The guards must have arrived during dinner with my things. As I found my way back to my room, I saw that my suitcases were waiting for me. I slowly unpacked and tried to think of how I ended up where I am. This was not how I planned anything to play out. From an interview, I turn into personal journalist, from personal journalist, I turn into mistress. Who uses that word? Shrugging my shoulders, I sighed,it would be the same person with carpet in his dining room and a rendering of the Creation of Adam on his foyer ceiling. It was Augostino Romani, the same man I craved before I knew him. The need for a shower, a cold one, overwhelmed me. At least I didn’t have to go looking for a bathroom; there was one in the bedroom I occupied. Rummaging through a few of my things, I found my lavender body wash and something comfortable to wear My lucky green and navy blue flannel short shorts, the ones too indecent to wear anywhere but to bed were also in the bag. After finally finding a tank top and laying them on the bed, I walked into the bathroom with a fluffy white towel, I felt my jaw drop and drool begin to form. Talk about being too scared to mess anything up! This whole place was out of my league. As I turned on the lights, soft yellow track lighting illuminated and danced on the black marble floor. Hurrying on to the rug because I thought the marble would be cold to my naked feet, I was surprised the marble was actually warm. Heated tile floors, of course, why wouldn’t he have heated floors? There was a stand up shower incased in mirrored glass. There was also a deep old fashioned black porcelain footed tub. While it would have been fun to soak in that magnificent tub, I would have fell asleep in it and drowned. Opting for the shower, I turned on the brass handled faucets and jumped as soft jets of water came from all three walls. I’ll be damned if this place didn’t have everything. I’m no gold-digger, but this assignment had some perks. Stepping into the shower, I lost myself under the undulating spray of the water. Working up a good lather and beginning at my feet I soaped every inch of skin I could reach, trying to wash away the confusion of the day and trying to remember who and what I was. I knew I was Yvonne Mason, a writer, a journalist. Unfortunately the nagging thought that I was trying to avoid as I rinsed the soapy foam from my breasts and watched the foam swirl and whirl down the drain hit me with the force of a punch in the gut. No, I was now Yvonne Mason, Augostino Romani’s mistress. Turning the handles to the shower so hard they squeaked, I stomped out of the shower and wrapped the towel around my waist. So much for lavender aromatherapy, I was agitated all over again. Trying to slow my breathing as I got dressed and rubbed lavender scented baby oil over my skin. Even after laying down under the thick down comforter, I was still restless. It wasn’t that I was upset that August asked me to pretend to be his mistress, I realized as I lie awake staring at the vaulted ceiling. I was upset because I reacted to his touches and his simple kiss to my forehead. Damn, if that wasn’t a playboy move! A forehead kiss could make any woman want to trust you even if she knew better. Forehead kisses on a five year celibate woman like me, and she would be throwing her panties at you. Hating myself for falling for his smooth tactics, I threw the covers off me and punched my pillow. How could I have been so gullible?
I gave up all pretense of sleep at around five in the morning. Groaning, I grudgingly got out of the bed. Knowing that I would be even crankier unless I got some form of release, I started to pull open drawers and see what else I’d remembered to scribble down on that list I gave to his guards. My mind was still caught up on a simple forehead kiss. What was wrong with me?. No better way to do that than to work it out of me. As I started to unpack my things and putting them into drawers, I noticed there was a simple one piece black swimsuit folded nicely. It was not one of the things that I would have remembered, but August would have. Knowing August, who was a swimmer, there had to be a pool around here somewhere and that was perfect for me to work out my frustration. I smirked at his uncanny ability to always think ahead. Swimming was the perfect adrenaline rush or, at least, I hoped holding my breath until it felt like my lungs were bursting would get the feeling of his lips on my head out of my mind. Being someone’s mistress was over my head. The people I was used to hanging around ate Buffalo wings and pizza darn near every night and screamed at the football games on TV. We watched ESPN at every chance and CNN when we could not get the sports fix we craved. As I slipped on the swimsuit and tied a towel around my waist, it occurred to me that I could not let my mom know beforehand that there was going to be a lot of press about me and August and none of it was true. Walking out of my room, I let intuition lead me where I would think a pool would be, but truthfully, I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going. My thoughts were on my gold-digging sister who would be running to the tabloids telling lies. Then the cover would be blown. I smacked my forehead. Wait a minute, covers blown? Who was I, Elliot Ness? I looked up and was glad that no one was around, I had been mumbling to myself as I wandered the halls looking for the pool. Looking up I tried to remember which way I came, but I came up blank. . Tying the towel tighter around my one piece swimsuit, I followed the bright light streaming from one hall. As I walked down the marbled floor, I could hear birds chirping and knew I had to be close to the outside. Shielding my eyes against the rising sun, I opened the glass double doors to what should be a backyard, but this was not a backyard. There was a huge pool, yet there was also a tennis court and what appeared to be a hot tub as well as a bar. Shaded next to the bar was a gazebo. This is where he must host his grand parties. With everything that was on my mind, I didn’t even care. Unused to this type of luxury, I just wanted to work my body until I got good and tired. I dropped the towel from my waist and stalked over to the pools edge. I stretched my arms up and dove into the deep clear water. This couldn’t possibly be my reality. At any moment I was going to wake up and have a column due. I am not a spy, heck I can’t keep secrets worth a damn, and I was not the sophisticated femme fatale that should be going to parties at the Italian embassy. My arms were hitting the water at full speed and I executed my turn flawlessly. With each thought that came to my mind, I hit the water harder, racing full speed through the length of the pool and back again. My lungs were hurting but I could not stop.
