C7 A Million Dollar Promise
Chapter-7: A Million Dollar Promise
I averted my gaze to avoid the intense moment.
"I meant why am I still handcuffed? Why aren't you letting me go?" I changed the topic because his reply was really giving me Deja vû. It was better to not talk about his reply anymore.
Zaiden let out a chuckle in amusement. "Even, I meant that if I free you without explaining everything to you, the first thing you will do is run away, and Lance will kill you for that. So I cannot afford to lose you otherwise, I have to tolerate a new MD."
I rolled my eyes. "You are selfish."
"Yeah, right," he deadpanned. Then he walked somewhere and came with a key to unlock the handcuff. "Just stay still," he ordered.
I stayed quiet as he carefully unlocked the handcuff and freed me from it. I heaved a sigh of relief after I got up from the chair. I felt like I was kidnapped for ages. Well, it was not fully kidnapping, maybe a partial kidnapping.
"Sit on the couch. I will bring a glass of juice for you. It will keep you hydrated," Zaiden announced and got out of the room, leaving me alone in the living room.
I roamed around the living room, wondering whose house it was. It was definitely not Zaiden's because I have been to his mansion a few times to give him the important files. He forced me to hand him the file, instead of mailing the document.
Since Lance was here, it could be his penthouse.
Not wanting to create any more troubles, I sat on the couch quietly, waiting for Zaiden. Soon enough, he came and handed me a glass of orange juice before taking a seat next to me. I realized how thirsty I was after gulping the juice in one go.
After I was done, I looked at Zaiden and asked, "I assume, now is my time to ask the questions bothering me?"
"Yes," he replied curtly, waiting for me to question.
So I started, "The innocent man you kille—" I was interrupted by him at that instant.
"First of all, that man was not innocent at all. He was around our age and he had raped more than fifty girls." He repeated, "Girls."
A gasp escaped my lips, as my hand immediately flew to my mouth in shock. The man seemed nice in looks, but I didn't expect him to be a rapist. "Was he in a gang?"
"Yes, his father is the leader."
"Poor girls," I mumbled. Those girls must be having a hard life now. No one deserved such kind of incidents in their lives. "Anyway. What about you though? Are you in a gang?"
Zaiden sucked in a deep breath. "Time to surprise you. The entire Storm family runs the famous Mafia Thunder. You have heard of it, right?"
My eyes grew as wide as saucers. "Thunder? Oh, my God."
Mafia Thunder was the world's no.1 Mafia, and no one knew who was the leader. They always handled their work neatly, so that no one could catch them. And here I was, mingling with the people leading Thunder.
"Dad is the main leader of it. We, seven brothers, are in seven states, handling our respective bases."
"So this is why you brothers rarely stay in one place. Y'all have an entire gang to handle," I uttered, trying to connect the dots. "Who is handling the other places? I heard that the Thunder is everywhere."
Zaiden replied with a curt smile, "It is. Like we are assigned with different places to handle, Dad has his trusted people handling other spots too. Trust is very important here and Dad makes everyone sign a contract first."
"What contract?" I asked curiously.
"A contract, where it states that if you betray the gang, you will be shot at first sight. We have executors for that," he explained to me.
I felt like my head was spinning with all this information. Kael was really smart. He even made his gang members sign a contract before joining. No wonder why, he could establish the Storm Fashion Industry within a short span of time.
"What about the Storm Fashion Industry then? There are only two branches, one here and the other one in Alabama," I pointed out.
He replied, "Dad left it on us. We have to do something which shows we earn a lot so that no one will suspect us of having black money. I took over the Storm Fashion because I love it."
"Your other brothers are small, right?"
"Not too much though. My youngest brother is fifteen now. Some are in boarding school while some are in college. They get special training there though. Dad made it sure, and besides, we have a family get-together once a month, otherwise, Mom would go crazy and kill Dad." A warm smile evolved on his lips at the mention of his mother. "Dad had a hard time convincing Mom though. They agreed on some conditions and made it work."
I raised my eyebrows in amusement. "I have never met Mrs. Storm, however, I cannot believe Kael is the most dangerous person, as in the leader of the Mafia Thunder. He seems such a soft person. He considers me as a daughter, that's how soft he is." The empty glass, which was in my hand all this time, I kept it on the table in front of me.
"Dad is soft, I never denied that," Zaiden said to me. "Work is work for him, and family is family. He never meddles both of these. And you know, he even said that he would not force us to join the Mafia if we didn't wish to."
"So y'all will receive the required training and the other decisions are on you?"
He nodded his head. "Now that I have joined, I can leave it as well if I want, but I love being in the Mafia."
I twitched my lips, saying, "But as far as I know, once one joins a gang, they can never leave it till death."
"Well, Dad made a treaty where it stated that one can leave if he wants, but if he reveals any information about our gang, then he will be shot along with his family. Nothing in between." He added, "Also, the person who leaves the gang will be sent far away from us, yet we will have someone to watch him over."
"Kael is a nice person," I uttered. "Otherwise, why would he give such options?"
Zaiden sighed and replied, "As I said, he is soft, but if someone crosses him, that person will only get death in return."
"Okay, that clears a lot of things," I mumbled, and glanced at him. "What about Lance though? I mean, I understand why he kidnapped me and all. He just didn't want me out of your sight because he didn't trust me. I want to ask, what is he doing in Las Vegas apart from handling the Thunder?"
"Well, Lance is running an armament company there."
"Why did he come here then? I am pretty sure, he didn't come here to kill me."
He chortled and answered, "He came here to discuss the gang-related issues since only we are old enough to handle the gang now. My other five brothers are still completing their education."
"Oh, okay." I inquired, "Is he still here? This is his penthouse, right?"
Zaiden shook his head. "He left after handing me the key of the handcuff and this is my penthouse, though I don't stay here."
"He left soon. We didn't have a proper meeting, in fact, it was the scariest encounter," I muttered under my breath, not wanting to remember how he almost killed me for a silly resignation letter.
Thinking about it, I shouldn't leave my job, not that Zaiden would let me, still, I loved my job. A single truth shouldn't affect my thinking regarding Zaiden. If he didn't appoint me, I wouldn't be able to earn this much within a short period of time. He gave me financial support, and also helped me develop my skills by criticizing my work. He helped me to be a better person.
"Do you have any more questions?" he asked, snapping me out of my trance. When I shook my head, he said, "Well then, let's see you at work tomorrow. Let me drop you at your apartment." As he stood up from his seat and was about to leave, I grabbed his cold hand with my warm one, stopping him.
"Wait a minute." I said to him, "I will not leave the job and stay. I will also keep your secret but under one condition." I stood up as well and looked at his handsome face.
He furrowed his eyebrows in confusion. "What condition? Increase in salary?"
"No." I sucked in a deep breath and said, "A promise."
"Zaiden, I need you to promise me that you will always protect me." When I found his green eyes piercing through my blue ones, I added, "Since I know your Mafia stuff now, if any gangs find out or try to harm me, promise me that you will protect me."
He took my hands in his, and said with a smile, "I promise you, Ms. Aria Anastasia, that I will always protect you, come what may."
"You better remember that," I grumbled and pulled out my hands from his grip. "Before dropping me home, take me to the office. I left my belongings in your cabin since Lance kidnapped me."
"Yeah, sure," he agreed obediently and motioned me to go ahead. "Let's go to my car. It is in the basement, and if you want I can carry you there since Lance carried and brought you here. Just the difference will be, this time you will be conscious."
I could feel my cheeks heating up at his comment. "No, thanks. I can walk on my own." With that, I walked out of the door as he followed me.
A smile formed on my lips, which I tried to suppress.