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Bluest Eyes in Texas (Second Edition) - Book 1

Bluest Eyes in Texas

(Second Edition)

 

Book 1

 

by S.A. Tadej

 

 

 

Copyright © 2016 by S.A. Tadej

Shakespir Edition

 

 

This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental.

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Shakespir.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard word of this author.

To my daughter and my mother for their love and support

Chapter 1

 

Makenzie Adams cranked the volume up on the radio in her new canary yellow Mustang Cobra as she drove down the country road. Just ahead of her in a black Mercedes Guardian was her parents and her little sister, Mia. Makenzie sang along with the radio until she felt her cell phone vibrate in her lap. She turned the radio down and grabbed the phone. The caller id showed that it was her mother calling.

“Hello.” Makenzie said.

“Hey, it’s mom. Are you hungry?”

“Starving.”

“Well there’s a diner a few miles up the road on the right. Pull in and we’ll stop for a quick bite.”

“Sounds good.”

“Okay, see you in a bit. Love ya!”

“Love you too, mom. Bye.”

Makenzie turned the radio back up, slammed her foot down on the gas, and passed her parents, sticking her hand out the window and waving as she did. A few minutes later she pulled into the parking lot at the diner. I probably look like hell. I’m so tired from driving all day, Makenzie thought as she reached across the passenger seat for her purse. She flipped the visor down and looked in the small mirror. Not too bad, she thought as she gazed at herself in the mirror. She found some makeup in her purse and did a quick refreshening.

Makenzie was beautiful, with big, bright blue eyes and long, thick eyelashes. She had high cheekbones and a cute little nose. Her skin was smooth and flawless. Her hair was light blonde and fell in long, loose ringlets to the middle of her back. She smiled to herself, revealing two rows of perfectly straight, white teeth. Everyone always told Makenzie that she could be a model, but she just laughed it off.

Makenzie flipped the visor back up, put her keys in her purse and got out of the car. Her parents and sister were walking toward her. She noticed that her mother was giving her the ‘I’m not happy’ look. Uh oh! Makenzie thought as she bit her lower lip. It was a habit she had whenever she was nervous. Mia ran to Makenzie.

“Big Mak!” she called.

“Muppet!” Makenzie called back as she lifted her sister up, kissing her cheek. “Are you hungry?”

“Yes. My tummy hurts.” Mia replied.

“Oh it does, does it?” Makenzie teased as she played with Mia’s long blonde curls.

“What was that?” Her mother asked.

“What was what?” Makenzie answered, giving her best look of innocence.

“You know perfectly well what I’m talking about young lady. Your driving back there!”

“Oh are you upset that I passed you and dad?” Makenzie giggled.

“There will be no more of that, you hear?”

“No more of that young lady.” Mia mimicked.

“Yes, mother.”

Makenzie, with Mia still in her arms, and her parents walked into the diner. It was really crowded for a Sunday night. A cheery, bright-eyed young woman greeted them. “Howdy! How y’all doing this evening?” She asked.

“Fine.” Mom answered.

“Would you like a table or a booth?”

“A booth would be great.” Mom and dad answered in unison.

“Right this way please.”

Makenzie and her family followed the cheery hostess to their booth and sat down to look at their menus. “So how much longer until we reach our new home?” Makenzie asked.

“Oh I’d say about another hour or so.” Dad replied.

“Good because my neck is starting to get sore from all the driving.” Makenzie replied. She felt someone looking at her and turned her head to look.

“Hi! I’m Robert and I’ll be your waiter this evening. Can I get you some drinks?” The man stammered and dropped his notepad. He quickly bent to pick it up. When he stood back up he was blushing and looked really embarrassed.

Makenzie felt sorry for him, so she smiled at him. “I’ll have a Coke.” she answered. Robert smiled back at her and got everyone else’s drink orders. Her mom chuckled. “What?” Makenzie asked.

“I think the waiter has a thing for you.” Dad said.

“Shut up. He can hear you.” Makenzie whispered across the table. Mom just chuckled. “You know what? You all suck! I’m going to the bathroom.” Makenzie said as she shook her head and stood up.

As Makenzie passed the counter, she heard a few whistles and a few ‘hey baby’s’. Typical men. She just smiled to herself and kept walking. When she got back to the booth, Robert was standing there taking everyone’s order. “And what can I get for you?”

“Um, I’ll have the country fried steak, with mashed potatoes and a garden salad.” Makenzie replied. Her and her family made small talk while they waited for their food. “I can’t believe you made me move when I only had one semester of college left. And you know I wouldn’t stay behind and leave Mia.” Makenzie said as she smiled at her little sister.

“Makenzie, we talked about this already.” Her father replied. “My company is relocating to Texas. I had no choice. This is a huge promotion for me.”

“I know, dad. It’s just that I’m going to miss all my friends in Oklahoma.”

“Well think of it this way, if you hadn’t gotten into trouble, you would have been done with college. Plus, it’s a new start for all of us.” Mom said. “And besides, Uncle Teddy will be staying with us for a while, so you’ll have him to talk to.” Makenzie smiled as she thought of her Uncle Teddy. At twenty-four, he was just three years older than her. They had been close since she was little and he had always felt like a big brother to her.

“Well we better be getting back on the road.” Dad said when everyone finished eating. He laid money on the table and stood up. “Makenzie, you follow us,” he said as he gave her a stern look.

“Yes, sir.” Makenzie replied.

 

A little over an hour later, they arrived at their new home. Makenzie drove her Mustang through the white iron security gates that enclosed their new property and around the circular drive and parked. She looked up at the gigantic white house. Looks like a giant dollhouse. How fitting for Barbie and Ken, Makenzie thought to herself as she thought of her good-looking parents. Her mother, Natasha, was only thirty-nine, but looked like she was still in her twenties. She was tall and beautiful, with big green eyes and long, blonde hair. She had a slim, athletic build to her, much like Makenzie. Everyone always thought she was Makenzie’s sister rather than her mother. Her father, Michael, was forty-two, but also looked much younger. He was tall at 6’2, with light brown hair and Makenzie’s dramatic blue eyes. He had a muscular build to him and a natural tan.

The movers were already there carrying furniture in the front door. This is going to take a while. Makenzie shrugged and got out of the car. She walked to her dad’s Mercedes to help Mia out of the car. “Come on, squirt, lets go see the backyard.” She said as she lifted Mia out of her car seat, set her on the ground, and grabbed her tiny hand.

Makenzie couldn’t believe her eyes as she rounded the corner into the backyard. There was a huge in ground swimming pool and a tennis court. Across from the tennis court was a motel style building that would house the help. On the other side of the staff building were the stables, which held several horses, including Makenzie’s favorite, a white mare. The yard also had a large garden area with stone benches, an arbor covered with climbing roses and a huge variety of summer flowers. It’s so beautiful. It’s like paradise on earth. Her eyes kept scanning until they fell upon a park area with a big sand box, swings, slides, and monkey bars.

“Oh wow!” Mia exclaimed.

Makenzie laughed. Mia must have found the park too, no doubt. “Come on, kiddo. I’ll race you to the swings.” Makenzie said as she took off running.

“Wait! Wait!” Mia cried.

Makenzie ran back to Mia, picked her up, and ran with her to the swings. “As if I would actually leave you.” Makenzie laughed. She put Mia on a swing and gently pushed her. After she got her off to a good start, she jumped on the swing next to hers. The two girls swung for a while. Then Makenzie decided to go see the inside of the house.

Makenzie picked Mia up and carried her to the house. When she came in the front door she gasped with excitement. Holy crap! Look at the size of the foyer. Wonder how big the rest of the house is. Their last home had been big and extravagant, but nothing close to the likes of this. Must have been some promotion dad got, she thought as she looked around. There was a huge double staircase with ornate wrought iron railings on both sides leading upstairs. The stairs must be four feet wide. This is so cool. “Let’s check out the main floor, shall we?” Makenzie asked.

“Yeah!” Mia replied enthusiastically.

Makenzie looked down at the beautiful marble floor and walked to the right of the grand staircase to the first room, which was the great room. It was beautiful, with white marble floors and a built in marble fireplace. There was a huge entertainment system donning a 103” flat screen TV. Must be that special TV mom was talking about that she had to order from California, Makenzie thought. In front of the TV was a white leather sectional sofa with beige and white pillows and a white washed marble coffee table, with matching end tables. There were huge double paned windows in the center of the room.

The next room they came to was the exercise room. It was filled with state of the art equipment. Bolted to the wall across from the equipment was a huge flat screen TV. Large mats covered the floor to the right. In the corner was a stereo system with floor speakers. Floor to ceiling windows overlooked the backyard. A separate door led to a shower room. Inside the shower room was another door that led outside by the pool.

Makenzie and Mia left the room and walked down the hall to see what was on the other side of the staircase. The first room on the left was a formal dining room. It had gorgeous hand painted silk wall coverings. There was a large crystal chandelier hanging above the ivory Italian classic dining set. The table and chairs had an intricate rose design hand painted with real melted gold. There was a matching china cabinet and corner cabinet. Large windows outlined the whole room.

Next they went to the kitchen. It was gigantic. It was done in a black and white color scheme. The floors were white marble. The cabinets were white with black marble countertops. A rounded area with floor to ceiling windows housed the kitchen nook, which had a round glass-top table with black leather chairs.

Next door to the kitchen was the laundry room. Nothing exciting there. It had the traditional washer and dryer. There was also a large walk in closet that held all the cleaning supplies, vacuum, etc. There was a separate door that connected the laundry room to a huge six-car garage.

Makenzie walked back to the staircase. She saw her mother and handed Mia to her. “Can you show me which room is mine?” she asked.

“Yeah it’s the bathroom and your bed is the toilet.” A male voice said.

Makenzie spun around to see her uncle Teddy laughing. “Very funny, Teddy.” Makenzie said as she rolled her eyes and stuck out her tongue.

Mom and Mia giggled.

“Stop making faces at me and give me a hug.” Teddy said. He opened his arms and enfolded Makenzie in a big bear hug.

“How’s my car?” Her mother asked Teddy.

Teddy drove mom’s white Ferrari from Oklahoma so that mom and dad could make the trip together.

“Oh its great, Natasha. Thanks for letting me drive it.”

“Sure.”

Mia yawned.

“Come on. I’ll show you girls your rooms.” Mom said.

“I’ll see you girls later. I’m going to help the movers.” Teddy said as he turned and walked toward the front door.

Makenzie followed her mother and Mia up the stairs and her mother turned left. “The master suite and the study are to the right. Your and Mia’s rooms are to the left here. This is Mia’s room.” Natasha said as they entered the room.

The room was very large and pretty. The walls were painted light pink with white trim. There were huge double windows in the center.

“Where’s my bed, mommy?” Mia asked.

“Oh sweetie, the movers are still moving all our furniture in. It’ll be there soon.”

They left the room and kept walking. “This is going to be Mia’s playroom.” Mom said when they arrived at the next door. They peeked inside. This room was also very large. It looked much like Mia’s bedroom, with light beige carpeting, and huge double windows in the center. The walls were painted a pretty pastel purple and there were fairies painted on the walls in various places. On the floor were several boxes marked “Playroom.

“Mommy, its soooo big!” Mia exclaimed with excitement.

“I know, sweetie. Just think of all the tea parties you can have in your new playroom.”

Makenzie looked at her mom and her little sister and smiled.

“Okay let’s go see Makenzie’s room now.” Mom said.

“Yes. Lets! The anticipation is killing me.” Makenzie remarked as they walked to the next room. Makenzie flipped on the lights and gasped. “Oh my God. I love it!” she exclaimed as she walked around. Her walls were painted pastel blue with white trim. She had two huge double windows that overlooked the side of the house. Hanging from the windows were white lace drapes. The floor was the same light beige carpeting that Mia had. She opened her closet door. It was huge inside. Like a small room really. Wow. Makenzie closed the closet door and walked over to a set of French doors and opened them. There was a nice sized balcony that overlooked the backyard. She walked out onto the balcony and looked around. She had a great view of the pool and the garden areas.

Makenzie came back in and noticed another door in her room and opened it. Inside was her very own bathroom. “No way! Mom, my own bathroom!” Makenzie shrieked. The floor was a beautiful marble. There was a separate whirlpool tub and walk in shower. And of course a toilet and a sink. This is so great! Makenzie thought. “Mom, I love it. Its perfect!” Makenzie said as she hugged her mother.

“I knew you’d love the colors. That’s why I chose them when I flew out here a few weeks ago to do some remodeling before we moved in.” Mom replied.

Just then two very handsome young movers came in with Makenzie’s king sized bed. They left and soon returned with her dresser, mirror, and nightstand. There were already a bunch of boxes on the floor marked “Mak”.

“Okay just a few rooms left to see.” Mom said. They left Makenzie’s room and Natasha pointed out three guest bedrooms across the hall that overlooked the front yard. Then they crossed to the other side of the staircase to see the study and the master bedroom. The master bedroom was much like Makenzie’s room, except larger. Her parents had a balcony overlooking the backyard also.

When mom finished giving the tour, she left with Mia. Makenzie decided to go to her new room and start unpacking. She found some of her clothes and decided to change out of her cutoff jean shorts. She found some comfy old gray sweat pants and a white t-shirt and quickly changed. Suddenly she realized how tired she felt. Makenzie grabbed her cell phone out of her purse and looked at the time. It’s already 11:30 at night. No wonder I’m so tired, Makenzie thought as she stifled a yawn.

She found the boxes containing her pillows, white silk sheets, and white eyelet comforter and made up her bed. She walked over to the windows and pulled the shades down. Then she climbed into bed. She heard a knock on her door. “Come in.” She called out. Her mother came in carrying Mia. She had fallen asleep.

“Mia’s bed hasn’t been moved yet. Do you mind if she sleeps in here with you?”

“Of course not. Just set her down here.” Makenzie said as she pulled the covers back. “I was just thinking of going to sleep myself.”

“Thanks, sweetie.” Mom said as she tucked Mia in next to Makenzie. She gave them both a kiss on the forehead and left the room.

 

Makenzie awoke with Mia sitting on top of her, prying her eyelids open and staring intently. “You little weirdo.” Makenzie said as she gently picked Mia up off of her and sat her down next to her. Is it morning already? She grabbed her cell phone and looked at the time. It was already 9:00 a.m. Wow I slept for a long time! “Come on, kiddo. Lets go get you some breakfast.”

Makenzie got out of bed and took Mia downstairs to the kitchen. Mom was in the kitchen unpacking boxes of dishes. “Good morning, mom.” Both girls said.

“Hey girls. Your dad went out this morning and got some donuts. Help yourselves. There’s milk in the fridge.”

“Thanks, mom.”

“I want a jelly donut.” Mia whined.

“Hold on, muppet.” Makenzie replied. She got two napkins off the table and put a jelly donut on one and gave it to Mia. She picked a lemon filled powdered donut for herself and put it on the other napkin. Then she went to the cupboard and got out two glasses and filled them with milk. She set one down in front of herself and gave the other one to Mia. “Here you go, squirt.”

“Thanks, Big Mak.”

“So how’s the unpacking going, mom?” Makenzie asked.

“Oh boy! At this rate I should be done in a year or so.” Natasha laughed. “No, actually it’s coming along pretty good. Uncle Ted helped me unpack Mia’s room this morning. I was thinking that once you’re done unpacking your room, you could help with the playroom. I want to finish unpacking the kitchen.”

“Sure, mom. No problem.” Makenzie said as she took a big bite of her donut. “When is the help coming?”

“Well actually the service is sending over a few applicants this afternoon for me to interview.”

“That’s cool. With the size of this place you’ll need all the help you can get.” Makenzie laughed.

“Uncle Ted is helping your dad unpack the master suite. I was thinking I could send him out to do some grocery shopping.” Mom said.

“Mom, no offense, but I don’t think that would be a good idea.”

“Why’s that?”

“Uncle Ted has no taste.” Makenzie joked.

“Well, honey, I really can’t spare the time to do it myself today and the only thing we have right now is milk and donuts.”

“I could do the shopping. Just let me finish eating and take a quick shower.”

“I was kind of counting on you to watch Mia for me though.”

“That’s okay. I’ll take her with me if you can get her ready.”

“Okay. But no driving fast or crazy.”

“Mom, please. I’m a great driver.” Makenzie said. Natasha just raised her eyebrows and stared at Makenzie for a few moments. “Okay. Okay. I promise.”

Makenzie downed the last of her milk and ran upstairs to her room to take a shower. She came out of the bathroom wrapped in a towel and sat on the floor by the boxes. Crap now I have to try to dig something out to wear. I can’t wait until I’m all unpacked and organized. She dug through the boxes until she found one that had shorts in it, since it was going to be almost 100 degrees outside. She pulled out a pair of cutoff jean shorts and continued rifling through boxes until she found one containing summer shirts. She pulled out a plain white tank top. Now I just need to find some panties. Soon she found the box containing her undergarments. She picked out a pair of white lace panties and matching bra. She put her clothes on her bed, toweled off and got dressed. Then she went into the bathroom to brush and blow-dry her long blonde hair. She put on a little bit of make-up and took a quick glance in the mirror. Okay. Lots to do today. Let’s get going, Makenzie.

Makenzie slipped on a pair of flip-flops and grabbed her keys, cell phone, and purse and headed down the stairs. Her mother was sitting in the living room with Mia, putting her hair up in two high ponytails. “Almost ready?” Makenzie asked.

“Just about.” Mom answered. She finished wrapping the second rubber band around Mia’s ponytails. “Okay. All done.”

“Are you ready to do some shopping, kiddo?” Makenzie asked.

“Can we get chocolate pudding?” Mia asked.

“Sure, muppet. Lets get going so we can get back and finish unpacking.”

“Oh honey, wait.” Mom interrupted as she got up off the couch. “Before you go, I want you to come with me to the staff quarters to make sure the rooms for the help are up to par.”

Makenzie and Mia walked with Natasha to the motel-style building. It was one-story white stucco and housed four separate rooms, each with its own separate keyed entry, and a laundry room at the corner. The front of the building faced the pool area. Each room looked exactly the same. There was dark brown carpeting and beige walls. Each room had a queen-sized bed topped with a crème colored bedspread, a small wood nightstand topped with a lamp, and a matching dark wood dresser. Bolted to the wall across from the bed was a 32” flat screen TV. There was a small walk-in closet, a kitchenette with a small round wood table with two chairs, and a bathroom. Each room also had a big bay window covered with crème colored drapes.

“Mom, these rooms are really nice.” Makenzie said.

“Thanks. You really think so?” Mom asked.

“Of course. The rooms are very spacious.”

“Walk with me to the end here.”

Makenzie followed her mother. At the end of the building was a small patio area with a picnic table and a barbecue. Behind the patio area was a large garage, which housed the vehicles that the staff would be allowed to use. There was a brand new silver Chevy Suburban SUV and a brand new black Chevy Silverado pickup truck. “What do you think?” Mom asked.

“I think they’re nice.” Makenzie replied.

“Good. I hope the new staff will like everything.” Mom said as she nervously bit her lower lip.

“Its great, mom. Well I’m going to go do the shopping now.” Makenzie said as she took Mia by the hand and led her out to the circular drive. She reached in the Mercedes and grabbed out Mia’s car seat and put it in her Mustang. She belted Mia in and got behind the wheel. She turned the key and turned the radio on. “Country or rock?” she asked Mia.

“Rock.” Mia answered.

“Rock it is.” Makenzie turned the stations until she found a rock station and turned the volume up slightly. She put the car in drive as they both sang along to the radio. Well Mia tried to sing along.

Before long they reached the supermarket. Makenzie parked the car and grabbed a cart. She put Mia in the front of the cart and walked into the store. Great, a new store. I don’t know where anything is. Makenzie thought. I’ll just start with the first aisle on the right and go down each aisle.

Mia started to get cranky after a while. Now I know why mom doesn’t usually take her to the store with her. I thought tantrums were supposed to be the terrible twos. Mia is four. What gives! “I want ice cream!” Mia shouted.

“Okay. Calm down. I don’t know where the ice cream is. We have to find it.”

“I want ice cream NOW!” Mia screamed louder.

“Oh yeah, well I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!” Makenzie started singing as she gave the cart a quick push and jumped on the bottom rack, riding on the cart. Mia laughed and started singing along. Great. It’s working. Makenzie thought. Just then she rounded the corner with their cart. Smack. Right into a man that was squatting down to get something off a lower shelf. Great. How embarrassing. I knocked him straight on his ass. “I’m sorry, sir.” Makenzie said as she grabbed the man’s arm to help him up.

“Why don’t you watch where you’re….” The man started to say as he spun around. His expression quickly changed and he smiled at Makenzie. “Hi. I’ve never seen you around here.”

“Well we just moved here yesterday from Oklahoma.” Makenzie said.

“You fell on your butt.” Mia giggled.

Makenzie shushed her. He’s kind of cute! Makenzie thought to herself as she looked into his big hazel eyes. And I just made the biggest goon out of myself. Way to go, Makenzie.

“Yeah I guess I did.” The man laughed as he continued to stare at Makenzie.

