If I had to explain what type of person Adrian Vandermir was, I couldn’t. I couldn’t understand him even if I tried. Whatever he did had reason, and some reasons he alone knew. As for right now, the way he was looking at me felt as if it was real but it wasn’t. All these emotions and the manner in which he spoke to me was all just a sad, bitter, unfortunate, yet skilfully realistic, pretence. It was just a show, so people would think that we were actually about to be married in order to get O’Neil off our backs. It never the less was a lie and a joke, and it was all fake.
“You look better with your hair down.” He said as he took off the clip from my hair but still kept me locked in his arm.
I didn’t care about this pretence right now. I just wanted to tell him about this unbearable pain. I needed him to get me out of here. I couldn’t deal with this tormenting feeling inside me right now. He wouldn’t want to leave now, I knew he wouldn’t. He wouldn’t want to listen to anything I said. He was an alpha, he didn’t take orders, especially if they came from a woman. I needed to think of something before I passed out here though. I needed to think of a way to influence him. I couldn’t think, not right now, I was a complete mess. At the corner of my eye I saw Mr O’Neil watching us, he was looking at me for the matter. Quite frankly, the stare was making me feel mentally uncomfortable. That odd unpleasant feeling about him started to haunt me again. If he was really as bad as Donnie said, no wonder I was worried. What if one day he sees me alone? I can’t even bear that thought.
As Vandermir was about to walk away, I stopped him, “Adrian wait.”
“What’s wrong with you, Greene?” He replied in an amused yet bothered tone, clearly because no one was looking at us. Well, except O’Neil, but Vandermir couldn’t see him because his back was turned against him.
Mr O’Neil never took his eyes off me which caused my insides to tremble. I knew if Adrian left, the old sleaze would walk up to me and in my state right now, I didn’t want that. Adrian’s face turned a bit irritated at me for keeping him waiting, I was thinking too much anyway. Without a word I laced my arms around him, hugging him. Not like a quick awkward one, but more like a deep ‘I need comfort’ kind of hug. Maybe O’Neil would leave me alone now, I was with the one I ‘love’ anyway. Adrian on the other hand was a bit taken back from my sudden action, but as society saw us as a couple, he had no choice but to put his hands around me and make this look as real as wrangler jeans, whether he liked it or not. It actually felt nice. It’s been such a long time since I had a hug from anyone, but this time it felt so different, because it wasn’t just anyone I was hugging. This was Adrian Vandermir, the cold heartless multi billionaire who could crush a man with just a phone call. And nonetheless, this was the first time I’d ever been so close to anyone.
I tightened my arms around him as the pain increased and closed my eyes, he wasn’t as cold as I’d expect him to be, instead he was heated and I felt somewhat protected. His cologne was spicy and rich, it was intoxicating. This feeling was so new to me I almost forgot about the pain and the old sleazebag eyeing me. Although I knew none of this was real, it was nice to have someone just hold me. His body heat was the most sensational feeling- electrifying actually. This moment right now was just perfect, in a weird twisted screwed up kind of way that is.
“When are you planning on letting go of me, Ms. Greene?” Adrian whispered in my ear, sending a shiver down my spine.
The agonizing pain was creeping back up on me as I brought myself back to reality. I had to tell him, I wasn’t going to keep putting up with this excruciating feeling.
“I feel terrible, Adrian, I want to leave.” I said as I tightened my arms around him even more.
“What a pity.” He breathed with a soft wicked chuckle.
“Please, please I can’t stand it. It’s eating me alive. Please take me back.” I sobbed.
I didn’t like begging. I hated this. Feeling powerless was not me. Asking a man for help was never an option to me. I was becoming more and more helpless the more I stayed with him. He made me feel so crushed, Juliet Greene never cried but he made her, Juliet Greene never begged but he made her, and Juliet Greene never depended on anyone, especially a man, but he made her. He completely corrupted my ideas, beliefs, and my personality. Adrian Vandermir did the impossible.
“Stop crying, it’s pathetic, you’ll make a scene.” He said with irritation seeping out his icy voice.
“I just want to leave.” I said as I pulled away from him but still clinging to his shirt.
