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

    Sep 18, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Reading List:
    i just know he is doing something reckless and my heart can’t handle it!!!
    saye and beewink like this.
  2. saye

    saye Well-Known Member

    Jun 15, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Reading List:
    As a whole Im lovingg lot of stuff :LOL::LOL:. I like the fact that Belle starts talking about her feelings as in how she feels about the plan and stuff without tactlessly following Desmond's opinion and that little banter with Corey in the study :ROFLMAO:. up until now she was acting little submissive towards Desmond, in my opinion. Now she's showing that she actually is smart as Desmond and Revierra claimed her to be. Im proud of our little girl :love:. Also I like the fact that whole terrorism storyline is finally going forth, up until last two episodes it was mostly about "Belle und Desmond". I hope this will be more progressive in the upcoming episodes too. I hope that storyline is the main and stay rich.
    Like I thought Desmond really has decided to go through with his super risky suicide mission against Daniel and his followers :mad::mad:
    Also I definitely love the addition of his team in the storyline like boys really funny :p like Desmond seems to be in a good mood whenever he's with people he knows like colleagues and Magda (flashback to their meal time some episodes ago) and them joking about Desmond and Belle, specially Corey:cool:. Reallyy love them.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2021
    beewink, R_Luna7 and GiBro like this.
  3. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Reading List:
    Chapter 45

    She spent the whole morning inside the room, reading and listening to music until the iPod battery died. When she heard a knock on the door, she thought it was Marrie bringing her lunch. She found it was weird that she didn't open the door right away, and hurried toward it, worried that the tray might be too heavy. As she put her hand on the doorknob she thought about the possibility that it could be Desmond but tried to keep her expectations low.

    -Hey… -Corey greeted her when she opened the door. -How are you doing, Miss Isabelle? Did you sleep well?

    Belle looked around. Captain William, Lucas and Roy were right behind him. Her heart pounded and she blushed from head to toes. She thought about screaming for Marrie to come, but decided to just close and lock the door. Corey blocked it easily with his foot and frowned.

    -We just want to talk with you. -His friendly tone was gone and he assumed a professional posture.

    -He doesn't want me to talk with you. -She looked around the room, thinking about what she could throw at him to make him step back for her to close the door, but there was nothing near enough for her to grab. -I'm not gonna betray his trust.

    -We're doing this for him too, Miss Isabelle. -The Captain said. -I believe his life is in much more danger than yours.

    -He told me he has a plan. He told me that if his plan fails I can do what I want. If his plan fails, I'll help you with yours. And I won't go to the precinct, I won't go anywhere he doesn't want me to. -She pushed the door harder, but Corey pulled the door slightly with his hand just to show her that if he wanted to, he could shove it open without any effort. She considered the idea of stomping on his foot, but doubted that her weight would be enough to hurt him as he was wearing heavy boots.-Go away, please, I'll listen to you when he comes back, if he's ok with that.

    -What if he doesn't come back? -Roy talked for the first time. Belle looked at him, feeling a lump form in her throat. She gulped as she studied his face. He had a physical appearance similar to Desmond, in weight and height, just less muscled and having a protruding stomach that was beginning to form. His hair was slightly lighter and he had a stubble that gave him an older appearance. He wasn't anything near handsome too, looking average. -Yes. That's exactly what I mean. What if his plan leads to his death? Ours have zero risk. He didn't have a plan yesterday and then he came up with one in less than two hours. I know him, I know he likes to ponder over and over again to make sure no one will get hurt, and I know too that his well being is always the last part of his planning. I highly doubt he had time to take measures to ensure he'll come back in one piece. He's counting on luck.

    Belle went mute. She should've insisted that he told her of his plan. He didn't give her enough information, there was no way she could be sure that he wouldn't die.

    -Daniel was spotted in New York, Miss Isabelle. -Lucas took his phone from his pocket and walked in her direction. She involuntarily took a step back. He stopped and his cheeks turned slightly pink. -I just wanna show you a picture.

    She nodded, and he stretched his arm for her to see a blurred picture of a man with a red cap and a blue jacket in front of a café, talking to a taller man. She was sure it was Daniel, even if she couldn't see his face.

    -We need to act now. Desmond left the precinct about half an hour ago, if he gets word that we're putting our plan into action, I'm sure he will come back to try to stop us. We can do it here if you don't want to go there. It's safe, the sign is not trackable. -Roy explained. -Look, I want to end this. My wife just gave birth to my first son and I want to spend some days with him. I'm here because I believe that you two need all the protection you can have. But keeping you here is dangerous and letting them act as they want to is even more dangerous.

    -What do you want me to do? -She replied, feeling numb. Desmond would hate her if she acted behind his back, but then again, if he didn't intend to come back to her, he was the one who had lied to her first. If I fail, you'll know, then you may say whatever shit you want about me. His words practically told her that if he failed, he wouldn't come back. -I'll help you now, what do you need me to do?

    The men exchanged glances. Apparently they hadn't expected it to be so easy. Lucas handed her some sheets of paper. It was a script.

    -Read it and imagine that it's true. You need to make him believe you. You can improvise as you want to, but it's important that you put details to your narrative, because we want him to be outraged enough to want to act as soon as possible. Tell him you're at the precinct, don't forget this information. Don't forget to tell him that Desmond is staying there too. Read that part and don't stray too far from that part, because he probably won't believe that Desmond is hiding, but it's reasonable that he'll believe that he's afraid after the video. -Captain Williams started to coach her. -Cry, as much as you can. Pour your heart out, think about every time you felt impotent and weak in your life. Go to the deepest low sentiments you can grasp. We need him to feel like he's gonna lose you if he waits any longer to take you away from Desmond. We'll start to arrange things for the recording. They will be monitoring the call from the van. Do you prefer to do it downstairs or here in the bedroom?

    She ran her eyes through the script and felt goosebumps. The description of the rape scenes were detailed in a level that made her stomach feel sick. She wanted to cry for this imaginary girl that suffered this level of violence.

    -I'm not doing this. -She murmured. -I can't say those things about him. Who wrote this? This person needs psychiatric intervention.

