Authors: Destiny Davis
(The Billionaire's Secret Surrogate )
Published By Destiny Davis, 2015
Get notified of new releases and special offers by signing up to
Destiny's mailing list
2015 Destiny Davis
All Rights Reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
This book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locations is purely coincidental. The characters are all productions of the author’s imagination.
Please note that this work is intended only for adults over the age of 18 and all characters represented as 18 or over.
Table of Contents
Kady Ross had been strutting up and down the runway at one of the local Manhattan fashion shows for hours, her six inch heels lending her unnatural height and grace, and a painful ache in both of her arches. Her legs were sore and her feet were throbbing, and all she wanted to do once she arrived at her apartment was lie down and take a load off. As she walked toward the bus stop, Kady mentally added the hundred dollars she had made that night to the stash she had been saving for safe-keeping in her apartment. It didn’t add up to a lot, but it should be just enough to cover what they owed on the two-bedroom walk up she shared with her friend, Melina.
The bus pulled up to the stop in a cloud of noxious dust and screeching brakes, and Kady shuffled slowly on behind two girls, maybe a year or two younger than she was, either just coming from or heading to some club or bar downtown. She could tell by the extra, extra mini- skirts, miles of cleavage, and copious amounts of glitter that sparkled crassly in the neon glow of the stoplight.
She couldn’t help but take an envious glance as she took a seat across the aisle from hers. They were practically the same age, but Kady had never experienced the carefree laughter that rolled off them in waves. While she was busy trying to keep her head above water, they were going bar hopping, and dancing heedlessly at clubs without a worry in the world.
She turned toward the window as she drew out the notebook she always carried with her. Forgetting the girls chatting next to her, Kady flipped through the pages, smiling slightly to herself as she looked over intricate sketches of blazers with hand-leathered details, trousers that wound around curves seamlessly, and dresses that begged to jump of the sketchbook page and walk down a runway just as she had earlier.
Kady lost herself in her designs, dreaming of a day when she would be sending models down the cat walk, rather than being the model, and just scraping jobs together at that.
As the glitz of Manhattan slowly faded, dingier, more rundown neighborhoods took its place, until the bus finally made its squeaky stop a block from her apartment. Her still aching feet protested the short walk, but dreams of a hot bath and a good night’s sleep had her moving forward briskly.
Unfortunately, she could tell by the rather loud music emanating from her two-bedroom abode—easily heard well before she reached the door—that rest wasn’t very likely to be in the cards tonight.
Another party? When she hadn’t even managed to come up with her half of the rent? What did Melina think she was doing? It was all well and good if she wanted to live her life as a party girl, but she should go hook up with some party guy instead of subjecting Kady to it as well.
As she stepped in the door, the distinctive smell of illegal greenery wafted in Kady’s general direction, making her cough. She shut the front door quickly to keep the scent from reaching the manager’s radar, but that meant she would probably end up with a contact high just from crossing the room to get to her bedroom door.
“What is going on in here?” she demanded, even as she continued trying to hold her breath.
“Oh, wow, you’re right, she is a model,” said some guy as he looked Kady up and down, his beady eyes sending shivers of disgust over her entire body as he slobbered all over himself. “Hey, I’m Kyle,” he added, extending a hand as he stumbled to his feet and headed in her general direction. Stupid-looking white boy with dread-locks beach bum type. There was no way she was shaking his hand.
“When this one asked if I had a friend, I mentioned you,” Melina explained with a grin.
“Oh, you did?” asked Kady with annoyance. “And you thought I’d just go along with that? Have you forgotten that I’m not—well, that I haven’t properly dated yet, if you know what I mean?” Kady turned away from Melina, already shaking her head, her anger at her friend burning brighter with every passing second. “So, Kyle, whatever you were hoping to get from me, it’s not going to happen. Especially not with some drunk, high dude that I’ve never seen before in my life. So you can just forget it.”
“Wow, Melina, when you said that she was super-hot chocolate, I thought you were talking about her body, but it looks more like you meant her mouth,” he said then. “She’s totally trying to harsh my mellow.”
“Well, never mind her,” said Melina with a laugh. “There’s enough chocolate right here to take care of both of you anyway.”
“Seriously?” they both asked, grinning at each other. “Well why didn’t you say so?”
Maneuvering around the coffee table strewn with paraphernalia and the intoxicated trio who had moved closer together on the couch, Kady had managed to reach her bedroom and avoid being witness to something she really, really did not want to see. She slammed the door and locked it with a violent twist of her wrist. She couldn’t believe Melina. What was she thinking? After all the years they had known each other and looked out for each other, it hurt to see her friend travelling down a path that would only land her homeless, or in jail, or worse.
