~ ZANDER BLACKTHORN ~
“Why the hell are we so goddamn slow?”
My driver gives a heavy sigh as his eyes flicker to my face via the rearview mirror. Harrison has been my bodyguard for nearly a decade. “I apologize, Mr Blackthorn. It appears the traffic report was sorely mistaken,” he mutters dryly.
The traffic doesn’t look like it was about to move and we only moved about two meters in five fucking minutes. Christ Almighty! I glance at my Rolex wrist watch and frown at it deeply when I realize I have less than twenty minutes to get to my office. I have a teleconference from Japan.
“I will walk from here. Thanks,” I mutter and grab my briefcase, climbing out of my Mercedes-Benz S-Class. It’s fairly new and I haven’t had a chance to try it out, however Harrison has told me he is impressed and he is a car enthusiast like me, so that will do.
I step outside into the busy street and scowl to no one. New York City is always busy in the summer, there are fucking tourists everywhere and the traffic is always unpredictable. Born and raised in this city, I’ve gotten used to the fact that every day can be different.
There is a coffee house on my left. I could use a caffeine drink to perk me up.
That blonde bimbo was wild in bed, but she was fucking needy. I had to ask Harrison to escort her out of my hotel room. What was her name anyway? Olivia? Viv? Livvy? Whatever, I might be an asshole, but I’m not letting anyone sleep with me ever. I’m only in it for sex.
My phone alerts me with a new text message.
It’s from Emily.
*Good morning, Zan. Your Mom told me you’re looking for an interior designer for your new hotel! Why didn’t you tell me? Shall I pop by your office later with lunch? xx*
I pinch the bridge of my nose and stifle a groan.
“For fuck’s sake,” I hiss.
Why the fuck did my Mom tell Emily about my biggest project of the year? Emily is an irritating little fucker. Sure, I knew she had the hots for me. If she wasn’t a family friend, I would’ve fucked the shit out of her. She just can’t get the hint.
I start typing a response as I walk closer towards the entrance of the coffee house and shove the door hard with my wide shoulder. The door opens too quickly and I hear someone’s gasp.
My eyes look up in time to see her tall cup fall out of her hand and spill some of the hot liquid all over her white shirt. Shit! My mouth drops in horror. This woman is so surprised that she stumbles backward and slips on the wet floor. Instinctively I take a giant leap forward and wrap my arm around her waist, and I cup her nape before she hits the floor. Our bodies clash together.
“Oh!” She gasps again.
“Fuck!” I pant heavily and shake my head in disbelief. “Jesus Christ, I am so sorry. I-I…” I stop talking when my eyes land on her beautiful face.
Her face is pale, but she has those adorable rosy cheeks. She is licking her pink lips nervously, then she bites on that lower lip. It makes me want to bite on it. Finally I gaze into her stunning green eyes. They look wide and perfectly innocent, framed with long black eyelashes. It blows me away because of how green they looked compared to her short black wavy hair. She looks so petite in my arms.
It has come to my attention that this person could be the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my whole life.
“Um… can I get up please?” Her voice is music to my ears.
I lick my dry mouth and swallow hard. Fuck, why am I so nervous?
“Yes, of course…” my voice deepens as my thumb strokes across her nape and I bring her to an upright position. My hands are on her elbows, making sure she is good enough to stand by herself. She seems stable for now. This woman gives a small shudder and has a grim expression on her face while she glances down at her soaking wet top.
Fuck, I did that.
“I have money,” I blurt out.
This Angel looks at me wide-eyed with a slight puzzled expression.
“I mean I can pay someone to clean your top,” I explain.
“N-no, it’s fine,” she stammers nervously.
I watch her push a loose strand of her black hair behind her ear as she looks around the coffee house for someone. Who? If it’s her boyfriend, I will fight him for her. Jesus Christ, what is wrong with me?
“At least let me replace your cup of coffee. What was it?” There’s a wet patch on my dark grey woven tie and I can smell something strong. Then it hits me. “Peppermint tea? Look, it’s completely my fault for bumping into you.”
She looks taken aback and her cheeks look pinker.
Oh… I have to have you, my Angel. She is really beautiful and quite alluring with those eyes. When she doesn’t talk to me, I dazzle her with one of my best smiles.
“I’ll even throw in a muffin to sweeten the apology.”
She blinks her eyes and takes a step back, causing both of my hands to drop from her elbows. “No thanks,” she whispers.
My body freezes for a second. Every woman in this city knows who I am, even though she has a New Yorker accent, and no one has turned me down.
She bends down to retrieve her little purse and I didn’t realize she had dropped it. I see an old flip phone on the floor. Wanting to be a gentleman, I make a sudden movement to fetch it for her, but she flinches with a small gasp. She suddenly wraps her black cardigan around herself and hugs herself.
This woman is an extremely nervous woman.
What the hell had happened to my Angel?
“Are you alright?” I ask, my voice sounding full of concern for her.
“I’m sorry, okay? I’m… I’m late for work,” she avoids my eyes and I think I saw tears in her eyes. My heart drops. I had no intention to bump into her or hurt her feelings. Feeling a little baffled, I open my mouth to speak but she squirrels out the door.
Holy shit. I’ve never seen a woman move that fast. It hits me that I still have her phone in my hand.
“Wait! You forgot your…” I stop yelling when I can’t see her in the busy crowded street. I am feeling all sorts of emotions I cannot describe, except one. Disappointment.
I didn’t get her name.
How the hell am I going to find my Angel? I stare at the small flip phone in my hand. It looks cheap and old. Probably a burner phone. There’s a sinking feeling that she probably won’t ring this number to pick it up.
Why was she so nervous? Did something bad happen to her?
“Oh my gosh, are you alright? I saw the whole thing!” A woman’s voice distracts me. She has brought over a bucket and a mop. Her bright purple hair and facial piercings tells me she is one quirky woman. I notice she is wearing an apron with a name tag. Her name is Betsy.
“Yes, I’m fine,” I murmur quietly. There’s no doubt there’s sadness in my voice.
Betsy starts mopping the floor. “Gosh, I hope she’s okay. Rose tends to be very shy, you know. I guess that’s why she ran away…” she pouts her purple lips at the mess.
My heart starts pounding. “Wait, did you say Rose?”
“Huh?” Betsy looks up at me. “Oh, yeah. She’s one of my close friends.”
Finally my Angel has a name.
“Why?” Betsy narrows her eyes at me. “Are you interested in her or something?”
My lips are slowly smiling widely.
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