Home > Captivated by You (Crossfire #4)(6)

Captivated by You (Crossfire #4)(6)
Author: Sylvia Day

“Start without me, Mom,” I said desperately, glancing at the clock. “I don’t have anything specific in mind.”

“You can’t be seri—”

“Gotta go. Have to work.” I hung up, then pulled open the desk drawer that held my smartphone.

“Hey.” Mark Garrity leaned over the top of my cubicle and offered me one of his charming crooked smiles. “Ready to roll?”

“Uh . . .” My finger hovered over the home button on my phone. I was torn between doing what I was paid to do—work—and making sure my dad heard about the engagement from me. Usually, it wouldn’t be a dilemma at all to choose. I loved my job too much to risk it by slacking off. But my dad had been in a funk since he’d messed around with my mom and I was worried about him. He wasn’t the kind of guy to take sleeping with a married woman lightly, even one he was in love with.

I put the phone back in the drawer. “Absolutely,” I replied, pushing back from my desk and grabbing my tablet.

When I settled into my usual seat in front of Mark’s desk, I sent my dad a quick text from my tablet saying I had something important to share with him and that I’d call at noon.

It was the best I could do. I could only hope it was enough.

3

“MAN, YOU ARE smooth.”

I looked up at Arash after setting the receiver back in its cradle. “Are you still here?”

The attorney laughed and settled back in his seat on my office sofa. The view wasn’t nearly as pleasant as the one my wife had given me not too long ago.

“Schmoozing the father-in-law,” he said. “I’m impressed. I expect Eva will be impressed, too. Bet you’re counting on that heading into the weekend.”

Damn right. I would need all the points I could earn when I met up with Eva in San Diego. “She’s about to go out of town. And you have to head into the conference room before they get too restless in there. I’ll join you as soon as I can.”

He stood. “Yes, I heard. Your mother’s here. Let the wedding insanity begin. Since you’re free this weekend, how about we round up some of the usual suspects at my place tonight? It’s been a while, and your bachelor days are numbered. Well, technically they’re over, but no one else knows that.”

And he was bound by attorney-client privilege.

It took me a beat to decide. “All right. What time?”

“Eight-ish.”

I nodded, then caught Scott’s eye. He got the message and rounded his desk to head up to reception.

“Great.” Arash grinned. “See you at the meeting.”

During the two minutes I had alone, I texted Angus about getting to California. I still had unfinished business there, and taking care of it while Eva was visiting her dad gave me a legitimate excuse to be where she was. Not that I absolutely needed one.

“Gideon.”

As my mother entered, my fingers curled into my palms.

Scott followed and asked, “Are you sure I can’t get you something, Mrs. Vidal? Coffee, maybe? Or water?”

She shook her head. “No, thank you. I’m fine.”

“All right.” He smiled and left, pulling the door closed behind him.

I hit the remote on my desk that controlled the opacity of the glass wall, blocking the view from everyone on the main floor. My mother approached, looking slim and elegant in dark blue slacks and white blouse. She’d pulled her hair back into a sleek ebony bun, showing off the flawless face that my father had adored. Once, I’d adored it, too. Now, I had trouble looking at her.

And since we looked so much alike, I sometimes had trouble looking at myself.

“Hello, Mother. What brings you into the city?”

She set her purse on the edge of my desk. “Why is Eva wearing my ring?”

The small pleasure I’d felt at seeing her dissipated instantly. “It’s my ring. And the answer to your question is obvious: She’s wearing the ring because I gave it to her when I proposed.”

“Gideon.” She pulled her shoulders back. “You don’t know what you’re getting into with her.”

I forced myself to remain facing her. I hated when she looked at me with hurt in her eyes. Blue eyes that were so like mine. “I don’t have time for this. I’ve put an important meeting on hold to see you.”

“I wouldn’t have to come to your office if you’d answer my calls or come home once in a while!” Her pretty pink mouth tightened with disapproval.

“That is not my home.”

“She’s using you, Gideon.”

I retrieved my coat. “We’ve had this discussion.”

She folded her arms across her chest like a shield. I knew my mother; she was just getting started. “She’s involved with that singer, Brett Kline. Did you know that? And she’s got an ugly side you’ve never seen. She was downright vicious to me last night.”

“I’ll speak with her.” Straightening my coat with a brisk tug on the lapels, I headed toward the door. “She shouldn’t be wasting her time.”

My mother’s breath caught. “I’m trying to help you.”

“It’s a little too late for that, don’t you think?”

She took a shaky step back from the look I gave her. “I know Geoffrey’s death was hard on you. It was a difficult time for all of us. I tried to give you—”

“I’m not doing this here!” I snapped, furious that she would bring up something as personal as my father’s suicide while I was working. That she would bring it up at all. “You’ve hijacked my morning and pissed me off. Let me make it clear to you. There is no scenario pitting you against Eva where you come out on top.”

“You’re not listening to me!”

“There’s nothing you could say that would affect anything. If she wanted my money, I’d give her every cent. If she wanted another man, I’d make her forget him.”

She lifted an unsteady hand to her hair, smoothing it although not a single glossy strand was out of place. “I only want the best for you, and she’s stirring up crap that has been put away a long time. It can’t be a healthy relationship for you. She’s creating a rift with your family that—”

“We’ve been estranged, Mother. Eva has nothing to do with that.”

“I don’t want it to be like this!” Stepping closer, she held out her hand. A strand of black pearls peeked out from between the lapels of her blouse, and a sapphire-faced Patek Philippe adorned her wrist. She hadn’t rebooted her life after my father’s death; she’d done a complete wipe and restart. And never looked back. “I miss you. I love you.”

“Not enough.”

“That’s not fair, Gideon. You won’t give me a chance.”

“If you need a ride, Angus is at your service.” I caught the handle of the door and paused. “Don’t come here again, Mother. I don’t like arguing with you. It would be best for both of us if you just stay away.”

I left the door open behind me and headed toward the conference room.

“YOU took this shot today?”

I looked up at Raúl, who stood in front of my desk. Dressed in a plain black suit, he had the steady, watchful gaze of a man who made his living by seeing and hearing everything.

“Yes,” he answered. “Not more than an hour ago.”

I returned my attention to the photo in front of me. It was difficult looking at Anne Lucas. The sight of her foxlike face, with its sharp chin and sharper eyes, brought back memories I wished I could erase from my mind. Not just of her, but of her brother, who’d been similar in ways that made my skin crawl.

“Eva said the woman had long hair,” I murmured, noting that Anne still had cropped hair. I remembered the plastic feel of it, the sharp-gelled spikes scratching my thighs as she deep-throated my cock, working desperately to get me hard enough to f**k her.

I handed the tablet back to Raúl. “Find out who it was.”

“Will do.”

“Did Eva call you?”

He frowned. “No.” But he pulled out his smartphone and checked it. “No,” he said again.

Books
     Bared to You (Crossfire #1)
     Reflected in You (Crossfire #2)
     Entwined with You (Crossfire #3)
     Captivated by You (Crossfire #4)
     One with You (Crossfire #5)