Novel ✪ Memory Corruption (R-18) (Book 1 Finished) (Book 2 on release)

Discussion in 'Community Fictions' started by GiBro, Jul 2, 2021.

  1. R_Luna7

    R_Luna7 Member

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    Lol okay bear with me, I’m just gonna type this out while I think this through.

    When he kissed her he said if they survive they would not be talking about it. He has been so closed off about his true feelings until that last day and even then he wouldn’t admit it.

    I guess cold isn’t necessarily the right term lol
    Maybe Luke warm. Like still hesitant to let her know how he has been feeling - keeping her at arms length. And as I’m typing this I’m remembering he says that he will miss her when she’s gone.
    So it isn’t new information.

    And he isn’t a liar. He doesn’t like to lie and doesn’t have the capacity for it with the people he cares about. He is an omitter lol

    Based off of that, I suppose I expected, honest but not allow himself the opportunity to be compassionate. Aware and conscious of how Belle may have suffered but I thought he would not say something sweet like that without being questioned or prodded for it.

    he might acknowledge that the situation has been hard for her but not offer up any insight to how it has been for him? More pissed than sympathetic, maybe…

    maybe I’m crazy haha
    Maybe I’m ahead of myself

    oh! He is on pain meds and taking more than prescribed, he is pissed that his hand has been forced I’m sure. So is he still in that “fuck it, might not get another chance” mentality or is he influenced by his medication?

    So many thoughts honestly. lol
    Sorry if he is characterized totally wrong by me. I was expecting our all business detective Desmond and we got our sweet Ryan to show up for this meeting and I love it!
    Belle needs a little sweetness after all this shit.
     
  2. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

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    I'm vomiting rainbows with your answer :love::love::love::love:
    I'm looking forward for your feedback after next chapter (I'm holding myself not to post it today, because I'm afraid of posting the chapters too fast and catching up with the part I'm still writing :cry::cry::cry:)
     
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  3. R_Luna7

    R_Luna7 Member

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    lmfao “vomiting rainbows” that is hilarious.

    omg I can’t wait to read it!! That’s okay, we totally understand. Even though we are waiting on the edge of our seats, I am happy to wait :blobhug:
    …not UTOT 2 years kind of wait though lol…please don’t do that to us.:blobastonished:
     
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  4. Isobel

    Isobel Active Member

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    I do think it made sense for Ryan to show a little bit of emotion here because in the last few chapters with him and Belle he would through out these ‘one liners’ of emotions and then almost back track if he had to explain more (like when he said ‘it’s a figure of speech’ after saying he wanted to have Belle around forever). Definitely means that the anticipation for the next chapter is higher as I’m waiting to see does he finally give in a little bit seeing as they both went through a terrible night together or does he revert back? Also I don’t think we know yet how much he knows about what happened to Belle unless I missed something? Maybe he thinks she listened to him and stayed in the bunker until the end??

    After all this craziness I’m secretly hoping for some cute moments for them as they begin to recover!
     
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  5. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 3


    -Oh my god, how could you do this to me? -Belle whined, kneeling, with one hand covering her mouth. -Oh god, why? Why did you do this to me?

    Desmond straightened his back and looked down at her, his smile withering and turning into an apologetic plea.

    -I'm sorry, Belle, I really am. I wanted to reach you, but I couldn't. -His eyebrows raised and his forehead wrinkled. -If I could, I would've put a stop to the damned plan as soon as it started, I swear. I was in no condition to fight them, I'm very sorry...

    Her heart fluttered just by seeing his healthy semblance. She tried to dry her tears in her sleeves, only then realizing her forearms were naked. She held her scarred arm and struggled to get to her feet with her still trembling legs.

    -Can you forgive me?-He asked, leaning forward on his knee with his elbows.-I promise I'll never do or let anything like this happen again, not without telling you first, ok? We're together in this from now on.

    She nodded slowly, fighting against new tears. The nod intensified and she felt the urge to touch him, to check if he was real. Before she could stop herself, she was running desperately to hug him.

    -Careful! -Desmond warned her, pointing at his bare chest with the hand that wasn't holding the bag of ice. -Don't jump on me.

    She stopped only a few inches from his legs and looked down. Two terrible bruises, larger than her open palm, spread on the left side of his chest and near the navel. The latter was way uglier, but both looked like some gruesome painting made with black, purple and reddish maroon. She flinched and looked up.

    -Oh, no!-She backed away quickly, touching her lips with her fingertips.-What happened?

    -I stopped a bullet with my ribs… And another one with my… Kidney? Pancreas, maybe?-He smirked playfully. -It's ugly, but everything inside is fine.

    Belle grimaced, checking the wounds and sucking the air.

    -Don't worry, I'm fine, it will be completely gone in four to five weeks.

    -Does it hurt?-Belle asked, eyeing the dark bruises.

    -To be honest, not that much. -He sighed, looking down at the nasty looking marks and rubbing them slightly. He grimaced, then smiled and shrugged.-My ribs, they are hurting a lot, especially those two here, but the doctors checked on them, they are not broken. I got lucky...Can't say the same about the asshole that did this to me, though. Apparently I put a bullet in the middle of her skull.

    Lucky... The image of the corpse of the cop stretched out in the corridor, his head blown up, with all its contents sprawled through the carpet, came to her mind, vividly. It could've been him. Her face went pale and cold sweat made the shirt glue to her back as she remembered seeing his smiling face right before he was shot.

    -Oh, Belle… -His face was a paint of regret and apologies. -I'm so, so sorry… Can you forgive me?

    She nodded slowly, fidgeting with her hands, biting her lips. She stared at his six packed belly and noticed the left side was a bit swollen. Even what would've been a very handsome sight have been partially ruined by her, because she failed to protect him. Tears started to stream down her face once more.

    -What's wrong?-He frowned.

    -You could've died. -She murmured, wiping her cheeks with the back of her hands.

    -That's true. -His tone was cold.

    -I thought you had died. -She sniffed and whined.-I thought I would never see your face again. I thought you had left me forever...

    -I must admit I thought I was going to die... Even if only for a few minutes. -He signaled for her to get closer so he could hold her. -Come here, don't be that way... I'm here, I'm fine. We're safe.

    She hurriedly stepped between his legs and threw her arms around his neck, holding him softly. It caught him by surprise, as he was starting to get to his feet to hold her. After a while, Desmond sighed and held her, in return, running his hand through her long hair and stroking her back. He sniffed on her neck and smiled at the familiar scent, exhaling hard with the relief of being able to feel it once again.

    -Did you drink?-She asked, confused, as the smell of alcohol hit her nose.

    -Can you tell? Whiskey. Just two tumblers. -Desmond chuckled. -Don't judge me, I was shot... Twice.

    Belle turned her head and saw the almost empty glass at the small table beside the couch. She nodded and took a deep breath at his neck, finding a way better smell there.

    -The last ten days were such a nightmare, I wish that night had never happened.-She whimpered on his shoulder.

    -I know… I lost a friend and two were gravely injured… -He whispered in her ear with a mourning tone. -At least we captured eight of them and killed three. We'll probably catch six others that were identified. And you might have saved my life too, now that Daniel is convinced that I'm dead.

    -What if they come back? What if they don't believe that you're dead? -She asked him, worried.

    -They may try to come back for you, but no one knows you're here. They might go to my house, but it would be damn stupid, it will be full of cops for a while and I asked Magda and Riviera to take the guns and some of my stuff out for me. They certainly already had my study cleaned. There's absolutely nothing there for them besides trouble.

    He leaned back on the couch, and she let out a gasp when he pulled her and sat her on his lap resting her head on his right shoulder, as he stroked her hair gently.

    -As for knowing I'm alive, I highly doubt it. You almost convinced myself that I was dead, that you saw me dying. -He kissed her temple. -They took me out in a hurry. I called you, but you didn't even look at me… I blacked out right after. As I recovered consciousness, they didn't let me get out of the van. I don't think I would be able to run up the stairs anyway, I was in a shitty shape for an hour or so, still, when I heard you crying that much…

    He let out a sigh that sounded like a sob.

    -And I listened to the audio… The recording of your call. It was hard to sit here and wait all those days. God… You sounded so miserable... I wanted so much to come to you, or at least call you and tell you the truth...

    Belle lifted her head and looked into his eyes to check if he meant it. She still felt outraged and humiliated for being fooled. On the other hand, she was very happy that he was alive and well, and that she herself hadn't been taken or killed.

    Desmond scrutinized her face, creasing his forehead as his eyes paused at the yellowish and greenish bruises scattered here and there. He caressed her temple and jaw, where Trevor had landed the less violent blows, but had left bruises anyway.

    -This guy achieved the feat of surpassing my hate for Daniel. If I ever meet him, I'll kill him. -He sighed. -Painfully. Slowly.

    He caressed Trevor's faint finger marks on her neck with the tip of his own fingers, then slowly and gently reached to her collarbone and pulled the chain of his necklace to take it out from underneath her shirt. He stared at the dog tag for some seconds, then smiled, looking into her eyes fondly.

    -I'm so glad you're alive and well that I won't even give you the earful that you deserve for kicking Mike’s ass and coming after me. -He creased his eyebrows, then sighed and looked back at the dog tag. -At first I wore that to remind myself that I wasn't allowed to die… That I lost that right. But now I like to think he was watching over you… I wanna believe he protected you, for me.

    He took it between his fingers and kissed it. Belle took out the necklace over her head and slid it over his, caressing the dog tag and blatantly taking the opportunity to run her fingers and palm through his muscled chest. It felt so good to touch him that she forgot that she had been crying minutes ago. The fact that he was treating her tenderly felt very nice too, and her heart was missing beats with the idea that he might start to express his feelings toward her from now on.

    -What's on your mind? - Desmond asked her, gently brushing some strands of her hair away from her eyes and cheeks, putting them behind her ears with his fingers.

    She grabbed his hand, as he was taking it away from her face and brought it to her mouth, kissing his fingertips, his palm, then his wrist and tilting her head to rest her cheek in his hand.

    Ryan froze, surprised by her bold and decided attitude. His eyes darted from her eyes to her mouth, slightly open. She rapidly moistened her lips with her tongue and bit her lower lip, letting it slide through her teeth back to its normal shape. They both knew what was on their minds.

    She fixed her gaze in his mouth, not daring to lift it to his eyes, afraid he might be frowning in reproach. As she gathered enough courage to lean forward, though, she felt the hand on her cheek move to the back of her head and pull her toward him, as his other arm embraced her waist.

