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Chapter forty-three

The door next to the elevator was a stairwell.  Abbey discovered it as she was planning her escape.

The day Sloan left was pure hell.  Abbey was alone all day in the penthouse.  It wasn’t that there was nothing to do.  Poking around Abbey found shelves full of books in Sloan’s study.  He had an extensive movie collection and three different video game systems with all the games imaginable,  There was also the terrace to enjoy the beautiful early Spring day.

But being alone drove Abbey insane.  Nothing could distract her from the thought of who Sloan would be sleeping with.  She knew his day was filled with one intense meeting after another as they put the final touches on the complex he owned.  But at night – would he really be alone?  She doubted it.  Even with Abbey’s limited experience she knew Sloan was an incredible lover.  She could imagine some blond leggy secretary in San Francisco looking forward to some “overtime”.

If the insecurity wasn’t enough, being without him in that big penthouse was breaking her heart.

Finally by dinner, Abbey had enough.  She picked up her purse and stormed to the elevators.  Chinese sounded good and she needed some human company.  For the first time the torturous image of Sloan and imaginary blond didn’t fill her mind.  The anticipation of a big bowl of orange chicken did.

Abbey stopped short two steps from the elevator.  Robert stood in the lobby between the banks of elevators, an unmovable sentry following Sloan’s orders.  Without a word he pointed to the elevator Abbey had come from.  Abbey tried to protest, tried to persuade him to let her just leave for dinner.  Big, bad Robert would relent.  He certainly didn’t want to be her errand boy.

Abbey was very, very wrong.  With a snap of his fingers he ordered her upstairs.  Once the elevator doors closed with Abbey inside he ordered her Chinese food for delivery. 

Right before bed, Sloan called Abbey’s cell phone.  She was ready to lash out, to tell him exactly what she thought of his demands.  But she couldn’t.  Just the sound of his voice made her heart flutter.

Abbey strained to hear a woman’s in the background, possibly one in skimpy lingerie begging Sloan to come back to bed.  She couldn’t hear anything.  However, Sloan cut the call short saying he had to go.  It was enough to make Abbey too miserable to sleep.

The next two days were better.  When Abbey worked she couldn’t think about Sloan and whoever he was with.  She couldn’t miss him.  However, when 3:00 rolled around she was climbing back into the Hummer and returning to her luxury prison.

Tonight was different though.  She had been on her feet for over eight hours.  She wanted Starbucks and she wanted it now.

Abbey closed the master bath door (which, incidentally, was bigger than her whole apartment) to seem she was inside.  She took a few bills out of her pocket and stuffed them in her jeans.  The she slipped silently out the penthouse door and down the stairwell.

Abbey breathed a sigh of relief as she stepped out onto the sidewalk.  It felt great to be free, to be out amongst other people without someone breathing down her neck.  With a huge smile she started towards Starbucks.

 Abbey didn’t make it half a block down the street before a deep voice boomed behind her.

“Where the hell do you think you’re going?’

Abbey spun to face Robert.  Lord, he was intimidating.  Abbey took a deep breath to buck up her courage.

“I’m going to get a latte.  I’ll be right back.”

“No you won’t.  Go back to the penthouse,” Robert demanded.

“No.  I want to get out of there for a bit.”

“Fine.”  Robert strode past her towards the coffee shop.  “Let’s go then.”

Abbey gaped at him in disbelief. Robert smiled at her smugly and continued.  “You didn’t seriously think I would let you go alone.”

The walk to and from Starbucks was silent.  Abbey fumed too much to talk and she knew Robert ha d no interest in a conversation with her.

Abbey’s anger didn’t subside as she and Robert rode the elevator back to the penthouse.  “I want to go home,” she muttered.

“You are home,” Robert answered.

“I am not home,” Abbey growled.  “I am in prison.”  Abbey stormed through the vestibule, shoving the penthouse doors open.  She slammed her paper coffee cup on the end table harder than she meant to, spilling a little coffee in the process.

Robert followed her laughing.  “Is that what you think?”

Abbey turned to look at him.  “Yes, that is what I think.  What does it look like to you?”

Robert shook his head.  “Are you really that stupid?”

“I’m not stupid.”

Robert strode across the penthouse until he loomed over Abbey.  He was truly frightening.  “This penthouse is Sloan’s sanctuary.  It’s where he finds solace from the insanity in his life.  No one is allowed here but Gordon, Bartholomew and me.”

“And whichever woman he brings here to have sex with,” Abbey quipped.

Robert chuckled amused.  “Abbey, the only woman who has stepped foot in this penthouse is you.  Sloan doesn’t even have a cleaning woman.  That is how much he wants to keep the outside world away from here.  This is his sanctuary and he’s turned it into a fortress.  To protect you.”

“I don’t need protection.”

Robert leaned down until he was nearly touching noses with Abbey.  “Everything Sloan loved was taken from him.  He won’t have it happen again.  There is very little Sloan truly loves now and he protects it with his life.”

Abbey was at a loss for words.  What Robert said didn’t make sense.  It didn’t make sense to her the other night when Sloan said it.  “Are you saying…”

“Am I saying Sloan loves you?  Yes.  That is what I’m saying.”

“But what about the other women?”

“What other women?”

“I Googled him.”

“What the hell?” Robert grabbed Abbey’s arm roughly.  “What do you know?”

Abbey stared at him terrified.  Her voice trembled.  “He’s an artist.  And a businessman.  He’s worth millions.  And he’s been with a lot of beautiful women.”

Robert exhaled slowly as he let her go.  “He hasn’t been with anyone or almost a year, not since he met you.”

“What about the night clubs?”

“Sloan meets with business associates at the clubs.  He makes deals.  He’s not looking to get laid.”

“What about this trip?  You can’t tell me he’s sleeping alone.”

“Abbey, Sloan is lucky if he’s sleeping at all.  He has around the clock meetings and when he’s not at meetings he’s working on stuff for the next day.  One step ahead of the competition – that’s Sloan’s philosophy in life.”

“That cannot be true.  None of this can be true,” Abbey objected.

“Why would I lie to you?” Robert suggested.  “”What benefit would I get from it?”

Abbey fell silent as she stared wide eyed around her.  What Robert was saying was too much to take in.

“Stop looking at this place as a prison.  It is a palace and Sloan had made you it’s queen and he himself your servant.”

“He is Sloan O’Riley,” Abbey protested weakly.  “He’s not a servant by any means.”

“Precisely,” Robert answered coldly.  “Be grateful for his generosity, his protection and his love.  He doesn’t give them often.  Or easily.  He can’t afford to.”

Without a word Robert left Abbey standing dumbstruck in the penthouse foyer, closing the foyer doors behind him.

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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 23, 2012, in author, books, fiction, novel, romance, story, Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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