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The Confession

The Confession

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Would a billionaire’s son ever fall for his maid?
Maybe in a fairytale.
But in real life? I’m not holding my breath.

Main Tropes

  • Billionaire
  • Boy Next Door
  • Forgotten Memory
  • Fake Boyfriend Moments
  • Steamy-Clean Kisses
  • Forced Proximity
  • He Takes Care of Her When She’s Sick
  • Accidental Text

Synopsis

Would a billionaire’s son ever fall for his maid?
Maybe in a fairytale.
But in real life? I’m not holding my breath.

I’ve always been invisible to Nash Hastings—the beautiful boy I’ve been in love with since one magical night last summer.

A night he doesn’t even remember.

Until an accidental text puts it back on his radar.

But I can’t tell him the girl he met at his family’s garden party is now a housekeeper in his family’s mansion.

Because if he knew it was me he was texting, the fairytale would be over.

I’m no princess and don’t belong in his world.

If only my heart knew its place.

Chapter One Look Inside

“Ready for the first day at your new summer job?” my mom asked when I walked into the kitchen of our small cottage on Friday morning.

“I guess so.” I stepped up to the counter where she was pouring her cup of coffee. “I just hope my boss is nice.”

“Nice?” Mom asked, her brown eyes sparkling. “I don’t think you have anything to worry about there. In fact, I have a feeling that she’ll be the best boss you’ve ever had.” 

“Pretty sure that’s debatable.” I shrugged as I grabbed a blueberry bagel to put in the air fryer to toast. “I mean, she is making me work the morning after my high school graduation. What kind of boss would ask something like that of an eighteen-year-old?”

“The kind of boss that has a huge graduation party to set up for the teenage sons of her billionaire bosses and needs all the help she can get.” 

Did I mention that my mom was the head of staff for the Hastings family—the seventh richest family in the United States—and had just hired me as one of the household maids?

Because yeah…her job was exactly why we currently lived in the two-bedroom cottage on the Hastings’ thousand-acre property.

Had I always dreamed of cleaning the bedrooms and bathrooms of the family I’d lived next door to when I graduated from high school? Not exactly. But culinary school was expensive, and since the Hastings family actually paid a decent wage, I couldn’t turn the position down when my mom had a maid go on maternity leave for the summer and needed someone to fill the temporary opening.

“I guess pleasing your billionaire bosses is a good reason,” I said. “Even if I had to leave my own grad night early in order to get enough sleep for today. We can’t have a tiki torch or inflatable slide out of place for tonight’s party, can we?”

“Not on my watch.” Mom added a splash of half-and-half to her coffee. Then looking at me, she said, “But I thought you said you didn’t mind leaving your party early.”

“I was kidding.” I smirked at my mom as I shut the air fryer door and hit the bagel button. “Two hours was more than enough time at that party.” 

If it hadn’t been for my best friend, Alessi, dragging me there, I probably wouldn’t have even gone in the first place. 

My senior year at the local high school hadn’t exactly been “the best year ever.”

But I guess that was to be expected when you date a college boy for six weeks only to discover six weeks too late that he already had a girlfriend and you were unknowingly the “other woman” in their relationship.

Yeah…that happened. Hazard of being new in town, I guess. 

And since Tristan’s real girlfriend also happened to be the most popular girl at Sherman High with lots of friends happy to avenge her honor…it had been a rough senior year, to say the least.

Stupid Tristan for being hot, older, and way too charming for anyone’s good.

And stupid me for falling for the smooth-talking players who always broke my heart.

I kept telling myself that someday I might actually find a way to date a guy who was sweet and considerate—someone who actually treated girls right.

But since guys like that never paid attention to me—for more than a few hours, at least—I wasn’t holding my breath.

A memory of a brief encounter from last summer flashed through my mind, but I quickly chased it away. Thinking about that night would only make me crazy.

Because while the guy from that night—the one with ocean-blue eyes and a heart-stopping smile—had seemed to be the sweet and caring sort when we’d spent a magical evening together, in the end, he was just like all the other guys with short attention spans.

