Read Voyeur Extraordinaire Online

Authors: Cora Reilly

Voyeur Extraordinaire (7 page)

BOOK: Voyeur Extraordinaire
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I exchanged a smile with Amy. “You should know that Amy can't stay still for long. If she could, she probably wouldn't sleep at all.”

Amy poked her tongue out at me and Jared kissed her temple, chuckling. I felt a pang of jealousy when I watched them. They looked so happy and in love.

“So will you come with me?” Jared asked, his eyes practically burning into Amy. She gave me an apologetic look. “Go,” I said. It was quite obvious what Jared had in mind for Amy once they were back in their apartment.

I watched them leave, their arms wrapped around each other. The door closed with a groan. I sat at my table with only Bruno for company. I’d give anything, absolutely anything, to have what Amy and Jared shared. Briefly, I considered returning to bed and sleeping away my free day, but Bruno nudged my shin, reminding me of his needs. Even if I wanted nothing more than to stay in the apartment to avoid meeting Adrian,
Bruno needed to pee and he refused to consider using the toilet. Next time I got a puppy, I’d toilet train him.

Resigned, I got dressed and grabbed Bruno. He wriggled in my arms as I straightened with him. Sometimes I wondered if he was scared of heights. I headed outside, for once using the staircase. Amy always urged me to make time for working out. Mission accomplished. The hood of my sweater was pulled over my head and sunglasses were covering my eyes to hide my identity as I crossed the narrow lawn. I felt like a criminal. Maybe the neighbors would think I was a burglar and call the police. Oh, that
would be the icing on the cake!

As usual Bruno took his time sniffing every frigging inch of the lawn and I just wanted to get away. He always found the perfect timing…

My heart stopped beating for a second when I saw the subject of my dreams and very recently nightmares walking out of the neighbor house. It looked as if he was taking his garbage out. What an ordinary task. I wrenched at Bruno's leash but he didn't let me deter him from his sniffing mission. Why did he do this to me?

And then, as my bad luck would have it, Adrian looked my way and he must have recognized me even though
I was hidden so well by my clothes. He halted in his tracks and a smirk curled his lips. And then he started walking my way with a triumphant, arrogant, devilishly sexy smirk on his face and I knew he was going to talk to me about my voyeurism. His blond hair was slightly disheveled as if he hadn’t brushed if after his sexual adventures.

No way. I bent down and grabbed Bruno, ignoring his yelps of protest, and squeezed him under my arm. Then I whirled around and walked away. Well, ran away as fast as my feet could carry me without actually running. I didn't look back to see if Adrian was following me but I hoped desperately that he wasn't.

Maybe there was some kindheartedness in him and he would forget that I was a perverted peeping Tom.

My heart was practically bursting my ribcage when I finally arrived in my apartment and closed the door behind me. I locked it twice and then backed away from it. Bruno gave me odd looks but I ignored him. It was his fault that
I had almost been caught by Adrian.

It was childish of me to hide but I couldn't face him. Ever. I guess that was something I’d inherited from my father. He was a huge conflict-avoider as well.

After a moment of hesitation, I rushed over to my living room window, knelt on the sill and looked for a sign of him. But he wasn't outside. So either he'd returned to his apartment, or he'd knock at my door any second. I felt like I was going to be sick.

***

I'd evaded Adrian yesterday but today I needed to go to work. I chose to carry Bruno to his favorite place on the lawn because it was faster that way and put him down. I tapped my foot impatiently while he sniffed the ground. I really didn't have time for this. I wasn't late for work but the risk was too high that I'd meet Adrian. In a few days, when Adrian had forgotten all about the incident, I could start acting like a sane person again.

“Come on, Bruno,” I urged but he didn't let me distract him. He wagged his stubby tail once, then pushed his nose down into a particularly interesting patch of grass. Pugs were so stubborn.

The click of a door carried over to where I stood and my head whirled around. There he was again. He was following me, I was sure about it. I stared at him for a moment. He looked gorgeous in his black suit with the light blue tie. And his hair. I wanted to run my hands through it.

