Blackmailed by the Beast

By: Sam Crescent


“The cooking fell to you?”

“Obviously.” Lily moved away from him to go to the fridge. She got out the mincemeat and the fresh tomatoes she’d picked from the small vegetable garden she maintained. Anything to keep expenses down.

“Your mother or sister?”

Lily laughed, the sound instant, as if his statement had been the most hilarious thing she’d heard. In a way, it was. Trying to imagine the posh, stern women in the kitchen was quite funny. She pictured a caricature of her mother looking at a carrot and wondering what to do with it.

“Ah, there you are.” Her older sister, Stephanie, walked in, destroying the image. Lily turned away. The false happiness would make any strong-stomached person want to throw up.

“Why does Lily do all the cooking?” Shocked, Lily looked at Wayne. He seemed to be furious.

“She does it so well.” Her sister laughed. She moved closer to run a hand down his chest. Jealousy spiked through Lily, fast and sharp. Not liking the emotion one bit, she turned away and continued to pull stuff out of the fridge.

“You mean, you and the rest can’t be bothered, so treat the youngest like a slave.” Wayne growled at her sister. Lily was amazed. Every other man who spoke to Stephanie did so with the intention of getting in her bed. Wayne didn’t act like that. It was almost as if he regarded her as a pest rather than a potential lover. Biting her lip, Lilly watched him disappear out of the kitchen. The moment he was gone, Stephanie turned all of her malice toward her. Her true character brought to the surface.

“This is your fault, bitch. You’ve been spreading lies about us, about me.”

Lily shook her head. When Stephanie got into one of her rages, she looked ugly from the inside out. “No, I’ve not said anything,” Lily said. Stephanie latched onto her. Her nails cut into her arms. Her skin was delicate and she knew she’d bruise in a few hours from the rough contact.

“He’s my meal ticket out of here, away from all of this shit. You ruin anything. I’ll make you pay for the rest of your life.” Stephanie thrust her away and charged out of the kitchen. Lily cried out as she collapsed against the counter, knocking off the bowl of tomatoes that fell onto the floor. Trying to stem the flow of tears threatening to come up, she moved to the side and chopped onions. If Wayne decided to come back and check on her, she could mask the tears with the onions.

She was the cook, cleaner, and general house staff. Her job was to serve, not to be part of the family. For the longest time, Lily had been the outsider, the youngest born who was more interested in books than fancy parties and boys.

Mum, Dad, and Stephanie were the true family. She just wished she knew what had gone wrong for them to hate her so much—from a young girl to the adult she was now.





****





Wayne watched the sister brutalize Lily. The fears on the young girl’s face calling to the protector in him. She didn’t deserve this life—to cook, clean, and beg for the little bit of attention they gave her. He made sure Stephanie didn’t see him hiding behind the curtain, and for that, he was glad. She would suffer and so would the rest of her family.

He glanced back to look at the girl he’d come to cherish. Wayne had first seen her at a ball. He requested the presence of Jones family to join him. It was a charity banquet, and Lily had only been nineteen at the time. The moment she entered the great hall, his heart had stopped. For the entire evening, he’d tried to approach her, talk to her. Every time he got close, someone or something got in the way. Eventually he conceded defeat as he watched her leave with her family. Wayne had made it his passion to find out more about the quiet, startling beauty who captured his attention like no other woman.

After so many parties and events, Wayne got the chance to be near Lily to talk, but every conversation ended with talks about money. There was no chance to explore all he wanted to know about her.

Her family’s dire situation had come to his attention by accident. He’d overheard a conversation at the bank, and a few discussions with some friends and business associates. There was a hefty sum of money needed to buy their debt, and all he had to do was put the wheels in motion for the Jones’s family.

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