His Demand (Dirtier Duet Book 1)(5)

By: Lisa Renee Jones

“I don’t know what the fuck I feel right now.”

“I understand all too well, brother. Talk to Connie. If I know Abigail, she’ll know Abigail.”

“Right. I’ll talk to Connie.”

“Did you fuck her?”

I laugh without humor. “No. No, I have not.”

He whistles. “And you’re this in need of information about her? Let me see if Carrie knows her.” He covers the phone and there are muffled voices before he returns with, “No go. She doesn’t know her either.”

“All right. Thanks, man, and on the whole asshole thing—”

“I can handle it. No need to say more. On another subject. This thing with dad.”

“I’ll handle it. If I can’t I’ll call you. You know I will.”

“I do. Good luck with dad and Abigail.” He hangs up. I walk to my desk and call Connie.

“Yes, Gabe?” she answers.

“Redhead named Abigail.”

“The one looking for Reid. What about her?”

“Who is she?”

“No clue. I assumed someone he fucked once upon a blue moon.”

“She’s not and I don’t like strange encounters like that one.”

“Hmmm,” she says. “I’ll dig around, but nothing is ringing a bell or setting off an alarm. You sure she’s not connected to whatever this thing is going on with your father?”

“Maybe,” I say, and disconnect to call my father.

“Yes, son?” he says, almost gloating with my need to call him.

“Redhead named Abigail?”

“What about her?”

“Do you know her?”

“No,” he says. “Should I?”

“No,” I say disconnecting and pressing my hands to my desk. She can’t be gone. She can’t be lost. She’ll be back. I’ll be ready.

My phone rings and it’s a client this time. I grab the call and allow myself to be swept away in my work, but I’ll be damned if Abigail doesn’t stay in the back of my mind. She just won’t let go of me. And she doesn’t let go of my mind. Hours pass and I wrap up a meeting just in time to see Lulu off on her vacation. “You’re sure you’re okay with this?” she asks, standing behind her desk, waiting on me as I approach.

“Positive. You deserve this. Go. See. Enjoy. Connie will take care of me.”

“You’re sure?” she asks again.

“Lulu,” I scold. “Leave. Now. I better not see you again until you’ve put on five pounds from eating too much pasta in Italy.”

She grins. “Okay. I’ll go. I can’t wait.” She grabs her purse, rounds the desk and before I know her intent, she hugs me. “God, I wish we were into each other. You really are a great guy, Gabe.” She kisses my cheek and takes off for the lobby.

A few minutes later, I’m in the elevator, headed downstairs and I can feel the blood rushing through me with the idea that I’m going to be back in the bar where I met Abigail. I enter the restaurant again, nod to the hostess, and move on. Once I’m inside the bar, I scan the room and feel another punch in my gut when Abigail isn’t here. I’m pathetic. I want this woman to the point of being pathetic for the first time in my life and I don’t even care.

I walk up to the bar and order a whiskey. Before long, I’m sitting with Carl and he’s proposing I finance an investment with his client that actually looks promising. I’m about halfway through the numbers when a sensation of being watched washes over me. My gaze lifts sharply to the right, and my heart thunders in my chest. It’s her. Abigail is sitting at the same table she was at last night and she’s not being shy about watching me.

“All I ask,” Carl says, “is that you look at the numbers. They’ll win you over.”

I force my attention to Carl. “And what do you get out of it?”

“Ten percent on top of my normal income, and if I didn’t want that, why would you want to employ me?”

I don’t confirm his assessment, but I agree. Why would I want him on board, if he wasn’t hungry and making us money? He’s a good man. He’ll get this cut if this pans out. I stand up and he follows me to my feet. “Email me the numbers. We’ll talk soon.”

“I will,” he says and we shake hands before he walks away.

Abigail chooses that moment, obviously by design, to walk toward the bathroom again.

I pursue and do so with my blood pumping, adrenaline chasing it through my veins. I enter the hallway, round the corner, and find her waiting for me. “I didn’t know who you were,” she says. “I need you to know that I didn’t know who you were when I kissed you.”