Maybe Next Time - Christina C. Jones


What a damn day.

As soon as I was on the other side of my front door, a deep sigh pushed its way up from the depths of me, making my chest heave as I dropped my purse and keys into their appropriate places. I peeled myself out of my blazer next, grateful there was no one around to see the utter gracelessness of my mannerisms.

I was too tired to keep it cute.

I didn’t plan on changing bags before tomorrow so I left it there, retrieving my phones–business and personal–from it before I headed to my bedroom to properly stow my blazer in the closet. I didn’t even bother with the lights–no point, when I was heading straight for a vibe that required none. I kicked off my shoes on the way, tucking them under my arm in a delicate balance as I turned on the screen of my personal cell to check the notifications.

There were several, but not the one I was anticipating.


Anticipating would imply that I was looking forward to the inevitable nasty text or phone call, which couldn’t be further from the case.


I was, in fact, downright dreading that shit, but… I was a big girl.

I could handle it.

“Long day?”

My heart lurched to the front of my chest at the sound of any voice other than my own in what should have been an empty condo, and everything in my arms went clattering to the floor. I swallowed, hard, and turned to the source of my disquiet.

“What are you doing here, Denver?”

Instead of answering my question, he simply smirked, barely illuminated by the glow of the city glittering on the other side of the windows encompassing most of the room. My eyes fell to the tumbler in his hand as he lifted it to his lips, taking a sip of what was undoubtedly my liquor.

Obviously, he’d decided not to text or call to voice his displeasure–he’d shown up instead, looking better than I wanted him to. He was probably not too far removed from the office himself, still dressed in slacks and a button up, with his tie gone, top buttons open.

Even half undone, he was dapper–his fingers and wrist glittered as he moved, shifting positions for another drink. I could tell by the way he was holding his shoulders–he wasn’t pleased.

At all.

“I got an interesting visit today.”

His gaze locked with mine in a challenge–who would look away first?


His eyes narrowed, dangerously, and his full, velvet-soft lips spread into the kind of slick smile that preceded the kind of chuckle that left little to no ambiguity–there wasn’t shit funny. “Is that how we’re doing this? Really, sweetheart?”

“I’m not your sweetheart,” I snapped, moving past him to stalk my way to the bar he’d apparently already helped himself to. “And you’re not supposed to be here.”


His voice came at a distance, letting me know he hadn’t moved from his perch in the door to my home office, where he’d probably been waiting.

In the dark, like a fucking creep.

I’d walked right past that door and hadn’t even registered his presence, too exhausted and distracted to be as on my toes as I probably should’ve been.

Otherwise, I might have tased him.

Instead, I just poured myself a drink–what I’d been planning to do anyway, after a long shower, before his rude interruption.

“You may want to eat something,” he spoke up, from closer this time. I could feel him moving in, the heat emanating from him making my nipples harden.

I hated myself for it.

“I can handle myself,” I snapped, tipping my hand to let a little more of the Kimble bourbon drop into my glass, as a way of making… some kind of childish point, I guess. When I turned around, drink in hand, he was right in front of me.

He was pissed.

Maybe not obvious to anyone else, but clear to me from the tight set of his jaw, the darkening of his irises, and just… his energy.

“So you remembered to eat dinner today then?” he asked, even though we both knew the answer to that.

Defiantly, I took a hearty swig from my glass, staring right at him as I did so.

And then I stepped around him, setting a course for my refrigerator.

An argument could be made that I was a brat, but I wasn’t a stupid one.

“You’re really a piece of work, you know that?” he asked, following me into the kitchen.

I huffed. “And you’re really a piece of sh—” I stopped, turning to face him, and he was right there, waiting on