Marry A Millionaire?

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Literary_Dreamer, Jun 4, 2014.

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  1. May 12

    The sun shone down on the palms of Monte Carlo as a shiny black Bentley pulled up in front of the Café de Paris. The back door opened with a pop and a young man in white trousers and a blue blazer stepped out. His fedora was tilted back on his blond head and his sunglasses were mirrored, showing the crowd of natives and tourists alike rather than the expression in his eyes as he scanned the terrace. A dark haired young man waved lazily from a perfectly placed table. The young man from the car then turned and spoke softly to a person still seated in the back of the car. He closed the door and the Bentley pulled away as he walked towards his friend.

    “Long time, no see,” said the young man at the table. “Ahoy, mon capitaine.”

    “Let me see, what was that English word again? Ah, yes. Fuck you,” the first young man said as he took his seat across from his friend. He spoke with a French accent that was just strong enough to be distinctive and which contrasted neatly with his friend’s strongly posh London accent.

    “Has it grown a sense of humour while I was away?” the other young man laughed. “Mummy take you sailing?”

    Tais-toi, I have a headache,” the first young man grumbled.

    “Aw, Sasha, it’s your birthday. You should at least pretend to be happy.”

    “Don’t bother. My birthday is one of my least favourite days of the year,” Sasha answered. “Tonight I have to go to that stupid fête mechante. Je veux pas aller. Je veux pas aller.

    “Well, I think I know something that will cheer you up,” his friend said.

    “A cigarette? I could really use a smoke right about now.” Sasha didn’t miss the glance from the passing waiter who looked very eager for a chance to rat on one of the rich brats he was forced to serve and get them a fine for smoking in a prohibited area, not that a fine would mean much to Sasha or his friend.

    “No, but you can have a cigarette once we leave, I’m about ready to go.” He grinned as he waved down the waiter and asked for his check.

    “Matt…” Sasha said warily, “this isn’t another one of your…”

    “Of my what?” Matt asked, signing the receipt then looking up at his French friend. “Oh, you don’t have to worry. I’m not planning anything illegal or defaming. I promise.”

    “You promised before.”

    “Mummy dearest isn’t going to get her knickers in a twist over this. Come on.”

    Matt walked out of the café with a purposeful stride with Sasha following warily behind. He stopped just before a sleek red convertible Ferrari with its top down. “What do you think?”

    Une cabriolet. Elle est belle. Elle est magnifique. Elle est parfait,” Sasha said.

    Elle est à toi,” Matt told his friend and grinned even wider at Sasha’s dumbstruck expression.

    “Mine?” he asked, forcing himself back into English.

    “All yours. I saw her and I thought of you. She’s not new or anything but I thought that was better. You can feel less guilty about accepting her because she’s already a 2012.”

    “I was expecting a watch.”

    “You already have a watch.”

    “I already have a car.”

    “But not this one.”

    “Fine, how much?”


    “I’ll buy her from you.”

    “You’ll buy your birthday present from me?”

    “How much?”

    “Not that much.”

    “How much?”

    “I won’t let you buy it.”


    “It’s just a car and I want you to have it. Why don’t we take it out for a drive and then you can decide?”

    Connard,” Sasha muttered, knowing that he wouldn’t be able to let go of the car the moment he got behind the wheel.


    August 25

    “So, what do you think?” Matt asked.

    “It’s a nice view,” Sasha answered.

    “I did good, finding this place, didn’t I?” Matt continued, not expecting any further comments from Sasha. “I could get used to it. I think we should keep this place until we graduate.”

    Euh, ouais,” Sasha agreed distractedly, caught in the view he’d had so little to say about.

    “I’ll have to have Cindy come and take a look at the place sometime next week.”


    “My cousin, she’s an interior decorator and she made me promise to let her take a look every time I move somewhere new. She says men have no sense of style. In my case, she might be right.” Matt laughed.

    Sasha started to laugh as well when the vibration of his phone in his pocket cut him short. He glanced briefly at the caller ID before answering it—the caller ID read Nathalie Meunier.

    Bonjour,” he said.

    Bonjour,” came his mother’s voice on the other end. For a while, she’d insisted on speaking to him in English because English was the way of the future but she’d since given up because her own English was not as good as she thought it should be and she defaulted back to French more than she liked. “Es-tu à l’appartement avec Matthew?

    Euh, oui. Je suis là.

    Bon. D’accord. Bon. Alors, tu sais que ta fiancée assistera l’université où tu assistes maintenant?

    Euh, non. Je sais pas ça.

    Alors, c’est vrai, et toi, tu habiteras avec elle.

    Comment? J’habite avec Matthew.

    Pas plus.


    Pas mais. Maintenant, tu habites avec ta fiancée à cette adresse.” Sasha’s mother gave him an address and told him that he had better have moved in by the end of the week and then hung up before he could protest.

    “What was that?” Matthew asked.

    “My fiancée is going to be attending this university with us,” Sasha answered.

    “Your mum is really determined with that, isn’t she?”

    “She wants me to live with her.”

    “Huh, I thought she would be more conservative about that…wait. What?”

    “I’m going to be moving into an apartment of my mother’s choosing to live with my fiancée.”

    “Do you even know the girl’s name?”


    “Okay, so you know her name, but you haven’t met her before. Are you okay with this?”

    “It’s not worth it to fight with my mother about this. She’ll win. She always wins. I’d better start packing.”

    It would have been easy for Matt to fall into the trap of believing that he was more worked up over Nathalie Meunier’s insane level of control over her son’s life than Sasha was but a good hard look at those distant blue eyes told Matt that such an assumption would be false.


    September 1

    P’tain.” Sasha pulled the second to last cigarette out of the pack with an air of resignation and a mental note to order more Gauloises Yellows. He was going through his supply more rapidly than he’d expected. He’d smoked more in the past week than he normally did in a month. He leaned against the railing of his balcony as he placed the cigarette on his lip. His fiancée apparently had asthma, so he was forbidden to smoke in the apartment but that wasn’t going to stop him, even if it was a ploy by his mother to get him to quit smoking and he wouldn’t put it past her to do something like that.

    It had been three days since Sasha had gotten the last of his things moved into his new penthouse apartment. He hated to admit it, but this building and apartment were nicer than what Matt had found. He had just gotten his room arranged the way he liked it and was starting to settle in and get used to the Portuguese maid who came to clean and restock the pantry but things were about to be upset again tomorrow. His fiancée would be arriving tomorrow, one o’clock sharp, or so he’d been told, and she would be invading the space he was just beginning to feel could possibly be his.

    Sasha had long been aware of his engagement to Miss Marietta Nicoliya Dulviar-Kiepersol Rosewood and he’d accepted it…but only so long as she was far away and unknowable, it seemed. Intellectually, Sasha always knew that he would have to meet and spend time with Marietta, that was a requirement for marriage, after all, though one wouldn’t know it by looking at the Meuniers because Sasha had not seen his parents spend more than an hour together at a time and it had apparently been that way ever since he’d been born, but he didn’t actually want to meet and spend time with Marietta. He didn’t want to marry her. He wanted nothing to do with her.

    It was all in vain, of course, his agitation. He would meet her, spend time with her, marry her, and have children with her. After that, they could perhaps go their separate ways. Worrying about what would happen up to that point was meaningless, there wasn’t anything he could do about it. There was no such thing as choice in matters such as these. Bloodlines, marriage, and money were all far too important to be left in the hands of someone who wasn’t even twenty and had no idea what he was about yet.

    Sasha stubbed out his cigarette in the ashtray on the small round table beside him and then headed back inside, a better method for reorganising his CDs forming in his head as he walked. He wasn’t completely distracted from the prospect of his fiancée arriving on the next day but he was temporarily pacified.
  2. May 20th

    “Ah, come on! One more pic, then we’ll head out.” Mrs. Marnella Rosewood raised her camera once more, snapping another string of no stop pictures, one right after the other, of her only daughter and her best friend, Aujuli Clarke, dressed in their cap and gown.

    “Mama, we’re supposed to be there at 7:30 for roll call and lining up! You’re going to make us late!”

    With a heavy sigh, Marnella dropped the camera around her neck and wiped a tear from her heavy eyes. “Alright, let’s go. I’ll get more shots later.” Both Marietta and Aujuli sighed before giggling and grabbing their purses. They all jumped into the Mrs. Rosewood’s Jeep with excitement and congratulations coming from the neighbors and other family who stood in their yard to send the girls off. Marrose and Aujuli have been neighbors and best friends ever since Kindergarten. This big step in their lives they wanted to share together.

    “Just think, after this it’s off to New York! I’m so ready to go; got most of my stuff packed up already.” Aujuli giggled as they road down the street, hitting highway 12 before exiting on New Ponder towards their high school.

    Marietta sighed, “I still have a lot more to do. Finals weren’t as easy for me as they were for you, ya know. But, I’ll definitely be ready. But first, let’s just party like we’re rock stars tonight! I don’t want to think about anything else.” The two girls laughed and planned all the way to the school, chatting about furniture ideas for their new apartment they’re going to share in New York.

    They arrived with a few minutes to spare. Marietta and her mother took a moment to share in one final hug. “When I get back, you’ll be hugging a graduate, mom. Aren’t you excited?”