“My name is Scott.” He said as he put his hand out.

Makenzie shook his hand. “Makenzie. And this is my sister Mia.”

“Nice to meet you both.” He said as he shook Mia’s little hand. Mia just giggled. “Listen, since you’re new here, how about I take you out sometime and show you around?” Scott asked.

“Sure. That would be nice.” Makenzie replied.

“Okay. Well let me see your cell phone. I’ll program my number in for you.” Scott said.

Makenzie found her cell phone in her purse and gave it to him. I can’t believe this is really happening! My first day in Texas and I already made a friend.

“Okay. All done.” Scott said as he handed her phone back. He grabbed his own cell phone out of his pocket. “Why don’t you give me your number too?”

Makenzie started telling him her cell number, but was interrupted by a loud screech. “What about my ice cream?” Mia wailed, waving her arms about dramatically.

“Sshhh. Hold on, sweetie. In a minute.”

“Okay. But I’m NOT happy.” Mia replied as she crossed her arms over her chest and exhaled loudly.

“Geeze kiddo. Okay, my number is 555-0126.” Makenzie said again.

“Got it.” Scott replied as he typed the numbers into his cell phone. “Well I’ll be calling you.”

“Okay. Take care. And I’m sorry again for hitting you with my cart.”

“No problem. See you soon. Oh, and Makenzie?”

“Yes?”

“Welcome to Texas.” Scott grinned.

Makenzie smiled and walked away. More like welcome back to Texas! She thought as she tried to recall her time in Texas as a little girl. She was lost in her own thoughts until she heard Mia start wailing again. “Okay. Okay. I’m sorry, muppet.”

Mia just pouted her lips, arms still crossed over her chest dramatically. Makenzie quickly found the freezer section.

“What kind of ice cream do you want?”

“Chocolate.” Mia happily responded.

Makenzie grabbed some fudgsicles and a couple containers of chocolate ice cream and put them in the cart. She quickly finished shopping and got in the checkout line. The cashier rung up her items and Makenzie paid with the credit card that her parents had given to her for such errands. Then she walked out to her car.

She put Mia in her car seat, opened the box of fudgsicles, and took one out to give to Mia. “Here you go. Chocolate. Now you can be nice again.” Makenzie teased as Mia licked the fudgsicle.

“I want vanilla chocolate!” Mia screamed as she shook the fudgsicle and a glob of it went in Makenzie’s hair.

“Well that’s too bad.” Makenzie said as she looked for a Kleenex in her purse to wipe her hair.

Makenzie walked to the back of the car to put the grocery bags in her trunk. She heard a car pull up behind her. She turned to look and saw Scott in a black Cadillac Escalade. He beeped and waved. Makenzie smiled and waved back.

 

When Makenzie arrived home, her mother was in the kitchen interviewing a woman for the nanny position. Good luck. Makenzie thought as she recalled how terrible Mia was in the store.

“Excuse me, mom.” Makenzie interrupted with Mia in her arms. “I have to bring in the groceries. You’ll have to take Mia.”

“What’s all over her face?” Natasha gasped.

“Its just ice cream. Mia threw a fit in the store, so I had to give her a fudgsicle on the way home.”

Natasha rolled her eyes as she got up to get the dishcloth to wipe Mia’s face. Great. Now mom’s giving me the look that says I’m incompetent. Makenzie thought as she walked toward the door.

Makenzie brought the grocery bags inside with the help of Uncle Teddy and put everything away. “Well I’m going upstairs to unpack.” She said over her shoulder as she walked out of the kitchen. She heard her mother start to stop her, but she pretended not to hear her and kept walking.

Once upstairs Makenzie closed her door and turned on her stereo. She began unpacking all her clothes and putting them into her dresser and closet. I have way too many clothes. She thought to herself. When she finished unpacking she remembered what her mother had said about helping unpack the playroom. It’s going to have to wait. I’m starving. Makenzie looked at the clock. It was already 2:30. No wonder I’m so hungry. She ran down the stairs and into the kitchen. Her mother was conducting another interview. Makenzie made a quick ham and cheese sandwich with extra mayonnaise and took a bite. Then she heard the doorbell ring.

“Makenzie, can you get the door please?” Her mother asked.

“Sure.” Makenzie replied between bites.

“Oh and honey, please don’t talk with food in your mouth. It’s disgusting.”

Makenzie just shook her head and laughed quietly as she walked toward the front door.

When she opened the door she couldn’t believe her eyes. Standing there was the most beautiful man she had ever seen. He was tall in stature with broad shoulders. His jaw looked like it was chiseled out of stone. Hell, this man’s whole body looked like it was chiseled out of stone! His thick hair was a soft brown with long layers in front and just up to his shoulders in the back. His big brown eyes held an irresistible glitter. His skin was nicely tanned and his hands were weathered like those of a common laborer. He wore a pair of brown trousers and a tight white t-shirt that barely contained his muscles.

“Hi. My name is Caleb. The agency sent me over.” The man said quietly as he smiled shyly and offered his hand. Makenzie noticed that he spoke with a slight English accent, much like herself. She swallowed hard as she looked at him and accepted his hand.

“Hi. I’m Makenzie. My mother is conducting another interview right now. Come in and you can wait in the dining room.” Makenzie said as she led Caleb to the dining room. “I’ll let my mother know that you are here. Why don’t you have a seat?” Makenzie turned to leave and almost collided with Caleb. She didn’t realize he was right behind her. Their eyes locked. She breathed hard. Oh I just want to kiss him. She thought. He reached out his hand and lightly touched her upper lip with his fingertip. Makenzie stared at him.

“Sorry. You had a little something right here.” He whispered as he touched a finger to his own lip.

Oh my God, the mayonnaise! How embarrassing! “Thank you.” Makenzie whispered. Then she turned and walked out of the room, her heart beating wildly from the encounter.

Caleb’s heart raced as he watched Makenzie walk away. He sat at the dining room table in silence waiting for his interview. There was something about her; something special behind them deep blue eyes that had already begun to haunt him. He felt it right away, in the depths of his very soul. No woman had ever affected him this strongly before, and he doubted another one ever would again. He had to find out more about her.

“Mom, your next interview is here. He’s waiting in the dining room.” Makenzie called as she walked into the kitchen. She grabbed her sandwich and went upstairs to her room, stealing another glimpse of Caleb on her way. She turned the TV on, plopped down on her bed and resumed eating.

 

The rest of Makenzie’s day went by in a blur. She helped unpack the playroom, had a tea party with Mia, and made a spaghetti dinner for everyone. By the time she was done with the dishes it was 8:30. Makenzie decided to take a nice hot bubble bath to relax and unwind. She lit some candles and added some of her favorite bubble bath, lavender vanilla, to the tub. She laid back in the tub, put a washcloth over her face, and started thinking about the handsome stranger. Caleb. There was something about those big brown eyes. The way he looked at her. She felt instantly connected to the handsome stranger. She was interrupted by a knock on her bathroom door. “Yeah?” Makenzie asked.

“Just wondering if you wanted to watch a movie?” Teddy asked.

“Sure. Give me a few minutes. I’ll be right out.”

“Okay. Well I’ll wait for you in the great room.”

“Okay. I’ll try to hurry up.”

Makenzie quickly toweled off and slid her long pink nightgown over her head. She brushed her hair and headed downstairs. Teddy was already sitting on the sofa with a bowl of popcorn. She noticed two cans of soda sitting on the coffee table. “Sit down.” Teddy said as he patted the seat next to him. “It just started like ten minutes ago, so we didn’t miss much.”

Makenzie sat down and opened her soda. She reached over and grabbed some popcorn. “So how long are you staying, Teddy?”

“Forever.” Teddy joked. “I don’t know. Its so much nicer here than where I live. Michael and Natasha said I could stay as long as I want, so I was thinking that I might stay for the summer and then go back and look for a job.”

“That would be awesome. I love hanging out with you. But what about all your girlfriends back home?” Makenzie teased.

“I was down to just one girlfriend.” Teddy laughed. “Me and Carmen broke up a few weeks ago.”

“Now which one was that?”

“She was the red head.”

“Oh okay. I think I remember her. What happened?”

“Sshhh. Watch the movie.” Teddy said with a smirk.

“Okay fine. But you better tell me later.”

“Nope.”

“What do I gotta do, beat it out of you?” Makenzie joked as she made a fist.

“Oh please. I can bench press more than your body weight.” Teddy laughed.

Makenzie looked Teddy over with his dark blonde hair, his broad shoulders, and his baby blue eyes. Although he was pretty muscular, he looked more like a model than a fighter. She laughed at the mental image of her and Teddy fighting. “You used to tell me everything.”

“Okay fine. Then will you shut up?”

“Yeah it could happen.” Makenzie teased.

“Well I caught her cheating on me with my best friend.”

“Wow. I’m sorry. That sucks.” Makenzie said softly as her expression saddened.

“Shut up.” Teddy laughed.

Makenzie laughed too.

“Hey, wasn’t Carmen the one with the big ass?” Makenzie joked.

“Oh my God. I thought you agreed to be quiet if I told you what happened?”

“No. I said it could happen. Not that it would. The emphasis was on the word could.”

Teddy laughed. “You’re so terrible.”

“So was she?”

“Yes.” Teddy laughed. “I could park my jeep in the shadow of it. Okay?”

They both burst out laughing.

“Baby got back I guess.” Teddy continued.

“Or you could say that she had a lot of junk in her trunk. Isn’t that the big booty slang these days?” Makenzie teased.

“You should talk.” Teddy said. “Who was that guy you dated that you always had to ride in the backseat cuz his dog rode shotgun?”

“Danny Masters.” Makenzie laughed as she thought about Danny and his dog, Toby. “That dog had a serious attitude problem. It’s not that Danny wanted to put me in the backseat. It was that his dog demanded to be in front.” Makenzie giggled.

“What ever happened to him?” Teddy asked.

“I don’t know. I think he married his dog.”

They both laughed.

Chapter 2

 

Makenzie opened her eyes and saw sunlight streaming in through the sides of her window shades. She looked at her clock. 9:15. Geeze, I have got to stop sleeping so late. Oh well. It is summer vacation after all. I guess I’m entitled. She yawned, stretched, and pulled the covers back. She got out of bed, put her robe and slippers on and headed downstairs to the kitchen.

When she got into the kitchen, her parents, sister, and Teddy were all there. “Good morning everyone.” Makenzie said.

“Good morning.” Everyone replied.

“I just started a fresh pot of coffee.” Natasha said.

Makenzie walked to the cabinet and took out a coffee mug and poured herself a cup. She stirred in some cream and sugar and put two slices of bread in the toaster. When the toast popped, she put the slices on a plate and buttered them, then took a seat next to Teddy. “So what’s everyone up to this morning?” Makenzie asked.

“Well I have a tennis lesson this morning.” Mom said.

“I have to leave this afternoon for a business trip to Chicago. I have a meeting there later this evening. I’ll be back before lunch tomorrow.” Dad said.

“I want to go swimming.” Mia said.

“Me too.” Teddy said. “Makenzie, why don’t you go swimming with us?”

“Yeah. I kind of wanted to leave today. You know, scope out the area a little.” Makenzie replied. She finished her toast and walked to the sink to deposit her dirty plate. “Well, I’m going to go upstairs and take a shower. I’ll see you all later.”

Makenzie showered quickly and debated over what to wear. She finally decided on a white jean skirt with a pink baby doll top. She pulled her hair up into a high ponytail and applied some light make-up. She put on a pair of sandals and grabbed her cell phone. She saw that she had two missed phone calls and two new voicemails. Both calls were from Scott, the boy she met at the grocery store. For some reason when she thought about calling Scott back, Caleb popped into her mind. I wish I knew more about him. Makenzie thought. Oh well. I’ll probably never see him again. She didn’t know why, but that thought caused her to feel great sadness.

Makenzie found Scott in her contacts and gave him a call.

“Hi, Makenzie.” Scott answered.

“Hi, Scott. I saw that you’ve been trying to reach me. What’s up?”

“Well I was wondering if you wanted to go for a ride with me?”

“Where to?”

“Well I thought I would just show you around a bit.”

“When?”

“Well I was thinking around 7:00. I could pick you up and we could go for a ride and maybe get some dinner.”

“Okay. Sounds great.” Makenzie gave Scott directions to her home and hung up.

Makenzie grabbed a magazine and her compact CD player and headed out to her balcony to finish her coffee. She turned the knob on the player to radio and flipped through the pages of her magazine, but quickly got bored. She threw her magazine on the table next to her and stood up. She walked to the edge of the balcony and looked out over the backyard. Oh my God. It’s him! It’s Caleb! She thought with excitement. She watched him as he cleaned the pool. Mom must have hired him. Thank you, Mom. Caleb took his shirt off and threw it over one of the lounge chairs. Figures he’s got a six-pack. Makenzie thought as she continued to watch him. She didn’t even notice Teddy and Mia come out by the pool. However Teddy did notice her.

“Hey, Makenzie!” Teddy shouted up at her and waved.

Caleb turned and looked. He smiled shyly as his eyes met hers. Makenzie’s eyes fixed on Caleb’s. Her mouth dropped open slightly as she gazed down at him. After what seemed like an eternity, Makenzie turned away and went back inside.

After much thought, Makenzie decided to go out by the pool. I have to be near him. Maybe he’ll talk to me. Makenzie thought as she rifled through her bikini drawer. She found her favorite white bikini and put it on. Then she tied a long white sarong around her waist. She took her hair down and looked in the mirror. I look pretty good, she thought. She loved her white bikini because it really showed off her tan. On her way downstairs, she ran into her mother.

“Oh, Makenzie, honey, I have hired some help.” Natasha announced. So I noticed, Makenzie thought with a smile as her mother grabbed her by the shoulder. “Come on. I want to introduce you.” Natasha said as she walked into the kitchen. There was a plump, middle-aged woman standing there cutting up vegetables. “Makenzie, I would like you to meet our new chef, Maria. Maria, this is my daughter Makenzie.” Maria put down the knife and offered her hand.

“Pleased to meet you.” Maria said.

“Likewise.” Makenzie replied as she smiled at the woman.

Next they walked into the laundry room where there was a young woman with long jet-black hair putting a load of dirty clothes into the machine. She looked to be in her late twenties. “Adriana, I would like to introduce you to my daughter, Makenzie. Makenzie, this is our new housekeeper, Adriana.”

Makenzie and Adriana exchanged warm greetings. Then Natasha took Makenzie out to the back yard where Caleb was trimming bushes. He was still shirtless and his muscles seemed to glisten in the sun. “Hello, Caleb. I would like you to meet my daughter, Makenzie. Makenzie, this is Caleb. He’s our new groundskeeper and maintenance man.” Natasha said.

Caleb stared intensely into Makenzie’s eyes. “How do you do?” Makenzie whispered as she held his gaze and offered her hand. Caleb wiped his dirty hands on his pants and took Makenzie’s hand, his eyes seeming to burn into hers. Something in his eyes captivated her and she was unable to turn away from his intense gaze.

“Okay, come with me and I’ll introduce you to our trainer.” Natasha said as she turned in the direction of the exercise room. Caleb reluctantly dropped her hand, his fingertips lingering on hers as he pulled his hand away. Makenzie held his gaze a moment longer before turning away, only to look back and see Caleb still gazing at her with the same intensity. Makenzie could feel her heart beating rapidly.

Inside the exercise room was an extremely large man with a shaved head whom her mother introduced as Tony. Makenzie barely paid attention to her mother as she was talking. She walked over to the large wall of windows and looked into the backyard. Caleb was back to trimming the bushes.

“Makenzie! Makenzie! Have you been listening to me at all?” Her mother’s voice broke her out of her thoughts.

“Yes, mother. I’m sorry. What were you saying?”

“I was saying that I hired a new nanny too. Her name is Anna and she starts tomorrow morning. She’ll be moving her stuff into the staff quarters tonight.”

“Oh, okay. Oh I forgot to tell you, I’m going out tonight.”

“With who?”

“This boy named Scott that I met at the grocery store yesterday. I forgot to tell you.”

“Well, do you even know anything about him?”

“He seems harmless enough. I ran into him with my cart accidentally.”

Her mother laughed. “You did what?”

“Oh mother, it was quite embarrassing! I rounded the corner and hit him with the cart. Knocked him flat on his behind.”

“Oh that’s too funny.” Her mom giggled. “What time are you going?”

“He’s supposed to pick me up at 7:00.”

“And where are you going?”

“Just for a drive around town and to get some dinner.”

“Okay. Well bring him inside first so I can meet him.”

“Okay. Just don’t embarrass me.”

“Seems you’ve already embarrassed yourself if you ran into him with a cart.” Natasha teased.

Makenzie rolled her eyes. “Yeah I’m just lucky that way.”

Makenzie walked into the shower room and grabbed a beach towel and some tanning lotion, then walked out by the pool. She didn’t see Caleb anymore. Teddy and Mia were still swimming. She laid her towel out on one of the lounge chairs, untied her sarong, sat down, and started rubbing on tanning lotion. She looked out across the pool at the staff building. I wonder which room is Caleb’s, she thought. She looked out at Teddy and Mia who were splashing around in the pool. Looks like they’re having fun. Makenzie laid back on the lounge chair and closed her eyes.

 

Caleb finished trimming the bushes and walked over to his room to take a break. He noticed Makenzie lying out by the pool. He stared at her for a few moments before unlocking his door. He walked to his kitchen area, fixed himself a bologna sandwich, grabbed one of the chairs and moved it near the window. There he sat watching Makenzie as he ate his sandwich. He had never seen anyone with such an unearthly beauty, her face being that of an angel, the passion behind her deep blue eyes captivating and haunting him since he first laid eyes on her. Her soft voice repeated itself over and over in his head. He never gave love much thought. That was until he saw her face.

Makenzie was deep in thought when a strong hand grabbed her wrist and pulled her out of her chair. Her eyes bolted open to see Teddy. “No. Please. Don’t.” she pleaded.

Teddy held his grip and pulled Makenzie into the pool. Makenzie screamed as she hit the water and went under. “Teddy, you jerk! I’m going to kill you.” She said as she resurfaced and swam after him. She splashed him as he ducked and tried to swim away.

Makenzie jumped on Teddy and forced his head under the water. He plunged back up and splashed her back. They continued to play around splashing each other. Teddy picked Makenzie up into the air and threw her backward.

Caleb continued watching from his window. He felt a pain in his chest watching Makenzie with Teddy. That must be her boyfriend. I barely know her. Why do I feel so jealous? Why do I want to rip that guy’s face off? Caleb thought to himself. He took the last bite of his sandwich and walked to the kitchen area to put his dirty plate in the sink. I better get back to work. He grabbed a bottle of water out of the fridge and downed it. Then he walked out of his room, locking it behind him.

On his way toward the front yard, Caleb ran into Teddy. “Hey what’s up?” Teddy said as Caleb came closer. Caleb stopped and stared hard at Teddy.

“I don’t know how you can bear to leave her.” Caleb said as he looked by the pool where Makenzie was toweling Mia off. He turned his attention back to Teddy a moment longer, then walked away. Teddy looked puzzled.

“Huh? Leave whom?” he yelled after Caleb. Caleb just kept walking. What a weirdo, Teddy thought. He shook his head and continued walking toward the house.

Natasha came and got Mia. Makenzie finished toweling off and went to the shower room to take a quick shower. Her stomach was rumbling. It should be about time for lunch, she thought. She finished showering and wrapped herself in a towel. She headed upstairs to her room and changed into a pretty yellow sundress. She brushed her hair and headed downstairs to the kitchen. “Something smells good.” she said.

“It’s slow roasted chicken pot pie.” Maria said. “It’ll be ready in about 10 minutes.”

“Sounds great.” Makenzie replied.

 

After lunch Makenzie went back to her room and decided to call her friend Hailey from Oklahoma. She told Hailey all about her new home and the embarrassing incident at the grocery store with Scott. She went on to tell Hailey about Caleb and the mayonnaise.

“I was so embarrassed, I thought I’d just die.” Makenzie said.

Hailey laughed. “Well your life sure sounds interesting right now. This guy Caleb does sound really cute. Makenzie, he’s the help though.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Nothing. Its just that our kind don’t usually mix with their kind.”

“What do you mean by our kind and their kind? Last time I checked, people were people.”

“Well I just meant that you have a lot of money and he obviously doesn’t. You know, you’re kind of in different leagues.”

“God, you sound like such a snob. Money doesn’t matter to me.”

“You only say that because you have it. If you didn’t, you’d be saying something else.” Hailey laughed.

Makenzie was growing more irritated by the minute. “Hey, Hailey, I gotta go. I’ll call you back later.”

“Okay. Well good luck on your date with Scott tonight.”

“It’s not really a date.”

“Sounds like one to me.”

“Yeah, well thank you. Talk to you later. Bye.”

“Bye.” Hailey said.

Makenzie hung up the phone and walked to the playroom where Mia was. “Whatcha doing, kiddo?” Makenzie asked.

Mia looked up and smiled. “Want to play Barbies with me?”

