I felt my body being laid down on a soft thing everybody called bed. I didn’t open my dark blue eyes to see whose hands were straightening my body. The only thing I knew was that they were warm against my chilly skin.
But, as soon as those hands touched the stupid uniform I always wore to work for the difficult family - the Coopers -, and were actually trying to take it off, my eyes opened slower than I wanted and I realized I didn’t have any strength to lift my head. Nevertheless, I sighted Adam leaned over me.
“What are you doing?” And why was my voice so husky?
“Don’t talk, kid. You’ll wake up someone.”
My weak hands grabbed Adam’s and then he stopped. He gazed into my eyes, listening to my unspoken question. “I’m not doing anything wrong, Eva. I’m just trying to take off your uniform. It’s all dirty, and I’m sure you don’t want to be in bed wearing that.”
The next questions I remembered to ask were, “What time is it? Why am I here? I don’t remember coming here...”
“its 5 AM, kid.” Adam replied. 5 AM? It was Wednesday, 5 AM? How the hell was 5 AM, already? The last thing I remembered was... “We were cleaning the garden and around 3 AM, you said you’d lie down on the grass for a couple of minutes, but the truth is, you fell asleep. As you already know, I don’t like leaving you outside in the middle of the night, so I just carried you up here again.”
Adam kept trying taking off my uniform while I asked, “Why didn’t you wake me up? You spent two hours cleaning the garden on your own? Why would you do that, Adam?”
And when I moved to distance myself from Adam’s hands, I felt soared. Really soared.
“Eva, that’s a stupid question. You know damn well I don’t have to wake up every day at 7 AM like you do, so it won’t hurt me to stay up until 5 or 6 in the morning for a week if I can just sleep until noon or later.” And then he paused when he’d finally freed me from my mucky uniform. “For a kid... you’re-”
“Adam!” I hurried to grab a sheet and pulled it to me, covering my semi-naked body, as I realized Adam was gazing at my body.
He just shook his head and closed his eyes for some seconds. “I’m sorry. Eva. I’m just as tired as you are, and right now, I get distracted by everything.” I watched him sitting down beside him, and burying his head on both of his hands as he told me, “The garden’s almost done. We just need to work on it for an hour tonight, and then we can advance to the backyard.”
At last, I found myself thinking about the punishment Mr. Cooper had given me, and about the fact that Adam was helping me out. We’d both cleaned the garages till Tuesday. Only two of them were really dirty, so we finished that faster than I thought. As for the garden, it was mostly easy since the gardeners often came to take care of the plants and since they didn’t leave anything messy, they made my job easier. No, not my job. Our job. Now, I guess I just had to clean some last-minute things in the garden and then, we could move on to the backyard and have it all done by Friday.
“Thanks, Adam.” I said, turning my head towards him. Since I was stretched down in my bed, my stomach touched his back. “You should go to sleep, really. I’m sure you’re a lot more tired than I am.”
“Yeah, but I can sleep and rest a lot more than you, which makes me think that, in the end, you’re always more tired than I am.” He finally lifted his head and looked at me. Once again, he petted me. Unfortunately, he’d gotten used to that, lately. It was annoying... but cute, nonetheless.
I smiled at him. Seriously, I could barely focus on something. And my voice... it was awful. “Well, I’ll see you tomorrow, Eva. Have a goodnight.”
“You too, Adam.” As he got up and walked towards the door, I turned to the other side and closed my eyes. I was so worn-out that I didn’t even remember to hear Adam closing the door.
I sighed. I just had to do this for two more days, and then I’d be finally free and could sleep for an entire night, mostly, thanks to Adam, because I’d surely be a lot behind schedule if he hadn’t dared to help me.
Smiling like a foolish girl, I allowed myself to fall asleep.
When I woke up, the first thing I did was to go to my private bathroom and look at mirror. Problem was... I didn’t recognize the girl on the other side.
Was that really me? No, that wasn’t my face. The dark blue eyes I saw had horrible dark bags under them, and the girl’s lips were so dry that the skin had started to peel off. The hair was still in a braid, but locks of hair had come out and had knots. Knots I’d have to deal with. I couldn’t believe I looked that bad.
