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"Aren't you a feisty little thing?" He chuckled. I stopped breathing at the close proximity, my knees turning to jelly. I leaned back as his blue orbs bored into my own. Am I in trouble? ****** Alec Sinclair is the definition of evil. With good looks, he is the typical billionaire right from your cliché romance books. He has everything--power, wealth, status, women--just within the snap of his fingers. Stepping into the market as the young CEO of Sinclair Enterprises, he ruined the rival company Price Industries' reputation, taking away everything from the owner. Everything--including his daughter. Meet Scarlet Price. She is not your typical innocent protagonist, but she is ready to sacrifice for her family and when Alec Sinclair crosses her path, keeping an offer infront of her, she has to choose between the one person who means everything to her-- her father and her own self. How far can Scarlet Price go to save her father's drowning company?

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"Oh no don't pour the oil like-" Mrs. Byrne, our housekeeper shouted from the entrance of the kitchen but it was too late as the oil hit the hot pan, sizzling as I watched the fumes go up in the air.

James, my eight year old brother, who was sitting a feet away from the stove on the counter, started coughing. His tiny hands balled up into fist as he coughed into them. Okay, they're not that tiny anymore.

I fetched a glass of water from the counter and lifted it up to his lips. He drank hungrily, some water dripping down from drinking so fast. I ran my fingers through his soft brown locks as his breathing became normal and Mrs. Byrne took the glass from my hands.

"Are you okay Jimmy?" I asked and he nodded his little head. I sighed in relief and turned to Mrs. Byrne. "I'm sorry. Jimmy really wanted something to eat,"

"You should have called me Scarlet. Knowing that you can't cook, why do you even try?" She scolded.

I scratched the back of my neck and shrugged. "You know I can't say no to him,"

At this, Jimmy grinned at me.

"Okay. Next time," She turned to him. "Just tell me to cook for you whenever you are hungry,"

"I wasn't really hungry Mrs. Byrne. I just wanted to watch her cooking,"

"Really?" I narrowed my eyes at him.

"Yeah. You're funny when you cook," He started laughing and Mrs. Byrne chuckled while I just sulked like a grumpy woman.

Grabbing my brother, I lifted him off the counter and started tickling him, his weight suddenly pulling me down. Man he was heavy!

He jumped out of my grasp without much struggle and I realized how strong he was growing to be. His green eyes sparkled as he stuck his tongue out at me and ran upstairs to his room.

"Careful on the stairs Jimmy," I shouted.

"Not a kid anymore Scar," His voice faded out with distance and after a second, I heard his door being shut. Turning to Mrs. Byrne, I sighed and sat across the counter.

"That kid," She shook her head as she started clearing the mess I had made a while ago.

"No. Mrs. Byrne I'll do it," I started getting up from the stool but she motioned with her hand for me to stop and sit down.

"I've got it. You tell me Scarlet, how was your day?"

"Long day," I muttered as I stifled a yawn and turned to glance at the huge antique clock in the living room. 6 p.m.

"There's so much work in the office and dad just won't let me get involved," I sighed.

"It's your final year at college Scar. Obviosuly he wants you to focus on your studies. Maybe he's gotten the work at office covered," She suggested.

"Not at all. There are hardly any employees left at the company after we failed to provide them their salary. The meeting with the investors is approaching and we don't have enough people to complete the project. I wanna step up to help him. I'm missing my classes, which he obviously doesn't approve of, but it's no big deal. I get the notes from Lily. I just wanna be there for dad but he isn't letting me. Plus I see him everyday and anyone can tell about his worsening health--the dark circles, wrinkles--even Jimmy is concerned about dad," I finished with a sigh as Mrs. Byrne slid a plate of french toast across the counter towards me.

"Thanks," I muttered as I took a bite and devoured it.

"It's okay Scar. He's just looking out for you,"

"He's done that his entire life and now when it's my turn to look out for him, he's just not letting me," I lifted my eyes to look at her and found her gaze fixed at me, a small smile reaching across her lips.

She walked over to me and patted my shoulder gently. "You are a very smart girl Scarlet and I am proud of you. Just know that your father believes in you too but right now, he probably just doesn't want you to get involved in this mess. He will figure something out. You will figure something out too. It's all going to be fine," She said with a warm smile and somehow, her words did their job of putting me at ease.

"Thank you," I nodded at her and gave her a big smile.

