I stared at the new couch that I didn’t order. It’s the same black colour as the old one but bigger and made of leather instead of cloth.
Maybe I should be grateful I didn’t have to figure out how to pay for a new couch but accepting one from men who the last time I saw were waving guns around didn’t seem right. I expected that when they left last night it would be the last time I would ever see them. Instead when I went to unlock my store the Italians were standing there with a furniture delivery truck to take the blood covered couch and put this one in its place.
When they showed up I tried to tell them I wouldn’t accept it but they wouldn’t listen saying they were just following orders.
Whose orders do you ask?
Maximus’, also known as the man who showed up with a gunshot wound and bled all over my last couch.
Who is this Maximus man?
Sighing I shook my head to get his dark temping eyes out of my mind. Reaching over I grab my phone looking around the store seeing no one in it. Smiling I go to my Spotify app and pressed on a Taylor Swift song from her new album.
Placing my phone in my pocket I began to sing along walking over to my front desk to check messages and schedules for clients coming.
Hearing the happy tunes, I began to slowly sway to the album, dancing around while typing on my computer a new schedule and inventory list. My Grandmother will be visiting soon and I want to make sure everything is in order so she knows that the store is in good hands.
Just as I began to sing along to the song ‘seven’, the chime above the door sounded off informing me of a new customer.
Ceasing my sing session, I turn around stopping in my tacks, my body jumping back when I recognize who it is.
“Maximus.” I whispered looking at the man who was once covered in blood now in front of me in a perfect suit looking as if he walked out of a Rolex magazine.
I remember thinking that I needed trouble to stay out from coming through my doors. Yet he has strolled back in not twenty-four hours later looking like the perfect sin on a silver platter.
Maximus gave me a warm sexy smile bowing his head in greeting. “Signorina Stella.”
Just the way he said my name made me fight a shiver, my mouth pressed together while my eyes studied him. If I thought he looked hot before then it is nothing compared to how dashing he looks with a suit perfectly tailored to his body, hair with nothing out of shape, beard framing his face. That beard had me swallow, fighting my bodies urge to walk up to touch it and see how it feels. And that olive skin, fuck now I get why people love Italian men.
Finally glancing up I found his dark eyes, amusement in them telling me he saw how openly I was checking him out. Turning away heat rushed into my cheeks.
“What can I do for you? You’re not shot again are you? I’m not a doctor only a tailor so please go find a doctor or maybe just rethink your life choices.” I walked over to him trying not to check him out again.
Maximus shook his head with a deep laugh, lines crinkling around his eyes. “No, not shot. Told you when I left that I would need a new suit. My last one had a little blood on it and got ripped up by a gorgeous woman.”
Cringing I nodded as I flooded with embarrassment. “Well you were bleeding from a gunshot wound, barely knew what to do in that situation besides stop the bleeding. I couldn’t have someone die in my store. It would leave me spinning more with wondering if I call police or try to hide a body. And if I let you die, then this store wouldn’t be known as a dress and suit shop but where someone died.”
Flipping my hair over my shoulder I walked away, stepping behind my desk to keep distance between his body that seemed to call to mine. “Can’t image brides would want to try on different gowns where you bled out. Might be considered bad luck don’t you think?”
“Who said I was complaining?” He teased giving me a wink, my heart fluttered making me feel like I was a school girl again.
Shaking my head to get the tall, dark, mysterious and no doubt bad boy out of my head I smiled politely. “What can I do for you Maximus?”
“I would like a tailored black suit by you and for you to take the payment you refused for my inconvenience.” He said making me switch out of dreamy fantasy mind into business woman.
Motioning with my head I walk us into the back-fitting room, pointing to a stool for him to stand on so I could take his measurements.
Picking up the measuring tape, I watched Maximus take off his blazer and hang it on the hook beside the mirror. “I accepted the couch.”
Walking up to him his soft chuckle warmed me again. Avoiding his eyes, I began taking his measurements, doing everything I could to barely touch his perfect body. “Accepted? Heard the only reason you did was because they brought it in and you couldn’t push it out yourself. Which you tried.”
Yeah... I got laughed at by men talking in Italian when I fell to the ground. Stupid big ass heavy cough and stupid heels I decided to wear to work today.
Sighing I picked up my notepad and wrote down his shoulder length then began to measure his arm length and width. God dam he has biceps. Shaking my head, I wrote down his measurements and went to his other side needing this to be over.
