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|Broken Glass Part 3|
|Written by RHunt|
“Who the hell names their child Bleu?” Vaughn asked himself more than the girl that was sitting across from him. He was typing up their contract and working out the details with her.
In truth, he didn’t understand why he was so hell bent on having this girl work for him. He wanted her to pay for the embarrassment that she had caused with the woman that night was the only thing he could come up with. Normally, he would have yelled at the person and sent them on their way. He didn’t like to deal with people and the money wasn’t really all that important, but this girl had been nothing but rude since the moment he called her. She hadn’t even accepted his scolding the way that she should have, instead she took it in stride.
The whole point of having this contract with her at all was so that he didn’t have to hire an assistant. Since she wasn’t willing to do that job, he really had no use for her. Errands and cleaning could all be given to others or done himself. He preferred to do his errands personally as he wanted to make sure they were done properly.
None of this was working out like he had wanted, but as he typed up the contract he grinned to himself. At least, he’d be able to take a break from mundane tasks and this girl wouldn’t be able to quit on him. She was stuck working for him no matter what and that brought some sadistic joy to his heart.
“Adrienne.” The girl said from across the desk.
Vaughn’s eyes looked up at her, “What?”
“Adrienne Bleu Collier.” She giggled, “My initials are ABC.”
His eyes slanted in annoyance at her bubbly attitude toward his insult of her name moments before. “The apartment will be cleaned every day and scrubbed down on Saturdays.”
“What’s the difference?”
“Scrubbing down involves you getting every tiny crevice normally missed. For instance, cleaning in between the tiles in the bathroom and kitchen with a toothbrush.”
Adrienne frowned, but didn’t argue and began to look around. His office was exceptionally nice. It was a lot of silver metals and glass, but there was some dark woods that accented the room. It smelled like men’s cologne although she didn’t think that was what it actually was. Perhaps there was something that released a pine like smell in the room.
The appliances in the room were what one would expect in an office, but not necessarily in a home office. He had his desktop computer on one desk and his laptop was set up on another to the left of the other one. A fax machine and copy machine were set up behind him near the window. It looked like he could do his entire job from this room alone and she was curious what it was that he did.
“I will call you to take in and pick up items from around the city.”
“I’ll need bus fare.” She informed him as she leaned over and placed her elbows on the desk.
Using the bottom on the pen in his hand, he pushed it against her elbow until she got the idea and slid it off the wooden desk. “I’ll purchase you a bus pass.” He spoke between gritted teeth as he couldn’t understand why she hadn’t bought herself a car. She couldn’t possibly be that poor and still go to college, could she? “You will be on call twenty four hours a day for one year. Understood?”
“Understood.” She chimed back.
“You realize that cleaning includes laundry and dishes, correct?”
She gave a firm nod.
“If there is anything else that I wish to add to the contract or that you wish to add at a later date, then we will discuss it then.” He began to print it out, once it was done, he pushed it over to her with the pen on top.
Adrienne didn’t even bother to read it and just signed it as if he had explained everything to her. She also forgot that she had wanted her friends to look over the receipts first.
Vaughn shook his head at her for not even bothering to read the contract. He could have slipped anything in there and she would have agreed to it. Taking it back from her, she handed him the pen, which he promptly threw into the garbage and pulled out a new one. After signing it, he made a copy and handed it to her. “Good, you start today then.” He stood up. “You know where the mop and vacuum is. I am going out, I want you gone before I arrive home.”
“Hey, guys!” Adrienne chimed as she stepped out of her last class for the day and found her friends waiting for her.
---***---Adrienne struggled with the grocery bags as she made her way into the elevator. The doorman had allowed her in when she first arrived and had given her an access card that Vaughn had left behind for her. The list Vaughn had left her was ridiculous and there was no way that she could get it all done in the four hours that he wanted. Instead, she had picked several of the items that looked the most important and did them.
The elevator door opened and a tall, athletic man with dark brown hair and eyes smiled down at her. He had a strong jaw and square face. He was dressed in shorts and a tank top like he was about to go jogging. “Can I help you with those?”
“Oh the apartment is just over there.” She informed him as she swayed side to side to get out of the elevator. There was a hanger with a suit hanging from the back of her collar. “Thank you though.”
With a chuckle, the man grabbed the dry cleaning from her bag and relieved her of a couple grocery bags. “There are only two apartments per floor, you must be Vaughn’s assistant.”
“I guess you could call me that.” She continued down the hallway.
“I’m Brant Hale, I am his next door neighbor.” He introduced himself.
