Home > Captivated by You (Crossfire #4)(9)

Captivated by You (Crossfire #4)(9)
Sylvia Day

I hit the remote on my desk that controlled the opacity of the glass wall, blocking the view from everyone on the main floor. My mother approached, looking slim and elegant in dark blue slacks and white blouse. She’d pulled her hair back into a sleek ebony bun, showing off the flawless face that my father had adored. Once, I’d adored it, too. Now, I had trouble looking at her.

And since we looked so much alike, I sometimes had trouble looking at myself.

“Hello, Mother. What brings you into the city?”

She set her purse on the edge of my desk. “Why is Eva wearing my ring?”

The small pleasure I’d felt at seeing her dissipated instantly. “It’s my ring. And the answer to your question is obvious: She’s wearing the ring because I gave it to her when I proposed.”

“Gideon.” She pulled her shoulders back. “You don’t know what you’re getting into with her.”

I forced myself to remain facing her. I hated when she looked at me with hurt in her eyes. Blue eyes that were so like mine. “I don’t have time for this. I’ve put an important meeting on hold to see you.”

“I wouldn’t have to come to your office if you’d answer my calls or come home once in a while!” Her pretty pink mouth tightened with disapproval.

“That is not my home.”

“She’s using you, Gideon.”

I retrieved my coat. “We’ve had this discussion.”

She folded her arms across her chest like a shield. I knew my mother; she was just getting started. “She’s involved with that singer, Brett Kline. Did you know that? And she’s got an ugly side you’ve never seen. She was downright vicious to me last night.”

“I’ll speak with her.” Straightening my coat with a brisk tug on the lapels, I headed toward the door. “She shouldn’t be wasting her time.”

My mother’s breath caught. “I’m trying to help you.”

“It’s a little too late for that, don’t you think?”

She took a shaky step back from the look I gave her. “I know Geoffrey’s death was hard on you. It was a difficult time for all of us. I tried to give you—”

“I’m not doing this here!” I snapped, furious that she would bring up something as personal as my father’s suicide while I was working. That she would bring it up at all. “You’ve hijacked my morning and pissed me off. Let me make it clear to you. There is no scenario pitting you against Eva where you come out on top.”

“You’re not listening to me!”

“There’s nothing you could say that would affect anything. If she wanted my money, I’d give her every cent. If she wanted another man, I’d make her forget him.”

She lifted an unsteady hand to her hair, smoothing it although not a single glossy strand was out of place. “I only want the best for you, and she’s stirring up crap that has been put away a long time. It can’t be a healthy relationship for you. She’s creating a rift with your family that—”

“We’ve been estranged, Mother. Eva has nothing to do with that.”

“I don’t want it to be like this!” Stepping closer, she held out her hand. A strand of black pearls peeked out from between the lapels of her blouse, and a sapphire-faced Patek Philippe adorned her wrist. She hadn’t rebooted her life after my father’s death; she’d done a complete wipe and restart. And never looked back. “I miss you. I love you.”

“Not enough.”

“That’s not fair, Gideon. You won’t give me a chance.”

“If you need a ride, Angus is at your service.” I caught the handle of the door and paused. “Don’t come here again, Mother. I don’t like arguing with you. It would be best for both of us if you just stay away.”

I left the door open behind me and headed toward the conference room.

“YOU took this shot today?”

I looked up at Raúl, who stood in front of my desk. Dressed in a plain black suit, he had the steady, watchful gaze of a man who made his living by seeing and hearing everything.

“Yes,” he answered. “Not more than an hour ago.”

I returned my attention to the photo in front of me. It was difficult looking at Anne Lucas. The sight of her foxlike face, with its sharp chin and sharper eyes, brought back memories I wished I could erase from my mind. Not just of her, but of her brother, who’d been similar in ways that made my skin crawl.

“Eva said the woman had long hair,” I murmured, noting that Anne still had cropped hair. I remembered the plastic feel of it, the sharp-gelled spikes scratching my thighs as she deep-throated my cock, working desperately to get me hard enough to f**k her.

I handed the tablet back to Raúl. “Find out who it was.”

“Will do.”

“Did Eva call you?”

He frowned. “No.” But he pulled out his smartphone and checked it. “No,” he said again.

“She may wait until you fly out to San Diego. She wants you to find a friend of hers.”

“No problem. I’ll take care of it.”

“Take care of her,” I said, holding his gaze.

“Doesn’t need to be said.”

“I know. Thank you.”

As he left my office, I sat back in my chair. There were a number of women in my past who might cause problems for me with my wife. The women I’d slept with were aggressive by nature, ones who put me in the position of needing to take the upper hand. Eva was the only woman who’d ever grabbed the lead and made me want more.

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