The Billionaire's HousekeeperBy: Kiana Campbell
A Marriage of Convenience Romance for Adults
George Ainsworth wasn’t used to being alone. It was going to take some time for him to come to terms with that. Falling in love in college, getting married, starting his career right away and earning more in a week than most people would in several years. Now he was sitting alone on one of the many balconies of his mansion.
The house appeared to be a lot more spacious now that Julie had left and taken some of her things with her. Divorce was never easy, but being in a loveless marriage was even more difficult.
With all the money, power, and parties over the years, Julie had grown cold and distant. She manipulated the people around her in order to get anything she wanted. She was a debutante, and the daughter of a wealthy banker. She had always been spoiled, but her heart had softened when she met George in their junior year at University.
Over time, her childish tantrums and controlling nature froze her heart back up, and now George’s heart was hardened. Ice and stone was not a good mix.
No, George Ainsworth was not used to being alone. Not in such a large house. Not without all the parties. The only people to keep him company were his staff, and the paparazzi outside trying to get a story about the divorce.
That made George jump. He was reflecting on the last few years of his life, feeling 70 instead of 29, and he hadn’t heard the soft tapping on the door.
His housekeeper Rita came in with a silver tray on a trolley. On it were a few slices of toast, some shortbread, butter, and a small kettle for tea.
“Rita, you startled me,” George said, clearing his throat. He hadn’t asked for breakfast, but he could tell that Beatrice was worried about him. George was constantly busy and had a habit of forgetting to eat until Beatrice made something for him and Rita brought it in.
“I’m sorry,” Rita said. She picked up the tray and set it on a small table next to George. He was sitting on the balcony of his former wife’s art studio. The room was completely bare except for a few tables and some empty bookshelves. Rita couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. George looked as if he were in mourning no matter what color he wore. He had on a black shirt under his butter yellow sweater. His legs were crossed, and he stared at the gardens below.
Rita felt as if he was looking beyond the gardens. In his own sort of Jay Gatsby way, he was searching for the green light that Julie must have possessed somewhere over the estate walls. She shook the thought away, and George turned to look at her for a moment. He caught her looking at him, but when she stopped her imagination from going overboard, she turned to leave.
“Rita?” George asked.
“Yes, Mr. Ainsworth,” Rita said.
“Would you sit with me for a while?” George had never really stopped to have proper conversations with Rita. He worked constantly, but he was always nice to her whenever they did get around to speaking. Rita was usually quiet around him, and Julie kept her busy.
“I’m not sure I’ll be able to stay for too long, Beatrice needs me in the kitchen to help with lunch, and I have some things to do in the garden before I head to town to go shopping. Do you have a list of things for me to get?”
“Shit,” George said. Rita tried her best to stifle a smile. Whenever George did speak to her, there was usually a swear word coming out of his mouth. He was always frustrated with someone at work, or something he had read in the paper, but hearing him swear always made her laugh because she knew a joke was coming next. George could never stay too angry for long; not even at Julie. Rita could tell he was truly frustrated when he would sit alone, silently, legs crossed, and ruminating.
“Julie always makes up the shopping list. I have no idea what to get. What do you think I should get?” George asked in a voice filled with panic. He looked like a deer caught in headlights. His gray green eyes swirled in confusion.
Rita laughed. Her mouth widened, revealing her white teeth that countered her beautiful dark skin.
“Well, I think you should get…food,” Rita said still laughing. That made George laugh too. He relaxed his shoulders a bit. He didn’t notice he was so tense, until he felt so free just laughing.