“What’re your plans tonight?” These words come from Storm. I’ve spoken to her a few times briefly, and she’s always so nice. I shrug one shoulder as the boys all walk out not long after I’ve closed up. I should have been gone by now, but I was listening to a voice message from my brother on how I should come home to look after the house and that Papa needs me. It makes me so angry that I had to close my eyes and try to calm myself down, then the door shut and Storm walked out, and here we stand.

“Go home,” I say.

She turns her head to where they’re all talking in hushed whispers then turns back to me smiling. “You should come with us. We’re going to have some drinks since it’s their early night.”

It is—Mondays they close earlier than every other day. I was disappointed when I realized it was Monday, because it means I have to go home and sit by myself.

I look over Storm’s shoulder to where Darby’s leaning on the car as he listens to what the others have to say. His eyes are on me, though, and his stare is so mean, so fierce, it causes his face to scrunch up while his hard eyes almost hurt me, so much so that I have to look away.

“I’m good.” I turn to open my car when she touches me.

“Ignore him. Echo told me he’s being an ass to you. Forget him. He’s an ass to everyone.” She smiles and somehow it makes me feel better.

“I probably shouldn’t.”

“No. You probably should,” Darby says stepping up. He looks to Storm who just crosses her arms over her chest before she gazes back to me with an eye roll.

“Well then, I just might.”

Storm claps her hands at my words, and Darby’s face hardens even more. How the fuck that’s possible I don’t even know—he’s going to end up with a permanent scowl etched on his gorgeous face if he’s not careful.

Echo comes over and wraps his arms around Storm’s middle. “What’s going on?”

“Olympia is going to come for some drinks with us.” I like her excitement, even if the person next to her is shooting me daggers with all his might, and they’re hitting with so much precision I can almost feel the associated pain.

“Sounds… fun,” I say. Storm reaches for me, pulls me to her and starts to walk.

“We can quickly stop at our places before we meet them.” She waves them off as we get into her car, leaving mine at work.

“This is your place?” Storm asks as she looks around.

I cringe at her words. “Yeah.”

“You’re rich.”

I shake my head at her statement. “I’m not, I swear.”

“Hey, no judgment here, but why do you work for the club if you can afford this place?”

My apartment is the penthouse suite, and it’s just as you’d imagine it would be. Beautiful. As you walk in, there’s white marble on the floors which lead through to an opulent open-plan area. On the far wall, there’s a large fireplace surrounded by dark wood tones. In the center of the room hangs a gorgeous light fitting, one I wanted right from the start. With its silver accents and dangling lights, it makes the room sparkle. The sofas are white, but I have colorful scatter cushions setting off the area. Floor-to-ceiling windows are on three of the four walls, which overlook the city. During the night it’s like Christmas with all the fairy lights of the city lit up and the sparkling off the lake in the distance. I love it, and sometimes I simply sit in the dark taking in the cityscape.

I even have a cook who also cleans, her name is Jessica. Though, most days I send her home. She still gets paid, thanks to my father.

“This isn’t my money,” I explain.

“Ohhh,” she says like she knows. “You have a sugar daddy?”

My eyes go wide at her words. “What? Oh my God, no.” I shake my head adamantly. “No. Absolutely not.”

She throws her hands up in the air. “Hey, no judgment if you do.”

“It’s my papa. It was one of his conditions for me moving away that he got to pick where I stay.”

“Ohhh… sorry.” She says it with such sincerity I know she means it.

“Thanks. Now what should I wear?”

“Gosh, I can’t wait to see your closet.” Storm walks straight into my room which is located on the first floor. I have a hidden staircase behind a wall that leads to the second level which overlooks the lake. It’s quite beautiful up here. The white marble flooring continues with dark furniture, again, courtesy of my father. My room is the place I spend most of time and the one place I ask Jessica not to touch, the rest of the apartment still appears like a showcase home. Clearly, I don’t spend much time out there just to look at the lights at night.

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