KAPITEL 1: Arbeitslose auf Nachtschicht
(Jobless to Nightshift)

"Drat… No one's hiring as usual. Why can't I seem to have any luck finding a job?"

Long golden hair layered and styled to perfection whisked in the cold wind of an autumn night. With those beautiful golden locks were a large pair of icy blue eyes with smoky make-up stroked perfectly across the eyelid. I was the young lady owning these enhanced features but not everything was as dandy as it sounded. Despite my appearance, I was sighing in aggravation through my white pearl gloss, which I borrowed from a friend of mine.

"I put in all this effort to dress up, have a good attitude, and still no employment…" I pulled out my flip phone from my purse - which to some people would be somewhat pathetic since most had new editions of Apple products and Androids. But I didn't put it in use for no reason. My powder pink hunk of junk buzzed in my bag and I could feel the vibration through my purse. It continued to vibrate in hand.

"Felix Hertz…" The once beautiful and slightly frustrating night suddenly got from bad to worse. With a reluctant sigh, I had no choice but to press the answer button with a cringe from a knowing thought of my eardrum inevitably bursting after answering the call.

Through a prepared deep breath, I pressed the speaker to my ear slowly. "Felix…?"

"HEY GINA BABY~!"

I jerked the phone away from my pierced ear as reflex to his drunken scratching into the phone. Testing the distance and making sure it was okay for me to return the speaker to my deafened eardrum again, I took my forefinger and thumb and pinched the bridge of my nose. The smell of alcohol could almost be smelled through the phone's screen.

Though was completely impossible.

"Felix, what could you possibly need from me at this hour? It's eleven at night." Felix was always calling me at unreasonable hours. Inviting me to unnecessarily intoxicate myself until I was hospitalized and a need for stomach pumping arose. I was never fond of alcohol; and neither was I of Felix. That and I was completely incapable of paying such expensive liquor.

So was Felix.

"Come drink with me, Gina~! I'm paying."

I rolled my eyes out of habit. He always said that yet he was constantly getting in trouble and piles of debts sat on his shoulders from being unable to pay what he buys almost every night. But hey, at least he had a job and worked at a bar. At least he wasn't having a hard time making a living.

Unlike a certain blonde that can't seem to get a full time job, part time job, day shift, or night shift job. I was literally beginning to borrow from friends and family to support my stupid tiny rundown apartment. And the worst part of it all, it was Felix's fault I got fired from my high company job in the first place. The one night I caved in on Felix's offer and went to hang out with him, a snoopy paparazzi who supposedly saw some celebrity in disguise going to that bar showed up and I happened to be in the picture he shot, completely sober with Felix, completely not sober hanging over my shoulder.

My boss saw this in the news and decided to lay me off. Reasoning being bad publicity for company business. Even though I tried to convince him I wasn't drinking or partying, he made the decision with no acceptions. Like none of the other co-workers would go out drinking…

"-I'm not falling for that Felix. I thought I told you I was never going to go drinking with you again. You remember what happened last time don't you?"

"Babe don't tell me you're still out looking for a night job? You better not be traipsing that dangerous city again-" A hiccup accompanied the end of that sentence. "C'moooon forget that for now and drink your pain awayyy-"

I sighed. Unable to take this crap from him anymore. Why did I bother to continue our friendship anyway? "Goodbye, Felix." And with a click of a red button, the glorious sound of hanging up on Felix gave me comfort. But I also made it a point to hold down that red button so the phone would shut down. That way he wouldn't continue to nag me. If he continued to do so, I would have ranted for the fiftieth time about how I needed some way to support myself and might be thrown out of my apartment if I didn't pay the monthly rent and how I'm barely eating and how I literally loath dressing up all the time for no apparent reason. And all of this would be ranted to a drunk who wouldn't remember a word of it. It would have been useless in the first place.

With another sigh, something that seemed to be happening all night, I strode forward on the sidewalk. My body was shaking with goose bumps from lack of covering up. I barely had any nice clothes for Autumn and Winter time. I wore a white leather jacket with a red dress shirt, black office skirt, knee high stockings and white leather boots. I was hoping this would be the last night I had to keep dressing up like this. It was giving me painful blisters from constantly wearing heels and arch pain came with it as well.

