Heartstopper(10)

By: Lauren Landish


“Who is he, anyway?” Hannah wonders. “Grab his wallet.”

“His name is Jake, that’s all I know. I don’t know if I should do that . . .”

“I’m not asking you to steal his money and credit cards, Roxy! Just find out who the man is!”

I check his pants before finding his wallet in his jacket pocket. I pull it out and peek inside. It’s thick with a wide packet of hundreds, and my heart nearly stops as I pull out his ID. The photo that looks back at me is like I felt when I first saw him. That boyish smile, those sensual lips. Thank God I didn’t take him from this world.

“Like I said, his name is Jake. Jake Stone,” I say, transfixed by his photo. I thought a good looking DMV photo was impossible. I guess it just needs Jake Stone on it.

“Well, it sounds like Mr. Jake Stone needs some help.”

“No shit. What should I do?”

Hannah sighs. “It sounds like he needs to sleep it off. Just get out of there. I’ll find someone at the front and tell them there’s a drunk guy in the back room passed out.”

“But—” I say, looking down at Jake. “What if he needs medical help?”

“Then they’ll get it for him! But he’s just drunk, Roxy. Come on, you’re not supposed to even be back there.”

Hannah has a point. “Okay,” I say finally. “Meet you out front.”

Click.

“I’m sorry, Jake,” I tell him. “But I have to go.”

Jake makes a little sound. I stop, going back over to the bed and pushing his shoulder, jostling him a little.

“Jake?”

He snorts a little but doesn’t answer, but at least I can see he’s breathing more. I don’t know what the hell happened, but I’m glad he’s all right.

I hear a bang somewhere outside and quickly jump to my feet. Someone’s coming. They’ll know what to do. Maybe he won’t even remember our brief steamy encounter.

But I’ll never forget it, I think.

“Catch you in another lifetime, handsome,” I say, blowing him a kiss as I scoop up my purse and things.

I rush out of the room and nearly collide into a small man in a sharp suit. In my heels, the top of his head just about hits me in the chin. He looks surprised, his eyes going wide.

“Hey, what the fuck are you doing back here?” he demands in a thick Bronx accent, grabbing me by the arm.

“I was with a friend,” I hurriedly say, turning my face so he can't get a good look at me.

He tries to pull me around to face him. “You’re full of shit,” he snarls. “No one is allowed back here.”

“Well a guy name Jake let me in. He said he knows the owners,” I retort. “He had a key.”

“Bullshit! Jake knows not to let any sleazy broads back here.” Sleazy broads? This little bastard is pushing his luck.

A groan from inside the room pulls his attention away, and I seize the opportunity, pulling myself from his grasp as I shove him and take off down the hall as fast as I can in these heels. I guess all those performances onstage still help out. I can move in these damn things.

“Hey!” the short guy yells. “Get your ass back here!”

I grit my teeth and find my way back into the club and make a beeline outside, fearing every second that one of the club security is going to grab me. Those MIB-looking dudes are scary.

Hannah is waiting for me by the fountain, arms folded, a scowl on her face.

We walk to the car and get in, not saying a word until we’re inside. Suddenly, Hannah bursts out laughing. “This is just so damn crazy. You were saying that you were gonna unleash the Rox, but damn . . .”

“I dunno, Han.” I laugh. “It was weird! I almost shit a brick! I’m not going to want to go out for another ten months.”

“Was he at least cute?”

“Oh, gawd,” I say, relaxing as Hannah pulls out of the parking lot. A ripple of remembered heat and unquenched desire flushes my cheeks. “He was hot as fuck. And I bet you could crack walnuts with his ass cheeks.”

We talk as Hannah drives, and she fills me in on the guy she danced with. I’ll admit, I feel a little bad about ruining her night. “So, are you going to call the guy?” I ask, shifting around to try and make my ass more comfortable. “I mean, you sound like you liked him.”

Hannah thinks, then nods. “Yeah, I probably will. What about Jake? You get his number?”

“I didn’t exactly think about getting his number,” I say sarcastically. I reach for my purse and open it, looking for my phone. When I do, I’m shocked by the thick black leather object inside. My memory flashes back, and I remember taking it out of his pocket and laying it next to my things. “Oh, shit.”

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