My Best Friend’s Brother An Alpha Billionaire Romance Sarah J. Brooks Copyright © 2017 by Sarah J. Brooks This book is a work of fiction. Any resembla...
My Best Friend’s Brother An Alpha Billionaire Romance
Sarah J. Brooks
Copyright © 2017 by Sarah J. Brooks This book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is entirely coincidental. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
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Table of Contents Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16 Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20 Chapter 21 Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Chapter 24 Chapter 25 Chapter 26 Chapter 27
“Chase buddy, you’re hogging all the ladies. Share a little. Will ya,” Robert, Chase’s partner at LifeSpan Inc., said jokingly. “I’m not sharing,” Chase said as he wrapped his long arms around the two women sitting next to him on the couch. Standing tall at 6’3”, Chase had an arm span that easily engulfed the two women. His deep green eyes looked intensely at the woman on his left and then the one on his right. At first, the women giggled and thought his statement was a joke, but the look in his eyes said that he certainly was not joking. Neither of the women balked at the idea of having him together, and neither got up and left. His muscular body and charismatic personality were just enough to convince the girls to stay … well, that and his millions of dollars. Chase Overholt had spent the last seven years of his life making money and making love. He was living in Sydney, Australia, and had been a founding employee at a startup tech company that really took off. In fact, Chase was now a millionaire, several times over, with all the stock options he was given for joining LifeSpan Inc. The last three years had been particularly busy, and Chase was finally ready to move on to something new. While in Australia, Chase had succumbed to the women that were constantly throwing themselves at him. He was so busy with work and growing the business that he genuinely did not have time to have a traditional girlfriend. Deep down, he wanted a steady relationship, but none of the girls that threw themselves at Chase were the kind of women he wanted to take home to his mother. Chase unwrapped his arm from one of the women and reached into his pocket to answer his phone. There were not many people who could get him to answer their calls, but his sister Kimberly was one of those people. “When will you be home? I miss you so much!” Chase’s younger sister Kim said very loudly. So loud that Chase could hear her clearly, even over the party that was going on around him. “Kimmie, I haven’t even left Sydney yet. My flight leaves in 12 hours. I won’t be home for awhile still.” Chase loved his sister dearly, but she was always way more excited
about things than he thought they called for. Perhaps it was because she was so much younger than him; at 23 years old, she wasn’t a child anymore, but she really acted like one sometimes. Chase had been living in Australia for the last seven years and had only visited with his family briefly on holidays. His company had been doing so well that they were growing, and Chase just had not had the time to get all the way back to the states. “Oh, Chase! But I miss you!” Kim said as she pouted into the phone. “I know. I know. I’ll be there soon enough. I’m at my going away party right now. The guys from work sure know how to throw a major bash,” Chase said as he squeezed the ass of one of the girls sitting next to him. “Chase baby, come back to the party,” one of the girls sitting next to Chase said loudly on one side of him. “Yeah, sweaty, we want to party,” the other girl said. “Wow, Chase. Do you have two girls there with you? You are a stud!” Kim said jokingly. “You know me. I’m Mr. Suave.” “Well, I better let you go enjoy your women. I can’t wait to see you, and I’m so glad you’re moving back to Wetherington. Love you, big bro.” “Love you too, Kimmie,” Chase said as he put his phone back into his pocket and got back to enjoying his going away party. Chase looked around at the party his partners put together; it was pretty amazing. There were gorgeous women everywhere. The music was insane, and the alcohol was unlimited. Chase had been enjoying this type of partying for the last three years; it was going to be hard to go back to the states and behave himself. “Do you girls want to head back to my place?” Chase said. Not caring at all that his party had really just started. Chase was ready to enjoy some time with the sexy brunette and blonde he had on his arms. As the three arrived at Chase’s condo, he quickly took control of the girls. Chase was not new to having more than one girl at a time. Well, at least since he had been in Australia. Chase grabbed the brunette first and started kissing her; he reached for the blonde and pulled her close so he could kiss her next. Chase enjoyed kissing women, and these two
were very fine women indeed. After spending some time kissing the blonde girl, Chase walked the girls with him to his bedroom. The room was filled with boxes since he had been packing to move back to the states. Chase pulled his shirt off then moved onto undressing the blonde. Her tits were insane, and he wanted to wrap his mouth around her nipples. But the brunette girl did not like being left out of things. She started to unbuckle Chase’s pants to try and get his attention away from the other girl. This was how Chase liked it, though; he liked being so distracted by women. He liked having the brunette sucking on his cock while he sucked on the blonde’s tits. There was no talking, no worrying about if this was right or wrong. There was just hot steamy sex. Chase wasn’t quite sure when he stopped having regular sex and started getting into all this wild threesomes and other stuff. But it happened slowly while he had been in Australia. In fact, Chase couldn’t really remember most of the women he had slept with the last few years. It was all a blur. The women so freely threw themselves at Chase that he just couldn’t say no. After growing up as an awkward brainiac, it was amazing to him that women wanted him. At first, Chase just couldn’t believe the women were interested in him, and then he started to understand that they were really interested in his money. Once he figured that out, he stopped worrying about having a real relationship and decided to enjoy the sex. How could two gorgeous women trying to please him be all that wrong? Chase thought as the brunette continued taking him deep into her mouth? Soon the three of them were in his bed. Chase was thrusting hard into the brunette while the blonde touched and fondled both Chase and the brunette. Chase lay on the bed, and the blonde quickly hopped on top of his rock hard cock. The brunette was soon sitting on his face letting Chase explore her with his tongue. The night went on and on for several hours before the three of them finally collapsed from exhaustion.
After getting off the phone with her brother, Kim couldn’t help telling her best friend Riley all about what she heard in the background at her brother’s party. “He had two girls there. What a player,” Riley responded. “I know. He didn’t even have a date for his high school prom! How the heck is he getting all these girls now?” Kim joked. “Well, he’s going to be in for a rude awakening if he thinks the girls back home are going to treat him any different just because he has money. He still can’t just act like a jerk.” Riley thought it was gross that Chase always had a different woman every week. From talking to Kim, it sounded like Chase had spent the last few years going from work to bed with some gold digger. It really was sad to Riley. From what she remembered of Chase, he was a really nice guy. Back when they were growing up, Riley had a severe crush on Chase. She was in middle school when Chase moved away, though, so luckily the crush faded. “Remember that time I wanted to spend the night at your house just because Chase and his friends were working out downstairs?” Riley asked her best friend. “Oh, my gosh! Yes, you were totally in love with him. It was adorable.” “I wouldn’t say I was in love.” Riley tried to change the subject. “What is Chase going to do when he gets home?” “Well, he doesn’t have to do anything. He’s got enough money to just hang out with his friends and relax, but I think he’s planning on starting a consulting firm.” Kim thought it was crazy that Chase was going to come back to Wetherington. She was really happy he was coming back but still thought it was pretty crazy. All Kim could think about was getting out of the town that she had grown up in. “That’s cool. I guess I would want to come home and relax with my family if I had been away for so long.” “Oh yeah, I forgot to ask you. Can you get Chase from the airport tomorrow morning?” Kim asked as she jumped up to grab a note she had written down earlier. “What? Why? I thought you guys were all really excited to see him,” Riley said, puzzled at what was going on.
“We are. But my mom has a surprise breakfast planned, and she doesn’t want everyone to show up at the airport. She also thought it would be funny if Chase thought no one was there for him,” Kim said with a smile. “Your mom is so much fun. She is always trying to pull off a surprise.” Riley knew Kim and Chase’s mom very well. She was the queen of surprise parties. Riley had even been the subject of one of those parties a couple of years earlier. It was amazing how good their mom was at keeping a secret. “So can you pick him up?” Kim knew Riley would say yes because they were such great friends; neither of them said no to each other very often. “Of course I can. What time?” “Seven a.m. I know, I know … it’s really early. But I’ll pay you back, I promise.” Kim was notorious for making the pay you back promise. Riley knew she would never actually get a payback, but that’s what friends were for. The next morning, Riley dragged herself out of bed bright and early to drive into town and pick up Chase. She did not have time to do her hair or makeup; it was just too early in the morning. When she arrived at the airport, Riley found a spot nice and close to where the passengers came through the baggage claim area. She put her feet up and started playing on her phone. It was seven o’clock right on the dot, but Riley knew the planes took forever to get everyone off of them once they landed. She waited and waited and looked for Chase as the passengers started coming through the baggage area, but he was nowhere to be found. Riley got up and started to walk through the airport. She didn’t think she could have missed him, but no one else was coming off the plane, and she knew Chase was supposed to be here. Just when Riley was about to call Kim, she saw a text message pop up on her phone. “Where are you? Chase says he has been outside waiting for ten minutes.” Crap, Riley had missed him. She quickly went outside to the pick-up area and walked down the sidewalk looking for Chase. Riley stopped when she saw him. There he was, tall, dark blond hair, amazing green eyes, and his muscles—they had grown a lot since Riley had last seen Chase in the flesh. Actually, Riley stopped for a second to think; she had not seen Chase in person since he had come home to visit after graduating from MIT. That had been over seven years ago. Chase certainly had changed in all that time. He wasn’t a boy anymore; he
was a man. “Chase?” Riley said quietly as she approached him. “Yes. You must be Kimmie’s friend,” Chase said as he reached his hand out to shake Riley’s hand. “Yep. I’m Kim’s friend, Riley.” Riley smiled; she couldn’t believe Chase didn’t recognize her. He really had no idea who she was. “Thanks for coming to get me. I don’t have a car yet here in the states. Been working in Australia for the last few years. I moved there to help a start-up business after I graduated from MIT.” Chase didn’t know what had come over him. He was trying to jam every interesting fact about him into a few sentences. This girl was drop dead amazing, and for the first time in a very long time, Chase found himself nervous. Riley couldn’t help laughing. He was talking to her like she had no idea who he was. He really didn’t remember all the late night slumber parties that he had terrified Riley and Kim at when they were all younger. Or all the after school study sessions where Riley had pretended to need Kim’s help so she could come and visit with Chase. “No problem. My car is this way. I’ll drop you off at your breakfast party.” Riley knew right after the words came out of her mouth that she was not supposed to have told Chase. She quickly covered her mouth with her hands and had a look of despair on her face. “Ah is that why no one wanted to come and get me?” Chase said with a smile. A smile that Riley thought was so hot it could melt the snow off an icecap. “Oh, my gosh … I am so sorry,” Riley apologized. “It’s alright. I knew something was up when no one showed up. My mom isn’t as good as she thinks she is at throwing surprise parties.” Chase reached out to rub Riley’s arm to comfort her. The second Chase’s hand touch Riley, he could feel a current flood through his body. Her skin was so soft. Chase was enthralled by her vibrant red hair and ocean colored blue eyes. She had her hair pulled up in a mess bun, and she was wearing sweatpants, but that was part of her charm. Chase had not been around a woman in sweats in years. All the women he was around were dressing in tiny barely there clothes as they flaunted themselves at Chase. “Please don’t tell them I told you. They are all so excited,” Riley begged.
“On one condition,” Chase said with a sly crooked smile. “Oh, one condition eh?” Riley couldn’t help flirting with Chase a little. He was a fine specimen of a man. Certainly better looking than any of the men she had gone out with recently. “Yes. Let me take you out on a date,” Chase offered. Riley didn’t really want to go on a date with Chase; she knew he was a major player. As much as she was physically attracted to Chase, Riley was really trying to make better choices in the men she dated. “Um, I don’t think so. Sorry,” Riley said as the pair entered the elevator and made their way up to the parking garage. Chase stood there in silence. She had just turned him down. He wasn’t quite sure what had just happened. In fact, he had to replay her sentence in his head a couple of times before he responded. “No? Are you sure? You wouldn’t want me telling my poor old mom that you told me about the surprise, would you?” Chase teased. Riley knew he was joking, but she decided one date wouldn’t be all that bad. She didn’t have to go home with the guy or sleep with him. She could just go on a date. Plus, it was funny to her that he had no idea who she was. “Alright. But under protest, because you are blackmailing me with your mother’s sweetness.” Riley smiled and led Chase to where she had parked her car.
The pair arrived at the breakfast, and Chase was swarmed by all his family and friends. It is overwhelming how many people had come out to see him and welcome him home. Chase felt good to finally be home as well. As much fun as he had been having over the last couple of years, it all seemed like make believe. He spent all his time working, and what little time he had outside of work, there were women throwing themselves at him. Now being back at home, it was weird to think that he was as successful as he had become. Being around all his family and friends, Chase felt like a new man. Riley let Chase catch up with his family and made her way over to a corner table. Chase’s best friend Henry was sitting there, and the two of them joked about how long it would take for Chase to give everyone in the room a hug. “I bet it takes him at least thirty minutes,” Henry joked. “Well, it matters how many times his mom comes back for another hug.” Riley laughed. Chase looked around the room to see where Riley had gone and saw her sitting with Henry. The two were laughing, and it sent an instant twinge of jealously through Chase’s body. He knew it was wrong, but he didn’t like any guy getting in the way of him and a woman; especially not his best friend, Henry. Henry had spent their entire high school years getting all the ladies. He was the one who had confidence and could flirt with any girl they came across when the two of them were growing up. Chase hugged a couple more family members and then made his way over to the table where Riley and Henry were sitting. His sister Kim was sitting there now as well. Kim and Riley were looking at one of their phones and trying to decide what they wanted to post on their social media pages. “Henry, my man! How the heck are you?” Chase said as he sat down next to Henry. “Dude, I’m amazing. Well, not millions of dollars worth of amazing, but you know what I mean.” Henry had his own issues with jealousy because Chase had been so successful in business already. Henry had not had as much success and had spent the last several years back in Wetherington working at a local counseling office.
“Yeah, man. Money ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.” Chase was speaking from experience. Money certainly had not made his life any easier. Just gave him a whole different set of problems to work with. As Chase sat at the table, he couldn’t help staring at Riley. She did look familiar to him now, but he just couldn’t place how he knew her. While Chase sat there watching Riley, she let her long red hair down out of her bun. It was at this moment that Chase finally realized who she was. He remembered that long red hair. She was Kimmie’s friend from middle school. But she was all grown up now. Wow was she all grown up. The girl Chase remembered was an awkward, shy little girl who hardly every talked. But sitting across from him right now was a red-headed goddess who seemed to have the confidence of a queen. “She’s insanely pretty isn’t she?” Henry said as he noticed Chase looking at the two girls sitting across from them. “Yeah. I didn’t even recognize her when she picked me up from the airport. Certainly not a little girl anymore,” Chase said. “Oh, Riley? Yeah, she’s all woman. She’s got every guy in Wetherington trying to get a night with her.” Henry laughed. “But she turns everyone down. She likes the guys in the city with money.” Chase didn’t like the sound of that at all. Was Riley one of those girls that really just picked guys based on if they had money or not? Chase really hoped not; he wasn’t about to keep dating girls like that now that he was back at home. Chase wanted to find a nice, hometown girl that wasn’t into all that drama. “So do you like her?” Chase asked Henry. “I’m a connoisseur of all fine women,” Henry joked. “So how was your flight? Are you excited to be back in boring Ohio?” “Man, I am excited to be home. I finally feel like my old self again.” Chase had not realized just how much he had been playing a part while he was in Australia. Everyone had expected him to be this wild party guy. He wasn’t really that guy deep down, but it was easier to just be the guy everyone wanted him to be than it was to tell people no. “Well, not exactly your old self. This new version is rich.” Henry laughed. “Rich and hotter than you.” Chase had to get a good joke in also. “Oh come on now. I’ve almost got Riley convinced to go on a date with me. You can’t
beat that.” Henry seemed so proud of himself that Chase didn’t want to destroy him by telling Henry that Riley had already agreed to go on a date with Chase. “Hey Riley, when are you going to finally say yes to my invitation?” Henry blurted out much louder than he had intended to. “Henry, you don’t have to announce it to the room,” Kim said as she tried to quiet Henry down. “Oh, I’m sorry Henry; I can’t go on a date with you. I already agreed to go on one with Chase. That’s my one pity date for the year. Catch me again next year.” Riley couldn’t help smiling as she teased Henry. He had been trying to get her to go on a date for as long as she could remember.
The next weekend, Kim and Riley enlisted the help of Henry and Chase to help the girls move. They were finally getting out of Wetherington and moving to Cleveland, Ohio. Both Riley and Kim were really excited about this move. Riley probably even more so than Kim since Riley had been dreaming about living in a high-rise in the city ever since she was a little girl. Riley was dressed in some workout clothes with her hair up in a ponytail. Chase knew it was a normal outfit for someone to wear on a moving day, but he couldn’t help thinking how he wanted to be touching Riley’s naked body. Her clothes were tight, and form fitting, and Chase enjoyed watching Riley as she moved around her apartment and organized things before they loaded them onto the moving truck. It took every last bit of self-control for Chase not to just reach over and squeeze Riley’s ass when she bent down next to him and organized a box full of kitchen things. Chase was pretty proud of himself for holding back. Riley tried to pretend like she didn’t notice Chase looking her up and down almost every second of the day. She had purposely put on the cutest workout outfit she had around. It was fun to get attention from Chase, especially since she had craved it so much when she was younger and had never been able to get it from him. Now Riley felt like she was in charge a little bit and that Chase was putty in her hands. Well, except she still couldn’t talk when he was around. She lost her words almost every time she tried to say something to him. So instead of sounding like a dork, Riley tried to just keep to herself and not talk to Chase. Riley was a strong and independent woman now; she certainly didn’t need a guy like Chase messing with her head. She was ready to move to Cleveland and take on the world. And Riley was perfectly fine taking on the world alone and without a boyfriend. Men really were more trouble than they were worth. The four finally got the moving van loaded and headed into town to unload at Riley and Kim’s new apartment. Chase was shocked at the pricy apartment building that the girls were moving into. He didn’t think Riley did anything that would pay this good, and he really didn’t think that his little sister Kim had a good enough job to help pay this rent. As Chase walked into the living room after grabbing another box from the truck, he
walked right in on Henry whispering something to Riley. Riley laughed, and the two of them instantly became quiet when they realized Chase was in the room. It gave Chase a bad feeling when he saw the two of them whispering and talking. Plus since she became so quiet so quickly, Chase thought they were probably talking about him. He tried to shake it off and just explain away the incident. Perhaps Henry was just telling Riley a joke or something? The rest of the move went pretty smoothly, except Chase kept looking at Henry and Riley and trying to figure out if something was going on between them. Neither of the two had mentioned dating someone, but it was entirely possible they were dating each other. Chase couldn’t think of a single reason why Henry wouldn’t want Riley. “So when should we do this date you agreed to?” Chase asked as he and Riley went back downstairs to get more boxes. Riley made Chase uncomfortable. She had this intense stare that made Chase feel like she was looking right into his soul. The interesting thing that Chase couldn’t help thinking about was what Riley did for a job. She was obviously beautiful; she graduated college so she must be pretty smart, and she was working at a job that helped her make more money than most other people would make in several years worth of work. “Well, how about tonight?” Riley said, smiling intently at Chase. It made his heart stop. Riley’s blue eyes were piercing and hard to look away from. He wanted to look away; he had to keep his strength levels high so he could stay in control. Unfortunately, Chase looked Riley right in her eyes as she let out a fabulous smile. It was gentle and full of promise. Chase knew at that moment he was going to have to step up his game if he was ever going to win Riley over. “Tonight? Don’t you need hours and hours of time to get prepared?” Chase joked. “Well since we are only going on one date, I don’t think I need to get all fancy for you.” Riley really was not planning on going on other dates with Chase. She was simply appeasing him because she had made a promise before. Truthfully, Riley did not want to go on any more dates with Chase. From what she had been told about him from Kim, Riley thought she would be better off just ignoring the guy. The problem was, Riley felt so drawn to Chase that it was almost impossible to ignore him. Chase Overholt had infiltrated the thoughts of Riley many times throughout the day.
