The meal the Davian prepared was wonderful. I might have told him that I lost my appetite, but the second I took my first bite, that all changed. Dinner was over an hour ago, and as we sat on the leather couch, it was time Davian came clean and told me what the hell was going on. Two glasses of wine gave me all the courage I needed. “I think I have waited long enough. It’s time you tell me what is going on.”
When Davian looked at me, I knew he was contemplating what to tell me. He was on edge, and his pushing from the couch and pacing was a good indicator of his tension. There was a compressed trail from his black leather loafers, which I was sure were also imported, in the plush rug. My annoyance with him was on the verge of breaking loose when he turned my way. “How much do you remember about your father?”
“My father? What the hell does this have to do with my father? I never met the man.”
Davian stopped pacing and took a seat beside me. His hands reached for mine, and he pulled them to his lips. My eyes went to his lips, and at that moment, the thought of how it would feel if his lips were on mine didn’t escape my mind. It didn’t matter how annoyed I was with him. When our eyes connected, the secrets behind them overpowered my need to kiss him. “Please, Davian, just tell me.”
The ability to keep the tears where they belonged, hidden away, failed when he spoke. “Your apartment was broken into. We have secured Kenzi in a hotel until we can find out what they were looking for.”
The information that Davian just shared with me had my head spinning. I still didn’t know what it had to do with my father. Knowing the connection wasn’t a top concern at that moment. “Kenzi… was she there? Did they hurt her?”
“Kenzi wasn’t home when the break-in occurred. She is also safe.” Davian assured me as he pulled me closer.
“Why would anyone break into my home? I have nothing to offer. I’m a college student, for God’s sake.” My tears came down full force as I tried to ask my next question. Pulling away from him, I wiped away the tears, “What does my father have to do with this?”
“I can’t give you all the details, but we believe he may have been responsible for the break-in.”
I tried my best to understand what Davian was saying, but I was having a hard time believing that a man I had never met could be responsible for the break-in of my apartment. “I don’t understand. What could he possibly want? I have nothing of value, except maybe my jewelry.”
“Maybe whoever it was didn’t find what they were looking for. If it were a two-bit burglar, they would have taken anything and everything that they could sell or pawn, but there was no evidence that anything was missing when Patton searched your apartment, not even your jewelry.”
Although Davian’s touch was comforting as he put his arms around me, my head was spinning with thoughts of what I had just learned. My father. There were so many questions I wished I could have asked my mom about my father before she died, but I was so young. Other than the locket, I wouldn’t have known her either. It was the only thing left to remind me of her. Every time I opened it and looked at her face, I imagined what kind of person she was. We looked happy. Our eyes were the same color, and so was our hair. I did not doubt that she was my mother. My fingers danced across the necklace around my neck, forgetting that I exchanged the locket for the emerald pendant Kenzi had lent me. Even though I wasn’t wearing the locket, I knew it was safely tucked away in my purse.
As much as I wanted Davian to continue holding me, it was getting late. Knowing that I wouldn’t be going to my apartment anytime soon, I pushed away from him, widening the distance between us. “If you don’t mind, I think I would like to go to bed. Can you please show me where I will be sleeping?”
Rising to his feet, Davian held out his hand. “It’s been quite the night. I’ll show you to your room.”
Taking me by the hand, he led me down a short hallway to a large bedroom. There were no doors other than the one that opened to a guest bathroom. The room he showed me was masculine, and if I had to guess, it was the only bedroom in the suite. The woodsy musk scent gave away that this room was his. Releasing my grip on his hand, I stood still, shocked that he would even consider the possibility that I would share his bed with him.
Leaving me standing at the door, he disappeared inside the walk-in closet only to come back with a neatly folded t-shirt in his hand. “I know it isn’t silk, but it will have to do.”
My mouth was dry even though I just drank two glasses of wine. The words wouldn’t come out, at least not the way I wanted them to. “I hope you’re not expecting me to share your bed with you?”
His arm stretched out with the t-shirt balancing in his palm, but that wasn’t where my focus was. It was on the grin that splashed across his face. “There is only one bedroom in the suite, and there is no way I will sleep on the couch.”
Taking the shirt from him, I kept my eyes on his. “Then, I will.”
Before I could take a step, his arms were around my waist, pulling me against his powerful chest. “I will not allow you to sleep on the couch. We will sleep together in my bed. Only sleep, Reyna. Nothing more.”
“Fine,” I growled as I pushed away from his grasp and walked to the bedroom door.
“Where are you going?” His voice rang behind me.
