I rolled over again, my face inches from his, and looked at him with seriousness. "Thank you. I owe you one."


He leaned forward and gently kissed my lips. "Don't mention it."

CHAPTER 17

My limbs felt ridiculously loose and lazy, and I wandered, still mostly naked, to the bathroom. I closed the door, stripped off my bra, and dropped it onto the floor. I reached into the shower and turned every jet in the place on full force. Steam quickly filled the bathroom and I gingerly stepped into the hot spray. It felt like a thousand little fingers massaging me and I stood still for a good five minutes, letting the spray warm and awaken my body. Finally, I stopped being lazy and grabbed the small shower gel bottle, squeezing a generous amount into my palm and then running my hands all over my body. I heard the door click open and through the fogged glass door I saw Brad's head lean in the bathroom.

"Julia."

"Uh-huh?"

"I'm ordering in breakfast. What would you like?"

"Ummm…. two scrambled eggs with grits and fruit please."

I heard his muted voice and then his head stuck back in.

"They don't have grits."

Oh right. Not in the South any more. "Anything else is fine."

His head disappeared, and I heard the door shut. I used the shampoo and worked my hair into a lather, loving the warm water hitting me from all directions. This is the life.

Five minutes later, I reluctantly turned off the shower and stepped out onto the plush white bathmat. The bathroom was a hot, steamy sauna, and I wrapped my hair in a fluffy towel and walked to the closet. I had remembered seeing bathrobes there, and I snagged one off of the hanger and pulled it on. I washed my face at the sink, and then reached for my toothbrush. I blushed, thinking of our deep kiss just a half hour earlier, wondering how bad my morning breath had been. I brushed extra long and hard, hoping to make up for any stinkiness I had exhibited earlier.

When I was finally satisfied with my teeth, I unwound my towel and tried to towel-dry my hair as best I could. I got it somewhat un-wet, fluffed my hair, and walked back into the suite.

Brad sat at the dining table, a phone to his ear. He was faced away from me, looking at the Strip. His legs stretched out, one hand spinning a water bottle on the table, he looked every bit the powerful man he was. He wore a baby blue polo, faded jeans, and white and silver new Nikes.

"Tell her to stay in the house, change the locks, and don't answer if he knocks. If he pesters her, call Security. The dues they pay in that gated community should more than cover a security guard intelligent and experienced enough to write a decent police report. First thing Monday we will file an emergency injunction against him. Tell her to relax. Anything he does right now will only help our case. And for god's sake, keep her away from the pool boy! I want us surveilling her day and night, for her protection, but also to keep an eye out for other PIs. I have a feeling they will be trying to catch her in something, and I want to have a head start on them."

"Exactly."

"If you need a good guy call Romanelli. He owes me one."

"You too brother."

He hung up the call and turned to stand, pausing when he saw me in the room. A smile broke out on his face. "Have a nice shower?"

"Amazing. I want to pack that shower up and take it home with me."

"Tomorrow you should try the bath." His voice had turned slightly sexual, and I fought back a blush.

There was a polite knock at the door. Brad pulled out the leather dining chair to the right of his seat, and indicated I should sit. He strode to the door and swung it open. A petite Asian woman with a large room service cart entered, wheeling it towards the table. I started to rise, and she shook her head and arms.

"No, no. You sit." Her broken English was accompanied by a sweet smile, and she scurried around the cart, unloaded the dishes. Brad returned to his seat, pausing on the way to kiss the top of my head. The damn man was an enigma. The server made quick work of the loaded cart, and before long the table was filled with small plates of breakfast items. She left a small vase of wildflowers in front of Brad and me, did a slight bow and left.

My requested eggs, yogurt, and fruit were present, along with orange juice and milk. Brad had ordered a full breakfast for himself, and heaped bacon, hash browns, and a waffle onto the large plate already containing an omelette. We ate in silence for a few minutes, than Brad spoke.

"We have dinner reservations at Prime tonight, and tickets to a Cirque show at 10pm. That leaves the day pretty much up to you. I'll leave Philipe's number for you. He’s my host. He can arrange anything you are interested in."

I blinked, halfway through a biscuit that I had snagged from one of his gabillion plates. "You're leaving me?"

He laughed. "Oh, how many times I've heard that one."

"Hahaha." I glowered at him and took another huge bite of biscuit.

"I have stuff to do. Mainly gambling. Stuff you won't be interested in. I'll regroup with you at dinner. Trust me, you'll have a fine time without me." He winked and went back to eating, apparently done with the conversation.

I felt the happy bubble that had enveloped me since my first orgasm begin to deflate. I don't know what I had envisioned, but him leaving me in the room while he handled his "stuff" all day wasn't it. I grumbled to myself and jerked open the lid to the yogurt with unnecessary vigor. He eyed me carefully, sensing my irritability. It wasn't that hard to sense. I was practically beating him over the head with it.

"You're not going to start crying again are you?"

This thought struck me as so absurd that I burst out laughing. I laughed until tears threatened and milk started to come from my nose. I quieted down and shook my head, still shaking slightly.

"That was a one time thing. I swear. I'm typically not a cryer. I don't know what came over me." Plus, now I don't have to debate about having sex with you. I know what I want. I could feel the bright red color of my face and I studiously avoided his eyes, focusing really hard on finding the perfect scoop of Dannon strawberry yogurt.

"Any guesses?"

I set down the yogurt and met his eyes. "If I want a shrink, I'll use the ridiculously long day stretching before me and ask "Philipe" to send me one. Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go to MY room to start my sentence!" Knowing full well how juvenile I was acting, I tossed down my yogurt and stomped off, headed to the other room. Brad caught my arm as I passed his chair and stood, spinning me around and holding me by the arms. He kissed me, firm and hard, and then released me.

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