Crushingly Firm

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Prologue

Sometimes we want what we want even if we know it's going to kill us.

-Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

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I was half awake and my vision was blurry. The breeze was extremely violent hence, making my head pound vigorously. I was constantly enduring the pain equivalent to hitting nails on one's body. But that wasn't it. When my face came in the contact of the uneven ground, a sharp sting made me aware of the cut my forehead held. It was bleeding a lot.

My body was covered with dirt, mud and my clothes were torn. As my eyes observed my state all I could see on my body were uncountable bruises covering my golden skin.

I couldn't remember for how long I had been lying on the road. Because my aching body made me feel like I had been lying on this rough concrete road helplessly for eternity. It was not like I didn't want to get off of the road, because I did. But my muscles were sprained and my gory body lacked strength to make me capable of any bodily functions. So in conclusion I was exceedingly tired.

The dreadful state I currently possessed was the result of me being used as a punching bag by several enormous men. Just the thought of them made me shriver instantly. Their murderous eyes were thirsty to shed my blood. They wanted to do nothing more than strangle me to death. But on their behalf they were just following orders.

One call.

One call was what it took for them to mangle me. But I could sense that they weren't going to kill me. They were applying only a certain amount of pressure to hurt me and not kill me.

As I figured out by the conversation occurring amongst themselves, they had orders to make me immobile. They wanted me to not be able to run away. And after their attack I couldn't move an inch. I was vulnerable. One punched me to break my nose. The other pushed me on the road and kicked me in the stomach. The third one hit me on my head with enough force that blood started pouring out.

As soon as I reached at the verge of passing out they drenched me with freezing brine so that I couldn't shut my eyes. And this was making me aware that my body felt like it was set on fire. The salt made me my body tremble and shriver with the unbearable pain. I was extremely tired from the exertion the pain caused me. I couldn't pass out and hence their task was complete. They left. Just like that.

Now the road was dead silent. Darkness was all I could see. This darkness reminded of the turbulence my life was in. I was angry and scared.

I closed my eyes and tried to imagine his soft hands caressing my hair with love and gentleness. He was smiling at the human he created in me. His honey colored eyes were filled with pride. His smile was generous and heart felt. I smiled at him with the same passion and love he endured within.

Blood.

Everything changed all of a sudden. And he was nowhere to be found! Dad! Where did you go? I called out but everything was in a blunder. Then I slowly heard whispers. I turned my head in that direction but whispers were gone. I walked in the same direction and something wet hit me. It was splashed all over my body. I touched it and looked at my stained fingers.

Blood.

My eyes fluttered open and a gasp escaped my mouth. The road was still dark and silent and the wind was still hitting me. It was probably 2 am in the morning. Very dark with no light. I had been staring at the end of the road for hours now.

I tried to move but the bruises on my body made it simply impossible. I grimaced trying to move off of the road but was met with a failure. I looked up to see if anyone was there, who could help me but I couldn't find anyone.

I felt a very dim light poking the corners of my eyes, so I turned my head in the very direction. And all of a sudden the end of the road showed a tiny light. As I adjusted my gaze the light became more vivid. And slowly turned into a car's headlights. It was a black BMW. It kept approaching until it suddenly stopped in front of me as I kept attempting to stand up.

I got a little suspicious as the front door opened to reveal seven people dressed in black leather. Everyone was tall and well built with lots of tattoos. They stepped out of the car and started loading their pistols pointing it in all the directions checking for intruders probably.

"Todo claro señor!" The tallest one spoke. As soon as the words left his mouth the front door opened and a dark figure appeared.

My eyes widened and my heart started pounding at the sight of the person who came out of the car dressed in a black suit.

Evander Abello.

Chills ran through my spine as The Mafia king himself stood before my very eyes. But deep in my heart I knew he was my only hope. Only he could give make me firm and cruel.

Evander was the owner of seven different mafia gangs. People understood him as a reincarnation of the devil himself. He had been using weapons from the age when children couldn't read and write properly.

He possessed dangerous beauty. An anti hero I would say. He was the most evil manipulator. The 29 year old man possessed a large frame, jet black hair, sharp jawline and green eyes. With a smirk on his face, he stared straight into my eyes making me frantic.

He had the body of the devil himself. Perfectly beautiful yet menacing. Death itself was his shadow. His touch could burn the fire itself. He was what I wanted to become.

As though he sensed my fear his smirk grew even bigger. Even though I knew why he was here, still I was unaware of his moves. He was smirking at me but the smirk didn't reach his eyes. His eyes were emotionless and hard.

He released a soft breath and turned towards his hired men. I could clearly make out their tensed appearance. They were trained in such a way that they followed orders by observing Evander's body language itself. They all stepped in a queue before him. Evander ordered them in a stern husky voice, " Levántala y tráela aquí." His voice was so low yet so vicious. I couldn't understand a single word of what he said. But sensing the dialect I knew that it was Spanish.

All of them nodded vigorously. They looked at each other and made an unfamiliar eye sign. With that the tallest one turned on his heels and crossed the road. He ran towards me and grabbed my hand with force. I sucked my breath and just stared at him.

My suspicion turned into reality. Confusion and fear took over me as he started pulling me upwards to stand up. He pulled me in one swift almost making me wince. I hissed in pain and made a failed attempt to escape him. The fact that the man was twice my size hit me like a hard rock since he didn't even budge.

