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Authors: Isabella Redwood

In The End (Butterfly #1)

BOOK: In The End (Butterfly #1)
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IN THE END

 

 

ISABELLA REDWOOD

In The End Copyright © 2013 Isabella Redwood.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be re-produced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including copying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system without express permission of the author
.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination. Locales and public names are sometimes used for atmospheric purposes. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, or to businesses, companies, events, institutions, or locales is completely coincidental.

Cover art and copyright © by Angela M Caldwell.

 

 

 

ISBN-10: 1508538107

ISBN-13: 978-1508538103

To my beautiful daughter Alannah Leigh, always remember to dream.

“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore”

-Christopher Columbus.

 

 

Acknowledgements

 

 

I would like to thank Lindsey Clarke for encouraging me to post my work on Wattpad and for always being a great friend.

To all my amazing Wattpad readers who voted, commented and supported my story, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Special thanks goes to Wattpad users Chinipree and Mschexnayder.

I would also like to thank the twitter writing community for making me feel at home and answering all my questions. Special thanks goes to Cassie Hart and Adam Dreece.

For designing my beautiful cover, thanks goes to Angela M Caldwell, who is not only a brilliant designer and a talented author, but also a great friend and support to many writers.

Finally I want to thank my daughter, you are my guiding light, my saviour and my snuggle monster. I hope you will be proud of your mama and I can make all your dreams come true.

 

 

 

Sophia Nichols

 

 

Hi, my name is Sophia Nichols. I have been on this planet for twenty-three years and I am in debt. Not the, I owe a bit, but will get it paid off in a couple of years. I mean the all-consuming, never-ending black hole type of debt. To be precise, I owe $37,789.

What? I hear you say, how can you owe that much? You must have a huge wardrobe of clothes, a mountain of shoes and ten cars. Not true sadly, I owe that much due to basic living costs and greedy multi-national credit card companies who sell you a 2.9% APR then increase it to 50% APR once you start to use it. You get the idea, reel them in and rip them off, that is what happened to me, and the four nanny jobs I was currently working were barely meeting the minimum payments.

I heard the sound of the letterbox opening and felt the ever-familiar feeling of suffocation, knowing that there would be a pile of red letters waiting for me. I laid my head on the table and sighed. If only I could block the box so no letters could enter. I mused at the thought of duct taping it shut; the postman bewildered at a sealed box and had to shake myself back to reality.

Sipping my third cup of coffee for the day, I tried to straighten my thoughts and focus. See, something amazing had happened. I was browsing through the daily jobs section of the local paper when there it was in bold and beautiful print.

“Wanted, live in nanny, very favourable salary and benefits, call now for immediate interview.”

Putting on my best telephone voice, I picked up the receiver and dialled. A very well spoken Englishman answered the phone after three rings.

‘Veneto household, how may I assist?’ The interview was confirmed.

 

From that one quick phone call, a whole world of opportunities was opening up. The chance to start making some decent payments and lift my head marginally above water, the chance to breathe and live rather than just eating beans every day and freezing to death at night. The chance to be part of something, a family.

I was getting way ahead of myself, but I could not help it as I pulled on the one and only decent dress I had and fastened the buttons, feeling the nervous butterflies churning in my stomach. I descended the stairs and out the door, stomping on the red bills as I passed.

It was a brisk autumn morning in Connecticut and opening the car door I prayed that Jessica had put some gas in. Holy crap, the red light started flashing as soon as I turned the key, and only having two dollars in my wallet wasn’t going to get me very far at the pump.

‘Jesus Christ, just give me a break, would you,’ I shouted in sheer frustration, picturing the interview going down the toilet before it started, breaking down en route.
No, I must pull it together, it will be fine, reserve tanks last for a good few miles I’m sure.
Unconvincingly I pulled out the drive and onto the main road. I had only driven a mile when the car started choking.

‘Come on, Betty, you can do it.’ I slapped the steering wheel in desperation, as a jockey would whip his horse to the finish line.

With a miracle, you may say, I arrived at the destination with minutes to spare and it seemed a teaspoon of gas left, the car chugging all the way up the road. I checked the address in my wallet twice, where was the house? The road seemed to be endless and then I saw it, two wrought iron gates appeared on the right hand side.

