Xander's Chance (Chapter Four, page 1 of 13)

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Jessi rang the doorbell four times, nervously pacing in front of the closed door. No one answered. She eyed the high-tech security system. Instead of a key, there was a code to enter the condo located in a ritzy building on a private beach. She couldn't imagine how much a place here cost. There was valet parking for residents and visitors, and her car was - by far - the oldest and cheapest among those in the drive.

Her palms were sweaty, her nerves fried. After her come-to-Jesus moment with Jonny, he'd left a further reminder in the form of a letter that awaited her on the pillow beside hers when she woke. He not only failed to wake anyone, but bypassed the quadruple-locked front door and the barred windows. Not that she slept much in the first place. Now, she never wanted to sleep again.

Pulling out the letter, she looked at the ten digit key code. Next to it was a warning.

Every day you fail to execute the task, the penalty for failure worsens.

Jessi didn't want to know what that meant.

She typed in the code at noon exactly. She wasn't going to be late on her first day, not because she cared what the client wanted, but because Jonny claimed to be watching every move she made. Whoever lived in this condo, he couldn't be worse than the vampire she met last night.

With a deep breath, she typed in the code and entered the condo. The air conditioning was high enough to make her shiver, the bright interior settling her fear of walking into some crazy person's house. The ground floor consisted of formal dining and living areas, to include a hearth whose chimney stretched all the way to the top of the condo, two stories up. The main floor felt like a hotel room, too formal and impersonal to be welcoming. The wall opposite her was all windows, with a beach on the other side.

"Hello?" she called.

No answer. Impressed already with the airy condo, she ascended the stairs to the second floor. It too, held the welcoming atmosphere of a hospital waiting room, with a living room, expansive kitchen, informal dining area and hallways leading off each side of the common areas. A railing lined the loft area overlooking the formal living area on the first floor. An iPad in a bright green case and a cell phone labeled work phone!!!!! was sitting on the table in the informal dining area, a sticky note on it.

Hey, new babysitter! Instructions are here. Read the seven rules CAREFULLY!!!!!!!!! And follow them. X doesn't like disorder and stuff. See you in a week! XOXO Ingrid

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