➖ R A V E N ➖

This isn't how I planned my life.

It was simple really. Finish school with a 4.0 GPA, find the perfect man who loves me, get a good job, and have beautiful children.

That day changed everything...

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2. ❌ two ❌

IRAVEN

11 September

2:41 pm

"And why do you think I should hire you, Ms. Stone?" His British accent ringing in my ears. I straighten my posture and plant a smile on my face. Rule #1. ALWAYS have a smile on your face. Doesn't matter if you have a knife in your neck. "I believe I have the intelligence, experience, and superior communication ability to be an asset to your company."  He nods slowly, licking his lips. 

"Mhmm. How do you think you handle stress?" He raises a brow. 

I think for a second before replying, " I am very sensitive to the nuances of group dynamics. If there's an unhealthy amount competition or criticism among team members, it'll start to affect my work, unfortunately."  He nods and folds his hands together, leaning in. "I'll try to do what I can to see what concerns my team to see if they've stressed themselves. If that's the case I'll try to solve the problem before I have to alert anyone in higher status. If the boss is happy, I'm happy."

He slowly leans back in his chair. Crossing his arms a smirk falls across his face. "You've got all the answers don't you?" I raise a confused brow at his remark. "Um... What does that mean, Mr. Styles?" I feel my palms start to sweat. I rub my hands along my legs hoping to dry them out. "I just mean that.. I don't think you realize what you're getting into. This is a very, uh- prestige business." I feel the urge to bite my lip in nervousness.

He leans forward and presses a button on the intercom. "Melanie, could you buzz Louis and tell him to come up to my office, please. Tell him it's about Raven Lisbrook."  My eyes dart around the room nervously. He turns off the intercom and smiles. "You know your mother worked with us. She's pretty famous around here y'know?" I sigh and nod my head. My great-grandmother would tell me about her and her adventures.

But there was never an origin story as to how or why she got into such situations. You could imagine how confusing it would be for a 7-year-old. "Yeah, um. Why is that? I've heard that she was an "original member"? Something along those lines. What does that mean..exactly? She was a part of the company before it was big I'm assuming?" I feel a small smile creep onto my lips. 

He chuckles and shakes his head. "We should wait for Mr. Tomlinson to get here." A grin spreads across his features, and he gets a look in his eyes. "Is Mr. Tomlinson your partner?"

"Yep. Stylinson is our names put together."

I think about it and smile. "Wow, that's clever." 

Who I assume is Mr. Tomlinson walks into the room and sits in Mr. Styles' chair.

"Well, hello there." Mr. Styles heartily laughs and gestures to me. "This is Ms. Lisbrook." 

I smile and look at Mr. Tomlinson. His eyes are a piercing sea blue. I feel a coldness rush over me suddenly. He raises from the chair and walks up to me. He gets on one knee and brings my hand to his lips, causing a blush to rise onto my cheeks. "Pleased to meet you. Raven." I nod not trusting my mouth to form the proper words. 

"Alright, Louis get up. This is business." 

"We can mix it up a little. It's not like you follow our rules anyways." I sit with my hands in my lap quietly waiting for something to happen. "Right then. Here is the thing.. This isn't just a government office, no. It's um. It's a coverup."

My eyes widen and my stomach gets uneasy. "F-For what?" I turn to Mr. Styles in confusion.

"Well, darling. The thing is we aren't just ordinary multi-million dollar company owning men." My brows furrow as I try to search for an explanation for this. 

"We are gang members. Err- owners? Lou, help me out here,"

"Leaders, love. Gang leaders." Mr. Tomlinson tells him with a smile plastered on his face.

"Ah, yes. We're gang leaders."

I look at the two in disbelief. Suddenly I feel a small feeling in my stomach. I can't identify it. I sigh and nod my head.

"Okay, what am I here for?" 

The two men look at each other before they both turn their attention back to me. "Th-that's it? Are you not gonna freak out? No questions?" 

I shake my head. "Ad astra per aspera,"  I speak with a smile. Mr. Styles looks to me as a slow realization washes over his features. 

"A rough road.." I smile eager for him to understand.

"Leads to the stars." We both speak in unison as he sighs with content. 

"Your mother was a wise woman." I shrug and rest my hands in my lap, ready for what's going to happen next.

"I'm reasy for what you're gonna throw at me. Do your worst."

They exchange looks before taking out what looks to be a ring. "First, you must put on this ring. It is an official Amici ring."

"Amici? The gang's name is family?" I somehow feel happy that it isn't an evil gang's name like, Odio or something.

"It started off as just your mother and father, and Louis and I." I look at the ring Mr. Styles holds in his hand.

"So.. this makes me part of the gang." I look to him for confirmation.

He nods and smiles, extending his hand with the ring. I hesitantly take the ring and slip it on my ring finger. Holding out my hand, I inspect the ring on my hand. I sigh and look to the men.

"What now..?" The two smile and walk up to me.

"Now. You help us find her."

"Find who..?" I raise my brow in confusion. "It sound serious..."

Mr. Styles looks into my eyes and takes a breath.

"Now you'll help us find your mother."

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