Forever You(Forever Black #2)

By: Sandi Lynn

Chapter 6

Denny and I got out of the limo and walked through the doors that led inside the art gallery. I’ve

been to this art gallery only one time before, and it was with my sister, Cassidy, when she was

looking for a painting for Camden’s nursery. A gentleman walked over and asked if he could help us.

“I’m looking for some paintings that you have on display by Ellery Lane,” I answered.

“Ah yes, Miss Lane’s paintings are right over on this wall,” he said. “She’s quite a talented artist.”

I stood in front of the wall that displayed her artwork and stared at each painting carefully. They

were simply breathtaking. The painting that caught my attention was the one of the child sitting in a

field of flowers as three angels looked down upon her from the sky. I couldn’t help but think of the

scars that I saw on both her wrists.

“She’s a very good artist, Connor,” Denny said as he looked at her paintings.

“She is indeed. I must have all of them,” I replied.

Denny and I stepped out of the art gallery. I quickly pulled my cell phone from my pocket, and I

called my secretary, Valerie.

“Hello, Mr. Black,” she answered.

“Valerie, I know it’s Saturday, but I need you to do me a favor. I need you to go to the Sunset Art

Gallery and purchase three paintings from an artist named Ellery Lane. I’m calling Scott to pick you

up in the SUV in about an hour. I will give him an envelope with cash in it for the paintings. I want

you to tell the salesperson that you are paying triple the price of each one. Once you make the

purchase, Scott will deliver the paintings to my penthouse.”

“Very good, Mr. Black, I’ll be ready.”

“Thank you, Valerie. There will be a separate envelope with your name on it for your help.”

I hung up the phone and met Denny in the limo. We started to pull out of the parking lot when I had

an idea.

“Denny, drive me to Saks Fifth Avenue; we have some dresses to look at.”

“You’re kidding, right, Connor?” he laughed.

“No, Denny, I’m not kidding.”

He shook his head and didn’t say another word. Judging by the size of Ellery’s apartment and her

living on her own, I was thinking she didn’t have much money. I wanted to buy her something to wear

for the charity function tomorrow. It’s a black tie affair, and I didn’t want her to feel out of place.

Besides, a beautiful woman like Ellery Lane deserved to wear a beautiful designer dress.

“Drop me off in front of the store and park around back. I’ll let you know when I’m done,” I said to

Denny.

“Have fun dress shopping, Connor,” he smiled at me.

I rolled my eyes as I got out of the limo. I walked into Saks and ran into a woman I know named

Jillian.

“Connor Black, long time no see and no fuck,” she smiled.

“Hello, Jillian, it’s good to see you as always,” I smiled as I kissed her cheek.

“Where have you been hiding? I’ve been waiting to hear from you,” she said as she lightly put her

hand on my chest.

“I’ve been really busy, Jillian. I’ve been working hard, trying to secure a business deal.

Unfortunately, I don’t have time for anything else.”

Who was I kidding? I had time; I always made time for sex. I just haven’t wanted anything to do

with other women since I met Ellery. Even though she was only a friend to me, she’s the only woman

I want to spend time with.

“Well, give me a call when you do find time. I bought some new toys that I’d like to try with you,”

she winked.

I politely said goodbye and headed up the escalator to the dress department. I’ve never done this

before, well, with the exception of my sister. I would send her dresses from time to time for certain

functions. She would get mad because she said she liked to shop and that she could pick out her own

dresses. However, she never failed to love the ones I picked.

“Connor Black, how are you?” Camille smiled as she gave me a light hug.

“I’m good, Camille,” I replied.

“I saw your mother in here yesterday. She was buying dresses for the charity tomorrow. What

brings you here today?”

“I’m looking for some dresses that I would like you to take to a friend of mine. She will be

attending the charity function with me tomorrow night. She’s about 5’7” and very thin.”

Camille looked at me and placed her finger on her lip. “Describe her hair and eyes to me,” she

said.

“Her hair is long and blonde, and her eyes are an ice blue color,” I answered.

She took me over to a wall with a rack of dresses that just came in. I took a seat on the couch

across from the wall as Camille pulled out dresses to show me. I picked ten dresses that I thought

would look stunning on Ellery. The last dress Camille showed me was a Badgley Mischka strapless

lace gown in black. I envisioned it on Ellery, and out of all the dresses, it was my favorite one. I got

up and handed Ellery’s address to Camille.

