Chapter 9


I’m not sure I can trust him right now. He’s drunk but not obliterated. His smile is almost menacing. I almost feel uneasy standing here. “I’m going to head up to bed now.” Johnny’s watches as I step away. I can feel his gaze on my back. Hopefully he’s not following me. I’d rather discuss this in the morning.

Don’t look back. Just keep walking.

I’m so mad at myself for even thinking about spying on him. He also could have perhaps divulged the fact that he can watch every camera here on his phone. They could be installed everywhere. Oh god. What if they’re in my room? They better not be. I’m never gonna be able to sleep tonight. I lock my bedroom door.

At this point I may just tear up the contract and call Harper to get me the fuck out of here. I should have listened to my gut. He’s not the kind of man I want to live with. Let alone work for. I pull the covers over my head.

Knock Knock.

You’ve got to be kidding me. “Wyatt?” Johnny says at the door. Maybe I just won’t answer. “Can we talk?” He asks. What do I do? I’ll just ignore him. Then again I don’t want to make him even more mad. Who knows what he’s capable of. I open the door. “Come on in.” I sigh.

He walks into my sitting room and plants himself on the couch. I take a seat across from him. “I’m sorry Mr. St. Jacks. My curiosity got the best of me and I crossed the line.” He smiles. “Thank you Wyatt. But that’s not what I want to talk to you about.” I’m confused, “It’s not?” He shakes his head, “Nope.” Phew.

“So you’re not mad at me?” I need to know. “Mad? I’m flattered.” He laughs which makes me hate him even more. “What is it then?” I’m getting heated. “The castle has many secret rooms and passages. But some of them are like traps. I don’t want you to find yourself in a situation that you can’t get out of.” He makes this place sound like some kind of sadistic escape room.

“I panicked when I heard you say you wanted to go for a swim. I ran downstairs and slid into the first door I saw.” He leans in towards me, “Had you have taken the door from the viewing room that goes upstairs, you wouldn’t have been so lucky.” He’s hiding something from me, “Why? What would have happened?” He ignores the question. Johnny orders me, “You will stay out of the passages. Don’t let your curiosity make you the cat.” I put my hands up, “Okay.”

Johnny doesn’t know me very well. When someone tells me not to do something, it makes me want to do it even more. What does he not want me to find? Some kind of sex chamber? A dungeon? Maybe it’s a science lab. Or a morgue. “Did you sign the contract?” I purse my lips, “Not yet. I think I’d like to read it first.” He clears his throat. “ You didn’t have the time to do that this evening? Right, you were too preoccupied.” He’s not wrong.

I can feel my face turn red with embarrassment. He places his hand on the table. “Why don’t we go over the terms together?” He suggests. It’s not a terrible idea, “Sure.” Johnny pulls his folded up copy of the agreement out of the back pocket of his jeans. “You want to do this now? Don’t you have a woman here?” Johnny just shakes his head no. I don’t bother to ask why or how she left.

His handwriting is barely legible. “This section is what we agreed on regarding salary and vacation time.” He points down to his notes. My contract is over on my desk. I grab it and throw a loose sweater over my tank top. My eyes find the lines he’s speaking about. “I see that.” I say as I sit down again.

He turns to the next page. “This part is job security for you, and stability for me.” I’ll be signing on for a year of service, with the probability of renewing in five year increments after that. I read on to find something I don’t like.

“I see here that the contract can be terminated by you at anytime. But it doesn’t reciprocate.” I’m not sure that he expected me to pick up on that. “Wyatt, I don’t want someone to work for me and then leave at the drop of a hat. It’s an important position. I’m asking you to sign on for one year.” No, “You’re asking me to give up my free will for a year. To sign my life away? What if I’m not happy here?” I wonder.

He puts his arms behind his head and leans back. “How could you not be? I’m offering you everything you could ever need.” I’m curious to know what’s on the next few pages. I flip through, “It says here that I can’t fire the driver, maid, or groundskeeper.” He nods, “That’s correct.” I’m slightly bothered by that, “What if they do something that warrants a termination.” I try to debate with him.

He puts his hand over my contract and pushes it down onto the table. “These are my terms. Take it or leave it. No questions asked.” Johnny has a darkness to him that makes me question whether or not I should stay. He’s definitely interesting. I have nothing better to do with my life. “I’ll take it.” I say. He hands me a pen. I take a deep breath and sign my name on the flagged pages.

He folds up my contract and heads towards the door. “Sweet Dreams Wyatt. Meet me in your office at 10 tomorrow morning.” I nod, “Sounds good. I’d like a copy of that.” That was not how I thought this conversation was going to go.

I wonder if he will tell me the truth, “Hey Johnny?” He turns to me. “Are there any cameras in here?” A mischievous look grows across his face, “Maybe there should be.” He totally dodged my question. “Seriously?” I ask. “Oh I’m always serious.” He closes the door.

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