“Adrienne Collier, but people call me Bleu.” She set the bags down on the ground and pulled out her access card to unlock the door.
Brant put the bags down and held onto the dry cleaning, “Next time make two trips.”
“Two trips?” She asked him as she slide the card through the slot, “Oh, you think I have a car. I used the bus and had to get everything while I was out. Otherwise, trust me I would have.”
“You dragged all this stuff around town?” He could see from some paperwork sticking out of the bags that grocery shopping and dry cleaning were not the only places that she had gone.
Adrienne shrugged, “It gets the job done. Thanks for helping me with those ten feet.” She teased as she tried to open the door again with the card.
“I don’t work, so if you ever have to do this again, I can drive you around.” Brant offered. He felt bad for her that this was something she had to do everyday. Granted he had never seen the girl before, but he felt obligated to help her.
“That’s really nice of you to offer, but I don’t want to put you out.” She slid the card through the slot and tried to jerk the door open.
“If it put me out, I wouldn’t have offered.”
“I just don’t know how Vaughn would react to it either.” She lowered her voice, “He’s kind of an ass.”
Brant chuckled but kept his mouth closed as he watched her to continue to struggle with the door. He wanted to help her with it, but it was keeping her out in the hall.
“Are you temporary or full time?”
“Working for Vaughn?” She asked and continued talking when she got confirmation, “One year.” She informed him. “I am a college student, but I am maid service and errand running for him for the next year.” She hit the card slot with her hand, “Open you crappy piece of craptacular crap!”
“Slide it through slower. It stays unlocked for thirty seconds.” He took the card from her and slid it through, then offered it back to her. “Well, the offer is there if you ever really need a ride. I’m just across the hall.”
“Thank you.” She said sincerely, then gathered up all the bags and teetered into the apartment.
Brant grinned as she shut the door with her foot. Normally, Vaughn hired very beautiful assistants, but he had never seen one that dressed so strangely. She wasn’t the type that he usually brought home from the clubs either. She was, however, the friendly, odd type that was just up Brant’s alley. With a nod as he headed back over to the elevator, he decided that he would try to run into her again.
“Should I add no flirting with my neighbors to the list of rules?” Vaughn asked as he stood up from the couch as she entered into the living room.
---***---Adrienne stretched her hands above her head as she walked out of her final class. Finally, it was all over and the summer was about to begin, even though it was a summer with Vaughn; she was happy to have it. It meant that she was one step closer to her degree and that everything would soon come together.
No more small apartment and cheating the guys out of small bites of their meals. No more of begging the apartment manager to give her a couple extra days. No more of her mother bothering her about working a minimum wage job instead of using her degree. Soon everything would be the way that she had always imagined it.
“Feeling good about yourself?” An arm asked as it was flung around her shoulder, but she recognized the voice before she even saw the face.
“I think I did very well.” She informed Darnell. It wasn’t uncommon to see him outside this particular class as he had one two doors down from her.
“We are all going to celebrate. I plan to drink until I black out, are you with me?”
“I don’t see why not. Is everyone going?”
“You have a cell phone, don’t you?” He asked sarcastically, “Why don’t they ever call you?”
Adrienne shrugged her shoulders, “I think they figure they will see me anyway or maybe they don’t actually want me to come.”
“When it comes to drunk Bleu everyone wants her around. I mean come on, we have all seen you without a shirt on.”
Her cheeks blushed as she barely remembered that evening, but she had gone skinny dipping with the guys. Granted it was in the gross delta that was a brownish green to the bottom, but she and all the guys had been naked together. “That was a year ago, get over it.” She tried to play it off.
Darnell’s cell phone rang and he picked it up, “I have secured the hostage, yes.” He said almost immediately after seeing who was calling.
A small smile came to her lips when she realized that Darnell had been the one sent after her. It seemed logical enough since they had classes close to each other.
“ETA five minutes.” He informed the person on the other line, no doubt it was Wade, the vocal leader.
Adrienne’s cell phone rang at that moment and she answered it, “Hello?”
“Chores are on the fridge and bring food on your way over, I have a guest.” Vaughn snapped the orders. “Also, the toilet needs to be scrubbed again.”
The toilet always seemed to be covered in someone else’s urine, and Adrienne decided that it had to be Vaughn’s dates. “It’s my last day of exams. My friends and I were going to go celebrate.” She said as she walked through the quad with Darnell’s arm still around her. It didn’t even occur to her that several girls may have been jealous that one of the basketball team’s star players was draped around her neck.
“You have a responsibility, so do it.” He hung up.