“Pick out some shoes to go with the dress, and maybe some jewelry too,” I said as I started to walk

away.

“Don’t worry, Connor, I’ll take care of everything,” she smiled.

As I walked out of Saks, my phone started ringing. I looked at the screen as Ashlyn’s name

appeared.

“Hello, Ashlyn,” I answered.

“What the fuck is going on, Connor?!” she yelled.

“Watch yourself, Ashlyn. What’s the problem?”

“Why am I not on the list for the charity event tomorrow evening?”

I heavily sighed because I was waiting for this call. “I’m sorry, Ashlyn, but I didn’t make the list.”

“You knew I wasn’t on the list, didn’t you?” she sounded angry.

“Of course I knew, but there’s nothing I can do. There are only so many seats available. Anyway, I

don’t have time for this. I have to go.”

“Wait!” she yelled. “I heard a rumor that you’re taking someone to the event tomorrow night.”

“That’s none of your business, Ashlyn. How many times do we go over this?”

“So, it’s true?” She asked.

“If you must know, then yes, I’m bringing a friend with me,” I said as I slipped into the back seat. “I

have to go, Ashlyn; I’m working.”

I hit the end button before she could say another word. The last thing I needed was her attending the

charity tomorrow night and saying something in front of Ellery. I was beginning to feel stressed out,

and I needed to hit the gym for a good workout. As soon as we got back to the penthouse, I grabbed

my gym bag and headed for the gym. I ran on the treadmill, lifted some weights, and did some laps

around the pool. I was on my way to the locker room when Stephanie stopped me in the hallway.

“I was hoping you’d show up here today,” she smiled.

“Why’s that?” I smiled back.

She had a seductive look in her eye that told me she wanted sex, and she wanted it now. It felt like

an eternity since I’ve had sex, and it was driving me crazy. She led me to a small room where towels

are stored. I pushed her up against the wall and ran my hand up her shirt, feeling her large breasts and

hardened nipples as she kissed my neck. I moved my hand slowly down her torso and down the front

of her shorts until I felt the edge of her thong. Stephanie reached down the front of my swim shorts and

abruptly stopped, pushing me away and staring at me.

“What the hell, Connor? You’re not even hard,” she snapped.

I couldn’t believe this was happening as this has never happened to me before. I sighed and took a

step back as I ran my hands through my hair and shook my head.

“I don’t know what the problem is. I’ve been under a lot of stress at work.”

She opened the door and looked at me. “Sex is the best stress reliever in life, so maybe it’s

something else. Call me when you figure it out,” she said as she walked out.

I walked to the locker room and got dressed. Damn Ellery Lane. I just couldn’t stop thinking about

her. Not only did she fuck with my head, now she’s messing with my sex life. I walked out of the gym

and climbed into the Range Rover. I put my head on the steering wheel for a minute while I tried to

figure out what I was going to do.

I drove to the penthouse and threw my bag on the bed. I stood in the shower and let the hot water

run down my body. I couldn’t stop thinking about Ellery and what her reaction is going to be when

Camille shows up at her apartment with the dresses. I stepped out of the shower and wiped the steam

from the mirror with my hand. I looked at the man in the mirror and didn’t recognize what I saw

anymore. My heart is flipping out, and my mind is fucked up, compliments of Ellery Lane.

I slept pretty well all night. I’m sure the amount of scotch I drank before bed had helped. The next

day, I got up, showered, dressed, and headed downstairs to the kitchen where Claire was making

homemade banana nut bread.

“Good morning, Connor. Did you have a nice evening?”

“Good morning, Claire. Today’s Sunday, and it’s your day off. What are you doing here?” I asked

her as I lightly kissed her cheek.

“Remember, I’m taking tomorrow off instead to take my husband to the doctor?”

“That’s right, I’m sorry, I forgot. Thank you for making banana bread, it smells delicious.” I said as

I took my coffee and sat at the table.

“It will be ready in about 5 minutes. You seem like you’re in a great mood today. Is there any

special reason why?” she smiled.

I got the impression from her smile that she knew about Ellery. I’m sure Denny told her; those two

seem to tell each other everything.

“The charity function is tonight, and I’m attending it with a very beautiful woman,” I answered as I

opened my laptop.

“Very good, Connor; I hope you enjoy yourself tonight,” Claire smiled as she set the plate of

banana bread on the table.

