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“The bikes are for you and your brother?”


“Your brother is about six-two?”


“I’ll get on it right away.”

“Great.” I hang up, then call Taylor.

“Mr. Grey,” he answers on one ring.

“What time will you be here?”

“I’ll check in around nine o’clock tonight.”

“Will you bring the R8?”

“With pleasure, sir.” Taylor is a car fanatic, too.

“Good.” I end the call and turn up the music. Let’s see if Elliot can sleep through The Verve.

As we cruise down I-5 my excitement mounts.

Have the books been delivered yet? I’m tempted to call Andrea again, but I know I’ve left her with a ton of work. Besides, I don’t want to give my staff an excuse to gossip. I don’t normally do this kind of shit.

Why did you send them in the first place?

Because I want to see her again.

We pass the exit for Vancouver and I wonder if she’s finished her exam.

“Hey, man, where we at?” Elliot blurts.

“Behold, he wakes,” I mutter. “We’re nearly there. We’re going mountain biking.”

“We are?”


“Cool. Remember when Dad used to take us?”

“Yep.” I shake my head at the memory. My father is a polymath, a real renaissance man: academic, sporting, at ease in the city, more at ease in the great outdoors. He’d embraced three adopted kids…and I’m the one who didn’t live up to his expectations.

But before I hit adolescence we had a bond. He’d been my hero. He used to love taking us camping and doing all the outdoor pursuits I now enjoy: sailing, kayaking, biking, we did it all.

Puberty ruined all that for me.

“I figured if we were arriving mid-afternoon, we wouldn’t have time for a hike.”

“Good thinking.”

“So who are you running from?”

“Man, I’m a love-’em-and-leave-’em type. You know that. No strings. I don’t know, chicks find out you run your own business and they start getting crazy ideas.” He gives me a sideways look. “You’ve got the right idea keeping your dick to yourself.”

“I don’t think we’re discussing my dick, we’re discussing yours, and who’s been on the sharp end of it recently.”

Elliot snickers. “I’ve lost count. Anyway, enough of me. How’s the stimulating world of commerce and high finance?”

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