    -You don't need to say it exactly like that, it's just for reference. -Lucas explained.

    -Were you the one who created this? -She looked at him with a disgusted face.

    -No! -He looked offended. His face was almost purple. -No, I just changed the names and printed it. I couldn't even read it all.

    -And you want me to say this happened to me? You want me to say Desmond did this to me? -She threw the papers at the floor. -I won't do this. Come up with another plan!

    -We will make sure it's clear in the recordings that it is scripted and that he never touched you, don't worry. This won't harm his reputation or yours. -Corey squatted and gathered the papers. He got up and suddenly grabbed her arm, shoving the papers against her hand. -Miss Isabelle, you told me to man up, I'm telling you to woman up, now! This isn't about you anymore. People will die. Women will suffer this kind of thing on a daily basis thousands of times more often if the world turns into what Daniel wants to. Take this fucking script, study it and make sure you don't mess it up when we have that demon on the other side of the line. Desmond told me you're astoundingly smart and strong. From what I've seen till today I think his feelings toward you made him delusional. Please, prove me wrong!

    His green eyes were flashing with anger. She bit her lower lip and nodded. He smiled kindly.

    -Sorry for that. -He whispered and let go of her arm. -And sorry for touching you too.

    She involuntarily rubbed his touch away and looked at the Captain.

    -I'd rather do it here, alone, if that's ok for you. -She murmured as she didn't want to have to talk about her body like that in front of a lot of men.

    -I'll have to stay with you, to intervene in case something goes wrong and to start and stop the recording. I'll have to explain the plan before we call him too, for the recording. -Captain Williams explained. -But don't worry, I'll stay as far as possible from you.

    Belle nodded. She took the script to the bathroom and sat on the floor, reading it thrice before coming back to the bedroom. She cried a lot of times during the reading and felt nauseated and angry. She herself wanted to kill the guy that would do those things to someone, and she was scared about what Daniel could do to Desmond if he met him. She decided she would demand that they would first be assured that Desmond was safe before they put the plan into action.

    When she got inside the bedroom she saw Lucas and Captain Williams leaning over a small camera. Over the bedroom there was an object that looked like an old radio and a cell phone attached to it. She sat beside it as she waited for Lucas to leave the room.

    -I need you to call Desmond, and tell him what we'll do. I'll only talk to Daniel after I'm sure that he can't get to Desmond. -She explained. -That's mandatory, I won't negotiate with you and won't let you bully me to give in.

    Captain Williams nodded and showed her his own phone. He had texted Desmond about fifteen minutes ago explaining everything. Desmond had read it and replied with a single emoji of a middle finger about two minutes ago.

    She started to move to give it back to him, but she saw that Desmond was typing again.

    RD 13:11- I'm on my way, don't you dare do it before I get there.
    RD 13:11- Call me.
    RD 13:12- I wanna talk w her
    RD 13:12- Answr the phon
    RD 13:12- pick it up mothrfuckr!!!!!

    She looked up, confused. Then she realized that the phone attached to the radio-like object was vibrating. Captain Williams had his back to her, adjusting the angle of the camera, since she was smaller than they had calculated. She picked up the phone out of reflex.

    -Hello? -She answered and Captain Williams turned to her with a puzzled expression, then frowned as he noticed she had answered his phone.

    -Isabelle? What the fuck, Isabelle? We had a deal! -He shouted in her ear. -Marrie called me desperate saying that you were inside the bedroom with four of them! Roy is blocking her downstairs!

    -I'm sorry Desmond, but you didn't give me any choice. I can't let you risk your life just because it will make me feel bad to say those things. -The Captain looked like he would snatch his phone away from her but paused and watched her. -We'll wait for you, how long will it take you to get here?

    -About one hour. -He replied. His tone was angry and offended. -I can't believe you did this after our talk yesterday! You're unbelievable! How can you expect me to trust you?

    -You said I could do it if you failed… -She murmured, embarrassed.

    -You just ruined it, I couldn't even start it! -He shouted. She heard a long honk and the engine of his car making a loud noise. -Isabelle, from all the times you disappointed me…

    -I didn't do anything yet, you told me to wait for you and I'm waiting. -She cut him.

    He snorted so loudly that she winced.

    -Drive safely, we'll wait for you. -She murmured. -And please, understand, I didn't act behind your back. I asked Captain Williams to tell you everything.

    -You disobeyed my orders! -He shouted so loud that she had to take the phone away from her ear.

    -That's because you're not my boss! I don't have to do what you want, I didn't promise you anything other than that I'd wait for you, and I'm waiting! Stop being childish and get here safely! -She screamed back. Captain Williams chuckled involuntarily. -I'll hang up, pay attention to what you're doing, I don't want you to get involved in an accident because of this.

    -Screw you. -He answered.

    -Yeah, you may be angry, it's ok, just drive safely. Try to see it from my point of view, how would you feel if you were in my place? -She sighed. - Bye, see you soon.

    She hung up without waiting for his reply. Captain Williams got his other phone back, putting it inside his pocket, then crossed his arms.

    He explained that they would record the briefing of the plan so they wouldn't have to do it later. He pressed a button on the camera and Belle looked at him as he made questions and she answered. She told her name, age, that she was taking part in the plan by her own will, that she understood it and agreed with it and wouldn't sue the government for it or it's effects. Then he briefed the plan and she confirmed everything. He stopped the recording and sighed.

    -Do you wanna have lunch, Miss Isabelle? -He asked her. She shook her head. - I believe he'll take some time to be back.

    -About one hour. And from the noise he's driving insanely fast… Do you have any idea of where he might have gone?

    -No. We should eat something. -He insisted.

    -You may go. -She looked down at the script and pointed at it. -I fear I might throw up. This is awful. You really should investigate the person who wrote it. I think this is too detailed to be all fiction.

    He nodded seriously. She was glad to feel like he sincerely intended to look into it.

    -Let me know if you change your mind, Miss Isabelle. Marrie can bring you something or you can join us at the table. -He walked toward the door and stopped as he was closing it behind him. -I'm sorry that you have to go through this, Miss Isabelle. Keep in mind that it's all Daniel's fault, not ours.