I noticed my reflection in a closed shop window and stopped; a street light shining visibly behind her. Staring at the made-up me, I shoved a lock of hair behind my ear. Being how thick it hair was however, it fell back over my reddened cheeks. I was dressed nice, acting nice, and stood with confidence… Why did nobody want my assistance when I so badly wanted to work? Was it because I gained some sort of reputation in the news and the locals in town recognized me?

I closed my eyes with yet another a sigh. Embracing myself along with slight knee buckling. 'No money… No food… No where to stay if I do get evicted...' Opening my eyes I let out a slightly stressed huff from my freezing lungs. My breath was visible in the autumn night. The stores in this small city were open since most of them were 24 hour shops, nightclubs, and bars. One of my many self-laws was never selling myself to such a low job, but I was getting desperate. And it's what I had to do to survive.

Turning on the boot's heel, I continued down the sidewalk - and bumping into someone in the process. My bag swung off her arm and made a light thump on the concrete beneath them as the stuff inside scattered about. My eyes traced down to my bag and then immediately up at the person she almost flattened from realization that common courtesy was needed.

"Oh - I'm sorry sir." My heart stopped when I looked into the eyes of a very handsome man standing a whole head taller than me. And I was wearing heels. How short would I be compared to him if I was wearing flats? His height wasn't the only thing noticeable, however. His eyes were a dark brown that seemed to hold many dark secrets behind them, slanted slightly. His eyelashes were long, and the rest of his features were proportioned perfectly to his face. The one odd thing about him other than his dashing model looks was his hair was white. And not an aging kind of white - the brightest white you could ever have in any color with a silver tint.

He was… Kind of pretty while masculine at the same time. Something which only a person like him could pull off apparently.

However, it was hard to decipher whether the next fact was odd or fear inducing. He was wearing an expensive black suit with a black button down shirt and a white tie. He also had two men dressed exactly like him that were larger than he. They stood up straight, face blank to the point it seemed robotic and were visibly pact under their suits. A sudden wave of respect swept over my entire body out of nature from the situation. I had no idea who they were, yet something about the air they gave off sent rapid chills down the spine which I owned. When the white haired man saw I was awestruck, he opened his mouth as if to break the tension with simple words. Stoic facial expression unchanging.

"Are you going to collect your things?"

Something about the attractive man's deep alluring voice made my jump and notice my scattered personal items which lay on the cold ground beneath us. But his voice wasn't just deep and attractive. I sensed some sort of accent within it as well… Only a hint, but it was still there. Was it some European language? I instantly got down on my bare knees and began picking them up. "I'm so sorry. I promise I'll be out of your way in a second." My hands couldn't help but shake and knuckles were red from the freezing cold along with my cheeks and nose. But something told me the shaking was also because of the authority standing before me. I had to resist the urge to sneeze and attempted to put everything back in my purse as quickly as possible.

When I found I was dropping things from lack of grip, the Man knelt down on one knee; helping me collect my things. Once he smoothly grasped them in his hands, he grabbed my jittering cold ones and placed them gently in the palms of them, pushing their fingers over the last of the personal items.

We shared a moment to stare at each other. Him gazing at me with kind darkness if there was such a thing, and myself freaking out on the inside. It seemed he noticed my uncontrolled shivering and shaking legs. He moved his large grip from my what currently seemed to be small hands to my upper arm and pulled me up. And I wasn't using an ounce of my strength to compensate with it either. He didn't give me the chance to try.

And before I had a chance to thank him for him odd kind gestures, he took his suit jacket off and placed it over her shoulders. There was black silk on the inside, and it was very comfortable… but oddly enough. It wasn't warm until whatever heat I had seeped through when I started wearing it. It just gave me a load of more unanswered questions about this guy.

He handed me my purse and before I could thank him through my unconsciously agape lips, he gave his adieu. "Watch yourself around here. You could get hurt." With a light pat on my shoulder, he strode past my being - his body guards following close behind.

I wanted so desperately to stop him - ask if it was really okay to take such an expensive piece of clothing. But I was too shocked by his appearance, sense of authority, strength, and kindness towards me despite the city being filled with thugs and tramps.

