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Chapter 5 LILY 40% I toss and turn all night, looking for a solution to my financial crisis. By three o’ clock in the morning, all my tired brain keeps conjuring are images of burning sapphire blue eyes. The parts of of my b*dy where he’d touched earlier still throb and tingle, and my heart. burns with a hate I have never felt before. Marco Marcelli is my enemy, and I need to think of a way to escape his clutches, fast. I stare at my silent phone with disdain. My so-called “fiance” has not bothered to call me since this morning. Heaving a tired sigh, I get out of bed. The School of Journalism’s handbook on my night stand catches my attention. I walk over and pick it up, fiipping through the absent mindedly. My heart almost stops beating when I get to page sixteen. pages The next morning, I arrive at my supervisor’s office bright and early, my heart

singing with joy. “Miss Carson, you’re looking quite dandy this morning. She observes. “Thank you, supervisor.” I drop the handbook on her desk and she gives me a questioning look. “It says right there on page sixteen that if a student gets straight A’s from their first year of admission here, he or she is eligible to be placed on a scholarship for the next two years.” My supervisor’s perfectly waxed brows draw together. “What? Let me see that.” She grabs the handbook and goes through it quickly. When she finally looks at me, her once cold eyes are slightly warmer. “Well, this is great news, Lily. You’re a straight A student.”

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I nod quickly, my cheeks hurting from all the grinning I’ve been doing since this morning. My supervisor looks down again. ။ O 40% 15-33 Chapter 5 Thu, 25 Jan B “It also says here that the only person who has the power to approve such scholarship is the Chairman, board of governors. Luckily for you, he came in from Atlanta just yesterday and he’s on seat right now. You can meet him.” I grab the handbook from her table and make for the door, yelling over my shoulder, “Thank you, Mrs Susana.” I follow the directions on the school’s map and before long, I arrive at the hallway which leads to the Chairman’s office. When I finally get to his door, the sight of two armed guards stops me in my tracks.

Whomever this man is, he must be a very important person. “Halt. One of the guards call out and I freeze. “Uh…hi. My name is Lily Carson. I’m a student here and I want to see the chairman.” The second guard’s icy green stare roves over me. “The chairman is not receiving any guests today. Please leave.” Desperate, I step forward. “No, please, you do not understand. I have to see him today. This is a very serious matter.” The guards exchange a knowing look at my tearful tone. “Wait here. I will alert the boss. The first guard says. I breathe a sigh of relief. When he returns three minutes later, I am already a nervous mess. “The boss will see you now. You can go in.” I release a breath I didn’t realise I held. “Thank you very much.” They step aside and I walk into the luxuriously furnished office. A huge mahogany desk takes up the centre, but the chair behind it is empty. The fioor to ceiling windows present a breathtaking view, but my nerves refuse to settle long enough for me to enjoy it.

I hear a sound from behind me but before I can turn, a soft, dark baritone fills the room. 15:33 Thu, 25 Jan G Chapter 5 “I hear you’ve been looking for me, Lily.” 40% My muscles go rigid at the sound of that voice. I remain frozen on the spot as he slowly walks around me and takes his seat behind the table. Those devilish blue eyes shine with cold smugness and I struggle to gain control over my sca ttered wits. “Wh-what are you doing here?” Marco Marcelli merely shrugs. “I’m working. This is my office.” My heart falls. “No,” I whisper. “It can’t be.” He leans forward on his desk and his slicked black hair gleams in the overhead lights. “Yes, it can absolutely be, Lily.” Anger sparks through my veins, “So you bought the school, too. Why? To make my life more miserable than you’ve already made it? I already apologized for the slap, Mr Marcelli. I f ucking knelt at your feet. What more do you want from me?!” He leans back on his seat, his muscles bunching with tension. His eyes are two cold pools.

