After a short walk, Jesse and I arrived at the last building on this grand estate.
I stopped for a moment to take in the fine architecture all around me.
He opened the door for me, took a step back, and I proceeded forward with careful steps.
Who would’ve thought that the pool would be encased in such fine glass and pillars… Statues surrounded the water and there were cool marble stones beneath my feet.
As my eyes wandered around, they soon fell upon a figure across the pool that I had not noticed before.
He was dressed in elegant clothing, and had great posture even whilst sitting down. Did I forget to mention he was handsome too?
He smiled at me while rising, and I quickly looked away. “Well, well well… This is the new lady I’ve been hearing so much about.” he said with a smile. “Shut up, I haven’t said much.” Jesse said jokingly. I could feel my face turning red.
The mysterious and handsome stranger took a step closer to me. He looked at my face, then my legs, then back to my face then turned to Jesse and said, “You sure can pick them.”
“Shut up.” Jesse said once more in reply. I subconsciously began to stroke my hair with my hands; placing any loose strands in place.
“I still I can’t believe you passed, Jesse has gotten so strict with the whole selection ever since… Well let’s just say a long time.” Jesse seemed calm but the way the stranger stopped midsentence seemed a bit odd. But since Jesse maintained his composure, I did as well and disregarded the little exchange. “I honestly didn’t do much…” I said.
After a few minutes of exchanging greetings by the poolside, Jesse suggested we go outside in order to escape the strong smell of chlorine in the air.
As we stood outside, I noticed that both guys were looking at me, and not speaking. I just smiled and attempted to keep the blood from rushing to my face.
“How about I explain the reason for me being here, inside.” the stranger said. Jesse agreed, and I nodded.
We walked into the house from one of the side doors. The only seats available were the one right beside Jesse on the couch, and one to the right of the stranger. I didn’t know if I should sit next to Jesse, or across… Would he get offended if I refused to sit next to him? A strange feeling of shyness came over me and I pretended to be distracted by a painting on the wall in order to avoid making a decision just yet…
“I promise I don’t bite.” he said teasingly. “I know, I was just looking at something.” I said as calm as I could. I swiftly walked over and sat down beside him as if the entire debate in my head had not occurred.
“Well first off, I apologize for being incredibly rude; I am Ace, Ace Moreau. Sorry for not introducing myself sooner.” he said with a dazzling smile.
I nodded slowly and said, “I’m Arianna” “I know.” he replied. “Can we get to the point, Ace?” Jesse said.
“Alright, alright…” Ace responded. “Well, I have some business I need to take care of in Chasville next weekend, and I was wondering if you two would be interested in coming. It’s only a short flight and honestly flying alone on the private jet gets boring after a while…” Another rich kid. Of course. “…plus you haven’t seen Rachel in a while… have you, Jesse?”
“No I haven’t…” Jesse said, losing the smile on his face. Rachel… Who’s Rachel?
“Well as honored as I am for being asked to come Mr. Moreau…” Jesse said sarcastically. “Why would we tag along with you on a business trip? You need to make the offer worthwhile, my friend.” he added wile gesturing to himself and then me. Ace laughed, and replied by saying. “Well you see naïve Jesse. My meeting is only one hour. During that time you and your pal here can spend time with Rachel. I already called her, and told her you are planning on coming…” “You did?” Jesse said interrupting Ace.
“Yes I did.” Ace replied. “Anyways, as I was saying… I’ll meet up with you guys afterwards and we can look around town and buy some things to eat. Afterwards we say bye to Rachel then fly back before nightfall. You really don’t need to bring anything, it’s practically a day trip.” he says. “A day trip you give us a week’s notice for?” Jesse teased.
“What can I say? I’m a gentleman.” Ace says with a grin. “Jokes aside, that actually sounds fun.” Jesse said. “Why the tone of surprise?” Ace said smugly. “I always think of good ideas.” he added. “I’m up for it, are you?” Jesse asked. I was slightly thrown off at the question. Who am I to impose on whatever plans and lifestyle these people have.
“Are you joking? I’m here to work remember.” I said. “Hey now, there’s already a billion other people here to run things.” Ace said. I did notice quite the staff at the estate… which then raises the question: why did Jesse feel the need to hire me?… I felt foolish for not having thought of this earlier. I guess I was too busy counting my blessings. I stared at him questioningly. I could feel him shift away. “Well?” Ace asked. It appears Jesse was leaving this choice up to me. I was about to decline but Mr. Caffrey’s words echoed in my mind. “Be sure to keep a close eye on the little master…” “I guess, I don’t see why not.” I said.
“Great then it’s settled!” Ace said hopping up. “I guess I’ll see you guys next week.”
I had planned to speak with Jesse in the time before our weekend excursion. But he appeared to be avoiding me. Nana May and Mr. Caffrey, along with the rest of the staff who left to tend to the preparations for the dinner at the Wayne’s overseas estate, returned for a brief time before leaving again to repeat the event at another location. The house returned to it’s emptiness and I began to questions Jesse’s intentions for hiring me even more. No other staff member was even close to our age range. And like Jesse mentioned on Saturday, we were essentially alone excluding those who tended to the yard and gates.