On another note, the jacket did smell very nice. Like a costly cologne. And I could've probably sold it for a good sum of money until I landed myself a job-

What was I thinking? Was I really so poor I needed to sell another man's affable gesture to help myself in the survival of this cruel world? Absolutely not! With concrete decision, I furrowed my eyebrows and spun around in the direction he walked in and began to call him.

"Excuse me-!"

But then I stopped. He disappeared from plain view. He couldn't have gone far from the distance he walked in the time I stood there thinking selfish acts which I wouldn't carry out. Sure moneybags and bimbos flooded the streets with their escorts; hosts but the business like man was tall and his short white hair was absolutely visible in the street lights. I quickly removed the jacket from my shoulders and folded it neatly in my hands before holding it between my arms and dashing towards the direction, running past some people I had no respect for.

Almost sliding spectacularly when I came to a stop at the nearby street corner, I called out to no one in the alleyway. Or so I thought.
"Excuse me, sir?" My voice echoed in the dead space between a bar and a club for the wealthy and powerful. Unbeknownst to me, the alleyway was deader than I imagined. I walked carefully into it, almost tripping over someone's broken beer bottle littered on the pavement. Looking ahead, I realized he hadn't gone this way. He must have gone inside a building around the area.

That's when I saw a form in the shadows laying to the side of the passageway. It looked as if it was a body face down. It was most likely a drunk who passed out on the street, and usually I made it a point not to get personally involved with intoxicated idiots. But the good Samaritan in me just had to go over and see if the man was at least not injured. I kneeled down in front of him, holding my annoying long hair back so that he would be at least somewhat visible in the darkness.

"Sir, are you okay?" No response. Not that I expected one in the first place. He was probably passed out. And I was probably going to call an ambulance. Just for reassurance, I pull out my phone and shone the screen light on his head, nudging his head to the side. "Sir, are you-"

A high pitched gasp released when I saw eyes wide open and hazed over in the man's head. His mouth was also slightly gaped open - and nothing reflected in his unnerved bulbs. Subconsciously throwing my hand over my mouth, I slowly pointed the phone light in shaking fashion to his back. A gunshot wound. Blood seeped deeply through his green workout jacket.

That was it. I decided to call an ambulance. Turning my phone to face myself as droplets of warm tears streamed down on the keyboard, I attempted at punching in 911. When suddenly a cold hand reached out from the dirty ground and grabbed my ankle, pulling me down. I screamed shortly until I landed and hit my back. I then moaned in pain, when I realized my phone light was shining on the face of…

… The dead man! My breath stopped in fear and I stared at him bewildered. His pupils became cat's eyes and… He had FANGS.

I attempted to sit myself and run but the man growled at me as he wrapped his creepy hand around my neck and threw my head against the ground. I winced in pain and kneed him in the side. he hissed at me, still holding me down .

Revealing his fangs in a hungry fashion, he released my neck but held me down with unbelievable strength. This couldn't be happening. This wasn't real. This was all a dream I was creating from the stress I've endured for months. It had to be. But it wasn't; he was really alive, really holding me down, and his slit pupils were definitely not fake since the shrunk at my sucky light.

Though he was holding my shoulders down, my hands were free. I pressed them against his chest as hard as I could, attempting to fight back. I gasped and retracted when I felt no heartbeat underneath his grey V-neck. He hissed some more as he swiped my arms away fiercely and ripped my jacket and dress shirt down my freezing shoulders. The sounds of buttons popping off from the collar down could be heard through his demonic hissing.

Finally, realizing I was no match, I unbelievably cried at my fate before me. Nobody could hear, there was too much buzzing going about in the streets. Everyone minded their own business. And stayed out of the trouble in this town… Why?

He gripped my shoulders tightly, ready to sink his fangs into my eternal destiny-

My body went into total shock once more. No thoughts, no breathing, no movement. Just widened eyes from the rancid smell of death and blood looming. Blood splattered across my shocked face and all over my clothes.

"Huh… Just can't seem to die can you?"

Once I heard the familiar voice… Everything that I had missed all rushed back into me at once. Several arrows made of silver shot through the monster that went from hanging over me to falling to his side. His already undead blood splattering all over my nice clothes and dripping down my cheeks. I slowly gazed slowly over to the vampiric man. Choking back the overwhelming nausea, I turned from him, closing my eyes. More tears leaked from my eyes, most likely dragging mascara down my profile. They then shot open once more when I realized the kind man's jacket was no longer in my grasp.

