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chapter 4

Z A R A

He's right, my math skills are... nonexistent.

Wait. Was that a joke? Was he teasing me?

It doesn't matter, I can't get swayed by anything right now. I need to stay focused on trying to survive if that's possible. I didn't reply to his rhetorical question, though. I stay silent, hoping he won't say anything that will make my hair rise on its ends again.

He didn't say anything. Neither did Frank.

I take my time eating the food so I can enjoy every bit because only God knows when I'll be fed again or if I'll even be fed again. I'm sure an hour passed by because Frank opens the door to, I assume, fetch me. "Get up," he orders. I stand up, feeling much more nourished and hydrated.

"Follow me," he says as he starts walking.

The moment I step into the light, my eye sockets feel like they're being burned to ashes. There are literally tears coming out because of my sensitivity to the light from being in the darkroom for so long.

"Ow..." I mumble as I rub my eyes.

I see Frank give me a side-eye. He's a lot taller, which means his steps are quicker. Keeping up with him is becoming slightly difficult. He's also very muscular... If he as much as pokes me, I might drop two floors down. Once my eyes adjust to the light, I notice my surroundings. This place is a castle, no doubt. In fact... it doesn't feel like it's a house... but I can't even tell because there's no uncovered window.

Everything is modern and each area we pass by is bigger than the last. But it's still slightly dim and dark... the vibes while walking down the halls are giving me chills...

The number of doors we passed by is too many. It's pretty much empty here, rarely any furniture. We step into an elevator and that's when I notice this was only the basement. Basement or torture chamber? I gulp. Oh, but when I finally see Frank in the elevator in full light, I almost gasp. He looks like a European Hrithik Roshan, what the—

"It's really rude to stare, lady," he says in his heavy Italian accent. "Sorry," I mumble, quickly looking down. My cheeks start heating up because I can't stop thinking about how handsome Frank is and how small this elevator is. Astagfirullah, Zara! These people will rip you into shreds, with no mercy and you're daydreaming about Frank?

The elevator dings once we reach the second floor. I guess there would've been no point in stopping on the first floor but I still wanted to check out my escape routes, if I could. I follow Frank through a wide, high-ceiling hallway until he stops in front of a huge double-doored room.

"Wait here until you're called inside," he instructs. "One wrong move and your head will be blown off, no questions asked." I gulp nervously and nod. Frank goes into the room, and I try to sneakily peek in but couldn't make anything out quick enough. A minute or two later, he comes back out to only walk past me without another word. I'm sure a couple of minutes go by and I'm starting to become slightly sore from standing in one spot.

"If I just sit down on the floor, will I be beheaded?" I think quietly out loud to myself. "I don't want to find out..." My mind started thinking about how I could escape or maybe have them let me go. Will they? Will they let me go? Why am I even here? What's the point? Alejandro said we'd never see each other and honestly, now that I see what happened to him, it would be better if we never meet again. But it's too late to wish that. It upsets me to think about how my parents are doing...

"Come in," Alejandro's voice calls out from the security system speaker outside of the door. The door opens by itself, which, I assume, is because this place is really high-tech. I slowly walk in, my eyes glued to the floor. The smell of cigarettes fills my nostrils, making me cough slightly.

"Sit down," it was more of a statement than a request.

I look up to see Alejandro sitting at a large executive-style, L-shaped desk. This room is quadruple the size of my living room! The modern, chestnut desk is placed right in the middle of the room, with a large, matching bookcase placed against the wall behind him. The room is also 90% just floor-to-ceiling windows, which are covered by curtains, keeping the room gloomy and dim, making me unable to tell what time of the day it is outside. Alejandro hasn't given me a single look since I entered, his eyes are glued entirely to his desktop screen. The darkroom isn't helping with my growing anxiety but I take a seat on one of the chairs placed in front of his desk. My hands are shaking on my lap and I don't dare to look back up.

"I don't have time so I'll get straight to the point," he says with his eyes still on the screen. "From what I see here, your father owes plenty of money to many lenders. You have also accumulated quite a bit of debt because of school." My head shoots up so fast that I thought I was going to get whiplash, "I'm—I'm sorry?"

"I don't like repeating myself," there's an annoyance in his tone. "It says here that there's a court case pending against your father. That seems troublesome."

"I'm not sure what you're trying to say," I blink in confusion. He finally looks up, the blank look in his grey eyes still as apparent as ever, "I will make it all disappear; the debt, the lawsuit against him but under one condition: you." I only stare at him, blinking in confusion. He sighs, rubbing his temples,

"You're making this extremely difficult."

