Beneath These Scars

When young Hartley Campbell realizes her parents spend her University money she is livid. They had one job... to save the money her grandfather left for her to attend Harvard University. With too many dreams to give up on, she decides there is only one way to save enough money and that is to make a man fall crazy, deeply in love with her and use him to pay for it.

Tycoon Harry Styles is known as the "mysterious CEO of Beckett publishing" After a dramatic accident he is left with deep mental and physical scars which make it hard for him to open up to anyone. Yet, too many years of being alone bring out a craving for the right woman to give him one night where he isn't tormented by the past. When his best friend tells him about a secret website where he can stay anonymous and have fun he can't let it past by. Carson decides to go ahead with it only to his surprise the website isn't all what it seems.


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1. 1❀Cryptic message

Are you awake? I'm coming over.

The buzz coming from my phone startles me, it is just after midnight and the house is quiet. My parents are asleep, and I ought to be as well. However, I can't seem to be able to sleep with the thoughts running through my mind.

Pushing the covers off me, I get off the bed and walk towards my cherry wood brown desk. I reach for the single light-cream color envelope that is neatly place in the middle of the desk. The crimson Harvard University color letters are placed at the right-side corner of the top of the envelop. My heart sinks as I reread the name of the school. My dream school.

I take a deep breath as my body is fighting the urge not to cry. I clench my teeth and check my phone for the time for the fifth time again. Where is she? I sigh as I gaze out the window and see no signs of my closest friend. Damn it Paisley, I need you right now!

The mailman had delivered my acceptance letter to Harvard University this morning and I needed to vent. I must talk about my options... I want to know more about the secret website she had told me about; I have to figure out a way to pay for school since my parents informed me that they no longer have the money for me to attend University. The money my papa had left for my education in his will.

Taking a mouthful of air, I attempt to calm down, but it is easier said than done. My visions of the future are disappearing by the minute− all I can see is the red color letters that I once dreamed of wearing on a sweater and anger overwhelms me.

I'm thankful when I hear noises coming from outside. I immediately drop the envelope down on the desk when I see Paisley's red Volkswagen Jetta pull into the driveway. I rush to open the door before Paisley has even had the chance to knock on it. I can't wait to tell her my decision. The decision my parents have push me to make.

Paisley jumps a little when she sees me, "Hartley, you almost gave me a heart attack. Why are you so shaky?" She looks at me strangely.

"Because, I've reached a decision." I mutter, feeling like a devilish woman. Knowing very well, I might just go to hell for what I'm about to do. Yet, I could care less about it. "I'm going to do it... the website."

"Hartley, are you sure about this?" Paisley summons the question I have been asking myself for the last hour as she walks inside my house. Her light-colored purple hair is drawn back into a messy bun, and her eyes are a glimmering color of emerald, which are sparkling with judgment.

I nod my head as I lead the way to my room. "Tell me more about it please." I ask Paisley, needing this to be easier than it sounds.

"I already told you." She answers, "It is a website where people can stay anonymous and meet people with money. My friend Veronica from summer school got a sugar daddy out of it." She adds as she sits down along the carpet in my very insignificant room.

I walk back and forth contemplating if I do in fact know what I'm about to do. However, I don't have a choice, my parents made sure of that. They took my long-time dreams and smashed them into million pieces.

"I hope I have the same luck." I admit needing this more than ever. Am I crazy for saying that? For hoping a man will be interested enough on me to pay for school?

"Hartley are you really sure about this?" Paisley asks again.

"There is no other way." I blurt, although I'm not sure that is true. Perhaps I could get a proper job and re-apply next year? Still, that would put me back a year in my studies. I can't have that happen... I won't.

I need to come up with a solution now, remaining quiet I gazed around the very lavender color walls of my room. The lavender painting, I once loved is now an indication of my rebellious years, and the Harvard University posters are a reminder of what it might never happen now-thanks to my parents. Fuming I attempt to work through the pros and cons of the decision I'm about to make.

"I can't believe they spend my money." I shove my books down on the floor and angry sit back down on my bed. I scoop my laptop and turn it on.

"I can't either. That was a crappy thing of them to do. Do you know what they even spend it on?" Paisley inquires.

"At this point it doesn't even matter, I will forever be resentful." I truthfully rant. I take a deep gasp of air and turn back to the laptop. "What did you say the website is called?"

"Cryptic messages." She tells me and I quickly typed it on the web search. It soon brings me to the sign-up form. "Wait...You should use a fake name." Paisley adds.

"That's a great idea Paisley... I never thought about it." I roll my eyes; did she really think I would use my real name? "What's a good sexy name? Vicky? Jenny? Alexia? How about Scarlett."

"Hey, don't get sassy with me, I'm only trying to help." Paisley yells at me.

"I'm sorry you are right." I apologize as I finish filling the form and press enter. Anxious I wait until it brings me to a profile, which soon I realize it is mine. I set out to fix it, wanting it to look more mysterious. "What should I write on the about me?" I ask Paisley.

"Beats me. I'm horrible at that stuff." She shrugs.

I stick my tongue out at her and set out to write the first thing that comes to mind. "I tie my own shoes and brush my own hair most days." I piercingly say it as I write it down.

"Are you seriously going to use that?" Paisley expresses her opinion as she rolls her eyes. "What are you ten?"

I disregard her. "During the day, I can be found sitting in a brown desk, feverishly tapping my phone with hopes of getting a new high score on Candy Crush. I like to pass my evenings watching re-runs of Grey's anatomy while sipping on a glass of delicious apple cider. I play a mean game of poker and love the smell of coffee in the morning."

"I'll be surprised if anyone even messages you. "Paisley laughs and I stick my tongue out yet again.

"You should message me if you are smart, sexy, sophisticated and spontaneous. Bonus points if you like the Gothic rock scene."

"I don't think anyone is going to reach out with that." Paisley chuckles and I throw a pillow at her. She needs to quit with the damn negativity.

"We will see about that, man love women with a good sense of humor. Come take a picture of me. I need a sexy picture." I grab my cell phone and hand it to Paisley. "Take a really good one."

Fixing my skirt and pulling down my shirt a bit just to show a bit more cleavage I smile. When Paisley has taken a few, I take the phone back. I smirk as I upload it to the computer and into the profile. "I hope this works." I turn the laptop around and shows Paisley the final project.

"If you say so." she rolls her eyes and I take a deep breath; this must work. I have no other option now.

 

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