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Amidst betrayal and bloodshed, John's path to fame was abruptly disrupted when he was gunned down and left for dead. Saved by a mysterious savior, he discovered a secret lineage, the Drakens, an underworld dynasty. To claim his legacy, he must prove his worth and seek vengeance. As John unravels an intricate web of power, conspiracy, and corruption, he grapples with lost love, battles for justice, and confronts the haunting legacy of his invention. In a world where nothing is as it seems, can John emerge as a true Draken, bent on reclaiming his invention and avenging the past?"
The sun had dipped below the Los Angeles skyline, surrendering to the glow of streetlights and the pulsating music emanating from nearby clubs. Across the street, a sleek black limousine glided to a halt in front of a dilapidated warehouse.
"Darling, we've arrived," Mellisa announced.
John, who had been peering out the window at the run-down building, cast a skeptical gaze upon it. In his eyes, it cried out for a renovation. "Honey, are you sure this is the right place?"
"Yes, dear. He's ready to discuss the price for your share of the app. Once it's sold, we can finally get married, and..." Melissa trailed off, leaning in suggestively, her voice dropping to a seductive whisper. "You'll get to savor..."
"Alright," John interrupted, coughing nervously. He opened a black suitcase and retrieved a flash drive, which he handed to Melissa. "Let's go."
The building stood as a six-story gray behemoth. The stairs beneath their feet creaked ominously as they ascended, and halfway up, John couldn't shake the fear that his weight might send them crumbling, leading to a bone-breaking fall. He considered himself tall and preferred the term 'round' when describing his body. He donned an oversized black jacket. In contrast, his lover and fiancée, Melissa, possessed a figure to envy—dark hair, fair skin, a shimmering silver dress, and slender legs. He often considered himself lucky.
Melissa pushed open the entrance, and the exchange of pleasantries mixed with her excited voice reached John, who followed closely behind. He couldn't help but smile; that was his woman. Despite the exhaustion from the climb, he pushed himself to enter the building.
Inside, a single candle lit the center table in the room, while moonlight poured through a large window, serving as the main source of illumination. Two couches faced each other on either side of the table. Behind a man seated on one of the couches, facing the window, stood thirteen others. John felt a bead of sweat trickle down his spine, more than he had produced during the climb. The shirtless man had two massive scars criss crossing his chest and stared at John without offering a greeting.
Darling, come and see this. It's so beautiful," Melissa called. John turned to find his future wife standing by the window, her smile as radiant as a child's. If she remained undisturbed, then he had no reason to be concerned. He walked over and gently held her waist. The nighttime view of Los Angeles resembled a dazzling fireworks display; it felt alive. "His name is Xavier," she whispered into his ear.
Melissa walked away, leaving John to gaze ahead, lost in the mesmerizing view. Everything felt amiss to him, but they needed this deal, or rather, he needed this deal. It was his chance at a better life, far removed from the orphanage where he had grown up.
"'Xavier,'" John muttered to himself, swallowing hard.
"John, is it?" Xavier inquired. "It's a pleasure to meet you in person. Could you tell me about your app? I've heard it can display the balance of any account, regardless of its security."
"Yes, that's basic stuff. I plan to upgrade," John began without turning to face Xavier.
But Xavier interrupted him abruptly. "There's no need for that! What's your selling price?"
John frowned, gazing ahead into the night. He recalled his discussion with Mellisa, during which he had been specific about not selling full ownership. The sense of unease about the situation deepened.
"Yeah, I'm not selling it. I just need investors," John stated firmly. It was time to stand his ground. He smiled at the bright Los Angeles night and turned to face Xavier.
John's frown deepened.
Mellisa, in her silver dress, sat on his lap. Xavier waved his right hand, and the thirteen men jogged out of the room. In his other hand, he held a gun.
"Johnny boy," Xavier said in a thick Russian accent, "there will be no investors."
"What is going on?" John asked, his voice trembling. Mellisa smiled at him, a cruel contempt in her gaze. "You told me he's a major figure in trade."
John's eyes filled with tears as he watched Xavier's unwelcome advances toward Melissa.
Xavier's hand went underneath Melissa's dress. She did not resist.
"Without me, the app is useless," John screamed, his voice growing hoarse.
Xavier nodded. "But Lisa here holds the key, at least a copy of what you'll take to your grave when you're dead."
John turned his gaze to Melissa, confusion and hurt evident in his eyes. "Why are you doing this?"
Melissa leaned in and kissed Xavier. "He's the love of my life."
John winced, gasping for breath, his heart heavy with betrayal.
Xavier grinned. "She also told you she's keeping herself pure until you both get married, but guess what?"
Xavier laughed so hard he had to force himself to keep talking. "I screwed her last night when she came to set this meeting up. But I can promise that your app will be used well. Very well indeed."
John looked at Xavier with anger, he tried to rush at him.