“I need my purse.”
What I should have said was, “Away from you.”
After retrieving my purse, I slipped into the guest bathroom, locking the door behind me. Just like the rest of his penthouse suite, the bathroom was over the top. It had all the amenities a person could need. It was a five-piece bathroom, with the choice of either relaxing in a rainfall shower or an exhilarating jetted tub. It made no sense, especially since there was only one bedroom, and from what I could see, that had a connecting bathroom.
I looked in the mirror and saw someone I didn’t recognize. The tears I wasn’t able to hold back early made themselves known once again. How did my life come to this? Undoing the clasp to the emerald necklace, I placed it on the granite countertop and pulled my mother’s locket from my purse. Finding it safe inside the velvet bag, a sense of security enveloped my heart, knowing that I had the memory of my mom to get through this. “Reyna McCall, you’re a strong woman and can make it through anything. Even this.” The only person I needed to convince was the woman staring back at me.
It was then that I decided to get my life back. The only person who mattered at this moment was Kenzi. I wouldn’t allow Davian to dictate my life. Placing the emerald necklace in the small velvet bag, I turned the water on in the shower and slowly opened the door. Before I took a step further, I removed my heels and then listened for Davian. When I heard nothing except the water in the shower, I closed the door and headed towards my exit.
As far as Davian knew, I was in the guest bathroom taking a shower and not on the elevator going down. Pressing the button that read disarm on the security panel, I pulled my phone from my purse and turned it on. Kenzi was the first number I dialed.
When her voice came over my cell, she reminded me of the time. “Reyna, do you know what time it is?”
“Kenzi, never mind the time. It’s important. I need to know where you are.”
There was a slight hesitation before she answered. “I’m at St. Regis, and I’ve got to tell you it is amazing. Not only do they have amazing room service…”
“Kenzi…” I interrupted. “I’m sure it is amazing, but we can talk about it when I get there. What is your room number?”
The taxi pulled up to the St. Regis, and during the ride, all I could think about was whether or not Davian followed me. I was sure by now he had figured out that I was no longer in the penthouse. I wasn’t used to being told what to do. Davian wasn’t my father, and I wasn’t even sure if he was a man I could trust.
I paid the driver and scanned my surroundings, fearful that Davian was hiding in the shadows, ready to gulp me up. My imagination was working overtime. Taking in a sigh of relief, I entered a mostly vacant lobby. I had Kenzi’s room number, which allowed me to bypass the reservation desk and head straight to the wall of elevators. When the elevator door opened, I pushed the button to the thirty-seventh floor. As the door closed, a wave of relief consumed my body, knowing that they hadn’t caught me.
The St. Regis was a beautiful hotel. I had accompanied my father and mother there more than once to attend a gala or a high society function. Smiling to myself, I reflected that attending galas, or any other events for that matter, wasn’t the life I imagined I’d be living five years ago. Long ago it was only a dream, but then again, dreams can and do come true.
The beep of the elevator pulled me from my thoughts as the door opened. Stepping off the elevator onto the plush gold and maroon carpeting, I followed the arrow that led to rooms 3700 -3780. The hall was quiet, and it gave me some time to clear my head. Right now, my only concern was my best friend. I no longer cared that I took off or that I might or might not be putting myself in danger as Davian arrogantly claimed when he practically dragged me inside his penthouse suite.
Kenzi’s room was about halfway down the hall. A tray sat on the floor outside her door, which appeared to be remnants from a club sandwich and fries. As I lifted my hand to knock on the door, a man with a muscular build and no hair opened the door. He looked to be about Davian’s age. He certainly prided himself on his appearance, wearing a dark gray suit, blue tie, and tan leather loafers.
Before I could apologize for being at the wrong room, he stepped to the side. My eyes focused on the person sitting on the couch. Kenzi was wearing a hotel robe, with her hair piled on top of her head. She seemed to be okay, but I needed to find out for myself.
Stepping past the intimidating man, I hurried to the couch, tears ready to fall at any moment, and wrapped my arms around her. “Kenzi, are you all right? I was so worried when Davian told me what happened.”
“Mr. Thomas, Patton, hasn’t left my side since we got here.” Appreciation filled her eyes as she looked at the suite door where he still stood. “Can Reyna and I have a moment, Patton?”
“I’ll leave you two to catch up. I’ll be right outside the door if you need me.” Unlike Davian, I might have misread him when he opened the door. He was intimidating, but under that steel exterior, he seemed nice, human. He wasn’t bad on the eyes either.