|Cerulean Harbor can only be read on the forum or on fictionpress. It is available to read without an account.|
|Broken Glass Part 4|
|Written by RHunt|
Sitting on the couch, Vaughn looked at the girl across the room from him. She was on her knees with her bottom facing him as the vacuum cleaner ran. He turned his head a couple times as he looked at her butt. “At least one part of you is decent to look at.”
“What?” She sat down on her bottom and turned her head to look over her shoulder.
He hadn‘t expected her to hear him. “If you can’t vacuum the carpet correctly, you should just leave and I’ll take you to court.” Vaughn yelled as Adrienne was kneeled down on her knees, using the hose attachment, to clean the corners and where the wall met the carpeting.
“I thought that this was for weekends only since the major cleaning happens on those days.” She said softly. “Now, I know better, all right?”
“No, it’s not all right!” He knocked a stack of papers off the coffee table with his feet and stood up from the couch. “If you are planning on doing a half ass job, then what’s the fucking point of keeping you around?”
Adrienne’s jaw clenched for a moment, “I apologized and I have said I will do better in the future, what more do you want me to say?” She turned off the vacuum before she spoke and walked over to pick the papers up.
When she put them on the table, Vaughn pushed them off again. “This is a fucking worthless endeavor! You don’t clean anything properly, you can’t cook so you are wasting money every night on take away foods, and you take forever to run errands!”
“I clean as best as I can! I said I can’t cook anything good! If you want me to make you Mac and Cheese, I’ll do it for you! And last but not least, I have to take the buses everywhere! It’s not as straight forward as driving yourself!”
He was a little taken back that she had the audacity to yell at him. “You…”
“I have apologized! Now, if you want me to do something to make it up to you then say so! I am not a fucking mind reader, you know! However, if there is nothing, why don’t you go into your room or study and leave me the hell alone! Your Mac and Cheese will be ready shortly!”
Vaughn cocked his head to the side and his face ran blank. He looked like he was thinking, but Adrienne couldn’t determine about what. She knew that this had not been the victory she had hoped for when she stood up for herself a moment ago. Suddenly, he walked into the kitchen and pulled a bottle of red wine from the wine rack. He opened it then walked back out into the living room then proceeded to dump it on the white carpet. When the bottle was empty, he dropped the bottle to the floor.
His eyes turned up to her, “Make sure that you clean it before it stains. I’ll be in my study.”
Adrienne looked down at the stain and then at Vaughn as he walked into the hallway. She grabbed the white rag that hung from her belt and threw it onto the floor, then jumped on it several times to relieve the stress that was building up within her. “Unbelievable.” She grumbled to herself when she finally stopped jumping and tried to gain control of herself. Taking a few deep breaths, she went in search of some sort of cleaner to assist her with the mess.
Vaughn sat in his study behind his desk as he chuckled to himself and looked through a couple piles of paperwork. Everyday this got more entertaining and he was enjoying the new ways that the girl could express hate and astonishment at the same time.
Saul stepped out of the elevator and walked toward his friend’s apartment door. The door was partially opened as he had to use the buzzer downstairs to inform them that he was here. When he entered into the apartment, he immediately noticed the girl knelt on the floor scrubbing the carpet with a white cloth.
---***---It was the very first weekend that Adrienne would have to clean the entire apartment from top to bottom, plus run any errands for him. She had purchased some cleaning supplies that they were running low on. In her mind, she had decided to make this the best cleaning job she had ever done and was determined to get a compliment out of Vaughn.
She smiled at the doorman as she walked to the elevator, but fiddled with the bags in her hands as she tried to push the button. It was simple enough to put them down, but it wasn’t the first option that she thought of.
“I got it.” Brant smiled as he pushed the up button.
“Thank you.” Adrienne grinned back.
“I can take one of those bags off your hands, if you want.” He reached out for one.
She noticed that he was carrying his gym bag over his shoulder, but he was wearing jeans and a punk band t-shirt. “That’s alright, thank you though.”
