“I’ll do anything,” I cried and begged; just to extend my life. “Cooking, cleaning, even making coffee. I’m the best at making coffee.”

-From Jenny to Giovanni, the mafia boss.

“Mafia den...” I was still muttering to myself. I really was in the mafia’s den. I couldn’t believe this. I was going to die for sure. Worse yet, what did Pa have to do with all this? I looked at the man named Giovanni Dente, my Adonis in real life. “Are you sure you’re not jesting with me?”

Giovanni gave me a glare that could even kill a corpse.

“Do you think boss is joking?” one of the men said. “What do you think this place is? Disney Land?”

“What’s your name?” Giovanni asked, drawing everyone’s attention back to him.

I felt proud of myself suddenly, forgetting all about my circumstances. I was only eighteen, turning nineteen in three months and one day, but I’d achieved so much in life.

“My name is Jenny. I’m a first-year student at Brooklyn College. I study accounting. I’m very good at—”

“You’re ugly.” Giovanni dropped his line, making my jaw drop to the floor.

“Excuse me!” I huffed. “I may be plain, but I’m not ugly.”

Giovanni dismissed me with a wave. “Take the girl away. I can’t even bed her with my eyes closed. She talks too much.”

“You galoot,” I snapped.

Sure, I looked like I’d gone through a twister just to get here, not to mention running home after getting that fake message. My appearance right now was no match to a princess. In fact, I was no different from a beggar, what with my wild platted hair in a jumbled mess. But I was so not ugly. I did have some beautiful points too, like my freckles, for example. They were beautiful and I was proud of them. So, how dare that Adonis mafia boss degrade my appearance like this? I’d give him a piece of my mind.

“Give me a million dollars, and I still wouldn’t bed you. In fact, even if you were the last man on this earth, I still wouldn’t bed you. And hear this. Even if you were the last remaining man on this earth, and the fate of all humanity depended on us, I still wouldn’t—”

“SHUT UP!” he barked. “Say one more word and I’ll cut out your tongue and feed it to Beasty.”

I wanted to blast another earful at him, but I was scared he might really cut out my tongue. I didn’t know about these mafia people. They looked scary, acted scary, and behaved in a scary way, especially that big boss. I didn’t want to have to find out if they were going to act on their threats or not. It was best if I kept quiet. But then my curiosity to know what was in that letter got the better of me.

“Can I ask what my pa wrote in the letter?” I tweeted out.

He glared at me again and then threw me the letter. I felt so mad. I really wanted to bash his handsome face. But what stopped me was that one single phrase in the letter that caught my attention when it landed on the floor. daughter as collateral, in exchange for my debt...

“Debt! Collateral! Pa, you...” I went into full outrage mode. I screamed. I yelled. I cursed.

What was Pa thinking? Using me as collateral in exchange for his debt? So, that’s what it was all about. He wanted to trade me for his debt, his plain daughter.

I continued to yell and berate him. Even if he wasn’t here to hear it, at least I felt better. I was about to release another throng of words when Giovanni stopped my outrage.

“GOD, you’re so bloody annoying,” he shouted. He massaged his temple, then fired a demand at the man beside him. “Bobby, take her away. Her screeching is hurting my ears.”

The man named Bobby cowered in fear. “Yes, boss.” And then he scratched his head. “Where to, boss?”

Giovanni almost lost his temper. He glared at his underling. “Do I have to spell out every single instruction? Use your brain for once. Go shoot her or throw her over a bridge or something. Just get her out of my sight.”

“Come this way.” Bobby dragged me until I almost lost my footing.

“Hey, take it slow, pal,” I yelled, pain shooting up my leg. Then I turned to the big boss. “Look! How much does my dad owe you? Maybe we could work something out.”

“What are you suggesting? If you want to trade your body, then I prefer to sleep with a pig.”

“I’m not trading my body, you galoot,” I yelled, firing back at him for comparing me to swine. “I’m proposing I pay for you via my excellent service.”

Giovanni, that hot mafia man, assessed me for a second longer, and then he signaled his underling again. “Take her away.”

“What?” I shrieked. No sooner had that word left my mouth, I was dragged out the door again.

I dug my foot on the floor to stop Bobby from dragging me forward. “Where are you taking me?” I pushed back and escaped his hold.

“To the bridge,” Bobby said.

