“Caio Siena. How is everything?”
“It’s great Zia. How are you all?”
“We are good.”
“Where is Tia?”
“Tia is... not home.”
“Zia please. Why aren’t you letting me talk to her?”
“She’s busy Siena. What do you want me to do?”
“Nothing. Sorry Zia. Maybe I should come and visit soon, one weekend?”
There was a slight pause on the line. Siena felt nervous, aunt Maria had been acting so strange for a long time now. Siena hoped she didn’t know about college.
“No. There is no need to come here. You just concentrate on your work and that’s it.”
The line cut abruptly, leaving Siena confused and upset. What use was having a family that didn’t even want to see her. Aunt Maria never use to be like this, she use to be loving. There had to be some way Siena could contact Tia, perhaps Diego could help her.
Siena continued drawing out her sketches, her lines grew bolder, tougher as if all her emotions were eloping onto the paper before her.
The apartment was filled with a comfortable silence whilst she worked in her room. Asher wasn’t due back till later today.
The sound of the house phone rang loud across the apartment, causing Siena to flinch. She ran to answer.
“Where’s Asher?” Oh great not this cagna again!
“Sorry ma’am, he’s not home.”
“Cut the shit. It’s Saturday, he must be home. He needs to stop avoiding me. It’s important!”
“He had to attend an important meeting.”
“Argh. If he’s not going to speak to me over the phone. I will end up coming there. You make sure you tell him this maid.”
“Yes ma’am.” Cagna Cagna Cagna! (Bitch)
The phone cut abruptly. Seemed people enjoyed hanging up on Siena. She felt frustrated. The last thing she wanted was Kate coming here, Asher didn’t need her crap. Why couldn’t she just take the hint and leave him alone?
Siena looked out of her window, spotting the black Mercedes. She ran towards the lobby, sure enough she came face to face with him. He sat with Tony, a big grin welcoming his face as he spotted Siena walk through.
“You!” She pointed, her nose wrinkling. “I’ve been trying to call you. Where the hell have you been?”
Alec stood from his seat and approached her, his sharp silver eyes boring into her own, relishing in her irritated demeanour.
“I’ve been busy baby. Have you missed me?” He smirked.
“No! I just wanted to thank you.”
“For?” He inched closer, his muscular frame towering over her.
“For...” She paused. His closeness was all too much. His musky scent invading her senses, she breathed out to calm herself.
“My sketchbook.” She whispered.
Alec bit his lip, his sharp silver eyes looking down to her pink lips as his arms leaned against the wall, caging her between them.
“Your welcome tesoro.” He breathed, his eyes not leaving her lips, his face just inches away.
“How’s college?” He whispered, Siena could hardly concentrate on having a conversation right now. Like this.
She gulped nervously before nodding. “Really good. I love it.” She spoke, her voice weak and hoarse.
Her eyes glanced past his shoulder, spotting Asher’s car pull up in the drive, she immediately pushed Alec away. She opened her mouth to speak but closed it soon after. Alec turned back to witness Asher coming out of his car and smirked back at Siena.
“I’ll see you soon tesoro.” He spoke, watching her walk back into the elevator.
She gave him one last unreadable look before the doors closed, leaving her staring at her own reflection. It was clear Alec had this crazy affect on her, she didn’t know why or how.
Soon after she closed the door behind her, Asher came strolling in. Siena gave him a serious look, she didn’t know how she was going to tell him.
“Hey.” He smiled.
“Hey. Asher I have to tell you something.”
Asher’s smile had disappeared, he sensed the seriousness in Siena’s voice. It made him nervous.
“Kate called. She said if you don’t talk to her over the phone, she will come here.”
Asher scoffed, running his hands through his golden hair. He mumbled something under his breath before retreating to his bedroom, closing the door behind him.
That evening Asher skipped dinner, Siena felt bad. She kept offering alternatives but he didn’t want anything, all he did was drink whiskey.
As worried as she was about him, there was nothing she could do to make him feel better. This Kate was messing with him, but Siena hoped that she wouldn’t come here.
Asher sat on the couch, he had been drinking for a few hours now. His hooded eyes watched Siena as she made him a sandwich in the kitchen. He didn’t ask for one, but she made it anyway. She placed it before him on the coffee table.
“You must eat.” She insisted, looking into his ocean blue eyes.
“Siena.” He whispered. “Come here.”
Siena sat beside him, pulling the plate closer. Asher smiled as he looked at her.
