The Married Billionaire's Surrogate

By: Kalissa Lewis

Chapter 1

It seemed to her like yesterday when her mother had said, “Never give yourself to a married man”. And Alicia Balfe had lived her life by that motto for over twenty-two years now. She was a quiet girl, always keeping away from trouble. Always listening to her superiors. Always bowing her head when it was required of her. That had happened when she was called to the principal’s office in elementary school and had been punished for something she hadn’t done. That same thing had happened when the girls in high school had degraded her and had looked down on her, because her purse hadn’t been as shiny as theirs. Because her skin was the color of dark chocolate.

Yes. That was the life of Alicia Balfe. Now that same Alicia Balfe was down on her knees scrubbing the floor of the Wyatt mansion, drops of sweat flowing down her neck and dust getting stuck on her eyelashes. She sighed and threw the brown cloth, which was bought as a yellow one, into the bucket filled with a liquid the color of mud. Standing up, she straightened her back feeling a sharp pain in her ribs and brought the bucket to the sink.

Rays of sunlight fell on her through the tall glass windows in the kitchen and she knew it would be another warm spring day. At least for the Wyatt family to enjoy as she never dared to ask for free hours during the working week.

“Oh, that’s my jam,” she said and started humming the rock tune that came up on the small radio put on the counter. It was an 80’s number one hit and she loved it. What she also loved was the tickling soap on her fingers while she was washing the bucket in the sink and the quietness of the kitchen, which gave her time to get lost in her thoughts of far away places and childish memories.

The microwave ticked announcing that the bacon was done and she abandoned the bucket. After washing her hands she went to fetch it nearly slipping on the newly washed floor and smiled to herself, once again realizing how clumsy she was in big places. As a matter of fact, the kitchen was as big as the whole block back where she had lived, it seemed to her, with cream walls adorned with a couple of pictures from well-known artists depicting exotic foods. The equipment was state of the art, from the floor-to-ceiling fridge to the super hot stove. She felt blessed to have a chance to cook in a place like that.

However, a sudden sound disturbed her little kingdom. The chair from the dining room creaked as it was being pulled on the expensive marble floor. Leaving her work in the sink unfinished, Alicia ran toward the living room which together with the dining room made the spacious salon of the mansion, fearing possible burglary or even worse – Mrs. Elizabeth Wyatt.

It turned out that the worse fear was standing in all of its glory, nervously tapping her heels on the floor like she expected the whole world to stop spinning and answer her needs. She wore her light brown hair in a bun. Her dress of fine purple silk decorated with soft patches of lace smoothly falling above her knees. For some reason she looked rather on edge to Alicia that morning.

“What can I do for you Mrs. Wyatt?” She asked, still panting.

“Stand up and take these bags, lazy maid, for starters. I’ve had enough of lazy people for today,” Elizabeth crossly told her and watched as Alicia picked up the bags and carried them up the stairs to the bedroom.

By the time she neatly unpacked the clothes, ordering them on the bed and came down to the living room, Elizabeth had sat on the leather sofa. An empty glass was casually dangling from her hand and Alicia hurried to fill it with red wine, her mistress’s favorite, especially when she was ill-tempered like today.

“Anything else, madam?” Alicia offered, slightly curtsying.

“Get out of my sight!” She coldly replied without even looking at her and Alicia obeyed. She quickly headed in the direction of the kitchen, her eyes fixed on the floor. Her mind raced to catch up with the cold words which hurt her, even though she was used to hearing them almost every day.

She wondered when the crying had stopped. This was a situation when she would normally find herself crying over the unwashed dishes a year or two ago. But not anymore. Now it was that empty feeling in her gut every time they treated her like someone who was born to serve them and be there to listen to their insults because it made them feel good. It was a satisfaction to show off their power before the ones too weak to fight back like herself.

Deafened by her loud mind, she didn’t notice the front door opening. Suddenly, she bumped into a tall figure dressed in a silver suit. “Boss… Mister…I-I…” she mumbled, shocked to see Steven Wyatt’s wide smile above her head. He gently pulled her aside, winking at her and then joined his wife before the fireplace.

Alicia was already in the kitchen when she heard Elizabeth speaking, “Remind me, Steven, why we hired that girl. A cat has eaten her tongue recently, I see.”

“Oh, leave her be, Lizzy. Can you imagine having the whole house on your back? Or you can scrub floors all day long and I don’t know about that?” Steven was sharp and tiredness was felt in his deep, masculine voice. He sounded like that every time his company was facing hard times; Alicia knew that.

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