His One and Only(9)

By: Theodora Taylor


It was definitely fussier and decidedly more feminine than what Beau was probably used to. She’d once run across a feature on him in one of Wayne’s sports magazines. It had a photo of Beau in an ultra-modern and very masculine penthouse surrounded by lots of windows, sleek black and red furniture, and ample white space. A far cry from his current surroundings, that was for sure.

She finally heard the front door close behind Miguel and said, “Just so you know, your room no longer looks like it used to. If you don’t mind taking my arm, I can give you a quick tour.”

She stood to the side of him and held out her arm, but he didn’t make any move to step closer. Instead, he said, “Is the intercom still to the right of the door?”

She looked over her shoulder to the little white box that would allow him to call her, no matter where she was in the house. “It sure is.”

“I’ll use it if I need it. Now leave.”

“But—”

“Get out,” he said.

She hesitated. Yes, he was being an ass, an even bigger one than he’d been in high school (and that was saying something). But after all the reading she’d done, she felt bad abandoning him in the middle of an unfamiliar room without even a cane to help him find his way around.

“Are you sure there’s nothing else I can get you?” she persisted.

“What part of ‘get out’ don’t you understand?” he asked before turning his head away from her voice, as if to dismiss her with both words and body.

After a few uncomfortable ticks, she decided to do as he’d commanded. He was newly blind, she reminded herself, and needed her sympathy and understanding.

“Oh, and Josie?” he said behind her.

She turned back around. “Yes? Is there something I can bring you?”

“I was just wondering if you were alive.”

“You’re wondering if I’m alive?” she asked, frowning. Could he be having even more side effects from the concussion? “Of course I’m alive.”

He smirked and a bit of the old Alabama drawl laced his words as he asked, “You’re not a ghost? Or maybe one of them zombies?”

“No,” she answered, truly alarmed now and wondering if a visit to the hospital might be in order. “Can I ask why you’re asking me these questions?”

“Because you’re working for me now,” he answered. Then he smiled in her direction, his voice flat and hard. “And it sounds to me like you’re still breathing.”

And with that, Josie knew the amicable working relationship she’d been hoping for was nothing more than a pipe dream.

Beau hadn’t forgotten what happened when she crossed him all those years ago. In fact, he seemed to remember every single bit of it down to the fine details. He had no intention of letting bygones be bygones. And he finally had her where she had vowed to never be.

Right under his thumb.





3





I shouldn’t have come back here, Beau thought to himself while sitting in the bay window of his old bedroom.

He couldn’t see what lay beyond the glass, but he’d spent so much time at the window as a boy, he knew the scene by heart: an immaculate lawn, a gazebo, and a large shed that doubled as a hiding place if you wanted to get away from your life as the only child of Beau Prescott Sr., the last in a long line of Prescott steel magnates that stretched all the way back to the mid-nineteenth century.

When Beau had lived here for real, looking at the never-changing scene had been enough to calm him down after yet another fight with his father about how he should have gotten an A+ as opposed to an A-, about how football was beneath a Prescott, about how he needed to start doing more to live up to the Prescott name.

But he couldn’t take much comfort in the familiar scene now, since he couldn’t see it. He took off his sunglasses and rubbed a hand over his face. This damn blindness was turning his life into a nightmare.

And it had made living in Los Angeles unbearable. Suddenly everything he’d enjoyed about his life was gone. The football, the partying—even the never-ending stream of girls had come to a standstill. After getting cleared for sex by his doctors, he’d tried to get it on with two groupies, only to find out a certain part of him hadn’t been down to party.

Not for those two girls. Not for the one his agent had sent him in lieu of a get-well card, or the one he had hired from a discreet escort service in a fit of desperation.

He’d asked his mother to arrange his return home partly out of frustration and partly because he couldn’t stand living in L.A. as a shadow of his former self. The last thing he’d expected upon his return home was to find Josie Witherspoon waiting for him on the goddamn front steps.