“He’s so damn hot.” Kara is whispering linking her arms with mine.
I shrug my shoulders. “Oh please Sophie, you’re not fooling me. You only need vision to see how gorgeous he is.”
I turn around spotting him at the bar at the other end of the club exchanging words with one of the bartenders. He shoots us a smile then heads off again, the bouncers trailing him like a two man army.
“Be right back.” Kara yells after spotting Jermaine in the DJ booth. I think back to their tumultuous relationship. It lasted a month, but was intense. They fought about everything, but the instability and choppiness of their relationship they made up for in the bedroom with what Kara deemed tonic sex. Unbridled and stormy lust created only by sheer reckless and relentless attraction. They fought like dogs and made up like faithful lovers.
While Kara tends to Jermaine, I make the best of the remaining night, dancing until exhaustion, sweating from head to toe like being caged in a sauna. But despite the heat and my sore feet, can’t stop dancing. I turn around catching sight of Hyde with a bevy of women by his side living up to his reputation. The group of women pile into the elevator, and I wonder how many of them he slept with, and why some women were okay being just a token.
I pull my hair into a bun, hoping I don’t look like a train wreck just as Kara returns, her lipstick smeared.
“What’s so funny?”
“You had fun?” I tease.
“Just a quick smooch.”
“You ready to get out of here? My feet are barking.”
“Mine too.” Kara adds.
“But it was worth it wasn’t it?” Her face is marked with a smile.
“Admit it. You had fun didn’t you?”
“Alright, I’ll admit it, it was fun and it did feel good to let loose and enjoy some good music.”
“And even better after running into Hyde. He’s a hot piece of shit isn’t he?”
“I suppose, if you like that type.”
“If by type you mean hot as fuck, then yes that’s my type.” We both laugh, limping down the street to the parking garage.
While waiting for the elevator in the lobby at Kara’s place, run into a group of guys probably in their early or mid-twenties grinning and chuckling immaturely. And I’m feeling naked again, standing in the elevator with my open back dress.
“Good night huh,” one jokes.
“Shove a sock in it.” Kara growls.
Somehow I manage to make it to the bed, not even bothering to take off my clothes.
I wake feeling like shit. My head is throbbing, my stomach cramping with nausea creeping its way up. After an hour puking myself back to life, crawl back to bed, hating myself for drinking so much.
My phone rings waking me up again. Though, I don’t recognize the number, answer anyway. To my surprise, Roxanne, an up and coming designer making head way in Missouri is on the line. She discusses needing a venue for Hyde’s upcoming fashion line, which they would need immediately.
“If you don’t mind my asking, what made you decide to call me?”
“Hyde told me to. He gave me the name of your company, and told me to reach out.”
“You seem surprised.” She says. “He told me you would be able to handle this.”
“Forgive me. I had a late night last night and just getting myself situated.”
“Can you do it?”
Though the short notice posed a challenge, decided to do it. “Yes of course.”
“Great, I’ll be in touch.”
We hang up, and I make another trip to the bathroom, knowing I’ll probably be there a while.
Over the next few days, Roxanne and I were in constant contact finalizing details. I didn’t have much contact with Hyde though, just a few brief calls here and there, and a scheduled site visit to the venue. He canceled last minute to fly out on business, Roxanne taking his place of course, but Roxanne knew exactly what he wanted, which helped a lot.
Things were coming together nicely, and knowing associates of the Mayor like Richard, his financial advisor came in handy. Richard had a client that was house sitting for one of his mega millionaire friends. And with his friend traveling the South of France for three months, leveraged a deal to rent the property for the event. And with the lists of attendees including just about every high roller, business elite, socialite in Missouri, and everyone else lucky enough to get an invite to the exclusive VIP show, everything had to be perfect.
Roxanne called wanting to meet one last time before the show. We agreed to meet at noon. I gathered my things, canceling my meetings for the rest of the day.
The drive to the 25-acre, 30,000-square- foot French Chateau style Mansion donning 30 bedrooms and 42 bathrooms, with an additional 3, 500 square foot guest house was always breathtaking.
“Always good seeing you,” Caesar, the guard at the gate greets.
“Go on. You’re no stranger.”
The gate opens. I pull up to the roundabout, recalling the decadent parties I attended at the property a few years ago, a memory I would now like to forget.
