P R O L O G U E - I I

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Sun streamed onto the notebook, heating up the thick stack of parchment. A collective groan went through the class as Professor Thorn confirmed a student's question. "Yes, the essay is 12 pages long and I expect it in my inbox by 11:59 on the 28th." Just as he finished the bell rang. Students piled out of the room, hurrying to their next destination.  Azara stayed behind.  "Yes, Azara? "

" Mr. Thorn, I wanted to ask if you received my email. "

" I did, my condolences to you and your family. I wish you the best of luck. " As he said this, Professor Thorn gave her a pitiful look.

Azara replied a quick, "thank you" and left the room. She trudged down the long hallway, to the exit. The harsh rays of the sun temporarily blinding her. After unlocking her Mercedes, a gift from her father, and heaving out a sigh of relief, she drove off.

The brisk, Carpinteria air did not do much to ease her troubles. She had a terrible migraine forming just from thinking about the next day. Her father had been adamant that she attend the Gala this year. In the past, she was able to find some excuse and worm her way out of attending. However, that was not the case this year. As a young child, she was aware of what her parents, especially her father, were a part of. The Italian crime syndicate. Who took it upon themselves to rid the streets of criminals and the violence they caused. Using them for their own utopian agenda.... how commendable. After High School Azara moved out and decided to leave it all behind. She loved her parents dearly but did want to get caught up in their world.

Arriving at her house, Azara winced at the loud music coming from the dwelling.

"Lee !" someone yelled from the second-story window. " What took you so long ?"

"I had to speak to Professor Thorn," Azara yelled back. As she walked into the house, the smell of weed quickly flooded her senses. Her vision became slightly blurred and she knew a good nap was needed before the flight.

After dropping the keys in the bowl by the door, she walked up the stairs; into Imene's room and flopped on the bed with a dramatic sigh. "Tired much ?" her best friend asked.

"Yeah, I'm honestly so over this shit. I don't understand why he can't just see it from my perspective. Coming to the Gala will not change how I feel about it all. "

" Look Z, your father loves you very much but as his only child, it broke his heart when you left. And I'm not saying go back but just do it this once ...for him. Besides the whole thing isn't a total bust, at least we know the men aren't ugly." Imene laughed.

"Sure, I'll try." Azara murmured with her eyes closed." Have you packed ?"

"Yeah, I did earlier, Patrick's coming to pick us up at 5."

" Okay.. we still have 30 minutes, I'm going to take a nap," Azara said in a quiet voice as the sleep started to take over.

Imene simply smiled, knowing Azara needed to be well rested to deal with the upcoming chaos that would take place the next day.

End of part 2.

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