Furlani’s was packed even on a weekday night. Professionals in the financial world making small talk, sipping cocktails, and been seen. The mirrors on the walls reflected every grin and made Furlani’s scope seem endless. Madigan entered with Gavin, Jimmy, and Bethany in tow, nodding to the people who glanced her way. The news of the deal had already filtered through networks and some people congratulated her, while others almost sneered at her.
Madigan ordered champagne and toasted her co-workers as they sat in the round, plush booth.
‘To you for all your hard work, the long nights, and victory!’
Jimmy gulped the champagne, craning his neck back.
‘Damn right,’ he said, filling every glass again.
Champagne was followed by cocktails and later beer as the night became dark and deep. The celebrative atmosphere was complete with people coming up to them to shake their hands.
‘Well done! You even ripped Balducci a new one. Respect!’
Madigan nursed the beer in her hand and followed Bethany and Jimmy, who were obviously feeling the magic tonight. Bethany’s face and neck were flushed as Jimmy whispered something to her and gave her his all American hero smile.
Gavin rubbed Madigan’s shoulder and slid her a whisky. He knew her well. Madigan discarded the beer and thanked him.
‘You’ve done it again, Madigan. Cheers,’ Gavin and Madigan clinked glasses, ‘I’ve learnt everything from you, you know, but I think it’s time for me to move on.’
Gavin’s voice was serious and solemn. Madigan almost laughed. Had the context been different, he would be giving a break up speech. Madigan studied Gavin’s expression. This conversation was difficult for him. He still had feelings for her beyond their professional relationship. Madigan almost jerked his leash, but that would have been unfair.
‘You’re ready to do great things on your own, Gavin,’ Madigan meant every word sincerely as she thought back on the four years they had worked together. At the same time, she found the conversation almost trivial and boring. She wanted more. She wanted to feel her cheeks redden and her heart hammering away. She wanted to feel Heavy. Madigan felt a giddy hiccup at the thought of him.
This was insane. She was having a serious conversation with Gavin, albeit after a couple of drinks, and yet, her thoughts were centered on Heavy. Madigan needed to get him out of her system. She needed to see him. She didn’t know if she would be scared to be near him or if he would turn her on. Madigan shook her head at her herself. She wasn’t kidding herself. The biker was scarier than anyone she had met and the chemistry she felt in his presence was beyond anything, Madigan had experienced before.
Madigan glanced around Furlani’s, not feeling its allure anymore. Gavin looked at her expectantly.
‘With this win under your belt, you have your pick of amazing positions. Knowing you, I’m thinking you’re betting on going home to Hawaii. You’ll be great. Look, I’m going to dash for tonight. I’ll see you at the office tomorrow.’
Madigan gave Gavin a hug goodbye and left Bethany and Jimmy to their own devices, kissing in a drunken dance.
Madigan knew where she was going. The Narrow. She had to see him again. She didn’t know whether the bar had reopened or if it was still a crime scene. She didn’t even know if she had the guts to walk through the door.
‘I’ll drop you down the street,’ the cab driver said, as Madigan requested her destination. ‘You sure you want to go there?’
Madigan gave him a curt nod.
From down the street, Madigan could see the bikes parked neatly side by side, front ends out to make for an easy getaway. The sandwich sign stated the bar was open until midnight. Madigan glanced at her watch. It was 11:37. No time to lose. Madigan would go in, see if he was there. If he wasn’t, she would leave again immediately. If he was…. Madigan didn’t know how to end that sentence.
Madigan paused at the door. She was ready, confident. She could do this.
‘Hey!’ Someone called behind her. It was Heavy. He grabbed her upper arm and pulled her away from the Narrow’s window.
‘What part of “don’t come back” didn’t you get?’
It was him, Heavy, the deep timbre of his voice synonymous with danger. His grip was tight, but Madigan didn’t flinch, she was overpowered by his presence. His chest was a wall in front of her and Madigan had to lean her head back to meet his eye. Heavy’s dark stare was hostile.
He was everything, Madigan remembered and then some. The electricity between them threatened to light up the street. Madigan’s core came to life. She felt tiny in front of him, but remained confident.
Before Heavy could push her away. Madigan reached up and kissed him. It was a tasting kiss on the far side of chaste, but neither rash nor sloppy. She surprised him. Madigan felt it in his hesitation. She had the upper hand, but the power balance was fickle.
Heavy pushed her against the wall; one hand cradling her head. He deepened the kiss, sucking on her lips, sending sweltering heat from her lips to her slit. This was the way a kiss was supposed to feel. Madigan clenched in order to keep herself from going over the edge. The kiss was possessive and hungry.
Madigan’s hand wandered up his abs, feeling the grooves through his T-shirt. Heavy caught her wrist between them.
‘Don’t start something you don’t intend to finish.’
Madigan wanted to answer, but the words stuck in her throat. She wasn’t.
Heavy was giving her a chance to run. Madigan wasn’t going to do that. She had never felt intensity like what she shared with Heavy and she wanted more. She twisted her wrist free and pulled his face towards her, eager to meet his lips again.