Chapter Five

Stop, or my mom will shoot

Adrian's POV

Forgive me father, for I have sinned.

Or whatever the hell people do. Last night, I was watching Easy A, and that's what Olive said. Not that I watch chick flicks, of course. It was an accident. Hey, I heard the phrase "dirty skank", so obviously, I was hooked. Yes, girls, sigh all you want. Guys will always be the same.

I don't get it. Giggly girls with their butterflies and smiles and pink…ness. It's all so disgusting. The shorter the skirt, the more repulsive the whore. No, guys don't like dating a whore. We just like looking. Maybe a one night stand, but that's about it.

Shocking? It should be. Every time I walk around somewhere, I can barely see all the pink and wide, white smiles. It's a little dizzying, to be honest. Next thing you know, you've got girls hanging off your shoulder like bags.

It's like that movie I was talking about, Easy A. Once you have a reputation, it sticks. Sure, I've slept with a few girls, but that's only because I get bored. I hate being alone. But that's another story altogether. So I sleep with them. Big deal. It's not I like I love them or anything.

Seeing couples in my school sticking to each other like glue, it makes me sick to the stomach. For god's sake, why can't anyone make out the difference between love and obsession anymore? We all get obsessed. Love, is another thing. Love is something we'll never experience at this age. Maybe when we're thirty and married and have kids, and responsibilities.

But no, they throw around the word "love" like an empty coke can. And in a couple of months? They get bored of each other. It's the worst thing about attention, it gets distracted very easily. Take it from someone who knows. You see pretty legs, don't worry, you'll find someone with better lips, or long, wavy hair that might catch your attention. There's always something.

I'm going off topic, where was I? Right. Forgive me, father. It's always interesting to find someone who's different from the others. You see a black dog amidst white ones, of course that's the one that catches your attention. So yes, the loud mouthed annoying girl caught my attention.

And, by word, what a pain this one was. I thought pink eyeliner and high pitched giggles were annoying, turns out there are worse. Snide comments and sarcastic comebacks. Towards me. Who did this girl think she was?

If I asked her this, she'd give that smirk I'm starting to get used to, and reply by saying her name. She won't even do it softly. She'd do it out loud, to make me look like an idiot.

She sounds annoying, doesn't she? Trust me; what you're picturing isn't annoying enough. Don't get me wrong, she's rather attractive. Long brown hair, cute nose, the works. But then, she opens her mouth. Maybe if she just smiled and giggled like the rest, she might have gotten a screw. But no, she had to go be the smart-ass.

I have to rewind before I get to the next part. I have a crap family life. I don't like talking about it, it's quite depressing. And depressing means only one thing. Alcohol. So obviously, I resorted to alcohol, completely forgetting about some lame school project thing. By the time Valentina arrived, I was smashed.

But here's the surprise. Instead of being the annoying piss off that she usually is, she actually helped me out. We fell asleep (yes, that's all, what an insult to my manhood), and when we woke up, my favourite person in the world was there to say hello.

My mother. Well, Darien, before that. But he's harmless. He's just some guy who has a big, ridiculously obvious crush on her, and the whole world knows it except for her. Oh well, petty details. No, my mother arrived after that to grace us with her presence.

See, my mother is the only person in the world who knows how to get under my skin. Half the reason my life was so screwed up was because of her. She immediately suspected Valentina was a maid, so obviously I went along with it. Anything to irritate my mother. But then I pushed it, by saying all kinds of crap like Valentina was my girlfriend and I invited her out to dinner.

What was I thinking?

Forgive me father, for I have sinned, indeed.

So that brings us to here, the awkward moment at the dining hall of L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon waiting for Valentina to show up. My mother was dressed impeccably, as always, probably to show the maid what she was getting into.

I sighed, and looked at my watch. Valentina insisted I didn't pick her up, she said she would get here herself. Maybe I gave her the wrong time.

"Sorry I'm late!" I heard skidding, and a young woman joined us at the table. Yes, young woman. This creature was definitely not Valentina. I frowned.

She was wearing an exquisite silvery-black dress with a dangerously low neckline, her hair was half tied and fell into curls below her shoulder, she smelled amazing and it was all quite breath taking. She had a little blush on her cheeks, or maybe she was just flustered. Dangling silver was sparkling from her earlobes, but most of the shine was coming from her eyes. She looked…beautiful.

"My poor dear," breathed my mother in shock, "is that a Valentino Garavani?"

Whoever the hell that was. I didn't know whether my mother was talking about the dress or the perfume. I just found it amusing that this fellow's name was so close to Valentina's. I smiled.

Valentina gave a twinkling laugh. "It is, yes! I found it amidst all these beautiful dresses, but hey, it's impossible to give this one a pass. Gosh, Adrian, stop smirking, there's still a one letter difference."

My smile vanished, as the frown came back. What was with this girl today? She was actually acting like…a woman. Not just any woman, but a charming, elegant graceful woman with a sense of humour. I cleared my throat.

"What would you like?" I asked her, completely ignoring my mother.

"Wait now, Adrian," said my mother, smirking. Oh no. I could almost smell the humiliation entering the room. "Is that the way you treat your girlfriend?"

Exactly was I was afraid of. I knew we wouldn't be able to pull it off! But no, anything to prove her wrong. I leant over, almost determinedly, and gave Valentina a kiss on the cheek. I could hear Valentina gasp, but she quickly covered it with a cough. That almost felt nice. Her cheek was soft and…no, snap out of it.

