Tailored to Your Needs [Part 2]
"Dominic..." I can hear a rumble of Mae's stomach before she can finish her sentence. I check my watch; it is 3:34, and the red and orange of the setting sun are casting a hurtful hue around Mae, who is slaving away at her sewing machine.
She was right that tweed was a bitch to sew because that alone shot her timeline back a whole half hour. Luckily while the sun still shone she was able to lay half a side of the jacket against my frame to see whether the colour was right—not that she had much of a choice if it wasn't.
"Do you know how to cook?" she asks her voice being slightly drowned from the whirring of a needle struggling to pierce through fabric.
"I do. Hungry?" Mae nods.
"There's food in the fridge, with a recipe card somewhere on the counter." Mae looks up, her eyes big and dilated. "Would you mind?" She seems almost tearful at the potential rejection, I can see she is trying to work out whether she actually needed food if I declined her proposal, and that whether she could just eat at midnight.
"Not at all. There was a time when I would cook for myself and others." I get up off my stool, and pick my jumper up off the floor and leave Mae to her sewing.
I put my jumper on the sofa and walk towards the large silver fridge.
Klaus had done a good job. The fridge is stocked—not overfilling—with food but enough for the two days we'd be here for. I close the door and saw the recipe cards on the counter like Mae had said.
Prawns and broccoli stir fry or lamb and lentil curry? Well, they'll both get eaten it's just a case of when. I slide the recipe card for prawns and broccoli aside, Mae seemed very hungry, and I didn't want to waste time deveining prawns.
I go in search of the ingredients, placing them on the high table behind me, then getting a frying pan and pot to cook with.
Add lamb, onion, garlic and fry. I pour a bit of oil in the pan and set the heat on low before I get a chopping board and knife and dice the lamb, onion and garlic, placing them in a small plastic bowl. I returned to the frying pan and ran my hand under some water. I flick my wet hand at the hot pan, and it sizzles as the water hit the oil.
I empty the bowl into the pan, grabbing a wooden spoon and coat them all in oil so they wouldn't stick to the bottom.
Add the curry paste to the lamb, then the tomatoes and lentils with water and salt.
I give the pan one last stir before getting the curry sauce and empty it over the food, and watch the sauce bubble and pop.
"Smells nice." I turn around to find Mae in an oversized shirt. The greenhouse is as dark as ever, with the sun retired for the day so has Mae.
"Are you finished then?" I pour in the tin of tomatoes stirring the contents as I wait for her answer.
"I may finish it after dinner, but my stomach is getting agitated." Mae takes a seat on one of the stools, resting her head on her hand. "What's on the menu."
I pick up the recipe card and flick it towards her.
"Lamb and lentil curry. I don't know why Klaus struggles with a simple pasta dish."
"You should see the food for tomorrow. I hope you like labour."
"I've got sewer's cramp," Mae whines as I place the lid on the pot.
"Would you like a massage also, Miss Geoffries?" Mae holds her chin in deep thought. With the water added all that was left for the lentils to cook.
I take the rice out of the packet and pour it into the pot before covering it with boiling water. With everything simmering nicely, I turn my attention to Mae.
"I think that would be asking you of too much." Mae moves from her position and is opening the cabinets above the sink for the plates. I stir the individual pots as she pulled out twin black plates and glasses.
With the dinnerwear on the table by the sink Mae is tidying up the small kitchen island behind us. Pushing food into the bin and anything that needed to be washed in the dishwasher.
"Dinners ready," I say turning off the heat, Mae opens up one of her wooden drawers and pulls out two sets of utensils handing me one, before pulling out four flat wicker mats and lays them on the table.
I lay the lamb and lentil pot on one and the rice next to the other as Mae puts the plates on the remaining two.
"Salad?" she asks. I open the fridge and check her salad draw to find an already prepared bag of mixed leaves salad. I grab a few salad dressings on the rack of the door and lay them out while Mae puts a wood-like bowl and I empty the salad inside. Leaves, chopped peppers, shredded carrots and sweetcorn tumbled out and into the bowl.
Mae sits down, licking her lips, and I take a seat next to her, she put her hands together.
"'ai." She reaches for the food.
"What was that?" I ask.
She frowned, before saying, "what was what?"
"The hand thing, the word that came out of your mouth." Her eyebrows dip before she made an 'o' with her lips.
"It's this thing my stepfather does, it means eat. Sorry, being here you slip into old habits."
I purse my lips before bringing my hands together.
"'ai." I glance at Mae, who is smiling, nodding her head.
"Well pronounced," she says.
We dish out our food tucking into it as though neither of us had eaten in days, at one point Mae had filled a jug of water and we share it while we eat.
"This event, aside from hearing it only yesterday. I don't really know what it's for. It'll help me understand who I'm catering for."
I lay my fork down before taking a gulp of water to wash down the food in my mouth.
"It's hard to explain without telling you everything about...well, everything what I do and how it benefits people."
"If it's not too much trouble," Mae replies.
"There are four main sectors which Aldrek have an interest in nightlife, travel, property, and medicine. Each industry is specifically designed to mainly cater to vampires. My father started with just medicine, medicine mostly was blood. Best way to get it, store it, and distribute it. However, it's hard to explain why a company only focuses on that field so that almost became a small branch in the medicine sector.
"We couldn't just focus on ourselves if we wanted to hang around humans so we opened the industry to anything medical related—vaccines, hospital improvements, medical equipment, sponsoring hospital universities, and some international aid.
"Which ties into why I 'hired' you to make the clothes. Once a year we have a charity ball. Last year we did an auction, and the money went to children in Brazil. This year we want guests to buy some clothes and other one of kind items. Aside from you, we have Jeff Koons making a few paintings which we will be selling, Aston Martin has agreed with us to make a replica of the car they'll be preparing for the new James Bond film, and Tiffanys have given us roam of the staff and store in Seattle with a spending spree of $100,000," I explain.
