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Maya is broken. Abused as a child by the one person who should have shown her love and care, her father. She now believes she is not capable of being loved, and that no one except her mother would ever love her. After her father is arrested for killing her mother, she finds herself deeply hurt, alone, and vulnerable in a cold wicked world with not even her mother to protect her anymore. She follows her heart and ends up in an underground arena owned by Billionaire playboy, Gabriel Di Marco. Because women are not allowed in, she disguises herself as a boy, but the Billionaire immediately discovers her true identity, and now he has made his intentions plain to her, he wants her. Gabriel Di Marco is a rich playboy who can have any woman he wants. Women always throw themselves at him, but now he is seriously interested in one woman, but she believes he would only hurt her because she is not worthy of his love. Gabriel does everything to convince her that she is worthy of love, and that he loves her. He helps her heal from her past wounds, but just when she ends up falling for him, something happens that makes it look like he betrayed her. Gabriel must now prove his loyalty to the dark haired woman who has become the most important person in his life.

Chapter 1

Maya could hear her parents arguing in their room. The mild disagreement that always escalated into heated argument and then came the violence, the smashing of things and finally of cause her father hitting her mother.

The neighbors had stopped intervening. Previously, they would come banging on the door when her mother started screaming, call the cops, offer to have Maya sleep over at theirs but each time her mother went back to her father and covered for him, it was at a price so that first the police stopped taking their distress calls seriously and then gradually the neighbors started turning a blind eye to the bruises that always appeared on her mother's body by the morning and a deaf ear to her screams that rent the air each night.

Maya knew there was no way she could escape, not until she was all grown up and big which was going to be a very long time away and so to escape the horror of her life, she danced. Drowning the screams of her mother with the song playing in her mind, Maya danced. Her little six year old body doing very difficult moves in a dance even she did not know the name of, letting out the frustrations of her life in blows that were maneuvered into waves and kicks into leg movements. As she relaxed into the dance, her body slowed into a more rhythmic routine, the frown on her face gradually easing until it became a smile, here in the world of dance, she was finally free.

The first time Maya had tried out to join a dance team had been a disaster. She had been coming back from school and had on an impulse decided to enter the ballet school opposite her school to audition. Without the guidance of an adult, the ten - year - old Maya had strode into the studio, interrupting the little ballerinas mid spin and declared that she had come to try out for ballet classes as it was her destiny to dance. The ballet instructor ad taken one look at her delicate slender features and seen potential yet neither the instructor not the little ballerinas had known what to make of her combat moves and at the end she had been asked to leave with a warning that she would be reported to her school's authorities if she ever entered the building again.

Maya left immediately. She knew it would not take much for the strict looking ballet instructor to report her to her school who would further report her to her father. Her father always punished her when he got any negative report about her, he had once scalded the sole of her feet because her teacher said she had stolen a pen from the new student. She hadn't and she knew who had but snitches ended up in ditches, so she kept silent and even when she screamed, begging for mercy as her father poured the hot water from a kettle into the bathtub she stood in, she still didn't tell him the truth, she was not a snitch.

Lately, her father had devised new methods of punishment for her so that he left no mark on her skin, no evidence suppose she decided to be the vile creature she really was and snitch on him, the marks he didn't care about leaving were the marks that formed within as each new torture he put her through tore open fresh wounds inside of her across already formed scars in criss crosses until she knew she would never be whole again.

Chapter 2

Maya hurried home after her shift at the Walmart. Her father knew the exact time her night shifts were scheduled to end and he had given her thirty minutes to round up whatever she had to do and hurry home or face his punishment. He still punished her anyway each time she got home, just for the sake of it but Maya knew it would be worse if she actually got home after the allotted time.

He was getting old and with that came more frequent drinking and less attention to the method he used to met out punishment on her. He had stopped caring about preventing bruises from forming on her skin and so he mostly just lashed out at her with his belt. She had gotten used to the beatings and the occasional torture, it was something she had come to expect daily.

What did break her heart was the look of utter despair on the face of her mother each time her father was torturing her and her mother could do nothing about it. Lately he had started hitting her mother with so much vicio


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