Welcome To Heartbreak

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Chapter 9

It was officially 8 PM, and Mr. Cooper was now having dinner with his family. As for me, I was nervously watching them quietly eating. Mr. Cooper still hadn’t said anything about the punishment, and thanks to it, I’d spent all the day anxious about it.

I’d talked to Adam for a couple of minutes during the afternoon, when he’d requested someone to bring him a snack. He’d tried to make me relax, saying everything would be ok, and that his father was probably making me wait on purpose. In his presence, I’d visibly loosened up a little.

But, unfortunately, it didn’t help the fact that every single maid, except for Rita, had spent the whole day asking me if Mr. Cooper had already said something about that matter. It just made me get even more edgy.

“Eva?” Oh god, oh god, oh god! It was Mr. Cooper!

“Yes, sir?” Becoming aware my hands were shaking, I clamped my hands together. I watched him, and the rest of the Coopers, getting up. Adam was there as well, and when he heard his father pronounce my name, he’d stopped doing everything.

“I’ve seen you managed to do everything I told you to.” As he spoke, I thought I’d break under the pressure of his frosty gaze. “So, I’ve decided to not fire you.”

I was unable to resist taking a deep breath and let it out slowly in front of everyone. I was going to keep my job! I’d made it! “Thank you.” I rushed to say with an insecure voice.

“But,” Oh, no. Come on, was he going to make me do something else? “If I ever see what I saw almost one week ago, I’ll make sure you get out of this house and never come again. Understood?” Although he’d said it in a sharp and ruthless way, his voice had always remained calm.

“Yes, sir.” God, why did I sound like if I was in the presence of some military general?

“Good. Have a good evening.” We all nodded, and finally, he turned around and left us, just like the rest of his family. Of course I had a surprise when Adam was the last one to leave. He silently spun and smiled, blinking his icy blue eye.

I blushed, but I soon forgot about it when I remembered to look around to see if any maid had seen that. Only Becca had. She looked at me in a puzzling way, probably wondering what that meant to both of us. Well, it was simply... something friendly, right? Yes, because we were friends, now.

Unexpectedly, my aunt approached me from behind. “I have something to say to you, Eva.”

Spinning over my heels, I just couldn’t hide my smile. “Yes?”

Her lips curved in a smile, too. “I talked to Glenda and... she gave you permission to take your day off tomorrow.”

“Seriously?” My eyes immediately widened in surprise as those words struck me. A day off! Hell, I so needed one!

“Yes! You’ll be able to visit your friends again.”

Honestly, I couldn’t be any happier today! I’d accomplished what Mr. Cooper had told me to do, I’d managed to keep my job, I was officially Adam’s friend, and I had my day off tomorrow! How cool was that? I could not wait to call Jamie and tell her all about it!

“I so needed a day off!” I was so happy that I couldn’t control myself. I simply stretched out my arms towards my aunt and hugged her.

Just a few seconds later, my aunt grabbed my arms and pulled me away. “It’s still Friday, Eva. You still have chores to do.” She scowled.

Unfortunately, I thought to myself. Now, I was simply anxious to go to bed. I had the whole night and morning to charge my batteries. Just the thought of it...

I knew I wouldn’t be seeing Adam tonight, because I was sure his father would probably be up, making sure none of us would see the other. Well, I could always wait, and maybe next week I could talk to him and let him know how much grateful I was for his help. Or I could always say that whenever I caught him alone in the house.

After my aunt said that, I rushed to help the other maids clean the room. I did the rest of my chores as well, with a grin stamped on my face. I was happy. What more could I say?

Around 11 PM, Becca and I were both dismissed at the same time. As we walked together towards the staircases, I noticed her looking around. Then, she looked over at me, and commented, “So, it seemed you and Adam haven’t stopped talking since that happened.”

Her observation caught me off guard. “What do you mean?”

“I saw him smiling and blinking his eye at you, after his father said you wouldn’t be fired.” She disclosed, staring at me with her green eyes. “I never saw him doing that. Not even to his girlfriend. He’s so... restricted to himself.”

“What can I say? Maybe he has a thing for me.” I dared to joke. Becca knew I was kidding. “Let it go, Becca. Does it matter the attention he pays me?” I didn’t let her comment, since I hurried to say, “Well, I’m kind of tired, so we’ll talk tomorrow or the next day, ok?” I just wanted to call my friends and go straight to bed.

“Yeah, yeah.” She said, shaking her head the moment we reached the floor of the maids. “Have a goodnight and a good day tomorrow, Eva.” Smiling weakly, she waved at me, and finally, I led myself to my room on the next floor.

