When I woke up the morning after, and my eyes flew open, the first two things I became aware of where that I was alone, and wasn’t in the stable, anymore. With great effort, I pushed myself up on my elbows, immediately feeling soared. Ignoring that minor detail, I looked around and noticed I was in Adam’s room.
How the hell did I end up here?
I tried to replay last night’s events on my mind.
Useless to say my heart skipped several beats when I remembered I’d been with Mr. Cooper, and had had a life-changing conversation with him. If I wasn’t mistaken... I’d told Mr. Cooper I knew everything about him and Allison, and I don’t know how, but Mr. Cooper ended up telling me he’d talk to Adam today... to let him know he could... choose me!
I gasped. Had he really said that? It sounded so unrealistic that I found it hard to believe, but it was so crystal-clear in my mind that, I had no doubt that conversation had actually happened.
As for what happened next, I remembered I’d been so happy and excited that I ran to the stable and jumped to Adam’s arms, claiming that I loved him and wanted him to say he loved me as well. But after that, I couldn’t quite recall what had happened. However, before I’d gotten drunk on Adam’s love and lust, I still had memorized what he’d said, ”I love you, Eva. More than anything in the world... Hell, I love you." Was he really honest with me?
Still, that particular thought was soon replaced by another one, when I found myself staring at my naked body, only half-covered. Pulling the sheet up to my chest, I wondered where the hell my clothes were and if Adam had actually carried my naked self all the way from his stable. No, he wouldn’t do that, would he?
I allowed myself to fall back and close my eyes again. Where the hell was Adam? And what time was it? The room wasn’t that dark, but I couldn’t quite figure out whether it was still too early or too late. At any rate, I didn’t need to worry much about that, because today was my day off, and so no one would be looking out for me. I could stay here until Adam kicked me out... if he wanted so.
All of a sudden, I heard someone turning the doorknob.
Scared of who could it be, nothing else came up to my mind other than pulling the sheet upper, which was downright stupid. Whoever came in would easily see a figure lying in Adam’s bed. The only question was... would that person dare to check who lay in Adam’s bed?
Lucky me, it was Adam who walked in. When his eyes met mine and became aware I’d woken up, he grinned at me and approached the bed. “Good morning.”
“Good morning,” I said, allowing myself to relax. “Where were you?”
“I woke up like five minutes ago and went downstairs. It’s past 1 PM, you know?” He revealed, sitting down beside me and resting one of his hands on my leg. “I figured you’d wake up soon after, so I asked Glenda to prepare something for me. I told her I was really hungry, and asked her to be generous on the food she’d prepare so that we could both eat.”
Yes, he’d been nice in thinking about that, but... a maid would be coming to his room? I was freaking naked in his bed! “Adam... did you tell them to bring the food up here? I’m-”
“Don’t start fretting, kid.” He cut me off, at the same time his fingers unconsciously moved over my leg. “I told her I’d be back in a couple of minutes to pick up the tray.”
My eyebrow quirked up. “And no one was suspicious about it?”
“No, not really. After all, only Glenda and my grandfather were there.” He said while shrugging a shoulder, pretty relaxed. As for me, I just bit my lower lip. His grandfather had been there while he’d asked such an unusual thing from Glenda? “Seriously, don’t worry, Eva. Glenda seemed ok with it, and my grandfather just stared at me, nothing more. Just a stare, Eva.”
Calm down, Eva, you know Adam has no idea you fear his grandfather that much... I told myself, at the same time I tried to breath. “Are you sure none of them will come here or send someone-”
“No, they won’t send anyone, kid.” He said, a faint smile curling up in his lips. I tried to smile, but just the thought of knowing that Mr. Cooper’s father could be suspicious about what Adam was doing... It was enough to make me feel anxious. But then, Adam completely made me forget about his grandfather once he asked, “So, aren’t you curious to know how did you end up here?”
“Yes, I am,” I replied. “In fact, I’m curious about more than that. Care to enlighten me on what happened after I met you at the stable?” His smile suddenly became wicked, and that actually made me blush. Had I done something... embarrassing?
“Well, you were... a tad bit out of your mind. No, to be honest, you were totally out of your mind, and I couldn’t make you tell me what had changed your mood. Eva, you wouldn’t stop saying you loved me, and you were begging for me to say that I loved you. In addition to that, we made love until God knows when. It was... one hell of a night.” And out of the blue, I couldn’t stop the sudden surge of erotic images that crammed up in my mind, while Adam kept telling me what had happened last night. “After that, you kind of dozed off, and you looked so peaceful that I really didn’t want to wake you up just so that we could go back to the house. That was when I decided I’d try to put your pajamas back on, but... I must admit I wasn’t at all patient. I gave up not even a minute after, and decided to wrap you in one of the towels I had there.”
