Hate Notes(5)

By: Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward


I didn’t catch the telephone number she’d left since I’d dropped the phone on the bed. Oh God. I’d completely forgotten that I’d stalked the blue-note guy. Bits and pieces rolled back in through the fog. That face. That gorgeous face. How could I have forgotten that? I remembered clicking through his pictures . . . , then his bio . . . , which led me to a website for Eastwood Properties. But then I couldn’t remember a damn thing.

Grabbing my laptop, I searched my history and called up the last website I’d visited.

Eastwood Properties is one of the largest independent brokerage firms in the world. We connect the most prestigious and exclusive properties with qualified buyers, assuring the utmost privacy for both parties. Whether you’re in the market for a luxury New York City penthouse with a view of the park, a waterfront Hampton estate, or an enchanting chateau escape in the mountains, or you’re ready for your own private island, Eastwood is where your dreams begin.

There was a link to search properties, so I typed in the name of the place the woman had mentioned in the voice mail: Millennium Tower. Sure enough, the penthouse popped up for sale. For only $12 million, I could own an apartment on Columbus Avenue with sweeping views of Central Park. Let me write you a check.

After drooling through a video and two dozen photos, I clicked on the button to make an appointment to view the property. An application popped up, the top of which read: For the privacy and safety of our sellers, all prospective buyers are required to complete an application to view properties. Only buyers that meet our stringent prequalification criteria will be contacted.

I snorted. Great prequalification criteria you have there, Eastwood. I wasn’t sure I had enough money to take the train uptown to get to that swanky place, much less buy it. God knows what I’d written that had qualified me.

I closed the website and was just about to shut my laptop and go back to bed again when I decided to take one more peek at Mr. Romantic on Facebook.

God, he was gorgeous.

What if . . .

I shouldn’t.

No good ever came out of ideas formulated while drunk.

I couldn’t.

But . . .

That face . . .

And that note.

So romantic. So beautiful.

Plus . . . I’d never seen the inside of a twelve-million-dollar penthouse.

I really shouldn’t.

Then again . . . I’d spent the last two years doing everything I should do. And where had that gotten me?

Right here. It’d gotten me right damn here—hungover and unemployed, sitting in this crappy apartment. Maybe it was time I did the things I shouldn’t be doing for a change. I picked up my phone and let my finger hover over the “Call Back” button for a while.

Screw it.

No one would ever know. It could be fun—getting all dressed up and playing the part of a rich Upper West Sider while satisfying my curiosity about the man. What harm was there?

None that I could think of. Still, you know what they say about curiosity . . .

I pressed “Call Back.”

“Hi. This is Charlotte Darling calling to confirm an appointment with Reed Eastwood . . .”





CHAPTER 3

CHARLOTTE

“Feel free to start looking around, or you can stay here in the foyer—whichever you prefer. Mr. Eastwood is just finishing up with his previous appointment and should be with you shortly.”

Apparently it took more than one person to show a fancy penthouse. Not only was Reed Eastwood somewhere in the vicinity but a hostess was also assigned to greet me and hand me a glossy booklet with information on the property.

“Thank you,” I said before she disappeared.

I stood in the foyer, clutching my kelly-green Kate Spade purse that I’d scored in the clearance section of T.J.Maxx and feeling like this might’ve been a very big mistake.

I had to remind myself why I was here. What did I have to lose? Absolutely nothing. My life was a mess, and at the very least, I could satisfy my curiosity about the author of the blue note and put this whole thing to rest. I just needed to know what had become of him—of them—and I would be on my merry way.

Thirty minutes later, I was still waiting. I could hear muffled talking on the other side of the space but hadn’t seen anyone emerge yet.

Then came the sound of footsteps echoing along the marble floor.