Warning: sexual situations, mature themes
I went straight to work, looking up Wilder Roberts. After a lot of dead ends, I finally came up with a business number for him. Seems he just got finished building two new hotels in downtown San Myshuno, and he owned offices here, too--hence why he might be fraternizing with the Bambinos. They were notorious for funneling their money in things like restaurants, hotels, and casinos. His dealings with them could be innocent, which was what I would expect from Wilder Roberts. In all the time I knew him, he was one of the most well respected people I ever came across. But since he was dating the Bambino sister, I was sure he could help me somehow infiltrate their inner circle.
After a lot of messages left at his office, he called me back.
"August Day! Bloody hell! What have you been up to these days, mate? Talk about a blast from the past."
I chuckled. "Yeah, it's been a while. I'd heard you were in town so I thought I'd look you up. You know, see how things are going. I've missed the old gang."
"I didn't know you lived in San Myshuno. That's wonderful. Look, mate, I'm rather busy as of late, but we need to get together and catch up. If you'd like, I'm throwing a gala at the Plaza this Saturday. Bring your date or whomever you wish. Would love to see you there."
"Nice. Sure thing, Wilder."
"Are you seeing anyone?"
After my planning meeting, we'd decided my cover needed to be single so I wouldn't have any attachments and could snoop around Wilder's friends. "Naw, you know me. Nothing serious."
"Brilliant. Would you mind if I set you up then? I've got a friend in town who desperately needs some diversion. Had a bad break up and all."
"Sure. I'm down for whatever."
Wilder gave me the details for our meet up and I was all set. I worked out the itinerary with my team and called his secretary to get me and my "friends" on the guest list. I needed back up just in case things got sticky with the Bambinos. We were never too careful when sending someone undercover.
By the time I'd finished with my report, it was nearly 11 PM. Everyone had left the building and only the night shift guards would be around. Shit. I'd told Jake I'd be done four hours ago. What happened to the time? But I wasn't even close to leaving. I had a few more things to take care of before I left for the night. I needed some coffee, so I went to the break room. When I opened the door, it felt as if I was smacked in the face.
"What the fuck is this?"
Jake was sucking off some dude.
The guys's face turned three shades of red as he pulled up his jeans and scampered out.
I shook my head, seething. "Why?" was all I could get out. I wanted to punch something.
Glaring, Jake spat, "You've got no right getting pissed at me, August. We have no ties binding us. I can do whatever the hell I want."
My face heated up, I was so enraged. "Oh, so you think doing some guy only 100 yards from my desk is okay. You're so messed up."
Glancing downward, his jaw muscles clenched. He didn't say anything.
"You did this on purpose," I went on. "To get back at me for Alex. Am I right?"
He still didn't speak.
"Answer me!" I yelled.
Walking toward me, his eyes glittered with tears. "I'll answer you when you break it off with your girlfriend. I'm done being a piece of ass to you."
My muscles tightened as he walked past. God, I should have known I was digging myself into a hole with Jake. Why did I believe he wouldn't care? Things were never that easy. I had no idea how to fix it either.
I let him cool down for a few days, but by Friday, I'd had enough. There were only our partners in the office and they both knew about our drama. So, I didn't give a shit if they heard what I was about to say. They'd clear out if we needed space.
When I stopped at his desk, he rose out of his chair as if to avoid me. I said, "Oh, come on, Jake, this has got to stop. We need to talk it out."
"Here? At work? I don't think so." His eyes held an angry fire that looked like he wanted to burn me. He was so mad.
"Then let's go somewhere. I'm tired of fighting. I miss you."
"Are you going to break up with Alex or not?" Jake asked.
I hated ultimatums. Give me an ultimatum and I'd run the other way. It angered me that he'd even pull that shit on me when he knew my situation before he got involved. "You know that isn't fair."
"Then we have nothing, August. Leave me alone."
Glaring, I hissed, "Fine. Have it your way. We're done."
If he thought he could win me by forcing me to do what he wanted, he was mistaken, no matter how much I cared about him. I was no one's puppet.
My partner just shook his head at me as if to say, "I told you so." Ronan was right. Juggling two serious relationships was a seriously stupid thing to do. But I wasn't about to give up Alex for Jake. I had too much invested with her and besides, she'd never tell me I had to break up with him for her. She understood our situation and dealt with what might come if I decided to move forward with Jake instead of her. Why couldn't he see that if he'd waited, maybe I would have chosen him in the end? But he was so jealous, he couldn't figure that out.
Saturday night arrived and all the pieces settled into place at the top of the Plaza hotel. It was a cool night which matched my mood. I'd been missing Jake so badly, a cloud seemed to hover over my head.
I had to get it together though. It was time for work. I couldn't keep thinking about him anymore.
Walking toward a group of guys, I spied a familiar face.
"Good God, is that you, August? You must have grown a foot since I'd seen you last!"
"Wilder!" I greeted him with a broad smile. All the nostalgic feelings from high school rose up within me but instead of making me happy, it sent me into another downward spiral. Beau and Briar's faces melted over me, making my eyes water. I hadn't thought about them in so long. The way I felt about them was so much deeper than what I'd experienced with either Jake or Alex.
Why did things have to turn out the way they did? It was the worst time of my life. I'd never truly recovered from it. Only time healed the emptiness--the gaping hole left by their absence. Unfortunately, seeing Wilder made it all come rushing back.
Wilder clasped my arm and shook my hand, breaking me out of those melancholy thoughts. "It's bloody good to see you, mate. I hope you're ready for an amazing night!"
Next chapter on Monday, March 5th!
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