Like a baby who hadn’t developed object permanence yet. 

They’d give you all of their attention when you were right in front of them and make you feel like the princess in a fairytale. But once the clock struck twelve and you were out of their sight, it was like they forgot you even existed.

Even if you lived right across the backyard from them.

* * *

“Can you grab the extra folding table from the main laundry room?” Mom asked me after directing the other staff members on where to place the tables already outside on the terrace. “We had to bring an extra table in there yesterday when we were ironing the linens.”

“Sure,” I said. Then glancing at the big round tables already outside and thinking they looked rather heavy, I asked, “Do you think I’ll be able to carry it myself?”

“It’s one of the buffet tables,” Mom said. “It’s pretty light, so I think you’ll be able to manage.”

“Okay.” I sighed, slightly anxious about just walking into the Hastings’ house like I belonged there. Usually when I came over here, my mom or another staff member let me in the door.

What if someone from the family was in that part of the house?

Would they think I’d broken in? 

For security measures, the family members were always introduced to each person who joined the staff—that way they’d know whether to call their security team if a random stranger showed up in a staff uniform.

A family worth as much money as them dealt with opportunists every once in a while and could never be too careful.

But since today was a busy day for everyone, I hadn’t been given the usual staff orientation that my mom always gives the Hastings’ employees. 

Mom noticed me stalling. Seeming to understand my hesitation, she said, “Just go through the staff entrance over there.” She pointed to a large white door that led into the section of the house where the chef’s kitchen and laundry room were located. “I told Mrs. Hastings that you’d be filling in for Cynthia. It’s okay for you to do your job, Kiara.”

“Okay.” After drawing in a deep breath, I headed inside the house.

The air conditioning hit me when I walked through the staff entryway. I’d been in here with my mom several times before and knew that if I continued down the long hallway with marble floors and high ceilings, I’d find the chef’s kitchen behind the first door on the right. And just a few feet down the hall from that was the door that led into the laundry room where I would supposedly find the buffet table.

I turned the brass doorknob. After peeking inside to make sure none of the Hastings’ family members were randomly in there, I opened the door the rest of the way. The main laundry room was huge, about five times the size of ours at the cottage. It had a long marble island where the folding took place, three washer-and-dryer sets, several ironing stations, and walls lined with cupboards where the family’s extra tablecloths, towels, bedding, and other linens were stored.

I glanced around the room with the morning sunlight shining through the wall of windows, and a second later, my eyes landed on the long table my mom had sent me in here to grab.

It was still set up, so I would need to tip it on its side to push in the legs before I could carry it out the door. But just then, a male voice sounded through a crack in the door opposite the one I’d come in.

I turned to look at the door that led into the main house and saw that it was partway open. One of the other maids must have forgotten to shut it earlier.

“Is your freshman fan club coming to our party tonight?” a deep voice that I recognized as belonging to Carter Hastings came from the kitchen.

Carter was the second oldest Hastings boy, one of their two eighteen-year-old sons who would be honored at the graduation party tonight. And from the question that he just asked, I assumed he was talking to his slightly younger half-brother Nash.

My guess was confirmed a second later when Nash’s tenor voice said, “I’m sure most of them will be coming. I invited everyone from the drama program, anyway.”

Nash was one of the stars of the drama program at the fancy prep school that the Hastings teens attended. He’d played the Phantom in the academy’s musical presentation of The Phantom of the Opera this past winter and had done such a great job that he’d been offered scholarships to Yale, Berkeley, and Boston College because of it.

Yeah…he was talented. 

“You ever going to tell them that their chances of dating you are about zero out of one hundred?” Carter asked, most likely referencing the pack of fifteen-year-old girls I’d seen following Nash around their backyard a few weeks ago. “Or are you planning to allow them to continue thinking that you’re actually going to choose one of them to be your summer fling before you head off to university?”

“I don’t know,” Nash said. “I was thinking I’d just let each girl think I would've picked her if the school year hadn’t ended so fast and I wasn’t going to Yale in the fall.”

