Claimed by the Mafia (Claimed by the Mafia #1)

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Chapter 1

Maggie

3.....2.....1....

Ring!

Finally.

I closed my eyes and smiled to myself as the alarm signaling the end of the day filled the silence of the quiet and quaint classroom. I listened quietly as my classmates quickly packed up their belongings and rushed to the exit while they celebrated excitedly that university had finally finished for the holidays.

These last few weeks had been painstakingly long and exhausting. Every night was spent trying to finish stacks of never-ending homework and assignments. Every piece had to be completed by today, and somehow I managed to succeed in finishing it all.

If it wasn’t for all the energy drinks I had consumed and the all-nighters I had done during the week, I probably wouldn’t have finished any piece of work on time. Even so, I only had myself to blame for leaving everything until the very last moment, which surprisingly isn’t a first for me. It’s something I’d always done, even as a child, but I guess old habits never die. It was actually a sort of habit of mine to keep things until the very last minute. It wasn't my fault that I liked my work to be accurate and precise, but I will admit that I take a little too long to finish pieces of work. But if there’s anything I had learnt while being in university is that I should never stress over the things I couldn't control. Do that and you were well and truly fucked.

I released a sigh of relief when it registered in my head that for the next six weeks, I'd be able to spend the summer holidays doing anything I wanted. There was nothing I really wanted to do other than watch Netflix, and maybe read a couple of Jane Austin novels, or spend time with my mother, but I knew that if I hung out with her, she’d only want to take me to the shopping mall or do something more tedious than that. Shopping is not how I wanted to spend the holidays. I loved my mother to pieces and would do absolutely anything for her, but sometimes she could be a little too much. You see, my mother wished that I was more of a girly girl who’d talk with her about fashion, and make up and other shit like that, but stuff like that bored me to death. I couldn't think of anything worse than talking about what ridiculous outfit celebrities were wearing these days, or what makeup Kim Kardashian was advertising. I couldn’t give a damn, but for my mother, that was all she cares about, and it drove me insane. My mother refused to accept the fact that I was a tomboy who liked to wear band t-shirts, jeans and hoodies. She hated me wearing these type of clothes, but I liked to wear clothes that made me feel comfortable. Not clothes that had a fancy label on them or what was currently the recent trend in certain countries. I mean, who would want to buy lavish clothes just because they could? Oh wait. I know. My mother. She was the type of person who bought anything and everything from all over the world. She’d buy me extravagant dresses, shoes, lingerie and even accessories for me, but none of the items had ever been worn. It's not that I wasn't ungrateful, it's just that none of the items she bought for me were anything I'd wear personally, and I didn't have the heart to tell her because shopping was the only thing that made my mother happy. It used to be my father, but with him living a million miles away god knows where, and busy doing what he does best, nothing made her smile other than shopping.

The only time we ever heard from him was when we received a letter and a pay-check at the beginning of every month.

That was it.

It broke my heart every time my mother read his letters because she cried until there were no more tears to shed. What was worse was that no words would make her smile, and it was heartbreaking for me to watch.

He’d been gone for at least ten years, and not once in those drawn-out years he called. What if one day I watched the news and saw his face with the words 'Murdered' written in bold letters scrawled across on the screen? What would my mother and I do then?

“Maggie!”

My eyes sprung open at the sound of my name being called, and as I turned my head to the side, I groaned under my breath when I saw who it was. “Natalie, how are you?”

Whatever her answer was, I honestly couldn’t give a fuck.

She came to a stop at the edge of my table and smiled down at me. “How am I? Much better now that the lecture is over! I mean, how boring was that?”

Now, if there was one girl in the whole world who'd be the perfect daughter for my mother, it would be Natalie. She was the perfect definition of a girly girl. At every lecture, she was always wearing a designer product, and she loved the color pink. Like obsessed. Whether it was a headband, shoes, lipstick, her nails or even the color of her eyeshadow; it had to be pink.

Natalie was also one of those students that would do anything for an A grade, and yes that included sleeping with the lecturer. A few months ago, I caught Natalie and Mr. Connors in the act. I had forgotten something in the classroom and as I went in, Natalie came out buttoning up her shirt, and her hair was all ruffled. Mr. Connors soon followed after, tucking his shirt back into his trousers, looking very pleased with himself. It didn’t take a genius to figure out what had occurred between the two. I wasn't shocked when I saw the whole thing. No, it was pity. Pity for Mr.Connors' wife and children who were to this day still oblivious to the whole thing.

