He startled as I sat next to him on the bed, trying to turn him to look at me, “Tate I need you to talk to me. Tell me what’s going on, because I can’t help if you if you don’t.”
“Can you just stay with me, while I sleep? I just need to sleep,” he whispered, attempting to convince his own mind that rest was all he needed.
“Here let me clean you up first,” I swept the cloth over his stomach. “Then we can sleep, alright?”
I laid down with my chest to his back and he snuggled in close, “I’m so sorry Tate.”
He said nothing in return, but didn’t pull away when I pulled his hips close to mine, snaking an arm around his waist. I sighed, nuzzling my face into his hair, and fell into a deep sleep.
My cell phone blared in my ear and I shot up in bed, completely thrown off by the hour. What time was it? I rubbed my eyes and snatched the cell from the bedside table. The I.D. read Mother, the time eleven thirty, and I clicked ignore and tossed the damned thing to the floor. I closed my eyes again and reached over with sleepy hands to search for the body that had warmed my chest all night.
I patted the bed and opened an eye. He was gone, I realized, sitting up and looking around, “Tate?” I called out, my throat scratchy and dry.
I got up and padded to the hallway, “Tate?” No smells of coffee or food, no sounds of any sort, just silence.
After a good ten minutes of rounding the house, I knew for sure he was not here. For some reason I started to panic. I knew this would happen, this is what always happened. They left and I went on with my life. But this time was not the same and my heart agreed. My cell phone went off again and I almost punched a hole in the wall, pounding my feet to the bathroom and slamming the door behind me.
I slumped against the door and just breathed it out. Get your shit together Caldwell. He’s just some loser that you took his flower from. What the fuck ever, no big deal. Yet, I could still smell him on me and was tempted to bury my face into my bed and inhale his scent for the rest of the day. My face was burning from shame all of the sudden and the damned phone kept going off like a siren. What did the woman want! I threw my hands up in the air, getting off the floor and splashing some water on my face.
Gripping the sides of the vessel sink, I looked into my own dark eyes. The eyes that were once hard and domineering now searched for something deeper, but what? A hint of regret of what I had done? A piece of something that I told myself I would never be a part of? My parents had done this to me. It was all their fault and I wasn’t too stubborn to admit that. Hell, I would shout it to the world if I was a crazier man, spit in the face of all the shrinks who my father had paid to make my hatred go away, be satisfied with my life and not seek the attention my body craved. No, I would be softer with a lighter heart, and accepting of sharing my life with someone, but they took all that away from me.
I couldn’t accept the fact that two people could coexist together in harmony for a good span of their lives and not shown a hint of betrayal. I had watched my father run my mother into the ground with his twenty something country club bimbos and in turn watched my mother retaliate with my father’s colleagues. It was a never ending mess of lover’s revenge and no one thought to realize that a child was in the midst of it all.
So, now as a man, I stayed away from everything that even hinted at a relationship, favoring control instead. It was the one thing in my life that was all my own and no one would take it away from me. But, did they really have too? Could I still be in control, but care for someone at the same time? Tate, that little bastard, had me questioning every deep aspect of my life, but again, why? Well that was easy, for fuck’s sake he was gorgeous. That had to be it, he was just beautiful and my inner male roared for his body again. That was it, lust, nothing else.
The phone went off again and I groaned, it was time to face the wrath of my mother. What had I done this time? What socialite had I pissed off now? Still naked, I threw open the door and grabbed the blaring cell from the floor.
Taking a deep breath, I slid the screen to answer the call, “yes, mother?”
“Well Oliver, it’s about time. My Lord, however do you sleep this late? You were sleeping weren’t you? I hope you weren’t doing something else…unpleasant,” she rambled, displeased already.
I sighed, “I was sleeping. What do you need…mother?”
“Alexander phoned this morning, wondering why you haven’t returned his calls. He said he sent you tickets to the ballet and you never so much as called to thank him, or ask him to join you. Oliver, have you no decency? He is an upstanding and attractive man, and if you insist on being a homosexual, you would do well to settle down with a man such as him. Why last year alone his company was featured by Forbes! Forbes Oliver! Darling, you need to call him back, before he gets bored and changes his mind. He is smitten with you and you would be a fool not to see this through,” she chided.
