Chapter 5 - Settling In

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Dane walked through the kitchen and tossed his keys on the counter.  “Good afternoon Grace.”  He smiled and gave her a loving kiss on the cheek.

“Good afternoon Dane.  You’re home early.  What’s the occasion?”  She smiled.

“I need to tie up some loose ends.”   He hoped that Morgan had let herself out quietly this morning.  He hated to leave her like that and as much as he enjoyed working from home there were some things that just had to be done from the office.  He planned on spending the afternoon working from home and he really wanted to pin down a meeting with Berkley.  For someone so desperate for money and a job, she sure didn’t seem to be in any hurry to review her contract.

He left his brief case on the counter and ran upstairs to change.  He couldn’t wait to get out of his suit.  He slowed as he passed her room but he didn’t hear any sounds.  She was a mess last night and if she was coming out of an abusive relationship, she was probably suffering from sleep deprivation.  He tiptoed quietly just in case.

His cell rang.  Yes!  He had been waiting on this call all day.  He descended the stairs and walked into his office to find his briefcase sitting on his desk.  Grace was a life saver.  Always taking care of him above and beyond what he deserved.  He quickly located the file and began going over the terms.  After an hour of negotiation the terms were amended and agreed upon.  Dane stood and walked to the window.  His gaze was immediately drawn to a long sleek pair of legs and as his eyes climbed up their length anger exploded in his chest.  A beautiful waist and stomach was hidden beneath a collection of large ugly bruises. 

“Dane, are you still there?”  The voice on the phone asked loudly.

“Yes, I’m sorry.   I will have the lawyers make the necessary changes and draw up a new set of papers.  I will get them to you after lunch tomorrow.  I look forward to working with you James.  This is going to be a mutually profitable venture.  I won’t let you down.”

Dane ended the call and strode straight out to the pool.  “Berkley.”  There was an abruptness to his voice that made her to jump out of her skin before quickly covering herself with a towel to hide her bruises. 

“You’re home early Mr. Knight.”  She said nervously trying to get to her feet.

He sat down on the edge of the lounge chair next to her, nodding for her to stay.  “We need to talk.”

“If it’s about last night-”

“Oh yeah, we need to talk about that too.”  He said cutting her off midsentence.  “I owe you an apology.”

“Like I said, it’s your home.  You do not owe me an apology or even an explanation.”

“Yes, I do.  I’ve disrespected your privacy.”  His cell phone rang.  “Hold that thought.”

“Beth, what did you find out?”  He stood.  “Yeah, and what did they say?”  He paced.  “Perfect.  Thanks Beth.”  He sat back down.  This time he scooted the chair closer and leaned in towards her.  She pulled her towel tighter.  Dane furrowed his brow recognizing her defensive body language.  This girl probably had more issues to work through than he did.  Why his mom couldn’t see it, was beyond him.  Still he was going to give her a chance because if he didn’t she would be forced to return to the idiot that had been using her for a punching bag.

“Ethan’s wellbeing is my first concern.  If you are going to be his Nanny then I have a right to know certain things about you.  Like for example, you have a psychotic ex that you are running from.  I can’t risk Ethan getting caught up in the middle of your personal problems.”

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