"I'm a sad girl, I'm a sad girl, I'm sad girl. I'm a sad girl, I'm a bad girl, I'm a bad girl.
Watch what you say to me. Careful who you're talkin' to."
It was supposed to be another typical morning. Bass would awake to the obnoxiously bright light shining through the dirty window he always told himself he would clean later but then make some elaborate excuse as to why he shouldn’t follow through and put it off another day. Then, he’d turn over to see if the woman he bedded that night was in fact a ten rather than a two. If she was indeed a ten, Bass would wake her up with his cock by slipping it into her so they could have another round of whatever fun kept them alive and rowdy hours before. If she was a two, he’d try to remember how good of lay she was and, if she was exceptional, he’d do the exact same.
Of course, there were many factors to take into account when it came to determining how Bass would start off his day and listing them off would take a good few hours. Bass didn’t have that sort of time today as he felt the dark haired woman at his side stir awake. She turned over and Bass struggled to remember her name as she opened a pair of emerald green eyes to look at him. A smile stretched across her face, pulling the corners of her smudged red lips, teeth flashing at him as he was met with the overwhelmingly familiar smell of Marlboro cigarettes.
“Howdy there, champ.” She greeted in a very light tone, her southern twang scratchy with disuse and smoky misuse. “Care to pass me a cigarette?” Bass didn’t return the grin; instead, he reached for the pack of smokes on his bedside table and popped one cigarette into the woman’s mouth before lighting it up for her. She sucked on the end of it, meeting his intense gaze before placing a smoky kiss on his mouth. “Thanks, darlin’.” Bass watched and allowed the woman to lift herself off of the bed, draped in his sheets which left him completely exposed. But this didn’t faze him, no; he just sat up and leaned against his head board, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes.
The woman was now in the bathroom, the sound of water hitting water in a steady stream and a cloud of smoke escaping the door. “Sorry but what was your name again?” Bass asked, his own voice nearly unrecognizable as he attempted to speak through gravelly disuse. Just then, he heard the toilet flush as the faucet of his sink was flipped upward. She didn’t answer his question until he found her standing in the doorway naked, the sheets pooling around her ankles as she held her dying cigarette between her fingers and blew out a jagged stream of smoke. “Annabel.” She told him, a sarcastic smile forcing its way onto her face. “Thought you would’ve remembered after I fucked it out of your mouth last night.”
Bass gave Annabel a slow, suggestive grin. He definitely remembered the exact reason he’d been attracted to her. “I guess you didn’t do it to the best of your ability then.” He commented with the intention of challenging her back into his arms. Annabel’s eyes locked with his own as she slowly inched forward, tapping her cigarette so the ashes fell onto his bedroom floor. If Bass had been thinking with the right head, he would’ve scolded her for making a mess. Instead, the defiant action turned him on and all he wanted was to rip that cigarette out of her hand so he could push her onto the bed and slam into her.
Annabel squashed the cigarette against Bass’ bedside table before getting back into the bed and crawling over to him. He grabbed her face and pushed his mouth against hers as she let one of her hands dance down his bare chest. Annabel was just about to grab hold of him when there was a loud knock on the front door. Bass groaned against her mouth and intended to tell her to continue but Annabel pulled away and grinned at him mischievously. “Sounds like you got company, champ.” She teased before slipping off the bed, leaving Bass frustrated.
In a clumsy haze, Bass got to his feet and slipped on a pair of boxers which had been hanging off the chest of drawers in the corner of his bedroom. Before he left the room, he turned around to look at Annabel who was slipping on a pair of red lace panties. “To be continued.” Bass promised her. He didn’t wait to see or hear her response as he quickly made his way through the living room to the front door of the small apartment. Bass opened the front door, ready to tell whoever had interrupted him and his lady to fuck the fuck off.
But, when he laid eyes on the person standing there, Bass found himself at a loss for words. A girl was stood in front of his door, gripping the handle of her duffel bag as she turned to see who had answered the door. Bass found himself running his eyes up and down her body; he took in the curve of her hips and her long, sun-kissed legs in stylish printed shorts and tattered, bulky ankle boots. Dirty blonde curls hung over her exposed shoulders and, on the top of her head, a pair of round sunglasses sat. But what grabbed Bass’ attention was her icy blue gaze as she locked eyes with him.
