Waking up always seemed like the most arduous thing to do. I felt a ray of sunlight fall upon my face, pushing me to open my eyes entirely. This was the day that everything was going to be back to normal. This was the day I got my freedom back. I can go home now and pretend nothing ever happened, pretend that I didn’t almost die a few days ago, pretend that I knew nothing about the odd folders which held information on illegal deals, and most of all, pretend that I never met Adrian Vandermir.
Even though I was supposed to be thrilled to be leaving, I had this sickening depression within me. I mean, what if nothing is ever going to be normal for me again? What if these men were lying to me so I would leave because I was too much of a trouble for them? I’d admit that I wasn’t the nicest house guest to have around, but Vandermir was not the best host either.
I quickly took a shower, feeling a little bit relieved that all this drama would be over now. Adrian must have stepped out since I didn’t see him in the rooms anyway. As I was finished, I told myself that I would wear my own clothes because I didn’t want anyone to think of me as a greedy freeloader. Apparently my clothes weren’t there in the set of clothing either. Now that I mention it, they were never there. It was a little frustrating just frantically searching for something that wasn’t there anymore, so I decided to wear something Finny bought for me. On the top of the stack of clothing I placed in the closet was a short scarlet flared dress entirely coated with red lace. Huh, I never saw that there before. It was gorgeous and honestly when I wore it, it fit so perfectly. My hair wasn’t at all messy so I brushed it through with my fingers. As I came out the room, I saw Adrian. He was staring at me again, but almost as if he was pleased with something. I hadn’t even realized that Finny and Ricardo were sitting on the couch behind either.
“How pretty you look.” Finny smiled.
“Thanks.” I replied awkwardly. I was never really comfortable getting compliments from anyone. It was always a bit strange every time, even though I did get it often.
Adrian walked into the office room again ignoring me while Finny stood up to me.
“You have pretty good taste in clothes I have to admit, Finny.”
“Oh, thanks, but not this dress.”
“What?” I asked with a smile.
“I didn’t pick this dress. Maybe Adrian bought it for you yesterday. A lady was constantly nagging us to purchase something when we were passing by a bouquet yesterday. He must’ve gotten frustrated with her and bought this.”
“Oh.” Was all I could say. It felt weird wearing something Adrian picked out for me. If I knew he bought this then I would’ve have worn it at all.
“So, are you ready to go then?” Ricardo asked.
“I’ll drop you instead of Ricardo if you want, Juliet.” Finny offered.
Finneas, I don’t know why, but I still can’t bring myself to see you the way I used to see you. It wasn’t a big deal that you were hiding something personal, but what really hurt me was that it didn’t seem like you regretted lying to me. It was as if you were accustomed to doing it so much and if you can do that so perfectly then there’s more to you that meets the eye. And honestly, that scared me because now I know you are as dangerous as the rest of these guys.
“Juliet?” Finny continued.
“It’s alright. Ricardo can drop me. You don’t have to trouble yourself.”
Even though I had considered Ricardo to be alarming at first, he was the one that was honest to me. He was the one that didn’t seem to mind telling me the truth. And maybe I could trust him to drop me back, just this once. Finny seemed a bit surprised and at the same time slightly hurt by that, almost as if he had a puppy but it chose another master. I hated that look on his face, it made me feel miserable about myself. I didn’t mean to wound him in any way but he was the one lying to me and that hurt me a lot because I trusted him the most.
“Alright then, Juliet.” He smiled back at me but tried to hide the fact that it pained when I refused him.
As I was leaving the room, I thought to myself that maybe Adrian Vandermir was cold by nature. Maybe it wasn’t his fault for the way he acts. I was terrible to him, especially last night. I knew I was being an annoying brat. After everything that happened, Vandermir was the one that saved me, kept me safe with him, and oddly protected me. Was I really that nasty enough to leave him without even thanking him? If I didn’t go back and talk to him now I won’t be able to forgive myself, the guilt will eat me alive and I didn’t want that, so I stopped and quietly asked Ricardo.
“Can I have a minute?”
He didn’t seem to mind, taking that as my answer, I quickly made my way to the office room. Adrian Vandermir stood calmly yet elegantly tall and beautiful as he looked out the window.
“Adr—Mr. Vandermir...” I spoke softly as I neared him.
He continued staring out the window, ignoring my presence next to him. There was something about him that seemed so unreal. His eyes had such a depth to them, a story I would never know. Maybe that’s why he’s so cold and heartless? No, Adrian Vandermir was not heartless, he was cold but not heartless. And I was living proof of that. He could’ve left me to die that night, he could’ve sent me home and put me and my family’s lives in danger, he could’ve not taken up the trouble of calling me his fiancée and let Mr. O’Neil bother me, and he could’ve not taken me back to his place when I was having the allergy sickness. He could have left me hungry. But he didn’t do that. It was queer describing him in this perspective but it wasn’t a lie. As much as I never thought about it, Adrian Vandermir had a heart and I wasn’t going to be immature and a spoiled stubborn child and not accept that fact. Even though his way of thinking and actions were very devilish, his decisions never placed me in any kind of danger. He was indeed a very complex man.
“Shouldn’t you be gone by now, Miss Greene?” He asked in that silky voice of his.