    She shivered as she felt his hot, moist tongue touch her lips before his own lips covered hers. She felt hot, very hot, her heart pounded in her ears so loudly that it almost covered the sound of her fast, irregular breathing.

    Ryan let out a moan as she wrapped her hand on his hair, closing it into a fist. The other hand cautiously caressed the back of his neck. She replied to his moan with one of her own, opening her mouth to touch his tongue with hers.

    The sensation was similar to electric pulses running all over her body, causing goosebumps and tremors that she couldn't control. She never felt this way before in her whole life.

    Ryan was a lot more in control of the situation, one hand pressing her waist in a hot longing way that drove her crazy and the fingers of the other hand running through her hair in gentle but decided moves.

    He kissed her passionately, exploring her mouth, giving her time to catch her breath while he nibbled at her lower lip, just to pull her close again. She loved everything in it, his scent, his delicious taste that surprisingly totally overcame the alcohol, the movement of his tongue and lips, his firm grip and gentle caresses... But she wanted more.

    She wrapped her arms around his shoulders, pulling him closer. He flinched as her thigh pressed against the left side of his abdomen, where the bullet had hit him. They split for a second as he looked down involuntarily with a small gasp.

    -I'm sorry. - She whispered, heaving violently.

    -Don't worry. -He smiled, out of breath too, blushing and avoiding her eyes. -I lost myself for a moment, good thing you brought me back to earth.

    He lifted her effortlessly, putting her to his side. She looked at him, confused. What are you doing? She wanted to ask him, as she saw him rubbing his forehead with an embarrassed look.

    -Are you hungry? We can order something from the room ser… - His words cut out as she put her hands on each side of his head and pulled for another kiss.

    Belle was kneeling on the couch. She leaned toward his body, desperately trying to find a position which would allow her to stick her body to his without touching the bruises.

    He started to back away, trying to interrupt the kiss without pushing her. She noticed it and pulled him close, deciding the best way would be sitting on his lap, facing him, but with her legs on each side of him.

    She gathered the courage and ignored her own shame, then went on to sliding her knee to the other side of his body in a way she hoped would seem sexy to him. Her leg rubbed on his groin on its way to the other side and she flushed as she felt his swollenness.
     
  6. R_Luna7

    R_Luna7 Member

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    Wow wow wow…
    I feel like I should just wait for the next chapter to react buuut

    I can’t help myself lol

    What does he mean “apparently I put a bullet in her skull”…did he black out while he was fighting?

    I’m curious to know what happened if they had dragged him out of the house while Belle was crying over his body…
    So he was still inside? Just in really bad shape? Could she have passed him?

    See…he’s already pulling that Desmond wall up! “Are you hungry” yes, Ryan! She’s hungry for you! Lol
    I’m already upset with him for the line he is about to draw with her. Already rolling my eyes with his nonsense. Lol

    but you know what, go Belle for jumping into that last kiss so confidently!

    I also forgot to mention I really loved the moment about his brother’s dog tags. That was deeply heartwarming even if it is a little painful.
    And I’m sorry I didn’t see your note to pretend it was 10/15 :blob_zipper_mouth:
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2021
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  7. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 4


    -Ok, ah, that's…- His voice was muffled by her mouth. - Belle, don't. Stop...

    She hugged his neck, pressing her chest against his, lightly, testing how far she could go. Her legs pressed to the sides of his hips firmly. She rubbed her lower abdomen against his and moaned as she felt his completely stiff member pressing against her.

    -Belle, get off me. -He urged her as they parted briefly to breathe. Desmond turned his head, rejecting her kiss. -This isn't right, get off now! Isabelle!

    He took her hand from his back and pushed her shoulder lightly as she tried to force it. She used her legs to put pressure on his thighs and hold her ground. His groin responded with a jolt.

    -Get off my lap now, can't you hear me, motherfucker?- Desmond gazed at her with a serious expression. The frown was there again. -Get the fuck off! Now!

    She lifted herself, very embarrassed, and sat beside him, holding her knees.

    -Really, what the hell were you thinking? Fuck, Isabelle! -He scolded her, getting up and walking into the toilet. He closed the door with a loud bang, clearly annoyed with her.

    She waited for him with an anxious expression, wondering if she had ruined everything and if they would be back to square one when he came back. After a few minutes, she heard the sound of a shower.

    He came back after a long time with his hair wet, rubbing it with a towel. He avoided getting near her, doing so only to retrieve the ice bag, then sat on the armchair near the window, without looking her way. He was wearing a black shirt even though he was clearly uncomfortable with the touch of the fabric to his bruised skin.

    -You may sit here, I can get out. -She said, getting up.

    -Shut up. - He said briskly, taking his phone out of his pocket and ignoring her for a long time.

    She sat back after accepting that he wouldn't come back to the couch. He exhaled loudly and looked at her. She looked back, but soon dropped her gaze, too ashamed to try to win the argument. He went back to the toilet to leave the towel there, then leaned on the door.

    -This…-He pointed to the couch, as if he could still see their bodies intertwined there. -Is the reason why I avoided you till now. You're reckless as fuck, did you know it?

    -I don't understand…-She murmured.

    -What don't you understand? - He asked, deepening his frown. -What is there not to understand?

    -What's wrong? I like you and you like me, what's wrong with kissing? -She looked into his eyes, eager for answers.

    -First of all, that… Was not a kiss. -He grunted. -And don't say you don't know it, you may be naive, and I'm not even sure anymore if you are that naive, but you're not stupid!

    He waited, to see if she would try to deny it. She wanted to, but she felt so ashamed by her own attitude that she shut her mouth immediately.

    -Good, at least this. Second of all, we shouldn't even think about doing this kind of thing. -He sighed, grabbing the ice bag and putting it inside the minibar. He took the half empty glass of whiskey and turned it into his mouth. -I must admit it… It was my fault this time, I blatantly led you. I did it on purpose and I'm sorry. Still, I had the decency to stop it before it went too far. And I didn't grope you, what you did was…

    He stopped when he realized her eyes were watering, walking silently back to his seat.

    -Let's pretend this didn't happen. It's better for everyone.- He cleared his throat and looked down at his phone. -Daniel called the precinct this week. He said he wants to make a deal to have you back. Offered to meet Captain Williams, alone. Actually he wanted him to take you with him.

    -What? -Belle was startled.

    -That's practically the same as admitting he's guilty. -Desmond smirked. -He must be very desperate to shut you up, you must know something huge for him to act so carelessly.

    Belle looked at him with pleading eyes.

    -I'm not accusing you of hiding it. You just don't remember it, but you gotta know something.-He assured her, shaking his head lightly. - There's no point in offering to personally come to get you if you hadn't an important role in his plans.

    They both fell silent. Her body was tingling with goosebumps and her mind was racing. She laid her head in her knees, trying to understand how Daniel managed to never even hint on being a terrorist.

    -I can't believe I never suspected anything. It all seems surreal. -She whispered. -I feel so useless and dumb.

    -He's a psychopath, that's what they do, they hide their true nature. Besides, he did that shit to you through the phone, the hypnosis, and you started talking, but forgot what you told him, right? -He frowned.-What if you found out, but he drugged you and used this to wipe your mind?

    She nodded, lost in thoughts.

    -Like that day before the ball and the explosion… Or when Bill was... -She trembled violently remembering the alien sensation of seeing herself do things on camera that she never did in her memories.-How is it even possible?

    -Hell, you tell me. I never even heard about anything remotely similar. Maybe in some Nazi or Soviet experiment…

    His phone rang and he put one side of his earphone on, offering her the other side.

    -Lucas finally managed to stream the meeting, wanna hear it?

    -May I? Isn't it one of those “none of my business” or “the less I know, the better” things?-She got up and walked in his direction, cautiously. -Won't you get in trouble for sharing it with me?

    -Sit here on the floor and listen. It's time you found out what kind of asshole this guy is, since you seem to have no idea. -He shrugged.

    Belle did as he told her to, sitting beside his leg. She noticed him putting distance to her, as if she could burn him with her touch. He leaned forward slightly so she wouldn't have to stretch herself to keep the earphone in her ear.

    Two voices could be heard. One was Captain Williams’, the other was undoubtedly Daniel’s. It was restrained and low as if he had been crying or screaming or was trying to control himself.

    -Am I being interrogated? -He asked calmly.

    -Why do you think you are? -Captain Williams' voice sounded even calmer.

    -I think this turned into an interrogation. Am I being accused of something? Am I a suspect or what? -His voice was way more confident this time.

    -You already know you're a suspect for the murdering of Mister Barkley and the attempt of murdering of Miss Darling. We just wanna know what you were doing there. You see, there was a terrorist attack, that culminated in the murder of the agent that lived in that house, happening a few days ago, and you were found lurking on the crime scene. It's just natural that the police need to know your intentions. -The other man calmly explained.

    -What? Did he go to your house? -Belle looked up at Desmond.

    -Shh…. -He replied, simply, concentrating on the conversation.

    -I told you, I just went there to meet my friend. She needs help. She called me desperate a few days ago and asked me to come and find her.

    Desmond clicked his tongue. Belle looked up, curious.

    -He probably doesn't know we recorded it. You never asked him to come to you. You asked him to kill you once, but you were clearly terrified about the idea of seeing him. -Desmond explained. -That asshole must think we're idiots.

    -... You to go find her and take her home? Was it then that she gave you that address?-Captain Williams asked.

    There was only a few seconds of silence.

    -Ok, let me explain it again, since you seem to have a short memory. -Daniel said sharply. -I can't take her home, I've been there, there was a fire. I looked for her, but the neighbors told me she was in the hospital, that an ambulance came and took her, but that they didn't think she survived…

    Belle’s face went pale.

    -He knew it was Chloe, not me, right? -She tilted her head, confused.

    -Of course he did. He's probably trying to justify it in case we find out that he had been there. -He ruffled his head and grimaced. -Either that or we can be sure that he has someone infiltrated inside the police or FBI, because, officially, the target was you. I did it so the argument of you being a victim and the interest of witness protection’s program would be more easily validated. Just in case you didn't remember something important enough in time.

    Belle stared at him. He did something very wrong just to protect her, but she was afraid that would mean that Chloe wouldn't receive the proper amount of protection.

