Romance: The Damaged Billionaire (4 page)

Chapter 8

             

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wake up the next morning and stretch out.

It is a little weird to be waking up in a million dollar penthouse but I have to admit, it’s something that I can get used to. I open my suitcase and pick out an outfit to wear for the day. I decide on my pink and black scrubs with an owl on them. I go get in the shower and wash my body off trying to forget about what happened last night in the tub.

Maybe that was just a one-time thing and I wouldn’t have to do it again.

And I suppose Archer does this sort of thing all the time… I wonder if he has asked the maids to ‘relieve’ him after a stressful day?

It was very hard to sat no to him – it is almost like he has a power over me.

And if he asked me again, I don’t know if I would be able to tell him no.

I get out of the shower, throw my clothes on, brush my teeth, and pull my hair back into a ponytail. I examine myself in the mirror and I look professional enough.

I decide against putting on makeup because I didn’t have on any yesterday and I don’t want him to think that because I gave him a hand job that I was trying to do anything more with him.

Even if it was all that my mind thought about.

I walk out of the bathroom and head to Archer’s bedroom. I see him sitting up in bed with a pillow behind his back and he’s looking at TV. I knock gently on the wall and he flashes his million-dollar smile.

“Good morning,” his seductive voice sends shivers through me.

“Good morning.”

“Did you sleep well?” he asks with a raised brow.

“Yes, that bed is amazing. I would lay in it all day if I could. But I know that I have to help you around the house, so I broke myself away from it with the promise to return later,” I say with a smile.

He laughs. “All the beds here are soft. I paid a lot of money to make sure that they were comfortable. Can’t be lying in something that will give you restless nights. A person needs something that you can fall into and be asleep within minutes.”

I smile. “You’re right about that. Are you ready to go eat breakfast?”

He nods his head. “Yes, I’m ready. I already had put my request in with the cook so I’m sure that it’s done by now.”

“You have a cook?” I ask but as soon as I do I immediately regret it.

Of course, he has a cook.

I mean the guy has numerous maids so I’m not sure why I didn’t think that he would have a cook as well.

“I have someone to do pretty much everything around here. It’s what helps keep this place together because I’m never really here. Plus… I don’t know how to do much myself. Last time I tried to cook something I nearly burned the place down,” he smiles.

There is a hint of vulnerability in his eyes.

“If you’re hardly here then why do you need so many people working for you?” I ask. “Isn’t that kind of a waste of money?”

“Because…” he pauses, “Sometimes it’s nice to come home to someone.”

I raise my eyebrow and shake my head.

“Come on, let’s get some food in your system. You will need to eat a lot more than you usually do in order to keep up your strength while your body heals itself.”

“Yes, ma’am,” he says.

Walking over to the bed, I wrap my arms around his muscular body and help him stand.

We then begin to walk slowly to the kitchen and I sit him in a chair, placing a pillow behind his back. The cook places a ham and cheese omelet in front of him, and a pitcher of orange juice with two glasses.

The cook then places an omelet in front of me.

“Please enjoy,” his Italian accent is thick and his smile is lovely.

I take a small bite of the omelet that’s placed in front of me and my eyes roll in the back of my head. It is the most delicious thing I’ve eaten in quite a while.

“Good?” the cook asks.

I nod my head. “Yes, this is delicious. Better than any omelet I’ve tried to make. The eggs are so fluffy and light.”

“Yes, James is the best personal cook there is,” Archer says with a smile. “I was lucky to snatch him up when I did.”

I stick another forkful of the omelet in my mouth and nod my head up and down.

“Yes, you’re right about that. This is heaven on earth. The man can do wonders.”

We finish our breakfast in silence, and James comes and clears the dishes off the table when we’re done.

After James has left the room, I look over at Archer and he’s staring at me.

It doesn’t make me uncomfortable at all.

The way he looks at me sends tingles down my spine and I just want him to keep staring at me just like that.

But then the nurse in me kicks in.

This is a professional gig and I have to remain professional.

I will not be seduced by his money.