I pulled over, looking up in trepidation; the gates were colossal, twenty foot tall easy and had some kind of symbol on, dragon, or something like that. It was an eerie sight surrounded by redwood trees, dragons and some kind of Gothic V trim. I took a deep breath and reached to press the intercom.

‘Hi, it’s Sophia Nichols; I have an appointment with Mr Veneto.’ The gates started opening. ‘Guess we are on our way, Betty,’ I mumbled to the car as we chugged along the drive. I had been driving for a further mile before I caught a glimpse of the house, the song on the radio, Linkin Park’s
In the End
was just starting and I sang my heart out to calm my nerves maybe, but mostly the lyrics summed everything up for my life so far.

“I tried so hard and got so far, but in the end it didn’t even matter.” No, no, this was going to be different, I knew it would be and pulled up into the space at the front of the house next to the quadruple garage, yes quadruple.

‘Holy crap, these people are rich,’ I mouthed, though instantly regretted it as I saw the curtains twitch inside. They could not have heard me; surely, I mused to myself as I opened the car door and fumbled with the keys to lock it. As if anyone would try to steal it, but it was not mine and I certainly could not afford to replace it.

Slowly walking to the front door, I rang the bell; hearing the audible peal echoing inside, I waited patiently for someone to answer. The house was magnificent, reminiscent of 1800’s Astor with ornate architecture and a modern twist that I could not quite put my finger on. It breathed money to its core and just the door alone could have paid my debt twice over. It opened then and if I knew then what I know now, should I have run as fast as I could in the opposite direction, screaming for my life?

 

The door was opened by a very surly looking man around late fifties, give or take, and he certainly looked like he had been giving all his life, if you get what I mean. The years of hard work were etched across his face and I was lost in thought, wondering what a life he must have had, when the sound of my name brought me back to the present.

‘Sophia,’ he near shouted. ‘Would you like to go freshen up before your interview?’ The emphasis clearly on, before and I could not help but think he had ulterior motives.

‘Sure,’ I whispered. I suddenly felt very uneasy and was led to the nearest bathroom, almost at a march to keep up.

When I looked in the mirror I saw what was staggeringly obvious and viewed the man’s pushiness as a godsend now, noting the huge patch of baby sick on the front of my jacket. I had grabbed it off the hook without checking as I ran out the door this morning, and gasped as I quickly removed it, stuffing it into my bag. I looked back in the mirror again to survey the rest of me. My long blonde hair was pulled back into a ponytail and my Casper-like skin was mocking me with its paleness, despite the fact I had smeared Coppertone on before I left. I looked ghostly white, and I had not helped myself by forgetting to apply any blush.

‘Oh well,’ I said aloud. ‘I’m interviewing for a nanny position, not America’s next top model,’ and gathered my thoughts briefly musing over the TV show,
Through the Keyhole
and the catchphrase, “Who lives in a house like this?” I giggled to myself as I attempted a fake American accent and walked to the door to return to my saviour, no longer just known as Mr Surly Face.

‘Thanks so much, you have no idea,’ I gushed upon returning to the spot I left him at, or should I say he left me at; seemingly he hadn’t moved an inch, and I wondered whether any of my bathroom antics had been heard. He nodded slightly and led me through to what I guess was the office though it was the grandest room I had ever seen. At the front was a double bay window giving a stunning peek at the back garden, estate in essence and a fireplace to the left was the focal point of the room. A portrait hung over it of a middle-aged man and his wife, she was bending on one knee as though to honour him somehow, looked kind of odd to me, but what do I know about rich people and their taste. I gulped a little too much air as I sighed and let out a cough before I could stop it.

‘Are you okay? Do you require medical assistance?’ A sarcastic voice from behind entered the room, and I turned quickly in shock and dismay.

‘No,’ I replied with a squeak to my voice, ‘I’m okay.’ I did not know how to answer that without risking losing the job before I even started, so put it down to them having a bad day and moved on.

‘My name is Nicholi Veneto and you are?’ he asked, searching as if he could not be bothered to remember my name.
This is not the best start
, I thought to myself,
but hey hoo I want this job
, so with my most welcoming smile I replied,

‘Hello, my name is Sophia Nichols, I am the best nanny you could ever have wished to find, pleased to meet you, sir.’ I cringed at my response internally, but thought this was the best tactic to play, the, you want me; you know you do, to one-up the neighbours. Though I actually had not seen any other houses around. Nevertheless, the impression was created and now I just had to follow through.

