I saw her briefly a couple of times after that, but we never acted on our attraction again. Ever since I saw her just two months ago at a family dinner in Detroit, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Livia’s baby sister. Or the fact that she’s no longer a baby, but a twenty-five-year-old fucking hottie that my cock is begging me to take on a long, sweaty ride.
When I saw the bruises on her arm, I about lost it and pounded her meathead boyfriend’s face into the concrete. Just thinking about it now makes my blood boil with rage. I wasn’t kidding when I told Alyse I’d kill the fucker if he ever put his hands on her again. If I so much as glimpse one mark next time I see her, I’m sure my brother Luke can hook me up with someone who would be all too happy to make that happen.
Knowing that both the Natalie and Alyse discussions are closed, Conn’s quiet as we finish our weight training. Forty-five minutes later we’re showered and enter the elevator.
I punch the button for the thirty-fourth floor harder than I mean to, frustration still coursing heavily through my system. By now, I’m not actually sure what I’m frustrated about most. Natalie, for fucking up my life; Alyse, for driving me batshit crazy with a voracious craving I need to quench; or meathead, for putting his…anything on the woman I want.
Or it could be my lack of getting laid in weeks, because all I can think of is sinking into what I know will be the best pussy I’ve ever had. I just don’t know what I want beyond that. In my gut, however, I know it will be more. I’m already almost savagely possessive of her and she’s not even mine. Yet. I’m very worried that once I have Alyse, I’ll never want to give her up. I’m not sure I’m capable of giving her everything she deserves either.
The elevator doors open. It’s not even seven yet, so the floor is quiet and most of the assistants haven’t arrived yet, except mine. As the CEO of CFC, CoIloway Financial Consultants, I usually split my time between the branch in Detroit and our headquarters in downtown Chicago. When I’m in the Chicago office, my assistant, Tara, puts in long hours, always making sure to arrive by six-thirty. CFC is one of the three companies my brothers and I own together under GRASCO Holdings and since I’m also on the board, I tend to put in long, grueling hours.
“Any news on the audit?” Conn asks, as we exit the steel cage.
“I have a meeting with Sheila Willis today at three. They’re supposed to finally have a full report after two goddamn months.” A few months ago, an accounting discrepancy of over a half million dollars was brought to my attention. Though I have my suspicions about what’s happening, I’ve kept them to myself. Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer, a wise person once said. In business, I have found that’s some very sound advice. Someone’s going to jail over this, and it’s not going to be me.
“Good. I’m off to Cincinnati later for a meeting tomorrow, then headed to Mom’s on Wednesday morning. See you there?”
“Yes. It will probably be late when I get there, though.”
We part ways and I spend the majority of the day on phone calls and in back-to-back meetings. I barely have time to wolf down the roast beef sandwich Tara ordered for me from my favorite deli down the street. I ate it so fast, I now have indigestion. At three, there’s a soft knock on my door before it opens.
“Your three o’clock is here, Asher,” Tara announces. I don’t know Tara’s exact age, because I’ve never asked, but if I had to guess, I would put her in her late forties. She’s soft-spoken, has three grown children, and has been married for almost twenty-five years. After all these years, her husband still does romantic, off-the-cuff little gestures that light her face aglow. For the first time in years, I find myself a little envious that I don’t have that kind of love, but since seeing Alyse again I wonder if it’s possible to find that. I think maybe it is, if I just open myself up to the option that not every woman out there is a two-timing, cheating whore who’s only after my money. This wispy, feisty little twenty-five-year-old woman has me actually thinking of possibilities, and I haven’t done that since Natalie.
“Thanks, Tara.” I smile, steeling myself for a rough meeting with Sheila Willis. We’ve used Willis’s auditing services for over twenty years. Hank Willis was an old friend of my dad’s. Sheila, Hank’s daughter, is only a year younger than my twenty-nine years and she’s always had a thing for me.
Unfortunately for her, the feeling is not mutual.
Unfortunately for me, one alcohol-hazed night changed everything.