A Honeybun and Coffee(86)

By: Sam Cheever

His gaze locked with the wealthy Frenchman’s and Alfric gave him a small nod.

Raia bent close to his dancing partner and whispered something in her ear. Her head shot up and her long lashed gaze flew toward him. Alfric’s heart stuttered in his chest. The beautiful black woman had the most startling, clear blue eyes. And they were very obviously filled with fear as they fixed on him.

Before he had time to wonder why, the mystery woman was turning away, running into the crowd.

With a curse, Alfric dropped his young partner’s hands and took off after her.

PLEASANCE ROBERTS FLEW down the hallway toward the ladies room, glancing over her shoulder as she ran. As she reached it, the bathroom door opened and she ran headlong into a tall, heavy-set woman dressed in overstretched silk and way too many diamonds.

Pleasance hit the woman’s well-padded chest and belly and bounced backward with an undignified “Umph!”, landing hard on her backside on the priceless oriental rug. The woman peered down at her, glaring. “You’re in big girl clothes, dear, why don’t you act like it?”

Pleasance barely resisted the urge to stick her tongue out at the woman. Climbing to her feet, not an easy task in the thin column of a dress she wore, she grabbed the bathroom door and, turned for a last look down the hallway to see if the handsome red-haired man was still chasing her. He rounded the corner at a full run, spotting her immediately. Pleasance gave a little chirp of alarm and plunged through the door.

She heard an outraged cry and a thump as the woman she’d run into outside apparently got run down by the red-haired guy too.

The woman’s big girl clothes didn’t appear to be buying her much in the way of dignity.

Pleasance’s eyes frantically searched the large, well-appointed bathroom. The door she was looking for was on the far side, just behind a short privacy wall. She took off running again and squealed as her ankle gave out and she fell painfully to her knees.

Stupid shoes. Pulling off the expensive shoes with the skinny three inch heels, Pleasance started running again. She grabbed the handle of the heavy wood door and pulled inward, entering a cool, dark room with the softest, thickest carpeting she’d ever experienced. Turning, she flipped the flimsy lock on the door. It wouldn’t hold her pursuer for long, but with any luck it would hold him long enough for her to get to her car.

She ran toward the patio doors on the opposite wall. As she reached them, she heard something large hit the other side of the bathroom door. Hard. And then a deep male voice yelling, “Dammit!”

Pleasance smiled. “See ya later handsome.” She muttered.

Pleasance let herself out onto the softly lit patio, and made her way across the lawn to the front of the huge home. Her car was waiting for her at the curb, just as Jon-Luc had promised it would be, its finely made German engine purring softly as she leapt inside.

Pleasance strapped on her seatbelt and found the pedals with her feet, grabbing the gearshift and preparing to leave. She jumped as Qamra Tamarat’s dark, coldly passive face suddenly appeared in her side window. “Mr. Raia will be in touch.”

She nodded, barely containing a shudder at the dead quality of the man’s eyes, and pressed hard on the gas, releasing the clutch with practiced precision. She left the circular drive in front of the Raia mansion with a squeal that made her wince and moved out onto the narrow, winding road that led away from Jon-Luc’s remote estate. The sleek car took the tight turns and low, rolling hills of the mostly uninhabited road with ease. Pleasance worked the clutch and gears of the Mazda RX8 like someone who’d cut her teeth on high powered cars. She didn’t slow until she was several miles away from Jon-Luc’s vast property—several miles between her and the pretty, red-haired man who’d wanted to hurt her.

Somehow it didn’t feel like enough distance.

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