“You’re so fucking beautiful Sarah.” He slurred as his eyes closed and when he opened them again, she could witness the small flecks of desire swimming in his gaze.
Siena furrowed her brows. Sarah? He definitely had too much to drink if he was getting her name mixed up with her friends. She didn’t know how to feel about that, he hardly knew Sarah. He was simply drunk.
“Asher. I’m your maid. Remember?”
Asher laughed, but Siena could hear the sadness behind it. She wished she could soothe his pain, he didn’t deserve this.
“You’re not just my maid Siena.” He whispered, as he held up his empty glass but before he could stand to refill it, Siena pushed him back down.
“Eat first.” She demanded. With a small sigh, Asher held the plate in his lap and started to eat lazily.
“Mmmm I’ll have the blueberry muffin with a latte please.” Sarah purred towards the stand of muffins.
“Siena did you want a chocolate chip or blueberry?” She asked, turning to a daydreaming Siena.
“Uh, chocolate chip please with a black coffee.”
“Black? You must be exhausted.” Sarah chuckled before ordering.
Both girls sat in the campus cafe, the day was dull and gloomy.
“What’s on your mind hon?” Sarah asked, watching her friend inspect the raindrops hitting the window.
Siena smiled and nodded. “Nothing. Just have a lot on my mind. Been trying to get in contact with my cousin. I really miss her.”
“I’m sorry. Hopefully she’ll call you soon. Is this Tia?”
“Yeah. We’ve never gone this long without talking. Something just feels off to me.” Siena admitted, stirring her coffee.
“I’m sure it’s nothing. She must be busy with college or something.”
“So Asher‘s gala is coming up.” Sarah blurted, a feeble attempt to change the subject.
“Yeah he’s sort of asked me to be his date.” Siena replied, she couldn’t help the smile on her face.
“No way?” Sarah laughed. “So I guess I’ll be waiting on you then.”
“I didn’t think of that. I wonder if Mrs Hayden knows her son is bringing a maid as his date.” Siena wondered out loud.
“Well it beats serving all the snobby guests. They’ve called in another 20 servers for this event alone!”
“It’s gonna be a big one this year.”
After their muffins and coffees the girls separated as usual, Siena turned into her building before bumping into Andy. They made their way into class and continued to work on their projects.
Siena loved her classes more than anything, each stroke of her pencil, each wave of her needle made the biggest impact on her heart. She had an outfit sketched out in all different angles, she just needed to bring it to life now.
Julia would walk around the class, observing. Her hard eyes would wander to the sketches before each student. Her brow would cock up, but she would never say a word.
Siena had got to know a few of the girls in her class, they were a nice bunch. Always inviting her out and about, but Siena knew that she couldn’t take the piss. Asher had already let her go to college and take time to work at home as well, if she was to go out with her friends, she would feel too guilty. What she had was enough and she was happy.
The wind was violently blowing in all directions as Siena and Andy ran out of their last class. The day was already growing darker, and Siena decided she may as well take the bus. A lot of the students did and it was a lot cheaper than a taxi.
As they made it out of the entrance, Andy froze.
“Fuck me! Who is that?”
Siena followed his gaze, noticing that most girls around her were looking the same way. Giggling, whispering in each other’s ears. - Then her eyes met the dark flecks in his silver gaze as he stared straight back at her. What on earth was he doing here?
Alec stood leaning against his car, his arms folded against his hard chest. His grey shirt making his eyes pop. The man was a God. He demanded attention everywhere he went.
He straightened himself out before walking over to Siena, the grace in his steps, the bounce to his dark hair was hypnotising.
“Please be gay, please be gay, please be gay.” She heard Andy whispering beside her. She couldn’t help let out a laugh.
“Let’s go tesoro.” Alec quipped, taking her folder from her hand and snatching her book bag from her shoulder.
“I could have just taken the bus Alec.” She yelled after him as he walked back to his car.
“Sorry Andy I have to go.” She rushed, giving him a quick hug.
“You gotta get that hunks number for me.”
“I’ll give it to you the next time I see you.” She winked. Running towards Alec’s car.
“What’s the rush?” She snapped, secretly relishing in the heat of his car.
“No rush. I thought we could grab a bite to eat.” He smirked. Siena slumped down into her seat.
“Seriously?” She scoffed. She was lucky that Asher was working late today.
“Are you hungry?”
Alec drove for another ten minutes before they stopped outside a diner.
