Lucy yawned and turned on her side. The silk sheets were wonderful, and she loved the feel of the fabric over her skin. Her face buried further into the feather pillows, and stretched, spreading out completely in the bed. Normally she slept in a single bed, and with the exception of the occasional hotel stay on vacations, it was rare for her to sleep in such a large bed.
She sat up quickly, her hair half falling in front of her face, brown eyes darting around the room. It occurred to her that she was wearing a very large t-shirt, the logo and band name of Iron Maiden printed on the front. Her mind was slow to catch up after her late night, and when the memories came back, she groaned and sunk back into the bed.
What the hell had she been thinking?
It had been quite the surprise when Dominick had informed her that the house belonged to him and his family, and since his parents were gone most of the time, he was usually alone. She had danced and talked with him last night late into the morning before falling asleep on his lap. The household staff had the party cleaned up by three, and Lucy still remembered seeing the beautiful house spotless.
Dominick must have had her put in one of the rooms after she had fallen asleep. Opening an eye once more, she stared at the digital clock on the side table. It read eleven in the afternoon, and she felt her heart plummet in her chest. Her family would be furious that she stayed out so late, even though it had been a Friday night. She generally had a curfew of eleven at night, and she was about twelve hours overdue.
There was a knock on the door, and Lucy pulled the sheets up to her neck. The knock sounded once more, "Is it already to come in, miss?"
They were referring to her.
The large door opened, and Lucy stared at the maid that came in, who carried in a towel and the clothes Lucy had been wearing last night, which were washed and pressed.
"Master Dominick sent me to see to your needs," she said, "The bathroom has already been stocked with any supplies you need, and your clothes are ready."
Lucy sat up, pushing her hair out of her face, "I, uh, actually you can just point me in the right direction and I can take care of it."
"Are you sure?"
She nodded. If she was going to be damned to hell by her family anyway, she might as well make the best of her present situation.
"Okay, the bathroom is right through that door," the maid pointed at a large wooden door, "My name is Susan. If you need anything, there is an intercom button and I'll come up."
Susan nodded and left the room. With one last glance, Lucy got up out of bed and opened the door to the bathroom. She saw the huge Jacuzzi tub, and couldn't stop the smile that spread across her face.
This wasn't so bad.
Dominick sat at the table, eating breakfast and reading the paper. It was a routine he had developed since living in the house on his own. No one cared when he woke up, what he did, or when he did it. The staff followed his orders closely, and made no move to stop him from doing what he wanted. But for the first time in a long time, someone beside himself and the staff was in the house.
Hannah came out of the kitchen and refilled his coffee cup. While growing up, Hannah had been his unofficial guardian as well as the head cook. Now she was head of the household, along with Hank Richards the butler, and Dom considered both of them friends of his. Frequently, they were the only people he had to talk to.
"I have just been informed that Miss McBride is awake."
"Thank you, Hannah. Will you tell the cook to fire up some breakfast?"
He glanced back at his paper, taking a sip of coffee. It was not quite ten minutes later when he heard someone enter the dining room. Looking up, he was quite sure that his mouth dropped open.
She was absently running her fingers through her hair, dressed in her skirt and shirt from the night before. The bandanna had held her braided hair to her head, but he had no idea that she would have a head of corkscrew curly hair. It was thick and blond, matching her brown eyes, and had been grown down to her waist. Lucy brushed a piece of hair behind her ear, and walked quietly to the chair across from him.
"Good morning," she smiled.
It took Dominick a moment to get his thoughts back.
"You are the most beautiful girl I have ever seen."
"Did you sleep well?"
Her heart was racing now, and she touched the silver fork and knife that were placed next to the china plate. It wouldn't surprise her if those three pieces of dishes were worth more than her paychecks at her part-time job for a month.
"Very," Lucy smiled, avoiding the comment he made, "I liked the tub in the bathroom."
Dom grinned, "I thought you might."
"This is so different," she said, "Everyone at school knows you as this punk, and here you are, sitting at the table with a cup of coffee and reading the Wall Street Journal."
He smiled, "It's my day off."
Another maid came by, and Lucy found herself eating eggs, bacon, and toast. It was all made perfectly and she almost sighed with happiness as the fresh-squeezed orange juice. Dominick continued to stare at her, which made her slightly uncomfortable.
"I should probably head home after this."
There was a frown on his face, and he looked back at the paper. Of course she would need to go back home after a while, he couldn't except to lock her away in his house.
"Okay. I can have one of my drivers take you back."
"No, that's okay, I can just walk-"
Lucy glanced at him from where he was reading his paper. He didn't look up at her again, and for some reason she felt a pressure rise in her chest. Was he angry at her for something she said? There wasn't another word spoken over breakfast, and she felt oddly detached when the bulter brought her things to her. Dominick was standing in the doorway of the house, hands in his pockets, staring at her as she walked towards the car.
The chauffeur was ordered to drive her back to her house, and then that was it. That was probably the last she would ever see of Dominick.
She stopped a moment, before getting into the car, and looked back at him. Dominick stood on the top step lead up to the house, and before she had second thoughts, Lucy hurried across the front lawn towards him.
"What?" he looked confused, "Did you forget something?"
Lucy stood on her toes and kissed him on the cheek. His eyes grew wide as saucers as she eased back,
"Thank you for everything, Dominick," she said, "Bye."
He almost reached out to her as she headed back to the car. It took all of his willpower not to pull her into his arms and drag her back into the house. Dominick allowed himself to watch the car pull out of the driveway and leave before heaving a deep sigh, and returning to the empty house.
She was grounded for three weeks.
