Lovers

Lovers by Judith Krantz Read Free Book Online

Book: Lovers by Judith Krantz Read Free Book Online
Authors: Judith Krantz
Elliott’s in her sitting room, she said to go right up,” Burgo O’Sullivan said to Gigi. “Hey, kiddo, you’ve got that look on your face that you had when I told you a girl couldn’t get into my poker game.”
    “Yeah, well, I was sixteen then, and starting high school, so naturally even your penny-ante weekly game sounded like a better idea than meeting new kids.”
    “Fresh, still as fresh as ever. So did you wreck the car? Seduce another chef right under my nose, the way you did that poor English fellow?”
    “Burgo, when will you start treating me like a adult?” Gigi gave an unconvincing smile to wise Burgo, who filled a multitude of undefined but indispensable jobs at the great house in Holmby Hills.
    “I’ll give it some thought,” he answered, “and let you know. How about a cup of tea? It might steady your shaky nerves. You look the way you used to when I first tried to teach you to make a left in heavy traffic.”
    “Burgo, you’re imagining things. I’ve got to go talk to Billy.”
    “It’s an emergency, then. You never refuse a chance to visit the kitchen.”
    “Sort of. I’ll come by afterwards and tell you all about it.”
    “Is that a present for me?” Burgo asked, looking with interest at the white box with a blue satin ribbon on it that Gigi carried.
    “No, it’s for Billy, for having the babies. It’s not fair that people send things to newborn children who don’tknow the difference, and not to the mother, who did all the work.”
    “I see, a bribe.”
    “Burgo, you have an innately suspicious mind, you should be ashamed of yourself. See you later.” Why did he always see right through her, Gigi wondered as she left him. The present she had brought, from her precious collection of antique lingerie, might, just possibly, soften Billy’s reaction. But a bribe? Never! … Or … maybe?
    In spite of the need to hurry that she had impressed on Burgo, Gigi found herself dragging her steps as she walked through the spacious rooms, which fairly vibrated with color and freshness, and in which every corner offered intriguing places to stop and linger and inspect the fascinating multitude of objects and antiques and flowers that seemed to have been placed there by a happy chance, instead of by Billy’s constant rearrangement of her treasures.
    Upstairs, at the end of a long corridor, the door to Billy’s sitting room was open.
    “I’m in here,” Billy’s voice called faintly. Gigi found her flopped heavily on a couch in an attitude of complete exhaustion, her crop of short, heavy, dark curls drooping messily around her face, the lids falling wearily over her smoky eyes, her skin pale and bare of makeup. She wore one of Spider’s old shirts over a pair of baggy jeans, and it was impossible to believe, at the moment, that this wiped-out scrap was the magnificent Billy Ikehorn, the embodiment of the groomed-to-perfection, the exquisitely dressed, the splendidly bejeweled kind of woman of whom the world possesses perhaps several hundred, with only two or three as internationally famous as she.
    “Spider didn’t say you weren’t feeling well,” Gigi said in concern. “I wouldn’t have come if I’d known I was going to disturb you.”
    “Whatever are you talking about? I’m perfectly fine,” Billy said, too weakly to sound indignant. “I’ve just finished putting the boys down for their nap, that’s all. This is thebest possible time to see me. Come sit down here next to the couch.”
    “Did Nanny Elizabeth leave?” Gigi asked in concern, putting the box down on a table. She hadn’t seen Billy at home more than four or five times since the twins, Max and Hal, were born, and then only on the weekends, when they were showing off the babies, with Spider expertly performing fatherly chores, as well as the experienced nanny hovering in the background.
    “Of course not, she’s around here somewhere, probably doing their laundry.”
    “I don’t get it. I thought that

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