Authors: Capri Montgomery
Maid for Hire
Copyright © 2010 Shunta Montgomery
All Rights Reserved
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.
Maid for Hire and Educating Australia are works of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, event or locales is entirely coincidental.
Thank you, Barb, for catching the mistakes I missed. Your assist with editing has been wonderful.
A special thanks to Nancy, Maurice, Pam, and Curly for helping spread the news about my books.
Betrayal of the Dove
Shadow Hills: M is for Murder
Seducing the Bodyguard
Shadow Hills: No Valentine
Shadow Hills: Fallen Hero
Secrets and Lies
Saints and Sinners
The McGregor Affair
The Geneva Project
The Admiral’s Daughter
Watch Over Me
Maid for Hire
The Thirteenth Floor
Ride a Cowboy
And Many Others…
Coming August 2012:
Explosive: Deadly Connections ~ from the Men of Action Series
efertiti looked at the skimpy, black French maid uniform, knee-high leather stiletto boots and feather duster she had received her first day of work. She shook her head at her own reflection. Nowhere in the job description had it said, "check self-respect at the door." Although she guessed she should have known even in America help came with strings attached.
Strings were attached to her, and Duncan Olander had control of all of them. If he fired her she would lose her sponsor, lose her work visa and be shipped back to her country. She didn't want to go back to Israel. She hadn't wanted to go there in the first place, but her father had been exiled from Egypt, her birthplace, her home, when she was sixteen. Her parents never told her why; they only told her if any of them were to return they would surely be killed. Fear had kept her in Israel until another fear had driven her away.
She was thirty, single and wanted by a very powerful man. Her choices were to become his wife, or satisfy his carnal desire only to be looked at as a whore later. She favored neither option. When her mother introduced her to Chadi, an underground "savior", they had assured her she would find safety in America. There were wealthy business men looking for workers. Some were looking for wives, but that market was for Russian and Asian women, not darker Egyptians. When Chadi said work she hadn't imagined cleaning, and when he said cleaning she hadn't imagined anything other than domestic. Mr. Olander obviously had. He wanted eye candy for his uptown office. He wanted somebody to parade around in skimpy costumes from nine to five for the stimulation of his testosterone laden office. There was only one woman, Nefertiti, the maid for hire, and the occasional visit from Mrs. Sylvia Olander, the bosses' wife. Mrs. Olander had smacked Nefertiti on the behind in the elevator on their first encounter. "It's okay. I'm your bosses' wife. He won't mind," she had said. He might not mind, but it wasn't his behind under assault.
"Must not be late," she told herself. Mr. Olander liked his morning tea promptly at nine forty-five. Nefertiti left her changing room, prepared the peppermint tea and went into Mr. Olander's office. Since his office sat at the far end of the room she had to walk past ten ogling men to get to him. She kept her head held high, the entire time silently telling herself, "they will not break me."
"Your tea, Mr. Olander." She started to pour the hot water into his cup, but he stopped her.
"It's nine forty-two. I like my tea served at precisely nine forty-five." He looked her over as if appraising the value of his maid once again. "You see that scarf over there?"
"Yes." His silk gentlemen's scarf lay on the floor so perfectly placed she was sure he had laid it there.
"Pick it up."
She walked over to the center of the room. If she stooped like a lady he'd have an uninhibited view of her breasts. If she bent over like a man he'd see her breast nearly falling out of the corset-like top or the men in the office would see her barely covered behind. She opted to turn sideways to him and stoop like a lady. He'd see nothing that way and the office men wouldn’t see anything either.
"Drop it and pick it up how I told you to pick things up weeks ago."
She hesitated. The job paid sixteen dollars an hour, far more than any service job, and she had a free townhouse to stay in, but no amount of money was worth this torment.
"If you can't follow directions I'll have to return you."
She winced at his words. "Return" her, as if she came from a department store like one of his fancy silk scarves. No, the money wasn't worth it, but she couldn't go back.
She dropped the scar on the floor and bent over. The draft on her backside told her the can- can portion of the skirt had pushed the fabric out enough to expose her entire behind and then some.
"Good, now lay it over there on that chair. Remember, like I told you."
