Page 47 of The Dancer

“What devious shit are you plotting now? I promised your mom after the last time that I’d keep your ass outta trouble; don’t make me a liar.” He leaned across the desk and gave me his patented big brother look. Asshole is two months older than me, like that counts.

“What’re you talking about now?” Damn, I all but forgot he was here.

“That look on your face. It’s a sure sign you’re up to some shit. Just give me a heads up will you?”

“I’m not going to do anything. You’re right, I need more to go on than their familial connection. They can slip through that knot too easy. I was thinking of Anna and what she has planned for the weekend. Maybe I should take her out of the city.”

It was only a half lie. He looked like he didn’t believe me, but let it go all the same. I know with him on my ass I wouldn’t be able to get away with shit, so that was another reason to wait.

“Good luck getting her to agree.” He laughed like he thought the fact that she was giving me hell was funny. Not even my fierce glare moved him. Asshole!

“Please go back to where you were and what you were doing.” I switched screens again and got back to work. If I was going to take the weekend off I should put a dent in this shit at least.

I couldn’t concentrate worth shit because I kept thinking about her upcoming days off, not to mention I hated the fact that she was going back to that place when she left here tonight.

The first thing I’d done when I started making money, was get my mother out of our old neighborhood. She wasn’t in the house she’s in now, the mansion as she calls it. But it had been a decent sized starter home outside the city.

Years later I’d moved her again into a bigger and better place, though she complains that it’s too much room for just her alone. It didn’t matter to me, I wanted to give her the best there was and that house is the best in the neighborhood she now lives in.

After years of cleaning houses like that, she now had people cleaning for her. That’s one of my promises kept. Everything else that comes after is just a son’s way of saying thanks.

It looks like it’s going to be a while before I stop comparing the two women in my head, but it couldn’t be helped. Just as I’d felt strongly that she shouldn’t be dancing naked on any stage, I feel sure that she doesn’t belong in that neighborhood.

But what can I do? It’s not like I can force her to go home with me, or can I? Hmm! Force is such a strong word; whatever.

I stopped all pretense of working and instead turned my thoughts to how to talk her into coming home with me.

I wasn’t even thinking of taking her to my bed, just getting her out of that place until I could come up with something better, and give myself peace of mind in the bargain.

She was such a prickly little thing, not to mention independent as all hell, that I quickly discarded everything I came up with.

It would help if I knew what she did with her days off, then I could work around whatever that was. She’s so damn secretive I can’t ever get shit out of her. Damn nuisance.

I wanted to call her into my office right then and there and ask her, but thought better of it. I’d already given away more than I intended to with my actions. She’d already been hurt because of me. I clenched my fists at the reminder and turned on the monitor in search of her.

She was yakking it up with some over fed blowhard and his much younger companion while popping a bottle of champagne.

It’s the first time I’d seen her smile and I was struck by the transformation. She was probably thinking about her tips to smile that damn wide.

That’s it. Why hadn’t I thought of it before? She needs money, I have money. So what I’ve already given her a job? She doesn’t need three days off. I’ll just find something for her to do for me for the weekend. That didn’t answer the question of getting her to move, but it was a start.

I felt much better now that I had a plan forming in my head. I just have to figure out how to propose it to her. I walked into the brick wall that is her damn head again in my thoughts and went back to the drawing board.

None of my usual charm is gonna work I’m pretty sure, and I don’t much like the idea of outright lying to her, though a little half truth never hurt anyone.