She heard a sound out in the hallway. She lifted her head and listened, her hand clamped protectively around her pussy. It had sounded a little like a giggle. A feminine giggle.
She listened harder. That would be impossible. The only other woman in the house was Christine, and she wouldn't be in the upstairs at this time of night.
She rolled silently from the bed and slipped back into her clothing, a pair of dark stretch pants and a jersey pullover. She went to her door in the darkness and put her ear to it, still listening.
There was a clump. It sounded as if it had come from Whit's bedroom, down the hall. Then the talking and laughing of the men downstairs blotted out any other sound there might have been as they got ready to leave.
"Chester, see that these gentlemen get through the gate," she heard her grandfather say, his deep, strong voice coming up the stairwell to her.
"Yes, sir, Mr. Sanderhoff."
"Good night, Galt, and thank you for the excellent dinner. That woman's a marvel in the kitchen, I swear she is."
Galt laughed richly. "You can't have her, Mel. Christine's been cooking for me for thirty years, and I'm not giving her up now."
"I'll get that memo off first thing in the morning, Mr. Sanderhoff," the other one said. "I think it's going to work out well for you."
"Fine, Pres, fine. Good night. Oh, Chester, I want to talk to you for a moment after you've let them out."
Monica heard the door open and close. She did not hear her grandfather walk from the foyer, and she could picture him standing there, his body lean and fit and deeply tanned, his hair silver, his face lined with character instead of age.
The door opened again, and it was Chester. "Sir?" he asked. His voice was firm. Muscles bulged from a sturdy body under the white butlering jacket he wore when he didn't have his black chauffering jacket on.
"Is Whitfield home yet, Chester?"
"When did he get home?"
"I didn't notice, Mr. Sanderhoff."
"Damn it, Chester," he said mildly, "stop covering for him. I'm a little worried about that twat he's taken up with – what's her name?"
"Carla, sir. She's – well, you know. He's at the age where he needs a girl's company now and then."
Galt sighed heavily. "I suppose so, Chester. Still, I wish Whit weren't so damn impulsive. More like his sister – steady. It's unbelievable that Ardelle could have born such entirely different children, isn't it?"
"God, I miss my daughter at times like this. Raising her was tough enough. But I'm too damn old and cranky to be farting around raising her kids too. That Whit – takes after that son of a bitch she stupidly married."
"I don't want it to happen again, Chester. One scoundrel in the family was enough. Have you finished checking her out yet?"
"Very nearly, Mr. Sanderhoff. Would you like me to get my notes on her?"
"In the morning, Chester. I'm a little tired after all that business talk. Nothing to be particularly wary of?"
"Not that my contacts have been able to determine yet, sir. But they're still checking."
"Well, let him dip his randy dick in her, then. I guess you're right – he does need a piece at his age. Oh, before you go, what about Monica and that fellow?"
"Burke Hammond, sir. His father was a stock broker. Good position with a good firm."