So here's another. It's a bit on the mainstream but at the same time not really.
There's an editor I owe a lot to but I never quite got the name. I'll update this bit as soon as I find out.
Get popcorn and background music.
Hope you enjoy.
'...' = thoughts.
"...." = spoken sentences.
"Connor, table thirty-four. Hop to it!"
'Should've seen that coming.'
A young man with hazel eyes looked up from the empty tray he held. Despite his obvious irritation, he held his tongue.
He was raven haired, had a slim but fit physique, and was currently dressed in black and white work formal with a maroon waistcoat in place of a jacket. The humble beginnings of a beard sprouted from an otherwise smooth chin.
"I heard," he sighed, shelving the kitchen ware back where he took it from. "Just clarify for me a little. Do you want me to serve forty-one, sixteen or thirty-four? I'm a bit at odds of what to do here."
That last line came out with a little more spite than intended. It couldn't be helped. Janice was a slave driver in every sense of the word. And when she had a bad day, the witch went out of her way to make sure everyone else did too.
The woman in question stopped flipping through the register and narrowed her eyes dangerously at him. "We gettin' cute now, Connor?"
"I can't help it sometimes," he countered with a casual shrug of the shoulders. The entire kitchen went dead silent. It was populated by fifteen other people, all wearing their own uniforms and occupied with their own designations. Some on clean up, some on meal preparations, others like him were waiters. They got the brunt of it. From both their supervisors and their customers.
Janice gently placed the book down, rounded the chopping counter and walked over to him, heels clicking with every step. "Careful princess. Or I'll make sure the next thing you'll be carrying with those pretty fingers of yours, is a cleaning kit with the uniform and job title to match."
She dusted invisible dirt off his shoulder with a smile. "I want your ass at table thirty-four Connor. Now." Her head nudged at the tables through the walls. "Clear enough?"
The question hung in the air for a moment before he returned the wry smile. "Transparently."
It was official a long time ago that he loathed her. Considerably more than any other person here did. Whatever feeling that had morphed into since, was beyond the english dictionary's capability to adequately describe it.
'Human relations is clearly not your thing so what genius decided to put you in charge anyway?'
Oh, that's right. The joys of having family in high places meant one didn't necessarily have to worry about being qualified for a job. That bit was understandable. What really ticked them all off however, was how the leech insisted on taking all the credit for their efforts, in public or amongst themselves.
In all fairness, he'd technically be within his rights to state he was running an hour overtime already. And if the witch wanted any more mileage out of him, she'd need to clock it.
Just as well, she'd be without alternatives, with the way the restaurant was already running understaffed. But then the people she answered to would want an explanation as to why the payroll was heavier without prior approval.
Connor shook his head to himself. It was almost ten at night but he was already antagonised enough as it was. Riling Janice up any further would not be in his best interests. Stepping around her, he gave the devil incarnate two taps on the shoulder before making for the handleless doors.
Panorlite was a full five star restaurant, only found in hotel franchises with the same rating or higher. No doubt, it deserved no less by the simple look of it.
A pearl white themed dining room set the stage for a memorable evening. No two tables looked alike, each sporting rounded edges and were lit up by tea light candles. Those reflected brilliantly off the translucent surface they sat on.
Curved chairs were encased in hand sewn polyester and the floor they rested looked like polished ice without a single tile in sight. The ideal sports bar sat by the far wall exhibiting the finest of liquor. Hell, even the dimly lit chandeliers alone must have each cost double his entire student loan.
But for him, all this class translated to was that he'd be constantly serving wealthy stiffs with quite the variety of silver spoons shoved so far up their rears, it's a wonder how they even managed to sit down at all.
'Hey, at least it pays well... Relatively speaking anyways.'
The waiter casually pulled out his disposable note pad and branded pencil as he made his way over to his assignment. The clatter of cutlery against plates cascaded throughout the room. So did the murmur of conversation, laughs and the clink of wine glasses as friends honoured each other.
A man anxiously crushed a ring box behind his chair while his date droned on about something forgettable. It all served to drown out the repetitive classic music that played in the background.
A hand fell on his shoulder, catching him off guard. "You just won the lottery."
"Thirty-four, equals lottery," His co-worker elaborated. "Or pigeons depending on your point of view."
Aleck was the youngest of them all. A fresh greenhorn with a slick sense of cunning. He could literally - for lack of a more accurate word - bullshit his way out of anything.
In most instances, that alone was all one needed to know about the fellow. But in this line of work, that skill came in pretty useful when it came to collecting... incentive.
"Be nice to them, you hear me? Ask them how their day was, laugh at their jokes," he advised, pausing to pick up a dropped fork. Did he know he was wearing his clip-on bow tie upside down? "Make a little small talk, see if they can get lotsa free stuff like complimentary wine. Then give them lots of it."
"Gee... Am I going to take an order or going on a date?"
"Depends on how versatile you are."
Connor arched a brow at the implication. "Should I be worried?"
"There's at least one girl there, so no," Clearly he'd done his research. It was typical of him; Constantly scheming and calculating the shortest route to each customer's wallets.
Yet even he had to admit, ever since the rookie came on board, there had been a significant increase in gratuity. "Seriously though. You gotta make this one count. We all kinda need it."
True. Among them was a sort of... 'Code' employees went by. For all staff to benefit from tips, they had to go into a single jar rather than one's pocket.
The earnings were then divided at the end of each run. The bigger the bonus, the bigger the payoff. These were their real salaries. These past few days had been a little dry though.
"Alright. So who are they exactly?" Connor could think of one or two ways to get an indecent amount out of them.
"Rich kids." Aleck gracelessly dodged a guest, in attempt to keep up. "They're the class of stuck ups that gamble recklessly just because they can."
"As opposed to what? Betting for a sustainable income?" A toddler scurried by with a serviette in hand. So much for their no children policy. Did Samantha overlook anyone with a cheque book these days?
"My argument's that; with pockets that deep, they don't need to." There was an touch of venom in his tone. "Yet they still have the audacity to play for other people's money."
The first waiter's eyebrows furrowed. "'Play' being the operative word, right? As in play a game? I'd like to think everyone's entitled to a little amusement."
Aleck scoffed. "At their own expense. Not someone else's. You should have seen them man. It's no longer a game when people start pushing tokens in the five digits figures. They were at every table. Roulette, twenty-one, baccarat... "
It was his turn to stop the chatterbox. He halted midway and laid both hands on Aleck's shoulders sternly. "You know... I don't remember saying anything about casinos." He could practically see Aleck berate himself internally. His hair was cut short today. A torn lip indicated he may or may not have been involved in a fight recently. "Do I even wanna know?"
The rookie stubbornly pulled out of his grip. "Yesterday, freckles over there conned me." Connor shifted his view over to where his co-worker glared.
His target had curly blonde hair and faded freckles manifesting on a somewhat handsome face. He was definitely the easy going sort. The laid back posture and and calm manner he addressed his company was evidence of that.
"We were playing an honest game of Blackjack. Then he shows up with his stack of chips and baits everyone. Twelve rounds later he'd cleared out the entire table, taking my day's wages with him. Bastard was counting the whole time," he vented through grit teeth. His hands were balled into fists. "The entire table knew it too including the dealer. Imagine my shock when I'm asked to leave after calling him out for it."
Knowing him, that's when he decided to take it up with the bouncer called to remove him. Not an easy argument to win. To a degree Connor could understand. His friend had been done a disservice and just wanted his money back.
But his paycheck never had the capacity to sustain that kind of pastime. It's not like casino's weren't out there to make a loss. Hell, he himself was barely legal for them either.
"Aleck, do you ever learn?"
"I do! C'mon, I don't bet obsessively. I know when to cash out." Of course he'd defend himself. Who likes to admit fault? "Yesterday, frustration got the better of me. He'd lose a turn or two, fooling you into betting more, then he'd up his stakes too before..."
"Not interested in semantics mate." Connor turned his attention back to his job. "I'll get only your starting balance back, but just this once," he assured him. "For the time being, stay out of his sights. Alright?"
Aleck simply nodded and left it at that. Alleviation rung off each step as the rookie sprung off in the direction they came from.
It would probably be something else next week. So the question was; is he really helping the child if he gave him an out every time he messed up?
Regardless of the grudge though, on a normal day, Aleck wasn't much different. He took every client here as a challenge. Like they were their own unique vault. Each with a different exploitable combination.
There was just one consistent problem with Al's strategies though. They all involved sucking up. He however couldn't stand to see himself submit to anyone.
Connor studied the table's three occupants as he made his approach. They were just a couple of children, not much younger than him really. Maybe nineteen or twenty. Maybe both? But they were children nonetheless. That last observation was mostly determined by how they carried themselves. Simply put; They were spoilt.
'But what do I care so long as they pay right?'
Fellow human beings populating the tables around them, wore quite the annoyed expressions. Who could blame them with the excessively loud laughter, or the cigarette smoke hijacking the air? Never mind that there's a smoker's section or ventilated private rooms. Never mind the outside deck for that matter.
"Ladies and gentlemen. I bid a fair night to ye all. May thy humble attendant offer thee liquor to quench thy thirst or perhaps a meal to fill your bellies," he started coolly.
And cue silence. They all just stared at him like he'd recently spat out a cat.
"I'm asking for your orders basically." He clarified when they failed to respond.
A ginger haired girl with short spiky hair started to giggle profusely. "Really now? With pirate slang or whatever the fuck that was?"
The waiter smiled back. "It's an ice breaker. I feared anything short of unusual would've done very little to get your attention." He then gestured with the stationary he held in hand. "So what are we having?"
That was followed by even more laughter, this time unbridled and he had to actively force his eyes not to roll.
"Alright, me matey." Connor looked across to the male across the table responsible for the smoke choking the air. Had he not opened his mouth, he may have passed for the smarter type. He certainly dressed the part with him being the only one in formal dress code.
One could strongly argue he finished a bottle of hair gel with one usage. It suit him though with the manner his jet black hair was neatly combed back. "Obtaineth for me and mine crew two of thy finest bottles namethed Macallan 25," he mocked. "We are still to chooseth our meals to dineth on this evening."
Connor cringed inside. Yeah he really shouldn't try that again before reading five or six medieval novels. Preferably those published in the nineties era or earlier.
"Right away sir," he replied. "Might I just take a look at your ID first?"
"Why? So you can stalk me and commit identity theft?"
"So I can confirm whether or not you're alcohol legal." Well that sure caught their attention. The amity in their demeanor vanished instantly. The two boys stared holes into him while ginger over there threw her phone into her miniature hand bag as if to mark the end of the event.
"You just had to go there," the last guest remarked. He was the least impressed of them all. "Just who the fuck do you think you are anyway?"
'Ringleader at two o'clock.'
The age card always put things into focus. "Sir, I'm just following protocol." he said feigning innocence. "A liquor license is very easy to lose."
"Jamie, let's just go," the girl started but was cut off by his raised hand.
Now that he was up close, Connor thought he recognised him from somewhere. He was sporting a well covered up bruise on his left cheek. Now why didn't Aleck mention that bit? "That shouldn't necessarily be your problem," freckles rationalised. "I'd be shocked if this restaurant had never paid a bribe or two before."
Connor quirked an eyebrow. Something only he seemed to be capable of. "All the time actually. Mostly with passes on health and sanity checks relating to food deliveries." His elbows used the back of the empty fourth chair to support his weight. He continued in a more hushed tone.
"However that's management's problem. If I screw up, they still pay the inducement, sure. But I still lose my job. Now let's pretend this inducement was paid without their knowledge. Hypothetically, I'd have nothing to lose and you wouldn't have to go about the impossible task of looking for a top star establishment that flauts the law."
A moment passed where the two were deadlocked in a stare. No, only one of them stared. The other was more akin to a death glare. Where had he seen him before?
Then freckles' expression made a complete U-turn. He grinned and sat back. His hand reached for the jacket's inner pocket and pulled out a wallet. "Okay. I get it. Just simple capitalism at work, right? One's gain at the expense of another?"
Connor shrugged. "I'd like to think of it as a provisional trade."
The blonde's eyes betrayed his cordial smile. "Fair enough. So then, hypothetically speaking; How much is this 'bribe'?" He emphasised on that last word with fingers curling up in the air.
In that moment, Jamie had taken control of the bargain, letting him state his price. Connor's reply came in written form. He ripped off the note, gently laid it down on the glass and patiently awaited their move.
Ginger grabbed it first. Confusion flashed across her face before it turned into rage. "What? That's extortion!" retorted loud enough for the next few tables to hear.
"Agreed," the second concurred, pulling the paper from her fingers for a better look. "Jamie we'll call princess and tell her we'll be getting our shit elsewhere," he finished, passing him the note and pulling his jacket off the back of his chair.
"Sit down." It was solid and didn't offer much room for argument. Ignoring his friend's advice, Jamie pulled out his smart phone and unlocked it. "We're waiting for Luka. And when she arrives, we'll have our dinner, right here at this table, sipping on our glasses of Macallan. And only after we're done, shall we leave." He handed the phone over to Connor. "Branch code and account number in the highlighted fields."
