“Please, sir, I just need a few more days to deliver the money to you.
Please don’t take my brother.”
Two days later, Emily Mercier got up awfully early to go the
greenhouse right next to the pool. Once a week, she’d wake up around
7:30 a.m. to water her succulent plants. Having a green thumb herself,
the younger Mercier found joy and happiness while being connected with
nature. Still half-asleep, she made her way down, past the large
swimming pool, and towards the greenhouse.
It was then when she heard a familiar voice coming from inside.

She stopped in her tracks and held her breath. The fifteen-year-
old Emily didn’t want to interrupt the person and figured she’d just

come back in a few minutes.
“Please, just give me more time!” the person suddenly shouted.
Emily hitched a breath, realizing that the voice belonged to Ryan
Walsh, Chef Andrew’s son and her older sister’s year-old crush. He
sounded distraught, frustrated, and maybe even a little angry. That
was the first time that she ever heard him speak in such a tone. Ryan
was usually a calm, a little introverted, and slow-tempered. What
prompted him to be in such a rare mood?
“Look, I’m not Zack, okay?” he said to the person at the end of
the line. “I’m nothing like my older brother. And if, for you, my
brother is not trustworthy, then you can at least place your
confidence in me. I’ll pay his debt, just don’t hurt him.”


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