People like Natalie irritated me the most, but more specifically the reason why I disliked her was that she was everything my mother wanted.

I peered up at Natalie and sighed. I did it not because I agreed with her but because she was still standing here. “Very.”

“I thought it was never going to end!”

I widened my eyes and mimicked her enthusiasm. “Me too!”

Please fuck off.

But she didn't move.

Natalie ran her pink polished fingers through her bleached blonde hair as she yawned. “No kidding, I was about to fall asleep.”

I got myself out of my chair and placed it neatly behind the table. “But at least it’s the holidays, right?”

“Thank God.” She arched one of her perfectly groomed eyebrows at me. “Speaking of which, what are your plans for the holidays?”

Nosy much?

The only thing I was considering doing was going to visit my father, but I wouldn’t have a clue on where to start looking for him. It would make my mother so happy if she could see him just once.

“I actually haven’t decided yet.”

Natalie frowns. “What? You haven’t decided what you’re doing? How is that even possible?”

I tilted my head to the side and gave her a false smile. “Well, we all can’t be organized like you now can we, Natalie?”

She rolled her eyes, ignoring the sarcasm and agreed with me. “I guess not, but how could you not know what to do for six weeks!? I’ve been planning this for months.”

Good for you.

“I mean, I’m going to have shitloads of parties because my parents are going on vacation. So, you know what that means, right?” She arches her brow seductively.

“Tons of booze and a lot of hormonal students?” I murmur nonchalantly.

She squeals in delight. “Yep! And you’re totally welcome to come if you want.”

I’d rather choke on my own vomit.

I politely declined. “No thanks, but thank you for the invitation.”

Natalie wiggles her brows. “Boys will be there. Lots of them.”

“And?”

She shrugs. “Well, isn’t it time you found yourself a boyfriend?”

I give her a questioning look.

“A boyfriend?”

Natalie shrugs. “Yeah. I mean, you’re always alone, and I just thought inviting you to my party would be a great opportunity to meet someone.”

Since the start of the year, I’d always been somewhat of a loner, and I preferred it that way. While being here, I never made the effort to make friends because I liked to be alone. I’ve never wanted or needed anybody and because of my family and with how I was raised, it was difficult to have a normal life. So, for Natalie to speak to me like this, just made me think she was acting inappropriately by getting involved in my personal life. We’ve never been friends. She just assumed that we were because one day she’d forgotten to bring a pen to a lecture, and I gave her one to borrow. She hasn’t left me alone since.

I scoffed at her. “Girls like me don’t have time for boys.”

She looked at me as though I’d said something purely horrifying. “Then, what do you have time for?”

Not partying.

I smiled as I grabbed my books from the table and shook my head. “Have a nice six weeks.”

Just as I turned to exit the classroom and left everything behind I felt a hand grab my elbow, and for the second time, I groaned under my breath when I saw that it was Natalie. Again.

“Wait, before you leave, I actually came over here to ask you something.”

Great.

I wanted her to get to the point so she could leave me the hell alone.

“What is it?”

She bit her lip and smiled shyly. “What do you know about the Jinyoung brothers?”

What?

She couldn’t be serious? One man wasn’t enough for her?

I stopped myself from laughing out loud from her mindless question. No doubt that if she were a guy, she was thinking with her head, and not the one on her shoulders.

I shrug. “Not much.”

She crossed her arms over her chest and squinted her eyes at me. “Not much? But they’re your neighbors.”

With my other hand, I gently released her hold on me. “Just because they’re my neighbors doesn’t mean I know them personally.”

“But what do you know about them?”

All that I knew was that they recently moved from China and that they’re three brothers; Chen, Kang and Yuta. It was true that they were my neighbors, but not once had I spoken to any of them. My father had specifically ordered me not to associate with them and I never disobeyed my father.

“Probably just as much as you. I rarely see them, Natalie.”

And that was the truth.

The only time I ever saw them was when they came back from university. Even on the weekends, there was no sign of them. I guessed, they were kind of like my family. They kept to themselves.