When I got there, I just went to take a quick shower. Since it was a sizzling night, I just put on a t-shirt over my underwear. Then, I lazily stretched out in my bed, and with my cell on my hand, I called my friends to let them know I’d be visiting them tomorrow. Worthless to say the conversation through the cell evolved, and I ended up telling them what had happened to me throughout the week. They were worried at the beginning, but rested when I disclosed I hadn’t been fired.

After I hung up, I comfortably positioned myself, staring at my balcony. Since the curtains were pulled aside and the balcony was opened, I slowly fell asleep watching the night sky and feeling the fresh breeze.

***

Unfortunately, my sleep was interrupted.

I abruptly woke up with someone knocking on my door. With a slightly blurred vision, I looked for my cell to see what time it was. 3 AM. Heavy-eyed, my eyebrow arched. Adam didn’t use to come to my room at this hour of the night. It was just too late for either of us. So who the hell was knocking?

Thinking of who could be, I got up, and walked up to the door without a sound. Slowly, I reached for the doorknob and opened the door. As I took a peak outside, I sighted Adam right in front of me.

In fact, he had his finger glued to his lips, telling me to shut up. Confused, I tried to talk, but he just pulled me and placed his hand over my mouth, forbidding me to speak. What the hell was going on?

Then, I realized he’d pulled me to whisper something in my ear. “Don’t talk. Listen.”

I completely stopped breathing to listen what he wanted me to hear. Shockingly, I heard a feminine voice. “Oh, Brad, we have to do this again...” I recognized the voice as being Linda’s.

“Shh, don’t say anything, baby. Just say you loved it.”

Brad must’ve done something to her during that moment, because she moaned as she languidly said, “I loved it...”

“Good. I’ll visit you next week. Just give me one last kiss.” Silence. Another moan from Linda. I couldn’t believe I was listening to all of that. I was shocked and I couldn’t breathe, because Adam was still covering my mouth and his other hand was still squeezing me against his tamed body.

“Bye, gorgeous.” Brad spoke again. Linda giggled. Afterwards, we heard a door being closed, and steps going downwards. At last, we heard a door being shut, and Adam supposed it was from his brother’s room, because he finally allowed me to breathe.

Slowly, but surely, I turned around to face Adam. Although he’d released my mouth, his other hand still hadn’t let me go, though it was now on my back. Whispering, I asked, “Did they have sex?”

Adam leaned down his head and looked into my eyes. “Yeah. Sorry I scared you, kid. I wanted to come earlier, but my father was still up. I’m guessing he’s waiting to catch us again, but he got a surprise when we stayed inside our rooms. In fact, he just went to bed a few minutes ago. When I took advantage of it to come here, I caught Brad and Linda.”

“I knew Brad slept with the maids, but... I’m shocked, really.” How could Linda sleep around with Brad? And how hadn’t Mr. Cooper found out about it, yet? Anyway, I let go of those thoughts and focused on the man in front of me. “Why did you come here?”

“Let’s talk inside, ok?” Adam finally freed me from his grip and allowed me to go back to my room. When we got in, Adam immediately closed the door, and spun to face me.

“Something happened?” I still saw no point of Adam coming here, unless something had gone wrong.

“I just wanted to ask you if you wanted to have dinner out with me tomorrow.” As the words struck me, I found myself instantly thinking, wait, what? Realizing how taken by surprise I was, Adam hurried to add, “You know, to celebrate the fact that you didn’t get fired.”

I still didn’t know what to say, as I suddenly caught myself suspecting he was playing me. “Are you... serious?”

He replied with a question, “Why wouldn’t I?”

“I don’t know.” I shrugged, feeling suddenly uncomfortable.

“Are you accepting my invitation?”

“Adam, you know we can’t get caught.” I said, turning around to hide away from his eyes. Had he really asked me what I thought he’d asked me? “Besides, what about-”

“Oh, don’t start.” Adam immediately cut me off, knowing what I was going to say. “Rachel still doesn’t talks to me, my father and Gabi are going to a social dinner, and my brother’s going out. If the maids suspect about something, I’ll just let them know I went out with Alexis someway.”

“I can’t, Adam.” I wanted, but I couldn’t. I’d already said I was going out with my friends. “I promised my friends I’d visit them. It’s my day off.”

“I know it’s your day off. Glenda told me.” I wondered how he’d made Glenda tell him tomorrow was my day off. She was surely suspicious about it, now. “And, I know you’d want to visit your friends, so I planned everything.”

With an eyebrow cocked, I asked, “What do you mean?”

