Behind Their Veneers
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Emerald Maree Pearce, a 25-year-old psychologist bestowed upon with an out-of-this-world beauty, screams the concept of elegance with her voluminous and bodacious features. Jordan Calix Kale, a 34-year-old man, however, wasn't considered just an ordinary man. Having been the almighty J.K, the Mafia Lord of the J.K empire, which happened to be the biggest, most prestigious, and most indomitable Mafia gang in all of the US and even more, he was insurmountable and the most feared human alive. But all of that is about to change when these two worlds clash over a rather spontaneous meeting, dangerous and erotic sparks are sure to fly.
CHAPTER 1 Prologue 1
"Keep the change," Emerald said to the cab driver as she zipped her purse. The middle aged man passed her a gentle smile before she opened the door and stepped out.
She breathed in the clear morning air as she looked up at her building with a satisfied smile, her bright green eyes having a familiar glint. Passersby couldn't help but look at the beauty in the red dress. She wore black rimmed glasses, which sat elegantly on the bridge of her nose.
They had never seen anyone make recommended glasses any sexier than she currently did. She stood before the three-storey building for a few minutes in her black stilettos and her black bag hung off her right shoulder adorned with little silver diamonds.
Her red dress hugged her body perfectly, showing off her curves. Male passersby drooled in lust while the females eyed her with jealousy thick in their expressions. Her deliciously long and tanned legs, bodacious breasts, perfectly flat tummy and her rather voluminous ass. Every single thing about her was perfect and the red bodycon dress did nothing to hide her voluptuous characters.
It was a simple dress with a golden zipper up the chest and a little slit — which took the shape of a right angled triangle — at the knee area, revealing a bit of her right thigh. She had her light brown hair in a bun atop her head and she was adorned in little jewelry. A golden tear-drop earring, a golden bracelet with an emerald gemstone in the middle and a matching emerald anklet around her right ankle were all she wore.
She exuded confidence and elegance as she moved towards the revolving door, pushing in as she walked to the receptionist's desk. Her heels clicked against the tiles as she approached the high marble top counter where Claire, her receptionist, was seated.
"Good morning Miss Pearce," her receptionist greeted.
"Morning Claire," the tall, curvy and rather stunning part American, part Australian woman replied as she stopped at the desk.
"Any sessions today?" she asked as she watched Claire's fingers drum lightly against the marble top.
"Uhm, let's see. . . Yeah there's one with Mrs Levine, scheduled for 12:30p.m this noon," she read from the computer sitting in front of her.
"Other than that, there's nothing more," she looked up and smiled at the goddess before her.
When she had first applied a year ago for the position of a receptionist at E.P's therapy place, she had been jealous of her boss's out-of-this-world beauty and at first she had thought of her to be a proud and egotistical woman. Until after working for her for about three months, did she realise that that was just how she was.
She wasn't a person who showed much emotions and neither was she the conversational type. She was a keen listener and an excellent therapist. She was a really straightforward and blunt person who would tell you your problems straight to your face. All in all, she was great at her job.
Emerald only nodded and adjusted her glasses. "Thanks," she said and turned towards the elevator, going up to her office. She pressed the button with the number 3 on it before resting her head against the steel wall behind her. Closing her eyes, she inhaled deep breaths as she revelled in the peace and quiet she could currently attain before beginning her day.
It had been a thrilling and rather tiring weekend. She had visited her mother, who was currently residing with her boyfriend. Apparently, she had been prioritizing her work over her family and it had been ages since she last saw her mother. Her mother's words not hers.
So she had no choice but to spend the weekend with her and Luca, her mother's boyfriend. On Friday, after work, she had taken a flight to Boston and had gotten back around 4p.m yesterday so she could go to bed before 7p.m and wake up to get to work early today but as far as her plan went, she had to sleep some minutes past 9p.m due to her friend's incessant probing to tell her about her supposed 'adventures' with the hot guy of her fantasies.
Oriana, her long time friend and roommate, was a typical redhead with a bubbly character. Emerald had no idea how they had stayed friends seeing as they were total opposites but they had immediately clicked back in Harvard five years before, when Oriana had mistakenly kissed Emerald (and yes, on the lips) while having one of her prince charming fantasy sprees.
She had apologised profusely while blushing so hard from embarrassment that she had looked almost like a tomato from how red she had turned.
They had met again at the cafe close to the university grounds and since then, they had been best friends although Ori had continued to doubt her own sexuality for three good weeks until she kissed a guy and felt the familiar fireworks, which proved that she was straight. But unfortunately, the guy was only interested in her for her 'way too voluminous' boobs (she had quoted) and it turned out the idiot had a girlfriend at the time.
The elevator bell dinged as it opened on the third floor where her office was. She made a beeline for the door which stood at the centre. The floor had only three rooms. Her office at the centre, the bathroom on the right hand side and a basically useless room on the left side. She hadn't found a use of the room yet so for the moment, it was just a vacant space.
She slid her key card through the slot and pushed the door open before entering the not too big nor small space. The floor was covered in a reddish-wine coloured rug, the only thing in the room with a different colour gradient. Every other thing in the room was either a tint or a shade of black.
Her desk was made of ebony wood, its colour a very dark shade of brown, almost resembling black and her walls were painted in the colour grey. She had a floor to ceiling window that overlooked the city of Manhattan but the view was currently hidden behind the Venetian blinds covering the window.
