Home > His Turn (Turning #3)

His Turn (Turning #3)
Author: J.A. Huss

Chapter One - Bric

There is nothingness… and then there is emptiness.

I’m lying in bed trying to figure out which is which.

Trying not to notice that the girl who was here last night is gone.

She’s not the reason for my existential crisis. And it’s not Rochelle either. It’s Smith and Quin who have my wandering attention this morning.

My phone buzzes on the bedside table. I want to ignore that buzzer pretty bad right now, but this day has priorities. I grab it, tab accept, and put it up to my ear. “Yes.”

“Bric,” Margaret says. She’s my manager downstairs. “There’s a real-estate agent here to see you.”

“Give him a table, offer him anything he wants off the menu, and tell him I’ll be right down.”

“Got it,” Margaret says. She hangs up without saying goodbye, but I don’t take it personally. Margaret is the very first person I ever hired at the Club. She knows this place better than anyone except me. She might know me better than anyone except me as well.

I drag myself out of bed, sighing, then shuffle around the room picking up my clothes and pulling on my pants.

I leave the apartment and take the elevator down one floor to my own place. My shower is exactly two minutes long. I don’t shave, just finger-comb my hair and pull on a fresh suit.

Lawton only waits fifteen minutes, tops, and he’s enjoying his complimentary breakfast when I slip into the booth, holding up a finger to signal the waitress I’d like coffee.

“Bricman,” Lawton says. “I was beginning to think you stood me up.”

“I need you, Lawton. Don’t be absurd. I don’t piss people off until I’m done using them.”

Lawton laughs, like this is a joke, and continues eating. He’s in his prime. Twenty-eight years old. Built like a fucking MMA fighter, tall enough to be intimidating, wealthy enough to be confident, and good-looking. But he’s also smart enough to know how to rein all that in. Present himself as someone who is just another humble servant, ready to please.

Of course, I’ve known him since he was sixteen. So I don’t fall for any of it. He’s not a Club member and we never meet here for business, but his office is being remodeled over the holiday and it’s as good a place as any.

“So what now?” he asks, taking a sip of coffee.

“I need to sell the loft.”

He almost chokes, takes a second to recover, and then says, “Why? The market is down right now and you can still make a killing off short-term rentals.”

“I’m done with it,” I reply, just as the waitress comes up with my coffee.

“Oh,” Law says. “All right then.” He takes a moment to think, then says, “I’ll go over and take a look at the new improvements and then put together a listing. Should go live by the end of the week.”

I let out a long breath. And it’s not a sigh of relief.

“But do you want to tell me why?” Law says. “I mean… when we last talked you were moving in there full-time.”

“With Rochelle and Quin,” I say.

Law just cocks his head a little, not understanding.

“We broke up,” I say.

“Oh,” he says. “OK. I get it. No need for lengthy explanations.” He takes his attention back to his omelet.

This is one reason I like Law. He’s a little bit like Smith. Only cares about himself. Not interested in the messy details. Just the facts, ma’am.

Or… how Smith used to be. Before Chella. And even though I really love Chella, every day since I got the results of that paternity test back have been filled with thoughts of what if? What if Rochelle never left? What if we never met Chella? Smith never fell in love. Quin never got what he wanted.

I’d be a lot happier.

“Did you have a nice Christmas?” Law asks, throwing his napkin on his plate. “Oh, wait.” He laughs. “Never mind. I forgot. You don’t do Christmas. Did you have a nice weekend?”

“Sure,” I say, as he pushes back from the table and gets to his feet.

“Good. I did as well. OK, gotta run, Bric. But I’ll call you in a few days and give you an update.”

He turns to leave before I can even bother responding, and I wonder if his life is as perfect as it seems. Lawton Ayers was a kid with a brain and not much else when I took him under my wing twelve years ago. I have a scholarship fund at the private high school I attended here in Denver. Law was just one among hundreds of kids who wanted that spot back when he was a junior in high school. He’d been in the foster system for two years by that time. Absent father, drug-addicted mother, and kicked out of every public high school he went to.

But his SSAT scores were perfect. He was brilliant in a way only one born with brilliance can be. So he made the shortlist of candidates and we ended up having a one-on-one.

Cocky doesn’t even come close to describing him back then. But I knew he had potential. He got the scholarship. And when he graduated, he got more than a scholarship. I became his sponsor.

And look at him now. Made his first million two years ago and well on his way to real-estate domination.

See? This is what I tell myself on days like this. See what I did? I made him.

But the thing that really kinda pisses me off about Lawton Ayers is that he comes off so damn satisfied. I just want to smack that self-assured smile off his face, wrap my hands around his throat, and shake the truth out of him.

No one is that fucking satisfied at twenty-eight coming from a place like he did. No one gets over shit that easy.


I pull myself out of my fascination with Lawton’s personal demons and find Jordan grabbing the seat Law just vacated.

“What’s up?” I ask, taking a sip of my coffee.

“You look deep in thought,” Jordan says. “Still thinking about her, huh?”

“Who?” I ask, defensive. I wasn’t thinking about Rochelle. Fuck him for even—

“Nadia,” Jordan says, his eyebrows knitted together.

“Who the fuck is Nadia?” I ask. But I’m relieved he didn’t say Rochelle. Even though I wasn’t thinking about her.

“My present last night.” Jordan laughs.

“Oh,” I say. “Her.”

“What the fuck do you mean, Oh, her? She’s fucking amazing, right?”

“I guess,” I say, taking another sip of coffee.

“You didn’t like her? What she’d do? Mouth off? I fucking told her not to talk to you, goddammit.”

I wave my hand at him. “No, she didn’t talk.” I laugh. “She didn’t make a single fucking sound.”

“Explain,” Jordan says. His forehead is all scrunched up, like this is the most unbelievable puzzle that needs solving.

“What part of she didn’t make a sound needs explaining? She didn’t talk. She didn’t do anything but submit.”

Jordan laughs. “And? That’s your thing, right? Shut up and submit.”

“Yeah, but I like a little screaming and a lot of moaning. She didn’t even cry.”

Jordan stares at me for a few seconds. “Huh.”

“Huh, what?” I ask.

“That’s weird. She’s fucking perfect with me. Her moans are so loud I usually have to gag her. I guess she didn’t care for it.”

“Care for what?” I ask.

“Well.” Jordan snickers. “You.”

“Whatever,” I say. “I wasn’t looking for a fuck last night anyway. I only did it because she was there.”

“Did she say anything when she left?” Jordan asks.

“I dunno. I was sleeping. I don’t even know when she left. Just woke up this morning and she was gone.”

“Huh,” Jordan says again.

“Would you stop it with your silent judging? Who cares? I don’t want her. She’s yours anyway.”

“Well,” Jordan says. “I was thinking, you know. We could bring her in on the game.”

“Fuck that. She’s boring.”

“Boring?” Jordan’s laugh is practically a guffaw now. “Well, I have a lot of words to describe Nadia, but boring is definitely not one of them. She’s fucking amazing. Fights back like nobody’s business.” He leans in, looking around to see who’s at the tables nearby, then whispers, “And she cries the most beautiful tears when I fuck her throat. Fucking make-up runs down her cheeks. Eyes on me the entire time. She’s all, ‘Yes, sir. Do it harder. Yes, sir, I want more.’ God, I get hard just thinking about it.”

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