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When Faith's normal life turned upside down - she made herself scarce in search of answers, that's when she met Mateo Nixon. Mateo is a man built of stone. Faith, a clueless young woman searching for her reputed guardian. She is like a fire to him, he tends to stay away from her or else he will burn. She is the forbidden fruit and he was the sinner. All she needs is answers about her family, the answers that only Mateo can give - the only problem? Mateo doesn't want to do anything with her but she is persistent - a little too persistent. He calls her a clueless foxy, she calls him flesh over concrete.

Romance / Thriller
Age Rating:

The Beginning of the Chaos.

When someone dies in a family – it is a custom that people gather at the house of the dead. They offer their condolences, shed a few tears, and attend the funeral. For Faith, none of this happened. Just two nights ago she didn’t even think that she will be expecting condolences. Just nights ago, everything was normal for her. She was studying psychology at a local university while she worked at a pet shop and as a waitress alternatively to earn money to pay off her student loan. Just two nights ago she had a family. Her father was yelling at the television while watching a football game – like a normal dad. Her mother was yelling from the kitchen at her husband to stop yelling while at the same time was calling her and her two siblings down for dinner. Jacob, who was visiting town for a weekend was playing video games in his old room and Rebecca was doing her homework in her room while Faith, was helping her mother in the kitchen. Everything was normal until last night when all hell broke loose.

Faith was peacefully sleeping in her room – exhausted from her work and university when she heard gunshots – one after another. She didn’t dare to scream but dialed for an emergency – reporting an active shooter in her house before leaped off the bed and hide under it while she heard the gunshots getting closer to her room. All she could think about was death. She was going to die. She closed her eyes and prayed for her family. She broke into sobs as think of her family members dying while she hid under her bed. She was a coward. All of the sudden, the door of her bedroom flung open and from under her bed, she saw two bloody feet. She peeked out to get a look at the killer that might shoot her the next second.

“Dad!” she yelled out for her father as she quickly came out from under the bed. It was not the killer. It was her dad. He had come to save her. She ran to her father and hugged him, “Dad, what is happening. I am scared. Where is everyone?” She asked and she pulled away. The sirens of police cars could be heard from a distance – they were coming this way. Maybe – just maybe she and her family will survive. “Is it a robbery? Dad! Answer me!” she held her father by his shoulders as he wouldn’t respond. Her eyes went from his deadpan face to his shirt, which had blood splattered over it. She gulped and with widened eyes she took a step back as sees a gun in his hand.

Her hands shook. Her heartbeat accelerated. Her fingers started to get numb as she was drenched in her sweat. She had gone pale, “Dad, what is happening?” she whispered as she cried – looking at her father who remained impassive. He finally looked at her. “Take this,” he passed her an envelope – she was hesitant to accept it. She looked at it before she met her father’s eyes, “What is this?” she asked – her voice wobbled. “This is the information that will lead to him. You will be safe with him.” He spoke.

Faith knitted her eyebrows together, “Who? What are you talking about, Dad? And where are mom, Jacob, and Rebecca? Why do you have a gun and the blood?! Dad! What did you do?!” She yelled out frantically. Her dad gulped as sweat dripped off his head – he looked scared, “I cannot answer you anything. Just find him – you belong to his world. Do not share this information with the police – keep it to you,” he said. Before Faith could question any further. Her father placed a gun to his head and shot himself – splattering blood all over her bedroom wall. The last thing she remembered was screaming out before everything went black.

In a matter of just moments, her life was a blur. She remembers waking up in a hospital. The first thing she asked was for her family. The doctors said that they were okay, but Faith didn’t believe him. She remembered what she saw – she saw her father put a gun on his head before he blew his brain out. She saw him falling on the floor. The blood that splattered on her bedroom wall was proof that he was not okay. He was dead. She witnessed his suicide with her own eyes. After the doctor asked Faith to relax and sleep and left, a man in a police officer’s uniform walked into her room.

It was a middle-aged, medium built, bald man – she embraced herself – she knew what was coming. They will interrogate her. After all, she witnessed her father’s suicide but first, she must know about the rest of her family. She had a hunch that they were hurt but she was hoping that it was it. She was hoping that her mother and her siblings were admitted to the hospital like her. She was hoping that they were alive. She gulped down the lump she felt in her throat as tears spurt off her eyes. With desperation filled in her eyes – she questioned the police officer, “Please, tell me. How is my family? Please, don’t lie to me! I saw it with my own eyes. My father – he – dad, he killed himself. I saw it,” She was hyperventilating. “Please, tell me how are my mother and my siblings, please!” she begged the police officer before she broke into sobs.

“Faith,” The police officer called out his name. “You need to calm down,” he placed his hand over hers. “Listen to me carefully,” The man said as his eyes kept averting from the door to Faith. Faith stopped crying as she wept and hiccupped. She looked at the police officer with her eyebrows knitted, “Wh-what is happening?” She was able to ask. The man heaved a sigh, “I apologize, I cannot give you the details, but you need to take this. Your father must have given it to you before he –” he paused. Faith completed his sentence in her head ‘killed himself’. She looked at the envelope that the policeman had in his hand. It was the same envelope that her father had given to her before he shot himself, “What is in it?” She asked. “Your future,” he replied.

