AN INTERLUDE OF FIVE MINUTES
The limo parks near my apartment building and Ray's eyes lift in confusion. I don't make any move to exit the car and instead am content to keep my head on his lap looking up at him.
"I guess this means lunch is out," he says, turning his eyes towards the parking lot.
"I have another idea, but I want change out of these clothes first."
"Yes, it's been an eventful day."
Lifting myself off his lap, I take his hand into mine and squeeze it. "I need to find a more appropriate outfit for our next destination."
His other hand strokes my hair and his eyes find mine. "Will you tell me where we are going?"
"No, it's a surprise."
Laughing again, he reaches for the bar and grabs the bottle of whiskey, pouring two glasses. Handing one to me, he holds it until I clink mine against his.
"I hope it's a better surprise than earlier on the phone," he says with a wink.
"Don't be jealous." I down the whiskey and exit the car before he can respond. I follow George into the apartment buildings and cast a glance at Reggie's door, hoping he won't pick this moment to seek the time I owe him. To my relief, I make it to my door without a sound from his apartment.
George opens our door and I walk into the dressing area of my room, ignoring Peter's gaze following me. Without a care, I strip and turn on the shower, jumping in without waiting for the water to get hot. I don't want to keep Ray waiting. Not today.
"Pick out my best dress. Color doesn't matter. I want to look..." I begin.
"Like a million dollars," George says, finishing my statement.
With a nod, I begin scrubbing my skin with the sponge, ignoring the fact the bathroom door remains open. I have no secrets from George. However, I can see into other room and notice Peter smiling at me. Sticking out my tongue, I turn away before putting shampoo in my hair.
"Miss Ella," I hear George say. "I hate to interrupt you, but I must inform you a man is tied to your bed."
What is this you say?
"Excuse me, George," I say, washing the soap and body lotion away in short order before shutting off the water.
"Your next door neighbor to be exact."
Without wasting time grabbing a towel, I run into my bedroom naked to see Reggie bound to the bed. Duct tape binds his mouth shut and I don't have time to wonder the architect of this because Peter appears at my side.
"Explain yourself, Peter."
"I ran a background check on him. Reggie isn't his real name and he isn't a drug dealer."
"I don't have time for riddles. Tell me. Who is this man?"
"A hit man," Peter says, eyes roving over my body.
With a sigh, I return to the dressing room to get ready. I told Peter the truth, I don't have time. Applying my makeup and pulling the white cocktail dress over my head, I scan the closet looking for a certain pair of shoes. Pushing my feet into the heels, I hurry to stuff everything I need into my purse.
"Peter, I'll deal with this when I get home. I have something I need to do."
"What could be more important than finding out if he was hired to kill you?" he snaps at me.
"I'm late for a wedding."