Not that I’d ever figure that out. It was as if he was avoiding me. Like last night, when he excused himself so quickly after lust flared in his eyes.
I shook the thought away. It didn’t matter. I was there to do a job and nothing else. I watched a bit of television and unpacked a few of my nicer things. I made myself a small snack in the kitchen and finished off the red wine I’d ordered last night for my decadent meal. And finally, after almost half past four in the afternoon, Phillip emerged in a trim suit as he fiddled with a cufflink at his wrist.
“We’ll be going out to dinner this evening,” he said calmly. “Do you have appropriate formal dinner attire?”
“Good. Because we don’t have time to go shopping. I’ll be working until dinner, which will be at eight. I need the time to prepare us for the evening ahead. Get yourself ready. Pamper yourself a bit since there is some time to kill. I’m sure it’ll take a woman like yourself some time to prepare.”
I wasn't sure what that statement was supposed to mean, but I think it meant he needed me to look my best. But he didn’t have to worry; I prided myself in always looking my best. As the daughter of a rich man, I had a few key pieces already in my wardrobe that were always set to stun, and I’d brought most of them along with me.
However, the word “pamper” caught my ear. I was never one to turn down a bit of relaxation.
He looked up at me briefly before disappearing back into his room, then closed the door with a thud.
I made my way downstairs to the eleventh floor where the spa services were located. I signed myself up for a nice massage and a mani-pedi, then sat in one of the plush chairs in the corner. A glass of cucumber-and-kiwi water was delivered to me, and I drew in a deep breath. Oh, the memories this all brought back. During my mother’s prime, she’d taught me the value of self-care. How a woman investing in herself was an investment in those around her. If a mother and a wife couldn’t keep herself stress-free, she couldn’t possibly help and support those around her, nor could she succeed in anything she set out to do in life. Self-care, she said, was the difference between men and women. Men grew fat and lethargic as they sat at their desks, neglecting themselves and their families for the sake of success.
Real success, my mother said, was knowing how to find the balance between personal health and professional health.
I missed those talks with my mother.
I opened my eyes and looked up at the woman in front of me.
“Yes?” I asked.
“Your pedicurist is ready for you. After that is your manicure, and then we’ll finish you off with a wonderful hour-and-a-half massage, complete with relaxing aromatherapies. Would you like to add any other services, such as a complimentary facial or a nice painted design on your toes or nails?”
“No, thank you,” I said as I stood.
My phone vibrated in my pocket as I settled my feet into the warm water.
I pulled it from my pocket and recognized the number instantly. My mother’s facility was calling. My heart sped in my chest as the bubbles around my feet kicked on, and I held the phone up to my ear with a trembling hand.
“Hello?” I asked.
“I’m sorry to disturb you, Miss Elizabeth. But we wanted to call you the second the mail run got finished up.”
“Is something wrong with my mother?” I asked.
“It seems as if someone has sent her a less-than-pleasant letter.”
“Define ‘less than pleasant.’”
“It’s a letter we needed to report to the police, ma’am.”
I furrowed my brow as the technician got started on my feet.
“Send me a picture of the letter, please. Immediately.”
“I’ve already emailed you a picture of it, but I wanted to follow it up with a phone call. Because of who you are and who your mother is, we’ve upped the security around the facility until the note can be resolved. I wanted to keep you abreast once the police officers left with everyone’s statements.”
“And my mother’s all right? She’s safe?” I asked.
“Physically, yes. On any other charge, let me know after you read that letter,” she said.