Chapter One :Chapter 1


I stand near the tall glass window,staring at the garden below. My eyes are red and so tired from all the crying and my nose freaking hurts from the constant sniffles

"My condolences Naomi."

Anna, the daughter of my papa's friend places a hand on my shoulder

"Thank you." I turn to face her

My focus goes to the woman in a very expensive long satin dress with with black shiny high heels, she walks around the rich groups of people who came to offer their support and condolences.

A snake in green grass,a very cunning one at that.


My secret mortal enemy and my father's widow. I do not at any point call her my stepmother,that woman and the word mother will never be in the same sentence to me. I highly consider it a taboo and would rather cut my tongue off than put her and mother in the same line.

"At least Naomi has you, it'd be so sad if she were left alone in this world." a petit woman says

"Right..? She'd be so lonely and in danger, this world can be cruel sometimes." another woman agrees

"I know.. I'm also glad I have her, she's like a daughter to me."

Claudia pretends to be sad and pats under her eyes with a handkerchief. What the hell are theses snobs talking about? I have my aunt Ursela. So no,I'm not alone.

As if sensing my eyes on her,she looks my way and so do her snobbish friends. She then blows me a kiss like a caring mother would her daughter.

I look away without any show of emotion, she might fool everyone, my dad included, but she'll never ever fool me. I know it,I smell it,she was just after his money and nothing more. My father never saw that even till his last breath he still adored her and asked her to take care of me.

"Nao.." My aunt Ursela softly calls my name.

She reminds me so much of my mother,with her petit frame,brown hair and small brown eyes.

"Aunt." I say in the same tone

"Are you sure you're going to be okay? My offer still stands,you can go back with me to the Philippines."

I grab her hand in mine

"No aunt,I want to stay. Besides, I can't just leave this place,I've gotten used to it,made friends and I also want to stay with papa's memories,maybe when I'm around his things I won't feel too lonely because it'll be like he's with me."

She smiles sadly and caresses my cheek

"Oh honey. I'm so sorry you have to go through all this."

"It's not your fault, he was like a brother to you. You also lost someone dear to your heart."

She sniffs and envelopes me in a warm hug.

Everyone starts saying their goodbyes and leaves.

I sigh as I sit on the edge of my bed.

"Oh papa." I look around my room,the pink paint a reminder of just a month ago when we wore baggy worksuits and did the task ourselves.

"Were you saying goodbye to me?" I whisper to myself

I don't understand. He was perfectly fine a week ago, how could he just get ill for five days and die.

The door opens and Kai,my deceased father's driver pokes his head in

"Hey Nao, can I come in?"

"Sure Kai." I pat my cheeks

"I know you're going through a hard time, I don't know what's going to happen to me after this but I want you to know that I'll always be there for you no matter what."

Kai is a good man, he's forty five years old and was my father's best friend, mine too. We created a strong bond through his driving me to school and back. He's been around for as long as I can remember, the memories of when he first started working here are still fresh in my head, that was ten years ago,I was only seven years old.

He really helped my dad during the time of my mom's death eight years ago.

I'll be turning eighteen in a few months and graduating from high school this year. I can't wait to leave this place and go off to college,turn a new page and start anew.

"Thank you so much Kai, I appreciate it." I smile at him "Im sure Claudia will keep you around."

"Why didn't you go to Philippine with your aunt? I think that would be best for you."

"No, I want to stay. I want to look after papa's things,keep his memory alive."

He nods his head

"I understand. We're all going to miss him, he was a great man." he says.

Moisture builds behind my eyes and I blink the tears back

"I know." I whisper

It's been a month since papa's death. Thankfully, Claudia did something I approved of for the first time, she kept Kai. He's still my driver because well... She doesn't want her true colors to show. Yet.

"Good morning." I say with a bright smile as I slide in the back of the car. It's early Monday and Kai is driving me to school.

"Good morning. Had a good night sleep?"

"Yep." I say as I slurp on my smoothie.

"Hey Naomi, my condolences."

I smile politely at all the people extending their well wishes and concerns.

The whole time I seat quietly in class, pushing back the stupid conversations they're having about boys from the football team and who they want to fuck next.

Brianna and Jessy are my "best friends" well that's what they think at least,

I know it's questionable why I internally think of them as pathetic.

One: Brianna loves being on top of everyone else, thinking she's queen B and Jessica is a puppet following every one of her rules.

Two: They open their legs to any hotshot guy who joins the football team

Three: They always have weird conversations about boys and makeup.

Why do I hang out with them of all people? Camouflage. They are perfect for a good cover, I don't like it when people see my emotions,I hide them very well in such a way that they never and I mean never ever, suspect that my life isn't that perfect.

"Naomi Marshall the perfect daughter of a very rich and successful Business man, born with a silver spoon and golden bow,a perfect girl who has it all." Is not perfect at all.