She went back to doing the dishes while I went up to my room for a nap. I passed Jimmy's room and heard him talking over the phone with his friend about a football match that was going to be telecasted tonight.

Shaking my head, I opened my room's door and sighed at the pile of clothes lying on top of the bed. Instead of folding them, I threw them over my study chair and turned to the dresser.

My brunette locks were messily put up into a bun and dark circles were highlighting my brown eyes. The concealer was long gone and I realized how scary I was looking right then. No wonder Jimmy found a zombie cooking food, funny.

Rolling my eyes, I hopped on my bed and shut my eyes.


Knock! Knock!

The loud banging made me groan and I tried to shut my ears with the pillow. Like that ever works.

"Scar open the damn door," I heard Jimmy and my eyes flew open. "What the hell are you doing?" He shouted again.

My eyes went to the night stand watch, which displayed 2 a.m. I've been out for 8 hours!?

I walked to the door groggily and snapped it open.

"What the hell do you do at 2 a.m. James Price?"

He raised a brow at me. "Watch football,"

"What?" I snapped.


"What do you mean by nothing you little-" I shouted and he raised another brow. Okay I love him but who does something so evil? "What is it James? What. Do. You. Want?" I asked through gritted teeth.

He rolled his eyes. "I was watching football when dad came home. He said he wanted to talk to you,"

"Dad came home this late?"

He nodded and ran back downstairs, with me walking behind him. The stairs ended and I entered the living room. Dad was at the couch, resting his head back.


His brown eyes snapped open. "Scar? Did Jimmy wake you up?"

"Yeah. He said you wanted to talk,"

"I did. But I said it could wait until morning," He rubbed his face and eyes, his wrinkles showing up already.

Jimmy looked away from the TV screen while I glared at him. "Dad wanted to talk and I MADE him talk to you. I'm a good boy," He lifted his finger and pointed to his chest dramatically.

I rolled my eyes and turned to dad again. "It's fine. I'm up now. What is it?"

His exhausted gaze met mine. "You came to the office today?"

"Yeah. Just like everyday. But they kept me waiting for hours until I finally left,"

"Scar. Please stop trying to visit me everyday. Nothing's going to make me get you involved in this. So just get back to your studies,"

"Dad I'm 20 years old and I....," I trailed off and he sighed.

"I love you Scarlet. Just know that,"

"I know dad. I love you too," I went over to him and he pulled me into his embrace, making me feel protected like he always had and at that very moment, I felt bad for not being able to help him.

"I just can't let you be alone in this," I muttered.

"I know it's a tough time but it's nothing I can't handle,"

"Of course dad. You can handle anything. But I just wanna be there for you. I know you don't share with us as much as you used to share with mom but-" I stopped my sentence at his sharp intake of breath and realized what I just said.

A lump was suddenly forming in my throat at the mention of mom and that's when I noticed Jimmy looking at us, tears welling up in his eyes. He didn't have as much time with mom as me and dad had.

I'm such an idiot for bringing that up.

Dad motioned with his hand for him to come over and he got up, running to us like a toddler. Dad put his other arm over him and I placed my hand over his cheek.

"We're a family dad," I spoke. "And families stand up for each other. Please let me be there for you,"

"You're always there for me Scarlet. And you don't need to sit in an office cubicle to prove that," He stroked my hair and I shifted back a bit to look at him.

"Please dad. I can't focus on my studies unless I'm sure that you are fine. I promise I'll get back to attending classes if you just let me help you a bit, just a bit," I pleaded again and dad seemed to be thinking about it before he finally resigned.

"Okay Scar. I've got a meeting tomorrow. You can come with me but since you have no knowledge about the project, you'll just have to wait outside. You still wanna come?"

I thought over it. "Ofcourse. I would love to. But a meeting on Sunday? Really?"

He nodded. "It's with the CEO of Sinclair Enterprises. If we hadn't gotten the appointment for tomorrow, he wouldn't be free to see us for the next few weeks,"

"That's fine but what kind of CEO works on a Sunday?"

Dad shrugged. "Who cares?"

"I know right. Anyway, thanks dad," I hugged him once more and noticed Jimmy already asleep in dad's arms. Dad noticed it too and picked him up, carrying him up to his room.

"Woah Scarlet. When did he become this heavy?" He asked when he started climbing the stairs.

We both burst out laughing.

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