“Sure.” Makenzie replied as she sat down on the carpet next to Mia.

 

Makenzie looked at the clock. It was almost 7:00. Better go downstairs and wait for Scott. Makenzie put a white sweater over her yellow sundress and headed down the stairs and into the great room. Teddy and her mother were sitting on the couch watching TV.

“Waiting for your date?” Natasha asked.

“Yeah. He should be here at 7:00.” Makenzie replied.

“I want to meet him before you leave.”

“Yeah me too.” Teddy added as he laughed a little. “You know…. I gotta check this dude out, make sure he’s safe.” He said in his best Sylvester Stallone voice.

“You two better not embarrass me.” Makenzie said as she glared at them with narrowing eyes.

Just then Makenzie heard a beep from the security intercom. She pushed the button. It was Scott so she buzzed him in and walked toward the front door. Her mother and Teddy followed her. As they walked outside a silver Lotus Esprit was pulling around the circular drive.

“Damn, check out that car!” Teddy said excitedly as he walked toward the Lotus. Scott parked and got out of the car.

“Hi. I’m Natasha, Makenzie’s mother. You must be Scott.” Mom said as she offered her hand.

Scott shook her hand. “Yes. Pleased to meet you.”

“I’m Teddy, Makenzie’s uncle.” Teddy said as he shook Scott’s hand. “Dude this car is sweet.”

“Thanks.” Scott replied. “Well we better get going. We have reservations at 7:30.” Makenzie and Scott said goodbye as they drove away. As they drove around the circular drive, Makenzie got a glimpse of Caleb digging a hole to plant a bush. He looked up and held his gaze on her. She smiled and looked away. After they passed, she looked in the side mirror and saw that he was still watching her.

Scott took Makenzie to an exclusive Italian restaurant where they made small talk as they waited for their food. Makenzie learned that Scott’s last name was Jones and his father was none other than Hank Jones, the oil billionaire. Scott went on to brag that their lavish mansion took up an entire city block and it required twenty-nine servants to run the household. Makenzie felt relieved when their entrees arrived.

After their dinner, Scott took Makenzie for a drive around town. Makenzie turned on the car radio so she wouldn’t have to listen to more of Scott’s bragging. This was a mistake. I just want to go home. Makenzie thought. Her thoughts soon returned to Caleb. She couldn’t get his face out of her mind. The way he had stared at her when she drove away with Scott and the saddening of his expression haunted her. Is it possible he feels for me as I do for him? Makenzie wondered.

Her thoughts were soon interrupted when Scott turned the radio off.

“Do you want to go back to my place for a while?” he asked.

“Oh thank you, but no. I have a really bad headache and I have to get up early tomorrow morning. I’d really like it if you just took me home.” Makenzie replied.

“Is everything okay? Was it something I said?”

Yeah just about everything you said. You’re a stuck-up, rich snob!

“No. No. It’s nothing like that. I’m just really tired.”

“Okay. Well I’m having a small party with a few friends Friday night. I’d like for you to come and meet my friends.”

“Yeah maybe. I’ll have to see what I have going on.”

Scott pulled around Makenzie’s circular drive and put the car in park. He got out of the car and opened Makenzie’s door for her. Then he walked her to her door. “Well thank you for a lovely evening.” Makenzie said.

Scott leaned in and tried to kiss her. She leaned the other way and gave him a quick peck on the cheek. “Goodnight, Scott.” She said as she turned the doorknob and walked inside, gently closing the door in his face.

“That’s it?” Makenzie could hear Scott say after she closed the door. “I pay two hundred dollars for a dinner and all I get is a kiss on the cheek?” Scott continued scowling under his breath as he turned and walked back to his car.

Makenzie locked the door and headed into the kitchen. She made herself a glass of chocolate milk and took it upstairs to her room. She dropped her purse on the dresser, sat on the bed, and took off her shoes. Then she got up and started the bath water. She put her glass of chocolate milk on the ledge of the tub and got undressed. Then she slipped into the tub. Oh this feels so good, she thought to herself as she placed a warm washcloth over her eyes. Caleb’s face soon haunted her thoughts. Once again she was interrupted by a knock at the door. What gives! “What?” Makenzie yelled.

“Hey, its me. Just wanted to see how your date went?” Teddy asked.

It didn’t. Makenzie thought. “I just got into the tub, Teddy. Give me about twenty minutes and come back.”

“Okay. Will do chicky!”

Makenzie finished her bath and put on her long white sleeveless nightgown. She brushed her hair and her teeth and walked out of the bathroom. She set the rest of her glass of chocolate milk on the nightstand. Then her door burst open and in came Teddy. “Geeze, Teddy, don’t you knock?” Makenzie snapped as she grabbed for her robe.

“Not me.” Teddy laughed. “So how was it?” he asked as he jumped up on Makenzie’s bed next to her.

“Another rich snob.” Makenzie said, her expression one of disgust.

“And that’s bad, why?”

“Just not my type.”

“How can you say that? Did you see his car?”

Makenzie looked at Teddy and laughed. His enthusiasm reminded her of a schoolgirl. “Yes, Teddy. I even rode in it. Remember?” she teased.

“So how was it?”

“He was boring. All he did was talk about himself and how rich his family is.”

“So how rich is his family?” Teddy asked.

“Very, very rich. His father is oil billionaire Hank Jones for Christ sake!”

“Wow, that is so cool.”

“Why don’t you date him then?” Makenzie joked.

“Oh, do you think he’d go out with me? Really?” Teddy teased back as he dramatically faked enthusiasm at her teasing.

Makenzie whacked him in the head with a pillow. “Shut up, Teddy.” She giggled.

“So are you going out with him again?” Teddy asked.

“Well he invited me to a party at his house Friday night. But I don’t think I’m going to go.”

“You should go and bring me with you.”

“I don’t know, Teddy.” Makenzie thought about telling Teddy what she overheard Scott say after their date, but was too embarrassed. “I want to meet people out here, but his friends are probably all like him. The thought of spending my Friday night with a bunch of overly conceited assholes just doesn’t appeal to me.”

Teddy frowned. “Well just think about it is all I’m saying. And when you think about it, think about taking your favorite uncle with you.”

“Okay, Teddy. I’ll think about it.” Makenzie lied, knowing that she wouldn’t be attending Scott’s party.

Chapter 3

 

Makenzie awoke to her mother shaking her. “Makenzie, wake up. I need your help.” Makenzie opened her eyes and looked at the clock. It was 8:15.

“What’s up, mom?” she asked as she rubbed her eyes and stretched.

“The new nanny is having a hard time getting Mia to warm up to her. I was thinking that maybe you could help her out a bit.”

“Yeah mom, sure. Just let me get dressed and have a quick breakfast.”

“Okay, honey. Thank you. Just try to hurry though because I have to leave in thirty minutes to pick your father up from the airport.”

Makenzie climbed out of bed and went into the bathroom. She brushed her teeth and her hair. Then she rifled through her drawers and found an outfit suitable for playtime. She quickly dressed in a light blue tank top and a pair of jean short overalls. She ran downstairs where Maria was making eggs. She poured a cup of coffee and grabbed a plate of eggs and brought it back upstairs to her room. After finishing her breakfast, she sat at her vanity and put on some make-up.

As Makenzie walked down the hall, she heard Mia arguing with the nanny in the playroom. She walked into the room just as Mia was slapping Anna in the face. “It’s mine and you can’t touch it!” Mia wailed. Makenzie looked over at Anna. She looked young, probably about Makenzie’s age. She had long, light brown hair that was pulled back in a tight ponytail and a sweet face.

“Mia, stop it right now.” Makenzie yelled as she grabbed Mia’s hand and smiled over at Anna. “Hi, Anna. I’m Makenzie. I’m here to help you.”

“Oh thank you.” Anna smiled and looked relieved.

“Mia, this is Anna. She’s a friend. She’s here to play with you.”

Mia just crossed her arms over her chest and gave Anna a not so friendly look. “I have an idea.” Makenzie said. “Why don’t the two of us take Mia to the big park in the center of town? This way she can get used to you while I’m there and she’ll have other children to play with.”

“That sounds great. Thank you.” Anna said.

“No problem. Let me just grab a bag we can put some snacks in and then we’ll go.”

Makenzie picked Mia up and went to her room to grab a bag. Then she carried her into the kitchen with Anna following and grabbed a few packages of Teddy Grahams and three juice boxes and put them in the bag.

They walked out the front door and out by the Mercedes Guardian.

“Can you reach in the backseat and grab the car seat?” Makenzie asked as she opened the car door.

“Sure.” Anna replied. Anna picked up the car seat and followed Makenzie to the Mustang. Anna strapped the car seat in. Makenzie tried putting Mia into the car seat, but she kept thrashing about trying to get down.

Caleb was walking by as Makenzie struggled with Mia. Makenzie didn’t even notice him. He stood on the side of the large tree trunk and watched her. Just look at her all in a tizzy! He laughed as he smiled to himself.

Finally Makenzie was able to get Mia belted into her car seat. Oh my God! What is wrong with this kid today? She thought. She grabbed one of the bags of Teddy Grahams out of the bag, opened it, and handed it to Mia. Then she started the car and turned on the radio. “Mia likes rock music. I hope you don’t mind.”

“No, not at all.” Anna turned and smiled at Mia. “ I like rock music too.”

Mia smiled back and giggled. Good, Makenzie thought.

She pulled her car around the circular drive and out through the security gates and headed in the direction of the park.

“I love this car.” Anna said.

“Me too.” Makenzie giggled. “My parents just bought it for me last month.”

Makenzie pulled the car by the curb and parked. Her and Anna got out of the car and Makenzie got Mia out of her car seat. Makenzie and Anna each grabbed one of Mia’s hands and walked up to the park. Well at least she’s letting Anna hold her hand. Makenzie looked over at Anna. She smiled. Anna looks a little more relaxed now. She looked scared to death earlier. Poor girl!

Makenzie and Anna played with Mia for what seemed like hours. They took her up and down slides and pushed her on the swings. They even played in the sand with her. A group of kids was starting a game of tag and they invited Mia to join. She happily agreed. “Bye, Mak.” She said as she kissed Makenzie’s cheek. Then Mia walked over to Anna. “Bye, Anna.” She said as she kissed Anna’s cheek. Both girls looked at each other and smiled.

“Ahhh, she kissed me.” Anna said.

“So I saw.” Makenzie said. “I think she’s starting to warm up to you. I think you guys will be just fine.”

“You really think so?”

“Yes. I do.”

Makenzie and Anna chatted for a while. Makenzie learned that Anna was just a year younger than her and had worked as a nanny since she graduated high school in order to save money for college. She also told Makenzie about how nervous she was about a date she had that night with a boy she just met before taking the job. Makenzie offered to help Anna get ready for her date.

Makenzie looked at her watch. “We best be heading back now so we don’t miss lunch.” She said as she got up off the grass and called for Mia. Mia came running.

Makenzie belted Mia into her car seat with no problems this time. She looked over at Anna, who was looking at them and smiling. Makenzie threw her keys at Anna. “Here. You’re driving back.”

“Oh no, I couldn’t drive your car.”

“No. I insist. Besides if you do good maybe I’ll let you take my car for your date tonight.”

“Really?” Anna screeched with excitement.

“Yep. Now get in. Come on. I don’t want to miss lunch.” Makenzie laughed. Just then her stomach growled. “See!”

Both girls giggled.

Back at the house, Makenzie’s parents were home from the airport. They had a really nice lunch together. “So how was Chicago, Dad?” Makenzie asked.

“Oh, you know, business as usual.” Dad replied. Anna sat at the table and helped Mia with her lunch.

“Anna, you can have off earlier this evening. Michael and I are going to have dinner with a business colleague of his. They have a child Mia’s age, so we’ll be taking her with us. We’ll be leaving at 5:00, so we’ll need you to have her ready by then.” Natasha said.

“Sounds great. No problem, Mrs. Adams.” Anna replied.

 

After lunch, Makenzie, Teddy, Anna, and Mia went out by the pool. Makenzie looked out by the staff rooms, but didn’t see anyone. “So, how do you like your room, Anna?” Makenzie asked.

“Oh its great.” Anna replied. “Much nicer than the last one I stayed in.”

“Which one is yours?”

“Mine is the second room from the left.”

“So have you met the other staff yet?”

“Yes. Last night when I was moving my stuff in.”

“So what do you think of them?”

“They were all very welcoming. Adriana and Caleb helped me move my stuff in.”

“That’s great.” Makenzie smiled. “So whose rooms are next to yours?”

“Well to the left of me is Adriana. To the right of me is Caleb. And Maria’s is on the right corner before the laundry room.”

So the third room down is Caleb’s. Makenzie thought as she stared at his room.

“I want to go in the pool.” Mia said.

“Okay, honey.” Anna said as she took off her swimsuit cover up. “Makenzie, are you coming too?”

Makenzie looked at her watch. It was almost 2:00. “No. I have to go inside to change for my workout with Tony. I’ll see you guys later. Have fun.”

“See you later.” Anna replied.

Makenzie looked back and saw Teddy playing around in the pool with Anna and Mia. Teddy probably has a thing for the nanny. Looks like she might be interested in him too. He is quite the ladies man! Makenzie laughed to herself. Makenzie was lost in her own thoughts and not looking where she was going when she ran into someone. Her shoulder was right against his bare chest. She looked up and into Caleb’s eyes. Her heart began to pound rapidly. “I’m so sorry.” She whispered, embarrassed, as she looked down.

Caleb lifted her chin with his finger and stood gazing into her eyes. His stare was intense. Makenzie finally found the strength to turn her face away. She looked down, and slowly walked away, muttering “Sorry” under her breath.

Caleb turned and watched her walk away, mistaking her silence as snobbery. She hates me. Probably thinks I’m not good enough for her. Maybe I’m not. He thought to himself. When she was out of sight, he turned toward the pool area and saw Teddy with Anna. Now I’m really confused. Isn’t this the same guy that was playing around in the pool with Makenzie yesterday?

Mia grew tired of swimming in the pool and wanted to go inside. Teddy offered to watch Mia while Anna went to her room to change into some dry clothes. He waited for her by the pool as he toweled Mia off. As Anna headed to her room, Caleb appeared from around the corner of the staff building. Anna jumped. “Geeze, Caleb, you scared me!”

“What were you doing over there with Makenzie’s boyfriend?” Caleb asked as he glared at her accusingly. “It would serve you right to get fired!”

Anna laughed as she wrung out some more water in her hair. “Boyfriend? That’s not Makenzie’s boyfriend.”

“I saw them together in the pool yesterday.”

“No, that’s her….” Anna started to say. She stopped mid-speech to look at him. “Wait a minute. You like her, don’t you?” She continued to look Caleb over. “Yeah, you do.” She giggled.

“No. I don’t. It doesn’t matter anyway. She would never be with me.”

Anna got the feeling that Caleb was offended by her giggling so she stopped. “That guy you saw her with is her uncle Teddy. And why wouldn’t Makenzie want to be with you?”

“Because she bloody hates me. That’s why. Probably doesn’t see me fit to wipe her shoes.”

“I know you must think that due to our line of work, but Makenzie is different. She’s very nice, Caleb. If you like her, you should talk to her.”

Caleb remained silent a few moments as if pondering what Anna had just said. “But what would I say?”

“Ah hah! I knew it. You do like her!” Anna exclaimed as she pointed her finger at him. Caleb blushed crimson and quickly turned away. “Just be yourself.” Anna called after him.

 

Makenzie finished her grueling hour-long workout with Tony and went up to her room for a while to read. Scott tried calling her, but she hit the ignore button on her cell phone. She started thinking of Caleb. I don’t think he likes me much. He never says anything to me. Just stares. Makenzie thought it over for a while and decided she would try to talk to him tonight if she saw him. If he refused, she would demand to know what his problem was. She looked at the clock. It was already 5:30. My parents and Mia should be gone already. I should go see Anna. I told her I would help her get ready for her date.

Makenzie walked out to the staff rooms and knocked on Anna’s door. She jumped when she heard another door slam and turned to look. Caleb had just come out of his room.

“I don’t think she’s in there.” He said as he stared at Makenzie.

“What?” Makenzie had been lost in thought when she first saw him and hadn’t quite heard what he said.

“Anna. I don’t think she’s in there.”

“Oh.” Makenzie stared back at him and held his gaze.

“Can I help you with something?”

“Um. Well I haven’t eaten yet and I wanted to see if she wanted to grab a bite with me.”

“I reckon she’ll probably be eating on her date.”

“Oh. Right. Right.” Makenzie said as she nodded her head. “Well, okay then. Have a good night.” Makenzie said as she smiled and turned to leave.

Caleb lightly grabbed her arm. “Wait.”

Makenzie turned around and looked at him. “Yes?”

“Well I’m going to be starting a barbecue here shortly for me, Maria, and Adriana. You could join us if you want.”

“I would love to.” Makenzie replied.

“Okay.” Caleb said and smiled. “Well I was just going to the patio now.”

Makenzie followed Caleb to the patio, staring at his butt as he walked. Oh my God, she thought. Is this really happening? She felt really nervous. Caleb picked up the bag of charcoal and dumped some into the barbecue. “Do you need any help?” she asked.

“Well if you like, you could go to my room and get the burgers out of my freezer. And there’s buns on the counter.” Caleb said as he dug his keys out of his pocket and handed them to her.

Makenzie walked to Caleb’s room and grabbed the items. She looked around. She saw a photo on the nightstand and went to look at it. It looked to be a picture of Caleb as a young boy with a young woman. His mother, perhaps? Makenzie put the photo back and headed for the door. When she returned to the patio Maria was sitting at the picnic table and Adriana was putting out a stack of paper plates and some condiments.

“Hello.” Makenzie said and smiled. Both ladies said hello as Makenzie took a seat next to Adriana, who sat across from Maria at the table. Makenzie made small talk with the staff as she watched Caleb at the barbecue.

Anna was walking by when she noticed Makenzie, so she walked over and sat down next to her. “Hey, Makenzie. What’s up?” she asked as she looked at Makenzie and then over at Caleb. Caleb gave Anna a look that said ‘Don’t you dare!’. Anna giggled and turned her attention back to Makenzie.

“Oh right, your date. What time are you leaving?” Makenzie asked.

“Not until 7:00. Do you think you could help me find something nice to wear?”

Makenzie looked at her watch. It was only 5:50. “How much longer on those burgers, Caleb?”

“Almost done.” He replied.

“Okay. Well why don’t you go up to my room and check my closet. I’ll meet you up there when I finish eating.”

“You’re going to let me borrow your clothes?” Anna asked with excitement.

“Of course. It’s no big deal. My friends and I do it all the time. You look to be about my size. My room is to the left of the grand staircase. Last door on the right.”

Anna got up and threw her arms around Makenzie. “Oh my God, thank you! Thank you so much!”

Makenzie smiled and hugged her back. When she turned back to the table everyone was looking at her. “What?”

Adriana and Maria looked at each other. “It’s just that we’ve never worked for anyone like you before.” Adriana said.

“What did I say? Did I say something wrong?” Makenzie said in a low voice as she bit her lower lip.

“Oh, honey, no.” Maria said. She reached across the table for Makenzie’s hand. “Its just that you’re so nice. My old employers wouldn’t get caught dead fraternizing with the help, let alone befriending them.”

Adriana shook her head in agreement. “The last family I worked for I wasn’t even allowed to make eye contact with unless I was directly spoken to.”

“That’s horrible.” Makenzie said as she shook her head in disgust.

“Well its very refreshing to work here after working for that Hank Jones.” Adriana said as she made a face.

That’s Scott’s family, Makenzie thought as she recalled her date with Scott and how snooty she thought he was. Caleb brought a platter of burgers to the table and set it down. Then he took a seat at the picnic table across from Makenzie. Makenzie grabbed a paper plate, bun, and burger and set about dressing it with ketchup and mustard. She looked up to see Caleb staring at her again. She dropped her gaze and bit off a small piece of her burger.

“Its very good, Caleb. Thank you.” She said as she grabbed one of the sodas Maria had brought out, opened it and took a drink. “You don’t talk much do you, Caleb?”

Caleb lowered his gaze down to his plate and Makenzie could see him blushing slightly. Makenzie nudged his leg with her foot from underneath the table. He looked up at her again. She smiled at him playfully. “I was thinking that I should like to go riding tomorrow.” Makenzie said between bites. “Right before lunch. I’ll need you to get my mare ready for me.”

Caleb nodded silently.

“Okay. I’ll meet you at the stables tomorrow around 11:30,” Makenzie said.

When everyone finished eating, Makenzie began helping Maria clear the table. “Well I better get going so I can help Anna get ready.” She said when they were done. “I promised her I would. Thank you all for letting me eat with you.” She turned to Caleb. “The burgers were wonderful. Thank you.” Makenzie stood there a few moments longer, smiled over at Caleb and began walking away. “Good night everyone. Enjoy your evening.”

Makenzie looked at her watch. It was almost 6:30. She jogged to the house and ran up the stairs to her room. Anna was inside trying on Makenzie’s clothes.