Then Riley mistakenly let her mind wonder and enjoy the muscles that were protruding all over Chase. It was amazing to Riley that Chase was in such good shape. The last time Riley remembered seeing Chase she certainly didn’t remember him having a body like he did now. Being a millionaire was treating him well. For a moment, Riley realized why the girls in Australia were throwing themselves at Chase. He was incredibly handsome and had a smile that could get a girl wet from across the room. Chase was kind and super sexy, and the biggest seller of all was he was rich. Riley knew all the girls probably really loved that part of Chase. “I don’t need hours and hours to get ready for anything,” Riley responded to Chase. “No, you don’t. You’re perfect just the way you are.” Chase couldn’t stop himself from giving Riley the compliment. She was pretty amazing. Chase loved how hard she worked and how independent she was. It took a lot of courage to move to a big city far away from home. Chase was familiar with this and knew Riley would probably be struggling a bit once she moved out.
That night, Chase returned to Riley’s new apartment around eight o’clock to take her out for dinner. When Riley opened the apartment door, Chase was not prepared for what he saw. Standing in front of Chase was an elegant and beautiful woman. This certainly was not the same Riley that Chase had seen over the last few days. That Riley was a tomboy who never did her hair or put on any makeup. But this Riley was a sexpot, overflowing with sex appeal. Chase had to hide how excited he was to see Riley. His body just naturally reacted. It wasn’t something Chase normally cared about, but standing only a few feet away from Riley, Chase didn’t want her to see how aroused he was. Riley was wearing a form fitted sky blue dress. It matched her eyes almost exactly, and it hugged her curves in all the right places. Riley knew this dress was a killer and would drive Chase crazy when he saw it on her. But Riley had also wanted to wear this dress for several months since she bought it but just had not found that special occasion to wear the dress. “You are insanely beautiful, do you know that?” Chase asked Riley rhetorically. Riley could only smile. She had not actually been called beautiful in a very long time. Chase opened the car door for Riley and the restaurant door too. He tried to think of things that were interesting to say, but nothing would come out. For some reason, his ability to talk to Riley had totally disappeared. Well, Chase knew exactly what the reason was—that damn blue dress. He couldn’t stop thinking about what her body looked like under the dress. Of course, he knew she had a great figure before, but with this dress hugging all of her curves, it was impossible not to imagine that damn blue dress laying on the floor. “You are awfully quiet tonight,” Riley said as she leaned over the table and took Chase’s hand. It was fun to see Chase squirm with desire for her. Riley intended to tease him as much as possible then leave him hanging at the end of the night. That’s what he deserved for thinking that she would be like one of his bimbos that he just slept with for one-night stands. “I’m star-struck by how amazing you are,” Chase said as he held on tight to Riley’s
hand. “Oh, really?” Riley was interested to see where he was going with this. She was sure there had to be some sort of line just waiting to come out. “Yeah. I have been away from home for so long. It just feels so good to be out with someone genuine and kind like you are.” Well, Riley did not expect that. If this was part of his player game, Chase was better than Riley could have ever thought. She actually felt like he was being sincere. The look in his eyes. The way he held her hand. Riley really felt like he meant what he was saying. “Thank you,” she said as she looked deeply into his eyes. “I have a surprise for you after dinner,” Chase said with a smile. “Oh, really? I don’t know if I like surprises. “Oh, you’ll like this one.” “Does it involve your lips?” Riley couldn’t believe she had just said that. Instantly, her face turned bright red as she realized what she said. “Oh. You want my lips?” Chase felt so off his game with Riley. She was much more of a woman than he had expected. Riley couldn’t hold it together and let her head sit in her hands as she busted out laughing. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what came over me.” She giggled. Chase stopped dead in his tracks at the sound of her laughter. It sent a shock wave through his body, and all he knew was he wanted to be the man that would make her laugh like that over and over again. He grabbed her hand and brought her out to the car. “Close your eyes; we are going to our next location,” Chase said as he drove Riley to the local amusement park. It was well after closing time, but all the lights in the park were still running. As Chase pulled into the parking lot, a young man waved him into a front row parking spot. He guided Riley into the park by holding one of her hands and setting his other hand on her lower back.
“Okay, you can open your eyes,” Chase said. When Riley opened her eyes, they were standing right in front of the largest Ferris wheel in the state. Riley looked around to see what was going on, but there was no one else in the park. It was totally empty except for Chase and Riley, and one man standing in front of the Ferris wheel. “Oh, my gosh. I can’t go up there. That’s too scary.” Riley instantly tensed up at the sight of the giant amusement park ride. “I’m here with you. I’ll keep you safe.” Chase had such a calming tone to his voice. Riley couldn’t help trusting that he would indeed be able to keep her safe. She had never dated a guy that she actually felt safe around. But quite frankly, she had not dated too many men at all. The guys she dated were more like boys throughout high school and college. Chase could sense the fear in Riley, and he liked that he was finally able to feel like he had a little control in their date. As the two of them sat down on the amusement ride, Riley moved in as close as possible to Chase. He wrapped his arm around her to help her feel safe. “Do you do this kind of thing often with girls?” Riley asked. Chase had to laugh. Did he normally close down an entire amusement park and take a girl on a ride 100 feet in the air? It made no sense that she would even think such a thing. “Nope. You’re my first,” he said with a smile. Riley could hardly breathe she was so overwhelmed with fear. She really did hate heights. The Ferris wheel continued to move until Riley and Chase were sitting at the very top. Then the ride stopped. As it stopped, the car they were sitting in shook a little, and Riley screamed. She reached down to grab onto something and ended up with her nails firmly planted into Chase’s leg. “It’s alright. That is totally normal. Look, isn’t it beautiful?’ Chase looked down at Riley who was now almost totally curled up in his lap. She was holding on for dear life and didn’t look at all interested in looking out at the view. “I can’t,” Riley said as she shook her head.
Chase reached down and gently pressed her chin up so she was forced to look around. Riley kept her eyes closed at first, but then slowly opened one of them. “You can,” Chase said, holding her tight. Riley couldn’t help feeling comfortable in Chase’s arms. He was strong and confident, and she finally just looked up. She looked right into his eyes. Chase was such a handsome man it was hard for Riley to even be this close to him. But she certainly wasn’t going to be far away from him, considering they were on top of a huge amusement ride. Riley leaned up and kissed Chase. She didn’t really know what had come over her, bud she did know that she liked being with Chase, and she wanted to feel his lips on hers. Chase instantly took the clue and moved his hand to Riley’s leg and pulled her even closer to him. It had been a very long time since he had kissed someone that he cared about. Chase didn’t want it to end.
When Riley woke up the next morning, she couldn’t help smiling. It was clear that Chase could be a real gentleman. He had brought her home, walked her to the door, and given her a kiss goodnight. Not even trying to get inside or spend the night. It was a nice change of pace for Riley to have a true gentleman around. But she hated all the thoughts she had that Chase might really still be playing a game with her. The phone rang, and Riley jumped out of bed to grab it. “Hey Riley, it’s Henry. Do you think we could meet up and discuss a surprise party I’m trying to put together for Chase?” Henry had been trying to put this party together for weeks, but it just wasn’t happening. He finally decided he needed to enlist Riley since she was so good at getting things done quickly. “Yeah. I could probably help. Why don’t you stop by my office, and we can go over some of the details. “If you talk to Chase, can you please try to figure out if he needs anything or wants anything for his birthday? I can’t think of anything he wants.” Henry knew Chase had plenty of money and could buy anything he wanted, but Henry wanted to find something that was unique. “Sure thing. I’ll do my best,” Riley said. She got up and made her way to the kitchen where Kimberly was devouring some sugary cereal. Riley just wanted to get a quick bite to eat and then head into work, but she knew instantly by looking at Kimberly that she was going to have to take part in a conversation first. “Sooooo. Tell me about your date,” Kimberly said, looking at Riley intently. “Oh, it was fine. You know. Nothing exciting.” “I know my brother better than that. I’m sure he did something outlandish and fabulous.” “Does he normally do stuff like that for women?” Riley felt a pit in her stomach as she thought of Chase just playing her for his own enjoyment. “Well, I’m not sure. But he had quite a lot of female friends while he was in Australia.
I’m sure he was playing a good game with them.” Riley felt tears start to well up, so she quickly made her exit and got on her way to work. She had felt like last night was real. Chase seemed so genuine, but after talking to Kimberly, Riley wasn’t sure at all what Chase’s intentions were last night.
Chase decided to surprise Riley at work over lunch and brought her a wide variety of delicious foods. Riley wanted to be mad at him since this was probably just part of his ploy to get his way with her. Unfortunately, she couldn’t stay mad; she had never had someone bring her lunch while she was at work before. Riley tried to put her doubts about Chase to the back of her head so she could enjoy her lunch. “So tell me … what is your favorite expensive gift that you bought yourself?” Riley asked as she started trying to get information for Henry. “Well, I’m not really into expensive gifts.” “So you like cheap gifts?” Riley smiled. She was joking with Chase, but he didn’t seem to think it was very funny. “I like meaningful gifts.” “Me too. What kind of meaningful gifts have you gotten lately?” Riley continued to probe. “Not a big gift getter,” Chase said, starting to look pretty annoyed by Riley’s questions. “Ah. I like gifts. They are fun to get and fun to give.” Riley could tell Chase was getting annoyed, so she decided to change the subject. “Thanks for the date last night. I had fun.” Chase welcomed the change in conversation. It was weird to him that Riley was asking so many questions about gifts. Was she hinting that she wanted him to buy her a gift? He really didn’t think she was that type of girl. “You are welcome. I enjoyed spending time with you … and your blue dress.” Chase winked at Riley as he remembered just how amazing she looked in that dress. “Oh, you liked the dress? Should I start wearing it more often?” “Yes. I vote a very big yes to that one.”
Riley looked at Chase as he sat across from her. He was such a nice guy. She really hoped he wasn’t trying to play her or just get her into bed. She didn’t want to deal with someone like that. She certainly didn’t want it to be Chase, the guy she had had a crush on ever since she was in middle school. Life would get pretty difficult for Riley if she ended up dating Chase and then it did not work out. She and Kimberly were best friends; Chase was bound to be around occasionally. Riley stopped to think about the whole situation. Perhaps she should just stop dating Chase right now. It was more likely than not that he was trying to play her, and then she would have to deal with him coming around and visiting Kimberly. Visits from an ex-boyfriend on a regular basis were not high on Riley’s list of things she wanted to do. “I better get back to work,” Riley said as she decided flirting and dating Chase was a bad idea. Chase could feel the turn in her behavior and didn’t really know what had happened. Basically, they were eating lunch when she started asking about gifts, and then when he didn’t want to talk about that, she shut down the whole lunch thing and said she needed to work. Chase didn’t like how this was going; he wasn’t about to date a girl who was only interested in him for his money. But he had not thought Riley was that type of girl. “Can I call you sometime?” Chase said as he left her office. “Of course.” Riley couldn’t help saying yes. She could tell this was going to be an ongoing problem for her. Saying yes to Chase came very easily for Riley. Riley walked out from behind her desk and gave Chase a big hug. She had so many doubts about him, yet when he was standing right there in front of her, she couldn’t help wanting to keep him there. Chase left Riley’s office more confused than he ever remembered feeling about a woman. Riley was so fun and outgoing. She was laid back and easy to talk to. When they were bumming around and moving her and Kimberly, Chase loved to see how casual and comfortable Riley dressed. But then when they went out on a date, she was like a goddess. Chase thought back to how vulnerable she had been while on the Ferris wheel, but yet our standoffish and closed she was over lunch. It was so hard to figure this girl out.
Chase was baffled, and not many women were able to baffle him.
Chase drove almost halfway to his house before he realized he had left his cell phone at Riley’s work. He couldn’t go a day without his link to the outside world, so of course, he turned around and made his way back to get his phone. When he pulled up outside of her work, Chase was caught off guard when he saw Henry going into Riley’s office. What on earth was Henry doing there? Chase sat back in his car and waited to see when Henry would come out. He stayed in there for a very long time before finally coming out about 30 minutes later. Chase decided he would leave his phone at Riley’s work and just call her when he got home, asking her to bring it over. He was in shock after seeing Henry at Riley’s. Henry had been flirting with Riley quite a bit during the move. Maybe Henry and Riley had something going, and Chase was getting in the middle of it by asking Riley out on a date? He didn’t know exactly what was going on, but he certainly didn’t like it. Chase called Riley from his home phone, and they made plans for her to come over to his place later and drop off the phone. As confusing as Riley was for him, Chase really did like her and wanted to see if there was something there between the two of them. He felt alive when he was around Riley, and it drove him to want to spend more and more time with her. But he knew he had to get to the bottom of this thing with Henry as well as if she was really just after his money. Riley arrived at Chase’s house and couldn’t believe her eyes. He still had every single thing in boxes, except for the television and the couch. “Well, it looks like you aren’t a fan of unpacking,” Riley joked. “I know it’s weird, but I kind of enjoy the unpacking process and like to take it slow. It’s like a fresh start to a new life. I want to savor every single step of it.” Riley liked how Chase thought about things. How he thought unpacking boxes was actually fun. How he thought about business and friendships. She really did enjoy just being with him and discussing his views on things. “I like weird things too.” Riley smiled.
“You know Henry is pretty weird. Did you know he likes to practice standing on his head?” Chase tried to make a smooth transition into talking about Henry, but he was aware that he had been less than subtle with his transition. “That is weird.” Riley laughed. “Have you talked to Henry lately? I think he was planning on coming to town soon to visit you guys.” “Nope. Not lately.” Riley didn’t want to give anything away about the party she was helping Henry plan for Chase. Great! Just great, Chase thought. She is a liar. I obviously saw Henry in her office and not only was he there, but he probably visited for longer than I had gotten to stay. Riley couldn’t tell Chase the truth, but now she felt bad about being deceitful. She leaned over and kissed Chase. Gently, her lips lingered with his, and they moved closer together so they could feel each other’s bodies. Chase wanted to ask Riley why she was lying to him, but he just couldn’t bring himself to say anything. He liked being with her. In fact, he really liked her a lot. Chase decided he would just have to win her over and make her forget Henry if she had been dating him. Chase felt like he was the better catch anyways. So why not prove that he was better than Henry and get the girl? “How about I help you unpack a little bit?” Riley offered. “Do you think you can go slowly? Can you enjoy each step?” They spent the next several hours unpacking boxes and flirting with each other. They probably only got through two or three boxes because Chase kept pausing to come over and kiss Riley, and she kept pausing to lick her lips, which made Chase want to kiss them. Chase felt his body stand at attention when Riley was near him. His mind could not think of anything else but having her naked in his bed. But Chase wanted something different in his relationship with Riley. He wanted to have something real. He continued to let his lips explore hers before they both slipped off into sleep.
