Page 20 of Lift

“Cara,” he says in a dismissive tone with a hint of warning.

“That was you on the phone?” Her hands go to her hips. I can’t tell if she is about to explode or if she’s locking it up. Her moods are like a light switch, they go on and off so quick.

“I don’t appreciate you calling my girl and talking to her like that.”

Harris reaches into his pocket and takes out the keys I totally forgot to bring down. He tosses them to the man standing next to Cara that I hadn’t noticed before. He catches the keys then glances at me and I know the look. He recognizes me and he’s trying to figure out who I am.

“Don’t show up at my home acting fucking crazy. Keep your messy shit over on your side of town where your daddy put you.” My mouth falls open and I’m rendered speechless. I’d laugh if I could get it out over the shock. Even better is the look on Cara’s face.

“What are you looking at, Luck?” The man takes his eyes off me and lifts his hands.

“Sorry, man, she looked familiar.” He tries to hand Cara her keys, but she ignores him. Her head looks like it’s going to explode any second now.

“This is going to get bad,” I whisper to Harris, because Cara can be unpredictable.

“You’re kidding me, right?” She looks around the lobby of the building and I’m not sure what she’s searching for. Her head snaps back to us like she’s found her answer. “I didn’t think you were one of them.” She narrows her eyes on Harris.

“What’s she talking about?” I ask him.

“Who knows?” Harris says, rolling his eyes.

“Don’t play dumb, Harris. I’m seeing through the good old boy act now. You’re like my brother and the rest of them.” She shakes her head and glares at me. “Have your dirty little secret. I thought you were smarter than that.” Harris tenses next to me. “They never settle down. He’ll use you up and toss you aside like the rest of them.” She tries to look disgusted, but I’m not buying it. “Come on, Sloan, at least with me you know where you stand.” She waits like I’m a lap dog and she expects me to come to her. Harris’s hold on me tightens, but I’m not going anywhere.

“I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about, Cara. The coke has apparently eaten up all the brain cells in your head, because you’ve lost your mind. Get out of here,” Harris tells her and confirms what I thought about her drug usage.

“Cut the shit,” she snaps at him, and her true colors come out. “You’re just better at hiding what you are than the rest of those assholes. It took me this long to figure it out because you really have everyone fooled don’t you. In fact I think you’re worse. At least with the others we can see what’s coming, but you’ve probably got her all wrapped up in you. She’s been through enough shit as it is.” Cara says it like she cares about me.

Cara has been through a shit storm of guys and she must assume that Harris is just like the guys that run in her circle. The guys just like her brother, Lance. Maybe I’m naïve, but I don’t believe a word of it. Cara is a user, too, and though she might not want to fuck me she wants things from me.

“Don’t talk about him like that. He’s a good man, Cara. I gave you your keys and I think you should go,” I tell her and pray she listens. Harris doesn’t deserve her accusations.

She goes to open her mouth, but Harris cuts her off. “I’m not stupid, Cara, and your games won’t work here. I don’t know why you want Sloan so bad, but it’s not happening. Take the con game you probably learned from your father and get the fuck out of my building. I will not say it again.”

“Fuck you.” She stomps her foot and nearly falls over when she does it in her five-inch heels. “My father’s not the con,” she laughs. “Give me a fucking break, Harris. You’re giving your dick to the daughter of the biggest con in this city.”

I let out a small gasp, unable to stop myself. “Sloan Martinez,” the man next to Cara says, putting together who I am and informing Harris at the same time.

“Cara.” Harris raises his hand and it’s then I notice the doorman dressed in all black reaching for the phone.

“I’m leaving, no need to call the cops,” she snips as the glares at me. “Get your shit out of my place.”

“With pleasure,” Harris answers for me. “I’ll have someone there first thing in the morning.” He says, and it pisses her off. She grabs the keys and stomps off, but Harris says her name and she turns back around. “Tell your brother to stay the fuck away from my girl. I promise your family won’t like the fallout if things don’t go my way.” She doesn’t seem to care about his threat and gives him the finger as she walks away.