Faith opened her mouth to ask him more questions – the questions that her father failed to answer. “Listen to me, you cannot mention this to any other police officer that might come to interrogate you. You will keep this envelope and the information it contains a secret. Do you hear me? Don’t misplace it. It will lead you to all the answers you are searching for.” The man said. Faith hesitated to accept the envelope, but she did anyway. She narrowed her eyes, “Who are you?” She asked. The police officer sighed, “All you need to know is that I am not a real police officer – I am just a messenger that your father hired before he died. You need to find him, okay? I am sorry but you are on your own, Faith.” The man said. “Please, just trust me – don’t tell the police about this envelope or else, you will be in great danger. Stay safe, child.” The police officer said before he turned around to leave the room. Faith called him out, “Wait!” He stopped and turned to look at her. She gulped uncomfortably and dared to ask, “My family?” her voice broke as she thought about them. The man heaved a heavy sigh before he softly shook his head and walked out of the room – conforming to her worse nightmare – they were dead. Her father killed her family except for her.

She was interrogated as she expected she will be, but it wasn’t as harsh interrogation as she expected it to be. It was rather quick and dismissive. They questioned her about her father, his behavior, her house environment, and every other detailed that police thought would be necessary for filing. As she expected, the case was ruled out as a murder-suicide case – they reported that her father killed her siblings and her mother but by the time he came for Faith, she had already called the cops and since his father heard the siren, he panicked – thinking he will be arrested, so he killed himself before he could kill Faith. It was believable but not for Faith – she was there. Her father didn’t spare her life because he got scared but because he never meant to kill her – this was all planned. In a matter of forty-eight hours, her life completely changed.

She doesn’t have any immediate family – not that she knows of. She expected her neighbors, her friends, and her sibling’s friends to be there at their funeral but no one showed up, probably because no one else knew where the service was being held. They must have shown up at her house, but she didn’t go there. It was cordon off for further investigation and cleaning before it will be handed over to her. Faith doesn’t know how will she be able to get back to her house. She doesn’t believe that she will ever be able to step a foot in a place she once called home. After the brief service, she went to a hotel, she was currently staying in. The authorities arranged a room for her to stay in, while they cleared her house.

For the last twenty-four hours, all Faith has been doing is crying. She tried to stop – she tried to control herself but just as she thinks about her parents and her siblings, she would burst into sobs. When she was left alone in the room, she slides down the wall and sat on the cold floor while she howls in pain – it was still unreal for her. When she was a child and she would have a nightmare, Faith would run to her parents to hide in the blanket between them while her mother would embrace her in a warm hug, assuring her that she will be okay. Now, she sat on the cold and hard floor, with a void in her chest that she doesn’t believe could ever heal. She was broken beyond repair.

After what felt like hours – after her head was throbbing and after all her tears had dried out – she finally stopped crying. The hard floor now started to feel home – the harsh coldness she felt against her skin was replaced with numbness – she had been sitting on the floor for so long. She rested her head on the wall and recalled her father’s last words to her, “This is the information that will lead you to him. You will be safe with him.” She knitted her eyebrows together and put her hand in her jeans pocket and she gets a hold of the black envelope in her hand. She slowly took it out and stare at it. She followed her father and the man she met at the hospital order and didn’t mention this to the police. Faith couldn’t grasp the thought of someone putting her in danger, she has never hurt anyone in her life. The most dangerous thing she ever did in her life was sneaking out with her high school boyfriend in the middle of the night, drank alcohol, and then have sex in the back of his car.

Faith tore the top of the envelope and pulled out a letter from it. It was a handwritten letter. Faith unfolds it – expecting to read details in length but it only said:


You will get hold of this letter only when you will be in search of your guardian. His name is Mateo Nixon, he is the owner of Xon’s clubs. Find him at the address below and ask for “Mateo” – if they don’t allow you to meet him then show them the card that I am putting in the envelope. He will answer all your question. I am sorry.


Below the small handwritten letter scribed Mateo Nixon’s apparent address. Faith clenched her jaws together. She didn’t want to follow her father’s instructions. She wanted to tear the letter piece by piece and then set it on fire. She gulped down the lump she was feeling in her throat and with stingy eyes, she pulled out a business card. The card only left her confused. She expects Mateo Nixon’s business card but instead, it was an old business card of an old print press named, Zorro. She read the address on it and realized that this business was not even operating in America. It was a small printing press operating in Naples. She flipped over the card to see a rather carelessly scribed signature – probably of Mateo himself, as it read Mateo Nixon, cursively with black ink.

Faith folded the letter and put it back in the envelope before she held the card in her hand and softly brushed her thumb over the dried ink. She brought her eyebrows together and snuffled before she spoke, “Why do I feel that you will only bring more trouble in my life, Mateo Nixon.” She whispered before she placed the card with the envelope. She doesn’t want to follow her father’s instructions – she doesn’t want to look for this mystery man but at the same time, she wants to find the answers – she needs to know the truth, but what if this man doesn’t turn out to be her said ‘guardian’ as her father said in the letter – she would have believed her father with her eyes closed but not after what happened in the last forty-eight hours. Her head was spinning – she decided that she doesn’t have to make a decision just yet.

Faith gets up on her feet – her bottom was numb from sitting on the dingy floor for too long. She walked to the small bed in the middle of the room. The hotel room she was staying in was small. There was a small window that opened to a small and lifeless garden. There was a small bathroom attached – she didn’t see what was in there. She believed that it will be small as well. She placed the envelope under the pillow before she laid on the bed. She thought that she wouldn’t be able to sleep – but she has been blinking away sleep for the last forty-eight – the last time she slept was when her family was still alive. She tried to stay awake – she doesn’t know why but she tried – probably because she was scared if she slept, she will have nightmares and this time, she doesn’t have anyone to turn to. As soon as her head hit the pillow – she fell into a dreamless sleep.

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