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Chapter 2

Pushing the door open, I entered the busy restaurant where my sister and cousin Alphie frequently visited. They invited me and I couldn't pass their offer up, so I said yes. Walking through the busy chicken restaurant, my sister Gabrielle stepped out of the bathroom. I waved and she ran over to me. "I didn't think you were going to come," she told me and I smiled.

"I'm here now aren't I. I had to travel back from Las Vegas."

"Where have you been?" Realisation striked her and she shook her head. Her eyes widened when she figured out what I had done. "You didn't go to see him did you? He's one of the worlds most notorious men Shannon! What the hell are you playing at?"

Placing my hands on my hips, I sighed. In my mind, I was old enough to look after myself. I was eighteen and ready to explore the world, but I had a protective older sister who wouldn't take risks. I would jump off cliffs into open waters, build tree swings and I even did sky diving when I was younger. Gabrielle backed out of every activity. I thought that she was boring as a child, playing with makeup and dolls. I wanted to get to experience all that life had to offer. In high school Gabrielle was in her very own click, all while I was bunking off and breaking every rule in the book. I came to realise that the two of us were totally different.

I did love her for who she was, but at times she would test my patience. I would call her 'bossy boots' and tell her how much I hated her when in reality, I loved her more than anyone else in my life. Me being in my bedroom reading books drove her crazy, yet at the same time I hated her booming R&B music. I would stick my fingers inside my mouth and pretend to gag when she would cross me on the stairs. She was the girly girl and I was the Tom boy, slash girly girl, slash goth girl. I didn't have a place where I fitted in. I was a lone wolf.

“Shannon!” Her hands were on her hips as she turned her head on the side. I just smiled at her.

“Honestly, Shannon,” she rolled her eyes. “I don’t know why I even bother trying to help you. Your a danger to yourself.”

“I know." I told her following behind her to the table where Alphie was sitting down. Taking my seat, I noticed that my food was already on the table. Tucking into my meal, I smiled at Alphie who wouldn't stop texting somebody. Sighing, I finished my meal and drank my fresh orange juice before saying goodbye and making my way out to my car. My mouth fell open when I remembered what he had said. No junk food and no juice. I had both of them and I hoped that it wouldn't be a problem. Surely the arrangement wouldn't start until I meet up with him, I told myself. I knew that it would be a problem for me because it was removing my favourite meal, deep fried chicken burger with chips. Making my way home, I stopped in my residential parking spot and made my way inside. Settling down on my bed, I started up my laptop and picked up my bottle of fizzy Pepsi. One last sip, I told myself. I knew that I was going to have to let it go and our relationship would be ending sooner rather than later. Lighting up a cigarette, I watched as an email hit my inbox.

"Shannon, I expect you to-" Is all that I could see. Breathing in deeply with my eyes closed over, I opened the email. It had information that I needed to know, so I sat there and read through some of it. A knock on my door grabbed my attention. Placing my laptop down, I opened my front door.

“I've come to chill with you babe.” Yasmin held a bottle of wine in her right hand. I smiled opening the door more for her. "Come right in."

Sitting back on my bed, I carried on reading what Mr Robernero had sent to my email as Yasmin looked at the screen from the side.

“You went and met him! Are you insane?" I glanced over at her as she crossed her arms over her chest.

"Your mum will go off her head!"

My mum was living a luxury lifestyle on a yacht. She left me when I was sixteen, and went off to live her life with her new boyfriend. Me and her had a close relationship with one another and I knew that she would have an opinion and it wouldn't be a positive one either. She heard about the Roberneros after they appeared on the news channel multiple times throughout the year. Her daughter getting down and dirty with a criminal, would make her resent me. I didn't understand why she would bring my mum up, to begin with. Regardless, my life wasn't up for discussion.

"My mum has nothing to do with this, neither do you."

"I know. I know. So what does he look like? I've seen that Renzo guy but I've never heard of a hmm," she looked at the name at the top of the email, "Ryder Robernero."