    -I will. -She nodded, watching him as the door closed. She lay her head on the pillow and read the script again, trying hard not to imagine Desmond doing anything near that with her.

    After a while the door opened without warning. His dark eyes stared at her with furious displeasure.

    -How dare you? -He grunted. He closed the door behind him and strode toward her. She sat up and he grabbed her nape, forcing her to look into his eyes. -How the fuck did you think this was right? You don't have any idea what risk you put me through!

    -Yes, I don't, because you didn't tell me! -She grunted, trying to pull his arm away. -Get away.

    -Why didn't you wait? -He grabbed her wrists and pinned her arms down. -Why did you even let them in? You told me you…

    -You're hurting me! -She whined. It was a lie, but after all she read, the last thing she wanted was to feel his hands on her. -Let go of me!

    Desmond let go of her and looked down at the cellphone attached to the machine beside them. He creased his eyebrows, then fidgeted with it and shook his head.

    -Was that imbecile recording you without your knowledge? -He threw the phone over the bed. She looked at it irritated too, but Desmond grabbed her chin to force her to look at him again. -Why didn't you wait, Isabelle?

    -Because I was afraid! I was afraid you'd get yourself killed! -She started to cry. She had been holding on, all this while, from the moment she got out of the bathroom. -I don't wanna do this, I don't wanna say those things, but between this and losing you…

    He let go of her chin and let her cry on his shoulder. He sat beside her and held her head.

    -I wouldn't throw my life away, Belle, I was trying to get him. I was following him and was trying to take him into custody, that was all. -He murmured. -I can deal with him if it's one on one, you don't have to worry.

    -What if he had someone follow you here? -She raised her head, startled.

    -He didn't. -He snorted. -But that's why I’m so mad. You put my life at risk for nothing! For a whim.

    -I don't see it that way. -She sniffed. -You could've been attacked by his followers.

    -And that's why I needed to be cautious, but then you and Williams acted behind my back and made me have to get out of there in a rush! -He sighed. -That and having to calm Marrie down too. She's crying, did you know? You were ungrateful, Isabelle!

    -I'm sorry… -She whispered, hugging him. -Desmond, there's something I need to ask you. I asked Captain Williams, but I don't know if I can trust him.

    -You can't. He does what he wants and he convinces you it's what you wanted to do in the first place. Don't trust him, he's smart. -He cut her. -What do you need?

    Belle showed him the script. He glanced at it and made a disgusted face, so she was sure he had read it before.

    -I need you to investigate who wrote this. This person is sick, and I'm sure he did this to someone, or he did it to a lot of women and just blend the stories. You need to check this. -She whispered.

    -It’s done already, Belle. One of them got five life sentences. He did a lot more than what’s written there. -He said with a blank face. -And if you want to know, he was one of Daniel's most avid followers.

    She gasped and looked down at the paper, then back at him, terrified.

    -This isn't a script, it's a testimony of a girl that survived. -He sighed. -And it wasn't only one guy too. One was arrested, one is dead and the other two are still missing. The girl is alive, but she still has the after-effects.

    She covered her mouth with her hand and closed her eyes. There was no sign that it reported the act of more than one man. The method was constant in all of it.

    -Do you still want to do this? -He looked into her eyes as she cried silently, mourning for the girl.

    -More than ever. -She sobbed and sniffed, wiping her nose with her sleeve. He gave her an empathetic smile and nodded. -Belle… I can't stay here and watch you do this.

    -I prefer you don't. -She nodded.

    -I won't be able to help you if I'm away. -He explained. -That means you’ll have to count on Captain Williams to intervene, and he won’t unless you formally ask him to. Hang up if you feel any discomfort, ok?

    -I’ll be fine, Desmond. -She murmured, looking down.

    He stared at her for about a minute, then took her hand and squeezed it.

    -Please, give up. -He whispered. She looked up and saw his dark eyes fixed on hers. -I don’t think this plan will work. It will only bring you harm. Please, give up.

    -But you said… You said if he believes… -She stuttered, confused by his unexpected behavior. -Desmond, you said the plan was good… Why do you think it won’t work?

    -I said it because I thought he’d lose interest in you once he believed you weren’t a virgin anymore. But I thought about it as I was driving here, he won’t see it as a flaw in you, he loves the pain, he thinks it purifies people. I still don’t fully believe he hasn't raped you. He’ll probably get even more obsessed with you, if he believes you were a victim of a violence this big. -He sighed. -He doesn’t have to come, if he’s involved with Brazilian militia, he must be involved with other powerful people here in the United States, and he just has to double the price on my head. It’s a matter of time before someone in the FBI gives me in. I’m already done, you don’t need to be too.

    She stared at him blankly.

    -Are you sure about this? -She murmured.

    -No. -He sighed. -That’s just what my guts are telling me.

    -Then there’s a chance that he’ll go to the precinct and be arrested. -She murmured again.

    -Yes. As there is a chance that he’s innocent and has an evil twin brother. -He rolled his eyes. -He won’t come, Belle. He’ll send people to kill me, that’s all.

    -That’s not true. -Captain Williams leaned by the door. -He will go to the precinct if he believes you don’t know about it or can’t take actions against him. I talked to the Director, he agreed to issue a fake order for arrest for you. We’ll make it seem like you’re under investigation. That will make him…

    -Nice, now besides being a rapist I'll be a convicted criminal? -Desmond rolled his eyes. -If you and Riviera are so eager to see me out, why don’t you come and get me?

    -We are trying to help you, Desmond. -Williams crossed his arms. Believe it or not we both care about you, we want you to be safe. Luring him to the precinct is better than having him trying to get your address. Roy got an offer too. He’s closing in.

    -I think this won’t work, I think that’s a bad idea. -Desmond snorted. He looked straight into her eyes and said in a calm tone.- I don't want you to do it. I'm asking you not to. Do you still wanna do it, Isabelle?