“Hi,” She greeted simply with her eyes skirting his face shyly. “Um, I’m looking for Miles Matheson.” Bass swallowed back whatever filthy thoughts were threatening to plague his mind so he could get through this interaction without completely embarrassing himself. He kept his eyes locked with hers, focusing on her words rather than everything else he found himself wanting to be absorbed in. Damn you, Annabel. He thought as he was sure the raging hard-on she’d given him earlier was not helping his case at the moment. Just focus, Bass. You can fuck this away later.
“And who are you?” Bass inquired cautiously as he tried to focus on the fact he had no idea who this girl was and it was probably best he didn’t just give away information about his friend to some stranger…no matter how attractive she was. The girl stirred, her pink lips parting as she reacted to Bass’ understandable hesitation. “Charlie…” She answered nervously, gripping the hem of her shorts as she tossed her blue eyes to the side briefly with slight embarrassment. “Charlotte. I’m his niece.”
Bass recalled the name as he caught quick images of a young girl flashing by his mind in reaction to the name. Nodding his head, he rubbed the back of his neck and stepped back, widening the opening in the door so she could come in. Charlie didn’t enter immediately and Bass knew she was hesitant because she had no idea who he was. Bass released the back of his neck and waved an arm out, inviting her in, before dropping his arm against his side. Taking the risk, she finally stepped in, holding onto her duffel bag tighter than before.
Shutting the door behind her, Bass allowed his eyes to linger on her small frame, his eyes grazing the bare skin of her back which was exposed because of the black crop top she was wearing. “So,” Charlie said, dropping her duffel bag and turning around to face Bass, her eyes locked with his once again. “Where’s Uncle Miles?” Charlie’s eyes lingered downward for a moment before snapping back to where they were and this was something Bass noticed immediately. He then remembered that he was just standing there in his boxers. He wasn’t shy but he did feel embarrassed very momentarily as he realized that this would forever be Charlie’s first impression of him.
“He’s touring Africa with his girlfriend, Nora.” Bass explained, making his way into the kitchen with the intention of getting Charlie something to drink. “He left about a week ago. I’m not sure when he’ll be back.” Bass motioned toward the coffee maker as he began to brew a pot, silently questioning if she wanted any. But Charlie didn’t respond to his offer. Instead, she moved toward the kitchen and leaned against the counter with a sort of urgency. “No, he can’t be gone.” Charlie told him, her voice breaking with slight panic and her eyes widening ever so slightly.
Bass shrugged, furrowing his brows as he dumped some ground coffee beans into the machine in front of him. “What do you want me to say, kid?” He inquired, not understanding her panic. “I can’t exactly snap my fingers and make Miles appear out of thin air. I’m not Houdini. You’re shit out of luck.” Bass hadn’t been looking at her but when he finally turned to face her, the sounds of the coffee machine whirring behind him, he saw her eyes well up with tears. Charlie gnawed at her lip anxiously, refusing to let those tears spill, and Bass suddenly felt really bad about the situation.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” He asked, stepping toward her. The counter between them kept him from touching her which had been his first instinct. This obstacle filled him relief as he wasn’t good at determining the best way to comfort someone and, if she had objections to being comforted by touch, he was sure he’d have to worry about treating a fresh black eye. Bass tried to capture her eyes but they kept flitting away, much like a fish did when it swam in water. Charlie hands rubbed together as she tried hard not to cry and Bass found himself admiring the way she managed to hold her tears back when she was so obviously distraught.
“I’m, um,” She began, swallowing back whatever emotions were threatening to seep out of her. “I’m just in a really rough spot. My boyfriend just kicked me out and I’ve got nowhere to go.” Charlie used one of her bare wrists to rub the tears out of her eyes. “Isn’t there any way to contact him?” Bass shook his head at her question, unsure of how to handle the situation. He wasn’t good at this. He was quite positive he didn’t have an empathetic bone in his body; yet he found himself feeling for this girl. Bass wished he could comfort her as she seemed like the type to have better control over her emotions.
“Don’t you have family you can stay with?” Bass asked, trying to find a solution for her. “Ben and Rachel would take you back. Look, we can call them and—” Bass reached for the house phone on the counter but before he could even pick it up, Charlie’s hand darted out and grabbed his wrist. This shocked him into silence; Bass didn’t move an inch as he stared at Charlie’s hand before moving his eyes up to meet hers. “You can’t call them!” Charlie exclaimed, her eyes wide with a sort of terror. “Please! Don’t call them.”
