I hope to release The Vow, Book 2 in the next week or so, and to tide you over until then here is a Chapter 1 excerpt:
What the fuck did she want? Tobias stared at the missed call from Naomi and shoved his cell phone into his pocket. He no longer had any business with the high-class escort and had no intention of calling her back. When the elevator doors slid apart, he stormed out.
“Good evening, Sir.” The elderly concierge greeted him warmly. Tobias nodded at him as he rushed past, not even stopping.
“How’s Ms. Page doing?”
This time he was forced to stop.
“Ms. Page.” The man stepped forward from behind his desk. “I’m worried about her, all that nastiness with Jacob. Is she alright?”
Tobias frowned. “Yeah. She’s fine.” She didn’t want him around, so he had to assume she was happy to deal with things in her own way. Time. She needed more time. Why was it always two steps forward and three steps back?
“I’m Arnold.” The concierge held out his hand.
“Hello, Arnold,” said Tobias quickly, shaking hands as he tried to walk away.
“I’ve been keeping an eye on her,” said Arnold, preventing him from reaching the main doors. “But I don’t want to impose. But you say she’s alright?”
“Yes,” Tobias almost hissed then let out a sigh. His bad mood was not due to this man. “I’m sorry,” he said. “It’s been a rough day.” It had been fine until he’d turned up on Savannah’s doorstep. All he wanted was to be there for her, but she was pushing him away already. He sensed she was having doubts and this whole sorry mess with Colt, and Jacob and the media, it had her worried. This man had nothing to do with it. “I’m Tobias Stone.”
“I know who you are,” Arnold smiled back. “I seen the pictures of you both at that fancy party at the hotel. Nice looking couple you make.”
The Gala night at the Waldorf Astoria. What a difference a week or so made. “Thank you.” Tobias muttered, still anxious to leave. He nodded at the man and made his way out. Across the street he saw the familiar black SUV with his bodyguards in it and was half-tempted to tell them to stay here and to keep an eye on Savannah and Jacob. She wouldn’t know even if he did assign someone to watch over her. He was determined to keep her safe and knew it was the right thing but he also knew how goddamn pig-headed Savannah could be. She was adamant about not wanting to change her life, about not wanting someone on her back, and if she found out—and she probably would because she wasn’t an airhead—then she would give him hell for doing yet another thing ‘that he wanted to because he could.’
How to win her over and convince her that being with him was going to work out fine in the end? He couldn’t, he only had to hope she figured it out for herself. One couldn’t put ideas into Savannah Page’s head. He got into his car and slammed the door shut, then closed his eyes and leaned his head against the headrest. When his cell rang again, he half-wished it was Savannah calling him, telling him she was sorry, and to come back.
But he answered it too quickly. And it wouldn’t be worth the ensuing trouble if he now hung up on his mother.
“Mom.” He tried to inject a tone of light-heartedness into his voice.
“At last, my son answers.” His mother’s cool, clipped tones fried his already-frayed nerves.
“I’ve been busy, Mom.”
“I can see that, my Darling. You’ve been in the news, a disappearing child, an ex-husband, a vacation in Miami and a new woman in your life. I think it’s about time you came over for lunch.”
“I can’t. I’m busy. I’ve got a lot going on.”
“I thought that might be your answer.”
“Your father and I will be around mid-week. We’d love to meet up with you both.” Tobias groaned under his breath. Maybe it wasn’t too late to go to San Diego with Matthias. “I’m not sure—”
“I checked your schedule with your PA and she’s booked dinner with your parents for Wednesday evening.” Tobias ground his teeth together and felt like a helpless twelve year-old again; not old enough to do his own thing, but no longer young enough to want a mother’s attention.
“Have you seen the state your brother’s in?”
Tobias jolted up in his seat. “Xavier? Why? What’s happened?”
“He’s been dumped by that Russian oligarch’s daughter.”
“Petra?” He hadn’t even met her yet, had only heard of Xavier’s infatuation with her. “I didn’t think her father was an oligarch. I thought she was a model.”
“They’re all oligarchs and all their daughters are usually tall and thin enough to be models.”
Tobias sighed slowly; he was used to his mother’s sweeping generalizations, and completely ignored her. “She dumped him?”
“He’s in pieces,” Millicent stated, in a casual tone embellished by a dash of the dramatic. Tobias felt a twinge of guilt. From their last conversation, he recalled that his brother had been infatuated by this girl and Tobias had intended to meet with him but he’d been so wrapped up in his own romance with Savannah, that he’d not even called him. “I thought it would be a good time for the four of us to meet for dinner,” his mother continued. Xavier being there made the bitter pill easier to swallow. “Don’t forget. Wednesday at 8 at The Carlyle.”
“If you say so, Mother.”
“Aren’t you going to tell me anything?” His mother demanded. “Or must I always get my information second-hand from TV and those trashy magazines?”
“You love those trashy magazines.” He’d found them hidden beneath the copies of glossy home decor and travel magazines on the coffee table when he had last visited them. “Why don’t we save it for Wednesday?”
“How long exactly has this been going on?” His mother asked, as if he was a cheating spouse.
“Are you really asking me that?” He tried to keep his voice level. As far as his mother was concerned, no woman was good enough for him.
“I’m asking out of interest.”
“You’re asking because you’re nosy.”
“I’m merely concerned, my Darling.”
Tobias rubbed his forehead and kept his eyes closed as he listened. “Concerned about what?”
“Your ready-made family, but that’s a conversation for another time.” He loosened his tie and breathed out loudly.
“Your father and I are worried about you, my Darling.”
“Dad’s fine. I think it’s just you, Mom. You should be happy for me, you should be happy that I’ve finally found someone who makes me happy.” Although his words didn’t ring true at the moment, not with things cooling between them and Savannah claiming to need more time and space. Why didn’t she let him in?
“I am happy.”
“Then make an effort and sound like you are.”
He heard her exhale at the other end of the line. “Are you okay, my Darling? I don’t want to fight with you. You sound tired and irritable, but I’m used to that. We saw the press hounding you on TV as you came into work. Don’t let this wind you up.”
Nothing wound him up as much as his mother did. Though it wasn’t himself he was worried about. He was worried about losing Savannah. This time it mattered. He wanted her, and needed her and he wasn’t used to not having things he wanted. Perhaps that was the reason he hungered for her even more, because she didn’t easily fall into his bed. Because she didn’t take for granted that she would always be by his side. Because she didn’t seem to be in total awe of his wealth. She’d been over-the-moon grateful that he had taken her to Miami, had been blissfully happy for them to have spent the time together, had fallen in love with his home and the private world they had shared—but he could see that these things didn’t define who she was. He admired that, and could no longer imagine his life without Savannah and Jacob in it.
“That’s okay,” he replied, his thoughts a million miles away.
“You’re not listening, are you?” Another angry puff. “I’ll see you on Wednesday. Why don’t you bring your new lady along?”
“Her name’s Savannah.”
“That’s right. Why don’t you bring her?”
Tobias made a face and rolled his lips together, then, “I’ll see you and Dad at dinner.”
“Yeah. ‘Bye, Mom.” He hung up and groaned. He loved her, but his mother drained the energy out of him sometimes and the really irritating thing was, she probably didn’t even realize it.