Broken Hart (The Hart Family) (2 page)

BOOK: Broken Hart (The Hart Family)
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For all intents and purposes, Dante and Damien are like parents to the girls.  Their mother had committed suicide when the twins were just toddlers and their father was a serious drug addict who died of an overdose when Dante was seventeen, Damien was fifteen and the twins were ten. 

 

Dante and Damien flatly refuse to speak about their parents in any detail. If they are brought up in more than a fleeting way, one of them shuts the conversation down immediately.  

 

I know that after their father died, they all lived from then on with their mother’s younger sister, Sandra.  Although they hadn’t had any contact with her prior to their father’s death, Dante and Damien credit Sandra with providing a stable home and allowing the girls to grow up normal. 

 

Sandra also saved their grandfather’s company.  Drugs and good business decisions don’t go hand in hand and their father had almost destroyed the company in the years between his father’s death, his wife’s suicide and his own death. 

 

When Sandra had stepped in and taken over the reins at Hart International, she was able to stop the downward spiral and start building it back up to what it was before all the craziness had happened. That allowed first Dante and then Damien to finish high school and college with the company in place. Dante is now the President of Hart International and Sandra is the Vice President.  Damien is the chief engineer and oversees all the builds and installations. 

 

During the past year, my sister and I have gotten close to Dante and his family.   We all meet at Dante’s house most Sunday’s to barbeque and watch movies in his theater room. 

 

Brooke and the twins are virtually inseparable, which is a delight.  Dante and Damien have a running joke that the twins became triplets once they met Brooke.  After the loss of our parents, Brooke and I had no family left.  It’s wonderful to feel connected as a family again.

 

Over the last year, Dante and I have gotten extremely close.  He’s become my best friend, the person I turn to when I want to share good news or bad.  We spend most of our time together, meeting at the gym three mornings a week to run on the treadmills, going to dinners, concerts and movies.  We also travel together for business.  We’ve been to Thailand, London, New York City and Greece together this last year.  It’s nice to travel with someone so pleasant to be around.

 

There have been a few times-particularly over the course of the last few months- that I’ve thought that Dante has shown an attraction to me.  He’s very possessive, but I’m not sure if that’s because he thinks of me in the same way he does his sisters and Brooke, or if it’s because something more is there.

 

My feelings for Dante have evolved from a crush to an infatuation to something deeper. I try to always be mindful of the fact that he has no interest in dating and he doesn’t believe in marriage or even committed relationships, which means no matter what, he will never make a move on me.

 

Dante goes through women at an alarming pace.  His reputation as a ladies’ man is well documented.  In the first eight months I was his assistant, there were five different ‘liaisons’.  Not one of them lasted beyond the three week mark.  Something must have put him off sex for a while, because he’s not had so much as a first date in the last four months. 

 

He definitely has a type.  They’ve all been stunning blonde haired super sleek beauties, not one of them less than five foot ten.  Dominique and Delilah call them the Dante-bots, and joke that Dante must have built a factory somewhere to churn them out, something everyone but Dante laughs at.  He normally just grimaces and looks embarrassed when it comes up and then tries to change the subject. 

 

Damien and his best friend Spencer have a far cruder expression for them.  They call them Dante’s “fuck bots”  They doesn’t do it in front of me or the girls, but I’ve heard them ribbing Dante about it when they think we aren't listening.  Damien's been especially brutal for the last few weeks, asking Dante how he’s surviving without sex.  According to something I heard Damien say, this is the longest Dante has gone without sex since he lost his virginity.

 

I used to find it depressing that Dante’s choice in women was so opposite to how I look.  I’m five foot six, my hair is long and dark, and I’ve got brown eyes.  I’m nothing at all like the Dante-bots.  I’m pretty, but I’m not in the same league as the women he dates, with their flawless faces and swimsuit model body types.

 

I’ve come to realize that it is a good thing that he has such a specific type.  It helps me to keep my feet on the ground and my head out of the clouds, knowing that he wouldn’t really be attracted to me because I look nothing like what is obviously his ideal.

 

Shaking my head, I snap back to the present, rushing to finish my shower.  I’ve gotten in and out in less than ten minutes which is very fast for me.  My morning shower is as essential to me as coffee is to Dante.  Without it, I am miserable and unmotivated. 

 

I dry off quickly and put on my bra, panties and stockings.  I blow my hair dry, which I do in record time considering that my hair is currently as long as it’s ever been, reaching down past the middle of my back.

 

I’m definitely not operating at my highest level this morning, because when I go to put my hair up in to my work chignon, I knock the bobby pins off the counter and in to the toilet.  Shit! I definitely do NOT need this. Now I’m going to have to do something I’ve not done even once since starting, which is go to work with my hair down.  I don’t think of it as a professional look for me, which is something I strive for when I’m at the office.

 

Unfortunately the hair decision is now out of my hands, and I realize that I have to wear my hair down, unless I want to go toilet fishing- something I know I’m going to have to do later, but am in no position to do right now, late as I am. 

 

I run in to my bedroom at high speed, thanking my lucky stars that I laid my clothes out last night.  I pull my black pencil skirt on and pair it with a white sleeveless silk blouse, a belt and my black Jimmy Choo crown shoes and run in to my kitchen to grab a breakfast bar and a bottle of water.

