Fatal Alliances

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Chapter 10

I told myself that nothing could spoil my day today. I would try to be nicer to everyone. That was the only way I would survive being here, even if it meant trying not to snap back. I was putting myself in a position that was foreign to me, but I’ll try. When I got up I realized that Adrian had already gotten up and was probably taking a shower.

Alright, Greene, be nicer to him. How to do that?

An idea struck me. Bribe him. Vandermir likes sweet things, right? So how about I make something for him….breakfast. Hmm….what’s sweet? Oh yes, pancakes. And I’ll even make a dark chocolate syrup for them. And put some fruits on the side because I realized he liked to ‘balance things out’. I prepared it as swiftly as I could and set the table for him. As I was about to knock on the door, almost on cue, he opened it.

“Good morning.” I smiled sweetly as I batted my eyelashes in the most angelic way possible.

He looked at me with an arched eyebrow, “Are you sick?”

“No, I’m fine. Look, I’ve made breakfast for you.” I said as we walked towards the table and pushed him down on the chair while I took a seat next to him to talk.

“Why aren’t you eating?” I asked as I realized he was looking at me.

“Do you want to see a doctor?”

“Excuse me?”

“I mean to ask, have you been tested? You aren’t bipolar, are you?” He quizzed as he raised his eyebrow again.

Keep calm, Juliet, there is nothing to get mad about. He’s just doing it to irritate you.

Forcefully smiling back at him, I replied unable to control myself, “Why don’t you just shut up and eat sweetheart.”

He said nothing but softly chuckled at me. Suddenly, I heard a knock on the door.

“Get it.” Adrian said as he took a bite of the pancake.

Did he just command me?

Trying my best not to get mad at him, I walked towards the door, “You could’ve said please.” I mumbled as I opened the door to see Finny standing there.

“Hi Juliet,” He said as he walked in and asked, “Oh wow! You made pancakes Adrian?”

“No, my lovely little guest here did.” He replied with his signature smirk, “You should get one of these things Finny.”

Thing? That bastard.

I knew what he was trying to do, he was trying to make me slip up. No way, no way am I doing that. Try all you want Vandermir, but it won’t work.

“Oh this is tasty,” Finny smiled as he took the pancake Adrian had in his fork and put it in his own mouth.

It was a bit disturbing actually, do guys do that? Do grown men do that? I do that with Jenna and Nina, but they were my sisters. It was kind of gross seeing Finny do that. And weren’t guys like stingy when it came to their own food? Huh, what do I know? I’ve never really been too much concerned with guys and relationships in my life, it was just family problems and studying for me. Don’t get me wrong though, I knew how nasty men could be, and I knew right from wrong and Dick from Dora. I knew how cruel and unfair the world could be, how painful it is to lose the ones you love and how hard it was to make a living. So ask me if I ever been in a relationship…no, but ask me if I ever sent a guy to the hospital for making fun of my little sister…yes.

“Aren’t you going to eat, Juliet?” Finny asked.

“No, I’m not that hungry yet.” I replied as I walked back inside to take a shower.

The outfit I picked out to wear was really adorable, Finny has some good taste. Maybe I should always send him to buy my clothes. The piece was cute and classy, the shirt was this pastel pink colour with little pleats looking like a flower at the bottom while the top was an armless floral cream design. It looked better tucked into the skirt though. The outfit even came with this cute little belt. Coming out, I noticed Finny there while Adrian and Ricardo were about to leave. Hmm, I didn’t even notice Ricardo had arrived.

“Oh, you’re done.” Finny smiled.

“Mhmm.” I replied back at him as I sat at the table to eat.

I never realized how comfortable I was beginning to become at Adrian’s place. Almost as if reading my thought, I noticed how the edge of his lips curved slightly. He was looking at me once again with his alluring, steel grey eyes. I couldn’t understand this guy, what he was thinking and going on in his head. His facial expression gave nothing away, yet I knew there was more than just nothing up with him. He was so incredibly good at concealing himself, at hiding what he was thinking and feeling. It made me unbelievably frustrated with him. He was so closed up, I wondered how lonely he was. I mean, did he even trust anyone? Did he even open up to anyone? This was so unrealistically maddening to me. What kind of a man was he?

“We should go now.” Ricardo said.

Now that I look at Ricardo and Adrian standing together, it made me realize how much they both were alike, having the same hair colour. Adrian’s was like a messy little kid’s one, always with that bed-hair look even when it was combed while Ricardo’s hair was always neatly kept and brushed back. They were tall the same way, had that same coldness, except Ricardo seemed a bit careless and nonchalant about things while Adrian always had that vengeful atmosphere, yet it was so calm and peaceful at the same time. And what distinguishes them the most is that Adrian was a guy that kept to himself most of the time while Ricardo seemed quite oddly open.

“Juliet,” Finny spoke bringing me to his attention as he got up, “We’re going to be out for a bit. So just be careful, I’d advise you to stay inside.”

“A bit?” I asked remembering how his perspective of ‘a bit’ was actually ‘a while’.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be back before the others, maybe by lunchtime or so. If I’m back before, we could go to the art exhibit downstairs.” He continued.

I said nothing but simply smiled at him. He was such a good guy, always so sweet and helpful. He never made you feel like you were left out. As they all left I felt a bit uneasy being by myself. I’ve never really been to a stranger’s place alone before. Everything in this place was so neat, so perfectly inline, so spotless yet something was so odd. Can someone actually be this perfect? I walked around the place as I realized something. There weren’t any pictures around here. No family, friends, dog. Nothing. How could that even be possible? Everyone had some old picture stuck somewhere, yet Adrian’s place felt like his heart, cold and empty. It actually began to make me a bit melancholic, what if his parents were gone, just like mine? But even though, I still had pictures with my mom and dad around. Why didn’t Adrian have any?