I sat up and turned with a gasp. There it was the expensive piece of fabric on a small puddle. Sullied. And now I was going to have to pay for it - wait, stop thinking that way idiot! It seemed that even in exceptionally dire situations my mind was still on the doe factor.

"Are you alright?"

I also had seemed to forget there was another person standing on front of me. I couldn't believe my eyes. Recognizing him instantly from street lights shining behind his short white hair, it was the powerful looking money bag from earlier. And I dirtied his jacket! Great. But wait - he hadn't seemed phased at all by the current situation. But he couldn't have been the man who shot the vampire an uncountable number of times. He carried nothing that seemed to shoot an arrow.

And that's what I drew my attention the the blackened sky. On the rooftops were silhouettes with the shapes of crossbows in their hands. They continued to stand there in ready position… Pointing at me.

"Ma'am?"

"Ah-." I turned to him, but fear overwhelmed me to the point I couldn't think of anything else to say. Not a word, not a sound left me. Nothing but the quivering of my vocal chords and inaudible wimpers. What had I gotten myself into? I just wanted a job!

The man could obviously tell I was in shock. He swung his forearm out to the side, and the silhouettes held back their aim. I jumped when he began to approach me. Noticing the guy he dismembered in the way, he kicked his limp body to the side so that he may proceed with me. He got down on one knee, grabbing my arm and pulling me in a sitting position. I stared at him with fright and bewilderment. He seemed completely unphased.

"Didn't anyone ever tell you to never wander through dark alleys?" He brushed a stream of blood of the side of my cheek with the back of his hand, his voice unchanging. Still the same deep and put together voice she heard several minutes ago.

"W-what-" A higher pitched version of my voice shook out of my throat. I froze when his cold skin made contact with my cheek. He continued to speak. And for some reason, I made sure to listen closely to every word he had to say.

"Did he bite you?"

"Ah- n-no-" But before I could finish the truth, he grabbed my chin with the same hand and twisted my head so that my neck would be in plain view. I didn't understand how he would have been able to see any noticeable injuries on me if they were there in the dark of the night. But somehow, he knew I wasn't bitten. He knew the demonic vampire… Whatever it was didn't have a chance to penetrate my skin before his crazy goombas skewered him like their own personal shishkabob.

"He didn't… Good. I don't need more of those Gümpel's running around my town." He looked to his side with sour intent, the hint of it revealing slightly through his town as well.

Gümpel? Wasn't that a German word…? So that's what his accent was; German. That would explain his slightly bigger build and somewhat hardened features. Like his perfect jaw line. Wait but his looks aside, what did he mean 'his city'? Was he really some powerful mobster like he came across? I wouldn't be surprised if he was. But back to square one… Now I was kind of curious what Gümpel meant…

Probably not something good. And by the way he made his statement, I was involved in that circle of possible insults. Great.

"Wait a minute… Aren't you the woman who ran into me earlier?"

I nodded lightly, unable to blink.

"Your name." He instantly said right after I responded with motion of my head. Or more like he demanded.

"W-what?"

"Give me your name."

He said a second time, only with some firm tones in it this time. Out of fear, I decided it was probably smart to listen to him basing him off of whom he might actually be and that I should fear him. No wonder I he gave off a sense of authority. He was probably the head honcho.

"Regina…" I said, hoping he wouldn't notice my lack of adding a surname.

He noticed. "Last name."

I then noticed his hand still hadn't released my chin and that I was now facing him. I concluded that it was best to tell him whatever he wanted and stopped attempting to hide things. I wasn't going to get anything past this guy.

"Fenice… Regina Fenice."

"Phoenix…" He narrowed his dark eyes as me. As if puzzled at the sound of my name. "You're not from around here. As I thought."

"How did you know…? You speak Italian?" So many questions rushed through my mind. His accent was apparently German, he knew my last name was Italian for Phoenix, and just by hearing my name and seeing me, he suspected I wasn't from around this area. Also, he was a possible capo.

But he completely shoved my questions behind him and continued his interrogation. "What are doing doing in downtown Arcadia? Do you live near these parts?"