    “More than you know,” Marnella grinned brightly, but there was a cloud over her features that became far too apparent. “Marrose, try to get home a little early tonight. I have a few things to discuss with you.”

    “Oh?” Her mom held that serious, business-like tone with her. That wasn’t good… “Alright…will do.” And with that, they went their separate ways.

    After the graduation, the picture taking, the gift-giving with family and friends, the two graduates left to partake in the various parties happening around their neighborhood; visiting friends at their backyard gatherings before heading to the next. By midnight, Marietta recalled what her mother had requested.

    “Really? I wonder what she needs to tell you,” Aujuli hugged her friend’s neck. “Well, tell me what’s up, alright? I’ll see you in the morning then.”

    “Sure thing. Don’t have too much fun without me!”


    “We’re What!?” Marietta dragged her fingers through her dark hair, loosening it from the decorative bun that held it up. “I can’t believe you didn’t tell me this sooner!”

    “Well, it was somewhat a surprise for me too…”

    “Yea right! How much of a surprise? A trip to Italy for us takes about eight months to save for, and that’s only if we’re not spending money on food…bill…or other essentials. This wasn’t something that just fell from the sky!”

    Marnella watched her daughter’s feistiness overtake the atmosphere – showing herself to be too much like her father when plans don’t turn out the way he intended them to.

    “It’s only for two weeks…there are a few things that need to be taken care of…”

    “Why? What does Italy have to do with us anyway? That’s Kaspesin’s side of the family!”

    “Your father’s parents, your grandparents; you need to show them some respect, young lady!”

    “Show them some respect? Really? They’ve never shown you any respect, they’ve practically ignored me – just like dear old dad, and now they want us to visit!? I’ve only met them once, and the only one that treated me like his grandchild was Horacio!”

    She understood her daughter’s anger, but Marnella knew the truth – the whole truth. The only way she will ever get her daughter to understand – and accept -what’s really going on, she’ll have to fess up… somewhat…

    “Marrose, here… come sit with me. I’ve got a lot to tell you.”

    With a huff, Marietta plopped down beside her mother, tossing her maroon stilettos to the side and removing her corsage. “Alright, I’m listening. Why are we going to Italy all of a sudden?”

    “Horacio wants to give you something, but he doesn’t want to tell me or your father; only you. So, he’s arranged for us to stay there in June. I told him at least two weeks, for I have work and you have… college things to prepare for.”

    Marrose took a deep breath, “Alright, that’s understandable then… But, why are they even thinking about me now? They’ve been absent from my life all this time, and now – suddenly, they want to give me things?”

    Marnella smiled and took her daughter’s hand, “The Dulviars have not been completely absent from your life, and neither has your father.” Marietta stiffened in disbelief, but she didn’t say anything. “Remember when I had lost my job and it took me three months to get another one? Well, who do you think paid for our bills and food around that time? The things you needed for school and for all the events you needed items for?”

    She shook her head, “So, Kaspesin’s still paying child support… He has no choice…”

    Marnella sighed and shook her head, “But there are a lot of extra things he and his parents did for us – that wasn’t court enforced. Your braces, for one thing; that European Ambassador’s trip you took for the Student Leaders of America program. I didn’t pay for that. My other surgeries…”

    Marietta’s eyes widened on that one… “But, I thought…”

    “My insurance and retirement couldn’t cover it, and my parents – well, they definitely didn’t have the money. I needed the Dulviars’ help there, especially since I was a single mother with a young child. They provided in-home care for me and you at that time, and even helped me pay for college so I could finish my second degree.”

    Marrose stood up, “Alright, we owe them a lot. But…from the way you’re talking it’s like we owe them our lives.”

    “In a way, we do.”

    Shaking her head in disbelief, Marrose crossed the room to throw herself onto the recliner. She didn’t know what to think now. “Well, what do they want with us, with me? Obviously, we’re supposed to pay them back for all the billions of dollars they’ve spent on us, right? Fine… I guess if you squeeze a turnip hard enough, you’ll get juice…”

    “That’s not what they want, Marrose. We don’t owe them money, just gratitude. What they’ve done for us was the only way they could love us from a far.”

    “Yea, I guess money shows love from a distance far better than a simple phone call, or email, or Skype… A letter from Italy would have been cool to a six year old, ya know. Or a picture via Facebook or a nice birthday card every now and then…”

    Tears, ones that were old and forgotten, began to spring forth. Even though she held so much anger against her father and his family for abandoning her, in so many ways she ached to actually have them in her life. They were rich, famous, living a life she’s never encountered before. She honestly didn’t want such wealth, but enough to just – live comfortable without all the stress and problems that come from fighting for survival… that would have been nice. And well…having a complete family – that was wealth to her; far better than diamonds.

    “If Horacio wants me to go, then fine. I’ll go for him, but I want to know why they have such an interest for me now? Where were they when I needed them? When I needed a father, where was he?”

    Marnella stood up to clear the space between them. She took her daughter’s hands and pulled her up into an embrace. Marrose hugged her mother, feeling her comforting arms naturally calm her frustrations.

    “I know this is difficult for you, but trust me, everything that has transpired, in the past and in our futures, is for our benefit. You’ll see real soon. But for now, let’s just go to bed.”

    She knew her mother was holding back, not telling her everything. But, she didn’t want to push her, she didn’t want to argue. At this point, with what her mother already revealed to her, Marrose was far too overwhelmed to handle any more ‘surprises’. She dried her eyes and headed to bed. The following weeks meant alternating plans, returning flight tickets and cancelling moving vans. Marrose told Aujuli everything and soon watched her friend leave Chicago for New York without her.

    June 10th

    Regardless of what her mother had told her several weeks ago, or what she believed when it came to the Dulviars’ feelings towards her, Marietta could not get over the splendors of living in Tuscany for two weeks; an all expense paid trip with all the tourist shopping, wine tasting, beach hopping they wanted. They treated her like a princess. Her grandparents spoiled her to death.

    “We’ve had to wait nineteen years to actually treat you like a real Dulviar,” Locendia said as they traveled back to the Abbey of the Good Harvest, their Orbetello estate. “We’re blessed to finally have the opportunity now. We love you so much, Marietta, and we’re so sorry that we had to wait this long to tell you in person.”

    She really didn’t know what to say about that only thanked her grandmother and shared her hugs. With her mother looking on in a state of fear for some reason, Marrose enjoyed the ride back in silence.

    Why did they wait for so long to tell me their feelings? And what’s all this about treating me like a real Dulviar? I’ve got my mother’s last name – that’s what they wanted, according to her… Well, that’s what she told me when I was 12… Marietta began to think the best way to gain the information she wanted to know, was to talk to Horacio.

    After dinner, Horacio called Marietta over, excusing them both as they went upstairs to his favorite room – the library. Frankly, that was Marietta’s favorite place there as well. The first time she’s ever visited Orbetello, she was only eight, so she don’t remember all that much about the place or the event. But the one thing she does recall is her grandfather’s library and all of its secrets. He showed her everything special about that place, including the hidden path to take to reach the high solace that sat above the room. Her grandfather loved fine books and fine wine, which is why he held such a remarkable winery and had a rather large collection of books - published by himself, or obtained just because. He showed her all of these things and more the first time she visited – and all of it is what Marrose remembers about the estate and nothing more.

    “Libellula, I would like to tell you something that no one else in this family will know about until the time is right. Since you’ve choose to come to Italy at my request, that proves to me that you are ready to know.”

    They sat down before a heavily lacquered rosewood table surrounded by fine, rare books and fine wine. “Ready to know what? What’s so special that I need to know and no one else? I mean, no disrespect grandfather, but you haven’t been a part of my life for a long while. And now, out of the blue, you want to reveal a secret to me? I’m a bit confused.”

    “I’ve invested in your life ever since you were born, little one. And although I had to stand back from a distance and watch you mature into such a strong, feisty, beautiful young woman, there are still things I wish to show you, teach you, and give to you…”

    He slid an envelope towards her, nodding for her to open it. She did, and the first words she saw when opening it scared her silent. It took a moment to regain the use of her throat, but on the top of the thick folds of paper were the words “Living Will and Testament.”

    “Go on, read it…”

    Marrose shook her head, “Grandfather, I can’t…” she pressed the envelope down on the table so hard, hoping to press it into the wood so she didn’t have to see it. Death was not a comforting topic for her, and she sure didn’t care to consider her grandfather’s death now while he was still living and breathing.

    “Well then, I’ll tell you. I’m dying, my little Libellula, and since you’ve return to our family, I will be handing my entire estate to you – my only grandchild.”

    She was stunned, so silently she watched as he took the envelope, unfolded the paperwork, and read off her name – Maretta Nicoliya Dulviar-Kiepersol.

    Now, she was really confused.

    “Grandfather, but that’s not my whole name. My mother’s name is missing.”

    Horacio shook his head, “But that is part of the agreement sweetheart, you becoming a full Dulviar…”


    Marietta rushed out of the library in a fit, searching the entire main house for her mother. When she found her in the den, the words she wanted to spill out to express her anger never had a chance to fall. Her mother was not alone in the room.

