Please Don’t Say You Love Me

Trapped between the walls of reality and dreams Adeline lives for the day. Not only does she spread rays of light wherever she goes, but her attitude changes the ones around her. Then she meets her opposite a cold hearten millionaire named Rome. Your typical playboy with eye candy on his arm. While one hides in yesterdays shadows the other masks the reality of tomorrow.

 

Chapter One

Adeline’s P.O.V-

I walk into work, five minutes early as usual. I smile at Layla and Mark, the owners who are baking pastries in the back. I head to the employees lounge and grab my apron while tucking my backpack away. I have never owned a purse and probably never will, those things are completely impractical. Walking back to the front of the cafe, I turn the sign to open and head to our coffee machines to prepare a fresh batch of our most popular dark roast.

The day goes on and rush hour soon ends. I pull out my phone and sit down on one of the stools behind the counter, I look at round trip flights to Italy hoping that if I make enough I can go for a week in the summer. I check my emails to see if I have gotten any responses to the companies where I sent my resumes and nothing. I put down my phone and lightly frown.

“What’s got you so down?” A man sipping his coffee asks me. I recognize him as one of our regulars.

“I am just not having the best luck finding a job.” I answer truthfully.

“Well what kind of job are you looking for?” He asks.

“I truly don’t wanna bore you with my problems sir.” I say.

“Look my name is Carlos Blake and I am actually looking for someone. You see my best friend is the CEO of Vivian Enterprises and he is in serious need of an assistant. Our other friend is helping him out and the poor guy is in need of someones help.” He says while chuckling.

“I have a degree in business and design, but I doubt that I’m cut out for this kind of job. I mean I haven’t had any experience, I don’t think I would live up to the expectations of a CEO.” I say, my eyes widening in surprise.

“Nonsense. I come here all the time and I have got to say you are an insanely talented woman. You deal with arrogant customers with a smile on your face and you are sure to kill out the rush easily.” He says.

“Thank you.” I respond blushing slightly.

“I’m just being honest so..” He looks up at me reading my nameplate.

“Adeline, nice name. Can I set up an interview for you?” He asks.

“It truly is a nice offer but I don’t think I’m cut out for that kind of job.” I say.

“Look in all honesty my best friend is a hard guy to work with and I am sure that you are one of the few people that can handle him.” He says.

“Just go in for an interview, then it’s all your choice.” He ends.

“Thank you. I guess I will go for an interview.” I say

He writes down my contact info and gives me the card for Vivian Enterprises. “You are a life saver Adeline. Truly I’m sure you’ll get the job.”

I smile at his support. He finishes his coffee and leaves behind a $50 dollar tip for me. Wow, a $50 dollar tip on a two dollar coffee. His friend really needs an assistant, but he’s a CEO aren’t there hundreds of people applying for the position.

Time flies by and it’s now 6 pm which means my shift is over. I head to the back and put my apron away while wishing Mark and Layla a good evening. I grab my bag and head out of the coffee house and start my short walk home.

Halfway there I see a little boy sitting on the sidewalk, crying.

“Hey there buddy. What’s wrong?” I ask him, concern lacing my vision.

“I got an owwiee.” He sniffles and whines out while pointing to his elbow that has a small cut.

“I think I got just the thing.” I say as I pull out a band aid and water bottle from my bag.

“This is gonna sting a little.” I say, he nods.

I lightly put some water on his wound and dab it using a tissue, making sure the wound doesn’t get infected. Then I put on the band aid and kiss his elbow.

“All better?” I ask.

“All better, thank you.” He says as he wraps me in a bear hug.

“Where are your parents?” I ask.

“Oh my mom is just getting her purse.” He says.

I nod and pass him a lollipop that I had in my bag. His eyes grow with excitement and he pecks my cheek.

“Thank you thank you thank you.” He repeats while shoving the lollipop in his mouth.

I laugh and smile at him as I wait for his mother to return. She shortly returns and walks our way.

“Mommy look the nice pretty lady helped me and gave me a lollipop.” He says while pointing at his elbow.

“Oh my. Thank you so much.” She says while looking at me in gratitude.

“Not a problem, have a goodnight.” I say and turn around.

“Wait” She says.

I look back and she continues “How can I pay you back?” she says while pulling out her wallet.

“Oh please you don’t have to. Isn’t it our job as humans to help each other out” I say

She nods and smiles towards me. I smile back and give the little boy a high five as he giggles. I start to walk back as I notice a small limousine drive by. I arrive home and hop into the shower which I always take freezing cold.

I order a pizza for Willow and I, knowing she’ll be home soon too. I place the order for delivery and head to my room and pull out my laptop. Out of serious curiosity I search up Vivian Enterprises and am shocked by what shows up.

Vivian Enterprises is a multi-million dollar company now run by Roman Cole Darren the arrogant bachelor who’s assistants don’t last longer than a month…..

I am surprised by what I read and a little nervous. Why did Carlos think I was fit for this job? Is he that bad? Will he hire me? I continue to research the company and soon learn about how cold the CEO really is, but the company is amazing. They have reached far heights in just a few years, its a family business and Dylan Darren named the company after his wife. Awh…

Willow arrives home just in time as the pizza arrives second later. I tell her all about my hectic day and she is completely shocked and excited for me. But me, I am very nervous.

Roman’s P.O.V

I sit in my office rummaging through the research and development contract, making sure every detail is perfect. Not a missing comma nor a missing period. I make any last minute edits and head to Damon’s office to get him to fix it. I walk in and smirk as I see Damon rubbing his forehead and running his hand through his raven hair.

“I need this contract edited.” I tell him.

He looks up at me with pleading eyes, “Buddy, I am still not done last weeks work. How am I supposed to catch up?”

“You offered to be my temporary assistant.” I remind him.

“Well yes, but I’m your best friend I thought you’d go easy on me.” He says.

“Damon just head home, I’ll do this all.” I tell him.

“Rome, how are you gonna find an assistant that can deal with this?” He asks me.

I open my mouth to answer, but the door opening interrupts me and in walks Carlos with a cup of coffee and a huge grin covering his face.

“What’s got you so smiley?” Damon asks him.

I take a seat and look up at Carlos expecting an answer, ” well, let’s just say I found a girl perfect for the job.” He says.

“Who?” I ask, curiously.

“This girl, umm Adeline I think her name is. Anyway you know that coffee shop I love.” He says.

We nod, “well she’s a barista there and she’s on the hunt for a full time job. She has a degree in business and design and I am telling you man that she is perfect for the job. She’s efficient, fast and extremely kind.” He finishes.

“You think some barista is qualified to aid me in running a company?” I ask.

“Hey who knows none of the people with years of experience have lasted a day, I mean it’s worth a shot.” Damon says.

“Plus I’ve seen her work etiquette for a while man and she is perfect for this job.” Carlos says.

“Damon set up an interview, I guess we’ll find out. Did you get her contact information?” I ask.

He nods and passes Damon his phone.

“I’ll email her tonight” Damon says, I nod.

“You guys head out, I’ll meet you later. I’m just gonna finish up some work.” I say.

They nod, “We’ll be at Kings Landing Grill, pick us up from there?” Carlos asks.

I nod and we say our goodbyes. I sit back down and start emailing potential clients and catch up on the work Damon hasn’t done.

All of a sudden the laptop dies and I end up staring at my reflection on the computer screen. I stare into my cold eyes and notice how distant they seem. I shrug off the thought and just do some paperwork.

I look over at the clock and see that it’s 5:45, I grab my blazer and head out to pick up the boys. I get into my small limo and instruct the driver to head towards the grill. I arrive 15 minutes early, I wait in the back of the car and answer my emails. The car starts to warm, so I open the window to let some of the breeze in and that’s when a little boy catches my eye.

A young boy, no older than 5 sits on the ground crying. Tens of people pass by him, but no one stopped to help. Some people in the world just disgust me. I am just about to go out there when a young woman stops and sits down next to him. I stare at the woman. She’s dressed very simply and has little to no makeup with her hair up.

She looks so simple, but her sight is truly breathtaking. Her big brown eyes are filled with kindness and her pink plump lips pull into a small frown staring at the boy. She pulls out some water and a band aid and helps clean up his wound.

She places a gentle kiss on his bandage and smiles at him. Her smile. A smile so beautiful it could brighten up a room. She sits down next to him, mimicking his position by crossing her legs and pulls out a lollipop to which he gets really happy and jumps in his seat. She giggles at his reaction and lets out a laugh.

Her laugh is almost as entrancing as her eyes. She is simply beauty, nothing about her is fake. Her stunning face and curvy figure is enchanting. I run my eyes over the woman who now keeps the young boy company. I feel the corners of my mouth tilt up as I stare at this woman’s antics, from her smile to her laugh and the way she bites her lip when shes thinking. The man who calls her his is lucky.

But who is to be sure, she may just be misread at first sight. A woman walks out and runs to the boy. She, whom I assume is his mother pulls out her wallet. The young woman nods her head and tells her to pull it away. She flashes her gorgeous smile and walks off while giving the boy a high five, my hearts warms at this action.

She starts to walk off into the evening sky as I watch her figure get smaller with each step. My eyes running over every smooth edge of her body to capture her memory in my mind.

The boys arrive and we head off. Carlos and Damon keep themselves busy with conversation as my mind is still busy thinking about that girl. She is such a different woman. I have never seen someone like her. So simple yet so stunning. Kindness glimmers in her eyes and her smile shines light. Who is she?

I drop the boys off at their shared apartment and I head home. My phone rings and I answer and hear my mothers voice.

“Hey honey” She says.

“Hello ma.” I say.

“Sweety why didn’t you answer any of my calls today?” She asks.

“I apologize but I had a lot of work to get done.” I say.

“Well my friend Karen has a daughter who I think you may like-” She says, but I cut her off.

“Mother you know their family is just full of gold diggers. I love you but please stop setting me up with woman who have no knowledge and 20 pounds of makeup on their face. Those kinds of women are just arm candy. ” I tell her honestly.

“I know they aren’t very suitable Rome but I worry for you. You’ve never had a relationship. With you its always work.” She says.

“Well maybe when there is a woman that I meet who is worth more than one night I’ll give it a try.” I say smirking.

“Dear lord.” She mumbles.

“Night ma.” I say.

“Night baby.” She says.

I hang up and my eyes drift off into the evening sky where I wonder what that woman is doing now…

 

Chapter Two

Adeline’s P.O.V

I roll around in my bed as the sun shines through the blinds, the bright light hits my face and I instantly feel the warmth. I peek my eye open and see Willow standing there with an amused grin and her arms at her hips.

“Good Morning Sleeping Beauty.” Willow chirps.

“Mornin'” I say lazily as I bring my hands up to rub my eyes.

“Someone forgot to set their alarm clock last night.” She said while pointing at the clock.

I grin and look towards her, Willow has spent the majority of our friendship trying to make me late for something.

“Actually, the coffee house is closed for the morning today, they had a catering job so it’s just the bakers in till noon.” I say while smiling at her widely.

Her grin drops and she sends me a glare. She leaves the room but not before throwing me the finger. I laugh at her childish anctics. Knowing that I probably won’t be able to go back to sleep I get up and get ready.

