Chapter 1


„Rose Hathaway-Mazur to the principal's office. Rose Hathaway-Mazur."

Shocked, I looked up from my papers. Me?! Why me?! I was never called into the principal's office, I've never been once in my entire life! I didn't do anything, never did and never will. I was the little 'Miss Perfect' at this school, at least that was what the others always said. And it was kind of true, I only got straight A's, never came late to school or missed even one single day.

So it was shocking I was called to the principal. Around me, my classmates began to whisper. I couldn't make out exact words and I'm glad I didn't, it probably wasn't really nice things they said about me.

"Go", Ms Sailor said and smiled kindly at me.

She probably thought the principal wanted to tell me something good. I didn't, but I still smiled back at her, grabbed my belongings and went to the principal's office. It was a long way there and thoughts ran through my head I didn't want to think, I tried to block them out, but it was hard.

Finally there, I knocked lightly on the door. A confident voice answered for me to come in.

"Take a seat Miss Hathaway-Mazur", Principal Wary said and nodded to a chair in front of the big desk.

I nodded and sat down, fidgeting with my fingers to keep them from shaking.

"You wanted to speak to me, Sir?"

"Yes, indeed", he replied. "Alexander Belikov wishes to see you, he is sending a car to pick you up: Your parents will be in the car already waiting for you. The car will be here in a matter of minutes. You may leave now."

Mr. Wary didn't even look up from his papers while telling me this. When he realized I wasn't going anywhere, still sitting in the chair in kind of a shocking state, he made a 'shu'-gesture with his hands, showing me to leave his office. Still kind of dazed, I stood up and left the office.

The thing is, Alexander Belikov was one of the richest persons in the world. He was under the Top 10, I think place 7 or 8. He had his own business running - Belikov Incorporation.

He bought a lot of other smaller corporations, too. He owned half of New York and had companies all over the world. Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and of course here in America. Here in New York started everything, so he and his family stayed here. The Belikov's were in the magazines practically every week.

I was more the exact opposite of them. I was poorer than poor. My dad worked hard and almost all day long as a factory worker. He made money, but not enough. My mum was pregnant, so she couldn't work right now and during the next 5 years, she couldn't either. We couldn't afford a kindergarten, so she needed to stay home with my little brother or sister until he or she could go to school. He/She would need to use my old books and stuff.

I worked after school in an old diner, but we still just made it barely. If something happened to one of us, we're screwed. We didn't even know how we would afford something like diapers the next few months. I probably would have to take a second job or dad a night job. He barely slept now, he just couldn't work anymore, he was drained, physically and emotionally.

While I thought about Alexander Belikov and the reasons he would want to see me and my parents, I made it to the parking lot. There stood a black limo, shining in the sunlight. In front of it stood a young man, holding a sign with the word "Hathaway-Mazur" on it, looking bored. I made my way to him and he opened the door for me. My parents already sat in the car and smiled a little nervous at me.

"What's going on?", I asked as soon as the door was closed and buckled myself up.

"We thought you knew", my dad answered.

Abe Mazur, my father, didn't actually look as old as he was, but right now, he looked even older. He was in his mid-forties but looked like he was in his late thirties, but right now, he looked way older than he actually was. He had black hair, dark eyes, tanned skin and a beard. He was Turkish and you could see it miles away. The hair and the eye color, I got from him, and also the thickness of my hair.

My mum was Irish, red hair, green eyes, short and with a lot of freckles. She was really short and looked young for her age, but right now, she too looked older.

They both have been staying awake these past nights, trying to figure out ways to afford the baby.

This was why I had straight A's all the time. I studied in my free time, I didn't do anything else, just study. This way I got a scholarship for the 'Threshold High'. Scholarship for the school and all the supplies I needed, so my parents didn't need to worry about my school payment.

"I don't", I answered my dad. "Why does Alexander Belikov of all people want to see us?"

"We don't know", my mum whispered and looked to my dad a little scared.

She rubbed her stomach without even realizing it. My dad squeezed my Mum's shoulders and put his other hand on her stomach, too, smiling reassuringly at her.

The driver pulled over. Oh my gosh, we were here. Suddenly we all tensed, got nervous and began to fidget in our seats. The driver opened the door on my side and I got out of the car, my mum following and then my dad. We stood in front of a skyscraper, just standing there, probably gaping. It was the headquarter of Belikov Inc. and stood there like a monument.

"Wow", my mum breathed.

We stayed there for a few minutes until my dad realized we were here for a reason. We broke out of our trance and went into the building. The inside was even more beautiful than the outside, everything was made out of glass or some metallic silver glistening material, it looked really futuristic, but fitted the whole 'business' mode. Every person in here wore something worth more than my house. They all instantly seemed to notice that poor people came in because they all turned around and openly stared at us with disgust clear on their faces.

My mum was pregnant, so she was the main center of attention and she didn't like it. Tears began to form in her eyes and my dad tried to comfort her, without much success.

"Come on", I said and took a hold of my mum's hand.

