The latter half of the day seemed to go by faster than the former half did. Maybe that was because there were only three classes left on the day or something else entirely, but before anyone would know it, the final bell would sound, and just like that, every student was scrambling to get to the parking lot, get into whatever mode of transportation was made available to them, and get the hell out of dodge.
And Florence, unlike the masses, waited her turn. Her last class was English with Mr. Tomers and there was a look he gave her as she simply stayed seated when her fellow classmates had jumped at the chance to get out, almost tumbling over each other. Florence knew he found it strange, which explained why she reciprocated his look with a smile and a small nod of acknowledgement.
Florence had waited for exactly five minutes. It was noted by a low-sounding alarm went off on her phone. In the moment she had put it on snooze, she got up, gathered her things, and proceeded to walk out the door. She did stop briefly to wave to Mr. Tomers whose desk was in line with the only door to his classroom. She would even wait for him to wave back. An elegant smile was received to Mr. Tomers.
Florence would walk slow. She was in no rush to leave and what was the hurry? She knew her only ride would be waiting for her, so there was no doubt in her mind that he would be there, waiting for him. Regardless of how impatient Alexandros could be, Florence knew he was a gentleman. Despite claims made by various parties at this school, she knew he had the mannerisms of one who was taught how to treat a lady. Granted, he does forget it from time to time, so people have to reassure him. Of course, if he was in the right company, he wouldn’t have to forget it. That side of him would come naturally.
And that made Florence almost want to grit her teeth, because she knew the kind of person that he would become should he get a chance with Audrey Huntsberg again. The dancer with a temper to match her ancestral background. A proud latina with enough fire to outclass a habanero pepper and enough pride to rival Zeus. Someone with the looks to get anyone she wanted and when she did get the ultimate prize and somehow blew it, she still was the focus of all his thoughts. REgardless what Florence would say and more importantly, thought, he remained focused on her. He wanted to get revenge on her by making Omar pay.
Some days, Florence didn’t see why she always bailed him out, knowing full well who he would become with her at his side, but Florence also had her own reasons.
Amid getting lost in her own thoughts, Florence was at the parking lot. As she scanned the area, to her surprise, it was not Alexandros waiting for her, but a very familiar face. It was someone she hadn’t seen in a few months.
Florence walked over to the person, who was waiting for her by a black Lincoln town car
. “Miss Florence, how good to see you again.” He said, opening the door for Florence.
” Florence hugged Gustave briefly, “glad to see you’re back to working for my father. How’s Gisèlle?
“She’s fine Miss Florence. Just got a house in Pasadena.”
” Florence was delighted to hear that.
As she got into the car and Gustave started to drive off, she found herself intrigued why her father would send him to pick her up. Surely he knew about her arrangement and her temporary placement at the Mossos Estate. With his term coming to an end in just one month, Florence had no doubt in her mind that her father would be really busy and caught up in putting together his campaign for a reelection.
For the duration of the drive to her father’s estate, Florence dabbled on her phone, messaging some people from back in Greece, as well as friends she had in France and some she made right here in LA. In that time, she and Gustave exchanged a few words here and there, but for the most part she was quiet and focused on doing her own thing.
When the car stopped and Gustave had opened the door for her. After thanking him, she walked up to her father’s estate
. She couldn’t help but notice a car in the driveway that she recognize the make and model of, but it wasn’t a car that was usually parked in her father’s driveway. Getting curiouser and curiouser, she went inside.
“Miss Florence, your father has requested you in his study.” Said one of the five maids on the staff.
Florence nodded and made her way down the hall, and headed a right after passing through the kitchen. From there, she went up the stairs, and heeded a left. This would lead her right into her father’s study. As a lady, she knocked first.
” Said her father.
As Florence walked inside, the first thing she noticed was that her father
wasn’t alone. There were two men sitting on the couch. One, a man more close to her father’s age, and another, this one more close to how old Florence was.
