Chapter twenty-seven

3:00 on the dot.  Abbey’s shift was over and Gordon was waiting for her across the street from the diner.  She hoped he didn’t mind if she were a few minutes late as she grabbed her duffle bag and the box with the sweater from under the counter and hurried into the diner restroom.  She didn’t want to spend the entire night in that uncomfortable uniform.

A few minutes later she emerged in her soft, fuzzy cashmere sweater and a pair of faded jeans.  She quickly tugged her jacket on and gathered her things.  She rushed out the door to the waiting Hummer with her customary wave goodbye.

By the smile on Gordon’s face she could tell he didn’t mind.  As she approached he held his closed hand out to her.

“Sloan forgot to give this to you last night,” he greeted.  He opened his fist to reveal Abbey’s elevator key.  Abbey took it with a smile.

“Thank you,” she replied.

Abbey slipped into the open door, sighing as she collapsed into the seat.  Before long the Hummer was dodging the busy New York City traffic, weaving between cars amidst the noise of the city.  The scenery that passed by Abbey was hypnotic.  She felt her eyes grow heavy.

She was startled awake by Gordon’s hand shaking her shoulder.  She smiled sheepishly as she accepted his hand to help her out of the Hummer.

Abbey realized quickly why Gordon gave her the key as she journeyed alone through the lobby of Sloan’s building and into the elevator.  She pushed her own key into the control panel and flipped it to the side, pressing the button for the penthouse.  Abbey smoothed her sweater under her unzipped jacket.  She jammed her hands into the pocket of her jeans.  She had told Sloan they were business partners and nothing more.  She needed to stop primping for him.

Abbey stepped into the penthouse.  It was empty.  She slipped her ski jacket off and set it in a chair then started to look from room to room to see if anyone was home.

She stopped as she noticed a laptop on the end table.  Sloan must be home somewhere.  He had been working in the living room.  Abbey admired the laptop.  It had a steel-like cover that glimmered in the lamp light of the room.  By the size of the computer it had the largest screen on the market.  Abbey had been researching upgrading to one just like it before…well, everything fell apart.  A leather messenger bag rested against the leg of the end table.

 Abbey knew she shouldn’t but she reached out and ran her fingers across the faux metal.  The computer was surprisingly cool.  Maybe Sloan wasn’t home.  No one had used it in awhile.  He certainly had great taste in computers just like he had great taste in everything else.

“It’s yours,” a voice crooned.

Abbey spun around, finding Sloan standing behind her.  He must have been in his office.  He was in business attire wearing perfectly tailored black slacks that hung from his hips. The sleeves of his linen dress shirt were rolled to his elbows.  The shirt was unbuttoned revealing a hint of his sculpted chest.  Abbey felt herself actually swoon.

“I can’t accept a gift like this,” Abbey insisted.

“You need a workspace, don’t you?”

Abbey went mute.  She couldn’t object – she did need something to write her new book on.  And it was certainly better than the computers at the public library.

“The leather bag is for you to take it with you,” Sloan continued.

“I can’t take it with me, Sloan.  I’ll get mugged if I’m seen with it in my neighborhood.”

“How do you expect to work then?”

“I will keep it here.  If I come up with something I’ll put it on paper and type it here.”

Sloan watched her in silence for a moment then nodded.  He reached in his pocket of his slacks, pulling something rectangular out.  “I want you to carry this at all times.  It is non-negotiable.  I want to know I can reach you when I want you.”

Abbey took the object from his hand and looked at it.  It was a smart phone, just like the new phone Abbey noticed Sloan using.  She studied it for a moment.  She had read a story in a newspaper left at the diner just the other day.  This model had been released last week and it caused a frenzy.  Supplies ran out instantaneously.  People who had gotten them were selling them online for thousands of dollars.  It was also reported the data plans were astronomical.

 “I can’t accept this, Sloan,” Abbey objected.  “It’s too much.”

Sloan stared deep into her eyes.  “Non-negotiable.”

Abbey was speechless.  Sloan continued.

“I took the liberty to download some apps and program the speed dials for you.”

Abbey laughed to herself.  Sloan programmed her speed dials?  What were they?  Sloan’s home phone, Sloan’s cell phone, Sloan’s pager (assuming he had one which wouldn’t surprise her)?

Abbey tapped the screen until she reached the list of speed dial contacts.  Her breath caught in her throat.  She was correct.  The contact programmed into the number one slot was Sloan’s cell phone.

The contact connected to the second speed dial read Mary.  Abbey pressed it, finding her home number in Iowa already stored into the phone.  Abbey felt the tears pool in her eyes as she looked up at Sloan.

“I have work to finish, Abigail,” she said softly.  “Why don’t you dial number two on your speed dial while I do?  I’m sure your mother would love to hear your voice and know you are still alive.”

Without another word he walked into his office, closing the frosted French doors behind him and leaving her alone.  Abbey took a deep breath to fight back her tears.  She pressed down on the two button on the screen of the smart phone then pressed send.


About triciaandersen

I am the author and illustrator of the children's book "The Peculiar Princess". I am also the author of two adult fantasy romance novels, "The Sorceress of Savon" and "The Woodcutter King of Muladin". Along with being an author I am married to a wonderful guy and have three beautiful children. I coach youth track and field, sew and chase my children around to their various activities.

Posted on June 3, 2012, in author, books, fiction, novel, romance, story, Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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