Standing in front of me was my father. A business man whom for years has kept quiet about what he did for a living. Always told me it was top secret, but I never pushed him for answers, partly because I was scared of what he would tell me.
Dad frantically called me in the middle of the night needing to talk about something he said was of great importance. I was scared by his shaking voice when I answered the phone, so I knew it was urgent.
I stepped aside and allowed my father to walk into my single-story home, closing the door behind him. "Okay, dad. What's going on?"
He took a deep breath and combed his fingers through his hair, settled on the couch and tapped the empty spot next to him. "Come here."
"Is mom okay? You're freaking me out?"
He nodded. "Yes, sweetheart. She's fine." I sat down next to him and he turned his body towards me. "I need you to move back home."
My eyes widened and I let out a deep chuckle. "What are you talking about?"
"Look, there are things I've kept hidden from you for your protection, but sweetheart this is very important. Please don't ask me why, but know that it is for your safety."
"Dad. I'm not going anywhere with you. Not until you tell me what's going on. It's time you told me." One thing I have pride myself with was being independent. Working my ass off to afford a place on my own and in this area, it was never easy, but for my father to ask me, a twenty-five-year-old girl to move back in with him, didn't sit right and made my stomach churn.
"Sweetheart, I love you, but I'm not giving you an option here."
"Tell me why."
"I can't. I'm sorry, darling."
I gritted my teeth and stood up, huffed towards the door which I swung open, waving my hand for my dad to leave. He stood up and grinned, nodding behind me. When my head turned around, I noticed an incredibly handsome guy smiling at me.
"Hello. My name's Zayden. I'm here to escort you back to your dad's place." Zayden had sleeked black hair, a chiseled jaw, five-o-clock shadow and deep brown eyes. The top button on his white shirt was undone and my eyes for a brief moment gazed at his bare chest.
My mouth dropped open. Sure, this guy was hot, but there was no way I would go anywhere with him without an explanation. I smiled back at Zayden, raised my eyebrows and shut the door in his face before I turned towards my father.
"Sweetheart, why did you close the door on him?"
"You hired a body guard?"
"Yes, well a few."
"You've got to be kidding me. And you won't even tell me why!"
"I can't. I'm sorry. Just know that your life is in danger and I need to protect you any way I can."
"By lying to me?"
"I'm not lying," he sighed.
"Well, not telling me the truth is pretty much the same thing. I'm not going anywhere. Not with you and not with him."
"I'm sorry, darling. You've given me no choice." The front door clicked and two guys barged in. "Now, you have an option to pack your own bags and we'll wait here patiently, or the other option is the guards will drag you out against your will, and I'll pack a bag for you."
I rolled my eyes and took a deep breath, my fists clenched in a tight ball which drained the blood from my knuckles. "I'll go and pack my own bags." I made my way to the bedroom against my wishes. I loved my parents more than anything, but I hated being lied to. It was my life and I damn well deserved to know what was going on.
I swung the closet open, snatched my overnight bag from the top shelf, and threw it on the bed. Hastily, I removed clothes from the hangers and drawers, shoving them in the black duffel. Swinging my bag over my back, I made my way to the window, carefully unlocking the latch. I pushed it open hoping that my dad and the other guys couldn't hear the screeching. Using one leg before the other, I flung over the window and landed easily on the plush grass on my two feet.
After taking a deep breath, I looked around the front yard. The streetlights were dimmed, but provided ample vision which allowed me to run from my father and the other men in my home.
Finding myself at the local bus stop, I only needed to wait a few minutes before I turned into the street and stopped in front of me. After paying the driver, I pulled my hoodie over my head and sat at the back, scooting down and leaning against the window.
The ride was quick, but I figured I would stop somewhere local and get as much rest as I could. The bus stopped directly outside some seedy motel. Walking through the property, I noticed an empty pool protected by a high fence which sat at the side of the building. There were cracks exposed on the run-down building, and paint that was peeling off.
Stepping inside the reception area to check in, I wrapped my sweater around my hand and pressed the bell, only waiting a couple of minutes before a man appeared from the back room. His dirty white singlet had what looked to be spaghetti stains streaking down the front.
"What do you want?"
"I need a room for a night or two."
He nodded, took a blue set of keys from the wall and slid them underneath the paneled glass. "Forty dollars. Cash only."
Taking out my wallet from my bag, I found two twenty-dollar bills and handed them over. "Here you go."
"Got a name?"
"Nope," I replied.
