Baby of His Revenge

By: Jennie Lucas

“I ran into her with my car,” he said bluntly.

She whirled on Laney.

“Stupid girl, why did you run out in front of Mr. Black’s car?”

Kassius choked out a cough. “It was my fault entirely.” He placed the black zipper bag from the expensive furrier into her arms. “Here. To replace your coat that was ruined in the accident.”

Zipping it open, Mimi gasped. “A new fur! I take it back, Laney,” she said sweetly. “You can let Mr. Black hit you with his car any time he wants.”

And Laney didn’t think her boss was joking, either.

Mimi’s red lips lifted in a flirtatious smile as she stepped closer to Kassius. “Buying me a new fur coat before we’ve even gone on our first date? You really know how to please a woman.”

“Do you think so?” Kassius glanced sideways at Laney. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been inspired to pursue anyone.”

Laney’s heart pounded strangely. He couldn’t be talking about her—could he? No, of course not. It was her boss he wanted, with all her blonde, slender, wickedly fashionable glory. Not Laney, dumpy, plain, ordinary. And clumsy—so clumsy!

“Just wait until you see me at the ball tonight.” Mimi preened. “You’ll be inspired to try a few other things to get my attention, maybe like...” Leaning up on her tiptoes, she whispered something in his ear. His expression was unreadable as he drew back from her.

“What an...intriguing thought.” He looked around at the three women. “So I will see you tonight?” His gaze paused on Laney. “All of you?”

“Of course Laney’s going,” the comtesse said. “I need her there holding my handbag with my lipstick and safety pins in case my dress’s tight and mini and held together by tiny straps.” She giggled. “You’ll die.”

Kassius turned to Laney gravely. “Are you, also, planning to wear such a dress?”

Laney blushed in confusion. “I...that is...”

“Laney?” Her boss laughed. “She’ll be wearing a uniform, like the other servants. That’s right and proper. Isn’t it, Araminta?”

“Right and proper,” her friend agreed, lighting a fresh cigarette.

“You should go, Kassius.” Mimi waved her hand airily. “Let us get ready for the ball. Laney has a lot to do...”

Kassius turned the full force of his dark gaze on her. “I wondered if you would do me a small favor.”

“Anything,” she breathed.

Kassius glanced back at Laney. “Laney wouldn’t go to a hospital, but she should at least rest. She hit her head. I’m concerned about her. She’s seemed a little...out of it.”

“Laney’s always out of it,” Mimi replied irritably, and in this case, Laney privately agreed, though it hadn’t been the car accident that had made her brain freeze and her body extra clumsy with sensual awareness. It was Kassius. She’d never had any man affect her like this. Or look at her the way he’d looked at her.

“Do me a favor. Give her the next hour or two off to recuperate.”

“But I need her to—” But beneath the force of his gaze, her boss sighed grumpily. “All right. Fine.”

“Thank you.” His gaze went over all of them but seemed to linger on Laney. Then he tipped his head. “Ladies.”

The comtesse and Araminta beamed at him as he turned and left through the door. Then her boss’s smile dropped.

“All right, Laney. I don’t know what you did to get his attention—his pity—but you truly embarrassed yourself, pushing yourself forward! So tacky!”

“So tacky,” Araminta agreed.

“Now go steam my dress.”

Without the electric distraction of Kassius beside her, with his powerful body towering over her and his dark sensual gaze, Laney suddenly realized she did have a seriously pounding headache. “But you said I could rest a bit—”

“You can rest while you steam my dress.”

“And mine.”

“Consider it a gift.” The comtesse gave her a hard smile. “Pretend you’re at the sauna. The day spa. Enjoy yourself.”

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