His Demand (Dirtier Duet Book 1)By: Lisa Renee Jones
My brother is now officially married.
He’s also gone, headed off to his honeymoon, while I remain in the apartment that he now shares with his new wife, Carrie, and not by intent. It just sort of happened. They left for the airport and I never left their apartment. Even the dog and cat they recently adopted and now call their children have gone home with my sister and her husband.
I tear away the tie at my neck, the jacket of my tux long ago gone, and walk to the liquor cabinet, perusing the selection of fine whiskey. “Don’t mind if I do,” I murmur, pouring myself a twenty-year whiskey, a luxury drink that we can all afford these days thanks to how damn well the merger between companies went—ours and that of Reid’s new wife. When my brother gets married, he does it forever. He even pulled their two companies into one.
That will never be me. I thought it would be once, but that was a long damn time ago. Now, I just fuck and move on, but I do like that dog my brother adopted. Maybe I’ll have a kid of my own, aka a dog, forever and ever. My mind goes painfully back to our old family dogs, and I ax that idea. Dogs die. I don’t need to fall in love with anyone that could die on me. On that note, I need out of this happily-ever-after apartment. I down my whiskey, pull on the jacket to my tuxedo again and head for the door, grabbing my trench coat as I leave. I flip the light out and for a moment, I stare into the darkness, feeling the emptiness open an ancient wound. I shut the damn door.
A few minutes later, I exit their building into a cold December New York City night, and rather than walking to my apartment on the other side of Battery Park, I call a car. I don’t need more empty space to fill up with thoughts better left long buried, better left in the quicksand of my past. I’m at my office building in ten minutes, and I plan to go upstairs and work, but instead, I find myself in the bar of one of the popular restaurants next to our building. A high-end joint that sports the kind of high-end bar offerings my mood requires right now.
I enter the dimly lit spot and wave to the pretty brunette hostess, who’s about ten years too young to get my attention. At thirty-seven, I like my women confident and preferably worldly, not trying to figure out what essay to write for a college paper. Not that it should matter. I fuck and move on and yet somehow—it does. I absolutely need to know that the woman I just got naked with can hold an intelligent conversation, layered with life and experience, even if I don’t want to actually have that conversation. It’s just a thing to me I can’t seem to shake.
I cut right into the bar, lights flickering on small round tables, and for two days after Christmas, the crowd is heavier than I expect. Almost every seat in the place is taken, but the bar is bare and calling my name. I head that direction, order my favorite whiskey and bullshit with Kevin, the bartender who’s been here every day of the last five years. I, on the other hand, have practically lived at the building next door since I was a kid, actually since I was five. That’s when my father moved the law firm he founded here. “That brother of yours really got married, then,” Kevin says after I shed my coat and give him an eyeful of my tuxedo.
“He took the plunge,” I say, accepting my whiskey and making small talk I really don’t feel like making, but he lures me in with football and the Super Bowl coming up in a few short weeks that might actually be a month.
When he finally heads away to attend to another customer, I give the bar my back, my elbows resting on the wooden surface, when my gaze catches on a woman in the corner by the window, and something about her stirs the man in me. An unexpected reaction to a redhead with long, wild curls, when I don’t normally like redheads.
She’s thirtyish, I’d guess, maybe a tad younger, her features delicate and beautiful. She’s also alone on a Thursday night, a MacBook in front of her, and she’s intensely studying whatever is on the screen. That says commitment to her career. That says single, and that works for me. I don’t do married women. In fact, any married woman that wants to do me pisses me the fuck off. My pretty redhead must feel my attention because her gaze lifts and her eyes meet mine. She doesn’t blush and look away. She looks right back at me. She studies me. Bold. Confident. My cock is officially hard. I want this woman, but she cuts her gaze abruptly, as if she’s decided to end the connection with finality.
She stands and walks toward the back of the bar where the bathrooms are located. She’s in a belted black dress, her tiny waist cinched, her hips full, her steps graceful. I have two moves I can make now. Order her a drink and meet her at her table with it or follow her.
I follow her. I’m impatient that way. I need an outlet tonight. I need her to be that outlet.
I don’t need time to second guess myself. I make a decision. I live with that decision. I own it like I want to own this woman, at least for the night. I start walking and I’m at the hallway leading to the bathroom in about thirty seconds. I step in front of the ladies’ room door, the rush of adrenaline and anticipation pumping through me. Seconds turn into a full two minutes and then the door opens. She steps into the archway and she doesn’t look shocked. Her eyes meet mine, again with that boldness that thickens my cock that is already pretty damn hard.