I turn to face Bree who has a deep scowl on her face and Jessy a matching frown.

"Did you even hear a thing I just said?" Bree asks seeming way too irritated by my zoning out on her

"Huh? Yeah, of course. You're right Jessy." they must buy it because she says

"See? I told you you'll look perfect,you always do in everything."

Bree's smug expression returns on her face. See? Like I said Stupid.

"Totally." I chime in

"Oh my freaking god." Jessy squeaks

"Calm down Jess. Don't get too excited. He's too good for you."

"Right. He's definitely on your level,this one is yours."

"I know right." She flips her hair.

What a bitch

"Oh my God I can't wait for the two of you to get together, you'll make a perfect royal couple."

Jessy stares into space and smiles

I roll my eyes, another poor victim. I feel sorry for the guy already.

Well you see,Bree has a lot of guys lining up for her but she wants Ronan and no one but Ronan.

She's a very not-girlfriend-material type of girl,she's way too clingy and over the top,she never gave the guy space literally suffocating him with hugs a too much channel perfume.

I don't blame him for leaving her, Brianna thinks she's at the top and can look down on everyone,her boyfriend included.

When he dumped her it was a really big embarrassment,so she had to lie about her, being the one who dumped him.

Well you know guys don't like drama so he let it slide and moved on with a hot Bombshell with killer petit curves and hypnotic violet eyes.

Out of shame my friend aka Queen B had to pin the blame on her,his new girlfriend and doesn't miss a chance to bully her.

Highschool romance drama, another reason why I don't like young boys, I prefer older and mature.

Two Months Later

"Naomi." A scolding harsh voice pulls me out of my trance.


"Were you even listening to me?"

I stare at Claudia with a blank face

"You're such a waste of a child Naomi,a liability. How does that politician's daughter and her friend even stand you?"

"I'm sorry Claudia,I was just thinking about school."

"Hmph." She huffs

"I don't care...I just don't care Naomi,I say something, you listen. Next time I won't let it pass,do you want what happened last time to repeat itself?"

Bile rises in my throat at the reminder of that night, Punishment as Claudia likes to call it.

"I understand."


She ties the front of her silky robe and takes a sip of her expensive wine.

"If it weren't for my kindness you'd be out on the streets like a dog, Charles didn't even leave you a single dime because you're useless just like your deceased mother."

Her true colors didn't take much time to start showing, outside she is the perfect stepmother,the rare ones in this world simply because ninety percent of them are wicked.

Claudia is of course one of those ninety percent,she just hides it so well.

She is the spitting personality of Lady Tremaine from Cinderella. Not that I'm cinderella,I'm nothing pure and innocent,I don't believe in fairytales or prince charmings.




My eyes snap open at the irritating sound filtering inside my room.


The sound becomes so unbearable. I groan and sit up rubbing my eyes.


"What the hell?" I whisper to myself

"Ohh.. faster...uhh."

Claudia? Is she...?




A male voice cusses with a deep groan.

"You want me to fuck you like a dirty whore?"


"Hmmm Claudia? You want me to rip you apart with my cock don't you?"

Smack!  Louder this time

"Ohh...yes! Yes fuck me like a whore."

Claudia moans and screams. The slap of flesh against flesh grows louder, slipping in the silent space of my room.

I grab a pillow and cover my ears with it. Damnit! Can't a girl get some sleep around here.

My feet pat against the cold tiled floor. My hair is up in a messy bun and I'm still in my pajamas, it's a friday morning and I chose not to go to school because my body feels so tired. My eyes feel heavy because of the lack of sleep caused by the sounds which came from the room next to mine. All Night. Long.

"Good morning."

I greet Esther, our cook and housekeeper. She's in her mid fifties but still looks young and beautiful,like someone in their mid forties would.

"Good morning Nao, should I make you some coffee."

"No thanks,I'll do it myself."

She rushes to me and grabs my arm stopping me.

I frown.

"What is it?"

"Well Naomi..."

"What is it Esther?"

"Well..her boyfriend is here,he's in the kitchen."

I lift a brow

"And so?"

"I don't think it's a good idea that you go in there."

"Why not?"

I turn to fully face her and narrow my eyes. She swallows a few times and says

"Please ma'am, she gave clear instructions that you shouldn't be in the same place and to hand you your coffee at the stairs."

My curiosity gets piqued.

Why doesn't Claudia want me to meet her pathetic boyfriend? What's so special about him anyway.

"Thanks for the info Esther."

I smile and start heading to the kitchen


Esther says pleadingly

"Come on Esther,he's just a man and not a god. It's no big deal. Oh and stop with the ma'am thing it sounds ridiculous."

I hear her saying a prayer behind me and I smile.

The moment I enter the kitchen, a half naked tall wall of toned perfect muscles greets me from behind. Tattoos flexing with each strong and sure movement.

I pause

Holy mother of Jesus.

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