14- striking a deal

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As of late, sleep was illusive to me. I would lie in bed for hours in the dark, eyes wide open and staring at the ceiling. My mind worked overtime, playing out scenarios, going over past events, anticipating the future, everything. I hadn't actually fallen asleep until three a.m. and because of that, I didn't get my ass out of bed till noon. 

Since my roommates were gone for the day and the apartment was quiet, I decided to draw myself a bath. I grabbed some candles from the living room and scattered them around the tile, then threw a pink bath bomb into the water. Maybe I could meditate and finally get my mind to rest. 

When the tub was full, I carefully put one toe in the water to test the heat. Then I put my entire body in, slowly sliding into the bubbly, lavender-colored water. 

I had just drained all of my thoughts when I heard a knock at the door. Praying it was just UPS dropping off a package, I closed my eyes and stayed right where it was. 

A minute later, it happened again.

Silently seething at whoever the intruder was, I grabbed a towel and padded over to the front door. Through the peephole, I saw who it was. 

I guess I was done relaxing. 

"What are you doing here?" I yelled through the door, suddenly self-conscious of what I was wearing. Or not wearing. 

"We have to talk." Tyler's voice echoed through in his typical all-business tone. 

Rolling my eyes, I told him to hold on before retreating to my room to change into sweats. Throwing my damp hair into a messy bun, I walked to the door and opened it.

"How did you find me?"

"I knew you lived on this street since you walk to Dave's. Also I saw your car." Tyler replied. He was wearing dark jeans and a black sweatshirt, his brown hair ruffled on top of his head. His beard was mostly gone, except for a little five o'clock shadow that somehow looked even sexier. As I looked at him, I couldn't help but flashback to last night, memories of the almost kiss making me feel all hot again. "Were you in the shower?"

"Bath, actually. For five minutes."

"Sorry."

"It's fine."

He cleared his throat, looking past me into the apartment before his eyes met mine again. "Can I come in?"

I hesitated. "Fine." 

I opened the door wider and closed it again after he passed through.

"Can we go to your bedroom?"

Welp. "No one's home."

"Still. It'll be better to talk in there."

"Okay." I said, thanking God I decided to put clothes on before facing him.

I sat down on my bed as Tyler stood against the wall, closing the door behind him. Then he got right down to business.

"I've been told me the police are looking for someone. A pickpocket."

I felt a slight twinge of panic. Uh oh.

"Witnesses described a tall female with blonde hair, tight clothes and converse who was stealing from guys she danced with. Then my buddy at Dave's, the bartender you gave the money to, asked if it was you." Tyler was giving me a pointed look, one full of disappointment and annoyance. "I told him you were just some rich girl flashing her money. He believed me."

"Thanks."

"I didn't do it for you." He said quickly. "The last thing I need is for you to be around cops."

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