My traitorous eyes closed and my hands rested lightly on his chest. The jolt of his lips touching mine set me running. I pulled back—my eyes snapping open.
“I have to go,” I whispered, running a shaky hand through my hair.
I ignored his plea and walked as fast as these damn shoes allowed without breaking my neck. Thankfully, Crystal was draped over the bar with none other than our manager.
Shit. I couldn’t just walk up. He could recognize me more easily than Blake ever would. I hung a left and sat by the pool, pulling my phone out to text her.
We need to leave. Now.
I glanced up and saw her scanning the crowd until her gaze landed on me. I waved her over and was relieved when she kissed Steve on the cheek and walked in my direction.
“What’s the deal? I though you were going big tonight.”
I rolled my eyes. “I’m not you.”
She smirked. “So why the rush?”
I got up and started walking toward the elevator. “I’ll tell you when we get home.”
I was glad she didn’t push. It was obvious I was upset.
We rode in silence for the first part of the trip. I opened the visor to check on my face. My lipstick was gone. I pulled my hair back into my classic messy bun and noticed one of my earrings was gone. Great.
These were my best pair—bought with my own money. I searched the car floor, the seat. Nothing.
“What are you looking for?”
I patted my chest to make sure it hadn’t fallen down the front. “My earring. The diamond tears I spent a fortune on—one fell out.”
Crystal frowned. If it’s not in here you might as well kiss that baby goodbye.”
“Gee thanks Ms. Positive.”
She smiled. “Maybe we can turn back and you can check?”
“Not in this lifetime.”
I was frustrated and pissed when I walked into our apartment. Frustrated because my body was still humming in anticipation for what I had denied myself and pissed because my earring was most likely gone.
Crystal was humming a merry tune behind me. She was obviously up to no good. I slipped my torture shoes off and sat on the couch.
“What are you all happy about?”
She winked at me. “I have a date tomorrow.”
I tucked my chin down and stared at her. “Tell me it’s not with your boss.”
She plopped down next to me. “It is.”
“Crystal, you’re gonna get yourself fired!”
She rose and hugged herself. “Not if no one knows. We’ll be careful. It’s fun. Tell me your insides weren’t a mess when you were faking Blake out. You know it excited you—the fear of getting caught.”
I shook my head, not wanting to admit she was absolutely right. I pushed at my forehead with my thumb, willing the oncoming ache away. Damn drinks.
“Listen, I don’t usually drink; it made me daring and forward, I’ll admit. But I can’t seriously consider any type of relationship with Blake.”
She nudged my shoulder as if to shake some sense into me. “That would be winning the jackpot!”
I pursed my lips. “I don’t see it like that. He is the owner of the restaurant where we work. It just wouldn’t be right.”
Crystal stood and shook out her hair. “Well I am not letting a silly job stand in my way of happiness. It’s not like we’re going to work there forever. I wouldn’t be if not for my slave driver of a father. I don’t need this job.”
I rose. “And there is the answer. I do need it.”
Crystal waved me off. “You’ll be making the big bucks when you land a partnership someday.”
“Yeah. Someday. Not today. In the meantime, I need to have some cash flow.”
She yawned. “I don’t know about you but I’m whipped.”
It was contagious. “Me too,” I replied through a yawn. We both had to work tomorrow. Thankfully it was the early afternoon shift.
The Plaza was a ritzy place on Ocean Drive and it wouldn’t be uncommon for a celebrity or two to pop in. My tables were full and I wasn’t complaining. The tips in this place were outstanding, especially on a Sunday. I was tallying up my total for the day when I glanced across the room and saw Crystal talking to none other than Blake Steel.