On the day we’re supposed to meet Ashley, I’m incredibly nervous on the whole drive. My palms sweat, and my stomach turns. I honestly could throw up if I knew something would come up. I was so on edge when I woke up that I skipped breakfast. Marco reassured me that everything was going to be fine, but that’s not what I’m worried about. I’m nervous about what I’m going to hear.
The drive is quiet, but the silence is deafening. To be one of the girls who fell into bed with the devil himself, it does make me feel a little better that I’m not alone in this. If I were, I would just feel helpless. I’m sure these girls have felt that way, but I want to be here for them. Ronan has managed to use his power to silence girls when they don’t do as he pleases, and he needs to be taken down.
That’s exactly what I plan on doing.
It doesn’t take long to arrive at the address Ashley gave. It’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere. There’s a large house in the woods off from the road. If you didn’t know there was a house back here, you’d just assume it was woodland.
As Marco pulls into the drive way, I see a girl appear on the front door steps. She looks exactly like her picture, only sadder. I can imagine when you’ve been threatened, and God knows what else, there isn’t much to smile away.
When the car stops, I take a few deep breaths and open the door. Before I can get my foot out, Marco grabs my hand. I look at him and he kisses the back of my hand.
“Everything is going to be okay, sunshine.”
“I hope so.” I manage to pull a smile out of thin air.
We get out and make our way up to the door. The closer I get, the more Ashley begins to fidget a bit. Her eyes dart around the property as if she’s looking to see if someone followed up. She can trusts that we made sure no one followed up. Marco took so many back roads, that even the GPS didn’t know where to reroute us.
At the front steps, Ashley smiles softly.
I smile, softy.
“Hi, Ashley. It’s nice to meet you. I’m Malina and this is Marco.”
Ashley reaches out and shakes our hands. When she touches mine, I realize that her palms are sweaty too. I’m glad I’m not the only one completely freaking out about all of this.
“Come on in.” She turns and opens the door for us.
Immediately, the smell of rose hits my nose. It isn’t until were inside that I see a few candles lit. Looking around, I take a moment to be in awe of the house. It has an old-time beauty to it that makes me think of some historic family living here.
“This is a gorgeous house.” I say as we trail behind Ashley.
“Thanks. It’s my family’s home. Passed down from generation to generation. One day I’ll live here. It’s the safest place I know.
“Because it’s a family secret. It’s written in every dying family member’s will that we never discuss this house.”
“So why did you tell us?”
“Like I said, it’s the safest place I know. Even he doesn’t know about it.”
By “He” I know she’s talking about Ronan.
“You could get into trouble for letting us come here?” Marco asks and Ashley nods.
“My parents are vacationing in Aspen right now, so they don’t know. I told them I was coming to say for a few days to study.”
With the way the house looks and how she talks, I can tell this girl doesn’t want for a dime and yet she was a sugar baby. Why?
Ashley leads us to her dining room where she has folders set out on the table along with a bottle of wine, cheeses, and crackers. Yeah, definitely a rich girl. We sit down and for a moment, Ashley looks as if she wants to back out of this, but instead, she just pours herself a glass of wine.
“What’s in the folders?” Marco asks, looking as if he wants to get his fingers onto them.
“It’s copies, documents, and pictures of everything Ronan has done to me.”
My eyes widen as I look at the three thick folders sitting in front of her. God, this man has been relentless in keeping this girl quiet. I see now why didn’t want to talk. She is literally being tortured.
“Why haven’t you given them to the police?”
“I tried. I got a restraining order, but it only protects me if he comes near me. He too smart for that.”
“Trust me, he isn’t.” Marco says, now with an angry look on his face. I know he feels some way about having been close to Ronan and not know this was going on.
“Can I see?” I ask.
Ashley nods and slides the folders over to us. Marco takes one and I take one. When I flip it open, I immediately see pictures of her naked on Ronan’s bed. She’s lying in the same place that I was.
“That fucking douche is quite the photographer.” I mumble.
I move the pictures out of the way to see a pile of notes and letters for Ronan basically telling Ashley that if he finds out she’s seeing any guys, he will release the photos.
“Wait, so he’s keeping you from dating anyone?”
She nods and tears come to her eyes.
“That’s when I thought he was bluffing.”
It takes me a minute to realize what she’s saying. When I catch on, my mouth falls open and I look at Marco.
“He released the photos of you?”
A tear falls down her cheek.
“I went to a study session from a guy in class and the next morning, half my campus had my naked body in their emails. Luckily, my face wasn’t showing in any of the pictures. He said it was a warning. I couldn’t report him because if I did, the school would know the pictures were of me. I didn’t want to take any chances after that, so I take online classes now.” She wipes the tear from her face.
Fury rises inside of me and I become so angry that he’s literally getting away with ruining the lives of young girls for his own personal gain. It’s not right and it’s about time he gets knocked off his high horse.
While we’re going through the folders, Marco makes a few phone calls and when he’s done talking, he turns to me.
“It’s all set.”
“What’s set?” I frown.
“We’re going to take him down.”
He gives me a stern look and I feel like I know where this is going.
“You’re going to use me.”
I don’t know how this is going to happen, but if I can help these girls regain their safety and sanity then I’m all in. It’s going to be hard to allow myself to even be in his presence without kicking him in the balls, but I can refrain for the greater good of the plan. Ronan thinks he’s too smart to fall for anything, but his one weakness is having a young girl at his disposal. It’s not going to be difficult making him believe that his threats have finally sent me running back him. Once I’m in, I’m going to do whatever I have to do to make him trust me, then ruin his life. It’s time for Ronan to get a taste of his own medicine. Fucking asshole.