“I’m not that manner-less.”
“You’re not?” He gave a low chuckle as he turned towards me.
“I wanted to thank you. For everything you did for me, and I’m sorry I was such a bother to you. But really, thanks.” I replied as I sucked up my ego and placed my hand out for him to shake.
Gosh, being a mature adult was so hard.
He just looked at my hand curiously and raised an eyebrow, “It’s not a business deal, we don’t have to shake hands.”
“What’s wrong, Vandermir? Afraid you get cooties?”
“Does it hurt?” He asked suddenly as his gaze was fixed upon my hand.
“Excuse me?” I quizzed, quite confused at his question.
Adrian took my hand in his and placed his other hand on top of mine just staring at it. I couldn’t understand what his stare meant, I never saw him look like that before. His hands were so different compared to mine. I mean, yes of course it’s different because he was a man and I was a woman but his touch was so foreign to me. As elegant and beautiful as his hands were, they felt so strange because they were slightly rough and large compared to my soft small ones. His touch made the muscles in my stomach knot in a way I’ve never felt before, a strange type of sensation, electric almost.
“I meant, does it still hurt from last night? When I pulled you towards me.”
There was annoyance in his voice because he had to repeat himself but there was something else in it as well. I was a bit startled at the sudden question and ‘yes’ it did still hurt but I won’t tell him that. I had already been so much trouble to him anyway, maybe this would call it even?
“No, I’m fine.”
There was that look again, I just knew he knew I was lying but strangely he didn’t push the matter further. Instead, he gently let go of my hand and turned back to look out the window as he slid his hand in his pocket.
“Well you should go now, you’re taking up too much of my time anyway.”
And the cold-hearted bastard was back.
As I was about to walk out I heard him call back again, “Greene.”
Turning around, he walked towards me with a folder in his hand and gave it to me. “I find you quite impressive.” He continued with a chuckle.
“-Your qualifications anyway. You got the internship in my Hotel, right?”
Wait, his hotel?
“You can start tomorrow. Just don’t be a screw up.” Adrian said, keeping his solid grey endless coloured eyes glued to mine.
His eyes were so deep, so mesmerizing, I felt like I couldn’t say a word again.
“I’ll- I’ll return the dress tomorrow.” I replied awkwardly, realizing my voice was a little higher than usual.
“Pardon?” He asked curiously.
How stupid of you, Greene. He wasn’t talking about any dress.
“I- well- the dress, I’ll return it tomorrow. I don’t want to be a freeloader or anything.”
My voice seemed to tremble a bit out of nervousness and I slightly bit my lip. His eyes seemed to flicker a bit more as he came closer to me with curved lips.
“Why wait for tomorrow? You can give it back right now.”
His smirk was oddly sinful and devilishly appealing at that moment. My eyes widened a bit when he said that, yet my insides felt like they were being attacked by hundreds of tiny feathers. He was so close to me, we never touched and yet I was getting this strong sensation. I knew my face was burning red. Damn. My knees suddenly began to feel weak around him, I felt so weak, wobbly, jello-like.
“I- I have to go.” I said as I numbly left the room.
Ricardo stood there reading the newspaper as he noticed me exit the room. Finneas, on the other hand, had already left.
“Ready?” He asked.
I felt like I still could not speak properly, my voice was dry and I felt like I couldn’t think at the moment either. Silently, I followed Ricardo out. When we reached at the elevator I heard him chuckle.
“I’ve never seen you this red before.”
“Huh?” I asked confusedly.
Oh my Gosh. This was so embarrassing. I placed my hands on my cheeks almost as if that could stop the burning colour on my face. I wish Vandermir had never spoken to me. I wouldn’t be in such a humiliating state right now. Of course he probably had seen how red I had gotten when we were alone but… oh damn it. Why did he have to look like that and be so damningly perfect? This was his entire fault.
“Do you want something to drink before I take you home? We wouldn’t want anyone getting the wrong idea about me.” Ricardo said as he came out the elevator.
“No, I’m fine. It’ll pass.” I stated hopefully.
The ride home was a bit awkward. I didn’t like the silence, so I tried to break it, “That hotel, how long was it up?”
“Ever since I know, it’s been in the Vandermirs’ name for ages.”
Vandermir. Oh God, I didn’t even know Adrian owned the darn place and I stayed with him for so long.
This is Bad, Greene, you were throwing so much attitude at your boss.
“You didn’t know that Adrian owned the place, did you?” Ricardo chuckled.
“I- well, not exactly.”
“Yes, I figured.”
It didn’t take that long until we reached to our destination. There it was, the Dawnly’s house with its large over the top weird decking and endless front yard.
“Everything’s going to be back to normal, right, Ricardo?” I sighed.
“I hope so. Adrian looked into it and said it was fine for you to leave so I trust it’s alright.”
We came out of the car as he walked along with me.
“You don’t have to walk with me if you don’t want to.” I smiled at him.
“Yes, I’m sure you know the way to your front door quite well.” He smiled back in his unique way as he stopped and I walked ahead.
“Juliet.” I heard him call as he walked towards me. “Here,” He continued as he gave me a paper with a number on it, “It’s a contact number if there’s anything strange going on or if you see anything odd. Call it, alright?”
God, I hope I don’t need to use this.