The Heiress's Secret BabyBy: Jessica Gilmore
Okay, charm wasn’t working, businesslike might. ‘I do have an apartment arranged,’ he explained. ‘But unfortunately, just before I was going to move in, the neighbour’s basement extension caused a massive subsidence in the whole street. I can quite easily go to a hotel if it’s a problem but as your house was empty and I was homeless...’ He shrugged. It had made perfect sense at the time.
Apparently not to Polly. ‘You’re staying in my house? Where is Raff? Why isn’t he there?’
‘He was in Jordan, now I think he’s in Australia but he should be back soon.’ It had been hard to keep up with the other Rafferty twin’s travels.
‘Australia? What on earth is he doing there?’ She sank down into the large chair behind her desk with an audible sigh of relief, probably worn out by the weight of all the questions she had fired at him. Gabe’s head was spinning from them all.
‘I thought Raff would wait until I got back before taking off again,’ Polly murmured, her voice so low that Gabe hardly caught her words.
If Gabriel had to narrow all his criticisms of his own family down to just one thing it would be the complete lack of respect for personal space—physically and mentally. Every thought, every feeling, every pain, every movement was up for general discussion, dissection and in the worst-case scenario culminating in a family conference.
His middle sister, Celine, would even video call in from New Zealand, unwilling to let a small matter like time zones and distance prevent her from getting her two centimes’ worth in.
The possibility of anybody in the Beaufils household not knowing the exact whereabouts of any member of their family at any given time was completely inconceivable. Sometimes Gabe suspected they had all been microchipped at birth. How could Polly Rafferty have no idea where her own twin brother was or what he was doing?
She looked up at him, the navy-blue eyes dark. ‘I think I might be more jet-lagged than I realised,’ she said slowly. ‘Let me get this straight. You are working, here, at Rafferty’s, as the vice CEO and living at Hopeford. In my house.’
‘Temporarily,’ Gabe clarified. ‘Your house, that is.’
She closed her eyes.
A knock at the door jolted her back to wakefulness, the eyes snapping open.
The door opened, followed a moment later by Rachel, who was carrying a large tray. She flickered a sympathetic glance over at Gabe and he couldn’t resist winking back.
‘Your coffee, Miss Rafferty.’ Rachel set the tray onto the desk and smiled at Gabe. ‘I brought your usual smoothie, Mr Beaufils,’ she said in a much lighter tone. ‘The chef has your muesli ready. I said you might prefer to eat it in the staff canteen this morning. Oh, and dry-cleaning has sent your clean shirt up. I’ll just take it through for you.’
Polly had begun to pour her coffee but stopped mid flow, her eyes narrowed and fixed on her assistant.
‘You were aware that Mr Beaufils was here? In my office?’
‘Well, he often works late...’ Rachel said.
‘And you didn’t think to warn me?’
‘Tell Building Services I need to see them this morning. Mr Beaufils obviously needs his own sleeping and breakfasting area. Oh, and his own assistant. Get on to HR. We’ll discuss the rest later.’
‘Yes, Miss Rafferty.’ Rachel bobbed out with a sigh of relief, returning a second later with a crisply wrapped shirt, which she handed to Gabe before exiting the office and closing the door.
‘Nice girl, very competent.’ Gabe sauntered over to the tray and picked up his usual smoothie. It had taken a few days for the chef to get the mixture just right but it was pretty close to perfection now. He took it over to the chaise and sipped but could feel Polly’s eyes on him and looked over at her with a faintly enquiring smile.
‘Are you quite comfortable?’ she asked. ‘Are you sure you don’t want to ask for your muesli in here? Take a shower before getting dressed? How about a massage?’
He bit back a smile at the sarcastic tone in her voice. ‘A shower would be lovely, thank you.’ He downed the shake, feeling the cool liquid hit the back of his throat, the vitamins working their way into his system. ‘Don’t worry about showing me the way. I know my way around.’
‘Hold on.’ But she was too late, Gabriel Beaufils had disappeared into the cloakroom.
Polly jumped to her feet but came to a stop. She was hardly going to follow him into the shower, was she?
Not that he would mind—he’d probably just ask her to pass him the towel! After all he had no compunction about parading around her office half naked. No wonder Rachel was smitten. Smoothies and muesli indeed.