Authors: Georgia Somers
COPYRIGHT © 2014 by Talent Writers ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
. No part of this publication is allowed to be reproduced in any form without written permission from the author. Only reviewers are allowed to quote brief passages from this publication.
Reyna Barnes shivered beneath her flimsy, black coat, as she walked down the long, asphalt driveway toward Thorne Manor. She lugged behind her a small suitcase filled with most of the clothes she had. Reyna pulled her jacket collar tighter around her neck as an icy wind blew in her direction. She sighed deeply, looking at the large stone-faced mansion in front of her. She was surrounded by rolling green hills, beautiful rose bushes, and the backdrop of a magnificent castle in perfect solitude, in the heart of the Evergreen State. Reyna trudged on toward the front door, thinking of everything that had brought her to the place she now stood.
The sixth daughter of a mechanic and a maid, Reyna grew up in exceptional poverty in
the heart of sunny Santa Fe. She was a whizz with numbers, a mathematics star, but had been barely able to finish high school when she was forced to work to help support her family, all her own hopes and dreams lived in the shadow of long forgotten childhood. Now she was here, in Washington, in the home of one of the richest families in the country. She had recently received a phone call, notifying her that one of the two maids at Thorne Manor had recently left, and the vacancy needed to be filled as soon as possible. The salary was more than anything she could have dreamed of, and even though she would be living on the property in a state far from her family, it was a sacrifice she was willing to make. Reyna assumed she had gotten the job because she had been a maid since she was sixteen, and now at the blossoming age of thirty, she knew what she was doing. Reyna had worked for many families over the years, mostly in middle class suburbia. She had encountered countless personalities, from the plain noxious and naïve to the lecherous and lascivious. From what she had heard about the Thorne family, she assumed she would only encounter them on rare occasions, and that was fine with her. Her purpose was to get the job done, and receive a paycheck at the end of every month to send home to her family. Slowly, Reyna made her way up the marble steps of the entrance that led to a magnificent oak door, and gently pushed the doorbell.
Grayson Thorne rolled his eyes as he heard the doorbell ring for the third time. Violently he pushed himself out his leather office chair and stomped out of his den. “Does no one work here?” he yelled into the empty halls as he marched to the main foyer where the ringing was coming from. Heatedly, he pulled open the front door, an angered look on his face. His expression immediately softened as he took in the beautiful woman in front of him. The cold afternoon sunlight shone through her shoulder-length brown hair, highlighting its various shades of gold and making her amber eyes stand out vividly. She was breathtaking. “Can I help you?” he asked, swallowing his earlier rage.
Reyna inhaled deeply, a sudden warmth flowing through her shivering body.
This must be Grayson Thorne
, she thought, as she looked at the handsome man standing in front of her. Only in his early forties, Grayson had made a fortune for himself by becoming the biggest oil tycoon in the country. Reyna’s cheeks flushed as she watched herself follow the line of his strong jaw and settle on his lips. She opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out. Grayson looked somewhat amused, a twinkle in his eye. Suddenly a flurry of activity in the house caught their attention, as a middle age woman scurried toward the front door, a harried expression on her face.
Mr. Thorne,” she whimpered, a heavy German accent rolling off her tongue, “I am so sorry, I was on the other side of the Manor and did not hear the bell. James is off this afternoon, I am so sorry.”
Grayson shook his head, his anger completely gone by now, “It’s alright Ivana.”
The blonde woman looked at the guest and smiled, “You must be Reyna,” she said quickly, stepping in front of Grayson and rushing Reyna in
. Reyna smiled in an exasperated manner as she was dragged down the hallway, and she and Grayson exchanged furtive glances.
Reyna spent the rest of the afternoon becoming acquainted with the Manor and Ivana, the other maid. Thorne Manor was four stories high and doubly as wide; it was really more of castle than anything else. Reyna couldn’t believe only three people lived in the house, they most likely never saw one another. From what she had learned from Ivana, part of the Manor was never used unless guests were invited over, so most of the cleaning and caretaking was cordoned off within the middle of the gigantic house. Reyna would be in charge of cleaning the main bedrooms, and laundry for now, while she settled in and Ivana showed her the ropes. She was courteously introduced to James the butler, who arrived in the early evening and Carmen, the cook. Her living quarters blew her away. She had never had an entire bed to herself before, let alone a whole room with a bathroom. The setting was more luxurious than she could even imagine, more than she was used to, but judging by what she had seen of the house so far, it was a plain and simple room.