    Standing from a chair near the fireplace stood a tall, slim gentleman with medium brunette hair falling down his back in a gentleman’s ponytail. His suit, Italian grey with a bright phalo blue scarf around his neck, only enhanced his already deep blue eyes. She’s only seen images of her father in wine magazines, or on the news. She’s never seen him before in real life. What her grandfather revealed to her was confusing, but to stand before her father face to face after nineteen years tore her heart out.

    “…I want to go home!”

    “Marietta,” Kaspesin stepped forward to reach for her hand, but she backed away, barking out her demand once more.

    Marnelle stepped to her daughter’s side, wrapping her arms around her to cool her tone. “I wasn’t sure you would come if you knew…” Marietta’s eyes hit her mother with such disbelief; it was almost too painful for her to continue. “We have a lot to tell you, dear. But you must promise me to keep an open mind. I just did what I thought was best for you at the time… We didn’t want…our divorce to hurt your future… the future I could only give you if…”

    “If I retake his family’s name - the one who was never there; I’m suppose to ignore that you ever existed in my life?”

    “No, that’s not it,” Kaspesin stepped forward once more, but kept his distance. “You mother will always be in your life. But, you have another life waiting for you – one that’s been handed down generations. Let us explain…please?”

    Marrose sat with her parents and listened to their words. It was difficult to hear and understand, but the blame she’s held against her father for all those years did not belong to him.

    Marnella lowered her head in guilt as Kaspesin listed all the things he’s done for her and her future during his absence – paying for things her mother’s could not, building the savings account she believe her mother struggled to build for her College fund, paying for a nicer University for her to go to with a brand new car and an penthouse apartment all furnished and ready for her for her first semester – starting in September. All this, including the Dulviar Estate, was all for her if she returned with Kaspesin and claimed her birthright from his side of the family.

    Marrose was silent, shocked at how the good life just dropped in her lap like that, waiting for her to take, but she wanted more. “Why, Mama? Why did you feel the need to push him away like that?”

    Her mother explained her position. She wanted her daughter to understand and appreciate what hard work was all about, learn what struggle meant, and grow confidence in her ability to build a world out of dust, rather than having everything handed to her. She’s built her independence, but now she needed to use it in a whole new atmosphere – in order to retain a family tradition that has survived centuries.

    With a big sigh, Marietta stood up and hugged her mother, “I understand…and I forgive you, if you’ll forgive me for my attitude. Sorry…” She then turned to Kaspesin, not sure what to do with herself before him. He was the ‘dead beat’ father - she use to throw darts at magazine pictures of him when she was young. “Well, I can’t hold a grudge against you now…not after learning that you weren’t actually being a dead beat father after all.” Awkwardly, she raised her arms around him, “I’m sorry for my attitude. I’m not thrilled with this arrangement, since my friend and I were already set with an apartment and College in New York… but, I… I want a real family more than anything… If I accept, can we be a real family?”

    Both her parents were stunned at that request, but after so long apart the idea of continuing to work together for their daughter’s sake – wasn’t such a bad idea.

    “We can’t guarantee anything,” Marnella smiled as she stood within the little circle, “But, we’ll continue to work together for you, Marrose. Always have. But, this is your time with your father now – your time to claim your birthright with the Dulviars. I’ll always be around when you need me, alright?”

    Marietta sighed once more, feeling a heavy lump in her gut dilute away, “That's good enough for me; I can deal with that.”

    "Wonderful!" Kaspesin clapped with enthusiasm. "Once we return to Chicago, I'll help you pack and settle at your new apartment. I'll handle your College arrangements, love, and make sure that your funds are transferred to your new school. And, oh, I'll have to get a hold of your new roommate..."

    "Roommate? You already set one of those up for me as well?" Marrose was stunned, but after the months she's had she wasn't that thrown off. "When will I get to meet her?"

    Kaspesin's words fell short for a moment, he cleared his voice and grinned, "You'll get a chance to meet... Sasha... real soon."
    #2 Phi Chisym, Jun 13, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014
  3. Sasha leaned against the railing of his balcony, twirling his final cigarette absently between his fingers. He wanted it badly but he didn’t want to waste it because it would be another three days before he got more. The inner debate—to smoke or not to smoke—was beginning to put him in a foul mood. He glanced at his watch and saw that the time was 12:59 and counting. That settled it. If she was on time, his fiancée would be arriving in less than a minute. There was no time for a cigarette. He slipped the cigarette back into the pack and the pack into the pocket of his blazer before going back inside.

    Dress to impress had been his mother’s order, so Sasha had pulled out all of the stops as far as his casual wardrobe went (they were just going to lunch so a tuxedo would have been overkill). He looked crisp in the Armani that he’d selected with the help of Francisca, the Portuguese maid whose quiet nature was recommending itself to Sasha quickly. He gave himself a thorough once over in the mirror because this was the last chance for him to spot anything that would make his mother’s lip curl when she saw him at lunch in a little while. He didn’t see anything that stood out as unacceptable but he didn’t feel particularly impressive, either.

    Without any obvious flaws to correct in his appearance, Sasha went out to the living room and sat down on the sofa to wait for his fiancée. This was the uncomfortable part. Even with only Francisca and him there, Sasha felt nervous sitting in the living room. The expectation that Marietta would be there shortly only made it worse. He would have much preferred to go back to his room and wait with a book or some music, but his mother would have flayed him alive for doing such a thing. That was not how a gentleman waits for a lady.

    Sasha glanced at his watch again. 13:01. He had to force himself to relax. If his fiancée had been French, he would have been on the balcony having his cigarette because one o’clock sharp meant something closer to 13:15. She wasn’t French, however, and, although she was of Italian descent, she had been raised in America, where one o’clock sharp actually meant one o’clock sharp. His mother had planned their lunch meeting with the American system of being on time in mind so how late was it acceptable for Marietta to be? Sasha spent a long few moments assessing that in his mind and came up with the eventual answer of five. If Marietta did not show up by 13:05, one o’ five, he would be perfectly within his rights to chide her for being late.

    Now all that was left was to wait.




  4. "Ugh! The street addresses here are so...confusing! Where is this place located?"

    Maybe Marietta should have hailed a cab, or just check the email from her new roommate just in case it held directions. Perhaps, she should of taken the private limo her father had waiting for her, but she didn't. She's always drove herself places and that wasn't going to stop just because her father made 'arrangements' for everything. It was her defiance tactics...a way to be rebellious about this entire situation. Sure, her father set up the new University she was going to be attending, and the luxury apartment with - possibly the most snobbiest roommate in the world - who knows? But, after brewing over the entire situation for two months, Marietta was more reluctant to go through the entire set up than she implied before.

    "So, what are you going to do then?" Aujuli's voice through her cell phone still held sadness for the absence of her friend. Marrose drove down the freeway at top speed, still finalizing her plans in her head as she made the final leg of her trip.

    "I'm going to cancel my admittance to this University, and tell that roommate that I've made other arrangements and just kick her out. If dad's going to go all out of his way for me to prove how much he's loved me all this time, then he's going to play by my rules. Did all of my old furniture get to New York?"

    "Yea, and their all tucked safely in storage with my stuff. Are you...sure about this; you know, going behind your parents' back and all?"

    Marrose exited the freeway and headed up the street, finding the address she was given. "If it's fine for them to do the same, then it's fine for me."

    The girls talked for a few more minutes until Marrose reached her destination. With all her counter-plans in place, she gave her friend a final goodbye and ended her call. The luxury penthouse was in a very posh area of town, with valet parking and everything. She felt completely out of her element, but knew how to play rich - it's in her blood after all. So was that Chicago Spice that can burn the best of them. Heading inside, she introduced herself at the front desk and was shockingly surprise to hear that her roommate Sasha was already upstairs. She wished to, at least, have a moment to actually take in the place - alone - before dealing with her. But, it didn't matter anyway. She'll play the part for the moment and then drop off her rental and take the fastest plane to New York.

    Removing her sun hat and shades, Marrose headed upstairs to the top floor (impressed, but not trying to be) and found the penthouse. With the keycard given to her at the front desk, she entered inside and almost lost her composure. The place was stunning, all fine furnishings, a kitchen you can practically live in, and the view that took her breath away and stole her senses.

    "Kaspersin...did all this?" she whispered to herself. "Just to prove himself? I don't get it..."
    #4 Phi Chisym, Jun 14, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2014
  5. 13:15

    Sasha heard the faint beep of a key-card being accepted just as he stood up, having determined to have that cigarette, after all. Too late. He sat back down and froze, his automatic first reaction to being in the presence of someone new—sit still and watch.

    Marietta was prettier than he’d expected her to be, in an innocent sort of way. She was very different from most of the other young women Sasha had been exposed to, who all looked vaguely the same because their looks were bought. She had a pleasant face that Sasha felt he could get used to if her personality matched.

    It was honestly a little amusing how strongly she reacted to the luxury of the place. It was like she’d never seen a penthouse before…then Sasha remembered that she probably hadn’t. Still, it wasn’t worth the awe she was expressing. Only think of how she’d react when she saw their future home.

    As far as Sasha could tell, she hadn’t even noticed him yet. He tried to take advantage of her distraction to observe her but, unlike Matt whose uncanny ability to read people made him capable of relating an accurate summary of someone’s personality after ten minutes of watching them, Sasha couldn’t read a single thing about her personality. What he could tell was this: She was dressed decently, well enough that they wouldn’t throw her out of the restaurant where they were going for lunch, but she looked out of place in the entryway of their apartment. Sasha couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it was, but she didn’t look like a woman who was coming to her new home for the first time.

