The guy- Ryan- hadn’t said anything for a few moments and I hazarded to lift my eyes once again. He was gazing at me quietly, as if trying to work out some sort of math formulation in his head; suddenly, a warm, genuine smile spread across his face. I swallowed again.
“I’ll call you Maureen if you want me to. I was told to refer to you as Ma’am, or Miss, but if that’s not what you want, I am obliged to comply with any of your wishes.”
“Just call me Maureen. Ma’am… it makes me a feel a little weird,” I admitted.
“As you like. Are you ready to go now?”
“Yes.” I went to open the door, but his arm suddenly reached around me and I froze at how close he suddenly was to me.
“Here you are,” he pulled the door open. “Would you like a hand in?” My gaze fluttered- actually, fluttered- up to meet his and I was taken aback by the smirk playing on his lips.
“No,” I stuttered. “No, thank you.” I could feel the heat prickle in my face as I quickly ducked down into the limo. He shut the door behind me- but not before I saw the smile spread across his face as he turned away.
I settled back into the seat as the limo began moving. The blush staining my cheeks refused to go away.
But even as thoughts of my newly hired (and insanely attractive) limo driver buzzed around in my head, I couldn’t help feeling completely stupid. I didn’t understand why Dad couldn’t just let me drive my own car. I own a limo, and I now have my own personal chauffeur. Since when had I become someone so high-maintenance? My hands balled into fists in my lap.
It wasn’t always like this; my family had always been poor. Dad got fired from his job as a distributor for natural products when I was ten years old and was never able to get another job again. For almost six years, we (barely) existed on welfare and the donations of charitable friends and family. All thirteen of us… I had ten brothers and sisters. My parents had always wanted a big family but they hadn’t planned on having a dozen children. But my mother kept getting pregnant, and my father’s response? “If God keeps sending them, I’ll keep taking them.” But we were happy. Even poor, we had each other so we got by. I never gave up hope that Dad would find another job though. And when I turned fifteen, that hope became reality when my father was offered the chance to create a plan for a marketing company. He accepted the offer, but was later turned down after he had created the marketing plan. The hotshots who had made the offer didn’t see my father’s vision; they retracted the funding and we were right back to where we started. But my father was inspired, and not one to be deterred, he managed to find his own investors to back him in the creation of what would later be known internationally as BFN, a marketing company designed to deliver natural herbs and supplements to the nations. Similar to Herbalife, but nearly ten times the market value, BFN had become an international hit; its current gross revenue was 60 billion dollars.
My life changed seemingly overnight. Dad decided to move us from our old home in Long Island, New York here to California, where the base company of BFN would be located. Our mansion was designed by Rick Geraldo, the leading architect of the west. In less than a year, we had made the life-changing move across the United States, and we were able to celebrate my sixteenth birthday in our new home in Holmby Hills, one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in all of California.
I was now seventeen. My life had changed so drastically in such a short amount of time that it sometimes felt as if I were living in a dream. Any moment, I expected to wake up and find myself back at our little, grungy apartment in Long Island. But it was at times like these that I simply couldn’t believe my eyes. I gingerly rubbed my hand across the soft, cream-colored seat and eyed the wineglasses dangling over the wine cooler.
|Minka Kelly||as Maureen|
|Sean Faris||as Ryan|
|Pierce Brosnan||as Mr. Carvelli|
|Shenae Grimes||as Cara|
|Max Thieriot||as Justin|
|Catherine Zeta-Jones||as Mrs. Carvelli|
|Mackenzie Foy||as Lacey|