His hand slid underneath and he dragged the cash back, lifted it up and placed it in his pocket. I turned around and strolled outside. Looking down at my keys, my room number was grafted against a silver dog tag. Number eight.
A deep sigh escaped my mouth and when my head turned to the left, I noticed a man leaning against the door of one of the rooms. His attention was down towards his phone before he briefly caught my gaze.
My lips curved into a smile and I swallowed hard. He was older than me, but there was something incredibly sexy about him. The silver streaks through his rustled hair, his fluffy beard, tanned complexion, kissable lips and eyes that I was already getting lost in.
The man broke our gaze when his phone suddenly rang, and I felt slight disappointment when I turned and made a beeline to my room.
God, he was sexy.
I slipped the key in the door before I turned it and pushed my way inside, closing it behind me. Dumping my bag on the floor, I fell back onto the bed and from exhaustion, settled into a deep sleep.
The next morning, I woke up in the same position. My tensed muscles froze when I tried to stretch my body. After finally managing to stumble out of bed, I grabbed my bag, opened it and took out my phone.
Damnit. Fifty new messages? Really? Ugh.
Needing some fresh air and food, I decided to head to the café which I noticed across the road the night before. I walked out of the motel room, stepped into the parking lot and jogged across the street.
As soon as I pushed the door open, a bell rang above my head. I placed my bag on the floor next to one of the bar stools which I propped myself up on.
The short haired brunette waitress smiled as she walked up to me. "What'll it be, love?" She removed a pencil from behind her ear and picked the notepad from the side pocket of her apron.
I slipped one of the menus off the bar and looked down, scanning the food items. "Maple Bacon waffles please."
Her grin widened, she nodded and jotted down my order. "Coming right up, love."
My thoughts were erratic, thinking about my dad and why the hell I would be needing protection anyway. A deep sigh escaped my lips and I pulled out my phone, opening one of his messages. Young lady, you will come home right this instant. You have no idea how much danger you're in.
My fingers frantically sent a reply. When you're ready to talk, I'll be ready to come home.
Don't say I didn't warn you.
I switched off my phone and placed it back in my bag on the floor. My attention redirected to the entrance when I heard the ring of the bell, and my breath hitched at the back of my throat.
In walked the sexy man that was standing against the motel room door, but he wasn't alone. This time, he had a slightly younger man who accompanied him.
I caught his gaze and swallowed hard. His lips curved into a s mile and he briefly nodded his head before sitting down on the red leather booth chair. Disappointed that his back was turned towards me, I brought my attention to the waitress, who suddenly had my plate of waffles in her hand along with a tall clear glass of water.
"Here you go, sweetheart."
As soon as the plate hit the table, I closed my eyes, leaned forward and took a deep breath, taking in the mouth-watering aroma from the crispy bacon. I opened my eyes, grabbed my cutlery and started chomping up my food. Sometime in the last ten minutes, the two men swapped seats and from my peripheral vision, I could see the older one gazing at me a few times, almost making me embarrassed about eating this salty and sugary goodness, but I was way past the point of giving a shit.
After almost finishing my plate, I grabbed my glass of water, brought it to my lips, and had a quick sip before placing it back on the bar and taking another bite of my waffle.
"Excuse me, miss?"
I spat out my food, quickly grabbing my napkin and wiping away the evidence left on the corner of my lip. "Crap."
My head turned and I noticed the sexy man seated on a stool next to me, and I was finally close enough that I could see his green eyes locked with mine. This man had a thick Italian accent which has left me in nothing but a puddle.
"My name is, Pierre. I am sorry to interrupt your breakfast."
"Um, that's fine. Can I help you with something?"
"You dropped this." He smiled and reached over holding something tight in his grasp. "It fell out of your bag."
Prying my eyes away from him, I looked down in his hand and noticed he was clutching onto my wallet. My cheeks flushed and a smile crept up on my lips. Taking the wallet from his grip, Pierre's rough hands grazed against my skin, and my whole body lit up with fireworks.
"Thank you," I whispered, and placed the purse on the bar before I looked down towards my plate, unsure why I couldn't direct my gaze at Pierre.
"Have a beautiful day."
I quickly nodded, picked up my fork and devoured what was left of my waffle. He smiled, stood up and returned to his booth, leaving me flushed, wet and unbelievably hot. After eating, I paid the waitress for my meal, left a generous tip before I scurried past Pierre, avoiding eye contact with him.
When I stepped outside, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, opening them up again when a black van screeched in front of me, and two men jumped out of the sliding door. "Get in."