The story so far:
Lana nervously tugged at the short black dress she'd so carefully deliberated over before buying. It was the dress code, Mrs. Holbrook had offhandedly told her. She'd rushed home during lunch to raid her savings then gone out looking for a dress at the outlet store.
It had taken her taken her ten minutes to find the perfect dress and another forty to convince herself that it was worth the money she did not have to spend. It was the thought of the look in Adam's eyes that made up her mind. Who needed food and gas when her life was at stake?
"Are you ready?" her mom's frazzled voice broke through her dreaming and she quickly pulled on her coat. She knew what her mother would say if she saw the dress - that Lana was being foolish, that she was the help and that she'd better start acting like it if she wanted to stay.
She closed the door and grabbed the bag of supplies her mom had at the door. She looked tired, she always did. Her beautiful brown hair had streaks of gray in them, her beautiful face, a few more lines. Yet at 45, Rosa Adams was still a beautiful woman. She just never dressed up or went out. She went to work and then she came home and worked in her garden or read.
"Mama, you look gorgeous," Lana impulsively said. Her mother looked up in surprise then frowned.
"Are you wearing make-up?" she asked, walking towards her daughter. Lana immediately took a step back.
Just then the phone rang and she nearly tripped reaching for it.
"Hello," Lana breathed, sighing in relief as she passed the phone to her mother.
She grabbed the bag and headed to the manor before her mother could say anything else.
It was a madhouse. The waiters and waitresses were setting up the tables while the catering company put out their food. Lana quickly took off her coat and put on an apron before anyone could see what she was wearing.
"Put the canapes out then start bringing up some of the wine," the cook snapped at her, already moving on to the next victim.
Put this, bring that, pour this, tell him, do that, on and on it went as guests started arriving and music playing and drinks pouring.
Ditching the plate of hors d'oeuvres she'd been asked to bring out and her apron, Lana went over to the drinks station.
"i'm relieving you for a fifteen," she whispered to the woman pouring out glasses of champagne. Her heart pounded as the other woman looked at her for a moment, wondering who the hell she was. But then she nodded and quickly showed her where the different drinks were stored.
Lana took a deep breath, slowly letting it out. She'd done it. She'd worn the black dress, and she'd come out to the drinks station where she could be seen - by Adam. Now all she had to do -
Her mind stuttered to a stop when a middle aged man came up and asked for a dolcetto. Then her experience kicked in and smiling she poured him a glass, handing it to him with a flourish. He smiled, his eyes slowly, blatantly roving her body, stopping at the uncomfortable places.
Lana's own smile faltered and she looked away uncertainly. She didn't like the way he was looking at her. She'd meant for the dress to be classy yet sexy, but the way this man was looking at her made her feel cheap and dirty.
"What are you doing after work honey?" he asked her breasts.
"She's going home with me," a hard, dangerous voice interrupted before she could pour a glass of champagne on him.
The pudgy little man quickly walked away, leaving Lana to smile in thanks at her savior.
Adam frowned, taking in the short little black dress with a modestly revealing front Lana was wearing. She looked breathtaking in it, her tanned skin and toned body perfectly shown off in a dress that hugged just the right places and flowed enough to leave a man wondering. He'd nearly punched the man for looking at her but he couldn't stop his eyes from roaming.
She didn't look like she minded though as she looked at him with longing eyes.
"Lana! My goodness, I almost did not even recognize you. What in the world are you wearing?" Mrs. Holbrook's voice cut through to her.
Lana flushed as Mrs. Holbrooks eyes took in the dress, her lip curling slightly in distaste.
"Apparently one of the girls called out. You can take her place in the kitchen dear, and maybe put on something more appropriate."
Lana gasped at the lance of pain and humiliation tore through her body at the words. Not daring to look at Adam, she turned, almost stumbling as she fled to the kitchen.
Tears blurred her eyes as she stood staring at the apron. She'd just wanted to show the dress off to Adam, to have him look at her like more than just the help once.
"Here," Lana looked up to find the woman who'd been serving the champagne standing there with a flute of white wine.
"Drink this, it'll make it better."
Without saying anything Lana took the wine and gulped it down gratefully. She had to stay and work or she'd be fired and she really needed the job, especially now that she'd raided her savings for a stupid dress that made her look like a tramp.
The world started spinning a moment later. She'd have fallen, if the other woman had not held her up.
"What the hell? Have you ever drunk wine before? You're going to cost me my job" she hissed.