No sooner had he entered in his details and confirmed, Connor felt his own cell phone vibrate in his pocket. He smiled inwardly despite the dirty stares the other two gave him. No doubt they'd severe a limb before they ate here again. But if what Aleck told him was anything to go by, he was just returning the favour.
He handed Jamie his phone back and Jamie simply received it with his dignity intact. "Two complimentary twenty-fives, neat, coming right up," he finished, jotting it down and backpedaling from the table.
It was really all just a formality. The entire conversation, that is. He knew it and so did the blonde. The other two groupies were still yet to catch on.
They wanted alcohol, Jamie could afford it and he could supply it. One just needed the balls to demand what one wanted and from the looks of things, that's what Jamie respected. Either that or he was just too prideful to admit any lack of money for someone of his class.
'Bull. It was neither of the two. The kid was just showing off.'
'What do I care? I got what I wanted.'
'And what does that got to say for your pride and self-respect?'
'I don't remember begging for a dime, so it's still high up there.'
'That's not what I'm talking about...'
Why he hadn't yet thrown his conscience out in the cold by now was nothing short of a miracle. Technically it was because of him that the three were even having anything respectable to drink at all. It's not like he was being deceptive. Practically every server here took advantage of their customers whenever the opportunity arose. Lord knows they needed the credit more.
'To hell with it. We seriously need to get you off your high... high... Wow.'
He couldn't have imagine a more aesthetically pleasing image of a girl if he was given a lifetime to try. Connor was dumbstruck. Almost as if his thought pattern had turned into scribbles.
Her hair was a rich light shade of mahogany, tied up into neat pigtails that swung with every fluid step. They flowed in thick waves, down to her lower back.
She owned a slightly inward curved small nose, smooth pink lips, a sharp chin, all wrapped up in glowing, porcelain-like skin. And with those huge azure eyes framed by long thick eyelashes - she screamed of perfection.
But the sight of her was gone all too soon when her gorgeous self walked past him as if he didn't even exist.
God have mercy, she was pretty and cute all in the same basket. It tore him up inside just to look at her. Even the fragrance she left behind smelt... like citrus. Good luck trying to get it out of his mind in the near future.
There was an aching need to turn around for just for one last look. Lord knows that would have its fair share of repercussions. Janice was out of the kitchen. In the dim lighting, he could see her eyes trained on him provokingly. He sighed to himself and made his way past the throngs of people enjoying the meals his best friend helped prepare.
There was a collective applause the moment Connor stepped into the kitchen. Aleck looked at him thankfully and he nodded in return. The same went for a couple of the other people there with phones in hand looking at the notification. This had been a fairly hopeless week thus far and with the way most of the crew literally lived from paycheque to paycheque, every cent meant the world.
Yeah, where was his conscience now? Had it nothing to say anymore?
His legs walked him past the food and plate warmers, over to the ovens on the far end of room. The sharp clap of high fives echoed along the way.
It was your typical U-shaped restaurant kitchen with the centre aisle reserved for cooking and preparations. Even though not quite match the high bar set by the other side of the wall, it was clear the designer's idea was practicality over beauty.
A chef in white was crouched down beside the open door, fiddling with the machinery. "Well that looks new. What's it called?" the waiter asked, bending over and looking at the chef's latest innovation.
"Soufflé au... Frohmage," he replied distractedly still attempting to get the jammed tray out.
Connor stood up straight and frowned. "You mean a cheese cake?"
"Alright wise guy, you have no place stealing my thunder just because you took a couple of language classes back in high school. It's called Soufflé au Frohmage and it's a bitch to make." He finally managed to dislodge it and pull out the tray. "Is good, no?" he finished with a French accent.
'I haven't even tasted it...'
The waiter back pedalled two steps and leaned on the central counter.
The cake was placed down just beside him and the mittens hung back up on their hook. He then felt a concerned hand drop onto his shoulder prompting him to look back up to its owner.
Kyle R. Graham by profession was one of the four cooks that gave this branch its esteemed reputation. Hard working with the constitution of a well-bred ox making him pretty much the most reliable person Connor knew.
Their water-tight friendship dated way back to their freshman year of high school. Since then, they had built up a barrage of memories together. That was almost seven years ago.
At age twenty-three, Kyle knew exactly where he was headed and got there fast. It was because of him that Connor landed a job as a part time waiter here. No, it was nowhere near his field of study, but as a student still in the works, you take what you're given right?
"What's with the dazed look?" he was asked.
A shy smile found its way back onto Connor's features as he concentrated on the tiles before him. "I think I just found out what an anime girl looks like in real life."
"Right..." Kyle let go of him and made a beeline for a nearby sink. "I take it by that you mean someone brought life sized models of the H.O.T.D cast into the restaurant. Shortly after, you fell in love, no?" His forced accent was back in droves, mocking him to no end.
"I mean..." he threw the towel he was holding at the clown, frustrated how there wasn't something a tad bit heavier within reach, "there's a girl in there and she's flipping gorgeous. I swear it's the kinda stuff you'd get in wet dreams or..."
Water droplets splashing on his neck cut his sentence short. "You can spare me that bit. What was she wearing?" And now he was using his towel to dry his hands. Typical.
Connor closed his eyes for the most vivid recollection. "Silky blue dress. Kinda like her eyes. It was low cut all around the shoulders and down to her cleavage. Tight at the waist and flared out at her hips. Short enough to be sexy and long enough not to be..."
"So it was designer," he interrupted again. "Was she with anyone?"
"Not that I saw," Connor gave his friend a curious look. "Why, you might know her?"
Graham laughed that infectious snigger of his while removing the plaster from his work. A bowl of what looked to be icing sat next to it. "No chance, but from what you told me, she's classy and can afford her own meal. You'll wanna let this one go," he explained.
"Gee thanks man," Connor said with virtually no enthusiasm. "Nice to know someone has faith in me."
"I do!" The chef confessed defensively. "And one day, you're going to be a great engineer and design a train that spans Mount Kilimanjaro, just because you can. At that time, you'll be able to afford that kinda girl, or any other for that matter."
An annoyed Aleck came over and dug out the order notes for tables sixteen and forty-one out of his right pocket. Connor smiled sheepishly which earned him an elbow in the ribs.
"It'll probably be a midlife crisis or something but you'll have women, alcohol and you'll waking up with an empty set of balls - along with an evil hangover the next morning," Kyle continued with a dodgy smile, seemingly directed at his cake that was now sitting on the turntable. He fired it up, and with a low hum, it started to spin. "However, right now, that girl is way outta your league.
"Hell, assume she already has a wealthy as fuck boyfriend who's air to some corporate monolith, stays in a thirty acre estate and has a surgically elongated penis to boot. You have absolutely nothing you can offer her."
By now Connor's face bore a flat affect. "You're a real dick you know that?"
Kyle shrugged his shoulders. "I'd be an even bigger dick if I let you get your hopes up." Paying every detail the utmost attention, he started decorating the desert. He preferred to go about it the old fashioned way; using a flat wooden spatula and a knife for the finer details. "Besides, if you get your heart broken again, I'm the one who'll have to deal with the monster finishing my 'all things dairy' supply."
Connor took off the white gloves and bunched them up. "Exaggeration much. That was one time man, one time! You just won't let it go will you?" He wondered if she was still there and which one of these lucky fuckers were tending to her. Would it hurt to just try and get one last peek?
'Probably. Should just let her be.'
"Think I'll call it a night."
The chef looked up. The smile hadn't gone anywhere. "Back to your torture cell huh?"
"Everyone has their skeletons, Kay," came the response. He went around the counter, over to the register to sign himself out.
The beating of a bowl's contents was heard to his right. "Yeah but not everyone's a masochist. However if she keeps you from attempting the impossible, then I'm not complaining."
Kyle made no secret of how much he hated Ivy. Truth be told; Even though his time was up for the day, he just wasn't sure home's where he wanted to be.
Connor made the routine rounds of goodnights and asked a workmate to cover his last table of brats for him before heading out the back exit.
Provided his bike was unavailable, then his way home consisted of taking a cheap taxi through the traffic, to the subway station. Or if he was in the mood for it, he'd simply stroll there. The night lights made for quite the view too.
All those lit up billboards and hung up screens, the flashing signs, the shop displays showcasing their merchandise - sure they were just adverts but they played their role in livening up the wet streets.
Despite being this late, it was still pretty lively. People looking for a fun night out were dressed for the occasion. You could still hear young couple's laughter in the air, mixed with the splash of recent rain water as cars sped on by.
Once through the subway entrance, he jogged down the stairs, a hand hovering above the bannister. It was cold down here. It seemed like there was a constant gust of wind always rushing to the surface.
The platform below was a sharp contrast to the streets above. It was barren, save for a couple of homeless beggars wrapped in torn blankets. He used to pity them. Now he'd learnt it was not his pity they wanted.
Here he would board a rickety old train. He always chose the fourth cart, and instead of sitting, he stood. It was only a two stop journey after all. But when you got off and stepped above ground, it might as well have been a different city.
Connor lived in a small part of town, where respectable folk wouldn't like to be seen. Ironically it was also where many of them found solace. This place is known as the red light district.
At least five nights a week, he'd walk through these pink tinted streets. Brothels, strip clubs, sex shops, among other establishments, lined up the avenue on both sides.
Every single corner was decorated by different brands of escorts. It never ceased to amaze him, how they appeared so comfortable wearing bare minimums in this kind of weather.
Yes. Living here demanded an impossible amount of discipline. Especially on the days when they were feeling particularly provocative. He just figured they got a kick out of teasing him.
'If my parents had any clue where I lived...'
He frowned at the look of disappointment he knew he'd get. This little detail would only serve as more ammunition his father could use to belittle him. He shrugged the thought off as his legs carried him up the stairs to his apartment building's front doors.
All in all, it was really just a fifteen minute journey. In fact you could just make out his home from the top of the hotel Panorlite was nested in.
So really. Why not just take the damn bike? Oh, oh right. His darling of a housemate ripped the chain. And by housemate, what he really meant is the girl that stays with him. The one who's really supposed to be his girlfriend but broke up with him and forgot to move out.
Talk about awkward living conditions.
"Is she home?" Connor asked the concierge after letting himself into the foyer. The man simply smiled an evil smile and nodded in way of reply.
'What, no witty comments or sarcastic lines today?'
The time read just after ten. It had been the same the day before. And the one before that too. Deliberating between a weekday and weekend was getting harder by the second.
What was it today? Tuesday? Wednesday? If it was Wednesday then wouldn't that mean he missed dinner with his family? But if that was the case then they would have called right?
'Damn. All this confusion without the use of beer. Seriously, what day is it?'
The lift door opened up with a clatter, goading him to step inside. These would be the death of him. Stairs would be easy if the twits he called his landlords would change the dead lights for working ones. Or at the very least just let him do it for their incapable selves. The elevator violently jerked upwards before his finger even left the dial.
'Yesus! Note to self. Get myself a damn...'
His view went down to the smartphone he'd just checked the time off and rotated it onto it's back to see the flashlight there.
The lift came to an abrupt stop and the doors pulled apart to reveal a knees bent Connor with a vice grip on the supporting rails. His phone lay discarded on the floor. Only the good lord himself knew why he tortured himself so.
Collecting himself, he escaped the ungodly machine and made his way down the passageway to door 1208. He held his breath.
This used to be his happy place. When he'd first come here looking for a place to rent, Willard and his wife had politely told him to scram since all their rooms were taken. He however made a nuisance of himself and insisted on that one room that they thought was uninhabitable.
They showed him up here. To the top floor where all the junk was thrown. Broken beds, stoves, tubs, room dividers, it was all here. A bargain was struck. If he could fix these and get them working again before the next month's auction, the place was his to rent at two thirds the price.
What desperation does is show people just how irrelevant self-designated limits really are. He'd finished in less than a fortnight using nothing but his hands and a toolbox.
Today he had one of the largest spaces in the building renovated into a neat bachelor pad by yours truly, and it barely made an impact on his wallet. Thing is, as of late, calling it a bachelor pad would have been pushing it, and not by a little.
Connor Shut the door behind him and stared into the lounge space, then across to the kitchen counter. Clothes littered the furniture. The one's belonging to Ivy he recognised. The others, not so much.
His feet walked him to the sofa where a ripped pantie lay discarded. He bought her those along with an entire pack of lingerie during last year's valentine. Apparently just for someone else to appreciate then vandalise on a whim. A fist clenched in attempt to control the hurt crawling through him.
So her and her muse had come in at the front door, chucking their respective jackets on his floor, just shy of the coat holder. They came over to his DVD collection, dropped a few before picking out the lone ranger seeing as it was still playing on screen; forty minutes in.
At that point they decided to hell with the movie and ripped their remaining clothes off. Hers went first and her boyfriend for the night's were removed on the way to the open kitchen. There they stole a bottle of wine, leaving the fridge open and breaking a glass in the process.
His eyes followed the trail of the spilt beverage around the dark wooden counter, down the short corridor to...
