I looked at my watch. It was almost noon. Four hours to go and I could soak my aching feet. I was on my fifth straight shift of the week and it had been a hectic one. Alexander Reigns, my employer had simply lost his mind. That’s what I thought anyways. I didn’t blame him and I often felt bad for him… but lost his mind he most definitely had done. Mr. Reigns was in the middle of a divorce. I had worked for him while his wife lived in the mansion and within a few short weeks of working for them I had come to several conclusions: Mr. Reigns was smart, respectable, kind and with the combination of his dark brown hair and intensely sexy hazel eyes that were surrounded by ridiculously long lashes, he was also drop-dead gorgeous. Mrs. Reigns on the other hand was petty, small, unkind and fortunately for her since she really had no other likeable qualities, she was also drop-dead gorgeous. The pending divorce hadn’t come as much of a shock to the staff. We had all discreetly heard the arguments and watched the couple slowly growing apart. It was in my opinion, for whatever that was worth, the best thing for them both since neither of them had seemed happy for quite some time. Not that anyone was going to ask the upstairs maid for her opinion anyways. I had plenty of them saved up however if they ever did ask me. Besides approving of the divorce, I’d very much like to voice my opinion to my thirty year old employer that a man in his position in the community should not really spend each and every night throughout the work week partaking of wild partying and loose women. I could easily have these thoughts as I dusted the pictures on the walls and the vases on the tables outside of the master suite, but I knew that if I were ever asked for my opinions, I would more than likely keep them to myself. I could barely form two thoughts, let alone real words when he looked at me with those incredibly sexy eyes of his.
With a sigh at that thought, I finished my dusting and began mopping the highly polished marble hallway floor. Once I finished that, the only room I had left to clean before polishing the banister was the master suite. I hadn’t seen any sign of Mr. Reigns this morning, so it was highly likely that he was still asleep. Since the divorce, we had all been asked by the house supervisor Karen to wait for the doors to be open before we cleaned or took anything into the suite. Mr. Reigns was prone to skipping board meetings and sleeping until noon some days and as kind as he could be, you didn’t want to wake the sleeping lion with a hangover; he was prone to hotheaded outbursts when he was under a lot of stress and with the divorce and the pressures of running a multi-national corporation, the stress was plentiful. I almost whined though when I saw them closed. I really wanted to finish up here before I went to lunch. Because of his late mornings that turned into afternoons, I hadn’t been able to get in there until the end of my shift the past two days and it really needed a thorough cleaning. I was mopping past the closed door when I heard his voice.
“Please listen to me and hear me this time. I earned the fruits of my labor. I’m thirty years old. Since I was eighteen I have either gone to school or worked twelve hours out of nearly every day to get where I am. Being married to me and might I add, reaping many benefits while you were, does not give you the right now to take what is rightfully mine thanks to all of my hard work.”
I wasn’t trying to eavesdrop, but he wasn’t whispering either. I assumed that he was talking to Mrs. Reigns. It wasn’t the first time that I’d heard him tell her almost exactly the same thing. It seemed that the woman wanted more and more from him. I shook my head, wondering how someone could become so greedy. As I had that thought, the cell phone in my pocket vibrated with a message. I stopped, leaned on my mop and pulled it out. I smiled when I saw that it was from my boyfriend, Jason. I clicked open the message and as I read it, the smile quickly faded.
“Victoria, I’m not sure how to say this, but I’m sure you’ve noticed as I have that things between us aren’t what they used to be. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and I’ve decided that maybe we need to take a break. Maybe taking some time apart will help us decide if we want to move forward with this, or if maybe we’re both wasting our time trying to make something work that just isn’t there. I wish you the best and I’ll keep in touch.”
I stared at the phone for a long time. What did he mean a break? What the hell was that? What are the rules when you take a break? Do we see other people? Do we just sit around and look inside ourselves and try to decide if we’re really in love or not? I seriously have no idea what a break means. He’s also acting like I knew there were problems. I had no idea there were problems. What kind of problems? I thought we were doing fine. I’m such an idiot. A single tear slid down my face. I was surprised until I tasted the salt at the corners of my mouth. I don’t know why I’m crying. Obviously, he doesn’t think this relationship is worth more than a text message to just call an end to it. We were supposed to see each other tonight. This couldn’t have waited? A steady stream of tears had begun to make their way down my cheeks. I had to pull myself together. I was at work for crying out loud! I prided myself on my ability to always maintain a professional appearance at work. My hair was always up, I wore very little make-up, my hideously ugly and unflattering uniforms were clean and starched and ironed… yet here I stood in the grand upper hallway of this beautiful mansion, unable to stop the tears. I reached into my cleaning cart for a tissue and that’s when I heard the crack of the door opening. I didn’t mean to look up, it was just an automatic response to the sound. But I did look up and I hadn’t wiped my face yet and now I was not only crying at work… I was face to face with my employer. Oh God I wish I could kick Jason’s butt right now!
“Victoria? What’s wrong?”
Alexander Reigns was looking at me with concern in his pretty eyes. He looked so sincere and instead of making me stop acting like a sniveling idiot in his hallway, it made me dissolve into a torrent of tears accompanied by huge gulping sobs and the whole bit. God, I wanted to crawl behind the two foot tall priceless vase that sat just to my left and disappear.
“I’m so sorry, Mr. Reigns,” I said between sobs. “I’m—I’m just going to go pull myself together…”
“No wait, Victoria, please.” He came towards me. Even in my current state I couldn’t help but notice how the green of the shirt he wore matched the rim of green around the outside of his irises. His full lips were set in a frown and his perfectly shaped brown eyebrows were drawn together in the midd
le giving him a sexy, introspective look. Yet I still stood where I was, bawling like an idiot. He put his hand on my arm. It was the first time he’d actually touched me. Electricity raced from the source of that touch down my arm, causing my hand and fingers to tingle. What in the world was wrong with me? This was my employer. The only reason he was touching me was because he found me crying in the hallway outside of his room. I need this job. Stop crying Vicki. Stop it!
“Victoria? Come with me, let’s have you sit down. I’ll get you some water.” He was trying to steer me into the master suite. I pulled back, softly, but enough to make him stop and again look at my face.
“I’m so sorry, sir. I’ll just go down to the staff restroom and clean up. I’m so embarrassed and I hope you’ll forgive me.”
He smiled slightly and said, “What is there to forgive?”
“I’m being so unprofessional…”
He let the slight smile turn into a full one. His dimples showed on either side of his face and his full lips framed a set of the straightest, whitest teeth I’d ever seen. He was so beautiful and I probably had mascara running down my face.
“You’re upset,” he said. “You haven’t done anything to me so you have nothing to apologize for. I’m sorry that you’re upset. Is there something I can do? Someone I can call for you?”
“Oh no sir, it’s so silly really. I don’t even know why I’m crying. It’s ridiculous.”
“What is, Victoria? What is it that upset you?”
I kind of laughed and snot came out my nose. I covered my face with the paper towel and literally wanted to die. “I’m sorry,” I squeaked out again. This time he laughed and he took hold of my arm again.
“Come with me. No arguments.” I followed him. He led me to the elevator at the end of the hallway. I started letting myself think all sorts of crazy things like he was walking me out and he’d ask me not to return for my shift tomorrow. I tried to imagine how I’d pay my rent. We stepped into the elevator and he pushed the “B” for basement. The basement was his private domain. It was his personal playground; he had a wet bar and a private theatre and a pool table and even a room with a bed. That was where my luscious employer did his partying since his wife left him. I’d always appreciated it for the simple fact that if he kept a woman over I didn’t have to come face to face with her outside the master suite in the morning.