“And you just carried me all the way here... like that?” Seriously, was he joking? “What if someone had seen you?”
“They didn’t, so there’s nothing to worry about.” He said, his hand slithering from my leg to my stomach. “Anyway, when you were in my arms, I became aware you weren’t quite sleeping, but you weren’t really awake, either. You just wouldn’t stop saying we could finally be together, but when I asked you why you were so sure now, you’d just ignore me. It kind of remembered me of that one night I carried you upstairs for the first time, and the next day you didn’t recall any of it.”
That, I honestly didn’t remember, and frankly... I was grateful for that fact that I hadn’t answered Adam’s question. After all, Mr. Cooper had asked me to stay put until he himself talked to Adam today. At the thought of that, I couldn’t help but to smile.
“Care to tell me why you’re so sure about that now, kid?” Adam questioned me, piercing through me with his intense icy gaze. He leaned down on me, and while I tried to think of an answer, he gently kissed the part where my neck and shoulder met.
“I... I don’t know.” I whispered, feeling his lips sliding to my collar bone after I spoke. “I really don’t... remember much, and... I just... Maybe I just enjoyed our night and... decided to tell you...that.”
Just as quick as he’d leaned down, he pulled back. “Are you sure something else didn’t make you say that?” I shook my head, relieved that Adam had stopped provoking me. “Hum, ok, then. Anyway, I should fetch our lunch, because I have to get ready. I met my dad when I was coming back and... he said he wanted to talk to me.”
My heart raced on my chest. When I spoke, I restrained myself from showing any... happy emotion. “Oh really? About what?”
“I don’t know,” He said, shrugging a shoulder. “All I know is that he had a smile on his face, so I guess it must be a good thing, right? Anyway, I need to go. I’ll be back in a minute, kid.”
I nodded, watching him getting up and sauntering up to the door. The moment he left, I couldn’t help but to grumble a stupidly happy, “Yes!”
I still couldn’t believe Mr. Cooper had actually stuck to what he’d said! He’d talk to Adam this afternoon and after that... Adam could freely choose, and with his father’s permission, there wasn’t really anything else that stopped him from choosing me, right? We could finally be together! We could stop hiding from everyone! And sure, I was going to miss our secret encounters at night, but... it didn’t matter, really!
With a silly grin on my face, I rolled to Adam’s side of the bed and faced the balcony, whose curtains were stopping the sunlight from completely illuminating the entire room.
I spent the next minutes thinking about the way people would react to the fact that Adam and I would be together. I knew I’d get mixed reactions, and I was sure most of them would be negative. I wondered the way Mr. Cooper’s father would react to that. Would he freak out? Would he try to threaten me? Anyway, I knew that, whatever happened, Adam would always stand his ground for me if he had too, including against his own grandfather.
Drowned in my thoughts, I didn’t notice when the door was opened. I didn’t see it either, because I had my back turned at it. I was just too deep in thoughts, until I heard the voice I most feared, “I cannot believe this!”
Turning around with one hand holding the sheet that covered my nude body, I faced Cooper Sr., looking down at me with hate and disgust blazing in his blue eyes.
Unconsciously, I started creeping back, but Cooper Sr. was faster, and before I knew it, he’d stretched out his arm and grabbed my leg. Aggressively, he pulled me towards him, and no matter how big Adam’s bed was, Cooper Sr. was strong enough to make fall on the floor, hurting myself on my thigh. I cried out in pain, but he ignored me.
“How dare you to still be after my grandson, after all I told you?” He yelled at me, gripping my hair and approaching my face. “Didn’t you learn your lesson last time? I guess not. Well, my patience is over, maid.” When he said that, I thought he’d go over the edge and hit me again, but he didn’t. Instead, he took hold of my arm and forced me to get up. Being stronger than me, Cooper Sr. was able to drag me out of Adam’s room and throughout the hall.
“Mr. Cooper, please, I... let me go... I... I-I beg you!” I cried out in pain, but he just wouldn’t listen. He was possessed! What was he going to do? Where was he taking me? He couldn’t possibly try to harm me here, because everyone would listen to me, if they hadn’t already. “You’re hurting me!”
Looking over his shoulders, he yelled, “This is nothing compared with what will happen to you next!”
I couldn’t think at all. All my instincts told me to do was to yell for help, but no one was wandering through that corridor at the time. However, my luck changed when we reached the staircases. With all the noise I’d done, and since Cooper Sr. hadn’t tried to shut me up, I found Mr. Cooper himself coming out of his office, and a couple of maids coming from the floor above.
