Chapter 9 - Seven Nights of Sin (Penthouse Affair #2)


“London is colder than Seattle, right?” I ask Bianca. She’s lounging across her bed next to an impressive pile of sweaters in all shapes and colors. I leave for England with Dominic this afternoon, and in my distracted state, I’ve procrastinated packing the necessities. Like clothes. And toiletries. Which means I’ve emptied my suitcase and duffel bag onto her bed so she can help me pack.

Bianca pulls out her phone and scrolls briefly. “The weather app says it will be rainy. That doesn’t necessarily mean cold, though. Sixties during the day and fifties at night.”

“Hmm, all right. So maybe something a little breathable. Like this?” I hold up my favorite, a peach- colored cardigan in a clunky knit.

Bianca squints at it. “I don’t think that’s gonna be breathable enough.”

“Really? I like it,” I say, examining the texture between thumb and finger. I wore this cardigan through most of my time at Brown. It’s been through some of the best and worst times of my life, from late-night essay-writing to early mornings at my favorite coffee shop.

“Presley,” Bianca says, sitting up with a huff. “You don’t need sweaters. You need lingerie.”

“What?” I practically snort.

“Didn’t he say you wouldn’t be there strictly for business? I’m just reading between the lines.” She wiggles her eyebrows in my direction.

“Just because I won’t be there only for business doesn’t mean I should only pack underwear.”

“It’s not underwear . . . it’s lingerie. I know you have some. I’ve seen it.”

She’s right. She was there when I bought it. We’d gone to a discount boutique to look for something for her latest sexcapade. Naturally, I ended up in a dressing room as well. I remember turning around, looking at myself in the mirror, admiring the way the lacy pink bodysuit hugged my slight curves. Although it took me a minute to get used to it, I liked how it looked on me. The sheer silk fabric caressed my skin like a kiss. My nipples were almost completely visible, perky and curious in this new getup. The thong sat high on my hips, with garters stretching down my thighs. Looking over my shoulder at my reflection, I knew I had to buy it—even if I had no one to wear it for.

“I’ve never worn those,” I admit.

“Never? We got them months ago, Pres. It’s now or never,” she says, peeking inside my duffel bag. “Where did you stash ’em?”

I slide past her and pull out a gift bag from where I stored it. I open it, and we both peek inside.

“Tags still attached. Wow, you really never wore these.”

I shrug. “Never had the inspiration to.”

“What about now?”

I chew on my lip. I can very clearly imagine the look on Dominic’s face if he were to undress me and find this underneath. The way his eyes would grow dark and his lips would part . . . God, my heart rate kicks up just thinking about it.

“I guess I am a little more inspired now,” I admit.

“Hell yeah, you are. This is an incredible deal. You get to literally just laze around in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, all expenses paid, with a gorgeous man.”

I snort and shake my head. I’m joining Dominic on this business trip as a sign of good faith. I want to prove to him that I’m worthy of a second chance, and if he wants me to come along, of course I’ll go.

I have nothing holding me back here. And if this internship leads to a full-time position, the perks will be absolutely unbelievable. Maybe I’ll fall in love with London, and even take Michael on a trip there someday. We could get tickets to the Royal Ballet, and spend the evening exploring the cobblestone streets . . . wow. My belly swirls with butterflies. This trip may be the worst decision I’ve ever made, or it may very well be the best. Only time will tell.

Bianca plants a kiss on my cheek. “Lucky duck. Just give me a shout when you’re ready to go.”

“You don’t have to drive me. I can just get an Uber.”

“Hey. I’m your friend. I want to at least see this guy before I let him take you across the Atlantic.” With a wink, Bianca leaves me alone to finish packing.

My passport gets stuffed into my purse along with a pack of gum and a mystery novel for the plane ride. And into my suitcase goes plenty of sweaters to keep me warm, plus the lingerie in case things get hot.