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Creeping along the dark passage in the dead of night wasn't a bright thing to be doing, and Luc knew that, but after two nights of being woken up by a noise that he couldn't place, he'd become determined to find the source. As he paused near a doorway to get the general direction of the sound, it faded. Frowning, he moved towards the door just down the hall from his. It had sounded like it had come from that room.
As he neared the door it opened, and his heart suddenly raced as he stared up into the veiled green eyes of his employer.
"Luc, what are you doing out here?"
Thinking fast on his feet, he blurted out, "I was sneaking down to the kitchen for a snack."
For a moment it looked like Marcus didn't believe him, then a faint smile curved his lips. "I'll join you to see how much of that delicious roast is left from dinner."
Blinking rapidly at him, Luc nodded his head before continuing in a far less stealthy manner down the hall. Nervously, he combed his fingers through his hair, his other hand holding the edges of his black robe closed. This wasn't part of his plan; not that he had actually had one, but anything in his thoughts definitely hadn't included Marcus James.
Casting a sidelong glance at Marcus as he walked silently beside him, Luc had to admit on a scale of one to ten, the man rated a twenty.
Marcus had hired him a month ago to work as his secretary, and Luc had been almost desperate for the job. When he came for the interview, Luc's car had been packed with all his belongings, because it'd become impossible to continue staying at the apartment he shared with three roommates. Especially since one of the roommates wouldn't leave Luc alone,and the man's amorous advances had become cruel. If Marcus hadn't hired him, he would already be back in Iowa and living with his parents, something he really, really didn't want to do. Thankfully, though, Marcus had hired him on the spot, and the job included room and board.
Part of the reason for the high score was the way Marcus carried himself with an oddly commanding air, as if used to being strictly obeyed. Though he was kind to Luc, there were times Marcus would get a very strange look in his eyes as if expecting Luc to instantly obey him. There was something almost darkly eerie about him. Luc wasn't sure if it was the utter stillness he noted about him sometimes or Marcus' habit of coming into a room without making a sound.
Once they reached the kitchen, Marcus headed for the fridge and brought out the roast and some juice while Luc got the bread and glasses for them. Luc wasn't really hungry, but he figured he'd better act like it. Marcus set the roast on the counter and carved off a few slices.
Watching him, Luc's eyes drifted over the riot of black curls that ended half way down Marcus' back. The dark green velvet robe covering Marcus' body gave a hint of the solid muscular strength hidden by it. Normally, Luc only saw Marcus in the early evenings, to get the list of work he required done, and this was the first time he'd seen Marcus this late at night. As if aware of his gaze, Marcus cast a sidelong glance at him, smiling a bit as he made the sandwiches. Without thinking about it, Luc smiled back at him as he reached over to brush a stray curl of Marcus' hair back from his face. When Luc realized what he was doing, his hand jerked back and he quickly looked away from Marcus. The middle of the night definitely was not conducive to business-like behavior. Focusing his attention on pouring himself a glass of juice, he avoided Marcus' gaze.
Marcus seemed to take the action in stride and said nothing as he handed Luc a sandwich. Turning to lean back against the counter, he said, "Did you finish organizing the arrangements for my guests?"
As he munched on the sandwich, Luc carefully kept his eyes pinned to a point on Marcus' shoulder. "Yeah, it's already on your desk."
"Good. All the guests will be arriving tomorrow, and I appreciate the extra help in getting everybody situated."
"It wasn't a problem at all." Marcus had told him about the weekend party he was hosting, and the people he would be putting up for the weekend. So Luc had picked out the bedrooms where everybody would be staying, and their placements at the dinner table. Marcus had been fairly detailed about who went with whom, and whom to keep separated.
"I'll make sure Cook has your meals sent up to your room for the weekend. You'll want to stay away from the main hall for the duration and in your room, Luc. At least until the weekend is over."
Something in Marcus' tone made Luc glance back up at him. He couldn't read the bland expression, but the green eyes glittered faintly with a certain look. Luc didn't have a problem with remaining in his room, but he hadn't expected to be told to, and that was precisely what Marcus was telling him.
Simply nodding to him, Luc finished his sandwich and walked to the kitchen door to return to his bedroom. His thoughts were preoccupied as he headed back up the stairs and down the hall to his bedroom. Once back in his bed, it took Luc some time to fall asleep. When he did, a pair of dark green eyes haunted his dreams.