    Belle looked from Desmond to Williams. She didn’t want to disappoint him, but knew that his plan was way riskier than this one. If it was true that Daniel would only raise the amount of money on his head, then the one thing that they couldn’t do was sit and wait. Besides, there was always the alternative of him going under protection. She imagined that an FBI agent under protection would have a better treatment than herself.

    -Desmond… -She bit her lip. -I’m sorry, but… I don’t want you to go after him. If we can take him to the precinct and get him, I…

    -Fine, do whatever you want. -Desmond snorted and rushed out of the room.

    She felt terrible for upsetting him, but couldn't relate to him. Why couldn't he see that she was doing it for him?

    -Are you ready? -Captain Williams asked her. As she nodded he pressed the button of the camera, then approached her and prepared the cellphone. He put headphones on his own and handed her the one that was attached to the machine by a wire.

    -You decide when we start. Take your time to get in the mood, we are all here for you. -Captain Williams told her. She was delighted with his voice actor's tone talking to her kindly for the first time. This time she felt that he really meant it, and wasn't just trying to make her do whatever he wanted.

    -Thank you. -She murmured. -Can you please keep your back to me while I do this? I'm really embarrassed of saying those things, it's even worse because you're a stranger, but I don't think I will be fine after doing this in front of you.

    -Sure. If you need to talk to me, don't forget to press the mute button first. He must not suspect that you have people helping you or that the police knows, ok? -he explained.

    -I'm not stupid, Captain Williams. -She clicked her tongue. -I'll do my best to be convincing and not ruin the plan.

    He nodded and stood by the window, looking outside.

    She sighed and pressed send to call Daniel.

    *** **** *** **** ***

    Corey was listening to the exchange with curiosity filling his mind. The Captain was being remarkably kind with her. That wasn't all strange, but everyone seemed to resent the girl, even if involuntarily. He himself had hated her for a while when they first got word that she was Daniel's lover and sponsor. Then, a couple of weeks ago Desmond had taken back everything, saying she was innocent and that she never had any love interest in Daniel.

    Even with their colleague and former leader saying so, practically no one took it seriously. But now, being around the girl, he was starting to believe it. More than that, the rumors, that he had taken as bullshit till now, were starting to make sense.

    He still didn't believe that Desmond had abused her or that they even had reached this level of intimacy. Jacob’s words had been rude, but there was truth in them. They weren't in a mental state that would justify a hot time in bed. Still, he never saw or heard of Desmond being so obsessed with someone, to the point of protecting them from the slightest situations. She was like a delicate flower made of crystal in his eyes. She was small and her mental state might be weakened, but she had a hell of a personality. When he heard her talking down on Captain Williams, he held his breath and screamed inwardly What the hell, girl, shut up, are you crazy or what?

    Still, Captain Williams for some unknown reason had taken it as a momentary tantrum and ignored it. Even Miss Riviera, who wasn't used to spending time with witnesses, seemed to find the girl interesting. She was captivating, maybe because she had a pleasant appearance, maybe because when she spoke she had a kind air that made you want to smile back at her, maybe because she looked interested in everything you say…

    There was a knock on the van’s door. It was more like a bang, almost a punch. He woke up from his daydreaming and looked around. Everyone was tense, Lucas turned away from the computer and put his hand on his gun. Jacob had his ready and unlocked in his hands. Roy stared at the door blankly, taking his headphones off. Corey did the same and grabbed his gun.

    -Who's there? -Roy called.

    -Really? Someone knocks on the van’s door and your answer is “Who's there”? -Desmond's voice was muffled and irritated. -Open this damn door.

    -What are you doing here? Thought you would go out for a walk… -Roy opened the door for him. Without any warning he embraced him and patted his back firmly. -You have no idea how glad we are that you're ok…

    -Yes I do, you left your mini Roy back home just to assure it. -Desmond pushed him back, trying to get rid of him. -Thank you for that, man, hope you get to go back to them as soon as possible and spoil every good manners Lia taught him till now.

    Roy smirked and offered his seat to Desmond.

    -I'll take the headphones, but you may sit. I'm a pile of nerves, can't sit and relax. -He grunted.

    -Tell us the truth, you saw her naked, right? Is she worth all this trouble? -Jacob mocked.

    -Shut up, dude. -Lucas lifted one side of his headphones and his face turned red. -Show some respect for her.

    Desmond just ignored him, putting the headphones on. She had just started to talk. As he heard Daniel's calm voice, he felt goosebumps. I should have killed this bastard when I had the opportunity... He would have never met grown up Belle, but he was almost sure that he would have done it if he could come back in time. As “almost” showed up in a place he would have never expected it to, he felt something squeeze inside his chest and leaned back on the van’s wall.

    -...Are you ok? I looked for you everywhere, Belle. -Daniel's voice was calm and soft, with fake worry. -Are you with that detective? Where…

    -Daniel… -Her voice was full of despair and she was crying. For a moment Ryan wanted to take the headphones out, but he couldn't, he had to make sure that she would be fine after this. -Please help me, I can't take it anymore, please…

    She went on to explain that she had stolen a cellphone from one of the cops on the precinct and that she couldn't take too long. At some point the description got so heavy that Corey took his headphones off and rubbed his face harshly. Even Jacob had a sullen mood and crossed his arm to his chest. Lucas listened to it intently and his eyes were closed, his face contorted with anger and disgust. Ryan looked around at the others and sighed. He was listening to her voice, and although he tried hard to tell himself that he would never do anything like that to her, he felt dirty and worthless. The mere thought of hurting her and getting pleasure from it made his stomach churn.

    -When I begged him to stop, he… -Her voice was cutting with sobs and there were wet sounds between them, as she was clearly crying intensely.

    -Belle… -Daniel's voice cut hers. Ryan felt a shiver run down his spine. His voice was calm and there was a hint of pleasure in it. He was relaxed after hearing it all, maybe even amused. -Belle, listen to my voice. Listen only to my voice.

    There was a snapping sound. Ryan turned his head to watch her face on the monitor. She was creasing her eyebrows and looking up, as if trying to remember something.

