(continues from What Zander Did)

I woke up alone, my apartment empty, my mystery woman gone. An annoying buzz sounded and I realised that was what had woken me, my alarm going off. Which meant I had two hours before I needed to be at work. I was on the premises from two in the afternoon until eleven or later each night while Max came in at nine and stayed until closing. That way we had a minimum of two hours there at the same time for anything we were both needed for.

I was usually awake well before the alarm went off but this wasn’t a usual morning. The night before hadn’t been a usual night. Max had come in early with to die for chocolate cake and coffee. I could tell she had something on her mind but she hadn’t wanted to talk and since I was feeling the same way, I didn’t push.

Instead I’d left Max to brood while I’d gone to find someone to fuck out my frustrations with. Which had gone amazingly well…

“Can you give me five minutes?”

I didn’t know what it was about her but I wanted to give her anything she wanted but letting her walk away from me wasn’t on my to do list.

“I just need to let my friend know I’m leaving,” she added and I managed to let her hand go and agreed to wait for her outside.

I dumped my mask in one of the baskets by the door and went out into the night to wait. I stood in the shadows, my back to the wall, my eyes on the door so I saw her walk out, saw her face in the light of the entry. I stepped out of the shadows and a relieved smile flashed on her face as she walked over to join me.

“My hotel is this way.” She pointed and I took her hand as we started to walk.

“You don’t live here?”

“Um…” she hesitated and I squeezed her hand.

“It’s okay, you don’t have to tell me where you’re from or anything else you don’t want to.”

“It’s not that. I do live here. My flat mate has a new boyfriend so I checked into a hotel for a couple of nights to give them some space. And well, some privacy for me too.”

I nodded as we strolled along, she didn’t seem to be in a hurry to get where we were going and I was starting to wonder if she’d changed her mind. Away from the sexual tension of the club, the buzz of alcohol wearing off. I looked up and realised where we were so I stopped and dropped her hand.

“This is my building,” I said when she looked up at me curiously.

Her head tilted and her eyebrows lowered in a frown. “Isn’t a hotel a better idea? Safer?”

“Safer?” I repeated in surprise.

She looked uncomfortable but nodded and added, “More anonymous?”

“I’m betting it’s a nice hotel. Your diamond necklace is real and your shoes are too.” I shrugged at her amused look. “So the doorman might call you by name. The walls will be thick so no one will hear if you scream.” I ignored her jaw drop. “Here? The doorman knows me but I don’t care if he you know my name. My neighbours will care if you scream and most importantly? You can leave any time you want. You take me to your hotel, you’re stuck with me until I choose to leave. Unless you want to call security and go through that embarrassment.”

“I… wow.” She shook let out a little nervous laugh. “You do this a lot then,”

It was a statement but I answered it anyway. “Often enough. Usually what I just said applies to me though. I want to be able to leave when ever I want so…:

“You don’t bring them home. Why me then?”

I took a step towards my building and she followed. “What you said about still liking sex? Tells me you have in the past so something happened to change that. Seems to me you’d need to have some control so being able to leave at any time.”

“You’re right, it is reassuring.”

She broke off as we reached the door and went through with just a nod and a smile from the doorman. We had the elevator to ourselves but she still moved to the back and stood there nervously tucking her hair behind her ear. I pushed the button for my floor then went to stand in front of her, crowding her a little.

“You okay?” I asked softly and she nodded jerkily. “Anytime you change your mind, just say ‘Zander stop’ okay?”

“Zander?” She looked up her brown eyes wide. “That’s your name?”

“I don’t need anonymity. What can I call you?”

“Call me?” Panic flared in her eyes and I wondered why. What had happened to this woman to make her this wary. Then why had she gone to that club to try to fix things.

“Call you,” I repeated then ducked my head down to whisper in her ear. “When I ask you what you want me to do next, or if you like what I’m doing now. A name might be helpful eh.”

“Oh.” Her breath feathered against my ear. “I thought-” she broke off on a gasp and her hands grasped at my waist as I sucked her earlobe. “Don’t you have a generic name you call women?”

I released her lobe to nuzzle her neck as a chime sounded.  “My floor,” I said as I stepped back. “And no. I find women prefer that I know their names.”

“Oh, um…” she floundered for words as I took her hand and we walked to the end of the corridor. Inside I let her go as the door closed quietly and I walked over to the windows. “That’s some view,” she said from my side.

“I like it,” I said as I looked down at her. She was so sweet looking, and so fucking vulnerable. “Any objections to Sugar?”

“Sugar? Too much isn’t good for you I guess.”

“No,” I laughed. “For you. That’s the other part of why. You’re so sweet, like sugar. You taste sweet, the way you talked to me was sweet. I’ll call you Sugar.”

“Oh gosh.” She covered her face with her hands and her shoulders shook as she giggled.

I wondered for a moment if I should be doing this then she dropped her hands and turned to me, her eyes sparkling with humour. “I’m sorry I’m not better at this. Sugar is… that would be fine. Can I…” she lifted a hand, the nails short and unpainted. “Can I touch you?”

“Anywhere you want.” I held my hands out to my sides as she pressed both hands on my chest and I remembered that she was using me just as much as I was using her. “We need a new word,” I said, my voice rough as her fingers curled and those short nails pressed into me.

“We do?” she asked absently as her fingers made short work of my buttons.

“Yeah.” I helped by loosening my tie. “You might say no when you mean yes, so let’s go with ‘red’.”

“Red?” she repeated as she shoved my shirt from my shoulders.

“If you need me to stop.”

“No, don’t stop.” She sighed and stepped back to look me up and down. “I watched you in the club tonight. Watched you turn away all those people. I thought you’d be safe to just talk to.”

“If that’s what you want Sugar. Why don’t we start with your favourite positions?”

“Ah… just normal I guess?” Her eyes followed my hands as I unbuckled my belt.

“Normal? You mean the man on top?” I eased the zipper down as I toed out of my shoes then let my pants drop.

“Um… wow, you’re just going to…”

I balanced on one foot to pull one sock off, changed over then stood up and tucked my thumbs into the sides of my boxer briefs.

“You said you wanted me naked,” I reminded her…

The alarm on my phone buzzed again and I rolled out of bed to silence it. I needed to shower and eat and my cupboards were bare which meant a trip to the grocery store and no more time to think about the night before or to congratulate myself for not thinking about Luc… fuck!