Starting a new chapter
Riley frowned as she looked down at the address again. She looked back up at the sprawling mansion that lay ahead of her with its well-manicured lawn and water fountains that probably cost more than her grandma made in a year. Hell, they probably cost more than she made in three years. Her sister worked here? She sighed, shaking her head, and hit the button on the gate, rich people made her so uncomfortable. Looking down at her worn, off brand sneakers, and ripped jeans she already felt out of place. She hated knowing that she would have to work all summer for some spoiled rich guy.
“Yes?” came a voice over the intercom.
“Hi, I’m looking for Elizabeth Samson?” she said trying to muster up every ounce of syrupy sweetness she could.
“Come in,” the voice said opening the gate. Riley walked down the long road to the front of the mansion, the taxi having driven off. She regretted asking her sister for help immediately. She never liked rich people and was afraid of breaking anything because it would surely cost more than a year’s salary to replace. Riley took a deep breath and went to knock. The door opened and a woman dressed in a black French maid dress opened the door, her blonde hair pulled back into a loosely curled ponytail.
“Liz? What are you wearing?” Riley asked smirking.
“Riley! I have to wear this. I work here,” her sister replied tersely while rolling her eyes. Riley nodded, that made sense, but it also made her want to run for the hills. ’Do I really need the money that bad?′ she wondered and then remembered the college bills. She sighed in defeat.
“So, how is this going to work?” Riley asked, tugging on her nicest floral shirt. Even her nicest clothes dimmed in the wake of all this extravagance.
“I was able to get you a job here. You’re lucky the boss likes me so much,” Liz replied smugly, crossing her arms.
“And what would I do?” Riley asked, “Clean toilets?”
“No, you are also lucky, because I got you set up for dusting,” her sister answered with a sparkling smile, “The worst part is that we have to share a room!”
“Yay!” Riley said sarcastically, “I guess it wouldn’t hurt to try it out. I don’t have any other prospects right now and college isn’t cheap.”
“Don’t mess this up for me,” her sister said pulling her inside, “Our room is over by the kitchen.”
Riley followed her through the spacious house. The ceiling was so tall, with elegant chandeliers, and marble floors. The foyer shined with extravagance, with marble steps that led to a balcony overlooking the entrance, and a fountain in the middle. They walked past a large dining room with tall ceilings and floor to ceiling windows taking up one wall, and expensive looking paintings taking up the other. The giant mahogany table looked like it sat more than twenty people. Everything looked so elegantly decorated Riley felt instantly out of place, like a muddy shoe print on a white carpet. How big of a table do you really need? I mean seriously this table could seat an entire football team, coaches and all. Riley followed her sister past the sparkling silver and white kitchen, with marble floors, and state-of-the-art appliances, to the back where there were small rooms with two twin beds in each room. Of course, they wouldn’t worry about where the help lived. They probably thought of the help as an afterthought and turned some closets into bedrooms. Riley sighed putting her bags down. She would bet their closets were twice this size.
“I have to get back to work today. You’ll start tomorrow, bathroom’s down the hall, third door on the right,” her sister said walking out of the room and giving Riley a pat on her arm. Riley frowned and looked around. Opening the closet to put her clothes away, she spotted a French maid outfit for her. Pressing her head against the closet door, she sighed and tried it on. It must have been her sister’s because it was slightly small in the chest and about two inches too short for her taste. Riley figured she would just go find her sister and help her out. There was nothing else to do anyway... She put on the black flats at the bottom of the closet and went out to look for Liz.
“Oh, hello,” a lady with white hair, pulled back into a hairnet said as she walked into the kitchen. The lady was heavy set with a warm smile and sparkling brown eyes. She was struggling with a tray filled with drinks and a pitcher. It looked heavy for her and Riley was raised to help when she saw it was needed. Her Grandma would give her that disappointed look if she didn’t. Riley had a lot of respect for the woman who raised her and hated to disappoint her. A smile lit up her face as she walked over to her fellow staff-member.
“Here, let me get that for you,” Riley said taking the tray from her and making it look easy. All those years waiting tables made her feel like a pro at this.
