“I can’t quit thinking about you.”
She couldn’t, either. “So what? Bad habits are hard to break.”
“So, how’s Alicia?”
“I haven’t spoken to her.”
“Because she won’t talk to me, that’s why. But you might say she sent a message to me through a friend. It’s over between us.”
“Oh, you’re feeling lonely and vulnerable as a result. Which is why you’re calling me. And like a stupid sap I answer. So, you think maybe I’ll make myself available to you again?”
“No. That’s not it.”
“Of course, you won’t admit it. You’re a man. Last night turned you on. If this is about sex…you wanting it…thinking you can get it from me…and not being able to get it from your fancy girlfriend…and nothing else…”
“Cici, I do want to see you. Forget Alicia. Like I said—that’s over.”
“Look, you didn’t call me all day. So, it’s a little late now, okay?”
“I thought about you all day…all the damn day. Does that count?”
“Why should I care?”
“I thought about you until I’m sick of thinking about you! I couldn’t call because I was dealing with Mitchell Butler and his unreasonable demands. Which were many. Then I was stuck in meetings with the board doing damage control after he trashed our merger.”
“Poor little rich multimillionaire. Or is it billionaire? Well, I can’t see you. Okay? Not tonight. Because I’ve made other plans. My uncle’s sick, and I promised to help him out.”
“Not tomorrow, either.”
“I have a life, you know, and so do you as you clearly demonstrated this morning. Oh, and there’s my deadline. You should thank me. I’m letting you off the hook. I’m trying to be smart and logical for a change. And that’s not easy for me.”
She hung up on him. When her phone rang again, and she saw it was him, she leaned against her counter with clenched fists. She felt all mixed up, wild to see him on the one hand, but scared to death where it would lead.
All day she’d felt almost sick with longing for him, and then he’d finally called. But what was different between them? He wanted her for sex, and she was afraid she was already too involved to resist him.
Better to stop now, if she still could.
A least ten minutes passed before she got herself together enough to walk into her bathroom and splash cold water onto her hot face. After bemoaning the fact she looked absolutely awful whenever she was this upset, she carefully touched up her makeup. Then with a swish of her blue skirts, she marched down her stairs with her head held high.
Nobody at T-Bos’s could know that her heart was breaking tonight. Not for Logan Claiborne. They’d think her a fool, which she probably was.
Logan pulled up beside Cici’s Miata which was of course parked squarely in the middle of at least thirty or more big black motorcycles. His gaze drifting over cobras and rattlesnakes and angry streaks of red flames painted on the various bikes, Logan cut his engine. Not that he was eager to get out of his Lexus and face these bikers from hell.
Logan swung himself out of his car and took the stairs two at a time. Then he pushed the rough, un-painted door open. Hard rock music slammed him. Just as he was about to step inside, the meaty claw of a biker’s fist shot toward him through thick waves of cigarette smoke.
“Not so fast,” Tommy snarled.
Logan smiled. “Hello, Tommy. Is Cici around?”
“What’s it to you if she is?” he bellowed. “What in the devil makes you think you’ve got the right to set foot in here, Claiborne?”
Logan stared into the bloodshot blue eyes of T-Bos’s bouncer. A dozen members of Tommy’s little gang, all squatting around their dirty tables or leaning against the bar slammed their longnecks down and scowled at him.
Not that Logan recognized any of the hulking figures through the haze of smoke. Except for the neon beer signs, strings of colored lights decorating the bar, television sets mounted in every corner of the building and the flickering strobe lights, T-Bos’s Bar was dimly lit. This was probably a good thing.
“Where’s Cici?” Logan repeated.
Two bikers kicked their chairs over and stood up, stretching their brawny arms before crossing them menacingly over their wide chests and beer bellies.
“What business you got with Bos’s Cici?” Tommy demanded.
“I called Bos, and Bos told me she was here.”