His Millionaire Maid

By: Coleen Kwan



Lindsey chuckled. “Do it, then. I dare you.”

“I’m serious!”

“Yeah, okay, I’ll humor you for a little while. So if you did go incognito, what about your job? Are you just going to resign in a fit?”

“No,” Nina said, thinking rapidly. “But I’m due to take some vacation time starting next week anyway, so no one will miss me for at least three weeks. After that I can arrange something with Dad, depending on how it goes.”

“You really shouldn’t waste your vacation on a wacky scheme like this. Your dad has a house in Hawaii, doesn’t he? Why don’t you go there and catch some sun? You’ll feel heaps better.”

“You don’t think I can do this?”

“Oh, I think you’re capable of anything.” There was no mistaking the amusement in Lindsey’s voice.

Nina pressed her lips together. If her best friend and biggest supporter didn’t take her seriously, then how would she ever break free? She firmed her grip on the wheel as she approached another bend. Afternoon sunlight flashed through tall trees, temporarily blinding her. She eased the car around the corner, squinting against the glare, only to find herself barreling straight toward a fat brown duck waddling across the road.

“Shit!”

She slammed on the brakes, instinctively veering away from the bird. The duck squawked and took off across the windshield, blocking her view. Tires squealed, and Nina screamed as the car skidded off the road before hurtling down a steep embankment. For several heart-stopping seconds, everything was a blur of whipping greenery, and then she was out in the open, heading straight for…a large pit filled with still black water.

Holy crap on a cracker. There was no time to think, let alone scream. With a huge splash, the car torpedoed into the water, and the air bag exploded in her face. Get out, get out, get out! her brain shrieked at her. The air bag deflated in her lap. She unbuckled her seat belt and instinctively grabbed her phone. Her tote bag had fallen to the floor. She bent to retrieve it, but the car tilted forward and slid deeper into the water.

Panic ruptured in her, but then she remembered an episode of Mythbusters she’d seen about what to do in this kind of situation and pressed the button to open her window. As water rushed into the car, accelerating its descent, she ordered herself to stay calm. She pulled herself through the window, kicked away from the sinking car, then splashed and spluttered to the shoreline. Panting, she dragged herself onto the weed-infested bank and watched as her car slowly disappeared beneath the surface.

“Nina? Nina? Talk to me, for God’s sakes.”

Incredibly, Lindsey was still on the phone, thanks to the wonders of state-of-the-art water-resistant technology. In a daze, Nina lifted the cell to her ear.

“I’m fine,” she said, thrusting her fingers through her soaked hair. “Just had a little, um, accident.” She picked a slimy bit of vegetation out of her hair and flicked it away.

“What! Are you hurt? What happened…”

Lindsey’s barrage of questions floated over Nina’s head as she watched bubbles popping on the surface, marking the watery grave of her BMW. Her car had sunk into what appeared to be a disused quarry. The water was deep and still, and her car had disappeared, leaving behind no trace except for a few skid marks.

“My car’s totaled, but I’m okay.” She flexed various muscles and squinted at herself. She was soaked but apparently unscathed.

“Don’t move,” Lindsey ordered. “I’m going to call your dad right now. He’ll come out and rescue you.”

Lindsey’s words pierced Nina’s daze. “No! Don’t do that. Don’t tell him anything.”

“Why not? He’ll be so worried about you. He won’t care if you’ve wrecked the BMW. He’ll just buy you another one.”

That was exactly what he’d do, and then she’d be right back where she started. She’d be rebellious little Nina again, but this time with a reputation for crashing expensive cars and wasting people’s time. No, she couldn’t stay on this hamster wheel for the rest of her life. She had to make a stand for herself, and right now was the perfect moment to start fresh.

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