I shrug, glancing down at the girls. “Could you get Ju? I’m gonna have to jump in the shower if I have to entertain guests with higher standards than these two.”
Smiling, she nods and heads off to find the nanny.
An hour later, showered and with a little make-up on, I don my maid’s uniform and head for Mateo’s study. It’s much more crowded tonight, with men in all four arm chairs, and Mateo perched on the edge of his desk.
“Just in time,” he says with a wink, shaking his empty glass.
I roll my eyes indulgently, but grab his decanter of choice and bring it over to refill his glass. “It was very far away. I’m glad I got here in time.”
Once his drink is filled, I make the rounds, filling glasses for the men I’m less familiar with, and Adrian, though he doesn’t always make me fill his.
I don’t expect Mateo to talk to me, since his family members are scattered about the room, but he calls me back over to his desk with a crook of his finger.
“Enjoying your day off?”
“I was, yes.”
“What do you do when you’re not taking care of me?” he asks, smiling.
Rolling my eyes at his wording, I say, “I was taking care of our daughters.”
His smile slips. “Plural?”
I shrug. “Lily and Isabella have formed a fast friendship. Lily and I were having a game day and watching a Disney movie. Isabella wanted to tag along. It doesn’t seem like Ju ever gets a break unless she’s sleeping, so I figured she could join us.” Frowning slightly at the uncertain look on his face, I add, “I guess I should’ve asked? I mean, I asked Ju…”
He doesn’t come up with a response right away, and before he manages to, a younger Morelli man I haven’t seen before asks, “New maid?”
“Meg,” I offer, unsure whether he’s summoning me or asking a question. “You need something?”
“Nope, just never seen you before. How’d you luck into this job?” he asks.
“Head hunter. Saw my resume, made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.”
“You’re pretty,” he remarks.
My eyebrows rise in surprise at the compliment. “Oh. Thank you.”
Mateo cracks a smile. “Don’t tell Mia. If she’s not allowed to talk to the baker, I don’t think you’re allowed to check out my maid.”
“I don’t disallow her to talk to the baker,” the younger guy says, rolling his eyes and taking a drink. “I just don’t like the guy.”
“You don’t like any guy.”
“Can you blame me?” he asks rhetorically.
“This is my cousin Vince, by the way,” Mateo says, gesturing to the younger guy. “He doesn’t like guys.”
Biting back a smile, I nod my head. “I heard. I’m Meg the maid; I do.”
“Is that right?” Joey asks, sounding a little too interested in that prospect.
“Nope,” Mateo replies, immediately.
Glancing over at Mateo with a little smile, I ask, “Should I go check on the ladies? See if they need help?”
With a little wave to the assembled men, I leave the study and head for the kitchen. It’s more crowded in there, too. Francesca is always there, but there’s another girl with her back to me and… weirdly, Elise. She’s in a black dress and heels instead of her maid uniform.
“I thought you were off today?” I ask, coming up beside her.
“I am,” she says, but from the look on her face, she looks as confused as I am. “I don’t know. This is going to be weird.”
Francesca comes over and pats Elise on the arm. “It’ll be fine.”
“I shouldn’t be out there like this. I still work here. I don’t belong at the table!”
“Oh, stop,” Francesca says. “It’s just a table.”
“I don’t know what’s going on,” I state, just so everyone knows where I stand.
“Don’t feel bad,” says the new girl, turning to face me. “No one ever does.”
I recognize her!
Smiling at me, she dries off her hands and extends one in my direction. “I’m Mia.”
“Meg,” I say, grinning with far too much enthusiasm as I shake her head. “I’ve heard of you.”
“You have? Only goods things, I hope,” she jokes.
Francesca butts in. “This is Meg, she’s the new maid. I guess she must be Elise’s replacement? I don’t know. I never know anything anymore either.”
“Cool. As long as we’re all on the same page,” I say. “Do you guys need help with anything? I’ve never done the Sunday dinner shift, so I’m not sure how this works.”
“We’ve got the cooking under control. If you want to grab some dishes and set the table, that’d be great,” Francesca tells me.
As I’m setting the table, Mia brings the wine out. She flashes me a friendly smile, and since we’re alone, I take the opportunity to talk to her. “So, you’re Vince’s girlfriend?”
“Yes,” she verifies, nodding pleasantly. “How long have you been working here?”
“This is my first week. Big house, lots to clean.”