He dropped his hands slightly disappointed that she wouldn’t accept his help. It crossed his mind to be pushy again, but his straightforwardness seemed to cause her discomfort last time. As they stepped into the elevator, Brant assisted by pushing the floor button.
“Big cleaning day?” He asked when he got a peek of the items in her basket, though Adrienne’s hairstyle of two pigtails in the back of her head finished off with two large dark blue bows had caught his attention first.
“Every weekend, I have to scrub the entire apartment down. He’s very much a clean freak, it would seem.”
“I’d offer my help, but Vaughn doesn’t seem to care for me all that much.” He chuckled, “I’ve never done anything to him, so I guess I just rub him the wrong way.”
“Everyone rubs him the wrong way.” She retorted, but bit her bottom lips when she realized she probably shouldn’t have said that.
Brant smiled at her slight embarrassment, “Don’t worry I won’t tell him.” He told her as the elevator dinged and the doors opened.
He allowed her out of the elevator first and then followed her down the hall to his own door. He looked over his shoulder as he pulled out his card to let himself into his apartment, it was becoming apparent to him that she didn’t have any interest in him. His feeling of defeat was off set when he noticed that Adrienne was trying to find the card while struggling with the two brown bags in her hands.
“Where is it? I can slide it for you?”
“Oh, thank you. It’s in my right pocket.” She turned her hip to him.
Brant noticed the embroidery on her jeans pocket and smiled inwardly at himself, as he reached into her tight pocket. He was barely able to get his fingers in and locate the card. Pulling it out, the door unlocked and he opened it slightly, then put the card back in her pocket.
“You’re welcome.” He said with a smile as he watched Adrienne step inside and put the two bags on the floor in the hallway.
She turned back to him as she was about to shut the door. “You always seem to be here when I need help. I appreciate it.”
“It’s no big deal. See ya next time.” He turned to head back to his own door.
She chuckled, “See ya.”
“Oh, hey.” He began and Adrienne held off closing the door for a moment, “Let me give you my phone number.” He started searching himself for a pen and paper.
“I know where you live.” She had meant to save him time, but it sounded more like she was rejecting the number. “Take care.” She said as she shut the door.
Lucien placed several boxes of rice and noodles into the cupboards of Adrienne’s apartment. He had brought several bags of groceries for her and always dropped them off when she wasn’t home. There was no way in hell that Adrienne would ever accept them from him or any of the other guys. She was just too proud to take help when she needed it.
---***---Adrienne stood in the living room of Vaughn’s apartment with her mouth agape. It looked like someone had purposefully made as much of a mess as they possibly could. There were clothes and crumbs all over the living room floor, along with beer and wine bottles. The kitchen from what she could see didn’t look much better, it was as if someone was making spaghetti sauce and it exploded.
Vaughn came up behind her from the bathroom and placed his face close to her ear. She hadn’t realized that he was behind her due to all the mess. “Get to work!” He shouted which caused her to jump. With an inner chuckle of victory in his heart, he walked past her and went to his bedroom.
“What the hell happened in here?” Adrienne yelled out the question.
He appeared at the doorway, “Friday night party, but that is none of your fucking business, is it? You aren’t here to ask why the mess happened, but to clean it up!” He walked out of the bedroom and came to stand in front of her. “I don’t want to see one speck of dust! This house will be bleached top and bottom to be more sterile than a operating room. Got it?”
“This house was clean when I left it yesterday!” Adrienne snapped as if she hadn’t heard him.
“And now it’s dirty, clean it again.” He crossed his arms.
She wanted to tell him how much of a disgusting, horrible human being he was, but she knew it would all have to be saved until the end of the contract. Crunching her face together in defeat, she turned around to unload her cleaning supplies.
“The list of errands I need done today are on the fridge!”
She stood up straight and turned to him with one bag in her arms, “Do you want me to clean this apartment or run errands? I am only one person!”