“First off, I do not insist on being gay mother, I am. It is not a decision that I made and we have talked about this before. Secondly, I hate the fucking ballet and wouldn’t be caught there even if you put a gun to my head. Thirdly, I have my own money as you know, and more than Alexander Rutovsky could even dream about for that matter. And lastly, I think Alexander is a pompous school boy who wouldn’t get near my prick with a ten foot pole. I wouldn’t ‘settle down’ with him if he was the last man on earth. Anything else?” I grinned, touché Oliver…jolly good show.
“Oliver Andrew Caldwell! You will watch that mouth of yours when speaking to your mother! You will call back Alexander today and invite him to dinner and that is final!” Louisa screeched into the phone.
“No, mother I won’t…on either account. I’m thirty three, not five…deal with it,” I smiled spitefully and hung up.
Alexander Rutovsky could suck my dick in hell. There was no way I would ever call him back or go to the…ballet, I shuddered. Like me, he was a trust fund baby, but unlike me, he was all talk and no action. He was a prissy little snob and I was all man. Not to mention he was not my type. No, Alexander wanted a man-wife, not a dom. No way in hell would I wear an apron and bake little muffins for that jack ass, or for anyone period.
I rubbed my eyes in irritation and the phone rang. This time I didn’t even look at the caller I.D. and answered, “You had better be calling to apologize, mother. I will not listen to another minute of your dictating.”
“Uh, Mr. Caldwell?” a meek squeak came over the line and I flopped onto the bed.
“Hello Richard. I…I’m sorry about that,” I shamefully apologized to my assistant.
“No worries Mr. Caldwell, I know how…Louisa can be,” Richard murmured. For a big guy, he was as skittish as a mouse, but he was a damn fine assistant, and never gave me any problems.
“She called you didn’t she?” I draped an arm over my face, hiding my eyes from the sun that cut through the window.
“Yes sir. She tried to get me to schedule lunch with a Mr. Rutovsky tomorrow. She said you had already agreed to it,” he sighed. Oh, the nerve of that…
“I take it you declined?” I grunted.
“Of course sir, you specifically said that I was not to take calls or appointments from…Alexander,” he boasted proudly and I smiled. Good boy.
“Thank you Richard. Add my mother to that list too,” I chuckled.
“Already did,” he laughed quietly. “But you do have appointments today. I already tried to reach you, but since you weren’t answering, I rearranged your schedule for later this afternoon.”
God, I loved this kid, “thanks. Give it to me.”
“You have a meeting with your beer and wine distributor at two at the club. A three o’ clock with a Mr. Freemont from Buyer Real Estate about the ninth street property you were interested in. A four thirty with the historical society about the upcoming renovations on the theatre. You have a free spot at six, for dinner if you would like. Then a seven thirty with a Ms. Lynette Kapshaw from the city for an inspection before the sale of the warehouse on Court Avenue. Also a Mr. Malet called about possible drinks with potential investors this evening, but only if you were free.” Richard took a breath.
“Call Mr. Malet back and tell him that drinks sound fine. I should be done with Ms. Kapshaw around eight fifteen. It’s just a quick look-see. Did you send my schedule to my phone?” I asked.
“Already done an hour ago sir. Let me get back to you on drinks and I’ll update as soon as I do. We’re on route to your place, so…uh, you might want to get dressed,” Richard got quiet. Poor kid was trying not to tell me what to do, because he knew I hated it.
“I’m up, I’ll be down in twenty,” I grunted. “See you soon.” I hung up the phone.
“Ughhhhh,” I groaned and sat up, looking at the spot that Tate had slept last night with a frown, and then went about with my day.
Five days. It had been five fucking days and still I could not get those eyes out of my head. Every small dark headed guy reminded me of him and every time I got a whiff of some light, clean cologne my cock stirred to attention. To say I was beginning to go nuts was an understatement. Every chance I got, I looked online for Tate’s or Tatum’s in the area, coming up with over a hundred. I even lowered myself to logging onto three different social networking sights in hopes of spotting his face, but it was no use.