Adrienne cleared her throat as she hung up her cell phone, and looked up at Darnell who already knew what she was going to say. She had done it to them for the past week now. He didn’t say anything as he removed his arm from around her neck. “I’ll make it up to you guys, I promise.” She yelled over the crowd as Darnell walked away.
Adrienne stepped out of the elevator as Brant’s door opened and he walked out in his jogging gear. His dark brown hair was held back by a head band that was meant to keep sweat from the eyes. She admired his lean muscular form of a runner, and that he was relatively handsome though a little too much of a pretty boy for her tastes. He looked like the type of man that a super model would date, not a tomboy who worked at a fast food joint. He smiled at her as soon as he saw her, and Adrienne returned the gesture.
---***---Adrienne opened the door as she waved goodbye to Brant, and stepped into the apartment. Her eyes fell immediately on a slender, dark haired woman in the living room who seemed surprised to see her there.
“Who are you?”
She cussed inwardly at the thought that she interrupted Vaughn during one of his dates. “I’m Adrienne, I…”
“Oh, the girl helping Vaughn!” She smiled, “I’m Vera, his sister.” She walked over to her and shook her hand.
“Crap, I forgot food. He said he had a guest over.” She hit herself in the forehead.
“Had a guest over?” She asked with a perplexed look, “Vaughn is at work right now. Oh, he probably wanted you to bring me something edible. Don’t worry, I have my own food at home.” She chuckled as she shook her head, “He tries to take care of me too much. Such an overprotective brother.”
Adrienne didn’t believe that for one moment, but she wasn’t about to disagree with the woman.
“You don’t believe me?” Vera asked with laughter in her voice.
“Oh no, it’s not that!”
“Don’t worry, I know how mean and nasty he can be. Vaughn takes a long time to warm up to people and most never understand him. I have a hard time myself.” She sighed, “He can be such a gentleman and a charmer when he wants to be, but he is far more comfortable playing the part of Satan.” She shrugged, “You get used to it, and learn how to filter out the nonsense and see what he really means.” Vera clapped her hands together, which stopped Adrienne from being able to get a word in. “I am here to redecorate the living room.”
“It looks fine to me.” Adrienne said as she lowered her back pack to the floor and looked around.
“Thank you, I did this too. However, Vaughn says that without the little Mayan statue that the current theme no longer works.”
Adrienne’s heart dropped slightly at the mention of the statue, “It meant a lot to him?”
“Someone very special gave it to him.” She informed her with a brief nod, “Now, do you have any ideas? As a sister it’s difficult for me to imagine my brother’s bachelor pad, but you have a different point of view.”
“I think that things would be brighter in here if the couch was moved to this wall, so that the sunlight shined into the room and wasn’t partially blocked by the couch.” Adrienne said immediately as if she had given it a great deal of thought.
Vera tapped her finger against her cheek, “Hmm, I see what you mean. What about colors?”
“I think anything would work in here, whatever you want.” She didn’t know why the older woman was asking her these questions.
“Well then, I’ll go home and make up a design. I’ll see you later, sweetie.” Vera patted her on the head before heading to the front door and stepping out into the hall.
“Whole family is a bunch of loons.” Adrienne mumbled to herself as she looked around the living room. “Who is designing the room? Me or her?” She continued to speak under her breath before retrieving the list of chores from the fridge.
Vaughn chuckled to himself as he hung up the phone. His sister had called him to inform him that he shouldn’t send his assistant over with food for her. He wondered how Adrienne had handled it when she found out that he wasn’t there. Shrugging the thought off, he began to look over a report, but his mind quickly wandered to other ways that he could harass her.
---***---Vera smiled at her boyfriend as he walked into the living room. She placed her glass of wine on the table and kissed him as he sat down beside her. She could tell immediately that he was exhausted, and normally she would give him a moment to rest before spewing her gossip, but this was too much for her.
“Oh my gosh, Saul, Vaughn has the cutest little assistant working for him now.” She smacked her hands together.
“Should I be worried?” He asked as he leaned back into the couch and threw his arm over his eyes.
He couldn’t believe that she was starting in on him right away, but she had been good for the past couple of months and figured he might as well give in from time to time. Vera worked in the same building as he did, but they hardly saw each other throughout the day. The woman loved to talk and most of her friends were married with children that could no longer listen to her ramble on and on about nothing at all.
After dealing with Vaughn’s vacation and then trying to convince the old man that they needed to suspend him, he just wanted a break. However, he decided to play along and eventually it would end. Vera always passed out after a few glasses of her favorite wine.