Couldn’t he see how awful I looked?
“There you are.” I heard Ricardo’s voice nearing us and I removed my hands from Adrian shirt.
“Did you finish it?” Vandermir asked.
“It’s done.” Ricardo smiled back as if he won a game.
“That’s excellent to hear. I spoke to the lady already, I’m sure she’s do whatever it takes to convince him.”
I didn’t know what they were talking about but whatever it was, it was done, which meant they would surely head back now.
“Oh, can we leave now?” I asked hopefully. I honestly hated being the little annoying child, but right now was desperate times.
“No, not yet, I still need to talk to someone.” Ricardo answered.
Well, there goes my little ray of hope.
Note to self, whenever Finny says ‘in a bit’ it’s actually going to be ‘a while’.
I was literally going to die here.
“You finish that, I’m heading back.” Adrian said to Ricardo and then looked at me, “Well, are you coming? I don’t have all day.”
If this was his act of kindness, I was totally grateful for it. As we arrived outside, he unlocked the car door. Huh, I didn’t know he brought a car here too. The drive back took forever, everything I did seemed like forever. This pain was crushing me, melting and liquidizing my insides. I just wanted to scream, but I held myself back because my ‘charming’ driver was the type of guy who would put me out for doing that.
“You look like a mess.” I heard him chuckle.
I wanted to snap back at him, but my condition was preventing me from doing so. When he realized that, he just laughed.
“I want my meds.” I said softly, pressing my cheek on the cold leather seat looking out the window.
“My allergy meds.” I strained my voice again.
“Ah, so I was right, you were an idiot enough to eat something you weren’t supposed to.” He smiled, shaking his head.
As mean as that was, it was true. Shamefully true.
Finally we had arrived at the hotel, already taking out my shoes in the car. As we entered the apartment, Adrian went to the cupboard and threw me packs of different meds,
“Don’t overdose yourself, screwy.” He chuckled as he went into another room and came back out when he got the phone.
I took the ones I knew of and within ten minutes, I felt my pain dying down, but not entirely though.
“Did you eat anything?” He asked sounding unconcerned, almost as if it was a bother for him to ask.
“No,” I replied truthfully as I turned away from him.
“Well, you’ve only caused this upon yourself.”
“Stop it! I didn’t eat anything because I couldn’t eat anything at that time! Why are you always so mean to me? All you’ve ever been is rude towards me, I mean, I know you’ve helped so many times but that doesn’t give you the right to treat me the way you do.” I said bitterly.
Oh yeah, the meds were working.
Adrian’s face seemed impassive at that moment, as he neared me he caused me to bump on to the large cupboard behind. His expression was so different from his usual ones. It was as if he was curious, but with a hint of anger and confusion. I hadn’t realized how close we were to each other at that moment. I remembered hugging him, he smelt like this odd yet rich spice, it was different but it suited him, and also being so close to him, he was strangely warm and non-intimidating at that moment. I felt my chest becoming so weak with his closeness, like I had tiny fairies flying inside me, tickling my ribs. He was so tall and elegant. Everything about him seemed so perfect. How could someone make a man as graceful as him? It honestly wasn’t fair to other guys.
The way he was looking at me right now was completely different from the way he looked at me at the function. His gaze on me right now was intense, he was studying me almost. I knew my face had gotten really pale but if he made fun of me again, I swear, I’ll slap him. Or better yet, punch him in that pretty face. Instead, he kept his steady gaze on me, especially on my lips. I almost felt him getting closer, but it must’ve been the meds. Nope, no meds, he actually was getting closer to me.
Suddenly a timer went off in the kitchen, he brought his gaze up to my eyes and smiled. It was a wicked taunting kind of smile, not one of his cold heartless usual ones. When he left me I felt oddly empty, like I needed him back here.
No, what the heck are you thinking, Juliet? You don’t need anyone.
The timer stopped in the kitchen where I saw him searching his fridge and taking out a bunch of vegetables.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“Aren’t you hungry?”
“I’m a 28 year old bachelor living on my own, you think I like depending on room service every day of my life?” He smugly smiled as he rolled up his sleeves and loosened his tie.
