Filthy Beautiful Lies Page 6

While I hold on to him for dear life, he expertly navigates us down the highway, the single headlight illuminating our path. I pay close attention to the passing signs. We are near Los Angeles – a place I’ve never been. Soon he takes an exit for Malibu and once we’re on the surface streets, my heart begins pounding. We’re nearing our destination and I have no idea what’s in store for me.

When we pull up to the gated drive, Drake stops the bike to punch some buttons on the key pad, and I peer around his shoulder, eager for a look at what will be my new home for the next six months. It can’t really be described as a home…it’s a full on mansion, complete with a stone drive leading up to a sprawling estate.

Little twinkling lights illuminate our path and provide me with just enough light to make my jaw drop open at what I can see. The house is stucco in the color of warm honey and two huge columns flank the rich mahogany front door. Drake cruises right on past the front of the house and parks beside a six-stall garage before cutting the ignition.

Here we go.

Butterflies take flight in my belly as he leads me toward the house. We navigate a winding stone path lit with landscape lighting toward a side entrance. I suppose it makes sense we aren’t going all the way around to the massive front doors. That entrance is probably only used for guests, yet it’s too strange to think that I live here now, that I’m not just a visiting guest.

I wonder if he’s just going to leave his bike parked outside all night, but then realize he probably has someone on staff to pull it into the garage. I can’t imagine he’d have a home this large and not have people hired to help him take care of it. I doubt he personally dusts the knick-knacks in the one hundred rooms, or however many this monstrosity has.

We enter through the glass-covered side door into what appears to be the world’s finest mud-room. Tall pale wood lockers reach from floor to ceiling, a wire basket of umbrellas, a large tufted bench with a few pillows artfully arranged and a large area rug to cover the marble floors.

He tosses his suit coat and the helmets onto the bench and continues toward the hall. My eyes scan everything as I trail behind him.

"Front entry," he says, pointing to the darkened foyer that’s even more impressive than I imagined. Dual winding staircases meet at the base of the foyer where there’s a round table sporting a huge vase of pink peony blossoms. They smell incredible. Like sunshine and happiness. It seems like a girly touch, but I shrug off the thought. Again, I’m sure it wasn’t chosen by him. Then again, I can’t imagine anything in his world that he doesn’t exercise complete control over.

"Formal living room," he points to the left, not even bothering to turn on a light or enter the room he’s indicated. It looks cavernous and anything but welcoming with stiff, modern furniture. I struggle to take in every detail as he continues moving.

I realize he’s giving me a tour, but it’s rushed and impersonal. For someone who owns such a spectacular mansion, it seems like he’d take a little more pride in showing it off. Something seems off, but I can’t put my finger on what.

He points out several more rooms, a cold dining room with a humongous table, a darkened library filled with books I get the sense he doesn’t care about, and rarely bothers to read. "It’s a beautiful library," I murmur. I want to run my fingertips along the dusty spines and go hunting for a treasure to read.

A look of dark emotion flashes in his eyes before he blinks it away, his carefully composed mask safely returning, before leading me away.

"Where do you spend your time?"

My question stops him in his tracks and he turns to face me, his eyes focused on mine. He studies me for a moment as if trying to decide why I want this information. Call me crazy, but knowing a few details about the man I’m now living with and expected to service might be a teensy bit helpful, and so far this tour and his home have revealed nothing. He tips his head toward a far corridor. "This way."

Maybe I shouldn’t have been so nosy, because now as he leads me further into the belly of the house, all my fears rush to the surface. Does he have some weird sex room like Christian Grey’s red room of pain?

He opens the door to a large office, complete with an executive style mahogany desk, black leather chair, charcoal gray sofa, and a mini bar built into the far wall. This room has a cozy feel to it with its rich wood furniture, plush carpeting and the subtle scent of his cologne that I smelled earlier. A set of glass doors lead out to a balcony. "Out here." He motions me forward as he crosses the room.

He opens the glass door and steps out onto a large deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean and I am stunned into speechlessness. The soft whoosh of waves in the background and the gentle breeze blowing my hair back from my face are immediately calming.

I can see why the opulent rooms of the house don’t interest him. This is like a private oasis out here. Two wooden lounge chairs outfitted with comfy looking cushions and a small round table nesting between them are the only pieces of furniture, but it’s perfect. Anything more would clutter the space.

He lets me take in the peaceful setting, and when he breaks the silence a moment later, it temporarily startles me. "You’ll probably discover I work too much." He points toward the office. "And I come out here to unwind."

I nod in silent acknowledgment. It might not be much, but he’s exposed a small piece of himself, and I tuck the knowledge away. He’s a workaholic and perhaps a contemplative man, spending his time alone with the sounds of the water to keep him company.

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