    -When I count to three, you're gonna close your eyes and be safe. No one will be able to touch you or see you. There will be only you and me, I'll be right in front of you… -Daniel's voice was constant and soft. There was another snap. -All those feelings will be gone. The pain will be gone. Desmond will be gone. One…

    There was another snap and Ryan felt his legs trembling. He slid his back through the wall and sat on the floor.

    -Two… -There was another snap. -Three. Hello, Belle… I want you to keep your answers short, just in case someone listens to you. Are we at the precinct?

    Ryan looked at her. As she opened her eyes, they were distant, looking at something beside the camera. She blinked slowly and shook her head in a mechanical movement.

    -No… -She said in a very low tone, almost inaudible.

    -Good girl. Are you in Desmond's house? -He went on. There was another snapping sound. -I want you to tell me where you are. I'm gonna come get you and make Desmond pay for what he did to you. Are you in his house now?

    -Yes… -She breathed out the word and her head fell forward, making her bend down.

    Everything was silent for a few seconds.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2021
    imeren, beewink, R_Luna7 and 2 others like this.
  4. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Reading List:
    Here's the first time Ryan remembered little Belle :love: Hope you enjoy it ;)

    Another Brick in the Wall - Pink Floyd

    -This shit of a country, they don't even have a tree I can lean on… -Abbe grumbled. -Look at this! A bamboo forest would look more like a forest than this shit…

    He realized Desmond wouldn't say a thing. The girl's head hung from the side of his shoulder, her eyes closed.

    -Desmond… Is that girl alive? -He squinted his eyes. -Have you been carrying a dead body for more than two hours?

    Desmond didn't answer. Abbe balanced the heavy load he had been carrying and picked up his pace. When he saw his companion’s face he gasped.

    -Desmond! What happened? -He threw the backpacks to the ground and put the rifles down, pulling the man by his shoulders to stop him. Desmond staggered and fell on his back. The girl was dropped, sprawling to the side, and woke up, startled.

    Abbe ignored her, giving gentle slaps to Desmond’s soaked cheek.

    -’Cmon, dude, what happened? -He looked down and saw the bleeding leg. -You gotta be kidding me. Did you walk this far with a wound that big in your leg? Are you stupid?

    Desmond grunted and started to recover consciousness. He wiped his forehead with his forearm and tried to sit up.

    -Shit, I passed out… Is the girl fine? -He shook his head to clear it and a bit of sweat dripped from his hair. -Are they coming after us?

    -Screw the girl, you're bleeding! How did you let this happen? -Abbe was rummaging inside the backpack to get the first aid kit. -And why didn't you tell me you needed help?

    -We don't have time for this, we gotta get back before they find the bodies… -His voice was weak. He turned to the girl that was on her knees and hands near him and lifted his thumb to signal that everything would be fine. -Get me some water since you're there already.

    -Bodies? How many did you kill? -Abbe creased his eyebrows, opening the canteen for him before putting it in his hand.

    -Thank you. Ten. -He took small sips, then offered it to the girl. At first she just looked at it, then turned it in her mouth, spilling some of it on her face and chest. Abbe gaped and Desmond chuckled. -I'm kidding, just two. One of them stabbed me.

    -How did you let this happen? -He repeated. -We gotta treat it right now.

    -Do you still have some of that horrible brandy? -The girl handed him the canteen back and he handed it to Abbe.

    -You shouldn't drink at a time like this… But I do. -He looked for it and handed the small bottle. -Don't drink too much, I'll need it if they catch up with us and I have to leave you two to die.

    It was a joke, but Desmond didn't doubt there was a lot of truth in it.

    -You shouldn't even have it with you, I'm doing you a favor getting you rid of it before you get in trouble. -Desmond snorted, snatching it with an annoyed look.

    He took off the belt that was almost strangling his slightly swollen leg and thought a bit before deciding to put his pants down. Cutting it would be too troublesome and right now he didn't think the girl would even notice his half naked state. The cut was ugly, but wasn't so deep. Abbe was right, he should have stopped as soon as he could and taken care of it. He cleaned up the wound as best as he managed to, using the beverage as antiseptic. Abbe protested when he received the bottle almost empty, but Desmond didn't look up, as he started to stitch the wound closed.

    -Let me do it for you. -Abbe offered himself. Desmond paused on the second stitch and looked at his friend's trembling hands.

    -No offense, man, but I don't think you're in a better emotional condition than me.

    -You're right… -Abbe sighed and sat down on the ground. Then he turned to the girl. -Do you think she's hungry? She looks like she hasn't eaten in a long time.

    -I don't know… I need to concentrate here now, I can't remember the words to ask her. Offer her something, if she wants to, she'll take it. -Desmond didn't lift his head. The pain was worse than he expected and he was afraid that his fever was a sign of infection. He couldn't afford to lose his leg. Especially now that he was so close to joining Richard, he couldn't let this happen. He jerked his back as the girl suddenly pressed herself against him, whimpering and groaning. -What the fuck, Abbe?

    -I just offered her a jerky and she went crazy, it's not my fault! -He sounded irritated and offended. -You were the one that brought this wild animal, don't blame me!

    Desmond just gazed at him and he flinched. The fire in his eyes was enough to shut the man up.

    -Back off. -He murmured to the girl, signaling that he wanted her to stop touching him. The girl nodded and sat beside him, observing him as he stitched his own skin. He laughed inward as he took glances at her curious eyes. It was impossible not to remember the little girl that observed all his movements with big smart eyes as he rescued her from under debris in a blazing house. He wondered how she was now. It's been almost three years... Belle... He remembered her lovely expression as he asked her her name and as she held his hand in an awkward position. He looked down at his own hands, remembering her small fingers intertwining with his as if begging him not to abandon her. The name fit her perfectly. She was delicately cute and would certainly grow into a beautiful woman. His smile turned into a bitter grimace as he remembered that she was now an orphan and her memories of him would probably be the worst ever. -I wonder how old she is now...

    -I think she's ten. -Abbe chewed on his beef, avoiding to look at him. -Maybe nine, maybe eleven, but she's so skinny that you can't tell. Whatever the age, too small and too young to be used like a whore.

