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As we walked to the elevator, Jake’s hand pressed against the small of my back, and my anticipation rose with every step toward the elevators.

As soon as I hit the up button, the doors opened and we stepped inside together.

“Wait!” A shrill voice cried. “Hold that elevator, please!”

Jake held the doors open and seconds later, an elderly woman stepped inside.

“Thank you so much,” she said.

“What floor?” Jake asked her.

“Twenty-six. Thank you.”

He pressed “26” and then, out of a pure gentleman’s book, he pressed “50” so it wouldn’t look like we were together. “And for you?” he asked, looking at me. “What floor?”


“Eight?” He looked at me. “Is that what you said?”

“No, eighty.” I pulled the additional key out of my bag and held it against the panel. “You can’t press that floor. I have to use this to get up there.”

“Oh! I’ve always wondered who lived on that floor,” the woman said. “Good to finally put a face to a unit. You should try coming to the monthly social sometimes. Once a year wouldn’t kill you, you know.”

“I’ll try it.”

“How are the views up there, by the way?” she asked.


“I bet.” She gave me a short wave as she got off on her floor and for some reason, Jake was gently pulling at my hair, murmuring something that sounded like, “Strawberry...” but I wasn’t sure.

“How long did you say you’d been living here exactly?” he asked.

“Just a few months. Why?” The energy between us now felt completely different from seconds ago. The look on his face wasn’t lust-filled anymore. It was something else entirely.

“I’m just having thoughts.”

“Potentially murderous thoughts?”

“Potentially curious thoughts.” He stared at me as the doors opened.

“Wait,” I said, motioning for him not to step off. “I need to do something before you take another step.”

“And what is that exactly?”

“Hold on...” I walked over to the hallway vases and quickly disabled the cameras. I hit the disable button for the camera one over the door and placed a sticker over the new lens.

“You can come now,” I said to Jake, pulling out the second keycard. “I just have to do those security things for privacy.”

“Yes, I can tell you highly value privacy...” He followed me to the door.

I swiped the keycard against the doors, but it flashed red for no-entry instead of green.

What the...It worked last night...

I held it against the key pad again and again, becoming increasingly frustrated with every flash of red.

“Is something wrong?” Jake asked.

“No, the key is just being strange that’s all.” The light suddenly flashed green, saving me from embarrassment and I held the door open for him.

I hit the panel of buttons on the wall and the drapes that covered the living room windows slowly drew open, exposing the view of Manhattan.

“That’s a very nice feature,” Jake said from behind. “Did you have that designed yourself?”

“No, it was already like that when I moved in.”

“Interesting.” He walked into the living room and stood by the windows, looking like he belonged in this space more than I did. “It’s a beautiful apartment.”

“Thank you.”

“Would you mind giving me a quick tour of your place?”

“Right now?”

“Yes. Right now.”

“Okay...” I walked toward him. “We’re currently standing in the living room and it stretches into the parlor room and the dining room as you can see...” I walked to the left, down the hallway. “There are guest rooms on both sides of this hall with their own bathroom and...” I stepped inside the master bedroom and turned on the lights. “This is my room.”

“Impressive.” He stepped inside and looked around. “What made you pick beige and black accents for everything in here?”

“They’re my favorite colors.”

He smiled. “Even more interesting...Do you have a master bathroom as well?”

“Yes.” I walked over to the doors that led to it and showed him. “Stone shower, Jacuzzi, and sauna room.” I noticed my bottle of strawberry shampoo standing at the front of the shower rack and walked over to it as I spoke, shoving it back behind the black and blue bottles where it belonged.

“What’s on the other side of the apartment?”

“A private library and an office,” I said. “Oh, and I believe we missed the kitchen. Would you like a drink?”


I made sure nothing else in the master suite was out of place before leading him into the kitchen. I pulled out a vintage bottle of wine and two glasses, and he followed close behind me.

“Should I assume that you have a love for aerial city photography?” he asked.


“The photos on the wall.” He pointed to the four massive white frames that hung over the fire place. “Do you have a thing for aerial views?”

“Oh...Yes. Something like that.”

He leaned against the counter, narrowing his eyes at me, looking sexier than ever, but something was off. “Tell me, Gillian. In what cities were those pictures taken?”