    Frustrated that he couldn’t read her the way he wanted to, Sasha let out a little sigh and decided it was time to end this examination and go to lunch. He stood, buttoned his blazer, and approached the girl. Once close, he said, “You’re late, Miss Dulviar.”

    Sasha looked her over once more now that he was closer, but his opinion of her didn’t change.

    “My name is Alexandre Meunier,” he said, brushing quickly over introductions because he’d just remembered his mother waiting for them at the restaurant. “The staff will take care of your things,” he continued, just now noticing that she didn’t have anything with her and wondering if she was more used to being served than he’d anticipated, “but for now you must come with me.”

    Afraid that she might still be too enchanted with the apartment to understand what was going on, Sasha took her by the wrist and led her back to the elevator. Once on the ground floor, it only took a moment for the attentive valet to bring around Sasha’s cherry red Ferrari and hand the keys over to its owner.

    Sasha took the keys with a chilly smile. He had always distrusted valets. Matt always told him that it shouldn’t matter as long as the car was returned to him in the same condition in which he’d left it. That didn’t matter to Sasha, though. He simply didn’t like other people touching his things. It didn’t matter, though. His mother had chosen this apartment, with the consent of Kaspersin, Sasha imagined, and it had valet parking.

    Sasha helped Marietta into the vehicle, as he’d been taught to do, before getting in himself. He could have ordered one of the Meuniers’ shiny black town cars complete with driver, his mother probably would have preferred that, but Sasha actually liked to drive. He liked driving in the countryside better, where he had the roads practically to himself, but even in the city where driving was something of a nightmare to most people, it was something Sasha could take control of in his life and those things were precious few.

    Arriving at the restaurant, Sasha reluctantly handed his keys over to another valet and then took Marietta’s arm before entering the building. This was one of his mother’s favourite restaurants and the face of Nathalie Meunier’s only son was well recognized so Sasha didn’t even have to say a single word and the head waiter scurried out to lead them to his mother’s table.

    Nathalie was on the phone, something business related, no doubt, but she ended the call quickly when she saw the young pair approaching. She put on a smile with false warmth as she stood to greet them.

    “Sasha, chéri,” she said as she pulled Sasha in for the two mandatory air kisses.

    “And you must be Marietta Dulviar,” she said. “It is a pleasure to finally meet you. I expect Kaspersin will be here shortly. I told him he should be here. Then we shall lunch.”
  6. "Hello, is anyone here?"

    Marietta caught the sight of a young woman stepping from the kitchen area. With a smile, assuming this was her new roommate, Sasha, she began to step forward to introduce herself.

    “You’re late, Miss Dulviar.”

    Caught completely off guard, her feet stopped with a stamper. A gentleman around her age stepped to her side from...where in the world did he come from? Marrose thought, Um, must be hired help. Figured Kaspersin paid for a butler and maid...

    She altered her composure and stood her ground, wondering why her tardiness was so important to the help. "New in town - poor directions."

    The look he gave her didn't settle well in the pit of her stomach. He was being far too judgmental for someone who's only purpose in life was to manage keeping the place clean and the meals hot. But the way he was dressed made her doubt her first impression of him, for his suit and attire did not match the urban understanding of what a servant should wear.

    "Now, if you excuse me, I'm..."

    “My name is Alexandre Meunier,” he immediately cut her off. “The staff will take care of your things, but for now you must come with me.”

    "Come with you where?" She wasn't given a typical answer. Instead, the man seized her wrist and literally dragged her out the apartment and back onto the elevator.

    "What the Hell do you think you're doing? Let me go!" Marietta fought as hard as she could without hurting herself. Her stilettos were not the best at giving her the traction she needed to pull away or to offer a swift kick to his knee for such ungentlemanly like behavior. If he would only tell her where they were going, the restraint would be unnecessary.

    When they reached the front again, the idea of running back inside to call the police came to mind. As they waited at the valet, she was about to kick off her shoes and run, but the valet drove up in a cherry red Ferrari...and suddenly she stood frozen in confusion - the idea of making any sort of get-a-way was gone. She has something completely wrong here, and the only person she could blame was Kaspersin.

    Alexandre opened the passenger door, showing some sort of manners this time, and at first she was reluctant to oblige. "Where are you taking me?" she asked again. And again, the silent answer was a helpful push of her elbow to get into the car. Riding silently, Marietta was far from being upset or scared, she was furious and irritated that this person blatantly kept her in the dark about where they were going. But her anger only partially fell upon him, it also fell upon her father, of whom her fingers began to furiously dial on her cell phone. Several times she called him but he would not pick up. That just made matters worse. Her plans for leaving for New York were now activated. A few more calls and she was heading out as soon as she returned to her car.

    When the car stopped, Marrose looked up to find them parked before a very classy restaurant. What in the... This guy drove her to a restaurant? Why? Not knowing what to think anymore, or how to feel about the predicament she was in, Marietta did not put up a fight this time as Alexandre escorted her into the building. Curiosity kept her civil - for now. And, quite frankly, she was somewhat interested, especially when they stepped passed the hostess without a question as to who they are and if they had a reservation. That clued her further that this whole situation was of her father's planning.

    They were lead to a nicely dressed table where an older woman sat talking on her cell. She was rather beautiful and intimidating; her presence alone spoke Devil Wears Prada all over it. Marietta wasn't sure why she was there to meet this woman, but figured that she might be Sasha's mother or something. It did make sense to meet the parents of her roommate, right? But, why wasn't her mother invited, if that was the case? No matter, the woman looked fierce and Marietta was still unprepared.

    “Sasha, chéri,” Alexandre in for the two mandatory air kisses. Marietta was at a loss.

    “And you must be Marietta Dulviar,” she said. “It is a pleasure to finally meet you. I expect Kaspersin will be here shortly. I told him he should be here. Then we shall lunch.”

    "Um...yes, it's a pleasure to meet you as well," Marietta began. "But, unfortunately, I'm not sure who I'm meeting, or why." She shook her head with a sigh, "I am so sorry and don't mean to offend, but my father only informed me that I would be meeting my roommate, Sasha, at the apartment. But as soon as I get there, I lose the chance to even introduce myself to her because...of him - dragging me out the door!" Even with her frustration tempered, Marrose's cheeks grew flushed. "I'm very uncomfortable being misinformed..."

    "And you should be, dear." Kaspersin stepped in right on time, smiling charmed as he gave Marietta a peck on her fevered forehead before stepping over to Nathalie's side, sharing a friendly kiss on both cheeks. "Sorry for the inconvenience, Nathalie. Finished a high profiled meeting that wanted to turn into a fiesta instead. But, I'm now cleared for the rest of the day." He turned to Sasha with an even wider grin, "Ah, Sasha, you've made it safely I see. I'm glad, I'm glad." He gave him a strong hand to shake, only to pull him into a fatherly-like hug. Marietta was speechless, and a bit jealous, but she didn't realize that just yet.

    "Kaspersin, what's going on here?" Marrose finally spoke up again, feeling worse than she did before. "Who are these people, and why are you calling him Sasha? He's Alexandre..."
    #6 Phi Chisym, Jun 21, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
  7. Alexandre observed his fiancée flounder under his mother’s appraising eye. Nathalie was watching the girl carefully to see what she knew about proper etiquette and what she would need to learn. It didn’t help that she was clearly very confused. She should have known what was going on, who she was meeting, and why but, for some reason, she didn’t. Sasha should have taken the time to explain the situation to her when he noticed her distress at the beginning but he was too focused on being on time to take a moment to sort things out. His mother slid him a look that said that this botched meeting would not be overlooked.

    Then Kaspersin arrived and Sasha allowed himself to relax minutely. Now that Kaspersin was there everything would be sorted. The Italian greeted his daughter first, then Nathalie, giving her an explanation for his delay though everyone expected the Italian to be late, and finally Sasha. It started with the standard handshake but then Kaspersin pulled him in for a hug that left Alexandre internally flustered. He always forgot Kaspersin's warmth and it always unbalanced him when it came time for him to be reminded. He couldn’t even imagine such a greeting from his own father. He was arranging a proper response to Kaspersin when Marietta spoke.

    "Kaspersin, what's going on here? Who are these people, and why are you calling him Sasha? He's Alexandre..."

    Sasha decided to speak up then as it was his name that was being confused. He paused for only a moment to note that it was odd that he had been spoken of by his nickname and not his full name but quickly brushed it aside because the implications of keeping Marietta in the dark were too cruel for Sasha to assign to Kaspersin—to his mother, yes, but not to Kaspersin.

    “Miss Dulviar,” he said, “I believe there has been some confusion. Sasha is my nickname. I was unaware that you only knew of my by that name so I introduced myself using my full first name. I apologise for the misunderstanding.”

    “Yes, well,” Nathalie said with a chilly smile and a look that passed over everyone but lingered on her son, “I think that we should sit down and get out of the way of everyone.” She led by example, taking a seat and directing with her eyes for her son to take the seat to her right.