Roxanne is standing outside the main house while I park, her petite frame even more miniscule amongst the grand property. The day is abnormally beautiful. The color of ginger and butter toffee leafs coating the sidewalks, signaling spring is near. And the vivacity of the sun, emitting a generous amount of heat is warm and comforting.
“Are you sure Hyde doesn’t want to see the venue in person before the show?”
She chuckles. “Please, that’s why he has people like you and I to take care of such things. Besides, he liked the photos and is on board.”
I laugh. “Good point.”
After walking the entire property one final time, and a few minor suggestions from Roxanne, we agreed it was the right venue.
Roxanne and I bid farewell, pleased with how things were working out.
Now at my fifth light, I was grateful for the opportunity to plan Hyde’s event, but still puzzled why he chose me to help. He could hire just about anyone to do the job, and though I didn’t doubt my capability, because I was great at my job, my company was still fairly new and small in comparison to the large, more experienced companies. My portfolio was good, but it seems highly strange that he would wait until the last minute to find someone to plan his event.
I glance at the billboard showcasing Hyde’s jeans line, his bare chest on display, wondering how many people he has on staff to stroke his ego.
After what felt like forever, arrive at Kara’s place without killing anyone. I head to the bathroom, immediately filling the tub. After an hour soaking in the tub, my fingers and toes now wrinkled like raisins, throw on a robe, making my way to the living room settling on the couch.
Kara slams the front door with her bare feet holding the pair of Giuseppe red pumps I bought her last year for her 25th birthday, huffing and grunting, passing by without saying a word.
“I’m coming in,” knocking on her door. “Kara, what happened?” I take a seat at the foot of the bed gentle rubbing her back, and immediately loud sobbing pours from her mouth. I rub her back, her red dress fitted as if it were painted on her body while her sobs gets louder. I try to console her, aware the last time she was like this, it took lots of wine and a lot of comfort food to get her through the week.
“I’m ….ne….ver dating… again.” She cries between stutters.
I feel guilty for wanting to laugh, but knowing Kara, this could very well be something minor that’s been blown out of proportion.
“Is it Kurt? Did you guys get into another argument?” Her back jerks underneath my hand as her sobs turns into a vicious cry. I’ve never seen her this hysterical, not even after she found her ex-boyfriend making out with another guy outside the men’s restroom at a night club.
“Do you want anything?”
“For all men to be exiled,” she whimpers.
“All men?” I joke. “Maybe just the jerks and losers.” I suggest.
“No. All men.” She shouts sternly.
I sigh, accepting this may take much longer than a week.
“I want to be alone.” She muffles.
“Are you sure? I don’t mind staying. We can talk about it if you want.”
“No.” She recoils. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
I give her back another gentle rub and leave the room.
I change into a pair of jeans, throw on my cashmere sweater and black thigh high boots, then head to the pastry shop across the street from the condo. The howling midafternoon wind seeps into my skin, the aroma of pumpkin and glazed cinnamon pastries marinating the local streets and outdoor shopping plazas, usually the main decadents sold during the fall and winter months enhancing my cravings.
The new strip is a nice addition and part of the city’s plan for a hip and trendy strip. There are various boutiques, dining, bars, coffee shops, and my favorite, Decadent pastry, my weakness. I try not to frequent too often, fearing absorbing more calories than I need, but it’s so damn good.
“Sophie. Over here.” Francois, my hair stylist who could get away with wearing just about anything calls.
“Love the suite,” noting the blue and white stripe color pattern.
“You know I enjoy making a statement. And speaking of statement,” assessing my hair. “When are you going to let me color this lovely hair?” And even though he didn’t need the money, continues to style hair, something he says he enjoys.
“Not anytime soon, I like my hair just the way it is.”
“Boooring-----Color is your friend.”
“And so is black.” I laugh.
“Oh you’re such a bore.” Shaking his head.
“I guess I’ll be subjected to a life of boredom then.”
“Speaking of something that is not a bore, look over there.” He grazes his hand through his salt and pepper shoulder length hair.
I peek around Francois jacket, and as expected, mayhem unleashes. Hyde struts up to the counter, everyone eying and viewing him as if an announcement was made of the King’s arrival.
“He is one gorgeous man.” Francois pines. “And rich.”
