Chapter no 32

The Housemaid's Secret (The Housemaid, Book 2)

I tell him everything. Every last detail of Douglas’s abuse and Wendy’s escape.

I promised Wendy I wouldn’t tell anyone, but Enzo isn’t anyone. He gets it. He and I worked side by side helping women like Wendy. If there is any human being in the entire world I can trust to tell the story to, it is him.

It takes me nearly to my front door before I get to the end of the story. Enzo hasn’t said much. That’s typical for him though. I’ve never met such an intense listener. I often appreciate how he makes me feel so heard. But at the same time, it drives me nuts when I can’t tell what he’s thinking.

“So,” I finally say after I describe dropping Wendy off at the motel and driving back to the city, “that’s that. She’s safe now.”

Enzo is still quiet. “Maybe,” he finally says. “Not maybe. She is.”

“This man, Douglas Garrick,” he says. “He is a powerful and dangerous man. I don’t think it will be this easy.”

“You’re just saying that because I did it without you. You don’t believe I can do this without you.”

He pulls up onto the street in front of my apartment building. The street is completely quiet and dark except for a lone man on the corner who is smoking something that probably isn’t a cigarette. When I look at this street, I can see why Enzo felt compelled to protect me, even though I still don’t believe I needed it.

He turns to look me in the eyes. “I believe you can do anything,” he says quietly. “But, Millie, I am just saying… be careful.”

“Wendy is very careful.”

“No.” His dark eyes bore into me. “You be careful. She is gone, but you are still here.”

I understand what he is saying. If Douglas gets an inkling that I was involved with his wife’s disappearance, he could make things very difficult for me. But I’m ready for him. I’ve dealt with worse men than him and come out ahead.

“I’ll be careful,” I tell him. “It’s not your responsibility to worry about me anymore. So you don’t need to protect me.”

“So who will? Broccoli?”

My face burns. “Actually, I don’t need either of you to protect me. When that asshole attacked me in my building, I took care of myself very nicely. So don’t worry about me. If you’re worried about anyone, you should worry about Douglas Garrick’s safety—from me.”

“Well,” he says, “that too.”

We stare at each other for a moment. I wish he hadn’t left me and gone back to Italy. If that hadn’t happened, he could’ve helped me with Wendy. He could have told me his reservations earlier so we could have addressed them. He could’ve helped her to get a new ID so that she could have more options.

And I’d be going home with him tonight, instead of Broccoli. I mean,


“I better go,” I say.

He nods slowly. “Okay.”

I unbuckle my seatbelt, although I feel reluctant to get out of the car. “You need to stop following me.”


“I mean it.” I glare at him. “I’m dating someone else right now. You’re stalking me. It’s creepy, and it’s unnecessary. You need to stop. Or else… I’ll have to call the police or something.”

“I said okay.” He places a hand on his chest. He’s wearing a T-shirt under his light jacket, and I can sadly still make out all the muscles underneath. “I give you my word. No more watching.”


I won’t be getting that creepy sensation anymore that somebody is watching me. I have officially solved the mystery of the black Mazda with the cracked headlight, and this car will not be bothering me ever again. I

should feel relieved, but I don’t. If anything, I feel even more uneasy. I had a guardian angel, and I didn’t even know it.

“Anyway…” I open up the passenger’s side door. “I guess this is goodbye.”

I start to get out of the car, but then Enzo’s hand encircles my forearm. I turn to look at him, and his dark eyebrows are bunched together. “I still have the same phone number,” he tells me. “You need me, you call. I will be there.”

I try to force a smile, but it doesn’t quite materialize. “I won’t need you.

You should… like, find another girlfriend. I mean it.”

He releases my arm, but that frown is still on his lips. “You call. I will wait.”

It’s maddening how certain he seems that I will call him. If there’s one thing he should know about me, it’s that I am capable of taking care of myself. Sometimes a bit too well.

But as I’m walking up the steps to the third floor of my building, a terrible feeling mounts in the pit of my stomach. What if Enzo is right? What if I did underestimate Douglas Garrick? After all, he is a truly terrible man based on everything I have seen. And on top of that, he is incredibly rich.

It can’t possibly be that easy for Wendy to get away from him, can it? When Enzo and I used to help women get away from their abusive spouses, we planned it out so meticulously, and even then, we would sometimes be found out. I have a feeling Douglas is smarter than many of the other men we’ve dealt with. Even though I know now he wasn’t the one in the car following me, he may have other ways of keeping tabs on his wife.

What if he knew exactly what we were planning tonight?

The thought hits me like a ton of bricks as I reach that landing for the third floor. Much like the street, the third floor of my building is completely silent. And even if Enzo is lingering outside—even though I made him promise not to—he can’t help me in here.

I stare at the closed door to my apartment. There’s a deadbolt inside, but I can’t lock that when I am leaving for the day. The lock on the door is almost pathetically easy to pick. Even I could probably do it. But I was never bothered by it, because I have nothing worth stealing.

If someone wanted to get into my apartment, it would be far too easy.

The keys to my door are in my right hand, but I hesitate before fitting them into the lock. What if Douglas really is one step ahead of me? What if he is waiting inside my apartment, ready to persuade me to give Wendy’s location away by any means necessary?

Wherever Enzo is, he could not have gotten far. I have his number programmed into my phone—I never deleted it. I could call him and ask him to come into the apartment with me, just to make sure it’s safe.

Of course, after that speech I made about how I don’t need him, it would involve swallowing my pride. But I’ve done plenty of that in my lifetime. What’s one more time?

I clench the keys in my fist. I need to make a decision.

I push away my nagging doubts and fit the key into the lock. As it turns, my heart thuds in my chest, but I push the door open.

For a second, I almost expect something to jump out at me. I curse myself for not having my mace ready to go. But when I get inside, everything is quiet. Nobody is waiting for me. Nobody jumps out at me. Nobody is here at all.

“Hello?” I call out. As if the intruder is sitting around, waiting for a proper greeting.

There’s no answer. I’m alone in this apartment. Maybe Douglas will put it all together, but it hasn’t happened yet.

So I close the door to the apartment behind me and I lock the deadbolt.

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