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Chapter forty-six

Abbey couldn’t wait to get off work.  Nothing could phase her.  Between the memory of Sloan’s kiss goodbye and the promise that he would come to pick her up from work Abbey was floating on a cloud all day.

As the final minutes of Abbey’s work day clicked off the clock, Barker sauntered into the dining room of the restaurant.  His apron was unusually grimy and greasy, a byproduct of his scraping the grill clean for most of the afternoon.

“Abbey, answer a question for me, will ya?” Barker asked.

“Sure, Abbey replied.  “What’s up?”

Barker pointed out the large glass diner window to the street.  As usual, the black Hummer sat in wait.  It became as much of a fixture in the street as the lamp post it sat beside.

“I’ve gotten used to that thing sitting out there stalking you,” Barker continued, “but then it picked you up instead of following you as you walked home.  Now, it drops you off in the morning instead of you walking here.  Where are you going when you are not here?”

Abbey shuffled her feet uneasily.  “I’ve been staying with a friend.”

“What kind of friend?”

Abbey looked at him confused.  “What do you mean?”

Barker sighed.  “Abbey, you are a good girl.  I don’t want you getting mixed up with the wrong crowd.  If you need money I can schedule you more hours or give you a raise.  Don’t do something you’ll regret.”

“No, Barker.  It’s not like that.”

“Then you won’t mind me meeting your friend.”

Abbey stared at him silently dumbfounded.  Barker pointed at Abbey’s purse.  “I know you can reach him on your phone.  I watch you text when you don’t think I’m looking.  Invite him in here.”

Abbey exhaled slowly in protest.  She reached into her purse and pulled out her phone.  Abbey tapped quickly on the screen then dropped it back into her bag.  She watched out the window in horror as the back door of the Hummer opened and Sloan stepped out.   He was cool sophistication in his Armani suit as he strode across the street to the diner.  Abbey glanced up at Barker, his dark face skewed in immediate dislike.  A pit formed deep in Abbey’s stomach.  She could tell this meeting was not going to go well.

Sloan opened the door and stepped inside.  “Is everything alright, Abigail?” he inquired concerned.

“Yes.  Everything is fine.  I just wanted to introduce you to…”

Barker thrust his hand under Sloan’s nose.  “Barker Jones.”

Sloan glanced from Barker to Abbey.  A smile spread across his face.  He took Barker’s hand in his and shook it.  “Sloan O’Riley.  Pleased to meet you.”

Barker stared at Sloan evenly.  “Where you from, Sloan?”

Abbey gaped at Barker.  Where the devil did that come from?

“Belfast, Ireland, sir.”

Barker stared at him for a moment more.  “Sloan O’Riley?  Not the same Sloan O’Riley who dropped a huge amount of cash on the Museum of Art and the New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s Burn Unit?  To the tune of millions of dollars?”

“Yes, I am, sir.  They are two organizations dear to me.”

Abbey’s heart fluttered lovesick.  Sloan, her Sloan, a philanthropist?

“What business are you in, Sloan?”  Barker demanded.

Abbey wanted to melt into a puddle on the floor.

“I am an artist.  I broker art – my own and other artists.  I also invest in real estate.  I own two buildings – one in San Francisco and one here in New York City,” Sloan answered.

Barker glared at Sloan warily.  “How do you know Abbey, Sloan?”

Sloan smiled proudly at Abbey.  “Along with being a businessman and an artist I am also an illustrator, primarily for children’s books.  I was assigned as Abigail’s illustrator for her first book.  Now we are working on a second book.”

Barker turned towards Abbey.  “You wrote a children’s book?  You never told me.”

“Well,” Abbey stammered, “things got derailed a bit.”

“However, with our second book we’ll be back on track,” Sloan assured.  “Right, Luv?”

“Yes,” Abbey squeaked.

Sloan extended his hand to Barker again.  “It was a pleasure to meet you sir.”

Abbey watched as the two men coldly shook hands again.  Sloan winked at Abbey.  “I will wait for you in the car, Abigail.  Take your time.  Come when you are ready.”

“Ok,” Abbey replied quietly.

Abbey and Barker stood silently until the door closed behind Sloan.  Abbey turned and glared at Barker.

“I am going to go unless you have more questions,” Abbey quipped.

“One more question,” Barker replied.  “When were you going to tell me he was your husband?”

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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 27, 2012, in author, books, fiction, novel, romance, story, Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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