Hired Help

Claimer: All things written here and the characters in this story are property of Felice Cariaso.

Hey guys! Here's the second chapter...sorry it took so long! ^_^

Previously on Hired Help:

"What happened?" Warren asked when he saw Steve put the phone down.

"She's not there. Mandy's gone," Steve answered, his grey eyes looking vacant.

Chapter 2: Paid Seeker

Mandy drove on, past the border of California. She refused to think of what happened back home; she refused to go back home. She cheered herself up by blaring her car's sound system on; drowning in whatever song the radio had to offer. However, she couldn't stop her brain from recalling what just happened; she pushed her brain not to think of it, 'I will not break down, I will not break down! Don't think of him, don't even start, Amanda. Just don't!'

Mandy cleared her brain of 'evil' thoughts; she decided to think of something else, something better. And then she was finally able to haul out a happy thought from her brain; she was on her way to build a new life for herself, on her own.

Or so she thought.

* * *

"I don't believe this! She just suddenly went away, without thinking of the consequences it may bring," Steve continued, his eyes shining with anger.

"You mean the consequences it may bring you," Warren corrected. "Look, why don't you just send someone to find her for you?" he suggested.

"I suppose you're right. But where do I find someone who can look for her?"

"Please, Steve, this is the reason you have money, to use it for your own purposes. Hire someone, for Pete's sake!" Warren looked at Steve disbelievingly and then slapped his forehead while thinking, 'For someone with lots of money, he can be so thickheaded at times.' Warren held in a snicker and just stared at Steve's reaction to his suggestion.

"That's a good idea! I'll go call my secretary to find us the person who can serve me best," Steve exclaimed, happy that he finally got an idea to find Mandy. He was determined to find Mandy at all costs; after all, he had money to spend, so the cost doesn't really matter. He fished for his cellular phone in his pocket and dialed the number in his office, "Hello, Ella? Oh, Stella, right...umm...I need you to look for someone..."

* * *

Steve waited impatiently in the restaurant where he was supposed to meet the man he hired to look for Mandy. 'Good grief! Where is that guy? What's taking him so long? It's not like I have all day.' The bell rang as someone entered the front door, and Steve turned to see if it was his expected companion.

A man of Steve's height entered the restaurant, his boy-cut black hair standing out almost immediately despite his all-black ensemble. He took off his black leather coat revealing a tight, black turtle neck long- sleeved shirt and looking down; there were his black pants which showed off his long legs. Women in the restaurant sat there gaping at the man by the door. Then, he removed his shades, as if oblivious to the unexpected audience eyeing him; his dark blue orbs searching for the man who he was suppose to meet. The man's eyes finally rested on Steve, and he went up to Steve's table.

Steve stood up from his chair, about to ask the man if he was the man he hired to look for his girlfriend, but the man apparently beat him to it.

"Mr. Richwell, I am Bobby Krueger and I am your paid seeker," Bobby introduced while taking Steve's hand to shake. His dark blue eyes took on a business look just as soon as Steve shook his hand. His appearance may be that of a 'pretty boy' but his eyes conveyed the mercenary within, ready to face business head-on.

Steve nodded and smiled, "Please, just call me Steve, I insist." He offered Bobby the seat in front of him, and Bobby muttered a 'thank you' and then Steve sat himself down.

As Bobby sat down he looked at Steve as if he has grown an extra head, "Mr. Richwell, this is a job, and I don't think it proper for me to call you or you to call me on a first name basis."

Steve nodded, "Of course, of course, we are not here to be friends. Business, it is, then." Steve reached inside the jacket pocket of his suit and got out a picture and handed it to Bobby, "This is my girlfriend, Amanda Lewinsted, the one you are to look for."

Bobby studied the picture and looked at Amanda's face smiling at him, her light brown eyes shining with laughter and mirth, her rosy lips puckered in a heartfelt smile, all in all, it was picture perfect. Bobby finally looked up from the picture and faced Steve, "Do you have an idea where she might be headed to?"

"I'm afraid not, Amanda's not really the type who would go to her parents or other relatives for help. Besides, if she was like that, she would never have the chance to leave California because all her family and friends live here. She was born and raised here; she has lived here all her life, and because of that, I just don't know where to start looking for her," Steve answered; his grey eyes desperate.

"Well, Mr. Richwell, that's why I'm here, I'm paid to do the searching for you," Bobby assured Steve.

Steve looked at Bobby seriously, and when he spoke, his voice was just as serious, "Yeah, that's right. Just make sure you do your job right."