I quickly brushed my teeth and washed my face. I tossed on a pair of leggings and a baggy sweater. My hair was a mess so I just hid it in a messy bun.

I walk into the kitchen to see Willow making coffee and an English breakfast. Perks of living with someone who studies culinary. Nevertheless I support her dream of becoming a chef. I go up to the coffee machine and pour myself a cup of coffee. I sit down and open my laptop.

I open up my email and am surprised to see an email from Vivian Enterprises. I quickly read it and then read it again very slowly. Long story short I have an interview tomorrow at 9. Hmm I thought that guy Carlos was scamming me but this is legit.

“What are you staring at?” Asks Willow.

“The interview timing for the assistant position” I say.

“That’s great!” She encourages.

“Its tomorrow.” I say.

Her face drops and she rushes to my closet.

“WILLOW” I yell as I chase after her.

She ignores my calling and stares at my closet. She then starts rummaging through all my clothes and throwing everything in my drawers.

“Ughh” She yells.

“What?!” I say utterly confused

“You have an interview TOMORROW and there is nothing in your closet.” She says.

“Well Miss Fashionista not all of us love to shop till we drop.” I mimic.

She glares at me and heads back to the kitchen. I chuckle and start to pick up the few shirts that fell onto the ground. As I put away the last one Willow yells from the kitchen.

“Get your ass in here and finish your breakfast, we are going to go shopping right after.” She yells.

I shake my head and put on a nicer top so we can leave right after. You see the problem with Willow is that she is the most irritating person to shop with. She’ll make you try on everything the store has and then shell make you buy every accessory possible to match your outfit.

As we finish eating our breakfast I go grab my wallet from my room and head out to meet Willow who’s waiting in the car. She has on her usual cat eyed sunglasses as she waits for me in her Range Rover that was passed onto her as she’s the oldest in her family.

I get in and she raises her eyebrow at me.

“What?” I say.

“Why would you bring money. I’m gonna pay.” She says.

“Nope, I am a grown woman I can pay for my own things.” I say confidently.

She opens her mouth to speak, but I beat her to it. ” All I want from you is your support. I just need to know that you believe I can get the job.” I tell her.

She smiles at me, “You always have my support Ember (Willow likes to call Adeline by her middle name).” She tells me.

As we head off towards the mall Willow blasts Selena Gomez and we both jam out to her old songs. We start to giggle and smile like idiots.

“You know Ember sometimes I wish you and I were both lesbians so we could just marry each other.” She joked.

I laugh, “well we are best friends” I say.

“Speaking of best friends where’s Axel?” She asks.

“He’s still visiting his parents, he should be back next week.” I tell her.

She nods and we both start singing I Love You Like A Love Song loudly. We arrive at the mall and start wandering. Since we both head to work in about two hours we quickly decide on two shops to check out. We head to Bella’s first which is this french boutique.

As soon as we walk in Willow is speeding through the racks grabbing everything she likes. She hands me two piles worth of clothing. I sigh and head to go try them out.

My first outfit is a blue lace blouse and a nude knee length pencil skirt. I step out to look in the mirror and Willow instantly smiles.

“Give me a twirl girl.” She says.

I laugh and teasingly spin around.

“Your ass looks fine in that skirt.” She says, I blush in embarrassment and shoot her a glare.

I try on a few more outfits but they were all blah. The last one though was beautiful. It was a blush pink blazer with a white silk cami and a pair of washed out jeans. It was casual but formal and it was perfect. I show it to Willow and she grins and nods.

I end up buying the first and last one. Willow insisted on getting heels and a necklace but I told her it wasn’t necessary.

Next stop was at a dress store, Willow has a date tonight so she wanted a new dress. Long story short Willow bought three dresses and I ended up with a body con navy knee length dress that Willow insisted I buy.

We both paid and headed home. I changed into jeans and a maroon long sleeve. We bid our goodbyes and we both headed to work. Willow antsy for her date and I was nervous for my interview.

But, I mean how bad can it be?

Roman’s P.O.V

I woke up and headed to the office earlier that usual. I had a huge business seminar in a week and because I lacked an assistant I had to do both jobs myself. I sit down in my office desk and get to work designing a power point on my company and contacting the web design team on all the updates.

I get up to grab some coffee from my machine and that’s when I hear my phone ping. It was a reminder that I had to interview some barista at 10. I grab my coffee and sit back down onto my desk. Mid way through my presentation the sun peeks in signaling that the day has started for the rest of the world.

The sun was shining too brightly, the light is a huge irritation. I growl and get up to slam my curtains shut. I work for another two hours until Damon rings me.

“Yes” I say

“Rome there is a Ms Jules here for her interview.” He says.

”Send her up.” I say

He waits a second before whispering, “and she is hot..” he says.

I roll my eyes and wait for a blonde, perky, makeup caked woman to walk in.  But I am shocked when I hear a gentle knock on the door.

“Come in” I say.

The door gently opens and closes. I turn around and am dumbfounded when I see the girl from outside the grill. She stands there confidently but with a hint of shyness. Her beauty is magnified as she wears a simple blazer over a blue lace blouse and a nude skirt. Her long hair is curled and cascades down her back.

I quickly register myself and point at a seat. She sits down and pulls out her resume. I take it from her hands and start to look through trying to control my eyes from staring at the beauty in front of me.

She keeps her head up, looking at me. But not the way women do, she looks at me waiting for an answer. There is no lust in her eyes and she doesn’t do anything to grab my attention. She patiently waits for me as her eyes are now slowly scoping out my office.

I clear my throat, grabbing her attention. She looks back at me and gently smiles, my heart stops for a second as my mind tries to concentrate on the task at hand instead of the girl in front of me.

“Ms Jules, your resume states that you don’t have any office experience. Why should I hire you if all you’ve done in serve coffees? This job calls for a lot more than that.” I say coldly.

She gently smiles, ” It’s true that I haven’t had any office experience but sir that’s not all that defines me. I have worked with a large variety of people and graduated top of my class. Yes it is true this kind of work is new for me, but I know that I am fully prepared. I may not be the best but I will give this job my all. I know that I am not completely qualified but in today’s time it is more important to know people than to know things. In the past few years of my life I have met people and seen the way the business world works. I can guarantee you that I will prove to be worthy for your company and give each task 110%.” She says politely but with confidence.

My eyes widen in surprise at her response. She sat there kindly looking at me for a response. I was confused as to how this woman who was a nobody in the world could tell me that she could fulfill the task of a CEO’s assistant. However I was intrigued and extremely needy of an assistant.

“Well since you seem so sure of yourself Ms Jules, you have the job. But I will warn you I don’t tolerate any mistakes.” I tell her sternly.

She nods, “thank you sir.” she says.

I pretend to not hear her. “Can you start from today?” I ask

She nods. I roll my eyes, “I would prefer a verbal answer.” I say.

“I apologize, yes sir I can.” She says quietly.

“Good, I need all these notes typed up, printed and in my office by noon. I’ll go through all the paperwork for your job with you after lunch which is at 12 30.” I tell her.

“Okay sir. Where is my office?” She asks timidly.

I get up and she follows me, I walk her next door to my office. I leave and she mutters a thank you.

I know that it will be extremely hard for her to get it all done in 80 minutes or so. Those were 15 pages of notes. I head back to my office and sit down trying to concentrate on my work. I stay focused and work on finishing the power point. I look up and see her walking through the hallway to where the printer was. She was chewing on a pen and was wearing glasses, that looked adorable on her.

The documents printed out and she went back into her office, in two minutes she walked back out and knocked on my door gently. I looked down and said “Come in”.

She walks in with her glasses off and a folder in her hand.

“These are the notes sir.” She says looking down and carefully placing the folder on my desk.

I pick it up roughly and scan through all the pages. The spacing, font, size, spelling everything was correct and she still had time left. I was impressed.

“You may leave now, go ahead and take your lunch.” I say without looking at her.

“Thank you sir.” She says and walks out.

I pick up the folder again and look through all the notes. Not a single mistake even the folder she put the notes into was correct. I put the folder down and looked through her resume again. How can someone with no experience whatsoever complete such a task so perfectly?

Chapter Three

Adeline’s P.O.V.

I was insanely nervous as I went in and handed him the notes. I looked through everything again and it looked to be done well. As I entered the office and handed him the file he roughly picked it up and flipped through it aggressively.

With no thank you or any kind manners for the matter he just told me to go to lunch. I left the office and headed to grab my bag and go grab a bite. As I exited the building I was met with Carlos and Damon in the elevator.

“Hello” I say politely.

“Hey how is your first day going?” They ask.

“Okay I guess.” I say.

“Let me guess he was super rude, didn’t thank you for anything and piled you up with work.” Says Damon.

“Well two out of the three. The work amount wasn’t bad.” I tell them.

They looked surprised, the elevator rang indicating it was the main lobby. I gently nodded at them and sent them a smile. I smiled at the receptionist who let me in this morning, her name is Nya I think, she is very sweet. Hopefully I’ll get to know her better.

There is a chipotle down the street and I decide to just grab a bowl and eat in my office so I can familiarize myself with my surroundings.

I go inside and quickly order myself a chicken and steak bowl with whole wheat rice. Mm mm…. I smile at the cashier and pass her a 20 and tell her to keep the change.

I head back to the office and make my way towards the cafeteria. Working for a top company had it’s perks. The cafe was white and glass. It was extremely modern and full of a variety of food options. The employees all sat with their coworkers in huddles scattered across the room.

I decide to grab myself a smoothie and head to the counter. Seeing how they only had bottled ones I decided that I should just get one of those. Just my luck there is only one mango-berry smoothie left. I head to the cashier,

“Can I get the mango-berry smoothie please?”

“Can I get the mango-berry smoothie please?” I ask, but turn around as somebody says the same thing at the same time as me.

I look to see a tall man with raven hair and blue eyes. He smiles at me and I laugh.

“Wanna share?” He says. I nod.

I order the smoothie and the lady at the register grabs it for me. But before I can pay for it the man gives her a $5 bill.

I look back confused, he just smirks.

“Come on.” He says.

I follow him to his seat and end up sitting across from him. He grabs a cup and pours me out half the smoothie.

“Thank you” I say

“You are very welcome beautiful.” He says, I blush at the comment.

“So I am guessing you’re new here because I would have certainly remembered a girl like you.” He says.

“Yeah I just started today as Mr Darren’s assistant.” I tell him.

“Oh you’re the poor girl who was hired to work for the machine.” He says.

I furrow my eyebrows in confusion, “I wouldn’t say that about him.” I tell him.

“Well I guess time will tell. Anyway I’m Jax. I work with the web design team.” He says

“Nice to meet you, I’m Adeline.” I say.

“Well Adeline you are now looking at your first official work friend.” He says.

I smile and pull out my bowl and start to eat. I look up and catch him staring, he averts his gaze and starts to get red. Weird.

After we both finish eating with polite conversation I head back upstairs, “well it was nice to meet you Jax but I need to get back to work.” I say.

“Till next time” He says. I smile.

I get on the elevator and head to the top floor so I can get to Mr Darren’s office. I knock on the door.

”Come in” His strong voice says.

I walk in and see the two men from the elevator.

”Have a seat Ms.Jules” Carlos tells me.