Reality was stepping in. Facts began to hit me such as the fact that August had checked me out before this mistress thing. Was that his plot all along to compromise me in some way shape or form? What exactly was his plan of action. Last night his plan seemed simple, but in the dawn of a fresh day, it seems farfetched and illogical. I’d forgotten what lap and didn’t care that I was probably overdoing it as I pondered every question in my head. My mother wouldn’t take this as a joke or as an undercover assignment, she wouldn’t find it funny, and she would tear my head off for shacking up with a man I just met. Thinking about what my mother would think made my thoughts turn angry. I shouldn’t care what she thinks since I was merely a glorified gopher to her. Then thinking about my sister and brother and I know damn well that they would be calling my cell phone every five minutes for favors. I couldn’t do this. Making up my mind to tell August thanks but no thanks, find another mistress, I was ready to vacate the pool.my hand met a rock hard chest. That is definitely not the cool pool lining I had been touching. I didn’t want to open my eyes. I knew who it was; my body knew who it was. My hand stayed where it was, not by my choice, but by August’s hand covering it. I finally got up the nerve to wipe the chlorinated water from my eyes and looked at him. He was already drenched. his breathing was ragged as well. Had he been in the pool for long?
“You should stop before you get a cramp.” His voice was rich and deep, even if he was trying to catch his breath. “You have been at it for a while.” His voice was husky, soothing as if he was concerned. Unfortunately, from the tumultuous thoughts I had been mulling over, I felt like I was a poor guppy sitting in a pool with a shark.
“Thanks for the concern; I am on my way out.” I said coldly as I tugged my hand. I was going to swim the opposite direction but he held it to his chest. I looked up at his eyes and yep, there is the cool blue gaze. I tried to give him an impatient look, raising my eyebrow, and shifting my lips to the side of my face.
“You have a lot on your mind?” Although he posed it as a question, it seemed more like a statement.
I shook my head no and tugged at my hand again. He was not letting go.
“I beg to differ, Yvonne, you didn’t seem to notice that I was taking laps at the other end, and that I had been swimming next to you for the past four laps.”
“I am good, really. I just haven’t swam in a long time. It was the adrenaline rush. I got in a zone.” I rushed out. He pursed his lips together and pulled me close to him. He was staring into my eyes, as if he was searching for the truth switch. All he was doing was escalating my temperature and making me really think this was a mistake. His thumb began to stroke the top of my hand and I decided to focus there, it was easier than trying to look at him and tread water. I was watching his tan thumb circle my hand and I became hypnotized. I refused to let my gaze roam to what I knew was his sculpted shoulders and toned abs. I wasn’t fat, but his perfect body made me feel even more inadequate. There was no way someone would believe I was his mistress. We are too different.
“If you are having doubts, we can reconsider this. I don’t want you to be scared…” His calm voice knocked me out of my deliberations.
“Scared?” My voice sounded like a squeak. I roughly cleared my throat. Scared was the last thing I was. “I am not scared, August. I have some concerns. I mean, wouldn’t you?”
“Of course, but I told you I will take care of your concerns.” I rolled my eyes heavenward and let out a little huff.
“Alright, then you can talk to my mother when she calls.” I huffed.
“What does that have to do with anything?”
“She reads all that tabloid fodder and gossip columns that should be lining the bottom of a bird cage. She is going to pitch a fit… furthermore, that means that I can’t do damage control before tonight’s little shindig because what if one of my friends spill the beans, so that means no contact with them either.” I shook my head at my own babbling. I was making my own head hurt. “I am sorry, I didn’t mean to explode on you.” At that August quirked his eyebrow and pulled me closer. If I was not mistaken, there was something in his swim trunks trying to get out. Please let it be an eel and not what it feels like. August’s head dipped to my ear and I felt the ‘it’ hit the inside of my thigh. Oh Lord, the ‘it’ was big.
“Do not say things like ‘explode on me’ and not expect to get a reaction out of me.” Then with his free hand, his fingers danced down my back and then he pinched my butt. I gasped and pushed away. I quickly got out of the pool and looked behind me. August was standing there with his hand on his hips and I think got out of the pool with the devil himself.