C H A P T E R
O n e
Brianna smirked. The collection of fresh bills in her hand, fresh from the bank, truly made her job worthwhile – a job, for want of a better word, a means of survival, something to make her days pass by, something to look forward to when the moon glided behind the silvery clouds.
Her Michel Perry’s clicked against the floor; the strap of her bag over her forearm swung with every step. Another day, another achievement. A contented sigh escaped as she approached the large gates of her home and rang the buzzer. While she waited, she caught her reflection in the screen displaying the video feed. She adjusted her brunette curls and pouted her rouged lips.
Click. “Miss Bennett, why didn’t you request a car? I’m sure your father wouldn’t have minded,” their housemaid said through the intercom.
“Oh, it’s okay. Good to get some exercise, isn’t it?”
The gates opened slowly, reeling back to grant her access to the large courtyard. She approached the grand doors where the maid stood, ready to greet her.
“Did you have a good day, Ella?” Brianna waited for the maid to close the doors before she continued across the marble floors. Her heels announced her entrance, and with any luck, Daddy would find her.
“Yes, Miss. I baked your mother’s favorite for dessert tonight.”
“I hope it’s just as good. You should have a break. You look worse than Courtney.” Brianna laughed and Ella joined in. She stopped abruptly and covered her mouth, fighting a smile.
“Miss Bennett, it really isn’t polite to make comments about the Lady of the house.”
Brianna held her hand out, stopped abruptly and turned towards the five foot two maid. “I’m the Lady of the house, not Daddy’s new toy. Remember where your loyalties lie, Ella.”
“Yes, Miss.” Ella bowed her head.
Brianna continued walking. “Bring a bottle of champagne to the drawing room, won’t you?”
“Special occasion, Miss?”
Brianna smiled and focused her attention on the confused woman before her. “Everyday is a special occasion. Bring yourself a glass too.”
She dismissed Ella with a wave of her hand and climbed the staircase, hand trailing across the banister as she climbed. When she reached the landing, she cleared her throat. “Daddy?”
She followed the source of the sound to find her father sitting with his new toy and her fiancé, Dominic. “Good afternoon, boys.” Brianna sat on the comfortable seat besides her six foot, dark-haired, drop dead gorgeous fiancé. “Mr Blake.”
“Miss Bennett, you look lovely as usual.”
“Thank you, sweetheart.” She pecked his lips then turned to the woman only three years older than herself. At twenty-eight, Courtney maintained her innocence, but her naivety grated on Brianna. “Courtney.”
“Good evening, Brianna, How was your day?” Courtney gave her best smile, but it didn’t mask her desperation; a moment of brief eye contact pleaded for a peace offering, to end the war that continued. Brianna would only stop fighting when Courtney left Daddy’s bed and returned to her level of life.
“Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. I wonder, may I borrow Dominic, Daddy? I haven’t seen him for six hours.” She clutched Dom’s hand.
“Of course, sweetheart. Dinner is at seven tonight.” He lowered his book and his half-moon glasses came into view. He didn’t look fifty-one at all. It was hard to believe he had a twenty-five-year old daughter. When he smiled, love filled his eyes for his darling daughter who could do no wrong, the apple of his eye, the love of his life. “You’re the spitting image of your mother, Brianna. She always was a beauty.”
“She’s irreplaceable, no matter how much somebody may try. Excuse us.” She stood and tugged Dom behind her.
“See you tonight, Mr. Bennett.”
“Are you going to call me, Mr. Bennett for life? You’re marrying my daughter, it’s about time you called me Finn.”
Brianna tugged Dom away before he could respond. Once in the privacy of the hallway, she pulled him farther towards the bedrooms. Glass chandeliers hung from the high ceilings and Mom’s artwork lined the walls. Gifted with artistic skills, Mom had never wasted a second of her life. Her final painting hung in Brianna’s bedroom above the king sized bed.
She pushed the door opened and Dom entered behind her, closing it securely before he dared to speak. “How did it go?”
“Wonderful.” She produced the money from her purse and threw the bills in the air. The notes fell to the floor and the scarlet bed covers. “$50,000. Aren’t I good?”
“Better than good.” He gripped her tightly, holding her closely against his chest. His hand slipped through her brunette curls, bringing their lips together.
Brianna stepped out of her shoes and wrapped her thighs around his thin waist, clinging to his neck. He carried her towards the bed and lowered her down without breaking the contact. Together, they wriggled on the bed until she rested her head to the pillow, and his hands grazed across her thighs.
“Beautiful and smart. I’m a lucky guy.” His lips attached to her neck, suckling.
“Well, I am an artist.” Her hands slipped across his waist, tugging his shirt up to find his warm skin.
“I’d love to see you in action.”
Brianna flipped them over, now atop of him. She unbuttoned her shirt and slipped it down her arms, letting it fall behind her. Only a thin pastel pink strapless bra covered her chest. She leaned down to kiss him. “You always do.”
Dom trailed his fingertips against her stomach. “You know what I mean. If you’re such an artist, you’ll teach me your ways. Let me be the judge of how good you are.”
She lifted a handful of the $50 bills, sniffed them and then dropped them over his chest. “This isn’t enough evidence?”
“I want to see my girl in action. Take me with you.”
Brianna unbuttoned his shirt and tugged the material open. “Fine. You can join me. Help me find a suitable choice. Somebody rich. Stupid.”
“Vulnerable to a goddess?” Dom smirked and unhooked her bra. It fell to his chest.
“Are you sure you want to come? Are you sure you won’t get jealous?” She leaned down to kiss him, slipping her hand beneath his pants, against the thin material blocking his length from protruding.
“Why would I be jealous when I have you right here, right now?” Dom slipped his hands into the back of her jeans, squeezing her firm backside. “You’re mine.”
“All yours.” She tugged his pants open and pushed them down. “Now shut up and fuck me.”