Chapter 1: Alexis
Finishing my workout and having a shower, I come out of the bathroom just as my roommate Ivy lets out a horrid scream: “I don’t ever want to speak to you again!”
Something swishes through the air and hits the wall. I blink instinctively as if it’s directed at me. I hear it land on the floor. I presume it’s her phone. I stand in place like a deer in headlights, listening and waiting for her next action. Nothing. Go out there.
Damn. What’s he done now? I can never get how such a wonderful, strong, smart, and talented woman can give a second of her time to an ass-hat like her newest boyfriend. Well, I guess an ex-boyfriend now. It’s obvious he wants nothing serious and Ivy is always looking for a passionate and committed romance.
Knocking, Jayden opens my bedroom door in all his tall and handsome glory. “Al, are you going to take this one? I have to hurry to get to work.” He closes the door without waiting for my answer. Sure.
I take a deep breath and go to console Ivy, who has after ending her yelling session started pacing up and down the kitchen.
As soon as I step into the living room, she runs into my arms. “Why do I only meet and date douche bags? Why can’t I have someone nice and special?”
“Honey, don’t get depressed because of a guy. You have an entire life of love and happiness in front of you. There is still so much for you to see and so much fun for you to have. You have an amazing career. You are one of the top stylists in New York.”
“In the country.”
I laugh. Of course, she would correct me. “And, Ivy, Royce is a complete ass. Sure, he’s a model, but you can’t just look at him. He has the IQ and the personality of a rock.” I knew that would make her stop crying and put a smile on her face. “Come on, let’s get dressed and I’ll take you out for breakfast.”
“You think I’ll ever find my soul mate? Maybe I should’ve started looking earlier.” Soulmate? I give it my all not to roll my eyes.
“You’ve found us. Jay, Erin, Lukas and I will always be here. No matter what. And boys suck.” They really, really do.
“Best friends forever,” she says and twirls into her bedroom.
Erin takes one look at Ivy and understands the motive behind our spontaneous breakfast date. “Problems with the newest boy toy?”
I offer an explanation. “They ended this morning.”
“Oh, did Alexis’s optimistic views on men and relationship solve the issue?”
That comment earns her a slap on her shoulder with a napkin. “We are not talking about me here. Focus on Ivy, OK?”
“I can do both.”
“I’m sure you can annoy multiple people at the same time, yes.” We all start cracking up and make sure that our table is the loudest one.
Of course, Ivy’s, Jay’s and my love lives are tragic as well as comedic and therefore entertaining in comparison to Lukas and Erin’s, who have been together since the age of 16 and are still going strong. It is pleasing and nauseating simultaneously. Stop.
We order our food and drinks and delve into the analysis of Ivy’s romance. The end conclusion is he’s just not worth it. Conveniently, Jay-Z starts rapping “On to the next one” through the speakers. After dancing and singing to the song, like we don’t have a care in the world, turning everybody’s heads, we finish the discussion and move on to the next topic.
After finishing their breakfast, all three say goodbye. I decide to stay, drink ice coffee in peace and read a book before heading to dull and long meetings with suppliers, managers and the usual pains in my ass. I don’t have a free morning often and plan on making the most of it. Hell is freezing over somewhere. Closing my eyes, I breathe in the air around me.
When I slowly re-enter the world, I look into the most intense brown eyes I’ve ever seen. My breathing catches. I can’t look away. Fuck, he’s hot. I can literally feel my brain cells frying. Who’s dumb as a rock now, Alexis? I feel completely frozen and can’t move. I don’t even think I want to. Blink, Richards, blink.
The owner of the eyes is godlike. His dark brown hair is combed to the side, but somewhat lusciously messy. It screams he’s just rolled in bed with someone. My eyes go down his face, soaking it in. His lips are full, sensual. They make me wonder what they would feel like on my body. Shit, get a grip. He has a sculpted face with pronounced bone structure. The phenomenally looking stranger has broad shoulders and a posture of someone very fit. He is dressed in an immaculate black suit tailored perfectly, black and white chequered shirt and a black tie. He screams dominance, power, influence but also freedom and sex. Oh, God. What does he look like out of that suit? I swallow hard. My mouth is completely dry.
I know the stranger is someone who would wreak havoc in a woman’s life. I’m sure he makes women scream and tear the sheets. He would definitely make sure Ivy has an ear-full from my bedroom. Breathe, Alexis, breathe. Oxygen seems to have lost its value in this moment.
His eyes are growing darker and darker. JUST LOOK AWAY! I don’t want him to know what kind of an effect he’s having on me. I don’t want anyone to know. But I’m incapacitated by him. I don’t hear anything. I can’t see anything around me.
Thank God, or whoever sends the man that distracts him. Grabbing my things, I leave the café running like hell. Or rather as fast as I’m able to in my shoes.