“Oh, as much as I’d like you to, I really can’t have you help me,” the woman replied shaking her head.
“It’s okay; I’m Riley, Elizabeth’s sister. I work here, too,” Riley replied assuring the older woman, “Where are these going?”
“Outside to the young master, but-,” the lady started.
“Don’t be silly I got it. Just relax,” Riley said flashing her a smile before walking outside. Looking down the stone path, surrounded by lush green grass, she spotted a large pool filled with cool looking blue water, that looked like it ended in glass, that dropped down to a garden. The rest of it had cement with an occasional blue designer tile, with deck chairs, tables with umbrella's, and large, beautiful urns of red flowers. She saw a bunch of guys at the pool and figured that was where they were going. Walking up she noticed they stopped talking and were looking at her. Wow, way to make her feel like a fish out of water. She nervously put the tray down on a table by the pool and turned to leave.
“You’re supposed to give them to us,” said one of the guys that was in the pool, staring at her. Riley turned to look at him, squinting at the reflection of the sun off the water of the pool. He had short blonde hair and blue eyes and exuded rich cockiness as he smiled, showing off his white straight teeth. She was pretty sure he had to be a model. He made his way to the side of the pool. Riley took a deep breath, biting her tongue, and then putting a fake smile on she turned around and picked up the tray. She walked over to the three guys in sun chairs, a brunette, a blond, and a red-head. They each took one. Then she went to the two in the pool and offered them each one. The blonde guy took one and smiled coyly at her. She turned around and put the tray with the pitcher on the table.
“Pink and lacey, huh? I totally saw you as the white granny type,” the blonde man said. Riley blushed and then turned to glare at him.
“Excuse me?” she said automatically pushing the dress down. She couldn’t believe he just said that. A strong urge to slap him made her arm twitch. She made a promise to Liz though, so she would refrain from getting fired on her first day. She took a deep breath to calm herself and forced a smile, which may have looked more like she was gritting her teeth to stop her mouth from moving.
“Now, now Chris, we don’t want the nicer looking one to quit, do we?” one of the men in the chair with short brown hair and green eyes asked getting up and walking over to her. He was strong looking and tall with his black swim trunks on. He walked like he knew it, too. He had the look of a tiger about to pounce on its prey. She felt herself taking a step back, but then stopping. She couldn’t let them get the best of her. Her grandma always told her to stand up for herself, that money didn’t make a person better than you. She inhaled as she stood a little taller, her green eyes giving him the best back off look she could. He grabbed a ringlet of her brown curls. Riley pulled back, swinging her arm to separate him from her hair while glaring at him and he smiled pushing dark sunglasses back into place.
“I like her, she has spunk,” he arrogantly said. She narrowed her eyes at him. Who does this guy think he is?
“She is much nicer to look at than Mrs. White, too,” the red-haired guy said. He looked strong as well, but not as tall as the brunette. His hair was short and tousled like he just got out of bed. He probably did. The dark sunglasses he wore could be covering some red hungover eyes. What on earth was going on? Were they hitting on her? Confusion settled in as she debated on whether they were going to fire her or what? She didn’t want to think about the what...
“I don’t like the black on her, but I like the view,” the black haired one with piercing blue eyes said from the pool. His hair was wet and slicked back from the water, but she could tell it was longer by the way part of it had fallen down to his cheek bone. His smirk was slightly devilish, and very sexy. Riley backed away from the pool and pushed the bottom of her dress down to cover her underwear. Ugh these guys were worse than teenage boys who just found a stash of porno’s! She’d have to remember to buy some shorts to wear under this dress.
“We’ll have to change the outfit, though. Much too drab,” the blonde he called Chris said from the pool. She already knew the guy was too cocky for his own good. He was probably the quarterback of the football team in high school. Did rich people even play football?
“Sorry, this is the uniform,” Riley said with a shrug and walked back to the kitchen. Where the older lady was busy putting together some little sandwiches.
“Thank you my dear, but you shouldn’t have done that,” she said, “The young ladies who normally work here were sent on vacation for the summer to keep those boys out of trouble.”
