A/N: After two years, this chapter has finally been edited by a beta! I am so happy to upload this edited version! Naturally, this could not have been achieved without the very observant and talented beta reader-Unwritten Answers. Many xoxo's to her. She was not only very patient and detailed in her editing but she also brought something to my notice; you see in the second paragraph i had used the word 'dingdong' (always had used it as a slang for mess) and found out recently through Urban Dictionary that it can mean something entirely different (which nearly gave me a heart attack). Anywhos, 'dingdong' has been quickly changed to 'predicament' and I hope I didn't offend anyone. :D
Stuck With a Gangster
Who knew that these people would be working in such a delightful place? I always pictured myself finding them located through some alleyway with secret passages to their hideouts. Never did I expect loan sharks to be operating in such a professional manner. True, they didn't call themselves loan sharks, in fact this company happens to be one of the biggest legitimate software producers in the world – so I'm told.
Okay. You're probably wondering what an innocent sweet girl such as yours truly is doing in such a place. Well you see, James, a.k.a the love of my life is in a bit of a predicament and as I would go to hell and back for him, of course I would seek loan illegally for him if I had to. Truth be told, I am very nervous right now but nothing in this world will stop me from doing all that I can to help him.
"Miss Liss? Mr Mallick is ready to see you." The pretty secretary called out to me in her sweet tone, clearly fake. I in turn smiled stiffly and walked towards the door, pausing as I realised I didn't know if I should knock or just walk in.
"You may just enter." The secretary – whose name I'd forgotten—said from behind me. Taking a deep breath I entered and closed the door behind me.
His office was huge and way bigger than my whole apartment. There was a bar to the right, a small golf set on the floor, and on my left placed a sofa set surrounding a coffee table with a plasma TV stuck on the wall. They were all amazing but what truly took my breath away was the wall opposite the door I entered from. Well, I shouldn't call it a wall as it was just all windows—from ceiling to floor—making the room seem bigger and brighter than it already was. At the front and centre of those windows a mahogany desk was stationed, behind it a dark-haired man in a suit starring at me. He sat too far away for me to make out his face but his upper body—from where I was standing—looked real buff. Oh my God, what am I thinking? Seriously. The stress is really turning my mind to mush.
Oh my goodness. He was speaking to me. His voice was deep and calm and ... cold.
I walked towards the desk rather shakily. As I got closer, his face became clear and I have to say, he was one damn hot guy. Up close his hair was a light chocolate brown, he had tanned skin and green eyes. His eyes didn't show any warmth like the ones my best friend, Harry had but instead were hard and penetrating. When I finally reached the desk, he tilted his head slightly to the side and stared openly at me.
Slowly he lowered his eyes to the length of my body then just as slowly he looked up. He made me so self conscious, I tried my hardest to not let it show.
"Please sit." His request sounded more like a demand and since my mind was already going crazy I wasn't too surprised that I felt a sudden jolt of anger.
I chose to sit down but not before giving him a slight glare. Unfortunately I think he saw it because his eyes, if possible, grew even harder than before. Now that I was sitting I realised that it wasn't such a good idea. I felt so small and young compared to this huge office and the emotionless man sitting opposite me.
"What can I do for you miss?" Hmm, I also realised that I hadn't spoken a single word since I entered the office.
I cleared my throat and as I looked at him squarely in the eyes, I quickly gave a silent prayer that my voice wouldn't embarrass me.
"I've come here to borrow some money." Okay, I can't believe I just said it like that. My heart is beating so fast now I can't breathe properly.
He lifted one eyebrow, looking somewhat amused. "Miss, what makes you think that I will just lend money to you when you don't work here, nor do I know you?"
"Don't treat me like I'm an idiot. How much interest?" Wow. I have to say, I kind of like this unknown side of me and I believe that my eyes were just as emotionless as his. Although I can't be too sure about that until I practice it in a mirror.
"Who told you that I lend money to people I don't know?" I knew he was interrogating me even though his voice remained like it was from the beginning.
"That I cannot tell you. I'm not here to beg but negotiate a business deal. So, how much interest?" I Love this new me! So direct and calm.
He didn't answer; instead he just continued looking at me. After what seemed like a century he suddenly got up. Like his voice, his movements were controlled and elegant. He buttoned up his suit jacket and walked purposefully around his desk, past me and towards the door.
What the hell is he doing?