I shook my head in a helpless way. I was doomed. Working practically 24/7 was killing me. If it hadn’t been for Adam, I’d have already died from exhaustion by now.
After spending quite a while showering and getting ready to serve the Coopers as their slave, I went downstairs and found everyone having breakfast already. Some days had passed since I’d had the deadly conversation with Mr. Cooper, so the whispers had become less and less each day, though I’d still obtain a considerable amount of lethal glares from some maids.
I sighted my aunt sat next to Glenda. She still wouldn’t talk or look at me unless it was needed. I hadn’t apologized to her yet, though I still felt pretty bad about what I’d said to her. Sighing, I found Becca and sat next her.
“Good morning,” She turned to look at me, and I watched her eyes roam all over my zombie-like face. Her lips curved in a faint smile. “I think I’m getting used to you looking like a zombie.”
I reached for a toast as I replied dryly, “Just like I’m used seeing another person every time I look at the mirror in the morning.”
“How are the cleanings?”
“Good, good.” I answered. “I’m almost finished with the garden, and I think I’ll move on to the backyard tonight, if I don’t have much left to do in the garden. Concluding, I will have it all done by Friday.” Just because Adam’s helping me. But I wouldn’t say that to anyone.
“I hope so. You seem pretty confident, anyway.” I bit the toast and heard Becca adding, “You’re one of the few around here that I like.” And that she whispered, so that no one else would listen to what she’d just said.
I would have grinned or answered something... if my mouth hadn’t been that filled with toast. So, I just looked at her, and tried to smile a little. I didn’t need to do much more, because Becca knew I liked her just the same. She was the only one I talked around here, with the exception of my aunt, of course. And thinking about her, made me feel bad, again. I’d been meaning to apologize to her, but every time I tried to think of an apology, I was always too busy doing something else and that distracted me. And the fact that Adam was always in my head, lately, didn’t help at all...
I shook my head. I couldn’t allow myself to think about him the whole time.
When we all finished eating, Glenda gave out the chores we’d have to do. She called my name to serve the breakfast, along with Rita, Linda and my aunt. Unfortunately, Becca wasn’t included on the four maids this time. Still, before breakfast, I’d have to clean the stairs that led to the first floor, and after it, I’d have to clean the floor from the corridor where Adam’s room was located.
After I got out of the kitchen, I went to do my first chore of the morning, though it was kind of hard with everyone going up and down by using those stairs, slowing down my job. I could almost bet some of them did it on purpose. But, lucky me, the Coopers got up later than the usual - like an hour later - and I was done with that chore in time to help the others setting the table for them. When they came, I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t see Adam coming in at last. I’d heard some maids commenting he hadn’t come to have breakfast nor lunch in the last couple of days. I knew why of course. He was helping me with what I had to do by Friday, but since he didn’t have to work like me during the day, he could sleep until the hour he wanted.
Unfortunately, after breakfast, Glenda asked me to help some maids in the kitchen, which meant I was unable to do the other chore she’d asked me to, though I had the time for it after lunch. So, at 2 PM, I brought everything I needed, and finally started doing that chore. I started by the end of the hall, which meant I was in that exact moment facing Adam’s bedroom’s door.
I frankly felt tempted to go to his room, but it was better if I just did what I’d been told to. Besides, he was resting. I was sure he was a lot more tired than I was. At any rate, I put my thoughts about Adam aside and started working.
Around a quarter past 3 PM, when I’d already cleaned half the corridor’s floor and some bedrooms’ as well, I heard a door opening behind me.
Turning around, I noticed it was the one from Adam’s room. I watched him rubbing his eyes with the back of his hands and taking a peak outside his bedroom. “Eva?” He asked, recognizing me.
“You’re the one who’s dragging something?” At first, I didn’t know what he was talking about, but then I realized I’d been dragging the bucket with the water this whole time. So I nodded, and Adam revealed, “You woke me up, you know.”
“Oh, I’m sorry!” I bit my lower lip.
“It’s ok.” He said, shrugging. He stepped out of his room, and I noticed he was just wearing some fancy PJ pants that actually seemed more expensive than my entire wardrobe. “What time is it?”
