He escorted her up the wide marble steps, holding onto her elbow firmly. He murmured into her ear “I’m still not half-convinced you won’t bolt at the last moment!” He ignored her steel-edged glare as they gained the last step and he held his hand out in greeting to the man waiting there.
“Reggie, this is my newest acquisition. She will be given her parameters a bit later, which I will be sure you are apprised of as well. Little one, this is Reggie, my friend, guard, butler, and chief butt-wiper!”
She flushed with embarrassment. To be relegated to “thing” was humiliating. She glared at the Bastard, although he failed to notice it.
The two men had burst into laughter at the last comment, exchanging one-armed man hugs and back slaps. It was obvious that there was a great deal of affection between them. Reggie was a bit older than He was, but not remarkably so. Or maybe it was the gray-edged hair that made him look older than her “owner”, with his sand-hued locks. His hair was longer than most men wore it, especially professional men. She pondered that for a moment, standing back and looking at the two men talking quietly. He was fit, and looked good in the khaki slacks and polo shirt. Reggie was in jeans and a tee-shirt, none of which hid his own muscles. Both were fine-looking men, she was forced to admit.
“Hey.” She doubted she’d ever ‘hey’ed’ anyone since she grew past nine years old, but she had no idea what to call him.
He turned to her, brow raised. “Hey?” he repeated. His voice was so carefully neutral that she had to work very hard at suppressing the urge to tweak him down the path she was on, that of supreme annoyance.
“I don’t know how to call you. What to call you.”
“Well.” He paused a moment, a finger to his lips, tapping thoughtfully. “I can imagine a great number of names are circling through that beautiful head just now…” and he grinned. She frowned at him, trying to not show her own amusement. Gosh he could be cute. Cute, however, could be dangerous. And she was only here for 30 days. 720 hours. He interrupted her musing.
“How about we start with ‘Sir’ and progress to nastier names later, eh?” He laughed.
“Go on in and get familiar with this behemoth. For now it is your home, your prison. Every room is open to you to explore…except the cellar. You may ONLY go there with me, capiche? ” His eyes brightened, a flare of quicksilver. She felt as though he could see inside her head with that kind of gaze.
Dropping her eyes, she nodded.
“Failure to comply with this one rule will earn a swift and painful punishment, little one. Don’t make a mistake about this.” He waited, watching for her nod of assent. The driver had unloaded their luggage, and Sir headed down to talk with him. They looked up at her, then back to each other.
Easy to figure out what that was about. But her heart sank a bit as the driver got back into the limo, rolling down the circular drive, and obviously heading away. She was officially stuck here.