I sighed while texting my friend Abby on my phone, struggling to type due to how bumpy the road was and how careless my taxi driver was being.
I was ranting to her about how dead the road looked ever since we left my hometown and entered this Godforsaken place.
I peeked out of my window and noticed the little droplets that were forming outside due to the little drizzle that came from the gloomy night sky.
I looked at my driver who was concentrating on the road before looking back down at my phone and sending Abby another text.
Girl if I do not respond in twenty-minutes, do a check in. It is either due to the sucky-ass service, or my driver killed me. It would be easy, he wouldn’t get caught, my body won’t be found. There isn’t a fucking car in sight!
I sent the text with a slightly shakier hand than normal and looked up back at my driver nervously - he seemed like an okay guy.
When he reached my household after I called up his company he appeared as a nice, down to earth man, and I am hoping that stays that way.
My phone rang in my hand making me jump and I was sure he heard my little startled gasp but refused to say anything about it and I was thankful.
Abbies name popped up on my screen and a picture of me kissing her cheek with her eyes wide, I swiped the little line to answer her call eagerly.
“Girl! Why the hell are you being sent to the middle of nowhere again?!” Abbies high-pitched voice yelled at me through my phone and it felt as though she was sitting right next to me, I had to frown apologetically to the confused driver before lowering the sound on my phone.
“Abby, please stop yelling.” I stated softly, hearing Abby huff out in annoyance.
“Well I would not be yelling if my best friend was not being shipped to god knows where!”
I inhaled shakily before leaning back into the seat and gazing out of the window and at the trees that blurred as we moved.
“Apparently my uncle thought I was too misbehaved and too much of a nuisance to keep around so he sent me to an old family friend.”
Abby gasped, “the fuck?! Misbehaved? You? That has got to be the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard! Do you even know about the friend you are being sent to at least?!”
I sighed, “nope. I only ever heard of him.”
“What the fuck? You’re being shipped off to a stranger, getting driven by a stranger and to top it all of in the middle of nowhere! Yep, this is going to become a new horror movie soon, I’m sure of it!”
I chuckled nervously, “bitch stop freaking me out, I’m the one that has to undergo all of it.”
Abby inhaled deeply, “sorry. Do you at least know if its a girl or a guy?”
“I believe a guy. I was told by my uncle yesterday , and I quote, ‘tomorrow you leave for Mr. Benedicts house, be prepared and ready, you know I do not tolerate lateness and neither does he’.”
Abby scoffed, “no offense but your uncle is a class A dickhead!”
I sighed sadly, “tell me about it. I had to live with him for five years.”
“Well, I hope your stay with Mr. Benedict is not a forever type of thing because I will miss you like fucking crazy. My separation anxiety has already started.”
I chuckled sadly, “I don’t think it is. Unless my uncle forces me to. But hey, I turn eighteen tomorrow so, legal adult and able to make my own decisions. I will wait the year, and then if I am not allowed to return, I will leave this place I-”
She cut me off, “Hello? River? Hello?”
“Riv! Can you hear me?!”
“Ab-” the line cut off and I sighed loudly in despair before glaring at the outside.
All that you could see was the damn woods, what a fucking shocker!
I looked at the driver who looked to be chuckling silently to himself and I furrowed my brows worriedly, “what is so funny?”
“It is going to be a struggle for you to get used to this place.” He stated hoarsely, his eyes finding mine through the rearview mirror, I nearly shivered.
“Girls like you do not do well in places like this.”
“Girls like me? What kind of girl am I?” I asked him, showing him how much his words offended me, he smirked.
“Come on city girl. Bratty girl. The girl thats glued to her cellphone. There is no type of service in this area. I stayed here once, if you have a house, it is just you and the nearest store or neighbor is a damn mile away. You need to have thick skin to survive here.”
My stomach churned and I looked outside of the window once again, his words riled up a storm of fear inside of me and I gulped.
Why in the hell would my uncle ever send me here? To a stranger who could kill me at any moment and nobody would know.
My eyes nearly welled up but I began to blink rapidly.
“Hey do not cry, listen, maybe it will not be too bad. Everybody is different. I just made an assumption.”
I glared at him, “a stupid one.”
He shrugged, “either way, we are here, so thicken up sweetheart.”
My heart stopped and my eyes widened, he took a sharp turn and I felt my chest tighten in worry.
The second we neared the driveway I inhaled deeply and gazed out of the window with eyes as wide as saucers.
The sky was dark and gloomy yet the house was entirely lit up with motion censored lights that turned on the second they sensed us pass the large gate.
I gulped nervously while taking in the huge house that awaited my entrance.
It seemed like a mansion but it was so terrifyingly lonely that it sent a shiver crawling down my spine.
I refuse to be attracted to this... this amazing- no! I shook my head rapidly and quickly pulled my wide eyes away from the house, waiting for my driver to come to a full stop.
I put my phone in my back pocket with a heavy heart, there was no use in texting anyone that I arrived.
Nobody but Abby would care anyway, and there was absolutely no use in trying to text in the middle of nowhere - with no service.
“Well sweetheart, you’re here.” The driver stated while putting the car in park, I inhaled shakily before nodding reluctantly.
“That I am.” I muttered, mostly to myself.
He sighed before opening his door and exiting the car before removing his seatbelt, the second he shut his door he opened mine and I frowned.
“Would it be too much to ask if you could kill me?” I asked him with a grimace, he looked at me in bewilderment before his lips tugged upwards and he chuckled.
He took my words as a joke, ha funny.
I exited the car hesitantly and watched as he opened the trunk to take out the only two suitcases I had packed, I hugged my upper body while waiting for him to hand me them.
It was a lot colder here than where I lived, the trees all swayed ominously and sounds of rustling was all that could be heard for miles.