My duties were essentially non-existent for this first week. I did some cleaning here and there, helped the kitchen staff prepare Jesse’s dinner a few nights, and aided in the garden mostly. Mr. Caffrey checked in via e-mail twice: on Monday and Thursday. And before I knew it, Saturday rolled around. Jesse spoke to me for the first time in days telling me to get ready at around eleven in the morning. He was waiting outside my door. As I was pinning some of my loose hair back, I could hear Ace come up and join him.
“She’s actually pretty cute.” I could make out Ace say. “’Why the tone of surprise?’” Jesse said in reply, quoting his friend from last week. “I’m just saying she’s attractive that’s all.” Ace said. “Don’t you already have a gorgeous girlfriend?” Jesse said. “I’m not so sure she’ll like hearing you hit on other girls.” he added. “I am not hitting on her. And just because I’m in a relationship that doesn’t mean I don’t point out cute girls cute when I see them.” Were they talking about me? My heart was pounding so loud I was afraid they’d hear it. I walked out after waiting a minute or two after they quieted down. “Let’s go.” Ace said and we were off.
From the window of the plane I noticed the ranging colors of the trees… Chasville was more rural than the rest of the bustling cities in our country. A lot more undisturbed in terms of development. I’d never flown before, but was surprisingly ok. And since we were flying privately, and not out of the country, no passport was needed.
The flight was short as Ace had mentioned, and a car was waiting when we arrived to take us up a long road with large houses… I began to try and picture how our host would look like…. Rachel was her name I believe. I know I didn’t imagine Jesse’s change in tone when Ace brought her up. Who exactly is she?
Due to Jesse’s attempts to steer clear of me all week. I wasn’t exactly sure as to what was going on. Why he hired me, where we were going, what exactly I was supposed to be doing… This whole week gave me nothing but time to build up more questions, and find answers to none. The drive was silent.
We then arrived at the fence to a lone house atop the hill. I began to scan the area, it was quite large. No surprise there.
There was a brunette standing a few yards from where we were. She called out. “Are you guys going to stand there or are you going to come and say something to me…”
Jesse who was standing by my side looked at me and excused himself as he went to greet his friend. I on the other hand attempted to peer into the window to see how the interior of the house looked like. If no one was going to tell me anything, I guess I am going to have to deduce things myself…
I couldn’t help but stare when I saw the way they embraced one another…
“Hahaha you don’t have anything to worry about.” Ace said as he approached me. “They are just friends.” “What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked. “I see the way you look at him. You look like you have a bit of a one-sided crush on Jesse.” “I do not!” I said in protest. But my quick reply only seemed to make Ace think he was right. He gave me a smug smile.
“You have gotten even more handsome since the last time I’ve seen you.” The girl said. She had an attractive voice. I wanted to look over but then Ace would just use that against me.
“I don’t even know that much about him, so how could I like him?” I said. “Riiight.” he said with a crooked smile. “Anyways, I’d appreciate it if you’d refrain from saying things like that…” I said.
“Besides, I thought you said you had a meeting; why are you dressed like that?” I said pointing to his outfit.
“Nice try at changing the subject. But if you really are curious, my assistant has my suit waiting for me at the office building. I am stepping in for my dad at one of his business ventures.” That’s impressive… It appears he has more layers to his personality than the initial impression he gave.
Ace’s phone vibrated and as he took it out to text a reply I took the opportunity to glance at Jesse. His expression turned concerned as he said. “You look tired Rach, have you been taking care of yourself?”
Ace’s phone vibrated again, this time it was a phone call. He began to talk in a serious tone explaining some sort of procedure. I gave him his space and walked forward a bit and pretended to admire the flowerbeds by the stairs, while in actuality, I was tuning in on Jesse and Rachel’s every word.
“Is that Arianna?” the girl suddenly whispered. Upon hearing my name my heart pounded. “Yeah it is.” he replied. “How did you know?” “All of the gang is talking about it…” “Jesse Wayne, finally letting a girl into his life, even a helper… It’s still pretty big news. I mean ever since….” Rachel stopped herself mid-sentence like Ace did last week by the pool. My curiosity was peaked once more. “Arianna why don’t you come here for a sec.” Jesse said calmly. I walked over and greeted Rachel, she replied just as warmly.
“I hope he isn’t driving you crazy yet.” she said. “He is a very picky person, and a child at heart.” “You aren’t helping.” Jesse said. “I know.” she replied with a laugh. Jesse laughed as well. I just smiled, but on the inside I held some curiosity towards the real relationship between these two…
Suddenly Ace called out, “Rach I am going inside.” He calmly walked towards the door as if it was his own home. “Knock yourself out.” she called back. These three seemed to have a really close relationship. “Why don’t we go inside as well.” Rachel said. She began to talk to me as we walked towards her house.
Jesse took a moment to look at us from behind with an expression I couldn’t name. It looked like one of nostalgia. He then followed us inside.
As soon as he entered and shut the door behind him, I decided that it was my mission for our time in Chasville to collect some more information about Ace and Rachel, and the connection they had to Jesse, and of course the answer to the obvious question, how I fit into all of this.
Thanks for reading! This chapter was quite a bit longer than the others, but hopefully not too long. And yay, some new characters :p Incase you couldn’t deduce this already, the story takes place in a fictional country that has a prime minister as well as a royal family. But all of that info will be revealed with some more time. Until then, take care~