Before I heard his voice, I listened to his steps right behind me, and then felt his hands on my bare shoulders, forcing me to turn around. And succeeding, of course. “Well, after lunch, I can take us to your town again, spend the afternoon with your friends, and then... we could just... have dinner together.”

“The two of us?”

“If you don’t mind.” He was joking, right? Me? Mind? He was clearly playing with me, wasn’t he?

“You’re the one who has to mind, not me. I’m just the maid.”

“You’re a friend I’m asking to have dinner out. You’re just a maid when you’re not with me.” He corrected me, looking annoyed, now. “When you’re with me, you’re a whole different person, Eva. So, do you accept it, or-”

Staring at him with a sort of dreamy look on my eyes, I said, “Of course I accept!”

“Good.” Finally, he smiled. “Then, we’ll meet outside of the property, ok? Around... 1 PM?”

“Sure!” I grinned. Man, this day was going better than I thought it would! Yeah, I spent the week working and the whole day anxious about Mr. Cooper’s decision, but hell, it had paid off! “Thanks for the invitation, Adam. Really.”

Without saying anything else, and looking serious and focused on something now, Adam just lifted his hand, and caressed my cheek. I involuntarily closed my eyes, feeling his warm touch on my chilly face. I unconsciously raised my hand and grabbed his. Adam stopped caressing my cheek, and moved on to my hand. I felt his fingers twirling with mine... playing. Next, with his free hand, he touched my hair, and started doing the same thing, ever so smoothly and tenderly.

After a few moments, when I was practically sleeping while on my feet, Adam stopped. Slowly, I opened my tired eyes and stared into his icy ones. He said nothing. Before I could open my mouth to say something probably stupid, Adam just shut me up when he simply grabbed me by the waist and pulled me to his arms.

“What are you doing?” I asked, confused and heavy-eyed.

“Carrying you to bed.”

“I think you have a thing for carrying me.” I caught myself saying that without thinking about it. I watched him taking me to bed as I kept going, “I could just fall asleep while standing if you hadn’t stopped doing that with your fingers.”

“Oh really?” I felt him laying me down on my bed and sitting next to me. Although I’d closed my eyes, I kept talking to him.

“Oh yeah.”

“You want me to keep going?”

“Yes.” I replied straight away, not thinking about what that implied, in case someone found out, or we ended up turning this into a habit, though I seriously doubted the last one would happen.

“It’s a bit difficult to do this sitting, you know.” Was he accepting to stay with me till I fell asleep?

“Then lie down.” I caught myself shifting position, and felt amazed when Adam actually lay down next to me. I opened my eyes again, and became aware he was gazing at me. “I didn’t know you were this easier to get into bed.”

“What can I say...? Maybe I do have a thing for you, kid.” He offered me a nice tight-lipped smile while he made himself comfortable next to me. At last, he demanded, “Give me your hand.”

Closing my eyes again, I gave him my hand. At first, he just toyed with my fingers and the big black curls, but... as time passed, I felt his touch move towards my arm, my face... Damn, Adam had the most soft, warm... and addicting touch I’d ever felt.

When I dozed off, the last thing I remembered to feel was Adam cuddling me against him.

***

When my eyes first opened that morning, my first reaction was to close them straight away as the sun light coming from the balcony blinded me. Unconsciously, I shifted position and turned to the other side, suddenly feeling the bed a lot emptier than last night. At first, I wondered what had changed, but when I remembered how I’d fallen asleep, I immediately lifted my torso and opened my eyes, despite of all the light.

Adam had gone to bed with me! Oh god... that sentence in my head sounded too wrong. It sounded like if Adam and I had done the same thing Linda and Brad did. I was still shocked about it... just like I was as I remembered the way Adam happened to join me in bed last night. Closing my eyes for a few moments, I tried to imagine his warm and smooth touch on my face and arms... so good.

When I involuntarily turned my head and realized what time it was, I bolted out of my bed. It was almost 1 PM! I was supposed to meet up with Adam outside in ten minutes, and I hadn’t even dressed!

I didn’t even have the time to think about what I’d wear, since I was too late. I just grabbed a yellow summer dress that ended some inches above the knee, and whose V neckline didn’t reveal much. I slipped into some flip flops, and then went to the bathroom. I brushed my teeth, washed my face and combed my wild hair. At least, this morning, it had been easy to comb it. After I grabbed my purse and threw everything I could remember inside, I made a dash for the kitchen.

When I got there, everyone was still having lunch. “Hi, everyone!” Ok, maybe I’d sounded too perky.

“Where are you going?” It was Linda’s voice. As I met her gaze, all I could think of was what I’d witnessed last night, along with Adam.

