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The Tycoon’s Secret

By:Melody Anne

Prologue

“Damien, you must always remember who you are!” his mother wheezed before she fell back against her pillows, the words interrupted by her severe cough filling the room.

“I will, Mom. I promise. You have to take your medicine now,” Damien begged the frail woman.

“I’m dying, Damien. Those little pills can’t help me any longer,” she whispered, causing fear to cut through the heart of the thirteen year old boy.

“We gotta go to the hospital, Mom. Please,” Damien begged.

“Not this time, son. Not this time. I’m tired, Damien. I just need rest. You have to promise me that you’ll never forget who you are. They took everything from us. Everything! They killed your father, just as surely as if they would’ve walked up and stabbed him in the heart. If they wouldn’t have stolen all he’d worked so hard for his entire life, he wouldn’t have died the way he did. He wouldn’t have left us all alone and broken, without a penny to our name.”

“I know, Mom. I’ll make them pay. I promise you, I will…” Damien trailed off, reaching deep inside for the courage to keep him from crying.

“Don’t you shed tears, boy! You better not disgrace me in my dyin’ moments. Do you hear me?” his mother scolded.

“Yes, ma’am. I’m sorry, Mom,” Damien said, willing to say anything to make that censure leave her eyes.

He hated to see her in so much pain, knowing there was nothing he could do. She was mean, always verbally and physically abusive…, but she was his mom. She had the right to be mean because she’d had to endure a hard life, especially because of having him. He knew he was nothing but a burden to her, which was why he had to fulfill his promise.

“I’m going to sleep now, Damien. If I don’t wake up this time, you never forget why I’m dyin’ like this. You never forget it’s those people, those rotten bastards who left us like this. If they wouldn’t have taken everything, I’d be all better. I coulda afforded the medicine I needed to stay alive. You coulda went to a good school. You get them, Damien. You get them real good.”

His mother’s voice faded as she closed her eyes and drifted to sleep. Fifteen minutes later her breathing stopped.

Damien sat by her bed for another hour before finally standing up and walking from the room. One lone tear slipped from his dark green eyes. He didn’t turn back around and look at her lifeless body - there was no reason to. He didn’t even stop to gather any possessions from their meager apartment.

There was nothing worth taking. He’d slept on the floor from the time he was a baby. His clothes were tattered and the cupboards desolate. He’d never received a gift for any reason. There was literally nothing in the home to take.

It was their fault – all of it. His mom could’ve been a good mother, if only they hadn’t ruined her. Some people were just greedy, out to get their hands on everything. Well, they’d pay. They’d pay if it was the last thing he did.

He walked from the house – vowing never to go back to such conditions again, though he’d never forget how much he’d suffered. He’d seek revenge on those who’d killed his mother, those who were supposed to be his family. He didn’t care how long it took…

Four Years later

Damien strutted through the school yard, looking for a fight. None of the boys would look him in the face. They were used to the set of his shoulders, the gleam in his eyes, almost begging for a challenge. He was just waiting for one of them to look at him wrong, or say the simplest remark to set him off – giving him an excuse to thoroughly waste them.

They’d lose – they were well aware of the speed with which Damien threw a punch, after witnessing plenty of his brawls in the past. His childhood had made him rage internally, and it was always at a low simmer, ready to ignite. The only reason he stayed in school was because he promised his mother. He had to finish school, had to succeed so he could seek revenge on those who’d killed both his parents.

“Shut–up, Skank!”

Damien turned to find a petite girl being pushed to the ground by a group of girls. Normally, he wouldn’t get involved. He didn’t hit girls, no matter how much fury reigned inside him. He turned to walk away as one of the gang grabbed the girl on the ground by her hair and yanked her head back, spitting in her face.

The small girl in clothing as tattered as his own was sobbing as another one of the older girls slapped her. Where in the hell were the teachers? He looked around, not seeing anyone doing anything to stop the bullying.

A third teenager in the group stepped forward and kicked the girl in her ribs and he’d seen enough. He strode over to them.

“You want to try that crap on me?” he asked, his voice thundering across the yard.

“Go away, white trash,” one of the snobby girls snapped as she loosened her grasp to glare at him.

He smiled at her, a smile full of evil delight. Let her think he was crazy. She could go running home to mommy, sobbing about the guy who nearly took her life.

“Let’s get out of her Stacy,” one of the other girls said, nervously looking back and forth between him and her friend.

“I’d listen to your friend, Stacy,” he paused, “before something really bad happens,” he threatened. There was no mistaking the menace in his voice as he stepped closer to the main tormentor.

She stumbled backward, finally realizing her danger. Her glare disappeared, anger transforming into an expression of fear.

“I’m telling Mr. Sorenson,” she threatened as she took another step back.

“Go ahead. As a matter-of-fact, I think I’ll take this girl to his office now,” Damien told her.

The pack of intimidators scampered off, he was sure to beat him to the principle. He didn’t care what they had to say. It was obvious the girl on the ground had been the victim.

“Thank you,” she wheezed as he bent down to see how badly she was hurt.

“I’m going to lift you up. You need to see the nurse,” he said as he gently s

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