Second Impressions Series - Book cover

Second Impressions Series

M.C. Capocci

The Rear View Mirror


My jaw dropped when I saw the tall, well-dressed candy man standing at my door.

He was dressed better than a model on a magazine cover, and his sharp gray eyes and manly features were so captivating that my heart skipped a beat.

I think my heart stopped working altogether as my eyes roamed over this Greek god’s smooth olive skin and dark hair. His face was clean and shaven, soft like a baby’s butt.

Damn! I was salivating, my eyes locked on him, but he was staring at my apartment. The disgust on his face, as if he expected a cockroach to jump at him at any moment, made me uncomfortable.

Was he looking at the leak on my ceiling? I cleared my throat, showing my sweet, humble annoyance, and he shifted his eyes toward me with a calculation that made me feel exposed and electrified.

I could feel it, how he was undressing me with his eyes and taking his time. His eyes barely touched my face before traveling to my chest, belly, and then to my feet. That made me angry.

“Hi, Olivia, my name is—″ he began, but my phone rang, interrupting him.

I looked at the screen and saw it was Roger. My stupid ex-boyfriend.

Fuck no.

I stayed there, frozen, looking at the screen.

Should I answer?

A sudden coldness hit my body as if a gray cloud had swallowed me up.

No, no, no, don’t answer. You don’t have time for this shit!

Right there, I learned something new about myself. I’d thought I had passed the depressed stage, but for just a moment, I couldn’t help but think how comforting it would be to hear his voice.

I swallowed hard.

I’m not going to cry, am I?

Impossible. I hadn’t cried in years. That part of me had died a long time ago. Nevertheless, my hand went to my eyes, to tears that never touched my face.

Focus on rage. Rage is better than sadness.

Roger’s audacity had no limits, and the idea of him wanting even more from me made me switch from sadness to dementia.

This was another level of rage. I was boiling. My head was about to burst as I had been holding my breath all this time. My heart pounded faster, followed by a tic in my left eye.

The driver stepped back, his palms open as if declaring peace.

I started spewing verbal vomit in front of the stranger at my door.

“Motherfucker,” I said out loud, looking at the phone. I twisted my knuckles and cried out to the ceiling, “This motherfucker!

I took deep breaths in and out twice, straightened my hair, placed my phone back into my pocket, and stared at the driver.

Those intimidating silver eyes were now piercing me with a look of clean, cold judgment.

Something new arose in my gut, making me feel threatened, telling me to run away from him. But he was just a driver.

I watched him curiously. He couldn’t be any threat. How dare he feel entitled to look at me as if I were some lab rat?

He had a slight smile, as if he already knew me, and the longer I stared, the taller he seemed to get. How that triggered me. I hated feeling small and defenseless.

”You are late!” I snapped, and without waiting for a response, I picked up my bags and stormed past him, leaving him standing alone at my door.

I reached the stairs and turned to see him standing in the same spot. I raised my eyebrow at him, ignoring the growing tension between us, ignoring his brooding stare.

“Aren’t you coming? Close the door,” I snapped a finger at him, and he flinched.

I continued down the stairs, and he passed me without offering any help. His eyes flashed to the heavy bag I was manhandling in my attempt to carry. Douchebag!

He stalked through the lobby, stopping at the main door. He saw me pick up my pace so we could both pass through the entrance, but his timing was flawless, and the door hit my nose behind him.

Going rogue while on the clock, driver?

I’d expected a bit more hospitality from someone who worked for the Rothschilds, but I followed him silently until we reached the car, knowing he wasn’t going to help me put the bags in the trunk, either.

“Well, are you getting in?” he asked coldly as he opened the driver’s door.

Talk about starting out on the wrong foot. We might kill each other in that car.

Meeting his gaze snapped me out of my thoughts. He was staring at me intently like I was a wild animal.

I couldn’t help but blush as I saw again how hot he was. How manly, dominant, and…despicable. If I could have scratched that beautiful face, I would have.

“My bags,” I managed to say.

I heard a click as the trunk opened.

You surely will get fired.

Unless someone kept him around just because he was a yummy piece of cake. I snorted a quick laugh. Perhaps Mrs. Rothschild was a very naughty billionaire. Or Mr. Rothschild? Who was I to judge?

“What is so funny?” the driver asked. His eyes were still glued to my face, especially my lips.

Was he checking me out? What was wrong with him?

“Nothing.” I threw my bag into the trunk and, blushing again, stepped up onto the sidewalk without looking.

Just when I was out of patience for any more shit, a hard body bumped into me.

”Watch it, punk!” I yelled at the teenager in front of me, trying to push him away.

My eyes widened as I saw the clear plastic cup full of a green beverage in his left hand. Then I saw the kid’s face, full of determination and cockiness. Shit.

You watch it, you old bitch!” He sneered and tossed the contents of the cup at my face.

I gasped, preparing for the hit, and thanked God that I closed my eyes in time. In a second I was wet and sticky with cold, thick liquid running all over my hair, face, and white turtleneck.

Please don’t be a smoothie, please don’t be a smoothie.