I saw my mother scowl out of the corner of my eye. This was a famous scowl, one I had gotten used to over the years. It meant a tantrum was coming up. You see, my mother grew up a spoilt, bratty girl and now sadly, is the same. There's not much that can be done, but if you believe in safety first, be careful of the temper.

"So tell me," she said, "how many houses do you work in?"

Oh shit.

To my surprise, Valentina smiled and I saw a twinkle in her eye. "Just yours," she said sweetly, "if would feel as if I were betraying Adrian if I worked anywhere else." She laughed. This was getting a little too retarded now.

"What do you want for dinner?" I asked, sighing. "It's all complicated, so ask me and I'll tell you what it is."

Valentina grinned. "I'll have a caille farcie de foie gras et caramelise, please," she said without looking at the menu. "I'd suggest the pommes purée truffée, Mrs. Samuels," she continued, "it's lovely."

What the hell? Valentina had been here before? She was supposed to be acting like a maid, and so far, she was doing a terrible job. Wow, the one time I need her to be herself, she had to screw everything up. Although I was impressed with the charm, sophistication and manners, I missed the loud-mouth insensitive brat that I was getting used to.

"How would you know?" asked my mother, glaring at Valentina. "You're a maid. You clean floors and wash dishes. You don't afford Valentina Garavanis, and you don't know the difference between a loaf of bread and a pastry. So you can stop this silly act once and for all."

"Silly act?" Valentina's eyes widened. "The only reason I know all this is because of your dear son's influence."

"My dear son," said my mother, bitingly, "doesn't deserve or appreciate what he has. So I doubt he'd pass anything to you, when he doesn't value anything."

I had to stop her before she got to far. I opened my mouth to say something, but was interrupted by Valentina.

"Maybe," she said, "what he values, you don't give him."

"Really?" my mother raised her eyebrows. "Which is what? What does he not have? Designer clothes, expensive cars, a big house, a hundred servants, and my looks."

"Love," snapped Valentina. "Have you ever heard of it?"

I was too scared to say anything at this moment. It was the perfect time to act like the hero, but I was frozen to my spot, and it looked like my mother was in the same condition. Here she was, a stranger who loved pulling my leg, sitting in front of me looking like an angel talking back to my mother, saying so sharply the words I had been dying to say for years.


My mother got up from the table. "I don't need to hear this," she spat, "Adrian, give your maid the dinner – I couldn't care less. Just don't subject me to this torture. She's fired." She continued, without even glancing at Valentina, "I'm flying to Italy tomorrow morning. You might want to say goodbye in the morning, so I suggest you be back by morning."

She gave me a cold look, and walked away. I sighed, and sank into my chair.

Valentina awkwardly cleared her throat. "Did I just lose my non-existing job? Shit. Didn't even make it there for a week, this sucks."

I grinned. "I'm sorry," I said, rubbing my forehead, "you didn't have to experience all that."

"Don't worry," said Valentina, "I had fun playing the part. Did I overdo it though? With the fancy dress? I borrowed it from a friend. It's uncomfortable as hell."

"You look," I paused, "beautiful."

Valentina turned crimson and bit her lip. "Thanks."

I paused.

"But you're a maid. You played the part of…"

"Your girlfriend," finished Valentina, smiling. "Hey, I figured no girlfriend of yours could be dressed in anything less than gorgeous, right? Be it a maid or a movie star. I'm sure you'll take good care of whoever you go out with."

I laughed. "Girlfriends are overrated."

Valentina raised her eyebrow. "A quick screw is better?"

I frowned. "No, I meant…No. Sorry. That came out wrong."

I didn't know why, but all of a sudden, I didn't want her thinking of me like that. "Do you want to order?" I asked her, lamely.

"No," she said, smiling, "come on, let's get out of here. Look, we'll go to my place, grab some leftovers, I'll change into my pyjamas, we'll sit on the couch and watch The Notebook. How does that sound?"

"Could be switch The Notebook with Wild Things?" I asked her with a wicked grin.

She crunched up her nose in a cute way. "No, not allowed. Listen, if you get all guy-ish and gamer-ish and gross with me, I'll make you listen to Lady Gaga. So I suggest you stop now."

"I actually like Lady Gaga," I said, sounding offended. "Okay, you're right, let's get out of here."

"Yeah," said Valentina, "we can catch the bus and…" she saw my expression, stopped and sighed. "Where's the ride?" she asked in a bored tone.

"The Bugatti Veyron is outside," I said laughing and stepping to the side, "after you, madam."

A/N – I am so sorry for the late update! (But check out my poetry skills – late update, is anyone else impressed?) I had tons of things to do, but here you go. Yike Monster-in-Law all over again, right? Haha, no, but really, they're bonding! Is anyone else excited? And you guys are amazing.

Over 1500 hits with 5 chapters? That's just so aww-worthy. Thank you so much. Well, anyway, I'm in a big, big rush so no time for replies, but don't stop reviewing. You'll all get your replies next chapter, and also lots of fun things with Adrian and Valentina! I was actually surprised to see that many of my readers want Val and Darien to end up together. Quite interesting, actually.

Well, you'll have to wait and watch. But drop by a review and you'll get a return gift consisting of a hug, wrapped up in chocolate with a reply attached. Bye bye, dearies!

Much love!