“You should date him then.” I chuckle.
“I don’t think I’m his type,” glancing down at his pants. “I’m missing an important component. You, on the other hand.”
He turns around bathing his hand down the side of my face. “Has exactly what he needs.”
“Yea if I wanted to be another notch on his belt.”
“And why are you hiding?” If you wanted to get a better view of my backside, all you have to do is ask.” I slap his butt, noting the cheeky remark.
“I don’t want Hyde to see me.”
“Why, you’re planning his fashion show right?”
“I know, I know. The show is tomorrow and just nervous I guess.”
“Here you are Mr. Reed.” The girl from the register approaches, handing him his bag. She looks to be in her twenties. Dark brown hair styled in a ponytail, her olive skin glowing at the sight of Hyde dominating over her.
“Do you need anything else?” She’s being very flirty which comes as no surprise. The man is like a magnet, beguiling and pulling people in as he moves.
“No, got everything I need.” He’s charming her with his smile, luring her in like a fisher man with bait. And she’s hypnotized, giggling, playfully touching his arm, which he doesn’t seem to mind.
He answers his phone, running his hand through his dark hair. “How much? And what are the numbers?” His tone and demeanor shifts from a pleasant one to an arrogant and fiercely aggressive business tycoon addressing whomever he’s speaking to over the phone. Though the charmer that he is, doesn’t deter him from flirting, winking at the girl that brought his order, then quickly heads out.
Francois and I chat briefly after picking up my order, and still persistent, tries to talk me into coloring my hair, but threaten if he did, would never speak to him again. We say good-bye, giving one another a kiss on the cheek, and I head back hoping Kara is in a better state.
“I got us some pastries,” knocking on the door.
“I’m not hungry.” She gripes.
I crack the door viewing her still lying across the bed, noting she at least managed to change out the dress, and have something in mind to get her out of her funk.
“Are you crazy!!!” She shouts. ”I’m going to kill you Sophie.” She screams, darting towards me, but not before squirting more water on her.
“Why are you so annoying? Ohhhh….you’re going to get it.” She lunges over the coffee table, spitting water out her mouth.
“You’re such a pain.” She scowls. But Kara with an attention span of a child is quickly over the whole incident, grabbing one of the cinnamon buns from the bag.
“How’s the renovation coming along?” Chewing like it’s her last meal.
“Good I presume, or that’s the update I’ve been told.”
Kara laughs, almost choking. “You think,” opening the fridge to get bottled water.
“I’m not that bad.” I defend.
“Please,” rolling her eyes. “Now I know you’re deluded.”
“What’s wrong with tweaking a few things?”
“Nothing, if you purchased a fixer upper, instead of a high end Loft in one the most exclusive buildings in downtown Missouri. For heaven’s sake Sophie, your place is gorgeous; hardly anything needs to be done, aside from furnishing the place.”
“I know what I like,” dismissing her opinion.
“Your money.” She laughs.
It’s the day of the fashion show, and everything has to be perfect. The show was about to begin in less than an hour, and it was like an amusement park, people everywhere. To keep everyone close, the models and workers were stationed in the guest house. It was more than enough space, or so I thought until viewing the chaotic scene of male models parading around in briefs, a hoard of photographers snapping away, hair and makeup team tending to the models, and Bruno Mars blasting.
“Where are the dark denims? We’re missing five men’s dark denim.” And it’s clear from the look on her face, Roxanne is about to lose her mind.
“Need any help?”
“Do you have a gun?”
She’s out of breath, wiping the top of her head with one of the pair of jeans thrown over her wrist. Just barely 5’2, her pale skin is flushed, brunette hair pulled into a messy bun with a few strands draped down her face, her almond shaped eyes worn down with visible bags underneath. And it’s evident that at just 27 years of age, stress is clearly taking its affect.
“That I don’t have.”
“Then I’m shit out of luck.” She sighs.
“How about a drink?”
“So sorry to interrupt.”
“What now?” She snaps glancing over the half-naked male model in his briefs.
“The toilet is clogged. Is there a plumber?”
“Oh dear God. Can’t you hold your piss? I’m going to need a shot of vodka or tequila.” She spits.
“That I can get you”
“There’s over 40 bathrooms on this property, I’m sure you can find one.”
“Where? This place is huge.”
