Graveyard Shifts: A Pat Wyatt Novel (4 page)

BOOK: Graveyard Shifts: A Pat Wyatt Novel
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I almost screamed for him to stop and have me again but decided against it. I just wanted to watch him and his fast hands at work, for him to memorize and immortalize every inch of me with his charcoal.

He looked up at me again for a brief moment and then continued. “You can talk to me,” he finally said, “if you would like.”

“How long has it been since you’ve sketched a woman?” I asked feeling like Kate Winslet in
Titanic
. Strange, I know. But trust me, there is nothing better than to be looked at like art.

He smirked. “You are the first woman in many years that I have felt compelled to draw.”

That was the best compliment I had ever gotten, and I bit my lower lip. “Why is that, do you think?”

“I do not know,” he said, glancing at me. “Maybe it is because of the way your body is shaped.”

I nodded. “Yes, I’ve been told that I’m not shaped well.” That I was told by my ex-fiancé when I caught him cheating on me. He’d said that he wanted a real woman, not a blueberry.

His hands scrapped across the paper. “On the contrary,” he corrected me. “Your body is sturdy. Your breasts are well rounded, as are your hips. Your stomach is flat and curves inward from the side to make a natural waist. Your legs and thighs are long and perfectly rounded. Not skinny like those toothpicks you see in those magazines. Arms slender.” His hand moved. “Shoulders proud, hands dainty, chin and neck seemly, nose…” he paused looking up. “Perfect. Pouty lips, skin as flawless and creamy white as any skin can be, and your eyes are a beautiful gold and green. In my opinion, Patricia, you are shaped too well. And I only hope that I can do you justice.” When he said that, he glanced up with the same fire I had in me. But all in those icy blue eyes.

I was speechless, and the way he had spoken made me amorous in ways I could never describe. It also made me embarrassed, and I had to look down at the mattress so my hair would obscure the blush. I took a deep breath and when I felt the heat dissipate, I quickly went back to my position before I messed up his drawing.

“Thank you,” I said after a moment of silence. “It means a lot that you said that.”

He waved me off. “No need for thanks. I was only describing the truth.”

I laughed slightly, shaking my head. “Maybe to you,” I scoffed.

“I do not understand you,” he said with a shake of his head. “You are the most beautiful creature, and yet you do not believe it when people tell you so. Why is that?”

“Well,” I breathed, “it’s because I’ve been told how ordinary I am. And to hear something else just seems fake to me. It’s as if they’re trying to sell me a mule, and they keep telling me it’s a horse. The point being I’m a mule, not a mare.” Saying it like that made me feel horrible. But sometimes you have to bare all and darn the consequences.

He looked up at me, his face unnerving. “Why would you say such a thing?” he asked, voice dripping with concern.

I shrugged. “I really don’t know. Sometimes things pop into my head, and I say them aloud. It’s a habit of mine that’s hard to break.”

He looked back down at the sketch. “That is not what I meant,” he clarified. “You honestly do not think that you are beautiful?”

“I honestly don’t,” I answered, not upset by it.

He chuckled. “I thought you were being modest before, but now I see you are serious.”

“Why do you sound so shocked?” I asked, looking at my hand.

“Because it is a rarity to find a woman who is as smart and talented as you are who has
true
modesty,” he stated with great conviction.

“You don’t know me well enough to say that.” I had whispered, as I went back to watching him, but instead of his hand, I watched his facial expressions. He seemed so intent on what he was doing, but something in his face suggested the drawing wasn’t the only thing he was interested in.

I was antsy. “How much longer?” I asked, as the fire burned a little too brightly.

He frowned in concentration. “Why?”

“No particular reason,” I sighed.

He stared up at me. “Smile for me, please.”

I tilted the edges of my mouth upward, and his eyes widened. “What?” I stopped smiling. He was scaring me.

He threw the pad aside, along with the charcoal, and I saw that his hand was blackened when he moved closer. He ran his stained fingers along my shoulder and down my side. “You are as beautiful as the stars themselves,” he said, kissing my neck furiously.

I wrapped my arms around him, lying on my back as kissed me. Then I felt his darkened hand somewhere else.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” he asked against my lips.

I sighed, arching my back into him. “You were busy with your sketch. And I didn’t want to bother you.”

He shook his head, and his black hair fell into his eyes. “So you yearned in silence? Next time,” he paused, brushing his lips against my jaw, “stop me.”