I smiled and thanked her. I checked my emails and started to answer a few of them when a text from

Ellery came through to my phone.

“Hi Connor, it’s me Ellery. Thank you for the beautiful dress, but it’s too much, and I don’t feel

right accepting it.”

I smiled because I knew she loved it. I wanted to make her feel like a princess tonight, even if she’s

just a friend.

“You’re welcome, and it’s not too much, see you at 6:00 pm sharp,” I replied.

I was anxious to see what dress she picked out. They were all stunning, but the strapless black lace

was my favorite. I could picture that dress, hugging her small silhouette, and with her breasts uplifted,

forming a sexy cleavage. I picture her hair in curls that cascade over her shoulders and her smile

when I pick her up. Damn that smile. I instantly became very aroused and needed to go upstairs to

take care of myself. This has become a daily habit since I haven’t had sex in a while. How the hell

was I going to control myself with her tonight?

I put on my tuxedo, fixed my hair, and put on my Armani cologne. Why the hell was I getting so

nervous? I put my cufflinks on and headed downstairs. My phone rang. I took it from my jacket, and

saw that it was my mother calling.

“Hello, mom,” I answered.

“Connor, darling, we won’t be attending the charity. I need you to send our apologies to everyone.”

“Why? What happened?” I asked.

“Nothing to worry about darling; we’re all sick with the flu.”

“I’m sorry, mom, is there anything you need?”

“No, Connor, just give our apologies and have a nice time.”

“Call me if you need me or anything,” I made her promise.

I made my way to the garage where Denny was waiting for me. I slid into the back of the limo and

took in a deep breath. Denny looked at me through the rearview mirror.

“Are you ok, Connor?” he asked.

“I’m fine, Denny. Let’s go pick up Miss Lane.”

We pulled up to the curb of her apartment building. I got out and walked up to the door, then

knocked and waited for her to answer. The moment the door opened, I took in a sharp breath at the

sight of Ellery standing there in my favorite dress. An intoxicated feeling came over me as she smiled.

Damn that smile.

“Were you afraid that I’d get mugged between my door and your car?” she smirked.

“Very funny, Ellery,” I smiled at her.

She nudged my shoulder playfully, and I nudged her back. I opened the door for her, and she

gracefully slid into the seat. I climbed in and sat beside her. I grabbed a glass and handed it to her as I

poured champagne into it. Once again, my heart began beating faster than normal, and my palms were

sweaty. I held my glass up to her.

“You look beautiful, Ellery. What a lovely dress,” I said.

“Thank you, Connor. I was hoping you’d like this one,” she winked as she held up her glass to

mine.

She was exquisite. The dress hugged her just like I’d pictured it would, framing her small petite

body. Her soft curled hair was in an up do that featured her elongated neck as small diamond teardrop

earrings hung perfectly from her ears. I subtly took in her scent as it filled the enclosed space we

were in. Needless to say, it was arousing me. I could tell this was going to be a long night.

Denny pulled up to the entrance of the hotel and got out to open Ellery’s door. I walked around to

her side, took her hand, and helped her out of the limo. Her hand was warm and soft, and fire ignited

throughout my body when I touched her.

“Do you think that you can behave yourself tonight?” I smirked as I held my arm out to her.

“I don’t know, but I can’t make any promises,” she smiled as she wrapped her arm in mine.

We walked into the hotel and straight down the hallway to the Grand Ballroom. It was one of the

most elegant ballrooms in New York. I need a drink, and I need one now.

“What can I get you from the bar?” I asked.

“I’ll take a glass of white wine, please.”

I told her to wait at the table as I went to the bar and got our drinks. I gave her the glass of wine

while I steadily drank my scotch and admired the most beautiful woman in the ballroom standing

before me. I saw a good friend and colleague of mine, Robert and his wife, standing at the other side

of the room. I lightly touched Ellery’s elbow and escorted her to where he and his wife were

standing.

“Good evening, Connor,” Robert said as we shook hands.

“Hello, Robert, Courtney, I would like you to meet a friend of mine, Ellery Lane.”

“You have beautiful friends, Connor,” he smiled as he lightly kissed Ellery’s hand.

I gave a small smile and watched as Courtney eyed Ellery up and down. Courtney and I had a bit of

a history, and it left her bitter. She fell hard and wanted more, but I had nothing to give. Robert put his

arm around me and led me off to the side where the women couldn’t hear us.

“Connor, Ashlyn is coming. I just thought you should know,” he said.