"I sure will. Just make sure you pay me right," Bobby said with the same tone of voice as Steve.

Steve laughed and then stood up, giving his hand out to Bobby once more. Bobby stood up and took Steve's hand and they shook hands as if they have just signed business deal, well, they did have a business deal, just not the sort ordinary businessmen do.

Steve walked on ahead, while Bobby put on his coat and his sunglasses, once again catching the attention of the women in the restaurant. Bobby just brushed off the attention once more and walked out of the restaurant.

Then, they went on their separate ways. One was on his way home, ready to rest after a long day, and one was on his way to start his job.

* * *

Steve parked his Jaguar in the driveway past dinnertime already, so it was already dark out. He stepped out of his car, all worn-out, and headed straight for his house, determined to go to his room and jump into bed. He rushed inside as soon as Rosa opened the door, so he didn't hear what Rosa was saying. He just wanted to lie down and rest.

He opened the door of his room and treaded inside, diving right for his bed. Until someone turned the lights on, Steve groaned and laid with his back facing upward, his face squished by the pillow and his hand pounded on the bed, "Hey! Turn the lights off; I want to go to sleep!"

A sultry, seductive voice answered, "My, my, someone sure is grouchy today. So, did you find your overly emotional girlfriend already?"

Steve turned on his back and his eyes landed on a woman, a woman who was just as sultry and seductive as her voice. She was shorter than Amanda, about 5'7'' but she wore high heels to add to her height, and she had flaming red hair, matching her green eyes and her dark red lips. The woman wore a skimpy blue outfit around a body that was to die for; the skirt was well above her knees and left little to the imagination. He let out another groan, "What are you doing here, Rachel?"

Rachel smiled a knowing smile and shook her index finger, "Tsk, Tsk, is that any way to treat a lady?"

Steve glared at her and spat out, "You're not a lady; you're a whore!"

Rachel flashed him another smile, as if she didn't hear him say anything, and sighed, "I suppose you're right, but at least I'm the type of whore who knows how to pick her men, rich men." After saying thus, she gave out a boisterous laugh that would make even the bravest of villains quiver in fear.

Steve shuddered because of that laugh and he knew at that instance how it was so wrong of him to get involved with this woman, so wrong. He felt like jell-o under her intense gaze, but refused to back down so he stared up at her green eyes and asked once again, "What are you doing here?"

"Oh, it's just that I'm a little bit short in cash, and I have to get my nails done, and I need to have a pedicure, and...." Rachel enumerated, looking up at the ceiling and using her long and slender fingers to count what else she needed to get done.

Steve cut her off, "How much do you want?"

"Well, now, that's what I like about you, straight to the point."

"Yeah, yeah, just get out of here," Steve said rudely and reached for his wallet and pulled out a wad of cash and handed it to Rachel.

"Sure. Thanks a lot, baby." Rachel eyed the money, dollar signs flashing in her green eyes. She cradled it as if it was her baby, and then she gazed up at Steve again, "See you next time!" Rachel was headed for the door, ready to leave but Steve stopped her,

"Wait a minute, what do you mean 'next time'? There is no next time; this is the last time. You've already done enough, I don't need other problems!"

Rachel walked up to Steve and patted him in the shoulder, "Steve, Steve, didn't you hear what I just said? I said I'm a whore who knows how to pick rich men, and the reason behind that is so I can get money out of those men. And guess what, Steve baby, you're one of them. And when I ask, I receive, I never get turned down, you wouldn't want to see me mad, now do you?" Rachel's voice perked up to an annoying sweetness, but her eyes didn't conceal the trouble she may bring when she gets mad. "Besides, you've already got problems with your girl; you don't want me to make it worse, do you?"

Steve was taken aback and he remained silent, not knowing what could make a good come back, so he just shook his head.

"That's a good boy. I'll see you again," Rachel said while patting Steve's head this time, then she walked towards the door and left.

Steve was left behind and all he could do was slump back down into his bed. He put his hand over his closed eyes, thinking once more, 'How did I ever get involved with that woman?' His face was etched with regret and worry, for who knows what Rachel was capable of? He was so wrong to get involved with Rachel, so wrong.

After pushing his brains to the limit by thinking too hard of how it was bad to get involved with Rachel, he finally got tired and closed his eyes. His last thought before dozing off was of Mandy, 'Mandy, where are you? I just hope that Bobby guy finds you soon.'


Next on Hired Help: Bobby starts searching for Amanda. Will he find her on time or will Amanda be far gone to find? Stay tuned for the next chapter!