Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 14
Scarlett sat on the bed, staring at her naked feet as she explained everything to Craig.
Craig sat opposite her in the only arm chair in the room, listening without interrupting her.
She told him about her store and the fire that consumed her merchandises.
Craig was quiet for a while after she finished speaking. Then he spoke. ” Now you’ve lost your store, what do you want from me?”
Scarlett looked up at him, her hands clutching the sheet. ” I want to accept your offer.”
Craig made a bitter smile. ” And why now? I thought you mentioned you couldn’t take the risk.”
” Craig,” Scarlett said. ” I’ve lost everything. I can’t go back to the streets. I can’t go back to XHUB. You’re the only one who can help me. I’ve saved but the money won’t go anywhere. You don’t have to give me much. Five hundred grands would do me alright. I’ll do it. I’ll take the risk. Just don’t send me away.”
Craig rubbed his knees, thinking. ” Five hundred grands, you lowered yourself down from three million dollars to a mere five hundred dollars? Are you this desperate, Scarlett?”
Scarlett said nothing.
He wouldn’t understand she was only doing this because of Daisy. Left for her, she could manage with her savings but what about Daisy. Her life is shattered. She can’t go backwards.
” Keep your love in your pockets,” Craig continued, reminding her. ” That was what you said. I’m surprised at you, Scarlett. All of a sudden you had a change of mind cause you lost your store. Are you doing this because of the money or because you felt something for me?”
Of course she was doing this for the money. She was a pórn actress, that’s what she had been doing for survival. If he hadn’t bought her, she would still be doing pórn for money.
However, that kiss.
That long kiss he gave her crowded out the money aspect from her mind for a brief second, just a brief second. In that long kiss, she had felt something she had once felt in a long time.
It was Soo brief, just like a passing wind but she had felt it and she knew it was genuine.
She had buried anything that has to do with love a long time ago. Love had only done nothing but hurt her. Her heart was hardened for only the hustle and the money. But somehow, Craig’s sudden kiss, softened that hardness.
For that brief moment. After the kiss, she didn’t feel it again.
” Craig, I—”
” My father wants me to stop sleeping outside the mansion,” Craig cut her off sharply. ” That’s why I wanted to see you. We can’t be meeting in hotels anymore.”
Scarlett face fell. This was it, she was never going to see him again.
Craig crossed his legs. ” But we can work something out, can’t we?”
Scarlett looked up sharply at him. She suddenly felt hopeful.
Craig checked his wrist watch. ” I must go in a moment, but before I go, we must get this straightened out. Now listen carefully, you will come to the Cage’s mansion on Sunday evening tomorrow. I’ll be home. But first, you must go to the Snitch’s Agency. Tell then you’re going to work for Larry Cage. They know what to do. If you’re asked who gave you recommendations, just say C. Cage. That’s my private account. I’ll write you a reference. You’ll be given a uniform cause naturally, you can’t work in the mansion with your clothes. You’ve got to be properly kitted out for the job.”
Scarlett nodded. ” I understand.”
Craig regarded her closely. ” You’re sounding nervous.”
Scarlett knew he had sensed her nervousness through her voice. ” I…I keep thinking about your father. You said he hates black women.”
Craig looked at her for a long Moment of time. ” He does but you won’t be the only black person in the mansion. There’s Bruno and he’s a black man from Italy. There’s also the laundry woman, Mary, she’s also black. My dad just hates them but that doesn’t means they don’t work for him.”
Scarlett relaxed. If it were that way, then she saw no need to be nervous.
” Just watch your steps,” Craig said. ” You don’t touch anything that belongs to my father. Don’t even step into his studies. He owns a personal maid that attends to him. Keep out of his way and you’ll be alright.”
This just seemed to be getting better and better. Scarlett was more than relieved. ” That sounds just about fine.”
” It’s up to you, Scarlett,” he shrugged. ” You don’t have to do much. Just look after the house, whenever we have guests, you wait at the table and serve drinks and meals. Most of the days belongs to you. Each servants Working in the mansion are given their own rooms and no one will bother you. Whenever it’s quiet at night, I’ll come to you.”
Scarlett felt a cold hand on the pits of her stomach. The way he said “whenever it’s quiet at night, I’ll come to you” had an effect on her. They were going to be secret lovers in his father’s own mansion.
Scarlett could imagine sleeping with him in her own room while Larry Cage would be in the master’s bedroom, unaware his son was being screwed by a black woman.
” Alright, Craig,” she said. ” I’ll do it. Anything else?”
Craig stood up. ” That would be all. I’ll make your payment but that would be after I’m done with you.”
Scarlett didn’t understand. He explained to her.