"Well, paired against all those other gifts mine don't seem nearly as fancy."
"Those are the big three, we'll have smaller gifts fluttering around, your outfits will be the only thing of clothing available."
"Big expectations, Dominic."
"I'm sure you'll be sure to exceed them." Mae smiles, however, there is a weighted look in her eyes from what I just told her.
"So the other sectors of your empire."
"Yes, as me and my siblings got older, the primary responsibilities were handed to me, by that time, my father had expanded the business into property. While it's great to be able to supply vampires with blood, it's also good if they have somewhere to live, a place where we didn't have to worry about wandering humans and nosey realtors.
"We started off small an apartment complex here and there then as we got more money from the medical sector, we invested it into property going from apartments to small gated communities to now where we rival Beverly hills. Ten houses to a community and on average four communities to a state. We have a share in most major water, gas and electric, and internet companies. We try to keep as many problems inhouse as possible.
"My mother and father moved to Bali, revealing another potential market, travel. A travel company with our own fleet of planes for families and couples who don't want the stress of long haul flights being surrounded by humans or other supernatural creatures. Especially with hungry and young children on board. Opening vampires to a private airline meant that we opened conversations with other countries which naturally expanded our property and medicine sector. Freya manages that sector, she's a stay at home mom so travelling with Elsie to different countries work well for them both."
"And C...hristopher?" she asks.
"He's a pilot, so they are all on the move together most times."
"That's cute, but surely you must have the odd human who travels with you, I mean how do you make something exclusive but open to the public at the same time?" Mae asks.
"We do, they get bumped to premium X. Kept away from the other passengers."
"That's very generous of you."
"Privacy is very expensive Mae," I mention casually.
"Nightlife is fairly new and actually the only sector that isn't exclusive to vampires. It's just a venture that we thought would look good on the overall company. Lincoln handles the main club here in Seattle, and then we are shadow partners for a few restaurants in Seattle. I didn't want to focus too much on nightlife, so those restaurants are run by our partners. We have a 40% share in the businesses, so I don't really see a need to be breathing down their necks unless I have to."
"And that family you mentioned at dinner?"
"The Nazari family? They handle the Eastern side of the world. I keep out of their business they keep out of mine. We had a falling out in 2011 when my father stepped back from company duties, but I was able to smooth it out with them. Keep the peace and ultimately keep the money flowing."
"What is your net worth, Dominic, you must be on Forbes list by now?"
"Me personally, 1.7 billion. However, Aldrek is 30 billion as of last March."
"How long has the company been around?"
"Well, my father likes to say we've been in the business for as long as time." I roll my eyes which earns me a smile from Mae. "However we started up officially 1973. My father took a step back in 2010, then in 2012, I became his successor—April 15th the day I turned 21."
Mae jumped off her chair and loaded the dishwashers with our plates.
"That was quite the bedtime story, Dominic. You always hear how self-centred some creatures can be human and supernatural alike. Though it was purely for a business venture, it's nice to think you haven't forgotten about us."
"Need help?" I ask.
"You could put the rest of the food in a few containers. Bonnie will want to try some."
"Bonnie." I do as I am told emptying the food into some containers I found in a cupboard, I leave the lid partially off so it could cool before I could put them in the fridge.
"The woman who owns the fabric shop, seeing as I didn't pay her and I asked if she could open tomorrow for me, I'll need something besides you to sweeten the hassle."
"Well, when I said I was making a suit Bonnie insisted details, though she's legally blind without her glasses she's uncomfortably perceptive. She worked out that it was someone close but certainly not a friend, but not quite a husband."
"What did you tell her?"
"That it was for my boyfriend, and then I ran out of the shop." Mae's hip bumps the dishwasher closing it shut before turning it on.
I wipe down the surfaces, and Mae ties the bin bag and leave it by the door.
"We are at titles than are we?" We are both heading to the bedroom, and Mae swivels on her feet to face me as she walks backwards much like she did the first time we met.
"I am merely following your lead, I think you'll remember you placed the title of girlfriend on my head." I switch off the lights to the kitchen the whole room suddenly succumbs to darkness before Mae switches on the lamp in the corner.
"It's a lot easier explanation then, the girl I bought to drink her blood and fuck her."
"Whatever sounds better to your ears, Dominic Aldrek."
"You're blowing this way out of proportions, Mae." I grab my bag, holding it over my shoulder. "I'm going to take a shower."
"Do you need me to wait outside your room in my fuck me shoes." Her voice tingles the tips of my ear as though she is whispering it, and her alluring jasmine scent wafts up my nose. I grin and turn to see Mae had discarded her clothes and is stood hands on her hips.
"As...my..." I lick my lips as my eyes trail over her skin flicks of light, making it glimmer in some places. The hourglass frame that dipped and rounded in all the right places the perfect shape for my hands. "Girlfriend. You can do whatever you want."
I walk into the bathroom, turning on the shower. The shower had been placed out of the way, the bath taking centre stage of the room.
I am here in Mae's second home, eating dinner and talking. I felt relaxed besides talking about the company I hadn't once reached for my phone. A part of me wanted to see what has gone on in my absence, just to make sure everything was fine, but I disregard the thought.
I switch off the water and wrap a towel around myself before heading out of the steamy room.
There snuggled under the covers is Mae. I got dressed for bed—a pair of boxers and slip in next to her.
"Goodnight boyfriend," Mae whisper before rolling over to the other side.
I lay back onto the pillows sighing heavily—a huge smile on my face.
A.N. Thank you guys so much for sticking with this story. I’ve received amazing engagement both here and Wattpad and I can’t thank you enough.