He stood staring at the wooden door in disbelief. True enough, the sound of flesh slapping against flesh was heard through the door.
Anger churned through him in droves as he picked up on her familiar cry. Where did she get such rampant nerve to go this far?
Right now, these assholes were having sex. In his room dammit! All she had to do was turn right but no... She just had to have his room too.
This, he did not have to tolerate. Not by a long shot.
"So then what happened?"
"You knocked?! This is you room bro and you knocked?!"
Connor felt the strong urge to throw the empty bottle as far as he could over the protective railing and into the river. Instead it found its way onto the pavement with the first one. The alcohol had already started to kick in. "It was locked. She always locks when she has someone over," he stated with a raspy voice.
The water they stared at reflected the bright lights of the buildings on the other side. The fountains would come on periodically along with their lighting, bathing the water in a rainbow of colours. He thought the view would help put him at ease. He was wrong.
It was almost midnight. Currently they were standing by the edge of a tree inhabited park, adjacent to the duplex Kyle lived in. It was quite the view from up on his roof too.
Kyle Graham pursed his lips in irritation. "I'm not amused. Please tell me you made some effort to save your dignity. You broke the door down, you took it off its hinges, you... did anything. Anything at all."
"I assumed the spare key would be an easier option." Connor called to mind the shock and horror on her face as she scrambled for decorum, ripping his orange sheets from the bed.
And the anger her partner portrayed at being interrupted before finishing. Not to mention the slew of insults thrown his way as the bastard insisted he get out of his own room and shut the door behind him.
"I told them both to leave. Her lover may have required a bit of inspiration first."
His best friend turned his head and looked on with hope. "You popped him?"
Connor shook his head. "I shoved his phone and wallet in a pillow and tossed it over the balcony. Figured he valued whatever was in there more than his precious ejaculation."
The chef nodded his head. "Smart. Not the route I would've taken personally but smart." He pushed off the rail, wrapped a hand around Connor's shoulder and pulled him to walk along the walkway as well. "So what's gonna happen to Ivy?"
An exasperated breath escaped Connor as they strode along. "She's obviously not going anywhere. You know that from experience."
It was almost hilarious how someone as stable minded as Kyle had such a powerful dislike for bad omens. He avoided every crack in the slabs like the plague. It also made him look homeless and bored, especially with the way he hopped about when walking on concrete. "Does she pay rent now?"
"Does she... dammit." He swore as he stepped on a crevice. "Does she cook?"
Kyle opted for the lawn instead. "Jesus friggin' christ, does she at least do the laundry or help clean up?"
"Just her items," came a tired reply. "It's not like I actually asked anything of her though."
The other set of footsteps went silent abruptly. Connor however refused to stop. He was not looking forward to the interrogation that was soon to occur. Maybe calling this guy wasn't the smartest of choices right then. "Dude, you know where I'm going with this."
"Oh, I do. Believe me, I do," he confirmed, turning around to face his makeshift therapist. "But what do you want me to say?" His feet started reversing at the same pace his best friend approached. "That I'll go home, pack all her belongings and dump them on the street after taking a steaming shit on her favourite dress?"
"Only if it's true! Imagine how satisfying that would feel?" There was no one else in the park to hear him yell anyway. Let him shout. "Your wallet. Hand it over."
"Just throw it man."
A second later, a striped wallet flew through the air into Graham's hand. He opened it and pulled out a tiny grayscale photo. Connor rolled his eyes. More at himself than anything else. He just walked into that one didn't he?
"See? I haven't even seen this one before but I just knew it had to be in here. This right here is your problem dude." The photo was waved in the air before being discarded carelessly without a second thought. "You don't. Move. On! It's one thing to breakup. It's another thing to hear your ex whore herself to a different guy, every single night!" He finished throwing the wallet back.
"Um... It's not exactly every..." The look he got for the correction was interjection enough. Kyle had a point, that much wasn't disputed.
But it's not like you just wake up one day and decide not to love someone anymore. Feelings don't just disappear when someone ups and ends a relationship. No. Instead they haunt you like a reoccurring nightmare.
He had Ivy for an entire year. In that time they'd done everything humanly possible from Cape to Cairo.
We're talking hundreds of dates, two road trips, intercourse in every position they could look up online. They made numerous trips to the cinema and clubbing directly afterwards.
He had scores of hangovers in the mornings to show for it and every time, he swore he'd never go that hard ever again. She had him right back at it the next Friday, Saturday, and if he didn't put his foot down, then Sunday too.
The bitch had him love sprung. Not that he minded. No. In fact so much of his life, both present and future revolved around the heart ache in good faith she'd still be his for decades to come.
So imagine the damage when she tells him that the only reason she stuck around, had all that sex and told him all those sweet things he loved to hear, was because she needed somewhere to stay.
That as a foster child who failed the system, she had nowhere else to go. No parents, no siblings, no qualifications one could speak of to get her anywhere in life. Just public homes with one meal a day.
He didn't believe for a second that she wasn't more resourceful than that. That didn't go to say he liked the alternative either.
So the best three hundred and eighty-four days of his life turned out to be a total lie.
When you receive news like that, do you just kick them to the curb anyways and confirm their fears? Or could you live with yourself, trading a roof and food for sex and counterfeit love?
His feet spun him around to look where he was going. They were approaching the end of the trail by the main road.
Kyle caught up with him and kept pace at his left. "You're really gonna need to make up your mind on this one 'cause it's not going to stop bud'," he stated sombrely before giving him time to ponder. They walked at their own pace in silence and stopped by the asphalt, waiting for the road to clear.
The biggest issue Connor had with Kyle was his honesty. He never minced words or beat around the bush. His appreciation for how other people took his words was virtually non-existent.
It's easy to tell the world what's wrong with it when you're without fault. It's also easy to be disliked for it.
The red man disappeared and the green man lit up.
Had one been looking from a distance, they'd think that the boys were brothers as they crossed the street. The way their steps were perfectly in sync right down to the bounce, both with hands in pockets, all done without the need to look at each other.
"Kay, tell me something."
"You think there's anything wrong with me?" It's a question that had been plaguing his mind ever since that fateful day. He hadn't been too keen on knowing the answer though. His own denial was at fault there.
Kyle must have rolled his eyes right then. Even without looking, he just knew he did. "That's your self-conscious asking mate."
"And it would still like to know."
The therapist pulled a hand out of the warm confines of his pocket, drawing a wallet along with it. "You know, we haven't gone out in a while," he said flipping through the notes inside it, "and I got about thirty bucks here."
Connor gave his friend a sceptical eye. "Off topic much."
"No I think it's very on topic," he answered almost too quickly, very sure of himself as they stepped back onto the sidewalk. "Allow me to get a little anal here. Your self-worth was weighed with her as the SI unit. You always saw yourself through her eyes. Now that she's gone, you don't really know what the benchmark is. Correct?"
Connor grimaced and looked for the best way to avoid the question. "What's your point?"
"You need a new measuring stick. One that can reassure your sense of self-awareness as a man as well as your right of self-centeredness."
"I'm not feeling emasculated okay."
"But you have been aggrieved." They walked past the entrance to the chef's place. Connor was about to point that out when Kyle continued. "Look, just forget everything I just said for now and concentrate on having a good time. You'll know what I'm talking about in the morning."
The blaring of an alarm was the first thing to greet him that Wednesday. So there were just two issues with that. The first being that of the ringing. A phone wasn't cable of making a sound on that high a decibel so it had to be real.
The second? He didn't own an alarm clock. Neither did the chef and if there's anything he remembered, it was not sleeping at home the previous night so it was definitely not Ivy's. No Ivy chucked hers out the window ages ago anyway.
He foolishly opened his eyes and was brutally assaulted by the morning sun shining brightly through an open window.
Immediately he shut his eyelids to slits and attempted to sit up from the bed he was currently in.
The thump of footsteps against floorboards were heard getting louder then suddenly, that incessant deafening shrill went dead.
"Sorry. This stupid thing is the reason most guys never call back."
His eyes snapped open.
Before he even looked in the voices' direction, he first lifted the covers to eye level.
"Yeah, it happened," she answered before he could do the math.
The comforter came down slowly. A girl stood at the foot of the bed buttoning up her shirt, her legs still bare.
"I don't suppose you're sex legal." Something told him smarter things could have been said right then. She looked like a younger version of a Barbie doll though. Much younger. A fresh red hickey on the right of her neck confirmed her words.
She giggled as she threw a ten dollar note on the bed from her chest pocket. "You already asked that. I'm surprised you don't do this more often." What the blazes had he told her? Where was he anyways?
It was a brightly lit up, white themed room with a polished wooden floor. A study desk sat in the corner with a barrage of books stacked on it. A few ways to its right hung a wall mounted television set tuned to a music channel, yet the volume was on mute. Probably in consideration for those sleeping at the time.
Ignoring him she sauntered off to what appeared to be the bathroom, giving him a much appreciated view of her rump before the door blocked his vision.
Connor immediately jumped out of bed with new found adrenalin. This never happened. Ever.
For one, he was absolutely sure he'd remember screwing a babe that scored that high on the hotness ladder. Secondly...
'Where the fuck are my clothes?'
Normally the first rule of waking up with someone you don't know is to find out who the hell they are. She was in the bathroom so rummaging through the medicine cabinet for prescriptions wasn't an option.
Alternatively he could search through discarded junk mail or magazine subscriptions. If he was feeling downright rude, he could just go through her wallet sitting on the headboard.
'Or you could perhaps ask her.'
Sleeping with someone and forgetting the ordeal itself was normal, but most girls drew the line at forgetting their names.
This was a first for him. Partially thanks to the fact that he had not been getting laid a lot lately. Scratch that. He hadn't been getting any at all.
Which is why this came as a bombshell. He hadn't been too keen on getting involved with anyone else for the last couple of months. In fact, any activity he had in common with his ex was on his black list.
This included clubbing, eating out, renting movies, renting video games or conversations with new people that lasted more than thirty seconds.
As one would expect, his social life went on an endless downward spiral but it worked for him. This bubble he'd enclosed himself in was his security. There were no strings, no emotional obligations, no expectations and most importantly, no hurt. He didn't have to care about anyone but himself.
'What a breach of protocol. Kay if you got anything, anything at all to do with this...'
With that last thought he paused and gave himself a mental slap before twirling around and falling to the bed. Yesterday night's conversation was called to mind. Of course he'd have a hand in it.
'You'll know what I'm talking about in the morning he said. Yeah I don't recall shit.'
A lofty smile found its way onto his features. "I don't suppose the name 'Kyle' means anything to you?" he called out.
The door cracked open and a head emerged with a toothbrush sticking out of her mouth. "Nope. Though if I'm to take a guess I'd say he's the one that tapped your ass on your way out." Her head vanished from sight but the door remained open.
'He's gotta stop doing that.'
"Seen my boxers? They may or may not have a purple dinosaur printed on them."
"Where you left them china. On the sofa with the rest of your clothes. Rather manly by the way."
He currently owned a splitting headache, every sound made seemed to be conveyed through earphones and he remembered nothing of the previous night besides bottles, music and... a dog? Yet he still felt better than he had on any other morning of the year.
He raised his legs and dropped them, using the shift in weight to propel him back onto his feet and made his way to the living room, naked as a pinkie.
It wasn't hard to find. Her place was small but well decorated and neat. He took his time to appreciate the scent of femininity other than that he'd become so accustomed to.
It was mixed with that of ready pancakes. The doll had actually gone through the effort to fold his clothing.
The familiar vibrating of his cell phone found its way to his ears as he approached. Naturally he picked it up and answered without looking at the name tag.
"Well?!" The privilege of saying hello wasn't even offered.
"Yeah, I don't remember much," he replied honestly. He wasn't entirely convinced it wasn't better that way though.
"Yeah me neither but if you did everything right she should owe you ten bucks."
Connor blinked at that remembering the note back in the room. "What for?"
"You made a bet that you could give her a multiple or something like that."
There was a pause on his end of the line. "What?"
Kyle laughed. "I swear. I got most of the conversation on record actually. Fucking hilarious. Get your belongings and get to work pronto. I got your change of clothes with me."
The line went dead without goodbyes either. His hand lowered the phone and he regarded it like it was the crazy one.
'I don't even know how to give a multiple.'
His rolled down the notification bar to reveal a couple of missed calls. Four from Ivy and another from an unknown number. Right now, he was not about that life. After yesterday, all his mind wanted to do was forget she even existed. A sharp contrast to when his relationship first fell to pieces.
Back then he tried to save it in every way he could think of. Gifts, lunches, anything that meant wasting time together.
None of it was entertained though. She soon made it apparent verbally and by behaviour she wanted very little to absolutely nothing to do with him.
Then the sex started. She left little tell-tale signs at first. The traces they left in the air, the wet patch on the couch he'd since thrown out. Then it started happening in earnest while he was around.
She at least used to make the effort to muffle her screams. Then she stopped trying entirely and could be heard being slammed against the thin wall dividing his room to the shared bathroom, often knocking down the hung up picture frames or trophies shelved on his side.
