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The Mafia's Daughter

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All Zoie wants is the freedom to live her life, but that's out of the question for an ex mafia's daughter. So on one fateful night, she sneaks out to enjoy one last huzzah before leaving for college. She went on to have a one-night-stand with a s*xy stranger at the club. Little does she know, the handsome devil turns out to be someone very close to home -- the bodyguard her dad assigned for her! * Warning: Contains Mature Content! Enter at your own risk! *

1. DYNASTY

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PRESENT DAY,NEW JERSEY

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~ Zoie’s POV ~

Thump. Thump. Thump.

Zoie’s heart was pounding as she pressed the enter button on her laptop. The screen in front of her was loading her application status to Stanford University. Behind her was the bookshelf and it had all sorts of Stanford flags, mugs, stickers, and toys. Her purple-blue eyes stared deeply into the screen as her finger fidgeted and twirled around her dark-brown hair, a nervous habit. And suddenly, the message appeared.

Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you that your application has been accepted to Stanford University---

“Aaaaahhh!!” Zoie screamed at the top of her lungs, unable to hold the excitement back. She was jumping up and down her seat. The entire room shook with her. “Oh my God! I got in! I got in!”

Zoie’s three older brothers had just woken up since it was only eight thirty in the morning. They heard the commotion coming from her room and made a beeline over.

“Is it college acceptances already?” Zane asked, yawning and scratching his head.

“Where’d you get in?” Zander, his twin, followed right behind.

“Stanford! I’m going to Stanford!” Zoie ran to give her brothers a hug, but they just looked at her quizzically. She then ran back to grab her laptop, almost stumbling over her bags and clothes scattered on the floor.

Zane and Zander watched their sister with a suspicious look.

“You’re actually smart enough to get in to Stanford?” Zane narrowed his eyes, cocking his head to the side.

“I didn’t know you even applied there,” Zander added, crossing his arms.

“Of course, I did! You guys know Stanford’s my dream school,” Zoie was now grabbing a Stanford hoodie from her closet and putting them on. The laptop was in her hand.

“Yeah, but I thought you were joking about that,” Zane said.

“Dad clearly said nowhere further than fifty miles from here,” Zander reminded her.

Zoie let out a big eye roll. Her dad, the almighty Mr. Damon Van Zandt, was the mayor of Jersey City for three consecutive terms. After which, he went on to run for Governor and he won that position too two years ago. Needless to say, he was a feared and powerful man. Not to mention that he had friends everywhere, long before his days as a mayor even began.

Growing up, Zoie was never lacking in the love department. Her mom, Violet, was the best mom and best friend she could ever ask for. Her older brothers, Zane, Zander, and Zach---  no matter how annoying--  were also extremely loving and protective of her. Her dad, however, can go a bit overboard with his affection. He was so protective of Zoie that he had bodyguards follow her everywhere, even through kindergarten and grade school.

Damon had such a hard time trusting anyone that Zoie was never allowed to have friends outside of their bubble. He had to know where she goes, who she’s with, and what she’s doing at all times. For the last eighteen years, that was how she lived her life. So, when the chance to go away for college came around, Zoie was desperate for a change. Even though they were living in an affluent neighborhood in New Jersey and there were plenty of good schools on the east coast, she only had her eyes on one school: Stanford in California. Thousands of miles away from here.

“Guys, for four years, this is all I’ve worked for," Zoie said as she stood at the doorway, pushing her brothers to step back. “I don’t care what daddy says, I’m gonna go to Stanford---”

“You should care,”

Suddenly, a stern voice was heard. Zoie and her brothers turned to see Zach, their oldest brother, walking down the hall. Even though it was still early in the morning, Zach was already dressed in his suit and tie. Zach was six years older than Zoie and he just graduated from an MBA program at Harvard. He came back home this summer to start an internship at a famous law corporation. Out of all her brothers, Zach was the one Zoie feared the most, and not only because he was the oldest. It was more of the vibe. Zach gave off Damon vibes. He not only looked a lot like their dad, but he spoke, dressed, and acted like him too. He was pretty much a mini version of their dad.

Zach stood tall in front of Zoie and stared her down. Zoie swallowed hard.

“He’s not gonna be happy when he hears this,” he said, flicking a finger on her forehead.

“Ouch!” she squealed and pushed him away.

“And he’s gonna say no,” Zach continued, walking past her and heading to the stairs.

“We’ll see about that!” Zoie yelled with a pout. She didn’t want to give up so easily. This was the moment she had been working for all these years. She was absolutely prepared. Which was why she was dressed in Stanford clothing from head to toe. She wanted to make a statement, letting her dad know how much this means to her.

Giving out one last glare to Zane and Zander, she said, “You guys’ll see, he’s gonna say yes to me!”

Zoie stomped out of their way and headed for the stairs. Zane and Zander shared a look and shrugged.

