The Housekeeper's Awakening(10)

By: Sharon Kendrick

‘There.’ Carly stopped massaging at last, suddenly aware of the slow trickle of sweat which was sliding in a path between her breasts. Was it the heat which was making them feel so much bigger than usual? Making their tips feel so uncomfortably hard and prickling against her uniform so that she found herself wanting to rub at them. And why was she suddenly looking at the golden gleam of his bare back and thinking it was so physically perfect that it would work as an illustration in the pages of an anatomy book? She swallowed. ‘Feeling better?’

‘I’m feeling...good,’ he said indistinctly.

Hastily, Carly wiped her hands on a towel. She had to stop thinking like this. She had to start regarding him with the impartiality she’d always had before now. ‘I think that’s enough for now, don’t you?’ She kept her voice brisk. ‘We can have another session, before you retire for the night. You can get up if you like, Luis.’

But Luis didn’t want to get up. Or rather, he didn’t feel capable of getting up, not in the way that she meant and not without making it very clear that he was having very erotic feelings about her. He could feel the hard throb at his groin and the sharp aching in his balls and found himself in the unthinkable position of being aroused—by Miss Mouse. And he still wasn’t sure how that had happened. Surely it couldn’t just be because she was touching him, because if that was the case then he would have felt something more potent than irritation towards Mary—the physiotherapist he had just sacked.

The aching intensified, but his impatient squirm only made the hardness worse, instead of relieving it. He scowled into the stupid scented doughnut of a pillow. Weeks of doing nothing had driven him close to crazy with no work, no play and no sex. Worse still, his confinement had left him with time to think and he was a man who preferred to do. Stripped of his constant need for action, he was forced into the unwanted position of introspection.

His incarceration in hospital had made him stop and take a look at his life and realise what a circus it had become. He’d thought about his different homes dotted around the world and the swollen entourage who accompanied him everywhere, and it had been like looking at the world of someone he didn’t know. When had he managed to acquire so many hangers-on? He remembered their barely disguised shock when he had sent them to his main base in Buenos Aires, with Diego at the helm. And the strange calm which had descended on the house once they’d gone, leaving him alone with his mousey housekeeper.

He shifted his thigh a fraction as he thought how efficiently Carly had slotted into her new role as temporary masseuse. It seemed she was as proficient at rehabilitation as she was at running his house for him. Minutes before his massage, she had overseen the daily ballet exercises intended to strengthen his damaged pelvis. She hadn’t made any predictable jokes about men doing ballet, but had simply stood beside him, counting the small elevations of his legs, with a look of fierce determination on her face.

‘How about a swim now, Luis?’

Her soft voice ruptured his disturbing thoughts and it was with a sense of relief that he realised that his erection had subsided.

He yawned. ‘Is that a suggestion?’

‘No, it’s an order—since you seem to respond much better to those.’ She pulled up the blind and peered outside. ‘Oh, dear, it’s raining again.’

‘It’s always raining in this damned country.’

‘That’s what makes the fields so green,’ she said sweetly. ‘Never mind. At least we can use the indoor pool.’

‘But I don’t like the indoor pool,’ he growled. ‘You know that. It’s claustrophobic.’

‘And this room isn’t?’

‘I’m not planning to swim in here,’ he snapped. ‘So why don’t we just go outside and use the big pool? Live dangerously for once.’

Carly turned back from the window, her mouth flattening with a disapproval she couldn’t quite hide as she looked at him. She knew that was the kind of crazy thing he did. She’d witnessed people diving into his rain-lashed swimming pool, fully clothed, and she’d come down early the next morning to find glasses full of rain and champagne. Once she had even found a pair of knickers hanging from one of the flagpoles and one of the gardeners had been forced to shin up and get them back down again. What must it be like to live a life as decadent as his? she wondered.

‘Because I don’t like to live dangerously,’ she said repressively. ‘And perhaps if you didn’t, then you wouldn’t have ended up occupying a hospital bed for so long and probably blocking it for someone who really needs it. As it happens, the grass is absolutely sodden and the tiles around the swimming pool will be wet and slippery.’

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