2| Offers and Offences

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Life hit me like a car crash.

First there was the calm before the slowing down of motion, then there was the terror gripping at my limbs threatening to skin me alive—and finally there was the destruction to my demise. My life was shitty, there were no roses or knights in shining armour—only exhaustion and a hopelessness that swallowed me whole.

I worked one monotonous day after the other in a constant cycle to give my little brother and sister the chance at life that I had never been given. Fate had been cruel to me from the beginning, but I'd be damned if I let my siblings live a life like mine out of spite. My life was already torture enough with a below-average education in a society that only recognised systematic intellect, I couldn't let my siblings succumb to the disadvantages of a broken home like I had.

I thought I'd finally begun to make some progress with it all until everything came crashing down.

The whole population of Cullfield seemed rotten to its core. Even as I worked gruelling hours at dead-end jobs, it still wasn't enough to make ends meet, and to top it all off, I'd been fired from the only job that was paying my bills—they had written it off as misconduct, but we'd all known what the real reason was. I could strangle my ex-boyfriend for putting me in this position, all because he couldn't help himself from fucking the manager's wife. Somehow I'd been the one who got dealt the losing card in this situation because he hadn't been the one to get fired—it was me.

Bad luck followed me around like the air I breathed, so here I was standing in front of the pub that housed Cullfield's notorious gang.

The King and the Lion

A pretentious fucking name if you ask me, but my hands still shook as I stared at the red door in front of me. The King family were known for a lot of bad things—things that my fickle brain couldn't even begin to imagine.

I knew all about the reputation of the family that thrived on brutality and bloodshed, it was all everyone ever talked about in this stupid little town. Everyone respected them; everyone feared them, but I barely ever had time for idle gossip. The stories of violence and worship slipped past me and now I had only hoped I'd been paying attention.

I was underqualified and underprepared for the position I had applied for, but I was also desperate.

My heart was beating harshly in my chest as I contemplated the worth of this job. It was just another shitty situation I was forced to consider, but was the money worth getting involved with a group of gangsters? Considering my luck, I should have walked away—but jobs were hard to come by nowadays and I didn't have the luxury to turn this one down.

Whatever way I looked at my situation, both sides had too much at stake—but right now if I didn't manage to get a paycheck by the end of the week, we would have no food left in the house.

Before I could convince myself to walk away, I knocked harshly against the wooden door most likely bruising my knuckles in the process. My heart was beating out of tandem as I waited, and I let out a soft sigh of relief when I came face to face with a man that held no resemblance to the members of the glorified gang I knew to steer clear from. He welcomed me in with his blond hair and green eyes, taking a seat at the bar as he waited for me to follow his lead. I settled nervously in one of the barstools beside him and without much of a breath, he began his interrogation.

"I'm Dave, and I'll be interviewing you today." He barely looked at me as I handed over my resume—it was a single page of embarrassingly underwhelming achievements. I had a lot of retail experience, but not much else. I watched as his eyes skimmed the paper, and hope bloomed in my chest when he didn't sneer at it in disgust.

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