 

At the front door I reach in to the bowl on the entry table for the keys to my car, a beautiful Jaguar XJ that might well be the best company car on earth.  My hand hits the bottom of the bowl, sans keys. This means that Brooke has my car, so I need to drive hers. 

 

It wouldn’t be a problem to drive Brooke’s car, if I knew where the keys are, but they aren’t in the bowl, something that makes my agitation grow. I stomp down the hall to Brooke’s room and fling open the door and breathe a sigh of relief as I spy the spare key on her dresser.  

 

I’m running back to the front door when I hear that my iPhone is ringing and it’s playing the theme song to “Family Guy”, so I know its Dante.  He loves the show, and he made the theme song the ringtone on my phone for his calls.  I don’t make it to the phone in time, so I grab it as I run out the door, which I lock and slam behind me.

 

I quickly make my way to Brooke’s car, a black Mercedes coup that our mother had bought just weeks before she and my father had died. It had become my car until I’d gotten my work car last year, and I still love to drive it.

 

It’s blazingly hot out.  I start the engine and crank the AC.  The temperature display on the mirror says that it’s ninety five degrees out.  I sigh in frustration that today is the day I don’t have my hair up and Dante and I are due to walk a building site this afternoon, and I just know I’m going to be miserable with my hair down.  Resolving to drink plenty of water before we go, I throw the car in to reverse and head toward the freeway.

 

By now it’s almost nine thirty, so traffic isn’t as bad as when I normally go to work.  I take a deep breath and hope that the craziness of the morning can now be behind me.

 

 

CHAPTER TWO

 

 

I’m just starting to relax when I notice that the gas light is on. Now I know why Brooke took my car.  Damn, the day isn’t going to be getting any better.  I let out a loud curse, but have no choice to pull off at the next exit for gas. 

 

At the station, I pull to the pump and reach for my purse… only to realize that in the rush to get out of the house, I left it on the kitchen counter. I wonder if this day is trying to kill me, and I consider calling in sick and hiring a locksmith to get me back in to my house so I can hide from the world until tomorrow morning. 

 

I sigh, knowing I don’t have that option.  Dante insists that I am with him whenever he goes to check a site, and this is the biggest build the company is doing in America this year, a super exclusive high rise in Century City which means he won't budge on me not being there.  The minimum buy in for a condo in the building is four million dollars, and there are a lot of cooks in the kitchen as more and more buyers come on board with different requests.

 

There is no way he will go if I don’t, which means he would reschedule the walk through- something that I don’t want to do.  It would be rude to inconvenience everyone because I’m having a bad day.

 

I look at the gas needle and decide I’ve got to risk it and continue on, telling myself that once the car is on empty, there is still at least fifteen miles of wiggle room before I run out completely, and I’ve only got another six miles to go. I ignore the disturbing thought that I’m not sure how many miles Brooke drove once the light came on.  Praying that she hadn’t driven far, I pull out of the gas station and get back on the freeway.

 

The day being what it is, I make it about four miles before the car starts to shimmy.  This is not good.  I pull over, put the top down so I don’t swelter to death, turn on my hazards, and turn the car off.  Sighing in resignation, I pick up my iPhone and press the entry for Dante’s cell. 

 

He picks up before the first ring even ends.  I’m surprised by his tone as he growls in to the phone “Jesus Christ Rina! Where the hell are you?”  For a moment, I am flustered. 

 

I stutter a bit as I catch him up on my morning, ending by telling him that I am pulled over on the side of the freeway.  I give him my general location and ask if he can send someone to come get me.  I’m taken aback when he all but snaps at me that he’s coming himself and will be there in ten minutes.

 

I shrug his annoyance off.  Dante has never yelled at me, and I don’t think he’s about to start because I’m having a shitty morning.  

 

I climb over to sit in the passenger seat so that I don’t have to walk in to traffic once Dante arrives.  I’m exhausted, frustrated by this morning’s events, and now I’m sweating bullets due to the heat. It doesn’t help that the car I’m in is black with black leather seats.  I feel like I’m baking so I unbutton the top two buttons on my shirt and start fanning myself with the car manual from the glove compartment. 

 

Exactly ten minutes later, Dante pulls up behind me in his black Range Rover.  I get out of the car, click the remote for the top to go up and walk quickly over to his car and slide in to the seat. Thankfully he’s got the air on full tilt and I turn to him with a huge smile and say, “Thank god for air conditioning! You’re my hero Dante.  Thank you for coming to my res…”

 

I halt abruptly and don’t finish the sentence as I hear Dante’s harsh inhalation of breath.  I’m shocked to see that his eyes are glued to the open spot of my blouse. 

 

I gaze down to see what he’s looking at.  Oh wow.  Because of the buttons I opened, my boobs are totally popping out of the blouse. I'm shocked that the top of my white silk bra is visible.  As I watch, a trickle of sweat works its way down my chest, disappearing in to the bra. 

 

Chuckling uncomfortably, I close the two buttons I had undone.  I look back up at Dante and my eyebrows rise when I see that his eyes are closed and I can hear that he is counting backwards from ten very quietly.

BOOK: Broken Hart (The Hart Family)
8.1Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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