I was born into a world you would never fully understand unless you, yourself was born into it. I was viewed as weakness as soon as I entered the world. But that never stopped my Dad from loving me with his full heart.
But it did stop him from admitting to anyone he had a daughter. I think personally he had hoped for a son. I had brought it up with him once, that I should have been a boy, and he said I was his gift from god and perfect the way I was. He wouldn’t change it.
When I was little I could never understand why I had to live separately to him. But he always said a day would come where he would show me his world.
I was ten when I found out Dad was the head of the Mafia and I found out how important my blood was. And it was one my tenth birthday I started training with a gun. Because Dad said I was his apprentice.
An apprentice that the whole world would fear. Whether you lived this life or not. When you heard The Apprentice. You would be scared and the fear that followed would only be natural because Dad said my reputation and the fact he had chosen me to be his Apprentice would speak for itself.
I was fifteen when I made my first kill. After years of training, in special arts and every combat skill possible. I also had five years of shooting practice. Target after target I took out while learning. Being groomed for the day I could take my spot next to my Dad.
I was sixteen when Dad announced to the world he had an apprentice. Someone he was grooming to take over. Because everyone knew Ivan Maddison, didn’t have any family. And like Dad expected I was feared. Especially after my targets started dropping. I wasn’t scared of blood. I wasn’t scared to get physical. I had been trained to take a man out with my hands. So I did what I was trained to do.
Kill and be Dad’s right hand.
The only thing I hated about it was I was masked. No one knew my face. Shit I moved so quickly, people didn’t know if I was a boy or a girl. All they knew was to be in fear, when I appeared. Why half face skull masked, made headlines. Kids even dressed up as me for Halloween. It was fair to say Dad’s plan to make me feared. Worked. And people had a right to fear me. I was trained, skilled and didn’t stop when Dad had set a target.
I just hated no one knew I was his daughter. He took his one weakness and chiselled me into a sharp point, so if anyone was to find out about me, I could take them out personally.
But so far no one did. And Dad had planned that when the apprentice, being me, did take over from him, who I was would never been known.
“Ivy are you even listening to me?”
I looked up from my tea. Right I was getting a lecture. “You said something about me taking too many risks?” Which I thought was a stupid thing to even give me a lecture on because the whole point to me living, was to take risks. And more importantly, he expected me too.
“Doing what is expected of you is one thing. Business is business. I give you one weekend off a month and you decide to spend it racing cars at ridiculous speeds. I know you are a skilled driver. Fuck. I made sure you were trained to be. But you using that to be a common street racer, is…” Dad looked at me frustrated and furious.
“Is what Dad?” I pushed my plate away from me. “It’s just some fun. It’s not like anyone will connect me to it. I race at the bay for Christ sake! Its hours away from here. So stop lecturing me.”
Many women and men feared my Dad. But I was not one of them. So right now as he was giving me daggers, I wasn’t scared. Because I knew unlike many people that Dad gave that look he wasn’t going to pull his gun and end me.
“Fine! Don’t listen to me!” Dad threw his plate across the room and I was so used to his bad temper. I didn’t even jump. I just rolled my eyes.
The other thing about being invisible was no one knew I lived here. Dad kept this residence secret. He rarely was here. I had my own place in the city, for my cover as my ‘normal girl’ life. But I lived here. For some stupid reason, I still wanted to live at home with Dad.
“If the police run your prints and you end up in the system Ivy. You’ll be fucking sorry.”
I smirked. “They would have to catch me first for that to happen.” I reached for my cigarettes. It was fair to say I had more run ins with the police, doing Dad’s work, than I did street racing. “And as you know Dad I don’t stop when I see red and blue.”
“You aren’t masked Ivy! You can’t just take them out, like you normally would! These street racing people, know your name! Know what you look like!”
“They know me as Ivy. That’s it. They don’t know shit. I could disappear tomorrow and not one of them would be able to track me down. The only connection I have there is my car and garage. Both which are paid with cash. You trained me Dad. You know I’m smarter than the common street racer.”
“I don’t like you risking everything we have.”
“I’m not.” I lit up a cigarette. “You can calm down now.” I inhaled sharply. If I had to say I had a weakness it would be smoking. A smile spread across my lips. “How about we talk about taking out the Carter’s?”
He narrowed his eyes at me. “How many times do I have to tell you we aren’t taking over their territory.”