    -...Looked for her at all the hospitals of the state and couldn't find her. I called her a bunch of times over the last few weeks, but she wouldn't answer it, because that asshole took her phone. I'm pretty sure that's illegal. -Daniel’s voice raised slightly and built up fiercely. -But she's smart, she called me, using his phone. This cop, he kept her captive for days, I have it all on record, she told me everything, I know what he did to her, he raped her for days. I'm furious that he's dead, he should be in jail being raped too, as he did to her!

    Belle looked up to check Desmond's expression. She couldn't tell if he was angry or sad, but he didn't look at her. She absentmindedly leaned her head over his knee. He flinched, but moved his hand slowly and stroked her cheek with the back of his fingers.

    -I'm afraid we can't affirm by now that she has been molested. There's an investigation going on and…

    -Investigation my ass! I want to see her now! You can't do this, she has rights!- Daniel shouted. -What is that, do you think you can do what you want to her? No! I demand to see her right now or I'll sue all of your asses, I'll call the press, I'm gonna make your miserable lives a living hell! If I take that story to the press, imagine the scandal!

    -Call the press, you little piece of shit!-Desmond muttered. -Yes, call attention to yourself and we'll catch you red handed in no time.

    -Calm down, mister Scott, we're just talking here, there's no need to get angry. -The Captain sighed.-I'm gonna tell you something, just between you and me here. It will stay here, ok? Officer Desmond was a despicable man. Everyone here knows it, and I'm sorry for what happened to the girl. She'll be alright, though, she's not hurt. Whatever he did to her, and I'm not telling you it's something to be ignored, it isn't, but whatever it was, it didn't leave marks.

    There was silence. And then the sound of a chair moving.

    -Look… I love her with all my heart. I wanna resurrect and kill that bastard over and over again. Knowing he hurt her, that makes me feel things I never thought I would. I never, never, in my whole life felt the urge to hurt someone, but now I feel this… -Daniel’s voice cut in a grunt. -Let me take her home. Let me keep her safe... I just want to take her with me and protect her. I'll bring her everyday if you guys need to talk with her for some reason, I just want to make sure she'll be fine, please.

    Desmond grunted loudly. Belle shivered.

    -I'm afraid we can't do it, Daniel. But since I liked you and we seem to have a strong opinion about Desmond in common, I'll let you know… She won't be back in New York for a good amount of time. -The Captain went on.

    -What? Are you saying she's out of the state? No way, I talked to her a few days ago, she called me, desperate! I need to see her, she's traumatized, she needs help!

    -Yes, she'll have psychological support and protection, don't worry. Ever since the attack on that house she got really scared. -The man's voice lowered as if he was about to tell a secret.- She was in the room when officer Desmond’s head, you know, was blown up. She was very terrified. Then she asked to be put on WPP, so now she's a witness under the protection of the US Marshals Service. She's not under our jurisdiction anymore.

    -Bullshit. New York has its own witness security program, why would the feds intervene? Besides, her ofensor is dead, who is she getting protection against?-Daniel's voice didn't give away anything.

    -Look, let's do it this way… You help me, I help you. You tell me what I need to know to let you go, and I'll explain what I can… -Williams’ voice was friendly and calm. -Tell me how you got Desmond's address.

    -That's no big deal. She called me using her phone, so I immediately tracked it down.

    -And how and why did you have a way to track her phone? - The officer replied, curious.

    -She's my girlfriend, we have each other's live location. For safety. Just in case a fucking cop decides to kidnap one of us and rape us, you know?-Daniel replied, ironically.

    -She told us you're not her boyfriend.

    -She's just confused.

    -She didn't seem confused, she just told us you were her best friend... Are you lying to me, Mr. Scott?

    Daniel sighed loudly. There was silence again.

    -Are you ok? -Desmond asked her, patting her head.

    -Uhum.-She replied, realizing she was breathing heavily. -He’d been really tracking my phone, then... I never knew about it. I wonder how long this has been happening... And I didn't have his live location, that's a lie.

    -Yeah, he's an asshole, I told you. -He pressed her head slightly against his leg to comfort her.

    Daniel’s voice was back, low and slow.

    -Ok, she's just my best friend. But I really do love her. I just want to take care of her. If you let me talk to her, I can convince her to give up the program, just get me on the phone with her.

    -I can't. You said you looked for her in every hospital… That's quite hard to do, did you do it alone?

    -No, I asked for my friend’s help, he's good with computers. -Then he paused and added. -We kind of been living together for the past six months or so, but I haven't seen him for the last few days. I don't know where he is now.

    -Is his name Trevor? Trevor McQueen Tyler?

    -Yes, that's him. - Daniel agreed, calmly. -Why?

    -We arrested him ten days ago. He was the one who killed officer Desmond. He’s suspected of being part of a terrorist group that's been operating in the USA for the last four years. -the officer went on in a monotonous tone.- We suspect he's the leader of the group.

    -Williams, you moron… -Desmond sighed. He grabbed the mic attached to the earphone and said it in a low voice. -No, don't do this… He won't fall for that, don't improvise.

    -What?-Daniel’s voice was loud and with the proper amount of surprise.-No way, this can't be true. He's a very nice guy, I mean, he has some problems with drugs and he cheats on online games, but aside from that, I don't think “T” would be able to commit any type of crime, especially killing people. He's not a terrorist.

    -We connected him to two attacks already besides the one he was caught in. -Williams said, seriously. -Now, do you know anything that could help us with the investigation? Other friends of his that might be involved?

    Silence.

    -Are you sure? We suspect Isabelle might be one of them.

    -Isabelle never did anything bad to anyone. That I'm sure. I can't really vow for Trevor, but for Belle, she's totally innocent. -Daniel's voice was urgent.- I'm telling you, I know more about her than she does herself…

    -And how can it be? -The Captain promptly asked.

    Desmond smirked.

    -Get me to meet her and I'll show you. -Daniel answered casually.

    Desmond’s smile withered.

    -I told you, I don't know where she is anymore. -Williams said, with a sigh full of regret.

    -Then you're of no use to me anymore and I'll use my right to walk away now. - Daniel paused. -Unless you wanna arrest me as a suspect…

    -You are a suspect, Mr. Scott. I admit we don't have enough to put you behind bars yet, for your crimes might be punished with lifetime arrest or even death. But it seems to me you are a witness too, and since Trevor was arrested, things might get dangerous for you.-The Captain paused. Desmond moved forward and squinted his eyes. -I could get you in a certain Witness Protection Program, if you know what I mean… If you provide me enough information.

    -No way, they wouldn't put two unrelated witnesses together like that... -Daniel murmured.

    -Well, I heard that it's quite common to give people identities as couples… Even if they aren't married. You two would just have to declare a relationship. Convincing her wouldn't be a problem, I suppose…?

    -No, Williams, don't improvise, you're gonna screw me! -Desmond grabbed the mic and grunted. -Let him go, we can get him later.

    Belle looked at him, confused.

    -...Of course I can't guarantee it, since I just heard about it, but in my position, I can make some calls and try.

    -And then I would be arrested for something I had nothing to do with?

    -No one would arrest you, Mr. Scott. It's protection. It's volunteer. And I must say, the federals have a way fattier budget than NY. They can provide a much more comfortable housing, with a lot of perks.

    -Don't fuck with me, Captain!- Desmond whispered urgently. -Just let him go, he'll slide it again, let him go!

    But the captain didn't say anything, there was silence. And wait. And more silence.

    -But there is the possibility that I would be stuck somewhere far from my family and friends and without her, too. -Daniel said, slowly.

    -Yes, there is, but at least you'd be protected from them.

    -It's not worth the risk. But I'll think about it, thank you.

    The sound of the chair scratching the floor was loud. Desmond sighed.

    -I'm afraid you'd have to decide it now, and sign the papers tonight. They took her about six days ago… If they didn't take her to a hotel outside of New York yet, they might be about to. She’ll be moving from hotel to hotel through the next month or so. If I don't have them put you in the program immediately, it might get impossible to track her down.

    -Williams, you bastard! -Desmond screamed and punched the arm of the chair.

    -Why would you do this for me? -Daniel's voice was full of suspicion.

    -Because I saw her. She has panic attacks every time we leave her alone. She might be needing to have some friendly face around. I'm really worried that she might harm herself if no one is around to take care of her. To protect her from herself, you know? -There was a long pause and a soft laugh. - And I once had your age... So I know what it's like to feel like you do toward her. I can recognize love when I see it. Wouldn't it be nice to have her calling herself Ms. Scott, even if just pretending?

    -I'm not a child, you can't manipulate me like that. -Daniel grunted. -But…

    There was a long pause. Desmond took the earphone away from her ear and got up.

    -Hey! -She complained.

    -Shh! -Desmond hissed at her urgently, pressing both earphones to his ear and closing his eyes. A while later he muttered. -Williams, you son of a bitch.

    Belle just stared at him as she watched him walking in circles in the middle of the room, like an encaged beast. She half expected him to roar. She sat back on the couch and waited. He texted a bit, snorting and cursing. After a while he took off the earphones and threw the phone on the armchair, violently. It bumped and fell to the floor.

    He paced around for what seemed to be half an hour or more, without even looking at her.

    -Desmond… - She tried, in a low voice.

    He ignored her and kept pacing. She got up, took the ice bag from the minibar and tried to put her hand to his forearm, with the excuse of offering it to him.

    -Go take a shower, go to sleep, do whatever you want, but don't bother me now.- He growled angrily at her. -Fuck!

    -What happened? -She took her hand away and stared at him.

    -What happened? What happened? Two years... Two fucking years trying to get this motherfucker and his crew. -He pointed at the cellphone. -Now he'll get away, free as a bird.

    -What do you mean?

    He looked at her and sighed.

    -You wouldn't understand.

    -Try to explain, please. As you said yourself, I'm no stupid.

    -There are things you are covered by the law if you do in an interview, or questioning, or interrogation. Deceiving and lying are ok. -He pointed to the cellphone. -Arresting someone without proper proof or an order to do so, is not. He can use it against us later and he knows it. He can leave the program any time he wants to. If we try to stop him, we're keeping him captive and even if we eventually catch him in the act, he can say there was power abuse during investigation and get free.

    He sighed again, rubbing his hands over his whole face. She offered him the ice bag again. His face softened when he looked into her worried eyes. He took it and went on, in a much more calm tone.

    -And we can't catch him in the act if he can't act! If he's under our custody, how the hell is he gonna command a terrorist group? He's gonna be found innocent because someone else will take his place in the next attacks. -His free hand moved toward her cheek, but he retrieved it quickly as if catching himself. -And… They want to pretend you're gonna go with him.