“What? I thought I told you to make sure she wouldn’t be here,” I snapped.

“I did make sure, but then she went and swooned George Frankel, and he fell all over the

opportunity. You know how he is with beautiful women.”

“Damn it,” I shook my head.

We walked back to where Ellery and Courtney were standing. I put my hand on the small of

Ellery’s back and escorted her back to the table. I needed to try and find Ashlyn before she saw

Ellery. I pulled the chair out for her and excused myself to the restroom.

I headed down the hallway and saw Ashlyn entering the ballroom with George. She saw me coming

and smiled. I was angry at her and she knew it.

“George, good to see you, buddy,” I smiled as I put my arm around him. “Why don’t you go to the

bar and grab a drink for you and Ashlyn. She’ll meet you at the table, but first, I have something that I

need to discuss with her.”

He nodded his head and walked down the hallway till he reached the ballroom. As soon as he was

out of sight, I turn to look at Ashlyn with a burning anger in my eyes.

“What the hell are you doing here?!” I said through gritted teeth as I looked around to make sure

nobody was watching.

I backed her up against the wall. “Relax, Connor, George asked me if I’d like to accompany him,

and I graciously accepted. Is there is a reason that you don’t want me here?”

I looked away and then back at her. I grabbed her arm and led her around the corner. “I’m here with

someone, and so help me, Ashlyn, if you even say one word to her – I swear…”

“Don’t worry, Connor, I won’t spill our little secret to your new toy,” she devilishly grinned.

I stared directly at her, and she knew I was pissed. “Are we clear, Ashlyn?”

“Don’t worry, you’ve made yourself very clear,” she whispered.

I turned around and headed back to the ballroom. As I approached the entrance, I noticed Ellery

dancing with another man, and anger started to burn inside me. I walked out on the dance floor and

tapped Andrew on the shoulder.

“Excuse me, Andrew, but she’s here with me.”

He gave me an apologetic look. “Mr. Black, I’m sorry. I didn’t know she was yours.”

He stepped aside as I took his place, placing my hand on her waist and taking her hand in mine. Her

hand was so soft, and it felt good to hold it.

“I leave you alone for a minute, and you go off and dance with strange men? Is that what you call

behaving?”

She narrowed her eyes at me. “You left me alone to disappear with the woman who slapped you at

Club S.”

I looked at her in confusion. “You saw that?”

She shook her head. “I think a lot of people saw that.”

“So, let me get this straight, you saw me before you found me drunk outside?” I curiously asked.

“Yes, I was sitting at the bar. Why do you ask?” she cocked her head.

“Interesting,” I said as the corners of my mouth curved up.

“What’s interesting?” She asked. “Oh, I get it now. You think I had my eyes set on you from the

start.”

I wickedly smiled at her, “Your words, Miss Lane, not mine.”

She rolled her eyes and leaned closer into me, bringing her lips inches from my ear. I couldn’t help

but take in her alluring scent as she whispered, “You are a delusional man, Mr. Black.”

I closed my eyes for her scent was mesmerizing. She smelled like lilacs. This dance needed to end

quickly or else she was going to get the wrong idea, if you know what I mean. She proceeded to ask

me why I chose this charity to represent. This is something that’s very personal to me, and I didn’t

feel the need to share something so personal with her. After all, we’re only friends.

“May I ask why this specific charity?” she asked.

“Why not this charity?” I vaguely asked.

“Why did you though?” she continued.

I looked straight ahead into the crowd. “It’s just a charity that my company is involved with. Why is

it so important that you know a specific reason?”

“Just forget I asked,” she said as she refused to look at me.

“You’re mad,” I spoke.

“You’ll know when I’m mad, Mr. Black,” she responded.

The thoughts running through my head were sexual ones when she said that. I can’t help it, I’m a

man, and that’s what we think about. Thank god the music ended when it did because there was no

way of hiding my arousal any longer with our bodies pressed up against each other. I let go of her,

placing my right hand in my pocket, and my other on the small of her back as we walked back to our

table. I introduced her to some of my associates that were already sitting. I glanced over at the next

table and saw Ashlyn glaring at Ellery. I shot her a warning look, and she turned away. We sat down

and had dinner. I took the liberty of ordering Ellery the Filet since she needed to put some meat on her

bones. I’m not sure if she appreciated that, but she did impress me by eating the whole piece. After

dinner was over and we listened to a few speeches, Ellery excused herself to the restroom.

