Thirty minutes later, Tyrone was blinking in the rays of the blinding sun. He stood out in front of the facility that had been his home and wondered why he felt the slight impulse to turn around and walk back in.
A black limo pulled up and he walked slowly toward it, his heart thumped loudly and he didn’t recognize what his fear was until the driver rounded the vehicle and opened the door. He had hoped that perhaps his dad would have made the trip to welcome him home. More than anything he’d wished that his twin Jonathan would be exiting and walking toward him with his arms open, inviting him into the hugs they’d shared over the years–affection he’d come to realize he’d taken for granted, especially now that the relationship between them was now broken.
Just as he closed the distance, a shapely sheer black hosed leg was momentarily suspended mid-air, before its black leather shoe encased foot touched ground joined by its match shortly after. He let his gaze travel up each part of the voluptuous body as it became visible, until he’d taken in the complete figure that filled out a navy linen suit, only to rest on her valentine shaped toffee complexioned face, made more pronounced by the short tapered curly hair that fell full over her forehead. Before he could speak, she was walking or more like gliding toward him, her hand extended. “Hello Mr. Wheeler, I’m Farryn Grant. I’m your father’s personal assistant. I’ve been assigned to helping you with your transitions.”
Tyrone stood back and remained silent as he took it all in. It was simply a feast to see a beautiful woman again after being locked up and the energy that she evoked was completely invigorating. He grasped her small hand within his own, “Please call me Ty or Tyrone if you insist. Mr. Wheeler is my father or my brother depending on his preference. I am simply Ty and it’s nice to meet you Farryn.” He let his gaze lock on to her grayish-brown eyes. Such an unusual color, he thought. He’d never seen eyes like hers and wondered if they were natural or contacts.
She quickly pulled her hand back and gestured toward the car. “Well we have a busy morning ahead of us. I’m sure you want to get as far away from here as quickly as possible.”
Tyrone simply gestured, “After you.”
Farryn turned toward the car and felt an intense sense of self-consciousness as she walked away from him. It irritated her. She wasn’t one of those withering blooms. She didn’t play coy. She’d seen her brothers play enough game to never be victim to one. She’d learned to stand her ground a long time ago. She knew she looked good because she worked hard at maintaining her shape. And ever since puberty her brother’s friends had been sending subtle looks her way. It had only made her aware of her power over men, which is why she was kicking herself now–like it should matter to her how some ex-con should feel about how she looked! She eased across the seat of the limo, trying to get as close to the other door as possible while she chided herself. Get it together! Focus on your job! But that was easier said than done when Tyrone slid into the car, all 6’3 of him. His broad shoulders just missed touching her and yet it was like she could feel him just the same. She reached into her portfolio to pull out the itinerary set up for them that day.
Tyrone was totally enjoying the Farryn’s scent that had enveloped the compartment. When was the last time he’d smelled the scent of woman? He decidedly crossed his legs to change that track of thought. So this woman was the acting CEO. Hmm, it made him wonder what his brother was doing. It was on the tip of his tongue to ask her, but he could sense her discomfort. He guessed he would have to get used to that effect from people now that he had done some time.
Still, it was like a kick in the gut, to have been a man who was used to women salivating all over him. All it took was a look and they were literally throwing their panties at him. Then he suddenly sobered, And look where that got you? Gratefully, he was saved from his own condemning thoughts.
“So here is what we’ll be doing today.” She said once again feeling back in control.
He reached for the paper, if for nothing other than to have a distraction from round of her hip, that just missed grazing his side and the scent emanating from her that made him want to pull her into his lap and get rid of that perpetual pout that seemed her constant since he’d met her a mere ten minutes ago. Shaking his head from those impulses, he just wanted her to drop him off at the hotel his father had no doubt reserved for him and then for her tell him what building his office was located. He didn’t mind an entry-level manager position. His father had spoken often about him taking his rightful place in the company and now that it was obvious that Jonathan had stepped down, he guessed Farryn was just acting until he got up to par. He could live with that, he thought as he slid down to get more comfortable. He wanted to knock on the partition and ask the driver to put some hip-hop on—anything to break the heavy silence that had settled between them.
“We’ll do a quick run by the apartment your father has arranged for you to stay.”
“Apartment? My father got me an apartment? Okay that’s cool.”
“Yeah, he wasn’t sure if you would like it. So he paid up to the first three months. After that he expects you to resume the payment. You should begin examining that little packet that I have given you.”
“Doesn’t matter.” Tyrone responded nonchalantly. He could see what his father was doing. This was probably supposed to be a little test to make him sweat a little. Well, he could handle it. After a year and a half in jail, he could handle anything.
“That’s a good attitude Mr. Wheeler.”
Tyrone turned his body toward her. “I am going to say this one last time. You can call me Tyrone, you can call me Ty. You can call me nearly anything except Mr. Wheeler. That title is already taken. Now I know you are an intelligent woman. If you weren’t, my father wouldn’t have given you your job. Please let’s not have to have this conversation again, Ms. Grant.”
Farryn felt like she was suffocating. He was already a big man and now with the slight change in how he was sitting made it feel as if he was dwarfing her.
She turned away to block him out and now focused her attention on the landscape slipping past the window. “Point taken,” she said dryly.
The limo pulled up to a two-story brick building. Tyrone tried not to notice the neighborhood. If it was all a part of an elaborate joke, what did it matter? He followed Farryn into the dim hallway. The smell of new carpeting and fresh pain still clung to the air. “This neighborhood is part of a redevelopment project. This building is among the first to be remodeled, she said as they climbed the steps to the second floor.
“Couldn’t they have added an elevator?” He asked as they walked toward the apartment at the end of the hallway.
“Are you trying to tell me that you would actually stand there and wait on the elevator? I find that hard to believe. You’re much too impatient for that.” She said shaking her head.
He smiled down at her as she stuck the keys into the lock. “Oh so you think you know me huh?” He teased.
She glanced to the side in time to catch the mocking gleam in his eyes.
“All I had to do was study your profile.”