I looked at his face and the smile there tore me from my daydreams. He didn’t seem angry, but something about him reminded me of a predator. He was a man on a mission. Why did I suddenly feel like his prey? Just like yesterday, I grabbed Bruno. This time, however, I tried to make it look casual and didn’t quicken my pace. I wouldn’t give him reason to suspect I was actually running from
him
. As soon as I reached my vespa, I put Bruno into his basket and swung myself on the seat. From the corner of my eye, I could see Adrian still staring at me. He hadn’t followed me, as if he was sure he’d catch me another day. I started the engine, then I drove off at full speed without a look in the mirror. I didn't want to see him
still
watching me.

This situation was so very embarrassing and if it wasn't for Amy, I would have returned to my hometown by now. It wasn’t as if New York had been kind to me so far. But Amy was the best friend I've ever had and I didn't want to lose her. And I wasn’t a coward – even if recent events might hint to the opposite conclusion. I wouldn’t give up my dream of being a successful writer in New York because of a guy that had nothing better to do than banging
a girl in front of his window.

I could barely concentrate on my work that day – not that it took a huge amount of skill to serve beer to rude customers, but my patience was almost non-existent and it wasn’t helping that I had been forced to take Bruno to work with me because Amy and Jared were busy all day. I could hear him barking in Jack’s office half of the evening. To make matters worse, I managed to drop two glasses, one of them filled to the brim with beer. It took me a while to mop up the mess. Luckily, Jack wasn’t in the bar – he seldom was these days. He spent most of the time in the Caribbean with his young g
irlfriend doing god-knows what.

Leon only gave me a kind smile when I mixed up orders and nearly dropped my third glass of the evening. He was probably the most patient guy in the world. Mona leaned against the bar next to me. “Are you okay? You seem a bit out of it today.”

That was an understatement. But I couldn't tell her. Amy accepted my strangeness but I doubted that other people would be as understanding. It was, after all, more than a little weird to spend your evening watching a stranger bang another stranger.

I assured her that I was
alright, just a bit tired and she accepted my explanation, though I could tell that she didn't believe me. Was I that obvious?

I was utterly exhausted when I pulled into the small parking lot in front of my apartment building that evening. I looked around myself before I got off my scooter, almost expecting Adrian to wait for me. But this late at night he was probably already giving out his panty-dropping smiles to lure the next woman into his bedroom. When I saw that I was alone, I grabbed Bruno and rushed into the building and upstairs into my apartment.

I took a quick shower – I really couldn’t afford more – and got into my pajamas. All the worries and anxiety were taking a toll on me. Barefooted I walked toward my bedroom window and grabbed the curtains to pull them shut.

I froze and my eyes widened in shock at what I saw. Adrian was standing in his window. His arms were crossed in front of his chest and he was smiling his cocky smile at me. He was fully dressed for once – a white shirt hugging his body and dark pants – and there wasn't a woman in his bedroom. I didn't know what to do.

A part of me wanted to hide. Forever. But another part wanted to go over to his apartment and be the woman in his bedroom tonight.

And then?
A little voice taunted.
He'd kick you out afterward and you'd be nothing but another one of his conquests. He’ll forget you in no time, and you? You will feel like shit. Do you want that?

No. Yes. I didn’t know. I wanted him. But I wanted more than just sex. I knew it was naïve and stupid of me. I didn't even know him.

I frowned, angry at myself for my stupid dreams. He still hadn’t taken his eyes off me and his smile seemed to be getting wider with every second I spent standing in the window like an idiot. With a jerk I pulled the curtains shut. I needed to stop thinking of him. It would only get me hurt.

***

The next morning I was even more tired than the day before. When would I ever get a full night of sleep again? If I kept it up, Jack would fire my lazy ass. I kept my tired gaze on the floor, Bruno's leash in my right hand, as I scuffled after him. I wanted to head out to the park to write later, but right now I was too tired to even think straight, much less write coherent sentences. Not the best condition to write a literary masterpiece. Although, when you read the rejections from publishers and agents that I’d gotten so far, my writing was useless drivel even if I was wide awake. The next literary masterpiece probably didn’t lie in my future either way. Sobered by that depressing thought, I decided to make a detour to my favorite Starbucks as a pick-me-up. I was broke but I really needed something to brighten my day.