I nod gratefully and sit down. I look to the side and see Mr Darren yelling at someone on the phone, his eyes cold and distant as his jaw clenches.

He catches my gaze and I look away. I look back towards Carlos and Damon who are getting up. They give a bro-hug to Mr Darren who seems to care less about it.

He eventually hangs up and sits down on his seat in front of me.

He throws a package of notes toward me which I assume is the contract.

“Read” He commands.

I pick up the contract and carefully read through a total of 15 sections. I look through the employee privacy section and fill out the form for the human resources department.

“I’m done sir” I tell him.

He looks up and signs the last page. “Sign here” He says.

I do so and he takes the contract and leaves the room. He returns a few moments later and hands me a copy of the contract.

“I have got someone to place all the resources you need in your office. There is a pile of business contracts and meeting notes on your desk that I need filed in the bottom cupboard.” He says as he nods towards the cupboard.

“Okay sir I’ll get right on that.” I say and leave the office.

I quickly get to my office and start to sort the files by date. I quickly organize them and head back and place them in his office.

I do the work and he barely looks up. It doesn’t take me long to file them and as soon as I finish, he faces me.

“You have the rest of the day off. I want you back here at 7 in the morning with my coffee which I want black.” He says with no sign of emotion on his face.

” Yes sir. Thank you again and have a nice night.” I tell him.

He completely ignores my comment and goes back to his laptop. I exit the building while wishing Nya a nice night.

Today had been one heck of a day. I see why all his assistants want to quit. What a day.

Roman’s P.O.V

I still couldn’t believe my eyes. It was her, the girl I saw a few days ago. How can that be possible? How does she know Carlos? I was cold, arrogant, rude and disrespectful but she completed every task with a smile and perfection.

She is so mannered, kind, who is she? Why is she so caring? Is she putting on some act? No, it can’t be an act, no one is that good of an actor. I head towards the cupboard she just sorted, it was done perfectly by date and within each date the files were organized by meeting and importance.

I could still feel the aroma of her natural coffee like smell. The scent of her sweet perfume was still in the air. The presence of an angel, the room felt kinder, it felt welcoming. I clear my head of such a thought. I head back to my laptop and open up her file from the human resources department.

Full Name- Adeline Ember Jules

Her name sounded so majestic. The way the letters roll off the tongue was remarkable. Adeline.

Parents- Deceased 

Deceased? I wondered. How can she be so smiley when her parents are dead. There isn’t even a glint of depression in her eyes. Her eyes shine with happiness. She looks as if she has everything she wants in the world.

I think back to when she was in my office. Her curvy body bent over, filing. Her full thighs and slim upper body. She looked to be someone who did a lot of running since her legs were toned and tan. The way her legs went on for days. Her hair flew down her back so beautifully, she would gently tuck a curl behind her ear every few minutes.

Whoever she is she is hiding something. A past? No one is that perfect, no one is this kind. She’s a liar, she’s faking it, she has to be. Why is she such a light? She shines with beauty and love like the goddess Aphrodite. What am I crazy?

She probably has a boyfriend or fiance and even if she doesn’t why do I care? She’s just like the rest. She’s different and you know it says the voice inside my head. How can she be? What is it about her that draws me like a moth to a flame. Her eyes? Her hair? That smile….

Gosh that smile could kill….

I stare at the clock and decide that I should pack up and head back home, clear my head from her. Just as I go to close my laptop the phone rings,

“Speak” I demand.

“You know I love it when you boss me around” Purrs a voice.

“Who is this?” I question.

“The woman who shows you a good time on the regular” She says.

I think hard to see who I have been toying with recently. Oh gosh it’s Destiny.

“Destiny what do you want!?” I yell.

“Calm down baby. I just wanted to tell you that I have decided to come with you to your business conference next week.” She says as if she is doing me a favor.

“I really don’t care if you come or not” I tell her brutally.

“Well I’m sure the cameras will miss me so I will go” She huffs and hangs up the phone.

God I really need to start screwing woman who have at least some sense. Shit.

I get in my car and start to drive home, as the driver stops the car due to traffic my gaze shifts to the rainfall outside. The drops of rain falling hard against the pavement, the water flying from the pressure to form puddles on the ground.

Rain…

The sound of rain brought back many times of darkness, times when it was all I could feel… I look around the street to see people rushing to get in a cab, fighting over who goes in and who doesn’t. Men and women pulling their kids with them, people yelling and screaming at the sky as if it was to blame for the rain.

Then I see her again…

She’s leaving a coffee house, Layla and Mark’s Coffee House reads the sign. She exits the building and looks up towards the sky, her large square shaped glasses being covered with the droplets. She takes out her hand to catch some of the rain, she pulls down her hood and lets the rain fall over her dark curly locks. She slightly shakes her head and smiles at the sky.

Then she starts to walk, slowly and freely. The car moves in the same direction as her until she turns left, by instinct my hand goes up to the window. My eyes fall to my hand which seems to feel cold.

I shake my head aggressively and growl internally. How could I let something so stupid affect me? I am Roman Darren I do not care for woman I remind myself. My mind cooperates,but my heart reminisces the time I spent with her. Her quirks, her eyes, her smile, her habits…

I grab the bottle of whiskey in front of me and pour some into the glass. I swirl the drink around and take a sip. Focus Roman….Focus.

Chapter Four

Adeline’s P.O.V

A week has passed since I have started the job. Each morning a list of tasks would be emailed to me. The past week was pretty much just finishing the work that hadn’t been done yet. There were no meetings as everyone has been focused on the business conference that is happening in two days. Mr Darren has informed everyone that will be there to arrive at the hotel at 6:00 am and set up for 8:00 am.

He has made it pretty clear that nothing can go wrong with this conference, he seems extremely eager to get fundings and investments for our research and development team.

I have been having lunch with Jax and Riley (who is an extremely funny woman who works with the human resources department). Nya and I have gotten to know each other a lot better and she is a lot more shy then she seems. She eats lunch with us once in a while otherwise her boyfriend comes to pick her up.

Today has gone by pretty quickly as the preparation was all done yesterday. I have just finished typing up the schedules for everyone who is attending and emailed them to Mr Darren. My work is over and I head to Mr Darren’s office.

I gently knock at his door.

“Come in” He demands, over the past week I have learnt that he does not speak at a normal tone, it is either demanding or yelling.

“Mr Darren I have completed today’s work. Is there anything else you would like me to do?” I ask.

He looks up at me and nods me over to one of his seats, “Take the pass in front of you, it is for the conference on Monday, do not be late.” He says.

“Is there anything el-” I start, but he cuts me off.

“You’re done for the day, you may leave.” He says sternly.

I nod, “Have a good weekend sir, I’ll see you Monday” I say and smile.

He looks at me and holds my gaze for a second until he goes back to his work. Even though he does not reply back I like to wish him a good night, force of habit I guess.

I head back home and change into a pair of sweatpants and a long sleeve. I grab my camera and head out to take some photos. I decide to go to main street which is a place full of little shops and cafe’s. By the corner there is a beautiful park and bridge and on the other side there is an adorable flower shop. I remind myself to stop by there to pick up some flowers for Willow as she was just promoted.

I arrive and start at the park and bridge and take a few close up shots there, I walk around taking pictures of shops, alleyways and the evening sky. I look through all my photos and smile at the progress I have made. I put my camera into my backpack and head to Petals, the flower shop.

Dylan Darren’s P.O.V (Roman’s Father)

I head home after having dinner with my daughter, she decides to go home and return tomorrow morning to spend the weekend with us. Roman had said he would come visit tomorrow but that boy can’t keep a promise. I drive by main street and see a small flower shop, Petals says the sign.

Why not pick up some flowers for my wife? I park my car and head inside.

Knowing how much my wife loves blue orchids, I search around for a bundle of those. There is one bundle left, as I walk towards them a young woman catches my eye, she picks up the orchids and smiles.

She looks towards me and smiles, she hands me the bundle.

“How did you know I wanted these?” I ask her amused.

“Well sir your smile did drop as soon as I picked them up.” She says.

“Are you sure?” I ask the beautiful young lady.

“Yes I am and I am sure that my friend much prefers these pink roses.” She tells me.

“Thank you young lady” I tell her sincerely, she nods and smiles in my direction.

Her aroma is so similar to Vivian’s (His wife). She is graceful, beautiful, kind and radiant. I wish Rome found a woman like her, but I know well not to interfere with his personal life.

I head to the counter and see her helping out the owner, an old woman. She skillfully binds together flowers and hands them to the customer with a smile on her face. She wraps up her own roses and puts $10 in the cash register.

I head up and she takes the orchids and wraps them into a lovely white bow.

“If I may ask who are these for?” She questions.

“My wife.” I smile.

“Well I believe that she will adore them.” She tells me.

“They are her favorite” I tell her.

“She has good taste.” She says, I nod.

I look at her placing the flowers into a thin vase, she seems like a rose in a garden full of bushes. Her beauty shines from outside and within.

She hand them to me gently, “have a nice night” She tells me.

“What about the money?” I ask her.

“It is rare to see a man who still buys his wife flowers. Don’t worry about it, it’s on me” She says.

“You are a remarkable young woman” I tell her sincerely.

“Thank you sir. Have a good night.” She says with a gentle smile.

“You too” I say.

I drive home, smiling at this woman who hands a millionaire a bundle of flowers for free. Being in this business I have seen people make me and my family pay more than we need to just because we have money but this woman who sees me drive a Ferrari and dress in an ARMANI suit gives me $20 flowers for free. She pays for them for me.

I arrive at my mansion.

“Honey these are for you” I say to my wife as I teasingly get on my knees and bow my head while handing her the bouquet.

“Why thank you kind sir. They are lovely.” She mocks me and places a kiss on my cheek.

We head to our patio and I tell her all about the woman from the florist shop.

“That’s amazing, what a kind woman.” She remarks, surprised.

“It feels good to know that there are people in the world like her” I say.

“It does, I hope our son can find a woman like that” She says.

“Me too” I whisper as we both look into the evening sky…

Roman’s P.O.V

Tip, tap, tip, tap, tip, tap, tip, tap

The rain has formed a rhythm against the window of my bedroom. There was lightning too, I could hear it’s loud rumbling against the ground. They both sung out loudly, the wind that surrounds them was moving at a fast pace, I felt it against my skin.

I carefully walked around my room until I reached the window, careful to avoid any furniture around me. I touched what I felt was like a window sill, I raised my hand higher until it lays upon the handle. I pulled it down and the window shut. The sound of rain was still there, but faded. Like a memory that cracks against your skull begging to enter. I huffed and felt for my bed. I lay’d down and heard the faint noise, but all of a sudden the darkness I saw disappeared…

I saw her. 

Adeline. 

Her smile as she spoke to the young boy on the street. 

The sound of the rain had stopped and all I heard was her laugh, it sounded like music to my ears. Her eyes were shining, her skin seemed so radiant and soft to touch.

I abruptly woke from the dream. What was that? My mind was racing as I realized it was a memory from my past. But….

Why was she there?

Why did all the darkness clear when her face appeared?

Why is she affecting me like this?

How did she take away all the darkness with her smile?

My mind raced with questions, my heart pounded in my chest. I rolled over to check the time. It was 3:15 am, Monday morning. I had my conference today. I turned to see Destiny scattered there. Her body bare and her face caked with makeup. She looked revolting.

