“Bye! Please do your homework over the weekend!”
Miss Zara Alexander waived off her class at the end of the day. At 23, she was one of the youngest teachers in the school. She’d followed in her aunt’s footsteps, even though her father was in the upper 5% of the country. Alex Banner was the CEO of the hospital he had raised to the highest standards in the world. He’d also accumulated a contracting business. Zara had no need to work a day in her life, but her parents had instilled in her a habit of hard working and following your dreams. So, Zara wanted to honor her deceased aunt by becoming a teacher. Her aunt mattered to her, because after her mother had cold heartedly left when Zara’s younger sister was born, it was their father’s sister who’d raised them.
Zara loathed her mother; the stupid reason she’d left was that Alex couldn’t have sons. Traditionally, it was the husband who married twice or more so he could have a male heir, but thanks to modern sciences for the past decades, it was common knowledge that it was the father’s reproductive organs that determined the baby’s gender. So their mother had asked for a divorce, in hopes of a son who would grow up to establish her position in her in-laws.
She saw off her class and head back to her office to make the plans for the next week. She wouldn’t be able to get much work done at home. Zara was her dad’s princess, and her younger sister’s go to person. And once she stepped out, her friends wouldn’t leave her alone.
Her phone rang as she sat down on her desk.
Man! This damn number!
She’d been receiving calls from the number for the past week, and only once made the mistake of answering it. The voice on the phone had been aggressive and rude, demanding money she didn’t have. Zara didn’t want to bother her dad. He’d already been under pressure from another contracting company to sell land. Zara furiously tapped the decline button as if pressing it harder would end the calls forever.
“Ma’am, there’s someone here to see you.” The front desk secretary called her on her desk phone a while later.
“Is it about a student?”
“Didn’t say, ma’am.”
“Then please tell them to come back with an appointment. I’m very busy right now.
She ignored the message and returned to the task at hand.
“Shoot” she exclaimed as she remembered to pick up something important from the book case
As soon as she reached the armory, someone forcefully grabbed her and spun her around; slamming her into the furniture as he stood in front of her.
Before she could open her mouth to scream, he clasped a hand over her mouth with equal strength with which he was holding her.
He grabbed her jaw tight, drawing her face closer to his, and growled.
“You scream, you die.”
She nodded despite his grip on her.
He let go of her mouth and slammed his hand next to her head, jolting her. She exhaled a breath she didn’t know she was holding.
“W-who the hell are you?” She finally rasped.
“Who am I? I’m the idiot who’s been calling you for the last week. But I’m not certain if you have something called ‘manners’!”
“I’m ill-mannered?!” She sarcastically asked, “you’re the one pinning me down against my will!” She pushed her forearms against his chest, but he grabbed them and pulled her closer, drawing her arms into his chest as his face got close.
“Would you like it if it was with your will?” He said with a smirk on his face.
“Get off me!”
“Fine!” He let go and finally stepped away from her, roaming around her office as if he were an auditor.
He stepped in front of her desk and cocked his head towards it.
“Yours?” He asked sarcastically.
“No, yours.” She replied with equal sarcasm, throwing her hands on her hips.
He ignored her tone and walked behind her desk, sitting and reclining in her office chair.
“Thanks.” He said as he plopped his feet up.
She could only stare at him with her jaw dropped.
“Who are you and what do you want!?”
“Have a seat,” he motioned towards one of her guest chairs and she loudly let out a disgusted scoff before she sat down.
“My name is Ashton Gallo and I want your money,” he said nonchalantly, folding his hands on the table.
“I’m a teacher. What makes you think I have money worth you threatening me?”
“You may not have it, but daddy does. Or, at least he should, he’s a CEO for God’s sakes.”
“And that somehow automatically means my dad’s gonna give you money?”
“I’m gonna tell you a story, Miss Teacher. Once upon a time, a businessman asked his secretaries to save some files that were pretty important for a deal. They lost the files, I lost the deal. Now I have to come up with some money behind the scenes so I can save my business and reputation.”
“Oh poor you,” Zara mocked. “How much money did you loose?”
“400 million,” again Ashton spoke without a worry.
Zara would have spit out water if there was any in her mouth.
“Are you crazy! My dad doesn’t have that much money!”
“So get it!” He slammed his hands on the table, but his tone was still calm. “Sell property, I don’t care. I need that money.”
“And you can’t do this why?” Zara folded her arms across her chest.
Ashton’s lips pursed, now his tone was a little heavy.
“Did you go deaf when I said I needed the money under cover?!”
“So why me?! Why my father?” she jumped off the seat. Ashton stood up as well, crossing the table.
“Because, I can intimidate you. I can intimidate your father. Trust me, I realize your father is a good man with good morals, which makes him weak. And anywho, it’s not like he has a son who can stand up against me” he taunted her and she scowled. Again with this gender bias.
“Thank God I’m ‘asking’ money in a professional manner. Otherwise,” he dragged his words as he dragged a finger down her arm. “I had other ways to make your father pay up.” There was menace in his eyes as he voiced his dirty intentions.
Zara pulled back a hand and smacked a chilling slap across his face.
Ashton’s head tilted sideways; he scoffed and threw her a side smile, but in the next second had his hand around her throat.
“You listen and you listen good. I need money to save a lost business. You have money, I want it.”
“Please, try to be reasonable. Dad’s already under pressure for economic reasons!” she cried.
“So do business! Sell property! Make your life easier and my life easier. I’m sure your dad can make more money than I’m asking for.” he suggested.
“But-” she whimpered, but he grew tired of her cries.
“You have two weeks,” he scowled in her face and pushed her away, stomping out of her office.
Zara slid to the floor, hugging her knees. There was no way she was going to tell her father. Oddly enough, his problem was that some criminal contractors were forcing him to sell property that was important to her father. The one thing that man Ashton had told her to do. But it could’ve just been coincidental, right? No, she wasn’t going to tell her father anything, especially if it would make him willing to do what he didn’t want to do.
Either Ashton would have to find other means of income, or she would have to find other ways to pay him off. Let’s see who would win.