Madam Mitterand looked at me with disapproval but didn’t say anything as I carried the decanter of blackberry wine and my glass with me to the sunny yellow room I’d spent the evening in. I settled myself next to the fire and prepared myself to wait for Luca. I figured it would be easier for me to hear his arrival here than if I remained in my room. I didn’t want him to return in the shadows and leave in the same way with me none the wiser.
But two glasses of berry wine later I felt drowsy and slightly tipsy. It also didn’t help that I was sitting in what was probably the toastiest room known to man. I didn’t want to fall asleep so I roused myself and walked to the foyer. Despite the estate having numerous security, there was no one about and it was eerily quiet and once again I noted how cold and lonely it seemed. My room had been decorated in warm colors and was enough to keep this feeling at bay but being here right now, with nothing but infinitely tall ceilings and sprawling limestone steps was too ominous.
I turned away and decided to get a drink of water for my parched throat. I found my way to the kitchen; the space I’d never bothered entering in order to avoid Madam Mitterand’s glares. I found the light switch and as light flooded the space I saw that it was just as magnificent as the rest of the house with its granite countertops and shiny chrome appliances.
I opened the doors of the huge refrigerator and I found some bottles of water. I uncapped one and lifted it to my mouth. The water was cold and welcome and I shut my eyes to savor it. A sudden sound behind me made me jump back in shock.
“Oh my God,” I gasped in fright, as I whirled around. Cold water spilled over my body.
It was someone that I hadn’t seen before. It was a big man with a shiny bald head. He was dressed in a dark suit and was carrying something that looked like a walkie-talkie and I immediately pegged him as part of the security detail.
“You shouldn’t be in here,” he said in a neutral tone. It wasn’t a rebuke, just a simple statement of fact.
“I was thirsty.”
“That’s alright,” he said. “Get what you need and I’ll escort you back to your wing.”
At a loss for words, I shut the door and exited the kitchen. He walked silently behind me. As we reached the living room where I had spent the evening, I said, “I can find my own way back from here.”
He nodded. “All right. Good night.”
“Er… your boss,” I said hurriedly. “Am I going to see him? Tonight?”
“He is currently away on business.”
That word away held many possible connotations. “Away, like he’ll be back tomorrow, or away, like he’ll be back in about a week.”
“I don’t have a response to that,” he said.
“Is that because you do not know or you just don’t want to give me a response?”
His expression did not change. “It’s because I am not privy to the knowledge.”
I chewed my lower lip. I felt my patience running low. Everybody in this house was so cagey. “Is there a way I can reach him then?”
“Give me a moment,” he said and pulled a phone out of his pocket.
My heart jumped into my throat. I had expected a refusal. Was I going to get to speak to Luca?
But no such luck. He quickly typed out a text into his phone then he put it away. My eyes lifted to meet his.
“I’ve sent your request,” he said. “Goodnight, Miss Morrison.” He turned around to leave.
“Wait a minute. Aren’t you going to wait a little bit to see if he responds?”
He turned back, wry amusement in his eyes. “You have your phone with you, don’t you?”
“He’ll contact you directly… if he wants to.”Chapter 22LucaI was on a conference call with Angelo and my father in our family’s mansion in Sicily when the text message came in. Seeing that it came from Luke, who was based at Torrington Hall, I immediately opened it and read what he had to say.
Miss Morrison wants to speak to you, boss.All kinds of thoughts flashed through my mind as I stared at the message until it registered that Angelo was trying to get my attention from one of the two screens in front of me. I put the phone away.
“Everything alright?” he asked.
I gave a brief nod.
My father didn’t comment on the interruption. My father had always been laser focused on the job at hand and despised any kind of emotion or weakness. The way he dealt with Alessa after she did what she did would forever be etched in my mind. “What’s the status with that idiot Fisher?” he asked coldly.