“Visit some friends.” I replied. Thank god they were just eating some meat sandwiches. I wouldn’t have time to eat or prepare anything else, so I just grabbed one from the table, and said my goodbyes. On my way out, I caught my aunt’s stare, and warned her, “I’ll be back late, don’t worry, ok?” If Adam really intended to have dinner out with me, then it meant we’d arrive later than my aunt thought, unless something would go wrong, which I highly doubted. Everything was going so perfect that, nothing would screw my day.

When I walked out of the big mansion, I became aware Adam’s car was still parked in front of the garages. I immediately slowed down, and tried to catch my breath to eat a little. Adam’s car was still there, so that meant he was late.

When I reached the gate, I greeted Simon and asked him politely to open the gate for me. With a friendly smile on his face, Simon opened it without any questions.

Out of the Coopers’ property, I walked a little until I was sure I was out of Simon’s reach. I wanted to make sure no one would see me with Adam. Even though he seemed a really nice guy, and I was sure he was, I didn’t want to take any chances.

When I finally stopped and ate my sandwich, I instantly started sweating as I was suddenly drenched in sunlight. To get worse, by the time I saw Adam’s car coming out of the property, I’d been waiting for more than ten minutes, which meant I felt like if I was melting inside the summer dress.

“’Morning, kid.” He said when he stopped the car right beside me.

Smiling, I got inside. The first thing I said wasn’t the same he did. In fact, it was a question. “At what time did you go to bed last night?”

Once again driving, Adam replied. “I don’t remember quite well, but I think it was about half past 5 AM. I fell asleep, you know.”

“You fell asleep while doing-”

“Of course not, kid.” He cut me off, “Not even ten minutes after we went to bed, you fell asleep straight away. I kept doing what you wanted, but I stopped when you were really sleeping. I didn’t feel like getting up, so I just stayed there... watching you sleeping, only to be my turn to fall asleep around 4 AM.”

“Did I snore?” I asked, thinking it would be better to ignore the fact that Adam had stayed in my bed, watching me sleep. I wondered what would happen if anyone found out about it.

“No, you didn’t.” He chuckled, “But you did drool a bit on your pillow.” Oh my god... he did not see that! I had not drooled on my pillow! Feeling myself blushing, I looked away, even if Adam’s eyes were on the road. A gorgeous guy had watched me while I’d been sleeping, and I just had to drool over my pillow.

“I’ll never let you sleep with me, ever again, Adam. That’s embarrassing!”

“You’re lucky, kid. There are those who drool and snore, at the same time.” Adam laughed, and I knew he was thinking about someone that did both all at once. In fact, he even revealed who the person was. “Vince does that, actually.”

“I haven’t seen Vince.” I commented innocently.

“Yeah, well... he’s been spending more time with Rachel.” Adam disclosed.

“Oh.”

“Vince’s on Rachel’s side. He thinks I should not only apologize, but ask her to marry me, too.” Yeah, I was aware of that since I’d last talked to him. I still hadn’t forgotten the way he’d talked to me.

“Have you changed your mind?”

“About apologizing?”

“No,” I shook my head, “About marrying.”

At first, Adam hesitated to answer me. I wondered why. It’s not like this was taboo between us. But, after some moments, he gave me his answer. “No, I haven’t changed my mind yet...” Had he just said yet? “...but I’ve been thinking about it, you know? Rachel’s indeed a beautiful and wonderful girl. I know she loves me from the bottom of her heart, but I think her parents pressure her too much, and unfortunately, she’s not like me. She respects whatever decision her parents make, even if it’s about her. Nevertheless, I know she wants to marry me, and I know she’s too perfect to wait for me to decide.”

“In other words, you’re changing your mind.” I dryly pointed out.

“I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not.”

“If you’re just going to marry her because you’re afraid she’ll dump you if you don’t ask the question, then you’re really not going to marry her because you love her.” You’re just going to marry her because you feel obligated to. That was the rest of my opinion, though I kept it to myself. Anyway, I didn’t want to talk about that issue anymore, so I just added, “But since I’m not Rachel or any other person that’s interested in your love life, let’s just stop talking about this and focus on us.”

“On us?”

Spontaneously, I looked up at him. “Yes, on us. You’re going out with me, not Rachel. I know she’s your girlfriend and all, but right now, I’m your main focus, right?”

Suddenly, I had Adam staring at me. No one was on the road, so I noticed he’d slowed down and simply watched me smiling at me. Then, I heard him, “You call this a date, then?” Listening to that, my jaw dropped.