We lived in a large city and Tate was one man, and I was hopeless. Martin had said he would keep a lookout for me in case my boy showed up at the club, but as the days passed and I’d heard nothing, a sinking feeling took hold of me. I was a lost man with an obsession, for a guy I would never have again. Even Richard started to notice a difference in my temperament. Gone was the asshole and domineering routine, in its place a sullen and defeated disposition. Not even currently sitting amongst the gorgeous array of Mercedes lifted my spirits. I was done for; weakened.
“Did you hear me Oliver?” Henry leaned forward on his desk, pushing a few fingers of bourbon at me.
“I’m sorry, what?” I glanced away from the gleaming silver, new edition ride in the showroom; picturing Tate with his head thrown back in rapture.
“I asked if you were thinking of upgrading… Your model is over a year old and it’s obvious your drooling over the new series,” Henry, my long time dealer sat back.
The thought of ridding myself of the very car that Tate had sat in made me shiver, “No, I’m happy for now, maybe in the fall.”
Henry’s brows rose and he shook his head, “I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever see you this…quiet.”
“A lot on my mind my man,” I raised the glass at him and didn’t bother sipping, favoring a toss back of the contents instead.
“I can see that,” Henry mused, glancing over as his secretary buzzed him. “Excuse me a moment,” He politely held up a finger and answered.
I got up while he was busy and walked out of the glass cubicle and into the showroom. The car that had caught my eye was beautiful, a SLS AMG coupe in a signature alubeam silver. The smell of fresh leather hypnotized me, my hand running over the top like it was metallic skin.
“Mr. Caldwell?” A lean black, gentlemen walked forward with a folder and black plastic bag in hand. “Your car is ready. Diagnostics were good, the oil has been serviced, and the detailing is complete.” He handed over the folder and bag.
“Thank you,” I searched his jacket for his name tag, “Pierre.”
“Have a nice day sir,” he smiled and walked away.
“Keys?” Henry called from the door of his office and tossed them to me with a grin. “Have a nice day Oliver.” He nodded and shut the door.
I sat in my office downtown and tossed the folder and the bag on the desk, removing my suit coat and rolling up my sleeves. God it was hot in here, I mused, loosening my tie. It was going to be a long night. Richard was staying late to help me with three property turn-around meetings I had set for tomorrow. Three warehouses on the water that would rake in over twenty million dollars after all was said and done. You had to love foreigners looking for a good deal and water front warehouses that could be turned around for the right price were hot overseas. Plus the taxes and commissions were cheaper over here, so why not right?
The only downside to an international sale was all the fucking paperwork and meetings where you had to actually show face and schmooze with guys who wore orange tinted glasses and said things like ‘bitchin’. I sighed, running both hands through my short dark hair, thinking of everything that needed to be done. I eyed the folder and bag in front of me. I never got a bag, the realization came. I grunted and picked up the zip locked bag and opened it, dumping the contents onto my desk.
I frowned, this had to be a joke. Two black dress socks, not my brand, a few business cards, a badge of some sort, and a white Mercedes embossed, hand written note.
These items were found in your vehicle while cleaning. Thank you for choosing Mercedes-Benz.
Socks? I scrunched my brows. All the sudden my breath left me. The last person that had taken their clothes off, hell the only person who had gotten naked in my car was…shit! I threw the note over my shoulder and started flipping the cards over with frenzy. One was a time and date for a doctor’s appointment for tomorrow, one was for a Thomas Meyering Contracting Co., and the last one was blank on one side, and on the other a handwritten phone number with the letter ‘D’.
Fuck, none of this had Tate’s name anywhere on it. I reached for the badge and flipped it over, and my breath caught in my throat. Tate stared back at me, a small professional picture, but it was still gut wrenchingly gorgeous. Tatum Raymee, Executive Assistant, Quantis Corp.
Quantis? He worked for Quantis? Fuck, fuck, fuck. This was bad. No. Not just bad, fucking terrible.
I picked up the phone and connected to Richard outside, “Yes sir?”
I sighed heavily, resting my forehead in my hand, “Richard…schedule me something tomorrow morning with...Alexander Rutovsky.”