The Reluctant Heiress

an excerpt



Chapter One

Indie checked her bank balance. For pities sake she had more in it than that didn't she? With a snort of anger, she flicked the screen off. At the top of her overdraft limit, she didn't know how she was going to cope.

Fricking hell why was life so hard?

Maybe she could coax a sub out of next week's pay. Already aware what her boss Trevor would ask for. There was no frigging way she intended having his cock in her mouth. Besides she hated oral, the thought of sucking and swallowing made her want to vomit.

Once when a guy had managed to sneak down and lick her fanny she'd whacked him. No way was she kissing him knowing where his lips had been. Indie blanked her randy musings.

Dragging in a long sigh, she returned to the problem at hand and stared at the minus figure on her bank statement. Fuck. She was in trouble.

Her rent was due, she had no food, and looking at her balance she had sod-all in her account. The fact she worked in a supermarket didn't help, watching all the delicious food pass through her checkout. When she'd first started working there had hoped for some concessions. A staff discount maybe, but that was a no go. Anything out of date that she'd have eaten was monitored by Trevor and thrown out into a skip. Not even she was desperate enough to crawl around in that looking for food.

Although things were getting to that point.

Rapidly.

Indie did briefly contemplate hiring a dog and busking, but she couldn't sing. Maybe the mutt would attract the pity money. Her voice certainly wouldn't. It was worth considering and Indie tried to think who she knew with a frigging dog because she couldn't afford to rent one.

Indie glanced around the small flat wondering if there was anything worth selling. Unfortunately there wasn't, hell she wouldn't be able to give the stuff that graced her home come hovel away. Rising, Indie ambled into the bedroom that resembled a pigsty. Tidy was a word that didn't exist in her vocabulary. Crossing over the floor littered with clothing she peered into her jewelry box and picked up a cheap dress ring. Why did she bother torturing herself, because she had nothing of any value?

Indie wondered if she could order some food from the local shop and pretend she'd forgotten her purse. The idea circled along with a low growl from her stomach, her mind made up. It wasn't as if she was stealing, she'd pay for the groceries on payday in three days' time.

It was only a tiny extension.

That's if the bank didn't collect any charges. She refused to open the letters that came from them. Ignorance was definitely bliss and besides what was the point in depressing herself.

Pulling on a large jumper Indie checked out the kitchen contents attempting to work out what she'd need. Hunching down she flicked the fridge open, a bottle of water and one egg consisted of its entire contents. Then checking the food cupboard Indie felt sorry for the tin of baked beans sitting on the shelf alone.

Okay you can do this.” Indie said the words out loud staring into the mirror she attempted to create a shocked expression. Goddammit, she looked like she was taking a crap and passing a log. “Survival, kid, you have to think survival.”

Indie dragged in a shaky breath and picking up a large bag took her purse out laying it on the battered coffee table. With a confidence she didn't feel Indie sauntered out of the flat on her freebie shopping mission.

Thirty minutes later she was still pacing back and forth in front of the shop. Indie tried to convince herself she could do this, but hell she was a crap liar. Yet reasoned it wouldn't be entirely lying, because she didn't have her purse in her bag. She'd deliberately left it in the flat. A flush stained her cheeks at the duplicity. Oh God she was so screwed.

Another rumble rippled through her stomach along with the vision of her body discovered dead in the flat. Her details flashed over the screen, how she'd starved to death. Indie ignored the fact she had a fat ass and a tummy that curved in a sweeping arc along with the dreaded cellulite. Any longer without food and she would be climbing the walls with desperation. No way had she got to a size sixteen by dieting. Jesus she loved to eat, and no way could she stave off hunger pangs.

Finally making the decision she marched up to the door and swung it open pasting a smile on her face. At least hoped it was one because she felt sick. Giving a nod to Saga that ran the shop picked up a basket and began to fill it.

Starvation took over guilt and Indie tossed food in as if it were going out of fashion. Finally eyeing up the stock of wine debated, should she? Heck she hadn't had a drink for well, too long, but tonight called to her. Picking out a cheap white concluded her shopping as her nerves kicked in.

Indie tried to talk about mundane things, like the weather and the latest muggings. Her throat closed in. As each item was scanned she felt like a criminal. Please God I need food, let me do this.

That's forty-two pounds.” Saga smiled at her his hand outstretched.

No problem,” and rummaged in her empty bag, Jesus but this was so not her. Lies didn't come easy, nor the deception because she'd never stolen a thing. Then reiterated she wasn't stealing now, just borrowing. Indie brought her surprised expression into play. “Shit, I can't find my purse.” The color red infused her face.

Saga gave her a knowing, yet pitying glance. “It's okay, you can go on the slate.”

Indie gripped her throat, she'd heard of differing gangs, Triads et cetera but never had she thought she'd be killed over a shopping bill for fucks sake. “I can what?”

Put your debt on the slate and pay at the end of the week.” His gaze ripped over her. “However if you don't then...” The implication clear.

Her breath whooshed out that she wasn't on a hit list and cursed her overactive imagination.

I will, I can swear to that.” She couldn't believe that this shop worked on tabs. Heck the amount of times she'd craved chocolate she could have raided the store. Briefly Indie debated adding to her shopping but stopped. At the end of the day she'd be lucky to survive on the pitiful pay she earned. Yet it was the only one. A second job optional but not wanted, however she knew at some point she needed to sort it out.

Leaving the store a small smile crept over her face. God she was about to get rat assed on that bottle of cheap wine.