At that point there was nothing more he would have loved than to take the door apart, rip the asshole's dick off and feed it to them both without salt. The same amount of time in an electric chair would have been by far less torture than to know it was happening under his roof.
He just settled for headphones though. And when those weren't loud enough, he hung over at Kyle's or his sister's place. This had become a very regular practice as of late.
It really did have to stop. But he wasn't in the mood to deal with her today. Nothing was going to crap on his day. Least of all her.
When Connor turned around to change, the last thing expected was the twenty centimetre tall Chihuahua sitting in front of him and vigorously wagging its tail. He crouched down for a better view.
"So I remember you and not the earth shattering hump. Ladies and gentlemen I present to you another wonder of the human mind... Freaking unjustified."
A hand went to scratch it behind the ears in which it delighted in. "I wouldn't do that if I were you."
His eyes went to follow her around the corner and into the kitchen. She was fully dressed in uniform. Her skirt rode a little short on the thighs.
Provided she was wearing the same thing last night then he just lived out a top fantasy he'd never get to remember. "Oh come on, he seems friendly." He scratched harder and its leg went crazy. "You wouldn't harm a fly would you?"
She giggled. "It's begging. Right now your cock over there looks a lot like the sausages I give her in the mornings." She called out. "Good luck getting it back. It'd be such a waste too. You don't get them like that anymore." His hand froze. "Now could you please put some clothes on? I got shit to do today, and I can't do it if I'm still here playing with that."
'The mouth on her...'
After getting clothed, five pancakes and a tap on a butt cheek later, he was springing over to the nearest subway, ten dollars richer. No sir, nothing could rain on this parade today.
The vibrations in his pocket started again. Once again he answered it without looking. If it was his ex, he could easily just cut.
"Good day Sir. Am I speaking to Connor Forrest?" He spoke with an Asian accent. Japanese or something.
"Bingo. Who's this?"
"My name is Sinned Okajima and I'm calling from Amalgam Enterprises concerning an outstanding account you have with us."
That caught his attention. His feet stopped dead in the middle of the zebra crossing. He hadn't even heard of the name before. "And by outstanding you mean I owe you money."
"Indeed." he affirmed. "Is it possible you come in sometime and we discuss a resolution in person?"
A car horn blared at him, unceremoniously jerking him out of his shock. He tread over to the other side. "Um... Yeah. Sure... Sure. So where exactly are you?" Last he checked, the only debt he had was the student loan and paying that back was already breaking his bank enough. Where then was this coming from?
"On Knight and First. Just ask to talk to me, give them your name and you'll be escorted up." He spoke fluently and so sure of himself. Right now he was the exact opposite, still scouring his memory for any link between the names and a past event.
"Okay, which offices though?"
The man laughed softly, "Our building takes up the entire block, sir. It should be very difficult to miss."
'What the..? Am I being pranked or something?'
First Street was smack dab in the middle of the high rollers business district. It was Wall Street equivalent really, and one didn't just pitch up there without a sound purpose. He couldn't be any more certain they had made a mistake.
It was just going to be a quick in out meeting. They'd settle the misunderstanding and he'd be home free to carry on with the rest of his life "Alright. I think I can make it there this morning."
"Very well Mr. Forrest. I look forward to seeing you soon." The line went dead and for the second time that morning, Connor was left staring at his phone. A feeling of dread touched his whole being. Something was clearly wrong with his life and he didn't know what.
"Okay that's blooming huge!" he exclaimed stepping out of the car and shutting the door.
The dark haired woman by the other door shook her head in amusement. She had a corporate look about her. The kind that bordered on the classy side rather than professionally rigid. "You really don't follow current affairs much do you?" she teased locking the doors. "Amalgam is basically the second largest private investment group on this side of planet earth.
"I believe it broke off from its HQ in Japan just five years ago using a loophole in the franchise's terms of operation. Funny enough, only a year after that did, their new chairman, the one who facilitated the separation in the first place, end up in a coma or something."
They started making their way to the building's front double doors. Or more accurately; those giant glass gates only made out to look like doors. He took a spin around. The place had its own miniature park running around the block and they had to walk about a hundred meters just to touch the front steps.
The construction itself was only about twenty or so floors high, but it made up for that in width. Sinned wasn't joking. It was all blue tinted glass windows from the ground up. Not a single brick or metal frame in sight. Since it was still early on, the sun still hung low on the other side allowing them to see all those busy people going about their work in the offices.
"They probably wanted to make an example out of him. Not many western countries have the best of relations with Japan after all," He replied, still in marvel of the place. "It makes international corporate law a fairly easy thing for any franchise to skirt around with all the contradictions it has with domestic clauses. Take indigenisation for example."
She gave him a surprised smile. "I'm impressed. Then again you were always pegged for the smartest of us all so I suppose I shouldn't be. Partially why I'm mortified to hear you have no idea who these people are."
Connor gave the man passing a curt nod and he bowed in return. Lots of Asian folk here. "You were the straight 'A' student Emma."
"Some good that's done me..." She muttered under her breath. "I always imagined myself doing something a little bigger than crunching numbers."
"What? Woman, you're in one of the largest accounting firms in the city. Don't play it down."
His older sister nudged him thankfully in the ribs just before they jogged up the stairs. So why would a billion dollar investment firm be so concerned about a bit of chump change that he might owe to them?
They walked into the massive foyer area where suits were entering and leaving. Emma would have fit in quite nicely with them. There was the UN seal parked on the reception wall as well as that of the EU, African Union and even that of the SADC.
'Talk about humanitarian.'
"Right... So how much do you owe these people again?"
He looked at Emma and shrugged his shoulders. They looked alike. Both had high cheekbones, barely tameable brown hair, almond shaped eyes, and the same straight nose. Facial features were well curved to give them both that mainstream look.
Connor bet if she never trimmed her eyebrows then those would look exactly the same too.
She was feminine in every sense though so he stood a good foot taller than her.
Besides that last difference, he felt she took away his sense of individuality. "I didn't ask. I'm thinking it's an error on their part. I mean really. Wouldn't someone remember coming to a place like this?" It was stated with conviction but the auditor still had a look of apprehension plastered on her.
They finally reached the guest counter and his sister spoke for him. "Hello. We're looking for a Mr. Sinned Okajima."
The receptionist looked like your traditional geisha and dressed like one too. From the bun held together by oversized hair pins to the floral kimono wrapped around her and tied in by an oversized bow. "I trust you have an appointment."
"Not with a timestamp, but he's expecting us all the same. Lookup Mr. C. Forrest."
The lady raised her head for the first time with interest and then confusion. "Oh."
She pushed the power button on her screen and said something in a foreign language to the attendant next to her. "Wait here please." She disappeared through a sliding wooden door behind her engraved in symbols and traditional art.
A minute later the same woman, scared the bejesus out of them when she popped up at their rear. They followed her through a large glass hallway into an open courtyard. It was a hexagon in shape full of green trees, lawn, vines and fern plants. Among them were benches and tables that people of the same ethnicity populated. It was actually more of a tropical greenhouse rather than a park.
Above were walkways connecting opposite ends of the building. They headed for the transparent elevators located in the centre. One of which propelled them all the way to the top. From the landing, they were led in silence down an unused walkway onto a balcony. There the geisha got down on her knees then sat on her heels with her side to the glass. Three sharp taps ensured.
"Are we still in America?"
"I don't... know."
The wall slid to the side to reveal a man standing up from his desk. It was almost bare save for a laptop, what seemed to be a diary, spectacles and a pencil.
"Kindly enter," she instructed. They obeyed. Emma seemed to have much more of her composure about her as she went straight to shake his hand and exchange pleasantries.
'Freaking corporate stiffs always making the rest of us look like idiots in situations like this.'
The office was squiggly clean from the floor to ceiling. Everything sparkled making him feel dirty, even after a fifteen minute shower at work and fairly decent formal clothing.
Besides the curved metal table and white chairs, there was only a file cabinet. Nothing else. All his equipment could fit in a janitor's closet so why all the space?
"... And this lad here is my brother. Connor." His head turned to face the man at the mention of his name. If he was to guess, he'd say early to mid-forties. He owned the Asian corporate look like an otaku owned Halo.
"Ah yes, we spoke earlier. Wise of you to come with a witness might I add." The low respectful bow only served to make him feel even more uncomfortable but he reciprocated it after a hard nudge in the ribs. "Please take a seat. I apologise, tea time has just passed so I have nothing to offer in the way of meals."
He rounded the table and waited for them to get comfortable before sitting down himself. Emma relieved him of his hospitality in a way he could never achieve without generating some sort of awkward moment.
His hands felt sweaty but cold. A shiver ran up the length of his spine. It raised an unasked question of how much worse this feeling would be if he hadn't dragged his sibling out of work.
"I understand there's a fee owed to you," she began clasping her hands. "Unfortunately my brother doesn't have any recollection of it so would you mind filling us in?"
"Certainly." He stood up again and walked to the cabinet. It opened with a press of a button. "On the twenty-eighth of January last year a loan application was put in. It was approved as an investment on February the second, the very next month."
A black file was pulled out and the drawer closed without instruction as he got back to his seat and wore his glasses. "The figure was meant to be paid back over a period of twenty-four months with eighteen percent interest on an annual basis until the balance was reduced to zero.
He flipped to a specific page, turned it around and slid it towards Emma. "But it's been a year and he's just passed the grace period with no communication since. Those are the repayment terms. Please go through them carefully."
Emma unclipped the page and sat back on her chair, reading every line in silence. Corporate language was no easier than Shakespeare to him.
It was her cup of tea though so patiently did he await her findings. Okajima had his hands folded in front of his mouth, making it impossible to distinguish what kind of expression he held behind there.
Then panic settled in when she swore. Emilia never swore. Not even when driving with idiots alongside her. "What?"
"My god Connor. What did you do?"
The paper was gently placed back on the table and she revolved in her chair to face him absolutely vexed. "Two million..." She was at a loss for words.
He was still blank however. "What? Two million what?"
"Dollars," Okajima interjected. "The amount we gave you. The amount you owe us without our mark-up." His friendly demeanour was gone. A hand reached over to tap on the highlighted number. It then slid over to the other side of the paper. "Recognise that signature?"
He shook his head subtly, not in denying it but rather in shock. "This just has to be some kind of mistake."
"You reckon?" The account handler's eyebrows popped up questioningly.
Emma's hand slammed on the table catching both their attention. "On last year's managerial audit, your policies stated that loans are only available for use by other corporates, organisations, educational institutions and governments. It explicitly mentions individuals were not your demographic. This application should have been rejected."
He smiled wickedly. "Very perceptive of you. You're one of Holland's girls aren't you? I'm jealous. He has one of the most capable staff I've ever seen in action." The man pushed the paper aside to reveal the one beneath it. "As I said before, this application was approved of as an investment rather than a loan. Under those terms, we don't really care who applies so long as they show the capability to settle the bill."
The siblings looked at the man in stupor. Had he lost it or was there a roll of weed well hidden in that cabinet of his? What kind of approval board were they running here anyway? They should just fire the lot immediately. "He's twenty-three! What capacity has he to make two million in two years?"
The only response she got was a nudge the head toward the file. Connor had heard enough anyway. He grabbed the file before his sister could and started flipping pages, looking for something with substance.
His shivering fingers stopped hesitantly at a particular section. "This is my third semester's project. What's it looking for here?" The first two pages with his candidate information were missing.
"That sir, is your proposal."
He continued flipping through it infuriated.
'Proposal. Proposal he says...'
"It's based on a silly hypothesis, not actual applied physics! That's why a magnetic generator of that scale still doesn't exist. I couldn't possibly make this happen with three times that budget!" He slammed the closed file on the table and fell back in his chair softly panting and running fingers through his hair, feeling absolutely stressed. No, that would be putting it lightly. He was devastated.
The man kept his silence simply observing at first. "Pity. I'm no engineer in any sense of the word but I personally thought this looked promising when I went through it. So did my analysis team." They sat without exchange.
A comforting hand found the students shoulder. "Who's the witness?" he heard her ask.
'Yeah I'd like to know that too...'
Okajima rotated the now disorganised collection of papers to face him. "A Miss I. Bridges of number 1208, Mimosa house..."
"... Horton and thirteenth," Connor finished on his behalf, tired and seemingly amused while looking up to the ceiling. "The little cunt."
Emma's eyes just spread open.
Okajima started organising the pages, ordering them appropriately. "So you know her I'll take it?"
His sister gave him an irate but questioning look, demanding an answer. After this, she more than anyone else he knew, had a right to say 'I told you so'.
"Who else Emilia. My precious Ivy," he laughed. "Yeah she's dead."
Of all the low life things one human being could do to another, this was just inexcusable. Connor stood up and started pacing in attempt to relax his nerves. It wasn't working. He was truly scared there'd be no closure until he had blood on his hands.
"Is he going to be alright?"
"Just give him a moment. It's a lot to take in."