    -I don't think there's an acceptable age to do this to someone, but I got what you mean. -He grimaced as he looked down at his sloppy work.

    The scar would be very ugly, but the bleeding stopped and the wound was shut. Now he had to rush to their base to get proper treatment. He wrapped the bandages, as the girl tilted her head and checked his expression. When he pulled his pants up the girl flinched and looked away.

    -You should eat something… -He mimed to her, showing the jerk and tearing a piece with his teeth. He tore a piece with his fingers and offered it to her. She leaned over and took it with her mouth.

    -Ah, she's like a dog. -Abbe grumbled. -Throw it on the ground, maybe she'll eat it.

    -Shut up. -Desmond huffed. -She had her arms tied up for a long time, look at her wrists... She probably had been fed like that for the last two years.

    Abbe tilted his head. His face showed confusion and inquiry.

    -She's Sara’s daughter. The one that was kidnapped, I'm pretty sure I told you about this. -He got up and took the girl in his arms, then sat over a rock and offered her his leg for her to sit on. She nodded her head and he took her to his lap, feeding her like he would do to a baby.

    -Ah… Then you think you're her father, now? -Abbe squinted his eyes. -Is that why you risked both our lives for her?

    -I didn't know who she was until I looked into her eyes. She has Sara’s eyes. -Desmond ignored his accusation. As far as he knew, Abbe’s life had never been endangered. -For your information, I don't want to have kids, ever. Sara knows that what we have is just for fun and it's none of your business, anyway.

    Abbe shrugged and looked away. He felt disgusted seeing Desmond taking care of the girl like that. When the girl had had enough, she started to turn her face away and tried to get down. Desmond helped her get to her feet and the girl looked around.

    -What do you need? Are you thirsty? -Desmond asked her. Abbe rolled his eyes.

    The girl put her hand between her legs.

    -Ah… -He scratched the back of his neck. -Ok, come here.

    He took her to a rock and pointed. He mimed, telling her they wouldn't look and that she shouldn't go away. He tore a piece of the clothes he had stolen from the dead men and gave it to her, unsure if she would understand that she should use it to wipe herself.

    He went back to where Abbe was lying down and rummaged on his own backpack, looking for something to eat.

    -You know she's gonna have children one day, right? -Abbe grunted. -And that they will grow and come to our country and bomb our houses…

    -Man, you should seek treatment… -Desmond sighed as he chewed. -I mean, I know racist people, but you… You make Hitler sound reasonable sometimes. Why are you so narrow minded?

    -Why are you so open minded? You know we can't heal their disease. We are here, trying to keep them safe, for what? As soon as we retreat, the Islamic State or any other shitty extremist group will take over again and they will do nothing to fight them back. Believe me, those women like to live this way. Those men like to live this way even more.

    -It's Taliban, retarded… And you don't know a thing. Sara is a teacher. She loves teaching the girls. She said the girls dream about being able to work, to travel, to marry someone they choose. They don't like being treated the way you and those cowards treat them.

    Abbe shook his head. Desmond had chosen the words carefully, comparing him to the terrorists, on purpose. The girl came back and pulled his pants. He looked down.

    -Are you thirsty? -He asked her, handing her the canteen. She shook her head and reached out with both arms. He put the rest of the food inside his mouth and took her to his chest, lifting her without any effort. -Geez, I think my dog weighs more than her.

    She wrapped her legs around his waist. By her trembling he knew that it hurt to do so, but she pulled her body against his, and he held her. She leaned her head on his shoulder and cried silently.

    Abbe watched it and his eyes brimmed with tears. Desmond smirked.

    -For now, they need our protection. And even though some don't show it, they are glad we're here. -He stroked the girl’s dirty and tangled hair. -If we can make sure that some of them will understand that there's more to this word than this fucking misery and won't turn into one of those monsters, and not give birth to some of those, either… Then we can rest assured that we succeeded.

    -Maybe… -Abbe sniffed and cleared his throat as he got up. -Still, I wish I could be holding my own son and protecting my own kind. They should be able to protect theirs.

    He got up and took their backpacks. Desmond offered to carry his own, but Abbe looked at him as if he was crazy. He helped him adjust the rifle’s strap on his shoulder, though. They checked the direction with the compass and kept moving. By the time they reached the town, the sun was already up in the sky.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2022
  5. saye

    saye Well-Known Member

    Jun 15, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Reading List:
  6. saye

    saye Well-Known Member

    Jun 15, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Reading List:
    after reading again, my biggest question is : the reason why Daniel is calm during the call is because he's getting pleasure from the pain Belle supposedly went through aka purification or whatever he believes in, or is it because he had been luring them into this exact situation? :confused::confused:

    and autor-nim, even if you dont meet the deadline you put, no one's gonna hate you since the story is worth waiting :love:(y)
    beewink and GiBro like this.
  7. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Reading List:
    Think we'd need a forensic psychologist to understand a psychopath's mind =P
    I guess even the author can't answer this xD

    Ty :love::giggle:
    beewink and saye like this.
  8. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Reading List:
    Chapter 46

    -What… -Desmond’s voice was almost a whisper. He looked around, but everyone was just looking at him, in apprehension. -Is this shit working? What happened to her?

    Then Daniel’s voice was back and he pressed the headphone against his ears, trying to identify the sound of Belle’s breath. He couldn’t listen to it and exhaled hard, leaning his forehead to his fist.

    -Belle… Can you hear me? -Daniel said in the same calm, soft tone. -Say it a little bit louder, I can't hear you.

    -Yes. -Belle’s voice was weird. She sounded drunk.

    Desmond immediately got up.

    -Williams, you have to stop this now! Take the phone away from her ear, now! -He took the microphone from Corey’s hand and shouted. Everyone inside the van was staring at him as if he was a crazy man, but he didn’t care. He remembered perfectly that night, when she had called, begging him to help her. Daniel was seizing control over her, exactly as she said it had happened before.

    He waited, but Williams clearly wouldn’t do as he had told him to. He snorted and threw the microphone at the table. Corey frowned, opening his mouth to ask him what was going on, but giving up as soon as he saw his friend’s furious eyes.

