I cough and stammer "M-M- Ma-Married, you mean, you and I are going to get married?"
"Did I stutter?
"No you didn't, but you must be joking, I laugh a little" yeah this must be a joke"
He suddenly leaps forward plunging his body over mine, the quick motion knocks the chair and nearby table over causing my crystal glass flower vase to shatter. I scream loudly. He covers my mouth with his hand, his fingers feel as cold as ice. The knife reappears out of nowhere at my throat the tip of it is so sharp, I start to tremble and pray to God in my thoughts. "Please, don't do this please, I'm sorry, I'm...
He snarls into my face" Does it look I'm joking?"
"No, No it doesn't you're serious"
"You're damn right I am, like I said tomorrow morning were going to get married. The ultimate Revenge takes sacrifice. The only way I'm going to be allowed anywhere near Monty Pierce is if I'm a part of the family. I'm from the other side of the streets he'd never trust me or welcome me into his business as a member of the Onyx Kings."
As he backs off me and stands near the corner of the room. I put piece by piece of the puzzle together. He's forcing me to marry him so he can get close to Monty Pierce and exact revenge. He thinks my sister and my future-brother-in-law will accept him as one of the family. He's insane, he's been watching me and found out I'm related to Renee. Now that I think about it, these past few months Renee's been mentioned a lot in the neighborhood. She's been seen around town with some big time drug lord. People at the church have been saying he's a devil, and he's been showering Renee with gifts and treating her like some kind of celebrity. I ignored the rumors because I was so used to them Renee was always getting into some trouble with one of her boyfriends or ex-husbands. But never have I known her to get caught up in something this big, she's marrying into organized crime, the" Onyx Kings".
"So, I assume for the past five minutes of silence, that you finally understand the situation. This is not an option or a choice, you will marry me Jordana, that I can promise you."
I huff" Oh yeah, what makes you sure, you going to point your knife at me at the altar and force me to say "I do".
He chuckles" No, I'll just have one of my brothers point a gun at your grandmother in the front pew. Now I know she's in a wheelchair and can hardly breathe without a oxygen tank, but my men and I will make sure to have a car pick her up at her house on 74 Washington Blvd. Apt 203."
I gasp" please don't...please you wouldn't do that."
He smirks" Oh believe me yes I would, you don't know me very well sweetheart because killing a little old lady is nothing to me. In fact, I'll kill anyone who doesn't mean shit to me. When it comes to my line of business you'll do anything to make sure things stay afloat."
My heart races Jesus this isn't happening my Grandma is in danger, someone will kill her because of me. I can't let that happen, she's the woman who raised me. She gave me everything she could, she worked hard every day to put food on the table and clothes on my back. I remember when she got sick and I was in high school I took a job to help pay the bills. But when that wasn't enough I had to drop out of school and work full time, I recall that day when she found out what I'd done she was so devastated and hurt. She never wanted me to suffer like her, she always said a good education was my ticket out of the ghetto. I hurt her back then when I didn't achieve that, but I made a promise to myself that I would never see that disappointed look on her face again. So now this psycho is threatening her life, God what will I do? I can't live with myself if anything ever happened to my grandma because of me. Maybe the police, yeah if I go to police... I could... oh no what am I thinking the police won't do anything the gangs control them. Chinatown police department is one of the most corrupted police departments in the state of Washington, they have about the highest crime rate in the country. Besides I can't gamble with my grandma's life, and it's not like this guy will let me out of his sight.
He quickly moves again, suddenly standing right in front of me" You've been quiet too long, what are you thinking? Don't tell me, let me guess you want to rat me out to the cops?
I shake my head no.
He claps his hands together making a thunderous roar" Good girl, that's smart thinking, because going to the cops would not be a wise choice."
I suck my teeth" Whatever it's not like you'll let me get out of here, I wouldn't get a mile away from here before you'd kill me."
He nods" That's true. Then I suppose you've made your choice. Sweet old grandma will get to live another day after all."
I grit my teeth" I'll go along with this crazy scheme of yours and marry you, but I swear if you touch my grandma you'll regret it for the rest of your life. She's the only person I have in this world, so don't you dare hurt her."
"Okay, I understand, nothing will happen to her I give you my word."
I chuckle" your "word", why on Earth would I trust you, I don't even know your name or what you look like."
I hear the light switch click on, and suddenly the bright yellow light illuminates my tiny living room. I squint and put my hands up to cover my eyes from the sudden brightness.
"Hey what are you doing? Why'd you turn on the light? I thought you said I wasn't supposed to see you."
He chuckles" we'll in order for you to be my wife you have to know what your husband looks like. Put your hands down and open your eyes."
I hesitate the light is still so blinding to me.
"I said put your hands down and open your eyes" He shouts.
"Okay, Okay you don't have to shout."
I open my eyelids slowly and look up into the face of a man who looked like he just stepped out of a GQ magazine. He's honey colored with slanted almond shaped eyes and chiseled features. The dark navy blue suit that he wears contrasts terribly with the image that I had of him in my head. I thought he'd be like one of the typical thieves you'd see in the movies. I'd thought he'd be dressed head to toe in black with a ski mask on. Instead he looked like a business man you'd see on wall street, slicked back hair, expensive tie, shiny leather shoes, equipped with a...a.. Wait is he holding a briefcase.
