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Chapter 15


“You know… I have told you quite a bit about myself. And while I do
have that mysterious file about you, I still don’t know much about you,” Julien
began, pointing to me as we walked.


I could already feel myself freezing up at the thought of trying to
relive my past. It’s not like I had a super traumatic childhood or anything,
but there are a lot of things that I simply tried to block out the best I
could. And dredging them back up is not my idea of a good time.


“I don’t really like talking about myself, in case you haven’t
noticed. If you asked me a specific question, then maybe I’ll answer it. That’s
the best I can do for now.”


He narrowed his eyes at me, not menacingly, but more in a disappointed
way. I felt bad because it was like I was trying to keep things from him. I
just honestly prefer it to stay out of that part of my head.


“Fair enough. I know what happened to your family. I was just
wondering what it was like for you as a child. What were you like?”


I laughed at that, memories already beginning to form in my mind’s
eye. “I was stubborn. My daddy used to call me his little mule, believe it or
not. He said I was nearly as hard-headed as my mama, and that’s saying a lot.”


Julien smiled, and my breath caught for just a moment.


“I was also pretty shy, not to where I would only keep to myself, but
more along the lines of not wanting to be around a whole bunch of people at
once. I guess I’m still that way…”


“You seem to be handling it well,” Julien replied, waving at the
people walking along with us.


“Maybe I’m just faking it… You know? My mama was a really strong
woman, and I don’t want her to look down and see a scared little girl…”


It felt like I had almost given up a part of myself, admitting all of
that. Julien was silent. He quickly cleared his throat.


“So this place I’m taking you, don’t laugh. But there’s a
place just like it where my mother grew up, and she used to always tell me
about it when I was a child. It’s right around the corner, I think.”


to Table of Contents


Chapter 16


As we turned around the bend, I saw a small cluster of houses. Off to
the side of the homes was a well that looked like it was straight out of Snow
White. It was wooden, with a small bucket and crank to go with it, brilliant
green ivy having taken over most of the sides and top of it.


I definitely hadn’t been expecting that, but as I had learned since I
got to France, not everything in life is to be expected.


I found myself smiling as we walked up to it, holding my hand out to
test the crank. It wouldn’t budge, but that didn’t take away from the magic of
it. It just looked like it was something that belonged in a fairytale, and
those kinds of things are not something you see every day.


“You don’t see things like this growing up in a big city,” I muttered
to myself, shaking my head. It wasn’t that I was bitter, I was just glad that I
was here.


“I suppose not, but we are here now. They say that this is
l’eau de puits qui souhaitent.
A real
wishing well.”


I really wished I had pockets right about then. “Really? That’s pretty


He nodded, pulling out something from his pocket. “I only have one
coin, but you can have it. Maybe you’ll get your wish,” he said, his voice
light and cheerful.


I smiled in return, thinking about the little girl I used to be… The
one that believed in wishing wells.


I took the coin from his hand and lifted in over the well, closing my
eyes for added effect.


I wished for a better life…


I didn’t want to be a downer, but the idea was sort of a novelty to me
at this point. After narrowly escaping death at the end of a gun barrel, I was
just happy to make it alive to the next day. Being here in France was
wonderful, but at the end of the day, I was still nothing but a maid cleaning
rooms for a living…


“Did you make your wish? What did you wish for?”


I rolled my eyes at him, my hands on my hips. “Really, Julien? Don’t
you know it’s bad luck to tell someone your wish? Then it might never come


“Ah, I forgot about that part. I hope it was a good one. You wouldn’t
want to waste a perfectly good wish on something like a new pair of earrings,
or something,” he replied.


“I think a pair new earrings is a perfectly good thing to wish for,
actually. I can’t remember the last time I actually bought myself jewelry. Or
anything, really,” my voice trailed off.


He nodded, almost looking guilty. I raised my brow, wondering what he
was up to. He slowly reached into his pocket again, pulling out a small, white,
squared box. I had no idea what it was, but for some reason it put me on edge.


“What’s that?” I tried to sound casual, wincing when I realized my
voice sounded much too high.


Julien shifted the weight on his feet, quickly wetting his lips as he
did. I hadn’t known him for entirely that long yet, but I already knew that
this was something he did when he was nervous. What would possibly make him
feel nervous?


“I guess it’s a good thing you didn’t wish for a new bracelet,” he
mused, placing the box in my hand. “Because I already got you one of those...”


I didn’t want to take the top off of the box. I didn’t want to see
what was inside, because if it was what I thought it was then things were about
to get dramatically different. And I wasn’t sure how to feel about it.


I bit my lip, slowly pulling the lid back to reveal the beautiful
handcrafted bracelet that I had been ogling over back at the jewelry store. It
was a dainty silver charm bracelet, with different colored stones set in tiny
heart-shaped charms. How did he know? Was he in the bathroom when I had been
staring at the store’s window? But more importantly… why did he give me this?