“Yeah.” I let go of the broom I had in my hand and walked up to him. Then I became aware Adam shared the same dark bags under those icy eyes. “You look awful, you know?”
“Not as awful as you. I just need to take a shower and get dressed.” His lips curved in a faint smile. “Want to come in?”
“It’s better if I don’t, Adam. Someone might see I’m not here, and unfortunately, your room is here.” I really didn’t want to be caught by anyone. I just couldn’t.
“Come on,” He insisted, jerking his head towards the inside of his room. “It’ll be for just a couple of minutes. I’m sure you won’t resist resting for a little on my bed. I’m sure nobody’s coming here, kid.”
I pressed my lips together. Well... I’m sure no one would find out. It would be for just some minutes, right? Besides, if someone actually caught me, Adam and I could make up some excuse.
Decided, I walked up to him and got in. Adam closed the door right away and followed me. As my eyes focused in the bed, inviting me, I simply didn’t have the guts to go there and lie. I was just a maid, and even though Adam treated me a little bit differently from the others, I didn’t want to push it.
He looked as if he’d read my thoughts, because he just said, “Go on, kid. I just got up and everything, so the bed’s even warm and all.”
I laughed at his comment, and even though it looked appealing, I still excused myself from it, “Adam, I’m wearing my uniform, I might-”
“You’re perfectly clean, Eva.” He cut me off, “You’re only exceedingly dirty when we spend the night cleaning, so shut up and have your five minutes resting on my bed.” Then he just turned his back at me, and motioned towards his closet. As for me, I approached the bed, and gave in.
I didn’t care if it would only last five minutes. It was worth those five minutes. My eyes closed immediately and I thought of not getting up anymore.
“Oh yeah.” I’d never lain on Adam’s bed, because that idea had never crossed my mind or his mouth, but now that it had happened... I wanted a mattress just like his. And the sheets that touched my face... pure silk. To get better, I could smell Adam’s scent in them, and like he’d said, the bed was still warm. “Your bed’s the best.”
“I’m sure it is.” I heard him laughing, “I bet you’d love to try it out more often.”
I frowned at him, suddenly offended, “My god, you made it sound like if I’m some kind of whore-slash-maid!”
“You know I didn’t mean it that way, kid.”
I know he didn’t, but it still offended me, somehow. Anyway, I tried to ignore what he’d said. “But yeah, compared to the old bed I have in my room, I’d love to try it out more times if I had it in my room.” I waited for Adam to answer, but when he didn’t, and I suddenly heard the shower running, I knew he’d take a shower now, which meant it was time for me to go. I got up, approached the bathroom, and yelled, “I’m going back to work, Adam!”
“Already?” He yelled from the inside. The bathroom door was opened, but I didn’t dare to look inside.
“Yeah, it’s better. I don’t want to risk being caught, ok?”
“Ok, well, I’ll see you when I get out of here.” And without anything more to say or hear, I approached the door to leave and opened it slightly, taking a peak at the hall. Since no one was there, it was safe for me to come out, and go back to work.
However, twenty minutes later, Adam’s bedroom door opened again, and I didn’t need to look over my shoulder to know he was coming out. Behind me, he asked, “Still here?”
Despite the fact I wasn’t facing him, I still made a face. “It’s not my fault this hallway is huge.” I heard his steps coming in my direction, and stopping in the exact moment he placed his hand on my shoulder. “Are you going out?”
“No, I’m just going to check on my horses.” Adam answered, as he motioned to be face-to-face with me. “As you know, I haven’t paid them much attention.”
It was my fault, of course, so I just changed the conversation. “How’s Rachel? I haven’t seen her since that happened.” Adam’s bright eyes darkened without more ado. Serious as he was now, he scared the hell out of me. Just like he’d scared me when I’d had gone to his stable for the first time. At his lack of answer, I added, “It’s none of my business, I know, I was just... asking.” I bit my lower lip. I hated when he looked at me like that. Chillingly serious.
Seconds passed, and finally Adam replied, “Its ok. It’s related to you, anyway.”
My eyes widened, “Related to me?”