Shocked, they looked at the scene before them. Cooper Sr. threw me against the wall, and I fell on the floor, the sheet from Adam’s bed still wrapped around me. “This is what you supposedly had stopped, Arthur? I found her on your son’s bedroom!”
“What...” Thunderstruck, Mr. Cooper didn’t know what to say. However, he walked up to help, but Cooper Sr. shoved him away before he even stretched out a finger. “What do you think you’re doing?”
Pointing at the maids that had been drawn by the yells, he said, “Let this be a lesson to those who yearn for my grandsons! How dare they...” He glanced at me, disgusted. “...to think they can do whatever the hell they want?”
“I... I didn’t do anything, I...” I didn’t know what to say to stop Cooper Sr. from continuing. All I knew was that if I tried to actually do something, he’d act. “Please... I’m sorry, I-”
“You’re sorry, now?” He yelled at me, turning to face me. “You didn’t think about what could happen in case you kept trying to get my grandson, did you?”
“Arthur? John? What... what is going on here?” It was Mrs. Cooper, who stood behind her husband. “Eva?” I looked at her with tears on my eyes. Why wouldn’t they do something and control him?
Ignoring Mrs. Cooper, Adam’s grandfather started saying, “Honestly, I’ve had enough with you, Arthur! Why did the same have to happen to Adam? Why?” He focused on me again, “Why did you have to be like that little whore, Allison?”
Although Cooper Sr. had spoken to me, Mr. Cooper reacted. “Don’t you talk about Allison like that.”
Surprised, his father pressed him, “Why? It’s the simple truth!”
Before Mr. Cooper could reply back, we all heard, “What is going on...” It was Adam’s voice, suddenly trailing off. Tilting my head to a side, I saw past Cooper Sr. and there stood Adam, with a tray on his hands, packed with food. As soon as he noticed I was behind his grandfather, knelt on the floor with only a sheet covering my bare body, his eyes flickered with rage, and then jumped from me to his father, and then his grandfather. The tray fell off his hands.
Mr. Cooper was the first to try to calm down Adam, “Son, this isn’t what you-”
“This is what you actually think it is!” Cooper Sr. cut his son off, looking back at Adam. “I found her on your room, Adam!” Out of the blue, he stretched his arm towards me and grabbed me, again. Aggressively, he pulled me forward. “What was she doing there?”
“Let her go, right now.” Adam spoke slowly, with his fists now clenched.
“Protecting a maid, are we?” Senior Cooper laughed, and then scowled at both of his descendants. “You’re just like your father, Adam. You’re no better than him. You had to ruin the Cooper name and fell in love with maids.”
Adam didn’t seem to be listening to his grandfather. His eyes were only on me. His lips were pursed and rage was stamped on his face, begging to be set loose. Would he stand up for me, now? “I said... Let. Her. Go.”
Behind then unusual calm Adam, I sighted both my aunt and Glenda approaching the scene. As soon as my aunt’s eyes landed on me, she led her hands to her mouth and gasped, “Eva! What-”
“Oh, Deena... of course you had to be involved in this, too.”
“Let my niece go, John!” She yelled, stepping forward, but Adam stopped her. She glanced at him, but he wouldn’t look away from his grandfather.
“If you won’t let her go... you’ll regret it.” Adam threatened his own grandson.
Cooper Sr. scowled at him. “And what will you do?”
“I’m not sure I’ll know what I’ll be doing once my hands are on you, unless you let her go.”
“I’m... your grandfather.”
The way he gazed at his grandfather... he’d foolish to ignore a violent storm was building. “And she’s the woman I love.”
That was enough to even stop his grandfather from talking. In fact, that was enough to actually make me forget for mere seconds that, I had a sheet wrapped around my body, with the entire household’s attention on me, and with Cooper Sr. ready to lose his head anytime soon.
Adam had said he loved me.
In front of the entire house.
I couldn’t take my eyes off him, even though he was gazing at his grandfather. I also was sure every single person that was present was staring at the both of us. Had Adam really said it? Had Adam really admitted in front of the house and his own father and grandfather that... he loved me?
Before everyone could react, someone else approached the scene from behind Glenda. That person stole the attention from me and Adam, but it didn’t cause any less gasps. After all, the person who was walking towards the shameful scene... was Rachel.
“What... what is going on?” She drew closer to Adam and looked around, but when she tried to touch his hand, he pulled it back. Surprised by his reaction, she stammered, “Adam... what... what happened?”
But he wouldn’t listen to anyone.