“No! You can’t throw me over the bridge,” I shrieked again. My voice echoed around the large foyer as I fought with Bobby to let me go. But he was as tough as a nail, sticking to my skin like a barnacle to a rock.

“Okay, then, I’ll shoot you right here.”

“No!” Both Giovanni and I chorused out at the same time.

I turned to stare at Giovanni in surprise. Did I have the wrong impression of this man? Had he decided to change his mind about killing me? Maybe he did have a kind bone in his body.

I smiled at him. He ignored me and said to Bobby, “If you want to kill her, take it outside. I just got the carpet replaced. It’s such a hassle to organize for a new one.”


I was so freaked out of my bones. Did he really mean to kill me? That answered my question from before. Those guns on display out in the hallway, they weren’t merely for decoration.

“You can’t shoot me either. Not here nor outside,” I hurriedly objected. And then I revealed my last playing card. I yelled with my eyes closed, “I’m an asset to you.”

Giovanni smirked. “How are you an asset to me?”

Time to play the technical brain game. I squared my shoulders and looked up into his eyes. If I can’t lie through my teeth then I’m a monkey’s uncle.

“Let’s think about this for a minute,” I said, like I was a major philosophy professor and he the student.

“I don’t have time,” he retorted, his face darkening a shade.

“Okay, for a second, then,” I said in a rush. God, I was a puddle of gooey mess. My feet were about to give way. “Just give me a second to explain myself.”

“Your second’s up. Bobby, take her outside.”

“Wait!” I halted him, putting up my hands. “Stop being so impatient and let me explain. If you kill me now, how are you going to know my pa’s location?”

He paused.

I smirked.

I finally had him in the palm of my hand. I knew I was the smart one. There was no doubt about it now. Only a smart girl like me could get out of this situation alive.

“I know he’ll contact me sooner or later.” I continued, gaining confidence when the big boss still stood listening. “So, don’t you think you should keep me alive, just so Pa can contact me?”

He stared at me for a minute too long. I only prayed to God he would relent.

“Bobby, take her outside. And finish her quick.”

“What? Why?” I asked in panic. “Didn’t I just say Pa’s going to contact me? If you finish me off now, how are you supposed—”

“If I want to know where your old man’s gone to, I have my own methods. I don’t need to keep your annoying mouth here. So annoying. Bobby. Take her.”

“Yes, boss.”

Crap, I’m in deep shit. No, wait. This is worse than shit. I’m in deep pooh.

“You can’t. You just can’t. I said I’m willing to do anything. I’ll be your maid, clean your room, cook you food. I’m good at cooking.”

“I’ve got plenty of maids. I don’t need another one. Go, get out.” He tossed me to the side like I was piece of garbage, but I clung to his leg for dear life. I wasn’t going to die yet. I hadn’t even been kissed yet, let alone had a boyfriend. Even if it was just for a minute or two minutes or two hours, I was willing to grasp his pants so I could stay alive.

I didn’t want to die. I knew I didn’t want to, but Giovanni was stronger as he lifted me and pushed me off him. But one thing he didn’t know about me was I was resilient. No amount of struggling and tugging could peel me off his pants. I stuck to him like glue.

“I’ll do anything,” I cried and begged; just to extend my life. “Cooking, cleaning, even making coffee. I’m the best at making coffee.”

There was a pause and his body went still. Have I got his attention?

“Good coffee?” It was Bobby who spoke. He must have had enough of my wailing and strangling his boss’ pants. “If boss wants coffee, he would’ve—”


That came from Giovanni. Bobby stopped his blabbering. I let Giovanni’s pants go and looked up at his towering figure.

“You sure you make really good coffee?” Giovanni asked.

I nodded and stood. “Of course.” I boosted myself. “I won the barista award for two years in a row. I worked in a café my whole life. Of course I know how to make coffee. And once you’ve tasted it, you’ll become addicted to it like cocaine. Not that I ever tried cocaine of course. That’s just for comparison.”

“Hmm,” Giovanni said, staring at me while tracing his lips. “The coffee sounds tempting.” Then he turned to Bobby. “Test her. If her coffee tastes good, then keep her and let her be in charge of the coffee making.”

Author's Note:​

How do you like it so far? Enjoying it. Let's check out chapter 4 together and tell me what you think.


© 2020 by Wanitta Praks


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