I have the quick, sickening thought that I’m teaching them this is normal. I’m teaching them that I’m okay with this.

Noticing the look on my face, Peter lifts both of his brows at me. “Is something wrong?”

How do I even explain it? Would he even care if I did?

Pressing my lips together, I shake my head and slide in after the children.

After dropping the children off at their schools, Peter immediately drives me back to the house.

With no housework to do and no way to catch up on my social media, I have nothing else to do but unpack.

Unpacking though feels like giving in. It feels like I’m accepting this.

I dig out more of the children’s essentials and leave the rest sitting in the boxes.

The nanny arrives exactly at eleven o’clock, just like he said she would, and I’m relieved to find she’s a sweet, older woman. She’s very polite when she introduces herself as Mary and I place her in her mid to late fifties with her gray hair and dated clothing.

Awkwardly, I’m not sure how to introduce myself in return so I simply give her my name and hope she doesn’t inquire further about this situation. Thankfully, she doesn’t refer to me as Lucifer’s wife, nor does she seem to imply that he’s the father of the children.

I honestly don’t know how I’d respond if she assumed that.

I show her to the children’s rooms, their things, and go over our routine. She takes it all in with a smile on her face and when I’m done, I have the craziest urge to tell her the truth.

How will she react if I confess we’re being held prisoner against our will? Will she offer assistance? Or will she go running to Lucifer to tell him?

I have to assume everyone he’s hired he’s thoroughly vetted and they’re loyal to him. But what if she’s not? She seems too kind, too old to be in cahoots with the likes of him.

As we’re walking out of Adam’s room and I’m shutting the door quietly behind us, I ask casually, “So how long have you been a nanny?”

Mary smiles at me and her gray eyes twinkle with amusement. “For more than thirty years, dear. I was Matthew’s nanny when he was a boy.”

I almost ask her who Matthew is but then catch myself. Isn’t that what Lucifer told Adam his name was yesterday, when we were in the kitchen?

Of course he’d hire his childhood nanny. So much for appearances. If this woman helped raise him she must be half as evil as he is.

And now she’s going to be taking care of my children.

“Something wrong?” she asks, reaching over to pat me on the arm, still acting sweet.

I bet she’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

I shake my head, clearing the thoughts from my head and force a smile to my lips. “I’m sorry, I just can’t believe you were Matthew’s nanny. You look so young.”

She laughs and looks genuinely pleased by my compliment. “Ah, well he’s not quite that old, and I was quite young when I was hired.”

“Oh?” I ask as we make our way downstairs.

She nods her head and gets a wistful look in her eyes. “Yes. I was in my early twenties when I was hired by his father.”

“What was Lu… I mean Matthew like when he was a boy?”

“Oh, he was a very serious boy. Even back then he was taking an interest in the family business.”

“I’m sorry.” I stop and turn to her as we reach the bottom of the stairs. “I’m afraid I’ve forgotten. What exactly is the family business?” I ask.

What are American gangsters calling it these days?

She gives me a look like I’m stupid and I should already know this. Patting me on the hand again, like one does with a child, she says, “Acquisitions.”

13

Lily

When it’s time to pick the children up for school Mary insists on accompanying me to learn the routine. Perhaps I’m turning into a paranoid, overly suspicious person, but I’m afraid that this is something she means to take over from me. My only two trips out of the house on a daily basis.

We pick up Adam first and of course he’s cold towards Mary in the beginning but she seems unfazed by it. She doesn’t try to force or coax him into conversation and eventually he warms to her. Posing at her several questions in curiosity.

Evelyn, as to be expected, is delighted to have a new friend, and spends the rest of the car drive home regaling Mary about her day at school and all the exciting adventures she had.

Once we return to the house, Mary takes over just as I feared, and I’m left with nothing to do as she sees to the children.

With nothing else to do, I float in and out of the kitchen, checking on Rosa and dinner’s progress. When I start trying to help set the table for dinner, Rosa chases me away, flapping a dish towel at me and speaking rapidly in Italian

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