“Boys? They looked old enough to behave themselves, but they sure as hell didn’t,” Riley said shaking her head, “They don’t like the uniform for some reason.”
“Oh, dear, you see Chris, the blonde one, is only home for the summer from college. His dad will let him do whatever, but they get bored easily. Then they start messing with the help,” she replied, “They never forced the girls to do anything, but I think they broke some hearts last time.”
“Oh, well you don’t have to worry about that, those guys are all stuck up snobs,” Riley said shaking her head.
“Oh, good,” she said smiling, “The other girls also liked them right away. I’m Mrs. White. The head chef around here.”
“Do you know where my sister is? Her name’s Liz. I was going to help her,” Riley said.
“Oh, actually I think she is busy cleaning Mr. Jameson’s quarters. She’s the only one allowed in there. He is picky about who cleans them. Why don’t you take these sandwiches out to the boys?” Mrs. White suggested, figuring that it was already too late to keep the new girl from their wrath.
“Okay, anything to help out,” Riley replied with a shrug. She wondered if there was something going on between Mr. Jameson and her sister. She took the tray and went back out to the pool, this time staying farther away from it. She offered the sandwiches to the guys in the chairs.
“Oh, the princess is back! Princess, we did not get your name the last time you were out here,” one said with the red hair. He grabbed a sandwich half, bit into it and gave her a smug smile.
“Riley,” she said moving over to the blonde guy with short spikey hair. He smiled and thanked her before taking a sandwich. He looked like a sweet country boy, with a body of a god. How the hell did they all look like gods? What are they all models?
“Princess Riley,” Chris said from the pool, “I don’t like it. Do you mind if we call you… hmmm…. how about Princess Rose?”
“Oh, yes, Rose. I like that name,” the other one in the pool said, his voice deep and flirty. She closed her eyes for a moment and took a deep breath.
“Yeah, well my name is still Riley,” she said putting the tray down on the table.
“What about us?” Chris asked.
“You can’t eat in the water,” Riley said putting a hand on her hip, “You’ll cramp up.”
“Wow, normally I am not into full-figured women, but I like her curves,” the brown haired one said. The arrogant way he spoke made her jaw clench.
“I’m not full-figured! I’m a size nine!” she shouted, her eyebrows furrowing.
“Yes, well, we’re used to a two at most,” the black haired one in the pool said smugly.
“Oh, you guys are jerks!” Riley said and turned to walk away, mentally giving herself a pat on the back for not calling them assholes out loud.
“Wait! Please, stop! We won’t mention those luscious curves anymore!” Chris shouted, with a flirtatious smile.
“We’ll stop, I swear! Damon, tell her you’re sorry!” the one with the red hair called. The one with black hair in the pool gave a wicked smirk.
“I’m sorry you’re not a two,” Damon said with the black hair and blue eyes that watched her. He seemed to like watching her squirm.
“Okay, so you’re Chris and Damon,” Riley said pointing to the ones in the pool, “Who are you guys?”
“I’m your prince charming, Sydney. But you can call me Syd,” The red haired one said giving her a salute from his chair before putting both hands behind his head.
“I’m Rex,” the brown haired one said lifting a couple of fingers.
“Evan,” the last one with blonde hair said getting up and bowing, “Princess Rose you are as beautiful as your name.”
“Yeah, it’s still Riley,” she said turning so fast she almost fell over and walking back to the kitchen, hoping no one caught that slight clumsiness.
Later that evening…
“Miss Riley, they want you to bring their dinner to them tonight,” Mrs. White said raising an eyebrow at Riley who was sitting at a small staff table in the kitchen doing a logic puzzle. Mrs. White was bringing in the empty trays and glasses from outside. Riley’s eyebrows furrowed as she looked at the older woman.
“What? What do they want Riley for?” Elizabeth asked, sitting across from Riley drinking water.
“They said she was eye candy, or something like that,” Mrs. White replied with a shrug, “At least I think they meant you. They said Princess Rose.”
Riley snorted and shook her head.
“Are you “Princess Rose”?” a guy in a delivery uniform asked coming into the kitchen.
