Money Can’t Buy Love
Releasing on August 22nd
“So good,” the pretty blond I had bent over my hotel bed moaned as she gripped the sheets, taking me like a champ.
“Yeah. You are.” I ran my hand up her back, pressing my fingers into her skin as she arched and cried out. I’d hit the spot deep inside of her I’d been after for the last thirty minutes. She was exquisite, and where I wished she was the ballsy red head I’d met in Bar Harbor a few months back, she wasn’t.
Lisa was soon to be a faint memory, though I hated to see her go. I’d almost given up my bachelorhood for the pretty girl, but she wanted a younger man. Good for her. The blond beneath me was more than happy to let me take the reins, not that she had much of a choice.
I rolled my hips and drove the full length of my cock deep inside of her as she whimpered and pressed back, hungry for anything I would give her.
“Michael. Don’t stop.” She lifted up a little and tucked her hips in, tugging on my erection tightly with her sweet body.
“I won’t. Just come for me.” I bent over the top of her and pressed my teeth into the back of her shoulder as she came, trashing beneath me. She sounded like every other woman I’d been with over the last few years, and yet there was something so beautiful about watching each of them lose themselves in pleasure.
Pleasure. It was almost a four-letter word in my world, and one I indulged in a little too often, but life was short. That was a lesson I knew all too well. I forced away thoughts of my late wife and doubled my efforts, wanting to hear Sandy… or was it Sarah, come again. Whoever she was, I wanted to hear her blow one more time.
“Fuck,” she cried out and bucked against me, riding me in a way that had me wanting to give her my number instead of walking out and never looking back.
“Let yourself go.” I stood up and ran my fingers up the sides of her spine, pressing in hard until I reached her hair. With a handful of her blond silkiness, I rammed into her until the world exploded and all that was left was pure, unadulterated bliss.
Why anyone would choose liquor or drugs to disappear from life was beyond me. Fucking was legal, free in most cases and so much better than the alternatives.
It was, for sure, my drug of choice.
I crossed the border into New York State a little while later and my foot instinctively pressed harder on the gas pedal. “I love this city.”
And it loved me too.
I smiled and gripped the smooth steering wheel of the Maserati, quickly switching over to the left lane. There was something about being so close to home that made the blood pump faster through my veins. Nothing compared to the hustle and bustle of Manhattan and I could feel its energy from miles away. The slick surface of the road was no match for the luxury car. The tires hugged each curve as if the ground was bone dry. The cars in front of me moved out of the way as if they sensed my urgency to get home.
Lisa and the blond, and every other woman I spent time with in Bar Harbor were in the rearview mirror. I was headed back to my life, back to the throne where I ruled as king.
Overcast clouds hung heavy in the air, and I hoped I’d missed the brunt of the rain. I didn’t want traffic to slow down when I was so close. This highway was known for the insufferable rubber-neckers.
I still had a ways to go before I arrived home, which didn’t bother me much at all. I forcefully relaxed my shoulders. The trademark tenseness that all New Yorkers experienced had started to creep into my muscles. Normally, I didn’t give much notice to the feeling. The relaxation from my mini-vacation fought the tension, wanting to linger in the experience a bit longer.
I wasn’t ready to let go of the past few days just yet. Spending Thanksgiving at my summer house in Bar Harbor, Maine signaled the start of the holiday season for me. I’d started the event only two years ago but this year had surpassed the rest.
It gave me a place to be a different guy, allowing another part of my personality to push forward. It was the part of me that Cynthia loved best. The softer side she would say.
I’d sponsored a community event far away from the Manhattan spotlight had been good for my soul. I admired the genuine nature and kindness of the people in Bar Harbor, and I was happy to give back. Meeting my old friend, Drake Demarco’s new wife, Sicily had been a bit of a blessing too. The pretty Sicilian baker had helped with the event, allowing me a chance to get to know her a little better. The fact that she was Lisa’s best friend should have caused awkwardness, but Lisa and I had been short lived. I wanted a relationship, surprising myself, and she wanted freedom, or so she said. Funny how freedom came in the body of a twenty-something year old man. It was a loss on my part, but one I’d eventually be thankful for. I didn’t need commitment, though a part of me yearned for it. I forced my thoughts back to the warmth I felt when I gave back, like I had recently in Bar Harbor. It was feeling I enjoyed. Maybe a little too much. I knew that same feeling would continue when I started planning the charity Christmas event that Cynthia had started years ago.