I got up and put on my clothing from last night. I left her apartment, memories of being at a bar last night reminding me of why I was at her place in the first place.

After today’s conference I need to drop her, look for a better distraction. She is of no use. Women like her are only good for one night. I decide to head back to mine.

The drive there was just as irritating as that dream. Her smile clouded my vision, her laugh ringed in my ears, my hands twitched- yearning to touch her soft skin and my heart continued to prance. My mind shouted, screamed, yelled at my heart to stop.

She’s just like the rest Rome

Man-up Rome, you don’t care for her

She is just some girl.

It called to my heart. Repeated hateful words like a mantra in my head, but my heart… it won’t listen. It seems lost in her thoughts. The way her body was hugged in that pencil skirt, how no one could resist smiling back to her and her adorable glasses that made her face seem longer. She chewed a pen as she worked or how she hummed so beautifully, when she spoke, words fell of her tongue so perfectly. Her words are so beautifully hers.

I ran into my place and headed to take a cold shower. I place my palms against the tiled wall.

Focus Rome.

You have to be on your A game today.

You will not fail.

Win the investments.

Get the Contracts.

Gaze into Adaline’s big chocolate brown eyes…. wait what?

No no no Rome. You do not care about her. She is just some girl. Fire her. But her work is so perfect, so is she. What a girl….

No no no.

I slammed my hand against the tiled wall. I was done. The time was nearing 5 am. I got dressed and head to my office to pick up the needed files for today. I rushed in and out of the building. Shaking my head as I see the security guard asleep.

I arrive at the Conference Hall and realize that there is no one there but the employees who are setting up the rooms. I decide to grab some breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant. I sit by the window with an omelette and a cup of coffee black. I eat my breakfast silently as my thoughts are kept haunted by my dream. I look outside to see a girl working away at her laptop. only her eyes are visible. She seems to be intently reading something.

Her petite hands rush through her small grey backpack. She pulls out a pair of black framed glasses and my head does a double take. I look at her again, my mind knowing exactly who it was.

Those eyes….

Those glasses…

They have haunted me all night and I don’t need to second guess the assumption that they belong to her.

Adeline.

She shuts her laptop and stands up. I suck in a breath at her appearance. Her hair is straightened; it falls down her back. She is wearing a pair of thigh hugging black trousers with a red fitted top that has a V on both sides. She pulls the glasses to the top of her head and smiles. She packs her supplies and pulls out her conference pass. She checks her phone and begins to head indoors.

Her eyes lock with mine and she freezes. I let out a shaky breath.

I dont know for how long we both just gazed into each others eyes.

Too soon she averted her eyes and sent me a small smile as she quickly walked back inside. She almost seemed ashamed as she hung her head low.

I got up and headed towards our conference room. I was stopped by the hotel manager. She is a woman in her late 50’s. She clearly smoked and was wearing a dress too tight for her body as the seams were clearly ripping. Her face was caked with makeup and she looked me up and down like a cougar. She kept rambling about how amazing I was. I forced out a thanks and walked by her to the conference room, Adeline’s there…. said the voice inside my head.

Adeline’s there.

Chapter Five

Adeline’s P.O.V

I sat on the bench outside the hotel. I read the presentation thoroughly, memorizing it so I will be able to inform any investors about the company. I rise and decide that I should probably get into the room and set up. I check my phone and the time reads 5:30.

I start walking back until his gaze catches mine.

My boss…

He and I stare at each other for a lot longer than we should. I avert my gaze as I feel blood rush to my cheeks. I look up and see him still so focused on me.

Strange, I think.

I send him a small smile as I walk into the conference room. I go in and connect the company laptop to the projector. I wait for the screen to pop up only to realize that the projector is lopsided and displaying the image off key.

I pull open the top of the projector and bend down so I can fix the display. I work on it for a few minutes until it’s done. I feel a presence in the room, I turn around to see Mr Darren…

“Good Morning Mr Darren. The projector was broken so I just adjusted the display.” I explain to him.

He looks at me inquisitively, “How do you know how to fix a projector Ms Jules?” He asks.

Surprised by his question, I begin to ramble. “Well my brother and I used to fix cars at an old mechanic shop so I guess I picked up some techniques. Although-” I cut myself off.

He nods his head and sits down by the computer.

I set up the boards and put the graphs on the stands. While doing so I continue to feel his gaze on my back. I try to ignore it but it feels as though he’ll burn a hole through my head. I put up the last stand.

I turn around to see him right behind me, I bump into him and am about to trip but his strong grip keeps me in place. I suck in a breath…

He tilts his head looking my face up and down slowly and it feels as though his gaze spends more time looking at my lips.

“Mr Darren.” I whisper.

He snaps out of his daze and lets me go. After adjusting his suit he goes back and sits down at his side of the desk. He opens up his laptop and starts typing furiously. I set up the desks by placing a water bottle and a company pamphlet in front of each seat. I place a bottle of water by Mr Darren, his eyes glued to the screen.

“Excuse me” I hear.

I look up to see a man who looks to be in his late 20’s- early 30’s.

“Sorry to bother you but we needed to get some information filled out by Mr Darren.” He says as he walks forward, holding my gaze.

Mr Darren stands up and goes towards him, taking the file, and starts writing.

“I’m Josh by the way.” He says as he hold out his hand to shake.

“Adeline” I say as I return his shake.

He smiles in my direction and I let go of his hand. I head back over to my seat and pull out my itinerary. Mr Darren finishes the file and hands it to him roughly. Josh sends me a wave on his way out. He goes back to his seat and sits down all grumpy.

“Are you okay sir?” I ask.

“I’m fine.” He responds through his teeth.

Deciding not to push it I get up from my seat and decide on getting a cup of coffee.

“I’m going to grab a cup of coffee, would you like something?” I ask him.

“Coffee, black” He responds.

Used to his bitter attitude I nod my head in response and head out of the room and go to the hotel cafe to grab the drinks.

I walk back into the room to see a young woman wearing a tight, short, strapless dress touching Mr Darren’s shoulder. Sitting in his seat is an older woman wearing a beautiful white dress, she seems to be disgusted.

“Here’s your coffee sir.” I say.

All three heads turn towards me. The woman who was wearing the tight black dress smiles, “oh goody the maid is here.” She says as she comes and grabs both cups of coffee from my hands. Taking one for herself (which is mine) and giving Mr Darren the other one.

“That’s my assistant Destiny and you’re drinking her coffee.” Mr Darren says to the girl who is named Destiny.

“It’s fine she can get another one.” Destiny says. Oh this must be one of his flings.

I turn to the woman who is sitting on the seat with the disgusted expressions and I smile at her, “would you like anything to drink madam?” I ask her.

She looks at me with a soft kind smile. “A herbal tea would be great. Thank you young lady.” She says gently. I nod in response.

I get another coffee and a tea for the woman.

I come back and hand her the tea and she smiles and whispers a thank you. She holds her head as she sips the tea.

“Are you okay madam?” I ask her concerned.

“Oh I’m okay, being around Rome’s bimbos just tires me out.” She says.

I hold back a laugh, she looks up at me and smiles.

“I’m Vivian by the way, his mother.” She says pointing at the “couple” in the hallway. Destiny is talking and Mr Darren is on his phone.

“Oh it’s nice to meet you Mrs Darren. I’m Adeline his assistant.” I say with a smile.

“Please call me Vivian. I have to say Adeline I’m shocked that a girl like you works for my son. In a good way though. You’re well behaved, kind, beautiful and mature. Normally the girls are rude, stupid and dress in clothes three sizes to small.” She says as she points to Destiny.

“You don’t sound very enthusiastic about her.” I say.

She rolls her eyes, “I just want my son to be with a real woman, not some bimbo.” She says and lets out a laugh.

“But truly how are you dealing with my son, he is a nightmare to work with.” She says.

“He isn’t bad I mean sure he can be rude and arrogant but at the end of the day he does it for the company.” I say.

She smiles at me with a radiant glint in her eyes.

“I like you Adeline, very much.” She says and I blush. Looking at my interlocked hands in my lap.

Vivian’s P.O.V (Roman’s mom)

Dear lord Destiny has to be the most self centered, annoying and disrespectful girl Rome has been with by far. Her voice is giving me a headache. I don’t know why my son is with a girl like that. I wish he would just let go of whatever is holding him back.

I miss my son who used to laugh….

I miss my son who would blush whenever the name of his girlfriend was brought up…

I miss my son who used to ask women out on dates, instead of using them…

I miss his smile…

Though something different happened today, he told Destiny that the coffee was Adeline’s expecting her to give it back. Though it is a small gesture it seems so big for him. He never cared for any of his assistants or how anyone treated them?

I look up at Adeline and see her talking to Mrs. Davidson, a new client of ours. She is smiling brightly, discussing our company with such intelligence and radiance.

Her eye catches mine and she smiles brightly, her eyes gleaming with kindness and I know it’s real.

She is so real…

I turn to Roman and see him talking to one of our oldest clients, discussing the new R and D progression. His eye seems to lightly move to the side every few seconds, specifically to where Adeline was. He excuses himself and goes to the bar for another drink, as he waits his eyes move to Adeline again.

But he is staring at her so gently…

There is no hate, lust or want in his eyes…

It looks like desire, confusion and care?

I look back at Adeline and see her move to the laptop restarting the presentation. She writes something down in her notebook.

She looks back up at me and walks my way.

“Are you enjoying yourself Mrs Darren?” She asks.

“Yes I am Ms Jules” I tease her.

“Sorry Vivian.” She says with a slight pout.

I smile wide, ” don’t worry about it Ember.” I say.

She raises her eyebrows, “I know your full name honey and I thought why not develop our friendship further with nicknames.” I tease her.

She smiles, “You are one of the coolest moms I have ever met.” She says.

“Well I am pretty cool” I say seriously, we both laugh.

She quiets down and smiles, “So cool mom, tell me more about you.” She says politely.

“Well besides being a cool mom 24/7. I have a daughter, named Rose who is busy with schooling. My husband is practically whom I’m with all the time but I am planning on getting a dog soon, I miss having someone to take care of.” I say honestly.

She nods, “No hobbies?” She asks.

“I used to love dancing up until I had Rome, then I guess I just loved my kids and husband more and left that behind.” I tell her.

“Well I think that’s remarkable of you.” She says.

I smile, “Ember, tell me about you.” I ask.

“There isn’t much to say about me.” She says and looks down.

“I think that you’re lying, everyone has something to say.” I tell her, she looks up confused, “What about your family?” I ask her.

“My parents passed away and I have an older brother Xavier but he lives pretty far away with his wife and daughter.” She says.

My smile drops, I place my hand on her shoulder. “I’m sorry-” I start but am cut off rudely by my son.

“I need you to go to conference room 5c and pick up the files that a Mr Matthews will give you.” He tells Ember sternly.

“Yes sir” She says and heads off giving me a smile.

As she exits the room, I go to my son.

“Rome what was that? Is that how I raised you to treat a woman?” I scold him.

“Ma she’s my assistant, I talk to her with authority not respect. Besides she’s just some girl.” He says averting his gaze near the end.

“Is that what you really think? Is she just some girl?” I ask him.

