Authors: Tabitha Robbins
Tags: #mystery, #detective, #boss, #rich, #billionaire, #wealthy, #private investigator, #millionaire, #bodyguard
Chase had lost
someone, too. Not a parent. A good friend who should still be
walking around today. If not for him, Will Spencer’s wife would
still have a husband. Will’s son would still have his
stirred again, he watched her face as she drifted up from her
dreams. Then her eyes dragged open and understanding dawned before
she turned toward him and softly smiled. Stretching like a cat, she
curled up against him. With her nose and breasts pressed into him,
she mumbled something about it being Sunday and sleeping
Sundays,” he whispered, filing fingers through her bed
against his skin. “Who works Sundays?”
Guys who run
“Isn’t the idea of a men’s only club a little
their clubs. Look at the GFWC.”
Federation of Women’s Clubs is different. They help communities.
Give voices to people who wouldn’t otherwise get heard.”
He loved her
sense of right. “Well, now...you’re all social commentary this
saying...” she said, snuggling back in, “they don’t sit around
puffing cigars and playing 7 Card Stud.”
tightened. “Most of those men give bucket-loads to charity. All
She seemed to
let that sink in and then apologized. “Guess it’s more about me not
getting the whole elitist, sense-of-privilege thing.”
Chase. Although he wasn’t ready to confess that to anyone,
including Sammy. She was entitled to her opinion.
there’s anything wrong with providing a service,” she added.
“Catering to a need, if there’s one. Guess you only need a few
dozen fabulously wealthy men to sign up each year to keep the
He sat up and
ran a hand through his hair. “I assure you—my coffers do not
pushed up on one elbow. “Have you ever thought about expanding the
membership then? Maybe giving folk the opportunity to make wives
and girlfriends associate members or something?”
don’t want to ruffle any old school feathers?”
If you want
to know...yeah, that’s partly the reason.”
reason you won’t make our case a whole lot easier by simply asking
Garfield how his wife came by my ring.”
He looked at
her twice. “Getting impatient already?”
explained how we ought to play this. We need to establish the facts
explain.” She flopped back and stared at the ceiling. “And you’re
right... I guess...”
comes easy, Sammy.”
About to pull
on his jeans, Chase stopped and gave in to a grin. Curling over
her, he pressed a kiss upon her plump, warm smile. When it came to
sex—to making love—Sammy truly was something else.
kissed her deeply, she sighed and curled her arms around his neck.
“Does this mean you’re having the day off?”
nothing better, but, “Today I need to go into the office. Tomorrow
I’m paying your former building super a visit. Ferdinand Rompus
still looks after the same place.”
shuddered. “Creepy man. Smelled funny, too. Like
someone else.” Chase tried to sound casual. “The police report took
note of a boy in your year...David Green.”
was in my drama class. He was an okay kind of guy. Not so
memorable, except he was real self-conscious about a blackened eye
tooth. He hardly ever smiled.”
What was his
family life like?”
I only went
to his place once. His dad was a slob. Smoked pot.”
. “Did David have any siblings?” he
asked, already knowing. It hadn’t been difficult to
brother,” she said. “Don’t recall his name.”
it. The name was carved into his brain.
Did you ever
mention the ring to David?” Chase asked.
One night we
got smashed on beer, just the two of us. First and last time I ever
got drunk. I was having a hard time with a stupid teacher who was
riding my back. You know how things like that mean everything when
you’re a kid.” Her head angled as she remembered more. “I’ve never
been a hundred percent sure, but I feel I might’ve said something
that night. Around that time, I had this obsession thinking we
ought to sell the ring and live it up for a change.
What was the
ring insured for?”
It’s all in
those papers.” She ran a fingertip over his lips. “Mind if I come
along when you question Ferdinand?”
you said he creeped you out.”
nothing like life experience where learning one’s craft is
concerned. I’m dying to see a real P.I. in action.”
brushed her lips. “What do you think I was doing last
She pulled him
closer. “Just getting started.”
dropped Sammy home, she bounced out onto the pavement and tossed
out an invitation. God, she looked cute in those jeans and Giants
Tee. She looked even better out of them.
nights I usually go to a club of my own,” she said. “Wanna tag
will I pick you up?”
I’ll grab a
lift with a friend. Meet you there.” She gave an address. “Around
Just to warn
you...it’s a thousand times different to The Don. You might be a
“It’d take a lot.”
minutes later, Chase was behind his desk, sorting through figures
and more figures. But this morning it didn’t feel like such a slog.
As his pencil scanned the list of creditors and associated figures,
he even found himself whistling, that same tune Sammy had destroyed
on the drive home the night before. He couldn’t help it. He liked
everything about her, particularly the quirky stuff. He was
seriously looking forward to tonight.
walked in through his opened door, Chase put those thoughts
What are you
doing here on a Sunday?” he asked, surprised. Tessa worked Monday
I have to
put something together for the anniversary celebrations.