Carter chuckled. “I guess that’s one way to do it. String them along for four months, and then ghost them when summer comes.”

“I wasn’t trying to string them along,” Nash said, and I imagined him running his fingers through his golden locks, giving it the tousled look I loved on him. “I mean, they all knew I wasn’t looking for a girlfriend.” After a short pause, he added, “It’s not my fault I’m so charming.”

There was a sarcastic note to his voice, so I knew he wasn’t saying it out of arrogance and was merely joking.

But as I was one of those girls who had noticed how charming Nash was, I couldn’t really fault anyone else for falling for it, too.

And because I hadn’t seen him since Sunday morning and was apparently experiencing withdrawals, I set the corner of the table that I’d mindlessly held in the air for the past minute back on its legs and tiptoed over to the door to see if I could get a peek at Nash through the crack.

A moment later, my gaze found the two Hastings boys standing on either side of the kitchen island.

Carter sat on a stool, wearing a navy-blue suit and tie—most likely the outfit he planned to wear to their graduation ceremony this morning. Nash stood on the other side of the island with his back to me, wearing a teal T-shirt and shorts.

From behind, Nash and Carter were nearly identical with the same blond hair, broad shoulders, and athletic builds. The only real difference between them being that Carter was slightly taller—though Nash seemed to be narrowing that gap this year since he was an inch or two above six feet now. 

The boys looked pretty similar from the front angle as well, definitely brothers with their dad’s genetics seemingly stronger than the genes they got from their different moms.

But even though they were both cute, Nash’s aqua-blue eyes had always been just a little kinder.

He had a light to him that I didn’t know if I’d ever seen someone have.

“Just don’t come complaining to me when they all start crying as they’re saying their goodbyes at the end of the night.” Carter leaned against the back of his stool and picked up a blueberry from his yogurt parfait. “I told you back in February that you needed to stop encouraging your little harem.”

“My harem?” Nash chuckled and shook his head. “Now that’s a way to make it sound way more exciting than it actually is.”

“You can thank Ava for that nickname.” Carter smirked at his brother. 

“Yeah, well…” Nash leaned forward and set his bowl onto the marble counter. “Not all of us can be so lucky to have a beautiful Cohen twin as our girlfriend. Sometimes we just need a bunch of freshman girls to cheer us up.”

“And did they cheer you up?” Carter arched an eyebrow.

“I guess.” Nash shrugged his broad shoulders. “I mean, if you’re asking if I’m over Elyse, then yes. I finally got over her.”

He had a crush on Elyse? 

Elyse was the identical twin sister to Carter’s girlfriend, Ava, and one of the girls who had moved into the house next door this winter.

When I’d seen her play Christine in the musical, opposite Nash, I’d already been jealous of her since I’d sell my soul to have Nash look at me the way he’d looked at her during their performance.

I’d eventually made myself feel better about that by convincing myself that he had only looked at her that way because he was an amazing actor.

But apparently, it hadn’t all been an act.

He’d had a crush on her at one time, at least. Possibly while they were in the musical together.

And if Elyse Cohen—a statuesque brunette who looked like she could walk the runway at one of her famous fashion designer mother’s shows—was his type, then there was little chance that he would ever be attracted to someone like me since I was basically the opposite of that.

I mean, I wasn’t an ogre or anything. I liked how I looked well enough when I caught my dirty-blonde-haired, brown-eyed reflection in the mirror. 

But my affinity for baking, paired with the genetics I’d gotten from my Latina mother, had given my hips enough width that my booty would definitely stick out like a sore thumb among the rail-thin models if I ever accidentally found myself on a runway.

Nash picked up his bowl again and rinsed it out in the sink. After putting it in the dishwasher, he said to his brother, “I guess I better change into my suit, so I don’t miss our graduation.”

“You better hurry,” Carter said. “Because we’re supposed to be there an hour early, and I know how long it takes you to fix your hair.”

Nash chuckled before glancing back at Carter. “We both know who spends an hour in front of the mirror every morning making sure every hair is in the exact right place.”