    -What? Are they planning to use me as bait? Again?

    -Yeah, that's the short story. He probably plans to get you back to me after Daniel gets into the program. But don't worry I'll cut this stupidity off as soon as the captain gets here. -He paused. -If he has the courage to come here. He knows I want to kill him with my bare hands. Since Riviera told me about what he did to you, he was already trying to avoid me. But don’t worry, if he doesn’t show up, I'll just go and meet him at the precinct.

    -Oh no, you can't, what if they see you and find out you're alive?- She got to her feet immediately and grabbed his shirt. -You can't! I'm not gonna go through the fear of losing you again, especially if you'll be in danger because of me!

    -Yeah, I should sit and wait as they take you to a maze full of people, like an airport, and hope they won't let them take you away, right?

    -The airport is a safe place, isn't it? -Belle asked him, half certain.

    -Belle… -He sighed and pushed her to the couch forcing her to sit, sitting beside her. He talked to her as he would to a child. -If you were a terrorist... That had one million dollars available to offer on the darkweb only to murder the guy who supposedly made out with the girl you like…Would you find it difficult to, let's say, explode an airplane, cause panic, get the girl and leave the airport in the middle of the turmoil?

    -What are you talking about?

    -Remember he put a price on my head, on the darkweb? I'm serious. The guy is a fucking psychopath… That, or you are damn valuable for this group. -He stopped and looked into her eyes. - One more reason for not letting you get away. As far as we know you might be the mastermind behind the attacks, right?

    -A million dollars? Really?-She was too astonished to notice the mocking accusation.

    -In Bitcoin or some of those pseudo money, whatever. Still, they must be swimming in gold to throw that amount of money away.

    Belle blinked. He didn't seem to be kidding. She gulped and opened her mouth to tell him she wouldn't take part in any of Williams’ plans anymore, but the room’s phone rang.

    Desmond talked briefly with someone on the phone. His mood became dark immediately. He talked in a low tone that made it difficult to understand anything he said, but she guessed they had a visit.

    He got up, throwing the ice bag on the armchair and retrieving his phone. He texted furiously, with his face bright red and a vein pulsing on his temple. Then, he took his holster, put it in his waist and checked if the gun was free. Belle noticed he unlocked the gun, and felt a shiver run down her spine. He was getting prepared to shoot.

    -Go to the bedroom, please. -He commanded her.
     
  8. R_Luna7

    R_Luna7 Member

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    I feel like I could be alone in this thought, but I’m gonna throw it out there.
    We have spent a whole book primarily in Belle’s point of view so it could be that it’s hard for me to move into Ryan’s. That being said, I feel like this interaction is primarily dialogue. We aren’t “in it” - only observing it. You have a way of breaking out of the dialogue in the main story line that provides us feeling and insight for the primary character. We become enthralled in the mindset, the emotions and I didn’t get this here.

    There is one paragraph at the end where Ryan says he is hurt by his brother’s reaction and I think that’s truly the only spot where it feels like we are in his POV - maybe it’s because it’s an excerpt too. Like it’s in the middle so we have been grounded in his narrative and how his thoughts roll. That could be why I get this feeling too.

    I know how important Richard is to Ryan because of the main story line. I wouldn’t perceive that from this.

    Richard is technically a new character to us. We really haven’t had any memories involving him so we don’t know how he talks or moves or reacts. Ryan has really only let a few things slip about him at this point so his voice is new.

    every character you have introduced has a distinct identity. How they use words, how they are describe in the way they act. Chloe to Daniel to captain Williams (honestly, screw that guy), we can pick them out in a dialogue easily. So I think Richard falls into the background because that hasn’t been developed? Not sure if that makes sense.

    don’t get me wrong. I like the interaction. I think it’s funny and brotherly. But I think you have frame work here. And generally what we have read from you, you fill it in richly.
    I think it’s unclear what perspective we are reading from and we lose the weight of the interaction because we aren’t rooted anywhere.
    Oh gosh that sounds really harsh. I’m sorry I don’t mean it in a harsh way at all.
    I think it’s missing a little more of your pizazz is all. And if this makes no sense let me know, I’ll try to find a better way to explain. :sushi_sorry:

    looking forward to reading more of their moments together.:X3:
     
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  9. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

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    Don't worry about sounding harsh, I think I understood what you said and I agree with it.
    Actually Ryan express a lot of his feelings and thoughts, much like Belle expresses hers in the main book, but in this part it's mostly dialogue and is more about Richard finding out what is happening to Ryan in consequence to things that happened before that part.
    That's a small part of two chapters. In Belle's POV, the characters are being presented to the reader as much as to the main character, so she will observe things and even be told things about them as an introduction. In this case, Ryan already knows him, so I tried to construct Richard with subtle information, instead of describing him or what Ryan observes of him.
     
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  10. R_Luna7

    R_Luna7 Member

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    ah yes okay that makes total sense. Well, I’m excited to read all of those parts :aww:
     
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  11. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 5


    She was immobile for a few seconds, then got up, startled. She was halfway to the bedroom when the knock on the door came. She paused behind the wall and put her head out, to steal a glance at whoever was on the other side of the door.

    -So, he wasn't man enough to face me and sent Denovan’s lap dog instead? -He frowned, opening the door for a young blond woman wearing a short ponytail. -If he thinks that sending you to intimidate me will make me allow him to put her in a vulnerable state, he's dead wrong. I should've known this shit was your idea, it almost screams that a dumb person made all the maths. Get in.

    The woman frowned back and got in.

    -He couldn't come, he was afraid the boy would send someone to follow him. Which he did. He led them to your house instead, under the pretext of investigating the accusation of abuse against the girl. - She sat on the armchair without his invitation, putting the ice bag on the table beside it. -Did you talk to her about the plan?

    -She's not taking any part in it. -His voice was calm.

    -Did you explain it to her? -She insisted.

    -She's not going. -He was keeping his composure, as always, but there was a hint of irritation in his voice.

    The woman sighed and turned to Belle. The girl flinched and hid behind the wall. She didn't know the woman had noticed her.

    -Miss Ross, would you kindly come here, please? -She said in a soft voice.

    Belle peered out again. Desmond looked at her, clearly disappointed, but signaled her to come stand beside him. She examined the woman’s face. She was beautiful. She reminded her of Chloe a bit, but much more beautiful. She had crystalline blue eyes and thin but well delineated lips. Even then, she reminded her of a hawk, waiting for the right moment to dive and take its prey with her claws.

    -I’m Deputy Andrews, it's a pleasure to meet you, Miss Ross. -She smiled and Belle returned it politely. - I'm here to make sure you understand your rights and to assure you we will be able to protect you during the whole transaction…

    -Yes, just like they did last time, only that this time I won't be there to be the bait. Fuck you, Alyssa, she's not coming.

    -I must remind you that right now you are under the orders of my superior, and I'm here representing him. You'll treat me with respect. -She glared at him.- We're not asking for anything absurd. The boy wants to see her. We may put them inside a car, he'll say whatever he has to say and then we'll take them to the hotel, in separate rooms. We'll take her out on the same day, after he signs the agreement. When he questions it, we'll say we didn't manage to put them together. It's a simple plan. There's no reason for you to freak out.

    -Yeah? And what are you brilliant minds planning to do when he intercepts the car with a tank or whatever and gets her? -Desmond crossed his arm in front of his chest. -You won't touch a strand of her hair, Andrews. I know you want to make me feel miserable, but keep your aim on me. Leave her out of it.

    -This is not about you. The President is worried about the repercussions of that transmission. We need to weaken him. The boy won't do anything that risky. -She rolled her eyes. -He's not an idiot, he just accepted getting into witness protection because he thinks it will help him clean up our suspects on him.

    -Which you are allowing to happen! Another reason for not doing that! Just wait a few days and tell him you couldn't do it. -Drop the plan, or I'll ruin it for you.

    -How exactly are you gonna do it, Desmond? -She glared at him.

    -I'll call him and tell him I'm alive and where we can meet.

    -You wouldn't.

    -I'm a crazy bastard, you'd be impressed. -He took his phone out of his pocket and typed a bit. Then turned the screen toward her. -I'll press send, if you don't call your new owner and tell him it's over.

    -Why would you do it? The girl would be alone if you did this. Even if you killed each other, what would you gain for it? -She frowned.

    -Two fucking years! -He shouted. -I'm trying to get this motherfucker to serve a life sentence and you'll let him go! For information we don't even know if he has or will give!

    -I formally forbid you, Desmond.

    -We both know you don't have half of what it takes to be in this position, don't humiliate yourself. -He smirked. -Call your boss and drop it. Better yet, call the captain, tell him we can negotiate.

    -Are you really gonna play against us now? - She glared.- I thought you wanted this case solved. It looks like you just want revenge towards the boy. It was him who pulled the trigger, but it was you who put her in his aim. If you really want to clean it up, you're the one who should get the worst punishment.

    Desmond looked into her eyes, angrily. Then put his phone back in his pocket and walked toward the mini bar, pouring another drink.

    -I don't wanna go. - Belle’s voice broke the silence. She looked from one to another, timidly. -I don't feel safe doing it, I wanna stay here. I won't help you. And I know you can't force me.

    Both Andrews’s and Desmond’s eyes flew toward her. She chose to look back at his dark eyes, which were smiling beyond the glass.

    -Are you served? -He lifted his glass toward the Deputy.-You're a bit pale, maybe you need it more than I do.

    -Ms. Ross… You don't understand. That might be the only chance your friend will have to be arrested without suffering any injuries.

    Desmond grunted and chugged his drink, pouring again.

    -I…-Belle muttered. -I don't want him to get hurt. But…

    She glanced at Desmond and frowned as she saw his glass filled up.

    -This might be the only way to stop the killing of countless people. We need to isolate him from the group, and he's willing to take this risk as long as he can see you, we won't leave him alone with you.- The woman tried to explain. -You'll be safe.

    -I don't wanna see him. -Belle whined, turning to Desmond, looking for support. -I don't wanna get near him. I feel safe here, I wanna feel safe. I want to rest. I'm tired, I don't wanna be afraid anymore.

    Desmond's eyes were fixed on Andrews’s eyes, so she turned back to the blond woman.