So this is why the chairs were bolted down. Lots of people who've entered this office must have been tempted to kick them over the balcony too. Why was she doing this to him? Did she get off on seeing him in such agony? It was like she was searching for every possible way to lay carnage to his life. You'd think after all this he would have stopped caring but...
"There just so happens to be an easier solution if you're interested." They both looked at him curious. "Amalgam is willing to freeze all debts and the accumulation of related interests if you'll do us a service in return." Connor was the subject of his focus while he spoke.
A small piece of paper materialised from his top pocket suggesting it had been there a while.
The account handler rose up and met them on the other side of the table, stretching out his hand. It was an appointment note set for three o'clock in the afternoon. "We only need you to make friends with a particular someone. Nothing else will ever be required of you."
The siblings exchanged looks. Emelia was slowly shaking her head the entire time. "Is this some sort of elaborate prank?" she queried.
"We don't make those kind of jokes Miss Forrest." He looked back at her brother sternly who just stared back with an equal amount of suspicion. "Sir. You have my word. Do this, and consider your slate frozen."
Connor frowned. Was he even being given much of a choice really?
'Just make friends huh... Settling millions is really that simple these days?'
Three pm struck. People were busy with their daily obligations, rushing from here to there. Getting a late lunch, paying bills, buying groceries, lord knows how long the list really is but the pavement was full of civilians, all trying to get from one place to another. All but one.
One girl that stood leaning against the reflective window of a furniture shop with arms around her waist. She had long, brown, ribbon tied pigtails that hung down to her lower back. A natural fringe accentuated her delicate small face that bordered somewhere between a local and Japanese look.
She carried only a small black and white purse between manicured fingers that matched the sleeveless polka dotted dress she wore. This dress flared out into layers by her slim waist and cut off at her upper thighs, showing off a set of perfectly toned long legs set in string heels.
Aphrodite would be green with envy at the finesse she radiated her beauty. Clearly there was no effort on her end. She only appeared to be waiting for someone specific but caught the attention of practically every passer-by.
But anyone with half a mind would know that her kind was just for show, not to be spoken to by mere mortals. They would have to approach someone else more attainable.
Anyone with half a mind besides the dark haired boy that headed for her that is. He was in simple black and white formal wear along with a maroon waist coat. His casual step slowed down and faltered the moment her azure eyes turned to regard him. He seemed suspended in shock and paused a few paces from her without speaking a word.
This didn't affect her. Instead she stood up straight, unwrapped her arms and gracefully bridged the remaining gap, stopping a little closer than what society would deem appropriate. Had he hoped for more, he would have been heartbroken when she pulled the appointment note out of stupefied fingers and back pedalled to leave a more decent space in between.
"So this would make you Connor then?" She spoke so softly, just loud enough to be heard but with confidence all the same. Her voice could have melted the most brittle of hearts in an instant.
He nodded very slowly before he remembered he laid host to a functional mouth as well. "Uh... Yeah. I-I'm Connor."
"So it's been explained then," she turned around and started walking. Connor, still stuck in a daze could only stare after her, dumbfounded in awe she left behind. A couple of paces ahead, she stopped and looked back patiently. He kicked himself and quickly caught up. He still kept a few steps behind her though, trying not to stare and failing miserably.
'... We only need you to make friends with a particular someone...'
Confusion sung symphonies in his head. Honestly, who was this girl and what was her relation with the lender that assigned him here? What was the definition of friend in this scenario or more accurately, what did she expect of him?
'... Nothing else will ever be required of you...'
They then crossed the road and it occurred to him to ask somewhat nervously; "Um... Excuse me." The girl partially turned to face him, hands clasped behind her with her purse hanging off a string. "Where are we going, um...?"
"Luka," she finished for him.
"That's my name. Luka," she repeated in that pleasant voice of hers.
"Ah Luka-chan," he repeated adding an honourific. "That's quite the cute name."
'Damn appropriate too.'
"Oh." He saw her subtle grimace with a sweat drop before turning around to walk again. "It sounds kinda wrong when you say it like that. Just Luka will do."
'Oops. Did I offend her right then?'
She pointed to a clothing shop just at the end of the block. The sign wasn't all that clear from their angle. His eyes turned their attention to more interesting things.
God, that walk... It practically turned the sidewalk into a runway. She didn't even appear to be trying. The modest sway of her hips, her refined posture, each graceful step taken in tandem. He could only imagine the kind of pervert he must have looked like right then.
There was the tinker of a bell when the door was pushed open. "You can't be serious. We're going shopping?"
"Apparently..." came her reply as she stepped through the entrance.
Even he knew this store. Or rather, he knew the label. It belonged to some well-known Russian designer. The pervert only ever designed women's clothing. But then again what did he care. It would probably be hypocritical to condemn the guy when he'd probably love how the girls looked in anyone of these clothes. Most of all her.
Luka went up to two young attendants and greeted them. They were quite friendly even though she still kept her reserved air about her. He heard the brunette inquire if some piece of clothing had come in yet.
"Yes, I set it aside for you. Do you want to see all the colours?"
Connor smiled to himself.
'So, it would seem I'm only here to carry bags. Easy enough.'
She vanished into the changing rooms for a minute before coming out in a cream summer dress. It might as well have been weaved by spiders with how silky it looked. His eyes eagerly did their job. Was there anything she didn't look epic in, he wondered.
She then went on to try on a blue one of the same kind.
Hold on. Did she just give him right to ogle her? "Make a 360," he instructed, which she did. Luxurious strands of glistening hair wafted her lemon like scent around. In heels, she stood almost eye level with him but not quite. She had this impossibly slim waist line that emphasised on her sizable high bust, and curved hips, which in turn drew you to her perfectly rounded rear that took your eyes down smooth legs. Everything just proportionally complimented each other. She could wear a garbage sack for all he cared and still be eye candy.
"You look okay," he commented.
She looked down at herself with a scrutinising eye. "You don't like it."
He shook his head, "I don't like its price tag." Did she know what he could do with twelve hundred?
She pulled it up by its string for inspection. "Red isn't really my colour either but it's just going to end up in the trash anyways."
'Oh... Oh okay. Well excuse me. What ever the hell was I thinking?'
She went back to an attendant. "I can't really decide. I think I'll just take them both."
"Are you serious right now?" He couldn't help but exclaim catching all their attention. "Both?"
Luka looked worriedly at the dresses now in the attendant's hands. "Did you have another in mind?"
"No. It's not that, it's..." a hand came up to make a palm face. "Never mind. Forget I said anything."
The girl regarded him with a slightly baffled, slightly pitying expression. "You're weird."
'Would you look who's talking.'
When she had changed back, he followed her to the till where she unleashed her platinum card. The tiller was still asking for the mailing address when he lost all patience, packed the folded clothes into the shopping bag himself and headed for the door.
'Seriously. Mailing address for what...'
This time however, he was able to walk at her side with his chin a little higher. It wasn't bad at all really. No, Luka still barely said a word but it wasn't because she was shy or because she wasn't used to him or even disliked him. She just didn't talk much so all it translated to was a comfortable silence.
"Do you come here often?"
And that just proved his point. Woman of few words. So the only remaining question in that regard was could she hold a conversation?
That's how their day went mostly. She'd go empty S class stores, inadvertently innocently tease him when asking for an opinion and he'd torture himself by taking his eyes on a tour of her body as far as being 'decent' would allow. Her body suit everything she put on. However there were times it just got a bit too extreme and other parts of him also wished to give their opinion.
He felt his whole body heat up and a blood drop trickle out of his nose when it got to night gowns.
'I can't do this no more. This isn't fair. Fuck!'
Cold bathroom water splashed onto his face in attempt to cool his rampant nerves down. He had long washed the blood off his face. However that didn't do much for the rest boiling through his arteries. His face felt flushed and his hands trembled in everything they did. It was getting to the point where it hurt just to look at her.
He shut the faucet and looked up into the mirror while drying his hands on the nearby towel. Currently he stood in a Chanel reseller's toilet. His nose had finally started to behave. If only the same could be said for all of him.
Connor started to readjust his trousers for the umpteenth time that day. His manhood was fed up with all the edging and had no problem letting him know how pissed off it was. If he could hang on just a little longer...
"Holy sh... Luka! You're in the men's! Geez!" He had no clue he could jump that high.
Quickly his hands scrambled to zip up his trouser and look somewhat decent. His hands settled for clasping in front of him when his zipper jammed.
Did she just giggle? A hand was raised to cover her mouth briefly and then dropped to reveal her first smile of the day. It wasn't pronounced but any kind of smile from her could have no subtle setting. It had him star struck.
The door was pushed all the way revealing the unisex symbol before the spring pulled it back to her. "You've been here a while."
He felt stupid. How could he think this was private? "I was... Sorry... I-It's stopped though. We can go. What's next?"
She frowned worriedly as her eyes took all of him in. He felt nude and helplessly turned on by the sight of her in that transparent night gown. What he would give for just a few seconds alone.
"Nothing's next. I'm sorry," she replied shaking her head, the smile gone. "We're done here."
She left him to finish sorting himself up. What ever was that about?
She hadn't bought any of the night wear when he came out. Too embarrassed to so much as look at her, he grabbed the shopping bags galore and went for the exit. For a change she followed.
It was getting late. Outside, the sunlight had been blotted out by all the tall skyscrapers so night had arrived pretty early in this part of town. Add the recent cloud cover, the cold breeze dragging along autumn leaves along lit up streets and you have a perfect indicator that your day should be up. Your night however...
"Straight ahead." she directed. Straight ahead across the street was Rainbow Towers. The hotel Panorlite sat in.
He looked back at her questioningly. "That's where you stay?"
She nodded and stepped past him onto the Zebra crossing. "That's where dinner is too."
'Wait... Wait a minute...'
He rushed after her. "How... How long have you been there?"
"About a week or so. I recently moved out of my parent's place."
He didn't pry. In reality, he moved out pretty early too. There were days he regretted it. Having no responsibilities was such a privilege. As was freedom.
Once inside, he made a slight detour to the receptionist's counter, leaving the shopping bags with her. The concierge offered to take them up but with the age he was pushing, Connor knew the generosity was out of chivalry rather than actual desire. "I'll be back for them later. I don't suppose you'd know if Janice is in?" He asked turning his head to the intern behind her computer.
"Oh yes she is. Who's that?"
He looked back at Luka who was staring at the fish in the fountain. "A friend. She's staying here so you can look up the specifics if you're feeling nosy." He removed his waist coat and handed it over before leaving. No point in looking like a waiter if you're on time off, right?
He noted with humour how practically everyone else in the foyer was secretly staring at her. It had been going on like this the whole day and honestly, he loved it. It's like his human worth quadrupled just by being next to her. You know, that feeling you get by walking with someone really good looking.
"All done," he chimed coming to stand next to her. "Did you know goldfish have one of the longest life spans in aqua marine life? Forty years. More than any other domesticated pet."
She moved around him and headed for the lavish restaurant entrance. Connor shook his head and followed her example with hands in pockets. She needs help on people skills too.
This might turn out to be slightly embarrassing to a degree. He never used the front entrance so one could only imagine the humiliation of being served by your own co-workers.
They garnered stares from the second they walked in. more followed as they were escorted past throngs of speculative eyes, probably wondering what a girl of her class was doing with him.
Luka showed no shame however which was supposed to be reassurance enough. Currently Samantha, a female of his age was leading them. They never spoke much due to differences in shifts and job titles. She was nothing short of flabbergasted when he popped up asking for a table with Luka standing behind him.
Normally reservations were made three months in advance unless you were staying at the hotel itself. Even if you were an employee.
He took his own seat while Luka had her's pulled out for her. A sigh of relief happily escaped him at being out of the limelight. Why did it have to be here? "Luka. How old are you?"
"Eighteen." She replied flipping through the menu. So his guess wasn't far off. He had her pegged for seventeen but is there really much of a difference? Not that it should matter. All he was here for, were the groceries.
"Sorry." His eyes looked up from his untouched menu to regard her. Everything inside was known by heart anyway. "I was a little hard on you today."
What was she talking about?
"I'm used to carrying stuff. Between trays and machine components, I really couldn't care less about a couple of clothes." Wait... That didn't turn out right. "I mean I like your clothes! And shopping with you. I just didn't find them heavy."
Gosh those eyes she stared at him with. They sung of untold stories about what really lay on the inside. He couldn't look away no matter how hard he tried. A feeling of rejection overcame him when they travelled back to the food list. Like he wasn't important enough for her attention anymore.
"May I get you drinks, starter's maybe?"
Aleck. He wore a knowing grin as he looked down in his direction. Connor couldn't help but smile back. "Second last page ma'am."
Connor reached up for the sticky notes and pencil while the brunette weighed her options. After writing something down it was returned to its owner. Aleck nodded to show his understanding.
"Could you give me a moment?" he asked after their waiter left. She didn't even respond still searching for her main meal.