He looks up at me, his face softens “Yes” He says softly, “she is just some girl.” He says again.

“Then why are you constantly looking towards some girl, why do you care that Destiny disrespected some girl. why do you glare at any man who looks towards her?” I ask him.

I may be some old lady now, but I know each of my son’s habits by heart and in this one day I have seen him glare at more men than ever, just for looking at Adeline.

“I do not.” He says with his eyes staring at the ice which melts in his drink.

“Since when does my son lie to his own mother?” I question.

“Rome. hon. it’s okay you know. You can let yourself feel for her. She is amazing and kind and real-” He cuts me off.

“Dad called, he’s on his way up.” Rome says and leaves.

Just open up Rome

Please….

I hold back the tears in my eyes and walk towards the door awaiting my husband’s arrival.

Dylan (Rome’s dad) arrives and I head up towards him.

He smiles at me and bends down to hug me and place a kiss on my forehead.

“Hi honey.” I mumble into his shoulder.

“Is everything okay sweety?” He asks me sweetly.

“Can I fill you in later?” I ask him.

He nods and places another tender kiss upon my forehead. I lace our fingers together and we walk towards Rome.

As soon as we arrive, Rome is sitting at his desk, Adeline stands by him waiting for him to finish looking at the files. Her eyes meet mine and she smiles.

“Go.” Rome says to Adeline and she leaves again, I assume to return the files.

I look up at Dylan and see him awestruck. He looks at me and mouths, “that’s the flower shop girl”. I mouth back “Rome feels for her”. He gasps but nonetheless we both smile, content to witness what is about to happen in our son’s life.

Dylan and Rome head off into another room as I wait for Adeline to return so I can speak more with her…

Chapter Six

Roman’s P.O.V

I sat in the conference room with my father, explaining to him all the changes that I have made to his company since I have become the C.E.O.

“This is all amazing son. I’m proud of you, I hope you know that.” He says, his eyes gleaming with love and pride.

“I know Pa.” I tell him, averting my gaze and looking back at the laptop that sits in between us.

“You know Rome this past weekend I went to this little flower shop called Petals, thought I’d buy your mom some flowers.” He says.

I smile slightly.

“There was only one bundle of her favorite flowers, as soon as I went to get them someone else picked them up and then as soon as she saw me she handed them back.” He says.

I was intrigued by his passion for this kind of story, I placed my laptop down.

“She told me she would find others for her friends and gave me the orchids. She them smiled a beautiful, white, radiant smile and headed her way.” He continues.

Automatically Adeline’s smile flashes through my head.

The dream…

Her walking in the rain, as her hair drips with rain droplets.

I shake my head and continue listening.

“She helped out the old woman at the counter and bundled my flowers for me, I told her they were for my wife and she smiled telling me that she would love them. She bundled her own too and payed for BOTH of our flowers.”

I was surprised. I had heard several stories of people trying to rip our family off, but never of someone giving our family something for free.

“She sounds like an extraordinary woman doesn’t she?” My father questions.

“She does.”

“You know I saw her again and she w-” He gets cut off as my mother walks into the room.

“Dylan, can we go to the little cafe? I would really love a lemon cake right now.” Ma says.

“Of course honey.” My dad says and they both step out.

My parents are polar opposites in terms of personality. My mom speaks her mind and my father keeps quiet. This is what makes them the kind of married couple you envy. My mothers childish attitude always makes my dad happy, he never forgot to cherish her.

I watch them walk out the building, appreciating a view I dont get to see often…

I hear a knock at my door and turn around to see that man who was flirting with Adeline.

Josh, I think his name was.

“Can I help you?” I say rudely.

“Sorry to bother you sir, I was just looking for Adeline.” He says with a smirk.

“What do you want with my assistant?” I ask, upset as to why he was looking for her.

“Umm well sir I really liked her and was hoping to get her number” He says with a full smile.

“No” I tell him and move towards him.

“I don’t mean to be rude sir but that’s her decision not yours.” He says.

That ticks me off, I stand in front of him, jaw clenched and hands balled into fists.

“No means no. You are not to be in a 10 meter radius of my assistant. Understood?” I say sharply.

He nods his head, eyes distraught.

Just then Adeline walks in.

She looks up and smiles at Josh, who’s feared eyes are now gleaming with happiness.

“Sir, all the conferences has ended early, but the hotel manager has come to speak with you and Ms. Destiny is also waiting in the other room.” She says sweetly.

“Okay, follow me.” I tell her.

She smiles towards Josh again and waits for me at the door.

I start walking fast and she quickens her steps to meet mine, which I found funny as to our 6 inch height difference.

She puts on her glasses and starts to scribble something into her notebook.

We see the hotel manager and stop, it’s the same gross old lady who was trying to cougar me before.

“Mr Darren” she says, I notice she popped open more buttons from her dress and her body is kept captive in a very very tight dress. She looks revolting.

I look towards Adeline and see her keep in a laugh, the corners of my mouth slightly turn.

“What can I help you with?” I ask the manager, who’s name tag read Lindy.

“Well sugar I was just hoping you were planning on staying the night.” She says, fluttering her eyes which made her fake lashes move slightly.

I look through the corner of my eye and see Adeline let out a quiet giggle and cover her mouth with her notebook.

“I am leaving now. If you need someone for the night I am sure your husband would be glad.” I tell her rudely.

I start walking to our original conference room, Destiny is sitting there filing her nails and my parents are back.

Destiny squeals when she sees me and walks towards me and hugs me tightly smearing her foundation across my suit. I stand there waiting for her to finish.

My mom starts talking to Adeline and my dad shakes his head heartily. For some reason my heart swells watching her get along with my family. It brought a weird fluttering feeling to my stomach.

My mind races back to our earlier encounter, having her beautiful big brown eyes and soft lips only a few inches from my face.

If heaven was a place on earth I had just visited it.

She says something and my parents both start laughing loudly. I sit down which makes me closer to them. Destiny sits in my lap and starts playing with my tie while nibbling on my ear. I shake my head trying to get her to stop, does she have no shame?

” Adeline did you eat yet?” My father asks.

“Not yet sir. I got swamped with work. I’ll eat something when I get home.” She says.

She hasn’t eaten since the morning. it’s almost six now. I text my chauffeur telling him to pick up a meal and bringing it in ASAP.

“I told you to call me Dylan, Adeline and nonsense you must be so hungry come out with us.” My dad offers.

“I can’t. I have to leave soon so I can pick up Axel from the airport. Thank you for your offer though.” She says and my parents nod.

I stand up and walk out, with my mind clouded with thoughts about Adeline and this Axel person. Who was this guy? Why was she going to pick him up?

I turn around to see my chauffeur giving her the food and she smiles but nonetheless looks confused. I feel a weight lift off my shoulders.

My phone beeps and I see that it is a reminder that I have a meeting tonight, he needs to check and make sure everything is okay.

Adeline’s P.O.V

I ate my unexpected dinner as I drove to the airport to pick up Axel. I was still so shocked as to who had sent some food for me. It couldn’t have been Vivian or Dylan as they had offered to take me out, it couldn’t have been Destiny because well she’s just not that kind of woman, but that just leaves Mr. Darren.

Not a chance.

I’m just some other employee to him, he wouldn’t do so.

I pushed away these thoughts and pulled up to the ARRIVALS section of the airport and waited for Axel to walk through by the side of my car. Axel was supposed to return a week or so ago but decided to stay longer as his parents had decided to start touring the world next month.

He is a big mommy’s boy, which is adorable. He still calls his parents daily and has never forgotten a birthday, anniversary or mothers/fathers day. His parents and him were always close they didn’t even care that he was gay. They told him that as long as he was happy he could do whatever he wanted.

His family also accepted me and Willow as their own.

Willow and I are so excited he’s back. We’ve missed our best friend.

Especially Willow as she now has someone to go clubbing with, those two have always been the crazy ones.

I feel someone grab my waist and I quickly turn around to see Axel.

I smile wide and jump on him.

He laughs loudly and swings me around while hugging my body tightly.

“I missed you so much Ax.” I whisper to him.

“Right back at you Jules.” He says as he puts me down.

I look at him up and down and see that his hair is a lighter brown, he looks extremely tired and has a slight tan.

“Ready to go home?” I ask him.

He nods as he knows that Willow and I told him to stay with us for a while.

We get into the car and start to drive back towards the apartment as we start to catch each other up on what has happened.

“Trust me Jules there was this hottie on the plane with a jawline so sharp that I could have cut fruit with it. Oh and his stubble was just so yum. But unfortunately he was like 5’6 meaning too short for 6 foot me.” Axel says.

I laugh, as we turn onto another street, “you honestly can’t keep it in you pants Ax.” I tell him.

“Oh trust me hon it is worth it. Anyway what about you? Any hotties in your life?” He asks me.

My thoughts drift to the incident that happened in the conference room, his body being so close to mine, his eyes gazing at me softly.

My head shakes back to normal.

“Uh not at all. You know me I am not big in the dating game.” I tell him.

He scoffs, “you are so gorgeous, I’m sure there are guys dying to just sneak a glance at you.” He says.

“Well there is no guy so” I say as he cuts me off.

“Really, then how come Willow said you and your new boss are cooking up a little something.” He says with a smirk on his face.

“There is nothing like that at all. He literally looks down at me and barely speaks. Trust me he is just my boss, nothin more, nothin less.” I tell him.

“Yeah okayyyy sure.” He says and I can feel a blush creep onto the sides of my face.

“Wait stop by your old coffee shop I am craving a donut and coffee.” he says, I laugh and park the car at the side of the road as we both leave.

He grabs my jacket and drags me into the shop as he starts looking at the display like a two year old. I laugh and teasingly pinch his cheeks which he does not find funny. I laugh louder. He chuckles softly and gives me a side hug before placing his order.

“Jules you want anything?” He asks me.

“No I’m good Ax” I say with a smile.

I sit down at a table and pull out my phone to text Willow that we’ll be home soon. My gaze starts scanning my old place of employment and I recognize the three boys sitting in the back, my breath hitches as I see one looking back at me.

Carlos,

Damon,

and Mr Darren, the one who happens to be staring right at me.

I avert my gaze and Axel returns to our table with two donuts and a coffee. I look up at him and raise my eyebrow,

“Two donuts?” I ask him.

“Well I didn’t wanna look like a foodie so I just brought you one too and look it’s your favorite so eat it please.” He said with a pout.

I smiled lightly as we did a dorky donut tap as if they were champagne glasses.

I looked to my side and saw that the three men were leaving. Mr Darren’s eyes were still on me but, Carlos caught my gaze too and the three of them started walking towards us. Carlos and Damon looked happy, but Mr. Darren he just looked plain angry. Fists and jaw clenched.

Axel looked up at the three men and smiled brightly.

“Adeline it’s so nice to see you again.” Said Carlos.

“Nice to see you too Carlos.” I said.

Damon and I shared hellos too and I smiled lightly at my boss, before introducing Axel.

“This is Axel, my-” I was cut off by Axel’s cell phone ringing.

He got up and excused himself but returned quickly.

“It was Willow and she said and I quote’ get your asses home right now'” He said, I smiled lightly.

“Well it was great seeing you guys again.” I said.

