I rushed to my father’s office, not even bothering to knock on the door. As soon as I got inside, I saw Nikita and my dad making out on the top of the table.
“Dad!” I screamed his name.
He quickly pushed Nikita off of him, flustered that he got caught with his mistress.
“D-Drew…what the hell…?! Don’t you know how to knock?!”
I ran towards him, slamming my hands so hard on the table only to gasp out loud from the pain. I swished my hands in air until the burning pain disappeared.
Nikita walked towards me to inspect my reddening hands.
“Are you okay?” she inquired.
I nodded, foolishly grinning at her.
“I’m fine, thanks.”
I shifted my attention to dad who was now lighting a cigarette.
“Why are you giving me bodyguards?! And what’s this war of the heirs bullshit?!” I screamed at his face.
“Everyone is getting desperate to get the Pakhan’s position, Drew. Our group is one of the powerful families meaning a lot of people are going to target us. We can’t let our guard down. I’ve come so far, this is not the time the back down,” he explained.
I narrowed my eyes at him. I understand where he’s going but somehow, I couldn’t appreciate the fact that my life’s going to go fucking bananas again because of what our business was.
Dad straightened his shirt and looked straight into my eyes.
“We’re going to take some precautions, Drew.”
I stared back at him.
“And what’s that?”
“You’re going to stop going to school.”
The moment he said that, I felt my blood run cold in despair.
“No!” I barked, glaring hard at my dad. “You can’t do this to me! I don’t wanna stop going to school!”
Dad wasn’t taken aback with my sudden outburst.
“If you’re so worried about your education, I can get you home-schooled and…”
I slammed my hands on the table again only to feel the burning pain coming back. Nevertheless, I ignored it.
“I don’t wanna stop going to school! You can’t!
“Why are you so worried about it? You don’t even need to study because you’re already going to take over the group,” dad reasoned out.
I shook my head and clenched my fists.
As much as I wanted to tell dad that I have no intentions of taking over the Orlov group, I knew he’s not going to accept it. He would only make my life even harder if I go against this orders.
Nikita was just silently watching from the sidelines.
“I don’t wanna quit school!”
I didn’t want to let the Mafia ruin that normal life I always wanted to have.
The door opened and we all looked who entered the room. It was none other than my mom. There was coldness in her eyes as she looked at my dad without any sort of emotions.
“Let him continue going to school,” she said.
Dad furrowed his brows at mom.
The awkward air in the room made me sweat. Mom and dad have always been on each others throat ever since the beginning of time. I don’t ever remember them having any sweet moments even when I was still a kid. They were always fighting and disagreeing and it was exhausting to see them like that. I didn’t understand why they don’t just file a divorced if they hated each other with so much passion. The two of them were aware that they were cheating with each other but it doesn’t seemed like they mind.
“Don’t drag Drew down with you, Timofei,” she answered.
I widened my eyes at her in disbelief.
“You’re aware of our situation, aren’t you?” dad asked.
He walked towards mom and sensing that were about to bicker again, I looked at Nikita for help. She looked back at me and gave me a tired smile.
“Yes, I’m aware. That’s why you hired him to protect Drew, didn’t you?” mom answered, eyes still reflecting coldness and detachment. “What’s the point of hiring bodyguards to protect Drew?”
It took dad a minute to answer. He sighed out loud before looking back at me.
“Okay, I won’t pull you out of school but you have to promise me to stay out of trouble, Drew. Don’t bring too much attention, understand?”
I blinked at him.
Well, that was easy.
“Uhh, sure,” I said.
Mom looked at me and finally, a smile appeared on her poker face. She didn’t say anything else and just went out of the room, leaving the three of us alone.
Dad scoffed but there was a smile on his face as well.
“I can never win against that woman,” he whispered to himself.
He faced Nikita.
“Come on, I still have a meeting with the Alexei.”
“Okay. I’ll ask for Tim to get ready.”
She got out of the room to talk to dad’s driver.
“Don’t forget our deal, Drew,” dad said once Nikita got out. “Be careful from now on.”
I inwardly sighed.
“Yeah, I understand.”
I got back to my room, feeling spent and depressed.
I remember the time when we were just a small group in the Mafia. No one paid any attention to us because we’re nothing but small fries. Dad dealt with the usual stuff, operating drug dens, scamming, police corruption and other small things that small groups like us do. Over time, we grew big. More members came to join us and we got involved with the bigger family groups in Russia. Fifteen years in the business and we earned our name as one of the most powerful Mafia group in the country.
