Sweet Little Thing(7)

By: Abbi Glines

It seemed each time he opened his mouth his words were more offensive. But he claims he doesn’t mean to offend me? Seriously?

Walking away was what I should have done. But it wasn’t what I chose to do.

“You don’t know me.” I stopped myself from saying any more. He didn’t know me nor did he deserve to. I held back the other words that lingered, threatening to spill out and tell him exactly what I thought of him.

He let me go when I walked away without spouting additional rude, offensive, meaningless garbage from his overly attractive mouth.

Outside, the music was almost deafening and I had no idea how anyone was capable of hearing the person next to them talk. Two girls had decided to go topless and were sitting on the edge of the pool splashing water with a new guy that had arrived, Tate. I scanned the crowd to find Isla had moved from her previous spot and was now wrapped around Jasper. She was still in the tiny bikini she was wearing, but I figured she’d drop her top soon. Especially if Jasper’s attention stayed on the topless blonde flirting with Tate.

“Your sparkling water,” I said not wanting Jasper to see me and think I was there to ask him anything.

“Oh,” she said turning to take the water from me. She didn’t look thrilled about having to stop touching Jasper. I felt his gaze on me but didn’t make eye contact.

“Thank you, Beulah,” he said, surprising me.

I did glance up at him then and gave him a small nod before turning to walk away. He wasn’t flirting—he was only being nice. But Winston’s demeaning words still roamed through my head. I’d be careful in case there was any truth to them. I didn’t want to be accused of flirting. That was the last thing I wanted or needed.

“We need more ice for the beer,” a male voice called out. I hurried to do that. Then I went to make some guy a grilled cheese sandwich with chips. When I delivered that, more of the guys began placing similar orders. The day went on and on. A caterer showed up at four to handle dinner. I helped the caterers serve dinner and hoped the party would end soon.

Very few girls were wearing tops. Some were even missing bottoms.

Three guys were also going bare. I’d never seen so many naked bodies in my life.

“I want to see that one topless,” a drunk guy yelled out as I placed another tray of fancy shrimp on crackers near the cabana. I turned to see him pointing at me.

“She’s the help dumbass,” a girl told him.

“I want to know where the fuck Jasper hired help that looks like that. I’ll take five or ten.”

“You’re cut off Auden,” Jasper’s voice came from my left. Much closer than I’d expected. He was lounging with Isla at his side and like I guessed earlier she was topless. They both had drinks and his hand was now inside her bikini, splayed across her bottom.

“Don’t tell me you don’t want to see her naked,” he said laughing.

“That’ll be all for tonight, Beulah. You can head to your room.” Jasper’s tone sounded as if he were talking to a child. However, I nodded and mustered my self respect as I walked back into the house with my shoulders straight and my head held high.

I’d cry a later, but I’d do it in the shower when I washed off the day and I could be alone.

THE NOISE FROM THE PARTYING group was muffled inside the house. The further I walked away and the closer I got to the back stairs, their chaos was quieter.

My room was downstairs next to the laundry room, wine cellar, and storage. The bed that I slept on was full-sized and was in the corner of the same room as the washer and dryer. Their location made it convenient to doing laundry at night. Before Jasper and his friends came there had been very little laundry. Now the piles would be endless, towels mostly I suspected.

I had opened the door that led to my room, but the clicking of heels stopped me from going any further. Portia appeared from around the corner. Another glass of the amber liquid she had been drinking all day was in her hand. She looked annoyed and concerned at the same time.

“I saw Jasper talking to you not once, but several times. And he was looking at you. Make yourself less attractive. He’ll get rid of you and I won’t be able to do anything about it. If you want this job and to take care of your sister, then don’t draw his attention.” The last word came out in an angry hiss, then she turned and walked away quickly. Her clicking heels on the marble floor were slowly drowned out by the sound of the party.

I walked down the stairs slowly. Partly because I was tired, partly because I was frustrated, and partly because I was scared. Since coming here I’d been worried that what I had could end. That Portia would get mad at me stope everything. Just as I began to trust that I was safe, Jasper showed up and I’m told by two people that he would get rid of me.