A light shone through the half opened window of Christian’s penthouse. The curtains were softly blown by the draft let in. The sound of bed sheets rustling and car horns can be heard, and he groans as he turned. His face scrunched up and then relaxed when he begins to slowly open his eyes. Morning. Christian propped himself onto his elbow and scanned his room with droopy eyes.
Christian’s room was rather large for a single bachelor. The black and white colour scheme made his room look modern and cool; a favourite of society to show off the wealthy. A large wardrobe placed on the right side was quite flashy; definitely showing that Christian was a man with taste. His wardrobe was filled to the brim with designer clothes ranging from Dolce & Gabbana suits to Armani underwear. His taste in fashion was classy and exquisite. Now lets get on with the rest. He had a king size bed covered with bed sheets made of the finest silk. Carpets were made of the best material and fur rugs were placed on top. Clothes were sprawled all over the sofa that comfortably sat beside the wardrobe and also over his work desk which Christian barely uses. And the curtains! Oh the curtains! They were incredibly soft that you could wrap yourself in them!
In other words, Christian was a wealthy man. He had his own business empire, a fancy penthouse, butlers and maids who responded to his every beck and call, a Ferrari Enzo that he drives around, a limo and his own personal chauffeur. Heck, he even had his own private plane that will whisk him off wherever he wants to go, whenever he wants. He lives the high life and yet, something was missing. What more could he want though? He has everything within his grasp but still he felt that something was missing. The equation wasn’t complete.
Christian glanced at the digital clock beside him and checks the time. It’s seven in the morning. Why was he up so early?
Christian: “I don’t even have work yet. Honestly, my sleeping pattern is wrecked.”
He murmured to himself and suddenly comes to realise that the bed is colder than it should be. Much colder. He hastily turns around to find her gone.
Christian: “Great. Just great.”
He cursed to himself and quickly ran out of his room, slipping on his nightgown at the same time. He runs through his bedroom door, runs down the flight of stairs and bursts into the living room. Nothing. He cursed again and ran to the kitchen. Nothing again. Christian was getting more and more anxious as he searched every room when he finally stumbled across his office. He nervously opens the door and walks over to the safe, located underneath his desk. He typed in the code and hesitated before opening the safe. Empty. Christian stood up sharply and stormed out of the room back to the living room.
Christian: “Just when I thought you were mine…”
He quietly muttered to himself.
Christian: “Where is she?!”
He started dialling on his mobile when a timid old man walks out of the kitchen and hurriedly runs over to Christian.
???: “Master! What is the problem?”
Christian: “What’s the problem? What’s the problem?! She robbed me!”
Christian was clearly furious. He was raging. The old man beside him winced and Christian looked at him. He sighed.
Christian: “Sorry Alberto. It’s just that I thought what we had was serious.”
Christian was close to tears. Alberto patted Christian on the back to soothe his master’s pain. The understanding Alberto shows towards Christian was enough to calm him down, but not fully.
Christian: “I loved her so much. She was the thing missing from my perfect life. I was complete.”
Christian paused to think. Then continued speaking.
Christian: “I should have locked her in a cage if I’d have known.”
Alberto looked horrified, his face drained of colour. He peered into Christian’s face to see a sinister smirk plastered on his face. His face was dark and… evil. Alberto was about to question Christian when his thoughts were interrupted. One of the maids had heard all the commotion and came with breakfast served on a silver tray. Christian briskly walked past Alberto and disappeared into the kitchen. The maid scurried towards Alberto and whispered into his ear. He shook his head at her.
Alberto: “Leave the Master alone for now. I fear he may be planning something devious. Something he may come to regret.”
“Find this girl and have her return here. As his servants, we must tend to his every need. And right now, he needs her.”
The maid nodded at Alberto’s instructions and walked towards the kitchen. Alberto was left alone in the living room as he pondered on whether his decision was right. He thought about the girl’s safety if she ever returned to this place. He remembered the look on Christian’s face. He dreaded what would happen in future. As Christian’s personal butler, he must know what his master was planning to do. Maybe even put a stop to it but it may be futile. Nevertheless, Alberto followed the maid into the kitchen where he saw Christian reading the morning newspaper whilst drinking a black coffee. Christian looked from his newspaper to see Alberto stood at the door, staring at him.
Christian: “What is it Alberto?”
Alberto didn’t know what to say and how to put it. He had to put it in the most subtle way possible, otherwise Christian would be suspicious.
Alberto: “If the girl ever returned here, would you like her to sleep in the spare bedroom?”
Christian paused for a slight moment before answering Alberto’s question.
Christian: “Yes. I don’t want her near me after her betrayal.”
Alberto: “Of course Master. Would you like me to start preparations?
Christian looked down to start reading again. He took another sip of coffee before asking the maid for another cup. Alberto watched his movements closely. He could see that Christian’s hands were slightly shaking, not obvious but can be seen if you looked close enough. He could see that Christian was also blinking irregularly; a sign that he’s on edge. Alberto was shaken back to reality by Christian’s voice.
Christian: “Yes. Oh and before you start Alberto, I want you to find out where I can get cages.”
Alberto: “Why is that Master?”
Christian paused again but it seemed longer than the last. Alberto was onto something here and he can see it from the hesitation in Christian’s eyes. What was he hiding?
Christian: “I’m planning on importing animals for my new investment. Didn’t you hear? I bought a zoo not long ago for my little sister.”
Lies. There was no such thing in the news, Alberto thought. If Christian had a new investment, it would have been all over the news but nothing appeared. However if he mentioned about the lack of news reports, then Christian would know what Alberto was up to.
Alberto: “Yes, I have heard. Congratulations Master. Well then, I shall start on the preparations.”
Christian: “Please do.”
Alberto turned his back and began to walk out. He sighed to himself but at least he had a rough idea of the situation. He shut the door behind him and was about to walk away when he heard a low, quiet voice on the other side.
Christian: “I wonder if you’ll love me. Or will you break?”