“Yeah.” Rich does kind of a nervous sidestep toward the counter, hat back in his hands being wrung. “I put it under my name. Richie Hayes.”
I prop an elbow on the counter and lean in, sliding her a few crisp hundreds. “If you could keep this quiet, I’d appreciate it.” Another slight baring of teeth. “No one is going to know I was here.”
“No. No, sir, Mr. McManus.” She won’t look up from the appointment book. “If you want to follow me to the l-locker room, we can get you a robe—”
“That won’t be necessary.” I take a seat on some oddly shaped, chrome seat and stretch my legs. “Just let the masseuse know I’m here.”
I’m only waiting for another thirty seconds after the receptionist almost breaks a leg launching herself into the back room, but in that short time span, Richie manages to tell me six more times how much I’m going to love the massage. I’m just reaching the iceberg tip of guilt that I won’t actually be enjoying his present for real, when the girl reemerges. “Meadow will see you now.”
Fuck sake. She’s probably going to dissolve into tears when I walk in. I really don’t have the patience for a couple of terrified broads today. My enemies have been getting too close for comfort lately. I’ve got a business opening on the other side of town tomorrow to help me clean my illegally earned money and I’m not satisfied with the numbers yet. We’re moving a shipment of car parts tomorrow night to a distributor and I have to lean a little harder on my favorite dirty cops to make sure we fly under the radar.
Everything will work out. I always make sure it does.
It helps that I’ve got a reputation for meting out swift and deadly punishment to anyone who crosses me.
But I definitely don’t have time for a massage.
A glance at Richie’s hopeful expression, however, has me rising to my feet. “Great. I’m ready.”
The receptionist stumbles in her haste to guide me down a candlelit hallway to yet another waiting area. Jesus Christ. I’m beginning to form a tic behind my eye when soft footsteps approach and another girl enters the room. Her head is bowed forward, so I don’t see her face at first, but interest swipes at my belly nonetheless.
And that’s unusual.
Not only because her hair is hiding her features, but because I generally don’t waste my time with women. When I need my itch scratched, I handle it with someone convenient—usually at one of the many clubs I invest in—and move on, preferably without names or numbers being exchanged. I’m never looking to meet a woman. They’re usually just scenery. As inconsequential as any of the men I encounter who aren’t making me money.
This girl, though. She smells like oranges and the scent cuts right through me, waking up my senses. It’s an unusual smell for me. Coffee, leather, alcohol, gasoline, blood. Those are smells to which I’m accustomed. Her fresh, citrus zing sends fingertips crawling down the front of my body and my cock reacts.
Then. Then she looks up at me and I start praying.
I don’t know what prayers sound like anymore, but my memory dredges them up from years of Catholic school and I silently trip through them, wondering what the fuck kind of magic she’s wielding.
Meadow, was it?
I’m rock hard behind my zipper. So fat and ready, I could come with one rough stroke of my fist. All because of that pillowy bottom lip, her freckled nose and eyes the color of a freshwater lake. Even her hair is turning me on and she’s got it in a ponytail, little sandy blonde-brown pieces framing her face. Her body isn’t even on display. She’s in a pristine white uniform that hangs loose around her curves, but I can still tell she’s got a dynamite rack. A pussy I definitely want to pound.
Richie’s words from earlier come back to me.
It’s not one of those happy ending deals, either. It’s a real, professional joint.
I guess I’ll be spending the next hour proving that shit wrong. When I want something, I go after it and I always get it. And I want Meadow like she’s the final inch of water in a canteen and I’ve been hiking in Death Valley.
She turns on the ball of her foot and I follow her toward a room, cursing silently over the two perky swells of her ass cheeks, the way they twitch. When she leads me inside and quietly shuts the door, I’m already unfastening my cuff links, ready to relieve the growing pressure in my groin. Maybe I’m presuming too much, too fast, but I’m a good-looking man and even if I wasn’t, the power I hold would guarantee Meadow gives me a very different kind of massage.