We were at the bar in the private room, waiting for further instructions. This wasn’t supposed to be like this, I shouldn’t be here. I should’ve been downstairs dancing with the other girls.
I looked around me and took in my new surroundings. I had been working here for six months but had never been upstairs other than the time when Christian took me. It was strictly forbidden and well guarded for a reason. The second floor was where all the business meetings were held and while walking to the private room I saw many different faces, including men heavily protected with guns.
There were different private rooms and different staff. It seemed like a completely different club.
“Calm down, you’re shaking.” Faith laughed and caressed her fingers through my curls.
Only when she had mentioned it I noticed my legs were shaking and took a deep breath to control myself. I didn’t know whether I was freaking out because I was about to see the same man I tried my hardest to avoid or because I would be with a lot of powerful and dangerous men in one room.
“Just hand them their drinks and snacks and that’s it. We don’t have to dance or do anything, it’s just as easy as that.” Luna tried to reassure me, but it only freaked me out even more.
“Everything you hear in that room stays inside of that room, when someone says or does something inappropriate you let security handle it,” Luna instructed.
Everything you hear in that room stays inside of that room. Those were not words I was unfamiliar with it as Christian showed me how it worked.
These men weren’t normal businessmen but worked for the mafia. Deep down I knew that if I made one wrong move, dropped a drink, or did anything remotely stupid— which was pretty much my daily routine, it would be he same as asking for a death wish.
“It’s easy money and we don’t even have to do much. Just breath and relax squirrel.” Luna told me.
Right, easy work. What could possibly go wrong, all I had to do was make sure not to drop anything.
“Come on girls, let’s go.” A man suddenly spoke. He had on a quality suit and was tall and toned. Instead of meeting his eyes, my stare went to the gun in his pockets and I froze for a second.
Of course, he had a gun, I knew what I got myself into.
“Hey, squirrel aren’t you usually downstairs?” He asked and took a step in front of me. I had never met this man before but he knew who I was. Of course, he knew, that was their job, to keep an eye on all of the girls. Or maybe he knew who I was because he was always next to Christian and the two of them seemed close, but then again, why would Christian even talk about me?
“Y-yes.” I barely whispered. He gave me a warm smile and placed his hand on my bare shoulder.
“I’m Marc, don’t be scared. I’m here to protect you.” He said and looked down at his gun. He might’ve thought he was calming me down but he only made things worse. “It’s Serena right?”
Out of the corner of my eyes, I saw different men in suits, including two of the Lamberti brothers, Enzo and Gio enter the room and make their way over to the large table. Luckily we were still behind the bar and there was glass separating the space so they couldn’t see us.
“Yes...” I answered and looked at him with pleading eyes, almost begging him to get me out of here.
“Lucio told us to not touch or even breath near you but he’s the one who brought you up here...I don’t get it especially with it being such an important meeting.” Marc spoke confused. At the moment I was just as confused as he had been, because I wondered why Lucio gave them those instructions but before I could ask anything Luna had already taken over the conversation.
“Lucio had to leave last minute, Enzo took over.” She explained.
“Makes sense.” Marc chuckled while eyeing me up and down one last time.
“Okay then, time to get to work ladies!” A man yelled and handed us trays, unfortunately handing me the one with champagne. Confused I walked after the other girls and followed their lead. I got no instructions, nothing, just like that they had expected me to be knowing what I was doing.
“Just follow my lead.” Faith whispered in my ear and pulled my shorts to stop me from walking. We were all standing in a line and I followed their stance while trying to balance the tray of drinks in my hand.
I didn’t know where to look and awkwardly looked around until my eyes caught Christian walk in as last. Next to him was the other guy he was always with, his right-hand man how we like to call him, and cousin Johnny.
Unlike Christian, Johnny was known to be a warm person and always smiled at everyone who would walk past him. He and Marc being here definitely calmed my nerves.
Christian had a strong presence and the moment he sat down the room went silent. Even if I didn’t know who he was I would’ve guessed what kind of status he had. I would’ve been lying if I said that he wasn’t attractive when the man was a walking god.
His beautiful almond-shaped hazel eyes matched his soft olive skin. His full dark brown hair matched his thick and perfectly shaped eyebrows, and even with the suit, he was wearing I could still see how toned he was.
“Don’t stare at the boss, are you crazy!” Faith whispered in my ear, making me look down in an instant. What was I even thinking, did he see me?
“Shouldn’t your brothers lead this meeting? I’m sure Lucio is not crazy enough to let a twenty-three-year-old lead this business meeting.” One of the men laughed and playfully nudged the other men, but they all gulped in fear and looked over at Christian to see his reaction.
Christian doesn’t like to be embarrassed. That was one thing I had figured out the day he dominated me on his office desk. Christian liked to be in control and wouldn’t dare losing it.