Siena’s stomach growled to life as she walked in through the door, the smell of hot food tingling her senses.
Alec wasted no time, taking a seat at one of the booths by the window. Siena parked herself opposite him. She couldn’t help the curious smile playing on her face.
“What’s this all about Alec?”
Alec glanced up from the menu before him and caught her eyes. His full lips curved slightly.
“What, I can’t feed you?” He quipped.
“I can feed myself. I’m not a child.”
“No you’re not a child. Those dance moves of yours proved that.” He smirked.
“Shut up.” She warned, her face heating, her cheeks turning more rosy by the second as she hid behind her menu.
The waitress appeared by them, holding a pot of coffee in her hand. Siena smiled at her before turning her cup around so she could pour some in.
After ordering their meals, Alec watched as Siena looked out towards the busy city street. Her emerald eyes twinkling with curiosity and innocence.
“Do you miss home tesoro?”
“Sometimes.” She whispered, still looking out almost in a daydream of her own.
The waitress returned, snapping Siena out of thought. Two full plates were set down on the table. Siena dunk into her fries straight away.
“So tell me about yourself Alec. I hardly know anything about you.”
“What do you want know?”
“Tell me about your family.”
“Well, my parents died when I was just a kid. I have a sister back in Rome, she’s older, married.” He shrugged, biting into his burger.
“I’m sorry about your mama and papa Alec.” She spoke, her voice soft and comforting. Alec looked out towards the window, his strong jaw clenching under his sharp features.
“How?” She asked.
Alec sighed. “They were murdered. Eat your food.”
Siena’s lips parted, the shock seeping its way through her body. She felt incredibly sad for Alec. As much as she wanted to ask more, to comfort the pain hiding behind his eyes. She knew it was time to change the subject, he clearly didn’t want to talk about it.
Siena watched Alec with curious eyes, he was so incredibly mysterious. There was so much more to him than what he showed. That much she knew, but she wasn’t willing to peel all his layers away just yet. She had enough on her mind.
For now she knew it was nice to have Alec as a friend. As much as she didn’t want to admit it, she missed him when he wasn’t around. Why did she feel guilty for feeling this way? Asher.
They sat eating in a comfortable silence, before Siena looked up at Alec.
“I’m Asher’s date for his birthday gala.” She blurted, shocked at her own words.
Alec furrowed his brows, taking a deep breath. He sipped on his water before glaring at her intensely.
“You and Mr Hayden are quite the couple.” He elated, Siena could feel the sarcasm rolling with his words.
“We’re just friends.” Siena spoke through gritted teeth.
“Just friends.” Alec scoffed.
“Yes.” Siena snapped. “Like me and you. Just friends.”
Alec leaned back in his seat, studying the girl before him. She was driving him crazy, that he couldn’t deny. He shouldn’t even be entertaining whatever this was, he told himself he would stay away from her but that was proving more difficult than he thought.
Now with Asher in the picture, things had to change and he knew he had to take a step back from Siena. He knew that Asher was a good guy and could keep her happy.
He watched Siena shift in her seat under his intense stare, he was going to miss this. The hues of a spring lake in her eyes sparkling up at him.
She was without doubt the most beautiful girl Alec had ever seen, that with her fiery personality is what constantly drew him towards her. - but he had made his decision now and it was final.
Siena had finished mashing the potatoes as she waited for Asher to come home. The apartment was serene and peaceful, she decided to take a quick shower. Her phone began to ring, stopping her in her tracks.
Siena ran to answer it and panic swept through her as she heard a frantic Tia at the other end.
“Tia. Cos’è successo? (What’s happened).” She asked impatiently.
Tia sobbed through the line. “Come home sorella, I miss you.”
“I miss you too. What is the matter?”
“It’s mama.” Tia sniffled. “She’s made me leave college.”
“What!? Why?” Siena yelled, she could feel her body heat with anger. How could aunt Maria do this.
“No. It can’t be! Why? Are you being forced to work?”
“No.” Tia sobbed. Making Siena more anxious with each passing second.
“She’s getting me married to some rich man. She’s going to use my college money to pay off Mario’s debt and apparently my ‘husband to be’ has offered her money too!” Her words were barely making it out of her mouth just as they barely registered with Siena. Her blood boiling as she clenched her fist beside her.
“Tia please tell me this isn’t true.” Siena couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Her own eyes darkened and glossed over. Her poor cousin.
“Help me sorella.”