    Sasha wasn’t sure what had changed his mother from being satisfied, if not pleased, to being icy cold but he didn’t have much time to contemplate it. Hardly a moment had passed after everyone had taken their seats when Sasha was startled by a familiar voice calling out to him.

    “Sasha! I didn’t expect to see you here,” Matthew called out, abandoning the hostess and his pretty female companion to greet his old friend. Sasha was obliged to stand again and shake hands. “I’m here with my cousin. I’m treating her to lunch for the decorating advice she gave me about my flat.” He tried to wave Cindy over but she only waved back, staying where she was.

    “Well, euh,” Sasha said in response, fumbling a little as his ability to handle unexpected situations faltered under the scrutinising eye of his mother. “You know my mother, of course.”

    “Of course. It is a pleasure to see you again, Madame Meunier.” Matthew tried to be pleasant but Nathalie was purposefully cold, refusing to get up to greet the young man.

    “And I believe you have met Kaspersin Dulviar before.”

    “I have. A pleasure to see you again, sir.”

    “And I have the pleasure of introducing to you someone whom you have not met,” Sasha continued, feeling a little more confident after the greeting between Matthew and Kaspersin. “This is Marietta Dulviar, Signor Dulviar’s daughter and my fiancée.”

    A grin began to bloom on Matthew’s face and he was about to make a friendly quip when he saw the faces of those around the table. The smile died and he quickly excused himself, returning to his cousin.

    Sasha froze for a moment, completely caught off guard by the reaction to what he’d assumed was a harmless introduction. He wasn’t frozen for long however when he defaulted back to his instinctive reaction to people, which was to pretend that he wasn’t actually there but was rather watching everything from a safe distance. He placidly sat down, prepared to watch every moment of what was about to unfold.
    • Love Love x 1
  8. Instead of her father handling the situation before them, Alexandre spoke up instead.

    “Miss Dulviar,” he said, “I believe there has been some confusion. Sasha is my nickname. I was unaware that you only knew of my by that name so I introduced myself using my full first name. I apologize for the misunderstanding.”

    “Oh,” Marrose blinked, attempting to grasp the information and clear her mind. “Okay, that…makes sense. It would have been nice to know this, Kaspersin, beforehand. Then, I wouldn’t be standing here being so rude.” She smiled to Sasha, “I apologize as well for my behavior. Thank you for clearing things up for me.”

    “Yes, well, I think that we should sit down and get out of the way of everyone.”

    Marietta followed Mrs. Nathalie as she led the way through the restaurant to her choice of seating. She took her place, and Sasha sat at her right. Kaspersin took the set before her, leaving her left side unoccupied. She removed her hat and purse and settled down in the chair, taking a moment to prepare herself. Meticulously, she began to work up a mental list of everything she saw wrong in this situation; things she will thoroughly express to Kaspersin when they were done there.

    ...Of course, the whole ‘agreement’ him and mother kept from me all these years; that’s one…forcing me to change my college plans after mother and I worked so hard to build them; two. And now forcing me to share an apartment with a man! Three! He could have just informed me of this, talked to me. I would be fine with the arrangement. Sasha's not...a bad looking guy; he needs to work on his manners though. But, if Kaspersin didn’t keep it so hush-hush, I might agree to it.

    I bet there’s more up his sleeve. He’s a Dulviar…there’s always a secret passage to a means.

    A waiter circled their table filling the water glasses, just when a male voice took over the peacefulness of the atmosphere.

    “Sasha! I didn’t expect to see you here!” Sasha stood up and shook his friend’s hand. Marietta smiled politely as she listened to the man’s reasoning for being present. “I’m here with my cousin. I’m treating her to lunch for the decorating advice she gave me about my flat.” He waved her over, but it was clear she didn’t want to be caught dead standing beside him after his loud entrance. In this atmosphere, that was not cool; but she bet the guy was great company at a club.

    “Well, euh,” Sasha fumbled. Marrose noticed how nervous he was. “You know my mother, of course.”

    “Of course. It is a pleasure to see you again, Madame Meunier.” As well as how his mother smoothly refused his pleasantries.

    “And I believe you have met Kaspersin Dulviar before.”

    “I have. A pleasure to see you again, sir.”

    Again? Well, father knows my roommate’s mother, his friends, hugs him as if he’s his flesh and blood; and treats me like the red-headed step-child by keeping me in the dark but trying to run my life. This is madness!

    “And I have the pleasure of introducing to you someone whom you have not met,” Sasha continued. “This is Marietta Dulviar, Signor Dulviar’s daughter and my fiancée.”

    She did a double take, “W-What!”

    Marietta’s subconscious chatter ended at his words. She honestly thought she misheard him, but it was far too obvious when she searched the faces around her that, once again, she was the last to know. Quickly, the man left the area, and all eyes remained on her. Feeling her face grow red with anger and ten zillion other things that suddenly rammed against her head, Marrose quietly stood up from the table. “Kaspersin, may I speak with you privately for a moment?”

    She didn’t want to cause a scene, not here, but she needed some clarity – and some fresh air. She guided her father outside the restaurant where the closed outdoor sitting area was located. They were far enough away from any ears inside, and the traffic outside wasn't too loud to drown out her anger. Good, she needed distance. Once her heels stopped tapping, and they were strategically hidden from view through the restaurant windows, Marietta turned around and immediately slapped her father clean across the face.

    “Now, see here Marietta…”

    “How….could you?! Just who do you . think . you . are?” Her eyes lifted to his, skimming with tears, but they didn’t fall; and her breathing was becoming difficult, but she held her own. “You step into my life…after an 18 year absence, completely…flipping my college plans around for your pleasure… And now this!...Did mother know about this…arrange marriage?”

    “Dear Marietta, let’s just calm down a bit…”

    She steps back from his reaching hands, extending her index finger straight at him; a posture he’s seen her mother pull on him times before. “Don’t you…dare tell me to… calm down! I have every…right to be…mad…”

    Marietta fell back against the wall behind her, losing her balance slightly as her breathing grew shallower. Kaspersin caught her by the shoulders and held her up to capture her eyes. “Where’s your purse?”

    She tried to fight him off, but it was no use. She lost control of her breathe, fighting a more important battle. People passing by paused and offer aid, assuming the worse. But, Kaspersin explained, and soon a waiter rushed to their table to gain Nathalie and Sasha’s attention.

    “Pardon me, but Mr. Kaspersin has requested his daughter’s purse. She’s suffering an asthma attack and needs her inhaler.”
    #8 Phi Chisym, Jul 8, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014
  9. “Kaspersin, may I speak with you privately for a moment?”

    Far too quickly, Marietta and her father left the table. Sasha was somewhat disappointed, he was curious to see how Kaspersin would defend himself. Now he was left alone with his mother, in the semi-privacy that was afforded by a table at a restaurant. She could have said anything. Sasha could tell there were plenty of words locked just behind her lips. Instead, she just stared at him in silence with disapproval written on her every feature.

    They could have sat in silence forever, the two of them. Unfortunately, this was his mother’s strategy for drawing Sasha out of his shell, she expected him to initiate conversation. Nothing appealed to him less, but duty was duty so he spoke.

    Ma mère…”

    Imbécile,” she interrupted before he could say anything else.

    Je ne savais pas qu’elle… “

    Tu aurais pu penser,” Nathalie said.

    Sasha might have responded, though how he didn’t know, if the waiter didn’t come. He explained the situation and Sasha’s suspicions of Marietta’s asthma being a rouse concocted by his mother were disproved. Nathalie reached over to the chair to her left and retrieved the purse. Instead of handing it to the waiter, however, she handed it to her son, wordlessly telling him that since he’d caused the situation he had to make it right and that he was still expected to obediently stick to the engagement, even if Marietta rebelled.

    Sasha followed the waiter to where the father and daughter were and gave Marietta her inhaler. He turned to Kaspersin while his fiancée administered her medication. “Je suis déçu en vous,” he said softly.

    When Marietta was finished with her inhaler, he turned back to her, “If you would like to return to the appartement, I will take you back. I am certain that my mother will excuse us.” He then remembered the conversation that she must have been having with her father before the asthma attack and amended, “Of course, you will want to finish speaking with your father, first. I will wait for you at the entrance.” He then turned and left.

    Sasha’s offer to take Marietta away from their lunch with his mother and Kaspersin was based on the thought that he would not want to have lunch with strangers at an unfamiliar restaurant if something shocking had been revealed to him. As he thought about it, he decided that it was also driven by the fact that he did not want to have lunch with his mother after the events that had just unfolded. In fact, even if Marietta decided that she wanted to have lunch with Kaspersin and Nathalie, he would not be staying. Kaspersin would make sure that she returned to the apartment safely. Still, he’d made the offer and was now required to wait until she made her decision.

    Sasha contemplated having his last cigarette while he waited but decided against it. Marietta really did have asthma and it would be distracting if his smoking caused her to have an attack while he was driving. Instead, he leaned against the wall and proceeded to contemplate all that had happened.

    Kaspersin had kept the knowledge of the engagement from his daughter with his mother’s approval, perhaps at her prompting. She had therefore not had time to rebel against or accept the situation so she would do that now. If she rebelled… Sasha realised with chagrin that he would likely be the main target of the rebellion since he would be closest to her. Meanwhile, their parents would be trying to push them closer together. They would put pressure on her, pressure like only the rich and powerful could apply. How would she react?

