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This one's for you guys!
"Look at this! Some sleazy, slimy, pompous-ass is buying the whole damn street just so he can build another skyscraper or hotel!" Juliette yelled angrily as she followed Eliana around her small café, slamming her fist on the magazine article, "He's offering all 30 building owners money to get their renters to vacate their shops by the end of this month, that's only two weeks away!"
"I know, I got a visit from my landlord this morning, he told me to be gone or he'll kick me out and I won't get any of my things," Elle replied as she walked back into her small office. She sighed as she sat down and pulled loose her long brown, wavy hair and rubbed her identically coloured eyes.
"That's the thing! The people who own these businesses aren't getting anything because barely of them own the building! So instead all the money's going to the landlords and they haven't worked hard at all! We made this place what it is today- we should be receiving money to move!"
Elle looked at her best friend sitting on the opposite side of the desk, she was 25, had medium length blonde hair and beautiful blue eyes. She was 5'7 and had a strong personality and believed in empowering women and the underclass. They had been friends ever since Juliette had come looking for a job during the day so she could still go to night school. That had been 4 years ago when Elle was only opening her store at 19, and Juliette at 21 and the girls hadn't separated since.
Eliana was quite different from her friend, she was shorter, only standing at 5'2 but also she was friendlier, quieter and way more organized. Elle was 23 now, she didn't go to college but always dreamed of owning her own café where she could cook, serve and be her own boss. For 4 years the café had been doing so well, she was always able to make rent on her shop and the apartment she lived in upstairs, until now.
"So I was thinking, we could have--" Juliette started
"A protest?" Elle finished for her as she stood up and walked over to her filing cabinets and mindlessly shifted through some paperwork. "No way, you know what happened last time."
"Elle, you know that what happened last time was not my fault! He started it!" She protested.
"He accidentally bumped you in the shoulder, and you now have a restraining order to stay 50 feet away from him," Elle replied.
"I know, but I was in the zone and-- it doesn't matter now."
"Juliette. No protest. It won't do anything."
"Well, it's a bit too late to put a pin in it now, it's already planned and going ahead!" She replied sheepishly.
Elle tried not to crack a smile, that was Juliette- just throwing caution to the wind. "Fine, have your protest, but don't come crying to me when it does nothing."
"Do you want to come? It starts in half an hour! And it will show those snobs at Titan Corp. that we, the working class Americans, are seriously annoyed at their insincerity about throwing nearly 30 business owners out on the street at such short notice!"
Woah, she was getting pretty worked up about this, but it is such an important issue, it's our livelihoods at stake here, Elle thought as she listened to Juliette argue her case, she always knew where she stood on an issue while Elle was always battling her own morals and what was right.
"Okay! I get it, have fun at the protest- don't make anyone cry," she replied.
"So does this mean you're coming?" She asked hopeful.
"No, sorry I can't. I have to go pick up Rita at school," she replied picking up her bag and keys, "Lock up when you leave!" She called out to Juliette as she exited the back way to her car.
Half an hour later, Elle was waiting in her car outside Rita Myer's school, she loved picking her up because it felt like she was her own daughter, something Elle knew she wouldn't be able to have.
When she was born, she was born with a heart condition, it's called atrial septal defect, meaning she has a hole in her heart. Her parents had given her up when they found out about the hole and the price of the surgeries she needed. Thankfully, a nice couple graciously donated the money for all the surgeries she needed until she turned three when it was hopefully fully fixed, but there was no way to be certain.
She wouldn't put her own child through what she went through in having so many surgeries and missing out on so many things.
"Hey Elle!" She heard Rita say cheerfully as she hopped into the car.
"Hi sweetie!" Elle replied, "Good day at school?"
"Yeah it was alright, we didn't do much since it's only senior orientation week," she smiled back as she adjusted her beret in the mirror that held half her naturally red hair. Rita was naturally beautiful as she had deep brown eyes, a tall frame at 5'6 and a few freckles splashed across her nose and cheeks.
"Did you get any homework?" Elle asked as she drove towards their apartment.
Rita lived with her as both her parents had passed away in a tragic car accident when she was only 3 years old and spent the next 12 years living with her grandparents until they couldn't take care of her. So when Elle found a 15 year old Rita crying in the back of her café she had offered her a room and a job. Surprisingly, Rita's grandparents agreed when they met Elle for her to be Rita's legal guardian until she turned 18, which was this year.
"Not really, I only need to read this book for English."
"What book are you doing in class?"
