Chapter One

Hands roamed around the other's body. Seeking, sensing and searching for a sensual reaction. Lena sighed in bliss as she leant her head closer to the stranger's touch, "Not here," she murmured. The streets were darkened and only illuminated by the street lights on every corner. Her neighbours were asleep, but she did not want to upset any families because of her public displays of affection.

There was a gruff reply from the blonde shaggy haired male as she moved away from his touch and walked forward to unlock the door. As he placed open kisses on her shoulders and neck Lena tried to recall his name. Luke? She thought. Simon? Mark? No, she thought her eyebrows furrowing in concentration. Who cares, the guys hot! Lena quickly opened the door and immediately the green eyed male swivelled her body towards him. Lifting her off of the ground, her legs instinctively wrapped around his waist and he thrust his hips close to hers. Leaning her head back, Lena closed her hazel eyes, her waist-length light brown hair tumbling in loose waves behind her. The green eyed male nibbled on the skin on her neck causing a light moan to elicit from her small pink lips and her eyes to open wide. Righting herself, Lena began to unbutton the buttons on his shirt whilst meeting his hungry lips in a long rough kiss. She smiled. She had really needed this right now.

Tap. Tap. Tap. The couple stopped and looked towards the plush lavender couches. Lena froze. "Shit," she cursed and leaning her head against the green eyed males shoulder, shutting her eyes tightly. This couldn't be happening, she thought, not now.

Lena heard a gun cocking and quickly turned to see one pointed in their direction. No, she corrected, not at us but at Mr Green Eyes. "You have five seconds to leave before this bullet goes through you," a threatening voice warned. When the male made no move to go and still held Lena firmly, the black haired male lifted the gun higher. "Do you want to die?"

Lena heard the green eyed male gulp before setting her on the ground. "Look man, I'm sorry for trying to make moves on your girl but you have to understand-"

Bang. The bullet shot past the stranger's shoulder and through the wall. "Leave now or don't. Killing you will be fun."

Hurriedly, the male shook his hair and flung the door open, running outside to his car. Lena stared at the black haired male before her and waited. In the distance the sound of an engine turning on and wheels squealing down the street could be heard. Quickly, the gun was pocketed as if it had never existed.

Lena gritted her teeth. She had not missed this. Shaking her head, she ignored the presence of the male and walked towards her kitchen. Opening the fridge, she looked inside for any hard liquor she could consume. She found none. Cursing her prudish ways, she shut the door roughly and spun around. Her chin struck a strong chest and she looked up to find the same hazel eyes looking down. "Fuck," she cursed.

A black eyebrow raised on the male's face. "I never expected you to swear Lenny."

"Things change."

A snide grin spread across his face. "They do, don't they sis?"

"Piss off," she hissed and moved to the right to continue her exit out of the kitchen.

"Is this how you greet me? Your own brother comes to see you and you immediately turn your back on him? Mama would strike you if she found out."

"Good thing I won't be seeing her soon."

A laugh escaped from his lips. "Oh you will Lenny. Soon, very soon you will see Mama and she will not be happy to see you."

"What is it that you want Antonio?" she seethed.

Lena had not missed this. Every second, minute, hour that turned into days and weeks had allowed her to be free from her business obsessed family. The Valentino family dwelled in illegal importing and exporting and the occasional bribing. Lena had never taken part in it. She was too 'fragile', too 'valuable' to the family as the only female born child to the head Don. She loathed it and so the very minute she was free, she had escaped the clutches of her family. It had been two years so far. She knew that they could have found her easily but why they didn't find her before this confrontation wasn't interesting enough for Lena to dwell on.

His thick black curls hid his hazel eyes as he smiled at her. Clasping his hands behind him, he walked past her and around the mahogany dining table, a smirk on his face as he eyed the furniture around him. "Papa never thought that you'd be a runner. You kept to yourself and made your books your best friends." He focused his eyes back onto her. "He would have done anything to make you happy. Do you know who he blamed when he found out about your disappearance?" Lena kept quiet. "Himself. Papa blamed himself. For weeks he made us search for you. Michael was torn. He wanted his twin sister back and barely slept until he could find something that lead him to you."

A chuckle released from her lips. "What do you want me to do Antonio? You want me to apologise for leaving? I can't. This is one of the best things that have ever happened to me." Liar, she hissed at herself. There was more to why she had left but she had fought to forget those reasons. Instead she stuck with the reason that she had done this for herself. Solace, she decided was what she wanted. An escape from her roughened family was needed. Moving away to the city was easier for her to get a job and to do what she wanted to achieve in life.

"Lena, Lena, Lena," Antonio smiled, striding towards her. When he stood before her, Antonio grasped her chin within his hand and tilted her head to look straight into her eyes. "As a child you may have been quiet, but every day you wished to be somehow made a part of our family. Not through the family business, but through something else. You may have never spoken to us often, but you felt content at home."

"That's bullshit I-"

Antonio cut her off. "Lena, you may not be ready yet to tell me why you left but I'm going to expect a name within the next ten seconds and if you don't give it to me, I am going to make sure that the lives of your students will become miserable. Their parents? Gone. Their- "

"You're bluffing," she cried, but she knew he wasn't.

"Ten seconds Lenny."

"If you think-"


"-For a moment that-"


"You can't be that cruel Antonio!" she exclaimed, her eyes widening. She couldn't tell him. She wouldn't.

"Seven." He eyed her, almost daring her to continue her rants. "Six. Come on Lenny. Five."

Tears began to well in her eyes and she struggled to turn her face in her brother's hand. "George," she murmured.

"Excuse me? What was that Lena?" A beat passed. "Lena I don't have all day. Tell me or else-"

"George." Her voice broke and she shot her eyes towards her brother's. Forcing her chin away from her hands, she took a step backward and closed her eyes.

A malicious laugh erupted from behind her. "George? You expect me to believe that one of Papa's most trusted men made you leave? No no. He wouldn't try anything with you. He was one of the men who helped to find you, he wouldn't want anything but the best for you. He-"

Lena's eyes shot to puncture her brother's. "Do not mock me. You wanted a name, I gave it to you. He had no role in my leaving. Somebody close to him did and he would never hinder to protect that person from the likes of you."

Antonio began to twitch his fingers. He's planning something, Lena thought as she remembered the exact way her father would react whenever a problem arouse. He began to pace slowly on the tiled floor, hazel eyes cutting through the articles and trinkets around the room. "We leave tonight."

"Excuse me?" she laughed humourlessly.

"Pack your things. You've been gone long enough and this little adventure into the 'real world' stops now."

"Get out of my house," Lena breathed and turned her back away from him.

"You have ten minutes to pack your bags or else I'll make sure you come home like a homeless person," he threatened.

Lena bit back a laugh and moved towards the kitchen sink. "Like I said before brother, I'm not going anywhere."

The last thing she wanted to do was be dragged willingly back to the Valentino family home. She wanted to be a strong willed woman and not overshadowed by her older brother's actions. Being away from the business had given her a chance at normality and the mere idea of moving back into unknown territory was not appealing or ideal.

"You could work at any high school Lenny," Antonio seethed from behind her. In her peripheral vision she noticed that he was typing away on his mobile phone and knew immediately that despite her wishes, she was going home, soon. "Papa would have even allowed you to open up your own building to school students at, why would you give that up to come here?"

Lena gulped. "I'm not like you Antonio, you wouldn't understand what it is that I needed."