    -Here’s what I need you to do, Belle. Everything is fine, everything will be ok, I can protect you. Only I can do it. Desmond is bad, he will do way worse to you if you don’t get out of that house right now. -Daniel continued. He made the snapping sound again. -Answer me this: Is there someone hearing this conversation now, Belle?

    -Not you, only me. -She paused only for a second and Desmond saw her eyes slowly move toward the window. Her posture was weird, she looked tired and her head was hanging forward, even when she lifted it.

    -Get me this streaming on my phone. -Desmond took off the headphones and reached into his pocket to take his earphones out. -Are you fucking deaf? Do it, now!

    Lucas, who had been looking at him with his mouth half open, winced with his shouts and turned to the computer, quickly typing and darting glances at him. Desmond’s phone rang and he put it inside his pocket after answering it.

    -Good. Do you know the address of his house, Belle? -Daniel went on. -If so, I want you to tell me just the first and last letter of each word and the number.

    -Motherfucker! -Desmond headed to the door at the van’s back, but Roy blocked his way. -Move!

    -Calm down, Desmond, you’re gonna ruin everything if you interrupt it now. He may say something compromising… She’s fine, she’ll be ok, it’s not like he’s hurting her or…

    -Get out of my way, Roy… Move. -Desmond’s voice started as a low mumble, but raised as the other didn’t shut up and didn’t move aside. -Move, you asshole!

    -C'mon, Desmond, everyone wants this case to end so you can go back to normal and... What the hell, man, get off of me! -Roy’s words cut when a hand grabbed him by his throat and slammed his back against the door, hard. -Are you out of your mind? You can’t do it, are you crazy?

    -Wow, calm down, Desmond! Let go of him! -Corey took his headphones off and got up, trying to grab his arm, but was shoved back with one movement. -Man, you’re gonna get in real trouble if you hurt one of us, stop! Think about it.

    Everyone except Lucas, turned to the heated exchange, trying to intervene. Corey grabbed his arm again and Jacob grabbed the other. Together, they managed to immobilize him, but only for a moment. He used their strength and the momentum to ground himself and made Jacob fall on his stomach with a sweep kick. With his now free arm he pulled Corey by his nape and shoved him to the ground too, putting his knee over his back and holding Jacob to the ground by his head.

    -I don’t know the address. -Belle’s voice was weak and shaky. -I remember… I remember there was a street sign at a corner… I read it, but I can’t remember the name of the street.

    -Try harder, Belle, you can remember it, listen to my voice. You’re gonna go back to that night, and you’re gonna see the sign again. You’re gonna remember the route too, ok? -Daniel’s voice was more urgent. -Stop talking so much, the person will realize what you’re doing and then Desmond will have you forever. Do you want this to happen? He’ll do terrible things to you, Belle. Raping is only the first thing, he'll ravage you...

    -Son of a bitch! -Desmond roared. -Get out, Roy, I swear to god I’m gonna break every single tooth you have in that big mouth of yours, move!

    -You can’t go there now, Desmond, I’m sorry, but I’m doing this for your own good. -Roy put his arm in front of the door’s handle.

    -Desmond… -Corey grunted under him. -You know he’s right… You’re being stupid, she’s fine, she’s safe.

    -He’s getting my address, you asshole! -Desmond shouted in his ear.

    -What? -Roy’s face contorted in confusion. The three men frowned. -This call can’t be tracked, he won’t get shit.

    -No, he’s right, he’s gonna get his address if Miss Isabelle remembers… -Lucas nodded, lifting only one side of his headset as he turned his head a bit. He seemed at ease with the turmoil happening behind his back, focused on his work. -It seems like she’s under some kind of trance, I don’t know...

    Roy’s arm started to go down, but he put it back in front of the handle.

    -Still, you can’t go there, let’s just put down the call. Lucas, get the captain’s permission and cut the signal. - Roy turned his head toward Lucas.

    Desmond took the opportunity and ran in his direction, opening the door and heading out. Roy reacted quickly, stretching his arm and holding him back with a rear naked choke. The two men fell to the ground. Desmond gasped but rolled over and pinned Roy under his body, then sat up and thrust his body back, slamming his back against his opponent's chest, once, twice, thrice. With the impact and the air being pressed out of his lungs, Roy’s arm lost it’s strength and Desmond twisted it in an odd angle as he got up. The pain in his joint intensified as Desmond jerked his arm back and pulled it hard. He was being handcuffed. He looked down, only to find that Desmond had taken his own handcuff during their brief fight.

    -You’re an asshole, did you know it? -Desmond clumsily put his earphones back. One side wasn’t working anymore. He picked up the small key of the handcuff and threw it as far as he managed to. He checked his scratched elbow just to be sure that it wasn’t bleeding too much. -Damn, I wanted so much to rub your face on the asphalt now, Roy…

    He exhaled hard and bolted to the house.

    -I can’t remember, I was so tired and… I didn’t really pay attention. The house is light green, I think… -Belle’s voice was even more slurred and hoarse. Suddenly her voice sounded a bit more clear. -Daniel… What are you gonna do if you get the address?

    Daniel was silent for a moment, but answered in the same calm tone.

    -I’m gonna get you out of there, Belle. I’m gonna take care of you, remember this: I’m the only person that loves you, I'm the only one who cares for you. You have no one else in this world. Don’t trust anyone else. -His voice was so calm and steady that it sounded like a chant, he made the snapping sound again. -You’re weak, you don’t have any power, you don’t have anyone but me. You need to help me get to you, Belle. You're alone, do you want to be alone?

    Ryan climbed five steps at once, running through the corridor toward the bedroom.

    -No... I mean with Desmond, you said you’d make him pay, what are you gonna do to him? -Her voice sounded more clear, as someone that had just woken up but was still extremely sleepy.

    -I’m gonna kill him. -Daniel answered simply.

    Ryan’s phone slipped from his ripped pocket to the ground. He cursed as the earphone was pulled from his ear, but didn’t stop to get it. His bedroom never seemed so far from the stairs. Her voice was clear to his ears, even though the door was closed.

