Tease

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Book: Tease by C. D. Reiss Read Free Book Online
Authors: C. D. Reiss
Tags: Billionaire
shoulders.
    “It’s gorgeous.”
    “Try it on.”
    I went into the dressing room. The dress felt like magic on my skin. The difference between a Target dress and a designer dress brought to me by a personal shopper wasn’t the way it made me look, though I looked like the best version of myself. It was the way I felt inside it. I felt like a queen.
    Until I got out of the dressing room, turned around, and saw the bruises on the back of my neck.
    “Crap.” My face went hot red.
    Lorraine waved the concern away. “We have something for that down at the makeup counter. I’ll get it for you. Don’t you worry. I’ve seen much worse. And I’ve seen wealthy brats who wanted something that showed those marks off.” She shook her head. I smiled at her. She made me feel comfortable, which I guessed was her job, but it was a gift. If she wasn’t there, I’d be very, very ashamed.
    “I love this dress,” I said.
    “You look lovely,” she said. “Do you have shoes?”
    I hadn’t even thought of that. “I guess not.”
    “And something nice to wear underneath?”
    “Oh, I don’t need anything like that.”
    Lorraine looked at me in the mirror. “It’s not about what you need, dear. And it’s not for you. ”
    “I guess I should spend a little something on him then?”
    “Exactly.”

CHAPTER 11
    After shopping the fifth floor at Barney’s, my room looked messy and dim. My mirror made my body squiggle. The walls were cracked, and the floor was scratched down to the raw wood. Even through that, the dress was perfect on me. The bracelets I’d bought to cover my bruised wrists clinked and clanked when I spun hard enough to make the skirt wave. I’d tried to protest that the red soles of the shoes didn’t go with the black dress, but Lorraine insisted they were fine, and since she’d rejected so many things on my behalf before that, I felt pretty sure she wouldn’t bullshit me.
    The bill came, and though I wasn’t responsible for paying it, I had to sign off on what I was taking out of the store. Lorraine had slid it across Shonda’s little desk with a smile. I checked the items and then the price. It came to two thousand, nine hundred, ninety-nine dollars.
    “I know I spent more than this,” I’d said. “I saw the price on the shoes.”
    “Well, you caught me,” she’d said. “You’re not supposed to see the price tags. So if you don’t tell anyone you saw it…” She paused and smiled to let me know it really wasn’t that big a deal. “I’ll tell you. Mister Drazen asked that the bill say this number no matter what. He said you’d get the joke.”
    “I get it all right.” I’d signed, trying not to smile too wide. But as I looked at myself in my bedroom mirror, I smiled again.
    Gabby had done my hair to cover the bite marks, tsking the whole time and making me giggle. I’d told her what I could about the night before, leaving out the parts that made my thighs black and blue. She did a church lady voice that made me laugh so hard I thought I would break a rib. We were in the bathroom playing with my makeup bag when the doorbell rang.
    “God,” I said, “this is ridiculous. I feel like I’m going to prom.”
    “You didn’t go to prom.” Gabby ran some hand cream over her fingers. “You and Darren stayed in the limo making out.”
    “And you and Bennet Provist? In Elysian Park?” I popped tubes and pencils into my little makeup bag.
    “Yeah. Excellent prom.”
    “Mon!” Darren shouted from the living room. “You have a gentleman caller!” Oh God, was Darren going to embarrass me? I ran out to do damage control.
    Jonathan was by the doorway, looking too big for the space, wearing a tuxedo cut for him and no one else. He and Darren were smiling.
    “Yes, sir,” said Jonathan, “the dance is chaperoned.”
    “I want her home by eleven.”
    I stepped into the living room before the joke got old, and Jonathan saw me in my new black dress. He liked it. He pressed his lips

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