Typing in my search engine, she waited for the results. My Internet connection wasn't the best, so it took forever to load. Results finally popped up on the screen. Nothing. I smiled as she sighed and walked to the end of my bed plopping herself down. What she didn't know was that she was trying to find him underneath the wrong spelling. She typed in "Rider" when his name was spelt "Ryder."

I set the laptop down next to me, lighting up my cigarette that went out. Yasmin grabbed the laptop and turned it around typing away. I rolled my eyes and shook my head. She wouldn't give up once she'd gotten started. "Wow, he looks the spitting image." She said.

I glanced over at her blowing my smoke in the air. "Who's the spitting image?" I didn't know what she was talking about until she turned the laptop around to face me.

"Him. That's Ryder and the other man is Kenzo." I was fascinated staring at two images that sat side by side on the screen. He did look the image of Kenzo, but he had blueish grey eyes, Kenzo had grey eyes only.

Frantically typing, Yasmin found another picture of Ryder, and then another one, and another one. I sighed shaking my head.

Page for page, his handsome face filled the screen. He was looking at us with those piercing greyish blue eyes. Clicking on a newspaper article, Yasmin stared at the screen in disbelief. "Who's that?"

It was a picture of Ryder with his assistant Jessica. The two of them had appeared on the red carpet for a music event that Ryder donated money to.

"Jessica, his assistant." I muttered underneath my breath. Yasmin snapped her head around to face me. "Be careful."

"She's his assistant. She would have applied for the position if she wanted to be his." I squinted my eyes crossing my arms. Yasmins lips formed in a straight line.

"We all have secrets Shan."

I sighed. “If you could leave my room, I have work tomorrow.” I didn't want to talk about Jessica. To me, she was kind and sweet, I didn't want to look at her in a negative way.

"Fine," Yasmin shook her head and picked up my laptop. Walking out of my room, she left me to finally enjoy the silence of my bedroom. Turning on my side, I curled up into a small ball and closed my eyes, ready to fall asleep until I remembered that I had to sign one of my students off from my class. Jumping up, I ran through to the living room, picked up my laptop and sat on my bed.

Somehow, I found myself on his email again. The first part of his email had information about him. Ryder Robernero was twenty years old, two years older than me. He was an active member of his families organisation, The Societa Oscura, born and raised in Sicily, Italy. He was the youngest of three boys, his dad's name was Andrew and his mum was called April. His major family didn't know that he existed until three years before, because he wanted to open Robernero Enterprises. Using some of the Robernero cash flow, he made the business profitable and it was dragging in billions weekly.

I’d known about him the first day that he opened Robernero Enterprises. He was arrogant and punched a man in the face when he tried to take his picture. He wanted for his life to stay private, but the paparazzi wouldn't stop harassing him. I had hoped that he would be a nice man, but meeting him proved that he would be difficult to deal with. He was in fact, hard-headed and ignorant. I still had hopes that our weekend would go as planned. Why? I didn't know.

His home was in Arlington. It would take a four hour drive to get there. That's all the information that I had, no phone number, address, nothing.

Scrolling further down the page, I had the details for what he expected from me. I read over it quickly and continued to part three.

Part three informed me that I would be patted down by a member of his security team to check for weapons. It also told me not to bring anything with me, phone included. Ryder would provide me with everything that I would need, dress, heels, tights and shoes. It also contained the same instructions he’d given me earlier. Balanced diet, exercise classes, gym, jogging, no underwear, water intake and a sleeping schedule. I had to go to bed at ten o'clock each night. That wasn't great news, considering I was a night owl. Another problem that I faced was having to attend work with no panties or bra on. I knew that his rule would prove to be problematic with me being a university teacher. I had young students and I had to wear thin white shirts.

He had a list of books that he would expect me to read and an example of a diary entry which he would expect me to fill out at the end of our weekend. That wasn't a difficult task, I was a university teacher, so my writing was upto scratch, still I hoped that I could follow all of his rules and be able to do my job. Being a university teacher meant that I had to mark work and attend exams throughout the year.
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