I tried to shove that thought away from my mind as I turned on the television. There was this new thriller movie that had just started so I decided to watch that, fell asleep halfway through it, and was woken back up by the beeping sound of a watch. I needed to wash my face, I shouldn’t even be sleeping this much. Walking into the bedroom, I tripped and fell because of a stupid pen that fell on the ground.

So much for clean and spotless.

Rubbing my ankle while sitting on the ground hoping I didn’t sprain it, I noticed that I had pushed the bottom drawer of the closet slightly out. If Vandermir saw this I knew he would throw a fit about me messing things up. When I was about to close it, I noticed something peculiar inside it. A book? What was a book doing here? Wasn’t Adrian like this neat freak? Shouldn’t this have been in the bookshelf in the office room?

Don’t touch it, Juliet, it isn’t yours. Just close the drawer and stop being such a snoop.

I tried to listen to my conscience but curiosity got the better of me and I took out the book, only to realize it wasn’t really a book, it was an old photo album.

So he did have pictures.

Opening it, I found the most peculiar images. These photos weren’t with only one set of family, there were around three sets of families. And none had the same individuals in them frequently. The first set I noticed was there, the last though, was just a few pictures with this dark haired kid and his parents. The second set actually made my eyes widen a bit, there were pictures of this kid with his parents, but I realized he was closer to his mom since he was always by her side, hugging her and smiling as bright as he could and just goofing off with her.

Wait….no…this can’t be. Can it? Adrian?

There was no way possible that could be Adrian, Adrian Vandermir was not capable of smiling and goofing off like that. Or was he? I didn’t even know the guy, he was always so shut down with himself. How could I even judge what kind of person he was? But that had to be him, everything was so similar, his hair, his eyes (which were a little bigger and brighter when he was younger though). He was the sweetest, most adorable and lovable looking little kid ever. It even made me smile. His mom, I had to admit was really pretty. He had his mom’s eyes but his dad’s dark hair, as his mom’s hair was the lightest shade of blonde. His dad on the other hand seemed really stern and harsh, he didn’t seem like the friendly type of man. Looking at the man even made my skin crawl a bit. I turned the previous page, only to realize that the first kid I saw before with his family was Ricardo.

Hmm…all this was really…..something.

Turning the album further I noticed another family there, but this time, it was pretty crazy. I noticed a teenage Adrian standing near a teenage Finny along with a pretty blonde girl and two adults which seemed like husband and wife. There were tons of pictures with this family and Adrian was in almost all of them, but oddly he always stood near Finneas and never near the adults. Another thing I noticed was that he seemed a bit down in some, although he was smiling in most, there was something painfully agonizing behind it. I could tell because I knew what it was like to put on a fake smile, and how hard it was to do so. This family couldn’t have been related to Adrian’s, they all looked so different. For one, they were all blondes and even though I noticed Adrian’s mom’s hair was blonde, it wasn’t as dark as this family’s. I just knew this family had no blood relation with Adrian’s, nothing in that made sense. It was Finny’s family clearly, since they all had this distinct look. But why was Vandermir with them?

My eyes fell upon a picture with Finny and the blonde girl and another with them, along with Adrian. This time I noticed in the picture the girl stood next to Adrian and was tightly holding his hand with her fingers intertwined with his. For some odd reason, I felt a needle in my heart. No, Adrian means nothing to you, he’s just a stranger to you. Don’t feel so pathetic, Greene. The girl was so graceful looking, she was always smiling, but Adrian had that unreadable look to his face in that picture. I couldn’t help but keep staring at how perfectly their hands fit into each other’s. How lovely the girl actually was, with her long blonde hair and glittery bright blue eyes. Don’t feel so stupid, Greene. Just close the darn book and suck it up. You have no right to feel like this. You don’t even have the right to open this book. As I was about to close the book, a picture fell out. It was a picture with a teenage Adrian, Finny, Ricardo and Donnie. Huh, they knew each other from that long ago? Wow.

Suddenly I heard the sound I was dreading for, “Juliet!” Someone called me.

Oh my God.

I quickly shoved the picture back in the album and stuck it back into the drawer, trying to fix it as it was before and push it back neatly.

You had to be such a snoop, didn’t you?

Thankfully, I had managed to adjust everything back in order just as he came in except I was still on the ground.

“Hey, gosh, are you okay? What are you doing on the ground?” Finny asked as he walked in.

“Oh it’s nothing, I just fell.” I said as I picked up the pen on the ground showing it to him.

“You aren’t hurt, are you?”

“No, don’t worry, I’m fine.” I smiled back as he helped me up.

“Well, let’s go then.”

“Huh? Go where?”

“Don’t you remember, Juliet? I said we’ll go to the art exhibit downstairs.”

“Oh, right, yes, I forgot.”

As we walked out the door, I felt the urge to ask Finny about everyone. My curiosity was eating me alive, it was killing me. I wanted to know, maybe then I’ll figure out Vandermir, he always drove me crazy with all his unreadable expressions. Maybe if I knew, I’d understand him better. And who was that girl anyway?

“Finny,” I asked nervously as we were in the elevator, “How long did you know Adrian for?”

“Only for a year,” He said as the elevator stopped and he walked to the exhibit which was just along the hall.

Wait…what? No… He lied to me. Finneas lied to me.

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