"I'm making this difficult? You're not explaining anything, you're being so vague!" My heart rate is quickly increasing because whatever he's saying is only giving me horrible vibes.

"Your body for a peaceful life for your family," he states casually. I quickly stand up, taking a few steps back, "Alejandro, this isn't... right."

"First, I've mentioned that you cannot call me by my name. You either refer to me as Boss or Sir," he rests his chin on his interlocked hands. "Second, though it may seem as if I'm giving you a choice, I'm not. Listen carefully, I will not be repeating myself. If you decline this offer, I'll mercilessly massacre your entire family and anyone you love and let you walk free. It's as simple as that. The choice isn't that difficult now, is it?"

"You'll... massacre... family..." my mind is in an instant shutdown mode. He stands up, walking around his desk towards me. There's a sudden change in his demeanor as he pulls out a handgun from, I assume, under his sweatshirt.

"Have you decided, Zara?" He swings around with the gun in his hand. "What kind of fate will you decide? Let your family live and have all their problems disappear or have them killed only for you to live on selfishly?"

He grabs me by my hips, pulling me against him as he shoves the gun against the base of my throat, restricting my breathing, "Well? I don't like to be kept waiting."

The tears start running down my face, "Just kill me."

"Oh? And that would make it better?" He plunges the gun harder against my throat, making me choke on my breath. "Your death will still equal to their deaths. Still a selfish choice, no?"

I'm gasping for air, "I'll—"

"Boss," some God-sent person interrupts. "He's here." Alejandro sighs, feeling outwardly annoyed, releasing the gun from against my throat, "Send him in, quickly."

I cough out as I try to catch my breath but he still has a firm grasp around my waist.

A clearly nervous-looking man enters the room, his eyes on the floor as if looking at Alejandro might be a death sentence.

Alejandro leans down to my ear and whispers, "This is what happens when things don't go my way. Watch and evaluate."

His mere voice sends chills down my body, making me want to curl up in a ball and just disappear. "Boss, I didn't—"

A few loud bangs make my body jump so hard, that I grip Alejandro's shirt as if I'll pass out from the aftermath of the noise. I feel a splatter of... something gets on my face but I'm not sure if it was just a reaction from the sound. My vision blurs for a second but oh, how I wish I couldn't see the scene in front of me. The loud sound... was from the gun in Alejandro's hand. He just shot the man, point-blank, and then continued to shoot him a couple more times. He didn't even let him explain or say anything.

I watch as the man bleeds out onto the floor, his lifeless eyes looking up at me in the last few seconds of desperation. This is what he meant by "This is what happens when things don't go my way". I want to throw up, I want to throw up so badly.

I touch my face to see that if it was the man's blood that had splattered on me. My legs begin to feel like jelly as I slowly look up to see Alejandro, who has a sickly satisfied expression written on his face.

"I hate when this shit gets all over my things," he mumbles as he wipes the droplet's blood off of his hand. "Send someone to clean this up!" He yells out. "And make sure to delicately harvest his healthy organs."

"Yes, Boss!" A voice says from outside of the door.

Harvest his healthy what?!

"Oh, I should have had you step back," he says casually. He, then, uses his sleeve to wipe the remaining stains off of my cheek. "I'm hoping this interruption gave you time to decide, though I assume you're choosing to save your family?"

I hadn't realized that I was still holding onto the edge of his shirt tightly, my palm is hurting from how hard my fingers are digging into it. I quickly let go, taking a few steps back. I can only nod because I have no energy to verbally speak after what I just witnessed. Everything I ate just moments ago is back up my throat, waiting to be let out. But I might lose my head for throwing up on his carpet.

"Good girl," he flashes a twisted smile. "I also assume you will be nothing but loyal and submissive towards me and only me from now on. I, of course, will be testing you from time to time to make sure you're acting within your given boundaries."

I nod again.

"Consider your father's debts paid and sealed away. I'll add in extra cash for them because of the sudden violence you had to encounter today," he says while looking at the dead body laying on the ground, inches away from us. A minute later, Frank comes in to take me back. Once we step out of the elevator, I couldn't hold it in anymore, I can feel myself gagging constantly, "Can I go to the bathr—"

Too late.

"This is insane, this is fucking insane!" I sob while heaving up the rest of the contents I had left in my stomach.

- - -

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The next chapter will be updated soon.

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Comments (5)
goodnovel comment avatar
janicemccarthy60
So different from what I would normally read . But it definitely has my attention. i will keep reading.
goodnovel comment avatar
Barbara Throckmorton
Can’t put out this book down freaking Awesome
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Pat Wiseman
brilliant so far,it has got me wanting more.
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