“It appears so,” Riley said with a frown, leaning her elbow on the table.
“Mr. Boland would like you to wear this while serving them this evening,” the man said handing her a fancy looking box that was tied up with a ribbon. Riley was afraid to open it. Elizabeth untied the ribbon, pulled the top off the box and gasped.
“Gretchen?! Really? He wants her to serve in Gretchen? She's like the best up and coming designer! How did he even get this?” Elizabeth asked. She pulled out a pink flowing dress that was shorter in the front and longer in the back. Riley frowned, she never liked wearing dresses, and especially not around these guys.
“Darn, I don’t have any shoes to go with it,” Riley said taking it from Liz who was holding it up to herself and putting it back in the box. She pushed the box into the delivery guys hands.
“That’s okay, Mr. Boland has also sent these to go with it,” the man said pushing it back to her and setting another box on top of it. Riley frowned taking the boxes. She opened the top box to find very high, high heels.
“I don’t think I can walk in these,” she said frowning at the shoes that looked like they belonged on a Barbie.
“Put it on, so I can see you in it!” Elizabeth said clapping excitedly. She pushed Riley into the room they shared.
“I don’t know if I really want these guys staring at me,” Riley said taking the uniform off and putting the dress on. It was low cut up top and tickled her thighs where the bottom of the dress touched them. She frowned at herself in the mirror.
“Oh, aren’t you gorgeous! At least you’ll get a free dress out of the deal,” her sister said smiling and giving Riley a wink. She helped Riley zip up the back of the dress.
“Liz! Really, I’m not into fashion,” Riley said putting the high heels on already dreading walking around in them.
“Oh, Riles, you look pretty enough to be a model,” Elizabeth said staring greedily at the dress. Riley just knew Liz was probably thinking about how Liz was going to wear it. Riley had after all grown up with Liz and was used to Liz borrowing her things.
“I can’t walk in these,” Riley said, “How am I supposed to serve?”
“Oh, they won’t worry if you spill, they’ll be too busy looking at you. You really should try to lose some weight though,” her sister replied.
“Et tu, Brutus?” Riley asked frowning.
“What?” her sister asked.
“Nothing,” Riley replied shaking her head. She tried to walk out of the room and almost fell over twice. She sighed and slowly made it to the kitchen, a few inches at a time.
“Don’t you look lovely,” Mrs. White said putting the last plate on the cart.
“Oh, thank god there’s a cart!” Riley said smiling, some of her nervousness fading.
“See it won’t be that bad,” her sister said touching her arm, “Mr. Jameson is going to be in there too, so please be on your best behavior.”
“You got it,” Riley replied. She plastered on a smile and pushed the cart into the huge dining room. She almost fell over a few times. Her ankles were going to be killing her later. She went to the head of the table where Mr. Jameson sat and gave him his tray first. She looked at Mr. Jameson and could instantly tell he and Chris were related. He had blue eyes and subtly graying blonde hair. He looked professional in his blue suit, like the CEO of a company.
“Who are you? Where’s Mrs. White?” he asked, “And where is your uniform?”
“My names Riley, and for the rest of your questions ask Chris,” she said taking another plate and putting it in front of Chris who smiled.
“Doesn’t she look lovelier in pink?” he asked.
“As I recall it was me who picked out the pink. Might I add the heels do wonders for your legs,” Rex added. Riley glared at him and put a plate in front of him. Then she went around the table and put a plate in front of Evan.
“Thank you, Princess Rose,” he said, “I think pink should be your color.”
Riley widened her eyes, then shot him an irritated grin, and continued serving the plates. The guys all stared at her as she went to leave. Mr. Jameson laughed.
“You boys found a new toy, huh?” he asked.
“And a lovely toy it is,” Syd replied.
“I can still hear you, I haven’t left the room yet,” Riley replied turning and putting her hand on her hip.
“You are looking lovely this evening Princess Rose,” Chris replied giving her an annoyingly cocky smirk. Riley quickly turned so they couldn't see her roll her eyes and took the cart out. How did she get mixed up in all this again? Oh right... college bills.