I halted when black trouser legs came into my field of vision. Slowly my eyes drifted upwards but then froze somewhere around the hips. I knew that body, even in its dressed state. My breath caught in my throat and I was sure I'd have a heart attack any moment. It probably would have made things easier for me. I didn't need to see the face to know to whom these legs, these hips,
this body
belonged: Adrian Black.

 

Chapter Eight

 

 

I
lifted my gaze ever so slightly, so that it was focused on his chest. He was wearing another suit, black with pinstripes, a white shirt and a burgundy tie. I felt myself blush when I realized that the moment I'd dreaded had finally come. I was busted. My fingers around Bruno’s leash tightened painfully.

I was glad for the hood that kept my blush hidden from his view. From the corner of my eye, I saw his familiar cocky smile – his default modus seemed to be cocky – and my face heated even more. I glanced down at Bruno who was busy scratching at a spot in the grass and I wondered briefly if I should just run. Adrian looked fit, and I hadn’t seen a gym in months, so he would probably catch up with me before I’d even rounded the corner. And it would take too much time to bend down and grab Bruno anyway. Maybe I should just leave him here. He was sniffing the ground and wouldn't even notice that I was gone. I could pick him up later – after Adrian was gone.
Unless he took Bruno with him. As ransom. Hysterical laughter worked its way up my throat but I swallowed it. I would not lose my shit in front of Adrian.

“Good morning,” Adrian greeted me and it was the first time I heard his voice, and it was heavenly.
Soft and manly, and deliciously sexy.

Everything in my body screamed at me to look up into his face, see the expression there, but my cheeks were already burning up as it was. Fuck, why did I have to be such an idiot? I should have never started spying on Adrian having sex.

“Won't you look at me?” he asked, amusement obvious in his voice.

I took a deep breath and raised my head to meet his gaze. My hood fell back and revealed my deep blush for the whole world to see. This close up a question I’d asked myself dozens of times was finally answered. He really had green eyes. Not a brownish-green either
; no, his eyes were almost the color of fresh grass. He was clean shaven and his blond hair fell in soft waves around his face. It wasn’t exactly long but a few strands touched his pronounced cheekbones. I wanted to reach out and ran my hands through them to find out if they were as silky as they looked. Something about him seemed familiar, but I couldn’t pinpoint why.

I shifted when I realized how long I must have been staring at his face, but he wasn’t exactly talking or moving either.

He stared at me with wide eyes, his mouth slightly agape, and I was starting to worry that there was something on my face. This wasn't the reaction that I'd expected. Casually, I lifted a hand and felt the corner of my lips for remains of food, but there was nothing. I didn’t dare touch my nose to see if I had a bogey. If that was the case, I could only hope God would strike me dead right this moment.

He looked as if he had some sort of epiphany and I wished I could take a peek into his head to find out what exactly he was thinking. Of course, his distraction would be the perfect opportunity for an escape. In his current state, he probably wouldn't manage to follow me.

Unfortunately, he used this moment to snap out of his stupor and looked at me in bewilderment. There was tension in his shoulders, as if he was an animal preparing to pounce. “You?” he said, and if I wasn't wrong he sounded almost elated.

I frowned, wondering if I was imagining things. Did he know me? I'd never seen him before I started spying on his bedroom window. Or maybe he just realized now that I was the voyeur?

But he didn't look angry. Not at all.

I was starting to think that I wasn’t the only crazy person around. His gaze focused on my lips and he swallowed, his eyes darkening ever so slightly with an emotion I couldn't quite place. His eyes were so intense. No one had ever looked at me like that – like he wanted to devour me. Most people in the bar never even looked at my face. They were too busy slapping my ass or drowning their sorrows in
beer.

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