A Calculated Seduction(4)

“Ohhh...yes. The dark and handsome Ethan.”

She unlocked her door and turned to face Maude. “How did you know he’s handsome?”

Maude’s eyes widened. “Why, you just told me. Besides, he’s Bill’s nephew.”

“Well, I’m going to eat whatever isn’t a biology project in my refrigerator and then soak in the tub.”

“So, nothing to do tomorrow?”

“Richy’s spending the night.”

“But nothing during the day?”

“No...nothing that I...oh no. I’m not going shopping and I’m not having a makeover.” Maude, a former beautician, was adamant about cutting off her long hair and lightening it. She’d even made noises about waxing. Dulcy really didn’t want anyone pouring hot wax on her body.

Maude pouted and crossed her arms. “But I have nothing to do and sometimes I get lonely.”

Dulcy groaned. Guilt always worked, even when she knew Maude was lying. “What about Bill?”

She’d introduced the two a few months back and they’d hit it off.

“Busy with his nephew.” She sighed and looked down at the ground. There was no way Dulcy could fight that dejected look.

“No waxing.”

Maude looked like she would argue, but relented. “Okay, but you will let me give you a bob and we will go shopping for clothes. Oh, and those blonde highlights.”

Dulcy cringed thinking about it. “We’ll see.”

Maude said she’d drop by with some brownies later and happily bounced down the stairs. Dulcy unlocked her door, shutting it behind her with a kick of her foot. Her muscles, stiff from sitting at her desk for close to eleven hours, ached with each step. She walked through her tiny apartment, shedding her clothes as fast as she could on her way to the bathroom.

To save money, Dulcy had moved out to North Richland Hills a year ago. The apartment, a one-room studio, was modern and trendy. She hated it. But until she inherited her trust fund when she turned twenty-five, she had to economize.

The tension from the long day, and even longer week, began to drain. She unbraided her hair, rubbing her scalp. She needed to remember that at the end of the day, she was a day closer to her inheritance, a day closer to starting her cancer research charity.

In nothing but her red panties, she wandered over to her dresser and pulled out a nightshirt and donned it.

She padded over to her kitchen and pulled out the makings of a ham and cheese sandwich. As she assembled her meal, she thought about Ethan MacMillan. There was something about him that just wasn’t right. After years of ignoring Bill’s requests to join the business, he suddenly shows up and takes over his office. What was he after?

Stupid question. MacMillan Boots was a multimillion-dollar business. Bill had no children to inherit and Ethan thought he would just move in, after years of neglecting a relationship with his uncle, and take everything.

Indignation on Bill’s behalf rolled through Dulcy. He’d been the one person who’ d offered her work when her father died. Most of the people from her father’s circle of friends didn’t see the use of hiring a nineteen-year-old with only a year of college under her belt. The thought that Ethan had callously disregarded every attempt Bill had made to reach out to him, angered her.

She took an angry bite out of her sandwich and moseyed over to her answering machine. Two hang-ups and three pleading calls from Clarice. She sat down in front of her television and flipped through the channels, finally settling on an old movie. After finishing her sandwich, she decided a good hot bath was all she needed. She retrieved her bath oil from the cabinet, drew water for a bath and lit several candles. She pulled off her nightshirt and was about to tug down her panties when her phone rang. She hesitated, listening to see who it was.

“Dulcy, this is Barbie. I need you.”

Knowing her stepsister would just keep calling until she got a hold of her, she grabbed a towel, covered her breasts and went to answer the call.

As she listened to Barbie go on about her latest crisis, which involved her latest lover, her gardener, a knock sounded at the door. Thinking it was Maude with her brownies, Dulcy opened the door without looking out the peephole.

Ethan MacMillan stood on her doorstep, larger than life. Immediately, her pulse skittered and her nipples hardened. Her brain melted and she couldn’t form a word. She froze and lost her grip on the towel.

Chapter Two

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