    -Please, stop trying to convince me… Stop putting the blame on me for what he might do. -She begged. -Tell him I refused to see him. Tell him I don't trust him anymore, and that I know he was the one who sent those guys to kill Desmond.

    -Don't do that. - He coughed, putting the glass away. -Just tell him she didn't want to be with him, that she doesn't want to be with any men. That will piss him but will probably make him believe she's traumatized. He might give up for now.

    -Isabelle, you don't have to decide yet, we'll give you some weeks to think, ok? -The woman ignored him.

    Belle nodded.

    -She already told you, she doesn't want to. - Desmond glared at her. -I can see you and Williams had a talk about her, and that you're making an effort to get into her mind through her soft-hearted nature. Tell him that's helping a lot for me to forgive him for the shit he did to us. I'm gonna screw you two so badly once I get rid of this case...

    -People are talking, Desmond. They say you are brainwashing the girl, keeping her dependent on you so you can't be taken from the case… Or for way worse reasons. - The blue eyes were icy and clear. -You think you're holding on to power, but you are destroying your career. You said it yourself, you are better than me. You're better than most of us, and you should be in a higher position by now. You should be making a name for yourself… You had the potential to be a captain by now, had you stayed in NYPD. I heard you skipped a promotion because of this. We both know you're good, but you are stuck in this!

    -Thank you for your advice, I'm pretty sure your concern is about my well-being and professional success.-He rolled his eyes. - I don't regret refusing the promotion. I'll fix my reputation when I close this case.

    He swirled his cup and looked down, sucking his teeth. He looked up straight into her eyes.

    -Now if you're that worried about the girl’s safety, why don't you do something useful and get us a proper apartment? This one only has one bedroom, with one bed. I was surprised when Riviera dropped her here, but now that you're warning me about “people talking”, I think that maybe it wasn't a mistake, but a provocation… You know what's funny? The reservation… It was made in the name of someone named Andrews.

    He glared at her. She looked away, embarrassed.

    -We didn't expect you to ask for witness protection, I had applied to be her Deputy, not yours. I didn't know they would bring her to stay with you, either, ‘cause I didn't know you'd bring her to the program with you. - The lieutenant replied angrily. - Let me know if you need something, but we're gonna move you two tonight anyway, we put you in the first room we could get. I guess you can take the toll of ten to twelve hours having to keep your dick inside your pants, right?

    -Oh, I'm not that sure anymore, why don't you get us some condoms too, the next time you visit us, just for safety? -He glared at her.

    They just stared at each other, with Belle’s eyes darting between them. Belle cleared her throat to remind them of her presence.

    -I would like to have clothes to change, if possible. -She said, shyly. -I just realized I left my backpack with my clothes inside the car that brought me here… If you could, please, retrieve it for me...

    Andrews examined her from head to toes, only now noticing that she was wearing Desmond's short sleeved shirt and skinny jeans.

    -Send me her numbers, I'll see what I can do while they look for her backpack. -The woman turned to Desmond. -I'll make a report and make sure the captain knows about your… Opinion on the plan.

    -Let him know her opinion. That should be enough.

    Andrews got to the door but paused with her hand on the doorknob.

    -You're too young, girl. He might seem very charming at first, you might think it's cute or romantic how he acts all protective and possessive… -She looked intently into Belle's eyes, making her feel extremely uncomfortable. Desmond turned toward her, pausing with his hand midway toward his mouth to take another sip. -It's not. He's sick. Ask him about Samantha. Ask him what would've happened if she had lived. Better so, ask him why he let her die. He's not a good man for you, or anyone else, and if you make your decisions based on what he'd like you to do, you might regret it when you find out he won't ever do the same for you. If you go that way, he'll use you and suck you till your last drop of blood. He'll use you and make you believe you were the one to blame for that...Then he'll discard you and let you fade.

    -Get the fuck out of here! -Desmond shouted, spilling the drink as he lowered his glass angrily at the table. -Now! Or I swear I'll...

    -You know I'm not lying. You know you should be ashamed of yourself. -She looked back, with a sad smile as she hurried to open the door. -You coward murderer!

    She got out and closed the door behind her as he strode furiously toward her.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2021
  12. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 6


    There was a weird silence. Belle's ears were ringing, her heart beating fast, with the impact of his shouts. She didn't know what to do or say, as it was the first time she saw him act like this. She had seen him screaming before, and even had his rage directed to her a couple of times when he got extremely worried about her. But this time it was different. This time she believed he intended to beat the woman, to kill. She looked at him, but he didn't look back, he was there, staring at the door, breathing heavily.

    -Are you ok? -She whispered.

    He sighed, but didn't answer. After a while he rubbed his face and exhaled very hard. Still not looking at her, he cleared his throat and looked down.

    -Do you want to eat something? I think I'm getting a bit drunk... I should eat something. -He said, walking toward the phone, without looking up. -What do you want?

    -Anything. -She replied.

    -You may say what you want… You don't need to eat what I tell you to…

    -I didn't tell her I wouldn't go because you didn't want me to go. - Belle said, sincerely. - It's not true that you force me to do things.

    -Of course. What do you want to eat?- He replied, with a blank face.

    She paused and stared at him.

    -What are you gonna order for yourself?

    -Pizza. I'm craving for something greasy and unhealthy. -He grunted.

    -Seems good to me. -She smiled. - And orange juice, if they have it.

    He smiled back at her, finally looking into her eyes. After ordering the food, he stared at her for a long time. She was looking down, playing with a strand of her hair. She noticed he was feeling uncomfortable about her scrutinizing his face and was making an effort to give him some space.

    -I'm sorry for the joke about condoms. - He murmured.

    -No offense taken. -She didn't look up.

    -She was trying to pull my leg. She shouldn't use you for that purpose. -He continued. -Thank you for stepping up, anyway, I'm glad you told her you don't want to go.

    -I didn't do this for you, I really feel safer staying by your side.

    -I wonder why. -Desmond sighed.

    -You are the only person I know that really cares if I get hurt or die. -She continued to play with her hair.

    He watched her with a puzzled expression.

    -I don't really think that's true, Belle. -He shook his head.

    -But it is. - She shrugged. -It might not be the most important thing to you either, but still no one else cares.

    -It is. -He said, and then frowned as if he didn't expect to say it out loud.

    She looked up.

    -You are important to me. That's what I was trying to say. I'm sure there are a lot of people who care for you too. -He assured her.

    -My best friends are murderers. My relatives care much more about my parent's money than for my well being. -She pointed out. -My lawyers are making an effort to keep me alive, but I know it's mostly for loyalty to my parents and for concern for the businesses’ future. When I try to think about the people that are still alive and care about my existence… I only think of you.

    -Maybe it's because you and I are...

    He shrugged. Belle stared and waited, but he never finished the phrase. They stayed in silence. There was a knock on the door.

    -Room service.

    After checking it, Desmond took off his hand from the gun and opened the door, letting the waiter in. He put the pizzas and the plates on the table, arranging the knives, forks and napkins efficiently. Desmond handed him some tip and led him out. As he closed the door, he signaled her to take a seat.

    They ate silently. It was an uncomfortable silence, and the eventual sounds of her fork and knife touching the plate seemed loud to her ears.

    -You're so weird. -He broke the silence, putting half of the second slice in his mouth at once, using his fingers. -Who uses a knife and fork to eat pizza? It's almost offensive.

    She looked up and shrugged.

    -I don't like it when my fingers and chin get dirty. Besides, it's easier to eat it when you cut things before you put them in your mouth, you know? -She put a small slice into her mouth to prove her point.

    -Yeah, maybe, but it tastes totally different.

    -No, it doesn't! Maybe you're feeling the taste of the dirt in your fingers that you're taking to your mouth when you use them to eat. -She mocked him.- I'm weird, and you're nasty.

    He stared at his greasy fingers for a moment, then licked each one of them, staring at her.

    -Yew. -She pretended to be disgusted.

    -What? Why don't you try it? Eat that slice without the knife and fork! You'll get what I'm trying to tell you. -He cleaned up his fingers on the napkin.

    -Are you trying to seduce me, Desmond?-She sipped on her juice.

    -Oh yes, let me rub this slice on my face, to see if I get more appealing to you. -He rolled his eyes.- I just think it's weird that a teenager eats pizza as if she is a princess at a royal banquet. It's not natural.

    -How will you call me after my birthday, Desmond? A twentyager? -She frowned.

    -Till you're twenty-one, you're still a kid to me.

    She gasped.

    -If you can't drink, you're not even a human being. -He laughed, raising his glass provocatively.

    She pouted and turned back to her slice.

    -You shouldn't drink, anyway. -She shrugged. -I mean, I liked your drunk version, you're way more relaxed and nicer and… Cute. But it's not good for your health.

    -What do you mean by cute?- He tilted his head.

    She looked up and blushed.

    -I mean… Like, the hug, and the kiss.

    -I wasn't drunk. -He frowned. -I told you the truth, I had less than two glasses before you got here. One and almost a half, to be more precise. I wasn't even near drunk.

    She blinked.

    -Do you think I would've been able to stop you if I weren't sober? -His frown deepened.

    -I wish you wouldn't. -She said before she could stop herself.

    He opened his mouth to reply, but shook his head and shut it. The uncomfortable silence took over and they didn't have the courage to say a thing till they both finished their meal.

    She decided to take a shower. He offered her a clean shirt with long sleeves he had someone bring for him from his home among his clothes, noticing her discomfort for having to expose her arm. It was the last of his shirts that she had used while she had stayed in his house. He didn't have pants that fit her, though, so he offered boxer briefs underwear for her. She was baffled by the offer, but after he argued that it would be very uncomfortable for her to use those sweaty skinny jeans till night came, she accepted them.

    When she got out of the bathroom with her slightly wet hair, one shoulder exposed, because the shirt kept falling down to one side and the boxers covering less than half of her thighs, she felt uncomfortable. Desmond didn't look up, as he laid on the couch, with the ice bag under his shirt and was texting on his phone.

    -Are you tired? You can lay down on the bed, I'll stay here, you can go and take a na… -He finally looked up at her. -Holly crap.

    -What?

    -Nothing.- He murmured and looked back at the screen.

    -What is it, Desmond? -She pushed his shoulder, demanding an answer.

    He looked up at her, taking her figure from head to toe and letting out a sigh.

    -You're gorgeous, that's what. -He said nonchalantly. -Do me a favor and go away.

    She couldn't help but laugh.

    -Are you kidding me? I look like a beggar. -She sat in front of him, forcing him to back away.