I didn’t get to hear Carter’s response because it was then that I realized where Nash was going. Instead of heading up the grand staircase just outside the kitchen like I expected, he was walking toward the laundry room instead.

And if I didn’t move right now, he would hit me in the face with the door and discover that I’d just been eavesdropping on them.

So with my heart jumping into my throat, I quickly dashed back to the table I was supposed to be retrieving. I was setting the table on its side and trying to figure out how to get its legs to fold under when the door swung open and Nash stepped into the room.

“Oh, h-hey.” He stepped back, startled. “I didn’t realize anyone was in here.”

“Yeah, hi.” I glanced over my shoulder, my face growing hot as I worried he would somehow know I had just been spying on him and his brother. “My mom wanted me to take this table outside.” 

I pushed on the table legs again so it would look like I was actually trying to do my job, but I must not have been strong enough, or was doing something wrong, because they refused to budge.

Thanks for letting me look like an idiot in front of Nash today.

“I asked one of the housekeepers to iron my shirt this morning,” Nash’s voice said from closer behind me. “I’ll just grab it and get out of your way.”

When I turned to look at him again, he was walking toward a rack in the corner with a couple of dress shirts and a navy-blue suit.

He pulled the first shirt off the rack and checked the size as if to make sure it was his and not his dad’s or one of his brothers’. When he looked up again, I realized I was staring at him, so I cast my gaze at the table with my hands on my hips.

“Did you need help with those legs?” Nash asked, seeming to realize I had no idea how to do the job my mom asked me to do.

“Yeah. They seem to be stuck,” I said.

I assumed that the son of a billionaire had moved a table like this probably about as many times as I had, since he was the one with the huge staff that ran his household. But after putting his shirt back on the rack, he stepped up beside me and said, “I think we just move this part first.” He pointed to a little metal rectangle that I hadn’t noticed on the folding mechanism. “And then…” He slid the metal piece out and stomped on the folding mechanism. “You just do this.”

The table leg folded in immediately, and before I could try to take over the other side, he had the second leg folded in.

“How did you know how to do that?” I asked, slightly in awe, and yeah, also thinking the way he’d just done that was hot in a “man who knows how to fix things” sort of way.

He shrugged. “We had a table like this on set for the last play I was in, so I got lots of practice moving it on and off the stage and storing it away.”

“Cast members have to help with the stage-crew stuff, too?” I asked.

“We do try to make ourselves useful sometimes.” He gave me one of his dazzling smiles. I knew it was stupid to feel faint and dazed when all he’d done was to be friendly, but…wow. He really was gorgeous when he smiled like that.

Okay, he was gorgeous even without the smile. Nash Hastings was movie-star and sun-kissed, male-model hot. But since this smile was just for me and not one of the girls in his harem, it did funny things to my stomach and made me want to find a way to get him to smile at me like that all day.

It was probably ridiculous for me to have a crush on a guy I didn’t actually know all that well. 

Aside from a party last summer, the extent of our interactions over the past year that I’d lived here could all fit in a ten-minute time span. Hellos and head nods didn’t take more than a few seconds each.

But sometimes it was better to pine for someone from a distance. To see him from your bedroom window at night or hear him laughing with his friends when you were sitting on your front porch, just imagining what it would be like to be the person he was laughing with. 

It was when you got to know someone better that the rose-colored glasses started to fade away and you discovered little flaws or quirks that made them more human and less fantasy.

And I wanted to keep this fantasy going for as long as I could. Because even if all of our interactions were surface level and had the distance expected of the billionaire heir and the head of staff’s daughter, it at least made it possible to keep the magic I’d imagined last summer alive.

Our unfamiliarity helped me believe that if he actually got to know me, he’d act the same as he had when we’d met in the woods behind his house.

If I confronted him about why he didn’t seem to remember that night or recognize me the next day, but then possibly got a response that I didn’t like, it would only make it harder to pretend that that night meant as much to him as it had to me.