“I wouldn’t want to if you paid me,” I whispered raggedly, and I placed my hands on his cold back. “Why are you so cold?” The question didn’t come out right, but he didn’t seem to mind.

His hand began to pick up its pace as he chuckled. He knew what I meant. “It is because I need you to warm me up.”

I smiled, and I could feel my face get hot. Then I forced him to kiss me again. Our bodies moved as our limbs intertwined, and we began that wonderful dance of sex or (as Samuel sighed in my ear) making love.

.

chapter

THREE

I jumped awake from a dreamless sleep when I heard a loud banging.

“Samuel,” I scolded groggily, “don’t do that. You scared me.” But when I moved my hands around the bed, he wasn’t there. My eyes shot open, and I searched the room. “Samuel?” I held the sheets to my body as I scanned the bed, waiting for him to materialize out of thin air. Then my eyes fell upon a handwritten note on his pillow.

My love,
it read, and I rolled my eyes. I still couldn’t understand how I could be his love in such a short period of time.

I had to go to work, but I wanted to wish you a good day and to reiterate how perfectly wonderful you were last night.

That made me smile, and I bit my lower lip, remembering all too well what we had done to each other.

See you tonight. Yours now and forever,

S.

P.S. I took the liberty of sending for your things.

I shook my head. He was a real sweetheart. Then the banging came again, and I realized someone was knocking on the door.

“Coming,” I said, bounding out of bed, but when I looked down at myself, I saw that I was still naked. “Just a minute,” I shouted as the knock came again.

I needed a robe. So I ran around the room like a chicken without a head. And as cliché as that sounds, it was true. But before I could freak out entirely, there on the red reading chair was a black silk robe.

I relaxed, placing my hand over my mouth in order to cover the goofy smile that took over my face. “I think I love this man,” I whispered, putting it on. Then I thought about what I’d just said as I walked, and I dropped my hands to open the door. The silk brushed against my skin, and it felt like a symphony to my muscles.

“Hello, madam,” an elderly balding gentleman said from the other side of the door. He was shorter than I was (and I’m only five-foot-four) and paunchy. His face reminded me of Santa Claus, but he wore a black suit instead of a red one. He had cherry red cheeks, a button nose, and a double-dimpled chin. “My name is Charles,” he continued with his English accent. “I am Mr. Satané’s assistant.”

I nodded. He looked more like a butler to me. “Hi. I’m—” I began, and he cut me off with a wave of his hand.

“You’re Patricia Wyatt,” he said looking away from me. “Mr. Satané’s wife.”

I narrowed my eyes at him. “How did you know that?” I was feeling a headache coming on.

He bowed, smiling toward the floor. “I had the pleasure of getting your things from your apartment,” he explained.

“Thank you, Charles,” I craned my neck downward, trying to look into his face. It was sweet of Samuel to send him, but it was also creepy having someone I didn’t know looking in my apartment.

“You’re quite welcome, my lady.” Then he took my hand in his and kissed it. I felt like I was the queen or something with his “my lady” comment.

I slid my hand from his, a little bugged by all the courtesies. “Call me Pat,” I insisted. People don’t treat other people like that anymore. And I tried to figure out where Charles and Samuel had gotten their manners from. I mean, maybe it was just me, but they seemed a little old fashioned.

“As you wish,” he agreed, bowing lower. Looking at him, I thought I would have to help him up, but he proved me wrong by standing gracefully. “Now,” he gestured over to the stairs, “if you would be so kind as to follow me, I will show you to your breakfast.” He moved quickly, and I followed without argument. But once at the top of the stairs, he looked over his shoulder at me. So I smiled and he nodded, turning to walk down.

That was disturbing, and it took all my self-restraint not to run out of the front door screaming. But something stopped me in my tracks, and I felt a cold breeze whirl around me. It made me feel happy and then too hungry to try to leave.

“This way,” Charles announced as he led me to the right into a sitting room.

Last night must have been very distracting because I hadn’t seen any of this. The room contained white upholstered wingback chairs and an antique scarlet sofa around a cherry coffee table on my left. Then I noticed a piano next to the far right wall, and as I looked ahead, I saw two very large sliding doors. And you now know why this place reminded me of a castle.

Charles walked over to the doors. And when he pulled them apart, my mouth dropped. Inside was a large black-and-white dining hall. It had a black iron chandelier hanging over a black round table that would have made King Arthur jealous. There was a white marble fireplace with a black mantel to my left, while a full wall mirror reflected the room’s beauty on my right. But the thing that caught my attention was the mountain of food in front of a white chair facing the mirror.