“Depends.” I blew out a mouthful of smoke. “How many times do I have to remind you I can do it?”
He scoffed. “I know you are capable. But we are at peace with them.”
I narrowed my eyes at him. Sick of hearing about this ‘peace’ he had formed in the early days, when he came up against the Carters. The city- the country- was spilt in half. Our territory. Their territory.
“That peace ends as soon as his son takes over and I take over. Because I won’t settle for half when I’m capable of running the fucking lot.” I meant it to. Once Dad steps down, I take over. Dad’s ‘peace promise’ came to an end.
I was positive Ryder Carter, which was the son of the famous Harrison Carter, that my dad had this peace with- well I was positive when he takes over, he will want to end the peace as much as me.
I knew it meant war. I knew it meant blood. But I also knew I would come out ahead.
“Like I said. I never said you weren’t capable. But you still need to learn, we have maintain peace with them. They are just as capable of wiping us out. Take out our money first, then our men. Till you learn the importance of peace. I won’t be stepping down.”
I rolled my eyes. Dad’s lecture turned into lecture of wise words. Which I think is worse than being told off. But it didn’t matter what he said or how many ‘wise’ lectures he gave me on the topic. I was taking them out as soon as I stepped up.
Hell I could take Ryder out any day. I was forced to go to the same private school as him. He didn’t know who I was though. He didn’t know I wanted so badly to pull my gun on him. Maybe watch him squirm a bit before I take his life.
But with that said. I also knew he was going to be hard to kill. He was well protected and on top of that, maybe nearly as skilled as me. Our dad’s had that in common, making sure we could take after ourselves.
I pulled the cigarette from my mouth. “I will never have as much faith in this peace as you do. You know that. And you also trained me better than to think, that they aren’t taking money from our streets.”
Dad knew they were sneaking into our territory. He knew they were earning off our streets. But he did nothing. Why? Because we were doing the same thing.
Which proves the point, this peace was useless!
“I trained you to be strong. Not ruthless.” Dad got up. “Only a ruthless leader would accept to wiping out a generation of peace and settle for the lives that would end, because of that choice. You really want that amount of blood on your hands?”
I got up, “I guess you’re wrong. I am ruthless. And unlike you. I don’t have a weakness.” I turned and went to leave, but he was quick to block my path.
“I know you still have a heart Ivy. So I know you won’t just accept to killing that amount of people and sending this country into a full blown underworld war.”
“Blood in blood out.” I shrugged. “They know what they’re in for when they come to us. Every connection to us, knows the risk. And while you sit on your empire and rule. I’m doing the dirty deeds to keep your hand from getting bloody.”
I was never scared of Dad. He had killed in front of me. I knew what he was capable of. I knew how he tortured people. I knew all this, yet fear didn’t flood my body as he gave me the coldest expression, you would think hell just froze over- because well, it the calculating stare before you go for the kill. I would know because the same expression would capture my face- often.
“I think I lost you the same day I lost your mother, go before you say anything else.” He stepped out of my way.
“She was nothing but a heroin wreck. You still think too much of her.” I had one view of my mother. Weak. Only a weak person would let themselves get addicted to a drug that would end their life.
Then again, some days I consider myself weak. Because I was addicted to the thrill of the kill and the chase of money- and it was going to be the death of me.
“Don’t speak about her like that. She might have been that, but she isn’t anymore.”
“Dad she was a one time fling. I still don’t understand why you took me off her.” Why didn’t he let her just ruin my life?
Dad gave me a smile, one that rarely occurred. Only when he was pleased with my work or when… “I love you Ivy. And I love her- still to this day I do.And sometimes you have to risk your heart.”
I scoffed. “Well I’m never doing that.” I didn’t have a heart to begin with. I knew that when I took my first kill and didn’t second guess myself. “Hearts and strings and all that crap and stay out of my life.”
“You say that now, till you meet him.” Dad’s smiled blew. “And you will meet your match one day.”
“Doubtful. Very doubtful. Now I’m going to bed.” I went up on my toes and kissed him on the cheek. “I don’t know when our schedules collide again. So I’ll report to you on the first like always.”
“After your weekend off. I’m positive I still haven’t convinced you to give up the street racing?”
“You are right. It will be after my weekend of racing and gambling on it.”
“For a smart girl. And one I trust my life with. You are really gambling at getting caught.”