“I am going to need more than one shot Sophie.” She grunts. “You look splendid by the way, and thank you for finding a smaller version of King Louis Versailles on such short notice,” shouting as she rushes off with the stack of jeans still placed over her wrist, the young male model holding his crotch, waddling by her side.
“Bryn, you look amazing, glancing at my assistant who just finished getting her hair and make-up done.
The staff and models are eyeing her, and she deserves every glance, the long strapless silver and gold gown, with a thigh high split exposing her velvety brown skin glowing in the light an absolute perfect choice, accentuating her gorgeous figure and curves.
“So do you boss. Every guy in here has their eyes on you.”
“It’s the cleavage.” I joke.
Roxanne insisted I wear one of her designs. And despite the plunging neckline, low back and thigh high split, leaving various parts of my body exposed, it’s a beautifully elegant dress.
Bryn and I make one last round, checking on the servers, the food and alcohol stations supplied with nothing but the best. We have aged Cognac, Veuve Clicquot yellowboam Ostrich Champagne, Armand de Brignac Brut Gold, Dom Perignon Rose, Domaine Leroy Richebourg Grand Cru Pinot Noir, Coche Dury Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru Chardonnay, caviar, herb crusted rack of lamb, Apricot Dijon glazed salmon, tomato and feta pesto, Solage Calistoga and French pastries for dessert.
Its 7:25 p.m. and the show is about to begin.
Bryn and I head to our assigned seats, catching sight of Francois, whom I had to invite, or he would kill me, waving to us from his seat. Bryn and I smile, knowing the evening so far has turned out just how we hoped. The evening is exquisite, and with the meticulous landscape and breath taking view of the city and a larger than life infinity pool, glad we decided to hold the show outdoors.
A burst of fireworks erupts, and the rupture of dance music surges through the speakers as the first male model takes the stage. The staircase lit up on both sides is a great feature that highlights the tinted blue covered glass, set over the ½ mile long infinity pool.
The music is great, the models are gorgeous, and Hyde’s collection is fashionable and stylish. The applaud is grand, as the show comes to a close, Hyde by Roxanne’s side towering over her with his rumored 6’3 height in a pair of jeans, certain strutting down the runway shirtless has something to do with the ongoing roar of applauds.
The evening and show was a success, and I couldn’t be happier for the turn out. Tired and ready to go home, I thought Bryn would be too, though I believe she is just getting started, flirting with two older men over by the alcohol station. Kara would have given her competition, this being her scene, a party with rich eligible men and great alcohol. But she’s in Aruba for a week with Kurt, the guy she’s been seeing on and off for a month, otherwise she would be here, invite or not.
My feet hurting from the stilettos I’ve paraded around in for most of the evening is killing me. I take them off, settling on the grand spiraling staircase inside the mansion. I rub my feet, taking a break from the activity outside.
“Great, it’s a deal. I’ll have my attorney send over the papers.” Hyde walks over dressed now in gray slacks, matching gray jacket, and a blue v neck shirt taking a seat next to me on the staircase.
“Long night huh?” I’m slightly embarrassed grabbing my shoes.
“Don’t put them on my account. You’re stunning even without them.” He makes me blush, though make mind not to take him too seriously knowing he’s a notorious ladies man.
Instead of feeling flattered like Kara and a thousand other women, suspect this is his usual line, but I give a polite thank you, putting on my shoes.
“Thank you again,” ushering his hand to take hold of mine.
“You put together a great event, and found this place on such short notice. You’ve done an amazing job and I’m impressed.”
“Thank you,” noting his hand still on top of mine.
“How did you find this place? Is this your boyfriend’s place? I would ask if it were your husband, but you don’t have a ring on.”
“I don’t have a boyfriend, and I don’t need one to secure a venue?”
“I didn’t mean it like that.” He’s now standing running his hand through his dark hair, suspecting he knows he put his foot in his mouth.
“I meant you’re so beautiful, and certainly deserving of a lavish place like this, so assumed you were already taken.”
“Well, I’m not taken and certainly don’t need a boyfriend to do my job.” I bark back at the insinuation.
“I apologize.” His hazel eyes tunneling straight through me. “It came out wrong. Please accept my apology.”
