Chapter 23 - Shopping
It only took Scarlett and Haley around ten minutes to be dressed and ready for their trip out to the Mall. As they emerged from the hallway giggling together like school-girls, Scarlett’s hazel eyes met Adam’s and she smiled politely. He too was dressed in a more casual outfit consisting of a blue collared t-shirt and a pair of black three-quarter length jeans. He had a pair of white sneakers on too, which she had never seen him in and she grinned.
“Well, well, well… look at you.” she commented, lifting her brow suggestively and crossing her arms in front of her chest as they came to stand before Adam and Jake who were waiting for them in the living room.
Adam frowned, looking down at his clothes with question.
She shook her head, chuckling as she and Haley continued past on their way out the front door to get into the car. Adam was left standing there, confused by what Scarlett had meant, but Jake was there soon after to put his concerns to rest.
“Oh, she’s totally into you, man.” he announced with a snide grin, continuing on after the girls towards the door, “Hey mum, we’re heading out now!”
“Ok, be back before dinner yeah?” Aunt Scarlett’s voice called out from somewhere in the house as Jake stood in the doorway listening.
“Yeah, alright.” he yelled out, then stepping out the door with Adam close behind him.
As they walked along towards the car, Adam’s eyes were fixated on the beautiful woman standing beside his car, with her long silky slender legs that went on for miles and that soft golden hair falling freely over her shoulders as she turned to see him and did what she always did. She smiled.
Scarlett was wearing a short flowy yellow day dress and a pair of white heels that she had borrowed from her cousin. Luckily for her, she was the same size as Haley in both clothing and shoe size. She looked absolutely radiant, but then again she always did to Adam.
“Hey, lover boy…” Jake spoke, grabbing his attention suddenly as he gave Adam a light punch to the shoulder, “Focus man, focus.”
Adam’s cheeks flushed pink, his jaw clenching tightly with embarrassment as he averted his gaze from her and clicked the button on his automatic lock, opening all of the car doors. The girls both slid into the back as Jake joined Adam in the front, watching his good friend start up the spectacular car with a gut-wrenching rumble.
The entire car shook with the power of the incredible engine as it came to life all around them.
“Come on Adam, show these girls what this thing can do!” Jake cried out, eagerly pumped for their trip.
After around three or so hours of non-stop shopping and scoping out the various stores in the massive mall, the four had decided to meet up at the food court for lunch. Adam who was on his way there, suddenly stopped upon noticing Scarlett who was currently standing at the window of a jewellery store admiring something that was on display. Peering a little closer he noticed what she was admiring; a beautiful white gold necklace with a ruby infinity heart pendant surrounded by diamonds. She seemed quite interested in it as he stood by from a distance watching her fondly.
Suddenly an idea formulated and a small smile formed on his lips at the thought of it.
Once she continued on her way to meet up with the others, Adam stepped out from his hiding place and over to the window where she had been standing. As his eyes gazed down at the dazzling ruby necklace he grinned with excitement, then quickly disappeared inside the jewellery store to put his plan into action.
“Finally, there you are!” Haley called out, tilting her head to the side as Adam stepped up to the others now sitting at a table in the middle of the food court, “We were wondering if you’d ditched us or something.”
“Sorry, had something to pick up.” he replied, placing several bags down on the ground beside his chair, then pulling the chair out and taking his seat beside Jake, “Hope I didn’t keep you guys waiting too long.”
“Well come on, I’m starving. Let’s get some grub!” Jake announced eagerly, grabbing his wallet and pushing his chair out from behind him.
“I’ll watch the table.” Scarlett announced, glancing to Haley.
“What do you want?” her younger cousin asked, he hand resting on her hip.
“Whatever you’re having.” she replied with a smile, “I’m not fussy.”
Haley merely nodded her head and began walking off with her older brother towards one of the nearby food shops leaving both Scarlett and Adam alone at the table.
Scarlett frowned, glancing at Adam.
“Aren’t you hungry?” she enquired.
“I thought you could use the company.” he replied taking his phone out and placing it down onto the surface of the table they were seated around, “Did you and Haley get everything you needed?”
Scarlett glanced down at the several bags surrounding her chair as she replied.
“I truly hope so. My bank account is practically haemorrhaging money at the moment thanks to my cousin and her great taste in fashion. I’ll probably have to look into getting a job somewhere pretty soon.”
“Money problems?” he queried, his left brow raising slightly.
She hesitated a little before replying.
“Let’s just say… I’m working on it.”
Scarlett knew her answer was quite vague when she gave it to him but it would have to do for now. In all honesty, it would have been hard for her to explain her current financial situation, given the fact that she was on the run from a crazed ex-fiancé who also happened to be a notorious Mafia Boss. She sat there thinking about it for a moment or two, appearing to stare off into the distance as Adam watched her with concern.
Her train of thought suddenly ceased as he reached out his hand and took hers. She almost hummed with happiness at the familiar warmth of his touch as his large fingers encompassed hers, wrapping her hand securely as he spoke softly.
