“Number thirty-five” the receptionist calls out again in a cold flat voice like she’s bored to death doing this again. “Mr. Tucker will see you now.”
My heart speeds up as I slowly stand and try to get my legs working because of the numbness that has set up in them. I try my best to look graceful as I walk towards those huge doors that loomed in front of me. I’m clutching the file to my chest while hoping that the answer to my prayers are sitting right behind those huge doors. I could swear that every one in there could hear my heart as it pounded in my chest, I walked by them in a simple blue dress and white flat shoes. Everyone else that made the cut has on designer dresses, shoes along with very expensive jewelry.
Taking a deep breath, I slowly push on the huge golden handles that lined the door at least four feet long. As I enter the office of Danny Tucker, my legs start to shake a little and my nervousness just shot up to the highest I think it has ever been with me.
I look around the office and it was very beautiful to someone who comes from nothing like I do. The interior looked very expensive seeing how the men are sitting at a huge black desk that is facing the doors that are closing quietly. In front of the desk is a huge black leather chair facing the long windows looking out over the city. Against the wall were very large cabinets that were made out of a black wood and behind me was another wooden door that was closed tightly.
Sitting down in the chair across from the men I surveyed them one by one. There was an older man sitting on the end on my far right. He looked to be the oldest of the four with gray hair and piercing blue eyes. His face was pretty soft but with a very strong jawline, with only a few wrinkles that told me that he was of older age.
Next to him sat a younger man who looked no older than maybe twenty-five. Looking at him closely, he could almost pass as a twin to the older man but in a younger version. He has the same blue eyes with a smooth face along with a lean body.
Beside him as another man who looked a little older. He had a very sharp jawline, thick brown hair and piercing hard brown eyes. He looked very familiar but I just couldn’t quite place him. Just looking at his commanding body posture made a shiver run down my spine. The man looked deadly like he was ready to strike out at anything that he might would consider was not up to his standards.
The last man in the last chair looked to be the youngest of the three. He had brown hair, soft brown eyes and a very handsome face with a soft smile. This made me feel not so intimidated but they all were very muscular under their suits as they hugged each curve of them. He was the one I liked the most out of all of them. He didn’t make me feel like I had just walked into a lions den holding a huge piece of meat for them to devour.
“Sit down Miss,” says the oldest looking of the men beside the father “We don’t have much time. I’m only interviewing for a max of five minutes per person.”
I quickly sit in the chair putting my file on the very expensive desk, which that man who was right behind the main area looked like he was the coldest of all of them could snap my neck at any time took instantly. He opens the file as his eyes scanned the contents of the paperwork that was inside. His face showed no emotion at all, his eyes looked black as coal.
“What’s your name?” the elderly gentleman asked in a nice tone like he was trying to calm me down.
“Danielle Campbell, sir” replying in a quiet tone.
“Where are you from?” the elderly gentleman asked again.
“The north side of LA sir” saying in a quiet tone again trying not to let my nerves get the best of me.
“Your poor?” The man with my file looked at me with his stone face.
“Yes sir” replying to his harsh tone “I have always been this way. Having to work hard to get what I want.”
“Why did you answer his add today for?” the youngest of the group asked leaning forward slightly.
My eyes swung in his direction “I need the money. My sister is very sick where her medications along with her surgery to save her life is not what I can afford right now. I’m running out of time to get this done.”
“Wow, telling us an honest answer?” The middle of the brothers asked. “Here we thought that you would say that you love our brother, that you just couldn’t wait to marry him giving him this child that he wants. That is what all the other women who came in here have told us.”
“With all due respect sir” saying in a harsher tone “how can anyone say they love a man that I have never met nor had a clue he wanted a bride until two days ago? What I read is that he would never settle down while enjoying living the high life without someone there to tie him down”.
The middle brother leans back in his chair laughing hard then with twinkling eyes locks onto mine “At least she’s being honest about all of this, unlike all those other stuck up women that was trying to make you see how perfect they were for you.”
“Shut up! We don’t have time for you input on this matter, Steven” said the one sitting right at me.
He looks at me and says “Why do you need the money? I must tell you I want your honest answer, no tap dancing around it at all. Understand?”
“My younger sister has Leukemia, stage one so I don’t have the money to pay for her treatments or medicine that she needs. There are hospitals around, but with her being eighteen, she can’t get the free treatment from a children’s hospital nor I can afford the airfare to take her anywhere else” wringing my hands slowly in my lap.
“So, your willing to marry a total stranger, provide him with a child to get money to have your sister get better with treatments and surgery, is that right?” he hisses slowly out of his mouth.
I look into his cold, dark eyes and nod. I have never backed down from any challenge, no matter how intimidating that person might be.
“Yes sir. My sister is my life, I will do whatever she needs me to do to save hers. We have no one in our lives but us two so I will not let her down” holding my head high.
“I see both of your parents died in a plane crash, then your grandparents raised you until their death?” Danny asks me.
“Yes, they both had bad hearts making them die of heart attacks within a month of each other. We live in their small house they left us in an old mill village” feeling ashamed of where I live next to these men that have everything their hearts desire.
“Yes, I can see how detailed your resume is. There are also other things. You only graduated high school which means your not highly educated either. Have you ever been with high society people?”
I narrow my eyes at this man who thinks that I am not worthy of him even talking to me.
“No, growing up we didn’t have much money. I graduated with high honors from high school then was offered tons of scholarships from multiple colleges, including Harvard. I couldn’t leave my grandparents to raise my sick sister by themselves so I took on two jobs to help pay for everything while trying to save for her treatments.”
“Is you hair color natural or dyed?” the youngest asks as he leans forward with his elbows on his knees.