I tightened my black cardigan, covering the top of my exposed stomach. I was an idiot to wear a cropped top, at least I decided to pair it with high-waisted jeans.
“Here you are, and the ride was paid for. You enjoy yourself sweetheart.” The driver said while handing me my gray suitcases, I took them reluctantly before nodding while holding back a scoff.
“Goodbye.” He stated before entering the car and shutting the door behind himself, I inhaled shakily and waved - my knees wobbled the second his car roared and he made a swift turn out of the driveway.
I didn’t know if it was due to the cold or to my weak emotions, but my eyes slightly welled up as I watched his car get smaller and smaller the further he drove away from me - in a second, the sound of the engine disappeared and I felt my throat clog up.
I composed myself and turned around nervously, the wind began to howl and I felt the little drizzle that had previously been tapping against my window when I was in the car come back and I knew it was time to enter the unfamiliar household.
As I walked my body felt too heavy to hold and the droplets that landed on my head and bare hands made me shiver.
I exhaled and watched as a white puff of smoke appeared before it quickly disappeared.
Why on earth would my uncle send me here? To a stranger at that?
I hope he wasn’t weird or a killer, or a strange old creep - I gulped at that.
In a blink of an eye I found myself standing face to face with the large main door and my chest tightened, I looked behind me, trying to see if I could make a run for it and find my way back home, but all I could see was those goddamn trees.
I wanted to scream, but I held it back and composed myself before looking back at the door.
Shakily I raised my hand to knock on the wood but the second my knuckle barely tapped the door, it opened as if on cue and I felt my heart stop.
The door creaked open torturously and I found myself holding my breath as the inside of the house slowly got exposed.
My eyes nearly bulged out of my sockets the second my eyes glued on the male in front of me.
His voice, goodness his voice, it was like a drug and with just one dose, one listen I was addicted.
It was deep and velvety, rich. Nothing like the voices I have heard in the past.
I gulped. This could not be the old family friend my uncles was telling me about. This man has to be a worker here, he has to.
“My name is Mr. Benedict. Mr. Theodore Benedict.”
My mouth nearly fell open but I clenched my jaw tightly in hopes of looking normal but I was sure my shock was easily spotted.
“I hope your drive here was adequate.”
I just stood there, like a statue. A confused yet infatuated statue.
Goodness if only he would continue talking to me, talking and talking and talking.
“Come inside.” He stated, this time, his mood changed and it felt odd, hell, it even made me shiver.
I took in his stormy gray eyes with intrigue and noticed the way his sharp brows were stuck in a furrow.
His face was perfectly structured and his jaw was as sharp as a knife.
When his plump lips moved, I was able to get the slightest of glimpses at his straight pearly white teeth and I had to hold back a sigh.
I could not believe that this was Mr. Benedict.
That this sinfully gorgeous man was my uncles old friend.
I took in his five o’clock shadow and allowed my eyes to roam down his body subtly - he was not dressed the way younger boys dress, but nor was he dressed like an elder.
He wore a button down shirt and some slacks, his feet cladded in dress shoes.
Due to the tightness of his clothes every muscle he had was prominent and I struggled to keep my stomach from churning in excitement.
“Miss Charmaine. Inside.” He gritted out once again, my cheeks burned when I realized that my subtle staring had gotten weird and was definitely not as subtle as I thought.
I cleared my throat before nodding and following him inside, holding my suitcase handles tightly - hoping they would keep me from falling due to how wobbly my knees had suddenly gotten.
Due to him turning around and closing the door while being directly by my side, his close presence sent shivers down my spine and I found myself inhaling deeply.
His scent was intoxicating and I willed myself to keep my eyes open and not fluttering shut like a creep.
What the hell am I getting into here?
Why the hell did my uncle send me to such a gorgeous male? Not that I’m complaining.
Goodness if only I could text Abby or call her and vent, she would die!
“Alright, now. You must know why you have been sent here I presume?”
I looked at him before nodding with my brows slightly furrowed.
“I...” my voice came out like a squeak and I had to stop to clear my throat, my cheeks burned and he just watched me carelessly.
“I believe I do but I wasn’t explained much.” I told him honestly, proud of myself for being able to talk like a normal human.
He raised a brow, “you are here due to your behavioral issues. You are here to be taught how to better behave, meaning no cell phones, no technology of any sort, no cussing, must I explain further?”
“I was also sent here to be watched for the time being? Given to a new guardian?”
He scratched his chin before shrugging, “if you wish to look at it that way.”
I nearly scoffed but he noticed the way my eyes rolled and shook his head, “none of that either. Refrain from acting out Charmaine. For any bad action, there will be a consequence.”
My brow raised and the look he was giving me was not helping? What was he going to do? Yell at me? Spank me?
My cheeks burned and I quickly looked down.
“Your room is upstairs to the left, mine is located right across from yours. I do not know what activities you partake in during the night, but here nothing will be accepted.”
His words made my head snap upwards and my eyes were bulging out of my head, I was sure the tips of my ears were red by now.
His face remained stoic as if he had not just said what he had and I curled my lips up, “goodnight Mr. Benedict, I will see you in the morning.”
He nodded and watched as I nervously walked past him while thoughts swirled in my mind and I found myself unable to get over this man.
This strange yet gorgeous man.
“And Charmaine.” He called out to me before I could even step on the first stair, I turned to look at him.
“Since you will be living here, Sir, is just fine.”
I nodded my head, trying to hide my shock, “and sir, you can call me Char, but I really prefer River.”
He narrowed his eyes, “go to bed Charmaine. Tomorrow we will discuss rules.”
I glared at him before turning around and walking up the stairs, I hope he didn’t noticed the wobble in the my knees that would not go away.