"Some Shakespeare book, Macbeth I think," Rita replied but before she could continue Elle's phone rang.
"Hey, could you grab that?"
"Elle's phone - hello?" Rita said answering the phone, "Oh my god. We'll be there soon."
"Who was that? What's happened?" Elle asked worried.
"You're not going to like this."
Elle walked up to the counter with Rita following her, "Excuse me sir," she said to the man behind the counter, "I'm here to post bail for Juliette Cortez."
"And you are?"
"I'm Eliana Maxwell, you called me."
"Sure, though I'm afraid it's a little more serious then what you think, she's facing assault charges."
"What? Against who?"
"Him," the man said pointing across the room. Following his finger she found herself turning around to see an officer talking to a tall man who was wearing an expensive looking designer suit and black leather shoes, but it wasn't what he was wearing that caught her eye or the clearly muscled and toned body that was underneath or his dark locks that had random grey dotted around his temples but his intriguing grey eyes that resembled sterling silver in certain light. "Maximus Titan."
She didn't know how long she had been staring at him but when his eyes connected with hers, Elle swore that her heart skipped a beat and a flush of red spread across her face.
"Wow, he is so good looking," Rita said emphasizing the so, "Wait! That's who she punched- he owns Titan Corporation, the company that is going to build where we live!"
"Yeah well," Elle said looking away and turning her back to the most handsome and good looking man she's ever seen. "So is there any way I can see Juliette?"
"Miss Cortez? Yep, I'll go find her."
"Excuse me, Miss?" Elle heard behind her in the sexiest Mediterranean accent.
Turning around she came face to well, chest of the extremely good looking man who she had 10 seconds ago eyed across the room.
Looking up her eyes connected with his grey ones and she muttered out, "Yes?"
"You're friends with Juliette Cortez?"
"The woman who punched me?"
The last comment brought her out of the reverie she had fallen into when she had looked into his eyes, "Um, yes, about that. I'm sure she didn't mean any harm and I really don't think that it is necessary for the assault charges."
"Neither do I but I must take some form of action."
"Why? It doesn't even look like she hit you, there's barely any scratch," Elle replied starting to get irked by this damn good looking man. "And I'm sure a big boy like you can handle a girl's punch."
"Miss, I don't know who you are or where you came from but where I come from it is disrespectful to hit someone for no damn good reason," he rebutted.
"Stop calling me Miss, it's Eliana and sir where I come from it's not nice to kick nearly 30 business owners who have worked so damn hard, out of their homes and shops at the drop of a hat," she replied strongly, when the police officer came back.
"Eliana? You can come through and see Miss Cortez now."
"Thank you, Rita come on," she said turning away from Mr Sexy.
"Eliana," she stopped and turned back around to face him, "I see what your implying and why don't we discuss this further," he started as he pulled out a business card out of his pocket and quickly scribbled something on the back. "Call me on this number if you're interested."
Elle didn't reply as she reached out and accepted his card.
"Jack, I'm dropping the charges against Miss Cortez, she's free to go," he called out to the man who was about to lead Elle to Juliette, "Ladies," he said giving a short nod before walking out of the police station.
"I'll go get her," she heard Jack say from behind her.
"Wow, that was intense," Rita started, "I could have cut the sexual chemistry with a knife."
"What? Chemistry between us? Hardly," she scoffed, "Come on, let's get Juliette and go."
Maximus opened the door to his apartment to find nothing but silence and darkness, which is the way he always liked it - until now, until her.
He never believed in love at first sight or any of that fate crap, but that was until he felt some form of connection between him and Eliana.
Even just her name made him warmer inside and his heart start to beat faster.
She was so beautiful and much smaller then him, she had long brown hair that fell half way down her back and swayed when she walked - and those eyes, they were big and brown. Even her fair skin made her even more attractive.
Her feisty attitude and quick intelligent remarks had sparked an idea in his head, a plan that could become beneficial for both of them.
He was making his way to his bedroom when his phone rang, "Hey man, I heard what happened - you okay?" Ryland, his best friend asked.
"Yes, I'm fine - it didn't even hurt."
"Then what's this I heard about you having the idiot arrested? And then you dropping them like two hours later?"
"Nothing, I don't want to talk about it."
"Fine, anyway, I'm coming back to the city in a couple of days after I wrap up this last contract. Drinks?"
"Wait- Titan, happy birthday."
He just grunted in response and dropped his phone on the counter and walked off to get into something more comfy then a suit.