In the morning, Chase woke up early to make breakfast and show Riley all his kitchen skills. He had been living alone for several years and didn’t usually let women spend
the night, so making breakfast was a pretty big thing for him. It was new territory for Chase. He had spent the night with a woman, but they had not had sex. Instead, Riley slept curled up on his chest while they cuddled all night on his giant couch. “Wake up sleepy head,” Chase said to Riley, waving the smell of bacon near her to get her to wake up. Riley wasn’t sure how she had slept for so long. She typically could not sleep anywhere but in her bed. She must have felt very comfortable with Chase last night. Riley laid there looking up at Chase. He looked so handsome standing there holding breakfast for her. She really did love that he had gone to all the effort to make her breakfast. They sat together and enjoyed breakfast while they discussed politics and other current news. Chase loved how he and Riley could just sit and talk and talk together. It was so hard for him to find people who he found interesting. He didn’t mean to sound uptight or anything, but Chase often was surrounded by pretty ditzy women who were not interested in talking about business or politics. Chase liked to talk about business, marketing, politics, and social media issues. He was consistently trying to find the next big thing that he could invest his money into so staying current on the news was essential. “I’m awake. I’m awake,” Riley said with a smile. She really did like spending time with Chase, and being here in his home made her feel more comfortable than she thought it would. Riley wanted to stay and spend the day hanging out with Chase, but she knew she had to be responsible and head into work. That was one thing Riley really knew very well, responsibility. She had been pretty responsible throughout her childhood. But as she grew through college, Riley became even more responsible than she thought was possible. Sometimes, Riley even annoyed herself with her level of responsibility. “You look beautiful,” Chase said as he leaned in to kiss Riley. She wanted to pull away because her breath smelled horrible, but Chase didn’t seem to care, and he moved in for a long and deep kiss. Man, oh man did Riley like kissing Chase. It was hard to imagine what her life had
been like before she had Chase around to kiss. “Thank you. I’m going to have to get going to work soon,” Riley said as she got up and started gathering her things. “No. You don’t need to work. Just stay here with me all day long,” Chase suggested. “Well, that does sound fun. But what will I do when my business takes off, and I’m not there to run it?” Chase knew he would have to let Riley go into work, but he just wanted a few more minutes with her. He reached down and grabbed her off the couch and pulled her up into his arms. She naturally wrapped her legs around Chase’s waist to help steady herself in his arms. “I think we can talk about you taking off,” Chase said with a wink. He couldn’t help thinking of what Riley would sound like when she was having an orgasm. Chase liked to imagine she had not had one in awhile and would really be ready to explode when he was finally able to play with her. Chase didn’t want to have sex with Riley just yet, though. He wanted to see what another week or so would do. He was tired of one-night stands, and this time Chase was intent on doing the right thing and getting to know Riley before they slept together. Plus, he still had a lot of concerns about what she was doing hanging out with Henry as well as why she had been asking so many questions about his money and gifts. Chase felt like something was definitely going on, and he just had to get to the bottom of it. Chase still had not given up on the idea that nothing at all was going on, and Riley was just a great girl who happened to be friends with Chase’s friend. Riley gave Chase one last kiss before she headed out and into work. She needed to talk to Henry and go over the things she had figured out from her conversations with Chase the night before. She also wanted to talk to Henry about some ideas she had for the party. “I’ll meet you for dinner tonight around seven o’clock,” Chase said. They had made dinner plans in town close to Riley’s house, so she didn’t have to drive all the way out to his house twice in the same day. Chase made a mental note that he might have to buy a condo in town if things started to really work out between him and Riley.
Riley called Henry first thing when she arrived at work. She went over some of the small items she had seen while in Chase’s home. Riley also shared that she didn’t think Chase wanted any gifts. He seemed pretty agitated with her when she had been talking about things that cost a lot of money. “I’m just going to come over when I’m done here. When will you be done with work?” Henry said. “I’ll be around for awhile. Just swing by here or over at my apartment when you get to town.” Riley felt excited to be helping with Chase’s birthday party. Although they had just started dating, she really did want to see where things went between the two of them. Well, assuming that he wasn’t trying to play her. It was getting easier and easier to believe that Chase was actually interested in Riley, and he did not have a hidden agenda. She really wanted to believe this, and he had not shown her any reason to think he was still being a playboy like he had been in Australia. Maybe it was possible to turn over a new leaf after all. Riley spent her day very busy and finally started to close up around seven o’clock that night. She needed to get home and get some rest because she was still feeling exhausted from staying up late the night before with Chase. Her phone rang just as she was leaving her business parking lot. “Hey Henry, What’s up?” Riley asked as she answered her phone. “I’m sorry I’m runny so late. Can I just meet you over at your apartment?” Henry said. “Sure, but Kimberly isn’t there right now. She is working second shift.” “You think I would only want to come over to your house because of Kim?” Henry knew that Riley could tell he liked Kimberly. Henry had liked Kimberly since she was in middle school. He had noticed her often and just never acted on it because of his friendship with Chase. Now that Chase was back home, it would be much harder for Henry to get the nerve up to try and hit on Kimberly. Dating your best friend’s sister had to be a bad idea, Henry thought.
Chase had pulled up to Riley’s house only a moment before she pulled in. He had planned to surprise her and pick her up for their date that night, but he just sat motionless in his car as he watched Riley pull into the parking lot, followed by Henry shortly behind her. It was more than Chase could even comprehend. Why on earth would Henry be coming to Riley’s house? Chase couldn’t think of a single good reason for Riley and Henry to be alone in her apartment. Chase couldn’t take it for another second. He was over these games that Riley was playing. It was time for him to move on. It was time for Chase to stop thinking that this girl was something special or different than all of the other girls. Yeah, she had a sweet demeanor, but she was just hiding way too many secrets for Chase. He decided it was just about time he moved on. As seven o’clock came and went, Chase continued to sit in his car. He tried calling Riley, but there was no answer. Chase could have been sitting at the restaurant waiting for her, and she just wasn’t going to answer her phone? It seemed odd that she would just stand him up like that. Chase stormed up the stairs to Riley’s apartment and stood at the door for a moment. He could hear voices inside. He could here Riley giggling and laughing at almost everything Henry was saying. How on earth had he not seen what a sneaking woman Riley was? Chase had thought she was so sweet and down to earth when in reality she was going behind his back and having a great time with his best friend. Chase knocked on the door loudly. The laughing from inside the apartment stopped very suddenly. Chase knocked one more time. This time Henry came to the door. “Hey, Chase. What are you doing here?” Henry seemed genuinely surprised to see Chase over at Riley’s house. “You two make me sick!” Chase blurted out from the doorway to Riley’s apartment. Riley tried to rush over to Chase and calm him down, but it was too late. Chase had already set into motion a stream of events which started with him yelling and screaming at the top of his lungs. “Chase. What is wrong with you?” Henry remarked as he stared into Chase’s eyes and saw a look he had never seen before.
“You two deserve each other. Sneaking around behind my back just to get some kicks. I hope you both got a good hard laugh out of me chasing Riley around like a schoolboy.” “Chase. I don’t know what you think is going on here, but Henry is just helping Kimberly and me with a project. Riley did her best to try and calm Chase, but there was no bringing him back from his intense anger. “I don’t want to hear or see either one of you ever again. You have ruined two great friendships with me because you both couldn’t keep a secret. Well, I’ve had it. Stay away from me, both of you!” With that final statement, Chase turned to leave the place. He was not going to let a woman walk all over him like Riley was doing. He knew better. Chase sped away from the apartment complex wondering how he could have been so wrong about Riley. He had actually thought she was sweet and kind. Chase had thought she was genuine and cared about him. But the truth was much darker than Chase could have imagined. Riley and Henry deserved each other. Chase didn’t want to hear or see either one of them for as long as he lived. Riley watched through the apartment window as Chase sped away in his new car. He was madder than she had ever seen him. He was probably madder than anyone who knew him had ever seen before. Chase was tired of trusting people and done with this idea of having a girlfriend. He just wanted to be left alone.
Her heart sank as Chase took off down the street after finding Riley and Henry laughing together. Riley knew exactly what he was thinking, and she felt horrible. While planning Chase’s surprise party, he had caught Henry and Riley hanging out together alone in her apartment.
Riley grabbed her purse and took off after Chase; she couldn’t have him thinking something so horrible. She would just tell him about the party. Make him understand that this was all just a mistake. Tears rolled down her face as she arrived at Chase’s house. Riley was not the kind of person who ever hurt people; she felt so horrible that Chase was hurt or angry. Her mind stopped as she pulled into the driveway. What if he was really angry? What if he never wanted to talk to her again? Chase wasn’t the kind of guy who let women make him emotional. Riley knew that much about him for sure; Chase didn’t need a relationship. Riley suddenly got very nervous. Chase could just throw her out and never want to talk to her again. He had a temper, and she knew that very well. His car was parked abruptly in the driveway, and the door was left ajar. Riley knocked, but there was no answer. She rang the bell, and Chase came storming up to the front door. “Get out of here. I have nothing to say to you,” Chase said. “Chase. We were planning a party for you. I’m so sorry. That’s all it was. See …” Riley pulled out her phone and opened the notes page where she had listed all the ToDo things to get ready for Chase’s party. Chase stood there with his 6’3” frame looking weaker than Riley had ever seen him. His eyes looked full of sadness, and she yearned to reach out and hug him. But she didn’t because of the obvious tension and anger in the air. “I saw him come to your office. I’ve seen you two together a lot.” “I know. I’m sorry for lying, but I swear we were just planning your party.” Chase handed Riley her phone back and stood there contemplating the situation. He didn’t want to be the guy who just stood by while his best friend and girlfriend went behind his back. But he also didn’t want to be some crazed jealous lunatic either. He really didn’t know what to think. “We can talk later. I just don’t know what the truth is right now.” With that, Chase closed the door and left Riley standing there wondering if she even still had a boyfriend. Riley drove back to her apartment unable to stop the tears as they flowed down her face. She and Chase had only been dating for a short time, but she really liked being around him. He was funny and smart, and not to mention Riley had had a crush on him
since she was in middle school. What if she had lost him forever? As she got back to her apartment, Henry was waiting to see what had happened. “Well, I guess that didn’t go as planned.” He laughed. “It’s not funny, Henry. Chase is freaking out. There is no way he’s going to want a party now.” “Too bad. We have people coming in for the party. We will have to figure out a way to convince him to come.” “Not me. He slammed the door in my face. Maybe you or Kim can convince him.” “He’s just a stubborn mule. He’ll come around. Don’t worry.” Henry picked up his phone and tried to call Chase. The call went right to voicemail. Henry knew Chase very well, though. The two had been friends for almost fifteen years. Chase would come around—he always did. Henry just worried that Chase wouldn’t soften up before the party they had worked so hard to plan. The pair continued to plan the surprise party, not knowing if Chase would even show up. It was entirely possible they were going to have a huge party with no guest of honor. When Kimberly finally arrived to help with the party planning, she could tell something was wrong. Riley seemed to have been crying. Henry was not his usually chipper self. Something was definitely off. “You two are the saddest bunch of party planners I’ve ever seen,” Kim joked as she unloaded the bags of party supplies she had brought in. They sat and explained what had happened and how angry Chase was. Kimberly knew exactly how bad her brother could overreact, so it didn’t surprise her at all. “Yeah, he’s a hot head. I had a guy from school drop off some homework when I was sick. Mom told him to bring it up to my room. He was a nice guy. Sat down and we talked for a minute. Chase comes in and sees him in my room and practically throws him down the stairs!” “Oh, I remember that!” Riley said with a laugh. “So how can we fix this?” Henry asked the two girls. “We have to get him out of his house. If he stays in there thinking about it, he will keep making things up in his head. I’ll go over there and see if I can convince him to go for
lunch tomorrow. I’ll try to talk to him.” Kimberly was the level-headed sibling for sure. Riley felt that if there was going to be any sense talked into Chase, then it would be Kim that could do it. “I think we should move forward with the party. It’s going to be so epic. We can’t stop just because Chase is acting like a baby.” Henry wasn’t about to give up on the party of the century. “Alright, but I think we need to get your mom involved to help get Chase to the party,” Riley said to Kimberly. “Yep, she’ll be a good help.” The three stayed up the rest of the night plotting and planning how they would be able to still pull off this surprise. They knew if they could get Chase to actually show up at the party it would finally convince him that Riley and Henry were not an item. He would see that they had been working hard on his surprise. Riley wasn’t so sure Chase would forgive her, but she wasn’t going to quit the party planning. At the very least, she could help plan the party and just stay in the background so Chase didn’t know she was there.
On the day of the party, Riley, Henry, and Kim gathered all the guests in a small conference room at a local hotel. With over 200 guests from around the globe coming to celebrate Chase’s birthday, it was hard to keep them all quiet. Kim had convinced her mother to go pick up Chase and tell him she needed his business advice. There was nothing Chase wouldn’t do for his mother, and everyone knew this. As they pulled up outside the hotel, Riley worked hard to get everyone to be quiet. “Shhh, they are coming. Turn your phones off. Shut your faces up,” Riley said with a smile. “Mom, are you sure you are meeting these guys here? It’s weird that a business meeting would be held in a hotel.” “I know, honey. That’s why I wanted you to come with me. Keep me safe if it’s some sort of scam.” Chase knocked on the door, but there was no answer. He slowly opened it, but the room was dark, so he stopped. Then as he pushed forward to try and flip the light on, the crowd of people came to life. “Surprise!” the huge group said in unison. Chase stood there looking through the crowd and then back at his mother. He was trying to take it all in and figure out just what was going on. At first, he had a look of anger on his face, and then it quickly turned to his normal charismatic smile. He looked around the room at all his friends. People he went to college with. Friends from his first job. Even some of his co-workers from Australia. This was indeed a big feat to have put together. Chase looked around the room for Riley, but he couldn’t find her. He instantly felt like an ass for not believing her about the party. “Hey, bro. Happy birthday and welcome home!” Henry said as he laid a hug on his best friend. “Yeah, happy birthday brother,” Kim said. “You know I feel like the biggest ass ever,” Chase said to Henry. “I’m sure you’ll get over that and just feel like your normal jerky self,” Kim joked. “Ha ha.”
Henry and Kim moved the party to the bigger conference room where they had a dance floor set up and lots of food. Riley spent most of the night behind the scenes and helped to organize everything. She didn’t really want to ruin Chase’s party by having a conversation about what had happened the other day. It would be best to let Chase have fun and enjoy the party. But Chase wanted to talk to Riley; he needed to talk to her. He wanted to apologize for thinking she and Henry were a thing. He made his way around the party talking and laughing with all his friends who had come to share this day. Yet he constantly scanned the crowd for Riley. One time he saw her come out from a back room carrying a tray full of desserts. She quickly put them down and then disappeared back into the room. Chase finally got out of his conversation and hurried to the back room. There was Riley. Running the kitchen like a top notch commander. “Get those trays out now. Keep these trays in the fridge. Grab the bartender and get him back to his station.” “Well, I should have you run my company. You are efficient,” Chase said from the corner of the room as he observed Riley in action. She knew that voice instantly. It set her body on fire just hearing it. His deep baritone inflection shook her soul. Riley stood still. She felt him walk close behind her, his tall frame casting a shadow over her. Riley tried to calm her breathing. She wasn’t sure if it was quickening out of fear or desire. She really didn’t know if Chase was still mad at her or if he was over it. Riley certainly knew her body desired Chase, though; she felt tingling from her face all the way down to her toes. “You couldn’t afford my salary,” she said as she turned around to face him. Just being this close a proximity to Chase made her instantly want him. She wanted to forget about all this party stuff and take him upstairs and have her way with him. Chase brought out an animal desire in Riley that she just couldn’t explain. “I’d pay you the world.” Riley decided to change the subject before things got too flirty. She wasn’t really sure if he was angry still or trying to make peace. “Are you enjoying your party?” “Yes. Thank you. I’m so stupid. I’m sorry about the other day,” Chase said as he looked
down at Riley. His green eyes penetrated Riley’s mind. She couldn’t think of anything to say and just stood there looking up at him, wanting to let her hands feel his chest. Wanting to have her lips on his. The silent moment stretched on awkwardly, Riley’s mind imagining all the things she wanted to do with Chase while Chase stood there trying to figure out if Riley was too mad to accept his apology or just not interested in talking to him. “Well, I’m going to head back to the party. Hopefully, we can spend some time together tonight and talk about things.” Chase turned to leave the kitchen area, and Riley reached out for his hand. She grabbed hold of him and pulled Chase back toward her. “You know you’re the only one on my mind, right? There is nothing between Henry and me, nothing.” Chase did know. He felt horrible about everything. He pulled Riley around the corner near the large industrial-sized refrigerator, pressed her up against it and kissed her. His passion sent an explosion of feelings to every nerve in her body. Riley instantly got weak in the knees, but it didn’t matter because Chase had her pinned and supported her with one hand. Riley could feel Chase getting hard with excitement as his cock bulged against her. She fought off the urge to slide to her knees and take him in her mouth right there, but she did change her position so she could feel his raging body pressing up against her more. Chase let his hand slide around and grab Riley’s ass as he pulled her harder against him. He wanted to be inside of her. Chase wanted to be alone with Riley so he could have her all to himself. “Chase. Chase. Are you back here?” his mother yelled from the doorway. They stopped kissing and stood still. Chase gently slid Riley back down to the ground since he had lifted her up in his passion to get her body as close to his as possible. Riley reached down and tried to pull herself together so she didn’t look frazzled. Just as the two of them had reorganized themselves, Chase’s mother was standing around the corner. “Yep, Mom. Just talking to Riley. What’s up?”
“Well, people want to eat cake. Come let them sing to you.” Chase looked at Riley and then at his mother. Then he followed his mom out to the party. He was relieved to have made up with Riley and felt like he could actually enjoy the party now. Riley went back to work with the staff who were helping for the party. She felt so much better now that they had made up. Well, did they make up? She thought about it. They hadn’t really talked about breaking up in the first place, but were they back together now? She thought that kiss definitely meant they were back together now.