    -Hardly. Get out, go to the bed, I'll call you when we need to get ready to go. -He pushed her back gently. -I'm serious, get away.

    -Desmond, why do you do that?

    -Why do I do what?

    -Why do you push me away when you want it as much as I do? -She got to her knees to be able to turn her body in his direction. -Is the idea of being with me that bad?

    -Don't do this, just go away. -He sat up, leaning on his arm. -You're gonna regret it if we do this.

    -And why is that? -She stood her ground, keeping their distance as short as possible.

    -Because… -He put his hands on both sides of her head and pushed her back, just enough so he could escape through her side and get up. -You're gonna get hurt. And I'll be stuck with you, not knowing how to mend it.

    -And how exactly do you intend to hurt me? -She turned her body toward him again and put one leg down, clumsily trying to look sexy.

    -I don't intend to. Look, I wouldn't find it awful to have a bit of fun with you, but that would be all. -He looked into her eyes with a serious air. -I don't love you, and I most likely never will. There's no way this could work.

    She swallowed and stared at him, as he sat on the armchair, turning his attention back to his phone.

    -What if I too want to have a bit of fun? -She crossed her arms, biting her lip.

    He furrowed his brows and then laughed, without taking his eyes off the screen.

    -Yeah, sure. -He shook his head. -No, thank you. Go take a nap, I'll let you know when you need to wake up.

    She got up and stood in front of him. He didn't flinch, pretending she wasn't there. So she just stared at him, patiently, until he gave up and looked back at her.

    -What? -His tone was irritated and tired, and he looked directly into her eyes.

    -You're kind of a coward… -She provoked him.

    -Yes, I am. You got me. I'm terrified by you. -He nodded, looking back at the screen. -I'm losing count of how many times you called me a coward. What do you expect to achieve by doing that? Do you think I'll strip off your clothes and grope you to prove you wrong? Go away, before my patience runs out!

    -Desmond… -She tried to approach him, but he lifted a hand as a warning.

    -Isabelle. -He sighed and looked up. -I'm tired, and I'm in pain. Leave me alone, for god sake.

    He rubbed his eyes with his finger and thumb and sighed.

    -You're a good girl, but sometimes you just don't know when to stop. -He muttered, slowly. -You're being totally inconvenient, I'm getting sick of you. Please, stop torturing me.

    She was speechless and feeling rejected. His plea seemed sincere and his eyes pierced through hers with resentment. She nodded and went to the room, crawling under the blankets and trying to fall asleep.
     
  13. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 7


    Belle woke up with his light touch on her cheek. He was crouching beside her, caressing her face.

    -Morning… -Ryan smiled. -Can we talk, please?

    She stretched like a cat, then held the pillow to her chest in a manner that made her look like a small child. Her eyelids were slightly wet, making it seem like she's been crying.

    -Belle… -He sighed and brushed her hair from her face. -I need to ask you something. I should have done it before, but to tell you the truth I was avoiding it for as long as I could. I can't afford to wait any longer...

    -What happened, Desmond? -She widened her red eyes.

    He sighed, fighting the urge to hold her to his chest. She had been crying because of his harsh words. How could he ask her for a huge favor after hurting her?

    -As you know I'm joining the witness protection program… -He said calmly. -Now that Daniel thinks I'm dead, I have to stay out of sight, not to disrupt the investigations.

    -Yes, I heard it when Miss Andrews said it earlier… And you're taking me with you. -She concluded, curious about what he would ask of her.

    -Oh… -He looked embarrassed. -I forgot that bitch talked a lot. I was so angry that I didn't pay much attention to her barking...

    She flinched as she heard him calling the woman names. It was the first time she heard him offending a woman for her gender and she wasn't expecting it, especially after their talk about sexism. She glared at him, involuntarily.

    -What? -He frowned, seeing the angry look in her eyes.

    -Don't use that word.

    -I don't remember you ever getting offended by my habit of swearing…

    -You're being sexist. I don't feel ok with you treating women as inferior. -She remarked, glaring even more fiercely. -That is totally different from you being foul-mouthed!

    -What? No, you don't understand… We already talked about this, you know I'm not sexist! -Desmond looked surprised by her lecture. He seemed to be out of words for some seconds, then relaxed. -I'm sorry. You're right, I shouldn't talk like that, especially when you don't know the reasons why I talk like that about her…

    -There's absolutely no reason for calling a woman a bitch! -Belle frowned.

    -I just… She… -He couldn't explain himself properly, so he just let it go. -I'll take it back, ok? Is that enough?

    She hid her pouting by biting her lower lip. She wasn't satisfied, but nodded anyway. He snorted and shook his head. He sat on the floor and leaned his arm on one knee.

    -Well… I know I said you shouldn't do things just ‘cause I told you so, but… I need you to accept joining the program with me. -He said it cautiously, like walking on thin ice, checking her reaction. -It's gonna be hard, we're gonna be taken to an unknown place and be given new names. You won't be able to contact anyone you ever knew and you will probably be deprived of a bunch of rights, and trivial stuff, like joining social media, going to crowded places or becoming public in any manner. We'll have to keep a low profile, it won't be easy in any sense. And I'll have to keep you from having access to the internet or to a cellphone, at least for the first couple of months.

    She just nodded. He sighed, forcing himself to keep looking into her eyes.

    -I'm telling you this, ‘cause I'm hoping you won't resent me for doing this to you. I really wish I could guarantee you a luxurious life or at least a comfortable one, but I can't, it's almost based on luck. -He shrugged. -What I managed to get is that we'll be together in the same housing. We'll probably get a married couple’s identity, since we don't look like siblings. I'll try to make you feel as comfortable as I can…

    She just listened, still not understanding what he expected her to do. She sat up, and rubbed her eyes with her fists. A yawn escaped through her mouth and she covered it with the back of a hand, lazily. He suppressed a yawn and waited for her answer.

    -And what do you want to ask me to do,Desmond? -She tilted her head, and tried to blow a strand of hair out of her face. After trying twice, she gave up and used her hand, locking it behind her ear.

    He smiled at the cute sight and shrugged.

    -I just need you to accept it, Belle. Andrews will probably bring the memorandum of understanding for us to sign in a few minutes, before they move us to another hotel. I wouldn't be surprised if she tried to persuade you to ask for being separated from me. I need you to tell her you want to stay with me. A friend of my family is helping me accelerate the process. -He sighed, then added, cautiously. -They may offer you another kind of agreement if you refuse to come with me…

    -And why would I do that?

    -I don't know. -He answered, but she could tell he wasn't being honest.

    -Why would you refuse it, if you were me?

    He flinched, looking down.

    -It may take a long time before we get them, and there's no guarantee that you'll be safe enough to just leave the program, even if Daniel gets life sentence or death penalty… We may be stuck in the program for years, we may not be able to have our identities back, forever. -He looked into her eyes, checking for a reaction. -Do you understand what this means?

    -Not really…

    -We'll have new names, with a different birth date, with new documents… It's starting over a new life, with a new job and new grades, new neighbors and all. -He tried to explain. -And you'll be living with me too. You'll be stuck with me. In our documents we'll be officially bound. Of course we can get a divorce if one of us meets someone, but it will certainly make it harder for us to get someone decent… I mean, I don't know about you, but I'm not willing to end up with someone like that, with the cheating thing and all...

    She frowned, but didn't say anything. He shrugged and waited for her to process it.

    -Doesn't sound bad to me. -She shrugged after a while. -Why won't you let me use the internet? And will you lose your job as a detective?

    -You're still my suspect. And the program recommends avoiding social media and interactions with algorithms that may make it easier to link your new identity to your older one… It might actually be good for you, since it will give you alibi, at least for the attacks that happen in the meanwhile. As for me, I'll still be a detective, but under cover, with a new name. I managed to convince them to keep me on the case, so I'll still be working on it. I’ll certainly lose the leadership of the team though, but it's ok… It's better than taking a bullet to the head.

    She nodded.

    -Are we good, then? You're coming with me?

    -I haven't decided yet… -She put a finger over her lip, as if pondering. His shoulders dropped visibly. She frowned. -Of course I'm coming with you. It's not like I have a life to miss, anyway.

    -Good. Go put your pants on and get ready to leave. -He frowned a bit with her last remark, but still smiled back.

    She nodded and he left the room, closing the door behind him.

    Andrews came back with a pile of papers for them to sign. She went on to explain all the rules and recommendations of the program and Belle tried to read some of the memorandum, finding it very uneasy. Desmond was wearing his uniform and went straight to one page in the middle, reading it carefully, nodding from time to time and following the words with his finger. She tried to peer at what he was looking at, but all she could recognize was currency symbols (mostly dollars) and his full name.

    She bit her lower lip and tried to concentrate on the words.

    -Do you have any questions? - Andrews asked her, politely.

    -I didn't know there would be so many rules… -She grimaced, embarrassed by the fact that she hadn't finished reading the third page yet. -Why do we need to be transferred so often from hotel to hotel?

    -The program is improved based on successful cases and possible flaws identified. It seems like moving the subject often is the safest way of keeping them from being identified or followed. -She explained patiently.

    -That and the fact that it's much cheaper to pay for a few nights than for a month in the same hotel. -Desmond said, without looking up from the page he was checking.

    -That's not true. -Andrews glared at him, but he didn't notice. -The money we spend on security and on moving you, doesn't cover the economy with hosting. He's an imbecile, don't listen to him.

    Belle nodded and continued to read it.

    -Are you really gonna pay me a salary for doing nothing? -She frowned.

    -You're gonna resume your studies in your new home. We'll provide you a small allowance for some time so you can establish yourself, just for some months, until you get a job that can cover your surviving costs.

    -You won't need to work, I can afford our expenses with my own income. -Desmond didn't look up.

    -Yes, he's probably right. Since he's keeping the NY paycheck, and you probably will be moved to a smaller city, you guys are gonna be able to live quite comfortably. -Her blue eyes narrowed. -At least when it comes to money… I wish you luck, getting used to living with that lunatic.

    -It has its perks. -He shrugged.

    Belle nodded again.

    -Don't you have any questions? -Andrews couldn't believe it. -I mean, you're leaving everything behind, don't you want to say goodbye to someone you love, or talk about taking your things from your house?