For some odd reason, I found that rather attractive. I stared at him as he continued with his cooking session but felt really bad since I was like a freeloader. The name ‘resource sucker’ was only bubbling in my guilt as I looked at him do all the work.
No, I’m not a resource sucker. Suck the pain up, Greene, help the man.
Without a word, I took up another knife and a carrot and began chopping it.
“What are you doing?” Adrian asked as he noted me next to him.
“I’m helping. I’m not a resource sucker anyway.” I mumbled the last piece.
“Nothing.” I smiled back lovingly, trying to avoid saying it again. I knew he would use it against me if he got mad and that was one nickname I hated and didn’t want to hear again.
“What are you doing now?” I heard him ask, sounding annoyed at me.
“Geez, I’m just chopping the broccoli. What’s your problem?” I replied, obviously confused and irritated.
“I don’t want broccoli in my soup.” He said flatly.
“You are such a baby. Don’t you eat this? It’s good for you, don’t act like a three year old.”
“I didn’t mean that,” he chuckled, “I meant, I didn’t want to put it in the soup, I’ll make something else for it. A vegetable sauté, how’s that?”
“Perfect.” I smiled as I looked at him.
He was perfect. Moody, cold hearted at times, and wicked but even then he did everything perfect. What a perfect man.
“Unless,” He continued, “You want us to sit, cuddle together while burying ourselves in dark chocolate, then I’m up for that.”
“No, that’s so unhealthy and inappropriate.” I laughed supressing the blush as I patted his stomach as if he had any fat there. Nope, none what-so-ever. He was so fit and healthy, if anyone had ever told me that this guy had an insanely terrible sweet tooth, I’d laugh at them in the face.
It wasn’t too long until we ate. I had already changed my clothes while everything was cooking and right after me, Vandermir did the same. I’d never been so hungry in my entire life, yet it was so very awkward being with Adrian. I even had to force myself to chew slower and more ladylike. Nonetheless, I was full in the end.
Today was honestly the longest day of my life. What really depressed me was that while I was eating I was thinking of Jenna. What if she gets sick because of being so worried for me? Maybe I should have let Donnie go to her and explain things? But would I take that risk? I mean, all Donnie was blabbing about was how pretty my sister was. I didn’t want to put her in any position where she could possibly fall for him and then he would break her heart. Besides, Donnie doesn’t seem like the type of guy to settle down just yet and it wasn’t helping that he was actually a really attractive guy, too. No wonder that girl, Alexandria, couldn’t stop admiring him, with his long perfectly cut silky black hair that fell on both sides of his face and his high-caliber appearance and personality. What girl wouldn’t fall for a good looking rich guy, who treats her like a queen on the first impression? And then there was Adrian, the one who women literally threw themselves at but he pushes them away because he’s too busy. I wonder if he ever had a girlfriend before. Not that I cared, it’s just that I don’t see him particularly being the settle down kind of guy either. He seemed like he didn’t care about that kind of drama, it was as if his life has one purpose and he wasn’t going to stray from it.
What really goes on in your head, Vandermir?
There was so much I didn’t know about him.
Jenna….The thought of my sister again made me feel sick and lousy about myself. I needed to tell her I was alright. I had to. Looking out the window, I saw how the city night lights made their rainbow of colours, it was taunting me. Everything seemed so perfect, so happy, yet I was feeling so miserable. I saw Adrian already asleep on the couch. Weird that he didn’t go to his room. The other night he hadn’t either, maybe it was because he was feeling awful to leave me here alone? Maybe he was feeling guilty for not being a gentleman and telling me to take the bed. But why would he not tell me? It wasn’t like he was a shy guy. Anyway, it could simply be because he really didn’t care. I think that was the one.
Nearing him, I noticed how peaceful he looked when he was asleep. His hand was behind his head asleep like an adult, but his face seemed so childish, he looked so vulnerable. His heartless expression that he always wore was gone. Instead, there was this soft innocent expression. I stooped down next to him wanting to wake him up and tell him that I wanted to call Jenna, but the way he looked right now was so adorable. The way his deep dark brown- almost black- hair playfully messed around his forehead, he really seemed child-like.
