Maid for the Billionaire
Page 6

 Ruth Cardello

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“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Abby said with growing interest.
There was a short pause. “Miss Dartley, Dominic’s father passed away a few days ago. He came back to Boston for the reading of the will.”
“Oh, my God,” Abby and Lil said in union. Abby shushed her sister with a wave of her hand. “So, tomorrow he wanted me…?” It was almost too embarrassing to ask. She’d assumed that he was sending a limo over to whisk her away for an afternoon of lovemaking in some secluded suite. However, it was looking more like her initial instincts about him were correct.
“He was hoping you would join him for the reading of his father’s will,” Mrs. Duhamel said, confirming Abby’s sinking feeling. Had she completely misread the entire evening? She’d let her own attraction to him blind her to the reality that Dominic was a man who simply didn’t want to be alone due to a recent loss.
That stung.
So much for being irresistible.
Her nurturing vibes must have drawn him in. People turned to her when in crisis. She should be used to it by now. “Doesn’t he – I mean shouldn’t he bring someone he knows better than me to something like that?”
“My dear,” the older woman’s voice was full of the kind of emotion a mother would have for a son, “Dominic is a busy man. He doesn’t have time for friends. Business associates, yes. People who want to say they are part of his social circle, yes. But no one he felt he could take to something like this.”
Abby and Lil exchanged a look. To have everything and still have nothing was so sad. No matter how awful their parents’ death had been, at least they’d had each other. “I feel for him, Mrs. Duhamel, but I just met him for the first time tonight. I don’t know what he told you, but we barely know each other.”
“He said he needed you there. That was enough for me.”
“He said that?” Abby’s heart clenched in her chest. Lil practically clapped her hands in excitement and then made a form of a heart on her chest with her hands. Abby swatted at her.
He needs me? Was all of his tough talk just that – talk. He’d lost his father and didn’t want to face a painful situation alone. She understood, too well, how the loss of a parent could shake ones very foundation.
Mrs. Duhamel said, “Yes, and you should know that I have never, in all the years I’ve worked for him, made a personal call for him.”
So, he wanted her there enough to involve his assistant in this endeavor. What did that mean?
“Did he ask you to explain about his father?” Abby asked.
Mrs. Duhamel dismissed the idea with a short laugh. “Oh, no. I think I was supposed to call and threaten you or wave some magical wand and convince you to go with him. All he said was that he knew if anyone could get you to come it would be me. I’m flattered by his confidence, but I think your decision will have more to do with your level of compassion than my ability to persuade.”
“Don’t be too sure about that,” Lil muttered.
Abby shushed her.
Lil shrugged and stage whispered while pointing to the phone, “Come on, she’s good!”
Too true. The older woman’s soothing voice had made fulfilling Dominic’s outrageous request sound like an act of kindness, rather than recklessness.
Mrs. Duhamel added, “I realize that Dominic said the limo would come for you at 11, but if possible I’d like to pick you up at 7 for a morning at a local spa and then some shopping.”
Oh, first I’m fat, now I need a makeover? “Tell your boss that if I’m not good enough as I am…”
Mrs. Duhamel hastily interrupted, “Oh, no! Dominic didn’t suggest this. I just thought that if I were going to attend a multi-million dollar will reading, I’d want to primp first.”
Wow. Put that way, Abby was in full agreement. “Mrs. Duhamel, I think I love you.”
The woman laughed sweetly. “I’m just doing my job. And call me Marie.”
Abby suspected it was a bit more than that. This woman obviously cared about Dominic. “Then please call me Abby. Don’t take this the wrong way, but you don’t seem like you’d be Dominic’s assistant. You’re so…nice.”
The maternal tone returned. “Don’t let your first impression of Dominic taint your opinion of him. He’s much more than he lets people see. My husband worked for him when he first started his company, but left before it took off. Stan was a good husband, but not much of a businessman. He died about seven years ago and left me deeply in debt. There I was, in my late fifties, broke, with no skills to get a job. I called Dominic on some desperate whim that he might remember my husband. He did. He said Stan had been a good man and he hired me as his assistant that day. I’ve worked for him ever since.”
Abby shared a look with her sister. Dominic couldn’t be all that bad if he’d taken an old employee’s wife under his wing. What was holding her back? She wanted to go just as much as he wanted her there. Could her sister be right? Was it time for her to shrug off the responsible role she’d donned out of necessity and allow herself this one crazy adventure?
“Ok,” Abby said in a shaky voice. “I’ll do it.”
“That’s fantastic,” Mrs. Duhamel said. “Now get some rest, dear. I’ll pick you up at seven.”
