Chapter 12 - Adrien Lambert
It had been a couple of days since Hayley had confronted Luca for trying to pay her for sex. Hayley pretended to herself that nothing happened, she pretended that probably one of the most dangerous men in New York had for one night made her feel amazing, only to destroy everything.
Hayley did everything she was supposed to do in her little world, she ate, she slept and she worked. This was what she was good at, this is how her world spun. Work was busy, for that she was thankful.
She had found out through the underground grapevine that the Marcello’s had been busy and that meant their visits to the Venetian were short and not as frequent as usual. This was a huge blessing; it meant she didn’t have to see Luca or his little minions.
“Hayley!” Siobhan called Hayley over as Siobhan took a stool next to Dimitri who was casually talking to someone-in Russian- on the phone.
Hayley beamed at her boss. Siobhan had heard about the altercation between Hayley and Luca a few days ago, she had heard Hayley had run through the club and approached Luca, who threw her into a meeting room.
Siobhan was like a mother to all her staff members, but Hayley was different. Hayley was like a broken little bird she found in Europe, a little bird she nursed back to health, dealt with her fears and demons and then kept her safe in a gilded cage in the Paris club.
Siobhan never dreamed that bringing Hayley to New York would cause harm to her little bird. In fact, she thought it would make her safer somehow. But, it seems she was wrong.
Luca was her godchild, almost a son to her. But he was a Marcello man and was only able to destroy everything his hands touched, love and hate were two feelings Luca couldn’t deal with and Hayley was too innocent for his corrupt world.
“Hayley,” Siobhan said her name again. “Tomorrow night you have the night off, and I would like you to attend a meeting with myself and Adrien Lambert.”
Hayley’s face smiled as she thought of Adrien Lambert. Siobhan smiled as she looked at Hayley’s bright eyes light up.
Hayley was more than happy to join Adrien and Siobhan. So on her boss’ order, she raced home to get changed and sort herself out.
“Wow, Hayley you look gorgeous.” Ava beamed at Hayley as she looked at her reflection in the full-length mirror.
The black lace dress came off her shoulders, it was straight and came to just above her knees, she matched it with black heeled shoes and a clutch bag.
Hayley was excited, she hadn’t seen anyone from Paris since she came to New York. A part of her missed her old friends. Adrien was her old boss in Paris, but she was close to him.
“Thanks.” She sighed as she ruffled her loose curls so they were over one of her shoulders.
“So, who is this Adrien, is he good looking?” Ava quizzed as she looked at the effort Hayley had made, Hayley smiled weakly before looking back at her reflection checking her makeup. Ava chuckled at Hayley’s coyness, she was even wearing makeup.
“He’s my old boss, but for his age, he is a bit like George Clooney, he had all the girls wanting him.” Hayley remembered how he was a favourite with all the girls, but he never went with any he was professional like that.
“Well, I hope I get to meet him.” She laughed as she and Hayley left the flat for the walk to the club.
Hayley walked through the staff area of the club, the pounding music and men from the club floor could be heard. She walked out to the floor.
“Wow, Hayley you scrub up well.” Ben teased as she walked up to her usual bar, heads turned as she shook her head at Ben, who was busy serving.
“Thanks, where is Siobhan?” Hayley looked round to see Arianna was dancing on the main stage, she loved the spotlight.
Hayley’s eyes wandered up to the VIP balcony, Luca wasn’t here, which made her feel calmer. Why did he affect her so much? She looked back at Ben.
“In the private meeting room one, she is waiting for you.” Hayley thanked Ben before crossing the busy room, and up the stairs to the VIP balcony, and walked into the square hallway and to her horror Nic and Frankie were standing outside the door.
“Please tell me he is in the office.” Hayley murmured as she walked up to Frankie and Nic. Frankie laughed and shook his head, Nic was just calm and remained silent.
“Unfortunately, not.” Frankie then proceeded to open the meeting room door for Hayley, she rolled her eyes as she walked into the room.
There Luca sat opposite the door, his eyes caught hers as soon as she walked in, she was furious what was he doing here?
Her mind whirled back to where in this meeting room, Luca and her, had argued and she told him how much she wished she never went with him to the casino. Her eyes noticed a hole in the wall behind him, and her eyes fluttered to his knuckles. Did he hit a wall?
“Hayley!” The man sitting to Luca’s left stood up with open arms greeted Hayley, she beamed at him as he took her shoulders and lightly kissed each of her cheeks, before pulling away.