Yes, I live in a small city called Arcadia in Chicago. A once ghosted out hood with all street thugs and poor souls who lived in dirty cramped apartments and falling apart motels. Fortunately, that was ten years ago and I was only ten myself when that was going on. But then, someone rich bought out all of the property in the worn down city and renaming it Arcadia. Refurbishing it and making it nice. The one place with the most work put into it however was where I was, downtown Arcadia. Some of the refurbishments are still going on though, since most businesses won't give up their land no matter how much money they're offered. They're still suspicious of the shady man buying out all of the properties. And because of this, the rich and the poor are greatly divided amongst each other. I live in the somewhat poverty part of Arcadia. So does Felix. He was also the one who warned me not to go downtown and look for jobs. Guess he was right for a change.

"Yes I'm right outside of it… I live by the Northern suburbs." It was embarrassing admitting since people from the northern suburbs of Arcadia were in poverty and never dared set foot in downtown Arcadia, which was like a desert during the day.

"And what are you doing here? You're poor and cannot afford things like fees and food, so you dress up as nicely as possible to attract some sugar daddies and get your 'physical pay'?"

I went from scared to disgusted by this guy. Is this how the minds of wealthy people worked? I completely forgot how pompous and sarcastic they were. The main reason i dressed up like this was so nobody would tell that I was poor and would hire me. I decided to retaliate, as the Phoenix blood I was born with began to boil. At this point I didn't care who this guy was. I was selling myself low. But not that low.

"First of all, that's disgusting, and no I'm just here to get a job." I furrowed my eyebrows, letting out a small sigh as I looked to my side. But I knew he was staring at me. Staring at me with slanted eyes that wanted so badly to break me. I saw the coat again, realizing how ruined it was and attempted to get up. "Your suit-!"

"Pay no need." He grabbed my arm in the same place he had been grabbing me all night, but this time his grip was different. It wasn't strong and comforting. It was strong with malice. He arose to his feet and pulled me close to him. So close that I was looking up at his stern expression.

"You're coming with me." He quietly said through stern lips and gritted teeth. A tactic that was obviously meant to threaten his victims and induce anxiety into their gut. It worked. A little too well.

He started pulling me along forcefully, but I jerk him back by ripping my arm out of his grasp. "I don't need to go anywhere with you! I'll pay for your coat, but don't expect me to just obey your every command mein fuhrer." I mocked his small German accent as an attempt to defend myself. He seemed to take offence to my statement. Which I kind of expected. With a change of expression, he grabbed my wrists with one grip and threw them against the wall up over my head, knocking me back into it along with my body. If he threw me any harder, my wrists might have popped off without the rest of me. I almost slid down from my heels, but his grip kept me up. Needless to say, it hurt. And I was forced to pick myself back up with the lack of strength in my legs.

"And what exactly will you pay it with, mut?"

"Who're you calling a dog?!"

"Would you prefer I used lewder words with the same meaning? Sorry but even a man like me has morals. Believe it or not."

"Not." Getting into trouble with this guy was probably worse than making the decision to go out drinking with Felix. But if someone began barking at me, I had to bark back. Though this situation might lead to worse things than the place I was already in, right at that moment, my blood was boiling too much to give to craps. Defending myself came first. But he didn't seem very fond of that.

On second thought, I won't pay for his jacket.

He gripped my wrists even tighter, leaning in to me so close that our foreheads were touching. I could see his eyes clearly now. His eyes filled with resentment. Other than the inward fear I was feeling, something else had been bugging me the entire time we had contact. He was jacketless, revealing a button down black shirt and a white tie. His skin was freezing and gave me goosebumps. But he wasn't shaking. Not one bit. Even though the normal human body would at least start chattering its teeth. But not him. Could it be…? He was one of them? One of the guys he just murdered? But if he was… Why would he murder his own kind? There was no way.

"You live in the northern suburbs and are looking for a job that despises those who cannot even afford such a jacket as mine. A mut is a mut, and you are what you are. Now tell me… How are you planning to pay for my jacket?"

I looked down from his gaze. "You're right… I can't pay for it." Then I looked back directly into his eyes. "Which is why I won't. Pay for it yourself, Boss Hogg, you gave it to me remember? It'd be pretty arrogant of you to think you can just take it back. Didn't you learn common courtesy when coming to America?"

