"Shit!" I cried, as the small bowl on the counter fell to the floor.
It shattered of course. My palm stung as the pieces I collected wedged inside my skin. One of my shiny red nails chipped as I cleaned up the mess, pissing me off even more. I had managed to save that clay monstrosity for years. No, it hadn’t been pretty. In fact, it’d been extremely conspicuous in it’s place in the middle of my multi-million dollar mansion. But it was one of the last ties I had to my previous life.
At the age of seventeen, my life took a drastic turn for the worse. There were countless days when I went hungry, hundreds of nights when I was forced to sleep in the cold. I was almost raped three times. It took me about three years, but I finally did what very few people manage to do in their lifetimes. I grew up.
But never again would I endure what I had for so long. I threw away the remnants of the vase and looked around at the new house. Vaulted ceilings, thirty feet high. Crystal chandeliers holding no less than five hundred lit candles each. Rugs made from the fur of the rarest, most exotic creatures.
The epitome of wealth.
And it was mine. Every damn statue. Every fucking gold plate. All mine.
Exactly what did I do to earn all this? Head to work every day, eight bucks an hour? Katrina Helix, certified public accountant? God help me, no.
Crime was my employer. My life had went to absolute hell, but she was generous to me, had saved me when there was no one else to turn to. She was my teacher; with her, I learned a lesson that would have been impossible to learn under normal circumstances.
Money, not love, family, or any of that Hallmark bullshit, is what matters. In the end, it's the only thing that will always be helpful, so in order to acquire it, I'd done a lot. I'd robbed banks. I'd held people for ransom. I'd even stolen a painting from the Louvre.
Did some people get hurt or killed along the way? To put it bluntly, quite a few. I had blood on my hands. I'd seen the life draining out of dozens of people. And frankly, I didn't give a shit.
I headed up the marble staircase to my room. It alone was the size of most people's houses, and completely luxurious. I had made it a point to bathe in my wealth, sparing no expense in anything. And this house was the symbol of my life, my power, my money.
I slipped on a red tank top, unfortunately tangling my newly dyed raven hair in the process. Rolling my eyes, I inspected the damage in the full-length mirror. My dark eyes, infinitely bigger due to the thick eyeliner I had used, stared back at me seductively, and the tangles in my wavy hair made it tumble down my slightly tan five-seven frame in a casual, yet sexy, way.
I grabbed my keys and headed out, sighing with satisfaction. I had done plenty of research, and I knew Jackson Kolton liked them pretty. Of course he would. His father was the CEO of Kolton Enterprises, making Jackson used to silicone-valley Barbies.
But that also made my task a hundred times easier; I’d be damned if he wasn’t my hostage by evening.
I drove to the Waldorf Astoria, casually walking up to the entrance. Dozens of photographers were already planted outside the lobby, waiting to catch a glimpse of Edward Kolton's only son, the twenty-three year-old that got every girl screaming. Every girl except for me. The only thing I saw Jackson as was a walking million-dollar bill.
I strolled inside the hotel, trying to look as superior as possible. It wasn't hard. Over the tank top, I'd put on an expensive mink coat to make sure everyone knew I belonged. Rubies and emeralds were draped over my fingers and ears. Even my black skinny jeans seemed sophisticated when paired with my matching stilettos.
Sophisticated didn’t mean safe though. Nobody knew what “the Queen of Hearts” really looked like, but in case I slipped up, I needed to take precautions. Therefore I had placed giant circular sunglasses on the bridge of my nose just before I stepped out of my car. It wasn’t much, but it was better than nothing.
Cautiously, I gazed about the gigantic lobby. I needed to scope out the area. For sure, cameras were hidden inside each potted plant, behind every mirror. I wasn't too worried though. It wasn't as if I hadn't done this before.