I have always been the quiet one, the shy one. Hiding away from the world is what felt safe for me. I use to love observing people, trying to get into the minds of those around me. Those going for a casual stroll in the park, the woman before me in the coffee shop line. I enjoyed unfolding a person's characteristics, breaking them down and dissecting their mannerisms.
When we moved here, I barely spoke a word of English. Now? I am brilliant. I am confident. My cousin Siena and I didn’t have it easy but we made it. We became strong women who knew what we wanted.
With one look, I could work a person out within seconds. I was studying psychology, was, yet the mere lectures and seminars I had sat through did nothing to prepare me for the monster who has taken me captive.
That’s right, captive. The man they call the boss took me from my home and placed me in his own. I still don’t know why. The last time I saw him was on the day I woke up in his house and now... How long have I even been here? A month, maybe two?
Every time I demand to see the stupid boss, his silly servants tell me he’s not here, or away on business. What’s worse is that he leaves dumb and dumber to keep guard. These two bodyguards share half a brain between the two of them. Argh, I just want to get out of here.
I wish there was a way I could reach out to my mama and papa, to Siena. Let them know that I’m okay. That monster has not touched me yet, but the look he gave me on the day I was captured, I know it’s only a matter of time. He can only stay busy for so long until he remembers that he has me here, his new pet. Only God knows what he has planned for me.
“Tia, breakfast is ready.”
I turn to face the main maid of this huge fortress, she is the one who runs this home. She has been the one to cloth me, feed me, keep my sanity intact, for the most part. Her freckled face is full of lively lines of age, her husky voice is strong and filled with determination.
“I’m not hungry this morning Fiona.”
“Nonsense. You should know better than to turn down food. There are those that go without and you are being unappreciative.” Fiona scowls my way as she steps into the room that I have been living in. She stretches open the curtains and sighs as she watches me staring down at my fingers.
“Then maybe you should give all of the food to those who actually need it.” I whisper, feeling her eyes boring into mine.
“Tia.” She says softly. I peer at her through my lashes. “I know that this hasn’t been easy for you, but there is always reason behind such things. The boss is a good man, he treats us well.”
“What does that even mean? Why hasn’t he just employed me? I would rather work for him, my place would have more meaning here. Right now I don’t even know what he wants from me. I am here because my brother couldn’t pay back his debt. He took me Fiona! Does that sound like a good man to you?”
I hear Fiona take in a long breath before she freezes at the door. “I don’t know what to tell you.” She sighs. “All I know is that he will be back soon.”
“Great, yay for me.” I clap sarcastically and fall back down onto the damn comfortable bed that I want to hate but it’s just so soft. Beats that horrible old mattress I slept on for years.
“Just come down for break-.”
“Tia I have-“
“I’m not his toy!”
Fiona turns around and strides over to me, her warm hand reaches out to touch my flushed cheek. I look up into her face and see a hint of sympathy and sorrow, but she is quick to cover it up with a smile.
“Of course you are not a toy. When he comes back home, you can discuss his plans with you. You can ask him to let you go.”
I study her face but see nothing but a reassuring look. I want to believe her words, but it’s not that simple. I truly doubt he will listen to me. He took away all our debt only to take me as his prisoner.
I study myself in the dressing table mirror, my chocolate brown curls are wrapped into a nest on top of my head. I unclip my hair and begin to untangle the mess.
I spot dumb and dumber at the bottom of the stairs, they both stiffen as I walk past. Whatever debate they were getting into is interrupted as a mask of pure indifference sketches onto their faces. Their eyes follow me towards the large breakfast table.
“What were you guys discussing?” I raise my brow at them as they shift uncomfortably, staying silent usual.
“Idiots.” I mutter under my breath as I sit myself down.
One of the henchmen who goes by the name of Vincent stalks closer until he is standing just a foot away. He clears his throat and stomps his foot around a little.
“A message from the boss.” He begins, his light eyes looking straight ahead.
“He would like you to join him for dinner tomorrow night.”
“Ha... no.” I deadpan. “Tell your boss that I will never have dinner with him. He can fuck off!”