“You know, I’m here for you Scarlett…” he announced, catching her completely off guard as he held her hand tenderly and met her gaze, “If you need someone to talk to, about anything at all, I’d be more than happy to-”
“-Well that was certainly fun!” Haley’s sarcastic voice interrupted Adam mid-sentence as he and Scarlett immediately pulled their hands back from one another in embarrassment and sat upright, hoping they had not been seen by Jake or Haley.
“Here man…” Jake announced as he dropped a brown paper bag down in front of Adam, “Didn’t know what you wanted so I got you a McChicken Meal with a Coke.”
Adam nodded his head with a smile.
“Great, thanks man.”
“I hope they didn’t mix up our orders.” Haley whined as she began going through another brown paper bag she was holding, “It took forever in that line… I’m not going back there, I’ll tell you that much!”
Once Haley had shared out the food between the four of them they began to eat their lunch and it became pleasantly quiet while they ate. Not that it managed to stop Scarlett and Adam from stealing playful glances at one another; glances obvious enough that they were witnessed by both Haley and Jake as they ate. As soon as they had finished Adam and Jake worked together to clean away the rubbish, leaving the two girls alone for less than a minute. Just long enough for Haley to ask something she had been dying to ask all day.
“So… what’s he like in bed?”
Scarlett suddenly coughed, having accidently breathed in some of her drink from the sudden surprise interrogation coming from her younger cousin. Haley gently patter Scarlett’s back as she composed herself again.
“HALEY!” Scarlett seemed mortified by Haley’s question.
“Oh come on Scarlett, dish… I know you two are totally into each other.” Haley admitted, “It’s completely obvious. You’re practically smitten with him and he’s all about you.”
Scarlett rolled her eyes in response, shaking her head with a smile.
“Sure he is.”
“Are you blind? Of course he is! He’s practically joined to you by the hip.” Haley pointed out, her expression clearly showing her excitement in her cousin’s love-life as she went on, “The question isn’t whether he likes you or not Scarlett, that’s obvious… the question is, what are you gonna do about it?”
Letting out a long sigh, Scarlett looked down at the table with a solemn expression.
That was the million dollar question; what was she going to do about it? Would a relationship possibly work between them? She silently weighed up her options. On one hand she and Adam had become rather close in the mere couple of days they had known each other and it just felt ‘right’ when they were together. Not to mention that he was incredibly kind, caring, handsome and obviously amazing in bed.
But on the other hand she barely knew him at all. That and her past was bound to catch up with her at one point or another. She dreaded involving such a kind and gentle soul as Adam with the problems of her unfortunate past. He didn’t deserve someone as damaged and dangerous as her. He deserved someone so much better than she was. Someone who could give him a wonderful life, free of all the dramas and baggage she carried.
So why did she still feel it was worth a shot?
“Scarlett? Earth to Scarlett, you in there?” Haley’s voice pulled her from her thoughts and she blinked, turning to her cousin again.
“I asked what you’re gonna do about him?” Haley reminded her, “About Adam?”
“I… I don’t-“
“-You guys ready?” Jake asked as he and Adam came to stand over them at the table they were seated at, “We’re gonna go to a few more shops and then head home.”
“Sounds good.” Scarlett nodded with a smile.
Haley narrowed her eyes at Scarlett’s timidness. Right then and there she made a decision; it was time to initiate operation ‘Get Scarlett and Adam together’. Rising from her seat she placed her hand on Adam’s shoulder as she spoke.
“So Adam, I was speaking with Scarlett here and we decided she needs a man’s opinion on a nice set of lingerie… you think you’re up to the task?” her words were practically dripping with challenge and her expression confirmed it.
Scarlett’s eyes almost bugged right out of her head with embarrassment. She wanted to kill her cousin for ambushing her like this!
But Adam hadn’t reacted like Haley thought he would have. He didn’t go red in the face, shy away or stutter his words. In fact, he looked even more confident now than he was before. What she didn’t know was that Adam was never one to back down from a challenge and he simply grinned back at the teenager standing beside him.
“That I can do.” he said smiling back at her.
With that he stepped forward and took Scarlett’s hand, pulling her along with him as they headed off in the direction of a local lingerie shop located nearby. Scarlett’s expression showed her to be anxious at first, but she still managed to get in a good glare at her sinister cousin as they walked away, for setting her up like this so suddenly.
“Hey what about me? I happen to have great taste…” Jake argued with his sister when it was just them standing together, “Especially when it comes to women’s lingerie.”
Haley rolled her eyes, placing both hands on her hips as she looked at him shaking her head.
“She’s your cousin, Jake.” she reminded, as if he'd clearly forgotten.
Jake’s face turned a pale white as he suddenly felt nauseous at the mere thought of watching his cousin trying on lingerie. His stomach churned as he placed a hand over it.
“Point taken.” he grimaced with remorse.