Feeling like he’d thrown me off balance, I really didn’t know what to say. “Hum, no...? Aren’t we just friends?”

“Friends can’t have dates?” The way he looked at me, after checking out the road again, made me realize he was trying to disconcert me. In a good way, or so the smile he had on his lips told me.

In my opinion, friends don’t go out on dates, they simply... go out! That was the answer I gave him. “No. For me, they just go out. But why are you even asking me if I call this a date? I don’t remember talking about dates!” Didn’t I sound too... panicked now? Well... I couldn’t blame anyone, but me. I was an inexperienced girl regarding this issue. I’d only dated once in my whole life.

“Well, you started talking about you being my main focus. Girls are only a guy’s main focus if they’re on a date. That’s my opinion.”

“I disagree!” I said straight away. “I’ve gone out with Chris a lot of times, and I’ve had all of his attention on me, and it wasn’t a date!”

Adam just rolled his eyes. “Chris doesn’t count! He’s gay!”

Ok, so maybe that had been a bad example... Well, I could twist this, couldn’t I? Since he’d shot me a hard question, I’d do just the same! “Am I your main focus, today? I have to know that, in order to give you a proper answer about this being a date or not.”

So, if he didn’t want this to be a date, which I supposed he didn’t, seeing that he had a girlfriend, he’d say no. But, I should know better. I should know Adam wouldn’t give the answer I was waiting for.

“Yes, you are my main focus, kid.” When he noticed the surprised look stamped on my face, he laughed. “So, in your opinion, this is a date.”

Slightly confused, I questioned, “Do you want this to be a date?”

Adam just shrugged. “I don’t mind.”

“You do know you have a girlfriend that you’re probably going to ask to marry you soon, right?” Ok, so now I was really puzzled. What did Adam want? “If this is a date, you’re technically cheating on Rachel.” Maybe I was overreacting or something, but if this was really a date... he shouldn’t be here. Guys with girlfriends don’t go on dates with other women!

“Don’t overstress, kid. Friends can have dates. We’re having a date, I guess. Since it’s not a romantic one, we should be fine with it. So stop worrying. I’m not going to do anything you don’t want. You should already know I’m not like Brad.”

“Yeah, you don’t sleep with maids.” When I heard myself saying that, it sounded like a dull complaint. I really hadn’t meant to say it that way.

“That conversation again, Eva? I’ve said it once, and I’ll repeat it again. But, to begin with, don’t even think about Rachel, ok? Now, if I wanted to sleep with you, because I liked you, I would. I wouldn’t give a damn if you were a maid. This is really just a friendly date between us. I admit, you are my main focus now, but that doesn’t mean I’m cheating on my girlfriend, does it? Does it say anywhere it’s forbidden to make a girl happy in some way while having a girlfriend? Let it go, Eva, really. It’s not worth to bother yourself with this.”

Well, that was exactly what I did from that point forward. In fact, I didn’t even talk with Adam anymore, until we finally arrived to my town, and after, to the place where my friends were waiting for me. I’d told them I was coming alone, but as soon as they saw the red Porsche, they knew Adam was with me. And I was sure they would bug me throughout the whole afternoon thanks to it. In a good way, though.

When Adam parked the car, we both got out, and they all came in route for us, spreading out hugs and laughs. Worthless to say Chris pushed it a little when it was his time to greet Adam. Oh well, Adam would eventually get used to this if he planned to make this a habit.

“I missed you, Eva!”

“Me too, Jamie. Is everything alright since the last time I came here?”

“Same old, same old.” Lucy was the one who answered when she approached me again. Jamie stepped aside, allowing her to get closer. “At least, whenever you now come to town, everything becomes interesting again.”

My eyebrow arched unconsciously. “Oh really?”

“Yup. After the day you came to pay us a visit, everyone already knew a guy with an expensive red Porsche had given you a ride. Some were really mean, Eva.” The day was turning out so good, that I really didn’t want it spoiled, which meant I couldn’t care less about what people had said about me.

Unfortunately, Chris didn’t comprehend that. He drew closer to me, pushing Lucy away, and unveiled, “They’ve been saying you turned into a whore!”

My jaw just fell open.

“Yes!” Chris said, watching disbelief stamped on my face. He then pointed at Adam, and still added, “And people are starting to say he’s the guy that gets you the clients and all! Just because he gave you a ride on his car!”

