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Chapter thirty-six

Abbey lost complete track of time.  She would pull ahead several points ahead of Sloan.  Just as soon as she thought her Scrabble victory was at hand Sloan would lay down a barrage of words that gave him the lead.  And just when Sloan was grinning in conquest, Lady Luck again sided with Abbey.  They were tied more often than not.

Abbey was distracted from the game board by the sound of clanging pans in dishwater.  She searched behind the coffee bar finding the baristas dutifully cleaning up from the day’s business.  She glanced at her phone sitting beside the game board on the coffee table.

“Sloan, it’s almost 1:00 in the morning!  They are about to close,” Abbey exclaimed in disbelief.

Sloan looked down at the board.  “There is no clear winner.”

“We have to stop.  We can’t keep them here.”

Sloan smiled at her slyly.  “Until next time then.”

Abbey gazed at him.  She could get really sick of his constant devious smile – if it weren’t so dang sexy.  It made her heart flutter and her knees go weak.  It seemed like a daily affliction anymore.

 Sloan quickly dumped the tiles and board into the box and put the box back into the basket where he found it.  Abbey gathered her things into her purse then picked up her jacket.  She looked up into Sloan’s ice blue eyes as his wrapped around hers.

“Let me.”

Sloan took the coat from her hand.  He sharply shook free then offered it to her holding it for her to put on.  Abbey slipped one arm at a time into the sleeves.  She sipped it closed then pulled her wallet from her purse.  She ruffled through the meager cash inside.

“What are you doing?” Sloan asked.

“Looking to see how much money I have.  It’s too late to take the subway.  I will have to find a cab to take me home.”

Sloan took the wallet from Abbey’s hand.  “Nonsense.  I will take you home.”

Abbey shook her head vehemently.  “It’s too late.  It’s not fair to keep Gordon out this late,” she whined.

“Gordon isn’t waiting for us.  I brought the Hummer.”

“You can drive?” Abbey quizzed mischievously. 

“Yes, I can drive.”

“Why do you have Gordon as your chauffer then?”

“It’s complicated,” Sloan gestured to the door.  “If you keep me much later, I will go home.  And I will take you with me.”

Sloan’s threat sent a surge of electricity coursing through Abbey.  For a moment she was tempted to start a pointless heated debate on his driving skills just so he would make good on his warning.  She picked up her purse from the sofa and silently headed to the door with Sloan on her heels.  He held the door open as she passed through.

Sloan wrapped his long, powerful fingers around her bicep and led her down the sidewalk to a secured parking lot at the corner.  Unlocking the Hummer with his remote from a considerable distance, he helped her into the passenger seat.  She folded her hands in her lap nervously as she watched him climb in behind the wheel.  Sloan twisted the key in the ignition.  He tapped the power button to the radio with his knuckle then slid the gear shift into reverse.  The haunting melody of the Cranberries “Zombie” filled the cab of the Hummer.

Abbey watched the still busy streets of New York City through the windshield.  It seemed strange that so many people were still out.  Then she remembered – the clubs and bars were still open and going strong.  She watched Sloan intently as he maneuvered through the traffic.  What made him leave the clubs? she wondered.  And why didn’t he drive?  He was better than Gordon.  She didn’t ask him for answers to either question.

The entire ride from the coffee shop to her apartment building was quiet.  Abbey sensed a strange tension from her brooding driver.  It was something she never felt from him before like he was waging an internal war with himself.  She gathered her purse onto her lap as he stopped alongside the curb in front of her building.

“Thanks for the ride, Sloan,” she offered as she reached for the door handle.

Abbey turned back amazed as she heard Sloan turn off the ignition and opened his own door.  She blinked, surprised, as her eyes followed her husband as he crossed around the nose of the Hummer and opened her door.

“I will walk you to your apartment,” he concluded.

“That’s not necessary,” Abbey objected.  She was admittedly thankful for the escort.  At this hour she was a little frightened of those who roamed the halls of the building.  But compared to Sloan’s lavish penthouse, Abbey’s apartment was a crumbling, sewer smelling embarrassment.

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

Abbey smiled weakly then turned for the door of the building.  She gasped softly as she felt Sloan’s leather gloved hand take hers captive.  She glanced up at her intimidating husband as he escorted her through the door into the litter strewn stairwell.

They silently ascended the five floor of stairs to her floor.  They weaved through piles of trash and groups of thugs as they made their way down the hall.  Abbey watched Sloan’s face.  His cold, hard, ice blue eyes parted those in the hall like Moses and the Red Sea.

Abbey pulled her key from her jacket as they stopped in front of her door.  She took a breath to dismiss Sloan.  The trip to this point was humiliating.  But before she could speak he nodded his head with a gentle smile encouraging her to open the door.  With a heavy exhale she unlocked and opened the door, leading him inside.

Sloan glanced around the meager, nearly unfurnished efficiency apartment.  Abbey choked out a laugh.

“I’ve never seen it, but I’m guessing your master bath is bigger than my whole apartment.”

Sloan’s amused chuckle confirmed Abbey’s suspicions.  “I will see you in the morning,” he replied.

“See you in the morning,” Abbey confirmed.

Sloan gazed into her eyes as his smile faded.  Abbey’s breath caught in her throat as Sloan caressed her cheek with his fingertips.  Her lower lip quivered as he dragged the pad of his thumb across the tender flesh.  It took months for Abbey to forget the kiss they shared on their wedding day.  Now every part of her was aching for him to kiss her again.

As if by command, Sloan lowered his head prying Abbey’s lips apart with his own.  Abbey clung to the lapels of Sloan’s wool trench coat as she sunk into his kiss, gasping as she felt him pull her closer, felt his kiss dive deeper.

Abbey whimpered as Sloan’s lips broke away from hers.  Sloan nuzzled his nose against hers before he pulled away.

“Good night, Luv,” he murmured.

“Good night,” she squeaked as she felt the scratchy wool of Sloan’s coat slip from her fingers. 

Sloan gazed at her for a moment more before he closed the door behind him.  Abbey slid the locks into place as her head swam and her heart raced.  She skipped across the room and flung herself on the bed.  How could she fall asleep now?

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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 13, 2012, in author, books, fiction, novel, romance, story, Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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