Found in You: Page 24
She pinned me with a penetrating stare. "But things are good?"
I knew what she was really asking-was I still in control of my obsessing? Was I still sane? "Things are very good, actually. Wanna do lunch some time and catch up?"
Her eyes went wide. "Definitely. I miss you!"
"I miss you, too!" Having Celia as a friend didn't take the place of Liesl. I'd have to make a better effort to stay in touch.
"You have your purse on your shoulder. Does that mean you're leaving?" She leaned her elbows on the bar and rested her chin in her hands.
"I am. But I'll be back. Hudson's taking me to dinner."
"Yeah, dinner. That's what it's called." She winked. "But David said you'd been here all day, so why are you coming back? We got your night shifts covered."
"I know, and thanks so much for that. But I have a meeting later."
"Oh." She tugged at her purple strands that I noticed now had blue highlights added. "Wait, does that meeting of yours happen to be with some Trent guy?"
"Yes-" How did she..."Liesl, is there something you forgot to tell me?"
She popped another bubble, the watermelon scent wafting to me. "Yeah, his secretary called a while ago and said he needs to reschedule." She shrugged.
I clapped my hand to my forehead.
"Sorry. Guess I forgot to mention it."
"No, it's fine. It's actually awesome news. Okay, maybe not exactly awesome since I spent all flipping day preparing to meet with the guy, but now I have Friday night off."
"And now you're not coming back." Liesl put on her best pout.
"Nope. My turn to say sorry." My phone buzzed with a text from Hudson saying he was outside. "That's Hudson. Gotta go."
"You're choosing him over me?" Liesl loved to play up the drama.
"You don't have the goods that Hudson does." I pushed my purse strap higher on my shoulder.
"I have different goods. Still good goods, though. You just need to give them a chance!"
I laughed as I walked away, waving over my shoulder. Liesl was bi-curious and often pretended to flirt with me. At least, I thought she was pretending. Didn't matter, I had no interest in women sexually. No interest in anyone but the man waiting for me outside.
I stepped out of the club and shielded my eyes against the sun, expecting to see the Maybach. Instead, a black limousine was at the curb. Upon seeing me, Jordan climbed out of the car and circled to open the back door.
"Hey," I said, to Jordan, ogling him as discreetly as I could. He was too yummy not to.
"Good evening, Ms. Withers."
I stepped in the car, my heart immediately picking up its pace at the sight of Hudson waiting inside. "A limousine two nights in a row? What's the occasion this time?"
"I thought we had a nice drive yesterday."
The door shut behind me, and I was already scooting toward Hudson as he reached for me, pulling me into his lap.
"A nice drive or a nice ride?" I was already slippery down below remembering our trip to the Botanic Gardens. I would not be opposed to a repeat performance.
"If I remember correctly, you rode. I drove." His mouth found mine, one hand cradling my face as the other wrapped around my waist. He sucked at my bottom lip before slipping in to lick along my teeth.
I stroked my tongue under the bottom of his until he accepted the invitation to dance, wrapping around mine as our lips shifted and molded against each other.
The lurch of the car pulling into traffic pulled me out of our embrace. I maneuvered to the seat next to Hudson and latched my belt. A part of me was surprised that he hadn't brought up moving in again or that he wasn't tense waiting for my answer. Now that my night was free, I could go ahead and tell him over dinner. Or screw dinner and tell him in the car. But I'd wanted the moment to be right. "So...how was your day?"
He put his arm around my shoulder, holding me as close as safety would allow. His fingers played with the loose tendrils of hair at my neck. "You were there for the only part of today that mattered. And that part was fantastic."
He took my hand in his, caressing it, and the way he moved his fingers across my skin lit my whole body on fire. "How about your day?"
"Ditto." I'd been eager to share the details of what I was working on in the club. But now that I was with him, business could wait. Now my only interest was us. Us together. Us in love. "Though, I do have a surprise for you."
