Eighteen - Brief Happiness

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I am so sorry that after all this time, this is all I have for you. I have loved reading ALL of your comments and seeing your support. Writers block is a nightmare but I've just been so busy! Forgive me! I will edit this later (all my italics have gone haywire - uploading from my phone; I am a big fan of emphasis) but for now, here you are.


Ricardo was the first to state that they couldn't stay in the study all night - though he wanted to. They had sat on the carpet and just talked. About everything. About nothing. They talked until the sun began to set and their throats were dry. It was as though a wall had come crumbling down and they wanted to know everything about each other. It would have been wonderful to do so but at some point reality had to set in and they had to acknowledge that. The sudden darkness around them was what brought Ricardo to his senses.

He clambered to his feet, dusting off his trousers. He was all rumpled and uncouth but it felt good to not care for once. He smiled gently. "We should go."

Jaimee looked up at him, his face hidden in shadow, still sprawled on the floor in a mass of long limbs. So beautiful that it hurt. He was a work of art in himself, all angles and bone and smooth brown skin. "Do we have to?"

"You want to stay?"

Ricardo's disbelief was enough to bring Jaimee to his feet. "I think we should. I think it will be good for you."

He took the time to acknowledge that Jaimee was being serious. He really thought that they should stay and he believed that Ricardo would agree. He wanted to spend the night in this house of horror, surrounded by a lifetime of shitty childhood memories and trauma, the stifling aura of power and wealth. The very idea made the hair on the back of Ricardo's neck stand up, as if Christopher were lurking around somewhere - which he had a habit of doing. He hated this house and everything in it, even with Jaimee's calming presence. He just didn't think he could do it.

"We've been here long enough."

Jaimee's face became very stern then, in stark contrast to the contentment it had previously held. He was the very voice of reason, the face of patience. He had an idea in his head and he was sticking by it. Ricardo had seen that look before. "We're staying."

Ricardo knew when he was fighting a losing battle - had fought enough of them with all the strong headed women in his life. He couldn't argue - not with that tone. Exasperated, he threw up his hands. "What about clothes? We haven't got anything for the morning."

"You're telling me you don't know what a courier is?" Jaimee's sarcasm was just playful enough to prevent backlash. It was the way he could switch from one tone to another that had always intrigued Ricardo - it made him want to pinch Jaimee like a child and, at the same time, it made him want to ask for an explanation. Instead of retaliating, he folded his arms and looked down into those smirking green eyes.

"Fine. Charge it to my card."


"You're still my PA," Ricardo said. "So get PA-ing."


Ricardo nearly fell over when he saw Andrea and Tessa coming up the pathway. He paused at the window of the library and squinted down at the two bobbing heads. He was sure he was hallucinating. Christopher had poisoned the food and now he was seeing things.


Sitting by the fire, flicking through a book, Jaimee didn't bother to look up. "Hmm?"

"What did you do?"

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