Luca (You Will Be Mine)(3)

By: Jaimie Roberts

Everything here was kitted out like a royal hotel, and I was proud of it. So was my auntie. The only major problem I was having was Luca Belatoni. He was some hotshot who had recently moved nearby from New Jersey.

Oh was he bad news! He’d been trying—and failing—to send his little troops over here to demand money for his protection and discretion. I’d already told them a few times to go run and jump. The idiot who came for the last visit just smiled and said, “I shall pass along your request to Mr. Belatoni. No doubt, you will be hearing from him soon.”

Three days after that visit, I still hadn’t heard from him. Hopefully, he would leave me in peace, but something was telling me that it wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. I wasn’t going to give into bullying, though. I never had with my parents, and I never would with that arsehole.

“Clara?” Tammy’s head peaked around the door, interrupting my thoughts.

“Hi, Tammy. What can I do for you?”

Tammy shuffled her way through the door and took a seat opposite my desk. “I have a problem. I don’t think I can do this anymore. I’ve met someone.” Tammy looked down at her feet.

This would be the second girl in one month I’d lost—the second to have fallen in love. I wasn’t stupid. People could only be in this kind of game for so long. It still didn’t make it any easier when we lost one of them.

“I can’t say I’m not disappointed. You’re one of our best, Tammy.”

“I love you, Clara. You mean the world to me, and I’ve been trying my hardest to hold this job as long as I could, but the thing is… John’s asked me to marry him.”

Swinging in my seat a little, I took in everything she had said. “Does John know about what you do?”

Tammy looked down at her feet again. “No, and I don’t want him to know. I think it would cut him up pretty badly if he knew. That’s why I feel I can’t do it anymore. I want to settle down with John, and I can’t do that with a job like this.”

“So, what have you told him?”

“That I’m a receptionist in a hotel. That’s partly true anyway.” She smiled at that, making her teeth sparkle.

“Okay. I appreciate you coming to tell me. You will be really missed here, but I completely understand. I just want to know one thing before you leave.”

“What’s that?”

“Are you happy?”

Tammy smiled brightly. “Yes… Yes, I am.”

“Well then, that’s the most important issue here, isn’t it?” With an air of happiness, she nodded her head. “I want to ask one thing of you, though.”

“Anything for you, Clara.”

“Don’t be a stranger? I would like for you to visit every now and then—tell me how you’re getting on.”

“Sure, sure. I’d miss you too much anyway if I didn’t.”

Rising out of my chair, Tammy did the same. I gathered her in my arms and gave her a great big hug. “You take care of yourself. And tell that fiancé of yours that if he ever hurts you, he’ll have me to answer to.”

I heard Tammy chuckle, and then she began to sniffle a little through her tears. I pulled her away and looked deeply into her eyes. “There’s no need to cry. I will still be here—whether you leave or not.”

“I know,” she said, wiping away her tears. “I’ll still miss you, though. You’re like a sister to me. You’re like a sister to all of the girls—well, maybe not so much to Rachael.”

I laughed and shook my head at her. That seemed to be a constantly running joke. Rachael was bisexual, and she thought I didn’t sleep with any of the men because I was gay. A fact she brought up once when we’d had a party and she tried feeling me up. She said that I turned her on with my no-nonsense, caring attitude towards the girls and clients.

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