” I’m still going to pay you the three million dollars I offered you once,” Craig said, his hands dug deep inside his pockets. ” I’ll pay because I really do love you. I want you to be happy and satisfied. I don’t want you to go back to XHUB. That’s why I bought you. I’m a very lonely person, Scarlett. Like I said, it’s not only because of the séx. Just lying next to you is enough for me. I don’t know how long I want to keep you but once I feel it’s time to let you go, I’ll let you go. But you’ll receive your three million dollars. That’s a promise, and when I make a promise, I keep that promise.”
Craig left the hotel, towards the alley that would lead him back to the Rolls Royce where Quinn would be waiting for him.
To his surprise, he couldn’t find Quinn. The Rolls Royce stood right there as if it’s been there for ages with no sign of Quinn.
Meanwhile, three blocks away from Craig, Scarlett was coming down the hotel steps outside when she bumped into this man walking passed her on the deserted sidewalks.
” Oh, I’m sorry,” Scarlett said and took a step back to look at the man.
The man was in an immaculate well ironed uniform. It was Quinn.
Scarlett’s heart lurched up to her throat. What was he doing here?
Quinn didn’t say anything to her. He gave her one searching look and walked away down the alley Craig had taken.
Scarlett stared after him, feeling sick and scared.
” Master Craig,” Quinn said approaching Craig.
” I thought I told you to stay here and wait for me?!” Craig scolded him.
Quinn bowed respectably. ” My apologies, master Craig. I got bored and decided to take a walk.”
Craig looked steadily at him. ” A walk?”
” Yes, master Craig,” Quinn replied, face expressionless and without form.
Craig wondered if he had seen him walking down the hotel steps. He prayed Scarlett was. Still in the room.
” Let’s get out of here,” Craig said curtly, entering the Rolls Royce as Quinn opened the rear door.
As Quinn drove the Rolls Royce towards the mansion, he kept the image of the black woman he had jammed outside the hotel at the back of his mind.
When next he sees her again, he would recognize her.
Benton was Making coffee at home when his phone vibrated in his pockets.
He fished it out and scowled at it. It was from the Sergeant.
” You better have a good explanation for calling me at this hour of the night, sergeant,” he bawled into the phone. ” My wife and kids are gone to bed.”
” My apologies sir,” came the voice of the sergeant. ” It’s about the Scarlett Mason’s case.”
Benton dropped his mug of coffee. ” What about her?”
” She’s meeting with a young teen at an alley hotel.”
Benton seemed surprised. ” A teenager at an alley hotel? What for?”
” That I cannot tell, sir,” the sergeant said. ” But you wouldn’t believe who it was she was seeing.”
” Who is he?”
” I traced the license plate number of the Rolls Royce he drove in. I also captured the image of his face. Sir, the boy Scarlett Mason is seeing is no other than Craig Cage, son of the steel billionaire, Larry Cage.”
” Scarlett, I’m not asking you to return back to XHUB,” Eddie said standing over Scarlett as she pushed her clothes into her suitcase in the living room. ” Just let me help you. I can figure out a better job. You don’t have to go that far.”
Scarlett ran back upstairs to get her last clothes. ” You won’t understand, Ed. This just came out of the blue. I can’t ignore it.”
” That’s exactly what you said the last time,” Eddie said. ” All your jobs always comes out of the blue. What’s Soo special about this one?”
Scarlett returned with a smaller bag. ” Nothing really specially, Ed,” she threw the bag to the ground and walked over to the kitchen where she lit a cigarette and returned back to the room. ” I’ll only be gone for a long while. I won’t be long.”
” What about Daisy?” Eddie asked.
” She’s back at our former home at the hood,” Scarlett blew smoke, folding her arms. ” She’s going to be staying with my neighbor till I get back. She seemed pretty happy to leave this place.”
” And you’re comfortable with that?”
” Why not,” Scarlett smoked, avoiding his eyes. ” I’m traveling to go hustle. If I don’t hustle, we’d be hard up.”
Eddie regarded her closely. ” What’re you hiding, Scarlett?”
Scarlett faced him directly. ” I ain’t hiding nothing.”
” You’ve been Soo secretive these days,” Eddie said. ” Especially about your unexpected jobs. The first time you told me you landed yourself a job, clearly, you never wanted me to know what sort of job it was. Then within a few weeks, you suddenly opened up a great business like magic. What’re you doing, Scarlett? Don’t tell me ya into the cocaine thing.”
Scarlett shivered and her mind snapped back to the days when Garret would send her on errand to deliver cocaines. No policeman would ever think to search a girl like her over cocaines. She always brought back home lots of money.