I winced, as I did every time Cynthia crept into my thoughts. It happened a lot lately, and I knew it would as the upcoming holiday season always reminded me of her. It was her favorite time of year, and she made each year even more special than the last. It was the one time of year she didn’t comment on how much I worked since she was equally busy with shopping and decorating our apartment.
At least until the cancer diagnosis. She’d started the Christmas charity for kids with cancer two years before she started treatment. And even though it was something that reminded me of her every year, I had to keep her legacy going. It was something I’d keep going for as long as I possibly could. My backing the event gave hope to these families.
A ringing sound through the speakers in the car broke through my thoughts. I pressed the button on the steering wheel after reading the caller ID on the dashboard.
“Hello Sam,” I said to my head of staff and security. I managed to leave him in Manhattan this year, and it was a hard-fought argument to do so. I played to his ego and had told him I wanted no one else to keep my affairs in order while I was away.
“Good afternoon, Michael,” Sam said. “After not hearing from you since yesterday, I wanted to check in.”
Sam wasn’t much older than me, but he was a fatherly-type of man. Overbearing as hell sometimes but I’d rather he be really good at his job than being a slacker.
“How’s everything there?” I reached up to brush my hair back.
“Just peachy. Where are you?”
I glanced at the nearest exit sign. “I’m about forty-five minutes out. I could make that thirty if you need something.”
“No, no, Sir,” Sam said quickly. “Take your time.”
I laughed. Sam hated driving with me. Which I think is another reason he decided to stay in Manhattan. I would have given him time off for the holiday, but he insisted on working through it. He didn’t talk much about his family, but I was under the impression they weren’t close.
“I wanted to see if you were going out or staying in for dinner tonight,” Sam asked.
I weighed my options. I really needed to get back to work after being “off” for the past few days. Granted, I was on the phone for much of the time. I needed to sit in my office and pound the keyboard for a few hours.
“I’ll be staying in tonight. I need to get work done.” My mind flipped to work-mode, and I started mentally organizing my priorities. I had a lot of catching up to do before Monday.
“Very good, Sir. I can call Fiona in to make you something.”
“No,” I said quickly. “I gave her the holiday off since I was going to be away. You can order something in.”
“Do you have a preference? Italian? Chinese?” When my personal chef, Fiona, was working, she tended to keep my meals clean and healthy. Sam knew when we ordered, I went all out, not caring about carbs or salt content. We only lived once, right?
“Surprise me,” I said. I made enough decisions on a daily basis, even on vacation, and I was never picky about food.
“I will see you in a short while, Sir,” Sam said, ending the conversation. “Focus on the road now.”
“Bye, Sam.” I chuckled and ended the call.
A heavy sigh left me as my thought ran rampage through my mind. While being away from the city was relaxing, I felt more at ease when I was home. My staff was top-notch and I expected nothing less. If only I had an assistant as good as the rest of them. I made a mental note to get in touch with Sandra first thing in the morning about the interviews on Monday. There were a lot of menial tasks that I wanted to pass off to an assistant so I could focus on the new year to come and the upcoming projects. I hadn’t needed an assistant in the past.
My secretary had always been enough. But with the growth of my company over the past few years, I needed to shift my focus to the bigger projects and pass along the smaller ones to someone who was competent. The qualifications for the role involved business degrees. I didn’t need an assistant to get my coffee. I needed someone to be my right-hand man. I already knew I probably wouldn’t like most of the candidates, but I needed to weed through the interviews to narrow down the scope of the position.
As much as I didn’t bring personal life into my work, I’d be spending a lot of time with this person and would need to get along in a positive way. I hated distractions, and I’d expect the same attitude from my assistant.
After mulling over the traits I wanted in an assistant, I shifted that a few positions down on my priority list. I couldn’t do anything about that until Monday. Though something I could work on tonight was reviewing the numbers for next year.
“Text Sandra,” I said aloud. Then I heard a dinging sound, and an automated voice spoke to me through the car speakers.
“What would you like to say to Sandra?” it responded.
“Email me the next quarters figures as soon as possible.”
