I smile as I look at the people packed shoulder to shoulder and standing three deep at the bar waiting for a drink. This makes me happy because tonight is about celebrating the second year anniversary of The Wicked Horse. I don’t find it strange how much pride I have in Jerico and this business he’s built up to epic levels. I’ve realized since knowing him that there is no shame in expressing sexuality, and I look forward to the rare nights we will spend in here. We don’t do it often, mainly because I’m working fifty-plus hours a week at The Jameson Group, having quickly ascended from receptionist to office manager. And Jerico… well, he doesn’t like to really hang out at The Wicked Horse unless I’m there hanging out with him. So once or twice a month, we’ll do a “date” night there, and we freely show our love by getting it on in one of the public rooms. I find it as invigorating and as liberating as the first time that Jerico took me in The Orgy Room all those months ago.
“There he is.” Larissa points with excitement, and I see his head weaving in and out of people as he locks eyes on me from across the room.
“Thanks, Larissa,” I say and start moving toward him.
We come to meet in about the middle of the room, and he looks at me with worry. “Is Corinne okay?”
“She’s fine,” I assure him because he didn’t expect me here tonight. I totally wanted to be, but Corinne has the flu. While my mom was happy to watch her, she was also tremendously nervous as this is the sickest Corinne has been since her surgery. I give him further reassurance, “Her fever broke, and well… I just wanted to be here with you.”
Jerico smiles in relief and pulls me into his arms. When Corinne got sick two days ago, I knew it could interfere with my plans to attend the celebration tonight. But Jerico insisted I stay home tonight when he saw how freaked my mom was. I personally felt she was going to be fine on her own, but I love how much Jerico cares about my mom and Corinne. He felt it was more important I stay back.
“I was just getting ready to leave,” he says before pulling back to look down at me. “Everything is in hand here, I’ve done my duty giving a toast, and I’m ready to get home and relax.”
“Oh, my God,” I say as I laugh, bringing a hand up to his face to touch his jaw. “You’ve turned into an old fuddy-duddy.”
His eyes narrow at me. “An old fuddy-duddy?”
I snicker and press in closer. “I thought we’d go have a drink on The Deck. Maybe fool around a little. Celebrate your success.”
Jerico cocks an eyebrow, his gorgeous green eyes sparkling with interest. “This has potential.”
Going to my tiptoes, I put my lips as close to his ear as I can get. “I’m not wearing any panties under this dress.”
“Jesus,” he grumbles before bending down and shoving his face in my neck. “I work really hard to maintain a cool reputation here, and you come and give me a hard-on in about ten seconds. You’re ruining my rep, babe.”
I laugh again, feeling his chuckle against my skin. But then he pulls back and asks, “Are you sure she’s okay?”
God, I love this man. I love him, I love him, I love him.
And let me tell you why…
Sure, he had nefarious intentions when we first met, but what I’ve come to realize is that he has a heart of gold. I know deep down, even had we not developed feelings for each other, he wouldn’t have sent that stuff to Jayce. Jerico doesn’t have it in him to hurt an innocent. That’s old history, and I rarely think of it.
But since then, he’s shown me just how generous his heart is. After purchasing my termite-infested home, he had the damage repaired as well as put in new flooring and appliances. He handed the keys over to my mom once it was painted and had new furniture. This stunned me because he did this without even telling me what his plans were.
In fact, it was sort of highhanded of him, but after he turned the keys over to my mom, he took Corinne and me for a ride. He picked us up at the apartment I’d moved into with Corinne and Mom, and we got ice cream. Then we drove into a gated subdivision where he pulled into a Mediterranean-style home that was massively big and made my eyes bug out.
“What do you think?” he asked us when we got out of the car.
“It’s like a castle,” Corinne said in awe. “Like Aladdin would live there or something.”