Chapter 1:

Dean stepped carefully around the side of the hallway, careful not to disturb anything. Though their voices were hushed, he could hear the faint giggles coming from a room a few doors away where the maids gossiped as they went about their daily cleaning rounds. A small smile crept onto his rugged features; this could actually be easier than he thought!

While most thieves preferred to work under the cover of the night, Dean knew better than that. Though the risk of getting caught was a lot higher at ten o'clock in the morning, security was considerably more relaxed at this hour. By now, the security alarms would have been disengaged and the guards would have just gone home from a long night of duty. Meanwhile, although the maids were around, Dean knew that the man of the house was away on "business" and his wife and her lover wouldn't wake up till at least noon. That gave him more than enough time to slip onto the premises unnoticed, find his way into the safe, grab the necklace he was after and slip back out again without getting caught.

Glancing at his wristwatch again, he checked the hallway once more before easing into the master bedroom, closing the door silently behind him. The beautiful morning sunshine had been blocked by the thick velvet drapes, thus shrouding the room in darkness. He paused a moment to allow his eyes to adjust to the reduced lighting then proceeded forward cautiously. The job itself took no longer than two minutes as the instructions he had been given as to the location of the jewellery were deadly accurate. Studying the item now in his possession, Dean decided that the necklace had far too many diamonds on it, making it look almost gaudy and he couldn't see any other reason why someone would want such a hideous piece of jewellery except for the status symbol of owning something so expensive. But he couldn't care less; the item wasn't for him, his job was simply to retrieve it.

Beginning his escape as he left the master bedroom, he hadn't gotten very far when he ran headlong into one of the pretty young maids that worked in the mansion. Straightening up immediately, he opened his mouth to talk his way out of it only the girl beat him to it, letting out a piercing scream. Panicking, Dean clamped his hand over her mouth. "Please don't," he said in as calm as voice as he could managed. "Please. I'm only the new pool boy. I just started last week and I think I'm a bit lost," he lied quickly, taking a gamble that a household a huge as this one would not only have a grand swimming pool but also specialised staff to clean it.

The risk paid of almost instantly as the young maid relaxed and nodded vigorously, her soft blonde curls bobbing from under her uniform black maid's cap. Withdrawing his hand from her mouth, he saw her smile. "Sorry, you just frightened me is all. Margo was just telling me how she once saw a ghost in the East Wing and I thought—" she caught herself and grinned shyly, not daring to look him in the eye for longer than a second. "I'm sorry. The quickest way to the pools is down the stairs at the end of this hallway, then to the left. Go through the dining rooms and you'll reach the glass veranda doors. Then take a right."

"Thanks," Dean nodded, thankful that his rouse hadn't been discovered, and began a quick stride in that direction.

"Maybe I'll see you later," the maid called after him, waving. Dean stiffened knowing that this maid would be the reason for his capture in the event that he was indeed caught as she had not only seen what he had looked like, she might even be asking questions about his existence later which would only serve to raise suspicions. This meeting was a little too close for comfort and he knew his next brush with another member of staff would not be as lucky. Taking the stairs two at a time before anyone more potent found him, Dean made his way off the property as swiftly as he could before executing the next part of his great escape plan.

Painfully, Andrea opened her eyes. It was far too early for her to be awake but after another restless night of sleep, she doubted she'd get anymore that morning. Slowly, she sat up, testing her aching muscles before swinging her legs out of her bed while noticing that the pink and gold clock on her bedside read 9.58 AM. Carefully, she slid out from the between the warm covers and padded into her attached bathroom, catching her reflection in the mirror as she passed it. God, she looked like hell.

There were dark circles under her blue-green eyes, telltale signs that she hadn't been sleeping well of late. Her long blonde hair hung in matted clumps and her skin looked unpleasantly pale. Peering closer at herself, she discovered with a tinge of horror that a new pimple had appeared on her chin. It was massive and in clear view for everyone to see! Surely at the age of twenty one would have thought that their hormones would have settled down and freak pimples like this one were no longer a problem. Sadly, it wasn't true and Andrea frowned it a moment longer before going about her morning routine of getting dressed.

An hour later, she stumbled down the stairs of her family's lavish three-story mansion in search of some breakfast. She had barely reached the bottom of the stairs when the distinct sounds of squealing could be heard from the breakfast table in the massive family kitchen. Stifling a groan, she lightened her heavy footsteps, hoping to slip past her mother and older sister unnoticed.

Her sister, Elle, was the pride and joy of her family. At the age of 25, she was at the prime of her life. Not only was she insanely beautiful with her perfect size four figure, luscious blonde locks that were never out of place and hung delicately till her waist, naturally pouty pink lips and bright blue-green eyes, Andrea always thought of her sister as the prettier version of herself. She'd graduated with honours from college and had proceeded to get married to her high school sweetheart, Brad Danvers, much to her mother's absolute delight. And as if things couldn't get anymore disgustingly perfect, Elle was pregnant with their first baby and her mother would not shut up about how her sister was "positively glowing".