“Hyde are you ready to head out?” A tall brunette walks in inquiring, noting her resemblance to the girl at the pizza place, though this one has a far larger chest.
“Just a second.”
“You should probably go.”
He chuckles amusingly. “I go when I’m ready.”
His remark is arrogant, and though the brunette doesn’t seem too happy, she stays.
“Maybe so, but she may not wait for you all night.” He laughs again, pinning his eyes on me like a hawk marking its prey. “Yes she will.” And I almost threw up at his comment.
“Please accept my apology again,” kissing the top of my hand.
“You look extraordinary tonight.” He cups his hand on my lower back, my body shivering from the touch. He then walks off, the brunette obediently waiting for him.
After my encounter with Hyde, I head outside to check if Bryn was still around, spotting her by the bar talking to one of the models.
“Hi Sophie. You look tired.”
“I can stay with the staff until everything is cleaned and cleared out.”
“You’re a doll Bryn, but I’m staying.”
She introduces me to one of the models she has been chatting with. He’s tall and cute, blushing at some comment she whispered in his ear, which surprises me, considering just a while ago was strutting down a runway shirtless with hundreds of eyes glued on him. Noting Bryn’s interest, encourage her to go. And with Bryn not here to help can only hope to wrap up before midnight.
It’s a few minutes after eleven and finally all the guests are gone. All the drinks and food have been packed away. I haven’t seen Hyde since our short encounter, assuming he took off with the brunette. Roxanne checks on me, but I tell her to go home.
“Are you sure? I can stay and help.”
“I have the cleaning crew scheduled to arrive early tomorrow morning, so no worries.”
With everyone gone, I head out exhausted, looking forward to a shower and my bed, thinking next time if I have a show like this, it will be on a Friday and not Wednesday.
After the fashion show, looked forward to a nice quiet week. And with Kara out of town, returning on Saturday, plan on spending the rest of the week lounging, doing absolutely nothing.
My week went as planned, spending my nights watching movies and eating pizza, which was heavenly, but wake each night with Hyde on my mind thinking of his comment the night of the fashion show, wanting to escape any and all thoughts of Hyde.
It’s Saturday morning and knowing Kara will be back today, retrieve the Chanel purse I bought and stored away as a thank-you present, and figured it’s the least I can do to repay her for staying at her place, since she refused me paying her. I place the thank-you card on top of the beautifully packaged box, set it on top of the countertop, then settle on the sofa that I’ve grown accustomed to the last few weeks. And I appreciate not only the hospitality, but her courteous discretion, sparing me from her sexual endeavors, keeping her hookups outside the condo.
I shower and change into a pair of jeans and long sleeve shirt to meet Bryn, ready to move into my newly decorated condo. And though my place is only ten minutes from Kara, will miss our chats and wine time.
Surprisingly, traffic is not bad this morning, arriving ten minutes earlier than expected.
“I can’t wait for you to see the place.” Bryn yelps assaulting me just as I step to the door bombarding me with a request. She is casual in a pair of jeans and black knit shirt, though very much poised like a runway model in flip flops, realizing it’s the first time I’ve seen her in anything that didn’t have heels.
“Isn’t this a bit much?”
“Not at all.” She presents a blindfold.
“How much longer?” I begrudgingly adjust the blind folds.
She takes a deep sigh. “Just a minute.”
Then shouts. “Now!”
I remove the blind folds surveying the room.
“What do you think?”
“Bryn, it’s gorgeous.”
“You really like it?”
“Like! I love it.” The living room is chic and contemporary just as I requested. The marble tiled fire place exactly how I envisioned, the large openly spaced gourmet kitchen stunning.
Bryn’s face brightens; her brown skin glowing highlighting her long wavy black hair. And just as I was going to ask who the beautiful vase of tulips were from, the doorbell rings.
She returns, and I can’t resist giving her a hard time. “The guy at the door was very cute. He seemed quite taken with you. Do you know him?”
“I met him this morning. He helped deliver the furniture, and he came back with papers he forgot to give to me.”
“I see,” nudging her in the arm.
“Oh stop it.” She rebukes.
“Are you still seeing the model?”
“We went on a few dates, nothing serious.”
“So no more dates then huh?”
“Probably not. He’s just too young for me.”
I laugh. “How old is he again?....21?”
“Twenty.” She answers embarrassingly.