The message sent and I settled into my seat. Knowing Sandra, she would already have them and projections for the next year. She was an asset I was grateful to have… most of the time.
There was a peace surrounding me after coming back from Maine that I enjoyed tremendously, but it would soon fade into oblivion. I had some business goals to hit, and once I had a goal, I rarely took my focus away. I had an insatiable itch to work now, and I couldn’t do much from sitting behind the wheel. So I decided to use technology in my favor and continue to make my way down my mental to-do list for today.
When I reached the City, I was surprised that there wasn’t much traffic, even for a holiday weekend. I suspected everyone who had left for the long weekend to start to Fredrick in tonight and tomorrow. I’d made the right choice to come back a day early. Giving myself the time to get back to normal was what I needed to kick off what was projected to be a busy month.
By the time I reached the front of my building, I’d already had the report from Sandra and several other email request responses. I loved living in this time. I wondered how anyone got any work done before cell phones. And it made long, boring car rides much more productive.
I left the car idling by the curb and started to organize my things. I shoved my phone and wallet into the case and closed it.
My door opened. A rush of cold November air enveloped me and I shuddered.
“Good evening, Sir,” the valet said. He tipped his hat to me and stood dutifully by my door.
I popped the trunk and got out of the car. I gave him a generous tip and rounded the car to grab my bag and coat. I traveled light. Something that I didn’t realize until Cynthia died. She was the one packing a majority of the bags during any of our vacations. I only needed essentials. I closed the trunk and drummed my hands over the surface of the car. I didn’t know when I’d see her again. I rarely took road trips and while I was home, I had a driver bring me around the City.
“Take good care of her.”
“I will, Sir.” The valet nodded again and got into the car.
I stepped onto the sidewalk and watched my car drive away to the heated parking garage. There she’d be washed and vacuumed so next time I saw her she’d look like a model from the showroom.
I chuckled to myself. I didn’t remember when I started referring to cars as female. She was precious to me. She was one of the most expensive items I’d ever purchased. I wasn’t ashamed to think of her as an accomplishment. I worked my ass off for my money and status, so I didn’t need to apologize to anyone.
When my car had disappeared around the corner, I turned to my building. I nodded to the doorman and was pleasantly surprised to see Sam waiting for me in the lobby.
“Do I have a tracker on me?” I joked.
He lightly tapped on his temple. “I have a sixth sense about you. And I can tell time.”
I reached out my hand and he took it, shaking firmly. “Well, it’s good to be back.” I looked around the lobby, nothing had changed on the outside, but something about it felt different. I suspected the feeling would be gone by the morning.
“How was the remainder of your drive?” Sam asked.
“Productive,” I said as we headed for the bank of elevators.
“Your dinner will arrive in approximately thirty minutes. I thought you’d want to settle in before eating.” He gave me a quick glance to the side. He wanted to ask about the women I’d slept with. He was forever concerned that in my need to sate myself I’d get someone pregnant and we’d end up with more on our hands than we bargained for.
“Thanks, and stop looking at me like that.” I smirked. I needed a quick shower and then I’d have dinner in my office. I had far too much to get done, and my to-do list was pulling at my attention something horrid.
“I’m not looking at you in any way, Sir.” He nodded, but kept his eyes forward. “I just want to remind you that I’m here should you need me.”
“I’m aware. Stop worrying. I’m not twenty anymore. I understand risks better than most.” I stifled a smile. He wasn’t ever going to let up, which I was grateful for. He was my conscience when life got hard, and it did – often.
“Very well, Sir,” he said and pressed the up button for the private elevator.
When the door opened, I stepped inside with Sam on my heels. He stuck his access key into the slot for the penthouse and turned. The small light next to the keyhole lit up green.
The tension in my shoulders increased, but in a good way. I mentally worked through my to-do list and shifted my priorities again. It was a habit of mine to keep myself on track. I shifted a few more items down the list, like the Christmas charity. I wanted my new assistant to spearhead that this year under my close supervision. It would be a test for whoever I decided to hire. And it might help to keep thoughts of Cynthia at bay.
The elevator doors closed and Cynthia’s smiling face was in the forefront of my mind.
I’m going to make you proud, baby. I just wish like hell you were still here to be a part of it with me.