There was silence in the car as Andrea began to drive toward where she knew Wayne Manor was. Finally, she asked, “Bruce, are you nervous about going to your home? I mean, you don’t remember it, so is it like going to a relative’s house that you’ve never met?”
“Nervous? Not really,” Bruce said. “I feel the need to know who and what I am, but I’m hoping that it won’t be something you won’t like. Yet, I have this gut feeling it will be,” he said, turning in his seat to look at her. He then said, “Andrea, I want you to be honest with me about what I’m about to ask you. Your friend called me a playboy more than once. Does that bother you? Does it bother you to the point you plan to drop me off at Wayne Manor and never see me again?”
“I don’t feel that way, no,” Andrea said as she glanced at him before looking back at the road. “I’m twenty-eight years old, Bruce, I’ve had my share of boyfriends, and I’ve had a couple of lovers. I’m not naïve enough to think that all men, or women, stay pure until marriage. Now, did I love the two men I slept with? Yes, yes, I did, and I even went as far as to tell one of them I’d marry him until I found out he had a side dish when he had out-of-town meetings. I can’t condemn you for something you did before we met Bruce because everyone has a past. That said, if we were to get together romantically and you continued to be a playboy? Well, that would be a deal-breaker, and I’d leave you in my dust, never looking back because I don’t play those kinds of games.”
“Alright, that’s fair,” Bruce agreed just as she pulled the car to a stop and switched it off. In front of him was a vast mansion-like house that didn’t look like home at all. Bruce sighed internally. I think Andrea’s small apartment felt more like home to me than this mansion does right now.
“Ready to go in?”
Bruce took a deep breath as he answered, “Yes.”
So, getting out of the car, Andrea took the arm Bruce offered her. She kept in step with him as they walked up the walkway to the front door.
The door opened before they could even knock, and an older gentleman in a suit exclaimed, “Master Bruce! Where have you been, sir? We’ve all been so worried.”
“We, who is we? Do I have a family? A wife?” Bruce asked as he felt Andrea stiffen next to him.
A puzzled look crossed the man’s face as he stepped back to say, “Please, do come inside, Master Bruce. The doorstep isn’t a good place to talk because one never knows who might be listening in.”
Stepping inside, Andrea looked around and could almost see dollar signs on everything. She murmured, “Wow, you are seriously loaded. My dad does well as a judge, but this is… just wow.”
“Young lady, who might you be?” The older gentleman asked.
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” Andrea apologized. “My name is Andrea Hadley. I found Bruce and took him home with me the night before last.”
“Hm… found him you say?” The older gentleman probed.
“Well, yes. Bruce had been beaten up and left in an alleyway,” Andrea informed the man. “Look, he doesn’t remember much, and we wouldn’t even be here if my friend hadn’t mentioned that he was Bruce Wayne.”
“Master Bruce, you don’t remember who you are?” The man asked, his eyes widening with disbelief.
“No, but I’ll take a wild guess and say you’re Alfred,” Bruce said.
“Yes, I’m Alfred, and this is bad,” Alfred murmured as he moved further into the room. “Please, sit down and tell me what you do remember.”
Andrea sat on the white loveseat, and Bruce sat down next to her. She could feel how tense he had become, but his face looked calm. She had to wonder if she were looking at the real Bruce Wayne right now, not the one she’d come to know.
“I remembered my name and how I like to fix my hair before work,” Bruce began. “I also remembered a recipe my mother taught me to cook and that someone named Alfred does most of my cooking.”
“That’s it?” Alfred asked.
“Andrea decided I was rich because of the expensive clothing I was wearing when she found me,” Bruce mentioned next. “So, yes, that is about it.”
Alfred hummed before asking, “So, you have no idea how you ended up in the alleyway?”
“No,” Bruce agreed. “Do you have any idea why I would have been there?”
Alfred looked thoughtful as he answered, “You had gone to a charity event that night, giving me the night off. Young master Dick was sick, so he stayed home…”
“Dick?” Bruce asked.
“Yes, your ward Dick Grayson,” Alfred answered.
“So, no wife or kids? Just my ward,” Bruce said, sounding relieved.
