Marco walked passed his lobby.
He retraced his steps seeing an empty space which previously occupied his favorite artwork worth millions.
He looked around surprised.Did any of his workers move the painting without telling him?
His fist clenched.He lifted up his hand and signaled one of the guard nearby.
James hurried up to him.
“Gather up everyone!”He ordered.
Few minutes later,he stood facing his workers.
“Is everyone present?”He asked.
“No sir.Rico took the day off”James replied.
“Who moved my painting?”He asked.
The workers stared at each other confused.
“Will someone answer the damn question?”He yelled making them tremble with fear.
They knew how precious that painting was to him so no one dares to go near
“I noticed it wasn’t there this morning so I thought you moved it away from the lobby,sir”Ximena,the housekeeper replied, shakily.
“I wouldn’t ask you about it if I had it moved,you dimwit.My painting developed legs and ran away,how interesting”Marco sneered.But still no one was willing to admit taking it,he grew more livid.
“Who the hell took my painting?”He yelled, making them to shriek in fear.
He turned to face Albert who was in charge of the security.
“The painting was here when I got home yesterday,get the CCTV footage from last night to this morning right now!”He ordered.
“Yes sir”With that, Albert hurried off.
Marco’s jaw dropped watching Rico who was his gardener taking down his painting discreetly.
The old man had waited till the middle of the night, brought a ladder into his house and took down his painting which he managed to carry out of the house and probably conveyed it in a truck.
His jaw clenched and a muscle throbbed.How dare this f**king old crook? “Get the cops immediately,I want him behind bars for having the nerves to
do this”Marco ordered.
Aurora walked into her house,she had been calling her father all day but he wouldn’t pick up.
“Papi”She called dropping her bag on a couch.
“Oh hello,dear”Rico said, walking into the living room,he slumped on a
Aurora schooled his features,he looked so nervous.
“Mind telling me how you got the money”She began calmly.
Rico bit his bottom lip hard.How could he explain this to his daughter?He had heard his fellow colleagues talking about their boss’ painting and how much it was worth.
Stealing it was the only way he could get money and save his wife.But then his boss was very smart and didn’t joke with the painting.His freedom was now temporary.
“I took….. I just… I…”
At the moment,the door opened and three police officers walked in. “Mr Rico Castillo, you’re under arrest for theft.”
Aurora’s eyes widened.”Wh.. what?”
A policeman yanked him off from the chair and handcuffed his hands. “You’re to remain silent because anything you say would be use against you
in the court of law”
“Papi,say something, what’s going on? He’s not a thief,you’ve got the wrong person”Aurora said, frantically trying to get to the father but she was held back.
Aurora stood sullenly behind the iron bars, staring at her father who was in the midst of criminals.
He had just finished telling her the truth.
“Why couldn’t you trust me? I told you I would find a way out of this, you didn’t have to do this”She muttered, frustratedly.
“I’m so sorry, Aurora.All I could think of was saving your mother’s life.She was close to death already and I couldn’t let another day pass watching her in the sickbed without receiving any treatment”He replied with tears filled eyes.
She sighed.”How much is it painting?”
Rico called out the figure.
Aurora gasped.”For just a mere painting?Oh God!”She exclaimed.
She couldn’t even pay half of that amount in five years time.
“I’m so sorry,I let you down, Aurora. I just did the only thing I could think
Aurora stared at him ruefully,he has never taken anything that wasn’t his before.He wasn’t a thief…he was just desperate to save his wife.
She had never imagined her father spending years in jail,it just can’t happen. And there was her mother.How could she possibly take the news of waking
up after surgery just to find out that her husband went to jail so she could live?
She could end up losing both parents.
Aurora quickly shook her head.
“I’ll go over to your boss’ house,I’ll try to….”
Rico quickly held her hands through the space in the iron bars.
“Mr Gutierrez would never let this slide so don’t do anything stupid.I have to pay for the crime I committed”
“I can’t let you rot in jail, Papi”She muttered, tearfully.
“I might just have to spend some years here, I’ll be fine”He assured. Aurora stared at the criminals,some lying on the floor,some standing and
looking dreadful.How can someone be fine in this kind of place?
Swallowing the thick lump on her throat,Aurora stared at the gigantic gates of Mr Gutierrez’s mansion.
