His eyes were almost closed. A beautiful, crimson red bleeds through his tailored pants, though a half smile shadows his features as if he were alive.
I take his hand, and with horror, discover how cold and lifeless his feels in my own.
Adrenaline and sweat swarm over me.
What have I done?
A sickening cough echoes off the high ceiling.
I scoot closer to his rigid form beside the stairway. I was surprised that the cough came from him. He's... still alive?
Styling gel swamped his greasy hair, the disheveled name tag resting on his blood-stained suit, followed by the telling clue— a unique cuffling on his sleeve that confirms my suspicions.
He works for the Roselyn Office.
He is sprawled out on their lobby floor, after all.
Why did he follow me up the stairs and try to grab me? Was he ordered to?
I nudge his shoulder with slight distaste and he grumbles drowsily.
"Are you alright?" I squeak.
The staff member gradually opens his dark eyes, wincing with pain.
He glares directly at me, his soulless eyes fixated on mine, focused with such intensity, that I soon become uncomfortable and shift my weight.
I hear a clunk on the marble floor.
I look up and see a janitor walking by, rolling her cleaning supplies behind her.
As she notices us, she slows to a stop.
Examining the situation with icy eyes as I slip into cardiac arrest, my heartbeat racing inside my chest.
Oh no. Shit, no.
She turns her head back around and continues past us in the same direction, like she had seen nothing but dust on the stairs.
I ogle at her, astonished. ...Wow.
Alas, this is how society functions.
The poverty-stricken masses will gladly comply with anything for scraps of what we have— whether it's a profession, currency, or paradoxically— autonomy.
Though I have yet to experience the last one, crediting my mother.
I am startled by a shifting sound from below. The man has brought a transceiver to his mouth, and he mutters into it before I can stop him.
"Hello, sir. This is Enrico from Desk Management."
No pain is inflicted in his voice, as if I hadn't kicked him down a flight of stairs two minutes ago.
"I have found your fiancée, and I assure her punctual presence at your office. Please call medical aid," he adds. "I have... accidentally injured myself."
He shoots a dirty look at me before dropping the transceiver by his side.
He didn't reveal that I was actually the one who hurt him.
And—- hold on—
Enrico looks repulsed as I kneel beside him anxiously.
He referenced me as "your fiancée" to the person through the transmitter.
I'm someone's fiancée?!
Who was he talking to?
He stays silent for a second. Albeit, only a second.
"Look. I'll tell you this right now. Shouldn't stick your little nose into Roselyn Office's business."
"What do you mean?" I ask defensively.
A dangerous glint of warning sparks his eye.
"Keep no interest in your fiancé. You'll notice that something seems peculiar about them. There is. And unless you really are one of them, it's something you'll wish to forget." He smiles vaguely. "Be careful where you step. Full of shit around here."
I stand in rage.
"Until you had mentioned it," I screamed, "I didn't know that I was engaged to anyone!"
He raises an eyebrow distastefully. "It's tough to be rich, Miss Montague."
My voice grows bitter. "It is, sometimes."
Suddenly, a medical team floods through the set of doors, flocking to Enrico like white vultures on a dusty roadside.
An elderly staff member motions for me to follow her. She escorts me into a tight elevator, presses 'Level 8', and then excuses herself out before the doors close.
My heartbeat— racing frantically, its uneven rhythm bleeding through my ears. Did my mother really set me up in an arranged marriage? I groan, my head spinning. This is Wattpad all over again.
Bing. I'm passing Level 2.
Okay. I have to think of a course of action to squeeze me out of this situation, otherwise... I'll be engaged to someone in this office. Even worse... a guy.
Step 1: Try to reject or compromise the marriage. I have nothing to lose now.
Bing. There goes Level Four.
Step 2: Introduce yourself to the groom. (Dang, I gave up quickly.)
Step 3: Pardon yourself from the situation as soon as possible.
Step 4: Sob in a corner of a room by yourself.
Step 5: ...That's all, you're officially screwed. You're an idiot, Summer!
My conscience mocks me I attempt to straighten my red fleckled strands, my long hair in tangles. "You're really not helping now." My hands are shaking.
Here we go.
The elevator doors open to a narrow and suspiciously empty hallway, leading to one, singular, black door.
The sleek, mysterious design already intimidates me from the end of the hallway. That's what it was designed to do, after all.
So this must be... the main office.
As I force my foot to lift and take one shaky step in front of the next, then another down the hallway, there's not anything inside me that isn't shivering. I feel sick to my stomach.
My sweaty hand wraps around the doorknob, as my brain races to compensate.
What could possibly be awaiting for me behind this door?
I turn the doorknob and step inside as the door clicks open.
What was awaiting me?
An engagement ring,
and a kiss that tasted like vanilla.
A/N: Hello, I'm Joy! Thanks for reading Chapter 1! The next chapter has a slice of romance you came for. Get ready! (—w • )
P.S. Do you want something to happen next? Let me know. →