Chapter no 28

The Housemaid

We hardly talk during the drive back to the Island—Andrew turns on the radio and we listen to the DJ’s mindless chatter. It occurs to me that he mentioned a meeting later in the city, so he’s going to have to turn right back around soon after we get home. But the journey is not entirely for me. He is still wearing the same clothing he was wearing yesterday, and I’m sure he wants to change into a new suit before showing up at his meeting.

“Almost back,” he mumbles, when we exit the Long Island Expressway. He’s got on a pair of sunglasses, making his expression impossible to read.


My dress is riding up yet again—this damn dress is what caused all our problems. I tug at it, and even with his shades on, I can’t help but notice Andrew is looking again. I raise my eyebrows at him and he smiles sheepishly. “One more for the road.”

As we’re driving down a residential block, he swerves to get around a garbage truck. And that’s when a horrible thought occurs to me.

“Andrew,” I hiss. “I never put out the garbage last night!”


He doesn’t seem to quite be understanding the gravity of the situation. “Nina specifically texted me to put out the trash last night. I never did it because I wasn’t home. I’ve never forgotten before. If she finds out…”

He pulls off his sunglasses, revealing slightly bloodshot eyes. “Shit. Do you still have time to do it?”

I watch the garbage truck, which is traveling in the opposite direction of his house. “I doubt it. I think it’s too late. They come really early.”

“You could just say you forgot, right?” “You think Nina will buy that?”

“Shit,” he says again. He taps on the steering wheel. “Okay, I’ll take care of it. Don’t worry.”

The only way to take care of it is to lug all the trash down to the dump personally. I’m not even sure where the dump is, but the trunk of my Nissan is tiny, and it will take me several trips, wherever it is. So I truly hope Andrew means it when he says he’ll take care of it.

When we get back to the house, Andrew presses the button in his car that makes the gate doors swing open automatically. Enzo is working in our yard, and he jerks his head up when he sees the BMW making its way down the driveway. It’s unusual to see the BMW arriving home at this hour—it would make more sense for it to be leaving—so his surprise is warranted.

I should have ducked down, but it’s too late. Enzo pauses in the middle of his yard work, and his dark eyes meet mine. And he shakes his head, just like he did that first day.

Damn it.

Andrew notices him too, but he just raises his hand and waves like there’s nothing strange about him arriving home at 9:30 in the morning with a woman who is not his wife. Before pulling into the garage, he throws the car into the park.

“Let me see if Enzo can take care of the trash,” he says.

I want to beg him not to ask, but before I can get my mouth open, he’s leaped out of the car, leaving the door slightly ajar. Enzo takes a step back like he does not want to have this conversation.

Ciao, Enzo.” Andrew flashes the landscaper a broad smile. God, he looks handsome when he smiles. I close my eyes for a moment, shivering as I remember his hands all over my body last night. “I need your help.”

Enzo doesn’t say a word. He just stares at him.

“We have a problem with the garbage.” Andrew gestures at the four stuffed trash bags at the side of the house. “We forgot to put them out last night for the garbagemen. Do you think you could bring them out to the dump for us in your truck? I’ll give you fifty bucks.”

Enzo looks over at the garbage bags, then back at Andrew. He doesn’t say anything.

“Garbage…” Andrew repeats. “To… dump. Garbage dump. Capisci?”

Enzo shakes his head.

Andrew grits his teeth and takes out his wallet from his back pocket. “Get rid of the garbage for us. I’ll give you…” He digs around in his wallet. “One hundred dollars.” He fans out the bills in Enzo’s face. “Get rid of garbage. You have a truck. Take it to the garbage dump.”

Finally, Enzo says, “No. I busy.”

“Right, but this is our yard and…” Andrew lets out a sigh and goes back into his wallet. “Two hundred dollars. One trip to the garbage dump. Help me out. Please.”

At first, I think for sure Enzo is going to refuse again. But he reaches out and takes the bills from Andrew’s hand. Then he goes to the side of the house and grabs the garbage bags. He manages to get all of them in one trip as the muscles in his biceps bulge under his white T-shirt.

“Right,” Andrew says. “To the dump.”

Enzo just stares at him for a moment, then walks right past him with the garbage bags. Without another word, he

throws them into his truck and takes off. So I guess he got the message.

Andrew strides back over to the car and slides back into the driver’s seat. “Well, that’s taken care of. But sheesh, what an asshole.”

“I didn’t think he understood you.”

“Yeah, right.” He rolls his eyes at me. “He understands more than he lets on. He was just holding out for more money.”

I agree that Enzo did not seem to want to take out the garbage, but I don’t think it was because he wanted more money.

“I don’t like that guy,” Andrew grumbles. “He works on all the houses in the neighborhood, but he spends a third of his time in our yard. He’s always out there. I don’t even know what the hell he’s doing half the time.”

“You do have the biggest house on the block,” I point out. “And the biggest lawn.”

“Right, but…” Andrew stares at Enzo’s truck, disappearing down the street. “I don’t know. I told Nina to get rid of him and hire somebody else, but she says everybody uses him and he’s apparently ‘the best.’”

Of course, Enzo isn’t my favorite person ever since he not-so-subtly rejected me, but that’s not why he makes me so uncomfortable. I can’t forget the way he hissed the Italian word for “danger” at me on my first day here. The way he seems scared to defy Nina, even though he’s large enough to crush her with one hand. Does Andrew have any clue how wary Enzo is of his wife?

Well, I’m not going to be the one to tell him.

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