Chapter 1 – Meeting Pt1
“Dad, this is ridiculous! I already have three bodyguards. It’s a complete waste of money to have a fourth!” I yelled.
Since two of the neighbor’s sons were abducted two months ago a lot had changed for our family. My dad immediately made us move to a different part of our city.
I was born and raised in Newshire, a city in South Carolina. A place called home for more than a hundred thousand people. I had always enjoyed our city, the people here were friendly for the most part and, the community had tried to keep it green by creating many parks, growing flowers and keeping the forest at the border of our city intact. Unfortunately, no city can be entirely perfect, the crime rate was surprisingly high for the size of our city.
I always believed it was linked to a large number of wealthy families in the city, many heads of large enterprises had chosen to live here. I was well aware of this as I grew up surrounded by their children. Their, spoiled, annoying and entitled children.
Therefore, I didn’t mind moving away from them, I was happy to no longer live in a neighborhood where everyone was constantly afraid for their reputation and image. What made it even better was that my father moved us a few blocks away from where my best friend Emily lived.
The part I didn’t approve of was the sudden need to hire people to follow me around all day. They wouldn’t all be working at the same time. Thank god for that, but it was starting to get on my nerves. I was eighteen years old. I didn’t need to be looked over constantly.
I’m not saying we couldn’t afford it, on the contrary, we had plenty of money since my dad is the head of a multimillion enterprise, the Pearson enterprise. Yet, I didn’t see the need for another bodyguard since I already had three.
“Well, if you didn’t always get yourself in trouble I wouldn’t have to add another person to your security detail!” he shouted back. I fisted my fist in an attempt to put out the flare of anger that coursed through my veins.
“You are impossible! I went for ice cream with Em and was back only ten minutes past my curfew,” I shouted back throwing my hands up in the air, as my eyes turned to slits. “One more bodyguard isn’t going to make a difference trust me! I’m eighteen, and I will do whatever the hell I please!”
Truth be told I didn’t go out much. The only times I went out was either to get ice cream with Em or sneak out to sleep over at her place so we could watch movies all night. Occasionally, when things got too much I would also go to my regular hideout to decompress and think. I know, not very exciting, but it was enough for me.
“You better watch your language young lady! I will not accept this kind of disrespect, especially in my own home. Plus, you didn’t just come home late: you escaped your bodyguards AND didn’t even bother respecting your curfew. Might I also remind you that although you are eighteen you are still financially dependent which means if you want the money to go out in the first place, you follow the house rules? Which includes your curfew!” my dad continued, getting just as rilled up as I was.
I groaned, rolling my eyes at the broken record I was talking to. I felt a weight fall into my belly, as I realized there was nothing I could say to change his mind. Knowing that I turned around and went back to my room making sure to slam the door as hard as I could. Very mature. Yeah, I know.
I slid down again my door, as I forced myself to take a deep breath. Falling down to the floor, I rested my head on my knees.
At first, I hadn’t minded the bodyguards, I mean who wouldn’t like having three handsome men following you around. However, I soon realized that they truly were following me everywhere which left me little privacy. The only time I could breathe was when I went to school since they wouldn’t enter with me, but would guard the school perimeter instead, or when I was in my house.
The worst part was that since they were working for my dad, they made sure I would always follow the house rules. Which basically dictated that I had no life. I had to be home right after school. If I saw my friends I had to have permission from my father. He needed to know where I was at all time and with who, and of course, I had to be home latest at seven which meant absolutely no time to hang out with anyone after school. It was honestly ridiculous. I was eighteen but he still treated me like I was in elementary school.
This is why for the past few weeks I have made it my utmost priority to escape my security detail every chance I got and enjoy life with Em. I managed to do it so many times my father decided it was time to reinforce my security. Not what I had in mind. I guess I didn’t really think this through.
After another few calming breaths, I stood up and moved to Iay in bed. Fishing out my phone from my back pocket, I dialed the number that was all too familiar. After only a few rings a sweet cheery voice answered.
“Hey Har, what’s up?”
Emily and I had known each other since kindergarten but saying that we were always friends would be a lie. We actually hated each other at the beginning, we had been assigned to sit next to each other and Emily would color everything pink meaning that: one, I could never use the pink pen and two, the only time she let it go was when it was out of ink. That was enough for me to hold a grudge against her. Our hatred turned into friendship when another boy decided to dump an entire bucket of sand on her head when she was playing in the sandbox. Let’s just say I went completely crazy on him, scratching, biting and pulling his hair. Yes, little me was not to be messed with.
Emily was a petite redhead with light blue eyes, if I said she wasn’t absolutely beautiful I would be lying. I could see how she made people turn their heads when we walked in the street. Luckily, we were inseparable meaning my bodyguards would also be protecting her. I guess there was a positive aspect to this after all.
“My dad wants to set me up with another bodyguard,” I whined remembering the conversation I just had with my dad. “Can you believe it? That’s four Em. Four!”
“Why are you complaining Harmoni you’ll have another pretty face to look at,” she started, making me scoff.
“Stop drooling Em. Even you know this is not the point.” I couldn’t help the chuckle that escaped my lips. Emily had developed a crush on one of my bodyguards. The youngest, Benjamin Parker. I could see why she was interested in him. He was young with sandy blond hair, deep blue eyes and don’t even get me started on his ripped body. Exactly her type. Unfortunately for her, he wasn’t giving her a time of the day.
They were all well-built but I guess that came with the job. However, they were serious and distant. I was glad they hadn’t tried to befriend me and would stick with some polite greetings. “It’s going to be even harder to sneak around now!”
“I know Harmoni, we’ll figure something out. To be honest, I still don’t know why your dad is so strict about us hanging out together, we literally grew up together,” she sighed, the wash of disappointment that came over her was hard to miss.
“Don’t worry about it Em he’s like this with everyone, not just you,” I tried to reassure her. It was true, my dad could be quite an overprotective mama bear. He was the most paranoid person I knew. He refused to let me take a taxi because taking a taxi would immediately be similar to voluntarily being kidnapped. Yes, he’s a bit extreme and after eighteen years, I’m still trying to get used to it.
We talked a bit, Emily had always been the angel chasing my dark clouds away. We spent so much time laughing and teasing that I had accepted my father’s decision by the time my dad screamed for me to come down for dinner. I wondered what this new bodyguard would be like. I hope he would just get up and leave.
I was going to put my usual plan in motion. The corner of my lip curved upwards, I mean how hard can it be to make someone quit their job right? I had succeeded once, maybe it would work again.
After dinner, I sat down at the desk in my room and started planning, trying to see what I could pull for him to give up protecting me.