Vincent turns back to weeny number two who goes by the name of Blane. Blane sends him a nod and seems to be talking on his mobile. Fuck, is that the boss on the phone?
I watch as Blane gives Vincent an intense look before putting his phone back in his pocket. He walks over to me slowly.
“You will obey the boss. He is not a patient man.”
I scoff as another maid brings through a tray of food. “He’s not patient, but he expects me to be?” I stand up and point my angry finger towards Blane.
“Don’t you think for one second I am scared of that stupid kidnapper. I have been kept here against my own will. Waiting, pretty fucking patiently if you ask me.”
Blane stares down at the finger pointing towards him. “You are dining with the boss tomorrow night. Fiona, have her ready.” With that, he turns on his heels and stomps out of the room.
“Your boss can go to hell.”
I hear Blane chuckle before he turns around.
“You really are a silly little girl. The boss is from hell.”
I suck in a sharp breath, Fiona’s hand presses down onto my shoulder and I flinch. I can’t believe this is happening to me. I feel like I am stuck in a stupid nightmare. Yes it could be worse, I have food, clothes, everything I never had before. - but he will be back, and I don’t know what he wants from me.
“I. Am. Not. Hungry.” I spit out, my eyes filling with sadness and dread. I stand up and make my way to the only room I feel a little secure. I fall onto the bed as my tears escape my eyes so fast. My fluffy pillow soaks beneath me.
“Fuck! Sarah pour me another.”
I hear Sarah giggle as she pours another neat shot of vodka into my tiny glass.
“I think someone needs to get laid.” She sings, taking a swig of her own vodka mixed with soda.
“Yes.” I slur. “-but you see these fuckers.” I point around the busy bar at the many men surrounding us. Sure they’re looking, literally staring me down. Some eye-fucking me. Most usually do. - but not even one of these cowards will approach me, ask me to dance, not one will buy me a drink.
Not after the last time someone tried and now they’re all scared shitless. Bunch of spineless fools, the lot of them.
“So have you heard from him?” Sarah’s words cut through me like a knife, interrupting my thoughts.
“No.” I respond. “Not heard a peep out of him.” I try to hide the sorrow in my voice. Hopefully the music drowns it out.
“So you’ve not heard from him, but somehow all the hot and available men in this city are acting all tongue tied when it comes to you?” Sarah tries to hide her smirk behind her large glass.
“All I know, is that the last man I danced with was ‘dealt’ with. Now word has got out that if anyone touches me or even so much as breathes on me. They will be dealt with too.” I slump back into my seat like an irritated child.
“You miss him don’t you?”
“No!” I reply quickly. Too quickly. “Fuck! Pour me another.”
“No more Siena, don’t you have work tomorrow?”
“Yes, we’re preparing for the show this weekend.”
“What’s it like working for Julia?”
“It’s amazing!” I smile. “How’s Asher?”
Sarah’s face lights up and I can’t help but deepen my smile. “He’s.” She sighs. “He’s so perfect Siena. His health is on track and he’s just so romantic.” She shakes off her grin.
“Any news about Tia’s whereabouts?”
“No, not since my zia (aunt) found a note claiming she’s travelling. I know she’s wanted to travel for a long time and she always use to tell me that someday she would run away. I mean it seems like something she would do but I would at least thought she would contact me.” I shake my head eyeing up my shot glass.
“I don’t know, I want to believe that she’s safe but sometimes I lay awake at night wondering where she is. If she really is travelling and seeing the world, I salute that.” I raise my glass and it clinks with Sarah’s.
“Right... I’m off to dance.” I stand and stumble back before steadying myself. Swaying to the dance floor my tight black dress glimmers. My hair falls down in loose waves as I flick it back. I can feel all eyes on me, my looks have always demanded attention. My hips move to the music, my eyes narrow as I dip low and stick out my arse on my way up.
Yep, that move always grabs the attention of these useless men. There’s only one that my eyes search for, there’s only one my heart longs for. - but he’s not suppose to be mine. Cupid played a cruel fucking trick on me.
