I’ve met with the biggest players on Wall Street, I’ve been to the White House. People don’t faze me…but this girl? I’m actually nervous at the thought of seeing her again. But for all its unfamiliarity, it isn’t a wholly unpleasant feeling. Thinking about her makes me smile, and I’m actually excited about seeing her. I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about anything. Even contract deals have become pretty boring these days.
I don’t want to look as though I’m just sitting around waiting for her, even though that’s exactly what I’m doing, so I flip open my top of the range laptop and start answering emails. I have a secretary – in fact, I have three – but I find delegating difficult. I like to be in control.
I want to be in control of Rose. I wonder what she likes in bed, if she likes it slow or hard, sensual or rough, or a combination of them all.
I get lost in visions of Rose straddling me in her little maid’s uniform, her breasts free and swaying in front of my face, when there is a light knock at the door.
“Come in,” I say shortly, not wanting to betray my thoughts. I can actually feel my palms going clammy in anticipation. This is insane.
She walks in and smiles awkwardly. She looks just the same as yesterday, with her hair scraped back in a net, her grey dress and sensible flats, but there’s something subtly different about her. She’s added some makeup that’s subtle but makes those beautiful eyes pop, and as she gets closer to my desk, I can smell a soft fragrance in the air. She’s made an effort too.
I can’t help grinning at the thought.
“Good morning Mr. Adams,” she says in that lilting voice.
I roll my eyes. “I told you, call me Sebastian. There’s no need to stand on ceremony with me.”
She looks amused. “Didn’t you once chew out a Times reporter for addressing you by your first name?”
I wince, remembering the time a prominent journalist cornered me at a business conference, in spite of my insistence that I don’t do interviews.
“That was years ago,” I protest. “And I hate reporters.”
She visibly looks annoyed and I wonder if I’ve come across like a total snob. Her answer confirms exactly that.
“I guess they are rather lower down the food chain than yourself.”
Immediately, I realize what I’ve done wrong. She’s the maid, and I’m the boss. If I think reporters are beneath me, how must she think I view the cleaning staff? I want to tell her about my family, but I never discuss my private life with anyone.
“It isn’t that,” I insist, feeling flustered. I’m not used to having to explain myself, but something about her has me trying to. “I just think reporters are scum…always looking to dig up dirt on people.”
She presses her lips together and walks towards the cabinet with her duster, turning her back to me. I wonder what I’ve said wrong this time.
This isn’t going how I expected.
“Would you like some coffee? The machine is over there, you’re welcome to help yourself.”
She looks over her shoulder at me, looking surprised. I’m relieved to see her face has softened.
“Thank you. I could do with some. I’m not used to starting work so early. And as I found out yesterday…most of your colleagues aren’t as neat and tidy as you.”
I smile, but inwardly seethe. I don’t like the idea of her working so hard, tidying up after people who can’t be bothered to do it for themselves.
“Get a drink and have a sit down,” I offer.
“Aren’t you busy? I don’t want to disturb you.”
“Emails can wait,” I say and shut my laptop. Rose looks pleased as she heads over to the coffee machine. I watch her, wondering what she will have, and can’t help but smile as I see her go for a full fat mochaccino. So many women in this city are constantly watching their weight drinking skinny soy lattes – which don’t sound so great – but seem to be the order of the day.
Rose carries her cup over and sits at the other side of my desk, looking nervous.
“Tell me about yourself,” I say, and she turns the full force of those big gem green eyes on me.
“What do you want to know?”
Everything, I think, but instead I shrug.
“Oh, I don’t know…anything you feel comfortable telling me. Why did you take this job? Where are you from? Your accent isn’t from round here.”
“No,” she agrees, creasing a small smile. “I’m from a small town just outside of Michigan. But there’s no work there.”
Which means she’s either poor or ambitious – or both. I can relate, although that reality seems like a very long time ago.
“I get the impression cleaning isn’t first your job of choice?”