I was too stunned to say something. As an alternative, I just stared at Adam. He just rolled his eyes. “What do you want me to say? People can’t see a girl with a rich guy that, they immediately start gossiping around. Let it go, kid. What it matters is that you’re here to have fun, and not to think about it. Besides, you don’t even live here anymore.” Yeah, he was right, but... that didn’t mean it didn’t hurt. Come on, people were saying I’d turned into a whore! That was just... revolting! Even if it was just some mean gossip!

To ease the atmosphere, my best friend Jamie asked, “So, where are we going today?”

I was going to answer, but Adam got ahead of me. “I was thinking about driving for a while, and then you guys could show me the park. I’ve heard this town as a huge one.”

Oh... he really had everything planned.

“Yes, we have!” Chris said straight away, with a proud grin. “It’s located on the North part of the town, so... it’s almost about an hour from here.” It was almost 4 PM, and if we ended up going there, we’d just lose an hour. But like I’d noticed, Adam had everything under control.

“Well, I’ll put us there in half an hour. Come on.” And just like that, ignoring me, Adam turned and everyone followed him towards the car. I was the last one to get in. I was the last one everyone paid attention to. Well, I really didn’t mind that. I didn’t care if they spent their whole time talking about themselves. Even Adam seemed more into the chat than I did.

At any rate, I was more worried about what Lucy and Chris had told me. The more I thought about it, the more outraged I felt. How could they think I’d turned into a whore? They’d only seen me with Adam once! God, I’d never turn myself into a whore! I’d never sell my body! I’d rather die than to have some guy riding me for his own pleasure! Just the thought of it...

Gosh, people could be so stupid! Maybe, after all, it had been a bad idea to bring Adam with me. Who knows if they wouldn’t come up with worse things?

Too drowned in my thoughts, I didn’t even become aware we’d arrived to the park until they all started to open the doors to get out. Still silent, I got out without a word, though I immediately heard my friends telling Adam everything they knew about the popular park.

When they were finished that, they started revealing everything we used to do every time we came here, just to make a fool out of ourselves.

However, everything I had in my mind was just a little question. How could these stupid little townspeople think that I, my mother’s daughter, had become such... thing?

I was once again too absorbed in my thoughts when I unexpectedly felt an arm over my shoulders. “I don’t even need to ask you what you’re thinking about.” Adam said. I didn’t bother to look at him, and just gazed at my three friends who were entertaining themselves with stuff we’d done before. They were so into it that, they hadn’t even noticed Adam had slowed down to talk to me.

“How could they think... such thing about me, Adam? I was everything but what they say I now am! I never ever slept around before! Hell, I just had one freaking boyfriend in my entire life!” I didn’t want to burst out, especially in front of Adam, but it seemed inevitable.

“Relax, kid.” Adam said when I felt his fingers playing with my big curls. I looked up at him, and noticed he wasn’t aware of what he was doing. “Just ignore them and their stupid gossips. You should be enjoying your time with your friends and me, instead of mulling over that.”

“I know, and I’m sorry, Adam, but it’s just that... I didn’t think things would change in a week, after I paid my friends a visit!”

"We changed in a week.” Adam remarked, completely changing the topic. “Remember how I treated you in the first day? One week later, I was helping you because I thought - and still think - my father had unfairly punished you.”

“I thought you were pretty arrogant and mean towards everybody, but I don’t think you’re like that anymore. Well... at least concerning me.”

“You got that right, kid. I am arrogant and mean, but you’re not one of those targets anymore.” He paused to pet me in the head, and then added. “You’re my kid, now.”

“Oh, shut up! I’m no one’s kid!” I said, pushing him away from me, though I didn’t succeed. Adam just grabbed me with his two arms while I tried to punch him. Unfortunately, he was just too strong for me. Without waiting for it, Adam just started tickling me, and I caught myself begging. “Adam, stop!”

“I’m going to tickle you to death, kid!”

“No... y-you’re... not!” I could barely talk, breath and laugh at the same time. “You’re going to suffocate me!”

“That’s not a problem. I can easily fill your lungs with the air you yearn for so much.” I wasn’t even paying much attention to what he was saying, since I was too busy thinking about him grabbing and tickling me at the same time. Was I that weak?

“S-stop!” I pleaded, and Adam actually stopping tickling me, or else he’d have asphyxiated me. Nevertheless, I was still in his arms, breathless, too close to his face.

“Do you need help, kid?” Adam mocked me, with an amused smile stamped on his lips. He still added, when he almost eliminated all of the inches that torn our faces apart. “I can easily help you breathe.” Oh... I hadn’t met that part of him before!

“Shut up, Adam! Rachel will not like that if she finds out!” Even though I was obviously joking, Adam stiffened right away. No, he didn’t just stiffen, he changed.