She went over to her jewelry box, opened the hidden bottom, and prepared to put her earnings for the day inside with the rest of her money. However, the money she’d been keeping there appeared to be missing. Almost eight hundred dollars of her hard-earned money. She’d intended to use that money, along with the hundred in her hand, to pay the late portion of the rent so they wouldn’t lose their place.
“What the hell?!” she shouted, unlocking the door and storming into the living room.
“Hey, miss model, what gives?” asked Kyle, having to remove his tongue from Melina’s ear to do so.
“Who the hell has been in my room?” she demanded. “The rent money is missing. What were you people thinking?”
“What do you mean, the rent money is missing?” Melina gasped insincerely. “Did one of you guys go in her room while I was puking in the bathroom? What gives?”
“Time to bail,” said Kyle’s friend, and the two men ran out the door so fast neither woman had even blinked twice.
“You let them steal my nest egg?” Kady yelled. “What the hell are we going to do now?”
“We’ll just have to find somewhere else to live, I guess,” she said with a shrug. “No big deal, it’s almost summer. We could just go camp out somewhere till fall and then rent something again.”
“What? I’m not going to live outdoors all summer,” Kady protested. “I was trying to find a steady job. You can’t keep a steady job and live outside in the heart of the Big Apple. It doesn’t work like that.”
“So, shack up with some guy or something like the rest of female society,” Melina said. “Maybe that would remove the stick from up your ass.”
“Oh! I do not have a—” Kady began, but stopped herself. “No, I’m not having this conversation again. I know we’ve been friends since high school, and that’s why we got this place together, but there’s a real problem here, Mel. I got the school, and you got the high, and this just doesn’t work for me. If I were you, I would start packing, because we’re never going to come up with nine hundred dollars in three more days. She’s gonna give us notice to vacate, and then this place will be history. So as for me, I’m taking tonight’s wages, renting me a damn storage unit, and putting all my stuff inside. And you are not invited to share. As of right now, I have absolutely had it with you. You’ve ruined my life, my plans, and my hopes for the very last time!”
“But Kady! We’re practically sisters!”
“Don’t you sister me,” she yelled. “It isn’t gonna work again. Until you clean up your act, I don’t want anything to do with you. As a matter of fact, you can just take that pot and get out of here. I’m not spending my last few days before homelessness smelling you!”
“Um, wow! I can see that you’re really pissed about this, so I’m gonna go,” Melina said as she inched towards the door. “I’ll call you in a couple days to see about getting my stuff. Bye!”
It wasn’t until Melina had gone out the door that the thought occurred to Kady that of the three people who had been in that room, only one of them knew precisely where her money had been. But she didn’t want to think that Melina had sunk so low. Would she really have taken the money or told those guys where it was? Kady just didn’t know anymore.
What she did know was that she needed somewhere to go, and she needed it fast. The three day notice would be posted on the door tomorrow—probably at midnight, if she knew Mrs. Knotts. She’d been wanting Melina gone for at least six months now. That was just one month longer than they’d moved in together there in the first place.
The move had been ill-advised, to say the least. Her mother had wholeheartedly insisted they give it a try because her new husband wanted Kady to move out. He’d insisted that a twenty-four year old woman didn’t need to keep depending on her mother when she was perfectly capable of earning a living wage. He hadn’t taken into account that a living wage required full-time work, not the hit and miss earnings somebody might get working on the modeling circuit scene.
Of course, there was no way that she’d consider asking her mother for a place to stay. Rick was a real jerk, and she wanted nothing to do with him. Besides, he was right. A woman her age shouldn’t need to keep falling back on her mother every time she failed to launch.
Kady had been doing okay this time around, making enough cash to pay the bills, but more and more she’d been called upon to cover for Melina’s costs, too. This missing money was just the last nail in the coffin, really. No matter how you sliced it, Melina had become a statistic. Just another young woman drawn into drugs and crime. Kady wouldn’t be surprised if she’d turn to prostitution next, now that she’d no longer be getting any hand-outs from her.
With so much frustration pent up inside her now, she started cleaning up the mess the others had left behind. While throwing away all the garbage, stale pizza left in greasy boxes, and empty beer cans, she came across a pipe they had left behind. With grim satisfaction she tossed it in with the rest of the trash. Then, still not satisfied she went out by the dumpster, dug through the cardboard bin for broken down boxes, and hauled a bunch of them upstairs to start packing. She’d be damned if she was leaving a single item that belonged to her behind.