“You didn’t have to get me one.” I said softly feeling his gaze on me.
“I don’t do anything I don’t have to and I did.” Still not looking at him I wrote down his left torso side then moved to measure his waist doing it fast and accurate. “You are much faster at this than my usually tailor.”
Smiling I squatted to measure his legs. “Been doing this for years.”
Not being able to fight his gaze anymore I looked up seeing him stare down at me. My mouth opened a bit as I found myself being spellbound by those dark eyes.
Quickly realizing my position, I cursed myself for being in it again. Below the waist looking up just like when I was ripping his clothes off. He raised his brow most likely thinking the same thing.
“You are the type of man my mother always warned me about.” I muttered standing up quickly and turning away from those dark eyes of his to write down the next set of measurements. But he is the type of man my grandmother said to always enjoy.
He chuckled. “Then listen to your grandmother, she sounds like a smart woman.”
I spun around connecting back with his dark, amused eyes and slanted smile. “Shit I said that out loud. Well moving past what I said, I have your measurements and can get the skeleton done. You will need to come in after around a week to test the fitting.”
He smiled stepping down from the stool and placed his blazer back over himself. “One week?”
Nodding I walked over to my desk and passed him my information card. “It’s the off season. No weddings, fancy galas or proms to prepare for.”
“Must enjoy that.” He stated buttoning his blazer and walking over to the desk to pay.
Shrugging I typed him into my computer, still needing some activity to ensure I don’t swoon over him. “Yes and no. Yes, because I can focus on making sure I am ready for that season and I have time to make my own designs. But no because it’s only the calm before the storm which makes me anxious.”
He ran his credit card through while I made the mistake of looking into the dark eyes. My legs crossing under the desk to fight the warm tingling he gives me. My body is obviously telling me that it’s been too long without a man and that vibrators can satisfy for only so long.
I quickly stopped that thought. “I will give you a call, just promise you won’t get shot in the suit I make.”
He gave me one more of his warm smiles then bowed his head in farewell. “I’ll do my best. Until I see you again, addio Stella.”
With that he turned away and headed out of the store. My heart beating rapidly as I watched his back walk away from me.
“I won’t say anything.” I rushed out making Maximus slowly turn to look at me, his eyes softly watching me. “I mean isn’t that why you came? To make sure I don’t tell the police a man broke into my store with a gunshot wound. In Greys they always have to call the cops when a gunshot wound comes in, not that I am anything like a hospital but oh god why am I still talking.”
He let out a soft chuckle, the sound deep and soothing that any rant I was about to have stopped. “I rather enjoy your rambles.”
I laughed throwing my head back with a groan, my head slowly returning to face him. “Sorry. But back to the point I tried to make before my mouth took off, I’ll keep quiet about what happened.”
He shook his head taking a step forward. “Don’t ever apologize. I didn’t come here to threaten you Stella only to order a suit. I swear, I would never harm you Signorina Stella.” Unable to fight it any longer, my body shivered from the way he said my name, those eyes darkening telling me he saw my reaction.
“Then why?” I pondered. “A man like you already has a tailor and you speak far more proper for someone to come here.”
Maximus gave me another one of his smiles putting his hands in his pant pockets. “I didn’t peg you to be bias on my class and why shouldn’t I come here? My family always supports small business.”
To distract myself I picked up the receipt he left, my eyes looking at the line that said he added a tip. “YOU LEFT A TIP OF 500 DOLLARS!”
He winked walking backwards out of the store, his eyes running over my body. “Told you I was going to repay you and now you can’t deny me. Good day Signorina Stella, I’ll look forward for your call.”
Maximus disappeared out the of the door letting me release a breath I wasn’t sure I had been holding. Before I could recover the door flew open again showing my best friend Anthony walking into the store looking over his shoulder whistling.
He turned to me with a devilish glint in his eye. “Who was that fine as hell man?”
Chuckling I took a breath getting Maximus out of my head. “A customer and you have a boyfriend if I can recall.”
Anthony laughed dropping a bag on the counter. “Oh he knows I would never touch another man, I was talking about you. When was the last time you had a night with that kind of hot? Actually, don’t answer it would be far too depressing. Here take this and put on the dress. We are going out.”
“And if I refuse?” I asked not wanting to know what kind of dress was in that bag or what night he had planned. Why my introvert self is best friends with an extrovert I have no idea.
Anthony wiggled his brows suggestively. “You can’t.”