Those were the same words the girls never missed when they were gushing over him. Everyone looked at Christian awaiting his reaction, but to everyone’s surprise, all he did was chuckle as he raised his head.
“I’m the heir so I lead this business meeting, not my older brothers.” Was all he said and proceeded to talk. All the terms they used were extremely confusing to me so I ignored it while wondering for how much longer they had expected me to hold the tray as if I was some kind of porcelain doll.
The only thing I focused on was to not pay any attention to Christian but it was hard to do so when he was the one leading the meeting.
I felt my legs close to giving out and tried my hardest to balance the tray while drifting my attention elsewhere. For the last minutes, I had done everything from counting tiles to counting the seconds on the clock.
“It’ll be over soon.” Faith giggled in my ear to calm my nerves. If anything she knew how much I sucked at standing still, it was something I wasn’t made for.
“Give the men something to drink.” Gio suddenly spoke and guided his hands to the men at the table.
Luna who was on the other side of me gave me a small nudge so I wouldn’t lose my balance. “That’s your cue, you’re the one with the drinks.”
I looked from Luna, to the tray, to the men who were watching me and carefully walked forward making sure I wouldn’t drop anything. If I was allowed to sweat I probably would’ve. Determined to not make any eye-contact I went around the table and gave everyone a glass of champagne, so far so good.
Just when I had two more glasses to go I felt sudden dizziness through my head and accidentally spilled a bit of the champagne. A passable scenario would’ve been for it to just have fallen on to the table but instead, it reached the suit of the man I was supposed to give it to. “What are you doing? Apologize.” Gio demanded, making me feel chills throughout my body. Gio was someone you did not want to anger and a perfectionist.
“I-I’m s-so sorry.” I stuttered and took a napkin to clean the man’s suit but before the napkin could even reach his suit he grabbed my hand and squeezed it.
“Don’t worry about it, it’s just a suit.” He smiled. Surprised at his laid-back comment I looked at him for the first time and figured he wasn’t much older than I was, so probably not that old schooled. He had a warm smile on his face and frowned his eyebrows when he caught me staring. I looked down with a blush on my face but quickly recovered myself when I heard a cough out of Christian’s mouth.
With a pit in my stomach, I turned around and faced the same man I had been trying to avoid the same way how he had been avoiding me. The last time he looked me in the eye was when I accidentally blocked his path last week and he told me to move.
The moment I put down his champagne in front of him his hand quickly wrapped around my wrist and he pulled me in closer so he could whisper in my ear. “Are you okay?”
I felt a hint of worry in his voice, but his sudden action startled me because beforehand I had already prepared to get yelled at so I quickly pulled away and took my distance while nodding my head. For a few seconds, I stood frozen in my spot until I made eye contact with Faith whose eyes were telling me to come back.
“Are you okay?” Faith asked this time. The fact that I had almost fainted because of nerves was already embarrassing enough as it was, so the only thing I did was nod my head and kept my mouth shut.
Even though Faith said it would be over soon it wasn’t and once again I started counting sheep in my head. I looked from Christian to the guy who had told me to not worry about me messing up my suit and by the looks of their interactions they seemed extremely close to one another. Who would've thought Christian was capable of smiling?
When the guy caught me staring he gave me a smile and a wink while I immediately looked the other way and pretended like I wasn’t looking at him. It was clear that it was too late seeming I slept with my boss, but I did not want to get involved with these people in any way to the point I didn’t want them to know my name. The only thing I wanted was to make enough money to pay my bills.
After what felt like hours but were just minutes the meeting was finally over and all of the men prepared to exit the room again. I held my head down and tried to keep it that way until all the men had left the room but when I saw a figure walking towards me and my eyes met with a pair of oxfords I didn’t know how fast to raise my head and looked at warm brown eyes ahead of me.
“I’m sorry for tiring you, but are you sure you’re not sick?” Johnny apologized with a pitiful expression on his face and held his large hand against my forehead. I tried my hardest to hide the blush which was working hard to appear on my cheeks and gave him a small forced smile.
“It’s okay, I also fell asleep.” Marc joked and wrapped his arm around his friend’s shoulder. While the two went back and forth joking around with each other and the other girls joined in, I was just grateful that Johnny had removed his hand from my forehead but freaked out a bit when I saw Christian leaning against the door with his arms crossed.
In annoyance, he closed his eyes and cleared his throat making everyone turn around to look at him.
“Marc, you bring the girls back downstairs and Johnny, come to my office.” Was the only thing he said and left. Johnny gave us one last smile and obeyed his cousin by following him while Marc did the same and brought us back downstairs.
“You’re eating well, right?” Faith asked me, possibly talking about me barely succeeding to stay on two legs. The truth was that I felt like shit, but if you did not feel well you could not work and I wasn’t in any state to miss out on the money so I did what was best and nodded my head. “I’m fine, I just got a bit nervous, that’s all.”