“What do you think?” she asked, as she looked at herself in the full-length mirror. Makenzie looked her over. She was wearing a pair of white Capri pants with a black silk tank top.

“You look great.” Makenzie said. “What size shoes do you wear?”

“I wear a 7 ½”.

“So do I.” Makenzie replied as she walked toward the closet. “Come here. I have a pair of shoes that would go great with that.”

Anna followed Makenzie into the walk-in closet and sat on the bench. Makenzie rifled through her shoe racks until she came across the shoes she was talking about. She handed the black satin opened-toed heeled sandals to Anna. “Here. Try these.”

The shoes fit Anna perfectly. She took one last look at herself in the mirror. “Wow. Thanks, Makenzie.” Anna said as she turned to check her butt in the mirror. “So how was your barbecue?”

“Oh it was great. Caleb’s a wonderful cook.” She giggled.

“So what do you think of him?” Anna asked.

“I don’t think he likes me much.” Makenzie frowned as she played with Anna’s hair and thought about how little Caleb actually talked to her.

“Oh I think he likes you just fine.”

“What makes you say that?”

“Well he confronted me earlier and asked me what I was doing with your boyfriend.”

“Huh?” Makenzie asked, looking confused.

Anna smiled. “He saw me with Teddy in the pool and thought that Teddy was your boyfriend.”

Makenzie still looked confused. Then a look of recognition crossed her face, which quickly turned to a look of disgust. “Oh. Ewww! That’s my uncle!” She laughed. “So, did Caleb say anything about me?”

“Oh he’ll kill me if I tell.” Anna laughed.

“Come on, Anna. Please?” Makenzie put her hands together as if in prayer, and whimpered like a puppy.

Anna giggled. “Well he just said that you hate him and that you would never be with someone like him. You know, someone without money.”

That’s ridiculous, Makenzie thought to herself. “That’s not true.”

“Well you better be going. Here.” Makenzie said as she handed her car keys to Anna. “Have fun. But not too much fun.” She giggled.

Anna hugged Makenzie. “Thank you.”

Makenzie walked with Anna out to her Mustang and waved as she drove away. She retired to her room once Anna was gone and replayed their earlier conversation in her mind. Hmmm.

Chapter 4

 

Makenzie awoke early the next morning. She put on her robe and slippers and ran down to the kitchen. Maria had baked blueberry muffins for breakfast. Makenzie bid Maria a good morning, poured a cup of coffee, grabbed a muffin and ran back to her room. She opened her French doors and went out onto her balcony. Her eyes roamed the backyard until they fell upon Caleb. Makenzie had barely slept last night because she was thinking about her dinner with Caleb, what Anna had said about Caleb, and about seeing Caleb at the stables this afternoon. She pulled off little bits of muffin and gently placed them into her mouth as she leaned over the balcony railing and watched him work. There was just something about him. Makenzie couldn’t get him off of her mind.

The rest of Makenzie’s morning seemed to drag on. She talked with Anna for a while, whom informed her that her date last night was a disaster and sadly reported that the guy only seemed after one thing and Anna was not about to give it to him. After talking with Anna and playing with Mia for a bit, Makenzie did a quick work out with Tony, and then went back up to her room to take a shower. It’s not a date or anything. Why do I feel so nervous?

Makenzie scanned her closet for something to wear. After much pondering, she finally decided on a long, white, ruffled sundress. She loved the romantic look to it. She paced back and forth in her room waiting until it was time to meet Caleb at the stables.

Finally, the time had arrived. Makenzie took off walking toward the stables. She hoped Caleb hadn’t forgotten. As she rounded the corner, she saw Caleb emerging from the stables with her horse. The sight of him took her breath away. He was wearing light colored jeans and an off white cotton shirt that was unbuttoned half way down in the front, exposing his chest. A few strands of his hair were hanging down by his eye. He looked like he just walked off the cover of a romance novel. Makenzie slowly walked toward him. There’s that intense stare again, she thought as he looked at her. “Ahhh you remembered.” She said, as she got closer.

Caleb helped her onto her horse and stared up at her, handing her the reins. She noticed that the white stallion was also saddled up and ready to ride. She motioned toward the stallion with her hand. “Is someone else going riding as well?” she asked.

“I decided that I should like to go with you, seeing as how you don’t know the trails.”

“Okay but you have to keep up.” She said, grinning wickedly. At that she took off on her horse. Caleb stared after her with a grin hovering about his lips as he watched her pale ringlets bouncing behind her. He mounted the other horse and took off after her. Makenzie turned her head back and giggled playfully as she saw Caleb coming up behind her.

Caleb caught up quickly and they both slowed their horses to ride alongside one another. The weather was sweet and warm, the grass a lush, deep green, and the sky almost completely clear.

“Follow me.” Caleb said as he got a few feet ahead. Makenzie did as he requested. He led her off the main trail onto a smaller trail that was almost completely hidden behind the trees. She would not have noticed it if he hadn’t been there. The trail was narrow, so Makenzie had no choice but to follow Caleb. Soon she saw a clearing up ahead. Caleb slowed his horse to a near halt as they approached it.

They came across a small pond with a wooden bridge over it and Caleb stopped his horse. Makenzie stopped alongside him. Caleb jumped off his horse and helped her down. He tied both horses to a wooden post near the pond so that they could drink. She looked around. It was a small grass clearing among dozens of fruit trees. There was a large area full of red, blue, and purple wildflowers. Makenzie took a deep breath and breathed in the sweet smell of the air. Just in front of the pond she saw a blanket with a picnic basket. She looked over at Caleb and met his irresistible eyes. She couldn’t help but smile when she realized that he must have planned this out in advance.

“What is all of this?” she asked.

Caleb blushed bashfully. “I thought maybe we could have lunch together.”

Makenzie smiled at him. He seemed to relax a bit. “Well let’s get to it then!” she said between smiles. She walked toward the blanket and sat down. She patted the blanket next to her. Caleb walked over and sat next to her. He opened the picnic basket and took out two cans of soda, handing one of them to her. Then he took out two sandwiches and did the same.

“It’s ham and turkey on wheat.” He said as she took the sandwich from him. “I hope that’s okay.”

“It’s fine. Thank you.” Makenzie replied as she bit off a small piece of her sandwich.

They sat in silence for a while, with the only noise being from the soft breeze flitting through the leaves and the sounds of hummingbirds in the nearby fruit trees. Makenzie finished her sandwich and broke the silence.

“I didn’t realize we had so many fruit trees. Come Caleb, let us go have a look,” She said as she stood and offered him a dainty hand. Caleb accepted her hand and held it as they walked toward a group of trees. Makenzie lightly ran her hand over a cluster of peaches in one of the trees. Caleb pulled off two peaches, wiped them with his shirt, and handed one to Makenzie. They sat down under the tree.

“Oh its like heaven out here.” Makenzie said as she looked over at Caleb. Caleb shook his head in agreement and took another bite out of his peach. “Do you ever dream, Caleb?” He looked at her but remained silent. “I dream all the time.” She continued.

“What do you dream of?” Caleb asked, looking interested.

Makenzie rested her head against the tree trunk and looked up. “Love mostly. Have you ever been in love, Caleb?” He looked at her and sighed. He didn’t know how to answer her at the moment. I’ve only been in love with you since the moment I saw your face, he thought to himself. It rather confused him, the startling love he felt for her upon seeing her face the first time. His overwhelming feelings connected him fearfully to her.

“Well I love everything.” Makenzie said as she started to get up. “I love the flowers, I love the trees, I love the sunshine…. and I love the wind,” she exclaimed as she started to twirl about in the gentle breeze.

Caleb stood smiling at her, watching the soft winds blow her blonde locks behind her as she danced about childlike. He envied her spirit. He heard a crack of thunder and looked up. “Do you also love the rain?” Caleb smirked as he looked up at the sky.

Makenzie stopped dancing and looked up. Just then a few drops of rain started to fall. Makenzie laughed, put her arms out and her palms up as she started spinning around. She laughed harder when she saw Caleb quickly start to pull the back of his shirt up to protect his head. She ran to him and grabbed his hand. “Yes I love the rain!” she exclaimed. “Dance with me!”

Caleb shrugged his head back into his shirt and pulled back. “I can’t dance.” He said shyly.

“Sure you can. Everyone can dance.” She said as she continued to spin around in the quickening rain. He crossed his arms over his chest and leaned against the tree as he watched her in amazement, his eyes wide. He pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and quickly snapped a picture of her.

Makenzie walked over to Caleb and bravely kissed his cheek. She looked up at him. He stood there, his eyes holding her gaze, but he said and did nothing. Finally she turned away and let out a loud sigh before mounting her horse.

“I’ll race you back to the house.” She called out as she trotted off. Caleb quickly mounted the stallion and took off after her. She kept looking back at him, smiling and giggling as she did earlier. Caleb smiled as he thought about her kissing him and he cursed himself for not having the courage to say or do anything.

In this moment he had all but forgotten that he was a mere servant for this girl’s family. He couldn’t remember the last time he felt this free and had so much fun. There was something about Makenzie that made him feel more alive. She awakened a softer side to him, one that he had forgotten he had with all the bitterness and hatred he had grown accustomed to in his daily life of working for the wealthy.

By the time they got back to the stables, the rain had stopped and it was bright and sunny again. Caleb got off of his horse and helped Makenzie off of hers. He led the horses back to the barn and put them back in their stalls. Makenzie followed him into the barn and watched him. He closed the stall door, and turned toward Makenzie as he leaned against the stall door.

“Well I should get back to work.” He said in a low voice. He couldn’t help but notice that Makenzie looked disappointment at his remark.

“Well thank you for lunch. I had a great time.” Makenzie said. She flashed him a sweet smile and turned to leave. Before he lost his nerve, Caleb quietly walked up behind her and touched her arm. She turned around to face him. He reached out and gently touched a locket of her hair. Then he leaned in and kissed her softly on the mouth, his lips barely touching hers. She stared up at him breathless and in shock, her heart rate rising. He looked down, cursed under his breath, and quickly walked away.

Makenzie sang as she skipped back to the house. She walked into the kitchen where her mother was sitting, having a cup of coffee. “Hello, mother!” Makenzie said with enthusiasm as she threw her arms around her mother’s neck and kissed her cheek.

“Well, what’s gotten into you? Why are you suddenly so chipper?” Natasha asked.

“Oh nothing. I’m just really starting to love Texas.” Makenzie’s face displayed an all-knowing grin, which quickly faded when Makenzie realized she couldn’t dare tell her mother of her lunch and play with Caleb. Her mother would be horrified to no end at the thought of her daughter behaving in such a way with a servant. “Well I’m off to my room now.” Makenzie said as she decided to seek out Anna.

“How’d your dress get dirty?” Natasha asked.

Makenzie looked down at the dried mud at the bottom of her pretty white sundress and shrugged. “Well I was about in the fields with my horse earlier when it started to rain. I supposed that’s how it happened.”

“Well you best go change and give the dress to Adriana quickly before the stains set.”

“Yes, mother. Right away.”

Makenzie figured it best to obey her mother so as not to cause further argument. She ran up to her room and took off the offending sundress and replaced it with a pair of cutoff jean shorts and a white t-shirt, which she tied up to expose her midriff. On her way back down the stairs to give Adriana the dress, she heard Anna and Mia in the playroom. Makenzie peeked her head in the doorway. “I need to talk to you.” She whispered to Anna. “Meet me in my room. I’ll be right back.”

Anna nodded. Makenzie ran the dress down to Adriana and went back upstairs to her room, where Anna and Mia were waiting.

“What’s wrong?” Anna asked.

“Nothing and everything!” Makenzie exclaimed.

“How did the horseback riding go with Caleb?”

“Oh it was wonderful, quite beautiful actually, with all the trees and the flowers, and hummingbirds, and…. wait a minute, you knew he was going with me?” Makenzie asked, looking accusingly at Anna.

Anna smiled and shrugged her shoulders. “Well he talked to me about it last night.”

“What did he say?”

“Not much. Just wanted to know if I thought turkey and ham would be okay for you. And he described the spot he found and wanted to know what I thought of it.”

“Is that all?”

“That’s all I’m going to tell you.” She giggled.

“No, please. You must tell me if there’s more.”

“Makenzie, I can’t. I don’t want to embarrass him.”

“Come on, Anna, please? I swear I won’t tell.”

Anna reluctantly agreed. “Well he was asking me how to talk to a girl he likes. Makenzie, I get the feeling he doesn’t usually do this sort of thing.”

“Anna, I kissed him.” Makenzie blurted out as she looked at Anna and began to giggle.

“Yeah?” Anna’s eyes lit up.

“Yeah and he stood there and did nothing.”

“You probably scared the daylights out of him.” Anna teased.

Makenzie laughed. “Well at first I felt really stupid for doing it. I thought maybe he didn’t like me when he didn’t respond at all. But then when we got back to the stables he kissed me. Then it was me that stood there like an idiot. It rather caught me off guard after his earlier behavior. I just wasn’t expecting it. I hope I didn’t hurt his feelings.” She grabbed Anna’s hand. “Oh you must make sure he knows that I truly do like him. Will you please, Anna?”

“Of course I will. You know that. That’s what friends are for.”

“Thank you, Anna.”

“Well I’m going to take Mia back to the playroom. I promised we would have a Barbie fashion show.” Anna laughed. “Why don’t you meet me by the pool tonight after dinner and we’ll talk some more.”

“Okay. Thanks, Anna.”

Anna gave Makenzie one last hug and left with Mia. Makenzie decided to lie down for a nap and quickly drifted off.

 

Makenzie awoke a few hours later. She walked out onto her balcony and scanned the area for Caleb. Not seeing him, she went back inside. She ran into Teddy in the hall who informed her that he would be hanging out with her and Anna at the pool that night and had picked up some wine coolers.

Makenzie sat with her family and Anna for dinner. Maria had made lasagna with fresh garden salads. Makenzie barely paid any attention to the talk that went on during dinner. She had Caleb on her mind and was trying to figure out how to deal with her feelings for him. She went back and forth in her head on whether or not she should just tell him how she feels.

After dinner, she made an attempt at clearing the table when her father, whom reminded her that they had people to do that for them, abruptly stopped her. Makenzie walked away disgusted. She ran upstairs to her room to grab a light jacket because it was expected to get a little cool outside in the evening. Then she headed out by the pool. Teddy was already out there sitting at the large table with a big red cooler. As she approached, she saw him open the cooler and take out a wine cooler. She walked up to the cooler and grabbed one for herself and took a seat next to him.

“What’s up, Makenzie?” Teddy asked.

“Oh same ole, same ole. How about with you?”

“Oh not much. Just chillin out for a while. Where’s Anna? I thought she was coming with you.”

“She is. She’s just inside getting Mia cleaned up and waiting for my mother to take her.”

“Oh.” Teddy laughed.

Makenzie sank back in her chair, put her feet up on the table and took a long swig from her drink.

“Your mom would kill you if she saw your feet up there.” Teddy teased.

“Who cares.” Makenzie replied bitterly.

Anna came walking up. Teddy passed her a wine cooler. She took it and sat on the other side of him. “I didn’t think I’d ever get that sauce out of my hair.”

“Kiddo got ya good, huh?” Teddy laughed.

“Contributing to the delinquency of minors now are we, Teddy?” Makenzie laughed. “You know Anna here isn’t quite twenty-one yet.”

Anna put her drink down on the table.

“Neither are you.” Teddy barked back.

“Teddy, I’ll be twenty-two next month you moron. And I was just teasing.” Makenzie said as she downed the rest of her wine cooler and reached for another one.

“Makenzie, I think you should slow down.” Teddy urged.

“And, Teddy, I think you should mind your own business.” Makenzie barked back.

“What’s gotten into you? You’re so unpleasant this evening.”

Makenzie wrinkled up her nose and stuck her tongue out at Teddy.

“Oh look, there he is. Hey, Caleb, over here!” Anna yelled. She turned to Teddy. “Do you mind if he joins us?”

“That dunce?” Teddy laughed. Makenzie kicked him hard and he shut up. She sat up straight in her chair, suddenly embarrassed by her previous behavior and feeling a little lightheaded from downing the wine cooler so quickly.

“What do you need?” Caleb asked.

“Nothing. We just wanted to know if you would like to join us for a little drink.” Anna replied.

Makenzie smiled up at him. Teddy grabbed another wine cooler and held it out. Caleb took it and sat down in the empty chair next to Makenzie. The four of them talked for a bit. Makenzie got the idea that Teddy and Anna liked each other. Caleb was mostly silent, as usual. Makenzie hoped the alcohol would help loosen him up a bit. When he finished his wine cooler, she quickly offered him another one. He took it and sipped it slowly. Makenzie stood up and grabbed the remains of her second wine cooler, which she had hardly touched. “Caleb, would you kindly accompany me for a walk? I would like to go back by the fields and don’t wish to do so alone, seeing as how it will be dark soon.”

Caleb got up and walked away with Makenzie. Anna and Teddy were deep in conversation and didn’t seem to notice their departure. Caleb and Makenzie continued walking in silence, sipping on their wine coolers, until they reached the wildflower fields.

“Oh it’s so beautiful out tonight.” Makenzie said. She smiled and looked over at him. He was already looking at her.

“You’re so much more than beautiful.” He said quietly as he quickly kissed her on the lips and resumed walking.

Makenzie grabbed his arm and they both stopped. She kissed him back softly on the lips and looked up at him. Her eyes were wild with passion, as were his. He touched one of her long, blonde ringlets with his fingertips and leaned in to kiss her again, softly at first, with his lips just barely touching hers. He put his hand on her lower back, and moved in closer. She put her arms around his neck and her fingers in his hair, then he opened his mouth and kissed her longer and deeper. When the kiss was finally over, Makenzie sighed and opened her eyes. He was staring at her intensely again. She smiled and pulled back.

“Race you to that tree,” she giggled as she took off in a slow sprint. Caleb took off after her and caught up quick, bringing them both down to the ground with her on top of him. She gave him a quick kiss and rolled off.

“You only caught me cuz its hard to run in these shoes.” Makenzie teased. Caleb looked down at her brown leather cowboy boots and laughed. They lay there in the grass, surrounded by wildflowers, gazing up at the stars that had begun to come into view. “Oh it is so beautiful, is it not? I’ve always wanted to sleep under the stars. Never have though.” Makenzie confessed.

Caleb turned on his side to look at her. Her face looked so beautiful in the moonlight, he thought. He thought about how nice it would be to sleep under the stars with Makenzie in his arms. Makenzie felt him looking at her and turned on her side to face him. Their eyes locked. They both lay there staring at each other in admiration. They barely noticed how dark it had gotten.

Makenzie wished she had grabbed her jacket off the table as she started to shiver. Caleb scooted his body closer to Makenzie and took off his jacket. He put his arm around her waist and pulled her closer. Then he put his jacket over her and kissed her again. They both lay back, gazing up at the sky, making wishes on the stars.

“We should get back to the house.” Caleb said. Makenzie agreed. Caleb got up first and offered Makenzie his hand, which she readily took. They slowly found their way back to the house hand in hand, stopping for a quick kiss every now and then.

As they approached the pool and the staff quarters, Makenzie could see Teddy and Anna kissing. Oh my God! That’s so cool. Makenzie thought. Seeing as how Teddy and Anna obviously like each other, I shouldn’t have to hide Caleb from Teddy. He’ll understand. This new realization made Makenzie very happy.

“Well I should get to bed.” Caleb said, breaking her out of her thoughts. Makenzie walked with Caleb to his door. He leaned in for another long kiss, this one just as passionate as before. Makenzie could feel her heart beating rapidly. Her knees felt shaky as she said goodnight and walked away. She decided not to intrude upon Teddy and Anna and instead quietly walked past them and up to the house. Once inside, she stopped in the kitchen and made herself a cup of tea.

Makenzie went upstairs to her room and looked at the clock. It was a few minutes after 11:00. She peeled off her clothes and started her bath water. She lay back in the tub drinking her tea for some time, all the while going over her encounters with Caleb earlier.

When she finished in the tub, she still felt restless, so she decided to go out onto her balcony. She looked out and saw the light still on in Caleb’s room. Maybe he’s having trouble sleeping too. Next door, she saw Teddy hugging Anna at her door. She watched as Anna retreated to her room and Teddy walked toward the house.

Makenzie listened for Teddy’s footsteps on the stairs, and then she waited in her doorway for him. “Aha!” she exclaimed when she saw him.

“What?” was all Teddy could say as he grinned at her.

“Come sit on my balcony with me. I want to talk to you.”

Teddy followed Makenzie onto her balcony and they had a long talk about Anna and Caleb.

“You and Caleb!” Teddy exclaimed. “What’s that like?” He laughed.

Makenzie glared at him.

“Well I just meant. Well. Does he talk to you? He just seems so quiet.” Teddy responded.

“Yes of course you idiot! He’s very sweet.”

“Okay. Okay. I’m sorry. I just never really see him talk.”

“He’s just a bit on the shy side, that’s all.” Makenzie replied. “Oh, Teddy, I really like him.” She admitted as she smiled ear to ear.