Dinnertime was signaled by the wafting aromas of hours of cooking coming from the large granite kitchen. Reyna sat on a bar stool at the counter and watched as Ivana, Carmen and James moved around in perfect harmony coordinating the dinner service. At exactly 7’ 0 clock, James left the kitchen carrying a silver tray laid out with a sumptuous meal followed by Ivana who also had her own tray. As they left, Reyna peeked through and saw two beautiful women sitting at the twelve-seat oak table, laden with wine and flowers. The older woman, Camilla Thorne, Grayson’s wife, was striking, with long auburn hair, bright green eyes and lightly freckled skin. Her manicured hands had never seen a day of hard work in their life. To her left was a younger version of her mother, Ella Thorne. From what Reyna had learned, Ella had just turned 21 and she was very spoilt. Ella had her mother’s hair, and skin tone, but those tender blue eyes were definitely from her father.
After a few moments, Ivana rushed back into the kitchen, the silver tray still in her hands, with an exasperated look on her face.
“What’s wrong?” asked Reyna, standing up
Ivana shook her head, “Miss Ella wants all the carbohydrates removed.”
Reyna raised her eyebrows, as Ivana and Carmen chuckled.
“Can I help with anything?” ask
ed Reyna, wanting to be useful, even though it was only her first day.
Ivana looked up at her, a grateful smile edging her lips, “If you wouldn’t mind,” she said, pointing to the last
silver tray on the counter, “Mr. Thorne is having dinner in his den.”
and then smiled. This was her job, she thought, as she picked up the tray and walked out another kitchen door and down a long hallway toward the den.
Grayson flipped through papers on his desk, searching for something in particular. His face was taut with stress, the lines on his brow, furrowing deep. Suddenly he threw all the papers on the floor in a fit of anger. Just then, the door to the den opened and Reyna walked in. Grayson sighed, running his hands through his thick, dark hair and noticing the fearful expression on her face. She slowly walked in and placed the tray on a side table and rushed to pick up the papers on the floor. Grayson sighed deeply, shaking his head as he got up and walked toward her. “Please, leave it,” he said angrily, as she piled up some papers in her hand. Refusing to look him in the eye, Reyna replied, “Mr. Thorne, it’s my job.” Grayson sighed, as he moved to the ground to help her. For the first time Reyna looked up at him, the strain in his face causing her heart to reach out to him a little. “You really don’t…” she began.
“It’s one thing to make sure a house is neat and tidy, it’s another to clean up after a g
rown man’s tantrum,” he said, a smile edging his lips.
Reyna couldn’t help but smile back, a strange knot forming in her stomach
. Grayson’s eyes locked with hers, a dark tension forming between them. Suddenly the den door flew open and Camilla walked in. Grayson jumped up, almost guiltily. “You can’t spend ten minutes with your family?” started Camilla, not even noticing Reyna in the room.
Grayson’s eyes narrowed as
Camilla stormed toward him, “Camilla,” he began but she shook her head furiously.
“No, no more excuses,” she yelled, but Grayson had had enough
. He furiously slammed his hand onto his now empty desk causing both Reyna and Camilla to jump.
“Having all this money and keeping all this money are two entirely different things, so if you’re happy with selling Thorne Manor
and all your priceless possessions to live like a normal person just let me know and I will gladly spend more time with my family,” he yelled, his voice grained with strain.
’s eyes were slits on her face as she turned on her heel and stormed off.
“That’s what I thought,” said Grayson, to himself, but Reyna was still in the room
. Hurriedly she picked up the last few papers and laid them on his table, avoiding his gaze again as she left the room.
Reyna got into her new bed in her new room, and sank into the soft covers. Her eyes struggled to stay open, thoughts and images flitting through her mind. Grayson Thorne. His soft blue eyes. His charming half-smile. He was devastatingly handsome, she thought as she started drifting to sleep. He was also married, as well as being her boss, oh and she was his maid. Reyna rolled her eyes as she turned on her side and shook her head to try and rid her mind of the mischievous thoughts that were creeping in as she dozed off into a deep slumber. She knew men like him, men with too much money and a love of power. They were bad news. Men who thought they could have whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. Reyna groaned as a small part of her wished that she was the thing he wanted.