The Most- Read Romance Novel for Women Who Know Best
WHEN THE NIGHT FALLS
The people who worked for him called him The Devil.
Only behind his back of course. He would never allow such a thing to be said in front of him.
The name had spread through the city like wildfire, and now that’s just what everyone called him.
His reputation preceded him.
Everything the public knew was merely a rumor. The origins of each, long forgotten. It was nearly impossible to peel the myth away from the man. He never bothered addressing any of them, choosing to lead a militantly private life instead.
Over the course of his career, he’d made billions of dollars across many secretive companies.
But his money was nothing compared to his body. He had the sort of body that would make Greek gods blush. It was printed on magazine covers from Berlin to San Francisco. But his sexiness went beyond just his looks.
He was a mystery–an enigma.
Nobody was quite sure where he lived.
Whether he was married, if he had kids.
No one even knew what he looked like.
If you googled his name, all that came up was a series of hazy photographs of him covering his face.
Any paparazzi who ever came close disappeared suddenly, never to be heard from or seen again.
He had a secret, that’s for sure, but what was it?
“Jasmine, open up! Now!”
The pounding on my door made me jump and throw aside the copy of Time magazine with Theodore Jefferson’s blurry photograph splashed across the front cover.
I groaned. I knew the voice of the person pounding on my door. My tormentor himself was here.
I gathered up my strength and opened the door of my apartment. Giving my landlord a tight smile, I plopped down on the beanbag chair, knowing clearly he wasn’t going to leave anytime soon.
“Have a seat; you are behaving like a guest.” He sat on the sofa facing me.
“When are you going to pay me?”
“Alex, you are well aware of my situation. I lost my job. I don’t have a penny in my bank account,” I said with a frown on my face.
Never in my life had I imagined I would be seeing days like this.
I’d worked as a cook for great pay, but the asshole who had been my manager had threatened to fire me if I didn’t sleep with him. I flinched, remembering him and his poor innocent wife, standing by and watching his atrocious behavior.
Before he could fire me out of cruelty, I resigned, which had inflamed his male ego. He’d made sure that I couldn’t get a job at another restaurant.
“I already waited for three months. I won’t wait for another three. I don’t care if you have a job or not, figure it out.
“I will give you one more month. If you don’t pay me at the end of this deadline, I will evict you. Mark my words.”
Sighing, I nodded glumly, as he stood up and stormed out of my apartment.
I groaned as I looked at the pile of bills I needed to pay. I didn’t have money to pay them all.
The only thing I felt like I could do was cry hysterically. I was powerless.
The fridge was empty and in great need of filling. I was addicted to those instant noodles, as they were the only thing that I was able to afford. Why hadn’t I saved money all those months?
~Because you were so interested in buying all those clothes and that jewelry.~
My phone started ringing from underneath a couch pillow.
“Hello. Jasmine Gibson speaking.”
“Ms. Gibson, we hear you’re in search of a job,” a woman’s voice said on the other end.
I pulled the phone away from my ear and checked the caller ID. It wasn’t a spam call.
“Who is this?”
“I’m afraid I cannot disclose that information,” the voice answered. “This is not a secure line. But I can assure you, the job pays handsomely.”
“What’s the job?” I asked her. I didn’t remember applying for anything, but I was in no position to reject a well paid opportunity.
“Ms. Gibson, if you are free, can we meet in person? I cannot explain the details over the phone. As I mentioned earlier, this is not a secure line.”
“Sure, where’s the office located?”
Instead of an answer, the phone line cut in one long continuous beep.
As soon as I put the phone down, I received a message with the address.
If I had been in a stable position, I would’ve deleted the text and forgotten about the odd conversation. Yet as I sat there recollecting my landlord’s threats, I knew I had no choice.
But I was in a desperate financial situation.
I washed my face and changed into a white button-down shirt that I tucked into denim jeans. I brushed my auburn hair into a high ponytail.
After applying nude lipstick and putting on my yellow sandals, I walked out of my apartment.
The location wasn’t that far from where I lived. I had just enough fuel in my car for me to get there and back. I was always running low.
When I reached the building, the concierge sent me right up.
The elevator opened up into a bright marble-walled waiting room. I noticed an ornate ~TJ~ carved into the wall behind the reception desk. It looked like some sort of logo. I took a seat, waiting for someone to come fetch me.
Moments later, a slender lady dressed in classy clothes walking toward me. I was impressed by the way she was dressed. She looked sophisticated compared to my casualness.