Teddy looked her over. “Yeah I can see that.” He laughed. “Well I really like Anna too.”

The two sat in silence for a bit, each lost in their own private thoughts. “Well it’s getting pretty late. It’s after midnight already. We should turn in.” Makenzie said as she walked Teddy to her bedroom door and said goodnight.

Chapter 5

 

Makenzie awoke and looked at the clock. It was 9:30 already. She had had a fitful sleep the night before and hadn’t fallen asleep until well after 1:00. She stretched and got out of bed. She went to the bathroom and splashed some cold water on her face, then went out onto her balcony. She eyed Caleb working in the garden area and watched him for a while. His face turned toward her on the balcony. He shielded his eyes from the sun and looked up at her and grinned. She smiled and waved to him. Then, remembering that she was in her nightgown, she went back inside.

Makenzie ran down into the kitchen. She had missed breakfast with the family, so she just made herself a cup of coffee and some toast and headed back upstairs. She took a sip of her coffee and got dressed. Then she took her breakfast out onto her balcony so she could watch Caleb while she ate.

When she finished her breakfast, she put on some make-up and took a look in the mirror. Her cell phone rang. The phone display showed that it was Scott. Oh God. He’s probably calling about his party tonight. Makenzie thought it best to answer the phone so that he didn’t keep trying to call her all day.

“Hello?”

“Hey, Makenzie. It’s me, Scott.”

“Hi, Scott. How are you?”

“I’m doing just great. I’ve been trying to call you the past few days. How come you haven’t returned any of my calls?”

“I’m sorry, Scott. I’ve just been busy with just moving in and all.”

“That’s what I figured. I mean I knew it couldn’t be me or anything.” Scott laughed.

“What do you want, Scott?”

“Well today is Friday and well I don’t know if you remember my telling you or not, but I’m having a party at my house tonight. I was wondering if you were still coming or not? I could pick you up.”

I never said I was coming. Makenzie thought. “I do have my own car, Scott. But I don’t think I’ll be able to make it tonight. I’ve been feeling a little under the weather.” Makenzie lied. Scott paused a few moments. “Scott? Are you still there?”

“Yes. Okay. Well I hope you feel better. I’ll call you later.” Scott said and quickly hung up before Makenzie could say anything else.

Makenzie hung up the phone, relieved that he seemed to buy her little white lie. It wasn’t a complete lie after all. She was feeling a little ill at not being able to tell her parents how she felt about Caleb. Makenzie shrugged it off and decided to go outside and talk to him. He was no longer out by the garden, so she walked toward his room and knocked on the door.

Caleb opened the door and pulled her inside, quickly pulling the door closed behind them. He gazed lovingly at Makenzie and lightly touched her cheek with his fingertips. Makenzie started breathing hard. He pulled her close and gave her a soft kiss on her mouth and then pulled her into a hug. “I thought about you last night.” He said. “At first I thought it a dream, but now here you are.”

“I thought about you too.” Makenzie confessed. “I was looking for you. I thought maybe we could go back to the wildflower field for lunch again.”

“I have to go clean the stalls and feed the horses now. I may be a little later than yesterday.”

“That’s okay.” Makenzie laughed. “I just woke up a while ago.”

“Well, well, sleeping beauty. I shall go with you just as soon as I can break away for a bit.”

“And I shall bring the lunch this time.” Makenzie said as she looked up at him and smiled. She kissed his cheek and turned toward the door. Caleb lightly grabbed her arm. She turned around and smiled sweetly. He pulled her close and kissed her long and hard, entangling his fingers in her hair. He smiled wickedly when the kiss finally broke off. “I’ll see you later.” Makenzie said as she blew him a kiss. Caleb pretended to catch it and then put the hand containing the ‘air kiss’ to his heart and grinned.

“Bye.” He said. Makenzie smiled as she walked away. She’d been doing a lot of smiling lately.

Caleb had been busy cleaning the stables when he heard the familiar roar of Makenzie’s Mustang. He looked at his watch. It was 11:00. Wonder where she’s off to? He thought. Makenzie took off out of the security gates and made a few turns until she was on the main boulevard. She found a restaurant that served delicious Italian beef sandwiches. She waited in line at the drive through and ordered lunch for her and Caleb. When she arrived home, rather than taking the circular drive, she drove past the staff garage onto another path that led near the stables. Caleb came out when he heard Makenzie revving her engine. She rolled down her window. “Hey, sexy! Want a ride?” Makenzie teased.

Caleb leaned in her window and gave her a quick kiss on the lips. “What smells so good?”

Makenzie lifted the bag of food. “Lunch.” She said and smiled. “Here help me.” She said as she handed the drink holder to Caleb. She rolled up her window, turned her car off and climbed out with the bag of food, slamming the car door with her foot. They walked to their usual place in the field, near the wildflowers and the pond. Makenzie saw that Caleb had set out another blanket, this time under the old peach tree they had sat under the day before. Makenzie sat down and handed him his food from the bag. Caleb thanked her and took a bite of his beef.

“Well, what do you think?” Makenzie asked.

“It’s good.” Caleb said. “Thank you.”

Makenzie unwrapped her own beef. “You’re welcome.” She said with a smile. Caleb loved watching her eat, how she would tear off little pieces and gently put them into her mouth. And he loved how she always had a sweet smile ready for him. “So how is your day going so far?” Makenzie asked between bites.

Caleb wiped his mouth with a napkin. “Okay so far. I still have to finish cleaning the rest of the horse stalls and then your father wants me to do a few other little things, nothing too bad. I should probably be finished by 5:30 or 6:00.”

“So will I have the honor of your company this evening?” Makenzie asked.

“What did you have in mind, Miss Makenzie?”

“It’s a surprise. How about I meet you at your room at 6:00?”

“Make it 6:30 so I can shower first. I reckon I probably smell pretty badly from cleaning the stalls.”

“Yeah, you do stink pretty badly.” Makenzie grinned. Caleb looked uncomfortable. Makenzie noticed as he tried to discreetly lift his arm and sniff himself. She burst out laughing. “I was just kidding Caleb.”

Caleb muttered something under his breath she couldn’t quite hear. They finished their lunch and walked back to the stables. Makenzie gave Caleb a quick kiss goodbye and got in her car. Caleb watched as she drove away.

Makenzie went upstairs to seek out Anna. The two girls chatted and played with Mia until Mia went down for a nap. Makenzie convinced Anna to try out a game of tennis with her while Mia slept. She turned on the monitor and gave it to Anna. “Here. You’ll be able to hear her if she wakes up.”

The two girls went out to the tennis court and played a couple of rounds. Makenzie looked at her watch. It was 5:30, so they started walking toward the house. As they got closer, Makenzie noticed the Lotus parked in the circular drive. “Oh God. It’s him!” Makenzie said.

“Who?” Anna asked.

“That asshole Scott. The one that I had that one date with. He called me earlier about a party he was having tonight and I told him that I was sick. What’s he doing here?”

Anna shrugged. “Need some help?”

“No. I can handle Scott. I’ll be inside in a minute.”

Anna touched Makenzie’s shoulder. “Okay. Just scream if you need me. I know karate.”

Makenzie laughed. “I’ll be fine. Thank you!”

Anna walked inside and closed the door. Makenzie slowly walked towards Scott, whom was now standing, leaning against his prized car. “Feeling better?” he asked.

“How did you get in here?”

“Someone buzzed me in. I don’t know. I think it was one of your stupid servants.” He laughed and grabbed a hold of Makenzie around her waist and pulled her closer to him.

“What are you doing, Scott? Let go of me.”

“Aren’t you happy to see me?”

“Scott, look. I think you have the wrong idea about us. I want to be your friend, nothing more.”

“Come on. I know you don’t mean that. Every girl wants me.” He said as he pulled her closer.

“Not me, Scott.”

Scott leaned in and kissed Makenzie as she tried to pull away. Caleb had been coming around the corner when he saw Makenzie. He overheard some of the conversation and quickened his pace to a slow jog. Scott finally released Makenzie from the kiss.

“Let go of me!” Makenzie screamed.

Caleb was only a few feet away now, but Makenzie heard him before she saw him.

“You heard the lady. She said let her go!” Caleb said as he continued walking closer.

Makenzie could see Caleb now that he was getting closer. He was walking toward them with no shirt on. He had a sinister look about his face and his nostrils were dilated.

Scott paused for a second to look Caleb over and laughed. “Butt out servant! This is my girlfriend.”

“Girlfriend?” Makenzie yelled. “I am not your girlfriend, Scott. I am not anything to you. Now I’m going to tell you one more time, let me go!”

Scott tightened his grip on Makenzie and kissed her again, this time with his eyes open, watching and mocking Caleb as he did. Caleb advanced on Scott and with one arm, pulled him back. Makenzie ran to Caleb’s side and he put his arm around her waist.

“Oh this is something!” Scott snorted. “What are you reducing yourself to these days, Makenzie?”

“Shut up, Scott.” Makenzie yelled.

“Don’t tell me to shut up you stupid bitch!” Scott snickered back as he advanced toward Makenzie again. “Just get in the fuckin’ car!” he yelled as he grabbed Makenzie’s arm. Makenzie got a glimpse of Caleb. His face looked swelled and furious.

“Don’t you talk to her like that and don’t you dare touch her!” Caleb retorted in a voice inarticulate with passion. He kept his eyes on Scott in a cool, regardless manner. Scott laughed and tightened his grip on Makenzie’s arm.

“Ouch!” Makenzie exclaimed.

That was all Caleb could take. He lost his cool completely as his fist hit Scott’s jaw. Scott stumbled back a few feet and started to straighten up just as Caleb delivered another blow, this time to his left eye. Scott’s eye started to swell immediately. He barely heard Makenzie yelling for them to stop it as Scott came at him. Caleb ducked and punched Scott in the stomach. Scott hunched over and fell to the ground.

The front door opened and Teddy appeared. “What’s going on out here?” He asked as he looked over at Scott lying on the ground holding his stomach, then to Makenzie, whom had started sobbing, and then to Caleb, whose eyes were wild and furious.

“Scott attacked me and Caleb defended me.” Makenzie whispered.

Teddy offered a hand to Scott and helped him up. Once he was up, Teddy punched him in the face, still holding his hand. When Scott started to tumble back, Teddy quickly yanked him back up to his feet. “Nobody messes with my niece.” Teddy said. “Now you best be on your way. Don’t come around here again.”

Scott got up and stumbled toward his prized Lotus. When he was a safe distance away from Caleb and Teddy, he started yelling again. “You’re done in this town. Just wait until my father finds out what you three did to me.” During his ranting and raving, a loud fart escaped from Scott. All three of them laughed.

“Figures he farted. He is an asshole after all.” Makenzie laughed.

“Okay, Mr. Stinky! We’re all really scared. Run along and tell daddy now. Oh and check your pants. That fart you just cut sounded kind of wet.” Teddy teased.

Scott got into his car and started the engine. He took off down the circular drive, putting his arm out the window and flipping them off.

“Well I’m going in now. Makenzie, I’ll get the whole story from you later, but Caleb, thanks for helping my niece.” Teddy said as he offered his hand to Caleb. Caleb shook Teddy’s hand briefly. Teddy leaned in and kissed Makenzie on the cheek.

“Thanks, Teddy.” Makenzie said.

“No problem.” He responded. He turned and walked inside, closing the door behind him.

Makenzie turned to Caleb. “I’m so sorry.” She said. “Thanks for defending me.”

Caleb pulled her close and hugged her. He leaned back and kissed her cheek. “I’m going to go take a shower. I’ll see you in a bit.”

“Yeah. I’m going to go shower too after having that jerk touch me.”

Caleb gave Makenzie one last look before turning away. She looked so shaken up. That made him very angry.

Makenzie went into the kitchen and made herself a cup of chamomile tea to calm her nerves. She took the cup up to her bathroom and filled the tub. She lay back in the tub sipping her tea. She felt really embarrassed for Caleb having witnessed her fight with Scott and she felt bad that he had to defend her. I hope he didn’t hurt his hand punching Scott. She thought.

Makenzie finished her bath and dressed in a pretty white, off the shoulder mini dress that flared out just above her knees. She fixed her make-up, grabbed a pair of sandals from her closet, her purse and her cell phone, and headed down the stairs.

Makenzie knocked on Caleb’s door. A few moments later he opened the door, chest and hair still wet, wearing just a pair of unbuttoned jeans. He must have just gotten out of the shower and thrown the jeans on, Makenzie thought. She couldn’t help but stare at his bare chest, glistening from the water. She raised her eyes to meet his. This was a mistake also. She felt weak in the knees as his intense eyes burned into hers. Makenzie could feel herself growing hot and her pulse quickening. She looked away. Caleb lightly grabbed her face with his hand and looked into her eyes. Then he kissed her.

“I’ll be ready in a few minutes.” Caleb said as he walked into the bathroom. Makenzie walked around his room, finally taking a seat at the edge of his bed. She looked over at the nightstand and saw that he had a picture of her. Makenzie got up from the bed and walked over to the photo and picked it up. It was of her the first day they had lunch by the wildflowers. She was wearing her long white ruffled sundress and was dancing in the rain. Where did he get this? She wondered.

Caleb emerged from the bathroom a few minutes later, still shirtless. He walked to his dresser and pulled out a white t-shirt and a pair of socks. He proceeded to put them on as Makenzie watched in silence. Then he pulled on a pair of old, brown work boots and stood up. “Okay. I’m ready.” Caleb declared. He looked over at Makenzie and noticed that she was holding the photo he had taken of her.

“Where did this come from?” she asked.

Caleb blushed and turned away. “I took it with my cell phone that day and had Maria print it out for me. I hope you don’t mind.” Caleb replied shyly.

Makenzie replaced the photo on the nightstand and stood up. She walked towards him and kissed him softly. “I think its sweet.” She whispered as she pulled back. She grabbed her own cell phone and pointed it at him. “But it’s only fair if I have one of you. Smile.” She said as she took a photo of him. “It’s a keeper.” She teased as she looked at the photo. Caleb smiled and put his arm around her as they walked to the door.

“Wait.” Caleb whispered. He faced Makenzie and kissed her sweetly. Then they walked out the door, Caleb locking it behind him. “So where are we going?”

“It’s a surprise. Follow me.” Makenzie said. They reached Makenzie’s Mustang and she hit the unlock button on her key chain. “Get in.”

Caleb obliged. Makenzie drove around the circular drive and stopped at the front gates. She rolled down her window and punched in a code at the keypad and the gates opened. Makenzie drove through and onto the main road. Caleb turned on the radio and found a country station. Makenzie laughed at the lyrics. Caleb lowered the volume.

“What?”

“Oh nothing.” Makenzie said.

“Do you not like country? I can change it.”

“Oh no. I love country.”

Caleb nodded and turned the volume back up.

Makenzie pulled over to the side of the road and parked. She sat with her head against the steering wheel staring past Caleb at a small farm. “I’d love to live on a small farm like this.” Makenzie said. Caleb turned his head to see what she was looking at. It was an extended brick ranch, set far back from the road. He couldn’t help but notice that the house was much smaller than the one she occupied now. There were a few horses and further back he saw some sheep and baby lambs in a fenced area. As Caleb watched her, he couldn’t drop his gaze, as her face seemed to light up at the thought of owning the small property. Maybe money isn’t that important to her after all, he thought.

Makenzie turned onto another back road. “Almost there.” She said as she continued driving; taking a turn here and there. Finally she slowed the car to a stop and parked. She got out of the car. Caleb followed, looking around. It was all grass, to the left was a large hill, and straight ahead Caleb could see a river. There was no one else in sight.

“What is this place?” Caleb asked.

“My grandfather used to take me here when I was a little girl. Every summer my parents would send me down here with my grandparents for two weeks.” Makenzie said as she smiled. “We used to go fishing in that river there,” she pointed, “and I used to love rolling down this hill. Of course it seemed much bigger then.”

Caleb nodded as he continued to look around.

“Come on, I’ll race you to the top of the hill.” Makenzie said as a wicked smile began to form on her lips. Caleb ran after her. Makenzie laid down at the top of the hill. “Come on. It’s fun!” she said as she began rolling down. Caleb followed, listening to her giggle the whole way down. Caleb landed a few feet from her at the bottom. Then Makenzie got up, brushed herself off and walked toward her car.

Caleb followed. “What are you doing?” he asked.

Makenzie smiled up at him. “I brought something for us. Come help me.” Makenzie replied as she opened her trunk and handed him a picnic basket. Then she grabbed a blanket and shut the trunk. She walked to the front of the car, opened the door, unrolled the windows, and put the key in, turning it back, and putting on the radio.

They walked over to the river area and Makenzie set the blanket out and sat down. “Isn’t it beautiful?” she asked. “I love coming out here. Its so peaceful.”

Caleb sat down next to her, put the picnic basket down in front of him and looked out at the river. “Yes, but it is going to be dark soon.”

With that Makenzie got up and lit the fire pit a few feet away, which provided much light. “Problem solved.” She said as she smiled at him. She sat back down on the blanket. Makenzie opened the picnic basket and took out two cans of soda and three tuna sandwiches. She handed one of the cans and two of the sandwiches to Caleb and kept the rest for herself.

While they ate, Makenzie told Caleb of the time that she had come to the river with her parents and grandparents and found a stray Chihuahua and how she had played with it all day and wanted to take it home, but her parents wouldn’t let her keep it. She went on to tell him of how she cried for weeks at having to leave the puppy behind.

At hearing the story, Caleb vowed silently to himself to get her a puppy someday. When they finished eating, Makenzie grabbed the garbage and put it inside the picnic basket, then shoved the picnic basket aside and laid back, gazing at the stars that had started to become visible. Caleb looked at her, and then laid back himself. He looked up at the stars, then over at Makenzie and scooted himself closer to her. He lifted her head and put his arm underneath. Makenzie looked over at him and they kissed softly and slowly.

Makenzie sighed and looked back up at the stars, which were rapidly multiplying in number. “This is heaven.” She said aloud. Caleb smiled, still watching her. He quickly looked up and then fixed his gaze back on Makenzie’s face. “I picture heaven to be somewhat like this. Just calm, peaceful, and beautiful. Have you ever pictured heaven, Caleb?”

“Yeah.”

“How do you picture it?” she asked.

Caleb looked deeply into her eyes. “With you. Whenever and wherever you spend time with me. Your very presence is intoxicating to me.” Caleb replied as he lightly ran his finger across her hand. “You are my heaven.” He continued.

Makenzie turned on her side to face him, placed a hand to his cheek and softly kissed him. Caleb ran his fingertips up and down Makenzie’s bare leg, stopping at the hem of her dress. “Its pretty humid outside tonight.” Makenzie observed.

Makenzie took off her sandals and stood up. She shrugged out of her dress. Standing in just her bra and panties, she looked at Caleb. Then she took the few steps to the shore and walked into the water. She turned to look at Caleb, whom was staring at her, a smile playing across his lips. “How’s the water?” he asked.

“It’s wonderful. Get your butt in here.”

He playfully shook his head no. He took off his boots and stood up, stripping down to his underwear.

“Damn, you better bring that sexy butt over here.” Makenzie teased.

He ran toward the water and jumped in. He went straight under and when he emerged Makenzie splashed him playfully.

“Oh you’re gonna get it now.” Caleb teased as a big grin spread over his face. Makenzie let out a little scream as he grabbed her and pulled her under with him. They resurfaced giggling. Caleb grabbed her and held her close. He stared intensely into her eyes before kissing her again. Makenzie began to shiver. Caleb rubbed her arms with his hands. “This water is freezing.” He said as he looked at her.

“I know.” Makenzie replied. “I didn’t want to tell you because then you wouldn’t of come in.”

“Not true. I’d follow you anywhere, Makenzie Adams.” Caleb said softly as he kissed her again, holding the back of her head to draw her closer. Makenzie leaned into his body and felt his hardness against her. In one swift movement, Caleb picked Makenzie up into his arms. He kissed her again and carried her out of the water, back to the spot where they had been before. He gently laid her down on the blanket and lay on his side next to her. Makenzie turned on her side to face him and put her arm around his neck. He pulled back a little to look at her, letting his eyes roam down every inch of her body before meeting her eyes again. He kissed her hungrily, then moved his lips to her neck, and down her chest. Makenzie moaned. He ran his fingers lightly from her lips, down her neck, between her breasts, onto her stomach, and stopped when his fingers reached the waistband of her white lace panties. His eyes met hers and he kissed her again. Makenzie put her fingers inside the band of his underwear. Caleb groaned and pulled back, swearing under his breath. Caleb sat up and grabbed for his pants. He found Makenzie’s dress and tossed it over to her.

“Come on. We better be getting back.” He said as he put his jeans on and grabbed for his t-shirt. Makenzie slowly put her dress over her head and pulled it down. What just happened? Did I do something wrong? Why did he pull away and start swearing? Makenzie wondered to herself. Caleb rolled up the blanket, grabbed the picnic basket and headed for the car. He stood waiting at the trunk. Makenzie followed and opened the trunk, too embarrassed to look him in the eyes. Caleb dropped the items into the trunk and slammed it closed. They got into the car and drove away in silence. Makenzie could feel Caleb’s eyes on her the entire trip, but dared not to look his way. She knew that if she allowed her eyes to meet his, she would cry.

