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The Tryst HTML version

“Mother, I want you to fire Dominique.”
Mary looked at her son as if he’d grown horns. It was a rare night, Joel not being out on the town.
Ever since the afternoon he and Allison had stumbled upon the suspiciously cozy scene of Dominique
and Derek with the children, something had been gnawing at Joel’s thoughts. It wasn’t jealousy he was
experiencing, not really. It was more of a desire to share more time out in public with Dominique. But
that couldn’t be done with her working as a maid in his home. It was time to make a few changes.
“I beg your pardon, Joel? What on earth did Dominique do to make you want her gone?”
Gliding his hand through his dark locks, Joel sighed. “She hasn’t done anything wrong, Mother.” Not
wishing to get into any details of his love life or his designs for a possible affair with Dominique, Joel
searched his words carefully. “I think she should be cut loose on society, as it were.” A grin flashed
across his handsome face, a quick nod of satisfaction to himself at his brilliance. “Dominique will not be
accepted by the ton if word gets out that she is an employee of ours. I wish to take her out more often
and not have to worry about all the snobs should they discover she’s not really a distant relative.”
“So you still wish to uphold a lie, just a different one? Is that it?”
“Why do mothers always make things more difficult?” Joel muttered. “It’s not really a lie, Mother. If
you think about it, we’re actually all related to each other, our greatest of great-grandparents being
Adam and his not so forthcoming wife, Eve.”
“Don’t get me started on who was to fault for that apple incident.”
“Nonetheless,” Joel continued with a grin, “you could sponsor her in society and no one would be
the wiser.”
“Except all of London once you decide you’ve had your fill of the poor girl and discard her like all
the others.”
“That wouldn’t happen,” Joel assured, “but even if it did, and who’s to say Dominique wouldn’t be
the one tossing me aside, it wouldn’t matter. We simply stick to the plan that she’s a distant cousin and
has decided to make her permanent residence in London. She already has a home and money, and we
would certainly pay her a handsome wage for severance.”
Mulling the idea over for a few moments, Mary finally acquiesced. “Your plan does employ a
certain sense of compassion, even if it is for your own self-serving purposes.”
“That’s a good mum. Thank you.”
“Hold on,” she replied, grabbing Joel by the arm as he started to leave the room, “not so fast. I shall
agree to your plan, but I certainly won’t be the one firing Dominique. You can handle that one on your
“Coward,” he muttered, the corners of his lips lifting in a half smile. “Very well then, I’ll talk to her
tomorrow. Good night, Mother.” He bent down and gave her a kiss on the cheek, whistling merrily as he
left the room.