And of course, our lives became even more dangerous thanks to that. A lot of leaders wanted to be like Mikhail who managed to unify all the groups into one. What he did was no joke and it’s almost impossible for other people to imitate it. Nevertheless, they didn’t give up because being the Pakhan would ensure power and money.
Dad wanted to be the leader of all the groups but it’s not only him who had that goal. Almost all the groups that got separated after Mikhail’s death wanted his position. Fifteen years had passed and they were still fighting over the throne of being the Pakhan of the Russian Mafia.
It’s almost scary how everyone would go so far, even as to killing their closest allies just to get the position.
I threw myself on top of the bed, sighing in exhaustion.
I didn’t want to be the part of the Mafia.
All I wanted was to live peacefully, away from the chaos, the murders, the violence.
I buried my face on the pillow.
I suddenly thought of Clark. His view of the world was so innocent. I’m sure he grew up in an serene environment.
I envied him.
He wasn’t bothered about my sexuality even though majority of the population here condemned people like me.
My cheeks flushed as Clark’s smiling face kept appearing in my head.
I want to see him.
I took my phone out and sighed again.
I’ll ask his number tomorrow.
For two days, classes were canceled because of the shooting that happened at school. The police was brought in but in the end, they couldn’t find the perpetrator. The guy who was shot was dead on the spot and they couldn’t identify him because he was off the grid.
Class finally resumed and the security got even more strict. There were a security guards all over the vicinity and to be honest, it wasn’t helping the situation to die down. Everyone was tensed and afraid but the school reassured that everything was going to be fine.
I felt bad. At the back of my mind, I was the cause of the trouble because they were probably aiming to kill me due to this war of the heirs bullshit. But I just couldn’t give up now. I wanted to at least finish school before I take over the group even if it’s against my will.
I wanted to live my teenage life as a normal person, going to school, being with friends and having fun.
Once I experienced all that, I think I’m ready to take over dad’s position.
I arrived at my classroom and the first one I saw was none other than Clark. He was sitting on his usual seat, listening music through the earphones tucked in his ears. I was nervous because of what happened to this class days ago, thanks to Georgy but if Clark’s here, I felt a little bit safe.
I approached him but before I could tap his shoulder to get his attention, he already turned his head to look at me.
Clark smiled at me.
“Hey, good morning,” he greeted.
I waved a hand at him, my heart beating much louder than it normally does.
“G-good morning!” I nervously said. “It sucks that we have to go to class again, huh?”
It was a lie. I was actually glad that I could finally go to school. Cooped up in the house without anything to do but watch movies in my room all day, it was boring as hell. I couldn’t wait for classes to resume because of one reason alone.
I finally saw Clark.
Pulling the chair beside him, I tried calming my heart.
“Nah, it’s fine,” he said, grinning. “I was bored.”
I sat down and turned my body to talk to him comfortably.
I needed to get his phone number but I couldn’t think of an excuse to get it. He might think weirdly of me if I ask for his number randomly.
Out of all the guys I’m attracted to, Clark’s probably the only guy I didn’t want to to sabotage my relationship with. We only first met days ago and I’m already feeling strong attraction towards him.
We should be friends first, develop our bond together or something like that.
And once we’ve done that…
I looked down my hands in contemplation.
Will I confess to him?
The question circled my mind, putting me restless.
Confessing to a guy wasn’t the hardest thing for me. Even if just met him, it’s easy for me to tell my feelings for him. Being rejected and beaten up wasn’t a big deal for me but when it comes to Clark who I barely even know, the thought terrified me.
I lifted my head to stare at him.
He’s totally my type. His face, his personality, his confidence, he’s the man of my dreams.
And the fact that he doesn’t hate gay people was an added bonus to his perfection.
I believe this was once in a lifetime meeting with the perfect person.
I released my hands clenched into a fist.
I shouldn’t get his phone number. I’m sure he would think that it’s weird for me, a gay guy to get someone’s number.
I should know.
“What’s wrong?” Clark asked.
I shook my head and gave him a fake smile.
I think I’ll just hold onto my feelings for now.
Valery stared at Clark, her eyes widening in pure shock. She stayed frozen for a whole minute and if it wasn’t for me shaking her shoulders, she would have stayed like that until school ends.