A short moment later he stood outside on the deck. It was mostly deserted due to the sudden turn the weather had taken. Currently he was leaning on the railing, staring at the lit up hotel pools. Only the Jacuzzis were occupied, most of which by promiscuous couples. "So this is how you spend an occasional day off? Going on dates with ridiculously hot as fuck babes then parading them here of all places? Well shit, you sure showed me."
He shook his head in reply, his gaze stuck on the water. "Her idea, not mine."
Kyle joined him by his left. "All things considered, this couldn't have turned out any better."
He disagreed. This was too easy. There had to be a catch somewhere. That plot twist where you find out she's a serial killer, a pornstar, the betrothed wife of some mafia gang leader, a vampire... "But doesn't she already have friends? I mean she's rich and gorgeous as hell. Isn't that just the perfect combination for popularity?"
"Can't you just ask her?" Kyle being direct and to the point again. "Either that or stick around to find out. If she does, you'll meet them eventually." Kyle turned around and leaned against the wood facing the restaurant with arms crossed. "Remember how I got to know you?"
How couldn't he. It was a set up. At the age of ten, Connor disassembled and put together his first motorcycle engine without any help. Such a skill was easy to take advantage of when thrown in with the wrong crowd.
One day the police brought him home after witching hours at age sixteen, caught in a public car sale with grease all over him. While other scholars got summer jobs to make a little extra cash, he took apart car parts and his associates sold them on the aftermarket.
That night, these associates deserted him, effectively leaving him to take all the heat. From that day onwards, his parents decided to choose his friends on his behalf. Something that didn't sit well with him until Kyle came along. "It was a set up."
"It was," he concurred. "Still, it may have been the best thing for us both. I'm guessing she never got that kind of supervision. People that flock to you because of your financial status can't be good friends either."
Connor frowned. "It's not all that different. I'm the one in a financial crisis now."
The chef disagreed; "Were. Were in a financial crisis. Tell me. How are you finding her? Looks aside."
He recalled the giggle, the concern she showed just before, the remorse at the table. "She's pretty cool in a closed book kinda way. I like her."
"I rest my case then," he said pushing off. "You, actually like her. Maybe not much but that may be a whole lot more than what anyone else can say. Not bad for a first day eh?"
It wouldn't be if it wasn't for the control factor. He couldn't help but get the nagging feeling that somewhere in all this was a leash and collar. Could it really be so simple to end at paper bags and opinions? Or was she just starting him off on the lighter tasks?
"I get the feeling you didn't just call me out here to voice your doubts," Kyle asked behind him.
A chilly gust of wind swept past him forcing him to step back. "I need a favour, Kay. It's in relation with Ivy." Connor turned around in time to see his best friend's eyes narrow visibly at the mention of her name. "I fear if I try do it, with the way I feel about her... Well you know..."
She barely ate a thing and they were already on their way out. It made him feel like a pig when in actuality, Kyle just wouldn't tolerate anyone he knew wasting his efforts.
His plate wasn't charged for so at least he walked out with that much dignity. Lord knows he wouldn't be able to afford her meal alone without massacring his entire monthly budget into overdraft.
It was the most silent dinner he'd ever attended to date. She never asked questions, nor did she bring up any topics. Anything he said was replied with utter simplicity, any possible progression of the conversation was killed on the spot.
If he was to be honest; it annoyed him. There, he said it. Her Nonchalant behaviour, like nothing mattered ticked him off. If she was going to ignore him the whole time then why invite him to dinner in the first place?
Yes, 'Invite', because she actually decided to wait for him when he went to put her items down instead of going on her own. They could have easily dropped off her clothes in her room first before going separate directions.
He got that she wasn't much of a talker but if he was going to actually try and be her friend, then shouldn't he know something about her besides what you'd find on a resume? Scratch that. He didn't even know that much.
'At least she tips well.'
Samantha eyed him suspiciously as they passed the reception. He took her mints anyway by the handful.
C'est la vie. Add that to the list of things never to try again.
Once out, he got the bags while she held the lift. Okay so maybe it was all lifts he had a problem with, no matter how smooth. Quite ironic considering he knew how they worked. A single cable alone is capable of carrying one fully loaded small car without strain. This one probably had six attached as per safety standards so why couldn't he just relax? He watched the dial as the numbers flashed, heading higher and higher.
'Hold on a second. Penthouse?'
"What the... Luka, you have crazy standards you know that?"
He knew she'd shrug it off. She removed her phone, unlocked it and tapped on an app. The lights came on.
He'd never been up here before. The lift literally opened into the penthouse. It made his place, the home he was so proud of up till now look like a shack.
The suite double storied. The white and silver themed lounging area was set here at the bottom along with the dining area, kitchen and what should have been a reading area judging by the book shelves, coffee tables and designer bean bags.
There were no walls to separate them either. If you were to look to the right, you'd see an unobstructed view of the night lights. Cars, street lights, offices and apartments. Right now you could see the flashing red lights of a jet passing overhead.
Luka, already on the other end of the massive room, dropped her access card on the counter separating the kitchen from the dining section. She went through a door at the back and re-emerged on the glass balcony above. Scratch that. The whole second floor was sitting on reinforced glass.
'Oh hell yeah.'
He picked the bags up and traced her steps. There were decorations all over. Fern plants, fruit baskets, clay pots, shelved wine bottles among other things. The designer really went to town on the place.
He jogged up the spiral staircase to see where the bedrooms were. What he would kill to afford a place like this. "Where are you?"
"On the patio."
Of course. There just had to be more. His feet took him to where she was standing a few moments ago, then he rounded the wall there. The first open bedroom lay on the other side. There was no wall between it and the balcony so you could stare directly into the lounging area.
Looking to the far end, he could see her elegant form through the transparent sliding door, her hair waving in the wind, in tune with the flapping of her layered dress. She appeared only interested in the view. "I'm just gonna place them here on the dresser."
'What. A. Day.'
This wasn't so bad at all. Sure she may be as sociable as a statue but who offloads everything about themselves on the first day. The door closed itself when she came in. That iPhone of hers probably acted as a remote control here. Her heels were gone. She gracefully flung herself onto the bed and hugged her pillow against her head muttering something about being tired.
'That's my line.'
He watched the young goddess a while longer. She lazily lay on her stomach with feet in the air, her pigtails fanned out on each side. The time on his phone read '20:37'. "Later Luka-chan. I'll show myself out." he said stretching an arm above his head and the other pulling at its elbow.
"What do you mean?"
Did she have any idea how cute she looked lying there like that? She had to right? "Well it's eight-thirty and I... I got to be heading home."
"But I didn't say you could leave."
That caught his attention. "I uh... I'm sorry. I saw you lying there exhausted and all. I thought you were done for the night."
She sat up and smiled with her head tilted a bit to the side. It was done so in an almost fond fashion, but there was something else in her eye.
'Right. Serial killer it is.'
She started giggling again and he choked back the involuntary sigh it provoked. "There's nothing to be nervous about."
"I-I-I I'm not nervous." Why did she have to look at him like that?
Luka got up on delicate feet and they soundlessly closed the gap between them, almost as if she walked on air. She looked up to him, helplessly capturing him in her blue gaze. "I don't have anything to do 'till I go to sleep, so I want to have some fun."
"Have... Fun..." Thinking was so much harder with her this close. And what was that citrus scent all about?
Her hand came up to his tie and traced it up and down.
"You know..." she continued, "We were gonna do lingerie next." Her hand then ignored his tie and went right for his chest. The sensation was like his shirt wasn't even there. "I was going to try on a few. And you were gonna tell me which one you liked best. In any way you could."
"Luka... Stop." Sadly he himself made no effort to end it. Heavens knew he was way stronger. So why couldn't he at least pull his eyes away?
She bit her bottom lip briefly. "But that little accident happened with your nose." She spoke to him like she would a child. "I didn't want to push you too hard on the first day. You looked miserable."
"L-Luka... Just stop." He hadn't even noticed her do it, but out of the blue, he felt his white top pull apart and her soft palm on his chest, sliding around. Her touch was electric, leaving his skin sensitive all over.
"You know, if you're feeling any better, I've got panties and bra's and even corsets I could put on." Her second hand came up to grip the low cut neckline of her dress and tugged it down a little, her cleavage demanding his attention. "Wanna see?"
The little bitch. She knew exactly what she was doing. How insanely stunning she was, the lust she invoked, the carnage she could wreck on a man's libido. She was fully aware of every last bit.
'Make friends he said... He didn't mention diddly about her being an effing tease!'
Her hand stopped by the waistline of his trousers and simply rubbed along it. Her eyes kept their focus on his the entire time with that evil grin playing across her soft pink lips. "Still think I 'look okay'?" His hips involuntarily jerked when he felt a finger run along his aching length through the trousers. He could have crushed his phone right then. Maybe still might.
'This here, all this shit, wasn't part of the deal. He didn't sign up to be a toy.'
"I know... I know. Stop." She left him altogether and walked languidly back to plump back down on her bed, legs crossed with her hands supporting her. He felt like an aroused mess just standing there with a barely contained tent in his pants, breathing heavily. The blood could be heard pumping through his ears.
"You really don't like me much do you?" If he heard correctly, then there was a touch of well-hidden disappointment in her tone.
His next words came out all jagged. "Liking you has nothing to do with it. This is just as inappropriate as it gets. Besides, you're a child dammit."
'Don't you have people your own age to fuck with?'
She raised her brows curiously. "Doesn't he have a say in this?" she asked looking at his groin. That came out a lot like a taunt. "I mean clearly he doesn't care. Don't you like them young Connor?"
His nerves were not cooling down. Not with her sitting there like that. His legs took him over to the mirror that was her eastern wall. Still, the effort counted for naught if she was still in the reflection, smiling mischievously and playing with that lock of hair.
"Oh cut me a break already," he scowled. The damn buttons just wouldn't get in those elusive slits. His unsteady fingers weren't helping any either. "All you care about is riling me up and I dare you to tell me otherwise." Unamused eyes locked in on hers through the mirror.
A look of genuine confusion was portrayed on her features before they hardened. "Let's not make me out to be the bad person. I did offer." her head dropped to look at her knees by the edge of the high bed, unable to face his glare. "The only reason you're not getting laid right now is because you insisted I quit it."
His fingers faltered as if to ask him if he really wanted to finish buttoning up. He cursed at his lack of resolve, then cursed at the last shreds of resolve that actually remained.
He heard her shuffle to her feet. He couldn't see her in the mirror anymore. "I'm not stupid. I get that this is awkward for you. You probably like to go on dates first and share intricate details about your personal lives over long, interactive conversations." A hand snaked its way around his torso, into the lower section of his shirt yet to be buttoned up and played along his abs.
His treacherous body let out a content sigh at the soft electric touch. "Maybe meet each other's friends and families, exchange sentimental clothes, buy each other love tokens." He bit back a groan when she centred in on a nipple and rubbed. He didn't even know he was sensitive there.
"But I'm not good at any of those things. I don't talk much, I'm socially awkward and very selective of the people I hang around." Her other hand came to unbutton the few he'd redone. "It's for those reasons I don't often have someone new over." Her left hand joined the right in its exploration, rounding every smooth contour and revelling in his texture.
No resistance was made. He was even less inclined to when her body pressed against his back, crushing her chest against him. His eyes were shut, breathing shallow, pulse racing all over again.
He felt her rise to the balls of her feet. Then that soft touch came up to his shoulders and gripped the lining. "This is how I do things Connor." So mesmerising, cool breath cascading along his ear. "It's faster, safe, there's no deceit and no-one walks away hurt."
Hands pulled the shirt off arms and let it fall to the floor. She then pulled him around and pressed his back against the cold surface. Her perfect form pushed against him once more but this time, ground against his throbbing excitement. A lengthy groan fought it's way out of his throat. He was back to staring into her orbs through heavy eyelids. God, the nymph was good at this.
She traced her fingers up his sides, shoulders and locked them behind his neck. "You'll find this is a lot easier if you do it my way. Soon it won't even feel like a chore you're bound to. I'll let you do anything you want to me too. No matter how degrading, filthy or taboo, so long as you can earn it first." She looked at him with mischief twinkling in her eyes. He couldn't think straight anymore. He couldn't think at all. All his head could process was how fuckable she was right then. "Wouldn't you like that?"
He hauled her off the ground by the back of her thighs like she didn't weigh a thing. Luka giggled infectiously, wrapping herself around him as he dashed across the room and dumped them both on the comforter.
She scooted back excitedly, giving him room join her. "You know the worst thing about you in that dress?" He grabbed it by the waist and unceremoniously flipped her over onto her stomach. Luka's weight made her so easy to toy with. Like a live ragdoll.
"The price tag?" she asked pushing herself up onto her elbows.
"How I know you have nothing underneath," he growled, pulling down the zipper in a single motion.
"How could you tell?" She wiggled out of it as he tried to bunch it up by her hips, revealing the creamy skin of her bare back.
"See through night wear." It came off down her legs and where it fell from there was none of his business.
The tease started laughing into the mattress. "I'm wearing nude dummy."
She was. A small tight the colour of her skin separated him from his prey. "You're soaking."
