Only when he had enough did he say it was the last outfit, and that she had to put the red one back on. So, forty-five minutes later they were finally leaving the shop with several packages, which Russ placed in the trunk of the car.

“Where are we going now?” she asked.

“I paid for you to look the right part for the restaurant, and now we’re going to eat.”

****

They were getting a lot of attention, and Russ saw it was making her nervous. A couple of the men were ignoring their dates to simply gaze at her. Anna had no idea how beautiful she actually was. Laura had grabbed a couple of hair grips, and pulled some of her hair back, leaving most of it down.

Several women were giving her the stink eye, but in his world, women were catty.

“So, I fit the part to be in this posh restaurant?” She sat back in her seat, resting her arm in her lap.

“I wouldn’t even wear my leather cut here. I’ve always got my business suit lined up for a place like this. Did we overdo it today?” he asked, pointing at her arm.

“A little. It just aches a bit, but apparently that’s a good thing. It means it’s working.” She touched her shoulder, and pressed a little. “It’s fine. Working it is fine. The sooner it gets fixed, the sooner I can get back to work.”

She could work now, but he had talked to Franny about him not wanting her to return to work.

Franny knew he wanted her. The whole of the club knew he wanted her, and yet the only person who didn’t see it was the person herself.


“What is it?” she asked.

“Nothing.”

“You don’t fit in with your leather cut?” She had that sexy little smile she gave out whenever he was actually wearing his cut.

“No. I tried, but they turned my ass away.”

“That’s not very good at all.” She giggled. “I prefer your leather cut.”

“The whole world doesn’t like it.” He took the menu that the waitress offered, and watched as Anna opened her menu up.

“The whole world can suck eggs as far as I’m concerned. I hate the way the world works.”

“You’re rather bitter.”

Anna looked up from her menu. “Take this restaurant for example. They accepted me inside this place without any problem. You change my clothes, and they would turn me away. I’ve never needed fancy stuff.”

“I get that. I want to treat you. How about we start with a glass of wine?”

“I like that idea.”

He signaled the waitress, and made sure Anna got a glass of wine while he took a water.

“You’re not drinking with me?” she asked, taking a sip.

“No. I’ve got to get us home first.”

“Then how about I have one glass here, and then we go and have a drink back at your place.”

Our place.

He didn’t say that though, and nodded. “I hope you’re ready. I love a drink.”

“I’m not much of a drinker, but putting Karen to rest made me want to drink. I think now is a better time.” She raised her glass. “To us?”

“To Karen.”

“To Karen.”

They clinked their glasses, and he took a sip of his water. He couldn’t take his gaze away from Anna. She was such a beautiful, graceful woman. He wondered if her lack of seeing her beauty was what attracted to him.

Russ had been with a lot of women who knew they were beautiful, and they didn’t work at anything else to draw attention. They just believed their beauty was more than enough. It never was, and he got bored with them.

“She would have loved to have come here. We used to pass places like this, and she’d stop and get all excited.”

“About coming here?” he asked.

“No, about success. Where we would be so successful no one could turn us away. Karen tried to get a job as a waitress here, but she told me it wasn’t her style. I don’t know what that meant, and to be honest, I still don’t know. I guess now I never will. It sucks.”

He reached across the table, taking her hands. “Don’t do this right now. I know it’s hard, but be here with me.”

“Yes. This is about celebrating the freedom of my leg. Has Lewis found anything more?”

Russ talked to her about everything that was going on with the devices, and how they were helping with tracking down other criminal gangs.

“We’re locating another possible trafficking site.”

He watched her tense up.

“I can’t believe there are so many of them. I mean you hear about them on the news, but you don’t believe they’re real when they really are, and that is terrifying.”

“It’s a big business.”

“Men buying women as if they’re loaves of bread? It doesn’t seem right to me. I don’t like it.” She took another sip of her wine.

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