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Just Business (Chapter 5)

Harper Callahan is an orphan and the guardian of her 8-month-old sister, Lilia. She is kidnapped and given a second chance at life at the Late Night Ranch. Will she find true love in a business where women are disposable?
Hey Everyone,

This chapter is relatively short, but I didn't want to keep you waiting anymore. The promotional event at work was an amazing success, and I have started writing the outline for the rest of this story and it's gonna be good. Enjoy!

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Chapter 5

Harper's POV

I woke up in the morning, my head pounding as I sat up and saw the room spin in front of me. Water and an Advil were sitting on my end table, and Lilia was sitting in her little crib, smiling at me. I took the Advil and picked her up. The clock read 10:00 AM, and I was dead tired. Bits and pieces of last night flashed through my mind. Connor. And Roger. I held Lilia close to me and rocked her as I walked to the closet to find clothes for today. I needed to have a talk about Connor with everyone.

I put on some skinny jeans and a crop top, and put Lilia in a cute little romper, and slowly made my way upstairs to get us both some food. On my way, I ran into Rita, who hugged Lilia and me with a look of slight concern on her face.

"Are you okay? We all heard about what happened. I’m just sorry I didn’t know sooner or I would have spilled his drink all over his sorry ass," she whispered, finally letting go only to reveal a mischievous smile. "Do you remember the end of your night?"

"No, what happened after Roger visited me at the bar?" I asked, trying to keep a hungry baby from crying in my arms.

"Well, he wanted to make sure you were okay," she started, smiling before looking up the stairs. "He stayed with you all night and he may still be up there. Stubborn man - I told him you were fine but he insisted on seeing for himself!" She yelled down the hallway, as I was quickly walking to see if what she said was true. And true to her word, at the table across from Johan and Katrina was a very tired-looking Roger.

"Hey, sleepyhead." He turned around and took a hungry Lilia from my arms before giving me a long, sensual hug and helping me to the giant table. I sat down and Roger sat Lilia in her highchair before running over to Jean in the kitchen.

"He’s been up here since 8:30, cooking you breakfast." Katrina cooed at me. "He stayed with you all night to make sure you were okay, and now he’s cooking you breakfast. Where did you find him, because I want one!" She squealed as Rita slowly made her way up the stairs and I grimaced at the loud volume at which she was speaking to me.

She had just finished gushing about Roger, and he returned with a steaming plate of eggs, bacon, and toast, and a banana for Lilia. He took a seat next to me and made sure to linger as he placed my plate in front of me. Our eyes locked and if I hadn’t been hungover and surrounded by my co-workers, I would have taken him in for a long kiss. His 5 o’clock shadow and lingering smell of his cologne was driving me crazy, and before I could speak, he reached into my pocket and pulled the baggie of pills that I had gotten after he took my old ones.

"We can do this every time, if you’d like." He smirked, his mouth dangerously close to mine. He looked from my eyes to the newly forming bruises on my upper arm before kissing them and tenderly cupping my chin with his masculine hand.

"I’m sorry my friend did this to you," he murmured, making my heart melt. "But these," he continued, waving the bag above the table, "won’t solve any of your problems. Let me help you. Can we get a minute alone?" he asked to Johan, Katrina and Rita, who all nodded and walked away from the kitchen table.

"Why? That’s all I want to know, why?" I shook my head, not ready to process the complexity of the question he was asking. We sat in silence as we ate, his arm around my waist and Lilia looking over at me lovingly.

"Pretty girl, how would you like a new toy?" He asked, cooing at her as she giggled and squirmed in her seat. It made me smile that Lilia loved Roger so much already, and it seemed that affection wasn’t one-sided. I wasn’t ready to admit the same, though, and too quickly our breakfast came to an end and Roger was on his way out of the door. I thanked him and invited him to come back, and then it happened.

No, it’s not what you’re all thinking. We didn’t get it on in the middle of the kitchen. He kissed me so tenderly on the cheek, it was as if he didn’t care about anything else in the world after that kiss.

"I will wait," he smiled as he walked out of the door. I sat back down in my chair as everyone made their way upstairs and I got nudges, smiles and whistles as they had obviously been eavesdropping. I picked Lilia up and we went outside with Rita and Johan to play in the sun. No sooner had we sat down than a familiarly ominous car pulled into the driveway.

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Connor's POV

Connor was in our driveway, getting out of the car and locking eyes with me, like a lion zeros in on a lame wildebeest. I pulled Lilia close to me, crying as I went to get up. Johan beat me to it, and Katrina moved in front of me while pulling out her cell phone and calling Mr. St. Clair outside. He ran to the door, and he and Johan created a barrier between myself and my attacker, and Katrina held me and tried to console me. Although they kept me safe for the moment, I didn’t feel safe knowing he was there. I handed Lilia to Katrina, who played with her and kept her giggly and naïve, and I walked over to the group of men to confront him.

I instantly regretted my decision. In one swift movement, Connor had slipped past Derek and Johan, and made his way to me, his eyes like that lion. He stopped dead in his tracks, snarled at me and whispered, "You will be mine one day, my dear." As he went to turn away, Johan grabbed him by the collar and whispered something in his ear, which was inaudible at the time. Later I learned that he had been fired as a scout, and was warned sternly about the consequences of messing with the ladies at the Ranch. I grabbed my sister, ran into the Ranch and picked up the phone to call Roger for some comfort.

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Comment Replies

Anne: Thank you.

Britt: Thanks!

Iris: She is starting to open up to Roger, and trust him. Do you think she'll ever be able to fully open up?

Faye: Thank you so much for your well wishes! It went great. Also, I'm so happy this story is believable (at least in the romance aspect)!

Becky: I'm so glad you're enjoying my writing. Thank you for reading, I hope this chapter, although short, is holding your interest.
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Published: 7/23/2013
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