I am a professional.

 

 

 

Chapter 9

 

 

 

 

I have to try to maintain as much professionalism as I can, even though we are in a less than professional environment.

“Since you got to learn some stuff about me yesterday, tell me a little bit about yourself,” I say to him. “I think it’s only fair that I get to know the man that I’m working for.”

“What do you want to know?” he asks. “Like you, I am an open book.”

“Whatever you want to tell me. Like how was your childhood? How was it like growing up rich? Did you have a lot of rich friends? Go a lot of amazing places? You know, stuff like that.”

“My childhood wasn’t all that great,” Archer’s eyes drop downward, “At least not in the way that people think that rich kids childhoods are.”

“You must have had some good things in your childhood. You could afford anything you wanted.”

“The only place I remember being happy – truly happy – was at the fun park. When I was there, it didn’t matter how lonely I was. It didn’t matter that I had no friends. All that mattered was the fun. That was the only time in my childhood that I remember being truly happy.”

“The fun park?”

“I have amazing memories of that place. I still go there some times and it still makes me smile. It was the only time I felt great in my childhood.”

“Was it the rides that made you so happy?”

“It was everything about the place. The rides, the colors, the joy of everyone else. I hold those memories so tightly because that was highlight of my life.”

“Really?”

“Our family had money but my parents were never around. I grew up really lonely. I am an only child and I wasn’t allowed out of the house much. The only people I had to keep me company were the nanny and the maids.”

“Doesn’t sound fun.”

“It wasn’t. Sometimes they would bring their kids along but for the most part I was alone. Sure they bought me everything that I wanted, but it didn’t do much to help with the loneliness.”

“Loneliness sucks. How did you deal with it?”

“When I became a teenager I started to drink.”

“And you never stopped?”

His eyes jump at my accusation, but then they drop again.

“After this last incident, I am starting to see that I may have a problem.”


May
have a problem?”

He shrugs his shoulders.

“I’ve worked as a nurse with alcoholics before,” I mention, “And the first step is always admitting that you have a problem.”

He sighs and then nods, “I do have a problem. I have been trying to stop drinking for six months now, but every time I stop, I start again.”

“Breaking an addiction is a long journey.”

“I don’t want it to be a long journey. I want it to be a short one. I want the problem dealt with.”

“This isn’t a business decision, Archer. This is your life. The first thing you have to do is admit you have a problem but the second thing you have to do is understand why you drink.”

“I know why I drink.”

“And why is that?”

“I drink because I really am lonely,” his answer is blunt and honest. “I don’t have any real friends and my family are pathetic.”

“What about the people from the party?”

“Hangers on. I don’t even know most of their names. Some of the women are even hired to make the party wilder. Even the people who I do know are only friends with me because I have money. I buy people stuff so that they stay around longer.”

“Really?” I ask in surprise.

“The only thing that I come home to is this penthouse. I have nothing to show me any love and affection except for my fling of the week,” he says. “I even thought about getting a dog once but since I’m never here, I know that it would probably die or mess up everything in the house. The maids would probably try to poison it so they wouldn’t have to clean up behind him.”

I look at him in disbelief.

Maybe this is why rich kids were so out of control?

Money doesn’t buy love.

“Well, I can kind of relate to the loneliness. My Mom died when I was two and then my Dad remarried a couple of years later to my stepmom and brought along my stepsister. My Dad was always away working and I really hated my new family. Cinderella had it easy compared to what I went to through.”

“They were that bad?”

“They were always nice in front of my Dad, trying to make him believe that we were the perfect family, when we were far from it. What happened behind his back was a totally different story. Whenever I would try to tell him, he would say that I was making it up or exaggerating when I really wasn’t. He went out of his way to make them feel comfortable but it in return, it made me feel sad and alone, and I was his only child. His own flesh and blood. You would think that my stepsister Joanne was his own daughter the way that he put her up there on a pedestal. I really resented him because of that and I still kind of do to this day.”

“Have you ever talked to him about it?”