“Yes. Remember we had that fight because I’d apologized to you, but hadn’t to her and her parents?” Yes, I remembered that fight. However, I was starting to think they’d argued over me again and I didn’t know about it. Or maybe I was just being paranoid. “Well, I still haven’t apologized and I will not apologize. But, unfortunately, my girlfriend doesn’t understand why, so she has decided to not talk to me until I talk to her parents.”
“An ultimatum, uh?”
“Yeah, sort of. Still, she knows me better than that to know my decision won’t change.” Then, he shook his head, and stared at me. He offered me a weak smile. “At any rate, I always have you to distract myself from these stupid problems.”
My eyebrow immediately arched as I stiffened. I didn’t like what he’d said at all. I could be his maid and all, but I wasn’t someone’s distraction. “I’m just that? A distraction?”
“You’re not just a distraction, Eva, you know that.” He hurried to say as soon as he became aware I hadn’t enjoyed what he’d said whatsoever. “What I mean is that, you distract me from these problems.” Adam explained. He raised his hand and touched my cheek, caressing me smoothly. Like always, his touch was warm. “If you were just a distraction, I wouldn’t bother myself to stay up throughout the whole night to help you keep your job.”
I grinned, happy with what I’d heard. I think I was enjoying this little tête-à-tête with Adam, now. “I’m more than a distraction, then?”
“Well yeah, you’re a maid that’s always in my way, though I honestly don’t mind anymore.” My grin vanished straight away.
“Oh.” I know I shouldn’t, but I admitted I was waiting for more... for a more pleasant answer... Although I knew that, coming from Adam, that meant a lot, I guess.
His hand fell off my face. “You look disappointed.” Adam noticed as he stared at me with his icy blue eyes, trying to read my facial expression, which I was trying to hide from him. I just wanted to turn around and run from his gaze, but I knew Adam wouldn’t let me. “Were you waiting for something more?”
I avoided his suddenly dangerous eyes. “No, no.”
“Eva.” He reached my face again, framing it with both hands, still staring at me. This time, he didn’t caress me. He was forcing me to look at his eyes. “I am going to repeat this one more time. Were you waiting for something more?”
“No, I wasn’t.” I told him again, fooling myself and him.
Adam said nothing. He just tried to read me, but as that failed - thank god - he just said, “I see. Well, I have to go. I’ll see you around. If not, I’ll see you at night.”
“Yeah, bye.” Then, Adam passed by me and left me alone. Seconds passed, and I still didn’t dare to move, picturing those dangerous blue eyes on my mind, looking at me ever so seriously.
No, no, no. I cannot believe that only after two weeks, Adam’s already on my mind. This couldn’t happen. It can’t happen. Maybe I was fooling myself. I didn’t have feelings of some sort for Adam, other than those that involved a possible friendship between us. Yeah, that was it. It had to be it.
I decided to not think about it, and concentrated on finishing that chore, and other ones Glenda gave me to do throughout the entire afternoon. The more occupied I was, the less I thought about Adam. I wasn’t afraid to find out I felt something for him, because I didn’t, but... I just didn’t want to think about it.
Around dinner time, I was once again called to serve the Coopers. This time, Adam wasn’t even late. He was already there; ready to have dinner. It wasn’t worth to say that I wouldn’t dare to look at him, because I really wouldn’t have the guts. And even if I had, I knew Mr. Cooper would shoot me some pretty deadly glares or even send me away.
Their boring conversation was going ok - Adam was quiet and silent as always - until Mr. Cooper turned to look at his older son. “So Adam, will you care to explain me why you haven’t been able to join us to have breakfast and lunch?”
Adam didn’t bother to look at his father. “You know why. I haven’t had anything to do, so why not sleep as much as I want before summers over?”
“Yes, but you usually don’t look this tired.” Mr. Cooper said.
“And those dark bags under your eyes are awful, Adam.” Mrs. Cooper supported her husband.
The way Mr. Cooper had spoken - ever so nice - and looked at Adam - with fierce curiosity - handed him over. At least to me. He was trying to find out if Adam was helping me. I was sure of it.