Her amusement stopped dead as she bunched up the covers to her face. "Just pull it off and do it already," came her muffled reply.
A cocky smile lingered on his lips. Just what did she think this was anyway? A porn film?
Connor kicked off his shoes and trousers, before crawling up to straddle her between his knees.
He moved his hand to her neck, and began to massage the nape, hands moving in slow, firm circles. "My, my. So bossy. Last I checked, I was on top." She felt his warm breath tantalizing her ear as his calloused hands added pressure. "Behave Luka."
His thumb zoned in on another knot under her skin and rubbed it out, letting blood flow through before hunting for the next. She couldn't hold back the string of moans and soft sighs that ensured.
Connor hardened painfully at each one escaping those naturally tinted lips she had buried in the comforter. Hands ventured down the side of her neck to her shoulders, gently kneading the soft womanly flesh. One would think that with her kind of money, she'd visit the spa more often. Her muscles were all too tight.
'Nothing we can't take care of with a little persuasion.'
He swallowed at her groans. These boxers just weren't nearly big enough today. He ached to rip the cursed garment off and bury his lips in the confines of her neck, tasting the sweet feminine flesh, making her moan and squirm in delight.
Luka was out of breath from his skilled onslaught. She bit her lip again, trying to reign in another moan. But when his thumbs started tracing the contours of her shoulder blades, she fell apart.
"Enough. I'm wet! I'm wet already!" she gasped arching her back, in turn pushing her rear into his pelvis. Oh she was beyond caring for awkwardness or her insecurities. "Connor..."
The boy in question froze at the soft repeated mention of his name in that voice. Her begging for him. Her willing submission. Her rear rubbing up against his tortured manhood. He snapped. Every last ounce of self-control went flying out the window.
An arm wrapped itself under her breasts and pulled her up onto his lap, ripping her away from the protection of her covers. He began mercilessly assaulting her neck with his lips, nipping at the soft flesh before soothing it with slow, torturous strokes of his tongue.
Luka whimpered and squirmed powerlessly in his steady arms, unintentionally grinding against him and making him harder if that was even a possibility anymore. She tasted every bit as good as she looked; candy sweet and tangy on the taste buds.
"C-Connor, please just..."
Her back arched more, desperate for his lips on her throat. He happily complied leaving trails of moist kisses while running explorative fingers up silken thighs. She trembled with need, reaching back and fisting her assertive hands in his hair. She just had to have more.
Connor couldn't think, couldn't focus. Not with this ball of lust sitting on his lap, whimpering his name, rubbing against that part of him that burned to be inside her.
His hands slid up her waist, past her ribcage revelling in every last inch of her. Luka groaned pulling his head from her jaw and gazed into him with dilated pupils. "Please. Inside."
He saw in her the aching, the insatiable need for him to fill her up. It begged the question if she saw his desires as well. Was she really just a reflection of his own state of arousal?
"Show a little patience chica."
The sexiest groan of frustration ever left her open mouth.
Unable to wait any longer, his hands closed in on her breasts. It made so much sense now how she just didn't need a bra. Firm, high and perfectly round, without an ounce of sag. His fingers ran along the tightened pink buds, causing a scorching heat to pool in her feminine core. They rubbed circles around them, softly pinched and tugged just a bit before letting go. She gasped and jerked against him, ripping a groan from his throat.
'My god you're sexy!'
She threw her head back over his shoulder at the incredible sensations flooding her nerves. But he wasn't done yet. A wicked smirk found his lips when he slid a hand down her soft belly, sneaking it under her panties and pressing it against her swollen clit.
Luka's eyes shot open and a very satisfied mewl worked its way out of her throat. What right did he have to devastate her so? She tried to say something, she really did make an effort. But he just grinned on smugly. His fingers went on to rub her in circular motions; hard, fast and with a purpose.
Her hips danced to his tune. No let's be honest, they thrashed around on his lap without restraint, inadvertently sending lightning bolts of pleasure spiralling up and down his shaft. He tried to stifle the ragged groan that threatened to escape. He failed miserably as she just ground against him more, thirsty for his touch.
'Now... You're wet.'
He pushed his hand further down and curled two fingers into her slick opening. His little goddess finally wailed out loud. She didn't know how to handle a sensory overload of this class. Her agile hips went crazy under his fingers abuse and had it not been for his arm, she'd be rolling all over the bed by now.
He couldn't believe how taught and scorching she was down there. The mere notion of having her wrapped around his hardness almost made him decorate his boxers white on the spot.
He pulled his fingers out slowly, then plunged them in again. "Wanna cum?"
Teary eyes opened. She shook her head no, incapable of forming a coherent sentence.
"Really?" He knew what she wanted. She sat on it, inches from where it should have been. "Well too bad."
He pulled his hand back and without etiquette, pushed her back on her stomach before flipping her over onto her back. A pillow was shoved under her head before he went on to admire her impossibly hot body. The girl had five tiny dark butterfly tattoos running up her left hip bone. He traced the art, literally observing the gooseflesh his fingers left behind.
'Gosh! You are an orgasm just waiting to happen, aren't you?'
"You what?" he taunted, lowering his ear to hear her better.
"Hate... you... I..."
He sat up surprised. "That so? Well let's see if we can amend that then, shall we."
Down went her tights, past knees, shins and feet. He lay down, spread her creamy soft thighs and pulled her in closer, placing her legs over his shoulders. Her aroma drove him dizzy and his mouth watered at the sight of her neat hidden pink flower. He was gonna enjoy this almost as much as she was.
But just before he could get to work, hands intertwined themselves in his unruly black hair and tugged hard.
She really was used to getting things her way wasn't she? No doubt most guys would be happy to follow orders. His head rose to look at her flushed face. Was she embarrassed? After all he'd just done, she still had misgivings about him staring at the most private part of her body? If that was the case, she might as well not shave at all.
Ignoring her interruption, he dived right in, sliding his tongue along her pink wet slit and smirked at her wine of pleasure. He ate her languidly, lightly brushing past her nub earning him a hitched gasp and a jerk of her hips. His tongue danced along her labia, probing her a second before coming up stopping just short of her clit.
Luka cried out in agony as her grip on him got painful. He loved every second of it. He could only imagine the things she'd say if she could talk. She was all puffed up a bright pink. Her intoxicating fragrance was maddening and his length lurched at a mere whiff.
Her thighs were pushed up and he latched onto her clit, sucking in quick sharp bursts. Her shallow breaths, gasped in tune with it. His fingers dug into the flesh of her thighs, pulling himself tighter against her writhing body as he thoroughly ravished her sensitive tissue. His tongue thrust in as far as it could before running up her lips and repeatedly lapping at her defenceless bundle of joy.
After all the teasing and torture Connor heaped on her, she couldn't hold out. It wasn't even up to her anymore. Her spasming body arched off the bed as her mouth let out a silent scream. He felt the tips of her feet on his back again, pushing down on him.
'That's it. Just a little more and you'll feel all better.'
His mouth rode her right through it, assaulting her core with a rhythm, dragging it on as long as he could. Her grip on his hair faltered while her trembling thighs shook around his head. Her flower flooded him with her unique taste, consuming his senses.
Gently he brought the mess that was her back down to earth. She only made whimpers and cut off rasp sighs. Her eyelids fluttered as the last waves of sweet gratification cascaded up her spine. One last lick later she was fighting for air, sprawled out on the bed. He sat up and admired his work. Her hips occasionally spasmed on their own, cutting short her breath and rolling her eyes back.
He may have overdone it there. Whatever. He was the one with the real problem. And yet he almost fell sorry for the girl. Almost. "Are we alright there Luka-chan?"
He bent down to hear her more clearly.
"I said... I hate... you..." she managed between weak breaths.
Connor got off the bed. There was no way he was getting a second round out of her. He went to pick up his shirt off the floor. The mirror showed Luka struggling to get up from the bed before falling back down.
"They're called endorphins and serve the purpose of knocking you out after exerting lots of energy. They're especially active after sex. The bigger the orgasm, the more released." He turned around and walked towards his trousers, socks and shoes. Pulling the last arm through its sleeve he told her; "You're not going anywhere for a while Luka-chan. Lie down."
He picked up her phone and used the open penthouse app to dim her lights. He could just finish changing down stairs.
"I... I didn't... say you could go..."
He turned to regard her on the bed just as he was about to leave. To say he was astonished would be putting it lightly. "Luka you can barely tell up from down."
"I-I don't care!" she persisted, getting to unstable knees. It sounded like she was almost in tears.
A look of pity overcame him. "Girl you have a problem."
"You're not here to judge me," she whimpered, still out of breath. "You're not... here for that."
His eyes narrowed. "So why am I here really? Enlighten me." He walked over to the bed and held himself there. "To be your paper bag boy, slash sex slave? Is that how you do things too?"
She looked away, refusing to answer him. And even then, her silence spoke volumes. "Is that... Is that what you want me to say... to get you to listen to me? Her eyes came back up to him with a much harder expression than when they left. "You're mine Connor."
His hand closed and tightened. "Until when?"
"Until I'm tired of you or you outlive your usefulness," she replied in an icy but cool tone. "Then you can think about having your old life back. Until then, I own you."
It infuriated him. How easily she felt she could assert her power over him. With the quivering mess he'd just reduced her to, where did she get the nerve to act all high and mighty?
And yet, even with how bitchy she was being, he still found her to be the sexiest thing he'd ever seen naked on a bed. Her hand came down between her closed legs. "I'm still horny, therefore, you're not yet done."
'You cocky little bitch!'
Connor dropped the clothes, crawled onto the bed and nudged her worn out body over onto its back. "Look at this," he said raising her leg. "You clearly don't need sex to get off. Hell you probably don't even need me either."
"That's not true." Again she avoided his gaze, her head to the side.
"Yeah, sure." He slid off but a hand on his wrist kept him from walking away. She removed it with haste when he looked down at it.
She held a closed hand to her naked chest nervously, looking to the side. "That... was my third climax to date."
'No way. She's anorgasmic?'
Ironically he thought she went off quite effortlessly. He saw things in a slightly different light now. "Well congratulations. I still don't see why it's so imperative you have another though." A hand came up to pinch the bridge of his nose. "You've laid down the law. And I concede. Can't we touch third base anther day?"
She bit her lip and her gaze subtly shifted her view to the bulge in his boxers. "If you don't do it inside me... I won't be able to sleep."
A heavy moment hung in the air. He looked at her while she stared at his hidden cock. Everyone and their grandmothers would know he was lying if he said he didn't want hit that right then.
Would it really be such a bad thing if he gave in, just once? If he threw away his principles and pride for just one moment and enjoyed this. She said it herself. She expected no emotion on his end and she wasn't pretending to like him. This didn't have to be anything more than just a fuck. A really good fuck.
He gazed at his eighteen year old domina. A very light sheen of perspiration covered her skin, giving her a golden glow in the dim lighting. Her chest heaved up and down with each breath.
His eyes followed the arm that ended in between her legs. It looked as if she was fighting not to rub herself up against her hand. As if, for reasons best known to her, she was forbidden.
'What the hell.'
Connor crawled back on the bed. He heard her sigh of relief as she offered no resistance when he slid his hand up her torso, pushing her down. Her thighs instinctively opened and he fell in between. She sucked in her bottom lip, shutting her eyelids in anticipation.
A hand ran up her side while the supporting arm pulled her head to it exposing her neck. He planted his lips there and sucked hard. Luka wheezed and tangled her fingers in his hair again but made no attempt to pull him off.
He caught the scent that had been driving him wild the whole day. He began sipping her skin in controlled sucks before letting go, revealing a bright red mark.
His tongue languidly ran over his work in pressured strokes. She shivered with each one. Her knees came up beside him and her toes hooked into the lining of his boxer shorts before they pushed them down and off of him. Connor pressed his warm, naked body against her cool skin. Drawing a groan from them both at the exquisite sensation of flesh on flesh.
He felt her tense when he lined his hardness against her entrance.
'Vulnerable' was the only word to describe her at that moment. With her pigtails spread out, her hands above her head and that worrisome look. It all made for the perfect victim, ready to be violated. Wordlessly she nodded once.
Connor pushed in slowly observing her closely. Her eyes rolled up and shut closed while her head dropped back. She shook as he sunk in deeper, open hands sliding up his arms and clamping down on hard shoulders. Her legs wrapped around him and she used the leverage to arch herself into him. A set of trembling hands found her hips and cleared the remaining length with a gasp from them both.
"Yesus!" There was no way he could last. It just wasn't happening today. He hadn't accounted for a feeling this... Intense. "What is wrong with you?!"
She giggled infectiously. "Sorry I feel so good." Her canal squeezed him tightly as if to emphasise her point. It was such a ridiculously snug fit, thoroughly saturated with her juices and burning with heat. If he wasn't as hard as he was right now, then this would probably hurt.
"Easy Luka, you're killing me here!"
"I'm not... doing anything..." His pulsing dick told him otherwise. All those unceasing contractions massaging his length sent delicious ripples of pleasure crashing through him. The urge to simply pound away, all the way to sweet release was almost too much to bear.