She glanced out the glass portion and saw all employees watching. She took a deep breath and leaned over one chair as she placed the scarf on the other. Free show from both ends; she thought. She couldn't do this, she simply couldn’t. Chadi had told her there were no better assignments. "The others will want sex," he had said. She never imagined America to be like this.
"Now go dust the office and pick up any trash; get the boys whatever they need."
She did her usual morning duties, dusting plants and empty cubicles, picking up pencils, paperclips and anything else the "boys" knocked on the floor as she passed. When her lunch break came she changed back into her blue jeans and button down sweater top, pulled on a sensible pair of shoes and left. She had a two hour break at least, but she was expected to pick up kitchen supplies and office supplies before she returned. She stopped at the town center park, sat on her favorite wooden bench under the big oak tree and she cried. Perhaps she had been wrong to leave Israel. Perhaps she should have married Aldir. He was nearly seventy; he may not have lived much longer and then she could be free. On the other hand, he may have lived to one hundred ten like Malife, his father, and then she would have forty years of misery. At least here in America she could have citizenship in five years. The agreement was five years of work and Mr. Olander would pay all of her legal fees and associated cost. She wasn't sure she could make it five years. She had barely made it two months.
She felt a heavy drop on her shoulder. "Ewe," she looked up. "Shame on you. You mess somewhere else!"
"Here, try this."
She looked up to find a rather tall gentleman extending a handkerchief. She gladly took his offer and dabbed at the bird poop on her shoulder until it was practically gone.
"That's probably going to stain."
He had on a nice black suit; it was nicer than Mr. Olander's clothes so she knew this man must have known what he talked about. She had never worn wool before back home, she had no experience with its abilities to withstand poop.
"Now, tell me. What's a beautiful woman such as yourself doing out here crying?"
He motioned for her to walk with him and so she did. She told him about her job, about her need to stay employed, but never about what awaited her if she were to return to Israel.
"You could have married here, but you didn't; why?"
"I was told there is no market for women of...oh what was the word...color, yes? Yes, color."
"Trust me, men would have wanted you."
"You think so?"
"Of course. Trust me; I'm a man I know about these things."
"Then you could marry me. I speak good English. I obey all laws. I cook and clean and I..."
"No," he stopped her. "I can’t marry you."
"Oh," she lowered her eyes to the ground. "I am sorry I offend you. I'm…I must go."
"Wait," he touched her arm.
"No. I must go. If I am not back in uniform by two o'clock I will be in trouble. I am sorry I offend," she said once again as she hurried off. Chadi had been right. The Americans would not want her; she was too dark of an Egyptian to be wanted. For some reason she had hoped this man would be different. He had dark hair, broad shoulders and Arabian night eyes. He was gorgeous, but it was more than that, he was nice. He was the first American man who hadn't made her feel like property to be bought or traded.
Five years would go by fast. In fact, it was now four years and ten months. She would survive. She would be like that woman in the song she heard on the radio; only instead of surviving a bad relationship she would survive a bad job.
For the rest of the week she took tea to Mr. Olander, picked up things he had knocked on the floor, dusted already clean, empty cubicles, and then took on the new task of cleaning the occupied cubicles. Mr. Olander had bought an ivory French Maid uniform compiled of even less fabric than the first, and told her to wear it on Friday. She wore it as instructed. The thin lacy fabric on top made her breasts visible under the harsh light of the office. It felt ten degrees colder than usual. She was well aware of her nipples pressing taught against the fabric. She tried to ignore the stares as she cleaned Jeffery Layton's desk. He sat center with his big leather chair blocking her way so she had no choice but to maneuver in the tight space.
"I need to get here, please." She hoped he would go visit with one of the others, but instead he rolled his chair back, maybe an inch, and said, "Go ahead."
She squeezed into the tight space and started to remove the Tootsie Roll wrapping he had bunched up behind his monitor. She felt a cold hand grab her butt. She turned sharply and hit him.
"Hey!" He yelled.
"Do not touch me!"
"Nefertiti," she heard Mr. Olander's voice and she looked up just in time to see the stranger from the park standing at the door to Mr. Olander’s office. Her heart hammered against her chest half from anger, half from fear. What if this man told on her?
"No hitting my employees."
"I can return you."