Back at work the next day, Chase felt a renewed surge to get his new business up and running. He had made up with Riley and Henry, and now he wanted to concentrate on building his new green energy company right there in Wetherington, Ohio. This new company was going to blow away all his other business ideas. He was putting a huge investment into this and even bringing some big-named investors from New York City out to help with the business planning. Plus, there were some consultants that he needed to get the highly specialized minerals to operate his renewable energy system. Chase was driven to build his whole business using renewable energy and had a top secret plan to ensure he would get press from around the world checking out his new high-efficiency office plans. Day and night, he worked with his team to develop the new programs he needed to operate his new facility. He previously had just been calmly working and moving at a slow pace, but now he had the drive to get his business going. Riley showed up to have lunch with Chase, and he couldn’t stop talking about all the new technology he was using and the innovation of clean energy. It was great to see him so hyped up and excited. But Riley really didn’t understand much of what Chase was talking about. His technology brain moved at a pace that Riley just couldn’t keep up with. “I am so excited for you Chase. This sounds big.” “It’s beyond big. Think about atoms and bombs. Think about the plutonium and energy plants. This new clean energy will put all those to shame.” Riley sat and smiled as she watched the excitement in Chase’s eyes. It was clear he was in the midst of a big business breakthrough. One thing Riley understood was the power of a breakthrough. When she started her company, she often had to ignore her friends for weeks at a time as she finished big projects. After lunch, Riley had decided, she was going to leave Chase to work on his business for a little bit. She wasn’t breaking up with him or anything like that. She just wanted to give him some time to make his dreams come true. Instead of always texting and calling him, Riley decided just to wait for him to reach out to her. She found this was the best way to let someone work without getting in their way. Riley would try her best, but she thought it would be hard not to come and see
Chase every day. That night, Riley, Kimberly, and Henry went out on the town. They decided not to invite Chase because he was so busy with work. They met up with some friends and went dancing. The club was full of people, but their group grabbed a big table in the rear of the club. Riley and Kimberly went to the bar to grab a couple more drinks when Kimberly let out some big news. “Do you think Henry is hot?” Kimberly asked as the girls stood next to each other waiting to get some drinks. “No! I think I’ve gotten in enough trouble because of Henry.” Riley laughed. “I mean for me,” Kimberly smiled from ear to ear as her face became flush. “Yes! Totally. I think you should go for him. But …” “What?” “Do you think Chase will get mad?” Riley didn’t want to do anything else to get Chase made. He obviously had a bit of a temper. “Well, I’m his little sister. He’s not going to like me dating anyone. At least with Henry, he knows that Henry is a good guy.” “Not sure he’ll think he’s a good guy if he’s dating you.” Riley couldn’t help thinking it would be fun for the four of them to go out together. “But I think you should go for it. The heck with Chase. He’ll come around if he sees you happy.” That was all Kimberly needed to hear. She left the bar counter and went right up to Henry. Riley watched in anticipation. She could see the look on Henry’s face; it was a look of confusion at first. Then it was a look of desire. Riley knew that Henry liked Kimberly. He probably had just been keeping his distance because he didn’t want to get in trouble with Chase. But whatever Kimberly had just said to him finally gave him the okay to make his move. Within moments, the two were on the dance floor grinding against each other to the deep base of the music. Riley grabbed the two drinks she and Kimberly had ordered and made her way back over to their table. She sat there for awhile and finished off both the drinks, taking the time to visit with a few of her friends, but Riley wasn’t having fun at all anymore. Everyone that had come with them was drunk out of their minds and had paired off with each other for the night.
Riley felt like the biggest third wheel ever. “I’m going to head home. You two have fun,” Riley said to Kimberly as she left the club. There just was nothing exciting about going clubbing anymore. Riley was over that scene. She would much rather work on her business or even just stay home and make dinner. This type of partying wasn’t her thing anymore. Riley called a Uber car from her phone and waited in front of the club for the car to arrive. When the car pulled up, a shady looking man came out.
“Did you call for a car?” the man asked. “Yep.” The man came around toward Riley and looked like he was going to open the car door for her. Instead, he grabbed her purse and shoved her to the ground. Before Riley could react, the man had gotten back into his car and driven away. Riley hurried back into the club to find Henry and Kimberly, but they were nowhere to be found. She didn’t have her phone or any money with her. A feeling of panic rushed through her body. Riley didn’t know what to do. She was afraid to walk home all by herself and didn’t have any cash to take a cab. Everyone else that had met them at the club was smashed now. She could wait around to try and grab a ride with them, but Riley just couldn’t even think straight. She sat down in the women’s room and cried. Riley wasn’t the type of girl who would normally cry. She was tough, and it made her mad that this incident had gotten the best of her. She couldn’t help thinking about all the ways she would have handled the situation better. It was so frustrating, and Riley hated feeling like that. That guy now had her address. He knew she would be stuck at that club because he took her money. What if he showed up at her apartment? What if he was there waiting for her when she got home. Riley borrowed a woman’s phone and called Chase. “Hey, it’s Riley. What are you up to?” she asked calmly. “Just watching television. Whose phone are you on?” “I got robbed. Just borrowed a girl’s phone.” “What! Are you alright? I’m coming to get you. Where are you at?” Chase was exhausted. He had been working night and day on his new building designs, but he jumped up and was on his way to the city before they had even gotten off of the phone. “I’ll be there in 45 minutes; stay by the bouncer.”
Riley felt all the fear inside of her melt away. They hadn’t really hung out together for weeks, and Riley felt like she really needed to feel his arms wrapped around her body. She wanted to smell Chase. Wanted to feel his strong arms. Riley didn’t care if they just sat there on the couch and cuddled all night—she just wanted to feel Chase next to her. She knew just having him there with her would make her feel safe. Chase pulled up outside the club in less than 30 minutes. He jumped out of the car and wrapped Riley up in his arms. “Are you alright?” “I’m fine. I was just a little shaken up. I’m perfectly unharmed.” “We should see if the club has security cameras out here. Maybe they caught the guy’s picture. We could track him down. File charges. Do you want to go to the police station?” “How about I just get back to my apartment and call and cancel my credit cards for now?” Chase agreed. He took Riley back to her apartment and walked her in. There was no way he was going to let her stay there alone that night, though. Chase thought about that mugger knowing where Riley lived. He really didn’t think she should even stay there at all. But if she insisted, then he was going to stay also. Riley spent about an hour canceling her credit cards and putting a freeze on her bank account. Chase made them some food and then waited for Riley to get done. He liked being at Riley’s apartment. It was like a sneak peek inside of her mind. Riley kept herself so closed up that it was impossible to really know much about her. Even though they had known each other since she was in middle school, Chase really didn’t know that much about her. He knew she liked orange soda; he remembered her always drinking that when she came over to visit Kimberly. Chase knew she was determined with her business and very hardworking. He knew she took life pretty seriously, and it took a lot to get her to relax. “You know I’m not going to leave you here alone, right?” Chase said with a bit of a smirk on his face. “Well, if you insist on staying. I’m sure I could find a blanket for you to sleep on the couch.” Riley was just messing with Chase, but she thought it would be funny to see his reaction. She knew he wanted to spend the night with her. Riley wanted him in her bed, just as bad as Chase wanted to be there.
“Yeah, that would be great,” Chase answered. Riley laughed. “So you’d be fine with sleeping on the couch?” Riley moved closer to Chase on the couch. The sexual tension between the two of them kept on building. Chase adjusted how he was sitting because having Riley so close got him excited. His body had a natural reaction whenever she was near. “Yep. That would be fine,” Chase said, looking Riley in the eyes. His deep green eyes just asked for more. He wanted Riley on top of him. Chase wanted to feel her naked body so bad, but he wasn’t going to push things more than she was comfortable with. “Alright.” Riley was willing to test his fortitude. She went and grabbed a blanket and pillow for him. Riley also changed out of her club clothes and into a pair of tight pajama shorts and a tank top. Chase couldn’t take it another second. When Riley came back to bring him his things to sleep on the couch, she stood there with her hard nipples just teasing him through a thin tank top. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. “Thanks.” Chase managed to get out of his mouth between deep breaths. “Will there be anything else?” Riley asked as she put her hands on her hips and teased Chase with her body. “Nope. I guess that’s it.” Riley turned to walk away but knocked the remote off the table. She bent over to pick it up, letting her ass move into the air only a few short feet away from Chase. He grabbed her and pulled her onto his lap. “Oh, there was something else?” Riley said as she giggled. Chase moved her hair away from her neck and let his lips explore her bare skin. He loved the taste of Riley. The saltiness of her skin. The natural smell of her hair. His hands moved around and under her tank top, slowly moving up to her breasts where he easily cupped them in his large hands. Riley let out a moan of delight and pressed her body up against Chase. This was what she wanted. She wanted his hands on her body. Riley wanted to feel him as close to her
as possible. Chase continued to kiss Riley’s neck and play with every inch of her body. Soon he had slid one hand down her shorts and let his fingers glide over her as she moved her hips in motion with him. The faster he moved his fingers, the deeper Riley’s breaths got. Soon she couldn’t take it anymore. Riley turned around, pushed her shorts to the ground and pulled her tank top off. She straddled Chase with her naked body. Her lips met his, and they let their tongues enjoy each other. Chase moved his hands up and down her naked back, slowly pulling on her shoulders and then moving all the way back down to her ass. Riley reached down to his pants and released him from the confines of his zipper. She let her hands play with him for a moment before she guided him inside of her. The feeling sent her body into overdrive. Riley let out a moan she hadn’t heard herself make ever before. She wanted Chase so bad. She wanted to feel him inside her. It was the perfect ending to a less than perfect night.
In the morning, Chase took Riley over to his office and showed her around. He talked about all the technical aspects of his renewable energy building, and Riley did her best to seem interested. She couldn’t help thinking he was sexy as he got so excited about these big technical words and concepts. “So how are you powering things? I don’t get it.” “Well, there are a lot of chemical and minerals that are natural and come from the earth that can provide energy. I found a group overseas that has locked in a way to safely use one of these minerals to give energy to an entire building.” “Safely? Is there an unsafe way,” Riley joked but then saw that Chase was serious. “Yeah. Technically it isn’t legal in the states yet. But it doesn’t mean it is unsafe. I think people just aren’t fully comfortable with this level of technology yet.” “So it’s illegal?” “No. Kind of a weird middle ground. Do you want me to show you where our main marketing office will be? You’ll like all the technology in there. Maybe it would even work for your company?” Riley wanted to ask many more questions about the safety of whatever this new chemical or product or mineral was that Chase was going to use. But she figured she just didn’t understand what he was trying to say so she should be quiet. As they entered the marketing room, a black SUV pulled up outside. Chase looked worried, and that made Riley worry. “Who are those people?” Riley asked as she looked out the window. “Just some investors. I’ll go talk to them.” Riley stayed at the window and watched Chase with his investors. The two men didn’t look like investors. In fact, Riley thought they look more like thugs to her. She couldn’t hear what they are saying but could read the look on Chase’s face. He was afraid of these two guys; she could tell that for sure. Chase was standing at an angle and had his hands at his side. His stance appeared to be more like someone who was getting ready to fight than someone who wanted to have a conversation with investors.
Another thing that struck Riley as odd was that Riley didn’t invite the men inside the building. If they were investing in his technology, then wouldn’t they want to come and see how the work was coming so far? Riley didn’t like what was going on. She didn’t know exactly what it was, but something seemed off. If these are Chase’s business partners, Riley thought, he’s into some sort of shady business dealings. But why would he have to deal with people like this? Chase had tons of money and access to anything he needed for his business. Chase wouldn’t need to deal with thugs. He could hire anyone to help him. But what if what he was doing was illegal? What if these guys were the only ones willing to get Chase the stuff he needed for his renewable energy system? Riley continued to watch the men talk to Chase. She refused to leave the window because she had a sinking feeling that something bad would happen if she weren't there. The two men looked like they wanted to beat Chase up and certainly didn’t seem like businessmen. When Chase returned to the marketing room and the men pulled away, Riley wasn’t about to sit quietly. “Who were those men?” “Just business partners,” Chase said calmly. He had a bead of sweat all around his hairline; Riley could tell those men had made him nervous. Chase went to the window and watched their SUV drive away. A sense of relief came over him when the SUV was no longer visible down the road. “Are they giving you money for your company? How much money did this cost?” “The building is going to cost more than a million dollars. But no, they did not give me money; they are helping supply the minerals I need.” “Oh, the illegal minerals you need.” “Now, now, don’t get worried. It’s not that big a deal.” “Those guys look like they work for the mob or something. Are you sure it is safe to be dealing with them?” “Yes, I’m sure.” Chase ended the conversation there and moved into the next room in his building and waited for Riley to follow. He wasn’t interested in continuing to talk about this topic.
The last thing he needed was Riley getting into his business and worrying about things that she didn’t understand. But Riley wanted to keep talking. She hated when things didn’t make sense to her, and she just couldn’t figure out why someone like Chase would be working with guys like that. “You know you don’t need to work with guys like that. With your money, I’m sure you could find less intimidating people to do business with.” “They are just a little rough around the corners. Really, Riley, there is nothing to worry about. Now do you want to see the rest of the building or not?” Riley could tell Chase was getting agitated, so she decided to lay off things a bit. “Well, it looks like things are getting close to being done around here. I can’t wait for your business to get up and running.” “What are you doing Saturday? Should we go on a nice real date?” Chase said as he walked Riley out to her car, obviously trying to lighten up the mood and get Riley talking about something else than his business. “Sure that sounds great.” “I’ll pick you up around noon. Bring a change of clothes.” “Oh, a change of clothes. I like this date already.” Riley loved how extravagant Chase was when he planned their first date. But she wanted to tell him he didn’t need to spend a ton of money on her. The night they had spent on her couch was perfect to Riley. She didn’t need big extravagant dates in order to like Chase. She really hoped he understood that. On the drive home, Riley couldn’t help worrying about what Chase was doing with his business and those thugs he was hanging around. But she tried to get it out of her mind and prepare for her date with him the next day.
When the clock hit noon, Riley started watching out her window for Chase to arrive. She had been awake most of the night thinking about what they could be doing. Their first date had been so wild and crazy; she couldn’t imagine what Chase was going to plan for this date. A black limousine pulled up in front of her apartment. Riley watched as a driver got out and approached the buzzer. Her door buzzed from downstairs, and Riley answered through her intercom. “Hello.” “Miss Riley Holt?” “Um, yes.” “I’m here to pick you up.” “What?” Riley thought Chase was planning to pick her up. Why would he send a car for her instead of just picking her up himself for their date? As weird as this was, Riley thought she should just go with it. The mysterious nature was exciting. As she got into the limousine, she noticed a bunch of orange soda on ice. Riley laughed and laughed. Chase remembered how much Riley used to drink orange soda when she went to his house and visited Kimberly when they were young. Riley opened a can and thought back to how awkward she was in middle school and how much in love with Chase she was. He was such a handsome kid, still was. Excitement filled Riley to the point that she couldn’t keep still in the limo. She moved around from seat to seat trying to look out the windows and figure out where she was going. The car turned and went toward the back road to the airport. No. He couldn’t be taking her on a plane? No! Riley rolled down the window and let her head poke out with excitement. She saw a small jet in front of a metal building and Chase standing in front of it with a rose. He
looked like a knight in shining armor, or at least a really well-dressed man who was winning over Riley’s heart. He looked rough and handsome all at the same time. His hair messy from the breeze, Chase looked just like he did when he was a teenager. Riley smiled at how excited he made her. She felt like a teenager again as the limo pulled up next to a private jet. As she got out of the limo, Riley realized she was very underdressed. Even the second set of clothes she had brought probably weren’t right for hanging out with Chase. He stood there in a pair of perfectly fitting jeans and button up green shirt. Not the kind you would buy at the local store, though; the kind you paid ten times as much for to make rich people look casual. Chase handed Riley a single rose and gave her a quick kiss. “We will be traveling by plane for this date. I hope you’re not afraid to fly.” “We aren’t going to Paris or anything like that are we?” Riley joked, but she was kind of serious. “Nope. We will not cross any oceans.” “I feel entirely underdressed.” “You look beautiful.” Chase meant every word. Riley was wearing a simple slip dress that blew in the wind. Her sleek figure showed under the pale pink silk, and Chase thought that was sexy as hell. Riley’s long legs looked amazing, and her green flats pulled the whole outfit together. He wanted to forget the trip altogether and just take that damn dress off of her right there. “Thanks. I’m scared to fly, but I’ll try to be brave,” Riley said as she grabbed Chase’s hand. Chase let her up the short set of stairs and into the plane. “I’ll keep you safe.” When they got on the plane, Chase took Riley to the sitting area and then went to talk with the pilot. They spent a few short minutes talking and then shook hands. “Does he at least know where we are going?” Riley teased. “Yep. It’s a short flight. Should only be about ninety minutes.” Riley quickly ran a map through her head to try and figure out what places were within a ninety-minute flight from Ohio. But she just didn’t have a good reference to how long flying took. She had not flown somewhere since she was a child and really didn’t
remember much about that flight at all. When the plane touched down in New York City, Riley couldn’t contain her excitement. She had always wanted to visit New York. It was a dream of hers to shop the big department stores and see Times Square and Central Park. Her excitement was contagious, and even Chase started to feel the energy. Another limo met them at the airport, and Chase walked up to the driver and told the man where to take them. He seemed to have planned out this elaborate date very well. They arrived at a little restaurant on the Upper East Side called Serendipity. It was a small place with a few stairs that led down to the front door which was tucked just under the street level. There were at least a hundred people in the small restaurant, and Riley couldn’t understand why Chase had taken her there. It didn’t seem that romantic. In fact, it seemed much more like a bunch of sardines packed into a can. Chase talked briefly with the woman at the counter, and very quickly she came around and guided the two of them through the maze of people. They walked up a spiral staircase to a small balcony area which had six tables sitting empty. The table near the edge of the balcony was set up for them. “Sir, we are so happy you are here. We hope this reserved area will suit you.” “Yes. It is perfect. Thank you.” Riley had never really seen Chase when someone knew him as the wealthy entrepreneur that he was. She had only seen him at home and with friends. She had only seen that high school boy that she’d had a crush on for years. It turned her on immensely to see him right now. The way he carried himself; there was a bit of arrogance about him that was sexy as hell. Riley sat quietly as Chase ordered food for them. He looked like a different man there in New York. A man instead of the boy that she had known. Riley looked at him with a new opinion. He was a powerful man who had helped to start a multimillion dollar business. Riley shouldn’t question his business dealings or the people he needed to work with to make his dreams come true. Chase obviously knew what he was doing. “When we are done with dinner, I have a surprise for you.” “Oh. Because taking a jet to New York wasn’t a big enough surprise.” Riley smiled and gently kicked Chase under the table. “This is a delicious surprise.”
When dinner was over, the waitress brought out a giant glass. It had a frozen chocolate drink inside with whipped cream and cherries on the top. Riley felt her mouth water as she looked at the drink. “What is it?” “It is called a frozen hot chocolate. You will love it.” Chase and Riley each put a straw into their mouth and sucked in the delicious flavor of the drink at the same time. Instantly, Riley was in love with this drink. It was the perfect combination of a hot chocolate flavor, but it was in an ice cold drink. The rich chocolate flavor was sharp and tasted like a combination of milk chocolate and dark chocolate. Riley closed her eyes as she let her taste buds enjoy the delicious flavor of the drink. She let this whole moment sink deep into her memory. Riley didn’t want to ever forget how perfect this felt.