The lean muscular frame stands stark still as I stare at him.
He runs a hand through his shiny jet black hair and grins" Are you done looking at the merchandise? See something you like?"
I look down at the carpeted floor embarrassed oh lord forgive me I didn't mean to look at him lustfully.
I'm a woman of God I shouldn't be thinking these kind of thoughts. I've been a faithful and devoted member of the Holy Trinity Church on 7th St. for five years now, but yet in these past five minutes I have decided to marry a stranger who's threatened my life and my Grandma's, and on top of that I am attracted to this man. Sheez, what on Earth is wrong with me, haven't I learned anything in these past five years. How could I think a person who put a knife to my throat is cute, I mean he's a dangerous man. However in my experience he's not the only one, all men are dangerous trust me they are, I learned that the hard way. Ever since I was a little girl all I've seen them do is lie, beat, and cheat on women. I'm twenty five years old, and I've never seen a decent man except maybe Pastor John, and my elderly neighbor Mr. Lee. Furthermore, you never know if they're really as decent behind closed doors as they are in public. So with my vows to God, I made a promise to never trust a man again, especially a handsome one because like they say the most beautiful people are usually the most evil.
He sets his leather briefcase down on top of my wobbly table with a loud thud startling me out of my thoughts." So, now that you've seen my face I assume you want to know more about me. For instance, you're probably wondering about things like my name, my birthday, my favorite food, where I was born etc., etc."
I roll my eyes the nerve of him how could he be so arrogant, but then again with a face like that I'd have a big ego too I'd...oh darn I'm lusting after him again.
He clears his throat and straightens his silk tie" My name is Genji Ayano son of Hiroki-San, I'm twenty five years old, and I was born in Osaka, Japan, August 30th. My family has been around for centuries, the Ayanos have always prospered through any kind of turbulence. We are well-known throughout the world, we own one of the largest businesses in Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, South and North America, Australia, Canada..."
I tune out his smug voice and think to myself strange, his family owns so many businesses across the world and I've never heard of them. Furthermore, I've never been one to really pay attention to big names in the criminal underworld. Especially, Yakuza they're the most ruthless and dangerous gangs in the East Coast. I can tell by the way he talks and dresses he must be a high ranking member in the gang.
He continues his boring talk" We deal in almost everything import, export, nightclubs, casinos, construction you name it we've done it. I assure you anyone who carries the Ayano name is given the upmost respect and honor."
I yawn "Wow, I guess that makes me a lucky woman, I can't wait till tomorrow morning when I'll officially be an "Ayano."
He grunts" Don't get cute, this isn't a light matter you'll be my wife that means you'll have to play the part. I'm not some two-bit wannabe gangster living on the street. Like, I said I'm a businessman I'm in charge of an empire, this city belongs to me."
I smirk" so that means as your wife you expect me to bow down to you just because you're the leader."
He nods" Exactly, when we are in front of my family I expect you to act elegantly with poise and honor. Speak when you're spoken to, bow first when you greet someone, and make sure to laugh when someone makes a joke whether it's funny or not. Basically just follow my lead."
He smiles "it's simple I'm the King and you're the Queen."
He then snaps open his briefcase and pulls out a thick manila envelope" Here, read this it's information about you and I. Stuff like where we first met, how I proposed, how long we've been dating blah blah blah.
I lean my head to the side" What?"
" I told you as my wife you'll have to play the part, people are going to ask questions and you're going to need answers. I can't have people thinking this is fake, both of our families have to believe were in love and happy newlyweds."
I suck my teeth" My grandma and sister won't fall for this, especially my Church."
His eyes narrow" why not?"
I look down at the floor the answer should be obvious. I'm a 25 year old devout Christian who hasn't dated a man in five years. I've been single with no one, but somehow I'm not lonely I'm just at peace. My life involves the Church and my Grandma, I have no time for dating. As I've mentioned before men are no good, so I could never risk falling in love with one. Even though my Grandma's been pressuring me to find somebody, I always tell her the only man I need is God. Plus, needless to say I have to be honest I'm not the most attractive woman you'll ever see. I'm a big boned woman with a plump figure and curves in all the wrong places. I have a dark mocha skin tone with long thick unruly hair, mud colored eyes, and plain dull features. In fact the only pretty thing about me is my name, most people always comment on how "Jordana" is such a pretty name. So of course how would anybody in their right mind believe that me and this good-lucking guy are a couple.
He sighs and looks me up and down" Don't worry love, any blind man can see that you're not my type, but trust me with the right lie people will believe anything. Just read what's in this envelope and act convincing. You're a Sunday school teacher, so you should know how to tell stories and make them sound like the truth. He chuckles" Just pretend your reciting verses from the bible"
I push myself up from the couch" Watch your tongue Mr. Businessman, don't you dare disrespect God in my home."
He steps back" Okay, Okay I was just trying to encourage you.
I roll my eyes" And for the record you're not my type either."
He rubs his chin" We'll I guess our feelings our mutual, I don't like you and you don't like me. However, tomorrow we'll be the perfect couple. Married and in love, for Happily Ever After."
I shake my head" Whatever you say."