“Thank you for going tomorrow.”

I crinkled my nose and smiled, “That’s what friends are for.”


I walked in the door and leaned up against it sliding down till I was on the floor. I cupped my face in my hands and thought about the fire that ignited in my body when he touched me. I was headed for trouble, and I already knew it.

Chapter 10

I awoke the next morning to a text message from Peyton saying she was on her way over with coffee and bagels. I rolled out of bed just as Peyton was ready to break down the door.

“Some friend you are,” she spouted as she flew past me to set the coffee and bag on the table.

“What did I do?” I yawned.

“I waited all night for you to call me and tell me about your day with Connor and you never did,” she pouted. Peyton loved to pout, and she was such a natural at it. She once told me that she could make a guy do anything just by pouting.

“How did you know about yesterday?”

She looked down and took a sip of her coffee. “Kyle told me,” she said as if it was no big deal.

“WHAT?” I scowled. Peyton pulled a bagel out of the bag and handed it to me.

-- Advertisement --

“He called me and said he saw the two of you in Central Park and wanted to know how long you have been seeing each other; I could tell he was jealous.”

“Who the hell does Kyle think he is? Did he forget he is the one who left me and he is the one moving on by dating a plastic bitch?”

She leaned over table, “I told him Connor was your f**k buddy and to get over it.”

I lightly grabbed her arm, “You did not.”

Peyton held up two fingers; I swear to God I did.”

I rolled my eyes as I held my coffee cup in my hands. “Who does he think he is?”

She looked at me as she got up to get a knife from the drawer. “He’s a douchebag Elle, nothing more.”

I laughed and was startled by a knock at the door. I strangely looked over at Peyton and got up to see who it was. I looked out the peep-hole and saw a tall attractive woman standing there. I opened the door as I was still in my pajama pants and tank top.

“Miss Ellery Lane?” The woman asked.

“Yes, I’m Ellery Lane.” She pushed her way through the door.

“Very good,” she said as she waved her hand and 3 other women with garment bags followed behind her.

“Umm, what’s going on?” I looked over at Peyton as she sat at the table with her mouth open.

“Miss Lane, I’m Camille, and we’re from Saks Fifth Avenue. Mr. Black sent us to have you pick a dress for tonight’s event. He described you, so we chose which dresses we felt would suit you.”

“Holy shit Elle,” Peyton said.

I stood there as the women unpacked the garment bags pulling out the most beautiful and expensive dresses I’ve ever seen. I tried on each one feeling like Cinderella. Peyton was giving me thumbs up at the dresses she liked. The tall woman applauded as I tried on each dress. The last dress I put on was a Badgley Mischka black strapless lace gown. I gasped when I looked in the mirror because I had never worn anything more beautiful. Peyton had a tear in her eye as she took my hands in hers and looked me over.

“You look absolutely stunning Elle.”

“It’s too much, I can’t accept this or let Connor do this for me.”

Camille walked over and handed me a pair of Jimmy Choo strappy heels. “Put these on dear and let the man buy you a new dress; trust me, if he did not think you were worth it, he would not have done this.” I looked at Peyton and took the shoes from Camille.

“Connors not a douchebag let him buy you a dress and definitely those shoes,” Peyton smiled.

I rolled my eyes as I stood in a designer dress and Jimmy Choos. I felt incredible. I grabbed my phone and sent Connor a quick text.

“Hi it’s me Ellery, thank you for the beautiful dress, but it is too much and I do not feel right accepting it.” Seconds later he replied.

“You’re welcome and it is not too much, see you at 6pm sharp.”

I smiled at Camille, “I like this one,” I said as I ran my hands down my body. She snapped her fingers signaling the other women to pack up the other dresses.

“Mr. Black will be immensely pleased you chose his favorite,” Camille smiled as she walked out the door. I stood in the middle of the room trying to figure out what Camille meant by his favorite dress. Did he go to the store himself and pick a bunch out for her to bring to me? Then I wondered if this was a habit of his for all his women.

“You’re overthinking Elle,” Peyton said as she unzipped the back of my dress. “Go put your other clothes back on; you do not want to ruin this before tonight. I’m going to call Roger and see if he’s available to do your hair and makeup, he owes me a big favor.”

I went to the bedroom and put on a pair of jeans and a tank top with a sick feeling in my stomach. My phone rang, and that familiar number was calling again, I ignored it and sent them to voicemail.

Peyton and I took a cab to Color Me Beautiful, a hair salon our friend Roger owns. We walked through the doors of the luxury salon as Roger spotted us instantly. He walked over and embraced me tightly.

“Oh girl, I heard about you and Kyle and I think he’s an a**hole.”

“Thanks Roger I think he is to,” I lightly smiled. He turned to Peyton and gave her a warm hug.

“Now, tell me where you are going tonight and with whom.”

Peyton jumped in, “She’s going to a charity event with Connor Black.”