When he reached the door I panicked. I stood too and called out. "Where are you going?"
He turned around and looked at me as if I was the one going crazy. "Lunch of course. And what are you doing still standing there. Hurry up." He commanded.
He gave out a sigh, which must've been a really loud one since I could hear it all the way from here. "I'm hungry, we'll talk this over lunch. Hurry up!" and with that he walked out.
This is completely awkward. So far, from his building to this lovely Italian restaurant he has not uttered a single word to me. I tried talking to him once in the elevator but he totally ignored me so I gave up. I have to say that I'm really annoyed with myself because the calm and controlled me is gone and I'm back to being the quiet, awkward girl with nothing to say.
"I'll give you your money." He muttered this suddenly and casually without looking up from the menu.
"How much interest?" I asked without missing a beat.
"I'll give you your money." He said again as if I haven't spoken. "For free."
"What?" My eyes bulged with surprise.
He put down his menu, slid his chair backwards a bit, leaned back and looked at me under hooded lids. "How much do you want?"
"Borrow! A hundred thousand."
"It's yours, on one condition."
"What are you talking about? I'll borrow it with interest of course."
"Alright, one hundred percent interest and all must be paid within three months or everything you own is mine. That of course includes your job. So you will have nothing. You can't even go back home to your parents' house because their stuff will be mine as well."
"Are you insane? That's not a deal. And what has this to do with anyone else but me?"
"That's the way it works. Take it or leave it."
I knew that loan sharks would be unreasonable when they don't get their money, but before I even agree to the money? That's a shocker. All I want to do at this moment was to leave and never see this arrogant piece of poop ever again but James desperately needed the money and we were running out of time trying to get it.
Cautiously I looked into his eyes that had never left my face as I thought. "When you said for free," I said slowly, "what was the condition?"
"Simple. You be mine for a year."
"W-what? Are you crazy?" I squeaked. The money didn't matter to me anymore. All I wanted to do was to run the hell out of here but before I could move he spoke again.
"I have a very important business deal going on and it would go a lot smoother if I was married. So we marry for a year then you can go back to do whatever you're doing now. During the year all your expenses will be paid by me and at the end of it you can have one of the houses that we will be living in and five hundred thousand for compensation."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing but I think his craziness was infectious because I didn't think it was such a crazy deal anymore.
I mean James would be away in England for university so he wouldn't even know about it and I get five hundred thousand dollars! That's more money than I had ever dreamed of earning. My current job—waitressing—is so tiring and I get hardly any pay, it can't be that bad to marry him can it?
"What will I be doing?"
He looked at me amused and that was the first time he actually showed some emotion. "You will be a wife."
"That's not detailed enough."
"Okay. You will stay at home like a good little wife, unless you're going shopping or whatever females do when they go out. You will accompany me to certain events where you will smile and stay by my side. There. Is that detailed enough for you?"
"What about the other stuff?" I asked him uncomfortably.
He looked at me in question. I'm embarrassed to ask this but I have to know everything before I make up my mind. So taking a deep breath I asked bluntly. "What about sleeping arrangements and sexual intercourse?" I think that was way blunter than I wanted. I felt my cheeks burn as he roared with laughter.
"My dear girl! You don't have to worry about that unless you want to have sex which I won't mind in a bit."
"NO! There will be no touching of any sort and I get my own room if I agree."
"I can't agree to that. If there is no touching how will other people believe that we are really married. But I can assure you I won't sleep with you, so you're safe with me."
"What if I want out?"
"Then the deal's off and you have to pay the loan."
I can't believe I am going to say this but it can't be that bad can it?
"Is that an agreement Miss Tania Liss?" For a moment I lost my focus on the conversation, surprised that he knew my name.
With that I extended a hand to shake his, meaning to show him that this was going to be a business deal, and nothing else.
He chuckled but complied.
Just then a man burst into the restaurant, panting as he spotted us. "Boss! Get down!"
Before I knew what was happening, the table was overturned. I found myself kneeling behind it beside my future husband, who had a gun in his hand. I stared at it in shock before he pushed my head down to the floor and all I could do then was stay there while the sound of shots being fired and screaming people surrounded me.
Oh my God. What have I gotten myself into? I am quite sure if I tell him I want out now, it probably wouldn't go down well.
This can't be real, but it is.
A/N: This is it. please tell what you think of it.