By the smell of it, it had to be spinach, with some other green stuff I didn’t want to know. I swiped a smoothie layer off my face and shook the remaining liquid from my hands and fingers.

I breathed in, doing my best to remain calm amid the situation, but this was a joke, and I looked like a joke.

I didn’t know what was more painful, being called an old bitch or looking like a wreck in front of this man.

The driver’s face showed how horrible the collision was. His mouth made an “O” shape, but all he said before he got in the car was, “You better not ride in the front seat.”

“Honestly, I couldn’t care less.” I tried to regain some sense of myself. Or what was left of it.

I was planning to sit in the back anyway. He was the driver, and I was the guest. Was I missing some basic logic?

Maybe I had read the signs wrong and I shouldn’t go to the Hamptons. Perhaps it was not too late to bail out.

I looked up at my building, finding my apartment in a corner, feeling indecisive again.

Wait for the imminent chaos of my life to unfold, or take this not-so-enjoyable distraction?

I didn’t need to overthink it. My legs were already taking me to the car. It was better to get away, just for a little while.A break, before running back into my life.

I had a more immediate problem, though. I was soaking wet and cold, and it was evident he wasn’t going to wait for me to change.

If only I could change in the car…

I glanced at him, thinking. I didn’t need his permission to change in the vehicle. He was an employee! I asked him to open the trunk again and I grabbed my bag before sliding into the car.

I was covered in smoothie, but this should be fairly easy, and nothing shameful. I would change super quickly and ask him not to look.

After all, he was just a member of their staff, and it’s not like he could tell the Rothschild things that mattered about me.

My sticky hands touched the soft leather of the seats and I inhaled the rich scent.

I kept my eyes on his neck like an eagle ready to hit its prey as the car started moving. I pressed the button to close the window, but it stopped midway. I tried two more times without success.

Shit. I ground my teeth as the weather sank in. The wind was cold on my face and worse with the wetness on my sweater.

“Could you please not? You smell like a salad,” he said as I tapped impatiently on the button. He had locked the windows! The motherfucker locked the windows!

I was really starting to hate this guy. The real kind of hate that makes you tingly and warm. Only a soulless person would expect someone to travel with the windows down in this cold.

He was looking at me in the rearview mirror, and I extended my arm with an open palm for him to see.

“Could you just shush?” I mimicked a duck with my hand.

I watched with pleasure as his jaw clenched.

That’s it, good boy.

I was never this mean on purpose, I hadn’t shushed anybody since the eleventh grade, but getting through his nerves this time was worth it.

“I’m going to change my clothes if you don’t mind.” Without waiting to hear if he minded, I opened my bag and took out a green maxi dress with a matching sweater.

The relaxed look vanished when he saw the dress, and I watched his eyes widen.

“If you look, I will murder you.” I gave him my best death glare and stared at him for what felt like a minute.

He simply looked away, undisturbed, and continued driving.

I took off my turtleneck and dried my face with a clean patch on it, wiping off what I could from that green smoothie. It wasn’t easy, and I was fucking cold.

I glanced quickly at him, relieved to see he was ignoring me.

Atta boy!

As I took off my shoes and jeans, I couldn’t help but tremble. How the fuck did I end up in these types of situations?

I was in my underwear now, a white lace set that Roger used to love.

I was kind of happy to find that the white bra was stained with the green thick liquid. It looked disgusting, and it was permanently damaged, as was my relationship with Roger.

I couldn’t put the dress on top of it, though.

I looked up, verifying that the driver was still looking at the road. Well, it was now or never. I quickly undid my bra, freeing the nipples in the car.

You naughty girl…

Knowing that he could peek and see me naked pumped some adrenaline through me, making me feel…hot, and surprisingly free.

What is wrong with you, Ollie? Focus!

Without looking at the rearview mirror, I closed my eyes and pulled the dress over my naked torso as fast as possible.

I hoped he wasn’t looking, but something in me tightened as I felt the tension in the car shift as if he did.

I didn’t need to look to feel his smile. The bastard was smirking wickedly while looking at the road. I frowned.

No play, no hiding. The hot bastard was amused. Of course he’d looked! A sudden urge to punch him came over me.

His eyes locked with mine, and I felt suddenly shy because he was not smiling anymore. No, he was looking at me as if warning me.

I wanted to break eye contact, but I would not give my power away like some submissive girl. Instead, I held his gaze, handling those sharp gray eyes.

I put on my best poker face and raised my eyebrows at him.

Try to intimidate someone else, fuckboy.

His pupils were so dilated that his eyes looked black and dangerous. Feral. What the hell was happening? He was not looking away, and my heart was at full speed.

I was in some kind of spell and my eyes widened when he licked his lips, pinning me in place. So manly and dominant.

I couldn’t hold his gaze anymore. I had to look away. Hot and red-faced, I pulled my eyes down and stared at my lap. This was wrong on so many levels.

“Please just…” I muttered.

Stop looking at me like that.

I knew his eyes were on my neck and red cheeks while I looked everywhere but him.

“Roll the window up. I’m cold.” I ordered, snuggling my hands into the sweater.

I didn’t meet his eyes the rest of the way.

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