“The Connor Black? Hot and gorgeous millionaire Connor Black?”

I rolled my eyes, “Yes Roger, that’s the one.” He looked at me seriously.

“Elle, you do know about his reputation right?” I looked blank because I didn’t know anything about Connor except his one rule about sleepovers and that he didn’t like relationships.

“We are friends, nothing more.”

Roger waved his hand in front of his face. “Girl, Connor Black doesn’t have female friends; he has sex slaves, not friends.” I gulped and didn’t want to hear anymore. Peyton could tell I was feeling uncomfortable.

“I don’t care what he has; I’m going to this benefit tonight as his friend and nothing more.”

“Come on Roger, work your magic and fix up our girl so every guy at the event will be begging her to take them home.” I smacked Peyton’s arm as we followed Roger to his station.

I met Roger through Peyton. He used to work at the art gallery part-time while he was trying to launch his salon. He was a handsome man with brown spiked hair and just the right amount of facial hair outlining his oval face. He cut hair and did makeup like nobody’s business. He once worked as a hair stylist for Miranda Lambert, but gave that up to stay in one place and build a life with his partner George. I sat in the chair while Roger worked his magic on my hair and face. I never felt more beautiful as I did that day.

I stepped into my designer dress and Jimmy Choos and looked in the mirror at my lightly made up face and elegant curly up-do. For the first time, in a terribly long time, I forgot about all the bad in my life. I glanced at the clock, and it read 6:00 pm. I rolled my eyes as there was a knock. As promised, he arrived at 6:00 sharp. I opened the door as Connor stood there staring at me and taking in a sharp breath. The butterflies in my stomach started to flutter, and my heart started racing as I looked at him in his black tuxedo.

“Were you afraid I’d get mugged between my door and your car?” I smirked.

“Very funny Ellery,” he said.

I was surprised that he came to the door himself instead of sending Denny. I bumped my shoulder against his, and he managed a small smile. We got into the back of the Limo and Connor poured us a glass of champagne.

“You look beautiful Ellery; nice dress.” I looked at him, stomach still fluttering and heart racing.

“Thank you Connor I was hoping you would like this one,” I winked as he smirked and we held our glasses up to one another.

Chapter 11

The charity was for the Autism Speaks Foundation. It was to support the biomedical research for the causes and treatments of autism in children and adults. Denny opened my door as Connor came around the other side to meet me. He held out his arm and looked at me.

“Do you think you can behave yourself tonight?” I put my arm in his and smiled.

“I don’t know; I cannot make any promises.”

We walked to the entrance and stepped inside. The ballroom was breathtaking as were the people who attended. Connor led me over to a reserved table with his company’s name on it. I sat down taking notice of the pilasters around the room as well as the beautifully carved ceilings. The walls were painted in a beige color with mahogany trim as were the chairs that sat at each table. A band and dance floor sat in the middle of the room. Off to the side was a large wrap around bar that was complimented by the same mahogany wood and marble tops.

Connor went to the bar to get our drinks. Apparently, he didn’t have the patience to wait for the waitresses and waiters walking around the room with drinks on their trays. He came back with a glass of white wine for me and a scotch for himself. Even as beautiful as the ballroom was, Connor was the most beautiful person there, and I could not help but stare at him. He lightly grabbed my elbow and escorted me over to a couple who were staring our way. Even the slightest touch of his hand sent my body into convulsions.

“Good evening Connor,” the older gentleman said as he shook his hand.

“Hello, Robert, I would like you to meet Ellery Lane, a friend of mine.”

He took my hand and lightly kissed it, “You have beautiful friends Connor.”

I gently smiled at his comment and looked over at his wife who was eyeing me up and down.

“This is my wife, Courtney,” Robert smiled.

“Nice to meet you,” she smiled at me.

Courtney was extremely attractive, and she was about 25 years younger than her husband. Robert put his arm around Connor and walked him over to the side whispering so we could not hear. Connor shook his head, and the two of them came back to where we were standing.

“What was that about?” I asked.

He looked at me at strangely for even asking, “Just business.”

He lightly put his hand on the small of my back and escorted me back to the table while he excused himself to the restroom. I was taking in the beautiful sound of the band playing soft melodies as Courtney came over and sat next to me.

“So, you’re Connors new toy,” she remarked. I looked at her trying to absorb what she meant.

“Connor and I are nothing more than friends.”

She shook her head, “Right, well I’m only saying this for your own sake, woman to woman because you seem like an innocent and nice person, stay away from Connor Black.”

I narrowed my eyes at her then looked around to see if Connor was on his way back. “Why would you say something like that?” I asked.

“Because Connor will use you till he emotionally breaks you down and physically wears you out; then he will toss you to the side like a piece of trash.” She got up from her seat and put her hand on my arm, “Just some friendly advice.”

-- Advertisement --