Andrea's plan hardly got off the ground though as the moment she set foot in the kitchen, her mother accosted her. "Look!" she burst, waving a squarish black paper in Andrea's face. "Elle got her sonogram pictures. Isn't the baby beautiful?"

"Absolutely stunning, mom," Andrea replied wearily. She only had one thing on her mind at that point and her mother was the only thing in her path.

Her mother picked up on her sarcasm instantly. "Would it kill you to be excited for your sister Andrea?"

"For God's sake, mom, I've been excited ever since we heard she was pregnant. The excitement is killing me but I don't think that baby's gonna care whether I'm excited about it or not; its coming anyways," Andrea pointed out dryly, slowly side stepping her way to the coffee machine. A little caffeine in her system was all she needed. Just a little and she may even be in a better mood to appreciate the stupid sonogram picture.

Unfortunately, her mother had a different opinion. "Andrea! I will not tolerate this from you right now. At least your sister has done something with her life that I can be proud of."

"Yeah, she got laid," Andrea muttered to herself, not really caring if she was heard or not.

"How dare you, Andrea Michelle Edwards," her mother hollered, causing Andrea to wince at the use of her full name.

Elle, who had been silent throughout the escalation between her mother and sister, finally spoke up while delicately rolling her eyes. "Mom, really, its no big deal. We can't force Andrea to be happy for me. Just leave her alone."

"No, I won't leave her alone; I'm her mother goddammit. All I ask for is a little respect; is that too much to ask? If she thinks she can treat this place like some hotel, coming and going whenever she pleases, she's got another thing coming. Do you know what time she came home last night? Or should I say this morning?" her mother ranted. Elle didn't respond but merely looked amused by the news of her sister's antics. Andrea on the other hand, had tuned her mother out entirely. The rant was anything but new to her so she went about making herself a cup of her much needed coffee.

"Well, let me tell you. 5 AM! Five!" she repeated for added effect before turning to her youngest daughter. "What the hell were you doing out so late? And with whom?! Answer me!"

"Mom, I'm almost 21 for crying out loud," Andrea protested but to deaf ears.

"But you still live here, don't you? Last I checked your father was still paying for all your bills and your shopping sprees—"

Andrea sealed the top of her travel mug and started to walk out of the kitchen, still ignoring the raving woman, but her mother continued to follow after her. "When are you going to grow up and take charge of your own life, Andrea?"

"Goodbye ma!" Andrea said loudly, as she grabbed her keys and her Louis Vitton handbag that sat at the foot of the stairs before walking out the front door, then muttering under her breath, she added, "Too bad its not permanently."

"Andrea, come back here," her mother shouted. "Where are you going? I'm talking to you—"

Her voice was cut of as Andrea shut the door of her black BMW 3 series coupe behind her after getting in. Revving the engine, she backed out of the driveway, seething. It wasn't that she hated her mother necessarily, but when she had to put up with her constant ranting that Andrea do something useful with her life or that she wasn't as perfect as her sister Elle or as clever as her older brother Joshua who had just gotten into Yale Law School, it just got a little too much to bare. It wasn't as if Andrea had nothing going for her, but in a world where no one ever bothered to look past her pretty face and her father's money, she often wondered why she even bothered. People just assumed her to be a dumb blonde who would probably end up marrying a rich man and for her own part, Andrea simply let them believe that about her.

Lost in her own bitter thoughts, Andrea drove on autopilot, not really concentrating on her surroundings but still vigilant enough to observe that the traffic light had turned red and gently halted her car before the white line. However, she was not paying enough attention stop what happened next: the passenger door opened suddenly and a young man slid into the seat beside her.

"What the fuck?" was the first coherent thought Andrea was able to vocalise but before she could say anything further, she felt the cool steel of a gun barrel press against the temple of her forehead, causing her breath to catch in her throat.

"Don't make a fucking sound," her assailant commanded in a gruff voice. "Just drive."

"Wha—I," Andrea tried but the noise of a trigger being cocked made her cry out in panic. "Sorry! Jesus Christ, I'm sorry. Please don't shoot me. Please!"

"Shut the fuck up. Put your foot on the fucking accelerator and no one will get hurt," his sinister tone instructed as he pressed the gun a little harder into her skin. This time she did exactly as he said.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the brand names I have used in this chapter.

A/N: hey all. It's me again. I've been itching to write something new ever since I finished Close Encounters but couldn't quite find that spark like the way close encounters had hit me one day in the middle of July last year. So I've been flipping through my file of half-developed story ideas when this caught my attention and I thought I'd give it a go. It's still in its opening stages at the moment and I realise that this chapter is quite vague so I apologise if it sucks and is gonna be like every other story like this out there but work with here for just a sec, ok ;). Anyways, do drop me a review and tell me what ya think.