The Wild Side

Page 12


"Nice to meet you, Tammy. Hope you two get this issue cleared up. I'm going to take a shower. I'm all sweaty from the gym." She looked at me, batting her lashes. "And just plain filthy. Excuse me while I go get clean."
Tammy watched her leave, mouth agape. Her eyes were on the younger woman's ass. She seemed to be taking particular exception to that spectacular ass.
I watched Iris leave, as well, trying not to drool.
"Really, Dair! That is just too much. What are you thinking? She's so young! Is she a prostitute?" Tammy asked shrilly, with Iris very likely still in earshot.
I shut my eyes tight, so annoyed I wanted to drag my ex bodily out of my house and never see her again. "Of course she isn't," I said coldly. "And you've got no right to judge anything that goes on in my life."
"You do realize she's a gold digger?!"
I took a few deep, calming breaths. "Well, you would know how to spot that. And I doubt it's possible she could do more damage than you have. Certainly, no other gold digger could make a man so miserable, and take as much money, as you have. What have I really got to lose at this stage in my life?"
She gasped in outrage and went on a rant. I realized, as she went on and on, that this woman had no power over me anymore.
Well, aside from the power to annoy me.
The thought was liberating.
I moved through the house to the kitchen.
She dogged my every step.
"Is this how you ask me for money?" I finally asked, interrupting her tirade. "Does this seem like a smart way to approach a man that you've already milked dry in terms of legal rights? Have you ever thought of asking nicely?"
She flushed. "It's just a loan, until we get more of my money freed up."
I didn't miss the we of that, and for once I didn't care.
Or the my money part. That part still smarted, but it was more about the bitterness of it. She'd never worked a day, never cleaned a dish, never gone out of her way to make my day f**king sunnier, and she got half? What the f**k kind of sense did that make?
I kept all of that to myself, instead asking, "How much?" I'd pay a lot to just get her out of there.
I wasn't an idiot. I knew it wasn't a loan.
"A hundred thousand."
My eyes widened.
The bitch had lost her mind. "Is this a joke?"
She rolled her eyes. She'd never lacked nerve. "I know how much money you have. You can spare that much for a few months. Hell, even if we didn't pay you back, I know you'd never notice. You just like to let your money sit in a bank, anyway."
I opened my mouth, to say something suitably outraged, I presume, but suddenly, all rational thought left my brain .
Iris was back, still in her little workout getup, still un-showered.
She smiled at me, just the sweetest smile. "I've decided to swim before I shower. Are there any spare suits around?"
I shook my head, my eyes on her body, really wishing I had one for her. I wanted to see that so badly.
She winked at me and turned to Tammy.
I still didn't know what the f**k her little winks meant, but I loved them.
"Hey Tammy, this is a weird question, but do you happen to keep a spare bikini, like in your car or something?"
"What the hell are you talking about?" Tammy asked, exactly like a shrew.
Iris had asked very sweetly, and she smiled very sweetly at the bitch's response. She shrugged. "Well, c'est la vie. I guess I'll improvise. It is a private yard, after all."
And with that, she went back upstairs.
I shook my head, thoroughly bemused.
"Is she slow in the head or something?" Tammy asked me, again, exactly like a shrew. What had I ever seen in the woman, even before she'd been unfaithful? Had she always been so unpleasant?
"She's very bright actually," I said, my tone flat. It was a fact. Tammy was trying to make me defensive about the other woman's intelligence, and she couldn't have found a less sore spot to pick on.
Tammy started going on again about what she needed to do with my money (my literal money, not the money she'd taken in the divorce) and I just sort of zoned out.
No way in hell was I giving her another hundred grand. She could talk all day, but that wasn't happening.
If she'd asked for anything under twenty, I might have caved, but this was too much.
"I'm not giving you a hundred grand," I finally told her coldly. "You can wait another six months to get the millions of my dollars that you didn't earn."
"Oh I earned it! Being married to you, I earned it. You neglected me, left me to rot in boredom, always working, and then-"
She trailed off, made speechless by the vision that had just floated to the bottom of the stairs.
My jaw dropped.
Iris smiled at me, her arms up as she pulled her hair into a high ponytail.
She was buck naked, and it was the best view I'd ever had in my life. She smiled and shrugged, not at all self-conscious. "Sorry. I really wanted to swim. Where are your pool towels?"
I pointed to the bathroom that led out into the backyard, trying hard to get my jaw to work well enough to close my mouth again.

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