“It’s not that bad.” She rolls her eyes.
“What about you?”
“What about me?”
“Are you seeing anyone?”
“Yes, my work.” We both laugh.
“Yes, I am actually.” We laugh once again.
“You came back.” She addresses on the way out the door.
I’m surveying the two wondering what’s going on.
“Wanted to do a greeting in person. Do you like the flowers?” He asks eyeing me.
“I think it was a really nice gesture.” Bryn intervenes roaming her eyes between Hyde and me.
“You knew about this?” I’m glancing at Bryn.
“I made her promise to keep it a secret. It’s the least I could do for spilling my drink on you. I have to take this call, but I’m sure I’ll see you around neighbor.”
“He lives here, and is President of the Board.” Bryn yelps.
“Speaking of not telling me something,” she squeals. “He spilled a drink on you? When did this happen?”
And Bryn just like everyone enamored by the enigma of Hyde Reed wanted to know everything.
Over lunch, I give her a brief recap of the incident.
“You have to admit, he is hot. And I think it’s great that he’s your neighbor, and only an elevator ride away.” She chuckles, though I don’t find humor in her comment and roll my eyes.
“I’m sorry, I don’t want any problems boss.”
“I’m not just your boss Bryn, we’re friends.” I hand her a check.
“Sophie.” She squeals. “I can’t accept this; you already paid me more than enough.”
“And this is an additional bonus to show my appreciation.”
“Are you sure?” She asks with caution.
“Absolutely.” I place the check in her hand.
After lunch, I head back to the condo very much aware forgetting Hyde will not be as easy as I hoped.
I lay on the sofa, soaking up the plush cushion underneath by bottom, flipping through different channels on TV, when Kara calls, informing me she’ll be over soon. The front desk notifies me of her arrival, and take advantage of my phone app, buzzing her up.
“This building is too grand and opulent for me.” She teases. “You’d think I was visiting the Queen.” She curtsies in front of me, dressed impeccable, carrying the Chanel purse I bought her.
“Shit Sophie, this place is fabulous. Bryn did a good job.” She makes her way to the kitchen.
“Why the hell isn’t Bryn decorating for a living?” She inquires.
“Because she’s working for me.” I give her shoulder a good shove.
“She did good. I’m impressed.”
“You look nice and sunkissed.”
“Yes, the weather in Aruba was great.”
“Just the weather was great?” I offer her bottled water, which she declines requesting alcohol instead.
“I’ll get to that in a second,” placing her bag on the table.
“As you can see, I love it,” thanking me again for the bag.
“It’s the least I could do for taking me in for all those weeks.” I hand her a glass of red wine.
“Just what I need,” taking a sip. “Aruba was beautiful and I had a great time, until Kurt and I got into a big argument.”
“He wasn’t pleased about me wanting to be a dancer at Fringe. He said he didn’t want me to, and won’t condone it. So, I told him he wasn’t my father and I could do what I damn well please,” then takes another sip of wine. “We fought nonstop the last two days of the trip, and I ended things. If he thought I was going to stand for him controlling me, he got what was coming to him.”
“I understand about the control thing, but what’s this about you dancing at Fringe?” Wondering what she’s got herself into now.
“You know I like shaking my ass, so why not get paid for it too, it was a no brainer, and it was fairly easy too. I went to Fringe just before my trip, Hyde was there, he asked me to show him a few moves, I did, and he hired me on the spot.”
“Well.” I muster. “Guess who lives in the building?”
“Holy shit.” She shrieks almost spitting out her wine.
“Which unit is Hyde’s?” She plops herself across the sofa.
“Not sure.” I shrug.
“I’m jealous.” A mischievous grin spreads across her face, but I quickly change the subject not wanting to spend the entire evening discussing Hyde.
“Since you’ll be working at the club, and ended things with Kurt, more time with Jermaine then I presume?”
“Maybe. Who knows,” giving a shrug.
“How are you and Jermaine anyway?” Noting her blasé attitude at the mention of his name.
“He’s kinky as shit in bed, I’ll tell you that, but we can’t agree on shit,” adjusting herself on the sofa.
“I guess if the sex is that good, they have to be an uber pain in the ass. But I ask for it.” She sighs.
“I keep going back for more. What can I say,” shrugging her shoulders.