“Does this just go on the terrace with all the other tables?” Nash asked, bringing me back to the present.

“Just outside the dining room doors, I think.”

“Perfect.”

And before I knew it, he was carrying the table out of the laundry room.

“Oh, you don’t need to do that,” I said, chasing after him once I realized what was going on. “That was supposed to be my job.”

“It’s okay,” he said, glancing over his shoulder briefly. “It’s my party. I should help out at least a little.”

“It’s my first day on the job, though,” I said, catching up and trying to take the table from him. “I don’t want everyone to think I’m lazy and got the job because my mom hired me.”

“Oh you’re working here?” He stopped momentarily when we were back in the hall that led outside.

“Just for the summer.” I tucked some hair behind my ear. “I’m filling in for Cynthia while she has her baby.”

“Oh cool.”

“Yeah…” Did he know who Cynthia was? 

Probably not.

He didn’t seem to be making the connection that I’d be cleaning his room this summer, anyway.

Seeing where he slept.

And showered.

Picking up on more of the pieces of his personality and what was important to him in a way that I hadn’t been able to discover from a distance.

Noticing that his bedroom light always turned off before Carter’s was about all the insight I had, because though my room was across the backyard from his, I couldn’t actually see that far into his bedroom.

Not that I’d tried.

That hard…

I promise Im not a creepy stalker!

“Is your graduation today, too, then?” Nash started carrying the table down the hall toward the terrace again.

“It was yesterday.” I stepped quickly after him to keep up.

“Nice.”

“Did you go to a party or anything afterward?” he asked. “Because this has to be an early morning for you, if you did.”

“I went for a couple of hours,” I said, slipping in front of him so I could open the door to the terrace. “But since I have work today, I was okay leaving early.”

I thought about telling him how being around my graduating class wasn’t exactly the best of times. But then we made it to where the other staff members were putting the tablecloths on the big round tables. 

Nash looked around like he wasn’t sure what to do, so I held my hand out for the table instead and said, “Here, I can take that from you now. Thanks for carrying it out for me.”

“No problem.”

We each took a step toward each other, and as he transferred the table to me, I caught a slight whiff of his cologne.

Does he smell this good all the time? I wondered as I sucked in another breath.

Because, um…no wonder he always had his harem following him around. If I didn’t already have a crush on him, I would have been hooked from his scent alone. 

It was a woody and spicy scent that made me think of cuddling next to someone you loved by the fireplace or afternoon walks in the woods.

It probably reminded me of those things because my dad’s cologne had been similar, and those were things he and my mom had always done together before we had to leave him and our life back in Florida.

“Is something wrong?” Nash asked, breaking me from the memories of my past life. When I looked at the concerned expression on his face, I realized I must have zoned out for a moment too long.

I cleared my throat. “Yeah, sorry.” I nodded, forcing a smile. “I—um—” I shook my head. “Y-your cologne just reminded me of someone.”

“Who?” He arched an eyebrow. “Your boyfriend?”

“No…”

“Ex-boyfriend then?”

“No.” Tristan’s cologne had not smelled nearly this good. “Just someone I haven’t seen in a long time.”

Is he trying to see if I’m single?

I chased that thought away. He was just making polite conversation.

But since I didn’t know how much my mom had told Mr. and Mrs. Hastings about why we had to leave Florida, or why we never really brought up my dad to anyone, I just left it at that.

“Well,” Nash said, running his fingers through his golden blond hair as he looked around the busy terrace, “I should probably change into my suit before I’m late for my own graduation.”

“Of course, yeah,” I said, not knowing why my cheeks were suddenly flushing. “Have fun graduating today.”

Have fun graduating today? Why had I said that? Graduations were always boring.

“Thanks,” he said. And since he was polite, he didn’t look at me like I was an idiot.

He turned and headed toward the door that led into his family’s dining room. As I carried the table over to the place my mom had instructed, I just hoped that Nash would somehow forget any of the embarrassing things I’d done or said so I could hopefully keep from being remembered as the idiot who didn’t know how to disassemble a folding table.

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