“Both! Finish it by today, I’d rather not be bothered by you tomorrow. I’d like a day away from your whiny, pathetic…” He squinted his eyes and walked toward her, “Are you wearing pigtails and bows?”
She put one hand up into her hair and touched the bow, “Yes, so?”
Reaching his hand up, Vaughn yanked one of the bows out of her hair. It caused the hair band under it to be pulled along with it halfway, so one of her pigtails was deformed. She had cried out in pain when he jerked it from her head. “Ponytails only! I’m sick of this shit you are wearing as if you are a twelve year old girl. Normal jeans and t-shirts as well, no more crappy designs. I can’t have someone like this coming and going from my apartment.”
Adrienne rubbed the side of her head and tried not to get angry or show any tears. “You didn’t have to pull my hair out!” She dropped the brown bag and snatched the bow from Vaughn’s hand, before she took off into the bathroom.
Vaughn felt bad for a moment when he thought she was going to cry, until he watched her go into the bathroom. He merely grinned at that point and crossed his arms. It didn’t take her longer than a second to jump out of the bathroom with her fingers pinching her nose shut.
“There is shit and puke all over that bathroom!” Adrienne screamed.
“Clean it up!” He snapped and turned around with a smirk on his face that she didn’t get to see.
She pressed her lips together as she watched him head into the bedroom. Yanking the other bow from her head along with the hair bands, she quickly made herself a ponytail. “Son of a bitch. I hope you get what’s coming to you.” She mumbled as she prepared the cleaning supplies to go into the bathroom. She was going to deal with that now, so she wouldn’t have to later.
For the most part, it had been an uneventful day after her first encounter with Vaughn that morning. The bathroom, as disgusting as it was, had been easy to clean up and she had dumped enough bleach in there to ensure no smell could survive. The windows had to be opened and the vapors eventually ran her out, so she knew she would have to return later on.
---***---Adrienne exhaled loudly as she looked at her watch, it was almost two in the morning and she was just getting home. Even though Vaughn had been up in arms about not seeing her on Sunday, before she left he had ordered her to be there at seven. She would barely get four hours sleep before rushing back over there to do whatever errands he miraculously created.
There was no way she could ever pay the money back to him and the last thing she wanted was to head to court. As the fence around her apartment building came into few, she counted the days until she would be out of his life forever. In all her life, she had never met a more cantankerous old man, and he wasn’t even old.
When she had first seen him, she would have never imagined such a nasty temperament could have come from such a handsome, gentle looking man. She had given him the benefit of the doubt the first night they met and thought his bad attitude was due to the broken window. It seemed that no matter how much she tried to please him, there was some anger not directed at her. He was just an angry person, and there was little she could do to stop it. She just had to ride it out and leave when it was over.
“Where the hell have you been?” Lucien stood up from the apartment stairs in front of the building as she opened the gate.
Adrienne was shocked to see him, “Why are you here?” She looked at her watch to check the time again. “It’s two ten in the morning, Lucien.”
“I was waiting to make sure that you got home alright. Who knows what that guy would do to you!”
She grinned, “Always such a worry wart.” Walking to the door, she unlocked it and allowed Lucien in. “You can sleep on the couch, but I have to leave early.”
“For this guy?”
Adrienne nodded her head. She could tell by Lucien’s voice that he was upset, but she wanted to get to her apartment before he went off. Once inside, Lucien barely closed the door.
“You can’t keep letting this guy take advantage of you. It’s only money!”
She chuckled, “It’s a lot of money. I am more than earning it, I might add. He had guests over last night and I think he purposely had them desecrate his bathroom for me. It was disgusting.” She had told the story to lighten the mood as Lucien normally enjoyed practical jokes that were played on her, but instead it just angered him further.
“That sick son of a bitch! You shouldn’t have to put up with this, Bleu!” He slammed his hand on the kitchen counter, as she put her backpack on the table. “Tomorrow, I am gathering the money up from the guys. We will pay him off, then you can do some errands for us. We won’t make you clean up gross bathrooms.”