However, I wasn’t the only one to realize that. Adam also became aware of his father’s intentions. After all, he knew him better than me. “What can I say... you know I go out almost every night to check on my horses. Besides, I’ve been staying awake all night, watching movies in my room.” Honestly, I’d have believed in him if he’d told me that. Who wouldn’t stay up all night watching movies in that huge plasma screen Adam had on his bedroom?
Known for his lack of tolerance, and taking a deep breath, Adam asked, “Why are you asking this?”
“For no reason.” Mr. Cooper shrugged. “Can’t I know what my son does during the night in order to look so tired?”
Now, I saw Adam turn his head to look at his father, though he remained silent. In that moment, I could feel my aunt’s eyes on me. She was probably thinking the same thing Mr. Cooper was.
“If you want to ask me if I’m helping Eva...” Adam suddenly spoke, saying my name, “...just ask it for once and for all.”
Silence. Mr. Cooper’s calm expression was replaced by a sudden enraged one, though he hid it straight away before he spoke again with a calm and sharp tone. “Are you?”
Adam’s voice when he answered was of disgust. “You know very well I don’t give a shit about the maids.”
“Watch your mouth, Adam!” I heard Mrs. Cooper, apparently shocked by Adam’s reply. “We’re having dinner!”
Mr. Cooper didn’t seem so surprised. “It wasn’t what it looked like when I caught you and her.” He didn’t point or looked directly, but he jerked his head towards me. The way Mr. Cooper had said it, looked as if he’d caught me and Adam in bed. God, he was clearly overreacting! It was just one time! I knew the maids had a certain reputation, but was it so hard to believe I really didn’t dream of seducing Adam? And even if I did, I’m realistic enough to know Adam would never leave Rachel.
Those thoughts resided on my mind. I didn’t dare to say them out loud; otherwise the situation would just get worse. So, I just stood there, in the maids’ corner, listening to the aggressive conversation.
“Maybe, it’s because you’re so obsessive with maids trying to do get me or something that, you just see things where they don’t exist!”
“Do you want to know why I was that amazed?” Mr. Cooper’s tone rose, matching Adam’s. “Because you’ve never done something like that with a maid before! Even when that one followed you, one year ago, what was her name? Louise? Even when she followed you, you didn’t bother bringing her to her bedroom at 4 AM in the morning, did you?”
Adam hadn’t told me anything about some maid that had also followed him! I looked at him, but since he had his back turned at me, I couldn’t see his face. By the lack of answer, I supposed he didn’t know what to say.
But I was mistaken. Adam was probably trying to control himself, because when he rose, he was already yelling, “Then would you care to explain me why did you punish Eva, but let Louise escape your fury without even giving her a lecture?”
Wait, what? That one had been caught as well, and hadn’t been given a punishment like mine? Well, now I just felt outraged!
“Because you didn’t seem as close to Louise as you seemed to her!” This time, Mr. Cooper got up and pointed directly at me.
Everybody’s jaws dropped, including mine. Both father and son were out of their minds.
“You just saw me carrying to her bedroom, for god’s sake!” The quiet dinner had turned into a warzone. “Is that forbidden? Besides, that maid was older than me and Eva! How can you even compare her to Eva? She’s just a kid! Should I just have let her stay out there, in the middle of the night?”
This time, Mr. Cooper said nothing. We all knew he didn’t have any arguments to fight what Adam had just finished saying. So, he just took a deep breath, and let it out slowly before he sat down again and said, “Let’s just keep having dinner.”
“I just finished losing my appetite.” Without even looking at anyone in the dining room, Adam spun and left us all. Once again, I felt everyone’s eyes on me, knowing all of this had just happened because of me.
My head dropped, as I felt myself blushing. I didn’t look at anyone for the rest of the dinner, though I knew one of them would definitely say something by the time the Coopers were out of there. When they were finished, Mr. Cooper stayed quite a while gazing at me, waiting for Mrs. Cooper to finish talking with my aunt, but I didn’t dare to gaze back, of course.
At last, when they left, Linda was the first to approach me, “Wow! What the hell was that?”
“I’m just as surprised as you are.” True.
