“Of course I'm serious. Very serious. She misses you. Despite what all of you think, I want to make her happy. So, I am offering you an all expenses paid vacation to Paris,” Jameson barked into the phone.
He wanted to make her happy? Tate almost snorted. He wouldn't even begin to know how.
He used to be very good at making you happy.
“Give me the phone,” Tate demanded, reaching for it. He leaned his head away, but kept a grip on her waist. They stumbled backwards, her pawing at him, him pulling away.
“This is an expiring offer, Angier. Take it or leave it. I know she wants to see you. It's up to you,” Jameson said. She slithered around him, and he was forced to switch hands, trading off the phone. She almost nabbed it, but then he tightened his grip around her waist and picked her up with one arm, clutching her to his side. “Yes. Yes, you can. Of course. What? Don't fucking insult me, Angier. I'm offering you a gift, but I won't fucking ..., okay. Okay. Thank you.” Tate was squirming back and forth, making it hard for him to keep his footing, when he abruptly ended the call. He pressed a button on the phone and dropped it into a chair.
“What the fuck was that all about!? I didn't even get to say goodbye!” she shouted at him.
“I just agreed to pay for your best friend, a man you fuck on a regular basis, to come to Paris for my birthday. I think a little gratitude is in order,” Jameson informed her. She shoved at his chest, trying to pull away.
“Fuck off. I haven't fucked Ang since you asked me not to,” she snapped, and they both paused. Tate hadn't meant it like that; she had made it sound like she still wasn't sleeping with Ang because of Jameson. But that wasn't true.
“Very considerate, baby girl,” Jameson murmured, smoothing her hair away from her face.
“Oh, get over yourself. I haven't slept with anyone since that night. The idea of sex kind of makes me want to puke,” she told him.
“You didn't seem so adverse to it last night.”
He let her go, and she stumbled backwards. She straightened out the bright maxi skirt she was wearing, adjusted her tank top. Glared at him. It wasn't fair. He was the reason she hadn't had sex in so long. He shouldn't get to have first go. Ang was right, she should go find someone else. Anyone else.
“Yet it still didn't happen,” Tate pointed out. He quirked up an eyebrow.
“You know, I find it hard to believe that you haven't slept with anyone. I know your baseball player is somewhat of a saint, but he's still a man. Is it still boring with him? Are you still holding his hand?” Jameson asked, disdain dripping from his words. Tate laughed.
“Jealous. And nothing with Nick is ever boring,” she taunted. It dawned on her that he honestly thought she and Nick had some sort of actual relationship going on; Jameson was actually jealous. She wanted to laugh.
Stupid Satan, don't you know you've ruined me for other men?
“Somehow,” Jameson whispered, leaning close to her, “I highly doubt that.”
And then he left her, making his way downstairs.
Tate grabbed the phone and followed after him. She gave Sanders his cell phone back, then he said goodbye. She hung onto his sleeve, all the way down the plank. Pleaded with him. Begged him to stay. He refused. He was working for the devil, after all. She glared at him as he walked back to the car.
She milled around below deck for a while, tried reading in her bedroom. She felt the boat move, knew when they had left the dock. She wondered if there was a whole crew of people wandering around, or if Jameson could really operate the whole thing on his own.
After about an hour, her curiosity got the better of her. She wandered upstairs. Out the back of the boat, she could see Marbella, getting smaller and smaller. Just twinkling lights on a coast. In the distance, a couple other lights bobbed around. Other boats, barely pin pricks against the dark sky.
She didn't see or hear any other people, so she made her way to the upper deck. It was barren – Jameson hadn't replaced the furniture that the scorned maid had thrown away. Tate thought about continuing on up to the very top deck, but instead she made her way into the wheelhouse. Jameson was leaned back in a large chair, one foot propped on the edge of it, the other leg stretched out so his foot was against the dash. Very relaxed. The lights were off in the room, and he was staring out over the sea.
“What are you doing?” Tate asked, moving to sit in another large chair that was next to him.
“What does it look like I'm doing?” he countered, not looking at her. She smirked at him.
“Is it safe, operating this thing all by yourself?” she asked. He nodded.
“Safe enough. I'm not taking us out very far,” he replied. She leaned back.
“Why don't you hire a crew? I was surprised that you didn't have a chef on board, or a full time maid,” she told him.
“Same reason I didn't keep them at home.”
Jameson didn't like people. Plain and simple. In Weston, he had a cleaning service that came out on the weekdays, every day after he left for work, but that was it. No full time, live-ins, though his house was built for it, had the room. So she wasn't too surprised that he refused to even hire a captain for his boat.
“What time is it?” Tate yawned, leaning her head back. She saw him move, and then his wrist was held out towards her, his fancy watch facing her.
“Just after ten,” he answered anyway.
There was a heavy silence between them. Something had happened that morning, though Tate didn't know what. It was almost as if Jameson had suddenly woken up with a conscience, and it was bothering him. He seemed upset, and she knew she was the reason.