Page 31 of Bring Him Home

“Oh.” I remember that I haven’t given him a kiss. I turn to go back into his office, knowing if I don’t kiss him I won’t be able to get anything done. I’ll keep thinking about it. “Going to pop back in,” I tell Charlotte.

“You can come and go as you please,” she responds, not looking away from her computer screen, but I see her smiling.

“Anyone else allowed to do that?” I find myself asking.

She turns and looks at me. “Nope.”

That one simple word makes me all warm inside. See, I knew I was different. I nod my head at Charlotte and head back into Drake’s office. I pull open the door a crack, smiling. I am hoping that he’s found the panties I dropped under his desk and is now touching himself thinking about me. The thought has me wanting to crawl back into his lap. I want to see how far he is willing to let me take it.

I freeze when I hear my name.

“Delilah needs to go back home,” I hear Drake say. I swear my heart stops beating for a moment. “I’m working on getting her to leave,” he adds after a beat. My eyes water, wondering who he’s talking to.

“You were right. She doesn’t belong here. I can’t stand her even being in this building. I had her moved to my floor so others would stop staring and whispering about her.” My dad. That has to be who he’s talking to. Maybe this was Drake’s plan all along. He was going to use me, break my heart into pieces and send me running back home. I bet he’s not divulging to my dad half of the things he’s been doing to me and with me all in an attempt to get me to go back home. I feel sick to my stomach. I’m so freaking naïve.

I let go of the door, stepping back. I turn my face away from Charlotte so she can’t see it as I make my way back to my new mailroom. It isn’t until I’m alone that I let a few tears fall. I wipe them away quickly. Maybe he’s right: this city isn’t for me. I’m not vicious enough to live in this world.

I should have listened to Ma when she said I wore my heart on the outside even if the doctors did put it back where it belonged.

I get myself together, seeing my bag that Drake had brought in for me sitting in the corner of the room. There is no way that I can lug that thing past Charlotte. I would never get it by her without her asking what I’m doing. I’m pretty sure she likes me but I still think she’d let Drake know what I am up to. I would expect her loyalty to be to him so I couldn’t even get mad if she did tell him.

“Hey,” I scream, turning to see Charlotte standing in the door to my mailroom office or whatever this place is called. She looks at me like I’m crazy. I probably look it at this point. I randomly screamed for no reason. Well, that’s not true; I screamed because I thought I was busted trying to sneak out of this place but I hadn’t done it yet.

“Sorry. Hey.” I fake a laugh. “What’s up?” She eyes me for a second.

“Just wanted to let you know your calls have been redirected.”

“Thanks.” I glance over to my cell phone lying on the table.

“I have to run out but I’ll be back shortly. Did you need anything?” she asks. She’s not my assistant but maybe Drake told her to babysit me. Because, well, I’m not fit to be here. Right? I fight the tears that try and escape because of my own thoughts.

“Nope. I’m good but thanks.” I give my best smile. She stands there for a moment studying me. Again she reminds me of my dad, who is way too good at reading people.

“Okay,” she finally says before she turns and leaves. I dash for my suitcase, finding a pair of panties before grabbing my purse and my cell phone.

If Drake doesn’t want me here then I’m not going to be here. I don’t need him taking me back home. I know how to get there on my own. Maybe they were all right. I wasn’t cut out for this. Worse, maybe Sherile wasn’t lying and I am only one of many. I’m not livestock and no one is going to tag and number me.

14

Drake

I hang up the phone, satisfied with the conversation that I had with Wyatt. I am ready to leave this city life and start a new one with Delilah as soon as possible. I have enough money not to have to work so hard anymore. Delilah has woken me up from the boring life that I’ve been living. I feel alive for the first time in my life.

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