‘Come this way,’ Nicholi replied nonchalantly, yet I swear I saw the tiniest hint of a smile in his eyes.

I was led into another room, somewhat less formal, and sat down on the most comfortable sofa I had ever experienced; the whole room was furnished to a standard I had never witnessed before in real life. I was resisting the urge to throw off my shoes and roll around on the carpet, sinking my feet into the thick silky pile, when the entrance of a third person shook me to the core.

‘Hi, I am Crocifisso, Cross, pleased to meet you.’ My heart skipped a beat when I saw him reach out his hand.

Now this guy was America’s next top model, never mind America, the world, universe beyond and beyonder. He was breath-taking, platinum blond hair, eyes the colour of sapphires, and arms that looked like they could carry you for days, should the need arise.

‘Sophia,’ was all I managed to squeak out in response as he took my hand in his, and I never wanted him to let go.

‘Right, now we are all here, shall we start?’ Nicholi spoke in an authoritative tone and I almost jumped out of my skin in response.

I sat down again only a little too hard, sinking into the sofa, kicking my feet into the air. I heard a stifled laugh from Cross, yet was too embarrassed to meet his gaze. I could feel his eyes fixed on me the whole way through the interview and I purposely pretended he was not there to get through. I just knew if my eyes locked with his, my face would turn the same scarlet red as the dress the woman was wearing in the weird portrait, and I was not wearing enough layers to blame the temperature.

They asked the usual suspect questions, job history, experience, qualifications, all of which I knew I could answer well. Three years experience, degree in child development, ticking all the right boxes as I went. I was told the briefest information about the children, two boys aged two and six years, but not in-depth, though. I guess they would not want too much information being said to a total stranger, I know I would not anyway.

Then came the curve ball question, why had I applied for this position? What was I going to say?
Well, sir, I am about to be evicted from my friend’s house for non-payment of rent and the main source of my income is getting married and moving to the south so I’m desperate and homeless. No, I don’t think so
.

I answered with as much enthusiasm as I could muster, bleating on about how I loved being part of a family and seeing its cogs turn from the inside out. It worked, Nicholi actually did crack a smile then and said they would need to recess there and I would be contacted in time.

What did that mean? I hate not knowing. Patience was never a strong suit of mine except where kids were concerned. There my patience was endless, though I did have the burnout moments as most people do with the, please go to sleep, at two in the morning. I would just have to wait for the phone call and that was that.

Mr Saviour showed me the way out and I trudged back to the car, ever hopeful for the phone call that may come my way. I opened the car door and sat down, shit, I really did not have any gas left. I sat pondering this for a few minutes when I heard the door open and footsteps behind me.

‘Hi,’ Cross spoke, with a smile that would melt Antarctic ice. ‘Everything okay?’

‘Yes,’ I mumbled out. ‘Well not really.’ I was confusing myself, let alone him. He looked at me closely then and I actually forgot to breathe.

‘Car trouble?’ he probed gently.

I just nodded and stammered, ‘Gas, no gas,’ in response.

‘No problem, I can help with that, come,’ he gestured, and I climbed out of the car, tripping over the seat belt on the way out. He smiled curiously, and I just bowed in shame.
Get a grip
, I shouted internally,
he is just a guy and you are way out of that league
. That seemed to calm me somewhat, and I began the start of a bemusing conversation.

‘I can siphon some out of yours, no need to go to any trouble,’ I gestured, pointing towards the Range Rover parked to the left.

‘Siphon, you can siphon?’ Cross replied with an extremely sceptical yet amused tone.

‘Sure, you don’t know how?’ I replied, pondering to myself.
What is the saying, all looks no skills or something like that…

‘Now this is something I have to see,’ Cross scoffed in a challenging tone.

‘Sure, I just need a hosepipe and a bucket please.’ There was one thing that motivated me more than anything else did and it was people who doubted my capabilities. He brought them back, grinning like a Cheshire cat. I resisted the urge to grin back maniacally and proceeded to put the hose in the gas tank and suck out the petrol. My father, a military man, had showed me how. He wanted his daughter safe on the road, ergo I could siphon, change tyres, plugs, you name it. There was a trick to siphoning, so you did not end up with a mouth full of gas, but I was not about to share this with someone who certainly was finding the whole event amusing.

BOOK: In The End (Butterfly #1)
8.81Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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