Chapter One

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Word Count: 1704


The sun rose behind the dock as I approached it.

Sleeping hadn't been too easy pressed against the concrete alleyway wall. I decided the moment I could approach the docks, I would. Even when they are just getting ready for the first boat to cruise in from Ren's island. It will be a supply ship, first thing. To get whatever Ren decides he needs for the day.

This place is considered a public attraction here. There's an entire restaurant on the other side, where only the richest go. There is a private area for when Ren arrives via ship, and is ushered out to a car in a secluded area.

I only know this because of my father's prior fascination. He would whisper all these facts in my ear when we would visit.

Back then, I had no idea I would be begging for work here.

The lake looks beautiful this morning. From this angle, I can't see Ren's estate, as it's hidden by a sharp cliff and a multitude of evergreen pine. Buttery yellow and coral pink bleed together over the surface of the water. Nothing but a soft breeze ripples along the calm lake, brushing at the strands of hair I haven't had a chance to pull back.

Trotting up onto the deck, I look around for a sign of life. No one seems to be about, as I cup my hands and peer into the window. It's the restaurant portion, chairs still stacked upon the table.

I catch someone sweeping the floor on the far end of the room.

It's a girl, long black hair pulled into a messy ponytail. She doesn't seem to notice me at first, earphones propped in her ears, concentrating on whatever last nights diners left on the floor.

I knock on the glass, watching her startle. Pulling her earphone out, she looks at me, frowning for a short moment. She's foreign. No Loyalty Pack member had such sleek hair like that, and stunning dark eyes. I wonder if she is from the Vengeance Pack. That would be my first guess.

She unlocks the door for me, but doesn't let me in. Leaning against the doorframe, she casts a glance at me up and down.

"Sorry, we're closed," she proceeds, transferring the gum she was chewing from one side of her mouth to the other. Vengeance Pack, definitely. It only intimidates me a little. That's what I tell myself, at least.

"I'm not here for your services," I tell her. "I'm here for a job."

She narrows her eyes slightly. Her lashes are thick, doused with some form of makeup. Mother obsessed about me wearing blush on my cheeks, or a touch of gloss on my lips, however, I was always quick to wash it off. I'm wondering if she is considering sending me off.

"I'm not the manager. I just work here," the girl tells me. My eyes wander to her name tag. Raven. So typically Vengeance. "If you want to talk to Linda, she's out back."

I smile slightly. "That would be great."

Raven leads me inside, polished wood creaking under our feet. She keeps a few strides ahead of me, beckoning me to stop when come to the other side of the room. Knocking with three taps on a side door, Raven pushes open and leans inside.

"Some kid is out here wanting a job," I hear her say. "Look homeless."

I scowl. Do I really look that bad. Glancing down at myself, I'm wrapped in a thick jacket with dark leggings. I could be cleaner, but I only spent one night on the streets. It only makes me feel much worse about myself. How am I meant to get a job here now?

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