I took hold of Davian’s hand as he led me off the plane. The steps seemed steeper than they were back in Georgia. Maybe it was the wine I consumed in such a short amount of time that made my steps shaky. Davian must have noticed my calculated steps. His arm came around my waist, giving me the stability I needed.
Calvin was waiting on the bottom of the stairs in front of a sleek Mercedes. When our feet met the tarmac, he opened the door and assisted me in, with Davian close behind. Davian had not indicated how far away his home was or how long the drive would be, but I looked forward to the trip. I had never been to the Windy City but was excited to get a glimpse of it finally. All I’d heard were the impressive things about Chicago.
Somewhere, I’d read that over two million people occupied the city. As we drove through the city, it was clear why. Even at this hour, Chicago was still much alive. Atlanta was a busy city as well, but mostly because of the casinos and the people that came to visit. The population was only an eighth of Chicago’s.
Leaning my head against the window, I couldn’t help but look up to the tall buildings. It was a distraction from my annoyance with Davian. Eventually, I would need to talk to him, but for now, I wanted to remain in my little world. The view was one I didn’t want to miss. I felt him place his hand on my knee, which pulled my focus away from the window to him. “We should be at Cross Estate in about an hour. It has been a long night. You are more than welcome to use my shoulder for a pillow if you would like to rest before we get there.”
“I’m good. But thank you for offering,”
The answer I had given him must not have been the one he wanted to hear. Before I knew it, he pulled my body closer to his away from the window. “Rest your head, Reyna.”
Instead of fighting him, I placed my head on his shoulder but didn’t comply with his offer to rest. My eyes fell between the two front seats, but the view wasn’t near as appealing, causing my eyes to become heavy. I closed them for only a moment, but it must have been longer because when I opened them, we were entering through an iron gate.
Even through the darkness, I could see the grin on Davian’s face when I lifted my head. “I guess I was more tired than I thought.”
Davian slipped his arm around my back and pulled me closer as he kissed the top of my head. “I guess you were, princess.”
Marcus pulled up to a circular drive, stopping in front of steps leading to a large house. As he cut the engine, Calvin exited from the passenger side and opened the back door closest to Davian. As I exited the car, I could see that his home was no comparison to the one I had lived in before going to college. It was more like a mansion. Although I wouldn’t consider my home small, I was pretty sure that it would fit inside Davian’s home with room to spare.
We hadn’t yet reached the top of the steps when the front door opened. Standing on the other side was an older woman, around fifty, wearing a gray dress. I assumed she was a servant of the house, but when she walked over to Davian and put her arms around him in a tight heartfelt hug, I knew she was much more. “Davi, I’m so glad you’re home. I have missed you so much.”
Davian returned the embrace, kissing her on her forehead. “Mika, it has been a long time. You are looking more beautiful than ever.”
The light above the entrance shown that his remark embarrassed the older woman by the way her cheeks turned a light shade of red. “You always know how to brighten my day.”
Davian turned to me and took hold of my hand and pulled me beside him. “Mika, this is Reyna McCall. She will be staying here for a while.”
Without warning, Mika wrapped her arms around my shoulders and pulled me against her chest. “I’m so glad that Davi finally had a reason to come home. Come, we should talk.”
Taking hold of my hand, Mika literally dragged me into Davian’s home. Her enthusiasm told me that she didn’t get guests often, and not any that Davian brought. When we stepped inside, the outside of the house didn’t do the inside justice. With marble flooring and light painted walls, the entry was beautiful. A large ornate chandelier hung high above an oval, dark wood table with a large bouquet of yellow and white roses positioned in the middle. A staircase was set against one wall and curved around to the second floor. Paintings of unknown places that I would have loved to visit hung along the wall.
Mika was ready to pull me into another room just off the entry, but stopped when Davian grabbed her arm. “Mika, I’m sure that Reyna would love to chat with you, but it has been a long night, and she is exhausted from the trip. You can wait until morning to visit.”
She nodded her head in disappointment as she looked at Davian. “You are right. How selfish of me. Your rooms are ready. Rest, and we will catch up later.”