I got up and headed to the bar to get Ellery another glass of wine and another scotch for myself. I

walked back to the table and was surprised when she wasn’t back yet. I set the drinks on the table and

walked to the restrooms. I leaned up against the wall opposite the ladies restroom and folded my

arms. I was tempted to open the door and make sure she was in there. The thought of her being in

trouble or just leaving because she was bored entered my mind. Suddenly, the door opened and Ellery

looked startled when she saw me standing there.

“Uh, hi? Why are you standing there like that?”

“Because you’ve been gone for quite a while, and I was checking to make sure you’re ok. I was

giving you five more seconds before I was opening the door and coming in after you.”

“Wow, stalker much?” she said as she walked away.

“For the last time, I’m not a stalker; I was concerned for your safety,” I sighed.

I saw her lightly smile. Damn that smile. I have no idea what the hell is going on with me. I want to

touch her, and I want to feel her bare skin against mine. Shit, this is not good. Maybe I made a mistake

by bringing her here. Am I leading her on? We’re just friends, and I hope she understands that. I

wanted to beat my head against a wall and knock some sense into it. I took in a deep breath. Ellery sat

down and sipped her wine. I needed to speak with a friend of mine, so I told her I’d be right back. I

walked a few feet away and talked to Paul about the company I was trying to acquire. My eyes kept

wandering to her as she sat there and looked so beautiful. I watched her lips wrap around the edge of

the wine glass with each sip she took as they left an imprint of her lipstick. Paul noticed me staring at

Ellery.

“Connor, you seem distracted,” he said as he turned around and looked Ellery’s way.

“Sorry, Paul, I’m listening, please continue.”

“I would be pleasantly distracted if I had that beautiful woman in my sights,” he smiled.

“You know what, Paul? Let’s just continue this tomorrow. I have a meeting at 10 o’clock, but

please call Valerie and have her set something up,” I said.

He patted me on the back and walked away. I saw Ashlyn from across the room, eyeing Ellery. It

was time that I got her out of here. I walked over to the table and lightly put my hand on her shoulder.

“Are you ready to leave?” I asked.

“I am if you are,” she replied.

What I didn’t tell her was that I wasn’t coming with her to take her home. I needed to stay back and

have a talk with Ashlyn. I also had to rethink this situation with Ellery. My head has been fucked up

ever since I saw her, and I need to put an end to it. She deserves better than me as I’m not the man she

thinks I am. I will hurt her eventually or she’ll hurt me, and that’s something I’m not in the market for.

We walked out to where Denny was waiting for us, and I opened the door for Ellery.

“I’m going to have Denny take you home; I have something that I need to wrap up here,” I said as I

took her hand and lightly kissed it. “Thank you for coming with me tonight. I hope you had a good

time.”

She looked at me with her ice blue eyes, and I could see the disappointment in them. “I had a

wonderful time, Connor. Thank you for inviting me.”

She was hurt that I didn’t accompany her, and for the first time, my heart ached putting her in that

limo by herself. I hated this feeling, and I’m stopping it. I have no choice. It needs to be done. I

walked back into the hotel to find Ashlyn and talk to her, but she was nowhere to be found. I sat at the

bar in the hotel lobby and ordered a scotch to drown my feelings. A while later, as I was ready to

order my second glass, Denny called.

“Denny, what’s up?”

“I thought you should know that Miss Lane forced me to drive her to the beach.”

“What! I gave you orders to take her home,” I yelled.

“Connor, you know how Miss Lane is, and she gave me no choice. I’m almost at the hotel to pick

you up.”

“Doesn’t she know how dangerous it is for a young woman to be on the beach at night, by herself?

Her disregard for safety is ridiculous!” I hung up the phone and walked outside as Denny pulled up to

the curb.

“Drive me straight to the penthouse so I can pick up the Range Rover,” I said as I got inside the

limo.

“I’m sorry, Connor, but she left me no choice. She’s a very stubborn girl, and she said if you have a

problem with it, then she’ll deal with you herself,” he lightly smiled.

“Is that so? She said that?”

Denny nodded his head. “Like I said before, Connor, you’ve met your match with Miss Lane.”

We pulled into the parking garage, and I hopped in the Range Rover and drove to the beach. It was

only about a 10 minute drive. I was furious at her for doing this. How dare she defy my orders and put

Denny in that position to disobey me.

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