“Like I said. Not going to happen. Night Dad.”
I left. Before his few words turned into another lecture.
A part of me. A very large part of me, every day wanted to say screw what Dad wanted and take over now. In fact I couldn’t wait for the day I was done with high school. But right now, wasn’t the day.
Maths. It was highly important when it came to my job. I needed maths to calculate a kill shot from yards away. When I did use a sniper. In fact, I pushed myself in all my studies. I didn’t just ignored them.
Because in order for me to rule. I needed to be smart. Dad’s comment of ruthless came to mind. Would a ruthless leader, see the importance of studying?
Maybe I was right when I told him I was ruthless.
While I was dedicating myself on my studies, physical activity and dealing with Dad’s dirty business. I couldn’t say that could be said for my enemy. Who was going on about his latest woman kill on the weekend to his best friends Jack and Dana.
Ryder Carter, had no idea who I was. Not even my pretend ‘normal girl’ role. He didn’t know that one day and hopefully as soon as I take over, I will end him.
And it will be my skilled maths that help me.
I monitored Ryder. I knew his classes. Because I was in every one. I knew his routine at school. And I had the very unpleasant job of monitoring his conversations- not by choice. If I could tune him out I would.
I knew more useless rubbish about his weekends, then I should know. And because Ryder was well, Ryder, it wasn’t all talk.
He was naturally born to tease every woman with fantasies. His looks had you but it was his velvet voice that pulled you in, along with those grey eyes.
Unlike a lot of females. He didn’t have my attention because he was incredibly fit and good looking. He had my attention because he was my competition. And one day soon. I’d be killing his people. And him for that matter.
So as I attempted to focus on the last fraction, my ears were tuned into their conversation.
“You guys interested in a gig this weekend?” Dana said I could hear the delight in her voice. “It’s on the coast. It’s going to be amazing.”
“I’m up for anywhere that gives me new women to target. There will be women, right? It’s not an all-male thing, like last time Dana.” Ryder said, even though he was degrading women everywhere, with that tone, any woman would love his words. I hated him that bit for that.
“There will be women and lots. It’s at the coast, so you can start thanking me.” Dana said as the bell rang.
Thank god that ended their conversation. I did not need to hear the competition that Jake and Ryder will have one who can sleep with the most women.
I collected my books, just hearing- as I expected- Ryder challenge Jack on how many women they will sleep with.
It didn’t help the fact that Ryder looked like he was in his twenties. When really he was seventeen like me.
Unlike me though, his reputation was still forming. Mine was formed. Maybe behind a mask. But I had one.
Which made me remember the debt money I had to collect. Maybe I could squeeze it in on lunch? I had my bike and mask. Didn’t have my normally men with though. But a cash pick up was easy.
I didn’t need the back up of men with AK’s for this.
I took my physical exercise serious. I trained three times a days. Weights. Cardio. Defence. I also fitted in time for target practice. While going to the hell called school. So when it came to gym class, you could say I blew through it.
It never really tested me.
I bench pressed more than female in my class. I ran faster. I moved quicker. I was trained to do that. Since I was ten. I was always one step ahead of them.
The one thing I hated about gym though. Was the uniform. It clung to me. I wasn’t ashamed of my figure. I was given my mothers figure. She was a model before she took to drugs. That’s actually what led her drugs.
I had Dad’s raven black hair and again a gift from my mother I had her blue eyes. Dad once said, men will die for me or with me, just because of my eyes.
Still I hated gym because, it was the one time I couldn’t hide my figure. Not that I wore baggy clothes usually. I just didn’t like to look like bait.
And that’s how the boys were looking at me at the moment.
Our gym classes were being combined for a fitness test. And you would think they had never seen a female before as I stretched.
God couldn’t they gawk at one of the other girls? I wasn’t the only female here! I turned my back to them. Just ignore them.
I had a reputation here to keep and that was be the quiet, shy, orphan girl that stayed in the shadows. Never making a wave.
That was the only thing stopping me from punching them out. I could take all of them. Easily. Untrained alpha males. Are usually the easiest. I turned back not surprised to see them staring again. But I was surprised to see a pair of grey eyes on me.
Ryder’s Point View
I jogged towards Jack. “Ok what’s her name?” I asked, whacking him on the back, seeing him looking completely stunned. I knew that look, it was the look on his face, before he went in for the kill. Or when he found a woman that stunning, he would stop at nothing to get her.