No one needed to tell her the kind of man she was meeting with.
They had met before in a restaurant one year ago.
Her mind reeled back to that day when she was stood up by her ex.
He had just broken up with her and later called her up that they should talk things through instead.
They agreed to meet up in a restaurant,she got there and waited for hours but he didn’t show up.
Feeling so hurt and angry,she drank a glass of vodka.
She stared at the full bottle, contemplating whether to get drunk or not until a deep baritone… beautifully accented voice echoed in her ears.
She looked up to see the great Don Marco Ortega Gutierrez, sitting down opposite her.
She had never seen him this close…. just from afar when she drops by his
house….few times to pick up her dad from work because he didn’t have a car.
She knew he was an ardent womanizer but a friendly conversation had striked off between them,she had actually blushed when he said he was glad he walked into the restaurant and met beauty like her.
But then her mood changed when he said smoothly. “Let’s go to my house,I feel like f**king your brains out”
Anger flared within her with the fact that he thought of her…so easy and cheap.
She didn’t know when she reached for the glass and poured it content on his face.
He had looked statled and tongue-tied.
“I think your bed is far too busy for me and I don’t want to have anything to do with a s£x crazed man like you”She said, stood up… picked up her bag and sauntered off.
Now presently,she leaned against his fence.
Oh God!Who would have thought she would be in this situation with that arrogant bastard?
Maybe she shouldn’t have bath his face with her drink,she should have simply walked away.Then she wouldn’t be feeling this scared to face him now.
Unfortunately,she had to do this,she had to spill her pride to the floor and beg for her father’s freedom.
“You can wait here, I’ll go and inform Mr Gutierrez about your visit”James said to Aurora who nodded, then he walked away.
She stared at the living room awed.This was heaven on Earth.
Her heartbeat accelerated seeing him descending the stairs gracefully.
He looked as pompous as ever.
“Hey Nena”He began.
She gulped wishing he wouldn’t call her that.
“And what do I owe this strange visit?”He asked as if he didn’t know. “I…..”
“Oh pardon my manners, have your seat”
“I’m fine standing”She replied.
“What should I offer you….juice?Mi….”
“I’m not hungry”She replied trying to sound as polite as possible.
“I won’t beat around the bush, I’m aware my father took….”
“Stole”Marco corrected, sardonically.
“He’s not a thief”She retorted.
“He’s a bloody thief”Marco corrected again.
She sighed, trying to calm down,she had to control her temper.
“He has worked for you for four years,has he taken anything before?” Marco shrugged nonchalantly.
“He was just desperate to save my mother….he didn’t….”She paused realizing
his eyes were skimming through her body from her head to her toes.
“How can you still look so beautiful in these shabby clothes?”He asked, staring at her oversized shirt and knee-length jeans. Aurora sighed.”Will you please just listen to me?”
He grinned, cockily.”I’m listening”
“I know you’re angry and you have every right to be.I promise to pay up the money for the painting, just please, don’t send my father to jail”She pleaded, ruefully.
Marco chuckled darkly.”Pay for the painting?You?How many years would that take?”He asked,mockily.
She felt slapped but kept her cool.
“It’s Marco to you,Nena”
“And it’s Aurora to you”She replied between gritted teeth.
“That painting cost a fortune and if I’m to give it up like that without even putting the thief behind bars,I have to get something extremely tangible in return”He drawled.
Aurora sighed, highly confused.He didn’t want to wait for years to allow her pay up the money….what then did he want? Should she work for him without pay?
Marco stared at the lady in front of him looking hella s£xy in shabby clothes.It was funny.
That night when he walked into that restaurant and passed by her table,he had been attracted to her beauty and he wanted her in his bed instantly.
But she had proven hard to get and practically embarrassed him by spilling her drink on his face.
Not that,he wanted payback.When he got to see her from afar each time she came by to pick up her father,he couldn’t hold any grudge against her.
This little lady was just too beautiful and s£xy.
A thought occurred to him.This might sound crazy chosing the daughter of a thief but he felt it deep in his bones that she should conceive his child.
“I won’t press charges against your father and I’ll let him go scot-free”He announced.
Aurora stared at him surprised at his sudden change of mind.
“In exchange,I have a proposal for you”
“What is it?”She asked, curiously.
“I want you to give me a child”
Her eyes dilated.”What?”