Her eyes saddened as she pouted. “That’s too bad. I was going to ask them if they wanted to come to my party. Especially Yuta.”

Out of the three brothers, Yuta was the oldest. Then, it was Chen and finally Kang. They had a reputation on the campus of being what you’d call bad boys. They loved to break the rules, and they didn't give a shit about anyone or anything.

“You like Yuta?” I asked.

Immediately she started blushing.

Pathetic.

“I think he’s just the hottest guy on campus. Every time I look at him, I just get butterflies.” Natalie groans. “And the things I would do to him.”

I ran my eyes over her and cleared my throat. “I thought you were seeing someone?”

She shook her head. “Nope.”

Liar.

“Really?” I leaned forward and lowered my voice. “What about Mr. Connors? Will he be okay with you seeing someone else?”

Her smile soon vanished off her face and she started to pale. “What?”

When panic sunk in on her face, my whole body filled with adrenaline. The look on her face was priceless.

She had no idea that I knew her little secret. Knowing that I had the power in my hands to ruin her life and Mr. Connors’ career, made me feel untouchable. And I loved it.

I straightened my back and waited.

She scoffed and looked away. “I don’t understand what you’re trying to say, Maggie.”

“No?”

She avoided eye contact with me. “Whatever it is you’re implying, you’re wrong.”

I looked at her as though she was the lowest scum on the Earth. “Don’t give me that bullshit, Natalie. We both know you’ve been fucking Mr. Connors since the beginning of the year. So, don’t lie to me. I fucking hate liars.”

She stutters. “You’re mistaken.”

I released a heavy exhale. “It all started when I got curious that you were getting better grades than me because I specifically remember you telling me that you’ve never studied for any test in your whole life. I thought how could a blonde bimbo like you be getting straight A’s? And that’s when I saw you and Mr. Connors with my own eyes. I mean, seriously, how desperate are you?"

Natalie's jaw dropped.

I continued. "I’d say you’re really desperate, but I guess without sucking his cock, you wouldn’t even be scraping a D you fucking whore.” I shouldered past her and suddenly stopped. My final blow will no doubt make her cry. That was if she believed the lie I was about to tell her.

Did I give a damn?

Nope.

I turned around and saw that she was almost in tears. “Oh, and about Yuta? He hates blondes. How do I know this? Because he’s never come home with a blonde before. So, I’d take that as a sign that blondes might not be his type. Maybe you should try Kang? He fucks everything with a pulse and considering you do too, you’ll be perfect for each other.”

As soon as I turned to leave, she was already bawling her eyes out.

And it was music to my ears.

You may have realised up to now that I was somewhat kind of a bitch, and before you ask no, it wasn’t a choice I made or something stupid like that. It’s just that when you’ve had an upbringing such as mine, where you’ve had to learn to become somewhat tough, and not take any shit from anyone to avoid being a pushover, you slowly become a nasty piece of work. That’s what it was like growing up as a child; working hard and training all the time. When I was little, I didn’t even get to play with dolls. I didn’t even have toys as a young girl. Not even a teddy bear to cuddle up to at bedtime. And once, when I told my dad about the monster hiding in the closet, he gave me a shotgun. Sad, right?But that’s how my father wanted to raise me.

He wanted a stone-cold daughter.

So, my childhood was shit. Try living a life where you’ve always got trainers pushing you to the limit. Pushing you so hard, you end up passing out or throwing up. I gave it my all, still do because I know that’s what my father wanted.

And besides, I’d rather be a bitch than a doormat.


********************


All of the corridors were vacant of any students. They all probably rushed to leave to start their holidays, and I didn't blame them. Another week in this place would definitely drive anyone crazy. This was a much-needed break any person deserved.

I walked with haste towards the doors leading out of the university but abruptly stopped in the middle of the corridor when my phone started ringing inside the pocket of my jeans. I placed my books in the crook of one arm and reached for my phone, but just as I retrieved it from my back pocket, someone unexpectedly crashed into me from behind; my books and phone thud onto the ground.

Seriously?

I sighed while shaking my head in annoyance, and without looking behind me, I knelt down onto the ground and reached for my things. I expected the person to help me grab my stuff because it was their fault, but they didn't. Already, I hated this person and I didn't even know who it was.

