Chapter 1 - Big Mistake
He promised me.
He promised me he wouldn't do it again.
He's all I have.
Flashback- A few hours
"Luna, We can't wait any longer." Said Dr. Abela. "He needs surgery as soon as possible, the hospital won't do anything until you don't pay the deposit."
"I work here, I won't run away... please. Just give me some more time, you have to start the surgery, I'll pay the deposit as soon as I can.." I cried.
"Luna, you've been a dear student of mine. I've already done as much as I can by convincing the hospital authorities to treat him without any deposit up till now.. but, even my hands are tied. For them, you're still a student, just interning with us." He explained. "Can you contact a family member?"
"We don't have anybody. It's just us.. He's used up all his earnings on my college fee.. I.. I don't know what to do.."
"We have time until tomorrow evening."
Time until tomorrow evening...
How will I arrange for money for his surgery by tomorrow?
What could I possibly do to save my brother's life?
I couldn't help but blame myself.
If I hadn't thrown a tantrum for him to send me on that medical camp with college, he wouldn't have gone for that race to arrange the money. That stupid illegal car race. Had I known, I wouldn't even mention it.
I live with my older brother, Owen. Since the last 11 years it's just been us. Owen and I started a new life after my mother passed away and father left us. I was just 10 years old, Owen was 18.
With whatever inheritance my mother had from her parents, Owen bought a small house and a small supermarket which he's been running ever since.
He's devoted the last 11 years of his life, trying to give me the best one. Never did I once feel that we have less. When I told him I wanted to be a doctor, I saw him get nervous, but immediately hide it with a proud smile.
Last year I found out, he'd participate in illegal races to earn extra money for my college tuition. He had an accident and I made him promise me that he'd never do it again and he didn't. He didn't until I fussed about that medical camp and he went back on the tracks. His car toppled over causing serious injuries on his skull.
My head started spinning.
Why can't I think of anything?
Mario, he used to live across the street from me and Owen, we used to play with other neighbours kids until he moved out a few years ago but he's always stayed in touch with me. The last I spoke to him he offered me a job to earn quick money but I turned it down, I never needed money so bad.
I quickly made my way to the club Mario told he manages, hoping he'd be there.
As soon I reached, I noticed a huge crowd waiting outside, trying to get it. I took a deep breath before trying to push my way right in front, only to be stopped by a huge guy.
"Name?" He asked.
"Umm.. Luna.. I.. actually need to meet .."
"You're not on the list, please move aside." He said sternly.
"No.. you don't understand, I really need to meet Mario.." I insisted.
As I mentioned Mario's name, he looked at me with a small frown and pulled out his phone. "Luna you said?" He said and I nodded, hoping he'd call Mario. "Nope, sorry you're not on the VIP list either. Please move aside." He said as I could feel people push me behind.
I lost my balance and was about to fall back when I felt a strong grip on my waist, steadying me. I quickly turned around, only to see the most beautiful pair of eyes I'd ever seen.
I couldn't help but stare at this tall man with two toned eyes, one brown and one blue. He had a scar on the right side of his face and he glared at me, making me feel intimidated.
"Let her go!" He said sternly to the man behind me, snapping me out of my daze.
I wanted to thank him but nothing came out of my mouth as I backed away. I just realised the army of men standing around him, pushing the crowd to the side as I ran into the club.
This place was dark and extremely loud with flashing lights all around. I ran up to a few people working there, asking for Mario but nobody seemed to take me seriously. I stood in the crowd as drunk people danced around me, trying to look around when I felt a familiar grip around my waist.
"Are you looking for someone, baby?"
I quickly turned and looked into the same pair of eyes I couldn't stop looking into a few minutes ago.
"Umm.. thank.. thank you for helping me out there.." I said, not knowing what to do or say.
"I can think of better ways you could thank me.." He smirked, slipping his hand to my ass, pulling me closer.
I widened my eyes as he squeezed my ass and pushed me more towards his crotch. I quickly wiggled out of his grip and slapped him across his face.
"HOW DARE YOU!" I yelled as he rubbed his nose and redeemed himself.
He looked back into my eyes, this time with anger. I couldn't help but shiver under his glare. I noticed him lift his hand as though he was stopping someone behind me but I was too scared to look anywhere else.
"Big Mistake." He said as I found the courage to back away.
My heart was racing as I reached the bar and I couldn't help but tear up. I can't believe some random scary guy touched me like that and all I could do was slap him. I mean, I don't know where I got the guts to even slap him, I'm surprised I didn't start crying right there.
"Luna?" I heard Mario's voice and took a breath of relief. "Is that you?"
"Mario! Where the hell were you. Do you know what just happened with me?!" I cried.
"What?" He looked at me with concern.
"Forget it, it's not important. I need your help." I said.
I sat him down and told him everything.
"I don't know how to help you.. all my money has gone into my new house.." He said, deep in thought.