“You too.” Said Damon

We picked up our food and started walking off,

“Good night Mr Darren.” I said to my boss, who nodded his head while staring at Axel and I.

We started walking off and Axel held my hand, not that I minded but he just never held my hand like this before, I looked at him and he just winked and smiled.

We got back into our car and just as I closed the door I saw Mr Darren’s limo pass by and his eyes were lingering right on mine.

Small world, he seems to be everywhere.

I get in my car and we drive back, Axel didn’t say a word and I assumed he was just tired, but the Cheshire cat smile on his face said otherwise.

We arrived home and he rushed to get upstairs after grabbing his duffel bag.

Willow and him exchanged huge hugs and started planning when they were going to go out and I just laughed, glad my two best friends were both back here and that everything was great.

In fact it was more than great.

Chapter Seven

Axel’s P.O.V

Yes I pulled a bit of an act at the coffee house. I cut off Willow’s phone call quickly so I could get back to the table, promising Willow I would fill her in.

See if Jules introduced me as her best friend the jealousy in Mr Hottie pants would have cooled down but for Adeline to see that she has feeling for him and vice versa he needs to think that Jules and I got something going on.

Plus a good looking man is threatened when another good looking man is near his girl.

My dear Jules has gone to bed early as she was exhausted so Willow and I laid down on the balcony and I explained to her what had happened today.

“I’m telling you Will as soon as he saw me with her his fists clenched, his eyes were glaring daggers into me and I swear he was biting his tongue too. He was so jealous of me being there with her.” I told her.

“You know even I think they have something going on. He likes her for sure, but Adeline probably doesn’t even recognize it yet. You know when I asked her if he was as big of a jerk as everyone said she just said he’s misunderstood. Oh and one day I dropped her off to her office and…

(Flashback in Willow’s P.O.V)

I dropped Ember off to her office. As soon as I pulled up Adeline grabbed her bag from the back of the car and when I looked up to see how big the building was I could see him staring at her from his window. But not in a creepy way, like he was longing for her, you know. It looked like he was in pain. 

(Back to Axel’s P.O.V)

I’m telling you Axel he looked so broken and it was as if he was looking at her like she was going to fix all the problems.” She finished.

We both sat back in silence taking the situation in.

“You think he’s hiding something?” I ask.

“I think he’s got some sort of past that made him so cold, when I found out about Ember’s job and when I started noticing his tactics I looked him up and apparently a few years ago his parents described his as a kid who was full of life. I think something happened to him.” She said.

Willow has always been extremely intuitive. She was amazing at understanding people, if she didn’t become a chef she would have gotten a psychology degree.

“What should we do?” I ask her.

“Ember needs to learn about him and get to know him on her own. As much as we want to we shouldn’t meddle. Our whole lives she’s been there for us no matter what is costed her, if this is her chance in meeting someone who truly loves her then I don’t want to do anything to ruin it.” She says.

“But I think your little stunt was a push in his direction, he’ll probably start trying to figure you out, your meaning in her life. I guess we’ll see. Plus she looked a little startled when we mentioned him maybe something happened.” She finishes.

“Well I for one think that him and her feel something for each other. I could feel the tension between them. Plus he is one hot man, like really smoking hot.” I say.

“Shut up Ax.” Willow says as she hits me with a pillow.

“Seriously just think what it would be like when they get together.” I say.

“They would look really hot together.” She says and we both smile.

“I’m excited for Jules, I think whatever is happening however small it may be now is gonna become something soon.” I say and she nods.

We both decide to call it a night and we head to our rooms.

Adeline’s P.O.V

I tried really hard to sleep, but his face is showing up everywhere.

His lips being so close to mine,

his eyes staring into mine begging me to do something,

anything.

His hands covering my waist as he pulled me forward.

The way his fists clench when I’m near another man.

The way his icy glare catches mine,

but it softens when our eyes meet.

I close my eyes again and attempt to sleep…

“Rome stop I need to work.” I say as Roman chases me around the office.

“You can work later, come kiss me now.” He says as he attempts to grab me.

I shoot up from my dream, checking the time it read 2 am. Ugh.

Adeline listen up here okay, nope, nope, nope.

He’s your boss remember.

Your boss.

B

O

S

S

I breath in deeply and lay back, trying to sleep again but, without any dreams like that.

Roman’s P.O.V

I tossed and turned trying to get some sleep, but her angelic face kept haunting me. My heart pounded so loudly in my chest, begging to see her as my mind yelled and screamed for some peace.

I turn and see her conference pass laying with the rest, her smiling face looks so radiant and I can’t bring my eyes away.

I close my eyes, trying to sleep but yet again I dream only of her.

“Adeline! Adeline!” I call for her.

“I’m here.” She says.

“Can you help me with my-” I turn around and stop as my words get caught in my throat.

The definition of beautiful stand in front of me.

Her hair curled and put into a low bun with her floor length red dress which has a slit that comes up mid thigh. She looked so gorgeous my eyes couldn’t stop wandering.

“What happened Rome?” She asks, placing her small hands on my shoulders.

“I needed um- I needed um” I try to find the words.

“Just say what you need.” She says with a small laugh.

“Kiss me” I say, she smiles and looks down with a blush.

I grab her waist and pull her towards me and she softly gasps. Her arms wrap around my neck and mine go further up in an attempt to pull her closer. She moves her lips closer and they hover over mine.

BEEP

BEEP

BEEP

I wake up abruptly and see that my alarm clock is buzzing, I pick it up and stare at it in anger.

Romans P.O.V

I sat before my desk at dusk. The sun wasn’t awake and the whiskey on my desk swirled with ice. Pillows and lamps were tossed across the room.

Why?

Because she won’t escape my mind.

Everywhere I look. Whomever I see. No ones smile compares and no ones eyes are as gorgeous. I lay my head back against the bridge of my chair. My heart pounded and my mind was loud. Every idea and thought was making me quiver.

I grabbed my medication and drops. Carefully placing then into my corneas and taking two pills with water. My eyes shut and I was back in that darkness again. The same dreams, the same thoughts cascaded my mind.

Her natural rose and coffee scented aroma filled my nose. My eyes shot open and there she was sitting on the window sill.

She looked out towards the rain that had just begun to pour,  rain drops hitting the tarmac hard. She wore a white silk dress and her natural hair fell down her back. Her hand was raised to feel the rain and her smile grew as each rain drop fell.

Her eyes moved to meet mine and it that moment she disappeared.

I got up abruptly and ran towards the sill.

My right hand clumped into a fist and hit the wall above me, why is she doing this to me? Why?

I sat by the sill staring out at the rain,

in hopes that if I stare long enough she’ll return.

IN THE MORNING

I woke up, my head laid against my window. The sun was bright against my face and the heat radiating off was an unusual warmth, one I liked.

My eyes opened and closed again, not used to the bright morning sun.

I got up and walked back into my bedroom, I checked the clock and realized I needed to be at the office in

30 MINUTES?!

I ran my hand through my hair, this won’t do.

I have never slept in or been late. Roman Darren, the CEO has never done that!

I called in at my office and left a message to inform the receptionist that I will be working from home today and to send Ms Jules here using the company car.

I dressed into something appropriate and chowed down a protein shake and bacon.

I walked into my office and opened up my laptop and began typing away.

Responding to emails,

accepting and declining event requests,

planning business meetings,

checking company stocks

and so much more that my mind was still processing.

My maid buzzed and I let her in.

“Roman, your assistant is here, shall I send her in?” She asked.

I nodded.

My maid has been working with my family for ages, she’s practically like a second mother. She is definitely not afraid to scold me when needed.

It’s nice to have someone who doesn’t need to fear you, it keeps me humane.

I hear a gentle knock at my door and it creaks open.

In walks Adeline in a nude pencil skirt and a blue lace top that extenuate her curves. Her hair is straightened and she has clipped the sides up into a half up bun.

She looked breathtaking, immensely beautiful.

“I apologize for the change of office, but for today I just need you to email out all the invitations for our business launch party and hire our usual caterers and bar tenders.” I tell her. I don’t usually apologize to someone but she had made an adjustment out of the blue which I felt I need to apologize for.

“Yes sir” She says, and goes to the table set up in my office.

Realizing that she will be in front of my eyes all day, I panicked. I couldn’t focus with her in the room so I decided that I need to keep her busy.

“Ms Jules, inform my maid that I need a cup of coffee, black.” I said and she whispered a yes and headed out.

Moments later, her phone rung.

Knowing that it would be rude to answer, I let it ring until it went to voicemail,

Please leave your message after the tone,

Hey Ember get your fat ass home soon tonight, we’re ALL going out tonight to get turnt, See you soon hun

My fists clenched against my keyboard, it’s that fucking asshole from the coffee house.

How dare he?

Who the hell talks like that?

There is no way she is going home early for this, in fact she can stay late tonight.

What does he think, he can just steal her like that.

What am I saying?

I don’t own her, she can do as she wants. I’ll let her go early tonight.

I can’t be territorial over something that isn’t mine.

Something that can never be mine.

Adeline opens the door and brings in a cup of coffee and a coaster, she places both on my desk.

A piece of her hair falls out of her bun as she places it down.

Without knowing what I was doing, my hands went up to tuck the strands of hair behind her ear, my hand cupped her cheek and I just looked into her deep eyes, which seemed to be endless,

until my laptop pinged.

RE: MEDICAL

Dear Mr Darren,

This is a reminder that your 5 year surgery check up is in a week from today. Due to the seriousity of this surgery we must keep you for overnight observation. Thank you.

Dr. Benjamin
Health Care Professional
Optometrist –Specialist
Hope Hospital

Chapter Eight

Adeline’s P.O.V

I rushed back to my desk and finished my task at hand. How can he be named the devil of the business world and hold me so gently, like if he held me to hard I would shatter.

His eyes looked torn, as if he was trying to hold it together. How can someone have the world in their hands but still have lost so much.

I shook my head and checked my phone, I had a voicemail from Axel but decided to leave that till later. I looked up to see Mr Darren looking right at me, he almost looked happy.

I quickly ducked my head and sent out the remaining emails.

“Mr Darren, all the work is done for today. I made copies of each task and have placed them on the company drive. Is there anything else?” I said, trying to avoid his piercing gaze which was set on me.

“No you may leave early, goodbye.” He said and averted his gaze.

“Goodbye.” I whispered.

This has got to be the first time he has ever said goodbye or even replied to my polite gesture. I am shocked, I wonder what brought on the change.

I left his home and decided I would walk back.

The memory of him holding my face so gently cascades my mind. His beautiful eyes, his wind swept hair, his calloused but soft hands.

The light smile that fell on his lips.

The wind blew my hair backwards and I lifted my hand to push back the strands of hair that flew in front of my face. The wind kissed my skin so lightly and my heart wished it was his hand fixing my hair for me.

I felt crazy, insane.

How can I be so cliche?

My entire life I’ve lived by the rules, no risks and no secrets. Everything was pure and simple, that’s practically how I am.

Why do I feel so daring and complicated, why am I feeling in ways that I shouldn’t?

Is this just attraction?

