The Negotiator (Professionals, #7) - Jessica Gadziala
Before my eyes even opened, I knew what had happened.
The pounding in my temples.
The dry mouth.
The nauseating rolling of my stomach.
The foggy details when I tried to piece together what day, week, month it was.
Fucking Bellamy struck again.
I couldn't even remember seeing him the night before, but that was one of the many lovely side effects when he slipped something in your drink to, inevitably, kidnap you.
Where he ever got the idea that such things were acceptable was beyond anyone, but he often struck you right when he thought you had been working too hard, or were being too uptight.
It was his way of saying, "Hey, buddy, you need a couple drinks, and a nice weekend away."
Or, rather, it was his way of acting on it when you refused to follow his sage advice.
If ever there was someone guilty of working too much, it was me. I didn't exactly have a work/life balance to speak of. It was hard to develop that when the nature of your work sent you flying off on a plane with a moment's notice, not sure how long you would be gone, or even if you would make it back.
It was hard to foster close interpersonal relationships of any sort when that was your life. And the idea to head somewhere exotic lost it's appeal when your work dragged you to every corner of the world all the time.
What can I say?
When I wasn't actively working, I just liked being home. Home was like a vacation for me. It was a place where I could spread out beyond scattered suitcases, a place where things actually belonged to me, and were always familiar.
The inside of airports were more familiar than my own bedroom at this point in my life.
Which was likely what I had tried to tell Bellamy however we ended up together the night before. That since I just got back from a particularly grueling negotiation in El Salvador between a local gang and—and you can't make this shit up—the government, yeah, I was ready for a rest in my own bed.
I'd even been fantasizing about the idea that maybe Finn exorcised his demons by cleaning my place again, knowing I'd been gone for nearly a month. I mean, I imagined he couldn't sleep at night thinking about the dust bunnies accumulating in corners and under chairs.
I would never make light of Finn's issues. But I figured if he had to clean—and he did—then it would be nice if it was my place.
He did the laundry.
The worst chore in the world.
At least in my opinion.
Oh, yeah, stripping out of my clothes, dropping down into freshly laundered sheets that smelled a little like floral laundry detergent and a lot like bleach, then passing out? That sounded like heaven.
Instead, I had cottonmouth, a raging headache, a rolling stomach, and absolutely no desire to force my eyes open, and face whatever the hell Bellamy had planned for me.
I took a slow, deep breath, feeling it clear some of the cobwebs from my brain.
I was considering saying screw it, and going back to sleep.
But then the whole world just kind of... wobbled.
That was the only way to put it.
It rocked a bit side to side.
Instead of being comforting, like a contented baby in a cradle, like an old lady in a rocking chair, it was completely unsettling, making the contents of my stomach lurch alarmingly upward.
So, I had to open my eyes and see what the hell was going on.
Anything was possible when it came to Bellamy.
I could be on a damn ferris wheel for all I knew.
Hopefully with a little pig.
I was waiting for the day I woke up from being drugged to have a little mini pig in the room with me.
It had happened to others.
I was just waiting for that to happen to me.
All would be forgiven if that happened—I'm just saying.
Forcing my eyelids open, I winced against the painfully bright light streaming in through the window above where I was lying. Fighting through the pounding in my temples, I turned my head, looking around.
The gleaming white oak.
The long ceiling-height windows.
The aqua blue fabric of the couches and chairs.
"Fucking Fenway," I growled, slowly folding upward.
I'd seen the inside of this yacht more than a few times in the past. Usually while working. Trying to get him out of whatever international scandal he got himself into that week.
There was no pig.
The pig would have made my righteous anger dissipate.
As there was nothing corkscrew-tailed and boop-able-nosed