Stuck-Up Suit(4)

By: Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward



“Umm. Hi. It’s not Graham, actually. My name is Soraya.”

“Sor –what?”

“Sore-ah-yuh. It’s Persian for princess. Although I’m not Persian. My father just thought—”

“Whatever your name is, tell me what you want and why you are taking up my valuable time. And why are you calling me from Graham Morgan’s phone?”

Graham Morgan. Even the damn name was sexy. It figured.

“Actually, I found this phone on the train. I’m pretty sure it belongs to a man I saw this morning. Late twenties, maybe? Slicked back dark hair, kind of long for a suit-type, curled up at the collar. He was wearing a navy pinstripe suit. Had on a big watch.”

“Gorgeous, arrogant and pissed off?”

I chuckled a little. “Yes, that’s him.”

“His name is Graham Morgan, and I know just where you should bring the phone.”

I fished a pen from my purse. “Okay.”

“Are you anywhere near the 1 train?”

“I’m not too far.”

“Okay. Well, hop on the 1 and take that all the way downtown. Pass Rector Street and get off at the South Ferry Terminal.”

“Okay. I can do that.”

“Once you’re off. Take a right on Whitehall and then a left on South Street.”

I knew the area and tried to visualize the buildings around there. It was a pretty commercial neighborhood. “Won’t that take me to the East River?”

“Exactly. Toss that asshole’s phone in, and forget you ever saw the man.”

The phone line went dead. Well, that was interesting.





CHAPTER 2



SORAYA



I HAD PLANNED TO GIVE the phone back this morning.

No, really. I did.

Then again, I also planned to finish college. And travel the world. Unfortunately, the furthest I’d ventured out of the city over the last year was when my uneducated ass accidentally fell asleep on the Path train and ended up in Hoboken.

The phone safely concealed in the side compartment of my purse, I sat in car seven, one row back and diagonally across from Mr. Big Prick, stealing sidelong glances while he read The Wall Street Journal. I needed more time to study the lion. Creatures in the zoo always fascinated me, especially the way they interacted with the humans.

A woman boarded at the next stop and sat directly across from Graham. She was young, and the length of her skirt bordered on inappropriate. Her tanned legs were toned, bare and sexy, even my eyes lingered for a moment. Yet the lion never pounced. He never even seemed to actually notice her as he alternated between reading and mindlessly clicking that big watch of his. I totally would have taken him for more of a whore than that.

When his stop came, I made the decision that I’d give him back the phone. Tomorrow. One more day wouldn’t matter. For the rest of my trip, I went back through his pictures. Only this time, I studied them, paying close attention to the details of the background rather than the focal subject.

The photo of him and the old lady was taken in front of a fireplace. I hadn’t noticed it before. The mantel was lined with a dozen picture frames. I zoomed in on the frame that was the least pixilated. It was of a young boy and a woman. The boy looked about eight or nine and was wearing a uniform of some sort. The woman—at least I thought it was a woman—had something close to a crew cut. The boy might have been Graham, but I couldn’t be sure. I almost missed my stop zooming in on what turned out to be a mailman in the back of another shot. What the hell was I doing?

I stopped at my usual coffee truck and ordered. “I’ll take a grande, iced, sugar-free, vanilla latte with soy milk.”

Anil shook his head and chuckled. Every once in a while, when he had a line of women who looked like they got lost trying to find a Starbucks, I would order something ridiculous. Loudly. I’d usually get at least one who believed Anil’s Halal Meat served fru fru drinks. Basically, you had four choices: black, milk, sugar, or go somewhere the hell else—he didn’t even carry Equal. Dropping my buck in the cup, he handed me my usual black coffee, and I laughed as I walked away hearing a woman ask if he made Frappuccinos.

When I arrived at the office, Ida was in a particularly rancid mood. Fucking awesome. The whole world thought Ask Ida was a beloved American institution; only a select few knew the truth. The woman who delved out heaping doses of sugary advice got her jollies from screwing people and being cheap.

“Find a number for the Celestine Hotel,” was how she greeted me.

I powered on the tower to the old desktop computer she had me work on. The Internet on my phone was much faster, but I wasn’t using up my data because she refused to move into the twenty-first century. Five minutes later, I brought her the number in her office.

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