“Geez, it’s cause she’s a girl, she gets away with everything!”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Zoie ran down the stairs and her fingers were busily combing her hair. Her mom and dad were having breakfast out in the garden and it was a lovely summer’s morning. This would be the perfect time to ask the question, she figured. And doing it with her mom around would be a plus.

For Zoie, Stanford meant more than just a college. It symbolized her chance for freedom. A new place. A new start. In California, no one needs to know that she’s the governor’s daughter. She could be whoever she wants to be.

And be with whoever she wants to be with.

That was another thing that she had to deal with growing up. There were absolutely no boys allowed. None. Her love life was drier than the Sahara Desert in August.

It was hard enough as a teenage girl to communicate with boys in high school, imagine having two bodyguards follow you around everywhere? Obviously, you’re not gonna get invited to parties anymore. Don’t get her wrong. Zoie loves her family to death, but her dad’s zero social life policy was totally killing her vibe.

And so, California was the only answer.

“You’re not going to Stanford!”

Damon said firmly as soon as Zoie mentioned the fact that she got into Stanford. Zoie was standing in front of the round table where her mom and dad were having breakfast. Damon didn’t even lift his eyes off the newspaper in his hand.

“Dad! You’re being unreasonable!” Zoie exclaimed, crossing her arm in protest. She came over and was pleading softly to her dad, but being gentle seemed to not be working.

“We’ve talked about this. My answer is no and that’s final!” Damon said sternly. “California’s too far away!”

“It’s only a 6-hour plane ride away!” Zoie argued, moving across the table, passing her mom who just sat there in silence. “Everyone is going away for college. That’s nothing crazy! Why can’t I be like everyone else?”

“Because you’re not just anyone. You’re my daughter,” Damon said as he sat back in his seat.

He put the newspaper down and on the front page, there was a photo of him and Violet at last night’s charity gala. The headline read: Governor Attends the Ball with His Wife. Below the headline, it said: The event raised over $3 million for charity, all aided by the Governor’s closest friends. Just who are these people?

“Dad!” Zoie pleaded as she stood in front of him. “Stanford is my dream school!”

“But I’m paying for it and I say no!”

“Okay, you two stop it!” Violet spoke up finally, yelling over her husband and daughter.

Violet was in a tough position. On one hand, she understood where Damon was coming from. Zoie had lived a sheltered life all these years. They never left New Jersey and she always had her three older brothers to protect her. The plan after she graduated high school was to go to Princeton, a university just forty miles away from home.

But knowing Zoie, she never wanted to follow her parents’ plan. Behind her parents’ back, she applied to Stanford and got in.

Violet worried that Zoie wouldn’t know how to handle herself out there. The world can be a big and scary place, Violet knew full well of that. And even though Damon’s dark days were behind him, there was always a possibility that his enemies were still out there, waiting for an opportunity to strike. Especially now that he was in such a high position.

But on the other hand… Violet also knew how hard Zoie had been working to get to her dream school. For the last four years, she dedicated her life to it. She got straight As in all her classes, ran for class president, did a lot of volunteer work, and even joined a team sport. All for this moment right here.

“Mom…” Zoie pleaded, turning her puppy-dog eyes at her mom. “You know how much I wanna go to California… You know how hard I’ve been working to get there… It’s Stanford or nothing…”

Violet couldn’t handle looking at Zoie like that. Zoie’s eyes were turning glassy like she was about to cry.

“Damon…” Violet said, turning to her husband.

“it’s not safe for her to be out there on her own,” he said sternly.

“Maybe we can send someone with her?” Violet suggested.

“I’m not going to college with a bodyguard! I’ll stick out like a sore thumb!” Zoie interjected.

“I’ll think about it,” Damon replied, keeping his eyes on Violet and not at Zoie.

“Are you serious? You’re gonna send a babysitter with me to college?!” Zoie waved her hand dramatically in front of her daddy’s face.

“Zoie, if you want us to let you go to Stanford, you’ll have to cooperate with us,” her mother interjected this time. Meanwhile, Damon just kept a straight face.

Zoie crossed her arms again and scoffed.

“Ugh! This is so dumb!”

“Zoie,” Violet scolded.

Zoie rolled her eyes and uncrossed her arms dramatically.

“Fine!” she sighed. “Anything as long as I can go to Stanford,”

Zoie stretched out her hand and her mother shook it gladly.

“Deal,” Violet said.

Zoie kept her hand extended and waited for her dad to join in. Damon looked at her for a moment before rolling his eyes and shaking her hand too.

Yes! Zoie exclaimed to herself, but she kept her cool on the outside.

“So, who are you gonna send with me anyway?” Zoie asked as she looked around the guards guarding their home. Everyone was dressed in black suits, black shirts, and black sunglasses.

Damon paused for a moment to think. Violet also turned to him, waiting for an answer.