With my things back in my arms, I stood up and as I turned around and confronted the person who rudely crashed into me, my jaw dropped at who I saw.

Standing tall before me were the Jinyoung brothers themselves.

The three of them are evenly the same height, reaching about six foot.

I looked to my left and looked at the youngest brother. Kang. He should’ve been a model. The lush, mother lode- black hair he groomed so carefully had a rippling quality; sign of his true wealth. The angular nose he sported complimented his prominent cheekbones. Handsome was an understated word to describe him. His basalt jaw and broad shoulders spoke of strength. Girls constantly remarked that his best feature was his piercing blue eyes which were narrow and thinly shaped. They could shine as bright as the sky. I never believed that his eyes would be that entrancing. Until now. This was the first time I'd been in close proximity to the brothers.

Slowly, I swung my eyes and looked over to the right and stared at the second oldest brother, Chen. Just like his younger brother, he could definitely pass as a male model. He was adored for his shaggy wild, chestnut brown hair. His crescent-shaped eyebrows were perfectly groomed to accentuate his imperious nose and his bony cheekbones that carved down towards his flinty jaw. Unusually for a model, he has a manly physique. His big eyes, dark brown like two chocolate buttons. They were soft and gentle. Girls rarely spoke of Chen because out of the three, he was the reserved one.

Finally, I dragged my eyes slowly away from Chen and looked at the oldest brother, Yuta. My gaze passed over his long legs that I could immediately tell were muscular even through his black trousers. His face is held forward in a steady gaze and has an air of authority that was palpable. He had an oval-shaped face with a defined, slightly pointed chin and a sturdy jaw. His eyes, black thin and hooded, were spaced evenly apart and sat below perfectly trim eyebrows that seemed to curve as a natural extension of his broad, rounded nose. He styled his jet black hair neatly with the front slicked upwards - showcasing his flawless skin. He kept his mouth closed in a thin, straight line. Yuta possessed a latent, leonine power and he always walked with purpose and authority. But it was his eyes that drew me in. They were like two pristine stones of onyx. It was like looking inside the depths of never-ending darkness, and it started to make me feel uncomfortable.

Without uttering a word, I stepped back, turned around and started walking away until a voice made me jerk and brought me to a stop.

“Stop.”

It was Kang’s gravelly voice that halted my movements.

This was the first time I had ever had an encounter with the brothers, and not once did I imagine it would be like this.

From the tone of his voice, I could tell that this wouldn’t be a friendly meet and greet between two neighbors. It sounded a lot like the opposite. Now, I was taught to never back down from a confrontation, but I knew better than to not mess with these three. Especially Yuta.

“Turn around.” Kang ordered.

I swiveled my whole body around and stared coldly at the youngest brother. “Yeah?”

From the reaction on his face, I could tell that he wasn’t expecting that to come out of my mouth.

Kang swung his head to the side and looked at his older brothers individually. Neither Yuta or Chen said a word. They just stared numbly at Kang. But after a few seconds, Kang started to laugh. It surprised me and unsettled me at the same time.

I stared at him questioningly while at the same time trying to come up with a reasonable explanation on why I'd been stopped.

Finally, Kang composed himself and smirked at me. “I’m still waiting.”

Huh?

I looked at Chen and Yuta for them to elaborate on what their younger brother wanted, but they remained silent.

I glanced back at Kang and sighed because I was beyond pissed that I was still here and not at home where I sure as hell wanted to be. “Waiting for what?”

Kang leaned forward, his eyes level with mine. “An apology.”

A what?

My eyes widened. “I haven’t done any…”

“Lose the attitude.” Yuta spat at me.

I scoffed. “But it’s true. I didn’t do anything wrong.”

“Wrong.” Kang taunts. “Did you forget the part of almost making me fall over?”

A part of me did want to apologize because I knew better than to aggravate the brothers, but the other part of me wanted to fight back.

My voice hardened. “Then maybe you should’ve watched where you were going.”

Straight away, I could tell that wasn’t what he wanted to hear, and just as Kang prepared to step forward, Yuta stopped him by putting a hand on his chest. “No. Not here.”

“But brother...”

Yuta looked over at Kang and said in a deep, masculine voice. “I said no.”