” How could you say that!’ she said, raising her voice. ” That’s the very last thing I’m ever gonna get myself involved in.”
Eddie looked steadily at her. ” Is that so? Sometimes I wonder.”
” You can wonder all you want,” Scarlett said curtly. ” It’s the truth.”
” I never said you’re lying,” Eddie said sharply. ” It’s just…I’m worried ’bout you Scarlett. I don’t know why but I get this crazy bad vibes you’re up to no good. These mysterious jobs of yours, they all look phoney to me. Let me tell you something kid, there ain’t no such thing as quick money. It’s decietful and full of trouble. Trouble ain’t good for a pretty young woman like you. For crying out loud you’re twenty-four, baby. You can’t get instantly rich all of a sudden. Quick money breed trouble. There’s always a catch to it and it’s never a good one. I know tons of girls your age who trend down the same path you’re trending now and they’re all six feet under the ground. Don’t sweat your àss gunning for quick money. You might lose your life in the process. Alright, you don’t wanna do pórn anymore, fine. Don’t do pórn. I’ll get you a better job to take care of Daisy but don’t get Soo caught up in the quick money scheme. You’re like a daughter to me. It’d hurt me if you leave this world. And it’s ain’t just me but Daisy too. Would you like her to grow up without a mother? Think about Daisy before venturing in whatever you do. She’s your strength and the reason you’re living. The money is important but your family and your life is much more important.”
Scarlett stared at him without saying a word and for a moment there, she nearly changed her mind about Craig.
But then she remembered the struggles she had put up with while growing up.
No, she wasn’t going back to poverty. Poverty was the last thing on her mind at the moment. In as much as Eddie sounded right, she trusted Craig.
He was all alone and needed a companion. If he was a bad person, he wouldn’t have bought her and let her go without any questions.
No, she was going ahead with this shít. She was after the money and the money was what she was getting.
The risk was high but she felt she could manage. The reward was what matter. Three million dollars would take her to Africa where she would settle down and enjoy her parents roots.
” Thanks for caring, Ed,” Scarlett leaned forward and pecked his cheeks. ” I understand your fears but don’t get heated up. I ain’t doing anything illegal, okay. I’ll be back soon and when I do, everything’s goin’ to be okay.”
Eddie didn’t like the way she just dismissed the whole conversation. He balled his hands into fist as she smiled up at him.
Scarlett arrived at the Cage’s mansion. It was a wonderland. The mansion owns it’s own private beach, golf course, a helicopter helipad, private roads, an open field for hosting parties and one of the largest outdoor pools Scarlett had ever seen.
This was the home of a billionaire. Scarlett was spell bounded. Everywhere was Soo neat, soo clean, Soo glittering.
Then there was the mansion it’s self. It’s was as large as the Taj Mahal, with great lighting system that shone into the star lit sky. It was something out the Arabian nights.
Holding her bag close to herself, Scarlett walked stiffly across the lawn grass towards the gigantic gates where two beefy men in security uniform stood, staring at her.
Scarlett was impressed. They were tough looking with guns held in their hip holsters.
” What do you want?” One of the men asked, raising a hand to stop her.
She fished out some papers from her bag and handed it over to him. ” I was sent here from Snitch’s Agency.”
The guard took the papers and skimmed through it. ” Scarlett Mason?”
” That’s right,” she said.
He glanced up at her. ” You’re black.”
Scarlett went red in the face. ” Is there a problem with being black?”
He smirked but only briefly. ” Not really, unless when you have to work for Larry Cage. Let me guess, you ain’t aware your boss got a problem with black people?”
The other guard was rubbing his nose as he tried not to smile too much. ” Yeah, like the time he busted McQueen’s àss when McQueen didn’t polish his shoes right.”
The guard with Scarlett’s papers grinned. ” Yeah, the black nígger didn’t see the shoes coming. Boss just knocked off his sweating àss with the shoes. I laughed to my motherfucking tears.”
The two guard’s forgot themselves and laughed.
Scarlett glared at them, feeling heat rising to her neck. At last, they asked for her passport and after that was done, she was given free pass into the mansion.
” White donkeys,” she scoffed quietly as she walked down towards the mansion.
She suddenly got carried away with the beauty of the gardens around her. She had never seen anything like it in her life.
Some Japanese were working on the flowers even though it was already night. They waved at her and she waved back, remembering her Japanese friend who sold rice back at the hood.
Suddenly she bumped into someone again. She took a step back and apologize.
” I’m sorry, I…” She caught her breath as she stared up at him.
Quinn was staring at her, his probing brown eyes searching her in surprise.
Well, for God’s sake, he was thinking: the woman from the hotel Craig went in! What the hell was going on here?!