Oh great. Now I was making racist jokes. I had nothing against Germany or the people, in fact it was one of the many countries I wanted to travel to if I ever had the chance. Number one of my list. I just didn't like this guy and didn't have a lock on my mouth to control what I was going to say… It brings back memories of my nickname from high school.

Phoenix Gina.

I continued to rant before he had a chance to hurt me or retort. I wanted to finish what I had to say before I had the pile of punishments coming to me for even starting this argument in the first place and not complying. "And just a little FYI, I worked for one of these big company owners just outside of Downtown just a couple of months ago. Now, I've got some questions for you."

"I don't have to tell you anything about me-"

"I don't want to know about you. You're the type of person I despise most. Why would I want to know anything about something I want to forget?"

When I saw his long lashes blink and heard no retort from his pursed lips, I decided that was the time to ask away. He didn't seem shaken or perplexed at my will to stand up to him, his threatening presence stayed. But was it just me or did I sense a hint of… Fascination?

"Who is that? That man you ripped to shreds?" I felt myself begin to quiver again. As if I was reliving the moment he attacked me. "I saw that man lying on the ground. I touch him. Rolled him over. He was dead. His eyes were normal, and so was his mouth." Tears leaked from my eyes. My entire body was practically shaking now. But I didn't let lose on the fierceness I held. I couldn't. I couldn't back down from this man. "But then all of a sudden in a matter of seconds, his pupils thinned. He was hissing and behaving like an animal, and fangs popped from the front of his mouth."

The man that seemed to be about my age or slightly older didn't respond. Neither his expression or body language either. He just stared at my broken show, something I was incapable of controlling after the trauma I just went through.

"That was all a dream right? This blood covering me, a dead man impaled by my side, you threatening me, me getting laid off because of a stupid drunk, losing contact with my parents. It all can't be real." Finally the stress I had been bottling up inside of me like a shaken soda bottle began to surface. And in front of a man I couldn't trust at that. Something about being threatened released all of the negative feelings I couldn't release otherwise.

A low quiet sigh emitted from him. He breathed it out, the malice instantly fading away. That voice which made my heart thump. "Pathetic..." He said in a low town in such a way that wasn't threatening nor had the slightest drop of ridicule. He reached into his sleek dress pants and pulled out a scarlet handkerchief. The color of bright blood. He loosened his grip on my wrists, but didn't let go. As if he was keeping me trapped there for a reason. Using his free hand, he began to wipe the blood off my face and from my neck. And if I wasn't mistaken, he was cautious not to ruin the make-up I put so much effort into. He flipped over the handkerchief; dabbing my eyes.

"Why are you doing this?" I had to ask. It was greatly confusing the gears in my brain. First he was harsh, calling me a mutt and comparing me to a bimbo, and then he was kind and cleaning me up.

"You saw everything. Thing's you shouldn't have. So let me tell you this." He slipped his hand under my chin again, tilting it up to make sure I was returning his gaze. "Everything you have seen tonight, it was not a dream. And now, I can't just let you go. I can't trust that you'll keep your mouth shut about this incident."

"W-what do you mean?"

"You want a job?"

He said it so plain and bluntly as if the words were just air but to me it took a minute to sink in. I never thought I would ever hear anyone say that to me. Unless it was some sort of sick joke. Something that sounded like Felix would pull. I nodded and responded.

"Y-Yes! More than anything."

He finally let me go. Still cornering me, however. Our foreheads were separated now at least. And my wrists didn't cramp… As much.

"Tell your landlord you'll be moving out of your apartment by tomorrow morning. From tomorrow on Miss Fenice, you will be my personal assistant."

My mouth went agape. I couldn't help it. My eyes rounded with shock. This all definitely had to be a dream. I finally shook the surprise off with realization that I was possibly going to work for someone dangerous.

And that I had no choice but to.

"I-I can't just leave my apartment! Where will I live? I can't even afford to move!"

"You'll be living in the sweet next to mine. At Cobalt Apartments." Seeing as he caught me with shock, he decided to finally back up and give me the personal space I desired. His men began closing in on both sides of the alleyways. Most likely the ones who were up on the roof tops. He must have commanded that they were finished or whatever… I counted about ten of them around us.