I let myself go, giving myself to the music. The alcohol travels through my body, I close my eyes. His face comes before me, I bite my lip. No. I’m not going to cry. Please don’t cry. I manage to run towards Sarah. “I’m ready to go home now.” I croak.
“Let’s get you home.”
Sarah manages to drag my lazy body into my bedroom and places me down onto the bed.
“Andy.” She calls out before my sleepy roommate appears.
Andy chuckles as he inches closer. “Girl... she is fucked!”
“You got it from here?” Sarah asks, her eyes still washing over me with concern.
“Girl go home to your man, I got this.” He throws off my heels and tucks the blanket around me.
“I’ll see you soon babe, thanks for a fun night.” Sarah says, I feel her plant a kiss on my cheek before she disappears.
“So you bring Sarah home instead of a man.” Andy shakes his head, he pulls out a makeup wipe and begins swiping at my face.
“Alec still scaring everyone off?”
“Argh don’t say his name.” I groan.
“My bad.” Andy throws up his hands in mock surrender. “Go to sleep, we gotta be up early for tomorrow’s fashion shoot.
Something that sounds like a moan escapes my lips before everything turns dark and my mind drifts off to sleep.
I study myself and the ridiculous dress I’ve been forced to wear. The only reason I’ve convinced myself to do this, is because I’ve waited so long to see him. To demand answers. This is my opportunity and I would be a fool to miss it.
I smear the clear lipgloss across my full lips, smacking them together. My heart is beating frantically. I hardly know what to expect.
I can already tell he’s back, the maids are busier, the mansion feels more alive. Not one person stands still as I walk out of my room for the first time today.
I stop outside the double doors that lead into the dining room, dumb and dumber are standing on guard just outside the doors.
“Are you going to open the door or just stand there like two big pineapples.”
I hear a maid cough, desperately trying to hide a laugh. She hurries back into the kitchen and I turn my gaze back towards Vincent and Blane.
Blane rolls his eyes before opening the doors. “Good luck.” He mutters before pushing me in and slamming the door behind me, reminding me of the time I first met the boss.
Everything is silent as I observe the dim room, the dining table is full with dish after dish of foreign foods. The smell goes straight through my senses and my stomach rumbles in response.
“Sit down.” A deep voice booms through the room. My eyes catch the almost black gaze piercing into my very soul.
Just as good looking and God like as he is evil. I shake off a shudder and my feet begin to move towards the seat on the table opposite his. Far from him.
“Not there kitty.” His voice vibrates across the table and my body stiffens in response. The white sheer satin dress hugging my figure flows with me as I move towards him. I peer up through my lashes and see the chair to his side is pulled out.
Taking my seat I pluck up all of my courage and stare him straight in the eyes. The long silence is intense and fucking awkward. I don’t want to look away, but his gaze his so hot on me right now I feel like I might just burn.
“Why am I here?” I finally speak through gritted teeth. The silence is so unbearable right now that I feel myself getting more and more irritated.
He leans back in his seat and watches me, observing my actions. He looks intrigued but then he looks bored. I can’t think straight when he’s this close. I’ve played this conversation in my head every single fucking day, hoping that I would get the opportunity and now... fuck! My mind has gone blank, my body numb.
“Why am I here!?” I repeat myself, my voice harsher and sharper than before.
The boss picks at an olive and pops it into his mouth, still silent, still observing. What the fuck is he doing?
I stand, my chest heaving. If he doesn’t want to answer me I don’t have to sit here and endure his stupid glare. Like I’m some fucking toy.
“You’re here cause I want you to be. Now. Sit. The fuck. Down.” His lips move with poise, his bored expression hovering over the many dishes before him.
“Why?” I whisper.
“You can thank your beloved brother.”
“I hate Mario, I have nothing to do with him. Why do I have to suffer because of him?” I squeal out desperately.
“You are not suffering.” He deadpans. His gaze catches my own once more and almost knocks the air out of me. “How are you suffering?” He arches his perfect brow slightly.
“I...” I hesitate. “You’ve taken me against my own will, that’s not right.”
“You are mine now.”
I stand up once more, hoping my face shows all of the anger that’s boiling inside me.
“I am not yours. You don’t own me!”