    There was a part of Sasha that understood the rebellion. He liked the engagement very little and wasn’t eager to spend the rest of his life with Marietta. Rebellion, however, offered little and would cost much. It wasn’t worth it. Maybe someday, when he had more power, contacts that trusted him as much as they trusted his parents and grandparents, when he could prove himself worthy of the Beaulieu and Meunier fortunes, then he could stand up to his mother’s demands. That was years off, however, if it ever happened. If Marietta held out until then, he would support her and their combined efforts would cancel the engagement. If she did not, then she wasn’t worth the effort and they would enter into a loveless but profitable marriage.

    All of this was, of course, assuming that Marietta did rebel. She might not fight the engagement at all and that would be that. There were certainly worse women Sasha could marry.
  10. Fading, but working to maintain as much of her focus as possible, Marietta allowed Kaspersin to guide her to a nearby chair. She could hear his voice suddenly change, altering to something calm, peaceful, concerned… Looking up she realized what he was doing – he was attempting to give her a rhythm to breathe to; a mantra of double syllable words that naturally guided the mind to relax and focus on the act of breath. Shocked that he knew, she just listened and followed his lead, holding her control well enough to keep her from passing out. But she didn’t take his sudden concern to heart. She knew her mother probably taught him all the little tricks she’s learned over the years; since he’s been like a lost spirit all her life. Kaspersin’s ever dealt with her asthma attacks before – so she assumed.

    Soon, she sensed another person stepping close to her and a familiar item found its way into her hand. Knowingly, she lifted the inhaler to her lips and took two steady puffs of salvation; breathing smoothly and deeply to allow the medication to take effect. When she had gained her breath and dried her watery eyes with the handkerchief her father handed her, she looked up – finding Sasha standing before her. Kaspersin was still sitting at her side, but his jaw was tensed for some reason. She didn’t care, but she hoped to hell he was feeling some sort of remorse for putting her through all this crap.

    “If you would like to return to the appartement, I will take you back. I am certain that my mother will excuse us.” Marietta took a deep breath in consideration. “Of course, you will want to finish speaking with your father, first. I will wait for you at the entrance.” He then turned and left.

    Kaspersin spared no time in taking center stage before her, lifting her up into his embrace, playing the worried father before the gathered crowd. “Oh, Marrose, please forgive me. I surely didn’t want this to happen to you; are you alright?”

    She wasn’t buying it. “I’m fine…just dandy.” She pushed out of his arms and began to collect her things. Dragging her cell phone out of her purse, she gave him a frosty glare, “I’m calling mother, then the airport, and then my real roommate in New York! If you wish for forgiveness, you better come up with the right words to say to me before I go. But, for now, I’m leaving.”

    She searched for numbers as she carefully stepped away from her father’s pleas, seeking Sasha to see if he will stand by his recent offer. She didn’t want to be near her father at this point, and she wasn’t too fond of returning to the apartment with her supposed fiancée. But, her luggage was there, and she was worn from the attack. She needed to rest and make plans for her departure. The apartment was cheaper than searching for a hotel room…

    “Is your offer still standing? I would like to return to the apartment.” Marietta figured the only person here who’s been honest with her all this time, who was also a victim of her father’s misguided trickery, was the only ally she had. She was weaker than she thought; closing her eyes for a moment to rebalance her equilibrium, Marietta took another deep breath and waited for his response.
    #10 Phi Chisym, Aug 8, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014
  11. “Is your offer still standing? I would like to return to the apartment.”

    Sooner than expected, Marietta was there for her ride back to the apartment. Sasha stared at her for a moment, transitioning from his thoughts to her question.

    “The offer still stands,” he replied. Why shouldn’t it? He’d only just made it. While he had been intending to leave if she’d decided to stay, it would have been rude of him not to wait. He didn’t say any of that, going instead to hand his ticket to the valet.

    While they waited for the valet to pull his car around, Sasha thought that he should say something to Marietta, perhaps about what had just happened. He couldn’t find a concise way to convey his thoughts however and so he said nothing at all and before long the valet arrived with the car.

    Once inside the car, Sasha turned on his music, which he’d left off for the quiet ride to the restaurant out of respect for Marietta’s likely very different tastes but he couldn’t handle a silent ride to the apartment.

    “I hope that you do not mind the music,” he said, his intention to discourage Marietta from turning it off if she didn’t like it. The song playing was “I Want to Break Free” by Queen, one of the many songs in English which Sasha enjoyed. Sasha appreciated the strange sort of appropriateness that the song had in relation to the current situation and it brought the slightest of smiles to his lips as they drove away from the restaurant.

    The music acted as a tension reliever, not nearly as potent as the cigarette he’d forgone would have been but enough to cushion the effect of seeing his mother’s name on the caller ID when he glanced down at his vibrating phone on the way back to the apartment. As he’d secretly anticipated, his mother did not understand their escape from the lunch. He tightened his grip on the steering wheel, knowing that he would pay dearly for this when she finally did get in contact with him and ignored the phone call.

    When they reached the apartment, they surprised Francisca in the middle of cleaning and, from her panicked explanations, a mess. She’d been working for some years under the housekeeper at the Meuniers’ main house and the strict rules about what the employers were and were not to see that were in place there. Sasha wasn’t quite so strict and, while he didn’t know what Marietta’s opinions were, he reassured Francisca in Portuguese that she wasn’t in trouble and suggested that that she make Marietta lunch. He then left the two women alone and he went up the spiral staircase to the second floor of the apartment.

    Once upstairs, Sasha went to his balcony and took out his last cigarette. It was still two days until his new supply would arrive but, dammit, he was frustrated and it was only a cigarette. He was careful to make it last and, even after he’d finished the cigarette, he stood out in the fresh air, reluctant to go back inside. When he did go back inside, he changed into some more casual clothes than the Armani and then went downstairs.

    On the main floor of the apartment, Sasha overheard Francisca explaining to Marietta that she had taken care of the things that had been brought up to the apartment, putting the clothes away in the closet and the suitcases away in storage. He didn’t stop to see his fiancée’s reaction, deciding instead that it was a perfect time to go for a drive and escape the city for a little while. He didn’t think that Marietta wanted to be around him any more than he wanted to be around her so it was a win-win situation if he left for a little while.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. “The offer still stands."

    Sitting down to wait for the valet, Marietta regained her senses and reevaluated how suddenly her life flipped before her eyes. How....Why? That was the main two questions she began to toss in her mind. Why did her father think he could just organize her entire life... and How - how was it possible for him to in the first place? She knew her mother wouldn't of allow him to arrange something so sacred as her marriage, unless she agreed to it in the first place. That slap in the face was the worst of it all - her mother must of agreed to all of this!

    But, how could she? After everything we've gone through, what we've accomplished all by ourselves? Why did she give in?

    The drive back to the apartment was silent - a similar situation as when they arrived. Marrose took a moment to grab her cell and began to text to her roommate in New York her altered plans. She will rest a bit, then grab her luggage and hop on the next plane out - whatever the cost.

    Just see if you can find a reasonable deal somewhere. I don't care if I have to board two flights to get there, just find me something so I can return to my real life - the one I built for myself.

    Alright Marrose, calm your tits, her roommate responded. I'll see what I can do at such short notice, but it's going to end up being the same as before.

    Just do what you can, K...

    Finishing the conversation, Marrose took noticed of the music filling up the space around her. To her surprise, it was Queen, one of her favorite classic rock bands. But the song itself almost made her laugh - talk about perfect timing.

    “I hope that you do not mind the music,” Sasha said.

    "Oh, no. It's fine actually...," She lightly smiled at him before turning back to look out her window, unconsciously tapping her fingertips to the melody as if she was holding the neck of a guitar. She took a deep breath and allowed the music to take over her senses, that and the movement of the car seem to relax her enough to forget about her father, forget about his insensitivity towards her, and to focus on just having a decent day with...a complete stranger?

    Well, consider this like a business trip, or a college road trip to meet a new classmate. That's it; then it won't feel so awkward. Which it was, but she had no choice at this point.

    When they reached the apartment, the housemaid seemed shocked and embarrassed that they caught her embarking on things other than maintaining the place. Marrietta could of sworn it was spotless when she arrived. Now, it was a serious mess - worse than a frat house after-party. Sasha has expressed to her in another language a word of caution or a touch of grace - whatever it was, she calmed and went about her way into the kitchen.

    Marietta was about to turn to thank Sasha for the ride back and to apologize for the scene earlier, but he had already rushed up the spiral staircase as if to avoid her all together. She wasn't sure what to think of that. What he upset at Kaspersin for what he did to her - to him? Or was he angered that his promised bride has turned her nose at him? Perhaps, he's thrilled that she refused the engagement - but there was no way for her to tell. Marrose was realizing quickly that this Sasha wasn't very sociable; which was possibly why his mother felt the need to arrange such a serious contract for him. Well, it wasn't her problem. Regardless, she'll be out of his hair and they both can return to the lives they held before their parents' attempted take-over.