“I cannot believe that, with all of my efforts, you turned out to be just like your father is!” Something flickered in Adam’s eyes, but the rage from his face wouldn’t go away. He was out of control, but he was also too calm. Was that a bad sign? “I know you’re his son, but you’re my grandson! Why did you also have to fancy an ordinary maid, with all the women out there?”
Mr. Cooper suddenly stepped forward. “Father... don’t you think you should-”
“You should be the last one to talk, Arthur! It is thanks to you that your son grew up to become the same man you are!”
And it was in that moment that Adam spoke again, “What... what do you mean?”
Tell him! I found myself wanting to tell Mr. Cooper. Tell him, and this will all be over! Unfortunately, Mr. Cooper didn’t seem to have Adam’s courage. He just let his head fall, and said nothing more.
“What we all mean, Adam, is that your father made the mistake of getting involved with a maid, just like you were!” And for moments, Cooper Sr. looked at me over his shoulders, with nothing but repugnance on his face. “And to be even worse, she is actually alike that filthy one.”
“Adam...” It was Rachel’s voice, pleading. “Did you... did you...” She couldn’t seem to find the words she wanted to say, but everyone knew what she wanted to ask.
“I’m sorry, Rachel.” Adam replied, his head slightly lowering. For what was worth, he truly felt bad for what he’d done behind her back.
“Ah! And of course, like your father, you had to cheat on a beautiful woman, just because you both fell for a woman that was everything but the right one for the two of you!” Ignoring Cooper Sr.’s remarks, Rachel widened her eyes, and shook her head, as if she refused to believe it. “Look at her, Adam! Look at the woman you cheated on! And you, Arthur, I don’t even know how Gabi accepted you back after what you did, after what you and that maid-”
“Can someone please tell me what the hell is going on here?” Adam suddenly yelled, enraged. He stepped forward, and Cooper Sr. stepped back immediately. God, I just wanted him to reach me and hold me in his arms.
“Adam,” This time, it was my aunt, whose hand had flown to his shoulder. “There’s something I think it’s time for you to know.”
Yes, yes! Color drained out of both the oldest Coopers’ faces. The terror in Cooper Sr.’s face was... I didn’t even have the words to describe it. As for Mr. Cooper... he didn’t move. He looked as if he wasn’t even breathing.
“Don’t you dare opening your filthy mouth, Deena!” Cooper Sr. yelled before my aunt could even pronounce a word. “That is, unless you want your niece to suffer your consequences!”
At that point, Adam moved towards his grandfather, “If you touch her, I swear to God I’ll make you pay for it.”
“That was what your father said about your mother. Yet, he gave up from her as he should have in the very beginning and she suffered the consequences of falling for a Cooper.” Adam suddenly stopped, taken by surprise. Had Cooper Sr. really said that?
Looking away from his grandfather and me for short seconds, Adam stammered, “Dad... what... what does that mean?”
“Adam, I...” Mr. Cooper didn’t know what to say. I just wanted to slap him more than once and force him to tell Adam what he’d been hiding from him ever since he was born! Not being able to restrain myself from the fury that grew inside, I made a move.
“Tell him!” I finally found myself having the guts to yell. “Tell him everything, Mr. Cooper! Adam deserves to know!” I yearned for Adam to know the truth. Not because that could influence his decision, if he hadn’t already made one, but because he deserved to know. The fact that he knew nothing at all about his mother contributed to that damaged person he was!
“I... I-I don’t...” Mr. Cooper looked as if he had no clue of what to do. His eyes just kept jumping from his father to his son. “Adam... please... please forgive me.”
“Just tell him, Mr. Cooper...” I found myself begging.
“Shut up! Both of you!” Cooper Sr. yelled, wanting that issue to remain buried, but hell, if it depended from me now, I’d tell Adam. I didn’t want to be just one more that hid everything away from Adam. And hell, this was about his mother! He deserved to know! No matter what the consequences I’d suffer, I was willing to tell him myself, because I knew it would change him, and his wounds would heal.
If I had to suffer for him to heal... then so be it. “If... If you don’t tell him... I... I will.”
In that moment, Cooper Sr. turned around and faced me. “Oh no, you won’t.” And in a heartbeat, he raised his arm, and I saw it coming down at me in slow motion. I closed my eyes and turned my face away, waiting for the blow.
“No!” It was Glenda’s voice.
“Eva!” Then, my aunt gasping.
“Don’t!” And after, Mr. Cooper yelling
I heard gasps from all over the place, but... no blow came.