“It’s alright, Lucien.” She smiled, “Everything’s fine. It won’t be long until this is all over and I’ll be right back to where I was. I am considering this a lesson in humility. It’s good for me.” She stretched her arms above her head and yawned. “I have to be up soon, so I am going to bed. You take the couch. Goodnight.”
Lucien didn’t know how to make her understand that he didn’t want her to work for this guy any longer. He knew that the more he pushed the issue with her, the more likely she would be to stay with him. It seemed that every time it was brought up, he would demand she accept the money, but he didn’t know any other way to get her out.
Shaking his head, he laid down on the couch and closed his eyes. He knew where the extra pillows and blankets were, but was too tired to care about them.
Vaughn slammed his car door shut as he got out of it and stormed up the stairs of the mansion. His sister, Vera, had seen his car pull up and had come to the door to greet him. She was stopped mid-step when she saw the anger in her brother’s eyes.
---***---Adrienne’s eye opened and she slowly turned onto her side with satisfaction that school was over for now. As she released a slow yawn, a piercing fear shot through her heart as she turned her eyes to the alarm clock that hadn’t gone off.
“Eight!” She shrieked as she remembered Vaughn’s clear instructions that she arrive at seven and not a minute late.
Tossing off her blankets from her legs, she swung open her closet door to find that it was empty. She hadn’t done any of her own laundry since she started working for Vaughn and she didn’t have many clothes to begin with. Literately, jumping to make a 180 degree turn, her eyes scanned the floor and she picked up a pink shirt with a black teddy bear with the saying “Everyone knows teddy bears will kill you when you sleep” written above the imprint. She grabbed a dark pink pair of long johns and threw on a torn pair of jeans.
Running into the small bathroom, she ran her hand through her hair and quickly made a messy ponytail. Making her way into the kitchen she tried to see if she had anything that she could eat on the run for breakfast. When she opened her fridge, she frowned when she found some fruits and other items she knew she had never purchased. She knew she didn’t have time to be upset about it that moment, and grabbed a green apple.
“What’s the rush?” Lucien asked as he watched her from the couch.
Adrienne grabbed her heart as she spun around to face him. “You scared me. I forgot you were here.” She shut the fridge door. “I have to get to Vaughn’s. I am already an hour late.”
“Tell him that you accidentally slept in. Anyone with half a heart, should understand that they had you working until the middle of the night. It happens.” He stood up from the couch.
“He’s not that type of person.”
“This is really unfair to you.” He walked over to her as she headed for the door. “I was there too when it happened. Besides, the guys and I are more than willing to pay this jerk off. We don’t like that we won’t be able to see you that much this summer. I mean are you even going to be able to head out to the beach house with us?”
Adrienne exhaled loudly as she recalled that they did that every summer. Lucien’s parents owned a beach house that they spent a month. “No, not this year.”
“We have gone every year since we could drive, and before that my dad took us. You can’t seriously be thinking about breaking tradition.”
With her hand on the door knob, she shook her head. “I’m sorry, Lucien. I’ll explain to the guys myself, but it’s just not plausible this year.”
“But it’s tradition, Bleu. We can pay this guy off for you. Hell, I should be working beside you anyway. Maybe then he wouldn’t have the balls to treat you this way.”
With a gentle smile, she patted his shoulder. “It’s nice of you to offer, but this is my fault. Please, be the understanding guy with half a heart that you were talking about earlier. I realize that it’s tradition and I feel terrible, but I have responsibilities. The tradition wasn’t going to last forever. When we became adults with jobs it would have ended then.” She opened the door and stepped out into the hall.
“Lock up for me. I’ll see you later!” She waved before running down the hall to try and catch the next bus.
“Bleu!” Lucien ran out of the apartment building behind her after he had locked her apartment. “Don’t put yourself through this.” He grabbed her arm.
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