Once Phillip left, I looked at Seth with the adoration I was feeling. He grinned at me again. I could tell that he was feeling pretty proud of himself. That was okay by me, he deserved to be.
“Are you hungry?” he asked me.
“I am starving,” I told him. “I’m also highly aroused. It’s like all of my senses are heightened all of a sudden. This spy stuff is kind of fun.”
He laughed, “Yeah, it is. But you know what is going to be more fun? Walking into YOUR company that first day knowing that no one can ever take it away from you again. You came a long ways from that little girl who was all alone in the world. You have so much to be proud of yourself for.”
“Thank you, baby. I also have so much to be thankful for. I’ve made some pretty amazing friends along this wild ride.”
He waggled his eyebrows at me and said, “You want to see a wild ride, wait until after dinner.”
After we ate he took me to his townhouse. His father was at the main estate for the night and Seth said he wanted to “show me something.” When we got there he showed me into a room that looked like a spa and said, “There are some bathing suits in that big closet over there that used to belong to my mom. A lot of them are brand new with the tags still on. I bet you could find one to fit.”
I laughed. “What on earth would I need a bathing suit for at this hour for?”
He leaned in and kissed me softly. “Slip one on and meet me downstairs and I’ll show you.”
He started to walk out as I was standing there confused and when he got to the door I said, “Wait! Downstairs? Aren’t we on the first floor?”
“Yep,” he said. “Take the elevator down. I’ll see you there.”
Shaking my head, I opened the closet in front of me. It was definitely a glimpse into Seth’s mother’s life. She obviously liked to do two things: shop and swim. The closet was literally full of swimwear and as he said there would be, one whole side still contained the tags. I found a yellow two piece that I liked and held it up to me. It looked like it was just my size. I told myself it wasn’t weird to wear it because obviously Seth’s mother never had. Once I had it on and looked in the mirror, I loved it so much I was afraid I might not ever be talked out of it. I found a yellow sarong and tied it around my waist. Slipping back on the black heels I’d worn with my dress for dinner, I took one last look before seeking out the elevator. I wasn’t used to the whole high heels and swimwear look, but it was different for me, and fun.
The elevator was right next to the stairs at the front entrance. I pushed the “B” and when the doors slid open to the basement, my breath was taken away. I was confronted by shiny white marble floors and thick, gold wallpaper. The walls surrounded an Olympic sized swimming pool that was made out of white marble and inlaid with gold. Seth was sitting at the edge in a pair of blue swim trunks, dangling his feet in the water.
“This is… wow!”
He smiled. “Swimming was my mother’s favorite thing to do.” He pat the tile next to me and took my hand, helping me sit down. I’d slipped off the heels before I stepped out of the elevator. I stuck my bare feet and legs in next to his. He looked at me then as if he’d just noticed what I was wearing. “You are so damned gorgeous.”
“Thank you. Tell me about your mother,” I said.
“She was a swimmer in college. That’s how she and my father met. She was competing at the college he went to and when he saw her, he said he had to have her. I used to think that was romantic until I found out how extremely possessive he was. But anyways, when they redecorated this place the first time, there was nothing down here but storage. Father wanted to put in a theatre but mother wanted a pool. I remember, I was only five or six… I heard them arguing one night. I didn’t understand a lot of what they were talking about then, but at one point she told him he had taken her dignity from her when she caught him with “that woman.” She started to cry and my father was trying to comfort her… I guess. The whole argument spiraled down into my mother talking about how she gave up everything that was important in her life to be in his and he didn’t even appreciate her. She even said that she didn’t think he even loved her most of the time. My father told her she was being ridiculous and then he said something like, “Look around! I’ve given you everything. What more could you possibly want?” Back then, I didn’t understand the dynamics of a dysfunctional relationship the way I do now. But I heard her say, “I want a swimming pool.” He caught me listening then and sent me to my room, but the next day the workers showed up and within a month, my mother had her pool. They didn’t fight for a while after that but that may be because she spent so much time down here. It kind of became our private spot. Father didn’t swim so this was where she and I could hide out from all of the pressures he was always putting on us.”