Him & I - Book cover

Him & I

Marie Rose

Age Rating


Out of her six siblings, Sienna-Rose Watson has it the worst. She’s always getting in trouble with her controlling mother and abusive father. So, she’s working two jobs, trying to earn enough to escape her toxic home. Damien Black is a mafia king and a ruthless monster. When he sees Sienna-Rose, he knows he has to have her. She looks like an angel, and he might just be the actual devil… But could it somehow be a match made in Heaven?

Age Rating: 18+

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40 Chapters

Chapter One


There’s a small two-story house at the end of Dretton Avenue, in the less affluent part of London. It’s home to a family of eight, including my older brother Olson. He’s twenty-one and still leans on our mother for everything. He’s never been one to strive for independence, but I guess everyone’s different.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to live at home at his age, but he’s not exactly brimming with the know-how to live on his own. He expects everyone else to clean up after him and cater to his needs. And by everyone, I mean me.

Across the hall from Olson is my little sister, Eloise, or Ellie as she prefers. She’s a handful. Not in the boy-crazy way, but in the “gets whatever she wants, whenever she wants” kind of way. She’s fifteen and has never had to work for anything.

Our parents would bend over backward to give her anything she desires, which pretty much confirms she’s the favored daughter. I’d like to say it doesn’t bother me, that I’m content with who I am without their approval, but that would be a lie.

Next to Ellie’s room is Michael’s. He’s a quiet kid, unusually so for a twelve-year-old. He’s not great at socializing, but his mysterious nature makes him popular around here. He rarely leaves the house unless it’s for school or to stir up trouble with his mischievous friends.

He’s probably more troublesome than Ellie, and getting on his bad side is like willingly handing over your soul to the devil. He could make life hell for anyone who crosses him, and I guess that’s the perk of being our father’s favorite.

In the largest room of the house, the fourth bedroom, reside the king and queen of hell themselves—my parents. They’re the monsters that lurk in the darkest corners of my mind, a constant reminder that those who are supposed to love and protect you can also be the ones to tear you down.

Avoiding any confrontation with them is the safest bet, as they’re far from winning any “parent of the year” awards, at least when it comes to me.

My mother used to be a joyful woman, always laughing and smiling. But when I turned thirteen and my body began to change, so did she, and not for the better.

From then on, I was raised to believe that I had to be perfect: flawless skin, stunning hair, a model’s figure. Otherwise, no man would want me. It’s sad because there was a time when I believed her.

She controlled my diet, dictating when and what I could eat. Often, my meals were smaller than those of the youngest in the house. Her reasoning? “A man will always choose a skinny woman over a fat bitch.”

But her control didn’t stop at food. She dictated my friends, claiming they weren’t “good for my image.” I had to act pure and innocent, or else face severe punishment. I once tried to be myself when she wasn’t around, but the moment I got home, I knew I’d made a mistake.

She knew, and she didn’t hold back on the punishment. I still have a lighter patch of skin on my shoulder as a reminder of the consequences of my actions.

Then there’s my father. He’s a man of few words, but when he does speak, you wish he hadn’t. His words are always insulting and degrading—at least to me. I tried not to blame him growing up, knowing he’s an addict and has been battling alcoholism for as long as I can remember.

I know it’s his fault for turning to alcohol to cope with his problems, but he’s my father, and a part of me will always love him, despite his mistakes.

When I was fourteen, a darker chapter unfolded in the Watson household. It was the first time I saw my father hit my mother out of anger and jealousy. This became a regular occurrence.

Some part of my father is too dark, too violent for this world, and I think my mother knows it. She never stands up to him, maybe out of fear, or the delusion that he might change. I can never forgive her for that.

Whenever my father would lose control, I’d try to ensure my siblings were elsewhere, but every action has consequences. One day, I was caught sneaking around the second floor after ensuring the babies were safe. That’s when I became my father’s new target.

The last two members of our household are Dianna and Emma, the youngest Watson kids. At eighteen months and three months old, they stay in my parents’ room. I’m not comfortable with it, but baby monitors can be a lifesaver in situations like these.

I love those babies as if they were my own, probably because I’m practically raising them while my parents are off doing God-knows-what in the city. They’re the only good things in this house, and I dread the day our parents sink their claws into them, molding them into their own image.

Life in the Watson household isn’t easy, especially for me. I work two jobs to support my daily needs, like food and clothing, while also ensuring Dianna and Emma have everything they need after my father squanders our income on his ever-growing addiction.

My bedroom isn’t like the others; it’s at the very top of the house. That’s the only place they were willing to put me once everyone else had chosen their rooms.

A draft sends a shiver down my spine. If it starts to rain, I’ll have to huddle in a corner of the attic, surrounded by old clothes and blankets. I’ll have to avoid the spots where the roof tiles are missing and hope the rain ends soon so I don’t get sick.

I don’t own much. Either it’s too bulky for my cramped space, or I just don’t need it. I have a dresser for my clothes, a low bed I bought with my first paycheck, and an alarm clock.

I’m hardly ever home, so I didn’t see the point in decorating with knick-knacks or whatever else people use to personalize their space.

I work at a small café called Café L’Amour from Monday to Friday. My shift usually runs from nine in the morning till six in the evening. But on slow days, I can sometimes sneak out an hour or so early.

On Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and weekends, I work at Club Luminous as a bartender and sometimes as a server in the VIP rooms. That’s from seven in the evening till five in the morning on a good day. So, I’m pretty much always busy.

Switching uniforms is easy. I wear my own clothes at the café, so I can head straight to the club without looking out of place.

But the club uniform is a different story. It’s a leather top that looks more like a sports bra with a front zipper, a short skirt that barely covers my butt, and fishnet tights.

There’s a lot of skin on display, but my manager, Marcus Filton, insists it brings in more customers. The neighborhood gossip paints Marcus as a lecherous old man, always ogling women too young for him.

I didn’t believe it until I started working there. Now, I can feel his eyes on my ass every time I’m on shift.

I keep my mouth shut because I need the job. Confronting my manager about his creepy behavior isn’t the way to keep it.

I’m not comfortable with the uniform. My stomach and thighs are on full display. I’m not stick-thin like the other girls. I’m curvy, with wider hips and a rounder butt that the skirt barely covers. But I make it work.

Marcus is particular about our shoes. I chose black six-inch stiletto heels because they’re the most comfortable option for me.

I don’t hate this job, but there have been times when I’ve had to call a bouncer because a drunk guy got too handsy. Some people just don’t understand that no means no.

Now it’s three in the morning on a Tuesday, and I can’t sleep. My mind is a whirlwind of stress.

I watch the time tick by on my alarm clock and accept that it’s going to be another sleepless night.

I’m getting used to functioning on little sleep. I’m glad it’s a Tuesday, not a day when I have to work at both the café and the club. There’s nothing worse than working back-to-back shifts on no sleep.

When the clock reads seven o’clock, I’m already awake and getting ready for my shift at the café.

The café is a twenty-minute walk from my house. I like to get there early to greet Sophie Hernandez, my boss. She’s the sweetest woman on earth and has been like a mother to me.

She always makes sure I eat something in the morning, even if it’s just a pastry. She says I’m “too thin for a growing woman.”

I disagree. I think my figure is too big for a woman my age and height. Being a curvy, five-foot-four nineteen-year-old isn’t always fun.

As I start my shift and begin stocking the pastry display, I’m reminded of the pain in my lower back and wrists from my father’s attack the night before.

The memory plays in the back of my mind.

The force of my back hitting the wall made my legs shake and knocked the wind out of me.

My wrists were trapped in his tight grip, pinned between his hands and the wall. He screamed in my face and kneed my stomach. I was completely at his mercy.

My heart pounded and everything inside me screamed to run and hide. My father was unpredictable. I never knew what he would do next.

Some days he just kicked me around a bit. But yesterday wasn’t one of those days.

After he threw me across the hall into the corner of the dining table, a sharp pain spread up my spine. I felt light-headed and nauseous.

This went on for hours.

The memory is etched in my mind. But it’s not all bad. It shows my strength. It shows that I can endure something terrible and still have the will to carry on and see another sunrise.

Snapped back to the present, I looked down at my wrists. Both were bruised, and the left one was a darker shade, hinting at a possible fracture.

It was too late to hide them now. I’d just have to keep my hands tucked into my apron pockets to avoid drawing attention.

Just then, the bell above the door rang, announcing a new arrival.

“Could you take care of these customers while I finish up in the back, sweetie?” Sophie asked. She always managed to stay polite, even under pressure. It amazed me how she could remain so calm while running this place.

“Sure thing, Sophie. I’m on it.” I left the storeroom and headed to the front, only to lock eyes with the most captivating pair I’d ever seen. They were a striking shade of blue, like a clear pool, staring straight into my pale green ones.

His face was as stunning as his eyes.

His hair was jet black, just long enough to run fingers through. High cheekbones, a strong jawline, and a well-defined nose completed the picture.

He didn’t seem much older than me, but he carried himself with a maturity that could be intimidating. He was, in my eyes, the epitome of perfection.

As I approached the handsome stranger, I couldn’t help but notice our height difference. He was tall, around six foot three or four, and he wore it well.

He wasn’t lanky, but broad-shouldered. A muscular guy who likely spent his free time in the gym, judging by the hint of abs visible beneath his white shirt.

His long, muscular legs were encased in black denim jeans, which paired well with his shirt, giving off a “I didn’t even try this morning, but you still need to respect me” vibe.

“How can I assist you this morning, sir?” I asked, trying to keep my voice professional and my eyes from wandering over the godlike man standing before me.

My voice seemed to snap the mysterious stranger out of his thoughts. Shaking his head slightly, he finally spoke.

“I’m here to see Sophie. Could you get her for me, please?” With a quick nod, I headed back to the kitchen, where I found Sophie covered in flour, wrestling with what looked like cake batter.

Suppressing a laugh, I relayed the message about the handsome stranger waiting for her.

“Uh, Sophie? There’s a guy here to see you. Should I send him back here?”

At my words, Sophie rushed past me without a word, as if the thought of keeping him waiting was the most terrifying thing imaginable.

Deciding to give them some privacy, I turned my attention to the abandoned batter and started preparing it for the oven.

I couldn’t help but wonder what they were discussing.

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