“I’m a glutton for punishment.” She giggles.
“You just need someone to challenge you.” I add.
“Like Hyde I presume.” She winks at me.
I toss a pillow at her. “That man is a real life Achilles. I couldn’t live in the same building as him,” skimming her eyes down her legs.
“You’re such a snot,” tossing two pillows at her head.
“I’m just saying.” She throws one of the pillows back at me.
“It’s what I‘d be doing twenty four seven.”
“So what about you?” She asks.
“What about me?”
“Tried anything kinky?”
“Me -------,” I exclaim. “You know I’m not into kinky things. Put it this way, I’m Mother Teresa compared to you.”
“What about the Mayor’s cousin. You know those politician types are into kinky shit. Nothing kinky with him?”
“That was a long time ago, and he wasn’t a politician. He just has a family member who happens to be the Mayor.”
“Still, nothing kinky?”
“I told you no, and I don’t want to talk about it anymore.”
“Maybe you should test the waters with Hyde.”
“Please ------he has plenty of other women for that, and he knows it which makes him that much more arrogant.”
“That’s the best sex.” She adds.
“You would know.” I spit.
“Hey, we’re young, attractive adults; nothing wrong with spicing things up, otherwise things can get boring.”
“Sorry.” I muster. “Didn’t mean it that way.”
“No biggie.” She brushes off. And in usual Kara form, all is forgotten.
After a girl’s night in with Kara, eating a football team worth of food and snacks, and drinking, decide to go for a run in the morning.
I knew better than to ask Kara to join me, knowing she would protest. A few joggers wave as I pass by, and with spring starting a few days ago, a lot of people are out and about, seemingly enjoying the weather just as much as I am.
“How was the run?” Showing off his smug smile.
He’s seated in one of the patio chairs outside Bella Café, the local café just across the street from the condo.
“It was good.”
“You look good when you’re wet. Care to join me?” He removes his blue sweater hoody, and I’m contemplating if this is how he baits the women he’s rumored to been with.
“I still haven’t fully made up for spilling my drink and I have to redeem myself.” His hazel eyes dig into me.
“You gave me flowers.”
“That was nothing, and a very small gesture.”
“Well it was a nice gesture.”
“Here’s your water and breakfast sandwich.”
The tall redhead wearing skin tight black leggings, and an off the shoulder maroon shirt sets the food on the table, then takes a seat next to him.
“Thank-you.” He replies to her.
“Join us?” Addressing me again.
“Yea…sit with us.” The girl chimes in, spreading a tiny spec of cream cheese on her bagel, casting away my presumption that he had a preference for brunettes.
“I have to head back.”
“In a hurry? I would really enjoy your company.”
He insists again, though I am not sure why considering he has another woman at his side, then consider he may be trying to plot a threesome.
“Thanks, but I really do have to head back.”
“Alright but I still owe you. How about dinner later tonight?”
“No thank you, but you should ask the lady next to you. She may want to go.”
She chuckles. “He takes me out all the time, but maybe he wants someone new to take out.”
“I doubt option is a problem for him wouldn’t you say?”
“True, but he knows what he likes.” And Hyde’s face smeared with a smirk is enough for me.
“Enjoy the rest of your day.” He says.
I quickly take off.
Kara who slept until one o’ clock heads out shortly after waking, and though I considered telling her about my run in with Hyde, reside not to.
I hop in the shower, washing my hair, then blow dry styling it into a sleek ponytail. I grab my robe and relax on the couch watching senseless shows on T.V. and must have dosed off, being woken up by Kara calling wanting to go out later tonight.
Though I wasn’t in the mood to go out, and preferred staying in. She played the guilt trip, pleading that she needed to go out after her recent breakup. As usual, she wins.
I select my brand new and very short crème dress, heading out to meet Kara at TOR.
I pull into the familiar parking lot, but judging by Kara not responding to the last four texts I sent her, might be stood up.
Absorbing the salubrious air, pleased by the cool breeze nestled in the city skyline, recall my bartending job here that lasted about a year after Kara and I decided it would be great to work together surrounded by unlimited alcohol. It was also where I met Gibbs, the Mayor’s cousin, whom at the time, I didn’t know had any
Publisher: BookRix GmbH & Co. KG
Publication Date: 09-21-2020
All Rights Reserved