chapter 2

A couple days later bright and early in the morning Erica Markoff was downstairs in the kitchen eating breakfast and going over her homework, at the table in the scenic kitchen of her house, she always liked eating at the cozy table in the kitchen rather than the formal dining room that was large and made her feel all alone in the giant house her father built. The side door opened and another girl that looked about her age walked into the house, she was wearing the school uniform and had a backpack held loosely in her left hand. "Hey Erica, you ready to head out?" Thanks to her baby face Erica's' bodyguard actually went to school with her, she called it 21 jump street but the Johnny Depp version. It was actually thanks to her bodyguard that she even thought about changing her life and even actually trying at school. She liked that this body guard she talked to her like an actual person and since she was a girl, she did not worry at all about any weird pervy comments that she wasn't sure how to respond to.

"yea give me a minute I'm double checking these stupid math problems, I fucking hate math."

"Hey, language!" Danni gave Erica a look "It's all about what you say, if you keep telling yourself something is hard or impossible then it becomes hard and impossible for you to do. What you say your brain will believe and do."

Erica, the first time Danni told her that, thought she was the craziest person ever, but the more she listened to her and did what she said, the more Erica could see the truth in it. Didn't mean it wasn't frustrating especially at times like this where saying how hard something was, was oddly soothing.

"if you're having trouble with math let's get you a tutor so you can learn this stuff and graduate, but like a real tutor who will actually help you, not sell you something." Danni rolled her eyes at the memories of all the terrible tutors Erica used to have, if they weren't trying to suck up to her dad in person, they were trying to use Erica to get to him. Then being a "bad" rich girl at school the real tutors didn't want to get anywhere near her, for fear that if they pissed her off daddy would use his connections to mess up their college applications... they weren't wrong. She didn't even want to get started on the wannabe dealers out there looking to "score" some rich kid clients to get their gang dreams off the ground *mental barf*

Erica knew that even though Danni had been working for her family for almost 2 years now she was haunted by the tutors of old so she would always stress that Erica would get a real tutor only personally vetted by Danni so no posers would get in. It was nice having someone care about her so much even if it started off as just doing her job for a paycheck.

"Ok Chica lets go time is money!" Danni grabbed her backpack off the counter and grabbed a pastry, Erica's cook always had an extra one for Danni, ever since she bought the cook some really nice vanilla from Mexico. "I don't know why you're in such a rush, it's not like it matters if you graduate from school or anything." she smiled a little at the joke.

When looking to hire a new body guard Erica's dad headed in a different direction than most people in his economic status, he wanted to make sure that his daughter was safe and to effectively cut down on attempted kidnapping or anything else his enemies could think of. He hired Danni not only because she came so highly recommended but she looked very young for her age, it made her very unassuming and most people just looked right past her. Her short height made her blend in with the high schoolers almost perfectly, it was her background in theatre, of all things, that helped to round out the look. When placed in a group of teens she blended in so well it was impossible to tell that she was actually much older and a professional bodyguard. To help keep the secret only the principal knew that she wasn't actually a student, and it took a big fat bribe to keep his mouth shut. To most people looking in, it just seemed that Jacob Markoff donated the large sum to pay off the school for his daughters' reckless behavior and to get his neighbors kid into the school. The teachers weren't happy about the possibility of having another rich kid in their class who just made trouble and made it hard for others to actually learn. There was nothing they could do about those types of kids; their parents were just too well connected and it tied their hands. They were very happily surprised when it turns out that their new student was happy to learn but her good habits had started to rub off on Erica and she was less disruptive in class as well. There were even a few classes that had almost no disruptions altogether because of this new student.

It was 7 am when they got to school, they headed for the library to finish up some of their homework and plan their day. Danni had found that there were private tutor rooms in the back of the library that no one used that early in the morning so they would get to school and go to one of these rooms to go over their itinerary for the day. It helped set up their day, and she found that it got Erica in the right head space to start school. When they had their little meetings, Danni was more forthcoming than other past body guards but she still held information back, the young teen was not ready for information just yet.

Erica knew that Danni would never tell her everything but the fact that she would at least make an active effort to keep her in the loop especially when it concerned her made it ok that she didn't tell her everything, everything. Some days it got on Erica's nerves she was basically a grown up and she knew her father wasn't a good man so she felt that she deserved to know the whole truth. Erica learned early on the more she demanded to know the more she was kept in the dark so she tried to be satisfied with the crumbs she was given. Then Danni started working for her, and if something came up, she would just say it, *" I need to go right home after school, your dad pissed off so and so, and they will try to kidnap you for ransom. Etc."* Because Danni respected Erica enough to be blunt about these things, Erica didn't give Danni so much crap for doing her job... well not as much crap as the old body guards.

"Alright, it looks like your dad has pissed off some investors recently, a few low-income families and maybe a mob boss or two. I'm not sure about the mob bosses yet my intel was a little spotty this morning, I'll have that fixed before schools out." Danni looked at Erica to make sure she was paying attention last time she zoned out in their meeting and her father had pissed someone off, Erica was almost kidnapped. "Hey Erica, you paying attention?" Danni waved her hand in front of Erica.

"Ya, calm down im just a little tired is all, I stayed up late and dad pissing someone off is just regular Tuesday at this point."

"That may be, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't communicate and have a plan of escape and attack ready. Your dad has his fingers in so many pies, one of them is bound to blow up in his face sooner or later and you need to be prepared."

"I've got my tracker on" She waved her charm bracelet in the air "I know which exits we meet at and when, I'm just over this"

"As long as you know the emergency plans, we've set in place then. Would you like some help with your math homework since we're here?"

"Honestly I just want to chill out with my friends for a bit before school starts, I'm feeling a little burnt out." Erica got up and grabbed her bag.

"meeting adjourned I guess, let's go mingle before school starts, shall we."