“Correct. Anyway, when you didn’t come home, I tried calling you, but you never answered. So, I went out to search for you where I knew you were supposed to be, but all I found was your car, not you. There was blood on the door of the car. Laying on the ground was your phone, and it was smashed to pieces as if someone stepped on it. I had nothing to work with there, so I let the police know and came home. The next morning Commissioner Gordon came by with an officer who drove your car home after the crime lab took prints from it. The blood was yours, and they found no prints on it except yours.”
Bruce sat back, closing his eyes, and tried to remember… something, anything from that night. However, there was nothing but a black hole in his memory. He shook his head, becoming annoyed and angry.
Andrea reached over and lay a hand on his thigh, giving it a light squeeze.
Bruce looked over to find her face full of concern as she watched him, asking, “Anything?”
“Nothing,” Bruce answered as he shook his head. “Alfred, tell me about Dick.”
“Shouldn’t you remember on your own?” Andrea asked.
“Probably, but I’m not a patient person,” Bruce informed her.
Andrea laughed, “Oh, honey, I already figured that one out on my own.”
Bruce grinned at her, and she leaned into his shoulder to give him a side hug.
Alfred cleared his throat, gaining their attention as he said, “I agree with the young lady, Master Bruce, but I will tell you that you took Master Dick in two years ago when he was thirteen.”
Bruce just nodded.
“Perhaps you would like to go pick young Master Dick up from school later,” Alfred suggested.
“Alright,” Bruce agreed.
“I guess I should go home now,” Andrea murmured as she stood up. “I think you’ll be fine, Bruce.”
Bruce reached over and grabbed her hand as he begged, “Please, don’t go. I want you to stay.”
“Bruce, there is no reason for me to stay,” Andrea softly said. “You’re home now with your family, and soon your memory will return. We can still keep in touch—”
“I know, but everything is so different, and I don’t remember any of it,” Bruce whispered. “I don’t feel comfortable here. Please, just stay a few days, just until I remember myself.”
Andrea sighed and cupped his cheek in her hand. “Fine, but I’ll still have to go to work, and I’ll need my clothes.”
Bruce smiled and stood also, saying, “We can go get your things and then go pick up Dick from school together.” He turned to look over at Alfred and told him, “We’ll be back in a bit.”
Alfred just gave the nod and left the room.
Bruce turned back to Andrea and said, “Let’s go.”
An hour later, Bruce and Andrea were returning to the Manor.
Alfred led them up the stairs and stopped at a room, opening the door as he said, “This is the guest room. Master Bruce, your room is the door at the end of the hall, and young Master Dick’s is the door in-between.”
Andrea walked into the room and exclaimed, “Holy mackerel, Batman! This room is almost as big as my whole apartment.”
Bruce just laughed and muttered, “I seriously need to find out who Batman is. He must be popular the way your friend started to go on about him.”
Alfred looked at him strangely but said not a word as he left the room.
“We’ll look him up later since I’m curious too,” Andrea told him as she continued to check the room and the attached bathroom out. “I’m sure there is something online about him we can read.” She sat down on the bed then, giving it a bounce before flopping backward with a grunt, saying, “Ah, this is nice. I may take this mattress home with me when I leave.”
Bruce sat down next to her. He tried not to stare at the bare skin where her shirt had ridden up. It was difficult because he desperately wanted to touch, and even worse, he wanted to taste. He wished he could lean in and kiss her, skim his fingertips over the skin and maybe cause her to make one of those soft sounds’ women tend to make when a man makes them feel good.
Bruce internally sighed as he tried to clamp down on those feelings. He’d been told, and he’d read, how he was a playboy, and just because he didn’t remember that about himself didn’t mean it wasn’t true. Either way, he wasn’t going to take advantage of Andrea, who had been so kind to him. However, if she ever gave him a sign that she would reciprocate his advances? Well, he’d make them and not think twice about it.
“Bruce? Earth to Bruce.”
Bruce blinked, finding Andrea waving her hand in front of his face. “Sorry. What did you say?”
“I asked, what would you like to do until time to go get your ward?”
“Oh, I suppose we could have some lunch, then decide?” Bruce asked.
“Sounds good,” she agreed. “Here or somewhere else?”
“Here because I thought I smelled something good cooking when we walked in,” Bruce told her.
“Me too, so let’s go downstairs and see what Alfred has cooked and if he has enough for us both,” Andrea said.
Bruce took her hand and pulled her from the bed. Then he led her out the door and down the stairs.