I loved the Atlanta lights at night. There was something sexy about the way the city lit up. The city lights disappeared when Davian pulled up in front of the Regency Hotel. Three valets stood in front, ready to assist the passengers out of their expensive cars before driving them to a well-guarded parking garage. The five-star hotel had excellent reviews, not because of the clientele, but because of the stellar accommodations it provided.
The masculine scent of Davian’s cologne mixed with the coolness of the air as we stepped from the revolving door. With his hand against my back, naughty thoughts entered my brain. It might have been the sexy decor of the hotel or the fact that I was having dinner with the sexiest man in Atlanta. Whatever it was, all I could think about was if tonight would bring more than just dinner. Would I finally experience what it felt like to be taken by a man? My top-drawer boyfriend could never compare to the touch of a man.
I needed to tuck those thoughts away.
For a Sunday night, the hotel was bustling, and if I had to guess, most of the patrons were there to see if Lady Luck was on their side. The sound of slot machines echoed through the hotel lobby, along with people cheering. I wasn’t old enough to gamble, yet, and could only imagine what it felt like to hit the big one.
Walking past the reservation desk, we headed down a wide hallway with different specialty boutiques on each side. The windows displayed everything from expensive purses to clothing for men and women. There was even a shop where visitors could purchase hotel memorabilia to add to their collection of souvenirs from places they had visited.
While I was focusing on the shops, a hotel employee greeted Davian. “Good evening, Mr. Cross.”
The attractive woman stopped in front of us, holding a notebook. The nametag she wore read ‘Samantha,’ with the title of general manager in capital letters written below her name.
“I trust you have taken care of the arrangements for this evening?” Davian asked in a business voice.
“Yes, just as you instructed, Mr. Cross,” she winked in a flirty manner, which in my opinion, was very unprofessional for an employee.
I looked over my shoulder as Samantha walked away. I wondered if she needed any fries with that shake and if that was how she got promoted to general manager. Jealousy wasn’t my thing. She was probably a nice person, but the way she looked at Davian made me think they had more going on. “The staff is very accommodating. You must come here often.”
“If you are referring to Samantha, she is one of my best employees.”
“One of your employees?” I asked, confused by his reply.
“Yes, I own the hotel, so that would make her my employee.”
“You own the Regency Hotel?” I sounded like a broken record, repeating everything he said to me. The hotel must be his little bit of everything he was talking about last night.
The conversation between us ended when we came to a restaurant with slow-flowing water fountains on each side of the entrance. They were both covered with ivy that cascaded downward along two white pillars. A woman stood at the door behind a podium dressed in a white button-up shirt and a black pencil skirt. She had her hair pulled back in a modest bun. When we got to the podium, her eyes locked on Davian. “Good evening, Mr. Cross. Your table is ready.”
She seemed to be overly friendly, just like Samantha, the hotel general manager. I didn’t know what to make of her as she led us to our table, but I didn’t feel threatened by her. She was gorgeous, but not as intimidating as Samantha.
The woman led us to a quaint table for two, tucked in the far corner of the restaurant. The table was set in white linen, with fine white china, crystal stemware, and polished silver cutlery displayed on top. A cute waiter stood next to our table, waiting at attention with a white towel draped over his left arm. It was all very formal, and I second guessed my choice of attire and thought I should have chosen something less casual to wear.
The waiter moved to pull out my chair. As I sat, he took the cloth napkin displayed in a fan-like manner on the white plate and draped it over my lap. Once Davian had taken his seat, the waiter took the carafe from the table and filled our water glasses. Looking to Davian first and then to me, he asked, “Would you like to see the wine list, Mr. Cross, or do you already have a preference?”
“Latour, 1990,” Davian replied curtly. His focus was on me instead of the waiter.
The waiter respectfully nodded before leaving the table. It amazed me how much respect the employees gave Davian, which was contrary to the way he treated them. His words were short and to the point, with no ‘hello’ or ‘how are you.’
I picked up my water glass and took a sip, hoping to hide my nervousness. I was thankful when the waiter returned with a bottle of wine. He held the bottle toward Davian at a slight angle to show him the label, waiting to get his approval before uncorking the bottle. I felt nervous for the waiter as he struggled with the corkscrew as he twisted the lever. My eyes were on the cork, and when the waiter pulled it from the bottle, I was thankful that it didn’t break. I would hate for him to get reprimanded because he had to push it inside. If I had read Davian correctly so far, it would be unacceptable, and he would request the waiter bring another bottle.
