I change the subject and instead gesture to the money in her hand. "How much is that?"
"Not enough… thirty-eight bucks."
"You're…paid thirty-eight bucks an hour?"
"What? In what universe? No! It's eight dollars an hour."
Right. Of course, I knew that. I mentally roll my eyes. But that's not a lot, though very common in the business. Some even earn as low as five dollars per hour, but those are people who don't have legal papers to work in the country. On the contrary, my staff at The Manor are paid handsomely.
"How much does she owe you?"
"Doesn't matter. It's not like I'll go back there and demand two dollars… Should I?"
"How much is your mom's medicine?"
"How did you… Right, you were eavesdropping. Why do you ask?"
Actually, I remember what she said when she was interviewed at The Manor. It was why Gael and I agreed to recommend her to our go-to catering company. If it weren't for that Pantsuit who fired her, she wouldn't have lost her job no matter what. The Randals would never risk angering us. It looks like I have another menial job to take care of after tonight.
Again, I ignore her question. "How much do you need for a month's worth of her medicine?"
"Seriously… Why do you ask?" There's a bite in her tone.
"Just answer the damn question."
Her breathing increases and she looks angry—not at me, just in general—but she tries not to lash out. Instead, she wraps her arms around herself protectively, her voice barely a whisper as she averts her gaze. "I only have enough to buy two pills tonight. She needs to take three a day for one more week. I should've been able to get her enough had I not been fired today."
"You lied to her, didn't you? You told her you have some left for you, but you don't even have enough cash to buy for today's dose."
She looks away, embarrassed. "I can figure it out."
"You don't have to. I'll pay for it," I say, surprising myself, though I don't take it back. "How much do you need?"
"W-Why would you pay for it?"
"Part of your benefits."
"It is? Wait—are you like the boss of the boss or something? No, that can't be right… I'm sure the Randals—"
I snap my fingers in her face to get her attention. "Hey, focus. How much?"
She blinks, then mechanically starts to rattle off names of medicines that I've never heard of before, including how many times a day and how many days are left. She mumbles the price of each pill and I automatically calculate the total in my head.
She's still mumbling numbers trying to multiply and add while I take out my wallet. I only have $450. I take them out and also the check from inside my jacket and write off a generous amount enough to buy their groceries for the month and medicine for the next few weeks. Then I hand them to her.
Malia stares at the cash and cheque, her eyes widening at the total amount. She gasps. "This is too much. I can't accept this."
"That's payment for the rest of the month, have you not been fired unfairly by Miss Medusa earlier."
She snorts at that. "She does look like Medusa, doesn't she?"
"Did you really catch her with Joe?"
"I'd never mistake it. Mr. Randal is the only man in his fifties that I know who has a birthmark the size of a dime on his neck. I saw them a few days ago in the closet of one of the events while his wife wasn't there."
I shake my head at the image forming in my head. It's not a pretty sight. "That midget? Oh, sorry. No offense to you."
"Hey! I'm not a midget! And don't say it like that's an insult. You're very rude."
"Thank you." I smile and that makes her glare more. The cash and check are still in my hand. I grab her wrist and place them in her palm, surprising her. "Is that enough?"
"This is…more than enough actually." She sighs, biting her luscious lips while gripping the money close to her chest. "I feel guilty accepting this. But I'm going to take it because I badly need it for my mom. But I want to pay you back. How can I get in contact with you?"
I brush it off and start turning around to go back to the party. "Don't worry about it. Later, Miss Rose. I'll see you Wednesday."
"Oh, okay… Bye… Mister—Wait, what? W-Why would I see you Wednesday?"
The door creaks as I pull it open. Glancing over my shoulder, I tell her, "You don't have a job now, do you? Then you'll come work for me. You start Wednesday. Show up at the club at five in the afternoon. Don't be late."
Her gasp is mixed with a light shriek. "Are you serious? Oh, my god! Thank you, Mr. De Luca!"
Oh, slap my nuts and fuck me sideways.
I suppress my groan when I hear her call me by my last name. A sick part of me thinks that's so fucking sexy. My dick thickens, throbbing in response to that simple call; I might've heard a seam rip from how snug my pants got.
Interesting. I thought you were dead tonight, brother.
I'm courting temptation that might end up with another bout of disappointing my father, which I've been avoiding for months.
I don't usually offer help to just anyone. It's not what I do. But after seeing this woman struggle and hearing her problem, I can't just not do anything. I want to help her get back on her feet. She is attractive, no doubt about that. But that's all. I'm merely being a good Samaritan. It will for sure eat at me if I don't do this.
This might potentially bite me in the ass. But I've already made up my mind. I'm only giving her a job so she and her mother can survive.
I subtly adjust my growing hard-on and clear my throat. "Good night, Miss Rose," I say as I leave her in the alley with her bright eyes looking at me like I'm her savior.
I'm not your hero, passerotta.