Kang shook his head in frustration and it didn’t go unnoticed by his older brother.

Yuta placed a hand on Kang’s shoulder; bringing his face closer to his and spoke in their native language.

Zhè bùshì shí jiàn huò dìdiǎn, Kāng. Nǐ dǒng de.”(This is not the time or place, Kang. You know that.)

Tā méiyǒu dàoqiàn. Wèi cǐ, wǒ bìxū jiào tā yītáng kè.” (She did not apologize. And for that reason, I must teach her a lesson.) Kang gritted his teeth as he answered Yuta.

Nǐ huì de, xiōngdì. Zhǐshì bùshì jīntiān." (And you will, brother. Just not today.) Yuta gives Kang’s shoulder a hard squeeze then lets him go.

I didn’t like where any of this was headed so I took a step back but it didn't go unnoticed by Chen, who’d been watching me like a hawk since the start of this confrontation.

“And where do you think you’re going?” Chen asked.

I ignored him and met Kang’s eyes and watched as a smirk slowly crawled onto his face.

He left Yuta’s side and took a few steps towards me. Not once did he break eye contact, and when he came to a stop, he gazed down at me with his mesmerising bright blue eyes.

“You’re lucky today, girl. Very.” With his index finger, Kang ran it gently down the side of my face and leant down to my ear. “But next time, you’re mine to do with as I please.”

I stuck out my chin and glared. Just because of who he was, I wouldn’t be intimidated by the likes of him.

“There won’t be a next time.” I murmur.

Shì de, huì yǒu de.” (Yes, there will be.)

Kang walked away with a broad smile on his face, leaving me with the other two Jinyoung brothers. I looked over at the oldest two. Chen was leaning on the school lockers, while Yuta stood with his hands in his pockets. He hadn't moved or spoken to me.

My eyes flicked from one brother to the other. “Why did your brother want an apology from me when I did nothing wrong?”

My eyes landed on Yuta, and for the first time during this gathering, our eyes connected. My breath hitched at how dark and soulless they appeared to be.

As he walked towards me, I eyed him while trying to figure out what was running through his mind. He stopped right in front of me, scanned his eyes up and down my body, sneered and shouldered past me. “Move out of my way.”

I winced as an ache shot up to my shoulder, causing me to hold it to try and ease some of the pain. I watched Yuta as he passed me and frowned. I wondered to myself why he’d done that to me when I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong. I wasn’t the one at fault here.

I watched him as he followed Kang out of the campus’ entrance and muttered under my breath. “What’s his problem?”

“Ignore my brother. He doesn’t have a way with words or manners.”

I scoffed as I looked back at Chen. “He’s rude is what he is.”

Chen chuckled. “I’ll tell him you said that. He’ll find that amusing.”

I highly doubted that.

Chen reached inside his black leather jacket and pulled out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. “You’re our neighbor, yes?”

I nodded. “I’m Maggie.”

“Maggie.” Chen lights a cigarette, takes a puff and exhales. “I’m....”

I cut him off. “I know who you are.”

And I didn’t care.

His face became stoic as he raised a brow. “You do?”

I shrugged. “Well, yeah. I mean, who doesn’t? That’s all everyone in this university talks about is how good looking you three are. It’s rather pathetic if you ask me.”

His shoulders slumped at my words, making me believe that what I’d said had left him feeling relieved. He takes another puff. “I didn’t know we were famous.”

I rolled my eyes. “Famous among the girls, yes.”

“And you?” Chen smirked.

“I honestly couldn’t give a fuck who you are.”

“Fair enough.” Chen chuckled. “My brother’s will be happy to hear that they’re famous among the women, especially Kang. He’ll be overjoyed about that.”

“About him. What did he mean?”

Chen waved me off. “Nothing of your concern. My brother overreacts sometimes.”

Which one?

He peered up at me as he leaned away from the locker and came towards me. “But if Yuta had not stopped him, god knows what Kang would have done to you.”

“Is that worry, I hear?”

Chen shrugged as he passed me. “Whatever my brother gets up to, that’s his business.” He turned around and walked backwards. “But next time, just apologize. It’ll make your life a lot easier.”

Without another word, Chen turned around and exited through the same doors his brother’s had.

What the fuck just happened?



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