The food was making my mouth water just looking at it. “Oh my goodness gracious,” I gasped. “Is this for me?”

“We don’t get a lot of guests who eat,” Charles explained, and I wondered what he meant. “I’m sorry if Chef has overdone it.”

“Don’t be,” I said, as he slid the chair out for me. I sat, inhaling the sweet and salty scent of the fresh fruit, muffins, pancakes, sausage, and bacon. There was a lot more, but at that point I was only interested in digging in. “Wow,” I breathed.

“If there is anything else I can get for you—” He began to bow again.

“Yes,” I interrupted that ridiculous gesture. If only he lived in the twenty-first century. Oh, wait. He did. “Coffee, please,” I begged. “Lots and lots of coffee.”

“Will do.” Even though I interrupted the bow, he finished it, and then he left, backing out of the room as if I was a princess. And in a minute he was gone.

Gosh, Tina would die of she saw me. “Oh, no,” I covered my face with my hands. I’d totally forgotten about Tina. She must be worried sick. I have to call her. That is, if I could find a phone.

I got up from the table searching for one but there wasn’t one in sight. “Charles?” I called. “Charles?” I said again. No answer.

I pushed my chair out and went into the sitting room continuing my search in there. That’s when I slapped my forehead. My cell. But as I glanced around the room, I couldn’t find my purse.

“Where the heck is it?” I asked myself, running my fingers through my hair. I was so frustrated.

Hoping it wasn’t still in Samuel’s car, I searched the floor, keeping my head down. Then as I walked further into the sitting room, someone bumped into me.

It felt like my skull hit a boulder. “Holy mother,” I hissed, my head now pounding under my fingers. “That hurt!”

“Are you all right?” a concerned southern male voice asked.

My eyes closed to the pain as I stood upright. “Fine,” I managed to breathe. “You just hit my skull.”

His hands wrapped around my shoulders as he helped me sit in one of the white chairs. “Here,” he said letting go. “You’ll feel better in a minute.”

“Thanks,” I said, and I opened my eyes to see an incredibly handsome man in front of me. I started at his feet at first and saw that he had on a pair of white Converse. Then as I scanned upward, I took him in. He had on a pair of torn jeans with paint on them and a gray t-shirt that looked like he’d had it forever (the holes gave that away). But what really caught my attention was his body.

He looked around five-foot-ten, with a lean build and rugged good looks. The man had dirty blond hair that fell into his eyes, and his face was very pleasant to look at. Five o’clock shadow early in the morning, straight nose, and a square jaw. He had
very
nice lips too.

“Who are you?” I slurred brilliantly.

He jerked, obviously distracted by something. “Sorry,” he smiled slightly. “My name is Michael Wolf. I’m Sam’s attorney.”

“Sam?” I asked, confused, and then remembered that was my husband’s name. “Oh.” I shook my head. “Samuel. Right. Well, it’s very nice to meet you.” And it was. This man was very attractive. “I’m Pat Wyatt, Samuel’s wife.” With that, I held out my hand for him to shake, but he just looked at me.

“You’re his
wife
?” His voice and brows shot up. I don’t think he was expecting that.

“Yes,” I said slowly. “Is that a problem?” He must have been suspicious in order to ask a question like that. And the way he said it, it took all I had not to get up and hit him.

“Uh…no,” he said, regaining himself with a couple of blinks and shaking his head. “I just didn’t realize…that is I didn’t think…were you lookin’ for somethin’?” he finally asked.

I had to admit he was charming, with the stumbling over his words and the very southern “somethin’” at the end of his question. It was weird because he made me want to flirt, which I hadn’t done in ages, and it scared me.

My face grew hot as a dirty thought popped into my head. “My purse,” I said. “I have to find my phone.”

He pulled his out of his back pocket and said, “Here,” as he handed it to me. “You can use mine, Mrs. Satané.” The way he said my married name sounded as though he was choking on it.

“Thanks.” I smiled, trying to be nice. But when our hands touched, my whole body tingled and the smile faded. “And call me Pat.”

Our eyes met when I took the phone from him, and I saw how startlingly green his were. I must have stared for about a minute before I looked down to dial the hotel where Tina and I were supposed to be staying.

“Excuse me,” I whispered, getting off the chair. Then I sprinted into the foyer to get away from this Michael Wolf person.

“Hello. Saint Mark’s hotel,” a very bored clerk answered the phone. “This is Lisa speaking. How may I direct your call?” Boy, she was a ray of sunshine. But not even her nasty mood could bring me down from my high.

