She’d heard so many things about him. She’d seen pictures, videos. She’d written accounts of his childhood down while Diana talked so they’d be recorded for her book. But having him suddenly standing in front of her had been something else.
And even if she’d noticed the way he’d hidden behind his sunglasses, or how he’d slurred his words once in a while, that hadn’t stopped her from daydreaming. He was so nice, especially to his mother. He loved making her laugh, her smile his only prize.
And now she wasn’t working for his mother any longer but for him. Spending time with him every day, apart from when he was on tour.
It was heaven. It was hell. But it was familiar. Well, it had been. Now everything had changed and she wasn’t sure if that was a good thing.
Stepping into the house, she turned the alarm back on and dropped her bag in the hallway. She’d slept here before and she knew which room she’d sleep in. Oh god, he wasn’t expecting her to sleep with him surely. Nah, she thought back to his usual routine with the women he brought home. They were sent packing as soon as the deed was done. Hopefully it’d be the same with her.
He appeared in the kitchen doorway. “I was wondering what was taking you so long.”
“I…had a few things to finish up.” Like forcing herself to come back here. “What’s up?”
“I’m hungry. What about those pizzas then?”
“Sure.” She followed him at a slower pace. If only the evening’s programme was just a movie watched by two friends. If only he hadn’t mentioned his other plans. If only…
* * * *
She knew as soon as the urge took him. He’d just finished his pizza, the empty box the only leftover of his meal. He’d polished it off, his eyes glued to the screen and the action movie he’d picked.
But now, his knee was back to its bouncing routine. His left hand rose and dropped onto the side table, as if looking for the pack of cigarettes that used to be a fixture. Except there was nothing there and she could see him tense at the sudden reminder.
“Shit,” he swore, grabbing his glass of Coke instead and draining it.
Before he could corner her, Chloe stood up and hurried out of the room. She needed some time to herself first. She strode into the nearest bathroom and locked the door behind her. Staring at her reflection, she winced.
She just didn’t look like the women he went for. Her hair wasn’t dark. Her breasts were big enough but not fake, like he seemed to prefer lately. Her figure wasn’t tiny. She looked like a librarian if librarians ever wore jeans. She sighed, wondering whether she should have changed or put more make-up on.
At least her underwear wasn’t that bad, she thought as she remembered what she’d put on that morning. It wasn’t white at least.
“C?” James knocked on the door. “Are you okay in there?”
“I’m fine!” she replied. Squaring her shoulders, she looked at herself one last time and opened the door.
It took him only a second to grab her hand and lead her to the stairs. “Uh, James?”
“Yeah?” he replied absentmindedly, too intent on what was coming next.
“Where are we going?”
Her reply stopped him short. “I thought you’d guessed. I mean, we talked about it earlier.”
He really had to stop saying that. They hadn’t discussed anything. He’d just announced it! “Maybe but—”