"Do you have any job, like the last time you came to me?" I asked.
"Luna that was a simple task, all you had to do was catch a flight from Sicily to to Rome with a few documents, hand them over to a person waiting outside the airport, then catch the second flight and come back to Sicily.." He explained.
"So.. I can do that.. anything!" I cried.
He sighed. "It's not like that. At that time we needed someone from outside who wouldn't be doubted to do that job, it was a one time thing.. there's nothing I can offer that is as safe.."
"There must be something Mario. Please.." I looked at him with teary eyes.
I know Mario works with some funny people, he does a few illegal things here and there. I don't know what exactly but I figured it out when he ran into money overnight. No manager of a club gets paid so well.
"There is something but Owen would kill me..." He said.
"I'm doing it for him.." I said.
"Okay wait!" He grabbed his phone and stepped away for a couple of minutes.
"There's this guy who wants citizenship of Italy. The quickest way is if he marries an Italian. It'll be a contract marriage, he'll pay you for the marriage and once all the paperwork and formalities are done, you can get a divorce." He said.
"I'll have to marry someone?" I widened my eyes.
"Only on paper and you'll have to move in with him for a few weeks incase of any surprise visits by court officials." He said. "Don't worry, the guy is decent. He studied medicine here in Sicily, now his student visa is expiring and he wants to continue staying here. Same field, you'll have something in common.." He said.
I had no other option. I know I can trust Mario, he would get me stuck with a crazy guy. "Okay, when?"
"I'll pull a few strings and get you guys a date tomorrow morning at 11am." He said. "He'll give you 70% of the amount tomorrow after you sign the papers, balance 30% after the marriage is registered."
"No.." I said. "Just ask him to deposit this amount.." I pulled out the invoice from the hospital. "..to the hospital under Owen's name. Incase I have any more hospital expenses, then just that, nothing more." I said.
"I'll be at the courthouse tomorrow morning, 11pm." I said and he nodded.
"You'll have to move in with him tomorrow.." He said and I nodded, leaving the club.
I rushed home and started packing a small bag. I threw in a few basic clothes and all my books, I could always come back incase I forgot something.
I suddenly remembered.
I grabbed my phone and dialled his number, waiting for him to answer.
Seb- "Hi, is this important? I'm busy."
Luna- "Seb.. I went to the hospital today.." I took a deep breath.
Seb- "How is he doing?"
Luna- "I need to arrange the money by tomorrow, anyhow.."
Seb- "And how do you plan on doing that? I already told you I can't..."
Luna- "Yeah.. I know, I'm not asking you to help me... actually I met Mario today, he knows someone who needs citizenship and.."
Seb- "And you agreed to marry him for money? Basically whore yourself out for money!?" He spat
I was taken aback by his harsh words.
Luna- "It's not like that!" I cried.
Seb- "Forget it Luna, I should have ended it with you the day you told me you wanted to 'wait until marriage'. I mean for fucks sake, you're 21 years old, I'm 26 and I've been waiting 3 years and you've not even blown me, fuck that, you've not even let me feel your boobs! Now you marry this guy and he gets to fuck you!?"
Luna- "Seb what's wrong with you? It's a contract marriage! Why is sex all you think about!"
Seb- "BECAUSE MY GIRLFRIEND OF 3 YEARS HASN'T GIVEN ME ANY!" He yelled and I couldn't help but start crying.
Seb- "Call me when you're out of this marriage. Don't fucking show me your face until then! I've given you 5 years of my life, I'm not letting you go just yet!" He cut the call and I fell to my knees, sobbing.
My brother's best friend.
Sebastian came to work at the supermarket 5 years ago. He started liking me almost as soon as we met but I was just 16 and he was 21. He asked me out on my 18th birthday and with months of convincing Owen, he said okay for us to date.
I've always liked him but I've never felt sexuallattracted towards him. I thought it would come as I grew up but the fact that he was always insisting on sleeping with me, turned me off completely.
Since the last year or so, he's not been around, not for me, not for his best friend. He says he's busy with his new job and I hate to impose so I don't question him either. He didn't bother visiting when Owen got in the accident either.
He's never spoken to me in that tone. Apart from some snide comments at me for thinking the way I think, for being boring, for not wearing shorter 'sexier' clothes, he never spoke to me badly, rudely or even loudly for that matter. Sometimes he'd speak in a way that I'd start thinking that I'm depriving him of something every couple does.
I'll talk to him when he's a little calmer. I don't know what's gotten into him. Maybe, maybe he's reached his boiling point with me..
A text from Mario distracted me.
Mario- Be there at 10am sharp tomorrow morning.
Luna- Okay, thanks Mario, you don't know what you've done for me..
I put my phone away and laid down. Hoping that tomorrow is a better day, tomorrow all my problems should be solved. Everything will go smoothly.