The waiter left with our orders, all of which Davian had placed. I couldn’t remember ever having a man order for me. I put the glass to my lips, and the taste of something fruity with a woodsy undertone excited my palate. “This is very good,” I hinted as I took another sip.
“I’m glad you like it. I love the way it touches your taste buds. Stimulating them in a soft caress.”
The way he emphasized ‘touches,’ ‘stimulating,’ and ‘caress,’ made my entire body tingle. Adjusting my position did nothing to tame the heat pooling between my legs. How could he have such an effect on me? Davian’s eyes matched the grin plastered across his face. There was no doubt. He knew exactly what he was doing to me.
I had to excuse myself if I wanted to get through tonight. Pushing from the table, I placed my napkin on the table next to my plate. “If you’ll excuse, I need to use the restroom. I’ll be right back.”
As the distance from where he was and where I was going widened, I could finally breathe, and I felt my body cool down. I just needed to find the bathroom, and quick. When I stopped a waiter, he pointed me in the right direction. The minute I pushed open the door, a bathroom attendant was there to assist me in any way she could. First, by grabbing my hands, then placing a small dollop of citrus oil on each palm before massaging it gently between my fingers and over the back of my hands. Little did she know that I would rinse off her efforts the minute I ran my hands under cold water to subdue the effect Davian had on me.
Cupping my hands under the stream of water, I splashed my face. Even though it relieved my flushed face, it did nothing to appease the need for relief elsewhere. We hadn’t gotten to the meal, and already I was thinking about dessert. Patting my face with one of the hand towels, I took a quick look in the mirror to make sure my makeup was still in place. “Pull yourself together, Reyna,” I said to my reflection. “He’s just a man.”
Who was I fooling? Davian Cross was more than just a man. He was an enigma, pure heaven, every woman’s dream, and one to be cautious of. I had a feeling there was more to Davian Cross than just his good looks and his enticing charm.
Allowing the bathroom attendant to massage the citrus oil on my hands before leaving, I pulled a ten-dollar bill from my purse and placed it in her tip basket. I pulled open the door and jumped with surprise. Davian was on the other side of the door, his eyes cold and his hair askew.
Before I could ask him what he was doing standing in front of the ladies’ restroom, he took hold of my hand. “We need to leave.”
“Wait, we haven’t eaten yet,” I pointed out, barely able to walk as he pulled me away from the door and into the restaurant’s kitchen. “Davian, what is going on?”
“Not now, Reyna. You need to trust me and not resist.” The sharpness in his tone had done a 360 from moments ago, and my pulse was beating in double-time.
The employees in the kitchen didn’t seem to mind moving out of the way as we made our way past the preparation counters and large commercial stoves. I only had time to take in the wonderful aroma and nothing else. We ended up stopping in front of an elevator, which was just outside the kitchen walls. Crossing my arms over my chest, I looked at Damian as he continued to hammer his thumb against the elevator button as if it would make it arrive faster.
“I am not going any further with you until you tell me what is going on,” I stated.
“Have it your way.” His arms were around my waist just when the elevator door opened. My body was up off the cement floor before I knew what was going on. My heels hit the floor of the elevator, and the cold air inside did nothing to calm the storm about to unleash.
Adjusting my dress to make sure I was still presentable, I gave Davian a dissatisfied look. Pulling my phone from my purse, I found my Uber app and began typing my location. This evening was over as far as I was concerned. I wasn’t sure what was going on with Davian, but I wanted no part of it. He had gone completely insane. Before I could type the R to Regency, he had my phone out of my hand and turned off.
“What the fuck, Davian? Have you lost your mind?” My heat was rising and not in a good touchy-feely way. I was past angry.
“You can’t leave, Reyna. It’s not safe. No calls, no texts. The phone is to remain off.” His eyes penetrated mine with concern as he handed the phone back to me.
“What are you talking about?” Why wouldn’t he let me leave, and why would leaving be unsafe? None of this made any sense.
Davian inserted a key card into the slot and pressed the button to the 54th floor. I was becoming more confused by the minute. He specifically said we had to leave. Did leave mean the restaurant, or did he mean the hotel? “We are going to my penthouse. You should be safe there while I make other arrangements.”
“Davian, if you don’t tell me right now what the fuck is going on, I am going to scream so loud everyone in this hotel can hear me.” I was so over his macho, dominant persona. Not even his demanding sexy voice could bring me to trust him. He might be a Cross, but he wasn’t my keeper.
“Reyna, please. I need you to trust me. When the time is right, I will tell you everything, but for now, we need to keep you out of sight.” His hand came to my cheek, and as I looked into his eyes, there was more than his commanding request beneath them. He was concerned for my safety.