    Belle shook her head. She had already talked about it with Desmond and he would arrange it with her lawyers to send her clothes and some other small belongings to Riviera, that would make it get to her later. They would store some of her belongings in a room in one of her parent's enterprises’ buildings and the apartment would be sold after they recovered what had been damaged. He said this was the safest option, since he believed Daniel had put people to watch her apartment, in case she went back to grab her things.

    He looked up and held out his hand for her to take it. She smiled and held it, blushing. Andrews’s eyes flew from one to the other, then sighed.

    -Desmond… May I have a word with you? - Andrews snorted.

    -About? -He didn't look up, letting Belle intertwine her fingers in his.

    -Now. -She got up and walked to the bedroom, holding up the door for him to enter.

    He ignored her for some time, turning the page, then snorted and got up.

    -Read page twelve. I'm gonna keep an eye on you, so you probably won't be able to put yourself in danger like that, but it's important you know those rules. -He told Belle, before leaving the room.

    Belle observed as the door closed behind him. She tried to listen to what they were saying, but their voices were so low, she couldn't even hear a whisper of it.

    She wondered if Andrews was jealous of her. She didn't know why, but she could feel some kind of sexual tension between the two cops everytime they looked into each other's eyes. Only then she realized she was the one that was jealous.

    Of course she was glad Desmond wouldn't treat her as he did to Andrews, since he acted as if he wanted her to disappear in thin air, but still, they looked like they knew each other's secrets and thoughts. He rarely shared his thoughts with her, let alone secrets.

    She tapped her fingers impatiently as she turned the pages until she got to page twelve. It was a list of recommendations and forbidden acts that would nullify the state's obligation to protect her.

    The door opened and she couldn't help but stare. Desmond's face was very red as well as Andrews’ ears. Belle felt very jealous, wondering what they were doing inside the room for them to be so red. She glared at him as he sat, as an angry mother that caught a son doing something wrong.

    -What's with that face? -He mocked her.

    -Nothing. -She tried to change her expression, blushing.

    He stared and frowned, but didn't force her.

    She signed the papers, concluding that if there was something wrong in it, she didn't have enough knowledge to identify it, and that whatever it would be she wouldn't agree, they wouldn't change it for her. After a while, Desmond too signed it and handed it to Andrews, without looking directly at her.

    She checked if everything was right and put it inside a folder and put it into a suitcase that she locked with a numbered seal. Belle observed that with a curious expression. She showed Desmond the seal and he nodded.

    -The car will arrive in forty minutes or so. It's important that you two don't take long to get in, so, please, be prepared. -She instructed. -Leave the rest to us, we'll make sure you two are safe. Miss Ross… Come with me, will you? Let's take a walk.

    -You wish…- Desmond murmured and blocked Belle’s legs with his own leg, as Belle was starting to get up. -She'll stay here. If you have something to say, I'm not stopping you, but she won't leave my sight.

    Belle looked at each other, confused.

    -You don't have to pull her leash that tightly. -Andrews criticized. -I'm just taking her for a walk, she'll be back before you know it. She must be tired of being locked in here with only your face to look at, I'll just take her to see the garden and breathe a bit.

    -Yeah, and fill her head with bullshit. I'm not stupid, I know what you'll try to do. -He rolled his eyes and got up. -She's not stupid too, she'll tell you no, again, so don't even waste your time. ‘Cmon, Belle, let's get you something to eat.

    -I'm not hungry. -Belle answered, but got up anyway and came closer to him.

    -You will be, they'll probably take us out of the state, so it'll be a long journey.

    -I can get her some snacks. Let me talk to her, Desmond, she has the right to know. Besides, I want to have a serious conversation with her, woman to woman.

    -It would make sense if you were a woman, but you're just an asshole, so, no, she'll stay here.

    -What do you wanna tell me? -Belle frowned, curious.

    -We should speak in private.

    -It's ok, I want to go. -She told him as he tried to grab her hand. He stared at her with an air that told her he was offended. -It doesn't mean I'll do what she wants, but I want to be the one that decides what I'll do, please.

    He sighed and lifted his hands, as if telling her he couldn't do anything to stop her. Then he took his bag and started to shove things inside it, in anger.

    She put her hand on his shoulder to comfort him before she followed Andrews to the door, but Desmond's voice snapped and he caught her by the wrist.

    -No! You'll talk to her in the bedroom, you won't take her outside. It's too dangerous, I won't have you lose her and come back to me making up excuses. She stays here, where it's safe. -His eyes were fierce.

    Andrews opened the door and signaled Belle to go out. Belle hesitated.

    -How dangerous is it? -Belle asked him.

    -Very. -He answered. -There's no guarantee Daniel didn't send someone to follow her, they might take you or shoot you, I don't want you to leave this room without an escort. I'm asking you not to, but I won't let you, anyway. You won't leave this room, Isabelle.

    -She'll be with me.

    -Yes, which means literally nothing. Even if I go with you, that's not enough. -He glared, fusillading her with his sigh. -Unless you're planning to take her somewhere outside the hotel... If that's the case, you must think I'm very stupid.

    Andrews’s eyes squinted, and she answered.

    -If she decides to go meet Daniel, I have a car ready… But only if she wants to.

    -Ok, your conversation is over. -He pulled Belle by the arm, putting his body between them as he continued to wrap his things and throw them inside the bag. -Fucking stupid bitch… Sorry.

    He apologized to Belle as she frowned.

    -She was gonna kidnap you, don't rebuke me!

    She looked back at Andrews’s face and glared.

    -I wanna hear what you have to say, but I won't go anywhere with you. If you wanna talk, we can go to the bedroom and talk there. -Her voice was trembling, but she didn't know if it was because of fear or anger.

    She went to the door of the bedroom and held it for Andrews, mimicking her movements from early.

    Andrews sighed and closed the door, glaring at Desmond as she passed him. He blatantly put his shoulder on her way, making her stagger back.

    -If you make her cry, I'm gonna make you cry even more, do you understand? -He used a menacing low voice that made Belle's hair stand up.

    But Andrews just stared back, giving no signs of being intimidated. She walked in and Belle closed the door behind them.
     
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  14. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

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    I have to be honest with you, I'm kind of depressed because it came to my knowledge that there's this book called After and a bunch of things are similar to my story-.- I'm frustrated.
    but don't worry, I'll finish it =\ just not sure anymore if I'm gonna publish it. I don't know yet, gonna read the book when I'm done with mine and compare it myself ={
     
  15. beewink

    beewink Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm I tried looking for it, but the only thing that comes up is the After series by Anna Todd which is NOTHING like this story....But don't let it discourage you!!!
    Your story is so worth it :love:
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2021
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  16. R_Luna7

    R_Luna7 Member

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    Sending you hugs. :blobReach:
    I tried to find it too and the main ones I saw were by Anna Todd which was made into a pretty poor movie series on Netflix but it is NOWHERE near the plot of your masterpiece. Closer to She’s All That if you have ever seen that movie.
    And the second I found was by Peter Mulraney and the description makes it seem like the only likeness is that it is a crime/detective book series.

    cheer up friend. I think your story is captivating and unique. There are lots of books that share similar themes, but they aren’t necessarily the same. This could be one of those situations.
    But I’m sorry you are feeling down. I hope you feel our support and remember you are awesome ❤️
     
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  17. Isobel

    Isobel Active Member

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    Yes there are so many books out there that share very similar themes (think any distopia or vampire series ) so definitely don’t feel down!
     
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  18. novelenthusiast1717

    novelenthusiast1717 Member

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    Don’t be down! ❤️ I couldn’t agree more with everyone! Your book is unique not only because of the amazing Storyline but also because your style of writing that makes it so unique! You keep me on my toes every chapter I read!
     
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  19. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 8


    -First of all, I have something to tell you. -Belle gathered all her courage and said. -Stop underestimating me. I'm not a child, and you're trying to use me to hurt him, that's stupid and unfair. Stop it!

    Her voice was so thin and pathetic that she regretted saying it. Andrews stared back and nodded, leaning on the door with her hands behind her.

    -I'm serious, you keep saying things about his personal life to me, to play with my mind. He's the only person I can trust now, you can't take it from me. Stop, please. -She continued, not looking into her eyes, fearing she might cry. -I know he only cares for me because I'm important for the case, but it doesn't matter, you saying things to get me confused, to make me fear him, that's unfair, you leave me with nothing if I can't trust him. He didn't do anything to hurt me, he's been taking care of me in a way not even my parents or my aunt did, you don't know the first thing about him, so just stop.

    Andrews smiled kindly and nodded again, walking away from the door and sitting on the bed. Belle knew what she was doing. She was letting her have the higher ground to make it seem like she was exaggerating and being oppressive. She looked away and snorted.

    -Are you done? Ok, so let's discuss something useful, then. -Andrews’s smile vanished. -You should go see your friend before you depart. This might be the last opportunity you have to see him and talk to him, and maybe even get a confession from him.

    -I'm not meeting Daniel. And he's not my friend.

    -We'll keep you safe, there's nothing to worry about. -Her blue eyes shone with passion as she tried to convince her.

    -No, he does things to my mind, I don't want to meet him or talk to him. He drugged me, for a long time, it was awful to find out about it. Besides, he might realize Desmond is not dead. I don't wanna risk it.

    -You will be safe. We'll keep you two in our sights all the time.

    -I said no, and you can't force me! -Belle almost shouted. -How is it better to do what you want instead of doing what Desmond wants? At least I can please him when I meet his expectations, which makes me happy. What do I get for meeting yours? Nothing. Leave us alone!

    -You'll help him too if you close this case. He'll be happier than ever if he manages to get Daniel, believe me.

    -He can do that without me putting my life at risk. I won't go. -She crossed her arms in front of her chest as if they could protect her.

    -Ok.

    -Ok? So won't you bother me anymore with this?

    -For the time being. Now I have some questions I'd like to ask you. Sit here, please. -She pointed to the empty space on the bed and put her cell phone beside her. She was recording their conversation.

    -What is this for?

    -Just to help me fill out some reports.

    -Shouldn't I have a lawyer if I'm gonna be interrogated?

    -You're not the accused part, you're the victim. This is about Desmond.

    Belle shivered and sat on the bed, covering her mouth with her hand.

    -Are you investigating him? Because of me? That's insane! -She whispered.

    -Mr. Daniel Scott filled a report of sexual abuse. You were the subject of the report and he showed us a recording he made with his phone of you describing what Desmond did to you. It was very… Graphic. That made the report quite credible.

    -It was Captain Williams’ plan and Desmond approved it, they recorded it too, including our conversation before I called Daniel. It explained the plan.

