William was annoyed he wasn’t able to get through the rest of the week without thinking about Emma Olson. She was a nurse, he repeated to himself early Friday afternoon. Though she might have once been a good one, the truth was that she’d been let go after an unspecified debacle at Northern New Jersey’s most prominent hospital.
With little effort spent to do otherwise, he allowed himself to think about how Emma in person differed from her picture in the paper. The paper showed her with longish light brown hair. When she’d entered his office days earlier, her hair been chopped off and dyed black. He almost chuckled imagining his grandmother’s reaction when she learned her new nurse was the same one who’d been in the news before realizing that with her dementia and late stage lung cancer, she’d probably take it in stride.
He sighed and leaned back in his favorite chair, unable to concentrate on the spreadsheet before him. Emma would be good for his grandmother. He had a strange feeling about it, and his strange feelings were almost always right. He looked at his watch and decided to go home early.
He could always work from home, but he found when the security system beeped at a quarter til six, he hadn’t done much of anything. He closed his laptop and smiled. Emma Olson was punctual.
She was frowning when he opened the door.
“Ms. Olson,” he said, wondering what she’d look like if she smiled.
He moved to let her in. “Welcome to my home. Grandmother is napping. She ate an early dinner and fell asleep after I gave her her medication.”
A tidy eyebrow went up, just the slightest bit. “You’re taking care of her yourself?”
Her eyes were an intriguing combination of blue, gray, and green. How had he not noticed their unique coloring when he saw her the first time? At that moment, those eyes were staring at him.
He nodded. “Yes, when we’re between nurses, I attend to her care when I’m home.”
She looked at him with more respect than she had when she’d only known him as a mere CEO. “Huh. A man of varied talents.”
“Something like that.”
They made their way into his foyer and, as always when someone new saw his house, he tried to imagine it through their eyes. He wondered what Emma Olson would focus on: the marble entranceway, the massive staircase, the antique table and bench?
It was hard to tell. Emma came across as a woman of few words.
“Would you like something to drink? I could show you the kitchen.” It made sense to start there since she would be the person preparing meals for his grandmother.
“Did the same decorator do your home and office?” she asked as they made their way down the long hall.
Of all the strange questions. It took longer than he would have thought to remember.
“No,” he finally said. “They were different people.”
She made some sort of noncommittal response that intrigued him.
Her head nodded slightly toward the painting on the wall. “Horace Day. You have them in your office, too. One in the waiting room.”
He stopped in the middle of the hall. “You know Horace Day?”
She stood and admired the depiction of the American South. “I minored in Art History.”
“That seems rather strange for a nurse.”
Small, powerful shoulders shrugged under her thin shirt. “It was a nice distraction from organic chemistry and gave me an excuse to go to art galleries on the weekends.” She looked up at him with more interest than she’d shown in the short time he’d known her. “Research.”
“Of course.” One day maybe he’d show her his private gallery.
Their footsteps echoed on the wooden floors of the hallway until they reached their destination. “Kitchen,” he said.
He followed her gaze as she took in the expansive counters and gleaming stainless appliances.
“Nice,” she finally said.
An understatement if there was one. “But not as nice as the Horace Day paintings?”
She nodded and trailed her fingertip along the edge of the granite. Her eyes followed her fingers instead of looking at him. “Something like that.”
Released: September 21st 2015
Published by Self Published
This is a short story and is not part of The Submissive Series.
Includes a bonus excerpt of Cat Waters new novel, OBSCURED, releasing October 12, 2015!
Emma Olson is out of options after being wrongly terminated from her nursing position. As a last ditch effort before starting over as a grocery store bagger, she interviews with William Richardson, a well known computer geek, said to go through nurses like tissue paper.
William needs a live in nurse for his terminally ill Grandmother. He doesn’t think spitfire Emma Olson is the one for the job, but unfortunately, she’s the only one applying.
When Emma moves in, the combination of her sass and his sarcasm will either keep them apart or show them they might be fighting for the same thing.