Faith eyed me suspiciously but shrugged her shoulders and wrapped her arm around my shoulder. “Good, because I need my best friend at work.”
I was thinking about the reasons as to why I felt unwell but there were none.
So was I really fine?
“Are you sick again?” Faith nagged me while we were watching a movie. I ran to the bathroom for what would be the fourth time today and was exhausted.I had been feeling like this for three months now and my body felt close to giving up on me, but I knew this was probably because I tended to overwork myself.“Don’t worry, it’s nothing!” I yelled back and gargled some mouthwash in the hopes of getting the disgusting taste from my mouth. No matter what happened, even if I was on the verge of dying, I had to do whatever I could do so I could at least pay my rent this month so getting sick was not an option.While everyone had a family to turn to I didn’t and was all on my own like
Christian made his way next to his brother while I lowered my head and had no plans of raising it, but unfortunately, he wouldn’t let me. “Look at me.”Just as I remembered his voice was strong and dominant. Even if I wanted to I could not disobey him, he seemed like a control freak and ordered people around like it was nothing. I raised my head to look at him and was surprised when his look had softened.How bad did I exactly look for him to lose his stoned expression?“And she comes here by uber too, it’s late at night and not everyone is as nice as me, squirrel. You really have to look out for yourself, right Christian?” Enzo scolded me and looked at his brother for back up. I didn’t know that I was capable of feeling even more
Christian“You are early today, sir,” Emmanuella told Christian when he had entered the mansion. Christian gave the woman a look of pity and felt awful. He knew that being a housekeeper was her job and that Emmanuella had been with the family before he was even born, but he couldn’t imagine cleaning and didn’t even know where to start.“Yes, I had something to take care of.” Christian smiled and thought about Serena. The girl he couldn’t help but find strange, but since his dad told him to look after her he obeyed his wishes. He remembered his father, Lucio scolding him the day he had caught her walking out of his office.Lucio was livid and told Christian that he had expected him to look out for her from a
“Do you need help, miss?” The female employee who had been watching my every move asked. I shook my head and tried to cover myself up with my hoodie even more than I had already done. I had been standing in the pregnancy aisle and staring at the different tests for a while now and was unsure of what to pick.No one knew me around here and there was no shame whatsoever in being pregnant at the age twenty-one, so I didn't know why I was so desperate to hide.My eyes had immediately looked up the digital pregnancy tests which I could not afford, but I had to know for sure and those were the most believable. Unfortunately, I did not know these things and was confused about how many I should buy.Should I go for two, three, four?
After feeling emotionally numb for several hours I decided to call my doctor and was scheduled for a meeting the same day. The most difficult thing would be me taking a pregnancy test yet once again to confirm it.Hearing that the baby was the size of a blueberry was enough reason for me to ignore the doctor all through my first ultrasound. When I was younger I had dreamed of this moment and wished it would be a happy one but it felt like the complete opposite.I did not know how to ask for a referral to an abortion clinic but I managed to do it. If I removed the baby now, I wouldn’t get too attached to the idea of something living inside of my belly.Yes, that was what I was going to do. I was going to live my l
ChristianChristian looked at the beautiful woman in front of him and observed how she held a conversation with Marc and Johnny. To others Isobel seemed close to perfect, she was beautiful to look at, smart, educated, kind— and Christian could not disagree with that.In the past, Francesca had always been outspoken over how perfect Isobel would be for Christian while the two at the time got embarrassed by her statements. It had not only been Francesca but a huge majority who had shared those same thoughts, but for Christian that was a no-go.He did not like her in that way and ignored the crush she had developed, but he had no problem whatsoever with how she threw himself on him and took advantage of her. Despite throwing several hints that he was not looki
It was a few days further and I was still three months pregnant. Nope, absolutely nothing had changed and I still felt like shit. After finishing up my week behind the bar it was the weekend and somehow I managed to call in sick. Christian was out of the picture and so was Lucio who was at first surprised to see me in the kitchen but didn’t pay lots of attention to it.I knew that if I had to work it tonight it would’ve been time to start dancing again, but I also knew that I couldn’t do that, at least not with a baby in my belly. After looking up several job applications I had quickly found out that no one was waiting on a college drop out.My hands grasped for the abortion clinic booklet and I held it tightly.Why did it have to be this difficult?<
When I walked into the clinic with my hoodie pulled over my head I had hoped for it to be a quick visit, just like I had expected for them to remove the baby as soon as possible, but they didn’t.In the morning I woke up feeling anxious and perhaps even excited to get rid of the baby but each time reality kicked in I’d feel guilty and thought about how much I wanted to have something of my own. If I had this child I would never be alone, but if I had this child it would be yet another mouth to feed and babies were expensive. The costs of $13,000 a year shocked me and definitely helped me with my decision.That amount of money on top of what I had to pay for myself was ridiculously much and