Chapter One

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The authorities couldn't tell me who the hooded man was.

For once, I paid extra to get driven to work, rather than walking. Expenses outside of my strict budget aren't usually permitted, considering I hardly make money that doesn't go toward rent. This, however, is completely justified. I can't tell if that hooded man was trying to help me, but I'm not taking risks.

Thankfully, the stalker man was detained immediately. Crime in this Pack is almost always brought to justice. That's what makes the fact that the authority can't find this hooded man all the more perplexing. And frightening.

At least work is uneventful. I'm stuck in a back room sorting through mail, not seeing a single face. I can't wait to get home and see Sam. She will love to hear about what happened.

I can already predict her curiosity about the hooded man.

As I was sifting through mail, something catches my eye. It's a rectangle box, covered in glimmering golden paper. It's so soft to the touch, it sends shivers down my spine. Much to my disbelief, it has my name and address printing on it. It doesn't suggest who brought it, so I take it onto the break room.

I'm careful opening it, peeling back the paper with precision. Inside, is a small velvet black box, and a golden note which flutters out onto the table. I pick up the note first, more curious about that then what might be in the box. I want to know who this is from.

Abella. I'm sorry for last night's events, I hope you are not too shaken. Tonight, I am having a party (find address on back). I hope you wear my gift. Consider it a thank you for last night.

~ Your Secret Admirer

Flipping the note over, I in fact see the address. It's a place in the town over. It's a wealthy town that I can barely afford to pay for a ride over, let alone stay there. Regardless, I wouldn't go anyway. If this is the man that wore the hood like was insinuated, the last thing I want to do is thank him. I want to forget this all happened.

Scrunching the note up, I toss it into the trash. Curiously though, I open the small box. Inside, is a pair of glittering earrings. Are these real diamonds? I can't throw these out, so I slip them into my work bag. Maybe Sam will know how to get rid of these.

As the work day slipped by, I couldn't help my wandering mind. Who is this hooded man? Clearly he is a generous, wealthy man from another town.

Why are they interested in me?

Once work was completed, I stopped by at a local bar to see Sam. It's her idea. She can't drink here, considering the strict alcohol ban, however, she likes to sit in a booth spying on attractive guys who walk through. Here, I can talk to her about what happened last night, completely safe in a public place.

"So did they get the guy?" Sam questions, chewing on the end of her potato fry. I'm glad I came out to dinner with her today rather than going to the party I was invited to by that stranger. I'm deciding to keep that to myself.

"He's been detained. They are saying he won't give an explanation to why he did it," I tell her, resting my head in my hands.

It's hard not knowing what he was planning to do to me.

"I wouldn't think about it if I were you. He's not your problem now," Sam says dismissively. She's clearly distracted by someone who has just walked into the bar, so I glance over my shoulder to see what has gotten her interest so quickly. She even speaks up about it. "Do you see that guy? God he's cute."

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