His lips curled into a devilish grin. "Are you not wearing underwear?" His hand slid between my thighs as if he was determined to discover the answer for himself.
I smacked his hand away even though I burned to have his fingers go further, to rub against my cl*t in that expert way of his. We'd get there soon enough. I had time to tease. We had all night now that my meeting had been canceled. "I'm wearing underwear, you perv. If you'd wanted me to go without, you shouldn't have stocked me with panties."
"The panties were for when you were in the company of others. And right now we're alone."
I nodded toward the direction of the front seat, knowing full well that Jordan couldn't see or hear us behind the dark divider. "Somewhat."
"Somewhat enough." He let go of my hand and placed it high on my thigh instead. The gleam in his eyes said he was planning to ravage me right there in the back of his limo on the way to dinner. Again. "Tell me your surprise."
"I spent most of my day preparing for my meeting with Aaron Trent. And I just found out he canceled."
"He canceled?" Hudson was instantly furious. He pulled out his phone and scrolled through his contacts. "Let me call him. If he can't bother to show up tonight then he doesn't need to bother working on my other accounts with him."
I put my hand over his, stilling his phone search. "He must have had a good reason to cancel. I'll call him in the morning. It's not a biggie. I had a long day anyway and I'm happy to postpone."
"Then I'll call to reschedule."
"No, let me. Please." I hadn't realized how important this was to me until right then. Yes, I'd landed the connection because of Hudson and I'd likely get a good deal because of him as well. But I needed a chance to prove what I could do. "I'd like to handle this on my own."
Hudson sighed, pocketing his phone. "If that's what you want. But tell me if he doesn't give you the respect you deserve."
"Because my rich, powerful boyfriend stepping in to fight my battles will earn his esteem."
"Isn't that what boyfriends are supposed to do?"
"Um, not my boyfriend." Leaning into the crook of his arm, I traced my finger along the curve of his jaw. "I'll let you know when I need you, H. For now, though, let me do this myself?"
"Of course." He captured my finger between his teeth and chewed on the pad. I was wet instantly.
My eyes never left his mouth, riveted to the things he was doing to my finger-promises for later that evening. Or sooner, the way things were progressing. "And, the awesome thing about him canceling is that now you've got me all night. Whatcha gonna do with me?"
He removed my finger from his mouth. "You're not going back tonight?"
"Nope. I'm all yours. You can take me out, and then I can take you in." I waggled my brows suggestively. I hadn't had that many opportunities to play with Hudson, and I was enjoying myself. Our relationship before had been confined to "show" and "sex." This in between stuff was still new. And awfully fun.
Hudson sat up straighter, his arm moving from my shoulder to the back of the seat instead. "Actually, I can't." He didn't meet my eyes. "I arranged dinner with you, but then I have other plans."
"Oh." I swallowed. "Yeah, of course. I shouldn't have assumed." Just because we had a relationship now didn't mean that he didn't have a life of his own. Hudson was a busy man-he had business deals and charity events and all sorts of things that didn't involve me. Why did it feel so much like a rejection, then?
Hudson sighed. "Alayna."
"Nope, my bad." My throat felt tight, but I forced a smile. "I'll watch one of my movies or catch up on my reading. Not a biggie."
"But we still have dinner."
"Yep." I nodded too long. As if nodding could erase all the suspicions that were entering my mind. Like, what were his other plans? Who had plans at eight on a Friday night? Why wasn't he telling me what they were so that I wouldn't assume the worst? Because I was assuming the worst. Big time. Assuming dates with other women and...and...well, mostly that-dates with other women. Women like Norma Anders.
I could ask him. But I knew if I asked, it would sound like an accusation. Or I was afraid it would sound like an accusation. Because it would totally be an accusation.
So I didn't ask. I wouldn't.
We sat in silence for about thirty seconds.
Then I couldn't handle it any longer. "So, um, what exactly are your other plans?" I squeezed his leg, hoping that would lighten any tension I might have created.
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