She stretched out her hand to introduce herself.
“I’m Iris,” she said.
I recognized her voice immediately. She was the woman on the phone.
Iris glanced at my clothes. She nodded her head in approval.
“I’m glad you came,” she said.
“I had to come, you see, I’m desperately in need of a job.” She chuckled at that.
“I know you are. Well, I know everything about you, Ms. Gibson. The reason I chose you for this job is because of your previous work.”
She sat and crossed her legs, sitting up straight as she spoke to me.
Something about this woman intrigued me.
“First of all, what’s the job you’re interviewing me for?”
“Childcare.” I looked at her as if she’d lost her mind.
“Sorry to say this. I think you’ve mistaken me for someone else,” I stated, getting ready to leave. She smiled at me softly, which was kind of sinister.
“You were a cook at a 5 star restaurant. Were you not? You left the job because of your manager. Twenty-four years old, single your entire life. Bills to pay and a negative bank balance. Did I get it all right?”
My mouth dropped open, and anger flared in me. How dared she investigate my personal matters?
“Look Ms. Iris, I may not have a job right now, and there may be bills to pay, but it is illegal to stalk someone. Besides, I am not here to babysit a child. I need a real job,” I replied, standing up.
“One million dollars if you say yes.” My mouth dropped open again.
“Are you kidding me? One million dollars for a babysitting gig? Have you lost your mind, or are you trying to make a fool out of me?”
Iris raised an eyebrow and smirked mysteriously as if she was enjoying this.
“Ms. Gibson, I’m not trying to make a fool of you. The babysitting, as you called it, includes taking care of the baby’s diet and a few other things.”
“If you are ready for the job, then I will tell you more.”
I thought about it. I’d never seen a million dollars in my whole life. I wouldn’t have to worry about money anymore. I could easily start my own business.
“Okay,” I agreed, “tell me more.”
Iris pulled out a file from her bag and placed it in front of me.
“This is the contract, it states that you will take care of the baby from tomorrow onward. You have to be there for the kid for one year.
“You need to move to live with the baby. You need to cut all ties with the outside world and tell no one where you’re going. You are to leave your personal phone behind. Fret not, you will be provided with a new one.”
“Can’t I stay at my own place? I can drive there every day.”
“No, Ms. Gibson. It’s a confidential location. We don’t want to risk you being followed.”
I went through the file and read the conditions. Whoever I was about to start working for was no joke. Was I about to sign a contract with the mafia?
“Okay. Where do I sign?”
Iris pointed at the dotted line.
My heart pounded in my chest. One million dollars, I told myself before signing my name.
“Our driver will be at your place tomorrow morning to escort you to the location. Pack everything you need. Once you leave, you won’t be able to go back.”
The city rushed by as I sped home in my car.
I needed to pack my clothes quickly.
I didn’t have anybody close in my life from whom I needed to cut ties with. I had had a few friends back at work, but that was it. I’d also dated a few boys here and there, but those relationships only lasted for a couple of weeks.
Half the girls my age were getting married, and here I couldn’t even keep a boyfriend for a month. I had never even been intimate with anyone before.
I watched porn videos when I was in the mood, but I was too shy to even pleasure myself.
The lame kisses I’d had so far hadn’t lived up to the kisses I’d read about in novels. I was a huge sucker for those erotic and BDSM novels.
I took a pause from my packing, my eyes flicking down to the discarded magazine on the floor.
Theodore Jefferson’s elusive presence splattered on the cover.
The loud knock at the door made me jump.
“I’ll have money soon! I just got a job!” I shouted instinctively.
When I got no response, I walked over to the door to tell Alex to go away.
To my surprise, when I wrenched it open, it wasn’t my landlord standing on my doorstep.
It was Iris. Two muscular men with sunglasses and black suits stood behind her, scowling.
“I hope I’m not disturbing you, Ms Gibson,” Iris said.
“Not at all,” I said, “I actually just finished packing.”
“Do you have all the essentials? Your documents?”
“Yes… Yes… All ready for tomorrow.”
“Are those your things over there?” she pointed at my suitcase and purse.
“That’s it yeah.”
I was embarrassed by how few things I had.
I thought they would leave. Maybe they came by to make sure I was ready?
“What now?” I asked nervously, looking from the men to Iris, “I thought pick up was tomorrow.”
Iris smirked at me before she stepped over the threshold and into my apartment.
“I’m afraid there’s been a change of plan.”
All of a sudden, a black velvet sack was placed over my head. Everything went black.