“Sit. Down.” His jaw clenches, his eyes remain set on the table.
“No.” I tremble, my legs moving towards the doors. I turn back to face him. “I came here to demand answers from you. You’ve given me nothing, just like I knew you would.” My eyes begin to fill.
Of course, the fucking doors are locked. “Open the door.” I yell, banging my fists against the hard oak doors. This time my anger has boiled over.
I turn back around and fly towards the table, snatching a meat knife from the table, I stride towards the smug man still sitting in his seat. He doesn’t even flinch, not even a flicker of surprise or fear as I point the sharp blade towards him.
“Let me go.” I demand, trying to keep my shaking hands as still as possible. I’m not playing here, I will actually hurt him.
The boss licks some food off his finger, staring into my eyes. As if the weapon I point at him is non existent. I have to glance at it to make sure I am really holding it. My chest is still heaving, the adrenaline is pumping through my veins.
He leans back in his chair and I witness his lips curve into a smirk. His eyes are still boring into my own.
“You have more balls than some of my own men.” I can hear the amusement in his voice.
Calmly and collectively he stands from his chair and before I know it he’s gripped my wrist, the one that holds the knife. He points it towards his heart and pushes it through slightly. I grimace as I watch the blood pour down his clean white shirt. He’s fucking nuts!
“Many have tried and failed kitty. Go ahead, if you want to kill me... carry on pushing here.” His large hand let’s go of mine, leaving the knife poking into his skin through his clothes. My eyes grow wider.
His huge form stares down at me as I shudder, my lip quivers and I try my best to keep my grip on the knife. I open my mouth to speak but nothing comes out, I’m frozen, dumbfounded.
I barely register his deep chuckle before I’m flipped with my back against his chest, the knife has escaped my grip and is in his hand. The blade swipes slowly across my neck, I moan at the contact. My body shivers as the cold metal travels down between my cleavage.
I can feel his breath fanning against my ear, my heart is beating out of my chest. Carefully he glides the knife towards my nipples, they harden. Of course they fucking harden. My cheeks flush with embarrassment. I feel his chuckle vibrate through my body.
“Relax kitty. I will not touch you.” He throws the knife back onto the table and releases me. I almost fall to the floor. I’m in such a daze right now.
“Yet.” He turns to face me, his lips curving. My eyes fall to his chest, his stained shirt. He follows my gaze and inches closer as I take steps away from him.
“I’ll deal with you when you’re in a...” He lazily scans the table. “Better mood.”
He turns on his heels.
“What’s your name?” I whisper. Not sure if he’s heard me. He freezes before turning to face me, then rips open his shirt. My eyes fall to the deep cut that marks his chest. I wince at the view.
He stays quiet, taking the knife in his hand again and holding it up towards one of the candle flames.
“You can call me boss.”
“But... you have a name.”
He spins the knife above the open flame, the smoke puffs into the air as the blade becomes hotter and hotter.
“Yes, kitty I have a name.”
“As do I, it’s Tia not kitty.” I scowl.
I hear another deep chuckle escape his perfect lips as he lifts the hot blade and places it flat onto the deep wound. The sizzling sound and smoke startle me but I can’t seem to steal my eyes away. Not even a flicker of pain in his expression, he might as well be painting a picture. Not sizzling his wounded skin.
After what feels like forever, he removes the knife and throws it down. The wound seems to be closed. His rippling muscles flex with each movement. I’m staring so long I don’t realise he’s mere inches from me now.
I gasp and try to step away but he catches my waist. “Fuck, let me go!” I yell.
He angles his head so his lips meet my ear, a jolt of electricity travels down my body as he brushes them against my lobe.
“Darius.” He whispers. My body shudders as he holds me in place. “Say it.”
I moan as his grip gets harder on my waist. “Say it.” He repeats, looking so deep into my eyes I feel like he can read my thoughts.
“Darius.” I drawl, watching his lips part at hearing his name.
He releases me again, and I watch as he swerves out of the dining room. I feel myself let out a breath, fuck that was intense.
My mind is nothing but a heap of fog, I’m dazed and numb. I still have no clue why I am here. I only managed to get one straight answer.