Good Enough (Meet Me in Montana 3) - Page 67

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Wasn’t the kind of thing I wanted to do with an audience, least of all her brother.

“Nah, I’m going to call it an early night. That six a.m. alarm sucks balls.” Tibbs waved goodbye, the sigh of relief coming out fast. “And if you bring anyone home tonight, try and keep it down.

Yeah, there was no danger of that.

I nodded, waving them both goodbye as I got into my car. The Mustang roared to life as I tossed my phone on the passenger seat—the offending message still fucking displayed on the screen—and pulled away.

Presley didn’t get off work until two, sometimes three, which meant I knew exactly where to find her. And while she could totally blow me off, I wasn’t going to let it slide like I had those choice words she’d texted me.

I’d been a decent guy for fuck’s sake, why the hell was she fighting me on this?

Diablo was in Midtown, so it would have been faster to walk there than take my car. But other than the questions it would have raised had I gone for an evening stroll, I liked the idea of having my wheels so I could drive her home. Sure, she’d told her brother she was going to be hitching a ride with someone else, but I had a hunch our conversation wasn’t going to be a three-minute chat at the bar. Probably best we had it in private, even if that meant I was going to be tired as fuck for my shift tomorrow. Still, sometimes that shit couldn’t be helped.

The employee parking lot was around the back, my Mustang pulling in alongside the cars of Presley’s various staff. She didn’t own the club, but she might as well have. The owner was some big high roller from Hong Kong who pretty much gave her the keys and told her to have at it. Not that the dude hadn’t made back his investment and then some, Diablo turning into one of the hottest clubs in the city under Presley’s control. And regardless of how beautiful she was, there wasn’t a person alive who could deny she was one hell of a businesswoman.

The noise spilling out into the parking lot was minimal, the thick walls containing both the music and whatever else was going on inside the club. And had I not been fairly familiar with Diablo and its layout, I might have totally missed the small side entrance the staff used.

My hand yanked on the door, pulling it open to be hit with a wall of sound. The entrance was obscured by a partition, hiding it from the general public and giving me a minute to adjust before being assaulted with the rest of the activity from the club. Not that it mattered, I hadn’t even made it two feet before some asshole grabbed me by the shirt.

“Hey, it’s me, Leighton.” I raised my hands, recognizing it was one of Presley’s security goons. They weren’t so much as a crew as they were a small army, all of them close to seven foot and made linebackers look like they needed to hit a gym. “I just parked out back.”

He brought his face in closer, checking me out before releasing the grip on my shirt. “Should have come in the front. You were ten seconds away from getting put through a wall.”

Yeah, no shit.

“Noted. I’ll remember for next time.” I straightened my shirt, wondering if the guy wouldn’t be in a better mood if he laid off the steroids. “Presley around?”

“She is. Wait at the bar.” He pointed to it, in case I was blind or stupid and couldn’t locate it myself.

“I’ll just go to her office.” I tipped my head to the opposite direction. Assuming if she wasn’t on the floor, she was at her desk. And I’d found my way in there with Tibbs at least a dozen times. Probably for the best if she was there too, the conversation we needed to have, not for public consumption.

He shook his head, taking a step closer and folding his arms across his chest. “I said, you’ll wait at the bar.”

And as much as I wanted nothing more than to prove to the asshole that I wasn’t some dumbass who couldn’t handle himself in a fight, I hadn’t come to Diablo to cause a scene. Not to mention that if one of the staff called in the brawl, I’d have NYPD crawling up my ass and have a lot of explaining to do. Best to avoid that, at least in the short term.

“Sure.” I forced a smile, wondering if his hostility was on account his balls had probably shriveled up and he could no longer get hard. “If you could let her know I’m here, that would be good.”

Knowing perfectly well being treated like the help would piss him off, I chuckled as I headed to the bar. Besides, chances were Presley had eyes on us already with her fancy surveillance system. And I wasn’t leaving until we talked.


“BOSS,” BENNETT RAPPED at my door, “got a minute?”

A minute was exactly what I didn’t have.

I’d spent more of my evening in my office than I’d have liked, trying to refine my pitch for Diablo’s expansion. My plans made harder considering my head wasn’t a hundred percent in the game. I hated I was distracted; I’d been so good at keeping my personal life out of my head when I walked through the club doors. But tonight . . . well, it had been more than a challenge. And while most people would have been content with managing one of the most successful clubs in the city, I wanted more. I refused to let my plans be derailed by my deadbeat ex or by my possibly—not that I’d felt that way last night—poorly chosen one-night stand.