I was brought back from my thoughts by my phone buzzing, a reminder of the voicemail on my phone. I brought the phone up to my ear and pressed play…

Hey Ember get your fine self home soon tonight, we’re ALL going out tonight to get turnt, See you soon hun

I laughed lightly to myself as I knew there was no way I could fake sick or make up an excuse tonight. I sighed and raked my hand through my hair, thinking of what I had in my closet appropriate for a club.

I reached home and headed to my room.

I plopped down onto my bed and closed my eyes letting out a loud comforting sigh at the feeling of my memory foam mattress.

Home Sweet Home 

I opened my eyes and saw his face hovered over mine.

I shut my eyes and opened them again and he was gone. What is wrong with me? Why am I behaving like a teenage girl who just got her first crush?

Come on Ade, it’s just a silly crush, nothing more girl.

I texted Axel asking his where and when I’m supposed to meet them, he replied instantly thanking me for not being stubborn and telling me to reach SUNSET at 10pm.

Seeing as I had a lot of time I ran a bubble Epsom salt bath to soothe myself. I played some music and went into the tub.

I sat there for maybe two hours before I reluctantly stood up and wrapped a towel around myself. I put on my slippers and headed to my closet.

I picked up my nude heels and my red body-con dress with a V neckline. I layed them both onto my bed and decided to do my hair and makeup first. I curled my hair tightly and applied some simple makeup; eyeliner, dark red lipstick and mascara.

I put on my heels and grabbed my phone, slipping two $20 bills into the case. I went to the front of my building and called a cab to take me to SUNSET.

At the Club- Adeline’s P.O.V

Axel and Willow were taking shots next to me.

One after the other the two were completely drunk, they both looked at each other and smiled wide, their teeth shining in the light.

They grabbed my hand and dragged me onto the dance floor with them.

They started swinging their hips and moving their lips,

They kept pushing  me to dance and my hips couldn’t handle the steadiness, so I started to groove. My hips moved to the beat and all those dance parties were paying off as my hips started to shake in a rhythmic way.

Axel and Willow shouted happily. They started to match my rhythm and groove with me. Some guys tried to grab my hips but I pushed them away. Never been that kind of girl. Axel and Willow started to salsa with one another and I knew that meant I could slip away.

I headed to the bathroom, but a tall figure staring at me caught my eye. He stepped into the light and my eyes widened when I realized it was Mr Darren.

“Uh, hello sir.” I said confused as to what to do.

“You have the rest of the week off, I’ll be out of town.” He said not meeting my gaze.

“Alright have a safe trip.” I said with a smile.

He nodded his head and left the club, strange I thought. Did he come all the way here to tell me that? Was he just coincidentally here?

I decided to leave it but then my thoughts went back to the email on his laptop, I didn’t see much besides Optometrist and overnight observation.

I mean why would he tell me about his personal business. Why am I worrying?

I sat by the bar and drank my lemon and cucumber soda.

Strange day…

Roman’s P.O.V

I walked out of the club as fast as I could, practically running to my car.

A few moments before…

I had walked into the club for a drink, I wasn’t one to go out alone but I needed something strong. But before I could even get to the bar a red dress caught my eye.

Beautifully sculpted legs with a light tan,

a perfect length body hugging dress,

bouncy curls swaying,

and the most amazing smile in the world.

Adeline was in the middle of the dance floor grooving her hips in a rhythm that was driving me insane. Her hips shook side to side incredibly.

I didn’t even realize when she stopped and made her way towards me, I quickly said a few words and left.

I got into my car and instructed the driver to head towards my parents home. The ride there was silent, I refused to concentrate on her so I simply did my emailing and work in my car laptop. I felt my chest tighten and my head pound.

As soon as I arrived I used my key and headed inside, our house maid told me that my parents are out for a walk and should be returning shortly.

“Tell them I’ll just be resting in my room.” I instructed her.

She nodded her head in understanding.

I headed to my childhood bedroom. Blue walls and soccer trophies. Tons of pictures covered the bookshelf, I really wasn’t much of a reader but as a child I had a huge collection of ARCHIE comics and Geronimo Stilton books. I walked to my nightstand where I kept a large family photo.

My mum, dad, sister Rose and I.

This was right after Rose’s high school graduation.

One of my last happy memories.

We all stood alongside one another with our arms wrapped around each other.

Rose and I had scrunched our faces up at one another in fake pure disgust.

Even in heels she stand at 5’2, making her face look adorable on such a petite body, she looked like a child. I missed my sister, I really did.

Above my bed was a huge trophy case filled with soccer, squash, business and technology awards that I had won between 6th grade and 2nd year of university.

I tossed my stuff aside and changed into sweats and a t-shirt.

I laid down in bed while massaging my forehead.

It has been years since I had dated a woman seriously and I was never planning on doing so again, it was never even an issue because I was simply never attracted to a woman like that.

Then why am I being punished like this years later.

I turned over and stared at my red desk lamp, it kept flickering until it went off…

I heard a knock on my door and my parents came in.

I smiled gently at them as my mum pushed past my father and wrapped her arms tightly around me while repeating “my baby’s home”.

My father chuckled in the background, laughing at my mom’s antics.

I hugged her back gently, her lavender smell suffocating my breath.

My dad came and gave me a side hug, while trying to pry my mum off me.

“Honey I think he’s turning blue.” My dad said.

“I’m sorry this is just the first time he’s ever come home on his own, without any blackmail.” She said while reluctantly letting me go.

My parents told me to come down and join them for some coffee and cookies and as typical as it is my mom does make the world’s best cookies.

I headed out until something caught my eye, it was a cane hidden under my desk. My smile dipped downwards and I ran down the stairs to the garden.

I sat with my parents, dazed and not really paying attention.

“So Rome how is Adeline? I really miss that girl, she’s such a light.” My mum said.

My chest tightened slightly.

“Fine.” I replied while reaching for another cookie.

“Well you know if she wants I can set her up with a very nice man-” I cut her off,

“Ma I don’t think her love life is any of my business.” I said.

She just lightly smiled and gave my dad a side look.

” How are the preparations going for the ball?” My dad asked.

“Pretty good, just a few small details left.” I said

“Will Adeline be there?” My mum asked.

“She is my assistant so I guess so.” I said a little annoyed my mom kept bringing her up.

“Oh goody, then we can go dress shopping together.” My mom said happily.

“What about Rose?” I ask.

“She can come too.” She said.

My parents eventually got wrapped up in conversation so I pulled out my phone and decided to reply back to doctor Benjamin, telling him that I will be there on time and that overnight observation is fine.

“So Rome I was wondering if you wanted us to go with you to your appointment?” My dad asked.

“I’ll be fine.” I said

” Well we would like to come.” He said.

“It’s your choice.” I replied.

“Its pretty late I should head to bed. Goodnight.” I said.

I started to walk back towards my room as I heard faint goodbyes, I stopped when I heard them mention my name.

“I worry about Rome.” My mum says.

“We’re doing our best, at this point he has to help himself.” Says my dad.

“I wish he would just go back to being happy.” She says a little squeakily, meaning she was crying.

“He was blind for five years of his life, how do we help him recover from that.” My dad says.

“I want him to let us help him.” She says.

“We all do honey.” My dad says.

I head back to my room and rush to the back of my closet, rummaging through random clothes, books and games until I find it.

Chapter Nine

Roman’s P.O.V

I rushed through the closet as fast as I could and found the box.

An old red cardboard box with my name written across the top with sharpie; it’s not exactly a memory box.

It’s a chapter of my life confined in a small space.

The 5 years I was blind are trapped in here.

I open the lid carefully and pull out my walking stick, a fold-able black with a handmade grip. This was my guide to the real world for five years, the years that should have been some of the best of my life.

The box was filled with walking sticks, old medication boxes and everything that was associated with my temporary blindness.

It was my fault it even happened.

In short, a really severe motorcycle incident that disturbed my optic nerve and put me in the hospital for months. I couldn’t even walk for part of it.

Under everything in the box there were two things I had always avoided to touch, my helmet and a tape recorder.

The helmet had an image of Damon, Carlos and I from high school slipped beneath the visor.

The tape recorder was my vocal journal throughout those years. I opened the box and played the first ever tape,

Hey people,

it’s day one of being blind. The doctor says I should have my vision back in no time, which is great so I can finally shave on my own because right now I am pretty sure that Rose has cut off half my skin.

Hey, it’s not easy and I think I did a pretty good job. (Rose in background)

Hahaha, yeah sure. Anyway this is a huge lifestyle change but I’ll be okay I mean come on this is Roman Cole Darren. Like I am too suave. 

Gotta go, Peace.

I wiped away the fresh wave of tears that sprinkled across my cheeks, then pulled out the last vocal journal entry.

It’s killing me.

Staying in a room and waiting for my death.

It’s been five years yet it feels like a lifetime has past.

I feel like a child who needs a nanny to do everything.

I’m sick of falling, I’m sick of waking up to darkness and sleeping with darkness.

Dr Benjamin says that after tomorrow’s surgery my eye sight will return, but it’s too late I guess my soul escaped with my eye sight and they both wont be coming back.

I regret my choices so much, I took sunshine for granted, colors for granted, the look of trees and my family for granted.

I took my life for granted.

That was the last vocal journal recorded. I would have never thought that I would fall so low. I was never the person to go through trauma or pain because of my positive attitude , I grew up in an amazing household. I was incredibly close to my family and had great friends. My career was set but my parents always let me know that if I wanted to do something else with my life I had free will to do so.

It drives me insane that I have changed this much.

The years that should have been some of the best years of my life were destroyed. I lost purpose.

I miss me.

I miss my happiness.

I want it back.

I want it back so badly. I want to feel emotions beside anger and sadness. I’m off my anti-depressants but I feel no different.

I want to be my mum’s son again, the one who stuck to her like glue.

I want to make my family happy again for all the right reasons.

The door creaked open and my parents walked in, they saw my red eyes and the opened box in front of me.

“I’m ready. I wanna be me again” I said as more tears escaped my eyes.

My parents ran in with tears already falling down their face and hugged me and in this moment I feel as though I’ll be okay.

Adeline’s P.O.V (The next morning)

Axel and Willow were fighting over the remote again. Axel wanted to watch the bachelor while Willow wanted to see the Cupcake Showdown on the food network. I walked over to the TV and pulled the plug.

They both started to whine,

“Zip it both of you, I am trying to do some work.” I said.

“Why are you working on your day off?”Asked Axel.

I opened my mouth to answer, but Willow beat me to it.

“This is how she feels connected to her boss.” Willow said dramatically, I rolled my eyes.

“Awe does Willow miss her boyfriend?” Said Axel teasingly.

“Not my boyfriend” I replied.

“Yeah but he could be, didn’t you notice how jealous Axel made him the other day?” Said Willow. Her eyes widened extremely after that.

I looked between them both confused.

“Ignore me.” Willow said as she attempted to leave.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

Axel sighed,” long story short, when you picked me up from the airport I might have acted like your boyfriend, but only to see if your boss liked you or not. So my crazy ways proved that he is so into you, like girl that man wanted to cut me up.” He said.

“AXEL, are you crazy why would you do that?” I asked angrily.

“I just wanted to make sure that this guy won’t be like the last okay. You deserve a guy who is only nuts about you and you only.” He said.

“In his own crazy way he was looking out for you.” Says Willow.

“I didn’t mean to upset you Ember.” He said.