Xavier shot three bullets, the first one hit the window behind John and shattered it, the last two hit his chest and pushed him out of the window. He looked at Melissa as he fell, she was laughing, she bent down and kissed Xavier.
John's life flashed before him.
He had met Melissa at the coffee shop where he worked overtime during the weekends - he had been working three jobs to buy a high-end laptop for his project. He had tried wooing her and failed, but one night she saw him working on his project and showed interest. He was skeptical at first, but over three years, he had cut down his three jobs to just one to have more time to build the project, and she had supported him; cheering him up and feeding him. And he had given her full access to the device. For love.
His heart felt like it had been struck by an electric train. John clutched his chest as he landed on the top cover of a closed dustbin, which shook under his weight and threw him to the floor, where he landed face-down on broken glass.
Everything spun for John, and he faintly heard hurried footsteps running down the stairs. Above, he could hear Xavier's loud laughter.
"Stand up, you bastard!" John muttered to himself. He swore to make them pay underneath his breath, but he had to survive today. He pressed his hand onto the shards of glass and forced his body to rise. As he looked ahead, he saw Jimmy, the driver of the limousine, step out of the car with a silencer in his hand. John had just managed to balance his swaying body when Jimmy tossed the gun. It landed right in front of John's feet. His eyes widened, and he strained to pick it up.
Jimmy reached into his pocket and brought out a ringing phone; he picked it.
"Ma'am, he's still out cold on the floor," Jimmy said into the phone loud enough for John to hear. "No, I think so. I've not gone out of the car to check."
Jimmy kept the phone away from his ear and mouthed the word "run."
John nodded and bolted. He ran, hopped, and limped into an alley that would lead him to the bustling streets of Los Angeles. Despite the warmth spilling down the right side of his face, the gun felt heavy in his hand, so he held it close to his chest. A bullet grazed the wall beside him as he swayed, and he glanced behind to see four men sprinting down the alley at full speed. Two more bullets missed him before he emerged from the alley. However, what greeted him was another deserted alley. He spotted a red Lamborghini SVJ and made a dash for it. His body protested, and his right eye's vision was tainted with red, but he gritted his teeth and pressed forward. He positioned himself behind the car, using it as a shield from their bullets, and grabbed the door handle just as his world spun for the second time. He swayed and held the handle for support; it unlocked and swung open."
"What the f**k?" He thought.
He locked eyes with a fair-skinned lady with blue eyes. In terms of beauty, she rivaled Melissa, and she was naked, attempting to put on her panties. She frowned at his stare and reached for her side. John thought she might scream, grab pepper spray, and start throwing things at him. He heard the footsteps of the men chasing him and put his hand to his lips.
"Shush," he said and staggered to his feet. "No matter what you see. Shut up until they've gone."
The lady had an eyebrow raised. Without waiting for a reply, John closed the door. The silencer pulled his weight forward, his arms were cold and numb, and he couldn't make out the shape of things. Everything was blurred. He heard the men panting as they entered the alley. He forced his legs to move toward them.
"This Motherfu**ker runs like dem castrated piggies," one of them said, and they all laughed.
John's vision spun through his right eye, and he knelt down. His legs were too weak to carry his weight, and the gun dropped to his side.
"He ain't got any juice left," another one said. More laughter.
John started laughing - hoarse, forced laughter. He wouldn't drag a bystander into his problems; he hoped they'd walk away after he was dead.
John couldn't see; his world was spinning too much to dodge the punch that slammed his head into the floor. The impact made him curl.
"It'll be too good to just kill you, that's for making us run, you bastard!"
The men started kicking him.
He coughed up blood.
"If I could just have one chance, they'll pay. Every single one of them," he thought.
A kick hit his head and made his thoughts chaotic.
"Hey boys!" A lady's voice called. If John could see clearly, he would know it was the lady he was trying to save and that what she had reached for was not pepper spray but an automatic AK-47. But the men kicking him could see that clearly.
"Hail Mary," one of them said just before she sprayed them with bullets.
John heard the gunshots and the bodies drop, but he could not manage anything else. He felt someone turn him and proceed to check his vitals.
"Melissa. Why?" He said before he lost consciousness.
Three days later
He saw Melissa smiling at him, drawing him into a room filled with armed men. He couldn't resist her pull; she was stronger than him. The men were all laughing at him. When he finally pulled his hand away from Melissa, they all opened fire.
It was a nightmare.
John opened his eyes. Everything around him was spinning, but it began to settle and come into focus. In the background, he could hear voices that sounded like they were coming from outside his door and approaching his room. It was an argument.
"Sir, I need to know why you had him brought over here. This is our major hideout, and that man is a stranger," the first voice said. John could tell that it was a female.
"Yes, he is a stranger, and at the same time, he's not a stranger. He's the one I've been looking for," a deeper voice said. John recognized
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