Not even waiting for her father’s invitation, Florence took it upon herself to fix herself a drink. Her father didn’t care much if she drank alcohol, since he knew she was reasonable, so she helped herself to a small glass of brandy. Then, as she took a seat opposite of her father’s guests, she took a sip of her drink, then leaned back, crossing her legs. She looked at her father, and said, “I gather you wanted to speak to me about something urgent, father, or else why would you send Gustave for me when you know that I had an arrangement with Alexandros.
” She took another sip, and looked at her father with her no nonsense eyes, “so why don’t you enlighten me?
“I’ve forgotten how you hated to beat around the bush. Reminds me so much of your mother.
” Florence chuckled lightly at that comment, “[color=forestgreen]yes, well as you know, my term as Major is coming to an end at the end of this month. I’m going to be running for my third consecutive term, and I wanted you to be the first one to hear this,” her father said, clearing his throat, “there’s currently an investigation into me for corruption. Completely baseless, of course, but nevertheless, I wanted to be the one to tell you before it reaches the 4 O'clock news.
Florence didn’t seem bothered by the news. It was no secret to her that her father liked to tread the line of what was morally acceptable and what might be considered illegal. Her family’s ties to the Mossos family, despite it being mostly legitimate relations, has attracted suspicion about how the Major has Mob Ties. What they don’t know is that they were right in suspecting, but just to save face, he had denied any of that being the truth.
“So, are you suspecting a leak?
“If I may, Francis,
” the older male said.
“The floor is yours, Simon.
” Simon said. He had a British accent. “The leak isn’t the biggest problem here. For your father, it’s about public perception, and how this scandal could hurt your father’s reelection.
” Florence quietly sipped her drink. “And you are..?
“My apologies. As an English gentleman, I am ashamed I didn’t offer up my name first.
” Simon stood up, and gestured the younger man to as well. “My name is Simon Thomas Cross. And this here is my son, Wesley Alexander Cross.
“I have heard stories of your beauty, but if I may as be so direct, none of them do you justice.
” Wesley said, taking Florence’s hand, and giving it but a simple, short kiss.
“You sure know how to make a lady feel special, Wesley.
“It was how I was raised, my lady.
“He is right, Florence,
” Simon confirmed, “above all else, how to properly address a lady, was the first thing I tried to engrave into my sons. Where I come from, there’s only one thing to remember: manners maketh man.
“Haven’t I heard that from somewhere?
“Ah yes, well I’m afraid it’s a very common saying, so certain movie producers adapted it into their own creations.
” Simon seemed almost saddened by it.
Florence offered no thought on the matter, so she simply turned to her father. “So how bad is it?
Francis didn’t respond immediately. “Well, while it’s still very premature, my lawyers say that I could be facing a trial. And this close to the end of my term, it could hurt my chances for reelection.
“What can you do?
“Get in front of it before our name is dragged through the mud.
“Okay then. What’s the first step?
“]Press conference most likely, but Florence..
She looked at her father. “What is it?
“We have to be a united family and appear to have no involvement - or anyone - illegal.
“What exactly are you saying?
“Your arrangement with Alexandros - yes, I know you are only here in Los Angeles to help him with his current crisis - is over as of right now.
And there it was. The real
reason why he wanted to tell her all of this before the it hit the fan. It wasn’t because he wanted to spare her the embarrassment - he should know that what some lowly news anchor said about her father wouldn’t bring disappointment to her - but rather he wanted to be the one to tell her that whatever arrangement that she had with Alexandros was over.
And he knew that she knew that this would get under her skin. Through all the annoyance that was brought on from ALexandros, she cared for him a great deal, and considered him as one of her closest associates. The fact that Francis
couldn’t keep an iron fist rule on his employees wasn’t her fault, so why punish her simply because he wanted to save his own skin?
Florence wasn’t happy about this and she nearly showed it, but then something came to her. As soon as it did, she smiled. “Very well, father. If this is what you wish, then it will happen. I will no longer associate myself with Alexandros or his family.
After that, Florence simply sat in silence, drinking the rest of her brandy. Mind was racing and it brought her joy. Only time would tell what that would mean for everyone else.