Invitations need to go out. I wanted to be certain...you’re still
opposed to the girls getting an invite?”
pencil again, he mumbled, “What is it with everyone
I woke up
this morning to someone suggesting we open up membership to
expression froze before she straightened and rolled back a
Chase took a
moment. Was Tessa cut over his reaction to the mixed gender invite
issue again, or to his slip about having had a guest stay with him
overnight? He hadn’t meant to put that out there. By the same
token, he had never indicated that he wanted any relationship with
Tessa other than the one they shared at the office.
As far as
these anniversary celebrations were concerned—he was over
You make the
decision, the arrangements,” he said. “Whatever you think best.
I’ll sign off on it.”
brightened. “So, dates can come?”
the hell not.
pleased heading out. “Can I get you a coffee?”
glanced up, she was standing by the door.
something else?” he asked.
I was going
out to grab a bite around twelve,” she said. “Care to join
He and Sammy
had skipped breakfast in favour of more time spent under the
sheets. Now his stomach rumbled. He could do with a big juicy steak
in an hour or so. But then he caught that glimmer in Tessa’s eye
and thought better of it. She didn’t need mixed signals. He didn’t
want to be blunt, either. He liked Tessa. Just not that
He tapped his
pencil on the sheet. “I need to get these figures done. Get some
creditors off our back.”
She wound a
bouncy chestnut wave behind a diamond-studded ear. “After work
He tried to
keep his expression neutral. “I have something on
wilted before she smiled again. “I’ll get that coffee.”
As she walked
out, he ignored a rear view of her snug red skirt. Tessa was
attractive, smart. And they
Then again, he
and Sammy worked together, too.
But soon, God
willing, the case of the courtesan’s ruby ring would be solved.
After that...there wasn’t a reason in the world he and Sammy
shouldn’t continue to see one another. Now that he’d given a green
light to the extended invite idea, she might like to come to the
club’s anniversary bash. Although that meant her battling the
temptation of cornering Hector Garfield…
Hell, maybe he
ought to grow a pair, like Sammy had suggested, and simply ask
Garfield about the ring himself.
as Chase walked in through the main area of Sammy’s nightclub, he
spotted her straight off. Standing in the muted light with other
patrons by a bar table, she wore a black, light-weight knitted top
with dark tights that pulled his eyes right out of his head. Her
hair was wild—mussed with the occasional streak of bright pink. On
another woman, the look might have come across as trying too hard.
On Sammy, it was a knock out.
When she saw
him, her arm shot up. She waved madly before wading through the
negligible crowd, which was enjoying the heavy-on-base music. The
tantalizing sway of her hips was unconscious. Her smile was
electric—wide and locked-in. As she joined him, her special scent
wrapped around his senses and he was dragged in all the more. He
reached to bring her close; he wanted to kiss her until her toes
curled in those sensational high-heeled boots.
hesitated. Did they have that kind of relationship? Clearly she
didn’t expect a “Hi, honey!” smooch because she simply snatched up
his hand and tugged him back toward her table. Raising her voice to
be heard over the music, she glanced back over her
particularly hot tonight, Mr. Wild.”
pretty edible yourself,” he replied.
provocative grin, she dropped back and walked alongside of him.
Somehow their fingers loosened and hands dropped away.
Sorry I’m a
little late,” he said. “Leo dropped over.”
He was down.
He had to get rid of his assistant. Too much of a
mix business with pleasure, I take it.”
you didn’t want to get involved with me, either.”
First time in
his life he didn’t mind being wrong.
Sitting on a
stool at the table, a sultry brunette in a long, dark dress took
note of their approach. When her indolent false-lashed gaze slowly
blinked, Chase was reminded of a pampered cat. Sammy made the
meet Chase Wild.”
The man with
a club of his own.” Laycee nodded at his shoulder. “You have a
tattoo I need to see.” Forearms folded on the tabletop, Laycee
leaned forward. “I’m always intrigued by big snakes.”
Chase edged a
look Sammy’s way. Had she told her friend the details surrounding
their first meeting in the locker room or that they’d gotten naked
When a mega
buff guy sauntered up, Laycee’s “too cool for school” mask slipped
as she gripped the man’s impressive shoulder.
of my almost happy customers,” Laycee said.
extended his hand and they shook. “You must be Chase. Jay Scott.”
He sat beside Laycee. “Guess we’re talking ink.”
on, the motor running,” Laycee explained, “when Jay suffered a
sudden change of heart.”
sure, but under that well-groomed stubble, Jay might have blushed.
No need to embarrass the poor guy more. Or get him upset. This guy
was muscle heaped on muscle.
into stencils, too,” Sammy said. “And some pretty weird tools. You
should see his pliers.” Heading off, Sammy tossed over her
shoulder, “I’ll grab us a couple of beers.”