CHAPTER 15: HOT DIGGITY DAMN!
GRADY'S HOUSE - SUNDAY MORNING
Now I know that I sometimes get that itch to fuck a guy or be fucked by a guy but that has to be the worst sex I've had in a long time!
Twice I had to tell him to cover his teeth, which is basic blowjob know how! I had to keep thinking of his friend Brian to get to the end. Now he, I suspect wouldn't need any instructions whatsoever.
And that dreamy-eyed expression on his face afterwards. Ugh. I hope he realises that it was a one-time fuck and will never happen again.
"Grady Holster." I'm startled when I hear his voice. "Oh Michael, hi. How are you? I'm fine. Not up to much; just going for a run in a minute so I can't stay on the phone for long. Yeah it was great evening. Uh this week, I have to fly out of the city on business for a few days so won't be around so much. Let me get back to you. Look my buddies are here so I have to go. Yeah speak soon."
I shut off my phone and stare at it for a while; how the hell did he get my number I think to myself then decide that a run is definitely called for and I'm definitely getting out of the city, just in case he turns up here!
MILLIE'S HOUSE - MONDAY AFTERNOON
"So Bernie have you met him yet?" I beam at her pouring her another glass of wine.
I'm so pleased that Thomas is back in her life. When she told me what happened and how they searched for him and now with Kiki's help he's back in their lives, I almost wanted to throw a party.
"No but he's coming over for dinner on Wednesday. I'm terribly nervous as is Arnold."
"Why would you be nervous, after all it's him who has to..."
"Millie." Harold chides me. "Stop being the Queen Bee and be a friend. Besides you know who it is, don't you? So you know she's got nothing to worry about"
I look from him to Bernie in confusion. "No, should I?"
"It's Zeon. Zee's twin brother."
My mouth drops open in surprise. "Really! Ooh wait till I speak to that little lady, she never said a word!"
Harold smiles. "You know Zee better than anyone here Millie. If it's not her news to tell, she doesn't."
I nod and top up his glass. If there's one thing I've come to learn about the Ugerstachts is that they are the height of discretion. Unless of course you are Lindsay Peterson or Michael Novotny. Now those are two people who the world needs warning about.
"Well I'm still telling her off when we go to dinner on Thursday. That's all I'm saying." I sniff in mock annoyance.
"Okay, I'll have the Advil, milk thistle and water on the side of the bed when you get in." Harold remarks dryly.
"Harold, I wasn't that bad the last time." I object blushing at the memory.
"You were more soused than a herring." He chuckles. "Bernie it took three attempts for her to take her shoes off."
"Harold don't you have to be somewhere else?" I pout.
"There's my cue. Have a good afternoon plotting."
"What do you mean plotting?" I ask.
"You're trying to tell me that Melody is here for the good clean Pittsburgh air?" He arches an eyebrow, smirks and leaves the room.
"They're all yours. Enjoy your hubble, bubble, boil and making trouble!" His laughter echoes down the hallway as he makes his way to his office.
"It's what they deserve! And I'm not happy with the witch reference!" I call back and hear him laugh harder.
"Good afternoon darlings!" Melody sweeps in with a smile on her face. "Ooh bubbles! I could murder a glass."
"You've been speaking to Emmy Lou recently, haven't you?" Millie chuckles.
"Yes. This morning in fact. Can you get to France next Thursday? The Justin Taylor Showing has been moved from San Fran to Paris, it's not widespread news at the moment, as they've just secured the location."
"I'm sure we can manage that. Bernie what about you?"
"Yes, absolutely. Why was it moved?"
"He was offered a joint showing with Courec and Lydia wouldn't let him turn it down. But the only place he could get to was Paris as he has a showing in Italy three days later and it's easier to move the pieces from there...now onto those two ingrates."
I top up Millie's glass. "So has the suit been taken off the table?"
"Thought not. She's been hawking her resume about, starting to wheedle her way in."
"I thought you were..."
"Oh I am, but I'm allowing her a little bit of hope before I rip that asunder. She has aspirations, I'll give her that. Part of me feels sorry for Nancy and Ronald."
"What on earth for?" Bernie's incredulous. "It's only been a few weeks and they look so happy."