    Marietta placed her hat and purse on the kitchen bar before entering to sit down at the kitchen nook. "Um...Francisca? Could you be so kind as to pour me a glass of water please?" What was given to her instead was a nice club sandwiched with a bowl of grapes, and a glass of iced Cucumber infused water. Marietta was shocked, "Thank you... I've forgotten that we didn't actually eat lunch today." Picking up one of the tiny slices, she took a small bite, delightfully in awe at the burst of flavors, before taking the napkin to dab at her lips.

    "Francisca, it was mentioned at my arrival that my luggage was delivered here. Did it arrive?" Much to her delight, her items did arrive, but unfortunately the housekeeper did her job well and had already taken the liberty to prepare her room.

    "What? Oh geez...," she gasped, taking a moment to sip on some water. "Okay...okay. Well, that was a lot to put in place, now was it?" she smiled, knowing Francisca was only doing her job. She did have a lot with her, as well as several boxes with her personal items for her room and for school. "Thank you for helping me with my things, but I won't be staying for too long. I'm hoping to catch a flight toni..."

    Just then her cell vibrated with a message that altered her words in mid sentence, "...but, I have a feeling I will be spending the night." This...can't be happening... She took her time to eat, knowing a good meal will give her the energy needed to deal with her situation appropriately. She wanted to call her mom and just let it all go, but now wasn't the time. When she was done with her meal, the light headedness from her episode and the full stomach was starting to wear her thin. She needed to rest, but she had no clue where her room was located. Again, she asked for Francisca's assistance.

    "I apologize for asking you for things all the time," she confessed. "I'm usually a 'go-get-it' kinda gal, but, of course, this is not my place. Can you show me where my room is located?"
    #12 Phi Chisym, Sep 23, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014
  13. Francisca smiled when Marietta asked to be shown to her room. Despite the fact that her cleaning supplies were still strewn about the main room, an offense that would have brought her close to losing her job at the main house, she was eager to show Miss Dulviar around the apartment. It was a privilege that Sasha had ceded to the housekeeper and Francisca intended to do it justice because she respected him somewhat more than she did his parents.

    Looking at Marietta again, however, the maid noticed that she didn’t look very well. It was probably best to let her rest after such a long day. The tour could wait. “Come with me,” she instructed and led Marietta to the small elevator that served only the three floors of the penthouse. She brought the young miss up to the third floor which was taken up completely by the master bedroom.

    The elevator opened to a small hallway. On one end, it opened up to overlook the main room and the delicate spiral staircase led back down. On the other end was a door leading to a staircase which went down to the main deck with a pool and outdoor bar. In the wall directly across from the elevator were two doors--one was closer to the door to the deck and was on the “his” side of the room with the smaller bathroom and closet and the other was closer to the stairway and the “hers” side of the room with larger bathroom and closet. Francisca led Marietta to the second door.

    The maid showed Marietta around the room briefly. There were discreet doors on either side of the room and Francisca led her mistress to the right side, opening the door to reveal a short hallway which opened up into a large bathroom with jacuzzi tub, a multi-headed shower, and a large, well-lit vanity. Off the left side of the hall was the walk-in closet. Francisca briefly described her organisation of the closet then returned to the main room where she turned down the bed in case Marietta wanted to sleep. She then returned downstairs to finish her cleaning.


    Sasha found himself in one of the small…well, they were more villages than towns, that dotted the countryside around the city. They were the sort of places he would have been loathe to live in but he didn’t mind visiting. He prefered the anonymity of the city to the close-knit nature of a small town but there was always something alluring about the slow-paced life led there.

    He found a small restaurant to take the lunch he’d missed and then strolled around the town for a little while. It wasn’t long, however, before he’d grown bored of the quaint scenery and turned his eye towards the city once more.

    Once back in the city, Sasha decided to kill some time by dropping by the local branch of his grandfather’s company. As the chosen heir of the Beaulieu fortune, Sasha was expected to spend a great deal of time at his future company, especially considering that it wouldn’t be too many years before his grandfather announced his retirement. In preparation, Sasha had spent the entire summer working side-by-side with his grandfather at the company, the only result of which was his grandfather’s declaration that it would be a much longer time before he could retire.

    Henri Beaulieu had been born into luxury but at a time when it looked like the family fortune might dwindle to nothing. Determined not to see that happen, he built a company to preserve and grow the family fortune. Most thought he was crazy and, if he’d been anyone else he likely would have failed, he was was just the right mix of charisma, determination, and guts to make it work and he wouldn’t let that be destroyed by a less than perfect heir. That was why he had skipped over his unsuitable son and chose his daughter’s son whose serious and determined attitude had recommended him for the position from a young age despite his unsociable nature.

    At the local branch, Sasha went directly to the manager’s office to talk business. The manager was one Éric Thomas. Éric was the son of Henri’s longtime secretary, Françoise Thomas, and, if the rumours were correct, Nathalie Beaulieu-Meunier’s half-brother. He was an average man of about thirty-five years--neither handsome nor ugly, neither a genius nor stupid, neither outgoing nor shy. What he was good at was following orders, a talent which left him near the bottom of the company.

    As his meeting with Éric drew to an end, Sasha received an invitation to dinner with the Thomas family along with his fiancée for the coming weekend. Sasha thanked his probable half-uncle and promised to pass the invitation on, though he was fairly certain that Marietta would have to respectfully decline as her plans appeared to involve leaving the city as soon as was possible.

    Sasha’s evening meal plans for that night were uncertain until Matthew called him, wondering if he would like to have supper. The invitation sprung partially from the fact that Matt’s date had just cancelled on him and he was not as comfortable as his friend was with being alone. He was also itching to know what had transpired after he had made his timely escape at lunch. He also knew that there was a great possibility that Sasha would turn him down. Sasha rarely felt bad about avoiding social contact but, tonight, the idea of going home to eat was less palatable than ever before with his fiancée likely stewing over the injustices in her life and possibly just waiting for someone to unleash them on, some one like Sasha, so he accepted if only to stay away from home a little longer.
  14. Marietta followed Francisca to a private elevator, shocked that the penthouse actually held more than one floor, the two headed upstairs to the master suite. Now, Marietta wasn't too oblivious to basic penthouse layouts, but she's never seen one so decked out before - and so large! The place could hold several full-size, two bedroom apartments easily - housing a good handful of families. But instead, this extreme amount of space was set up for only two people...well, one person? She really couldn't fathom the practice of such, but who was she to complain. Her life wasn't all peaces and cream; she was going to milk her night's stay for all its worth until her return to reality.

    Francisca quickly lead her through her space and the amenities there in, then left her to her means for the night. Marietta held her composure until the maid left the room, then with a slow twirl in the center of the room she gave a little cheer. One night there wasn't going to be so bad after all. Sure beats sitting at an airport all night waiting or shacking up at some two-star hotel with a five-star price. She was on a reasonable budget and another hotel stay and plane ticket wasn't exactly calculated within it. Falling upon the bed, she let out a deep fatigued sigh as the silky comforter slipped over her skin. Her little cheer session wasn't strenuous, but after what she'd gone through that day it did sap the last of her energy without her realizing it.

    "I'm still going to soak in that jacuzzi!" She proclaimed to herself before talking her body into getting up one last time.

    She found her delicates nicely folded in one of the dresser drawers in the huge walk-in closet - aka: space as large as her living room and kitchen back home; and headed to the bathroom. All of her toiletries and make-up were already in place. Impressed, Marrose began filling the tub with warm water. Taking a moment to pull her hair up and remove her make-up from her face, she waited until the tub was full and then slipped into the luxury that was her night in paradise...

    Two hours later, Marrose work up to fine her water tepid and her skin pruned. "Ah, hell. I fell asleep," she giggled. The silky sea salt bath soothed her soar muscles and lullaby'ed her away to neverland where the name Kaspersin never existed. She hadn't felt so relaxed. She reluctantly dragged herself out of the tub and emptied it, rinsing the suds out. She dried off and dressed in a simple short sleep gown; the only silk-like thing she possessed. After brushing out her hair and tying a headband on, she slipped her feet into her funny fluffy husky dog house shoes and headed to the bedroom.

    Marietta took a few minutes to call her best friend and rant about her father's pathetic attempts to take over her life thus far, but the conversation didn't last long. She was still far to drained for an extended chatter. The idea for searching for another flight was tossed away along with her tablet; she placed it on her nightstand and tucked herself under the sheets.

    "I wonder..." Clapping her hands twice, the light - in fact - turned off just like in the 'Clap on/Clap off" commercials. Giggling delightfully, Marietta placed her head upon the extra fluffy down pillow and instantly fell asleep. The day's events were swept away, and under the blanket of her subconscious, she was still in her old apartment thinking about her first full day of college.
  15. By the time Sasha arrived at Matt's apartment, it was quiet. The staff had all been dismissed for the evening since Matt was more than capable of setting a couple plates on the casual kitchen table, which was what he was doing when he heard the intercom buzz, signaling Sasha's presence at the front door.

    “You're just in time,” Matt said, folling his friend to the kitchen, no other greeting being necessary between the two. “Cook just left so the food's still fresh.”

    “Oh,” was Sasha's only reply as he sat down at the table.

    “What do you want to drink?” Matt asked, approaching the refrigerator. “Beer?”

