Charisse dozed, hitting the snooze on her phone every now and then. Her brain hadn’t reminded her she was in Conor’s penthouse yet. But when she smelled coffee and heard Raul say, “Good morning Charisse,” she bolted up.
“Damn it,” she said, peering around the room as she recalled everything that had happened yesterday. The room was sparsely furnished with just a chest of mahogany drawers and a matching queen-sized bed. There was a nightstand on either side and dark hardwood floors ready to greet her feet. Of course a painting stared back at her—a Matisse she’d never seen before last night. The sky was pale outside the large window and the lights of surrounding buildings were still on.
“Is something wrong? Are you ill?”
Charisse answered him with her own question. “Is Conor awake?”
“Yes, he’s working out.”
“Is there any chance I can get out of here without talking to him this morning?”
Raul frowned and handed her the mug he was carrying. “Actually, I’m supposed to let him know when you wake up.”
She smelled the coffee and saw that it had milk like the cafe con leche he’d served her before. She took a sip and calmed as the sweet, bold drink touched her lips. “Thank you, Raul. I don’t want to be a bother, but if you could not tell Conor I’m awake, I’d be really happy. I can get ready in ten minutes and be out of here. I’ll call my own taxi and everything.”
Raul said, “Mr. Grishin’s very worried about you. I’m supposed to make you an appointment with a therapist for next week. I think he’d like to see how you’re doing today.”
“Yeah, he was really concerned last night when he kissed that model in front of me. I swear just ten minutes, and I’ll be out of here.”
Conor stepped into the doorframe and said, “Ten minutes hardly seems like enough time for you to get ready. Don’t you need to do your hair and make-up?”
Charisse’s rush to get out of the apartment halted and switched to dread over having to talk to Conor. He wore only shorts, but she had no desire to admire his body, even if his chest was broader than she’d realized with just the right amount of hair—manly without being a rug. Stop it. She didn’t care about his body.
She said through clenched teeth, “There’s nothing to do with my hair since I have to wear it down, and I’m pretty fast with make-up.”
Conor said, “Thank you Raul, that will be all.”
Raul gave Charisse a blank look and left, shutting the door behind him.
Conor walked over and sat on the edge of the bed. Charisse tried to scoot away, but Conor grabbed her arm and forced her to stay beside him. Some coffee sloshed onto the black comforter. She’d probably have to take it to the dry cleaner on her way to work.
Conor took the mug from her and set it on the nightstand. “We have a deal. I get you for three weeks, and then you get your salon. If I want to see you before you go to work, I get to see you.”
Charisse pulled her knees up to her chest and glared back at him. “So are we fucking now? Is that what we’re doing? Are you trying to show me what a rock star in bed you are? You had me twice in the evening and then screwed the model all night. Am I supposed to be impressed?”
He glowered back at her. The hand that gripped her arm didn’t hurt, but she knew she wouldn’t be able to yank free. The tension inside her grew. She’d agreed to give her body whenever he wanted it, but at the time, she’d wanted the sex as much as he had, or at least that’s what she’d thought. Would he fuck her now just to prove he owned her, even though it was clear that sex was the last thing she wanted?
His stare intensified, though his frown melted into a stoic expression. She heard the soft scratch of the satin comforter against the cotton sheet as he tugged both down and off her legs. She pressed her knees firmer against her chest. But the gentleness of his hand when he wrapped his fingers around her ankle gave her a jolt of shock and, to her dismay, pleasure.
He smelled of sweat but not of pot. At least he’d showered since last night. The memory of him kissing the model flooded her vision.
“I came here to wish you good morning,” he said.
His deep voice resonated in her ears.
He leaned in as he spoke until his cheek brushed against hers. “And to ask if you were enjoying your coffee.”
Her emotions warred inside. Part of her wanted to shove him out of the bed while the other part of her wanted his body crushed against hers. She tried to swallow, but her saliva had evaporated. “I only had one sip, but it was good.”
He released her arm and drew away from her with his hand still resting on her ankle. While staring back into her eyes, he took the mug from the nightstand and handed it to her.
Though she kept her knees up, she allowed a gap between them and her chest as she took the cup. Still warm. She wrapped her fingers around it and took a long drink. Delicious. She handed it back to Conor.
“Thank you,” she whispered.
After he set the cup on the nightstand, he brought his fingers back to her arm and grazed them over her skin. “When should we go to Puerto Rico?” he asked.
The whole moment had her flipped upside down, and the question made her stutter. “Is…isn’t that for you to decide?”
His hand trailed down her arm and to her waist. He slipped it under her shirt, causing goosebumps on her skin to betray her. He tilted his head like he might kiss her, but instead he said, “I’m not all brute. You get to decide some things.”
Oh, what will Charisse do? Kick him out of bed despite the contract, or surrender to his persuasions? I’ll give you a hint:
For the rest of the scene you’ll have to buy Episode Six at Amazon or your favorite retailer. I’ll resume on Monday at a later scene. Have a great weekend!