Makenzie parked her car in the circular drive. They got out of the car and Makenzie started toward the house. Caleb grabbed her, spun her around and held her in his arms. He softly kissed her forehead. Makenzie sniffled. He lifted her chin to look at her face. A tear rolled down Makenzie’s cheek. Caleb kissed her lips. “What’s wrong?” he whispered.

“You don’t want me.” Makenzie whispered so quietly that he had to strain to hear her. Caleb looked deeply into Makenzie’s eyes. Is that what she thought when I pulled away? If only she knew how hard it was for me to do that, he thought as he cursed under his breath.

“Makenzie, I love you.” Caleb whispered as he ran his fingers through her hair. Makenzie met his eyes. Did he just say what I think he said?

“What?”

Caleb wiped a tear away with his fingertip. Then he softly touched her lips and looked her in the eyes. “I said I love you. I know that we just met, but I can’t help it. I love you.” He whispered again. “And I want you more than you know. Pulling away from you was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.” He continued.

A door slammed. Caleb and Makenzie both looked up. Teddy was coming out the front door toward them. “Well I should go.” Caleb said. He kissed her quickly on the mouth and pulled away, walking toward his room. Makenzie just stood there. “He said he loves me.” She whispered to herself.

“What?” Teddy asked.

She looked over at him. “Oh. Nothing. I was just talking to myself.”

“They have doctors for that sort of thing.” Teddy laughed.

Makenzie lightly smacked him.

“What are you doing out so late?” Teddy asked.

“I went to the lake with Caleb.”

“Oh. I see.”

“What are you doing out so late?” Makenzie asked.

“I was just sneaking out to go see Anna.” Teddy grinned.

“Well have fun.” Makenzie said as she turned toward the house.

“Thanks. I will.” Teddy laughed as he kept walking.

Makenzie ran up to her room and took a bath. She lay back in the water and thought about everything that had happened between her and Caleb that day. He said he loved me. She kept thinking and smiling to herself. I’m such a dope. Why didn’t I tell him I loved him too?

Makenzie had an idea. She got out of the tub and wrapped herself in a towel. She sat at the vanity and fixed her make-up, brushed her hair and her teeth, and sprayed on some light perfume. Then she walked over to her dresser and dug out a red lace bra and matching panties. She put on her white terry cloth robe and ran downstairs.

Caleb was lying in bed thinking about Makenzie. He couldn’t forget the tears in those deep blue eyes of hers when she had thought that he didn’t want her. Seeing her cry was almost too much for him to bear. It pulled away at his heart and tormented him. As the image of her haunted him, he heard a soft knock on his door. He got up and peeked out the side of his drapes. He saw Makenzie standing there in her robe. He looked at his clock. It was after midnight already. I hope she’s okay, he thought as he opened the door. Makenzie walked right in and he closed the door behind them.

“We have some unfinished business.” Makenzie said as she untied her robe and let it fall to the floor. Caleb looked her over and instantly grew hard at the sight of her. They walked toward each other and he pulled her into his arms, holding her tight. She looked deeply into his eyes. “I need to tell you that I love you too.” She whispered ever so sweetly. Caleb’s heart melted. His eyes were wide with passion and his heart beat rapidly. Makenzie lifted his t-shirt over his head and ran her fingers around his biceps and down his chest, all the while holding his gaze. Caleb grabbed hold of her butt and pushed her harder against him. Makenzie undid the clasp on the front of her bra and let it fall to the floor. Caleb gently ran his fingers down her back. He brought his hands back up and held her face as he kissed her harder. He let go of her face and lightly ran his fingers down her chest and over her breasts, then down between her legs. Makenzie moaned and flung her head back.

In one swift movement, Caleb picked her up in his arms and carried her to his bed. He gently laid her down and removed his boxers before climbing up on top of her. He kissed her softly from her forehead all the way down and removed her panties. He planted his head between her legs, softly moving his tongue over her soft spot until she cried out in ecstasy and he tasted her sweetness. Then he slowly entered her as he softly caressed her body and kissed her lips and her neck. Makenzie wrapped her legs around him and lifted her hips to match each of his thrusts. Their lovemaking was slow and sweet, neither one of them wanting it to end. Finally they both cried out as they came together and he ejaculated into her. They both lay there silently as their bodies quivered from the mutual enjoyment.

Caleb pulled out of Makenzie and they rolled over on their sides to face each other. Caleb kissed her tenderly as he lightly caressed her face with his fingertips. “I’m all sweaty.” Caleb laughed, breathing heavily. He kissed Makenzie on the lips and got up to walk over to the refrigerator. He opened the door and grabbed two water bottles. He handed one to Makenzie and downed the other one. Makenzie took a drink and walked over to his dresser, retrieving one of his t-shirts to borrow. Caleb put on a pair of sweatpants and lay back down on the bed. Makenzie soon joined him. He held her in his arms and stroked her hair and her face as they talked.

Caleb finally dared a look at the alarm clock on his nightstand. It was already 2:30 in the morning. “Wow. I better get some sleep. I have to be up in a few hours to work.”

“I didn’t realize it was that late. I should get to bed too.” Makenzie said.

“You could stay with me tonight.” Caleb offered as he watched Makenzie slip on her robe and tie it.

“Naw. I want to, but I can’t. I’ll probably end up sleeping late and my parents will be looking for me.”

“Okay.” Caleb replied with a frown. He pulled her close and kissed her. “I love you.” He whispered in her ear.

“And I love you.” She whispered in his. Caleb walked her to the door, kissed her again and wished her pleasant dreams.

Chapter 6

 

The next few weeks were heaven for Makenzie. She was in love and that feeling only grew stronger the more time she spent with Caleb. She spent most of her evenings in the wildflower fields dancing and playing around with Caleb, or at the river having a picnic with Caleb, or horseback riding with Caleb. She spent her days chatting with Anna and playing with Mia. Most of her nights were spent in Caleb’s room making love. Unbeknownst to Makenzie, Caleb often stayed up to study after she had left. He wanted to get his diploma so that he could take some college courses and hopefully impress Makenzie’s parents.

 

It was Sunday. Makenzie was very excited, as the following day was her birthday. Caleb had the day off along with the rest of the staff and he asked Makenzie to accompany him to the car dealership. He wanted to trade his old truck in for something newer. Caleb found a brand new white Ford F150 that he loved. He was able to talk the salesman down in price and then made the deal and paid in cash. Makenzie stared at him, looking confused. The salesman handed Caleb the keys to his new truck. He grabbed Makenzie’s hand and walked toward the door. When they got in the truck Makenzie could hold her tongue no longer.

“How did you get all that money?” Makenzie asked.

Caleb looked at the expression on her face and laughed. “I robbed a couple of banks. You know the usual.” Caleb joked.

“I’m serious.”

“Well a little bit of it was an inheritance I got when my uncle passed away. The rest was saved from hard work.”

“Just how much do you have?” Makenzie asked. He only smiled at her question, never giving her an answer.

Caleb pulled up by the staff garage and parked his truck. He leaned over and kissed Makenzie. Makenzie got out and was going to shut the door when she saw that Caleb hadn’t moved. “Aren’t you coming?”

“No. I have some errands to run.”

Makenzie started to get back into the truck but he put up a hand to stop her. “No. I have to do this alone.” Caleb said.

Makenzie eyed him suspiciously, then nodded and closed the truck door. She watched as Caleb drove away.

Caleb drove the short distance to the local humane society thinking about Makenzie’s face when he left her. He parked his truck and went in.

“Can I help you?” an elderly woman asked.

“Yes. Can you show me where you keep the puppies?”

“Right this way, sir.” The woman replied.

Caleb followed her to the back of the building, where there were several cages containing puppies. He looked in the various cages until his eyes fell upon a cute little brown Chihuahua. He looked at the tag on the cage. It was a female just six months old. He put his finger in the cage and the puppy licked it.

“Can I take her out for you?” the woman asked.

“Yes. Please.” Caleb replied. The woman unhitched the cage and handed the puppy to Caleb. The puppy excitedly licked his face. “Friendly little one. How much?”

“$100.00.”

“I’ll take her.” Caleb replied.

Caleb paid the woman and left the building. He drove over to the pet store and bought some puppy food, a dog bed, a collar and leash, bones, two bowls, a package of training pads, and some chew toys. Then he hurried back to the truck.

As Caleb approached the driveway, he picked up his cell phone, found Anna in his contacts, and dialed her number. Anna was already waiting by the staff garage when he pulled up. He barely parked his truck when Anna opened the passenger door and grabbed the little puppy. She started to lick Anna’s face as soon as she picked her up.

“Oh she is so cute. Makenzie is gonna love her!” Anna shrieked as Caleb started grabbing all the bags.

“Okay I got everything she needs for the puppy. Just keep her in your room until tomorrow and don’t let Makenzie see you with her. I want her to be surprised.”

“You can trust me.” Anna said as she walked to her room with Caleb behind her. He brought the bags inside and gave the puppy a kiss goodbye.

“Thank you, Anna.” He said.

“No problem.”

Makenzie sat on her bed watching TV, wondering why Caleb wouldn’t let her come with him. It bothered her more than it should. What is he trying to hide? And what was with all that money he had? She heard a knock on her door. “Come in.” Makenzie said. Her eyes were still on the TV as she sat there biting her lower lip, thinking about Caleb.

“You know it occurred to me that I’ve never been in your room before.” The familiar voice said. Makenzie spun her head around to see Caleb standing there smiling at her. She jumped up off the bed and ran to him, throwing her arms around his neck and kissing him.

“What are you doing up here?” Makenzie asked, still holding him.

“Teddy let me in. He told me that your parents were gone for the day, so I should just go on up.”

“Well this is a nice surprise.” Makenzie beamed as she let go of Caleb’s neck.

Caleb walked around her room. “Nice setup you have here.” He said as he walked over to the French doors and pulled them open, stepping out onto the balcony. He looked out across the backyard and saw his own room. I hope Makenzie didn’t see Anna and me with the puppy, he thought. “Wow. You have a great view of the yard from here. Ever see anything interesting?”

Makenzie smiled ear to ear as she thought of all the times she had spied on Caleb from her balcony. “All the time.” She replied.

“What’s that wicked smile for?”

“Come here and I’ll show you.” Makenzie said as she sprawled out on her bed.

“Wow such a big bed for such a little girl like you!” Caleb joked as he leaned over her. Makenzie grabbed his shirt collar and pulled him down to her.

“Shut up and kiss me.” She exclaimed. Caleb happily obliged.

 

“Wanna take the horses out?” Caleb asked.

“No. I want to make love to you.” Makenzie replied, the playful grin returning to her face. Caleb looked over at her.

“Is that all I am to you?” he teased.

“Yes.” Makenzie joked. Caleb turned over and climbed on top of her. Makenzie giggled. Caleb tried hard not to laugh. Keeping his face as serious as he could he grabbed her wrists and held them up by her head.

“You’re gonna get it now.” He said as he clenched his fingers together.

“No!” Makenzie screamed and giggled. Despite her many attempts, she couldn’t get her arms free.

“Oh you’re not going anywhere, Miss Makenzie.” Caleb said. Then he leaned in and tickled her armpits and her stomach mercilessly with one hand, still holding her wrists with the other.

“Stop. You’re going to make me tinkle.” Makenzie laughed.

“Go ahead and pee then,” Caleb joked. The ruthless tickling continued as Makenzie desperately tried to get out of it.

“Oww. I got a cramp. Caleb let me up. I’m not kidding!” Makenzie cried.

Caleb let go of her arms and rolled off of her. She clutched at her side.

“I’m sorry. Are you okay?” Caleb asked, looking concerned.

A mischievous smile spread across Makenzie’s lips as she sprung at him. “Oh you are going to be sorry.” She giggled as she got on top of him and tried to pin him down. But her futile attempts only served to backfire as once again Caleb was on top of her holding her down. “This isn’t fair!”

“What? That I’m stronger than you? Or that you faked an injury to get back at me and it backfired?” Caleb laughed.

“Please let me up!” Makenzie said between giggles.

“No. No. No.” Caleb teased. “Your punishment is not yet over, Miss Makenzie.”

“Please?” Makenzie pleaded.

“If I let you up are you going to be nice?”

“Yes. Yes. I promise.”

“Tell me you love me.”

Makenzie giggled. “You know that I do!”

“Well I want to hear you say it.”

“I love you.”

With that Caleb let go of her arms. He stared into her eyes and bent down to kiss her. “I love you too.” He whispered. And they made love.

When they were finished, they both lie naked under the covers on Makenzie’s bed. Caleb held her in his arms and stroked her hair. Makenzie looked up at him and softly kissed his lips.

“So I was thinking about your birthday tomorrow. Is there anything special that you would like to do? Maybe somewhere you would like to go?” Caleb asked.

Makenzie shrugged. “It doesn’t matter. As long as I am with you I’m happy.”

“Is that right?” Caleb grinned.

“Yes.”

“So does your family have anything planned for you?”

“Well I’m sure my mother will have a cake and have everybody sing to me in the early afternoon. But my parents have a charity event to go to in the evening, so I’ll pretty much be on my own. Teddy mentioned having a small party by the pool and we can get some drinks and cook out. You’ll come, won’t you?”

“Of course. Well I have to work in the morning, but after that wherever you are is where I want to be.”

Makenzie met Caleb’s eyes. How did I get so lucky? She smiled up at him. Caleb looked at the clock on Makenzie’s nightstand. It was already 1:30 and they hadn’t eaten lunch yet. “Come on. Get dressed. I’m taking you to lunch.”

Caleb and Makenzie ran into Teddy and Anna on their way out and they all decided to go to lunch together. They all piled into Makenzie’s Mustang. “So where shall we go?” Makenzie asked as she started the car.

“When I took Mia out the other day I saw that that new restaurant by the mall is open.” Anna replied.

Everyone agreed to give it a try. Makenzie proceeded to the restaurant and parked her car. Everyone got out and walked toward the door. Makenzie thought the restaurant looked much like a barn with the angle of its red roof. A young bubbly hostess greeted them as they came in. Makenzie couldn’t help but notice the girl seemingly checking Caleb out. The girl was very pretty, but Caleb didn’t even seem to notice as he put his arm around Makenzie’s waist.

The hostess escorted them to their table and gave them their menus. “Isn’t that Scott over there?” Teddy whispered to Makenzie from across the table.

Makenzie looked back to see Scott sitting with a girl kiddy-corner a few tables up. “Yep. That’s him.” Makenzie declared as she looked back at her menu.

A young, pretty waitress approached. “Hi. I’m Lisa and I’ll be your server this afternoon. Can I get you something to drink?” Lisa took the drink orders and walked away.

“Dang, did you see her butt?” Teddy whispered. “Our waitress has some extra juicy buns on her!” Teddy giggled.

Anna lightly smacked him in the back of his head. Poor Anna, Makenzie thought. Lisa soon returned with their drinks and took their orders. Makenzie noticed that Teddy and Caleb kept glaring over at Scott and his (date?). Oh boy! I hope we don’t have any more trouble.

Lisa returned with their food and smiled as she set their plates about them. When she walked away, Teddy put some of his potpie onto the end of his fork and flung it in Scott’s direction. Makenzie couldn’t help but turn in her chair to look. She watched as the chunk of potpie flew across the room. Scott was talking animatedly to his companion when the food hit him square in the forehead. He looked around stupidly. Makenzie quickly turned her head back to face Caleb across from her. She tried really hard not to laugh, sitting there with her shoulders shaking. A smile threatened Caleb’s lips as well. He quickly looked down. She looked over at Teddy, whom looked so guilty that she could no longer hold her laughter back. She busted out in a giggle, with everyone else following her lead.

“He’s looking this way now.” Caleb noticed.

With that Teddy put his finger up in the air and nodded toward Scott. “What’s up asshole?” The comment made Makenzie laugh even harder. “You have a little something right here.” Teddy continued as he touched a finger to his forehead.

Lisa quickly came to the table to address Teddy. “Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to refrain from using such language here.”

Teddy composed himself rapidly. “It won’t happen again, miss.” Lisa gave him a stern look and then walked away. Teddy returned his gaze to Scott and waved provokingly. Then he leaned across the table to Makenzie and Anna. “He looks like he’s going to shit his pants.” At that, they all laughed.

 

When they returned from lunch, Makenzie and Caleb stole off to go horseback riding alone. They rode to their favorite spot among the wildflowers and fruit trees. Caleb helped Makenzie down from her horse, as was his custom, and tied the horses near the pond. Makenzie and Caleb walked to their favorite peach tree. Caleb sat against the tree with his knees up. Makenzie quickly took her place between his knees. Both faced the small pond and watched as the horses drank. “Do you ever dream about your future?” Caleb asked.

“All the time.” Makenzie replied.

“And what do you see in your dreams?”

Makenzie leaned her head back to look at him. She smiled up at him and touched his cheek with her fingers. “I see you.”

“Well that’s good to know.” He teased.

“What do you see?” she asked.

“I see you.” Caleb replied. “I don’t care what my future brings, as long as you are in it. Being with you is as necessary as breathing.”

It was very hot and humid outside. Caleb and Makenzie returned from their horse ride and decided to go for a swim. They quickly changed and headed for the pool. They played around in the pool for a few hours before getting hungry again. “Let’s order a pizza.” Makenzie suggested as she watched Caleb drying off.

“That sounds great. It’s getting late. Your parents should be back soon. Want to hang out in my room?”

“Yes of course. We could watch a movie or something.”

“Or something.” Caleb laughed.

“I’m going to my room to take a quick shower and I’ll order the pizza and have them deliver it to your room.” Makenzie said. She gave him a quick kiss and headed toward the main house. Caleb watched her walk away and took off for his own room when she was no longer in sight.

Makenzie dropped her pool towel on the floor in her room and walked to her dresser to get some clean clothes. She noticed her pocket calendar in her underwear drawer. She used the calendar to mark her periods. Come to think of it, I don’t recall opening this calendar since we moved here, Makenzie thought as she opened it.

Okay today is August 12^th^. She opened the calendar to August and saw nothing. She flipped the page back to July and saw July 1st circled and written in her handwriting was ‘period started’. The next circled date was July 28th, but nothing was written. I should’ve gotten my period on the 28^th^. This can’t be. She grabbed a pen and wrote ‘moved in’ in the square for July 8th. Then she counted the days between July 28th and now. My period is 16 days late. She thought back to the first night her and Caleb made love. It had been on July 13th. Could this be?

Makenzie smiled to herself at the thought of having Caleb’s baby. Oh a cute little one that shall be. She thought about telling him, but then decided to wait until she was sure. I’ll run to the drugstore to buy a test tomorrow.

Makenzie called the local pizza place and put in her order for a large cheese and sausage pizza and gave directions to Caleb’s room on the premises. The man on the phone informed her it would be about forty minutes. Makenzie took a quick shower and stood in the mirror, touching her belly. I wonder if Caleb’s baby is growing inside of me, she thought. Her happiness soon disappeared when she thought about how her family would react to such news. At that she started to sob. She got dressed and put on some sandals. Then she heard a soft knock on her door. She wiped her tears and opened the door to see Anna.

Anna took a look at Makenzie and could tell that she had been crying. “Are you okay? What’s wrong?” Anna asked as she lightly touched Makenzie’s arm.

Tears streamed down Makenzie’s face as she spoke. “It’s my family. What I feel for Caleb is strong and it’s real. I felt it the moment we met. I feel connected to him in ways that I cannot begin to explain, even to myself. But my family…. they’re just not going to understand, nor will they accept it. It is forbidden in my family’s eyes for one such as us to fall in love with a servant. So I shall have to keep my love for Caleb a secret, and that weighs heavy on my heart, for I so desire to be able to share it.”

Anna handed Makenzie a tissue and wrapped her arms around her in a hug. “It’ll be okay, Makenzie. I’m sure if your family could just see the two of you together, and see how happy he makes you, they would understand.”

“I hope you’re right. But I just can’t see that happening, Anna.”

 

Caleb was just getting out of the shower when Makenzie came in. She walked over to him and kissed him. Caleb looked into her eyes and could see that she had been crying. “Are you okay?” he asked.

Makenzie pulled away from him. “Yes. I’m fine.” She replied as she smiled up at him. “The pizza should be here soon.”

She plopped down on the bed and turned the TV on. As Makenzie was flipping through channels with the remote, there was a loud knock at the door. Caleb hurried to open it. It was the pizza guy. Caleb paid him and closed the door behind him. He put the pizza box down on the bed and went to the kitchen area to grab two plates and two sodas. Then he joined Makenzie on the bed. “Anything good on TV?” Caleb asked.

“There’s a good comedy on.” Makenzie replied.

“That’s cool. I like comedies.”

“Me too.”

Makenzie giggled at a funny part in the movie. Caleb smiled watching her. “I can’t eat anymore.” Makenzie stated as she patted her belly.