“I have someone in mind,” he said finally, sounding very secretive. “You’ll see,”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

MIAMI, FLORIDA

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

~ Asher’s POV ~

Thump. Thump. Thump.

The music in the club was pumping. Asher’s heart was beating to the bass blaring on the speakers. As soon as he walked in, everyone’s eyes were turned to him. Guys were whispering and girls were giggling. But Asher, cool as the ice in the North Pole, didn’t care about any of that. Wearing his signature black leather jacket, ripped jeans, and his dirty blonde hair slicked to the side, he made his way into the VIP section.

“There you are, babe! I’ve missed you!” A blonde girl in a tight red dress suddenly appeared in front of him. She had a half empty glass of martini in her hand, and her other hand reached for his face.

“Didn’t you just see me last night?” Asher scoffed as he dodged her hand.

“Yeah, but I miss ya anyway,” the girl adamantly insisted, putting her hand on his chest.

Clingy girls turned him the hell off. Asher rolled his eyes and threw his glance to the crowd. When he found who he was looking for, he walked straight past her like she was yesterday’s news.

“Yo, Mikey!” he called out.

A big man with tattoos, a ponytail, and wearing a Hawaiian shirt turned out. His eyes lit up when he saw Asher coming closer.

“Yo! You ready for tonight, Ash?” Mikey exclaimed as the guys exchanged a high five.

“Who’d you got for me?” Asher replied as he took off his jacket.

Mikey glanced across the room. In the middle of that room was a stage surrounded by a glass wall. It was the arena for today’s underground fight.

“Big dude from New Orleans,” Mikey said as he nodded at a black guy who was standing on the other side of the glass. “Bets 3k he can take you down in the first round,”

“Huh. That’s funny,” Asher laughed.

“You’re taking it, right?” Mikey asked.

“Fúck yeah I’ll take that free money,”

Mikey let out a hearty laugh as he shook Asher’s hand. At this time, there were other guys who were coming up to Mikey, trying to get his attention. Mikey was running the game around here, so anyone who wants to fight had to go through him. Guys usually come here to make some money or practice their game, but for Asher, it was just another Tuesday night.

Asher threw his glance across the room and locked eyes with his future opponent. He sized up the guy, he was big. Probably 250 pounds. But then, Asher noted the way he moved, his back wasn’t straight. He probably had some back issues, so he wouldn’t be that fast. Asher let out a winning grin.

This is gonna be a quick one.

But before he could too excited, Asher’s phone suddenly buzzed in his jeans. He fished it out and saw the screen.

Private Number Calling.

Asher looked at the screen suspiciously. He changed his phone number every couple of weeks or so. How was someone with a private number contacting him?

“Hello?” he answered cautiously.

“Hey, how’s my favorite godson doing?”

A smile spread across Asher’s serious face. Just as he suspected, the Governor was calling him. Only one person in the world could pull this off.

“Uncle Damon!” Asher beamed into the phone. He walked away from the stage and toward the door where the music was less chaotic.

“You haven’t forgotten about me, have you?” Damon replied.

“Of course not. How are you, Uncle D?”

“Not too bad, I can’t complain. But listen, I need to ask you favor,”

“Anything for you, sir. You know I’m forever indebted to you,”

“Well, it’s kind of a big ask. I can’t tell you all details on the phone. Can you come home?”

“Right now?”

“It’s kind of an emergency,”

Asher looked around the room. Mikey was getting everybody ready. His opponent had even gone up to the stage.

Asher paused for a beat before saying, “Sure. I’ll be there,”

“Great. I’ll see you soon,”

Asher turned off the call and put his jacket back on. Mikey saw this and quickly came over.

“What’s goin’ on?” Mikey looked confused.

“I gotta head out,”

“Wait, you’re not fighting?”

“Nah,” Asher shook his head and stole the cigarette hanging on Mikey’s ear. “Give these guys a chance to win one of these nights,”

And with that, Asher headed out of the backdoor of the club where his black motorcycle was parked. He jumped on it in one swift move, and the next thing he knew, he was soaring down the open road.

*

*

*

- - - - - - To Be Continued - - - - - -

2. COLLISION

~ Zoie’s POV ~

Zoie lay on her bed in the darkness of her room. The only light source came from the window where the moon was high and bright. She checked her phone carefully under the duvet, it was 11:59 PM.

Perfect.

Zoie quickly got up from the bed. She was wearing a short leather skirt, high leather boots, and a black tank top. Definitely not something one would wear to go to bed.

Moving swiftly, she whisked her purse from underneath the bed and headed for the window. Right before she opened the window, she checked her phone again. 12:00 AM. Time for the guards to change.

Zoie looked down to see the guard right below her window moving away. She slipped quietly out of her window and scaled the walls until she got down through the planters on the wall. Once she was on the ground, she looked around to make sure the coast was clear. She then raced across the garden and hid herself behind a tree when she spotted another guard walking nearby. The guard did

Heroes

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