“I did and he apologized, but the damage was already done.”

“Yeah, parents can suck,” he says. “I think those who don’t know how to treat their own kids should have to give them to someone who can make them happy instead of having them grow up resentful and hating the world.”

“Tell me about it,” I say as I look at him.

I can see the hurt in his eyes and I know that his pain runs deep, which explains so much about him.

“I still say mine were way worse than yours. I was all alone in a big house trapped with nannies who barely spoke any English,” Archer continues. “But I am very fluent in Spanish now.”

“I had a stepsister who cut my hair in my sleep and then lied and said that I did it,” I retort, “My stepmom convinced my Dad that I was doing it for attention and I ended up grounded for a week.”

He smiles, “That’s pretty bad. What did you do for revenge?”

“I got some type of revenge. For the entire week that I was grounded, I kept placing Joanne’s hand in warm water when she was asleep so that she would pee up her bed. Her Mom was mortified and took her to the doctor to see if she had a bladder infection,” I say. “Joanne knew that I was probably behind it but she could never prove it.”

He laughs. “You actually made her pee her bed? You’re a secret evil genius.”

I nod my head. “She deserved it. She cut one whole side of my hair off. I had to get it cut to make it even lengths and I looked like a little boy for about a month or so. All of the kids at school picked on me but as long as I got my revenge, I was okay with it.”

“My parents left the country without me for three days before they realized that I wasn’t with them,” Archer raises the challenge.

My eyes widen in surprise.

“Really? Where were they? And how do you forget your own child? That’s kind of ridiculous.”

“They were in France. It was fashion week so it was supposed to be a family outing - only they left me behind. They apologized for it and bought me all types of stuff to make up for it but the damage was already done. It showed me that I really didn’t mean much to them at all. Who forgets their only child for a family vacation?”

“Were you left at the house by yourself?”

“No, the maids were still there. But even when I got to France, they still didn’t spend any time with me. My nanny took me to see the sights while my parents did what they did best. Which was ignore me,” he says as he looks off into space.

I look at him with sadness.

Clearly he has some demons and I can see why he acts the way that he acts.

If my Dad treated me that way, I would probably be even more messed up than I already am, but luckily for me he just paid attention to another kid more.

He never actually forgot that I existed. 

“I’ll give it to you. Your childhood was worse than mine. But we’re older now. We can make our lives a lot better than what they were when we were kids. I know I try. That’s why I try not to let Joanne annoy me and why I spend so much time away from my parents’ house. Every time they call me up for dinner, I say that I’m busy because no way I’m suffering through that hell. I know that it saddens my Dad a lot but I have to think about myself and my sanity.”

He nods his head seriously.

“And that’s why I drink - to block it all out. I don’t want to think about. I want to live in the moment. But I know that I won’t be able to run from my demons forever. I will eventually have to face them but hopefully I won’t have to face them anytime soon.”

“We all have to face our demons. It’s part of life. Granted, it’s not a good part of life, but it’s still a part of it,” I say looking at him in his eyes.

“A part of life that sucks.”

I laugh. “Well… you have me for the next two weeks. I’m sure us lonely kids can keep each other company.”

He smiles at me.

“I think that I will like that, Nurse Lara.”

“Me too,” I smile.

“I see I made a good decision in choosing you. You don’t seem so stuck up. And you’re not at all like the people I usually hang out with. They’re fake and phony. Kind of like the persona that I put on when I’m in public so that I don’t have to deal with reality. Most of us rich kids are alike though, it’s probably why we stick together. Although none of us really knows how to be a real friend. But we do at least try to give it a shot.”

“I appreciate that you don’t think I’m anything like your little stuck up friends. But unlike them, I do know how to be a real friend and I will try my hardest to be a real friend, as well as a good nurse to you while I’m here,” I say to him with a smile.

“Thanks. That’s all that I’m asking of you. To show a little needy boy some love,” he says.

I laugh. “You are a mess… I hope that you know that.”

He smiles. “Yes, I do… but I think you like a mess.”

 

 

 

 

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