As the pair left their little dessert paradise, it was beginning to get dark outside. Riley looked around for their limo, but it was nowhere to be found. Chase was busy on his phone for a minute, and Riley took in the people and buildings around her. The buildings were out of so many movies Riley had watched. Perfectly sculpted with rich, powerful couples inside of them. Riley hoped that someday she could life in New York City. As she wandered down the street a bit, she noticed a candy store. “Oh, can we go in there?” “Sure.” They entered Dillion’s Candy Bar, a high-end candy shop that had every kind of candy imaginable. The vibrant colors made the store feel like you were in the middle of your own special utopia. Riley moved around the store picking one piece of every kind of candy she could find. She filled her small bag up and went up to the counter to pay for it. There were no prices listed anywhere in the store. Riley prepared herself for the candy to be expensive. “Your total is one hundred and twenty-four dollars,” the young clerk said. “What!” Riley couldn’t believe how expense one bag of candy was. There was no way she was going to pay that much for the candy, but before she could say a word, Chase handed his credit card to the clerk. Riley normally would protest any man offering to buy something so expensive, but she decided to let Chase have this moment. She didn’t want to ruin their date. Riley grabbed her candy and followed Chase to the front door. Sitting right in front of the door was a beautiful white horse with a carriage behind him. The driver still perched atop in his seat. “Oh, my gosh,” Riley exclaimed. She had never actually seen a carriage up close like that. The horse was taller than she was, and the red velvet carriage seat looked incredibly comfortable.
“Your chariot awaits my lady.” Riley got into the seat, and there was a large matching red blanket sitting there. She lifted it up as Chase sat down next to her. They cuddled up tight against each other as the carriage started moving down the street toward Central Park. The sun had set by the time the carriage entered the park. It was a scene out of her dreams, Riley thought. Chase wrapped his arm around her as the carriage made its way around the spiral roads of the park. As the night got darker, the lights of the city started to shine. “I think this has got to be the best date of my life,” Riley said as she turned to kiss Chase. Riley let her hand linger on Chase’s chest as their tongues worked in time together. She really felt like she was falling for this guy. Not in the childish way she had when she was in middle school—Riley was falling for him like the man he was. As the horse came to a stop, Riley looked up to see The Park Lane Hotel with its fine drapes perfectly forming around the two front windows, and its sharply dressed doorman standing at attention in front of the building. When they entered the hotel, a man greeted the couple and handed Chase a key. He appeared to be the manager of the hotel and took particular care to treat Chase and Riley with a high level of kindness. In the elevator, an attendant pushed the buttons for them. Riley admired the marble flooring and glass walls of the tiny elevator, but she couldn’t help wondering how the idea of an elevator attendant ever started. Really? Why couldn’t people press their own button? Riley couldn’t help giggling a little bit. The room was labeled “Park Lane Suite” most likely because of its amazing views of central park from its eight large windows. Riley ran around the room like it was a palace. There was a formal dining table with eight plush chairs around it, and Riley took a moment to sit in one of them. A full living room and kitchen were nearby. Riley went into the bedroom and jumped onto the king size bed. This was a hotel room like the movies. The perfection of every piece in the room was amazing. “I take it you like the room?” Chase said from the doorway. He enjoyed watching the excitement in Riley’s eyes. He liked to see her acting so carefree and relaxed. Since he had returned from Australia, he had not seen this side of Riley. She was busy working or taking care of his party. Riley didn’t tend to relax very
easily. “Yes. Yes and yes; I like the room. Do you think it has a big bathtub?” Riley jumped up and ran into the bathroom. Not only was there a giant tub, but there was also a shower that was bigger than her entire bathroom. “Let’s get in,” Chase said as he came up behind Riley and started the water. Chase slid one strap of her dress down her shoulder and then the other. Riley let the dress fall to the ground. She wasn’t wearing a bra and only had on a tiny pair of pink lace panties. Riley turned around and started unbuttoning Chase’s shirt. He stood there very still as he looked down and watched her every move. His large muscular body at the mercy of this delicate red-headed goddess; Chase couldn’t have been happier. “I don’t imagine you normally take many baths,” Riley said as she slid Chase’s shirt off of him and moved onto unbuckling his belt. “I think I can make an exception tonight.” Chase stepped out of his pants and quickly pulled off his boxer briefs. He stood there at full attention admiring Riley’s body. She turned and leaned over to test the water. Her ass was too irresistible to Chase, and he grabbed her and pulled her back toward him. “No no no, Mr. Handsy. We are taking a bath in this incredible tub.” Chase instantly regretted agreeing to this bath. Sitting naked in that tub with her delicious body in front of him, Chase knew this was going to be a special kind of torture. Riley let Chase get in first, and then she sat down in front of him. She could feel his hard member pressing up against her back as she sat down. His hands instantly wrapped around to play with her breasts. Riley laid back into Chase and let the warm water engulf her body. She let Chase and his hands enjoy her body. This was by far the best bath she had ever had. The warm water made it impossible for Riley to stay awake. She felt a sense of relaxation that she couldn’t describe. Chase wrapped her in a towel, and they made their way over to the large bed. The two of them climbed under the covers and let their naked bodies curl up together. Suddenly Riley wasn’t as tired as she thought. She pulled Chase on top of her and kissed him.
Riley wrapped her legs around Chase and let him slide into her. He could feel the breath leave her as Riley let out a delicious moan of ecstasy. They made love with Chase thrusting slowly and taking the time to stop and kiss Riley while Riley let her hands explore the muscles of Chase’s back. As they finally fell asleep, Riley couldn’t help thinking this had been the most perfect day of her life.
As the morning sun rose, Riley awoke to an empty bed. She got up and looked around the hotel room, but Chase was not there. On the table was a note: Had to run out to an early meeting, will be back. Hopefully, before you wake up. A meeting? It was only eight o’clock in the morning on Sunday. Who on earth held meetings at that time of day. Riley instantly thought about those two thugs who had pulled up in front of Chase’s work building. But they were back in Ohio. Who could he be meeting up with here in New York? Within a few moments, Chase was back, and he had brought the room service cart with him. It was filled with everything on the menu, and Riley felt like she wanted to taste it all. The pancakes were fluffy and covered in strawberries. There were scrambled eggs, oatmeal, and fresh fruit. “How was your meeting?” “It was good. We got things decided on and signed the contract. Sorry, I had to do that this morning. I thought I could get it done before you woke up.” Riley didn’t really care that he had a business to do—she understood. But she was worried about who he was doing business with. “So you got everything situated?” “Yep. Do you want to go shopping for a little bit before we go home?” Man, Chase really knew how to get to a girl’s heart. “You know you don’t have to spend all this money on me for me to like you.” Riley felt like she had to get this off of her chest. She didn’t need him to be rich; she didn’t need Chase to reserve a whole balcony for dinner or take her in a jet. “I know you are used to guys who wine and dine you. I didn’t want to be outdone.” “Well, I can guarantee your date last night will go down in the record books. But how about we try sticking close to home and go to some mini-golf next time.” Riley smiled as she did a pretend putt with her pretend putter. “Sure thing. Anything to make you happy.”
The rest of their day was spent going from department store to department store. Riley wanted to go to a long list of stores that she had always heard of. By the time the day was over, Chase felt like he was going to fall over from exhaustion. “I’m pretty sure shopping should be an Olympic sport,” Chase said as he collapsed back into their hotel room. “Wow, I really thought you were in better shape than this,” Riley joked as she fell onto the couch next to Chase. Riley was just as exhausted as Chase. They had walked at least ten miles throughout the day, and Riley couldn’t wait to get back into that big tub and soak her muscles. She went into the bathroom and started the water. Riley looked through the stack of lotions and other bathroom supplies on the counter and found some bubble bath to put in the water. Instantly bubbles filled the bathtub. “Are you joining me?” Riley yelled as she got undressed. “Be in there in a minute.” Riley let her body slide into the water. She only took up about one-quarter of the size of the bathtub. She wondered what normal person would have such a large tub in their house. It wasn’t like you were going to need that much space. Even Chase, who was a really tall guy, probably only took up half of the tub. Riley waited for Chase to come in but finally decided she should just get out. It had been about 20 minutes, and he still had not joined her. She wrapped herself in a towel and came out into the living room. Chase was on his phone, and he went out onto the balcony when he saw Riley. What could be so important that he couldn’t let Riley hear? Riley went into the bedroom and slid under the covers, her wet hair soaking the sheets as the warmth of the bath helped her drift off to sleep. Riley awoke to Chase throwing all their things into his carryon bag and throwing clothing onto the bed. “We need to leave. Get dressed,” Chase said curtly. “What? It’s the middle of the night.” “Riley, I can’t explain right now. You need to trust me. It’s time to go home.” Riley was tired and still half asleep, but she could hear a tone in Chase’s voice and
knew she needed to do just what he was asking. She pulled on her clothes and followed him down to the lobby. Chase went up to the counter and checked out quickly. Before she knew it, they were in a black SUV and on their way to the airport. “Will your plane be ready on such short notice?” “We are flying commercial. There is an early morning flight that leaves in just about an hour.” Riley sat in silence as their SUV made its way to the airport. Instead of pulling up to the main terminal, though, they pulled up to a very small terminal called the Marine Terminal. “Commercial flights leave from here?” Riley was really confused. This terminal only had two gates, and there was no one else even there yet. Chase did not answer her. He seemed very preoccupied, and Riley was worried. When they got to the terminal, Chase asked for two tickets on the next flight to Ohio. Chase handed the woman cash for the tickets, which struck Riley as extremely odd. He had no problem using his credit card before. He had paid for dinner, her candy, and even the hotel room. Why would he suddenly be using cash? Chase and Riley made their way through the single security lane. Since no one else was around, the process went very quickly. At the gate, Chase continued to look around and seemed rather paranoid. But by this point, Riley didn’t want to ask him what was going on. She felt worried and really just wanted to get home. Her confidence in Chase and his business dealings was fading quickly.
“I’m going to run to the restroom. Go ahead and board the plan when they are ready. I’ll be right there,” Chase said as he left Riley sitting at the gate. Right after he left, the airline worker called for all boarding. It was a small plane with only fourteen rows; there was no need to call sections at a time. Plus Riley and a young family were the only people even waiting to get on the plane. Riley handed the worker her ticket and boarded the plan. She looked back to see if Chase was coming but didn’t see him. A few minutes went by, and Chase still hadn’t boarded the plane. Riley got up and tried to get off the plane. “Ma’am, there is no de-boarding once you have gotten on.” “My boyfriend is in the terminal. He hasn’t gotten on board yet.” “I’ll go take a look.” The women left Riley on the plane and went back up to the terminal. When she returned, she bore a confused expression. “I walked all around the terminal. There was no one out there.” Riley just looked at the woman. How could there be no one out there? Chase was out there. He had just been with her. She reached into her bag and dialed Chase’s phone, which went unanswered. The plane pulled back from the gate, and Riley looked out her window to see if she could see Chase anywhere. As the plane took off from the short runway, Riley saw what looked like Chase out in the parking lot next to the SUV that had brought them to the airport. He was talking to the driver, and then another car pulled up behind them. Riley raced to the back of the plane to try and get a better look. She saw two men get out of their car and approach Chase. The plane continued to climb, and Riley couldn’t see what was going on. Soon they were too far away, and Riley was left to sit and wonder what the heck was going on. For the entire flight, she thought about why on earth Chase would leave her on the plane alone. Why would he purposely ditch her? What was going on that they had to leave in the middle of the night?
Instantly when her plane landed in Ohio, Riley called Kimberly and told her what was going on. She had Kimberly and Henry pick her up at the airport and explained in detail what had happened in New York. Riley told them about leaving the hotel in the middle of the night, Chase paying cash for the tickets, then not even getting on the plane. Riley hesitated to tell them about the thugs who had shown up at Chase’s business, though. She didn’t want to make Chase out to be a criminal or something, so she left that part out. Kimberly and Riley called everyone they knew that knew Chase. They tried to figure out where he was, and if he was still in New York, but unfortunately, they couldn’t find a thing. People either didn’t know where Chase was or they were really good at hiding what they knew. Riley couldn’t help thinking that something very bad had happened to Chase. She really hoped he was alright and his need to build the biggest renewable energy office had not just landed him in more trouble than he could deal with. Riley closed her eyes and replayed all the events in her head; there had to be something she was missing. How on earth was she going to find Chase? Riley went over to his house to see if she could find some answers. When she arrived, the front door was open slightly. Without thinking, Riley walked inside.
“Seriously, one minute we were getting ready to get on the plane, and the next, I was alone, and he was out in the parking lot. I have no idea what happened,” Riley said as she tried to explain how Chase went missing to his sister, Kimberly. “I don’t understand. He just went outside instead of getting on the plane?” Kimberly asked. “Yeah, and now he’s not answering his phone. It actually seems like it is turned off when you call it.” “This is the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard,” added Henry. “We should call the police, don’t you think?” Riley asked her two friends. “I mean, yeah, totally. This is weird,” Kim said. The three called the police in New York where Riley had taken off alone from the airport. But New York City was a big place, and from what the police officer could gather, Chase made the choice not to get on that plane. The officer took down their information and promised to call them if he heard anything. Riley couldn’t sleep. She kept thinking about those two shady men that had been to visit Chase at his new office building. When she had looked and seen Chase in the parking lot of the airport, she wasn’t sure, but she thought it had been those two men that pulled up to talk to Chase. Riley kept thinking that those men were out to harm Chase. Maybe they wanted his money? Maybe they wanted this illegal mineral he was going to use to power his new office building? Riley didn’t know, and she didn’t care. What Riley did care about was that Chase was safe, and at that moment, she had no idea if he was dead or alive. Her sleepless night dragged on forever, and Riley decided it would be best just to get up and be productive. She took to cleaning her apartment. Not just the normal picking up she would typically do. Riley scrubbed the floors, vacuumed every room, and even wiped the toilet clean. Without sleep, her body was exhausted, but at least her house was spotless. Riley collapsed onto the couch and tried to rest. She fell asleep fast and slept well into the evening.
When her buzzer from downstairs rang, Riley jumped up and automatically buzzed the person in. She had been expecting Kimberly to come over and watch movies that night, and she always came over early on their movie nights. Riley cracked her door open a touch and went to the kitchen to see what snacks she could make for their day. When she heard the front door open, Riley hollered out. “What do you want to eat tonight, Kim?” “I’d like some Mexican food if that’s alright,” Chase said as he walked into Riley’s apartment. “Chase? Where have you been?” Riley seemed angry and did not run over to hug him. “Please don’t be mad at me.” “What the hell is going on? You need to explain yourself right now. You have thugs coming to your work. You are trying to buy illegal minerals. What is going on?” “I’m sorry. I got a call about a business thing, and I accidently dropped my phone. It was a disaster. I went to the counter to tell them to call you on the flight, but you had already taxied to the runway. Riley didn’t believe a word of what Chase was saying. In fact, she wasn’t sure she could trust him at all. The problem she had was when he was right there in front of her it was impossible to resist him. Riley was so relieved he was alright. Even though he was lying to her, she couldn’t stop thinking about wrapping her arms around him and kissing him for hours. His tall six foot three muscular frame begged for her to be near him. She looked up into his emerald green eyes, and Riley caved in. She had to have him. Her body needed to feel his. “I was so worried,” Riley said as her eyes started to well up with tears. “I’m sorry for worrying you. But see, I’m here. I’m just fine.” “You just left, and I saw those men pull up in the parking lot and thought for sure they were going to kill you.” “Pretty sure I can take care of myself, babe. You had nothing to worry about.” “Well, I did worry. Everyone is worried. Your mom, Kim, and Henry; we were all worried out of our minds.” “Riley, you have to calm down. I’m alright. Everything is alright now.”
Chase tried to comfort Riley, but she was sobbing by this time. He took her over to the couch, and they both sat down. Chase wrapped Riley in his arms and held her close. She really couldn’t think of anything else in the world that would make her feel better than his arms. “I thought you were murdered. I couldn’t imagine what I’d do without you,” Riley had started to calm down, and her crying slowed. She sat curled up in Chase’s arms waiting for him to actually tell her what happened. She wanted him to offer her the truth about where he had been and what he was doing. Riley just wanted him to at least admit that it was an extremely odd set of events. Chase wasn’t about to give out any information, though, and Riley finally decided she wouldn’t get the truth tonight. If she couldn’t get the truth, Riley at least wanted to feel the comfort and pleasure of Chase’s body. She wiped the rest of her tears and sat up. Riley looked Chase in the eyes and let her lips gently touch his. Instantly, she didn’t care about where he had been or what he had been doing. For that moment, Riley just wanted to be there with Chase. He wrapped his arms around her body and stood up with her still hanging on. Chase made his way to the bedroom and gently placed Riley onto the bed. “I’m sorry I worried you,” Chase said.
Chase gently laid Riley onto the bed. Her long red hair spread out in a radiant circle around her. Chase climbed on top of her and kissed her, taking in Riley’s soft plump lips while he looked into her deep blue eyes. Riley couldn’t be mad at him right now. At this moment, all she could think about was the pleasure Chase could bring her. She needed to feel the release that only Chase knew how to give her. He moved his lips down to her stomach and lifted her T-shirt up. His kisses lingered all around her belly button as his hands made their way to the back of her bra to release it. Riley rolled her hips in desire as Chase worked on getting her naked, the anticipation driving her to ache for his hands, his body, every part of him. She let out a moan as he set her breasts free and quickly moved up to let his mouth pull her nipple in. Chase loved to hear her moans, and the more she moaned, the harder he pulled on her nipple. While his mouth occupied one side of her, Chase let his hand move down under the waistline of her shorts. He could feel her hips rocking, wanting more, and begging for more from Chase. His fingers slipped into her shorts and panties; soon, they had full access to her pleasure spot. Chase used one finger to trace a circle around her clit, starting in a wide area and then moving into a smaller and smaller circle. Riley arched her back with pleasure as she let herself be one with Chase. She wanted him to have his way with her; Riley wanted to forget about all the stress of the last two days and simply feel the pleasure that Chase was begging to give her. She wanted to feel ecstasy instead of the pain and heartache which had dominated her mind for longer than she cared to ever feel that way. “Yes, Chase, oh, God yes,” Riley moaned as Chase’s fingers worked their way around her pleasure spot. Chase moved his lips up from her nipple to Riley’s lips again. He wanted to feel her excitement when she exploded. Chase wanted his lips to be on hers when she moaned in delight from the orgasm she was about to have. As Riley’s breath got quicker and her moans louder, Chase took two fingers and slid them inside of her. Slowly he moved them as Riley rocked hard against them. She thrust her hips, trying to make the pleasure more and more.