“Me either.” Caleb agreed. He closed the pizza box, got up off the bed and put it in the refrigerator. Then he grabbed their plates and put them in the sink and sat back down on the bed next to Makenzie. A commercial was on TV now.

Makenzie grabbed for her soda, spilling some on her t-shirt in the process. “Oh crap!” she complained as she looked at her shirt. Caleb giggled and got up off the bed. He walked to his dresser and pulled out a clean t-shirt and held it out to her. She nodded her head no as she smiled playfully. “I want the one you’re wearing.” She said. Caleb dropped the clean t-shirt onto the bed and removed the one he was wearing, throwing it to her. Makenzie grabbed it and took off her stained t-shirt, replacing it with Caleb’s.

Makenzie laid down on her side facing Caleb and put her arm around him. He put his arm around her waist and pulled her closer. She snuggled into his bare chest. “I love cuddling with you.” She said. Caleb kissed her forehead and ran his fingers through her hair. “Hey, Caleb, can I ask you something?”

“Sure. Anything.”

“Do you want kids?”

Caleb smiled at the thought of Makenzie having his baby. “With you.”

“Yeah with me? Or with anyone?”

Caleb laughed. “With you was my answer. It wasn’t a question.”

Makenzie giggled. “Sorry.”

Caleb looked into Makenzie’s eyes. “Why do you ask? Do you want kids?”

“I was just wondering. And yes, I want kids too.”

Makenzie closed her eyes and fell asleep. Caleb looked at the clock. It was only 8:00. Ahhh, she’ll be up again. Probably just a catnap. He kissed Makenzie on the forehead and lightly brushed her hair with his fingers as he watched her sleep. She looks so peaceful. God I love this girl. Please don’t ever take her from me. He closed his eyes and soon fell asleep too.

Makenzie awoke in Caleb’s arms and looked at the clock. It was 3:30 in the morning. She looked over at Caleb. She lightly kissed him on his lips. She thought about her parents and wondered if they noticed she wasn’t in her room. She knew her dad was usually the first one up at 6:30. She quietly got out of bed and set Caleb’s alarm for 6:00 and crawled back in bed, snuggling against him.

The alarm startled her when it went off. It woke Caleb up too. He looked over at Makenzie, who had quickly jumped out of bed to shut it off. “When did you get here?” he babbled.

Makenzie smiled at him. “Sshhh. I fell asleep here. I woke up in the middle of the night and you were sleeping. I didn’t want to leave you, so I set your alarm so I could sneak back to my room before my dad wakes up.”

“Oh.” Caleb rubbed his eyes and started to get up.

Makenzie stopped him. She kissed him sweetly. “No. Don’t get up. Go back to sleep. I’m just going to sneak back to my room and I’m going back to sleep.”

“Wait. I want to be the first to wish you a happy birthday. I love you.” Caleb whispered.

Makenzie kissed him again. “Thanks. I love you too.” She walked toward the door and blew him a kiss before she walked out.

 

Makenzie lightly opened the front door and softly closed it, locking it behind her. She tiptoed up to her room undetected. No sooner had her head hit the pillow and she was asleep again.

Chapter 7

 

Makenzie awoke to a soft knock at her door. She looked over at the clock. It was 9:15. Her mother entered her room carrying a tray of food. Makenzie sat up in bed. “Happy birthday sweetheart!” her mother said as she smiled at Makenzie. She walked over to Makenzie’s side of the bed, leaned over and kissed her forehead, putting the tray in front of her.

“Breakfast in bed?” Makenzie asked.

“Yes, darling. Thought you might enjoy it.”

Makenzie looked over the contents of the tray. There was a glass of orange juice and pancakes shaped like Mickey Mouse’s head. Makenzie recalled how her mother used to make her Mickey Mouse pancakes as a child. She hadn’t done it in years though. Makenzie started tearing up at the memory. “Wow, Mickey Mouse pancakes! Thanks, mom!”

“Well I’ll leave you to it.” Mom said as she turned to leave.

Makenzie ate her breakfast and went into the bathroom to take a quick shower. She dried off and put on a bra and panties. She glanced at herself in the mirror as she ran her hand over her belly. Oh yeah, the test! Makenzie dressed in a long, pastel pink sundress, grabbed a pair of sandals and headed out the door. She ran into Teddy on the way down. “Happy birthday, Makenzie!” Teddy said as he hugged her. “Where ya headed to?”

“Thanks, Teddy. Oh I’m just running into town real quick to pick up a few things. I’ll be back soon.”

“Okay. Well I heard that your dad will be home for lunch to spend some time with you.”

“I’ll be back before then. See ya later.”

Makenzie started up her Mustang and took off. She stopped at the drugstore and picked up a pregnancy test. As she walked out of the store she took the test out of the bag and hid it in her purse, throwing away the bag and receipt.

As she pulled into the circular drive, she caught a glimpse of Caleb out near the pool. She shut off the car and walked toward him.

“Well. Well. Good morning, birthday girl.” Caleb said as he leaned in to give her a kiss. “I was thinking of taking you back to our spot by the wildflowers for lunch.”

Makenzie smiled up at him. “I’m sorry. I can’t. My father will be home to have lunch with me.”

“Oh. I see.” Caleb said as he lowered his eyes. “Well I guess I’ll just see you later tonight then.”

“I’m sorry, Caleb. Its just that my parents have a charity event to attend this afternoon and this will be his only time with me.”

“It’s okay. I understand.” Caleb said as he put his arms around her and pulled her close. He kissed her softly. “Come with me. I have something for you.” Caleb grabbed her hand and walked toward his room.

“Oh you do, do you?” Makenzie asked.

Caleb stopped right outside his door. “Close your eyes.” He said.

Makenzie closes her eyes, then quickly opened one eye to try to peek, and giggled when Caleb caught her. “Keep them closed.” He scolded.

Makenzie could hear Caleb putting his key in the lock and opening the door. He lightly grabbed her arm and pulled her inside, closing the door behind them. She could hear him walk across the room. “Okay. Open them.”

Makenzie opened her eyes as Caleb was walking towards her grinning, holding a cute Chihuahua puppy in his arms. Makenzie put her arms out for the puppy and Caleb handed it to her. The puppy looked at Makenzie and licked her face. “Oh my God, what is this?” Makenzie said as she smiled and pet the puppy.

“Happy birthday, Makenzie!”

Makenzie looked at him as he smiled at her. “You mean it’s mine?” she exclaimed with excitement.

Caleb laughed. “Yep. All yours.”

“Oh, Caleb! I can’t believe you did this. Thank you!” Makenzie exclaimed as she hugged and kissed him, the puppy still in her arms.

“Well that story you told me at the river broke my heart. I know your parents won’t let you keep her, but I figured I could keep her in my room for you and you can come play with her whenever you want. Here.” Caleb said as he handed her an extra key to his room. “This way you can come in even when I’m working.”

Makenzie smiled at him and accepted the key. “So what’s her name?” Makenzie asked.

“Well I’ve just been calling her Angel, but you can name her whatever you want.”

“Angel, huh?” Makenzie held the puppy out and looked at her cute face and smiled. “Why Angel?”

“I was thinking of your face when I came up with the name.” Caleb replied, looking embarrassed.

Makenzie smiled. “Angel. I love it.” She sat down on the floor to play with her new puppy. Caleb sat down next to her and petted the dog. “When did you get her?”

“Yesterday. I had Anna keep her until this morning and made her swear not to tell.” Caleb grinned.

“Oh so that’s where you went yesterday?”

Caleb laughed at the look on her face. “Yep.” Caleb said as he leaned over and kissed her cheek. Then started to get up. “Well I have to get back to work. You can stay and play with her if you want.”

Makenzie looked at the clock. It was already 11:00. Daddy probably won’t be home until noon. “Wait.” Makenzie said as she put Angel down and stood up. She walked over to where Caleb was standing. She threw her arms around him and kissed him sweetly. “Thank you so much. This is my very first puppy. I can’t believe it.”

“I just want you to be happy.” Caleb replied.

Makenzie stared into his eyes. “I am happy.” She said as she leaned in to kiss him again.

Makenzie stayed in Caleb’s room and played with Angel until it was near the time for her father to come home. She made sure the puppy had food and fresh water, kissed it, and snuck out the door, locking it behind her. As she closed the door she heard the puppy start whining. I can’t believe I have my very own puppy, she thought as she headed toward the house.

“Makenzie is that you?” she heard her mother say.

“Yeah.”

“Oh honey, come into the kitchen for a second, would you?”

Makenzie walked into the kitchen and saw her mother with Maria, putting candles into a large chocolate cake. “Wow. That looks delicious.” Makenzie said as she gawked at the chocolate cake with the pretty pink frosting roses.

“Oh good. I’m glad you like it. Maria baked it herself.” Natasha said.

Makenzie glanced over at Maria who looked proud of her creation. “It looks wonderful. Thank you.”

“Thank you.” Maria replied with a smile.

“Makenzie, your father will be here shortly to have lunch and celebrate with us. Please find Anna and make sure that Mia looks presentable.”

Makenzie went upstairs and remembering the pregnancy test in her purse, went to her own room first. She closed the door behind her, locked it and sought a place to hide the test. She looked around and finally decided to put it under her mattress. She left her room and headed for the playroom. She could hear Mia giggling inside.

Makenzie opened the door. “Hey there she is! Happy Birthday, Makenzie!” Anna exclaimed with a smile as she started to get up from the rug.

Mia turned her head and ran toward Makenzie. “Happy Birthday, Mak!” she said as she ran into Makenzie’s arms. Anna walked toward them and gave Makenzie a hug.

“Ahhh thanks guys!” Makenzie smiled. “My mother wanted me to come make sure that Mia was ‘presentable’ for lunch with our father.” Makenzie said as she rolled her eyes. She looked Mia over. She had her hair in pigtails, her face was clean, and she wore a pretty yellow dress. Looks just fine to me.

“So Teddy mentioned having a pool party tonight. What time are your parents leaving?” Anna asked.

“Well dad will probably leave right after lunch to go back to the office. He’ll probably go to the charity thing straight from work and send his assistant to pick up my mom. I’d say probably around 3:00. She’s dropping Mia off for an overnight at another kid’s house, so we’ll have the house pretty much to ourselves. I don’t expect my parents back until well after it gets dark. These charity things usually run pretty late.”

Anna smiled big. “That’s great! Well I’m going to bring Mia down to Natasha and make sure I have her approval. I’ll be right back.”

Anna took Mia downstairs to the kitchen where Natasha was. “Excuse me, Mrs. Adams, does Mia look okay?” Anna asked.

Natasha turned around and looked Mia over. “Yes, Anna. She looks perfect. Do me a favor would you? I need for you to find the rest of the staff and tell them I would like them all to be present in the dining room soon to celebrate Makenzie’s birthday with us.”

“Yes, Mrs. Adams.” Anna replied.

 

Makenzie came downstairs and was surprised by a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’s’. She looked around and saw her daddy seated at the table, along with all the staff, including Caleb. I can’t believe the staff is all here. What a nice surprise this is. Guess I’ll be having lunch with Caleb after all. Makenzie smiled and said thank you to everyone and took the empty seat across from Caleb. Maria had made braised beef with mixed vegetables for everyone.

As they ate, Makenzie played footsie with Caleb under the table. Caleb noticed her father watching and tried not to respond. He gave her a warning look and nodded his head toward her father. She smothered a smile and began flicking peas and corn across the table at him. She smiled at him playfully as he moved his arm to block it. “Caleb?” Makenzie said aloud.

Caleb glanced toward her father and saw that he was looking at him, so he didn’t respond. He turned his eyes back on Makenzie and gave her a stern look, which she brutishly ignored. “Caleb? Caleb? Do you hear?” Makenzie asked as she flung another pea at him and smiled wickedly. “I want to go riding after lunch.” She continued. Caleb nodded his head.

Every time she looked at Caleb, his eyes were on her. Her father went on and on about work related issues and upcoming renovations he wanted to do on the house. When they were finished eating, Maria and Adriana cleared all the dishes away. Soon Maria emerged with the cake, candles lit, and placed it in front of Makenzie. Her parents started singing “Happy Birthday”. Teddy, Mia, and the staff quickly joined in.

“Make a wish.” Natasha said when the singing halted. Makenzie looked across the table at Caleb and then closed her eyes. Then she blew out her twenty-two candles. Everyone clapped. Makenzie’s father got up from his seat as her mother gave Maria instructions to cut the cake and start handing it out.

“From your mother and I.” Her father said as he handed Makenzie a small wrapped box. Makenzie excitedly ripped off the paper and opened the box, revealing a beautiful diamond and ruby bracelet.

“Wow. It’s beautiful. Thanks, Dad. Thanks, Mom.” Makenzie said as she held it up for everyone to see. Makenzie looked over at Caleb, who quickly looked down.

“Your welcome, princess.” Dad said as he kissed his daughter on the forehead. I figured you might be able to wear it if you go out with Mr. Jones’ son again.” Michael said as he looked at Caleb.

Makenzie looked over at Caleb, whom was glaring at her. “Uh, dad, I’m not seeing Scott anymore. I only went out with him one time.” Makenzie replied as she flashed a quick smile Caleb’s way.

“Well that’s a shame. I played golf with his father just last week. Nice, respectable family that boy comes from.” Michael replied as he shook his head.

“Here, this one’s from me.” Teddy said as he handed her a small wrapped package. Makenzie smiled at him as she accepted the gift. She ripped off the paper, revealing the new country CD she wanted. “Just something small.” Teddy continued.

“It’s great. Thanks, Teddy.” Makenzie beamed as she kissed his cheek.

“Mine next! Mine next!” Mia whined as she handed Makenzie a small package wrapped in aluminum foil. Makenzie smiled at her little sister as she unwrapped it. Inside was a homemade macaroni necklace.

“Thanks. I love it, sweetie!” Makenzie exclaimed as she put the necklace around her neck. Mia smiled ear-to-ear and giggled.

Maria reappeared with plates of cake. Everyone ate their cake and went their separate ways. Makenzie took her presents upstairs to her room, and then sought out Caleb in the yard. Not finding him, she headed for the stables. Caleb was inside feeding the horses. Makenzie walked up behind him and gently touched his arm. Caleb turned around, looked at her, and resumed working. “What the devil do you want?” he barked.

“What’s wrong with you?”

“Why didn’t you tell him?”

“Tell who what? What are you talking about, Caleb? Why are you so angry?”

Caleb turned to face her. “Your father. Why didn’t you tell him about me? You just let him go on and on about Scott Jones.”

Makenzie let out a sigh. “You don’t understand.” She started to say.

“Admit it. You’re ashamed of me, aren’t you?” Caleb demanded as he glared at her.

Makenzie’s expression changed to one of deep sadness. “Is that what you think? Caleb, I love you.” Makenzie said as she threw herself in his arms. Caleb held her and stroked her hair. “You don’t know my parents. They’re not like you and I. I admit, I am afraid to tell them. But it is not because I am ashamed of you. It’s only that I know how they are. They expect me to be with someone like Scott. But I’d die first.”

“Forget I said anything. I’m sorry, Makenzie.” Caleb whispered as he kissed her. “Come on. Let’s take the horses out for a quick ride like you wanted.”

When they returned from their ride, Makenzie went to Caleb’s room to play with Angel while Caleb went back to work. Mia would love her. It’s such a shame that Mia will be like me and never have a pet of her own as a child. Makenzie kissed her new puppy and left the room. She saw Anna and Mia playing in the sandbox and approached them. “Mia, come here. I have something I want to show you.” Makenzie looked over at Anna and smiled.

“What is it?” Mia asked as she put her tiny hand in Makenzie’s.

Makenzie bent down and looked Mia in the eyes. “Can you keep a secret?”

“What kind of a secret?” Mia asked, looking interested.

“I want to show you something, but you have to promise not to tell mom and dad, okay?”

“Okay.” Mia promised. Makenzie and Mia joined pinkie fingers as they always did when making a promise to each other.

“What are you doing?” Anna asked, looking perplexed.

“Sshhh. Come on.” Makenzie replied, holding a finger to her lips.

Makenzie held Mia’s hand as they walked toward Caleb’s room. Anna followed. Makenzie opened the door and brought Mia and Anna inside. Mia saw the puppy and gasped in excitement as she ran for the small animal. Makenzie stood back and smiled as she watched Mia with Angel. The three girls played with the puppy.

“I think someone’s here.” Anna announced when she heard the car pull up.

“It must be Ethan, my dad’s personal assistant. He’s probably here to pick up mom and Mia. Do you have her bag packed?” Makenzie asked.

“Yes. It’s just upstairs.”

“We better hurry.” Makenzie said as she closed and locked the door behind her. “You don’t want to keep my mother waiting. She’ll think you incompetent.” Makenzie laughed as she rolled her eyes.

After Natasha and Mia left with Ethan, Makenzie decided to go up to her room to take a quick shower and change into one of her bikinis. She sat on her bed and remembered the pregnancy test. She pulled it out from under the mattress and read the instructions. It says for best results to test the first urine of the morning. I think I’ll wait to make sure I get an accurate result. Makenzie placed the test back under her mattress and went into the bathroom.

After her shower, she rummaged through her drawers in search of her new gold bikini. Finding it, she put it on, along with a pair of heeled sandals and headed outside by the pool. Teddy, Anna, and Adriana were already out there. Teddy had a small radio that was set to a country music station. There were two packs of hot dogs on the table and a large cooler filled with beer and wine coolers.

“Where’s Caleb?” Makenzie asked.

“I just saw him go into his room about twenty minutes ago. He’s probably in the shower. He looked pretty dirty.” Anna replied.

Makenzie grabbed a wine cooler, kicked off her shoes, and sat at the edge of the pool, putting her feet in the water.

“Well I’m gonna start the grill.” Teddy said as he got up.

Five minutes later Caleb showed up and sat next to Makenzie. “Sorry. I was playing with Angel.”

Angel! “Lets bring her out here. My parents won’t be home until late, so it’ll be okay.”

Caleb got up and left, returning moments later with Angel in his arms. Angel jumped in Makenzie’s lap and began kissing her frantically on the cheek. Then she jumped down and began exploring the yard. “Is she okay just walking around like that?” Caleb asked.

“Yeah. The main gates are locked, so she can’t get out.”

“Hot dogs are done.” Teddy announced. Makenzie and Caleb got up and sat at the table with everyone else to eat. Makenzie heard whining and looked down to see Angel at her feet. She picked her up and set her next to her on the chair, feeding her little bits of hot dog.

“Everyone in the pool!” Teddy exclaimed as he grabbed Anna and threw her in the pool. Then he did the same to Adriana and jumped in himself.

Caleb and Makenzie brought Angel back to his room then joined everyone else in the pool. They played around in the water for a while, Caleb holding Makenzie and dancing with her every time a romantic song came on the radio. “Lets get dressed and go for a walk. I want to be alone with you.” Caleb whispered.

Makenzie smiled up at him and quickly agreed. They got out of the water and wrapped themselves in towels. “I’ll meet you back at your room.” Makenzie said as she kissed him and headed toward the main house.

 

Caleb heard a knock on his door and quickly went to open it. Makenzie was standing there in a long white dress. God she’s gorgeous, Caleb thought to himself as he pulled her inside. “You don’t need to knock. I gave you your own key.”

Makenzie smiled, melting his heart as she always did. “Are you ready to go for a walk?”

“Yeah. Give me just a minute.” Caleb replied. He went to the kitchen area and grabbed a bottle of wine and two glasses.

Makenzie looked over at him and smiled. “What’s all this?” she asked, motioning to the wine and glasses.

“Well I thought we would have our own private celebration.” Caleb announced. Makenzie couldn’t stop smiling as she looked over at him. God I’ve never seen a more gorgeous man. I love him so much. Caleb handed Makenzie a blanket to carry and they set off for their walk. It was just starting to get dark, with the first stars coming into view. It was still warm and there was a light breeze. Caleb held Makenzie’s hand as they made their way to their spot by the wildflowers.

When they finally reached their spot, it was much darker and the sky was glistening with shiny stars. Makenzie spread the blanket on the ground and sat down. Caleb stared at her in awe as the moonlight cast a soft glow on her face. Makenzie looked up at him and smiled, motioning with her hand for him to come to her.

Makenzie laid back and looked up at the sky. “Wow its so beautiful tonight. Look at how many stars are out. And the moon is so huge. It’s almost magical, don’t you think?”

Caleb loved watching her get so excited. He lay down next to her and looked up at the sky. “It’s beautiful, but not as beautiful as you.” He whispered as he stared at her. Makenzie looked over at him and smiled. Her heart began beating rapidly as he kissed her. “I love you.” Caleb whispered.

“I love you.” Makenzie whispered back.

Their eyes locked and they kissed again. Makenzie spoke of how she loved animals and would like to have a small farm of her own someday, like the one she had shown him. They spoke of marrying someday and having their own family.

“It’s getting really late. I should get you back.” Caleb said.

“Oh I’m soooo tired.” Makenzie exclaimed as she started to drag herself up.