I began walking to the reception and glared at the lady when she looked my mother up and down.

"Hathaway-Mazur. Mr Belikov wanted to see us", I said through gritted teeth.

"Doubt that", the lady replied and glared at me.

"Excuse me?!", I growled right back at her.

"I said I doubt that Mr Belikov has a meeting with people like" She cleared her throat. "Well you."

"Listen and listen closely Blondie", I snarled and grabbed her collar. The girl gasped and her eyes widened, but I didn't care. I didn't care when others bullied me at school, but when someone dared to say a word against my family I saw red! "I don't care who you think you are and I don't care what you think of me. But another word against my mother and I swear I will correct your pretty nose for free!"

"Family Hathaway-Mazur?", A young man interrupted.

He stood in front of two elevators and looked around the lobby, finally stopping at us.

"Yes?", my father asked.

"Mr Belikov is ready now. If you may follow me, please."

"Of course", my father answered. "Rose, honey. Let go of the lady."

I reluctantly let got of her. She looked at the man with wide eyes and then at us. I smiled smugly at her and then went in to the elevator with the man and my parents. The ride to the top floor was silent and really uncomfortable, but surprisingly didn't take long. When the doors opened the man showed us to big double doors. He knocked lightly, we heard a quick "Come in" and he opened the door and left with a nod.

"Ahhh", Alexander Belikov said when he saw us enter his office. "Family Hathaway-Mazur, I assume?"

He stood up, smiled kindly and went around his desk. The office itself was massive. There was a glass front and you had a wonderful view of New York City. There were two leather chairs in front of a big desk, two other armchairs, a couch and a little table. And the walls left and right were stocked with books.

"Yes", my father answered and went to shake hands with Mr. Belikov.

"Pleasure to meet you Mr. Hathaway-Mazur", Mr. Belikov smiled.

"Just Mazur", my dad corrected. "My wife: Janine Hathaway and our daughter: Rose Hathaway-Mazur."

Yep, my parents weren't married, they couldn't afford one, not even a little one in Vegas. Hell they couldn't afford a trip to New Jersey!

"Pleasure to meet you Miss Hathaway, Miss Hathaway-Mazur. Please take a seat, my son will arrive soon."

"Your son?", my mum asked.

"Shall we?", Mr. Belikov asked and again gestured us to sit down.

He didn't look as kind as before, now his jaw was set and his eyes turned into slits. I think he was one of those men who expected obedience.

Me and my parents took a seat on the couch, with my mum in the middle. Both my dad and I were very protective of her and the unborn new member of our family.

"So, what was it that you wanted from us?", my father asked curiously.

"Well there seems to be a problem between our families."

"A problem?", my mother asked. "We live in two different worlds, we've never even met before, how can there be a problem?"

"Well you see", Mr. Belikov laughed darkly. "My son -"

Alexander Belikov was interrupted by – speak of the devil – his son. He came barging in like he owned the place, looking bored.

"Father, what was is that -"

He looked confused when he saw my family sitting there with his father.

"I see you're in a meeting, I will come back later. If you'll excuse me."

"No, no, Dimitri, we were actually waiting for you", Alexander Belikov answered and waved his son to his side.

Dimitri looking slightly confused, closed the door and went to sit by his father. Dimitri Belikov, the heir of Belikov Inc., son of Alexander and Olena Belikov, brother of Viktoria, Sonya and Karolina Belikov, playboy of the century and most sexiest and most wanted bachelor in New York under 25 since he was sixteen. He had long brown hair that reached his chin, but was currently in a ponytail, chocolate brown eyes, a strong jawline, high cheekbones, plum lips and a body to die -

WHAT the hell was I thinking?!

Yes, okay, he may have been attractive, but I despised people like him, spoiled brats like him! He thought he could buy anything and anyone he wanted and he didn't even earn the money he threw out of his window.

"What is going on father, who are these people?", Dimitri asked.

See what I mean? He didn't ask one of us politely: Excuse, but who are you? Instead he acted like we weren't even in the same room as him, like we couldn't hear him, like we were too low for him to talk to.

"Dimitri", Mr Belikov chastised him lightly, but I think just for us, he agreed with him that we were too low for them. I clenched my hands into fists in anger. "You should be more polite, especially to your wife."

"What?", Dimitri asked.

"You heard me."

"Excuse me?", my father asked. "Which wife?"

"Your daughter", Alexander Belikov replied calm and nodded towards me.

"I'm not marrying" Dimitri looked at me, assessing me and scowling at me. "Her!" He sounded like just speaking it out made his mouth dirty.

"And I am definitely not going to marry your excuse of a son", I retorted right back.

"Rose!", my mum chastised me.

But Mr. Belikov chuckled, while Dimitri looked ready to murder me.

"I'm not saying you have to marry", Mr Belikov said.

"But you said she -"

"Dimitri!" Dimitri shut up. "You already are married to her."

"WHAT?!", my parents, Dimitri and I shouted together.

The only one who seemed to amuse the whole situation was Alexander Belikov.