Slouching against the back wall of the elevator on the way up to my apartment, I read the message from Callum Reed, my manager, as the doors slide open. Another one of my sponsors is suggesting I get my act together or they’ll consider taking their sponsorship elsewhere. And I’ve only just come from a lunch meeting where Dunlop threatened to drop me if another story comes out about me. Christ, it was only because I had satin panties belonging to Lacey Deluca, that randy sports reporter in my hand when those damn elevator doors opened. It’s not as though they caught us in the act.
“As if I don’t have enough on my plate,” I mutter under my breath as I mash the screen on my phone to send another text. I’m already racing to get to Paynt’s to pick up Abby. I’m supposed to be there in ten minutes.
A woman enters the elevator, speaking softly to someone on her phone. She punches a button, and studiously ignores the fact we’re sharing a space. Which is perfectly fine. Sometimes people know who I am, sometimes they don’t. But fucked if I’m going to sign another person’s balls today. I finish tapping out a response to Callum along the lines of what I do in my personal life shouldn’t matter to the old geysers as long as they’re making money off my golf swing. It’s not as if I’m the first pro who isn’t the perfect “healthy role model.” Damn it, I’m doing the best I can here. As for how often I get a hole in one when I’m not on the golf course … well, that’s none of their business.
Of course, that’s not entirely true. Without sponsors, there’s no money. No money means no tournaments and my career may as well be circling the toilet. An eventuality I’m all too willing to avoid as long as possible. The game has been my life since I was a child, the only thing I really deep down can’t imagine not doing. That is, it was the only thing until Abby came into my life. Still, I’m not ready to give up golf, even if that means letting men with checkbooks order me to behave.
“I’m nervous,” the woman in front of me says, and I raise my gaze to take in the back of her head. She’s got her phone locked to her ear, tendrils of auburn red hair curling out from the short ponytail that’s failing to hold itself together. A burst of something floral and sexy scents the air as she pushes the oversized sleeve on her navy and white striped shirt, along with the strap of her satchel, back onto her shoulder. “I know that, Danny, but I really need this to work out.”
She covers her mouth and the phone with her hand, but with some straining I’m fairly confident I catch the words. “You have sex with one unavailable baby daddy and it’s game over.”
“Fore,” my own voice hollers from my cell, and the woman’s shoulders stiffen for a second before she tilts her ear more fully to her own conversation. So she fucked Mr. Wrong, but is she talking to Mr. Right? Or Right Now?
“Yes, of course. I’ll call you straight after. You want to go to The Ogden again?”
Straight after what? And I know that bar. Maybe I’ve seen her there. God, I hate sharing elevator space with interesting strangers who won’t turn around. I have an unhealthy dose of curiosity about people, and this one isn’t usually a visitor to my apartment building.
My phone sounds off again, and I shove it deep into my pocket. Plenty of great evenings I’ve organized in elevators.
“Of course, it’ll be my treat.” She exhales, and I can imagine she’s rolling her gaze to the ceiling. Obviously her taste in men could use a little help.
The box jumps and the doors open. Slipping away from the wall, I clear my throat. I have no idea what I plan to say. Considering Callum’s last words to me were to keep my dick out of steel boxes and pretty girls, I should make a beeline out of the elevator. But man, it’s difficult not to be curious about this one.
“There was this guy in the elevator with me,” she whispers into her phone as she hurries down the hallway past several apartment doors. “I think he was listening to our conversation.”
Well, yeah, it was kind of hard not to when it was only the two of us in a confined space.
“Fore!” I drag my phone from my pocket and read the message on the screen. The agency trying to find my new replacement nanny is sending someone over in short order. Well, at least that’ll be something off my plate.
“And I think he’s following me. It’s kind of creepy.”
I jerk to attention. Did she just call me creepy?
“Unbelievable.” She laughs nervously and glances over her shoulder while carefully flicking a stray curl out of the way as though that was her intention the whole time. “Definitely creepy.”
Red’s a cutie. Wide, blue-gray eyes and porcelain skin. And I’m pretty sure I’ve met her. Probably at The Ogden. I meet a lot of people though. A lot of women. “Totally not following you.”
“Shit.” She juggles the phone when she jumps and spins around to face me, that bag of hers banging wildly against her hip. “I’m sorry.”
“I’m not following you.” I stride toward her, pointing behind her and trying to ignore the fact that I know I’ve met this chick before and she did say something about sleeping with an unavailable baby daddy and, Christ help me, I hope it wasn’t me. Nah, I would remember having sex with her, surely. “That’s my door.”
“Uh. It is not. It can’t be.” Hanging up without saying good-bye to her friend, she drops her phone in her bag and moves to the side, her gaze on my hand as I shake out the right key on my fob.
“Sure it can.” I shove my key in the lock and push open the door. “Though I have no idea why you’re stalking me. That’s kind of creepy, don’t you think?”