Mika left the entry and went through a door underneath the staircase. Marcus and Calvin followed her, leaving Davian and me alone. I wasn’t sure what to say or do until he took hold of my hand. “I’ll show you to your room.”
I looked down at our entwined hands and then to him. “I…”
As though he knew what I was thinking, he placed his hand on my cheek. “I’ll take you to your room. You will find everything you need there. If there is anything more that you need, just let Mika know.”
I didn’t know what to say. Other than my parents, no one had provided me with anything. If I needed something, I paid for it on my own. My father had said that I would appreciate things more if I paid for them myself. “If you earn the money to purchase what you need, then it will be cherished more than if someone just gives it to you,” he always said.
I didn’t exactly have the means to purchase what I needed, given the situation, which was not my fault. Therefore, I had to accept Davian’s generosity. “Thank you, but all I need is a change of clothes and a toothbrush for now. When we get back to Georgia, I’ll pay you back.”
“I’m not sure how long we’ll be here, but as I’ve said, if you need anything, let Mika know. There is no need for repayment.”
When we reached the top of the stairs, Davian led me down a long hallway that was just as impressive as the entryway. My heels sank into the plush carpet until we stopped in front of a door near the end of the hall. My eyes widened when Davian pushed open the door. The bedroom he had shown me, the one where I would be sleeping, was gorgeous. Neutral colors graced the room with a comforting feeling. It was a change from the masculine grays and blacks in his bedroom at the Regency. The white walls and pale green drapes also made the room bright and cheery. Dark wood flooring and the cherry wood furnishings only added to the room, making the light walls against the dark wood an exquisite combination.
As I walked further into the room, I pushed open another door, and a large bathroom appeared with a state-of-the-art shower with multiple sprayers, two on each wall, and two from the ceiling. What caught my eyes was the large clawfoot tub. I was pretty sure that at least four people could fit inside the shower and at least two in the tub.
Turning toward Davian, who was standing by the bed, I diverted my eyes to another door, which led to a walk-in closet. I didn’t know what to expect, but one thing was for sure, I wasn’t expecting it filled with clothes, all in my size. No way would I ever be able to repay Davian. It wasn’t like these clothes were from a local department store; they were all high-end designer fashions. The shoes and accessories had designer logos of Gucci, Spade, and Vuitton. It was too much. “I can’t possibly accept any of these. There must be close to 50,000 dollars’ worth of clothing and shoes.”
Like a brick wall, Davian was standing behind me when I turned around. My body crashed into his. His arms were around my waist in an instant, and at that moment, the only thing keeping me from pulling away was his woodsy scent. It was dangerous being this close to him. My mind said one thing while my body said another. His powerful arms pulled me closer, and when my head lifted to meet his eyes, his mouth was on mine, sending me into free fall. This was not how I wanted it to go. I wanted to tell him I refused to wear one shred of clothing in the closet. I wanted him to know that I would prefer to be back in Georgia in my own space with my own things.
Instead, he made my body ache for more. Wrapping my arms around his shoulders, I allowed this moment to happen. Davian lifted me from the floor, and my legs found a place around his waist as he carried me over to the bed and set me down. His steely blue eyes were on mine. Maybe it was exhaustion that made me helpless, but I felt wide awake.
“Unless you prefer to walk around naked, which under any other circumstance I would love, you will make do with the clothes I have provided you. If you refuse, you can consider any other room in the house off limits, and you can remain inside these four walls. Your body belongs to me. Understood?”
Just as quickly as my body heated because of his tender touch, it turned to ice. No one had ever spoken to me that way. “I am not a child, Davian.”
He lifted my chin, making sure that my eyes were on his. “I suggest you stop acting like one.”
I was without words as he walked to the bedroom door and pulled it closed as he left. My temperature was beyond the boiling point. I hated that he could make my body react the way it did. I hated the fact that as much as I hated him, I was still attracted to him. Most of all, I hated the fact that he was on the other side of the door, and I was here alone.