Soon she was panting and trying to gather her breath as the excitement started to build inside of her. The faster she moved her hips against him, the more he thrust with his fingers. He could see her body starting to tense up as the ripple of pleasure began. First, her hips quickened. Then she grabbed his head with both of her hands. She held his lips against hers as the explosion moved fast from her abdomen to her toes. Her hips stopped moving, and her thighs tightened around his fingers. But Chase didn’t stop. He kept thrusting slowly, using one of his legs to spread Riley’s wider. She had just orgasmed and was trying to calm her body while Chase continued to try and bring her to a level of pleasure she had not experienced before. His fingers thrust deep and then curled up as they rubbed on her g-spot. Riley’s moans became more primal than ever. She reached her hands to the sheets and grabbed hold as Chase worked her body like his own special video game. This time, her body started to shake as the power of the orgasm started stronger than ever. She thrust her hips up in the air as the full force of her pleasure made her lose control of what she was doing. Her moans of bliss gave Chase a feeling of satisfaction. As he watched her body quiver, he took in the vision and posted it to his memories. Riley’s body continued to tense and shake in reaction to the pleasure that Chase provided. As the feeling started to dissipate, and Riley was able to open her eyes, she found Chase laying there next to her just watching her. “Oh, my God, that was awesome,” Riley said as she pulled Chase toward her for a kiss. “We can go again if you’d like.” “I don’t think I could even move right now.” Chase rolled Riley over and pulled her close to him. He lay there fully clothed and still wearing his jeans and T-shirt from his flight back to Ohio from New York. Riley lay curled up naked in his arms as she quickly fell asleep. Riley wanted to be angry with Chase still; she wanted to yell at him and get him to tell her where he had been, but she just did not have the energy to continue that conversation. It would have to be a conversation for another day. Maybe tomorrow she would be able to get the truth out of Chase. Maybe tomorrow he would explain where he had been and what he was doing. Because Riley knew for sure his story was not true.
She had already been tired before Chase arrived, and now her body could not physically stay awake for another moment. Riley drifted off to sleep in Chase’s arms, still not knowing what the truth was and where Chase had been for the last two days.
The next morning, when Riley woke up, she was ready to confront Chase and try to get to the bottom of what really happened while Chase was away. She could not just go about their life like nothing happened. He ditched her on a plane and disappeared for almost two full days. This was a big deal. As much as Chase was trying to make things out to seem totally normal, Riley needed to find out the truth. She couldn’t keep pretending like the story he made up actually made any sense at all. “Good morning, sweetheart,” Chase said. “Morning.” “I would like to spend some time with you today. Do you think you could take the day off of work?” “Only if we can talk about what really happened on that flight from New York.” Chase looked unhappy when Riley brought that up again. Perhaps he thought that she had been satisfied with his original answer because she slept with him last night. But Riley was anything but satisfied with his story. Although, she certainly was satisfied with the sex they had the previous night. “Alright, we can talk about it more. But I’m not going to have much else to say.” “I guess we can go out today then.” Chase got up and took a shower, and Riley tried to go through his pockets to see if there were any clues to where he had been. But there was nothing. Absolutely nothing. His wallet and phone were the only two things he had with him, and his phone was locked so she couldn’t even check to see what might have been in there. She would just have to be sweet to him and convince him to tell her the truth. Riley believed it had something to do with those illegal minerals that Chase wanted for his business, but there seemed to be something much more sinister going on. Riley was going to figure it out. After the two of them got dressed and ready for their day, they went down to the street where Chase had parked his car. It was not his normal car.
“What is this?” Riley asked. “Oh, my car isn’t working. Sorry, we will have to take this.” “I don’t mind, but it seems like the car dealership could have gotten you a little better loan car.” Riley laughed as they got into the mint green 1998 Cutlass Classic. The car looked like something her grandmother would drive, and Riley found it hilarious to see Chase behind the wheel. Even Chase thought it was pretty funny to be driving a car like this. He had been used to driving cars that cost more than most people’s homes. Riley couldn’t stop laughing as they drove away. “At least you know I’m not with you for your money.” Riley said, still laughing. “Yes, I do. Because you wouldn’t have got in this car in a million years if you were all about the money.” Chase leaned back in his seat, put one arm on the steering wheel and tried to look as cool as possible. But Riley still couldn’t stop giggling. Chase certainly looked out of place in a car like this. They pulled up to the movie theater at the edge of town, and Chase got out of the car and ran around to open Riley’s door. “What a gentleman,” she said as she grabbed his hand and they walked into the movie theater. Chase seemed to be a little nervous while they had been driving over there, and he had constantly been checking his mirrors and looking behind him. When they walked through the parking lot of the theater, he continued to be nervous. Only when they finally made it into the theater did Chase calm down a bit. Something about the dark almost empty building just made him calm down. They got settled into their movie, and Riley leaned up against him. She still wanted to talk to him more about what had happened in New York, but the movie theater certainly wasn’t the right place. So she decided to just cuddle up with him and enjoy the movie. Chase finally seemed to relax as they sat back and watched the latest romantic flick. Riley loved romance, and this date seemed even more perfect to her than their wild romantic date to New York City. She hoped Chase understood that. Riley didn’t need him to spend thousands of dollars on her for a date, simply spending time with him and
doing something fun like this was perfect. As the movie got over, Riley pulled Chase back down to his seat as everyone else left the theater. “This is the perfect place for us to talk about what happened,” Riley said as she looked around the empty room. “I told you what happened, sweetheart; it was just a comedy of errors. Nothing to worry about.” But there was something to worry about. People didn’t just abandon their loved ones and not get on a plane to go home. People didn’t just disappear for days and then appear as if nothing had happened at all. “Chase, seriously … I need you to explain what is going on. Is it this illegal mineral? Is it those thugs that came to your office last week? Tell me what is going on.” Chase’s phone buzzed in his pocket, and he took the call. He walked down the steps of the theater and talked quietly so Riley couldn’t hear what was going on. She walked after him, trying to hear what he was saying, but he spoke too quietly. “Send a car for me; I’ll be right there,” Chase said to whomever he was talking to on the phone. “Sorry, honey; I have to run to work. I’m having a car sent for me. You can take the junker home. I’ll stop by and see you later.” “What? Seriously you are leaving again?” “Riley, I’m just going to work. There is nothing sinister about a man going to work.” “You asked me to take the day off of work to spend with you, and halfway through the day you want to abandon me and go to work yourself?” “I’m sorry. I promise I’ll make it up to you.” With that, Chase gave Riley a quick kiss, and his car had pulled up outside the building. He handed Riley the keys to the old car out front, and he got into the vehicle which had arrived for him.
Riley wasn’t about to just go back to her house and not figure out what Chase was up to. She couldn’t keep up with his car in the junker car that Chase had left her, but she did drive straight over to his work. She pulled up down the street and kept a watch over his driveway to see if anyone else came to meet him at his office. Perhaps he was meeting up with those thugs again. Riley wanted to be prepared if something went wrong, and she needed to call the police. Chase was certainly in great physical shape, but Riley didn’t think he could take on those two men. They had been big and looked like they were used to getting into fights often. Riley slid down in her seat and watched his office. Nothing unusual seemed to be happening. Every once in a while, she saw Chase walking around his office. It had a large glass window, and he looked out while he talked on the phone. Riley had parked in the perfect spot, though, and the shade of the trees made it impossible to see her from where he was at. A big black SUV turned into the driveway of Chase’s new office building. Riley jumped out of her car and went into the woods next to the building so she could get a better look at who had arrived. Not like she would be able to do much if he got into a fight with those thugs, but Riley could at least call for help. When the car stopped, a driver came around and opened the back door. A beautiful blonde haired woman slid out of the back seat. She had on a dark business suit with a long pencil skirt. She took her jacket off as she got out of the car and exposed her ample breasts which hid under a very light pink silk blouse. The woman looked professional, but seductive as well. Riley watched as Chase came out of his building and greeted her. But instead of shaking her hand, he hugged her. Chase shook his head back at something the woman said, and then the two of them laughed as they went into the building. The driver of the car stayed outside the vehicle and seemed to look around the perimeter of the grounds, so Riley went back to her car down the street. Perhaps she would be able to see Chase and this woman if they went to his office. Riley typically wasn’t a jealous woman at all, but Chase had just ditched her on a date to come meet up with this woman. Riley thought she should at least stay and see how
long this meeting was going to last. She went back to her car to wait. The time seemed to drag on forever, and nothing appeared to be happening. The woman stayed inside the building with Chase. The driver stayed outside looking around the grounds. More than three hours later, Riley drifted off to sleep in the car as she waited outside of Chase’s building. She wasn’t exactly sure how long she had been asleep, but when Riley woke up it was dark outside, and the dark SUV had left from in front of Chase’s office. There were no lights on inside the building, either, so Riley thought Chase had left also. Riley looked at her phone, and there wasn’t a message or text from Chase. This guy was really starting to get on her last nerves. Why did he feel like he could just disappear and not even contact her at all? Did he understand how weird that was? Riley drove the junker car back over to her house and walked around her living room trying to figure out what she should say to Chase. She composed text message after text message trying to get her words just right. Riley wanted Chase to know how angry she was, but she didn’t want to be rude. What if everything he was doing really did just have to do with his work? She would feel horrible if she acted like a jerk and things turned out to be nothing but business related. On the other hand, Riley didn’t like the way Chase made her feel like she was crazy for asking where he was. It wasn’t unusual, she thought. Any woman would be worried about her boyfriend disappearing. Riley continued to pace and worry about what to say and finally decided she shouldn’t text him at all. Riley needed to talk with Chase in person. Texting was just not going to work for her. Chase needed to talk to her face to face and actually explain what was going on. She couldn’t take the secrecy anymore. This was not what normal life was like for people. Normal people did not keep these kinds of secrets, and Riley couldn’t keep going on with this constant uncertainty. As she fell asleep, Riley made a promise to herself that she would get a straight answer out of Chase tomorrow or she would have to break up with him. She just couldn’t keep going on with this weird situation. Riley had a job; she had work to do, and she couldn’t get caught up in all of this drama that Chase had going on around him. In the morning, she would confront Chase, and they would decide once and for all if they were going to be able to continue seeing each other.
Chase would either be honest with her and tell her the truth, or if he refused; Riley would break up with him. She didn’t want to break up with him, but she also did not want to go on for months dating someone who didn’t value honesty.
Riley called Chase bright and early in the morning. She had to get things situated with him. “Can you come over this morning; I think we need to talk,” Riley said as she dialed his number from her bed. “Sure. Is everything alright?” Riley didn’t answer. She didn’t know if everything was alright or not. Chase had turned their relationship into some sort of mystery novel, and Riley wasn’t interested in continuing with the drama. “Just come over. We have to talk,” Riley said. Riley got into the shower and put on her sweatpants. She wasn’t feeling up to having this conversation, but yet she knew it had to happen. There was just no way around it. Chase would have to tell her the truth, or Riley would just have to leave him. When Chase arrived at her apartment, Riley took a deep breath and buzzed him in. She wasn’t ready to break up with him, but she would do it if he forced her. “Hey baby, how was your night?” Chase said as he hugged Riley when he got into her apartment. “Well, I spent most of my night worrying about where you were.” “I’m sorry; I just had a business meeting.” Riley wanted to ask what kind of business Chase was doing with that woman who had arrived at his office. But she decided it would look worse for her that she had followed him. But she also wanted to know why the woman he was doing business with seemed to travel with a security guard. It all seemed very odd to Riley. “Chase, I can’t keep going on like this.” “What do you mean, babe?” Chase said as he relaxed on the couch. Riley wasn’t sure why he looked so calm. Did he not understand how weird all of this was? Did he not see what it was doing to her to know he was lying all the time? “I mean you taking off in the middle of our date. You leaving me on an airplane in New
York City. This is not how a normal boyfriend treats his girlfriend!” Riley exploded as she let go of all her pent up anger. Chase continued to sit calmly. He did not react to her anger at all. “Babe, I’m sorry if my life seems cryptic right now. There is some major business stuff going down. I just need some time. It will all make sense soon.” “You need time to be honest with me?” Riley didn’t understand what he was saying at all. People didn’t need time in order to tell someone the truth. Chase just didn’t want to tell her the truth. For whatever reason, Chase was perfectly happy living his cryptic life and leaving Riley out of it. “I don’t get that. How will time make you suddenly stop lying to me?” Riley was standing and pacing her living room. She just didn’t get it. Honesty wasn’t something that you just did a little bit at a time. Honesty was something that he should be doing all of the time. “Honey, I really want to tell you more, but I can’t right now. You are just going to have to trust me.” Riley laughed at Chase. Trust him! He had left her on a plane in New York and disappeared for days. How could she trust someone who would do something like that? “I can’t do this anymore. I want to break up. I’m sorry, but I need you to be honest with me, and if you can’t do that, we need to break up.” Riley thought the threat of breaking up would make Chase change his mind and be honest with her. She thought he wouldn’t want to lose her and would choose to tell her what happened. “Alright, I understand where you are coming from. Maybe down the road a bit we can talk again.” Chase leaned down and gave Riley a kiss on the forehead and left her apartment. Riley was left sitting there trying to figure out what had just happened. Chase didn’t even fight to keep her. It was like a relief to him when she threatened to break up. He didn’t even bat an eye. Chase simply said alright! Wow, Riley really didn’t know the guy at all. She thought Chase had feelings for her; she really thought he wanted to be with her. Riley felt silly, but she did think that she and Chase would have ended up together for
the long run. She even thought she would marry him. Now sitting alone in her apartment, Riley was left with an empty feeling. She didn’t know what was going on with Chase, but whatever it was, he really didn’t want Riley involved in it at all. She felt tears start to roll down her face. Riley loved Chase; she didn’t want to break up with him. Riley just wanted him to be honest with her. She just wanted to know what was going on and why he had been lying to her. But now she sat alone in her living room. She and Chase had broken up, and she was left alone to try and figure out what was going on. She called Kimberly to come over. Riley needed her best friend to talk to and comfort her. She didn’t care that Kimberly was Chase’s little sister. They had been friends for years, and she knew Kim would help her get through this hard time. Riley couldn’t believe her and Chase were over. It happened so quickly, and it was all her fault. She shouldn’t have threatened Chase with breaking up with him. She should have just tried to be understanding. Obviously, some big business deal was going on, but why wouldn’t Chase at least tell Riley a little bit so she didn’t worry? Riley didn’t understand any of what was going on, but it didn’t matter now. Nothing mattered now.
Riley felt miserable without Chase. She desperately wanted him to just come find her and apologize. She couldn’t get over how easily he was willing to give up on their relationship, though. Maybe he just wasn’t as into her as she was to him. For weeks, Riley kept to herself and just went from work to home. She didn’t know what to do. Things certainly didn’t seem normal, but what could she really do about anything? Chase had made his decision. He seemed perfectly content to break up with Riley and had not even been asking Kimberly how Riley was doing. The last time Kim and Riley hung out, Riley asked all kinds of questions about Chase and if he had been worried about her, but nothing. Kim knew nothing. As Kim pulled up to where she and Riley and were having lunch, Riley thought that this was it. She was single again. Back to lunches with Kimberly and partying on the weekends. She didn’t like this lifestyle and wanted more with Chase. But that was out of her hands now. “I’ve got to talk to you,” Kimberly said as she sat down at their table. “What’s up?” “I think Chase is doing something illegal.” Riley knew he was doing something illegal, but she had never told Kimberly about that stuff. “Why? What’s going on?” “Well, I tried to stop by his work to catch up with him, but there was a guy out front protecting his main entrance. I explained that I was his sister and just needed to see him. I tried to walk past the guy, and he pulled out a gun and told me to leave.” “What! A gun, oh, my gosh that is crazy!” Riley wondered if the man had been the same one who brought that blonde haired women to the office before. He looked like someone who could be packing a gun, but Riley had not specifically seen a gun when she was there. “Yeah, I called Chase, and he came out. But he totally blew me off when I told him
what happened. He even got mad at me for coming to his office and told me not to come back there.” “That’s crazy. I knew something was going on with him. But this is starting to get really weird.” “Yeah, I don’t know. But he was a total jerk to me.” The girls continued to compare notes about what was going on with Chase. They were both worried he was getting involved in some illegal activity, but neither of them wanted to get in trouble. They tried to put a plan together to confront Chase and get to the bottom of things. Chase needed an intervention. He was going to ruin his life by getting involved in all this illegal stuff. Or worse! He could get himself killed. Those two men that had been at his work when Riley was there were very dangerous looking. In retrospect, Riley thought they for sure looked like the kind of guys who would carry guns. In one swift move, Chase could be dead. Riley and Kimberly decided they were going to over to Chase’s house. They were going to confront him together. He wouldn’t be able to talk his way out of this situation if they were both there. Chase had to know that both Riley and Kimberly cared about him, and they did not want him to go down this wrong path and get himself in trouble. He had worked so hard for his money, and getting involved in this illegal activity could ruin him. Chase would lose all the money he had worked so hard for, but he would also lose his freedom. Riley was sure whatever Chase was doing with these minerals was illegal and would result in him ending up in prison. She didn’t want that to happen. Even if the two of them never got back together, Riley wanted what was best for Chase, and going to prison certainly wasn’t good. Kimberly and Riley headed over to Chase’s house to talk to him. To talk some sense into him. Whatever he was doing with this business plan of his they didn’t think it was a good idea. This wasn’t alright with Kim and Riley, and they wanted him to know they cared about him.