Another thing hit me, though. I just kept getting bricks chucked at me onto the pile already looming on my shoulders from all of these unexpected surprises tonight. I felt as if I couldn't breathe. Cobalt Apartments. An apartment complex just outside of downtown where only the richest of the rich lived. It was like a dream come true… But it was discomforting knowing that he would be my neighbor. Another question arose from me.

"Isn't there already someone living next to you?"

"I make it a point to keep the apartments surrounding mine vacant. Without having to pay for them myself. I don't know who I can trust."

I shook my head in bewilderment. "But - how am I going to pay for it? I can barely pay for food. And I'm still in debt with my rent."

"As my personal expenses I will pay you living expenses, and just enough to give you the bare essentials you'll need to keep up with hygiene, and a healthy life. And don't worry about your debt. I'll pay it off."

"But what about-"

"Miss Fenice." He cut me off with a sharp deep tone. I could feel his glare cutting like a sharpened knife through my nervous chest. My heartbeat could felt in my neck. "I will take care of all of your needs, no questions asked. But in return…" He approached me again, not as close fortunately. He took my long blonde hair in his hand and slid it swiftly through his fingers. "... You belong to me. You will do as I say, when I say it, without apposition. If you refuse, I'll have no choice but to have you executed and disposed of."

My eyes continued to widen. I didn't think they could get any bigger, but apparently they could. I held my arms in shock. The fear in my body rushing back to me. He was going to kill me if I didn't comply. It was the truth; reality. I wasn't smart enough or rich enough to escape his grasp. And by the looks of it, this guy could get away with anything.

Tears rolled down my cheeks in frustration. This isn't what I wanted. I just wanted a normal life with a good job. To work for a company was my dream and it was crushed. Why did I ever decide to move to such a city filled with animosity? It was stupid of me to even consider that I had the ability to move with the higher ups.

He grabbed my ripped jacket and shirt, pulling them over my shoulders. He undid his tie and wrapped it around my neck to hold my shirt up, so that my bruised and thin body wouldn't show. Straightening the tie, he calmly said one more thing before letting me give my answer. "Make your choice. Live, or die."

I had no other options. No alternative to run to and hide away. I was no thief in the night that could make herself clandestine in the shadows. But he was. He visibly was. So I gave my reluctant answer. One that would change the course of my life drastically.

"I'll do it." I said through simple words. Squeezing my eyelids shut, I repeated myself through quivering lips a little louder. "I'll be your assistant."

The white haired man grinned lightly as if he was pleased. He released me and turned to one of his subordinates. "Bring the car around."

"Ja herr." A large looking silhouette with a crossbow in his hands ran around the back of the alleyway. The white haired German then turned to the rest of his subordinates.

"The rest of you, clean this mess up."

A row of large men in suits; also with crossbows responded before immediately going to assemble the skewered body. They tied him up in a black garbage bag.

The man grabbed my chin and roughly turned me to his direction however. Careful from letting me see what they were to do to the body next. "Listen, Miss Fenice. From tonight on, you will not speak of what happened here. You will also never go out alone, and during meetings you will remain silent unless I command you to speak. What I say goes. And if you disobey, it could end horribly for you. Do you understand?"

I absorbed his firm words and wiped my eyes carefully not to mess up my eyeliner before taking a deep breath and exhaling all of the pent up stress I was rapidly accumulating through these constant events. "Loud and clear."

He took a second to eye me up and down before letting me go. He had a very cautious air about him, but also seemed extremely gifted in the art of interrogation and getting every person who falls under his wing to instantly obey. Like a hypnotist. Though it was never surprising. Since I had no doubts that he did this sort of thing daily.

When we heard a car roll up, both of our heads turned. My eyes shot open, but then instantly relaxed. I had to stop being so caught off guard but… He had a black limo. That barely made any noise. I should have figured that when he said car, he actually meant luxurious mode of transportation.

"I'll take you home."

I nodded. It was best I didn't ask further questions or object… For tonight, anyway. I followed behind, but stopped in mid stride. "Excuse me… Uh… Sir?"

He halted as well. "What is it?"

"You haven't given me your name."

The street lights shone on him, revealing his stoic expression. One that shot straight through my heart like a cupid's arrow. Coated with feelings of anxiety of the unknown.

"Axel Kaiser."