“I’m sure you are.” Linda said with sarcasm clearly present on her voice. “He knows your name.”
Linda just kept babbling about what had happened, but I didn’t give her any concrete answer. I’d just say yes or no. My aunt must have understood how much annoyed I was, because she drew closer to us, and said, pointing at the stack of dishes she was carrying. “Linda, I think it’s enough. You can take all of that to the kitchen, now.”
Since my aunt was one of the maids they all respected, Linda did what she was told without complaining. When she went away, my aunt also talked about what happened... though she went straight to the point, “Adam has been helping you, Eva?”
“Of course not!” I pretended I was shocked with the question.
“You’re not lying to me, are you?” I suddenly found myself biting my lower lip, but I turned away from my aunt in time to hide that little detail from her.
“No, I’m not.”
Gratefully, she didn’t insist on that issue. Instead, she dared to ask with concern on her eyes. “Have you been cleaning everything? Are you going finish on time, Eva?”
“Yes, I am.” Thanks to Adam, and no one else.
“Do you need any help?”
Now, I looked straight at her. “You know you can’t do that, aunt, and I wouldn’t accept any help from you, anyway. I don’t want you to be caught or fired because of me. I have to do this on my own. I’ll finish everything with no one’s help, don’t worry.” I offered her a reassuring wide smile. I had been mean to her for the past days and she still worried about me. “You’re still going to have to put up with me for the next months, years, maybe.”
“I’m fine with it, as long as you’re not caught doing anything wrong.” And by wrong, she most definitely meant me doing something that involved Adam.
“Don’t worry about it.” I didn’t deny I wouldn’t do anything wrong, though. I mean... who knows? I might want to be with Adam again in his stable! And I’m sure I’ll be much more careful! Well, if Adam still wanted me to come...
After that little conversation, we ended up cleaning the dining room together, without anyone’s help. Afterwards, we helped Linda and Becca on their last chores in the kitchen, and finally, we were dismissed. Since it was still early, I decided to crash for a couple of hours. I warned my aunt and Becca about it, and then dashed in route for my room.
When I got there, the first I did was to take off that stupid uniform, and then undo the stupid braid. I didn’t put anything else on and just fell onto my bed wearing just my underwear. Eyes closed and feeling very worn-out, I fell asleep in a matter of minutes.
“Eva...?” I heard this soothing voice and warm breath on my ear. I didn’t need to think much to recognize that cultured and soothing voice.
“Yes, Adam?” Was I dreaming again? Wasn’t I supposed to wake up at the sound of my alarm clock? So why was Adam here? Unless... unless I’d forgotten to set the alarm clock, which was probably what happened.
“Its 1 AM, aren’t you going to stop my father from firing you?” The moment he said that, my eyes wide-opened and I rose immediately, crashing against Adam’s head.
“I’m so sorry!” I said immediately, taking my own hands to my head.
Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly, Adam asked, “Why were you sleeping instead of cleaning?”
“It’s really 1 AM?” I asked, ignoring his question.
“Oh god...” I rubbed my eyes and yawned. Then, I said, “Do you mind turning around?”
“Why?” Why? He probably hadn’t looked at my semi-naked body. At my lack of answer, Adam’s eyes looked below my face, and realized why I’d asked him to turn around. “Oh. Ok.” Quietly, he turned around and I hurried to fetch some shorts and a sleeveless shirt. It was a warm night and I knew I’d be sweating by the end of it, so hence the clothes.
After I slipped into a pair of sneakers, I asked, “I’m ready. Are you sure everyone’s sleeping?”
“Yeah, I went to check on my father before I came here.” He replied, turning around. Roaming my body with his eyes, he explained, “That’s why I only came here at this hour. My father was still up half an hour ago.”
“And the maids-”
“No one saw me, kid, don’t fret about it.” I noticed he looked a rather edgy tonight. Was he still sulking over what had happened during dinner? I knew it hadn’t been his fault, but I hated when he was this bad-humored. “Come on, let’s just do our job.”
I just nodded, and let him lead the way. After we fetched for the stuff we needed to clean, we went to the garden to finish off that part of the punishment.