As the girls arrived at Chase’s house, there were no vehicles anywhere. But that wasn’t unusual since Chase often kept his cars in the garage. Riley stomped up to his front door and rang the bell. Kimberly was only a short distance behind. They waited for Chase to come to the door, but he never came. So, then they rang the bell again. The girls looked at each other as they heard the sound of a woman’s hi-heel shoes clinking along toward the door. Riley stepped back; Chase had a woman there? Her heart sank as she stood there. Not only had Chase been perfectly fine with breaking up with Riley, but he also had a woman over at his house already. The door slowly opened, and Riley saw the blonde-haired businesswoman standing in the doorway. She wore a similar business suit to before, but this time her hair was pulled back in a professional looking style. Riley couldn’t get words to come out of her mouth. She had wanted to say so many things to Chase, but this woman was there now. This woman changed everything. Perhaps Chase had been lying because he was really running off with this woman. Maybe all this secrecy was just Chase having an affair and leaving Riley for someone else. No words ever came out. Instead, Kimberly spoke up. “Where is my brother? I need to talk to him.” The woman stepped out the door to the house and closed it behind her. “Listen to me girls. You need to leave right now. Chase is not going to be able to talk to you.” “What? What are you talking about? He’s my brother, and he’s not available to talk to me?” Kimberly was irate. She didn’t understand what was going on, but she certainly wasn’t about to let this woman boss her around.
“You need to leave,” the woman said to Kim and Riley. The girls stood there not willing to leave. This woman couldn’t boss them around like that. But then the woman turned around and went back into Chase’s house leaving the girls standing at the front entrance. There was nothing they could do about it. The girls turn and headed back to Riley’s apartment. As they got back to her apartment, Riley suddenly started to get angry. She couldn’t even fathom what was going on. Had this all just been Chase having an affair? “So he’s got a girlfriend now? Really is that what this all was?”Riley said as the girls walked inside the apartment. “I don’t know. She didn’t seem like the type of person he would date. Maybe it’s some sort of business deal?” “She was at his office the other night. I was sitting outside and had followed him there when he left our date abruptly. That woman showed up and spent hours inside with him.” “What did they do?” “I don’t know; I couldn’t see inside because that security guard guy was outside.” “This is starting to seem pretty damn weird. Do you think he’s doing something illegal?” Kimberly said. “Yes, Kim! Yes, he is doing something illegal. Yes, he is lying to us all. Why is this so hard to believe? The Chase that we know isn’t there right now. This Chase is a liar and possibly a cheater too.” Riley couldn’t contain her anger anymore. Riley had spent the last month worried that Chase was mad at her, worried that she had made a mistake by breaking up with him. But this woman being at his house just cemented the whole situation in her mind. Chase was on his own now. Riley didn’t need this kind of chaos. If Chase wanted to spend his time involved in illegal activity and hanging around a sexy blonde woman, then that was his business. Riley couldn’t take another sleepless night worrying about him. “I just can’t believe this is my brother,” Kim said. Riley wanted to keep yelling and stay angry, but Kim looked so sad. Chase was her brother, and as much as Riley could try and forget about Chase, Kim would always be
his sister. The girls sat and talked about the situation and decided they should bring Henry in on what was going on. Perhaps Henry would have more information. Henry and Chase had been friends since middle school. If there were anyone Chase would confide in, it had to be Henry. “Henry, come over to Riley’s house. We need to talk to you right away,” Kim said as she left Henry a voicemail. It only took Henry thirty minutes to get the voicemail and arrive at Riley’s house. The buzzer from downstairs rang, and Riley buzzed Henry in. “What’s going on? Am I in trouble?” Henry joked as he kissed Kim and came and sat down with the girls. Kim and Henry had been dating for a few months, and things were starting to get pretty serious between the two of them. They used to go on double dates and hang out with Riley and Chase, but now things had all changed. “We will get right to it. What’s going on with Chase?” Riley asked as she looked Henry dead in the eyes. “What do you mean? I haven’t talked to him in weeks.” “Really?” Kim seemed to be worried by this. “Yeah, we aren’t girls. Sometimes we go weeks without talking to each other. It’s not that weird.” The girls went on to tell Henry all that had been going on. Henry knew about the New York incident but thought everything had been worked out between Chase and Riley. He was surprised to hear that they had broken up. “Well, I’m not sure what is going on with him. But the next time I talk to him, I’ll fish around to see what’s up,” Henry said, but he didn’t seem very worried. “Why aren’t you more worried about what’s going on?” Kim asked him. “Well, because I only hear your side of the story. I’ll talk to him and see what he has to say. There is nothing to freak out about. I’m sure there is a logical explanation.” Riley wasn’t so sure that there was an easy explanation or at least the explanation that would turn out well. Maybe the easy explanation was simply that he didn’t want to be with her anymore and had moved on with another woman. Riley didn’t like that
explanation, but it certainly was an easy one.
The next night, Riley, Henry, and Kimberly decided to get together for dinner at Kimberly’s house with her family. They invited Chase to come, but no one had heard anything from him. Henry texted him and tried to call him; they even had Kim and Chase’s mother try to call him. But no response at all. They sat down, ate dinner and talked about Chase. “I’m worried about him. This is unusual that he wouldn’t answer my calls,” Chase and Kim’s mother said. Riley was also worried. Chase had always been very quick to answer a call from his mother. No matter what was going on, he would stop what he was doing and be available to his mom. I’m worried too mom,” Kim said as they finished dinner. Then something came across the news and caught all of their attention. “A local bust has made national news,” the television reporter said. Everyone stopped and turned to look at the television. Chase’s home was swarmed by police, and those two thugs that Riley had seen several weeks ago were being arrested and put into police cars. Moments later, Chase was walked out of his home in handcuffs, the sexy blonde-haired woman guiding him to a police car. “A volatile international business has been going on for years selling this mineral to businesses. This illegal mineral is said to have ten times the power of natural gas and is ten times as dangerous.” The reported didn’t explain how Chase had been caught up in the exchange, but Riley knew what was going on. That woman must have been undercover and caught Chase buying the illegal mineral. Riley thought Chase was smarter than all this, though. He had helped to start a multibillion dollar company in Australia. Riley just couldn’t figure out how he had gotten himself into this mess. She also didn’t know why he would do something so stupid. Chase had never been involved in anything illegal ever.
Not even a speeding ticket! Riley just couldn’t figure out why he had put his life at risk for something like this. “I don’t understand. He is being arrested?” Chase’s mother sat looking at the television. “Yes, Mom. He was caught buying something illegal, and it looks like he was arrested.” Kimberly tried to comfort her mother. Soon both women were in tears. “I’m calling the police station. How do I get him out?” Chase’s mother said as she looked through her phone book for a number of the police station. “Mom, maybe we should just go down there?” Within moments, Kimberly and her mom were gone and on their way to the police station. Henry and Riley sat there watching every piece of news they could find on what was going on. None of them could understand what had happened. How did Chase turn from an engineering prodigy that had helped to start a multi-billion dollar company, to a criminal? It just did not make sense to anyone. As the night wore on, Henry and Riley refused to leave. They wanted to see if Kim and her mom were able to get Chase out of jail. They both wanted to be there for Chase when he got home. Even if he was doing illegal things, they wanted to be there for him as his friends. Henry and Riley fell asleep on the couch waiting for Kimberly and her mother to get back. Even if they didn’t bring Chase with them, hopefully, they would know more about what had happened. Around midnight, Kimberly, and her mother got home. They did not have Chase with them. “What happened? What did you find out?” “He wasn’t there.” “What do you mean? Like they wouldn’t let you see him or something?” Riley asked, confused as to what Kimberly was trying to say. “No. I mean he wasn’t there. At first, they made us wait, and we thought he was there. But then they came and said the federal government had taken him away.” This was bigger than even Riley could have imagined. If the federal government had
come to get him, then federal charges were going to be put against him. That was more serious and might involve federal court and prison. Riley felt so bad for Chase, but she also couldn’t understand how and why he would have put himself into this situation. “So how do we find out where he was taken?” Riley asked. “They wouldn’t tell us. In fact, they seemed annoyed that we kept asking where he was. Finally, they took our information and said someone would be contacting us in the next couple of days.” Kimberly was beyond annoyed by the whole situation. Riley couldn’t understand what was going on, but then again, she had never been involved with someone who did illegal things and got themselves arrested. When Riley went to bed that night, she had a weird sense of calm. Although it was horrible that Chase had been doing something illegal and got caught, at least he wasn’t cheating on her the whole time. The blonde-haired woman worked for the government; she wasn’t having an affair with him. But Riley still couldn’t put all the pieces of the puzzle together. Chase knew that woman. He welcomed her into his work and his home. She didn’t seem like she was trying to hide her identity from him at all. But then again, Riley had never heard her actually introduce herself. It was so confusing and weird all that had happened. Riley went to sleep and prayed that Chase was safe and not harmed at all.
Riley took a couple days off from work, hoping that they would hear something about Chase and where he was. But day after day came and went with no real word. Chase’s mother and Kimberly went back to the police station, but they got the runaround about where Chase was. His mom even hired an attorney to try and figure out what had happened. He certainly had the right to an attorney, so they thought that might be their best way to get in touch with him. Soon Riley decided to return to work. She couldn’t just sit around forever waiting for Chase to get out of prison. But hopefully, Kimberly and her mom would at least be able to figure out where Chase was being kept. Riley started meeting with clients again, but it was hard to concentrate on what was going on. She had to ask the client to repeat things a couple of times because she had been spacing off and not really paying attention. As her last client of the day came in, Riley was relieved that she had made it through the day. Getting on with her life was harder than Riley thought it was going to be. She needed to at least know where Chase was. She needed to know how long he would have to be there. Hopefully, she would find out some information soon. Her last consultation took well over an hour as Riley had to ask the client to repeat himself a couple of times. But as he walked out of her office, Riley breathed a big sigh of relief. She couldn’t wait to go home and relax. She packed up her things and was about to flip the lights off and leave when she heard the front door open. “I’m sorry … we are closed now,” Riley said without looking up. “Miss Holt, I’m going to need you to come with me,” a woman’s voice said. Riley’s heart stopped. As she looked up, that blonde-haired federal agent that had been at Chase’s house stood right at her front door. She was the same woman that had arrested Chase, and Riley instantly tried to think through why the federal government would want her to go with them. “Did I do something? I didn’t know about anything,” Riley lied as the woman escorted Riley out of her office and into the unmarked black SUV.
Riley was petrified. She couldn’t get arrested; Riley thought about what she actually knew, and if it would be illegal at all. Perhaps she should have gone to the cops when Chase said he was buying something that was illegal. Riley couldn’t think of any other reason that she could get in trouble. She didn’t know who those thugs were, and she couldn’t even remember the name of the minerals that Chase was trying to get. Riley really hoped they just needed to question her and then would be letting her go. In fact, they couldn’t question her unless she had an attorney. She would ask for an attorney right away when she got to their office. But the car ride took much longer than Riley had expected. They weren’t going to an office anywhere downtown, and from the length of time they were on the interstate, Riley began to wonder if they were going somewhere out of state. “Where are we going? I’m going to need a lawyer when we get there. Where should I tell him to go?” The woman just ignored Riley. In fact, Riley thought she saw the woman smile a little bit. This lady seemed to take pleasure out of causing people pain, but Riley hadn’t done anything illegal. There was no way they could hold her against her will. She would fight it. Riley would hire the best attorney she could. Not to mention how much her family would freak out and want to help. This lady thought she was so cool because she worked for the government and could arrest people, but she had something else coming if she thought she could pull one over on Riley. The vehicle got off the main interstate and pulled down a side road. Riley paid attention to where they were going, but she didn’t really know where they were. The trees around them got thicker and thicker and the road thinner. Riley tried to make mental notes of each turn they made so she would be ready to describe it again if she had to. When they arrived at an armed gate, Riley felt her heart start beating really fast. The placed looked nothing like a prison, but yet seemed more secure than most prisons she had seen on television. As they pulled into the courtyard, the blonde-haired woman came around and opened Riley’s door. Riley thought it was odd that they let her keep her purse with her as she went into the building, but she wasn’t about to argue with them. They walked into a very discrete office building and up to the second floor. The woman
brought Riley to an empty room and left her there. “Can I call my lawyer now?” Riley screamed at the woman as she left the room. Riley couldn’t figure out what was going on. The room she was in didn’t have cameras or even one of those cool one-way mirrors. Riley still had her purse, and there was even some bottled water sitting in the corner of the room. Mentally, Riley tried to remember how she had gotten there and every turn the vehicle made. If she got out of this place, she wanted to be able to describe things to the authorities. What if this woman didn’t even work for the federal government? The only clue that Riley had was that the woman was there when Chase had been arrested. But she could really work for the bad guys and was just pretending to be involved in the arrest. Riley didn’t know. The blonde woman never explained who she was or where they were going. Riley could feel her nerves growing the longer she sat there. She tried to think of all the questions they might want to ask her and what Riley could say for the answers. She put her head in her hands as she contemplated the whole situation and how she would be able to get out of it. While her head was down, Riley heard the door open, and someone stepped in. “I’m not talking to you without my lawyer,” Riley said as she lifted her head up. But what she saw was unbelievable. Standing in front of her was Chase, dressed in one of his custom gray suits and looking more like someone who worked for the federal government than someone who had been arrested by them. Riley had no idea what was going on here, but she was so happy to see Chase that she jumped up out of her chair and ran to him. She got at least three feet off of the ground as she sprung into the air and wrapped herself tightly around Chase. Riley would get an explanation later; right now, she just wanted to hug him and see he was real. Chase caught Riley midair and held onto her tight. He knew the last few weeks had been tough on her, and he really wanted to explain things and hopefully put her at ease a little bit.
“Chase, you’re okay!” Riley screamed as she wrapped herself around him. At that moment, Riley didn’t care if he was a criminal or not. Just seeing him standing there made all her worries go away. Chase gently put Riley down on the ground and had a somber look on his face. “I’m sorry I worried you so much. I’m sorry I lied. Let’s sit down so we can talk.” Chase pointed to the chairs in the middle of the room, and Riley went over and sat down. Riley didn’t know for sure what was going on, but she was happy to listen to him explain. At least this time he seemed like he was actually going to give her some answers. There was just something in his eyes that looked so much different than that night when she had asked for answers in her living room. “I’ve been so worried. Everyone has been worried.” “I know. First, let me tell you that I’m not under arrest. I’m sure you saw that on television, and I heard my family had been visiting the police station trying to find me.” Riley sat intently listening to Chase. His calm demeanor seemed out of place for being in a federal facility. But then again, he did just say he had not been under arrest. “Chase I was so worried. You can’t even imagine.” Chase reached out, grabbed Riley’s hand and held onto it. “While I was in Australia, I came across some research about the illegal mineral. I was afraid that somebody else who had money and a not so good intention would get hold of it. I reached out to our government to put a plan into place.” “To catch them?” Riley asked with a look of confusion. “Well, we wanted to do more than just catch the people who were trying to sell the minerals. We wanted to unearth the entire operation. But for that to happen, I had to really be committed to the project. I built my new business headquarters and started the search for the people who would sell the minerals to me. All under the direction of Susan, with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” “The super hot blonde chic?” Riley asked as she looked around the room. “Yes, the blonde woman with the FBI.”
“I saw her at your office one night.” “I know. I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you more about what was going on. But these people were really dangerous, and I didn’t want you to be a target for them.” “Is that why you broke up with me?” Riley had to ask the question. She had to know if he really wanted to break up or if he had just done it because of this operation he was working on. “Well, technically you broke up with me,” Chase flashed his boyish smile at Riley. She couldn’t help laughing a little. Damn, she loved that smile. “Yes, I did. You were lying right to my face. I couldn’t just keep staying with you.” “Well, I did take that opportunity because I didn’t want you to be around this at all. It killed me, though. It killed me to lie to you.” “So you aren’t arrested?” “No, I had to testify in a grand jury hearing, but now I’m going to go live overseas for a bit until things quiet down.” Riley sat there looking at him, trying to figure out what this all meant for her. Was he trying to say goodbye? What was going on here? “Okay, well I can tell your family that I talked to you, and you are alright. How long will you be gone for?” Chase just looked at Riley and smiled. Then he got up and walked over to the door and opened it. Susan was standing there and handing Chase two yellow folders. He walked back over to the table and sat down across from Riley. He handed her the envelope that had her name written on it. Riley opened the envelope and pulled out the contents. Inside was a single sheet of paper which detailed a location in the middle of Spain. It had directions on how to travel to that location and how to get to a small village there. The other item in the envelope was a passport. Riley opened the passport and saw a picture of her, but the name was entirely different. She looked at the passport and looked at Chase. “How about you come with me? We could have an epic adventure, just the two of us,” Chase said as he reached for her hand again. Riley sat there trying to take everything in. She had a company to run; she had to pay for
her apartment. Riley couldn’t afford to go running off around the world. “How long would we be gone?” “Well, it would be permanent for now. We’d just take off for awhile. Live the quiet life.” “I can’t just leave my life.” Chase thought about how to convince Riley he really wanted her to come with him. “Riley, I need you with me. I love you so much. I know this is all a lot to take in, but I need to disappear for awhile, and doing that alone would be torture. I have plenty of money to care for both of us. Please come with me.” The look in Chase’s eyes looked sad. Riley was starting to figure out what was going on here. Chase wasn’t just going away on vacation. He was going into hiding from those thugs since he had testified against them. “When would we leave?” “Riley, if you came with me, I would be the happiest man on earth. We would leave from here today and start our new life together right away.” Riley contemplated all the options. Staying in Ohio would be so lonely without Chase, and she would always be wondering if Chase were alright, wherever he was. Riley stood up, walked toward the door, and then turned back around and ran toward Chase again. She leapt in the air and wrapped her arms around once more. “I think this is going to be an awesome adventure!” Riley said as she kissed Chase.