But the impatient nymph just had to slide herself along his cock, effectively cracking his resolve. He immediately thrust back into her with one swift motion, filling her up completely. It elicited a soft grunt from her. She never actually screamed out loud, always stifling every sound despite what she felt.
His mouth latched onto a ripe nipple and assaulted it with a soft tongue. She arched even more, pushing it into him. He pulled out and this time, slammed hard into her. She wasn't ready for the next either or the one after that. Her nails dug in harder with each forceful stroke.
She whimpered his name as he sent bittersweet waves of glorious pleasure, bolting through her body, right to the tips of her toes. Her breathing was erratic, her cute face tensed in ecstasy and her hips rolled to the rhythm he set, meeting his thrusts.
Connor held himself deep inside her a moment, scraping up what ever shreds of self-restraint he had left. He distracted himself by kissing up her breast, along her collarbone, up her neck, relishing how she fought for air. How her breath faltered when he came across a particularly sensitive spot like an earlobe, down her jaw, under her neck.
Then the strokes started in earnest. Short, quick and deep rubbing up all the right spots. Those just made her lose her breath. Her feral hands scratched at his back as he ploughed right up against her cervix. She couldn't take it and bit down on his shoulder, doing everything she could to keep from screaming.
Connor started to lengthen his strokes in increments. He grabbed her wrists and pushed them way above her head, holding them there. Her muscles pulled hard on his shaft at every invasion of her privacy, coaxing grunts from him. Gosh, he was close.
Their eyes locked as hips collided. He saw what could only be described as bliss. A drop of saliva rolled down the side while she let out quick shallow breaths. His thighs started to burn as he rocked himself harder into her.
Her orgasm wasn't even a compromise any more. The tell-tale signs were bright as day. Her eyes rolling back, feet pressing into the small of his back, her own arching into him, the tightening of her walls. He locked his pace there, not speeding up, not slowing down.
He just concentrated on driving her higher because he knew this wasn't about him. Despite the cum roiling in his aching balls, regardless of how his cock pulsed in her searing depths. His whole body begged for release into this industrial sex bomb. If she couldn't find her climax, if she didn't reach it soon, he'd just die.
Her toes curled as squeals of joy burst from her mouth in rapid succession. Velvet walls viced down on his sensitive cock and spasmed uncontrollably as did the rest of her. It felt like his shaft was being electrocuted.
Add a soft, shivering and gorgeous body underneath his hard one to the equation...
He tried to pull out. In all honesty he did. Harder than he could have hoped for, but his body just told him to fuck off. He felt his burning essence travel from his swollen balls and thunder up his shaft. His disobedient hips repeatedly bucked his length hard into the best cunt it had ever had the privilege of being buried inside.
It was like ejaculating rainbows. Thick ropey strands of white hot rainbows bursting out in rapid succession. His breaths turned to grunts as he painted her insides with gallons of sperm. Her choked off moans and writhing weren't helping either. He collapsed onto his elbows, pinning her against the mattress.
It felt like losing his virginity all over again, only better. Just as his body was about to finish processing a wave of pleasure, the next would hit, and then the next, and the one after that. In the end, he wouldn't know which one he was groaning at. It was just one big clusterfuck for his entire nervous system.
The last remnants of his orgasm came in sporadic flashes yet even those carried lives of their own into her.
'Dammit. Of all the people that could make me feel like she did, why'd it have to be you?'
He opened his eyes to find her lying eyes closed. He released her wrists he forgot he'd been holding and sat up on his heels, her legs sliding lifelessly off of him.
No reply. She just lay there, chest heaving up and down, arms above her head and hair divided on opposite sides. Despite her lack of consciousness, he could still feel her insides twitch occasionally. He grimaced.
'Does this make any part of this session necrophilia?'
He pulled out a very satisfied wet cock and shuffled off the bed, stumbling a moment. A laugh echoed in the otherwise empty room. Karma really was a bitch. This never happened to him. It was quite the sensation and had this been done another way, he'd gladly crawl into her blankets and pass out with her.
Instead he made himself presentable with the use of her bathroom before tucking her in. So what if she didn't use his brand of shower gel. Come to think of it, hers kinda smelt a bit like... Lemons.
"Good night Luka-chan." It's amazing how even total assholes looked like angels when they slept. Well, she looked like an angel awake too but that's not the point. Her... Angel... Her...
He mentally slapped himself. She was anything but. Connor turned off the lights completely before going downstairs and using the key card to call the elevator. Why should he feel any affection for her when he was just a tool for her amusement?
'So this is what two million feels like,' he thought as the doors closed in front of him.
The sound of a door unlocking cascaded through an unlit apartment. It swung open with a slight creek, abruptly halted by a rubber door stop.
A young man with soft features and unruly black hair slowly tread through it. He never went for any light switch, only standing by the entrance a moment and looking around the moonlit room.
A grey pinned in carpet spanned a large area to his right. A light sofa set sat on it along it with two matching coffee tables. Xbox controllers sat on the floor in front of the wall mounted television set. A rectangular low wooden counter separated the space from the rest of the room.
His steps clicked against the light floorboards, past the dysfunctional bicycle leaning on the supporting brick pillar. A phone reading '22:33' was placed gently on the kitchen counter that surrounded the gas stove, aluminium sink and overhead cupboards.
He went around it, throwing a red waist coat on a high stool. He looked to the space ahead of it. The space holding the wooden work tables with tons of schematics and blueprints flowing over the edge. Where the metal table lay host to the corresponding mechanical parts and raspberry circuit boards.
Cables travelled from there, down and across the floor to a curved office desk. Three monitors, two of which bore an apple logo were mounted on it, along with a closed laptop.
He didn't go there though. No, instead he picked the phone up and headed down the short hallway facing the kitchen and opened the only door on the right. The bedroom was almost barren. The built in wardrobe had its doors slid open, showing absolutely nothing inside. Blankets and bedsheets were folded and the vanity stood without its perfumes and lotions.
That annoying ringing tone, the one the room's ex inhabitant chose for him, made noise as he entered the shared bathroom through the only other door the room had. It had to go too. "Hello?"
"You okay Connor?" Only his towel was present, and just one tooth brush instead of two hung from the holder above the sink. A note stuck on the mirror was ripped off without a second look and crumpled down.
"Yeah why?" The black trash bag was pulled from the bin as he used the other exit to enter his room. The first item on his list lay on the wall mounted shelf directly to his right. His hand went for the chain next to his trophies. Lord knows she'd thrown her half of this heart away a long time ago.
His feet then took him up to the headboard where they stopped. One last look was in order before he threw the picture frame in the black trash bag along with the locket. "You missed dinner. Mom didn't take it too well."
The boys eyes shut tight and he cringed in regret. "Something came up. I'll call and give them my condolences." The discarded teddy on his floor followed the other memories.
"You're still thinking about Amalgam aren't you?" He heard his door click shut behind him, a fingernail playing along the wall on his way back to the kitchen. That mug he drank from for so long had also outlived its welcome.
"You never told mom and dad anything about them did you?" He always did think Ivy could have picked a mug with a better design. Right now though, in his eyes, it was the ugliest kitchen utensil he owned.
"Not my place. But I still think you should. Did you make the appointment at least?"
"Of course. But if it's all the same, I'd rather not talk about it right now." Now how to get rid of her smell. If he ever saw a lavender mint shrub, it'll be far too soon.
There was silence on the other end for a moment as he went over to the wall. "Well, that's okay. When you do, you know where to find me."
He picked up a photo he'd forgotten hanging face down. In it, Ivy had her arms wrapped around him from behind as they stared at the camera, brilliant smiles on their faces. It was taken on their first and last valentine's day at the amusement park. "Don't I always? I'll tell you all about it when I see you again." he knew he wouldn't. And if she knew him as well as a sister should, then she'd know that too.
"... Sleep well Connor."
As soon as she went offline, all rage cut loose, and with a shout, he flung the picture as hard as motion would allow, aiming for nothing at all.
Thursday morning, ten o'clock, he'd just gotten back from taking another order. The whole kitchen went dead silent the moment he stepped through the door. He looked around at everyone going about their daily business. It was kind of like when Janice stepped into the room... Except she was out probably drinking some delegates bathwater. So it had to be him.
"Really? Okay, someone tell me how long is this gonna go on."
"Maybe till you tell us the truth?" Connor shook his head, walking over to the pin up board. He was working the Thursday morning shift as well to make up for his absence the prior day. It meant serving with a mostly different staff than that he was used to. In fact aside from Jared and a couple others who worked double shifts or full time, there was no one he was all that familiar with. He stuck the next order up before pulling out his vibrating phone.
Was this the eighth or ninth time now? M.O was that you answer it at five right? He threw it back in his pocket. Sure he was meant to be at her beck and call, but what he was doing now paid rent and food. Worse off, it was by the hour.
"I already told you," he said walking over to the shelved trays and pulled one out. "She never had a reservation and I could get her a table for a fee. Hence the nice tip y'all got. It's nothing new."
There was a collective groan from his workmates. Over used? Yes. But that was his excuse and he was sticking to it. The buzzing started again.
'Persistent little brat, aren't you now?'
The starters the chef had just prepared went on them. So what was it today? More shopping? Maybe sex, her being the little addict that she is. He was curious, almost anxious rather while another part of him told him he'd regret finding out.
"Yeah? Well Sammy says she saw you two head on to the elevators. With what looked like half a clothing store might I add."
"Sammy was way past her bedtime and needed a nap." His phone went off again. He pulled it out and frowned at the name tag. Like the last couple of times, he dropped it back in and continued with his work. "Who's got table six? They're bitching that they ordered a medium rare instead of whatever's on their plate."
What would happen if he just didn't answer altogether? Would she;
A: tattle? B: Have a tantrum? C: Write him his first written warning? Or D: Cry?
He had his money on 'A'.
Truth be told, he could use rent as an excuse all he liked. But the fact of the matter was after establishing their roles last night, he didn't know if he wanted to see her again.
Up went the platter of Buffalo-Wings and its sauce as he headed for the door.
"Alright, alright Connor. So just to put this on paper, you have absolutely nothing to do with that hickey on the left of her neck?" Jared persisted, blocking his way. "This is me asking 'cause you're known leave those on every babe you screw."
And how many 'babes' did he think he's been with exactly anyway? See that's the problem with working in closed environments such as these. People get bored and add spices on stories they've heard from a friend who knows a friend who's mom knows a cousin who...
Connor gave him a subtle smile. "That kind of girl is way outta my league. Hell, I'll bet she already has a millionaire boyfriend who's first in line to some corporate dynasty and stays in a thirty something acre estate," he said innocently skirting around him. "He may even be packing an elongated dick for all I know. Now what chance would I, a meagre waiter have against that?"
He walked off with the starter, around the chopping counter top and making for the door. "And it's on the right of her neck, not the left. I always put them on the right."
He made his exit before any further interrogation could commence, leaving exclamations in the background.
'Until I'm tired of you or you outlive your usefulness.'
How could they envy him? The witch tore away his self-worth. Almost as if she believed he wouldn't be needing it. Then again, his feelings hardly put a mark on paper if she didn't care.
That cocky smile of hers on her beautiful face flashed through his mind for the hundredth time. Curse these visions. They consumed him when he just wanted them out. It's like every time he closed his eyes, every time he so much as blinked, her naked form was etched on the back of his eyelids.
Then the memories would flood in. The feeling of her velvet soft skin against his, her intoxicating scent, her nails on his back, her muffled whimpers, those damned pig tails he wanted to yank on while driving her to new vocal tones.
'What is she doing to me?'
Two quick vibrations were felt against his leg indicating a text this time. If he continued ignoring her like this, the next couple of missed calls probably wouldn't be from her.
He finished serving his customers with half-hearted courtesy before leaving for the patio. It was a cold, windy and partially cloudy morning. As a result, like last night, it was practically empty out here. A smile found his face at the swimming trunks floating in the main pool, its owner a mystery. Gloved fingers unlocked his device and opened the featured messages.
'Come pick me up from my room now.'
His eyes then trailed to the next one sent half an hour later.
'If you keep ignoring me, I'm not above coming down there and fetching you myself.'
Connor swore as he took off for the foyer, tapping the dial button as he went. So much for getting his lousy hours back. Janice would probably tear him a new one once she discovered he'd gone AWOL again.
"Hello? Luka? I'll be just a moment..."
He most certainly hoped this wouldn't be turning into a frequent occurrence but the brat obviously didn't give a rat's ass about his job or his schooling.
"... Three minutes or less. You're still upstairs right...?"
To her, what she wanted done was probably the most important thing he had to do. But he still couldn't wrap his head around what that was. What was the end game here?
"... By the reception area, just past the casino. Work just had me a little held up..."
He slid to a stop before the elevators, catching the attention of guests and workers alike.
'One day! Just one friggin' day you've been around, and you're already turning my life to shit!'
So that's it for the first chapter. If you do have a minute, opinions are much appreciated. Otherwise I hope you enjoyed it.
May 15, 2018 in romance