Wright smiles ferally. “It’s the off season and I’m in real need of a workout.”
Marks tries to run, but the Athletic Club is an invite only club for a reason. Shit goes down here that is never talked about on the outside. Two bouncers grab Marks and haul him off to the locker room. No one in the room even blinks an eye.
I feel off. Everything in my life seems to be that way lately. It’s all I can think about. I thought I was going to be the one that was late last night. I had rushed back home to have my late dinner with Con for no reason.
I’d fallen asleep only to wake up with Con’s mouth on me. His lovemaking was soft and sweet. He kept telling me how sorry he was to have missed dinner. That he’d make it up to me. He did. Three times to be exact. Sleep had taken me again after all of our lovemaking.
Little did Con know that there was nothing for him to make up for. That I was the one lying. I went out after he called. I was ready for all of this to be over, but I know it’s far from it. I somehow still have to come up with a million dollars. Maybe I could get Orchard to make a payment on her loan. I shake my head, knowing that I won’t ask her. I’ll have to deal with that after I deal with my brother. This is something I’m going to have to do one step at a time.
“I’m good,” I tell Layla as I sip on my tea. She doesn’t move from my side. “I can handle it from here,” I try again. She still doesn’t budge. She looks down at the bag at my feet and I know she’s not going anywhere. “Can you at least move back a few feet?” I motion to the table behind me. “I know you have another guy with you.”
I look over toward the front of the bakery to the man in the suit. I’ve been around long enough to spot security. I also know Layla plans for everything. I would expect nothing less. Deep down inside I’m glad she does when we’re dealing with this sort of money.
“Fine.” She slips back behind me. I already tried to go meet Teddy by myself, but Layla wouldn’t budge on that one. The only way she’d let me out of the house this afternoon was if I was meeting him somewhere public. When I talked to Teddy this morning he sounded better. Sober too. He agreed to meet me when I told him I had the money.
A moment later Teddy comes strolling in the front door of the bakery. Relief fills me when I see he’s okay. It washes away just as fast when he doesn’t look to have a scratch on him. Anger builds inside of me at the thought of what that means. Have I been lying and sneaking around behind my husband’s back to help Teddy when he’s been playing me for a fool?
“You think I’m stupid?” I ask as he bends down to kiss me on the cheek. He pauses for a moment then continues to place it before sitting down.
“I think your husband is trying to ruin my life. He always was the jealous type.”
I don’t know how to respond to that. Yes, Con is the jealous type. I’d be a liar if I said it bothered me. I’m more flattered by it. To me it is endearing. If Con wants to continue believing that every man out there wants me, I’m not going to burst his bubble by letting him know that it’s crazy.
“If it wasn’t for Con I wouldn’t have this money,” I snap at him.
“If it wasn’t for Con he wouldn’t have beat the shit out of my partner last night who now won’t work with me. I have nothing.” He spits the last part. “Oh you didn’t know what your husband was up to last night? Hanging at the-” He does air quotes “‘Athletic Club’ where men like him get their dicks wet while they do whatever they want and no one breathes a word of it.”
“Drop the crap that Con would cheat on me, Teddy. I’ll never buy it.”
He stares at me for a minute. I may not know a lot of things for certain right now in my life but I know that Con is not a cheater. I hold firm in my resolve on that one.
“You’re not giving him a baby, sis. He might be looking to get it elsewhere.”
I gasp. His words hit harder than any physical blow he could have landed. Layla is on her feet, pulling Teddy up out of his chair.
“Get the fuck out of here,” she tells him.