Part 12 Nobu

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I WALK THROUGH NOBU with Freddy on my mind and anger in my heart. None of this feels right anymore. I love Freddy. I don't want to win like this—like him. I lower my head and take a deep breath. I proceed to turn back to the exit, but I catch Modeus's eye. He's standing at the bar with his perfectly messed up hair and deep brown eyes.

He smiles.

I melt.

I walk towards him and shut down every other idea running through my mind. "Hi."

Modeus reaches his hand out to mine. "Thank you for meeting with me."

I bat my eyes and smile. "I'm glad you suggested it."

"Can I get you something to drink?" he asks.

My eyes casually run over the smoothness of his face to his thick lips. "A bottled water of any kind would be good, thanks."

"You don't drink?" he asks.

"Not when I'm working."

Modeus signals the bartender who not so surprisingly has had one eye on him the entire time.

I roll my eyes. "We are all set for Wednesday. Your set starts at one-thirty sharp. You and the guys need to be there at noon for a soundcheck. The loading dock in the back is no big deal, but it's a little confusing and I can have a couple of interns meet you down there. I hope you're ready to bring it."

Modeus laughs and leans forward. "I'm not here to talk all business."

I lick my lips and take a sip of the water the bartender just put down with a little bit of attitude. No doubt because she is pissed I am with him. "What are you here for?"

Modeus smiles. "I must confess, I've been looking forward to seeing you again."

My pulse just stopped.

"Don't worry," Modeus says. "I just want to get inside that beautiful head of yours."

I chuckle. "I don't mean to be rude, but are you going to get to know everyone at OC the same way?"

"I doubt it," he says. "So what's at stake for you on this deal?"

"What do you mean?"

"I told you. I like to know better the person with whom I plan on doing business. So, I seal this deal for you and that's it? You get the glory and all goes down happily into the sunset?"

"Well, you're not a done deal yet. There's one other in line for this spot."

"I see. I have competition."

"Yes, but I don't think there is anything to worry about."

"I'm not worried," Modeus says. "I'm intrigued."

"Well, his name is Muno. He's pretty good."

"With you. I'm intrigued by you, Brenda Summers."

I laugh uncomfortably and take a step back. "Why?"

"Because you possess something very unique and I'm drawn to it. I've been thinking about you ever since our meeting."

I swallow hard. This isn't happening. "Okay. What's the game? You hardly know me."

Modeus calmly takes a sip of his drink never taking his eyes off me.

"I'm sorry if I sound rude," I say. "This business is very wiry. I see it all."

"Indeed you do, but I assure there is no game from me, Brenda, but I would like something in return for sealing this contract for you."

I soften my tone. "You haven't sealed it yet."

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