I was unable to speak once we started cleaning. I felt too uneasy to say a word, afraid Adam’s temper would worsen. It didn’t help the fact that he neither said a word as well nor called me kid. He was too quiet, and his fury cooled the night and the air.
Gathering the courage needed, I finally opened my mouth, “Are you mad or something?”
He didn’t look at me. “Yes.” Well, at least he hadn’t lied about it.
“May I know why?” I felt like a frightened child afraid the dog would sense my fear and bite my ass out of it.
“Of course.” He said, shrugging. “It’s nothing that you’re not aware of, anyway. I’m pissed off because of my father’s stupid reactions during dinner, and because of Rachel’s shitty ultimatum.”
I comprehended him, perfectly. I was involved in it, too, though Adam was being attacked by two fronts - his father and Rachel. Besides, if I hadn’t come, he would be fine with both. “Your father really thinks we’re having an affair, doesn’t he?”
Finally, Adam finally lifted his head and looked at me. His eyes froze me. “He’s really being paranoid! Don’t take me wrong, Eva, but he should know me better! I mean, I have a beautiful girlfriend that I love! How can he think I’d trade her for just a pretty kid?”
I didn’t take it wrong, but a part of me was brought down. Sadly, I still added, “Not to mention I’m a maid, right?”
His response, though jagged, surprised me. “If I loved you, I wouldn’t give a damn if you were a maid! I really wouldn’t care! I’m not like my brother Brad. I’ve never slept with a woman I didn’t like! I love Rachel, and I’d never trade her for you!” I accepted his answer. He was being sincere, I could feel it. Well, at least I was glad to know that if ever liked me, he wouldn’t care about the fact that I was a maid. Well, it didn’t matter. He loved his girlfriend, and I didn’t want - couldn’t allow myself to love somebody like Adam. I’d just have my heart broken.
Adam became aware I was thinking, since he asked, “What’s on your mind?”
I didn’t want to explain him my thoughts, so I said the first thing that popped up in my mind, “Louise.”
“Oh. Her.” I avoided looking at his possibly angry eyes, though Adam didn’t seem to object as he asked, “What do you want to know about her? I know you’re probably curious.”
“Nothing.” I shrugged. I really wasn’t curious about Louise. “You gave me all the answers when you argued with your father.” I dared to say.
All Adam said was, “Then you really weren’t thinking about that.”
“You really want to know?” I sighed, bold enough to stare at him with a faint smile on my lips, even if his expression remained the same - angry and frigid. “I was just thinking that it was polite of you to say that you wouldn’t care about me being a maid if you actually loved me. It’s nice to hear those things once in a while, you know? There are hardly any like you left in this world.”
“I usually don’t like maids, but... you have me, Eva.” And finally, he offered me a tight-lipped smile that, and as he spoke, it became wider. “I like you. Not in that way, though. In addition to me having a girlfriend I love, we’ve only known each other for two weeks.”
“I know,” My smile grew wider, like his. As for Adam, he blinked his icy blue eye at me. Now that we were fine and none of us seemed ready to explode anymore, we picked up the work where we’d left off, though this time we spent the night talking while working, and I didn’t fall asleep.
The more I talked to Adam, the more I wanted to talk to him. That was what I’d finally realized the moment we finally stopped working and accomplished what had been asked of me to do, on Friday, around 6 AM. “It’s done, kid. You’re not going to be fired.”
I felt Adam’s hand on my shoulder, but I wanted more than that. I spun over my heels and stretched my arms to wrap them around his neck, and hug him tight. It took a while for Adam to do the same, even though his hug wasn’t as tight as mine was. “Thanks for helping me, Adam.”
From all the people, Adam had been the one that had helped me keep my job. I hated the job, but I was glad I’d managed to keep it! And all thanks to Adam!
“You’re welcome, kid.” He said as I let go of him. I looked up and saw him yawning. He was just as tired as I was.
Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but to smile, though. I’d become conscious of yet another thing. I loved looking at him and watch him doing whatever the hell he had to do. He was beautiful. I’d also realized that Adam was nicer than he let other people know. He wasn’t an angry person. People turned him an angry one, like for example, his father and Rachel, mainly. His father was still pissed off at him and Rachel still hadn’t received an answer from Adam about her so called ultimatum.