“Sorry to burst your little bubble, but I did not buy the New York School of Journalism. I founded it. The school is originally mine.” My mouth falls opens in shock. He’s not done, “I already told you that no amount of apology can change your fate, cara mia. I am just getting started with you.” I ignore the icy hands that grip my heart at his words and instead, drop the handbook on the table.

“I do not have time for this. The handbook specifically states on page sixteen that I am eligible to be given a scholarship. You have to approve it.” He says nothing for a few seconds. He doesn’t even bother looking at the handbook. “I know what it says. I wrote the order. 臻940% Chapter 5 But just how much are you owing the school, Lily?” I swallow nervously. “Around fifty thousand in tuition fees.” “Exactly. Now, I remember giving the order that the recipients of said scholarship must not be owing the school. Didn’t you read to that point?” I lift my chin. “I read the entire handbook, Mr. Marcelli. Nothing of the sort is written there, and you do not have the power to just proclaim such order. It has to be written down.” His icy blue eyes narrow at me with disdain. “I own this school, miss Lily Carson. I have the power to proclaim whatever I want. anytime I want. No one can question me.” My pulse thunders against my throat as I stare at him helplessly. I can already feel my world crashing right before my eyes once again.

“What do you want from me?” I ask in frustration. “I cannot possibly have

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anything you want.” “But you do have what I want, Lily. You have everything I want.” The wheels in my brain begin turning. Marco Marcelli wants to be my Sugar daddy. Should I just accept? It appears I no longer have a choice. I will think of a plan B later. I square my shoulders and heave a breath, looking him straight in the eyes. “Fine, I will be your mistress. Please just cancel my debts and keep my mother in the hospital.” For a moment, the only sounds in the room is my thumping heartbeat. Marco sits perfectly still, pinning me in place with a cold eyed stare. Then he smiles a devilish, smug smile. “You see, that offer is no longer on the table, Lily. You threw it back in my face, even had the audacity to slap me in the process. Accept my apologies, but the offer has been revoked.” My heart sinks in panic. “No. No, please. I already apologized for that. I’m sorry. I will do whatever you want, please just cancel the debts, sir.” E Chapter 3 The hospital had called this morning. If I do not pay what I owe by the end of the day, mum will be taken off oxygen s on the boss’ orders. Marco Marcelli is a heartless monster. He strokes the light stubble on his chin. “You will do whatever I want?” He repeats.” Alright then. I have another offer for you.” My eyes snap to his in shock. That was quick. “Please. I will do anything.” “I have an exclusive S** club that caters to the need of New York’s finest billionaires. You will work there for one night and I will monitor your progress. If you impress me, I will give you a job that will help you clear your debts in two days.” I freeze, not sure I’ve heard right.

“Did you say a S** club?” “You heard right. You will work as a stripper, but if any of the men need a… companion for the night, you are obliged to satisfy them.” My eyes widen in shock. “B-but I’m engaged. I’m getting married in three months. I cannot work as a who re.” “This job will pay you five thousand es per in…. My eyes almost bulge. Five thousand dollars to dance around n*ked? “You have exactly five seconds to accept my offer, after which I will assume you do not want it. Five…” Marco begins the count down and I begin sweating in my sweater. Men have done a number on me. I am not sure I will be able to do this job. “Four…” pay, I’m not sure: But what will happen to mum? If I do not hospital will accept her in her current condition… “Three…” …and I do not even have the money to transfer her to another hospital at this point. “Two…” 15:33 Thu, 25 Jan GO Chapter 5 Head lowered and heart completely broken, I make the one decision that changes my life forever. “Fine. I accept your offer.” He stops the count down and I breathe a sigh of relief. “I will have to perform an inspection.” My head snaps upwards. “What?” He looks at me calmly. “I will have to inspect your b*dy to make sure you are fit to work in my establishment. Now, strip. Once again, I freeze. “II cannot do that.

His lips tighten. “If you want to work for me, you will strip. Take everything off including your underwear. Right now.” 0 SEND GIFT