The Millionaire and The Librarian

By: J.S. Scott

Tory Price locked the front door of the library with a happy sigh. Today was Friday, her favorite day. She had just finished seeing all of children out of the front door after "story time." Tory was the "story lady." There was nothing she loved more than taking the children to magical places through books and literature. She was currently making her way through The Wizard Of Oz, one of her own favorites when she was a child.





She went to straighten up the story area, breathing what she considered the smell of books as she made her way through the library.





She loved her job as a librarian. It had been a logical choice considering her love of books, which had been with her since early childhood. It was still her first love. There was nothing better than curling up on the couch and getting taken away to another world where anything was possible.





She stretched as she stood up from arranging pint-sized chairs. As she turned to collect her belongings, dreaming of a bath and a good book, she caught a flash of black on a tiny table in the reading room.





It was a wallet. A nice wallet, judging by the designer label she saw as she opened it to look for identification. One hundred dollars cash, platinum credit cards, business cards. Yes...finally....driver's license.





Tory almost dropped the wallet as she looked at the half smiling face that looked back at her from the plastic cards.

Shit! Not him.





Lucas Duncan. The biggest financial donor to the city library. A millionaire who had his finger in every pie in the city. And the man who haunted her every fantasy, she admitted to herself as she walked toward the desk, wallet in hand.





He brought his sister's son, his nephew, to "story time" every Friday evening. His nephew Ernie adored him. He looked at his "Uncle Luke" like he was a superhero. Conversely, Lucas Duncan obviously was fond of his four year old, towhead nephew. He gave the boy his attention, time and affection.





She started searching for a phone number after she arrived at the front desk. She should call him. Let him know his wallet was here. He must have pulled it out and left it during "story time." She found his business card in the front pocket. Probably his cell phone would be the best number.





She shivered as her hand touched the phone. If only he didn't make her so...uncomfortable. There was something intense about Lucas Duncan.





It wasn't his physical appearance. He was attractive with his dark blond, nicely trimmed hair, blue eyes and fit body.





It wasn't even his personality. He was always kind to all of the children and he was congenial.





Shit! Shit! Shit! She took her hand off of the phone and considered her options. Tory sighed as she slumped into the chair behind the desk. She had to call him. She would want to know if she had lost her purse. She would be frantic, wondering who had her credit cards, her identity.



She knew why she was hesitating. Lucas Duncan made her nervous....it was just that simple. The intense way that he looked at her sometimes, the quiet invitations for coffee, drinks or dinner. She had been fending off Lucas Duncan for close to a year and she wasn't sure how much longer she could refuse if he offered again. He hadn't offered in a few months now, although he was still polite and chatted with her whenever he was here with his nephew.





He had either lost interest or given up. She was betting on the former. There were few women who would turn him down. He probably didn't need to expend any effort getting women in his bed.



It wasn't that she didn't want to go out with him. He loved books and literature almost as much as she did. From what she had gathered as they had chatted, they shared a lot of common interests and opinions.





The honest truth was....she knew Lucas Duncan was, One big heartache waiting to happen. How long would a simple librarian who would rather read a book than go to a party interest a man like him? There was certainly nothing flashy about her long, brown hair and hazel eyes (which needed her glasses or contacts for decent vision) that would appeal to a man of his caliber for any length of time. And Tory wasn't sure she wouldn't fall hard for him. She had gotten dumped a year ago because she was, according to her ex, "too boring" and "too conservative." Not good considering that her ex-boyfriend was an accountant.





"Come on, Tory. Do it. You want to get home to your bubble bath and that new novel," she whispered as she picked up the phone and quickly dialed his cell phone number.





"Duncan." He answered on the second ring, his deep voice startling her.





"Mr. Duncan? This is Victoria Price. The Librarian," she tried to maintain her brisk, professional tone.





"Tory?" he answered, sounding perplexed. "How can I help you."





"I think I might be able to help you, Mr. Duncan. You left your wallet in the library."





"Damn. Okay. I'm going to need that right away. Drop it by house will you? The address is on my Driver's License."





Dial tone!





Tory held the phone for another moment, listening to the steady buzz on the other end of line.





He had given her instructions and hung up. Unbelievable! She reached to redial the number, but replaced the receiver in the cradle. He was the biggest donor to the library. She couldn't really tell him she wouldn't do it.





She quickly got a map to his house from the address on his license, grabbed her purse, locked up the library and proceeded to his address.





He was fairly close to the library and really not much out of her way from her home, but it still rankled that he had given her orders and hung up.





She couldn't help but admire the nicely manicured home as she pulled up to his house. It wasn't exactly flashy or ornate...it was just...nice. Not really what she had expected from him.





She grabbed his wallet from the seat of her car and locked the door. She straightened her already perfect turtle neck sweater and skirt as she click clacked up his driveway in her comfortable heels, determined to get this over with quickly and professionally.





She didn't have to ring the doorbell. Lucas opened the door as she hit the last step.





"Here you go, Mr. Duncan. Have a nice evening," she told him abruptly, as she shoved the wallet into his hand and moved to turn back to her car.





"Tory? Where's the rest of my money," he shot at her as she clicked down the steps.





She stopped and looked back at him, momentarily confused. "What money?"





"I had more money in my wallet than this. Would you mind telling me what happened to it," he replied in a neutral tone. "Maybe you should come in."





Tory reluctantly climbed the steps and entered the door that he held wide for her.





He closed the door and motioned for her to enter the living room off to the left. She entered and turned to face him. "I don't understand, Mr. Duncan." She crossed her arms in front of her and looked up at him.





"There's money missing from my wallet. Ernie and I were the last ones to leave tonight. You were the only one who had access to it," he told her casually.





"What? Are you insinuating that I stole money from you." Tory tried to maintain her calm, but his accusation riled her. No one had ever accused her of being a thief.





"I hate to say this, Tory, but it doesn't look good for you. Money is missing with you being the logical suspect. I have a lot of pull at the library. Something like this gets to your superiors from me, you never know what will happen." His voice was calm and controlled.





Tory fidgeted. It wasn't good. Her superiors would jump through fire just to please him no matter what he requested or why. He donated a great deal of money to keep the library running. "Mr. Duncan, you must know I didn't do this."





He shrugged. "I don't know anything. I just know money is missing."





"Don't do this, Mr. Duncan. I can't lose my job." Anxiety overcame her anger. If he got her fired her whole life would be destroyed. She would have to move to get another job.....if she could even get another job after being fired for theft.





"You can return my money," he suggested.





"I didn't take your money. I swear. Please believe me," she was begging now, trying to get him to see the truth. "I can't get fired for this, Mr. Duncan. Please."





"Maybe we can make a deal, Tory. You do something for me and I will forget all about this....incident." His tone was mild, but his eyes were expressive, heated.





Tory let out her breath in a relieved sigh. "Thank you, Mr. Duncan. Thank you. I'll do whatever you want."





"Good. Undress for me, Victoria," his tone became low and demanding.





"Pardon me, Mr. Duncan. What did you say?," she replied, certain she had misunderstood.





"It's fairly clear, Victoria. Undress. Take off your clothes."





"You want me to...to....you want to do that?" Her voice was trembling now. She could see the fire in his eyes as he stared at her, running his eyes up and down her body.





"For such a literate woman you seem to be having a very hard time with comprehension and speech. It's very simple. You want me to forget the incident, I want you to undress and then take further instructions. Understand?," he asked her softly as he released her confined hair and let it spill over her shoulders.

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