She giggled, “It’s a girl. She is so adorable. Has this oh-so-cute tomboy look. Nothing like those made-up whores that Vaughn brings home and used to date. She actually kind of reminded me of Dawn a bit. I don’t mean that they looked anything alike, but she gave off the girl next door vibe.”
Sitting up, Saul looked at the woman beside him. “He hired a girl that reminds you of Dawn?”
“Well, I mean like sweet and wholesome type girl that Dawn seemed to be. I don’t think she is after his money or anything. I mean…” She sighed, “Damn it, Saul, why can’t you let me get excited and think that Vaughn might be trying to bring a girl into his life? He loved Dawn a lot and I compared her to her because the other women…”
“A new girl in his life? How old is she?”
She shrugged, “She had a backpack, so maybe she was in college.”
He ran his hand over his face, “You do realize that your brother is thirty one years old, don’t you? A college girl can be anywhere from eighteen to twenty two and that’s just for the bachelors.”
“So? He could be nine to thirteen years older than she is, and you are rooting for him to bring that into his life?”
Vera smacked his shoulder playfully and picked up her wine glass to take a sip, “I don’t care as long as she’s legal. If Vaughn fell in love with her then maybe we’d have the man he used to be back. I mean…”
“I’m going out.” He stood up.
“Where are you going?” Vera followed him up.
“To Vaughn’s, you now have me worried about this damn girl and I need to talk to him about it myself.” He walked into the hallway with Vera right behind him. Pulling out the light jacket from the closet, he put it on. “I’ll be back in a couple hours, we’ll have dinner.”
Vera shook her head when he left, “Man thinks he’s Vaughn’s protector or something. Newsflash, asshole, you are younger than he is that means you aren’t big brother.” She mumbled as she returned to her glass of wine. She knew she shouldn’t have compared the girl to Dawn that always made both Saul and Vaughn stand on edge.
---***---“I don’t like it one bit. Someone needs to tell this guy that slavery is illegal.” Lucien grumbled as he leaned against the fence outside Bastian’s home. They were waiting for him to visit with his mother briefly before they headed out for a night on the town.
The little white house sat in between several larger homes and looked quite out of place, but Bastian’s mother had refused to sell her quaint home so that someone could come build their large Victorian home on her land. If it weren’t for all the expensive homes that surrounded her house, one would think it was a beautiful home, but in comparison to the others, it was homely.
Wade shrugged his shoulders, “It’s her choice. You can’t make decisions for her.” He looked down the street, “I wonder when Darnell is going to get here?”
“Bleu is a very naïve person and he is taking advantage of that, I just know it.” He brought his foot up against the fence behind him and crossed his arms.
“She’s a great deal smarter than you give her credit for. She may seem sweet and innocent, but she’s got a nasty streak when you push the wrong buttons. If this guy pushes too hard, he’ll find out she’s merely a time bomb waiting to explode in his face.” Wade turned to face his friend, “Don’t become a jealous boyfriend. Hell, you aren’t even a boyfriend, don’t be jealous, it’s a turn off. Remember that guy that she dated a while back that was jealous of us?”
“That’s different. He wanted her to give up her best friends for him.” Lucien rolled his eyes. “Besides, I’m not jealous. I’m worried about her and what this asshole has up his sleeve.”
“You are jealous that her time is spent with this guy and not you.” He sighed, “If you don’t just spit it out soon, you’ll regret never having told her.”
“What am I suppose to say? ’Hey, Bleu, I thought you should know that I love you and I want to bang your brains out.”
“Well, the beginning is alright, but the end needs work.” Wade grinned, but his smile faded the moment he saw the man standing behind the fence. “This is not good.”
Lucien turned and looked over the fence as Bastian stood in mid-step with his eyes locked on his two friends. He slowly melted his firm stance away and walked toward the fence to step out onto the sidewalk.
Both men cursed themselves as they knew that Bastian was not able to keep secrets to himself.
“If you whisper one word of this Bastian, I’ll beat your ass so bad that your own mother won’t recognize you.” Wade barked, which caused the other two men to become shocked by his behavior.
“What?” Bastian asked as he looked over at Lucien, “I didn’t hear anything about how Lucien wants to screw ‘little brother’.” He grinned.
Wade grabbed the collar of Bastian’s shirt, “This isn’t any of your business or anyone else’s. It’s not even my business. It’s between Bleu and Lucien, so leave it that way. Understand?”
“I got it. I got it.” He yanked his shirt away, “I just wanted to tease a little. I’m shutting up. Where’s Darnell?”
“Late like always.” Lucien answered. He was glad that Wade took care of that for him, though he wasn’t sure if it worked entirely.