I run my hand through my blonde curly hair that has streaks of a very light red tint in it slowly while biting my lower lip.
“This is my natural hair color I was born with. My grandmother had that same color. It seems to skip a generation in our family, my father had dark brown hair just like his brother.”
“Besides you being a virgin, there are no other qualities that you have shown me to where I would consider you to be my wife. You lack the social skills to be in the circles that I run with, even though you are very polite that’s just not enough to make you my wife” he looks at me with those cold eyes and his jaw is set snapping my folder shut laying it back down on the desk taking a long finger as it slowly slides over the expensive wood towards me.
“I have a business proposal for you though” the youngest one speaks up in a chipper tone.
“What is that?” I ask turning to look into the simpler eyes that don’t seem to care about how poor I am.
“I want to pay for your sister’s treatments. We have a ton of doctors that we can call right now, set up the appointment for you at whatever time or day would be acceptable” his eyes light up a little as he speaks.
I stand up after picking my folder up off the desk that would pay for my sister’s treatment easily while looking at the four men whose eyes follow me as I get up. I smile at them then shake my head.
“No thank you. I came here to get the money the correct way. Not to become someone’s charity so that they can go brag about it to all their high life society friends of how they helped a poor girl with their treatment because they weren’t good enough to be in your circles” my voice is getting harder as I speak. How dare them try to use me like this.
I tuck my folder back up under my arm then start to walk out the door turning back to look at them over my shoulder. They are all looking at me with shocked looks on their faces so mine smiles while holding my file tightly so nothing falls out of it onto their precious floors.
“Thank you for your time gentlemen, sorry that I couldn’t fulfill the credentials you put in the add” saying in a very nice tone “I’m not a charity case that will take a handout at the drop of some rich person that thinks they can use it as leverage then hang it over my head. Even though my sister needs this desperately, I’ll earn it the old fashioned way.”
Putting my hand on the huge door with a gold plate on the inside of it then start to push it open. As I walk out, every remaining head from my group turns my way as their eyes are glued on me as I walk through the room with my head held high, not shedding a single tear like all the other women who came out of that room did. Sitting down in a chair until our group is finished so we can be escorted out of the building just like the first two, I watch as the doors that I had hoped would bring me the answer to my prayers close. Finally we are all loaded into the elevator while the lady punches the lobby button then the doors close, carrying all of us down the thirty floors to the very elaborate lobby. Walking over the very nice polished floors then out the door to the streets I sigh dropping my head then make the twenty minute walk home through the busy streets that lead into my run down neighborhood.
When I walk up onto the very tiny front porch, I’m hit with a huge hug from a very bubbly girl. Walking into our small four room house, I flop down on the old, raggedy couch that creeks beneath me like it is going to fall apart. Bailey bounds over to me with a glass of water an looks at me with those big, beautiful eyes of hers smiling at me.
“Did you get the job?” She asks with a hopeful voice.
I shake my head slowly. I didn’t tell her the true reason of what the job was for. She would flip out if she knew that I was basically selling my body off to a very rich man just to get the the money for her treatment. I feel like a book that we read out of the library where a woman sells her body off to a man as a surrogate to have his child trying not to fall in love with him but in the end they do.
“There were other, more qualified candidates there that the men were looking at for the position. I just don’t have enough experience for what it was calling for.”
Her smile fades a little but she still looks at me as her savior.
“Are you hungry? I’m going to fix us dinner” slowly getting up off the couch that has been in this house for as long as I can remember.
She nods then follows me into the kitchen where there is a bag of Roman Noodles as she starts the pot of water. We try to eat what we have available. I go to the food bank once a week to get our food but it’s just what we can barley survive on. I fix them then we sit down at the small two seat table starting to eat.
Sometime later there are two hard knocks at the door just as we are finishing our meal, then two very large knocks come on our front door again.
“I’ll get it” Bailey says as she jumps up taking off towards the front door.
I look over at the clock and it is almost eight at night. Who in the world would be coming over at this hour?
“Yes? Can I help you?” she asks in her sweet, bubbly voice.
“Does Danielle live here?” hearing the voice from earlier ask.
I freeze at the sound of the voice, knowing who that belongs to then wonder why is he here? What does he want? Did I leave something in his office that he doesn’t want staying there until I pick it up?
“Yes, please come in” she says in a pleasant voice.
I see Bailey lead him into our small kitchen. He has his hands are in his pockets as he doesn’t attempt to touch anything. I guess it is too below him where he thinks if he touches anything, that it might infect him with our low life dirtiness.
“Hello Danielle. You life is about to change forever” he says as he looks me in the eyes.
“What do you mean? Did I leave something by mistake in your office?” asking in a surprised voice.
“No, get your belongings together. You’re coming with me” he says in a stern voice.
I stand up crossing my arms, narrowing my eyes at him,
“What? I not going anywhere with you” talking in a harsh tone.
“Yes you are, there is no need to argue about this” he says in a very demanding tone.
I grab Bailey holding her close to me. I keep my eyes on this very tall man that is standing there hovering close to us while still looking at me like a bug he would love to squish under his shoe.
“I’m not going anywhere with you, I can’t leave her behind. She can not live here by herself.”
“Your not going to leave her behind, she is coming with us also. You both are so go get your things and lets go” he says in the same tone.
“What for? I didn’t get the job. I have to see what I can do now to help her” whispering in a sad tone.
“You did get the job, why do you think we are here to get you. Gather your items, both of you and let’s go. It’s getting late where I’m ready to get home” he says in a sharper tone.
“What? So you are saying...” stopping when I realize what is going on.
“Well I guess the best description would be to say that basically you just won the lottery because we will be getting married” he says in a flat tone like it’s not what he really wants to tell me.