New York Rain(5)

By: Riley Moreno

Brenton smiled.

“You're a lovely person Claire, and as I said, I really do appreciate your concern for me. I'm tough as old nails though – just like my old man was – and I'm determined to get this Fuller case sorted by tomorrow morning. Even if that means staying up for the next six hours to do it.”

“Just promise me you'll get some rest tomorrow, okay? After the case is done.”

Brenton nodded and shot her a warm grin.

“I promise. Now go on, you go and get yourself some beauty sleep. Not that you need it!”

Claire blushed and grinned.

“Thank you sir.”

“Good night Claire.”

“Good night.”

He watched her turn around and close the door behind her, leaving him alone in his vast office. He walked over to the suit of armor that stood next to his cherry wood cabinet, which contained priceless Chinese antiques from the Ming Dynasty. As he often did, he flipped open the visor of the steel helmet – the suit of armor was a genuine sixteenth century artifact, worn by one of the conquistadors who had conquered the Aztec empire – and he imagined himself inside the armor, armed with a sword, lance and crossbow, riding out on his horse into unknown lands.

“That's where I should have been,” he murmured to himself. “I should have been born then. I could have conquered half of the world.”

He closed the helmet's visor and walked over to his desk, where Claire had left the files on the Fuller case. There was a lot of work to be done tonight, and he needed some energy.

Jade... Jade Gillie.

There she was again, in his thoughts, coming in uninvited like a burglar in the night. Was it her eyes that he couldn't forget? Those deep, dark liquid pools of chestnut that had sparkled so radiantly under his subtly-placed, designer light array?

He shook his head, trying to get the thoughts of her out of his head. Love at first sight was a myth, a lie made up by fools, he thought. Love itself was a lie. At least, that's what he knew now. Once he had believed in it. Once he had almost sacrificed everything for love.

Everything. I almost gave up everything I had, everything I wanted, everything I owned – just for her.

For her.

And then... She betrayed me.

She proved that love was a lie. Now I know it, and I've never fallen for that lie again.

Brenton forced the thoughts of Jade out of his mind. He had work to do, lots of important, high profile work, and he couldn't afford to be wasting his time thinking about a woman he'd only met once, for a few minutes.

“Alright, time to get started on this Fuller case,” he said to himself. “First though, some energy for the hours ahead.”

He pressed a button on the touch screen on his desk

“Speed dial, Vinzani's Cold-Pressed Organic Veggie Juices. Proceed?”

“Proceed,” he said to the computer.

He paced back and forth as he listened to the dial tone as it rang. Eventually a man picked up the phone, speaking with a rough Brooklyn accent.

“Vinzani's Juices, how can I help ya?”

“This is Brenton Huxley. I need three of your green energy blends delivered to the Goldman building, sixty-seventh floor, right away.”

“I can make the juice, Mr. Huxley, but I can't deliver now. It's after midnight, and I'm the only one manning the place for the late night shift. If you can send someone to get it...”

“I'll come myself. Have it ready in twenty minutes.”

“Sure thing, pal.”

Brenton pressed the button to end the call. He was a bit annoyed that he couldn't get the juice delivered at this hour, when he was in such a rush to get started on the Fuller case, but at the same time he supposed it was good to be able to get out of the office for a few minutes, to get a quick breather in and get some fresh air.

He grabbed the keys to his Maserati GranCabrio Sport – one of the many vehicles he kept here, in the parking garage of this building – and headed out the door.


Jade wondered whether she should really have another drink. It was past midnight, and she theoretically had another long day of work tomorrow – although the prospect of facing that day seemed like something she really wasn't too keen on dealing with. After today's crushing defeat, it didn't seem like it was worth even carrying on.