I was shaking by the time Seth rang the doorbell to pick me up Saturday night. Grant was out, thank goodness. It seemed lately that every time we talked, I ended up baring my soul and dissolving into tears. Poor Grant was probably wishing for a tough guy roommate for a change. When I opened the door my breath was taken away. Seth was wearing a dark blue suit. It looked like it had been handmade and hand-tailored. It fit him perfectly and accentuated his gorgeous, hard body. The lapels were a dark gray color, the shirt underneath matched the lapels and his tie matched the suit that perfectly matched his eyes. When I could find my breath I said, “Hi there, handsome.”
He looked as taken with me as I was with him. I had worn my hair mostly down. I had the top done in a twist that pulled the front and sides away from my face. I had a sapphire necklace that used to belong to my mom. It was one of a very small handful of things I was able to keep when I was forced to leave my home. I felt like a princess in my dress and the way that Seth was looking at me made me feel that much more beautiful. At last he let out a long, low wolf whistle.
“God, you are perfect.”
“Thank you,” I said. “So are you.”
“Are you ready?”
I was and I wasn’t. “Yeah, I’m ready,” I said, grabbing my bag. Seth and I took the elevator down and once again, my breath was taken away when I saw the limousine waiting for us outside my building. Even working for these people, I had failed to wrap my head around the extent of the money that was involved here. I wondered if James Hunter ever felt even a little bit guilty about having so much while a thirteen year old girl had grown up with so little.
As we drove along I noticed that Seth was unusually quiet and even more out of the ordinary, somewhat fidgety. “What’s wrong?” I asked him, finally.
“Nothing,” he lied.
“Are you sure? You seem so nervous.” He reached over and took my hand.
Intertwining his fingers with mine he squeezed and said, “I’m sure. I’m fine.” When he relaxed the squeeze I could feel his hand shake. My arrogant, self-assured, CEO was a nervous wreck, whether he wanted to admit it or not. His relationship with his father had to be even worse than he’d let on.
We rode along in virtual silence. The trip was long and by the time the limousine began its trek up the long, windy road that led to the estate I was almost ready to call the whole thing off. I watched out the window as the rolling green hills turned into a magnificent waterfront estate. It sat right on Mecox Bay. I couldn’t help it, I had to ask.
“How many acres is this estate?”
“Eleven,” he said, simply.
“Wow,” I said. I looked out across the water that was lit up by the twinkly light strung across it and saw a huge white yacht sitting off in the distance. I didn’t ask, but I was sure that belonged to them as well. “When was this built?”
Seth looked completely uninterested, but he was polite enough to continue answering my questions. “In the 1920’s sometime, I think. It’s been added on to and renovated about a billion times.”
“Did you grow up here?” The limousine stopped and Seth stared up at the estate like it was the first time he had ever seen it.
“When I wasn’t away at school.”
The chauffeur came around and opened the doors for us once we were parked on the circular cobblestone driveway in front of the house. I stepped out and looked up. It almost hurt my neck to be able to take it all in at once. Seth took my arm and led me up the stone steps with the wrought iron railing that led up to the huge double doors. Before we went inside I had to ask one more question.
“How many square feet is this home?” Seth chuckled and I said, “I’m sorry. Too many questions, I know. I’ve just never seen a house this big up close. We had a large home when I was a kid, before my parents died. It was 10,000 square feet. That house would fit down inside of this one.”
“Don’t be sorry,” he said. He leaned over and kissed the side of my face. “I think you’re adorable. It was about 22,000 at the last renovation in 2006 I believe.”
“Wow,” I said again. I could feel the rage begin to seep through my body and build in my chest. This man stole everything from me and here he lives in this lavish home that could house ten families comfortably. This is what he already had when he felt the need to take everything from me. I was no longer ambivalent about taking this man on. I would do my best to make sure that Seth didn’t get taken down as collateral damage, but I knew I had to move forward with my plans.