“Come on. Get up here.” Caleb said as he motioned for her to climb on his back. Makenzie climbed on and he carried her piggyback back to the backyard. She leaned her face around and gave him plenty of kisses along the walk back.

 

Michael and Natasha got back from the charity event and decided to have a drink out on their balcony. Michael heard the familiar giggle of his oldest daughter and stood up to look. He saw her coming out of the fields on the groundskeeper’s back. He watched as she went into his room with him. Michael’s face grew furious. “Do you see this?” he asked as he glared at his wife.

Natasha rose and took a look. She saw what her husband had been talking about, narrowed her eyes and shrugged, shaking her head back and forth.

“How could this be?” Michael went on. “My daughter in the likes of a lowly servant! I shall not stand for it!” he yelled as he angrily turned to leave.

Natasha stopped him. “Michael, don’t. It’s her birthday. Let her be until morning.”

Michael paced back and forth on the balcony, outraged at his discovery. “I work hard to give my family everything they could possibly want and Makenzie lowers herself to being seduced by the help. He’s out of here, Natasha. Out of here!”

Natasha lightly touched his arm. “Michael, calm down. You’re not going to make a scene. If you won’t wait until morning, at least wait until Makenzie is back inside.”

 

Caleb gently dropped her to her feet when they reached his door. “Are you coming in for a minute?” he asked as he found his key and unlocked the door. Makenzie nodded. As soon as he opened the door, Angel bounded forward, pressing her paws against Makenzie’s leg, whining. Makenzie picked her up and walked into the room.

Caleb closed the door and turned the lights on dimly. Then he walked toward Makenzie, staring deeply into her eyes. Makenzie pet the puppy and put her down as she held Caleb’s gaze. He kissed her softly and picked her up, setting her down gently on the bed. Then he made love to her.

Makenzie and Caleb dressed and he walked her to his door. He opened the door and they stood in the doorway, holding each other and kissing. “I love you so much.” Makenzie whispered.

“I love you too. My life didn’t begin until I met you.” Caleb whispered back. “Happy birthday!”

Makenzie smiled up at him. “This was the best birthday I ever had. Thank you!”

 

Michael paced some more, then kicked the chair at his feet and finally sat down, breathing heavily. He continued eyeing Caleb’s door until he saw them come out. He watched in anger as he saw them hugging and kissing. His wife was finally able to convince him to wait until morning to confront Caleb.

 

Makenzie skipped happily back to the house. She stopped in the kitchen for a cup of tea and brought it up to her room. She undressed and took a long, luxurious bubble bath, all the while thinking of her and Caleb’s future together. She felt her belly and smiled at the idea that she could be carrying Caleb’s baby.

 

Michael waited until his wife fell asleep, then he slipped out unnoticed.

Chapter 8

 

Caleb awoke to a loud pounding on his door. He looked over at the clock on his nightstand. It was a little after midnight. He quickly got out of bed and ran to open the door. Standing there was Michael, his face displaying a look of absolute hatred and anger. He pushed past Caleb and walked right in. “Do you like working here?” Michael asked, his eyes burning into Caleb’s.

Caleb wiped the sleep from his eyes and stood there looking perplexed. “Yes, sir.”

“Then do you want to tell me what you were doing with my daughter?”

“I don’t understand.”

“I saw you kissing my daughter you little bastard!” Michael screamed fiercely.

Caleb took a step back. “Sir, its not what you think. I love your daughter very much.”

“Love? Love?” he screamed. “You think you love her? Oh that’s grand! You’re both too young to know what true love is!”

Michael looked Caleb up and down. He could see that Caleb’s words seemed to be genuine and that bothered him. Michael sat down and motioned for Caleb to sit in the other chair. He sat with his head in his hands trembling with anger for a few moments then looked up at Caleb. “If you love my daughter, then you’ll want what’s best for her. Am I correct?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Good. Good.” Michael shook his head. “Well I’m telling you that you are not what is best for my daughter.”

“All due respect, sir, but I think you’re wrong.”

Michael looked at Caleb and laughed. “You think a servant is good enough for my daughter? I’m not going to let my daughter waste her life away on someone like you. My Makenzie can do much better than you, you lowlife!” He stood up. “You’re out of here! You got fifteen minutes to pack up your shit and get off my property.” Michael exclaimed ferociously.

“Sir, please. You’re making a mistake,” Caleb started to say, but was interrupted.

“You think my daughter loves you?” Michael said as he shook his head and laughed. “I’m certain she doesn’t. This was just some sort of summer fling.”

“No.” Caleb said shaking his head.

“Fifteen minutes!” Michael yelled. “I’ll be right outside the door.”

Caleb’s head was spinning with a million different thoughts as he started grabbing his belongings and stuffing them into garbage bags. True to his word, Michael was standing outside Caleb’s door as he left to start loading up his truck. Michael stopped him on his way back in and handed him a check. “Here’s your last check. I hope you don’t plan on using me as a reference.”

Caleb stared hard at Michael. “Can I at least say goodbye to her?” Caleb pleaded.

“No. You may not. And I’ll need your cell phone and your keys back.”

Caleb handed his cell phone and keys to Michael and picked up his remaining bags. “What about her puppy?” Caleb quietly asked.

“You take that filthy animal with you. There will be no dogs here.”

Caleb grabbed Angel and walked out the door, glancing toward Makenzie’s balcony as he left.

Anna heard the screaming and peeked her head out her door. She saw Caleb with bags in his hand and the puppy in his other hand. “Tell Makenzie I love her,” he whispered to Anna as he passed. Michael followed close behind him.

“What are you looking at?” Michael yelled at Anna. “Get back in your room and don’t you dare give my daughter any messages from him. That is an order!”

Anna quickly closed her door and tried to go back to sleep. Poor Caleb. Poor Makenzie. She wasn’t kidding about her parents.

Caleb got into his truck and drove away. He didn’t even know where he was going at first until he approached the small farm. He stopped to look at it, as he struggled to fight the tears welling up in his eyes. He saw Makenzie’s face as she had excitedly told him of her hopes to have a farm like it someday. He got back on the road and continued the familiar route until he arrived at the river. He parked his truck and sighed. He couldn’t get Makenzie off his mind. Caleb turned on the radio, but the sad country song it played hit too close to home for him.

Caleb reached over and turned the radio off. The song lyrics cut too deep. He thought of Makenzie’s deep blue eyes, and her angel face. He thought of her soft angelic voice and her sweet laugh. He thought of her lively spirit and how she took delight in the simplest of things. He saw her dancing in the wind and the rain in the wildflowers. He saw her playfully flinging food at him earlier that day. He saw the sweet smile that she seemed to have reserved for him. He saw her pretty blonde ringlets bouncing behind her as she rode her horse. He saw her splashing around in her underwear at the river. He saw her lying beside him, gazing up at the moon and the stars. He saw her talking passionately about their future. He saw her in his room, making love to him. He saw her playing with her puppy. He saw her giggling as he tickled her. He saw her tears when she had thought he didn’t want her. Of all the memories that flooded him, her eyes, her deep blue eyes, were what haunted him the most.

Caleb’s chest heaved in silence a minute. Then he broke down and started crying. He was devastated as her memory continued to torment him. He closed his eyes and saw her beautiful face aglow in the moonlight. He thought about how he had been in love with her the moment he saw her face and looked into her eyes. Just when he thought he’d never find love, he found himself gazing into her eyes. Her spirit had mesmerized him right from the beginning. She had knocked down the walls he had built around his heart for so long. He never opened up to anyone before he met her. With her it had been easy to open up. He had shared his life and his dreams with her. She made him feel alive. “Oh God, I cannot live without her.” He whispered to himself. “I cannot live without my life.”

Michael’s words played over and over in his head. I’m not going to let my daughter waste her life away on someone like you. You think my daughter loves you? I’m certain she doesn’t. This was just some sort of summer fling. Caleb couldn’t bear the sting of Michael’s cruel words. No, it can’t be true. She loves me. I know what we have is real.

Caleb felt he needed to walk. He riffled through the bags until he found Angel’s leash. He pinned it to her collar and got out of the truck with her. He walked around the riverbank for a while. He glanced at the small hill and decided to climb it. He stopped at the top and sat down. Still Michael’s words tormented him. You think a servant is good enough for my daughter? As he looked down the hill, he was tortured by the memory of Makenzie giggling as she rolled down it just a few weeks before. Caleb started to cry again. He walked back to his truck with Angel. He found the framed photo he had taken of Makenzie, kissed it and held it to his chest as her memory overtook him in a violent jolt of agony and despair until he finally willed himself to sleep.

 

Makenzie awoke to the loud noise of thunder and lightning cracking outside. She felt a horrible feeling of dread and couldn’t understand where it was coming from. She got up out of bed and opened her shades, looking out. It was pouring rain outside, high winds blowing the trees down low, bright flashes of lightning illuminating the dark sky. She had the urge to use the bathroom and remembered the pregnancy test she had stuffed under her mattress. She retrieved it and went into the bathroom to take the test. The box said it took three minutes to get the results, so she walked into her room and turned on the TV. The screen flashed red, displaying a severe thunderstorm warning for her area.

Makenzie’s eyes nervously darted back and forth between the TV and the clock. After the three minutes, she got up and looked at the test. The test window showed two bright pink lines. Oh my God! Makenzie’s excitement and anxiety grew as she reached for the box again to be sure. One line means not pregnant, two lines means pregnant.

Makenzie lightly touched her belly, feeling overwhelmed with happiness. Oh I must go tell Caleb right away! He won’t be working with this rain. Forgetting that she was still in her nightgown, Makenzie took off down the stairs, almost colliding with Anna when she turned the corner. “Sorry,” Makenzie called out.

“Where are you going in such a rush?” Anna called after her.

“I have to find Caleb.” Makenzie answered.

“Makenzie, wait….” Anna started to call out, but Makenzie didn’t stop.

Makenzie half ran into the exercise room. She could hear the rain pounding hard against the windows. She looked around and seeing a towel, grabbed it and held it over her head. She opened the doors and ran out, jogging to Caleb’s room. When she reached it, she pounded on the door. He never opened the door, so she repeated her knocking. “Caleb! Come on it’s horrible out here. Open the door. Caleb!” She felt a hand gently touch her arm and she spun around to see Anna.

“Makenzie, honey, he’s gone.” Anna said sadly.

Makenzie eyed Anna stupidly. “What do you mean gone?”

“He left last night. I’m sorry.” Anna whispered as she rubbed Makenzie’s arm.

Makenzie stood there a moment shaking her head, repeating the word ‘no’. “He’s probably just in a deep sleep. I’ve got to go get my key to his room. Angel is probably afraid of the storm.”

Anna tried to stop her, but Makenzie ran back to the house. She ran into her room and dug the extra key Caleb had given her out of her purse. She retrieved it and ran back outside into the rain. Anna ran inside to get Teddy.

Makenzie ran back to Caleb’s room and unlocked the door. She burst through the door, leaving it open behind her as she ran into the room. She looked around and saw that Caleb was not there, nor was her puppy. She started opening his dresser drawers, finding each one empty. Makenzie’s heart beat fast and her legs felt as if they would give out. Teddy approached the doorway.

Makenzie turned to leave and Teddy tried to stop her. Makenzie pushed past him. “I’ve got to find Caleb.” She said anxiously, tears streaming down her face. She took off running toward the gates, the rain drenching her, as she screamed for Caleb. Teddy ran after her. Makenzie reached the iron gates and held them, crying and still screaming out for Caleb. She went to the keypad and started unsuccessfully punching the number code into the little machine. She turned when she heard someone approaching behind her. She ran to Teddy and threw herself in his arms. “Oh Teddy I’ve lost him!” she wailed as her legs gave out.

Teddy put his arm around her shoulder and supported her weight, trying to calm her. “Come on. You’ll catch your death out here.” He whispered as he walked her back to the house. They passed Natasha on their way upstairs to Makenzie’s room.

“What’s wrong with her?” Natasha asked. She looked at her daughter, whom was soaked all the way through, her hair drenched, eyes bright red, shivering, with fresh tears streaming down her face.

“Why don’t you ask your husband?” Teddy replied coolly. He continued holding Makenzie up as he walked her to her room. Anna soon entered and asked Teddy to give her a few moments alone with Makenzie. Teddy looked over at Makenzie, a look of sadness on his own face. He nodded to Anna and left.

Anna walked into the bathroom and started a warm bath for Makenzie. As the water filled, she helped Makenzie out of her wet nightgown and wrapped a blanket around her. She left the room for a second to find Teddy, whom was waiting just outside Makenzie’s door.

“Teddy I’m worried about her. It’s like she doesn’t even notice me there. She just keeps looking past me, rocking back and forth whispering ‘Caleb’. I started a bath for her. I don’t know what else to do.”

“You’re doing fine, Anna. Just don’t leave her alone in the tub in her current state. I’m going to go get Mia. You stay with Makenzie. After her bath, come and get me and I’ll take over.” Teddy replied.

Anna sat on the side of the tub as Makenzie bathed. Makenzie just sat in the tub holding her knees to her chest, humming quietly to herself. She would alternate between the low humming and crying hysterically. Anna was very worried. When Makenzie stopped shivering, Anna held up a large towel for Makenzie, then placed her hand under Makenzie’s armpit to help her up.

Makenzie stood and stared blankly as Anna wrapped the towel around her. She walked to the window and stared out toward Caleb’s room. Her hysterics were gone, though soft tears still glided down her cheeks. “Oh Anna, why did he leave me?”

“Sshhh. It’s okay, Makenzie. Calm down. Lets get you dressed.” Anna said softly.

Makenzie dropped her towel and Anna put a fresh white nightgown over Makenzie’s head, and then held out a pair of dry underwear for Makenzie to step into. Makenzie backed up against the wall, then slid down, sitting on the floor. She began to sob heavily again.

There was a soft knock at the door and Anna ran to open it. Teddy was standing there with a cup of tea. He walked over to Makenzie and offered it to her. “Here. Drink something warm. It’ll make you feel better.”

Makenzie briefly looked up at him. The look in her eyes devastated Teddy. He had never in his life seen anyone look this sad. She turned her head away in refusal. “Please just go away.” Makenzie whispered so quietly it was barely audible.

Teddy put the teacup down on the nightstand across the room and walked over to Makenzie. He put his arms around her. “Okay. I’m right across the hall if you need me.” He looked over at Anna and motioned with his head for her to leave. Anna left the room and Teddy followed.

“I can’t stand to see her like this. Teddy, we have to tell her what happened, why Caleb is gone, even if it means losing my job. She must think that Caleb left her of his own free will. She must be dying inside.” Anna said.

“I can’t stand it either, Anna. But if we tell her, then I’m certain Michael will fire you and how shall we see each other?” Teddy replied.

“I don’t wish to be fired, but what else can we do?”

“Just leave her be for now. Let her calm down so we can speak rationally to her.”

After Teddy closed the door, Makenzie slowly got up and stumbled over to her balcony. She opened the double doors and stepped outside. The rain had slowed to a soft drizzle and the wind had died down to a gentle breeze. Makenzie walked to the edge of the balcony and leaned over the railing. She looked out towards Caleb’s room as thoughts of him flooded her mind. She saw his handsome, rugged face, his intense brown eyes, and his soft brown hair. The memory of the glorious nights they spent together in his room and the remembrance of her positive test that morning overtook her as she grasped for her belly and began to weep again.

Makenzie forced her eyes away from what had been Caleb’s room and they fell upon the pool. More memories flooded her. She turned and walked back inside. She fell face down on her bed and stopped fighting the memories, letting them overtake her as her body convulsed violently with her sobbing. She saw Caleb’s face over and over again, playing through her mind like a movie. She saw him at first glance again as she had opened the door for his interview. She saw him working in the yard. She saw him cleaning the pool. She saw him walking out of the stables, holding the reins to her horse, and helping her onto it. She saw him riding a horse beside her. She saw him holding her and kissing her and making love to her. She remembered the feel of his soft, warm lips against her own. She saw him defending her against Scott and wiping her tears away with his fingertips. She replayed his intense stare over and over again. She heard his voice as they talked about their futures. “How could you leave me Caleb?” Makenzie whispered to herself.

Makenzie went on to think about how she had loved him right from the start, how she felt connected to him in ways she couldn’t even explain to herself. She had never loved anyone the way she loved Caleb. And she knew she never would again, for she loved Caleb more than she loved life itself. Without him she felt as if she couldn’t breathe. She picked up her cell phone and found the picture she had taken of him. “God, I cannot live without my life.” She whispered to herself as she looked at his picture.

 

Caleb had awoken abruptly to the sounds of the angry storm. He looked out his windshield at the dark sky and noted how the dreary weather matched his mood. He had had a fitful nights sleep, with Makenzie’s sweet face continuing to haunt him even as he slept. He had dreamed about her and awoken several times in the night calling out her name. He had hoped that his having to leave her had only been a bad dream, but as he opened his eyes and took in his surroundings, the cruel reality of it all hit him with a force that would have knocked him to his knees had he been standing.

The realization that he could have lost her for good sunk in and his heart began to thud inside his chest. He wondered if Makenzie had awoken and noticed him gone yet. He wondered what she would think about it. Would she think that he abandoned her? Would she be hurting as much as he was? The thought of Makenzie feeling the same gut-wrenching pain and torment as himself was too much for Caleb. “God, how can I bear it?” he said aloud to himself. Memories of Makenzie continued to haunt him, as he silently vowed to himself to do whatever he had to do to be with her again. I shall see her again. She needs to know that I did not leave her.

 

Natasha knocked on her daughter’s bedroom door. Not hearing anything, she turned the knob and walked inside. Makenzie was sitting up in her bed with her knees to her chest, biting on one of her fingers. Makenzie sat there staring straight ahead, not acknowledging her mother. Natasha, carrying a tray of food in her hands, walked toward Makenzie and bent down in front of her. “Honey, you missed lunch, so I thought I would bring some up to you.”

Makenzie still sat there, unmoving, her eyes never meeting her mother’s.

“Well, I’ll just leave you alone. Please eat something. I’ll be by later to pick up the tray.” Her mother smiled down at her and walked away.

Natasha returned to Makenzie’s room an hour later and knocked on the door. Neither getting nor waiting for a response, she turned the knob and walked in. She saw Makenzie lying on her side with her eyes closed. She walked over to the side of the bed and eyed the tray sitting there untouched. Natasha placed her hand on Makenzie’s forehead. Her temperature felt normal, so Natasha grabbed the tray and left the room. As soon as she heard her mother leave, Makenzie opened her eyes and got out of bed. She walked over to her door and locked it.

 

Caleb pulled into the gas station, parked, and went inside. He bought a couple bottles of water and a newspaper and left. He took the familiar route toward Makenzie’s house, slowing as he passed. He saw her yellow Mustang in the circular drive and kept going. He pulled into the lot at the park and grabbed one of the water bottles. Finding Angel’s bowl, he poured some water into it and downed the rest of the bottle. Next he opened the newspaper and circled a few employment ads.

 

When Makenzie failed to show up at dinner, her mother sent Teddy upstairs with a tray of food for her. Teddy knocked on her door but got no answer. He turned the knob, but found it locked. He knocked again. “Makenzie?”

No answer. He took the full tray back to the kitchen. Natasha stared at him and then over at Michael. Teddy just shrugged his shoulders and put the tray on the counter. Natasha frowned.

 

Natasha confronted her husband in the study later that evening, demanding to know what happened. Michael recounted his midnight scene with Caleb. Natasha just stood there shaking her head in disappointment. Finally she spoke. “Michael, for God’s sake she won’t even eat. This morning she was screaming and crying about in the storm. I wouldn’t doubt it if she doesn’t get ill now. Teddy brought her in soaked to the bone. She hasn’t spoken to anyone. Just been holed up in her room all day. A few times I walked past her door and heard her crying and calling his name. There has to be another way, Michael.”

“Just give her a few days. She’ll come around.” Michael replied as he turned his attention back to his book. Natasha glared at her husband a moment and then turned and walked away.

 

 

(End of Book 1 – to be continued)

 

 

 

To read Book 2 of Bluest Eyes in Texas, please go to Shakespir.com @

http://www.Shakespir.com/profile/view/SATadej

 


Bluest Eyes in Texas (Second Edition) - Book 1

After her father receives a large promotion at work, 21-year old Makenzie Adams is forced to move with her family from Oklahoma to Texas to finish her last year of college. She quickly falls in love and finds her soul mate in Caleb, one of her family’s new servants from the opposite side of the tracks. When her parents learn of the romance, the two are tragically forced apart. Both are tortured and tormented by the gut wrenching pain that only the truest form of love can cause, as memories and images of each other continuously and relentlessly haunt them. The tale that enfolds is an unforgettable story of love and heartache that demonstrates how love can be powerful enough to conquer all.

  • ISBN: 9781370737024
  • Author: S.A. Tadej
  • Published: 2016-12-29 07:20:12
  • Words: 34566
Bluest Eyes in Texas (Second Edition) - Book 1 Bluest Eyes in Texas (Second Edition) - Book 1