Delta Simone was everything Dru Simmons would never be. Tall, lusciously curved and exotically sexy. About the only thing they had in common, was their brazen confidence. That hadn’t been the case five years ago, when Dru had taken a job at SinChats to keep a roof over her head while paying a college tuition. Not that she’d been a wallflower, but she’d never envisioned herself as a phone-sex operator, either. Once she’d realized she could spend a few hours being taller than five-two, trade her b-cups in for D’s and finally fill out the ass in her jeans, Dru had given life to her alter-ego and never looked back.
As Delta, she’d become so successful at creating a following, she’d been able to stash enough money away for a cheap house, plus the capital needed to strike out on her own. Desperation may have driven her into the industry, but she could no longer imagine doing anything else.
On the very first night of operating her own business, she anxiously waited for her phone to ring. Could already imagine her bank account doubling, since SinChats would no longer be taking their fat cut out of her paychecks. She was pleased when it didn’t take long for the first call to come in.
“Mm, hello,” she answered in Delta’s sultry, husky voice.
The other end of the line was quiet for a moment, but that wasn’t a shocker. Most callers had given her voice the same response their first time hearing it. Now, over half of them were repeat customers.
“Hi.” A man finally replied.
Dru smiled at the hesitance in his voice. Definitely a first timer. He had a nice, deep timbre, which would make talking to him quite easy.
“Who’s this?” she asked, open and sensually curious.
“This is Don Masters,” he answered, his tone even more uncertain than before.
“Don,” she breathed, savoring his name, as if it weren’t the most obvious cover in history. That wasn’t a surprise, either. Some guys, especially phone-sex virgins, were too embarrassed to give their real names. “What can I do for you this evening, Don?”
With Delta’s voice, the very real promise of giving him anything he wanted dripped off each syllable and she heard the telling catch in his breathing.
“I was calling to see what I could do for you,” he said forcibly. “I’m the contractor.”
“Oh, my,” she replied, intrigued. Yay, role playing! One of her favorites. “Don, is it true what they say about contractors?”
He was silent again. “Depends on which story you heard,” he ground out. “Do you always answer the phone like this?”
Dru chuckled quietly, seductively. “Should I answer it differently?”
“How about like a normal person?” he suggested, sounding agitated.
Dru rolled her eyes. One downside to branching out on her own was having no one to vet her calls. It was a risk she’d weighed and decided to pay, though she’d never thought it would rear its ugly head right out the gate.
“I’m sorry. Hello, Don, how are you this evening?” she asked, ready to please so the call could end sooner. It was too bad, because she really did enjoy the sound of his voice.
“Can’t complain.” His gruff tone said otherwise. “But, I’m looking for Dru Simmons.”
Everything in Dru froze. It was a phone-sex operator’s worst nightmare, that someone would find a way to crack through all their securities and discover their true identity. She had to play it off, play it cool and not let on that he’d succeeded or she’d be done for.
Dru gave a light, husky laugh. “Well, you got Delta Simone, sugar,” she replied, satisfied when the panic didn’t carry through to her voice. “But you can call me Dru if you’d like.”
“I think I’ve dialed the wrong number,” he rushed out and hung up.
Dru was hyperventilating. Hand clutched to her chest, she stared at the phone for a full second and then yanked the cord from the base. Next, she dove under her desk to recheck which jack it had been plugged into. When the phone in the kitchen started ringing, she froze again. Then, her heart leaped to her throat when the answering machine clicked on and she thought about a customer getting her real personal greeting meant solely for family and friends. Dru shimmied out of the cramped space in a hurry, halfway between a full-on anxiety attack and fury, when a familiar voice filled the house.
“Dru? It’s mom–”
“Ow, fuck!” she swore, whacking her shoulder on the underside of the desk so she could bolt down the hall and slide into the kitchen to grab the phone.
“I’m here, I’m here,” she panted.
“Druscilla, what have I told you about running in the house?” Her mother chastised.
She didn’t bother checking for hidden cameras this time, but in most other cases her mom’s intuition was just as uncanny. “Mom–”
“Listen, sweetie, I know you’re probably busy with that naughty business of yours.” Dru groaned at her mother’s emphasis, not because it was said in disgust, but in an exaggerated purr. It was one thing for her parents to accept her chosen profession, quite another for her mom to find it fascinating. “I just wanted to let you know that I contacted the contractor that did all the work on our gazebo a few years ago, you remember, Donald Masters? Nice man. Anyway, he’s going to send one of his foremen out to get all the details for your office. He’ll probably be calling to set up a good time with you as soon as possible.”
Dru’s lungs had stopped working the second her mom had uttered his name. Her mind raced back to the gazebo’s construction and could only recall a nice, older man with blond hair and friendly blue eyes, wrinkles fanning out of the corners from the way he squinted in the sunlight. If that was Donald Masters, he did not match the voice of the man she’d just had the most unfortunate conversation with.
“Mom, which number did you give Mr. Masters?”