She gasped out loud and quickly pulled me towards here. I lost my balance but her arm around my shoulder held me.
“W-w-who’s the hot guy?!” she half-screamed, half-whispered at me.
Clark decided to come with me to lunch. Valery and I always eat lunch together so it’s the perfect moment for them to meet.
I made a face, not appreciating that she’s totally crushing at Clark.
“He’s the new transfer student,” I answered.
Valery glanced at Clark and I could see the spark in her eyes.
“Hello!” she said, reaching her hand to Clark. “I’m Valery Boikov! Nice to meet you!”
Clark nodded his head, taking Valery’s hand to shake it.
“Hi, I’m Clark Roman,” he gently introduced.
I glared at their hands touching but didn’t say anything. Instead, I sat on the opposite side of the table, expecting Clark would sit beside me but much to my dismay, he chose to sit beside Valery. They started talking but I was too jealous to even hear what their conversation was.
I played with the salad I ordered earlier before coming to the table. Clark and Valery were too engrossed talking to each other and I felt left out all of a sudden.
I sulked, pouting to myself while staring down at my food.
They only met but why were they talking like they knew each other for a long time.
It’s pissing me off.
I snapped out of my green thoughts when someone sat beside me. I looked at the person and saw that it was Oleg. Valery saw her and her face turned sour upon seeing her brother.
“What’re you doing here?” she asked.
Oleg pouted at her.
“I just wanna spend time with Drew. What’s wrong with that?”
Valery waved her hand to shoo Oleg away but he ignored her. He looked at me and grinned.
“Are you ready for the cruise?” he excitedly asked.
I blinked at him and finally remembered what he was talking about. The 3-day cruise that the photography club planned for the up-coming holidays. I wasn’t a part of the club but Valery and Oleg were and so they invited me to come with them.
“Of course!” I said, although I was lying because I haven’t told dad about it.
Anyway, I saved enough money for the cruise.
The only thing I should think about was how I could convince dad that I’m going to a 3-day Asian cruise trip. The photography club president ensured us discount tickets for the cruise. Besides, it was a part of their club project that would benefit for the school so they were sponsored.
If it weren’t for Valery and Oleg, I wouldn’t have been able to come to the cruise.
“Cruise?” Clark asked, looking at Oleg.
They exchanged looks and it was Oleg who smiled first at Clark.
“Hey! Haven’t seen you before. Are you new?” he asked.
Clark nodded, returning the smile back at Oleg.
“I’m Clark, Clark Roman,” he said.
Oleg grinned at him.
“Oleg Boikov, nice to meet you!”
Valery suddenly touched Clark’s arm, making him look at her.
“You should come! We still have extra tickets because some of the members didn’t get approved by their parents to come,” she informed.
Clark looked adamant.
“Uh, I don’t think it’s -- ”
“Don’t worry about it! The school shouldered half of the expenses! It’ll be fun!” Valery urged.
All the while, my heart was beating so hard. I was praying hard that Clark would agree on coming with us.
Please, please, please say yes!”
“What’s this cruise anyway?” Clark asked.
“The photography club arranged it,” Valery replied. “We’re working on a project that we’re going to submit to an international contest.”
“I’m not a part of your club,” he reasoned out.
I impatiently stomped my foot on the ground. I crossed my arms in front of my chest, praying to all the gods high above to let Clark come with us.
“Drew’s not a part as well but we invited him to come,” Valery said. “Alyona’s fine with it. She’s pretty chill for a president. Your totally her type too.”
Clark blinked in confusion.
“Anyway! Let me get your number so I can text you the details,” Valery said as she took her phone out.
My jaw dropped in disbelief.
“Sure,” he said, taking his phone out as well.
They exchanged numbers and I was just watching them in pure envy.
Oleg nudged me on the arm and I looked at him.
“Looks like my sister has a new crush,” he whispered, smiling at me. “She’s gonna do everything to make him come, you know.”
I wasn’t sure if I should be happy or not.
“I need Clark’s number!” I yelled at Valery who was about to get out of the classroom.
It was our last class for the day and Valery’s about to head out to the photography club room. I quickly stopped her from exiting the room.
She raised a brow at me.
“Huh? Don’t you have his number already?” she asked.
“I don’t! I’m too afraid getting it,” I said, pouting. “Please give me his number, please!”