“I think I’m thirsty.” He suddenly said, pulling away from me.

“There’s a coffee shop over there.” I said, pointing behind him, and feeling the atmosphere between us changing as well. “We just need to walk a little.” I explained. I was going to call my friends and warn them we were going there, but I didn’t need to. When I looked at them, they were gazing at me and Adam, with stupid grins on their faces.

“Thank god you two stopped acting like a couple.” Chris started off when we all began walking towards the coffee shop. “I was starting to get sick! Such a beautiful man being wasted on a girl like you...”

“Shut up, Chris.” I elbowed him when he drew closer to tell me that. “Adam has a girlfriend, ok? And they’re about to marry, right Adam?” I raised my tone in that last part, so that Adam would hear me.

I don’t know why I’d even said that. I wasn’t supposed to say it, but... it really annoyed me that Adam could be so close to me and... Couldn’t, as well. He just could not be that intimate with me, put his hands on me, and spend a whole day with me, when he had a beautiful woman waiting for him! Of course I regretted thinking this straight away. Deeply, I liked - wanted - his attention on me.

Perhaps... perhaps I was getting used to something I couldn’t have.

Adam just looked at me over his shoulder, his icy blue eyes almost killing me. He didn’t answer, or say any damn thing. The social and funny Adam had turned into a too silent and serious man, who was walking all by himself ahead of us.

“I think you messed up, Eva.” I heard Jamie, suddenly appearing behind me.

“Why?” I knew why, but I wanted to hear what she thought of it.

“Sweetie, when a guy is that close to us, the last thing you want to do is to refer to his girlfriend. I know you don’t have much experience regarding this, but that’s something easy to know.”

“I know Jamie, I know...” I deliberately slowed my pace and Jamie did the same. “But, I also know he shouldn’t be that close to me! Besides the fact that I only know him for a couple of weeks, he’s my boss and he’s practically engaged! And I’m not even supposed to be with him! If anyone finds out, I’m instantaneously fired!”

Once more, I was laying too much emphasis on this, and it probably wasn’t even worth the hassle.

When we arrived at the coffee shop, only Adam walked in. While he was there, Lucy and Chris came to me again.

“I can’t believe you started talking about his girlfriend when he was practically hitting on you.”

“He was not hitting on me!” I yelled at Lucy, astonished by what she’d said. “We were just... kidding around with each other!”

“Yeah, right.” Lucy impatiently rolled her eyes. “You don’t fool me, Eva.”

“God, did everyone take their day off to-”

“Eva?” As soon as I heard that too familiar and terrible voice saying my name, I iced over right there. No, no, no! The day was going so well! I didn’t need to look ahead, since I already knew who I was going to see, unfortunately. “Look who’s here, guys! Eva Hudson!”

Please no... The last thing I needed today was that stupid asshole, Rick. “Aren’t you going to say hello to me?”

“Why would she say hello to idiots?” Lucy shot straight away, in a hostile way.

“I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to the orphan.” Orphan? Orphan? What the hell...? Abruptly feeling brave enough, I looked at him. Two more caught my attention. A girl under his arm - the one we’d talked about when I’d first come here - and his dumb best friend, Ed. “Eva, don’t you recognize me anymore?”

Oh, I did. I did recognize the asshole in front of me. I just didn’t want to talk to him. “I get it, I get it.” He said, shaking his hand up in the air. “Now that you’re rich, you won’t talk to us, right?”

“Leave her alone, Rick.” Laura, the girl under his arm, said.

“Shut up.” Rick demanded, now having too much fun to pay attention to his new girlfriend. “I don’t see that guy around, so I’m assuming you can talk to me. Right? Or he doesn’t allow you to talk to anyone he doesn’t know?” I was visibly confused. Was he talking about Adam?

“Go away,” Jamie said too innocently, and this time, Rick didn’t even pay attention.

“I was wondering, now that you’re... you know, can I have a night with you?” And just like that, my jaw fell open, and my heart stopped beating. I couldn’t believe in what I was hearing. “I mean... I’m sure... you’ve gotten better since the last time we did it, right?”

My worst fear was coming true. I couldn’t do or say anything other than look away and hide my face from him, from the guy that had treated me so bad that I’d sworn I’d never ever fall for another guy.

“Your legs do spread in different ways without shaking now, right? And your pussy does too-”

“What’s going on here?” At last, Adam came. I spun over my heels, and sighted him right behind me. He’d approached so silently that I hadn’t heard him, and since Rick hadn’t yet seen Adam, he’d probably thought he was just a random guy. “Is this guy bothering you, Eva?”