I quickly tried to suck in the air around me, feeling as though I was
going to hyperventilate. It was an odd reaction, sure, but I had honestly never
been given something so beautiful, or so expensive, in my whole life. I didn’t
exactly know
to react to such a
gift. And then… there was the underlying suspicion I had before. What was all
this about really?


“Don’t you like it? You don’t seem too… happy about it,” Julien
observed, frowning.


I knew the filter was turned way off, before he even said anything.
“No, I’m not exactly happy about it. Why would you get me something this? It’s
too much. I just, I just don’t understand.”


Julien looked alarmed, clearly not expecting my reaction. “I apologize
if I offended you Amira. I just saw you standing there looking at it from the
street, and I thought it would look nice on your wrist. I don’t really have a
specific reason other than that,” he said slowly, trying to work through what
had just transpired. “I can take it back, if you’d like… But I’d really like you
to keep it. You’ve lost so much. You deserve a little beauty and grace.”


I just stood there, my jaw dropped, unable to figure his motive out.
Who just goes and buys something like this for their maid? I had learned to
trust him, learn to feel safe with him even… But now I was second-guessing
myself again.


Julien's face softened. "You had something terrible happened to
you, and it's left you with no one to trust. But Amira, please know that you
can trust me. I will never let anything happen to you."
His words filled me up with something indescribable, something similar to hope
but more.
He reached over and wiped away one of my tears with his thumb, giving me a sad
smile. "I don't like to see you cry."
I giggled, obviously hysterical at this point. Who laughs and giggles at the
same time, anyway? This crying, dummy of a girl, that's who.
"Can we just go back to before? Pretend like you didn't just give me an
insanely expensive piece of jewelry?" Hey, I had to ask, right?
Julien smile faded as he took in a deep breath. "I'm sure you have your
notions about me, I do not generally have such intense feelings for other
people. I try not to let myself have them. Especially after what happened with
Danica. I'm rambling, I apologize.”


Intense feelings?
Oh God…


“I met you and everything changed. I’ve seen you smile despite
everything that has happened… You have a sense of wonder that I thought I’d
never experience again. You’re not just my maid… And that bracelet isn’t some
meaningless trinket. If I had a coin for the well, do you know what I’d wish


For the second time that day, I was speechless.


“You… I’d wish for you…”


“Take me home and I’ll grant that wish,” I replied, a fire
burning hot inside me.


Back to Table of Contents


Chapter 17


We parked the car in front of the château’s front entrance. Half of me
wanted to bolt, to give myself time to properly go over what had happened back
in town. The other half was curious. Oh so curious.


I unbuckled my seatbelt, calmly picking up my handbag before turning
towards Julien, facing him right on. I could see it in his eyes... He really
did care about me, and I knew for a fact that I cared about him, too. So there
we were, two people who cared about each other, just sitting there looking at
one another.


This needs something more,
I thought.
Let’s change it up a bit.


I leaned forward, happy to see Julien meeting me halfway as our lips
gently pressed together. I had to force my eyes shut—all I wanted to do was
look at him. His hand cupped the back of my head, pulling me even closer to
him. I opened my mouth slightly, and felt his tongue graze against mine,
waiting for permission. I deepened the kiss, pulling my arms around his neck,
wanting to get closer to him, and wishing the damned gear-shift wasn’t holding
me back.


Even though I wasn’t able to fully process it yet, my mind was
catching up second by second. I was really kissing Julien. This was really


What had started out as a slow and tender kiss, was starting to pick
up more heat. I pressed myself up against him even tighter, knowing there would
be no complete satisfaction until nothing was between us. He pulled back in
surprise, his eyes darting between mine, trying to figure me out.


Oh no you don’t
, I thought,
leaning over further until I was practically in his lap, kissing him again. I
always wondered why people made out cars, they were so cramped and there is
nowhere to put anything. Never had that imagery in my head been clearer than


He ran his hands up the sides my arms, sending goosebumps all down
them, among other places. When I ran my hand through the thickness of his hair
he hummed, dragging his hands down to firmly settle on my full hips. His hands
bunched the fabric so that my sundress was slowly riding up my thighs.


Everything was happening so fast, and it was taking my mind a few
seconds to catch up with my body. I knew where this was going to lead, I wasn't
that much of a dummy. But I had only done this once before, and I was afraid
that I wasn't very good at it. And I damn sure wasn't going to do anything more
in the small car.