Usually we had the same type. We were both a sucker for blondes, so I scanned the females. I didn’t see anyone who I hadn’t seen before.
So why is acting like this? He knew all these girls for years. If he really wanted one so badly, he could have them. For once our taste wasn’t the same. These girls were easy. I liked a challenge.
“Her.” Jack, grabbed me and pointed a finger at girl bending over, stretching. “I think she is the one.”
I laughed. “If you’re judging her, on her ass. I agree with you.”
My laughter dried up as soon as she straightened up and turned around. Oh. My. God. How had I never seen her before?
Her blue eyes, the type of blue that is described but never seen of, like a rare stone, well her eyes were locked with mine for a second before she broke the connection.
“Is she new?” I stagged out watching her perfect figure bend to each stretch. She was fit. I could tell that from here.
“I don’t know but I saw her first.” Jack said and actually made a move to go to her. I stopped him.
“Nah she can pick, you or me. But first.” I scanned the room spotting Dana and waved her over.
“First what?” Jack said frustrated.
“First we find out about our new target.” I grinned as Dana jogged over.
The girl I couldn’t stop watching, had my attention again. If she was new, I was going to make sure to make a good impression.
“What’s up guys? Scared I’ll beat you in the fitness test?” Dana said as soon as she was within talking distance to us.
I grabbed her by the shoulders turning her, and directing her at the new girl.
“Who is that?” I pointed the new girl out.
“Is she new?” Jack said.
“No.” Dana laughed and turned around. “She keeps to herself. She’s an orphan but her parents left her with a stack of cash. She has her own townhouse. And from the amount of cash she is rumoured to have. It makes no sense why she is wasting her time in school.”
“Is she with anyone?” I asked.
“Which part of she keeps to herself didn’t you understand? She doesn’t talk. She will flat out ignore you.” Dana scorched her nose up, like Ivy had ignored her more than once. “Seriously boys pick a new target. Cause I think she is gay.”
“Why would you say that?” Jack snapped at her. Like he just got a taste of the woman of his dreams and wasn’t having her ripped from him just yet.
“Because look at you guys. And all she cares about is warming up!” Dana waved a hand at us then her. “I swear she always makes it her mission to make me look unfit in gym. She just breezes through it.”
“I like a girl that takes her exercise seriously. Means she can keep up with me in bed.” I shrugged my shoulders, ready to make a move. “Plus if she isn’t taken, nothing is stopping me from seeing how well she is in bed.”
Dana scoffed and Jack whacked me, hard in the arm.
“I saw her first. At least let her pick!”
“Fine. Let’s go then.” I gestured for him to go first.
Dana just shook her head. When it came to Dana and Jack I was brought up with them. Jack’s Dad, runs our guns and Dana’s dad runs our protection.
So we were close. Knew everything about each other. So I knew Jack wasn’t about to play fair when it came to Ivy.
But I was the one with the killer smirk. I knew I could get any woman. And I was positive, Ivy would be following me around after meeting me.
Then if she wasn’t new, she might already know me?
“Hey.” Jack said.
Ivy was so focused on her warm up. She ignored the hey.
Or at least that’s what she led us to believe. I pushed Jack out of the way. My turn.
“Hey Ivy, I hear we have to partner up for the run. Interested?” I made sure to use all my charm. I was going to charm her. I was going to knock her off her not talking routine.
Did she even hear me? She didn’t look at me. She didn’t even acknowledge me. Ok this went from interesting to a need immediately. I needed her attention.
She was the only women I know who had ignored me.
Our gym teachers called for our attention and Ivy jogged off to listen, like everyone else.
“Well that was a waste of time.” Jack said. “Shame really cause she has the best body I have ever seen.”
“So you’re giving up on her?” I had my eyes on Ivy.
“I don’t let girls turn me down. She is all yours.” Jack whacked me on the chest “But if you do land her. I want every detail.” He grinned and then joined the group.
Like I said, our teachers were dividing us up in pairs. I had just squeezed my way through the crowd, making it just in time, when Mr Haywood paired me up with Ivy.
She turned to see who she got stuck with and I couldn’t help but grin.
“Guess it was meant to be right?” I said, watching her tie her long raven black hair up. God she was beautiful. How had I not picked her before?
Now I was going to see just how fit she was.