“Room 204, please,” I rushed into the phone so the lawyer wouldn’t hear. I didn’t know why, but I felt it was something I had to do.

“I’ll patch you through,” she coughed, putting me on hold. At least I was back in the twenty-first century again.

“Gee,” I rolled my eyes at the hold music, “thanks.” I waited as it rang once, twice, three times… “Pick-up!”

“Mmm?” Tina moaned groggily. Wow, she must have been
so
worried. “Hello? Who is it?”

“Tina,” I said, looking over my shoulder to see if the Wolf was in the other room. He was. “It’s me, Pat.”

“Patty! Where are you?” she asked through sleepy anger. That was more like it.

“Do you remember that man last night?” I asked, almost giddy with emotion, which was new for me. Actually, everything was new, even the scene in the other room with Mr. Hot Wolf Guy.

She yawned. “How could I forget? He kinda followed you out.”

“Well…” I paused, thinking about how to tell her. She would have fallen right over if I just came out with it.

“Well, what?” She perked up, which is when I knew I could tell her.

“Do you remember what you said about me getting married?” I asked, and I had to admit that wasn’t the best thing to start with. Hey, it’s what I had at the moment.

“Mm-hm,” I could hear the smile in her voice.

“Well,” I said, grinning like the fool that I was, “you don’t have to worry about me anymore.”

“What?” she asked surprised. “You did not!”

“I did.” I nodded vigorously. Then I felt a cold breeze caress my chest. As I glanced down, I saw that the top of my robe was open, and it showed between my breasts. That was why Mr. Wolf-Man had looked at me so strangely. So I quickly closed the gap with my newly ringed hand, which seemed to be heavier than usual considering that I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, and I quickly brought my attention back to the conversation at hand.

“Oh my God!” she squealed, overly excited. “I am
so
jealous right now. Was he good in bed?” she asked seriously.

I shook my head. Only Tina would ask that. “Good? How about fantastic!” The laugh came out of my throat like the involuntary spasm it was, and it hurt a little.

“Are you actually laughing?” she asked, sounding shocked. And who could blame her? After all, I hadn’t laughed, cried, or had any other true emotion since my mother’s funeral.

The laughs just kept coming. “I can’t help myself,” I whispered.

“Yay!” She clapped with enthusiasm. “So when are you coming to get your car? You know, so you can give me all the dirty details in person.”

“I don’t know when I can. You see,” I paused looking over my shoulder in order to see Mr. Wolf staring at me. And when I waved, he did the same. I noticed that he looked mortified, so I turned back to the conversation. “I’m in the Hamptons,” I whispered even lower.

“What do you mean,” she whispered back, “you’re in the Hamptons? And why are we whispering?” That was a good question. And I didn’t know the answer.

“Exactly what I said. I’m in his house,” I clarified, “in the Hamptons. And the reason why I’m whispering is that I don’t want someone to hear this conversation.”

“Who’s the someone?” she asked in a whisper, even though she didn’t have to.

I checked over my shoulder again, but he was nowhere to be seen. “His lawyer,” I answered. “Someone named Michael Wolf.”

“Oh, okay.” She yawned, and then added, “Wait, did you say you were in his house in the Hamptons?” She paused, taking a deep breath. “Oh my God.” Realization hit her hard. “How rich is he?”

I placed my hand on my hip. “Why do you automatically assume—”

“Stop with the hand on the hip,” she interrupted, knowing me all too well, “and just tell me!” When Tina was impatient, she was downright indignant.

“By the looks of this house,” I considered quickly, “I’d say very.”

“Oh god.” Her pout was even obvious over the phone. “Now I’m really jealous.”

Her saying that gave me a pang of guilt. After all, she was older than I was, and I was sure she felt more than a little depressed. “It’s okay, Tina,” I said, trying to reassure her. “You’ll find someone.” Just then, I had the strangest feeling I was being watched. Sure enough, I glanced over my shoulder to see the Wolf approaching. “Listen,” I turned back to the conversation, “I have to go. I’ll talk to you later.”

“Okay, babe.” She winked through the phone. “Don’t strain yourself.”

The laughs would not quit, and in that instant I really wished they would. “Good-bye, Tina.”

“Bye-bye,” she sung, and I pressed the end button, turning back around to see the lawyer only a few steps away.

BOOK: Graveyard Shifts: A Pat Wyatt Novel
3.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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