Instead, I found myself being pushed up, and when I dared to open my eyes, it was Adam’s eyes I looked at. Cooper Sr. didn’t stand by me anymore. In fact, he was sprawled at the bottom of the staircases. Had Adam... just thrown his grandfather to the ground? For... me?
“Eva... tell me the truth.” He begged me, looking down at me eagerly. I understood him. After spending his life ignorant when it came to his own supposed dead mother, and suddenly had people hiding things from him so straightforwardly about his mother... I’d beg them to tell me too, if I were him. “If you know something... just tell me, please.”
I nodded, not caring about any other person in the world. Right now, only Adam and I existed.
“Adam, your... your mother was a maid, and...” This was it. Adam would finally know. “She... she is alive.”
People gasped in utter shock, but I didn’t dare looking away from Adam.
He just stared at me, speechless, as if he’d seen or heard something horrible. He wouldn’t move, and he wouldn’t let go of me either. I didn’t know what to expect from him, honestly.
Would he freak out? Would he lose control over himself? Should I be afraid of what could possibly be going through his mind, right now? However, I wasn’t. Adam would never hurt me. I knew that. I was sure of it. He was shocked, thunderstruck. After all, I’d just disclosed his mother was alive!
At last, I had a reaction from him when he slightly shook his head and swallowed dryly. I restrained from saying something, from telling him to say something, afraid I’d make him lose his control.
Taking a deep breath, Adam finally spoke. “Is... is this true?”
His father nodded. I thought he’d just burst out straight away and yell everything he’d kept inside him but instead, he just looked back at me, incredulous. “How long... have you known this?”
Oh, God, no. If I answered that question... Yes, I’d been the one to actually tell him, but I’d still hid it for quite some time. Lowering my head, I whispered, “Almost a month.”
“And it never occurred to you that maybe you should tell me about it?” He yelled loud enough for his voice to echo. He was completely outraged. But he was right, of course. “My mother’s fucking alive, Eva! And you hid that from me?”
“I wanted to tell you, I really did, but your mother made me promise I wouldn’t-”
His eyes widened in shock. “You... You’ve been... with her?”
“And you never... you never told me...” He faltered, walking backwards. He was more flabbergasted that he’d ever been in his whole life.
Before I knew, Adam changed.
He wasn’t looking at me in that stunned away anymore. With narrowed eyes, he scowled, and I knew that was everything but a good sign. His lips were so pursed that they had turned white. His fists were clenched, and his arm muscles tense.
Still, I held my ground, while everyone else stood there waiting for a reaction from one of us. However, neither Adam nor I exploded. The one who broke the edgy silence was Adam’s fiancée – Rachel.
“God, is this really freaking happening?” She started yelling, “I mean... did you really cheat on me, Adam? And your mother... a maid? And alive? How could you just... repeat your father’s mistakes? God, I don’t deserve to this! I really don’t!”
Out of the blue, Adam was finally reacting to something. Looking at the beautiful young woman, he said, “Rachel... I... You- Wait!”
“I seriously don’t want to hear one word from you, Adam. Really.” And before anyone could say something, she just spun over her heels, tears coming down her striking features, and dashed towards the way out of the house.
As for Adam, he wouldn’t stop looking at her walking away.
I hated that. She’d left him. It was official now, wasn’t it? We could be together, now. I’d even been the one who’d had the guts to tell him the secret his family had hidden from him throughout all of these years! So why wouldn’t he look at me, instead of just staring at her deserting him?
“Adam...” It was his father’s voice. “I... I’m sorry.”
But Adam didn’t say anything.
Instead, he started stepping down the stairs, and walked over his grandfather, who lay unconscious on the floor. Where was he going? He should deal with everything right now! I’m sure he had tons of questions that his father had answers for! He’d told everyone he loved me! I stood there, in that situation, and he was just going to walk away?
Then, it suddenly hit me. Was he... was he going after Rachel?
I unconsciously stepped forward, my heart tightening. “Adam-”
“No, kid.” He didn’t even look at me. “I really... just... don’t come after me.” But why? He couldn’t really... He wouldn’t really be going after her, would he?
Watching him walking away broke my heart. Still, when Adam was almost at the door, I couldn’t take it any longer.
“Are you going... after Rachel?” I dared to ask, feeling my heart on my throat, as Adam just abandoned me like that, not even answering me.
To everyone’s surprise, he just walked out of the house.
With tears blurring my vision, I just broke down and cried.
There I was, weak and being judged by everyone because of my love for him, while Rachel had just assisted that scene, and hadn’t even been bombarded with questions or almost hit by one of the Coopers... Yet, Adam ignored all of that, and went after her.
His choice was clear enough, now.
And I’d been a fool for believing in the impossible.