She was so happy to see him again, he was still the cool, calm and charismatic man she loved. Luca watched as Lambert beamed at Hayley, and he watched the pair greet each other. Hayley looked gorgeous as she always does.
"Vous m’avez vraiment manqué, ma chère.” His deep voice said, and she shook her head before she spoke again.
(You are a real miss, my dear.)
"Menteur, vous avez à peine remarqué que je suis parti.” Hayley replied with a chuckle.
(Lying, you barely noticed I left.)
Luca watched with surprise in his eyes as he listened to Hayley speaking in the foreign language. She surprised him every time she saw him he learned something new about this woman.
“Me a liar?” Adrien pretended to be offended as he guided Hayley around the table to opposite him, and to Luca’s other side.
Adrien like a gentleman pulled out her chair and she sat down gracefully. Luca watched as she beamed a huge smile at Adrien, lighting up her big blue eyes.
Adrien walked back around the table to the other side, he had missed Hayley he thought as he sat opposite the English Rose. Siobhan was sitting opposite Luca on the round table.
Ava walked in with drinks, her eyes flitted to Adrien. Her mouth fell, Hayley was right, he was a silver fox. With his white hair and silver eyes, and his sharp features, he was good looking. Hayley laughed as she watched Ava’s face drop as she looked at Adrien. Ava quickly left the room, and then Adrien broke the silence.
“Well let’s get this underway, I have dinner reservations.” Adrien announced, Luca looked at the man with a raised eyebrow. Where did Siobhan find this one?
“I’m a busy man myself.” Luca said in a low tone as he picked up his scotch and took a sip. Hayley watched as he put the glass to his mouth, but then looked at Siobhan who began to talk.
“Well, the London club is in its final stages.” She handed around the folders containing the photos and licences. Hayley looked at them, they were similar to both the Paris and New York club, a normal bar on top and then an elite underworld one.
Hayley wasn’t sure why she was here, was it just to see Adrien again? But she flicked through the paperwork. Luca was bored and threw the folder on the table before taking another sip of his scotch.
“Adrien, I want you to run it, you have the experience,” Siobhan explained. Hayley looked over at Adrien who looked happy to accept. “But, I know you have stipulations hence why you are here, so please elaborate?”
Luca rolled his eyes at Siobhan. She was in charge, not this asshole, she shouldn’t give him a choice. However, he had to remember she was a businesswoman, he was a mob boss and the managing styles are slightly different.
“Well I am happy to accept the offer, Siobhan, I have worked with you for nearly ten years,” Adrien laughed and Siobhan nodded even though saying that showed her age. “But, I would like Hayley to come back to Paris.” Hayley was shocked as looked at her, his silver eyes burning into her.
“Why?” Luca clenched his glass in his hand, what was this guy playing at? Adrien looked at Luca, he could sense his tension.
“Hayley practically ran the show in Paris, the girls trusted her and she was a great manager.” Adrien looked back at Hayley who was blushing at the compliment, Luca never moved his eyes from Adrien.
“Then why do we pay you?” Luca’s tone was dark. Hayley’s stomach dropped as she looked at the darkness in his face and eyes, she then looked back at Adrien who looked calmly at Luca.
“Hayley worked under me. But, I think she has potential. She could run the Paris one, and I can run the London club.” Adrien looked back at Hayley, Luca clenched his jaw but kept his eyes on Adrien.
“Adrien.” Hayley sighed, she looked at the table as she played with the papers in front of her.
Adrien was right she could run the Paris club, but fear was creeping in. What if her dad found her? She felt a new set of eyes on her, it was Luca’s.
He annoyed her, he pushed away and pulled her back. He threatened her and told her she was ‘mesmerising’ he had confused her. She pulled her focus back to Adrien, who was waiting patiently for her response.
“I’m not ready to run a club single-handed.” Adrien shook his head.
"Absurdité!” Adrien spat, Luca this time looked at Hayley.
Where was the confident girl he knew, did the thought of running a club intimidate her? Was the thought of going back to France upsetting her, he never took his eyes off her face as she looked at Adrien.
“I will be in London, an hour flight away. Besides, you can run that place with your eyes closed, and you know it.” Adrien pressed.
“Hayley,” Siobhan jumped in and everyone looked at her. “I think you should think about this, this would be an amazing opportunity for you.”
Luca scowled at his godmother as she spoke to Hayley. Siobhan didn’t want to lose Hayley, but maybe she should put her little bird back in her cage in Paris. She would be away from Luca; New York and she would be back with people she trusted.