Alexandros didn’t usually get anxiety. People who knew him would be able to tell you that he always kept it together, but there was that rare moment that he couldn’t help it. Today was one of those days where he grew increasingly anxious. Throughout the entirety of the day following the lunch period, his mind was on only thing - well, two if you count Omar as well as Audrey. The entire time he was in his history class and then his math class, Alexandros was going over the plan and what had to be done. At the same time, he was having doubts. Not that he was one to have doubts about such matters, but recently, Alexandros was losing focus on what used to matter to him. Now, however, seems like the only thing he can focus on is the plan he and Florence set in motion.
And that’s exactly why, instead of waiting outside for Florence to give her a ride to either her house or back to his place, Alexandros in a very subtle way was watching Audrey and her dance team practice. Florence might call it pathetic. And maybe she was right about that, but Alexandros was obsessed(as some would call it). And when a Mossos became obsessed, it was dangerous. Everyone who knew Alex would say that he was a dangerous man when he became obsessed. Someone who would drop everything and focus only on her -that’s who he was. When you add an injured pride, it made for a very toxic, possibly-life-threatening for whomever the object of his obsession might’ve shacked up with. In this case, that was Omar. But right now, Alexandros was enjoying the show.
As he watched, through all the anger and insult to his pride, Alexandros had nearly - but not actually - forgotten what it was like when he first saw her dance during that pep rally at the beginning of the year. The way her hips swayed from one motion to the other, and making it seem as though it came as natural to her as breathing did. Demanding the crowd’s attention and stringing them along as if they were puppets, pulling the strings as she saw fit. Alexnadros became immersed into her electrifying hip thrusts and each twist and turn that had her moving like a professional. In his mind, Alexandros was remembering how it felt on that day, seeing her dance for the first time, and knowing that he had to have her. And not a day later or maybe down the road. It reminded him of how he had to have her in that very moment and how he nearly did have her in the locker room, but she stopped herself.
And then, as he brought his eyes in focus to Audrey, just as she popped her chest forward, eyes of one of her dancers met his. It was that blonde bombshell Kat. He didn’t like the way she smirked at his direction. He especially didn’t like how she leaned towards Audrey, even more so e how Audrey seemed to react. He thought he was out of the woods, but when the lot of them were talking, he knew it was time for him to get going. So he would get out of his seat, and causally walk out of the auditorium. There was no use trying to hide that he wasn’t there. Even before let the door close behind him, Alexandros looked back just briefly. It was only a moment, but in that moment he swore Audrey had looked at him. Maybe he read too much into it, but in that moment, Alexandros swore something stirred.
Well, at least something was stirring for him; almost to the point of second-guessing himself. “Perhaps--
” Just as Alexandros was about to finish that, he was receiving a call. “Yeah?
“Alex, where are you?!
” It was his mother. She sounded frantic.
“At school. I was about to leave. Why, what’s up?
“Is Ava with you?
“No. Last I heard she hitched a ride with that Jackson Drake guy. He’s an obnoxious idiot, but he’s good for her.
“Are you sure? I just tried her cell, and she’s not picking up. I’m worried.
“Mom, I think you’re worrying for no reason, but if it’ll ease your soul, I’ll swing by the Drake residence before I come home.
“Please if you don’t mind.
Alex sighed, “sure. I might be a little late then. They live ways away. Kind of surprised they have him go to Bev High, but whatever.
” Alexandros hung up not long after that.
Hitting the road within ten minutes, Alexandros was starting to wonder if maybe this was more than it seemed. Truthfully, Alexandros didn’t like Jackson all that much. He was a bit unrefined and seemed to be a pain some of the times that he had seen when he was with Ava either during their lunch periods or when he would come over for studying
sessions with Ava, but she seemed to be happy, and at the end of the day, that’s what he cared about most. God forbid Jackson Torvald Drake hurt his baby sister. If he did, Alexandros would seek the full wrath of the Sunset Saints on his skater boi ass.