I avoided his icy blue eyes. I didn’t want things to get worse, so I just denied everything, “No, we were just talking.”

“You were always so naive, Eva.” Rick said, shaking his head. God, couldn’t he go away? “Aren’t you going to introduce me to your boss? The one who fixes men up with you? I want to have a night with you, Eva, unless you’re too expensive for me, now. If he drives a brand new Porsche, I’m guessing guys pay you well.”

In that same instance, Adam stepped towards him straight away, but I just placed myself in front of him. “Don’t do anything.”

He didn’t even hear me. “Who do you think you are, you fucking asshole?”

Shrugging and smirking, Rick replied, “The one that has tried to get his cock inside Eva’s pussy and just couldn’t, because Miss Hudson was too nervous to lose her virginity.” Now, I was just too embarrassed to look at anyone. My friends didn’t even dare to look at me. All I wanted in that moment was to dig up a whole and bury myself in it. “And who do you think you are?”

Adam’s answer was everything I didn’t expect. “Her boyfriend, you son of a bitch.”

Rick smirked once more. “Boyfriend? Yeah, right. After what happened to her in her first night with me, she never got another boyfriend. No one wanted her, and she didn’t want any of them.”

“Why don’t you get the fuck out of here?”

“Do you think I really believe you’re Eva’s boyfriend? Eva herself swore to me she’d never let another guy have her for the rest of her life.” He revealed, looking straight into Adam’s eyes. I didn’t know what Adam was thinking about me, or if he even believed in what Rick was saying. Whatever was on Adam’s mind, what Rick had said was... true.

“You should.” Adam snarled. “She met a decent guy like me and forgot about the shitty ones like you.”

“Yeah, right.” Rick rolled her eyes, the grin on his face never vanishing. He was truly having fun with this. “If you prove you’re her boyfriend, I’ll get out of here and leave the newest whore town alone.” Once more, Adam got out of control.

He just dragged me along with him when he walked up to Rick. No matter how hard I tried to block him from reaching Rick, I was too weak. Fortunately, my friends helped me, and Adam stopped. Furiously, he said, “I don’t have anything to prove you.”

“Yes, you do have... Because I won’t leave this place until Miss Hudson here can finally prove she’s gotten herself a boyfriend.” And then, he laughed, infuriating not only Adam, but me has well. But replying to his provocations would only be worse. I knew him that well. I didn’t even have the guts to look into his devil eyes, let alone respond to his provocation.

Since I was still grabbing Adam, I felt him shaking. Was he trying to control himself?

“Kiss her.” Rick swiftly demanded. “If you’re her boyfriend, kiss her.”

Now, Adam was too silent, too quiet.

I had the audacity to look up at him, and noticed his eyes were on me. I couldn’t really see their color, because my vision was becoming blurry. I was about to cry. That stupid asshole had once again taken advantage of me to have fun, just like he’d done two years ago.

I didn’t want Adam to kiss me because Rick had said so. He wasn’t obligated to do that. He could just walk away and I’d handle Rick. I’d handled him a lot of times before... one more wouldn’t make any different.

Anyway, I knew Adam felt compelled to do what Rick demanded. His hands now framed my face and his fingers slowly wiped off my tears. No, I didn’t want Adam to do this! He had no right to demand such thing from Adam! He had a girlfriend! He wasn’t even like this!

“Adam...” I muttered. In that moment, I felt like I’d just left Rick’s house, after that night. I felt broken. “Don’t.”

Ignoring me, Adam leaned down on me. Everyone was still. I tried again, “Don’t do this.”

His face drew closer to mine. I could feel his breath on my lips. He faintly smiled, like if reassuring me.

And just like that, Adam completely got rid of the inches that tore out mouths apart, and his lips touched mine. We didn’t even close our eyes and that only showed how fake the kiss really was.

Suddenly, I became aware Adam was trying to force my lips to part. I didn’t know why he was doing that. The fact that his lips were on me, did the trick. But, for Adam, it seemed it wasn’t enough, though. I felt his hand slid down, reaching for my lower back. He started pressuring me against his gigantic body. Involuntary, my hands met behind his neck and locked his hair.

I was starting to give up. And I did give up when I gave Adam permission to explore my mouth once my lips parted and my eyes shut.

I was lost in that new sensation that made my blood boil and my skin burn. I was lost in the feeling of Adam softly caressing my wet cheek as he gently kissed me for the first time.

I couldn’t think, move or breathe. I didn’t want to do any of that, honestly, afraid everything would end. So, I just let myself drift off entirely into what I was going through.

All that mattered to me in that exact moment was Adam, and only Adam.

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