“Join me for dinner,” Adrien asked confidently, although he never let it sound like a question more of an instruction, “fine food, a glass of French champagne and a talk about old times might help you make up your mind.”
Adrien smiled at his English Rose. Hayley smiled, Luca knocked back the rest of his scotch as he watched this idiot flirt with Hayley, and she was blushing!
“I’d love to.” Hayley replied, and Adrien beamed a huge winning smile which wanted to make Luca pull out his gun and blow his smug grin off his face, but he controlled himself-just.
“Excellent!” Adrien smiled at his beauty.
“Hayley can we look at the rota for tomorrow before you go, excuse us, gentlemen.” Hayley and Siobhan stood up to walk to the office. Adrien stood up and texted his driver to wait for him.
“Well, Luca, a pleasure as always.” Adrien spoke dryly, Adrien had never liked Luca Marcello. To be honest, he had no love loss for any of the Marcello clan.
But, the feeling was entirely mutual. Luca stood from his chair and looked at the man who slipped his phone in his jacket pocket.
“I’m going to enjoy my dinner date.” Adrien wasn’t stupid, he had known Luca since he was nineteen years old he knew Luca had something for Hayley. Luca took a deep and violent breath before he spoke.
“Hayley is not easily persuaded.” He spoke low to Adrien who laughed at Luca’s words. Luca glared at Adrien as he spoke.
“Oh, dear my boy, Hayley is like a butterfly,” Adrien said simply, Luca stood looking at the man. “You see, Butterflies are pretty to see, but hard to catch. And catch her I shall.” Adrien then sighed as he thought of the beauty that he had admired since Siobhan brought her to Paris.
Luca never said anything he just watched as the man laughed low and then began to walk away before he turned to look at Luca.
“Watch her walk away Luca because I believe you had your chance.” The anger vented up in the back of his chest.
“What the hell is that supposed to mean!” He hissed as he looked at the silver-haired bastard, who turned to fully look at Luca.
“Hayley, won’t tolerate second best, she’s more than a one-night stand. I saw how you looked at her. However, you should have fought harder for her. Now watch her walk away, preferably in my hands.” Adrien laughed
The laugh was it, a switch inside Luca was turned on. The dark, jealous devil in him made his feelings clear and out of pure anger he flew at the man grabbing his jacket and threw him up against the door, he raised his fist to hit him.
“Hit me and you will lose her.” He taunted, Luca knew this. But can you lose what you never had?
“Adrien?” Her voice from behind the door called out, Luca reluctantly let go of the idiot he wanted to kill.
"Sur mon chemin, mon cher." He spoke back to the woman behind the door as he adjusted his jacket and just looked at Luca.
(On my way, My dear.)
Adrien opened the door and the pair looked at Hayley who smiled at Adrien. And Adrien took Hayley’s arm and linked it and all Luca could do was watch her walk away, in his arms.
The restaurant was expensive and very much to Adrien’s taste, candles, fancy food and of course attentive staff. The pair drank champagne and ate the gorgeous food, they spoke about the great times they had had when they had worked together.
“You would make an excellent manager Hayley.” Adrien said simply after a waiter removed the dessert plates and he poured the last of the bottle of champagne in their glasses.
“You have a business head, you are fair and firm with the girls and you know the club better than myself or even Siobhan herself.” Hayley picked up her glass and sipped the expensive champagne.
“You’re trying to flatter me Adrien.” She laughed, the alcohol had made her calm and relaxed.
“My dear, I have no need to flatter you. You are an amazing young woman and you deserve the opportunity.” Adrien watched as she put the glass down.
Adrien knew about her past, her relationship with her ex-partner, and her problems with her father. He knew she was scared of getting hurt or being found.
“You are safe in Paris, My dear.” He promised as her mind wandered to the dark streets of New York.
Hayley thought she was safe here too, but it appeared the fear wasn’t of her father or her Alex Hunter. No, her fear was the feelings she was having for Luca, and how much she was falling for him.
“I think I need time to think about it.” Hayley simply said and Adrien nodded before he paid up and walked his guest to the car.
Adrien wanted so bad to pull her into him but he restrained and as they pulled up he walked her to her apartment door. He would get her, eventually, she would come to him. Hayley needed security, something he knew he could provide her with.
“Thank you for tonight Adrien, it was wonderful just like old times.” She smiled and like a gentleman, he took her hand and kissed the back of her hand and she smiled at him.
“Goodnight Hayley, I will talk to you soon.” He said before he turned on his heels and walked away, she sighed and opened the door to the apartment.
Where she wasn’t alone.