Good morning! Sorry, everything is going to be late today. I realized after I posted yesterday that I have an appointment today when the voting is supposed to close for the Entrepreneur Billionaire. So today’s voting will go on a little longer. There are great comments about these guys, so be sure to check it out, cast your vote and tell me what you think. You might win a $5 gift card to Amazon or a personalized e-copy of Nails for A Billionaire!
And now on to Charisse. Why the heck is she so exhausted?
Charisse sat in the cottage at the bar between the dining area and the kitchen, snacking on vegetables and dip that Raul had set out for her. Raul stood at a rangetop on the other side, scrambling eggs and frying bacon and potatoes. The kitchen, like everything in the house, was small. The smell of bacon and warmth of the fire in the dining room fireplace made it cozy. Charisse could easily picture herself spending more time in the cottage than in the mansion if she lived here.
“I’m so sorry about missing dinner,” she said again. I was really looking forward to your Puerto Rican cooking.”
“I just hope you’re okay,” said Raul without looking at her. “I’ll have a doctor come by in the morning…”
“Please don’t. I’m feeling much better with food in my stomach.”
He stopped scraping eggs in the pan to stare at her. “We’ll see. I don’t like that you were so sleepy that the phone didn’t wake you.”
“It’s the therapy sessions. They wear me out. It’s like reliving everything Josh…” Her voice trailed off.
“Is it the therapist? We could hire a different one.”
“No, it’s not the therapist. Most people see someone once a week. I’ve already had a month’s worth of sessions. I think I need tomorrow off.”
“Very good. I’ll cancel for you.” He turned back to the eggs, which were almost done.
Charisse crunched into a carrot as she watched him. She’d been hoping all week to get a chance to ask him about her mother, but other servants were always around. Now that they were alone, she felt jittery.
When he turned away to grab a plate out of the cupboard in the back of the kitchen, she said, “I know you promised my mom to never tell me where you took her, but it’s been almost twenty years since she left. Isn’t there something you can tell me?”
When Raul turned around with the plate, the shadows beneath his eyes had darkened and his face had paled. “Miss LaRouche, you put me in a very bad position. I work for Mr. Grishin. What if I tell you something you don’t want to hear and you complain to him and he fires me? Or I don’t say anything and you still complain?”
“Come on, Raul. I’m not like that. And Conor would never fire you.”
“In my line of work you can never think that. Mr. Grishin is very erratic right now. He didn’t even tell me where he’s gone. I don’t understand what’s going on between the two of you. Don’t ask me about your mother. Ask your father.” Raul scraped out the eggs without the normal care he gave to every detail of his job, but Charisse was not ready to back down.
“Daddy is no help. Any mention of Mother makes him mad. For a long time, I used to think he still loved her, but I don’t believe that anymore.”
Raul gave her a wide-eyed stare. She’d hit a nerve. She sensed that she could get something out of him now, but she needed to be indirect so she didn’t scare him away. “The therapist told me today that I needed to find out what happened to her. That a lot of my insecurities come from when she left.”
Raul finished preparing her plate without talking. When he slid it over to her he said in a thick accent, “You have to eat at least half of that before I say anything at all. You haven’t been eating enough.”