Her mom laughed. “Honey, I only have one of your numbers and it’s the free one! Don’t worry, I’m sure he’ll call soon.”
Oh, yeah. He hadn’t wasted any time on that. Now, she was left with a major dilemma. It was Friday night, one of her busiest times, and the phone company was already closed. She didn’t even want to calculate all the money she was losing out on, but it wasn’t worth the risk of clients getting her personal recording. Dammit!
Don Masters was a professional. He worked for a very clean, legitimate construction company with high standards and even higher expectations. He thoroughly loved his work and took immense pride in it. Through a pair of Oakley’s, he stared at the rambler he’d just parked in front of. It was a corner lot, which was a bonus in the older neighborhoods. He wasn’t a painter, but that would be at the top of his suggestion list, because the pealing baby blue was an eyesore that hadn’t been popular for at least two decades. The lawn was in vital need of some TLC and landscaping advice. There was a single car garage up the slightly sloped drive where a cherry red Saab was parked.
Don grabbed his clipboard and climbed out, trying to ignore the foul mood still percolating in his system. There were only two explanations for what had happened the night before. Either he’d been given the wrong phone number or someone in the godawful blue house was a phone-sex operator. He prayed it was the former, because he’d never been so aroused just by a woman’s voice before and knowing she wasn’t anything like he’d imagined pissed him off. The outright manipulation was why Don had never and would never pay for phone sex.
He’d just made it to the top of the driveway, when a loud slamming noise broke through the sky and startled him. Brows creased, he followed the continuous racket around the side of the house and through the open gate into the backyard. Don paused, his shielded gaze drinking in the five-foot-nothing woman going at the exterior wall of an obvious DIY mudroom sticking off the back of the house–yet another eyesore–with a sledgehammer. It had to weigh twice as much as she did. Ninety percent of her belonged to the sun-kissed legs sticking out of her tiny denim shorts topped with a fitted tank under an unbuttoned dress shirt rolled halfway up her arms. Her medium brown hair was naturally curly and pulled up into a ponytail at the back of her head.
When she lifted the hammer to take another swing, Don couldn’t stop himself from intervening. Honestly, he would’ve been the world’s worst citizen if he didn’t step in for both her and the house’s sake.
“Whoa, you don’t want to do that,” he approached her with his hand held out, like she was a wild horse. “You’re going to break your arms, before you ever damage that wall.”
She gave a little start, her hazel eyes growing wide behind her safety glasses. At least she’d had the brains to use them and the gloves covering her hands.
“I’m gonna damage your face if you don’t tell me who you are and what the hell you’re doing on my property,” she threatened.
Her voice was honey rich, with enough smokey rasp underlining it to have Don reevaluating his previous stance on phone-sex operators. Because, if the petite juggernaut wasn’t the same Delta Simone he’d spoken to the night before, then he’d trade his tool belt in for one of those nifty white jackets that buckles in the back.
“I’m the contractor,” he stated deliberately, watching her like a hawk for any kind of reaction. “And I’m looking for Mr. Dru Simmons.”
It had been harder to say than he liked. The idea of her being Mrs. Dru Simmons had a hard knot forming in his gut that messed with his head after the things she’d put his body through the night before.
She gave him a smirk that would’ve crushed the ego of another man. “Yeah, and I’m looking for Mr. Drew Barrymore.”
“You’re Dru Simmons?” He was more relieved than surprised, which was a bad thing because it meant she was his potential client and Don never mixed business with pleasure. Ever.
“Look, are you the foreman Don Masters sent or what?” she asked, impatient.
“No,” he smiled. “I am Don Masters.”
The hammer dropped to the ground with a thud and she leaned it against her stomach to peel the gloves off first, then the safety glasses. She was even more attractive with bare hands, devoid of any wedding rings.
“I know Donald Masters,” she stated. “You’re not him.”
It wasn’t the first time he’d gotten that response from old customers of his father’s. They didn’t look anything alike. Don had taken after his mother in every way, from his black hair to his Irish green eyes and a smile that many claimed came straight from the fae; as equally charming as it was mischievous.
“Donald Masters is my father,” he said. “I’m Donovan. Donovan Masters.”
And you’re Delta Simone.
The tiniest jump of nerves in her eyes confirmed what he’d already suspected. It was completely unprofessional. It would break every single one of his own rules. But he would prove her secret identity before he was done with the job. He simply had to. She’d tossed that gauntlet at his feet the moment she’d answered the phone in a way specifically designed to get him all hot and bothered against his will. It wasn’t just a challenge, it was justified dues.
♥ Maybe I should put a word limit on this challenge, I’m just getting worse! LOL When I thought of noise, I immediately thought of construction, which reminded me of this little gem buried deep, deep in the dusty archives of my “story ideas” waiting for me to do something with it. So, I took it out and thought of all the ways I could build on it for today’s post. My original plan was the opposite, having Dru waking up to the racket of construction and going outside to complain about the noise, but this works even nicer, I think. 🙂