Falling For My Dad's Friend - Page 2

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Though an icy winter has fallen over the city, her legs are long and tanned in her tight, blue skirt, her supple breasts nearly spill over the top of the elegant, silk blouse she wears. Her blonde hair falls in soft curls over her shoulders.

There’s a tray of coffee cups in one hand and a brown delivery box in the other. The smell of cinnamon and brewed coffee grounds wafts through the room.

She sails into the room, puts the box down on the table, and distributes the coffees between the three of us.

“Hot brown sugar espresso,” she says to my mother, who looks pleased as she takes her drink, wrapping her hands around the cup.

“Americano with three sugars and no cream,” she tells Renner, handing him his coffee of choice.

She stops in front of me, looking up at me with large emerald green eyes. I can’t stop myself from looking her over. The soft curves of her body are obvious beneath her tight clothes. She’s at least two decades younger than me, but all I can only think about is being alone with her, pressing my body to hers, feeling her curves beneath my fingers.

I don’t even know her name, but I feel like I know her.

My body aches and my blood sings for her. She calls to something deep inside of me like some sort of siren, pulling me in without even trying.

“Black coffee, dark roast,” she says. Her fingers brush mine as she hands over my cup.

“You know how I like my coffee,” I say. It’s not a question, but she nods.

“I know almost everything about you,” she tells me in her pretty voice, and all I imagine is her lips on my ear, whispering sweet nothing to me with our bodies pressed close and warm.

Her face goes pink when she realizes what she said. “I— I mean, I know everything about you in a professional sense, of course, sir.”

I stare down at her, my gaze firm, but she doesn’t look away. I like that she doesn’t look away. She wants to, but she doesn’t.

“Almost everything?” I question, all my focus is on her like it’s just the two of us in the room, everything else fades away.

“I did my research,” she says. Her fingers graze the table, lingering over the wood.

“You know what I like, then,” I say, my voice only loud enough for her to hear.

She stares at me, swallowing hard. “I— uh, I got cinnamon rolls for everyone as well.”

“Oh,” my mother says in a bright voice. “I do love a good cinnamon roll.”

“Magnus St. James, I’d like you to meet your new assistant,” Renner tells me. I can feel my mother watching the exchange. “This is my daughter, Cassandra Langley.”

“You can call me Cassie,” Cassandra says in a soft voice that sounds like the slow burn of a dream I’ve had before. “I’m happy to do whatever you need, and I mean that.”

And doesn't that just sound like the beginning of a bad decision?

I hold my coffee tight, burning my fingers as they curl over the top of the cup. Renner’s daughter. My best friend’s daughter.

What a day.

CHAPTER TWO

Cassandra

The eerie quiet of the St. James manor is like a veil, covering the house in a thick fog. The rooms seem never-ending and though I know that there are people inside, I don’t hear them. It’s been the same for the entire week I’ve been working in this house.

Every room I enter, every staircase I descend, a hush falls over the space.

They don’t want me to know something, I’m sure. What that something is, I’m not so sure.

I never ask my dad what his job entails and he’s never explained it to me. For years, my mom kept my dad’s work in the dark. I knew it had to be something dangerous, even back then. Ultimately, his job was what tore them apart. My mom still talks about it to this day.

My Cassandra, she says when she’s too deep into a bottle of blood-red wine. You look so much like your father that I wonder why I don’t hate you too.

I don’t think I look like my dad. His hair is brown while mine is the same soft, curly blonde that my mom has. Sometimes I can see the resemblance in the tilt of his smile or the bright green of his eyes, but nothing more.

I think my mom’s ire has more to do with my presence. I’m a constant reminder of the man who chose his job over his wife and child.

I don’t hate my father, but I’m sure that she does.

I blink slowly, looking around the hallway that leads to the portrait gallery and the dining room.

The house is decorated in the opulence of old money, dimly lit by shuttered windows and flickering fireplaces. It smells of leather and cigar smoke, dark and heavy in the air. I want to marvel at how I ended up in this place, but I’m not really surprised at the turn of events.


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