Sighing, I pushed the button under my desk that unlocked my office door. The security in the club had always been next level, but since Lewis, the ex in question, had recently taken up breaking and entering, I was glad for the extra measures. “You get thirty seconds, and the clock is ticking. Don’t make me fire you tonight.”

Bennett knew I was kidding, on top of being the head of my security team, we’d also become pretty good friends. And while he stood close to seven foot and weighed more than a compact car, underneath that scary exterior was a mama’s boy who had an amazing heart. Lord, the guy even took her to church on Sundays, though he’d probably kill me if I’d ever mentioned it at work.

His big mouth spread into a grin, his eyebrow raising as he walked in and closed the door behind him. “You threaten me every night, Presley. One of these days, you’re either going to have to follow through or I’m going to start thinking you ain’t got the balls.”

“C’mon, B. You know that, despite my appearance, balls aren’t something I lack.” I smirked back. “Which is why I’m going to open up Diablo 2.0 in the Meatpacking district, and convince David to let me buy in.”

I hadn’t breathed a word to anyone other than Bennett about my plans for the expansion or the cash-for-capital strategy I was working on. But while David Cheng—the billionaire who had more money than he could ever use in fifty lifetimes—didn’t need my investment, I was done building someone else’s empire.

Bennett rolled his eyes. “Stop trying to make the rest of us look bad. Jesus, at twenty-six, all I was thinking about was getting laid and having a good time. I thought only closet nerds and teenage geniuses wanted to be entrepreneurs.”

“Who says getting laid, having a good time and being an entrepreneur have to be mutually exclusive?” I laughed. “And considering you had your own security firm at twenty-six, I’d say we aren’t all that different.”

He shrugged, raising a brow. “You think we should get married and have kids? Settle down?”

“That’s the worst proposal I’ve ever heard. You didn’t even get down on one knee,” I scoffed, rolling my eyes.

Bennett laughed. “You know that wasn’t what I meant.”

I loved how uncomplicated things were with him, how we could toggle between business and personal stuff and none of it felt awkward. He knew about Lewis breaking into my apartment, and how a few months earlier he’d pulled a gun on me, which had me finally kicking him out for good. But he didn’t coddle me, making sure I knew he was there for whatever I needed, without making me feel like the scared little girl everyone assumed I should be.

“So . . . is that why you interrupted me? To tell me I should have a better work/life balance?” I asked, honestly surprised that he’d come to my office solely for a philosophical chat.

He smirked, the cocky look on his face making me slightly unsettled. “Nope, just wanted to see if you’d pulled a fire alarm. Clearly, you haven’t checked the monitors.”

Goddamn it.

I hadn’t checked the monitors, too buried in spreadsheets, cost reports and prospective real estate sites to give the

m the attention I usually did. But I swear, as much as I loved and appreciated him caring, if the hovering didn’t stop, my parents were going to find themselves short a son.

“Tell Tibbs—”

“Not your brother.” Bennett cut me off, grinning wider. “It’s the other one. The one whose tongue hits the floor every time he gets eyes on you. Caught him sneaking in the staff side entrance and was ten seconds from laying him out. Of course, I didn’t know if you wanted the pleasure.”

Jared. Leighton.

Of course.

Because sending me a text to apologize after we’d had sex was what every woman wanted. Especially when it was from the guy who featured in almost all your teenage fantasies. The same guy you’d harbored deep and dirty thoughts about for longer than was reasonable. And boy, every single one of those dirty thoughts hadn’t even come close to how good it had been.

Pity he had no spine and cared too much what anyone else thought. I’d have totally been into cueing up my fantasies and playing them out, one by one.

“You thought I might want to lay him out?” I rose slowly, wondering if it was somehow written all over my face that my ride home hadn’t stopped with the drive. There was no way anyone could have known considering I hadn’t told a soul. Unless Leighton had opened his big mouth, and judging by his need to keep it between us, I’d say that was highly unlikely.

“Presley, don’t pretend like making men piss down their legs isn’t a turn on for you.” Bennett laughed, my body relaxing as he continued. “You love it, so if you want to read him the riot act, I’ll let you do the honors. Just make sure he comes through the front from now on. Not like we ever make him or anyone else from your brother’s company pay the cover.”

That was true, which begged the question why he’d been trying to sneak in. Oh, and I still had no idea why he’d come in the first place, unless it was to humiliate me further by telling me to my face what a mistake last night had been.

Tags: Kelly Elliott Meet Me in Montana Romance