"And if they had harnessed some fucking backbone they would have been happier earlier and not had to move. As they loved that house!"
"Your Emmy Lou is showing." Bernie teases me.
"Wait till my Zee comes out, that fucking bitch won't know what hit her."
LUTHER'S CONDO - FRIDAY AFTERNOON
Thank God that damn painting is out of this house. Talon has said she's still waiting to hear from the Melody woman about the cost of the painting. I had a fantastic weekend with Bethany. She reminds me of Xanthe in a way. And I fully intend to have a fantastic time again this weekend.
"Honey you got a minute?" I call out to Talon, she comes in looking sickly. "Jesus what's wrong with you?" I demand backing away.
"I think I'm coming down with a cold." She groans clutching her head.
"Oh, well I'm going to have to go away this weekend. I'm having problems persuading Zander to come across so a boy's weekend is called for."
"Can't you stay with me instead? Surely you don't need to do this now? I really need you to comfort me."
"Honey I would but I've got the other meetings next week too and I can't be sick for those. So why don't you go back to bed and I'll have Ralph look after you."
"Okay. When will you be back?"
"Sunday evening. Now hurry go back to bed." I order and wait for her to leave.
"Hey baby, I'll meet you at the hotel. No, I can get away this evening instead. Brace for impact baby, brace for impact."
BLOOM GALLERY - SAME TIME
Oh what fresh fucking hell is this! I blink twice and it is still here. Craig Taylor is standing in my gallery.
"Can I help you?"
"Yes I would like the information about the Justin Taylor Showing in San Francisco next week."
"What kind of information? Would you like tickets for example?"
"Oh yes I would indeed. How many can you spare?"
"They are $90 a ticket, how many can you afford?" I smile sweetly although he makes my skin crawl.
"I need about 20, do you offer a group discount?"
"No. Wait are you related to Justin? I know that Taylor is a common name but you seem to favour..."
"No, I'm not related to him. Like you said, Taylor is a common name. Now about these tickets, can I pay now?"
"Of course so that will be $1800 excluding taxes, we have a..."
"Why not make it a round $2500?"
"But that's too much."
"Consider the rest my contribution to the art scene." He smiles at me and I want to vomit.
"Well that's very kind of you. Here you go is there anything else?"
"No that's perfect. Thank you. I look forward to next week."
He strides out smirking and I shudder. "Sarah can you come in please?" I call out.
She comes in and closes the door. "This block booking is for Craig Taylor. Under no circumstances is he to know that this is in now in France."
"I beg your pardon!"
"Oh! Not you, him! Did he leave you names of his guests?"
"No." I answer uncertainly as this is a side of Sarah I've not seen before.
"Justin Taylor was three years above me. The way his dad was after the trial was a disgrace."
"You know Justin?"
"No, never met him personally but he got a two day suspension defending my brother."
"Oh. So I can leave this with you?"
"Yes, yes you can."
"So I've got 20 tickets and it's Black tie. As if those deviants should be allowed to sully such a classy piece of attire. Anyway, once we're in you know what to do. And when I say destroy I mean obliterate, I want no painting untouched."
LUTHER'S CONDO - FRIDAY EVENING
"Okay I still don't understand Miss...sorry Talon." I pour another glass of Chateau Neuf du Pape. "You don't like Michael but you are helping him, well actually them, this is a puzzlement to me."
"One of the benefits of being what I am is my survival instinct. For a man who owes and isn't working, he doesn't seem to be in a hurry to pay it back..."
"Owes to who?"
"Brian and Justin Taylor-Kinney. And he never misses a payment. And that got me thinking, why not just pay it off and have done? So I did a bit of digging."
"And..." I prompt her.
By the time she's finished I realise what she's going to do. "You've checked out his collection haven't you?" She nods and smiles. "And?"
"It's not as big as it once was obviously but what he has in there is worth some serious coin and will appreciate in value. They've signed the agreement and if this works the way I think it will that collection is mine."
"But what about Lindsay? What do you gain from her?"
"Nothing. She will dump him quick smart if she has any brains about her. And from what I can tell all is not well in there."
I raise my glass to her and we clink. "If there's one thing you can definitely say about me Ralph, it's that I am not Talentless."