Before hanging up, Abby asked, “Are you sure about all this? There must be someone else he…”
The older woman rushed to reassure her. “Don’t second guess yourself. Take it one step at a time. For now, just focus on the fact that you’re going to be pampered tomorrow like you’ve never imagined.”
“That does sound nice.”
“You have no idea, Abby. I’ll see you at 7.”
Lil leaned back into the couch while a bemused Abby placed the handset back on its charger on the wall. “If it helps, Abby, I think you made the right choice.”
Abby softened her response with a smile. “That’s actually the part that scares me.”
Lil threw a small cushion that Abby deftly avoided with a chuckle. No matter how tomorrow turned out, things were already much better than they had been in a very long time.
Chapter Six
Late morning, Abby stood before a full-length mirror in the changing room of an expensive clothing boutique which had instantly closed its doors to further customers at her arrival. She barely recognized herself. Her dark brown curls had been tamed into soft waves around her now flawless face. Her eyes had never looked so large or her nose so petite. She’d always considered herself to be average in appearance, but Marie had been correct that all the waxing and primping had given her a new level of confidence. She felt beautiful.
If she were honest, there was also a spark of anticipation in those eyes that stared back in the mirror. She might have told herself that she was getting dressed for the lawyer’s office, but she knew she was hoping that whatever hunger she’d felt from Dominic yesterday had not been in her imagination. Her body came alive as she remembered how he’d made her blood pound with just the heat of sexual interest in his eyes. Would his touch contain the same promise of barely restrained, primal lust?
Could anything that good survive the light of day?
The strapless black dress she’d been handed clung to her every curve, leaving nothing to the imagination. Demure on the hanger, it hung too low on her ample chest to be publicly appropriate, barely concealing her present state of excitement. “Marie, this one is too sexy for me. How about something looser with sleeves?”
“Show me.” The male voice that answered her was definitely not Marie.
Dominic! Abby gasped, covering her cleavage with one hand and grabbing the doorknob with the other.
“Do not open the door,” Abby ordered. “What are you doing here?”
There was the sound of slight movement in the outside room and of the outer door closing. “I’m checking on your progress. We have just enough time to catch lunch before the meeting if you hurry.”
“The dress doesn’t fit,” Abby lied. She wanted him to find her attractive, not consider offering her cash again. “I need Marie to get me another style.”
“Show me.”
“No.”
“I dare you.”
“You think I cave to adolescent peer pressure techniques?”
“Show me.”
“It’s not appropriate for today. Ask Marie to get the dark blue one we looked at.”
“I will. After you show me.” If the sound of a chair being placed near the changing room door was any indication, Dominic wasn’t going anywhere.
Abby released the door handle and squared her shoulders, which only made the bodice dip lower. The dress was barely decent, but if he wasn’t going to leave without seeing it – well, then she was going to give him an eyeful.
Her confidence should have doubled as she noted his reaction to her attire. His folded arms went slack, along with his jaw. But the rumpled man from the day before was gone. His crisp dark gray suit looked like it had been made for him and his hair was contained to a disciplined style. Everything about him screamed wealth and power.
He’s way out of my league. Abby lost the desire to spin joyously before him; instead, she put her arms out a bit awkwardly and said, “See, I told you it wasn’t appropriate.”
“You’re right,” he said in a husky voice, leaving the chair with predatory swiftness. His gaze swept over her again, but became surprisingly critical. “They covered your freckles,” he said almost in accusation.
Her chest heaved in irritation and her hands went to her hips. “This is where you’re supposed to say that I look beautiful.”
He pulled her against him, forcing her to crane her neck back to look at him. “You know you do.” He brushed his lips over hers before whispering in her ear, “But I’m going to enjoy scrubbing all that makeup off you later.”
She stiffened in his arms, “Mr. Corisi –“
He kissed the nape of her neck. “Say my name.”
“Dominic, this isn’t why I came here today.”
“Just my name.” He ordered again while taking her earlobe gently between his teeth. “Say it.”
“Dominic,” she breathed. Ok, maybe this was partially why she was here.
“Mmmmm.” He moaned as he moved down to kiss the exposed curve of her shoulder. One hand slid beneath the short hem of the dress to cup her buttocks and pull her tighter against him.
She squirmed against him and all thought of where they were flew out of her mind. She held onto both of his shoulders as his kisses moved down to where fabric met skin. He stepped forward until she was pressed against the wall. His hand slid forward and met the moist fabric that blocked his immediate entrance. He didn’t seem to mind; he caressed through the material until she arched backwards in pleasure, revealing one bare nipple that he quickly descended upon.
This was no fumbling boy. His touch held a confident expertise that promised fulfillment for both of them.
A knock on the outer door interrupted them. Marie’s voice carried through the door of the outer changing room. “Does the dress fit? Should I get the blue one?”