Just as I take a step, I hear Nick over my shoulder.

“Good luck with Tessa.”

I stop and turn back to see him taking a seat in the chair I just got up from. The way he said her name, like he was tasting it in his mouth, has me on alert. Do they know something already? Have I not been careful about how much I watch her? I don’t have time to think on it right now. I file it away.

Lifting my chin in acknowledgment, I turn back around and make my way out of the club and to my ride. Once I’m outside, I take a deep breath of fresh air, cleansing my lungs from the stink of that place. Goddamn seedy-ass club has my skin crawling.

Hopping into my black 1970 Chevy Chevelle, I crank up the engine and put it in gear. It’s a cool night in downtown Chicago, so I’ve got the hardtop on. I drive away from the club and make my way out of downtown and west to a small suburb. It’s about a twenty-five-minute train ride, but it’s a lot less by car.

My Tessa.

I’ve been waiting all night to able to go check on her, even though I know it’s late. Although I know she’ll be in her room sleeping, I’m still going to go by and check. If I don’t I know, I’ll just crawl out of bed in a few hours and do it anyways. There’s no fighting this pull she seems to have on me. How could someone own me and not even know I exist?

Tessa rents a small two-bedroom apartment just outside the city. She’s lived there, from what I can tell, most of her life. She lived there with her grandmother up until about six months ago when her grandmother Alma passed away. She lived alone for about three months after Alma passed away, then her co-worker moved in with her.

It’s really amazing what you can find in a few internet searches. For example, I looked up the apartment lease and her grandmother’s death certificate on business and county tax documents. Only a little more searching revealed her co-worker Harper has some loose lips, blasting her personal business on her unblocked social media accounts. She’s got a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and too many more to name.

Harper likes to take an unnecessary amount of selfies with the hashtag #HarpersWorld. She also loves to talk shit on her roommate, who doesn’t have any kind of social media to see what she posts. Harper is a typical bitch who tries not to be one, and I get annoyed just looking at her. I’m even more annoyed by how nice my Tessa is to her, but that’s also one of the reasons I can’t seem to keep away from her. She knows her roommate is a bitch but still always tries to see the best in her, giving her chance and chance again. Let’s hope she’ll be able to do the same with me when all the dust settles.

Pulling onto Trent Street, I drive down two blocks, then park. I get out of my car and walk in the direction of the train station, which happens to pass right in front of Tessa’s building.

I take a quick look around, seeing no one out at this hour, and sneak in the shadows to the alley beside her apartment. I walk around and spot a stray cat. I smile to myself. My Tessa likes to feed him in the mornings, dropping off her sandwich crusts to him on the way to the train. Harper is usually shouting at her to hurry up and stop feeding the rats, but I think it’s sweet she takes the time to love something that’s been abandoned. It gives me hope that she could want me. I’m not above using whatever I have to to have her.

Once I get around back, I reach behind the dumpster and pull out the metal pole I left there. I walk over to the fire escape, reach up with the pole, and pull down the ladder. Once it’s down, I walk back over to the dumpster and put the pole back. I like keeping it there in case I need to get to her.

I make my way back over to the ladder and climb up the four flights until I get to her story. I’m quiet as a church mouse as I move onto her fire escape and peek inside her windows.

There’s a light on in the living room, and I look in there first and see Harper laid out asleep on the couch. The television is on, and she’s got a carton of melted ice cream in one hand and her cell phone in the other. She’s snoring so loudly I can hear it through the glass, and I roll my eyes.

I move over a little to the next window, and there she is. My Tessa. Her bed is on the other side of the room, this window letting in a little of the moonlight. I can’t see her as much as I’d like between her curtains blocking my view and it being after midnight.

The room she’s in looks tight and cramped. The whole apartment is less than a thousand square feet, but I’ve seen the blueprints, and the other bedroom is much bigger with an attached bathroom. I can’t ever figure out why Tessa wouldn’t take the bigger room if this was her place first.

I touch the tips of my fingers to the glass, wishing I could trail them down her soft skin. I’ve never been close enough to her to touch her, but I bet it would be like touching a dandelion. Soft, delicate, and can be broken by the slightest puff of breath.

She’s lying on her side, and the curve of her hip sticks up under the sheets. I want to run my hands over that curve to her waist and wrap my arm around her. I want her thick curves molded against me as I spoon her body into mine. I want my hand overflowing with her big, full breasts as I pinch and pluck her nipples. I need her big, sexy ass cushioning my hard cock as I rest it there, ready to fuck her.

Her lips, a lush cupid’s bow, are parted slightly, and her eyes are closed sweetly as she dreams. Her auburn hair is spread out messily on her pillow, and all I can think about is fisting it in my hand as I thrust into her.

Shaking my head, I try to stop the desire that’s rushing through me. Now is not the time to lose my head.

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