"Let's go to the bathroom. You can freshen up there," she said, pulling Lana to the bathroom.
Adam watched the girl who'd been at the bar pull Lana into the bathroom. Moments later, she came out and headed for the bar.
Then Lana came out, her hair now tied up loosely in a bun, showing off the sexy slender back, a delicate neck that begged to be kissed. His eyes dropped lower and when with groan he brought them back up, he found her watching him again with those longing eyes.
Angrily he strode to her and before she could say a word, pulled her into one of the guest bedrooms.
Lana giggled as the man of her dreams did exactly what she'd been praying for him to do - dragging her away with him, overcome with hunger and need.
Shutting the door, he let go of her arm. Immediately she wrapped them around his neck. She was wearing pumps and her head nearly came up to his chin. She pressed that lush little body against him, parting her lips as she looked up at him with those hungry eyes.
Adam almost pushed her away, but he knew she'd just justify it in her head about him being a gentleman when she was drunk and just fancy herself more in love.
He slid his arms around her waist, pulling her tighter against his body. Her eyes were nearly black with desire as he bent his head to kiss her.
Lana moaned, tiptoeing to cover the distance that parted their lips. Arousal spread like wildfire as he expertly thrust his tongue into her mouth, holding her head with one hand as he explored every nook and crevice.
Suddenly he pulled away, but before Lana could protest, he picked her up, striding towards the bed. Laying her down, he didn't give her a chance to say anything before he covered her with his hard body again, pulling her hands over her head, pinning her down as he moved to her delicious neck, licking and biting as she writhed beneath him.
Lana could not think. Her body felt so hot, so good, so hungry lying under him. His mouth, teeth and tongue were doing magical things to her neck. She moaned, trying to free her hands so she could touch him too.
His hands tightened and he moved to her ear, giving it a little nip.
"Be still, we only have ten minutes before you need to go back to the kitchen," he growled then bent his head to plunder her neck again.
It took her a few moments to realize he wasn't whispering words of love. He'd given them, her, a ten minute break from kitchen duties.
"Let go," she said, but her lips were so numb she was afraid she'd not actually said it out loud.
He stopped kissing her and her traiterous body wept. He was looking at her, no love, no tenderness, no liking. He looked hungry, and annoyed.
"Please let me go," she whispered, her throat working as she tried to hold in the tears.
"What? You've been throwing yourself at me, wearing this skimpy little dress, looking for this and now you're saying let go?" He growled, his eyes cold and dangerous as they stared into hers.
For the first time Lana was scared of Adam. Actually scared of him physically hurting her.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I did not mean.. I'm sorry. Please let me go," she stammered, tears rolling down her eyes as she begged.
Adam let her go, rolling off the bed. He didn't look at her as he smoothly adjusted his shirt, wiped his lips then walked out the door.
"Ten minutes. Ten minutes. Ten minutes" the words kept ringing in her head as she lay in the bed, watching the clock. Exactly ten minutes later she pulled herself up, scrubbed her face, pulled her hair into a tight ponytail and walked out. She didn't dare look up, heading straight for the kitchen. Quickly she put on her apron.
"Lana! Where the hell have you been? What's wrong with you?" her mother snapped as she took in the red eyes and freshly scrubbed face.
"Sorry, I was a little sick." Lana said, dropping her head so she wouldn't see the condemnation in her mother's eyes.
"Ok, start washing the dishes. We'll talk about this later," Rosa snapped, walking out with a tray of chocolate strawberries.
Gratefully Lana went over to the dishes, losing herself to the rythym of soaping and rinsing. The dishes were endless and Lana's arms ached but she was grateful for the distraction.
She knew she'd have to deal with the evening later, but for now, all that mattered was soaping and rinsing.
"Lana," a gentle hand shook her. She looked up to see her mother's worried frown.
"It's almost one in the morning. Go home. We'll finish up here."
Without a word she walked to the door.
"Lana!" her mother called out.
"Put your coat on, and take that apron off," her mother scolded even as she put the coat on and took the apron off her daughter.
Lana nodded and started walking again.
It was dark outside, but she could hear the party still going on. Not knowing why she looked back.
Adam was standing outside, his arms wrapped around a very beautiful woman who was kissing his neck. For a moment they stared at each other, then he dismissed her, turning back to the woman in his arms.
The tears she'd been trying to hold back broke free and Lana started sobbing as she started running home.
She hated him!