Lucy sighed as she weaved around the tables of the coffee shop. She had been working at Midnight Coffee for two years now, ever since she was sixteen, and Lucy had stayed there ever since. The only thing that had saved her from a longer sentence was Miranda, who called her house and told her parents that Lucy was staying with her for the night. Late notice was very frowned upon, and the three weeks sentence was the result. She shuddered to think what would have happened had her family known she had stayed with Dominick last night.
It was not a good thought.
"Luce!" the elder woman called from behind the counter, "Can you come help me for a moment?"
"Sure thing, Meg."
Meg Randel was Lucy's savior. The sixty-year-old woman was a firecracker, and despite her age, drove a Harley and was also a part-time personal trainer. Many of the coffees and foods in the Midnight could be offered in organic, non-fat, or soy. Meg was tall, a few inches short of six feet, and was married to a local mathematics professor. Her hair was short and spikey, she would frequently dye it to keep the gray from being to prominent.
Lucy stood in the back of the counter, making the coffees as Meg ordered. There was always a rush around the Saturday lunch hour, which mainly consisted of people running afternoon errands. Some college students would come and study in the lounge, while some people came just to dine-in.
"What will you have today, honey?"
Meg was from Mississippi, and had a thick southern accent. Out of habit, she called everyone either 'babe' or 'honey'. Lucy thought it was endearing. The voice that she heard behind her in respone to Meg was most definitly not endearing.
"Non-fat mocha latte with whip cream and skim milk."
The woman smiled, pressing the order into the register, "A man knows his coffees."
"I know what I like."
Oh god, oh god, Lucy thought to herself. She knew Dominick was standing behind her, and she willed herself to only nod and answer back when Meg shouted the order to her. Dom came from a wealthy family and had a circle friends who were so different from her that it was ridiculous. How would he think of her if he saw her serving him? The thought slightly perplexed her, however, knowing that this was the first time she had ever seen Dominick in her cafe.
"Here you are, sir," Lucy turned and set the coffee on the counter, smiling uneasily at him.
Dominick stared back at her, and took the coffee from her, "Thank you, miss."
Meg looked back and forth at them, and her eyebrows shot up into the air. It was rare that she ever saw Lucy show any interested in a guy other than that dipshit Will. When Meg had first met Will, he had always rubbed her the wrong way, but she could never bring herself to say something to Lucy out of respect. The guy standing at the counter was a hunk in the tall-dark-and-handsome sense, and the look he was pointing at Lucy was so searing that Meg felt like she should turn a fan on to cool them off.
The phone rang, and Meg excused herself to go answer it. Since the crowd had calmed a bit, Lucy picked up a towel to begin cleaning empty tables.
"So, you work here, huh?"
Lucy glanced at Dom, who was following her around the cafe and absently sipping his coffee. He was wearing a large black jacket over his black turtleneck, and a pair of dark blue jeans that fit him wonderfully. There was a small gold loop in his left ear, followed be two gold studs that followed up the side of his ear, and another smaller gold loop that circled around the top of the same ear.
"Yeah," she cleaned the top of the table, moving the napkins and straw containers back into place, "For the last two years. I haven't seen you in here before."
He shrugged, "I was passing by and saw the place. I felt like having a coffee so I came in."
That was the dumbest thing she had ever heard, and a terrible excuse for a cover up. But why would Dominick want to come and see her?
"When do you get off of work?" Dom asked.
"Around seven," she answered. It was four o'clock at that moment.
"Cool. Would you like to catch some dinner?"
She blushed slightly, and looked away so she could hide it, "Uh...I can't. My parents grounded me."
Dominick gapped at her, "What? For staying at my house?"
"No, if they knew that, I would be locked in my room right now and they would throw away the key. They think I stayed at Miranda Meyers."
"Your best friend's place?" he said, she didn't even ask how Dom knew Randy was her best friend, "But that's-"
"Strict, I know. My sister is getting married soon and I should have been home last night to help, but I had to get out of that place for a while. They don't even notice when I'm gone most of the time."
Lucy could have sworn he muttered 'I know the feeling' under his breath. As he was about to speak, Meg burst out of the kitchen doors.
"Brace yourself, Luce! We've got a big crowd headed this way!"
"What?" Lucy frowned.
"I just got a call about a party. A big group will be here for full dine-in and everything. Oh Christ, where did I put those extra napkins?" Meg darted towards the supply room, "Push four of those tables together! We've got about seventeen people comin'."
Lucy tossed the rag behind the counter and rushed to push chairs away from empty tables. To her surprise, Dominick took the other side of the table, pulling chair away and moving to help her push tables together. She looked surprised, "You don't have to help-"
"No, it's okay," he grinned, "Just tell me what to do."
Meg marched out of the supply closet with a stack of napkin boxes in her arms. One almost fell out of her reach, but Dom caught it before it hit the ground.
"But, Dominick, I can't ask you to do that."
"I don't mind," he said, then looked at Meg. He was stupid, and clearly recognized who the voice of authority was in the cafe, "I know my way around things. Just say the word and I'll be just fine."
"God bless you, boy," Meg patted his cheek, "You're going to be waiting tables," she tossed him a rag with a pad of a paper and pen, "Help Luce move the tables. We've only got five minutes or so."
She scurried back to the kitchen, and Lucy smiled at Dominick, "Thanks Dominick. You know, you don't really have to."
"I've got nothing else to do. Besides, this seems much more fun," he said, taking off his coat, and heading to the back to find a place to leave it. When he returned he was wearing a black apron, the same kind of waist-down short apron she wore, with a pair of glasses on his face.
Lucy felt her toes curl and her face heat up, "You-"
"Wear glasses, I know," he said, tucking a pen behind his ear. As the doors opened, she watched as he moved to seat them.
He was a rich boy who knew how to wait and bus tables. Maybe there was more to Dominick Noon than she originally thought.