"Maybe we should head inside?" I asked, pulling away to
clear my throat and get some air. I had to drag my eyes away from Julien's lips
— they were pink and swollen from me kissing them.
I just did that to him.
I smiled and reached up to touch my own,
grinning even wider when I felt them.
Julien was in a daze, and when he snapped to he shook his head trying to clear
out whatever was going on in it. "Perhaps you're right."
It took a moment for either one of us to finally move, but when we did we moved
fast. I was practically sprinting up the front steps, my heart beating fast in
my chest. Julien grabbed my hand on the way into the foyer, pushing me up
against the nearest wall and cupping my face in both his hands. I looked into
his soulful brown eyes, wishing that the moment would never end.
"Maybe a little further inside?" I breathed.
Julien chuckled to himself. "Like my room, perhaps?"
"That will do," I said, smiling up at him.
The look on his face… I could see the want he had for me, something I had never
really seen in man's eyes like that before. All I could think about was how
much I wanted him.
He pulled away and grabbed my hand again, leading me up the first flight of
steps to the second level where his bedroom was. The wind was catching up my
hair as we walked faster and faster, both chuckling at our silly selves. Just
the fact that I could laugh with him like this was so enthralling to me. I had
never had a relationship with someone like this, where I half wanted to yank
their clothes off and half wanted to have a late night conversation with them.
When we got to his door, he quickly fumbled for the key.
"Do you really have to lock your door? Is all that necessary?"
Julien shrugged his shoulders. "I guess not, but it makes me feel more
secure. Especially with all the confidential information I keep inside of my
room... Are we really going to discuss the security of my bedroom? Or are there
more pressing matters to attend to?"
I bit my lip. He was totally right, there were definitely more pressing matters
to attend to. In fact when he practically shoved me inside of the room he
really did press his matters up against me, and I definitely wanted to attend
to them.
Our hands were all over each other—one minute he was pushing me up against his
wall, the next I had pulled him around and pushed him up against the wall
instead. We both laughed and kissed each other, then laughed some more as we
fumbled for each other's clothes. I was so excited I could hardly stand it, and
judging by the growing bulge in Julien's nice slacks… he was pretty excited


My dress went up over my shoulders and off into the corner. Julien let
out a growl, unhooking the front clasp of my bra and tearing it free.
"Is that better?" I asked, my voice husky and low. He did that thing
that I loved where he narrowed his eyes at me with that wicked smile on his
I couldn’t believe I was here with Julien in his bedroom... While the rest of
the château was covered in darker colors, Julien's room was white with dark
trim all around. His bed was even larger than the huge bed in the room I was
staying in, with matching satin covers in a cream color. It just screamed sexy
and relaxed at the same time, sort of like Julien was himself…


Although nothing was relaxed
about him now.


He pulled me up against himself and began kissing down side of my
neck, his mouth covering my skin with force and desire.
"I just, need to… get this damn… thing off of you!" I grumbled,
quickly becoming too impatient and yanking all the buttons off of his shirt.
, I thought.
"That was a $400 shirt, Amira," Julien mused, that wicked grin of his
cutting across his face. I shrugged, still smiling as I quickly moved my hands
down to the next part — his pants.
"I’ll make it up to you," I replied.
With a quick pull and snap back I was able to open his pants, pushing them
down. I don't know why we were in such a rush – ideally I wanted to take my
sweet, sweet time with him. But my bones felt like they were jumping in my
body, my blood was boiling hot, and I could think about was what was going
happen next. The rush… all of it was starting to really get to me, and I knew
that I was probably soaked through between my legs. I couldn't help it, he was
just so damn hot!
He sighed as I stood back and pulled down my underwear as well, leaving me
completely stark naked in front of him. All my inhibitions had just been thrown
out the window, and whoever this new person was who had taken over my body for
the time being, she just didn't care. She wanted it all.

"You are so fucking beautiful," he whispered, his words a slow
interlude to the crazy flurry of activity going on in the room. Even as crazy
as I was feeling inside, my heart squeezed at his words, and I teared up.
"You aren't supposed to say things like that right now," I said,
wiping at my face. "Save that for later, okay?"
Julien smiled at me, and nodded. "Come here."
I did, and with the last piece of Julien's clothing tossed to the side, I truly
saw what he had been holding back for me this whole time. My eyes nearly bugged
out of my head.
"Jesus, Julien!" Okay, maybe it was silly to shout, but when I saw
what he was packing… He just grinned knowingly.
I slowly made my way back over to him, biting my lip as I did. I wanted to slow
things down, just a little bit. It had only taken one minute for us to get to
this point from the door opening, and I didn't want the next part only take two
minutes. Forget that.
Julien seem to get the idea, and brought his palm to my cheek, trailing his
fingers down my jawline until he brought them up to my mouth where I kissed his
fingertips, taking each one of them and pulling them into my mouth to gently
suck at them. There were those lustful eyes his, again. They sent a chill right
down to my core.
"God, I love your lips, Amira. They're so full, so pretty, like little red
pillows for me to kiss whenever I want," he muttered in my ear, his hands
gliding down my sides until they reached my hipbones.


My skin was almost buzzing underneath his touch, and I could almost
hear my blood singing in my veins. How could his words do such crazy things to
my body?

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