    -Yes, I had access to the official record. But I noticed there was a cut in it... Desmond turned off the recorder to do or say something to you, right? And when the record starts again, you seem very distressed, you're crying and desperate… -Belle blushed, remembering how Desmond treated her on the occasion and how scared she was of him because of the gruesome script she had been reading. -I examined the record very carefully, Isabelle, and I heard a whisper and a groan. Your whisper, begging him to let go of you. Your groan, warning him that he was hurting you.

    There was silence and Belle felt goosebumps.

    -He was holding my arm. That was all. -She muttered in a strangled voice.

    -Didn't seem like it was the arm, it sounded like he was touching you inappropriately and you wanted him to go away.

    -It wasn't the case… -She whispered so her voice wouldn't tremble.

    -Why were you crying so much?

    -He told me what he wanted me to do, and I didn't want to. -She explained, sincerely, remembering how he asked her to leave him behind to be murdered by Daniel's minions.

    -Are you talking about you saying that he raped you? -Andrews insisted. -Your description was very detailed. I wonder where you got the inspiration to...

    -It was scripted. There were a bunch of other horrible things I was supposed to tell Daniel he had done to me, but I didn't have the courage. -Belle interrupted her. -That's why Desmond stopped the recording, he didn't want me to do it. He asked me to give up. He wanted to be sure that I was really conscious about what I was agreeing to do.

    -Do you think he enjoyed hearing you saying those things? Do you think he felt good watching you do it? -Her intent blue eyes looked like they were made of ice. Belle frowned.

    -What? No! Why? -She felt so outraged that she started to stutter.

    -In the report they said he took you in his arms to his car afterwards. Didn't he look… Aroused or satisfied that you had said those things about him? That you were describing things he did to you?

    -He didn't do any of those things to me, what are you trying to do? He never touched me! -She raised her voice, getting really angry. -He didn't even want to...

    -Belle? Is everything alright in there?-Desmond’s voice called by the door. -Is she bothering you?

    -I'm ok. -She answered him, then turned back to Andrews. -And stop saying he's trying to abuse me, he's not. He's a kind man, he never touches me in an inappropriate manner, he avoids touching me if he can, even.

    -Yeah, I saw it when he grabbed you in the living room, words wouldn't be enough to stop you, right? -She glared, then sighed. -It's ok, you are clearly into him, so you'll never realize how handsy and possessive he gets when it comes to you. I only saw you together for a few hours and I can tell you it's not normal. And I know his usual behavior, so I'm telling you, he's not acting normal now.

    Belle couldn't deny it, so she just looked down.

    -That's not even a problem. I don't care if you bang each other. His career might be over if you decide to report it when things go down, he's putting himself in a very delicate situation where you can destroy him with a bunch of tears and a fertile imagination in front of a jury… Which, if what you told me is really the truth, you have aplenty. -She continued in a monotonous tone. -If you wanna know my opinion, he doesn't deserve it. He used to be a good cop. But if he's stupid enough to throw it away because of a pair of young breasts, I can only mourn for his career. You are not the first, and you won't be the last.

    -Now you're being rude again…

    -For saying you're not special? -She lifted one eyebrow. -Wake up girl, he's a man. There's only so much he can do to you before he gets tired. Especially after he overcomes the loneliness, he's gonna get sick of you, as he did with Samantha. And you'll feel stupid and used. Mark my words: don't build up your life around him, he's a mess.

    -He's not interested in me. Don't worry. -Belle looked down, gulping the lump her own words built in her throat.

    -You'll have to talk sooner or later. He can't get away with it if he truly hurt you, Miss Ross.

    -He has never hurt me! -She answered, feeling affronted. -If you're not gonna believe me, then why do you even ask! He didn't have sex with me, ever, and he didn't even touch me in any sexual way, why are you doing this?

    -Belle? -He called again and tried to open the door but it was locked. She didn't remember locking it. -Open the door, Andrews, you can't force her to stay there with you.

    -I'm ok. -Belle answered, but it wasn't true. She was pissed and she wanted to cry.

    -She's ok. Go away. -Andrews shouted at the door.

    -Answer me. Why are you trying to make it seem like he abused me? -She pressed up, shaking her head. -He didn't.

    -I'm just trying to get to the truth of it. It's a very serious accusation, and you are clearly being intimidated by him.

    -He doesn't intimidate me. He cares for me.

    Andrews sighed and smiled sympathetically.

    -It's ok, Isabelle. If you feel like you wanna talk, ask Desmond to call me, ok? Don't be afraid of telling me the truth when you're ready. -She put her phone back in her pocket. -The car will arrive soon, take some rest.

    She got up and opened the door. Desmond was leaning on the doorway and glared at her. He got in and crouched in front of Belle, checking her face.

    -Are you ok? You were screaming. What did she tell you about me?

    -Nothing, just useless things. I wanna eat something, like you suggested. -She looked away. He put his hand on her cheek and she suddenly felt very aware of his touch as Andrews watched them with her hawk eyes.

    He led her to the living room and ordered two sandwiches, totally ignoring Andrews's presence. The room service was fast, and the sandwich was delicious, with smoked salmon and avocado. Truth is, she didn't know if the sandwich was good or if it was because it was the first time in more than a week she was having a second meal on the same day and not feeling the urge to throw up.

    -Fish before traveling? -Andrews criticized.

    -She likes it. -Desmond shrugged, wiping his mouth with the napkin. He caressed the girl’s shoulders, kissing her cheek before going to the toilet to brush his teeth. She blushed and looked at him with wide eyes, but he pretended it was normal behavior between them. She noticed he let the door open, as if to hear it if Andrews started bothering Belle.

    Belle started to notice the possessiveness and over protection. She made a face and tried to finish her sandwich, even though she was getting a bit sick from forcing it. She was getting worried that she might have developed a food disorder because of the past ten days eating minimum amounts of food on a daily basis.

    -You eat like a bird. -The woman remarked.

    -Stop bothering her, you asshole. -He shouted, with his mouth full of foam.

    -I'm just saying she eats too slow. -She insisted. -The car will arrive soon, if you wanna have time to brush your teeth before we leave, you'd better hurry up. We need to get inside as soon as it arrives.

    -Are you coming with us? In the car? -Desmond appeared in the doorway, wiping the water from his mouth with his sleeve. -Why?

    -I'm responsible for the delivery report. I'll oversee everything so that you two are safely transferred. Don't worry, you're gonna get rid of me as soon as you step inside the other hotel.

    -Can't wait. -He glared. Then he turned to Belle, stroking her hair with one hand and her cheek with the back of his fingers. -Are you ok? Didn't you like it?

    Belle tried to avoid his hand and looked down at the other half of her sandwich, almost untouched.

    -I did. I'm just not hungry. I'm forcing it down a bit.

    -Don't. -He reproached her, moving his hand to her bare shoulder and rubbing it with his thumb. -You're gonna feel sick. Are you really ok? Are you afraid, do you need something?

    She just shook her head and tried to eat another bite. He pulled the chair and sat beside her, putting one arm around her. Andrews’s brows went up, but he ignored her, brushing Belle's hair and sighing.

    -You don't need to be afraid, it's a simple procedure. We'll get inside a car, they will escort us… Maybe we'll change cars along the way, but that's all. You can sleep during the whole trip if you want to. -He tried to look into her eyes, but she was staring at the sandwich, avoiding his eyes. She felt tense with his touch, especially as she was well aware of Andrews’s eyes fixed on her. -I'll be right beside you, no matter what. You're safe.

    She smiled lightly and nodded, forcing another bite. He reached out and pulled her wrist, taking the sandwich from her hand with his mouth, finishing it in one bite.

    -Hey! -She looked into his eyes, pretending to be annoyed.

    -You're not hungry, but I am. -He smiled.

    -You'll have to brush your teeth again, now, your genius. -She mocked him.

    -Worth it. -He shrugged, playfully. -There it is! Keep that smile on your face… You look way more beautiful wearing it than those gloomy eyes that witch put in you.

    She blushed and went to the bathroom to brush her teeth. After a few seconds, he came after her and hugged her from behind, kissing her temple. She looked up at the mirror and saw Andrews blatantly peering at their romantic movements. Seriously, what are you doing?

    -The car is waiting. We need to go, rush, please. -He took his own toothbrush and did a very poor job brushing his teeth behind her. She felt weird as he kept acting as if they were a couple. Her heart sank imagining Andrews writing it all down on her report.

    She rinsed her mouth and looked at the toothbrush, not knowing what to do with it, since she didn't have her bag. He took it out of her hand and threw it inside the litter can beside his.

    -Let's go, we're already late. -He held her by the waist and pulled her out of the toilet. He paused by the door. -Do you need to use it?

    As she shook her head, he pushed her to the wall and started putting a bulletproof vest on her, turning her to check if it was properly fit. It was a bit too big for her, and it felt a bit heavy compared to the one she had worn to get to the hotel, but it was lighter than the one he had made her wear at his home.


    -Are you sure you don’t need to go to the bathroom? It will probably already be morning when we stop. -He insisted as he ran his hands through her nape to free her hair from the vest.

    -No, I already used it. -She answered, embarrassed by his continuous touch. -I'm fine, don't worry about me, Desmond!

    He smirked as she squinted his eyes at him, opening the door and peering before stepping out, holding the door for her. She unwillingly smiled before following him.

    -Well... That is all I ever do lately. -He sighed, almost closing the door in Andrews’ face.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2021
  20. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

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    I don't know the author's name yet, the person just sent me quotes of the book and quotes os my book for comparison. It's a friend of my friend, I don't really know him, but he read other parts I didn't post yet that she shared with him. I know there's a character named Hardin and a character named Noah (which bothers me a bit because I have a character named Noah that apparently have some resemblance with mine, but I could always change the name). I don't know if the plot is any similar, but the quotes were, that's why I was down, but I'm trying to look up. He told me it's a successful book, that has movies and all, but I don't wanna risk absorbing any of the story in mine, specially if it already has some resemblance. But then again, he told me it's a lot like Twilight and I don't agree much (I read Twilight, I don't think it's exactly bad, but it's not what I'm aiming for xD)

    Thank you for your support, but don't worry, I just decided to tell you in case my writing is affected by my mood, I hope you'll understand it if I have to take a break for a week or too. But I'm still writing and don't feel like the story is going downwards, it's following the path I had planned, so I think we're fine.