Hot Neighbor (Hot Billionaire Daddies #8) - Suzanne Hart
Six months ago
Finally, I’m moving out of this dammed apartment, and I’m not looking back. I’ve lived here for seven years and too much has happened in this place. There are too many memories. I just want to rid myself of them.
My friend, Kim, has helped me pack up the last of my things. The stuff I couldn’t trust the movers with.
I’m standing in the middle of my empty bedroom and I can hear her outside. She’s sticking heavy-duty tape on cardboard boxes filled with my shoes.
This is the room that Stephen and I used to spend most of our time in. Yeah, we spent a lot of time in the bedroom. I roll my eyes in reaction to that thought. Really? On my last day here, just when I’m on the cusp of breaking free of those memories, I have to remember all those nights I spent with him?
Argh! If only I had more control over my thoughts.
I know my mind is going there. As much as I try to reel it back, those memories and thoughts are rushing towards me, slamming against my body. Okay, okay. I’ll give in. Just five minutes. That is how long I will allow myself to think about him. Think about how naive I was in the past.
I met Stephen at a cocktail party. He stood out in the sea of other men in dashing suits because his eyes followed my every move. I would have found his staring creepy and weird if he wasn’t so ridiculously handsome. I’m pretty sure our first conversation lasted for approximately twelve minutes before he’d pulled me into the bathroom. That’s how it all started. Our insatiable need for each other’s bodies.
I’m not sure anyone else, or at least anyone sensible, would call what we had a relationship. It lasted twenty-six days. Yeah, I was counting. Most of which time we spent in this bedroom, tangled up in those sheets.
I turn to stare at the bed now. I’m going to allow myself this moment. Maybe I need the closure.
Oh, I was an idiot. I thought I was falling in love. Stephen was great. Stephen was amazing! He was handsome and charming with a good sense of humor. For the first time in my life, I could actually see a long-term situation with someone.
I have never been the type, even though I’m aware that is what is expected of women. Right? We are all supposed to fall to our knees and beg for commitment. That’s just never been me. I’ve been happy with one-night stands, maybe a couple of dates, max, until I’ve flushed the guy out of my system.
But Stephen was different. I thought I had finally met my match. A man who was bringing me to my knees. I had gone to the extent of working up the courage to come up with a speech I was going to deliver to him. I was going to ask him to move in.
Until I saw him with the strawberry-blond.
I saw them at a restaurant where I was meeting with a client for a business lunch. They were sitting at the tall windows, directly in the sun, so it was very clear for me to see. For everyone to see.
At the point that I saw them, I had already sat down. I had already shaken hands with my client, so I couldn’t leave. I couldn’t walk up to Stephen, either. Above everything else, I am a professional.
However, I couldn’t help but gaze at them. My attention wandered, especially when I saw the blond reach over the table, extending her spoon towards his mouth. They laughed. They were so easy and fluid in each other’s company. I had never seen him laugh like that before, and I knew immediately it was all an act.
Him with me was an act.
This is the girl he actually wanted to be with. Then what was he doing with me?
“Please tell me you’re not thinking about Stephen,” Kim says, snapping me out of my thoughts. She’s caught me, and I feel guilty. I have tried very hard to move on since then. I jumped into a doomed dalliance with this other guy, Kirk Silvers. He was my rebound from Stephen, and it was never going to work. When Kirk and I broke up, I had a string of other men I kept seeing. But as long as I continue to live in this apartment and sleep in this bed, I will continue to think of Stephen.