“I …” I don’t know what to think, what to say. I can only gape at him like a stupid fish. He’s acting like we’re in some sort of relationship and he can’t believe I want to end it. Talk about confusing.
“Right.” His expression shutters closed and that’s it. He’s thrown up his own wall and it’s a doozy. One I’ll probably never be able to climb. “See ya around,” he mumbles as he turns and walks off.
I watch him leave, desperate to call his name, ask him to come back. Ask him to stay one more night with me. It’s amazing how one little thing changes the course of your day. Not even an hour ago Max had me naked by a waterfall, his mouth latched onto my nipple, his hand between my legs, his cock heavy and insistent against my thigh. I’d begged him to fill me, to fuck me, whispering his name over and over, my hands in his hair, my body undulating beneath his.
And now he’s walking away from me without a backward glance. His shoulders are stiff, anger coming off him in obvious waves. I ruined it. He ruined it, with his stupid phone call and the angry woman and how he tried to hide information from me.
I don’t need a man like that. No woman does. He’s nothing but trouble.
But so am I. I don’t know how to look for anything else.
THE TIME HAS COME. I need to get my shit together and temporarily earn back Lily’s trust. Suck up to her, sweet-talk her, tell her how sorry I am, make up a few lies, get her in bed, fuck her until she passes out, and then take that fucking laptop once and for all and get the hell off this island.
That’s my plan. Tonight, I’m going to put it into place.
I bought a one-way ticket to Maui since I had no idea how long this would take me, so I called the airline the moment I got back to my room yesterday and booked the earliest flight out of here I could find. I’m going to end up hanging out at LAX for way too many hours before I can get on the connecting flight home, but fuck it. I had no choice.
Pilar Vasquez destroyed my original plan.
Bitch blew it when she called me. Hell, I blew it by taking her call. Should never have answered it. I could have been inside Lily for the rest of the night, but no. I had to give in and answer my fucking phone, scared out of my mind that woman would have kept calling and calling and calling …
Thank Christ I never plugged her actual name in my contacts list. I gave her a fake name, Patty Villa, because it’s what I always do with clients. I take extra precautions and though yeah, my phone is password protected, that doesn’t mean shit.
She gave me an ultimatum. And I hate ultimatums with every fucking thing I have. But I could tell by the tone of her voice that she meant business. She screamed at first, but then her tone dropped, became very even and low and downright menacing. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up when she made her threat.
Women don’t scare me. Hell, no one really scares me. But what she said terrified me—and made me worry for Lily’s safety.
I’ll tell her. I’ll send her a text and tell her you’re there because of me. That you’re trying to trick her. I’ll blow your cover wide open. I can get the laptop another way. Hire someone else. Someone smarter. Someone meaner. Someone who can get the fucking job done.
That was it. I couldn’t risk it. The woman has no boundaries, no remorse, no conscience. What if she sent someone after Lily who’s determined to get that laptop and the information inside it, no matter what it takes? By force, if necessary?
I may be an asshole who’s using her, but I would never physically hurt her.
Emotionally? Yeah, pretty sure I already did that. Not proud of it, either.
After I arranged my flight and made a few other necessary phone calls, I texted Pilar and let her know I would be back in New York within forty hours and would bring her what she wanted. She didn’t call me back; she didn’t rant at me via text, something she’s an expert at. Her answer was a simple Good.
That’s it. Good. But nothing feels good about any of this.
I tossed and turned most of the night, trying to figure out a way to get back in Lily’s good graces, and came up empty. She was so pissed. Worse, she looked upset. Hurt. Like I’d disappointed her, which I’m sure I did. I couldn’t come up with a good explanation beyond my work is confidential and it’s complicated. That sounds fucking lame when you’re lying in bed in the middle of the night. Staring at the ceiling, full of regret.
Sleep came fitfully, and the morning sun blazing through the uncovered sliding glass door—yeah, I was a dumbass and forgot to shut the curtain—made me feel like a vampire. Hissing and squinting and cursing the light as I groaned and threw up my arm to try and block it, reminding me of Lily when she woke up yesterday morning.
Fuck. Lily. Just thinking about her hurts.
I took a shower and halfheartedly stroked my cock to relieve my morning wood but I wasn’t into it, so I gave up.
My dick had a mind of its own and only wanted Lily.
I plotted and I planned through the rest of my shower. As I packed up what little shit I’d brought to Maui and set my suitcase by the front door. I went to the hotel restaurant and ate breakfast by myself, catching up on email and making a few calls, trying my best to look busy and unobtrusive because I don’t want anyone to notice me.
No way do I want to be remembered.
Lily is nowhere to be found and I’m disappointed, though I should be realistic. This resort is huge, filled to the brim with singles and couples, all of them crowding around the pool or the restaurants or the bars. Walking the grounds, jogging, headed to the beach. The place is completely overrun with horny people looking to score, either with the person they brought or someone new and exotic. A stranger they can fuck during a vacation and forget about once they go back to reality.