Bonus: Sneak Peak! If you liked this book, I hope you will like my other books as well! I give you a sneak peak for one of my latest releases, which is called “The Billionaire’s Assistant”! Enjoy!
The Billionaire's Assistant Book 1 Unexpected ENCOUNTER An Alpha Billionaire Romance
Sarah J. Brooks
She was out of place from the second she walked in the door. I felt my protective side rising as I watched her move through the club. She obviously looked for someone she needed to find. My eyes followed her from one end of the club to the other with utter amazement. She had no idea how many men watched her as she walked by, either oblivious to it or just didn’t care. I hadn’t had a woman like her in ages. The women I had been with had been much more into the naughtiness of the BDSM lifestyle. This girl didn’t even know what the lifestyle was. I didn’t actually need the lifestyle; it wasn’t particularly pleasurable to me. What I liked was that these women knew what they wanted and went after it. They didn’t let society pressure them into being sweet and innocent when they wanted to be wild and naughty. Her porcelain white skin looked untouched by the sun. I thought it might be untouched by a man as well. There was innocence that showed on her face. It looked like the morning dew before the world woke up and disturbed everything. She breathed in an exasperated sigh as she couldn’t find whoever she looked for. I focused on her heaping breasts and
felt my body tighten with anticipation. The voluptuous nature of her body drove me wild, made me want to take her into a back room and have my way with her right at that moment. I waited to make my move. Too early and she would turn me away, too late, and she would have found her friend and left without giving me the opportunity to seduce her. That was my intended plan. I only needed a few minutes to get under her skin and make her want me. She wouldn’t be able to fight me off; my power of seduction would engulf her totally. She stopped and ran her fingers through her golden blonde hair. I felt the moment was right and moved in for the kill. By the end of the night, she would be mine. “Excuse me,” I said as I purposely ran into her. “It’s alright. I’m sorry,” she said as she started to walk away. I grabbed her arm and pulled her toward me. Her breasts pressed up against my body, and I felt my cock harden. As I touched her skin, my body reacted with a desire that I knew I would have to complete. I would not allow my desire to be unsatisfied. She should have pulled away from me. She should have slapped me, but she didn’t. Her brilliant ocean blue eyes just looked up at me. She gave me the opening I needed. “You can’t just bump into a guy and then run off,” I said as I held onto her. Her face lightened, and she smiled. I could feel the desire she
had for me. This was going to be easier than I thought. “Excuse me, you are the one who ran into me,” she said as she pressed her hands firmly against my chest. I could see it in her eyes. There was a desire. She had a longing for me, that could not be denied. I felt her pulse quicken and could see the flush red color that filled her cheeks. Her desire for me kept building, and soon she would be mine. “Make it up to me and dance with me.” “Oh, make it up to you? But you should be making it up to me.” She was a spitfire; damn, I loved that kind of energy. “Then let me make it up to you by dancing with you,” I said with my signature grin. “I can’t. I’m picking up my girlfriends. They need a ride home.” “Let my driver take them home, and you stay with me.” “Oh, my God, no,” she said as she tried to pull away from me. I started to move my body with her, and I felt how stiff she was. This girl was definitely a virgin, or perhaps just a very bad dancer. No girl I had ever danced with before was this stiff on the dance floor. Perhaps my plan to have her that night wouldn’t work, but damn if I didn’t keep trying. I wrapped my hands around her and kept her tight against my body. I couldn’t help myself, and my lips took hers as we
moved in a rhythm together: our bodies and lips in perfect timing with each other. “I have to run,” she said as she pulled away from me. Then she was gone; she had disappeared into the crowd, and I frantically searched for her. I wasn’t going to let her get away from me. She was already mine, whether she knew it or not.
I was always relegated to picking up my friends after their nights of partying; it had become a tradition. Everyone knew that I didn’t like to drink or party, so obviously that left me wide open to pick them up after they had been drinking and partying. I didn’t mind, though. I felt useful when I helped others, and it was true that I typically wasn’t doing anything else important. Usually, my weekends were filled with books and old movies; nothing too exciting, but that was how I liked it. Often I woke from sleep to a call from Alyssa or one of my other friends that they desperately needed a ride. I parked my car in a nearby parking garage and made my way into Power Play; it was a themed nightclub located near the financial district in downtown Chicago. It was definitely not a club I would go to if I were going to try out clubbing. It was a mainstream version of a BDSM club. They had taken away the hardcore edge and left the club with women in tight black leather mini dresses. Most of the men didn’t dress up much, sometimes a pair of leather pants or a leather jacket; the women ruled at this club. Except for me, I stood out like a sore thumb the second I entered the club. I was wearing a yellow sundress with spaghetti straps. It wasn’t anything like what the other women wore, and I realized I didn’t fit in almost immediately.
Alyssa was going to owe me big for coming to get her and Robin from this club. I walked around and looked for them everywhere, but everyone was pretty much wearing black. I moved from one side of the room to the other and tried to look at the faces of people as I walked by. Alyssa knew I was coming to get her; she had to be waiting somewhere for me. But alas, sometimes she just continued to party while I searched and searched for her. It was part of our relationship; I had accepted it a long time before. “Excuse me,” a tall, handsome guy said as he bumped into me. This guy wasn’t typically handsome; he was movie star handsome. I’m not exactly sure what I responded when I talked because my heart was beating so loud into my ears that I couldn’t think straight. I looked up at him and apologized myself and then tried to go on my way to find my friends. Then he grabbed me and pulled my body up next to his. He had one arm wrapped around my waist, and I couldn’t breathe. His smell intoxicated me, and I felt my knees get weak below me. My hands moved to his chest, and I felt every hard muscle of his body. He was in better shape than any guy I knew; there was no doubt about that. Granted, most of the men I knew were nerds who didn’t exercise and spent their days in front of video games or books. I tried to make a witty comment when he held onto me, but my
nerves got the best of me, and something sort of witty and rude came out of my mouth. All I could think about was how close his hand was to my ass. He had it only a few inches above, and I knew my dress showed my panties from the way he held me. I reached back and tried to pull it down a bit. I wanted to pull away from him altogether, but something in my body would not allow it. He wanted to dance with me? I was in a BDSM club being held by a handsome stranger who wanted to dance with me. This was by far the weirdest night of my life. He looked rich, and when he made a comment about having his driver take my friends home, my suspicions were confirmed. He was probably one of those guys who trolled the clubs trying to pick up women for one-night stands. That certainly wasn’t my type. This guy would be in for a rude awakening if he thought I was going to be like one of those loose women who would sleep with any guy who flirted with them. He started to move his body as he held my body up against him. I could feel his hard cock as it pressed against my leg. It made me wet to think that I had him this hard. Why me? What did he see in me that had him so aroused? I didn’t know, but I liked it. My body tingled with a desire for him, a desire I had not even
been close to with any other man in my lifetime. The electricity between the two of us was intense. As much as I tried to avoid it, there was no way out. I felt like a puddle of mush in his arms. I liked the look in his eye; it felt like he wanted to devour me right there in the middle of the club. I had waited for a feeling like that from a man. I had waited twenty-two years to find a man who could seduce me with only one swift motion of his arm. Then his lips crashed down against mine, and the perfection that I had felt before was swept away by a new feeling of bliss. His mouth moved like a skilled race car driver as he maneuvered every curve of mine. We continued to dance, and our lips stayed together as we moved in perfect time with each other. It was a moment, a beautiful moment. I felt drawn to him like no other man ever. My body responded with a flood of juices that I wasn’t prepared to deal with at that moment. I pressed away from him finally and took off and searched for Alyssa and Robin; this wasn’t real. He was in a BDSM club and obviously way out of my league. I made my way toward the front of the club where I finally found Alyssa and Robin. My body wanted to stay right there with him, and my lips wanted to stay connected to his. I liked having his hands on my body, and it scared me. It scared the holy hell out of me. Never had I been around a guy that I didn’t think I could
control myself with. Even my ex-boyfriend, I had been able to say no to him when he tried to pressure me to sleep with him. But this guy, this tall, handsome guy from the club; I didn’t know if I could stay in control around him. I wasn’t willing to stick around long enough to find out. They were both dressed in leather outfits and looked like girls out of some commercial for a sex club. I didn’t have time to yell at them or lecture them about how long I had looked for them. I just grabbed their hands and tried to make our way out of the club. I looked back and didn’t see him anywhere and was happy I had avoided any further interaction. I didn’t trust myself around him and surely didn’t want to test my limits by staying with him longer.
It was comical that she thought I would give up so easily. There was no way she really wanted me to give up. She wanted me to take her. She wanted me to come after her. Even if she didn’t know it, I knew it, and that was all that mattered. Her friends were a handful, and I watched her as she gently tried to guide them to where she had parked her car. The two girls were dressed like tramps in tight leather outfits. The kind of girl I would have easily picked up and taken home, but not the kind of girl that would entertain me for long. The ease at which that kind of women came into my bed made the game very boring. I liked a fun game. I liked to work a little bit before I could gain the prize. But never had I tried to have a woman as sweet and innocent looking as this yellow dress girl. Even the way she tried to take care of her friends was sweet. I doubted there was a naughty bone in her body, or at least not one she had learned about yet. My experience was that many women fantasized about being naughty but just couldn’t bring themselves to give into the feelings. I wondered if this girl would be the kind to finally give in when I got hold of her. I stood out of sight and watched as the slutty friends of hers
flirted with my driver. He was a handsome man, and most women enjoyed looking at him, but he was devoted to me. No young girls in prostitute outfits could distract him from his job. He stood stoically beside the SUV and waited for me. My moment was right, and I went in for the kill.
Alyssa and Robin could hardly walk, they were so trashed. Although I tried to keep my eye on them, I looked behind me often to see if that man had followed us outside. When I was confident he hadn’t followed us, I turned back to my friends and tried to pull their attention away from the man standing in front of the SUV. I suspected he was waiting for the tall, handsome guy who I had danced with and didn’t want to be standing around there when he decided to come out of the club. For all I knew, he would stay in the club all night long, but I admittedly did not know much about him or his club going habits. Alyssa grabbed onto the man's arm and asked him to drive her home. She said she fantasized about having sex in an SUV like that one. A glimpse of lust flashed across the man's face before he went serious again and ignored Alyssa. She was drunk and didn’t know what she was doing; he certainly had to be able to see that. “I’m sorry for my friends; we will be out of your way in a minute,” I said as I tried to pull Alyssa and Robin away from the vehicle. “No problem, ma’am,” he said. “I think Jackson would be happy to take you girls home if you
would like,” I heard the tall sexy dancing guy say from behind me. When I turned around, he was only a few inches away from me. I stepped backward to try and reduce the sexual tension between the two of us. It was futile, and I still felt the electricity running hot between our two bodies. “No. They have a ride,” I said as I reached for the girls. I saw the man nod his head at his driver, Jackson, and within a moment, the door was open to the SUV, and both Alyssa and Robin were inside. “They will get home safely; nothing to worry about. Jackson is a very trustworthy man.” “I don’t even know who you are; there is no way I’m going to let them go with you.” “My name is Josh Henderson; I’m a businessman. I run my own company and enjoy traveling and long walks on the beach. How is that?” he said with a cocky smile. I wanted to grab Alyssa and Robin and drag them out of the vehicle, but by this time they were laughing and giggling inside. I couldn’t exactly let them go with this guy alone. “Hello, Josh. I still can’t let them go with you in your SUV.” “I’ll go with you in your car. You can take me home. That way Jackson can get the girls home safely, and you won’t have to leave your vehicle downtown all night.”
He appeared not to care what I thought, and he didn’t wait for me to answer. Josh talked to his driver for a moment, and then the SUV took off down the street. I was left standing there with this Greek god of a man that I knew nothing about. I had also just let my two friends get into a strange man's SUV. I was sure one of us would end up murdered by the end of the night. “Do you always get your way?” I said as I started to walk toward the parking garage. Josh was quickly right beside me, his long legs kept up with me easily, and he seemed to walk very slowly when compared to me. My short 5’2” body had to work double-time to stay ahead of his long stance. “Yes,” he said. “What? Oh come on; you can’t get your way all the time. What fun would that be?” He smiled at this revelation, and I relished in the fact that I had made him smile. He didn’t seem like the type of guy who smiled very often, so I felt a particular sense of accomplishment. “Touché, I do enjoy working hard for the things that I get.” We had entered the parking garage and were going up the stairs when he pulled me against him and into the corner of the stairwell. My body felt again like a mushy mess as my knees went weak, and I tried to take a deep breath.
He didn’t wait at all and moved quickly to cover my mouth with his. His hands were much more interested in roaming under my dress, and I couldn’t stop him. The way he had me pinned against the wall my arms were up around his neck. I let my fingers play with his hair as our mouths explored one another. It had been months since I had kissed someone so passionately; maybe it had never happened this passionately. I felt my body react with wetness, and I hoped his fingers wouldn’t touch my panties. I didn’t want him to know how excited he got me. I didn’t want to give in to any of his power. Although I felt like I could lose control at any moment. His hand moved from my outer thigh to my inner thigh, and I cringed, and he moved up and felt my wetness. “Mmmm, I excite you,” he said with satisfaction. I didn’t answer him. I couldn’t deny that my body had a reaction to him. There was nothing that I could hide. His fingers slid up and down the outside of my panties, and I could feel myself getting wetter. I didn’t know how much wetter it would be possible to get, but I didn’t want to find out. I pressed away from him by using my hands on his defined chest. I bit my lip as I imagined him being on top of me and my hands running up and down his naked chest. It was a vivid fantasy that flashed quickly through my brain. “I need to get home. Should we go?” I said as I finally got
away from him. I wanted to stay. Oh, how my body wanted to keep his hands on it, but I wanted more than a one-night thing with a guy. I wanted to save myself for someone who I would truly remember. A man that I would always hold in a special spot in my mind. There was no delusion; I didn’t intend on remaining a virgin until I got married. The fact was that I didn’t want to waste my virginity on some stupid guy that I would grow to hate in the future. I wanted a man who I would remember with fondness and admire, long after my virginity had been taken. “This is me,” I said as we got to my power blue Volkswagen convertible. Josh slid his six-foot-tall frame into my tiny car, and we headed out and onto the streets of Chicago. “Do you want to tell me where you live so I can drop you off?” I said as I smiled at him. “I want you to tell me your name.” It dawned on me that I hadn’t even offered to tell him my name when we talked earlier. I felt like such a dork. Who gets a guy’s name and then doesn’t bother to tell him her name? Me, that was who. I was a walking enigma and never knew just what to do or say around men; especially totally hot men. “Oh, I’m sorry. My name is Candice,” I said as I shook his hand then placed my hand back on the wheel. “I live just outside of the city; turn right on eighteen, and we
will be close.” I didn’t know the city too well, but I could get from Fifth Street to Eighteenth Street without too much trouble. My gut said that he was a good guy, but I couldn’t figure out why he had been in that club. He wasn’t dressed in a particular fetish way. In fact, he looked like a very normal man. His jeans and sketcher shoes would trick anyone into thinking he was a regular guy. But I knew his jeans were highend, and his button up shirt also cost a couple hundred dollars. This guy was more high maintenance than most women I knew. “How far down Eighteenth?” I asked as I made the turn. “That’s me,” he said as he pointed to a very large house surrounded by a black iron gate. When I pulled in, there was a box to the side of me with numbers and a speaker. I looked at it and then looked at Josh. “Sixty-nine, sixty-nine,” he said as he shrugged his shoulders and smiled. “Are you a fan?” I chuckled as I pushed the numbers into the box. The gate swung open and I moved slowly down the driveway and parked in front of the house. “Yes, I’m a connoisseur of all things sexy,” he said as he got out of the car. “Please come inside and share a coffee with me.
It will make me feel better that you are awake for your ride home.” “I’m sorry; I can’t. I need to get home and check on my friends.” Josh didn’t respond and instead picked up his phone and called someone. “Did they get dropped off alright? Are they in their homes? Great, thank you,” Josh said to the other person on his phone. Then he turned and looked at me, “They are both home and in their house safely. There is nothing to worry about.” I felt like this guy wouldn’t stop until he got his way. I decided to go inside and have just one quick cup of coffee. The caffeine would actually be great after being up so late. I wasn’t used to staying up all night, and it was now almost three o’clock in the morning. With my car keys in hand, I made my way up to the front door of his house and held my breath as we walked in. Since he was at the BDSM club, I didn’t know exactly what I would get when I walked into his house.
She is too sweet for my own good. I felt a slight bit of caution as I convinced her to come inside. Perhaps she was too innocent to be taken by me just yet. I would just have to see. I wanted to feel myself inside her so badly that it was hard even to hold a conversation. My mind raced with thoughts of her moaning as my body entered hers. My hips thrust slightly with a primal need to fill her up. “Can I get you something to drink?” I asked as I led her into my kitchen. “Yes, coffee would be nice.” I would have given her anything she wanted. I would have hand squeezed her lemon juice if she had asked. It was my desire to please her, to please her in every way possible. I let the coffee machine warm up so it could deliver her the single cup of caffeine that she desired. “I appreciate you taking me home, Candice,” I said in a lame approach to sound normal. She knew I didn’t need her to take me home; I could have easily called a Uber car or even another car service while Jackson took her friends home. She had to know I just wanted
to be close to her. I needed to be close to her. A desire to touch her that overwhelmed my every thought. I couldn’t take it any longer and grabbed her and set her on the kitchen counter. I pressed her legs apart and moved my body in as close to her wet panties as I could get. My hands cupped her face in them, and she looked up at me in innocent wonder. Her bright blue eyes urged me to continue, so I did. With as much gentleness as I could muster, I took her mouth with mine, breathing life into my body and its urge to be inside of her. I let my hips thrust my bulging pants against her wet panties. Oh, how I wanted to rip them off. I wanted to use my teeth and tear them off in a lustful move that would end with my unzipped pants and my erect body sliding inside of her. But I used caution; I didn’t want to scare her away. I wanted to keep her there with me until she was ready to let me have her. She might need to be convinced, and that was alright with me. I had convinced a dozen young women in my time, admittedly none as innocent as Candice.
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