    Sasha shrugged. “Pourquoi pas?” Matt removed two beers from the refrigerator and then took his seat at the table, placing one of the beverages before Sasha.

    The two ate in silence for a few minutes, both lost in their own thoughts.

    “May I ask you a question?” Matt asked.


    “Am I too nice?”

    Sasha thought for a moment. “Sometimes I have thought so but, in general, people like you better than they do me so I may not be the correct person to ask.” Sasha returned to his thoughts for a moment then, brows wrinkled, asked, “Why?”

    “Well, it's Angel...”

    “Ah, your girlfriend. Elle t'a quitté?

    “Well, yes, but...”

    Sasha immediately tensed up. “I am, ah, I am sorry to hear that.”

    Sasha's reaction was so unnecessarily extreme that it caused Matt to begin laughing. “All right, you moron, if talking about my girlfriend, or...ex-girlfriend...makes you uncomfortable then we can talk about something else. Your girlfriend, or rather fiancée, perhaps?”

    “ not want to talk about that.”

    “Yes, you do.” Sasha remained silent. Matt waited a few moments and then added, “You don't want me to mope, do you?” Sasha still remained silent so Matt began, in an overly dramatic tone, “Oh, Angel, why did you leave me? What have I ever done wrong? How is being too nice a crime?”

    “Fine!” Sasha said, then muttered, “Pauvre con.

    “What was that?”

    Rien, rien. What did you want me to say about my fiancée?”

    “Well, that was quite the scene at lunch today. Would you like to elaborate?”

    “There is not much to say. It appears that our engagement was kept a secret from her.”

    “Holy shit! Not much to say, he says,” Matt said. “She didn't know?”

    “So it seems.”

    “So now what?”

    “What do you mean?”

    “What's going to happen now?”

    “I do not know. That is Marietta's decision.”

    “Can't you guess?”

    “Either she will fight or she will not. That is what I would do in her situation.”

    “Well, obviously she'll do one of those things. The question is which one?”

    “I do not know.”

    “Can't you guess?”

    “Not at all.”

    The conversation continued like that for a few more minutes, Matt asking questions and Sasha giving less than satisfactory answers. Then the conversation changed, jumping from Marietta to the new apartment and finally to Sasha's book collection, a portion of which he had moved to the apartment with him. Finally on familiar footing, Sasha became quite vocal, talking about the details of his collection and the stories housed within it which he found interesting.

    Matt was more than happy to let Sasha go on, having purposefully hit his friend's chatter button, as he continued to to drink his beer, and then another and another and another, until several hours later Sasha was obliged to put him to bed as he was more than just a little drunk. Sasha woke the live-in butler and informed him of the situation so that he could check in on Matt from time to time and make sure he was all right before, exhausted, he went home himself.

    Unlike Matt, Sasha was completely sober. Not liking the feeling of being drunk as he was too conscious of the loss of control involved, which made him anxious, he had stopped after the first beer and the minimal effects of that had long since worn off. Instead, he was simply tired as he drove home and then left his car in the care of the valet. He was so tired that he had forgotten about Marietta as he made his way up to their apartment and further up to his room. Since his eyes had adjusted to the dim light in the the rest of the apartment, which had been left on to help him find his way up to his room, Sasha chose not to turn on the overhead light in the bedroom but rather his bathroom light which let a soft glow into his closet, where he changed out of his clothes, leaving on his undershirt and boxer-briefs to sleep in. Turning off the bathroom light, he shuffled back into the bedroom and crawled into bed.

    He fell asleep almost immediately, too quickly to notice the process of falling asleep and certainly too quickly to notice that he was not alone in his bed.
    • Love Love x 1
  16. Feathery dreams fanned and fluttered around her, keeping her lost in the delights of her whimsical imagination. Marietta wasn't so accustomed to having such strange and other times childishly morbid thoughts after going through an asthma attack that she's resorted to jotting down most of what she can recall of them when she awakes. These, however, she was certain that they would not be recorded, for this time her strange subconscious mind turned most of her childish twisty ideas about her father into the most uncomfortable sights to witness.

    At first, they were enjoyable renditions of what she would like to have - a lovely life with a father to care and protect her from the dangers of monsters under beds and strangers down the street. The sort of things young daughters wanted their fathers to protect them from. The sensation of being held in his arms, or holding onto her dad for dear life during tougher moments... that's what felt good to her, almost enough to bring tears to her sleepy eyes. But then those visions turned dark and tainted with her anger and hate, showing her what her heart... well, the portion she didn't believe existed within her, really wished would happen to Kaspersin.

    They were harsh, unforgiving, and down right freaky; Marrose would never admit that this is what she honestly wish will happen to her unknown father, but hear heart was not as forgiving as she attempts to be. Whimpers, sighed of sadness, or rough gasped fell from lips at what her mind showed her. Pulling away, even in her sleep, Marrose refused to believe what her heart felt, for no matter how frustrated or angry she was at the man there was no way she would want such things to befall him.

    Winning the fight, her dreams returned to serenity, playing with a new idea... Sasha. There were nicer visions of him her heart wished for her to see, those of a possible friendship with the man who seem to be - rather comfortable about this entire arranged marriage think they were stuck into. She wondered about that...wondered, since him and Kaspersin seemed more like father and son already, they were actually in cahoots together on in this game. She instantly considered Sasha a victim, just like her, but as far as she could recall he didn't show any sort of surprise about her ignorance about the engagement. Not wanting to be angry at a complete stranger, the tiny hidden creature called jealously began to slip through the cracks. All this time, while she was absent a father, her father became someone else's strong tower instead.

    This time, she couldn't rest. Flipping and tossing slightly under the sheets, Marrose laid on her side and sighed before she registered the dim lights shimmering from the nearby window. The room was still somewhat low key, which was nice - far better than the sun scorching her eyes before she wanted. It gave her a moment to tame the beasts that ruined her lovely dreams. Arching her back with a light yawn, she rolled to her back and closed her eyes again to just reflect - how am I going to get myself out of this mess? she wondered, before closing her eyes once more to continue her roll to the opposite shoulder. Ah, I'll think about it later...I wanna sleep in...

    Fluffing her pillow slightly, she rested her head against it again, her dark hair loosening slightly from her messy up-do. Marrose suddenly felt as if there was another weight resting before her, for her arm that reached for the other set of pillows on the opposite side of the bed landed on something...less fluffy. She nonchalantly opened her eyes....and seemed to have to focus and refocus to determine if she was actually looking at Sasha's resting face before her.

    He's rather handsome when he's asleep, was the first crazy thought that flowed from her drowsy mind...before her eyes widened and a loud, piercing scream alarmed from her lips!
  17. Sasha dreamt he was in a maze. It was a dark maze, full of ghost-shadows whispering to him. À gauche. Non, à droite. Tout droit. Suis-moi. Non, moi. Moi. À droite. Gauche! Suis-moi. Suis-moi!

    With every step Sasha took, every turn he made, his anxiety mounted. Was he making the right decision? Would he ever make his way out of the maze? Should he listen to the voices? If so, which one? They were all saying different things. Which way did he want to go?

    The sound of the voices rose until it became a cacophony over which Sasha could not even hear his own thoughts, adding to his stress. If only he could stop and think but every time he stopped the voices got louder. Then they crescendoed into a scream that launched him out of the dream, out of sleep. And still the screaming continued.

    It took Sasha a few moments to orient himself. He was in bed. He was in his own room. It was morning. Someone was screaming. Someone was Marietta. Marietta was screaming. Marietta was in bed with him. Quoi?

    Sasha's mind could process no more than that and the facts he understood repeated in his mind in a maddening cycle. The frustration from the dream spilled over into waking life. If only she would stop screaming.

    Arrète! Tais-toi! Je peux pas penser!” Before Sasha had decided to say anything, he had already spoken and, at that very moment, he realized that the sound was just the after-ringing in his ears. Marietta had already finished screaming. Feeling foolish, slightly flushed, he apologized, “Désolé.

    Marietta. L'Américaine. Elle parle anglais. L'anglais. L'anglais. English.

    “I am sorry,” he said in repetition of his apology. “I did not have the intention to yell. You made me startled.” The phrases felt clunky, not quite right but he could not think how. Perhaps under better circumstance, he would have found the correct words but the foreign language portion of his brain was slow to start this morning and he had to deal with what he could find, grasping in the dark for words and phrases. Besides, he had more important worries.

    Why was Marietta in his bed? Had she been there when he went to bed? He decided yes as it was improbable that she found her way upstairs to the master bedroom from one of the guest rooms.
    How did he not notice her when going to bed? He had been too tired to notice much of anything, he supposed. Why was Marietta in his room? Francesca must have told her that it was her room. Why? Did the maid want them together? Most likely not. Sasha's relationships had no bearing on her job. There was someone who wanted him closer to Marietta and who had the power to make Francesca do anything to make that happen—his mother.

    This was my mother's idea,” he explained to Marietta. “She wanted to...” The words did not come to Sasha in English so he just shook his head. “It was wrong. She will not do it again.” Between the determination to seek out his mother and make sure she knew better than to meddle again and the uncomfortable situation of talking to Marietta while in his underwear, Sasha decided to make a quick exit. Without anything further to say, he got up and disappeared into his closet/bathroom to dress for the day.
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