It was easy to forget why people paid $150 a week for a room in her parents’ musty, old house after stepping out of the taxi and onto the gravel driveway. She glanced up at the ancient stone home and fell in love with it all over again. The home was slightly more modest than their neighbors’ if only for the very visible fact of its age; the large stone blocks used to construct the walls were chipped and crumbling in some places. But the grounds still remained ostentatious, with lush grass and delicate flower gardens, the whole affair making one feel as if they’ve stepped into a very strange dream. Adele was only able to rip her eyes away from the old beauty for the two seconds it took her to grab her suitcase from the taxi trunk and then she was back to gaping.
Gabriel, her twin brother, was glad to ruin that moment of awe though with a light shove to her back.
“Putain, Adele! It’s just some old house, quit gawking.”
Gabriel was the worst kind of teenager, in that he thought himself well beyond his years and cooler than everyone else around him. There was also that annoying quirk he had of only speaking French if it was to swear at her. Her parents didn’t disapprove. They were just glad at least some French was on his mind.
Adele sighed and did the only logical thing; flipped him off with her freshly manicured middle finger. They were similar in that respect, both willing to stoop to the other’s level. That was where the similarities ended. For being identical twins, the two did a really bad job of it. They shared the same olive skin, almond shaped eyes, and full lips; but where one had mid length curly hair, the other had tamed their long curls with a flat iron. Where one wore mascara that made eyelashes turn into spider legs and religiously slathered on sunscreen before stepping outside, the other had a sun kissed complexion that was said to make all the girls swoon.
They had grown up in the suburbs of Florida without a lick of their heritage in sight, and to make up for this, their parents resigned them to a month of summer vacation in the French Riviera. Alone. People were paid to live in the house and take care of it while the family was gone, so in truth they weren’t completely isolated. The catch was they only spoke French. Except the guests.
The guests rented rooms for the summer and got experience in who knows what. Many came to practice their French, others for the gardens, more for the general destination and great rates. It was with these guests that Gabriel and Adele found comfort in not being the only people struggling with their French. Sometimes there were even cute ones, which definitely made the trip more interesting.
This wasn’t the main goal for Adele this summer. She was over and done with these French Riviera summer flings, having experienced many in the past. There was also the fact that she was just getting over a messy breakup with a boyfriend of five months who decided to end things during their high school graduation. Gabriel was kind enough to mention the subject once and never bring it up again despite its potential for ridicule. They both found that they grew out of the age of constant fighting and childish disputes, seeing as they turned 18 back in September.
Adele brought her stuff up to her room and proceeded to get unpacked. She greeted the groundskeepers in her best French and succeeded in doing so, yet was only able to smile and nod when they tried to keep the conversation going. Staring out the window that gave her a view of the sea, she saw the neighborhood children playing in the grass and by the rocks and in the waters, and smiled at the ease in which they enjoyed the beautiful day. She wished she could do the same but the looming threat of adulthood and her recent heartbreak and humiliation kept her depressed even after unpacking all her clothes in the same drawers she’s used since childhood. What usually was the mark of the beginning of her summer left her with dread of how slowly the month would go by. Her mind turned to weed that was stashed in her suitcase, which eased the bitter thoughts. At least there was something to comfort her.
Suddenly, a loud banging sound came from her door.
“Adele, we’ve got company!” she heard her brother say in a sing-song voice from the other side. Stifling a groan she made her way to the door and downstairs to meet the guests.
He was standing casually in the foyer, looking at the art that hung on the walls on either side of him. His hair was short around the sides, the rest of it hardly styled. His hands were in the pockets of crimson shorts that stopped mid-thigh, showing off thick, tanned muscle that matched the rest of his body, which was greatly revealed as he wore a loose white tank top. He looked as if he had just come back from a three day trip to the Bahamas, not a several hour flight from Chicago.
Adele wished she looked as effortlessly handsome as he did. She stood in front of him for a good ten seconds before he took notice of her. Adele hardly had time to change out of her UCF sweater and black leggings, nor brush her hair, yet the stranger still found her alluring. His eyes flitted from her full lips to what he could make of her bust, then her thighs, and finally her dark brown eyes.
“Hi, I’m Carter.”
He took one hand out of his pockets and held it out in front of him. Adele tentatively took it, joining her soft hands with his rough ones. She noticed he had long fingers.
“I’m Adele, and my brother is Gabriel-”
“I know, we’ve been…acquainted.”
Adele glanced over to where her brother was rummaging through the drawers of a credenza to find a brochure that advertises the wonderful things to see in the area.
“I see. Are you here to study French, or do you have other desires for your stay?”
Carter took a long look at Adele before answering.
“A bit of both I would say. Mainly, I just want to relax by the waterfront, hence my choice of dress.”
Adele looked down at what she thought were his shorts. After careful examination she realized that they were in fact swim trunks, almost laughing at the thought of him on a plane wearing beach attire.
Somehow he noticed that and gave her a critical stare.
“Nothing, I’m just glad you’re as ready as me to enjoy the summer sun,” she replied. “That being said, please go right ahead.” She threw a thumb over her shoulder toward the back door that opens out onto the lawn. “If you want I can take your bags for you.”
Reaching down to grab the leather handle of his duffle bag, she expected to be stopped in her tracks. Guests usually preferred to take their own things to their rooms, her show merely being for the sake of politeness.
“Thanks, that’s a real help.” Carter began walking off, straight towards the door she had pointed out. As she looked back with surprise, he also looked at her with a smirk on his face. That smirk fell away though as he noticed her perfect ass. He could feel himself getting turned on by looking at her bent over. The moment was over in a second as she promptly stood up, bag in hand, and gruffly stomped up the stairs.