“We better go to bed.” That was a clear dismissal for me to step backwards. And that was exactly what I did. “It has been a long night for you and me. Besides, you need to be in your best to face my father again. Although you did what he asked, I’m sure he’ll still warn you and have his eyes on your for some time.”
“I know.” I was well aware of that. We headed for the mansion and got in, no longer feeling that soft breeze of the morning. “I wouldn’t have done any of this if it hadn’t been for you, you know.”
“Yeah, I know, I know. You’re thankful to me.” He chuckled and looked down at me. I smiled, and he just placed his arm over my shoulders. “Now, don’t talk.” I knew why he’d said that. If we didn’t want to be caught, it was better to shut up until we reached each other’s rooms.
Adam escorted me to my bedroom. I’d gotten used to it, honestly. Every night, after we were done with the work, he’d accompany me to my room. Always silently, though, so that no one would catch us.
“You do know this is the last time you’ll be doing this.” I whispered when we finally reached my room, and I quietly opened the door, though I didn’t get in. I just stood there, gazing at him, and noticing the way he eyed me, with both puzzlement and amusement stamped on his face. “What?”
“You do know both of us are sure this will not be the last time.” Adam’s lips curved into a sweet smile before he added, “Eva, you know you’ll follow me to the stable once everything gets back to normal.”
“I shouldn’t do it, Adam, and you’re not helping me controlling this newborn temptation.”
“What can I say? In addition to the fact that I spent the whole time helping you cleaning everything, I enjoyed talking to you. You’re a good company, kid.” Adam’s hand was on my face again, softly stroking my cheek, like he was now suddenly used to do. “I don’t mind if you come to visit me to the stable. We’ll just need to be careful.”
“So you just want me die out of sleepiness, right?” I said with sarcasm, ignoring the other problem - his father. I rolled my eyes impatiently. “I have to rest at night, Adam.”
“You didn’t seem to think that way during those two times.”
“Do you feel like being with me or something?” I narrowed my eyes, trying to decipher something in his. I was joking, of course, but that didn’t mean I didn’t want him to say yes. “You do know we’re not supposed to be seen together, right?”
“I get it.” I suddenly cut him off. “You miss being with Rachel, and since you don’t have that feminine company, you want to be with me.” I said with a bored tone. I knew he wouldn’t give me any answer, because this was really just a childish complaint, even though I as kind of joking.
“Just shut up, will you?” Adam actually poked my arm in a gentle way. “You’re not some feminine substitute for my girlfriend. No one is.”
“So what am I? Care to explain me?” I dared to step towards him, my chest almost touching his. “I’m sensing I’m not just a maid, anymore.” Maybe I was being paranoid, or even foolish to think Adam’s thoughts had changed about me, but that was exactly what I’d sensed. That Adam’s thoughts about had indeed changed.
Adam stepped towards me as well, making our bodies touch. He obliged me to lift my head and gaze into icy blue eyes. He spoke with a serious tone, but the teasing look on his eyes handed him over. “Well, yeah... you’re more than a maid.”
“What am I, then?”
Adam grinned, “Well, I can pretty much say you are the first maid that has ever become a friend of mine, even if you’ve just been here for two weeks so far.”
“Should I feel flattered?” Of course I should.
Adam chuckled, and then dismissed me, “You should go to bed.” Damn. He just had to break the mood. “Good night, kid.” Still, he caressed me one last time before turning around and head for his room. When I lost him out of sight, was when I finally walked in my room and closed the door behind me.
As I took off my dirty clothes, undid my braid and washed myself, I had the most stupid and silly grin on my lips.
I was really happy - and pleased - that I’d been the first to be friends with the untouchable, the most arrogant and meaner of the Cooper family, Adam. Hell, I was really proud he’d said it himself! And I still didn’t believe he’d admitted it to me.
So, with Adam’s image on my mind, I drifted off to sleep in a matter of minutes, not once thinking about facing Mr. Cooper tomorrow. For now, I was satisfied and pleased, even if tired and worn-out as hell.