Bass was confused; this girl deeply puzzled him. Her warm hand pressed against the skin of his wrist seemed to distract him just as much as her erratic behavior. “And why’s that?” He questioned, glaring into her eyes as he tried to keep himself focused on the situation rather than the incredibly mysterious Charlotte Matheson. She definitely intrigued him and, if there was anything that Bass liked in a woman, it was intrigue and mystery. It turned him on. But this was not the right time to think with the wrong head. Especially not when it was his best friend’s niece he was finding himself attracted to. Just when he thought he might lose his cool, Charlie removed her hand from his wrist and attempted to reign herself in.
“You’re Sebastian Monroe, right?” She inquired, the panic still apparent in her eyes but her expression falling into something much more neutral. What’s with this girl? Bass thought, nodding in response to her question. “My parents have talked about you. You’re Uncle Miles’ best friend.” Bass just continued to nod his head, unsure of what to say. He was silently trying to figure her out as she slowly got around to her explanation. “Look, my parents don’t really know the truth about what’s going on.” She cleared her throat before continuing. “They think I’m working at a graphic design company here. At least, I mean, that’s my goal. I swore that after I got my degree, I would start working but times have been tough and, unfortunately, no one’s really hiring at the moment. So, right now, I’m just working to make enough money to move to New York to get a job. They have a big market for the industry I want to enter over there.”
Charlie paused again, searching Bass’ face for a moment. “My parents have never really believed I could make it as an artist. If I tell them the truth, they’ll force me into a job that I hate. I don’t want to abandon my dreams when they’re right there. New York is just around the corner! I just needed a few more months to come up with the money and I would’ve been out of here. But then Jason – my boyfriend – dumped me and now I have nowhere to go. So, when I say that Uncle Miles cannot just be gone, I really mean he cannot be gone. He's my last hope.”
She had spoken with such passion that Bass found himself mesmerized by her words and motivations. Bass wasn’t sure what to do but he definitely wanted to help Charlie. She had that Matheson fire that Bass always found himself drawn to. He could only ever wish for that sort of determination they seemed to pass through genetics. She really is Miles’ niece. Bass thought, keeping his eyes fixed on hers. What the hell was he going to do? The only way he could reach Miles was through email but even Miles had said he might not be able to check his inbox until he reached South Africa. One thing was for sure, though; Bass would not toss this girl out on her ass.
Just as Bass opened his mouth to announce the decision he had reached, his bedroom door opened. Annabel walked out in a cloud of smoke and fully clothed in the little black dress she had worn the night before. Her dark hair had been pulled back into a ponytail while her makeup was now freshly reapplied. The petite woman glared at Bass with a sort of cold fury after she looked upon the object of his distraction. “I don’t like to be kept waiting, champ.” Annabel drawled before clicking her way across the small apartment to the front door in her matching black pumps. “Do me a favor and lose my number. If you’re going to play with little girls, I’m not going to waste my time.” With that, Annabel sashayed her way out the door.
Charlie looked at Bass, her eyes wide. Bass watched her cheeks turn pink as she turned around and reached for her duffel bag clumsily. “I am so sorry.” She told him, snatching up her bag. “I didn’t mean to intrude, really. I’ll just be on my way. I’m sorry.” Bass rounded the counter with the intention of stopping her. He wrapped his hand around her wrist, making her drop the bag as she snapped her head up to look at him. Bass could tell she was extremely embarrassed and looking at her flushed face only made it worse. She didn’t move away from him nor did she remove her wrist from his grip. Though her face was still red, Charlie glared back at him, trying to meet his challenging presence with her own steely persona. This deeply impressed Bass and only intensified the electricity sparking up around them as they stayed liked that in silence for a few minutes.
“I’ll email your uncle.” Bass informed her, painfully aware of how close her warm body was to his in proximity. “Until then, breathe a little bit, Charlotte. I’ll make breakfast in a moment. Just relax for a minute and we’ll talk more about this.” With that, Bass released Charlie’s wrist before turning his back on her to escape into his bedroom. Grabbing his laptop, he began typing an informative email to Miles. When that was done, Bass sat there for a moment. What the hell was he going to do?