So this is what the real Adrian Vandermir looks like.
I felt like sleeping at that moment just looking at how peaceful he looked. His shoulder even seemed like the perfect place to rest ones head on.
No, what the heck are you thinking! No.
I pushed the thought away from my head when I heard him in a raspy sleepy voice, “What are you doing, Greene?”
I was a bit startled at how close I was over him and pulled away slightly as he tiredly opened his eyes to look at me.
“Well?” He continued.
“I…I wanted to ask you something.” I replied a bit awkwardly.
“And you’re idea of asking was to stare at me until I wake up?” He said, arching an eyebrow.
“No…well…I was just…”
“Want did you want?”
“I wanted to call my sister. Please Adrian, don’t refuse to let me call her. Donnie said he saw her and…and that she was looking ‘delicate’ but I know my sister. She doesn’t look so delicate, I mean yeah she is thin, but I just know she’s probably sick and frail from not eating because she’s worrying about me. He even said that she was crying, if-”
“Shut up, you talk too much.” He said as he got up and took something from the table, handing it to me, “Here.”
It was his phone. He was actually letting me have my way. I didn’t know what to say at first, it was such an odd gesture coming from him. Maybe it was because he just wanted to shut me up because I would have been nagging him the whole night. Whatever it was, it worked.
As I was going to take the phone from him, he held it back and gave me a scowl, “Don’t tell her anything stupid.”
Wow, what a nice reminder for saying ‘don’t say anything that could be dangerous to you or your family’.
I knew I couldn’t tell Jenna where I was, or what happened, all I needed to tell her was that I was okay. I couldn’t risk putting her life and the lives of the rest of people I cared about in danger, because if I went out and those masked men saw me again, they would kill me and my family since they thought I was someone important to Vandermir. So that’s why it’s better for me to stay away and distance myself from them.
I took the phone and sat by the window seat as Adrian looked at me curiously from the couch opposite. He was studying me again, this time everything about me. It made me get this weird feeling.
As I dialled Jenna number, my heart was pounding a thousand times per minute.
Please answer the phone Jenna.
‘Hello?’ I heard her sad voice on the phone. It sounded like she had been crying.
‘Jenna?’ I breathed, feeling so relieved that I heard her voice after so long.
’Juliet, oh my God, where are you? Oh God, Julie, please tell me where you are. Are you alright? Oh God, oh my god...”
I could just imagine her walking up and down the room with her hand on her forehead. Her crying was evident anyway.
‘I’m fine Jenna, I was…actually I’m on a trip.’
‘Excuse me?’ She said in a bitter tone.
‘I couldn’t call you earlier because I was on the plane Jen, I just…I’m sorry, I just arrived and….’
‘What the hell is wrong with you, Juliet! You never mentioned any trip to me! Who the heck do you think you are to just leave like that! Do you know how worried I’ve been!’
‘J-Jenna I’m sorry, I didn’t know how to tell you, it was so sudden and I...’
‘Stop it! Just stop it! I don’t want to hear anything else from you! You never listen to me! You take everything for granted and do things your own way! But how long are you going to live like that, Julie? If you don’t care about the people who care about you the most, how on earth do you expect anyone to care about you later on! God, just….Get home right now, I don’t care how important this trip is to you!’
She was telling me all what she thought of me. Even though I knew she didn’t know why I did it, I still felt hurt at the fact that’s how she saw me, how she always did. And it was embarrassing because Adrian was hearing everything as well, the place was so quiet we could hear a pin drop, much less Jenna’s voice. I turned my face away to look out the window because I knew my eyes were damp, I didn’t want him to see me like this.
‘Are you even listening to me, Juliet?’
‘I’m sorry Jenna, I can’t come home yet. Please try and understand.’ I said as I painfully ended the call.
That was imminently painful. I never felt so crushed and distressed before in my entire life. I always knew what to do to fix things but right now, I had no choice.
Adrian came up to me and took the phone. He looked at me for a moment as if he wanted to say something, but didn’t bother and walked away with that cold expression of his.