Even the sitting area — which consisted of a glass centre table and a few settees with two coffee tables placed at the end of the vacant spaces beside the settee — was adorned in the colours black and silver. There were two single seats facing each other and then two sets of settees were also placed in antipodal positions.
She wasn't particularly a fan of bright colours. Other than the colour black or grey and occasional golds and silvers with her outfits, she wouldn't decorate anything of hers — be it her office or room — with bright colours.
She dropped her purse onto her desk and turned on the little lamp placed atop her desk before plopping down into her black soft leather seat and releasing a deep sigh. She removed her glasses and placed them on her desk then reached for the A.C remote control placed in a control holder along with the TV remote control before turning on the air condition in her office.
Resting her back against the leather seat, she closed her eyes and just focused on her inhalation and exhalation. For a few minutes, she remained there in the darkness with the little lamp acting as the only source of light in her office.
This was her usual routine every morning to collect her thoughts and prepare herself mentally for the day ahead. She would sit in the darkness, not drawing the blinds until after a few minutes.
After completing her usual routine, she opened her eyes and stepped out of her heels before padding barefooted across her office towards a cupboard. She pulled it open and reached for her black comfort slip-ons before putting them on.
She moved towards another space in the corner of her office. It was a cellarette that was pretty stocked with wines of low alcohol content, majority of which are fruit wines, bits of red wine, champagne and a mini refrigerator with bottles of water in it. A cabinet had the glass cups, tumblers, wine glasses and flutes in it while another contained cup wipes.
She grabbed a wine glass, wiped it off with a cup wipe before standing on her toes to reach for the bottle which stood a few inches above her. She eventually got a hold of it before walking back to her seat.
She unscrewed the cork, hearing a satisfying pop before pouring herself a glass of Arbor Mist Blackberry Merlot. She took a sip as she looked towards the blinds. Tilting her head to the side, she rolled her seat towards the windows and carefully pulled the blinds up, revealing Manhattan below her.
Sitting in front of the window, her eyes swept across the restaurant slash cafe opposite her building. She could see the bold sign which displayed the words Debonair Burgers atop the rooftop with a little burger model at the side. Usually when it got dark, the sign would light up and the burger would be illuminated by neon lights.
True to their words, they served really amazing and finger–licking burgers with coffee as well. Their burgers were indeed superior and they were patronised by most employees in the vicinity. She was quite familiar with the owner, Sebastian Novak, a very nice man who seemed to have been quite the charmer back in the day.
Since she always got her lunch from there, she would either go to pick it up or Brooks would have an employee bring it over if she was too busy to go over. She had always appreciated his efforts and would try to tip off the employee but he/she would decline, saying strict orders came from Sebastian to not receive even a cent higher than the actual amount.
Seemingly, that was her punishment for declining his offer of always giving her lunch for free. She had never been a dependent woman or someone who fed off others and she was definitely not going to start by accepting Sebastian's offer, so she had adamantly declined his offer even before he concluded his sentence.
She let her gaze move over to Alora's Floral Bliss which stood beautifully beside Debonair Burgers. Alora was a middle aged woman, a sexagenarian precisely. She was a really sweet yet feisty lady who was rather energetic for someone her age. She ran the cute little flower shop with her husband, Levi, who was a retired U.S. Marine. They were both really lovely couples who were quite adventurous too.
For someone who was quite a loner and didn't really have an existing social cycle other than Oriana, Emerald didn't know how she had managed to get these people to be around her but she wasn't complaining either, they were a pretty fun group that always seemed to brighten her day.
As she sipped her wine, she saw Alora come out of the shop with a rag and a window wiper before wiping the glass window which gave passerbys a view of the cute shop. Not long after, Levi came out of the shop holding a bouquet of Itsaul White Dianthus. He then proceeded to kneel before his wife, pretending to ask for her hand in marriage.
She couldn't help but laugh at the sight before her. Alora only rolled her eyes as she saw the mischievous smile on his lips before softly whacking his head with the rag. Levi quickly blocked his head from Alora's hits and rose to his feet, a wide grin on his face.
He began inching closer to her face, seemingly seeking a kiss and Alora looked up at him before spraying the liquid wipe on his face, making him yelp in surprise. Emerald couldn't hold in her chuckle and they must have heard her because simultaneously, their eyes met hers and they both waved enthusiastically at her with wide grins on their faces.
She couldn't help but reciprocate their grins before waving back at them and moving her seat back to her desk. She looked up at the wall clock and it read 10:53a.m., meaning she had roughly an hour and thirty minutes more before her session with Mrs Levine. She needed something to kill time.
She opened a drawer from her desk and found different novels of which she had purchased earlier this month. She filtered through them, trying to find the perfect one to start with before she stumbled upon one with a very catchy cover.
CHAPTER 2 Prologue 2
There was a lady or girl with a red hoodie covering almost half of her face with other features like a bowing girl, held down by chains and then surrounded by lit candles. In total, the cover looked really captivating.
She brought out the book before shutting the drawer. She wore her glasses and glanced at the book, Bound By The Erstwhile Chains, reading the title. She turned it over and saw the author's name, Lara .A. Falowo and a bit about her. Fascinated by the prologue, she dived into the book, flipping pages after pages until she heard a voice come through the intercom.
"Miss Pearce?" Claire called out, successfully grasping her attention.
"Tim already brought your lunch, shall I bring it to you or. . .?" She trailed off, awaiting Emerald's decision.
Lunch? In surprise, she looked at the wall clock and saw it was a few minutes past noon. She had been so engrossed in the book, she hadn't noticed how time flew by. There were a few minutes more
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