“It’s fine.” I said as I slumped down onto the couch.

“I like him, I think. I don’t know it’s just when he’s close to me or when he looks directly at me or when he says my name I get giddy on the inside.” I say honestly.

“It’s called a crush.” Willow says.

“Oh please he’s my boss.” I say.

“So?” Axel says.

Before I can respond my phone buzzes and I walk over to the table where I placed it.

“Who is it?” Axel asks.

“It’s Mrs Darren, I mean Vivian, she wants me to come over today for lunch and to buy our dresses for the ball.” I say.

“Awe look you’re so close to your in-laws.” Says Willow with a spoonful of chocolate ice cream.

Roman’s P.O.V

Rose had come in this morning and we have been talking since 8 am. I told her all about last night and how I was finally ready to deal with that chapter of my life. She cried from happiness as she and I had grown distant. We caught each other up on our lives and we are both extremely happy with this new decision I have made.

My parents asked me about therapy, which I declined kindly.

The gesture was sweet, but I truly don’t need anyone other than my family and friends right now.

All four of us are gathered around the patio outside, my mother has informed us all that she has invited someone over for the day and they will be joining us for breakfast.

“Do I know this person?” Rose asked for the tenth time.

“Child asking a question over and over again won’t make me respond. I made you, where do you think you get your curiosity from?” My mom responded with sass.

“Then shouldn’t you just tell me because you know how much it sucks to have unanswered questions.” She replied.

“Nope, simply because I don’t want to.” She said while sticking out her tongue childishly.

My father and I laughed.

My ma has always been like this, she is more of a child than we are.

My dad said it is one the reasons he fell in love with her, she kept his world refreshing and exciting.

As breakfast was placed on the table the doorbell rang which my mother raced to answer. A few moments later she walked in and my head sprung up at the sound of the too familiar laugh.

There stood Adeline in all her glory.

She was wearing dark washed jeans and a tight white V neck tucked in.

Her hair was tightly curled and she was laughing brightly at something my mother had said.

I turned to see my sister smirking at me as she rushed up to introduce herself to her.

“Hi I’m Rose it’s nice to meet you.” She said while pulling Adeline in for a hug.

“Hey, I’m Adeline it’s nice to put a face to the name.” She said.

“Oh gosh what has my mother told you?” Rose asked.

“Nothing to be concerned over.” Adeline said with a wink.

They laughed and my dad stood up to greet Adeline.

“Rose I invited Adeline to go shopping with us today so we can pick out gowns for the ball coming up.” My mom told Rose.

“Thank the lord, I thought I would be stuck with you and dad again.” Rose said dramatically.

“Well than you’ll be happy to hear that all of us are going. Right Rome?” My mom directed at me.

“Of course.” I said with a smile.

As we all start breakfast and make conversation as we eat I feel a tap on my hand, I look over to see Adeline trying to get my attention.

“What’s wrong?” I whisper.

“I just wanted to make sure you were okay with me being here sir.” She whispered, I grinned internally, laughing at the fact that she was being so professional.

“I’m glad you’re here and outside of work it’s Rome.” I whispered back.

“Thank you, I’m glad Vivian invited me Rome.” She whispered with a smile.

I nodded and smiled with a cheeky grin as I liked the sound of my name on her tongue.

“So Adeline any idea what you wanna get for the ball?” Rose asked.

“Something elegant and simple I guess.” She said.

“Definitely red.” My mom said as she sipped her coffee.

“Why red?” Adeline asked, she tilted her head slightly and furrowed her eyebrows. Adorable.

“Because red is definitely your colour, like blue looks amazing on Rose.” My mom said.

“Thank you. I never really thought that though. I always believed red, orange and yellow didn’t go well with my complexion.” She said.

“Oh trust my mom girl.” Rose said.

Adeline and my mom both smiled while my mom teasingly flipped her hair backwards, my dad rolled his eyes playfully and my mom pushed him lightly.

I looked over at Adeline and saw her watch their interaction with sad eyes.

Maybe it has to do with her deceased parents I think while making a mental note of that in my head.

*****Time Skip to the Gown and Tuxedo Boutique*****

Adeline’s P.O.V

The men had separated from us as they went to pick out their tuxes. The three of us had picked out dresses on our own for a little while and then decided to come together and pick out dresses together.

The boutique is stunning, it has four floors, chandeliers, snacks and champagne wandering around with assistants and the pricing isn’t crazy ridiculous either.

As I wandered the gigantic boutique I came across a mannequin.

It was a gorgeous floor length ball gown, it was a medium blue with a mermaid cut and a strapless neckline.

“That would look great on you.” I turn around and see Rose, I laugh.

“Oh gosh no, I was looking at this for you.” I tell her.

“Vivian, shouldn’t Rose try this on?” I ask.

“Duh, I’ll go get an assistant to put it in her room. Good eye Ember.” Vivian says and I smile at her.

We look around for a little while longer until a gown at the corner of the store pulls me eye, the gown was placed behind a new sequined one, hiding it from a viewer.

I went behind and smiled at the beauty of the dress.

A red gown with a cut that went up mid thigh, it had long sleeves that were off the shoulder with a deep V neckline which wasn’t too low, but just enough cleavage.

“Yes yes yes yes yes yes.” I turned around to see both Vivian and Rose.

“That is so your dress.” Rose said.

All three of us headed to the fitting rooms, Vivian insisted that I try this one on first as she knew this was the perfect dress.

I put the dress on and the assistant zipped it up for me.

I walked out and the girls went crazy, and as soon as I looked into the mirror I was so sure this was my dress. It hugged every curve of my body so perfectly and lengthened me beautifully.

Rose ended up choosing the dress I picked out and Vivian bought a white gown with a fitted waist that looked stunning on her.

As the boutique was so large Vivian wanted us to stay and shop for a while longer.

The men had finished and were waiting for us on the couches.

I ended up buying two new blouses; one for me and the other for Willow. There was this dress on this display at the front of the store which I found and tried on.

This was an army green dress that had mesh sleeves and a sweetheart neckline that was covered by the mesh, it ended right above my knees

As I zipped the dress up I walked out to the mirrored area.

I liked the dress for sure, it was a perfect dress for a nice dinner of an executive meeting.

I looked into the mirror and saw Rome looking at me from the couches, his eyes looked me up and down softly until our eyes met in the mirror.

He smiled a full smile showing his pearly whites, and put up two thumbs up and mouthed “beautiful”.

I mouthed back, “thank you” and he smiled in return before returning back to his phone.

I knew right then I was gonna buy this dress.

Chapter Ten

Rome’s P.O.V

It was past dinner time.

We had all gathered back at home after prying Rose away from the store. It was an odd day as I was back with my family in a more carefree environment ,and had Adeline with me. Her presence entices me more and more each time. She never questioned my change in behavior or referenced to a time where I behaved irrationally.
She just simply lives.

No questions.

No restraints.

Just an attitude that makes her shine.

Rose has heart eyes for Adeline as she wouldn’t stop talking to her on the way back. I swear I saw hearts floating around her head. Rose had made her way to the kitchen to prepare her famous double chocolate sandwich after scarfing down her dinner.

Ma and pa were in the living room dancing to soft music. Swaying; left and right. I leaned my head against the side of the wall and my body relaxed as I watched them sway.  Effortlessly and  deeply in love. There was an aroma that filled the room, maybe it was love.

I always said that love was weird, especially the kind that lasts a lifetime. How do you stay true to who you were when you first fell in love and not change from the drastic measures life gives you.

How does love just stay in love?

Everything in life moves at full speed so how can love stay still, how can love be frozen?

How am I full of doubt when my parents are a living fairy tale?

They laugh softly and continue to dance as my ma had moved to stand on my father’s feet complaining that her little legs are too short. I leave them be and look for the one that wandered off after dinner.

I move towards the balcony and see a figure sitting in the back garden against a pillar. I walk towards her and see a glowing Adeline with her eyes closed, softly humming a beautiful melody. Her beautiful voice echoes softly and the moon is no match for the radiating sound of her voice. Her curls have softened and they fall over her shoulders.

Adeline is simply breathtaking.

Her eyes closed, but I know every detail of them once they’re open.

Her lips shaping to notes as she hums, but her smile is still clear as day in my mind.

Her aura is so welcoming and so pure that one feels as if they’re drowning in her presence.

I trip over the chair on the balcony, foolishly forgetting that there was more around me then just her. I fall head first and hear her coming towards me.

I turn around, my eyes closed.

Blurry from the fall my eyes couldn’t see clearly until her face was a few inches from mine.

“Are you alright?” she asked. Her eyebrows pulled together in worry. her eyes scanned my face, my arms and then right on to my eyes to check for any signs of pain.

The only thing that hurt was my heart, but I couldn’t tell her that. I couldn’t tell her it hurt to be around her because she wasn’t mine. Or maybe it hurt because I knew I could never have her.

Nevertheless I spoke.

“I’m okay” I said.

She shook her head in agreement. She got up and offered me her hand, which I gladly accepted.

Her hands were soft and small.

When I was standing fully I noticed how much taller my frame was to hers and how her head was right in front of my heart. My eyes never left hers and the silence around us was threatening. Neither one of us moved and neither one wanted to. Or at least I hoped she wouldn’t.

She smiled softly and let go of my hand.

She walked towards the ledge of the balcony and stood up.

“Be careful” I said.

“If I was to fall would you catch me?” she asked.

Her move was bold, and her question even bolder.

“Do you have a doubt I wouldn’t?” I replied.

She smiled, “when it comes to you I don’t know what to expect.” she replied truthfully.

Her answer hurt, but it was honest. I am not predictable and often times I have been ruthless with her. It is obvious this change in behavior has her wondering.

I smiled and walked towards Adeline and stood on the opposite side of the ledge. Both of us are now a few inches from falling 100 meters to the ground.

“Expect me to save you” I said as I took a step towards her.

Her eyebrow rose in confusion.

“Expect me to stare, expect that I call you at 2 in the morning just to hear your voice and expect nothing less than loyalty” I said walking towards her with every step.

A few feet from her I slipped.

I braced myself as I expected to fall, but she had other plans.

She grabbed my shoulders and pulled me up.

“Expect me to need you, because you are my saving grace” I said.

“You make no sense to me. How did I save you? We barely know one another. I am your employee.” She said.

“Can I ask you to be my friend first?” I don’t know what this is or why this is, but I know I need you in my life as more than a 9 to 5 worker.” I said.

She chuckled.

“I don’t know I don’t make friends so easily. Especially with my bosses.” Adeline says.

“I’ll do whatever it takes.” I replied smirking.

“I just want your honesty, no games, no lies and no tricks. Just the real you.” She said.

“Then that’s exactly who I’ll be” I said.

She nodded her head, and turned around to walk a way but after a few steps she spoke.

“Please don’t expect anything from me. I’m not the person everyone thinks I am and I especially am not the kind of girl you need.” She says without turning around.

“That may be so but maybe you’re the kind of girl I want.” I say moving closer.

“Wants are temporary. Needs are forever.” She says as she walks away.

I go to respond, but she’s already out of plain sight.

Now that is a real mystery- what does she mean? I move to look through the closest window and see her mingling with my family.

She dances foolishly with Rose- and my heart swells at the sight.

This can’t be temporary.