I lost my balance and stumbled falling onto him. He immediately made his grip firm and started dragging me towards the other end where everyone stood erect.

I started to panic as he dragged me, "What do you want from me? Stop!! Leave me. Who are you all?" I began, almost pleading him. He simply ignored my pleads. They held absolutely no emotions.

Son of a bitch!

With each step my heart was beating more and more fast. I felt an urge to cry but I didn't. I held my tears back forcefully.

When we finally reached the end, he released me. Almost making me stumble backwards. I tripped due to loss of energy. Loosing my balance I fell backwards. I closed my eyes to welcome the hard surface along with the pain.

But I didn't hit the ground instead two large and icy hands held me tight from behind. The hands were very rough and manly. A gasp escaped my mouth. I flinched and turned around.

Sharp green eyes were staring at me. Evander was watching me amusingly. His eyes were cold and icy. Terror oozing out. His face was hard with no emotion. He took a step back and observed me for a while, which made me over conscious of my state. His presence intimidated me. I felt terror flowing around me.

He grinned at me slowly parting his lips to show his perfect white teeth. I was shocked with the emotions which were clouding my mind.

"My My novia!!!" He grinned at me. "Look how afraid you are. You most certainly need to loose that emotion." His teasing voice was ringing in my ears. He voice was deep and firm. Like he didn't speak anything unless he meant it. I gritted my teeth. My eyes twitched with a little irritation.

I was thirsty, hungry. My body hurt like bitch. I was sleepy and cold. And He was annoying me as fuck.

All I wanted to do was scream the hell out of my lungs.

No.

I shooed all the stupid thoughts away.

I couldn't show him my weak state. I wanted to be strong. I have to be strong for my father. I wanted to do him justice. I sighed and shut all my emotions. I tried my best to hide my fears behind my poker face. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Quickly composing myself I reminded myself that this is my only chance to get my revenge. This is the only way to find the killer. And I wanted to grab it at any cost.

If I don't grab his interest he will kill me. He had every reason to kill me. He exactly knew that I was a trouble maker. That I wanted something to do with him. I intentionally killed his three men by breaking into his "café" to grab his attention. I even left a note, so that he exactly knew that I craved his attention.

I finally opened my eyes and looked straight into his piercing green eyes. "To what do I owe the honour of your presence Evander?" I spoke in low voice. A smile was carved on my face even though I was dying inside.

"You tell me Novia, why am I here?" He sniggered. "I don't know what you are talking about." I lied and restrained myself from making any eye contact. He was smart and he could read anyone's eyes.

"My time is precious. If you don't speak up, I'm afraid, you will stop breathing soon." He stated nonchalantly. That made me start taking.

"I crave you Evander. I crave your power, possession and prosperity. I wanna be what you are. I crave blood and sweat and cruelty and revenge. Everything that makes you what you are." I spoke with credence.

"Why?" He asked raising his eyebrow. It was a monosyllabic query. But it was making me question everything.

"My father was murdered. I seek vengeance." I spoke in a low and defeated voice. " I am not afraid to die. I want him to pay." I was trying my best not to cry.

"Why should I help you?" He narrowed his eyes.

"I have nothing left to loose." I answered darkly. He was amused. I could see a hint of surprise on his face.

"I like you. Seems like you have done your homework." He commented teasingly. "I have always been a bright student Sir." I smirked proudly.

I had to be my best. I wanted to end up in his good books because he made sure his bad book's list was always empty.

He raised his eyebrow and tilted his head. "Let's test if you have it in you. Answer the following question carefully because it will decide if you have a future."

I nodded nervously not trusting my own voice. He paused and then spoke," Death or Life? Choose one and why." I didn't think twice and answered immediately, " Death. Because I didn't choose life and I can't control my life. But I can choose death. Not only mine but others' too." I took deep breath and smiled evilly.

He narrowed his eyes and kept looking at me. Then after a while he spoke again

"I'm impressed Novia. What are you? What makes you so dark? What is it that makes you think I'll choose you." He raised his eyebrow while arguing.

"There are two types of people. One who live and let others live. Two, who live but do not let others live. These are the ones you don't really know as to why you don't like them. All you know is you find them repulsive." I answered honestly.

I paused for while and closed my eyes again. My life depended on this answer. My eyes were closed and I could see a ray of hope to avenge my dad's murder. I sighed and resumed.

"I wanna conquer. I wanna see fear in eyes. I don't wanna be the best. I wanna be the only one. Only you can make me that. I wanna be the person who even you, the Mafia King himself will regret teaching." I looked straight into his eyes with all the darkness pouring out of me.

He paused and tilted his head slightl again. He scanned me from tip to toe and then finally spoke," I like you. You are asking me to teach you how to defeat me. You have it in you. If I agree you will not be my student. You'll be my shadow. You are not supposed to prattle. You are suppose to raise to the bait. You will break every curb. Take every opportunity your gender has given you. You'll have no identity until you make one. Are you willing to be my shadow novia??" He asked viciously.

I didn't need to think about it at all. I knew I needed this opportunity. Without even thinking twice I spoke, "Yes. Yes I do. I could do anything to find the kiler." I said.

"Today I, Hestia destroy my identity which was provided to me. My existence is yours until I make my own." I growled as loud as I could be.

"Very well then." He rubbed his hands together.

"Welcome to your only residence Penumbra!" Evandar chuckled.

That was it. Those six words changed me from broken to firm. I'm Hestia Donadieu and this is my story.

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