Kim wasn’t entirely thrilled about the prospect of spending the next couple months sleeping on a futon on the floor, especially after being shown into the main house a short time later and seeing the ultra king-sized bed the convalescing Mr. Shimizu had in his room.
“Imai-san, Donovan-san is here,” the older housekeeper called softly, making Kim’s surname sound like Donoban
Kim felt an invisible punch to her midsection when the rock star sat up and turned toward her. Imai Shimizu was the most beautiful man she’d ever seen, painfully, perfectly beautiful in a way that no man should be. Long, gleaming black hair hung past his shoulders, and yet there was no doubt as to his masculinity. High cheekbones and a full, sensuous mouth balanced the firm line of his jaw, and his dark brows and eyes assessed her the way only a man can assess a woman.
As he looked her over, Kim found herself feeling every one of her thirty-six years and then some. She wasn’t obese, but she had pounds to spare and she knew she should have given herself a more up-to-date hairstyle than her tried and true long pageboy. She probably should have lightened the natural blond as well, and applied heavier, more model-like makeup than she normally wore for school. And maybe she should have chosen something more fashionable to wear than a staid charcoal pantsuit with a black silk tank beneath.
Imai raised a glass to his lips and took a long sip of the amber-colored liquid inside as he continued to eye Kim. The silence in the room started to feel heavy, making her more self-conscious and aware of his piercing stare. In an effort to be as professional as possible, she approached the bed and offered a short bow instead of a handshake.
Kim smiled. “Mr. Shimuzu, it’s nice to meet you.”
Instead of replying or smiling in return, the rock star looked over to the maid. He said a few words in Japanese, his deep, throaty voice adding another invisible punch to Kim’s stomach that almost made her whimper out loud. She had to go through Mandy’s CDs in the suitcases to see if she could find one of Imai’s group’s albums. If his singing voice was anywhere near as sexy as his speaking voice…
Mrs. Nimura gave the man a puzzled look and tried to say something in response, and Imai narrowed his eyes and gave the older woman such a scowl she stopped in mid-sentence. Kim wondered what was going on, the feeling in her stomach changing into something like dread.
“Is something wrong?” Kim asked, her eyes moving from Imai to the housekeeper.
The older woman’s gaze darted to the singer, then back to Kim. “Imai-san wishes you to know that his English is not fluent. He can understand a bit more than he is able to speak, but he feels this will be a difficult arrangement.”
“Oh.” Kim took a deep breath and smiled at them both. “Well, I’m sure we’ll work it out.” She noticed a prescribed medication on the nightstand next to the bottle of scotch. Walking over, she looked at the prescription bottle which had the dosage and medicine written in both English and Japanese. “No, no, no. We do not mix Percocet with booze.” She plucked the glass from Imai’s hand and took it and the bottle of liquor away, handing both to the housekeeper. “This is too dangerous. He can’t drink while on this medication. I don’t know why the doctor didn’t say anything.”
“He did,” Mrs. Nimura said softly.
Kim glanced at the rock star, who was even more pissed than he’d been, and yet he looked so damn good even with that scowl. He began to complain ‑‑ loudly ‑‑ in Japanese, not allowing his housekeeper to get a word in. Kim went back to the side of the bed and pointed to the small warning label on the medication bottle. “You cannot have alcohol.”
Imai glared, those attractive dark eyes of his both amazingly sexy and frightening at once. “Get. Out.”
“No,” Kim told him firmly. She looked at Mrs. Nimura. “Please tell him that I didn’t come five thousand miles to be sent home on the first day. I was hired to do this job, and I’ll do it. I’m a licensed nurse, and I will not sit by and watch my patient harm himself, even if he lives and breathes sex, drugs, and rock and roll.”
Imai had never cared much for American politics and countless other things, but he was quite drawn by the forthrightness of the American psyche and the self-assured attitude of their women in particular. Donovan-san looked back at him, and he made certain to keep his expression harsh as Nimura-san dutifully rattled off what the American had said, in addition to telling him ‑‑ again ‑‑ that he was cruel to play such a trick of not speaking English on this nice lady.
“Nice lady, my ass,” Imai hissed, amused by the look of chagrin on the housekeeper’s plump face. “After putting up with one shitty assistant and nurse after another, I think I have the right to do whatever the hell I want.”
Anne Cain & Barbara Sheridan