Valery slyly grinned at me and asked, “is he your new crush now?”
I blushed different shades of red from her sudden question and it was enough for her to know the answer.
“If he’s your crush, we should totally force him to come to the cruise!” she said, winking at me. “He’s so hot and handsome, isn’t he?!”
I puffed my cheeks at Valery.
“Hey! He’s mine, okay?!”
She laughed out loud and lathed her arm on mine.
“Okay, okay! I’ll give you his number but in return, help me with my photos, okay?”
I rolled my eyes at her but smiled nonetheless.
After doing club related stuff with Valery, I could finally go home. I was tired from school but I didn’t mind because I was enjoying every second of it. Valery talked to Alyona about Clark and we were lucky that there’s still a ticket left for him. Valery told Alyona that a really hot guy was coming and it was enough to convince the president to agree.
I got out of the school and saw a waiting black car in front. Two men clad in casual clothing were standing by and when they saw me, they immediately escorted in the vehicle. I guess dad instructed his men to double the security in the school to protect me from harm.
Him and his shenanigans.
I arrived back at the house, safe and sound. The maids greeted me and asked if I’m hungry but I told them I’m not. I went straight to my room, holding my phone in excitement.
I sat on the edge of the bed, staring at Clark’s number.
I wanted to call him but I didn’t know what I should say.
Oh! How about the cruise?
With a trembling finger, I pressed his number. It didn’t even ring when I quickly ended the call. I was feeling extremely nervous and my whole body was heating up in excitement.
Wait, calm down, Drew! It’s okay! No need to be scared. You’ve called your crushes hundred of times before.
My shoulders dropped in dismay.
But Clark was different!
Ugh! What’s this effect his having on me?! It’s freaking me out big time!
For the second time, I tried pressing his number but as expected, I couldn’t do it.
My heart felt like it’s about to jump out of my chest.
It took me a whole hour before I could finally call Clark. I held the phone on my ear, waiting nervously for Clark to answer.
Calm down, calm down, calm down, calm down.
I’ve already written what I should talk about. I stared at the paper lying on my lap, furiously biting my lip in anticipation.
Couple of rings later, Clark finally picked up the call.
Oh my god, his voice…his voice was just too…deep and sensual and…perfect! I think I’m having a breakdown.
This was seriously bad for my heart.
“U-uh, h-hello! Uhm, Clark, hi! Hi, hahahahaha!”
What the hell?! I sounded like a dying cat!
Talk natural, Drew!
I gripped the phone and answered, “C-clark, this is me…Dlew…aw!”
I stuck my tongue out, feeling the sting when I suddenly bit it.
“Hey Drew, is everything okay?”
“Y-yes! Am I disturbing you?” I inquired.
“It’s okay. I’m not doing anything anyway,” he answered but I heard a noise of something being dropped in the other line.
It was like a metal thing hitting a tiled-floor.
“What’s the matter?”
I ignored the weird noise and went ahead to say what I practiced for an hour.
“Valery talked to Alyona. There’s still tickets left. She agreed to letting you come. The Asian cruise with the photography club,” I recited like a dead person. “I just wanna ask if you’re gonna come with us. It’ll be amazing if you could. You’re a new student so maybe you can gain more friends by coming with us. Do you know that the photography club is full of nice people. I’m sure you’ll have lots of friends there.”
I wasn’t making any sense but I was desperate. I really wanted him to go with us.
Clark giggled and to hear it made my knees turned into jelly.
“I have no money for the trip, Drew. I don’t think I can make it.”
I suddenly stood up.
“I have money! I can lend it to you!”
I flushed, running a hand through my hair.
“You can borrow money from me. I have enough for the two of us.”
Another lie. I don’t have enough money. I only saved enough for me and to get more money for Clark, I needed to find a way to earn it.
Nevertheless, I would do anything to make him go.
“I don’t think I can…”
“Please come!” I begged. “Please…”
Clark stayed silent for a few seconds before replying.
“Okay, if you insist.”
I was filled with happiness from his answer.
“Really?! Thank you so much!”
My brows furrowed when I heard a low grunt coming from his line.
“Sorry, I have to go. I’ll talk to you tomorrow, okay?”
I didn’t even manage to reply when he suddenly hung up the phone.
I blinked, staring at the screen.
Nevertheless, I cracked a smile. He’s finally going!
I pumped my fist into the air.
I’m so happy!