Billionaires and Beach Bums(7)

By: Mia Caldwell

“Good for you, but too bad for me. I was hoping to perfect my help-flirting technique. You know, get in shape for the Christmas party season.” He grinned that devilish grin. “I do want to talk to you some more about my business idea, though. Could you meet with me when you get back?”

“Sure,” I said. I mean, what could it hurt, right? It has nothing at all to do with making sure I get to see those green eyes again.

Walker lifted the bottle of Sauternes my way. “Are you sure you won’t have another?”

“No, I need to tidy up and go. I have another family to cook for tomorrow morning before I come make your mother’s lunch.”

“Okay, as much as I’d like to detain you, I suppose I should be off as well. I’ll go up and say goodnight to Mother. I have to be on-site tomorrow, so I may not see you until Thursday.”

He seemed genuinely disappointed. And, I had to admit, I was too. It wouldn’t be quite as fun tomorrow, without that schoolgirl anticipation, that wondering if he’s going to turn up.

“Well, good night, Andrea,” Walker grasped my upper arm and leaned in for a kiss on the cheek. It was one of those weird semi-European air-kiss things, but at the last moment, he made sure his lips just brushed my cheek. A jolt of electricity ran through my body. A jagged line of light from that cheek to my toes, lighting up all the dirty parts on the way. Embarrassing.

I didn’t trust myself to really talk, so I just smiled and gave a nod and said, “Night.” I did look up to watch him go, though. That ass was fine.

Chapter Three

Cooking for the Weavers ran long, so I was feeling rushed and cranky by the time I got to Christina Alexander’s townhouse. Parking, as always, was a nightmare, and I ended up carrying bags of groceries two blocks in the hot September sun. I was suddenly glad that there was no chance of Walker being around, I knew I looked frazzled. When it’s humid, there is nothing I can do with my hair but pull it into a ponytail and even then, I ended up with a mane of little fuzzies around my face.

I’d just started to cool off in the a/c, but I still felt damp and wilted when I heard the front door open. I kept slicing salmon and praying it wasn’t Walker.

“Helloooo, Pookie! Miss me?”

I was mid-chop, so I didn’t turn around right away. I heard the same voice, now just behind me, say, “Oh, it’s just Rosa.”

I placed my knife on the cutting board and wiped my hands on my towel as I turned around to see a tall blonde woman and a petite redhead. The annoyance on the blonde woman’s face changed to surprise bordering on horror when she saw my face.

“Oh!” she said, her perfectly manicured hand flying up to her suspiciously plump lips, “I thought you were someone else!”

“Rosa, I’m guessing,” I replied with a professional smile. Oh, I knew her. And she knew me. I’d catered a “book club” meeting for this nasty piece of work. I use the quotes because I doubt any of those women so much as bought the book they claimed to be discussing. I’d heard them all claiming to have gotten it on their Kindles. Uh-huh. Never heard a word about plot or character development coming out of the great room–lots of words about spas and personal trainers and the burden that is finding a good gardener that will accept pay under the table–but no words about the actual book.

Anyway. She’d hired several months ago, asking for a selection of passed apps–you know, things in puff pastry or on toothpicks. I had been afraid that she’d be a micromanaging sort, that she’d want to tell me exactly what brands to use, exactly which cut of meat from exactly which butcher, but she’d been really hands-off. She just told me how many guests, a list of food intolerances (likely both real and imagined), and left me to it. At the time I felt bad, thinking I’d judged her wrong. Just because she had one percent body fat and tennis clothes that cost more than my whole wardrobe combined, that didn’t make her bad, right? Well something did. When I started walking among her guests with my tray she said, “I knew I’d be exhausted today after my workout, so I got a girl to help me serve.”

And I thought "Girl? Are you kidding me?" And then, when one of the guests popped one of the creme fraiche-topped blini into her mouth (and of course only after going on and on about how she “shouldn’t, really”) and said, "Oh, Celia, these are sinful, is there anything you can’t do?" that bitch just smiled and said, “I’m so glad you like them, it was my first time making them.”

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