Chapter 9 - Shadows And Stares
Laurie stared holes into Tomas’ office door. It had been ten minutes since she had arrived here and couldn’t for the life of her - open the door. She started to pace up and down the hallway, eyeing the mahogany door, contemplating how she was going to face him without the risk of feeling embarrassed.
The door cracked open and she froze in place, holding on to her breath.
“Do you plan on staying out here all night, Ms. Slade?”
“Uh-no. I was just --”
“Stretching your limbs?” He suggested, ” You’re probably not aware but I can see your shadow from underneath the door.”
Crap! She cringed. So he knew that she had been standing here for a while now.
“Come in,” he said, stepping a side allowing her to move past him. “Have a seat. I know that it’s late but I just wanted to get the formalities out of the way.”
Laurie stared at him for a while. Wondering if he had been the same man that she had seen on the beach. Cause this Mr. Carsingni seemed different, calm, more approachable.
With unsteadily feet she walked inside the familiar office and took a seat.
Tomas closed the door and watched as she scurried over to the vacant chair placed infront of his table. A smile curved across his lips at the memory of her, standing outside his office. In truth, he hadn’t been entirely honest. Her shadow wasn’t what told he that she had been there. There was a security camera, which his father had had installed.
This office had been his sanctuary and he had been abit wary of people coming in and out without his permission. Maybe it was probably time to have it taken down.
“So, Ms. Slade,” he began as he sat down facing her.
Laurie forced a smile, swallowing down the need to flush.“It’s - uh, Laurie.”
His eyes levelled to hers, absorbing the pink stains on both cheeks. She was still embarrassed, he thought to himself. But then again who wouldn’t be, she had stood there in the middle of the beach, butt naked. What was she even doing naked in the first place?
“Right.” Tomas nodded his head then tore his eyes away from hers.
This Laurie slade was indeed quite an alluring specimen. He had been with women, seen and shared his bed with many beauties, but there was something about her that made his eyes want to linger on warm curves of her face, down her neck, between the hollows of her breast, then further down her --- !!
What was wrong with him?
He couldn’t understand why he was instantly drawn to her, like a sexual magnetic field had been casted around her - drawing him in. For goodness sake, she was a hired help! His mother’s nurse!
“How long have you been here?” He asked. He could no longer help it, his eyes rested to her plump lips as she nervously bit down on them.
“Four days, Mr. Carsingni.” She replied sheepishly, her eyes avoiding his at all cost.
“Any problems so far?”
“I-uh, no. No problems.”
Tomas’ brows touched as he absorbed her youthful looks underneath her sun-kissed tan.
She seemed young, she maybe had some experience but he would have preferred somebody who had been in the field for a long time to be taking care of his mother. Why had they chosen her?
“You seemed awfully young. How long have you had your licence?”
“Four year, Mr. Carsingni.” She then raised her head, her eyes holding his in defiance, “but I can assure you that I have experience and I’m more than capable of taking care of your mother.”
He jutted a brow at her sudden boost of confidence. Maybe he had been quick to judge. For somebody who seemed shy and had a look of innocence, she obviously had some fire hidden somewhere.
“It wasn’t my intention to insult you Ms.Slade. I just can’t understand why you were chosen. I mean there must have been other applicants with far more experienced than you ; and yet, here you are.”
Laurie remained silent. Afraid that if she said something, it might come off as rude. But deep inside - she was seething.
It was such a ‘man thing’ for him to say. Her being young made her unexperienced? And why was he even questioning her about the selection method, she didn’t know, she wasn’t there!
But she honestly hoped that he was thinking that she had somehow manipulate the agency into choosing her. She had enough problem as it was and coming here was a temporary solution, she didn’t need him adding to her list.
“My mother,” he began after a brief pause, “How is she doing?”
“Quite well, actually.” She said, allowing a smile to grace her lips.
Tomas lifted his brows at her, unconvinced.
“What I meant was that she eats and naps during the day, we sometimes stroll around the garden, but that takes a lot of persuading on my part.”
“Is it safe to assume that from what you’re saying is that - she’s improving?”
“Yeah,” she nodded, “Given that she wasn’t eating before and had trouble sleeping, it’s a start. I think that it qualifies as an improvement.”
“Hmm.“He sighed, his lips curved into a low smile but his eyes remained sad.
“I guess, I owe you an apology then. You’ve managed to do in three days what Silvia couldn’t do in three years.” His eyes lingered on her face.
Laurie’s breath caught her throat. There was something about his eyes, about his stares. It made her head swirl and caused her heart to leap again her chest. It was like... like a drop of honey, glazed by the ray of the sun. It made her lips parted involuntarily in awed as her breath danced it’s way out of her mouth.
She blinked her eyes feverishly, snapping herself out of his hypnotic trance.
“Apology accepted, Mr Carsingni.” She uttered, offering him a genuine smile.
She could honestly understand. Anybody would have been concerned about their mother’s health even more so about the person taking caring of her.
“Good.” Tomas said, getting from his chair. “Now, all I ask is that you report to me every week for an overall assessment.”
He walked around the table and leant against the front side, facing Laurie.
Laurie raised her head, “Of course, Mr.Carsingni. Will that be all?”
Tomas smiled through the clenched teeth. He didn’t want her to leave, not yet. But it was late and it would be selfish of him to keep her here any longer than necessary.
So, instead he nodded his head at her and pushed himself away from the table. Laurie followed suit and made her way towards the door.
“Actually Ms.Slade. Laurie. There’s one more thing.” Tomas said, watching as her hand dropped from the door knob.
“Oh?” She turned around to face him.
“Please try and keep you’re clothes on the next time you’re on the beach. We’ve never had intruders before but it’s better to be safe.”
The smile that she had on her face faltered and faded Colours flooded her face. This is exactly what she had been dreading. Only she thought that he was going to shout at her about it. But he wasn’t shouting and didn’t look upset. If anything he seemed amused.
“Im sorry about that Mr.Carsingni. It won’t happen again.”
He smiled, “I’m sure it won’t. Goodnight Laurie.”
Laurie slid against her bedroom door and settled herself on the floor. For all that is good and pure, why did he have to be so dangerously alluring? A heavy breath rasped against her thin rosy lips. And his eyes, did they need to be so expressive?
She squeezed her eyes shut, bringing both her hands to her flushed cheeks then shook her head lightly.
Seriously? I cannot be crushing a him, she sighed.
There’s no crime in that. A little voice insides her head replied, he is quite handsome. And tall. And exotic.
He is, she agreed. But they had just met. And he was her boss. Well, sort of. She couldn’t allow this to be nothing more than just an attraction.
She’d have to keep things strictly professional.