    -No! Please, don’t do this! -She cried, her voice almost back to normal.

    Ryan stormed into the room and flung himself in her direction, landing on his knees in front of her. She didn’t look at him, but he grabbed her hand, took the phone from her and brought it to his ear, taking the wire off. There were many things he wanted to say to Daniel right now, and he didn’t want any of it recorded. He looked at her as she continued talking, unaware that the phone wasn’t in her hand anymore and his heart sank. His eyes darted to the captain who was rushing in his direction with a fearful expression in his face, warning him not to say anything.

    -You can’t do it! Please, I… I… -She muttered and stuttered at the imaginary cellphone. Ryan forgot everything he meant to say to Daniel. In that moment, all that mattered was to keep her safe.

    -What do you mean? Why wouldn’t I? He raped you, Belle, he deserves to die! -Daniel’s calm was gone. -Don't you want me to rescue you, Belle? Belle? Can you…

    -She’s mine now... Do you want her? Come get her, you cunt! You know where to find me, come meet me at the precinct, if you’re man enough to fight for her. -Ryan snarled under his breath. -You'll only ever touch her again over my dead body, piece of shit!

    He then looked down and pressed the button to end the call. As he threw the phone aside, Williams crouched to retrieve it.

    -I... Love him. -Belle ended her phrase with a whisper. A tear ran down to her chin, followed by others. -Please, Daniel... Don’t hurt him, I love him.

    Desmond looked up with a frozen expression of horror. Williams too looked at her with a curious expression. The girl was frozen, with a distant gaze, her hand still up beside her ear, as if she was still holding the phone.

    -Belle? -Desmond called her in a gentle voice. -You didn’t mean it, right?

    She didn’t answer. Her eyes were fixed in something invisible right in front of her. She blinked, but even this movement had a mechanical air, looking artificial.

    Williams took the camera and stopped recording.

    -Good thing the camera wasn’t capturing the sound. -He cleared his throat. -We can keep it between us.

    -I won’t owe you a favor, Williams, you can tell whatever you want to whoever you want. -Desmond took her face between his hands and forced her to turn her head toward him. Her eyes didn’t move as he did so. It was a disturbing sight, one could say she was blind. He shook her shoulders, but she didn’t react. -Belle, please, wake up.

    He took her hand and forced it down. There was no resistance and when he tried to intertwine their fingers, the way she liked to do, it was like doing it to a wax doll, with no sign of life coming from her.

    Belle didn’t answer and didn’t move. She was breathing but her chest was barely moving. Suddenly, her eyelids fluttered very rapidly and stopped. Desmond cursed under his breath. He hesitated for a second, then sighed and took her in his arms, heading for the door.

    -Where are you going? -Williams followed him.

    -I’m taking her to the hospital. -He didn’t look back.

    -You’re doing what? -The captain watched him as he crouched to retrieve his phone, supporting her legs on his knee to do so. -Why? She’s fine, she’s probably just embarrassed that she didn’t manage to get the information and confessed that… I mean, she’s fine. She's probably just faking or shocked...

    Jacob and Corey were waiting by the front door with worried expressions. The captain frowned but followed him as he climbed down the stairs.

    -He hypnotized her. -Desmond shifted her weight, leaning her on his shoulder and using his abdomen to sustain her with only one arm as he opened the door to the garage. -And she’s having a seizure now.

    -No, she’s not, you’re exaggerating… -Williams voice was firm, but still, something gave away his worry.

    Desmond turned to him before opening the door of the car to sit her in the passenger seat.

    -Do you see this face? -He shouted, with his face red as a tomato. -Does it look like she’s fine to you?

    Corey and Jacob exchanged glances. The captain sighed.

    -Right. We’ll escort you. -He turned his back to him, putting a hand over his mouth and shaking his head.

    -If she dies… -Desmond closed the door of the car after fastening the seat belt and making sure she was stable. He walked toward Williams, and got so close that his breath fogged the lenses of his glasses. He said in a very low voice, almost a hissing whisper, that only William’s ears could capture. -If she dies, or if she gets mentally damaged… I’ll make sure you’ll regret it for the rest of your miserable life. I’ll live only for this, do you understand it? Make sure you shove all your screwed up plans way up your ass next time they involve her.

    He got inside the car without looking back. The door of the garage began to open and Williams gave instructions to Corey and Jacob.

    Desmond didn’t wait for the escort. He drove fast, but under the speed limit, so the two cars managed to catch up with him. A few minutes had passed when Belle woke up, looking around.

    -What happened? -She was panting a bit, blinking fast.

    -How much do you remember? -Ryan answered with his eyes fixed on the road. He knew that if he looked at her now, he would want to scrutinize her face, which he couldn’t do while driving.

    -I was talking to Daniel… Then… I saw you. -She looked at the side of his face and blushed. She looked down. -I was probably hallucinating, though. It didn’t really look like you.

    -What do you mean? -He asked, glancing at her. He stopped at a red light and examined her expression. -What do you mean, Belle?

    -It didn’t look like something you’d do… Your face, I mean. You looked like… Nothing, it's nonsense.-She kept avoiding his eyes. He grabbed her chin and forced her to look at him. -Don’t push me, please.

    He sighed, but nodded. The light turned green and he had to put his eyes back on the road.

    -What did I say? I don’t remember what I said… Did Daniel confess? Did I make everything as planned? -She was recovering her awareness and was worried that she might have ruined their plan. -Did I blow it?

    -No. -Desmond clenched his jaw. -Belle...

    He wanted to ask her if she meant what she said, but didn’t know how she would react. He didn’t want to embarrass her and didn’t want to trigger another seizure. There was no way to be sure that it hadn't been caused by the stress of the confession. The last thing he wanted to do now was to make her cry or worsen her condition.

    -What, Desmond?

    -Nothing. -He shook his head and tapped on the wheel. -Don’t insist. I don’t wanna risk harming you.

    -Where are we going? Did we get his confession on tape? Are you taking me to the precinct? I can’t testify without knowing what happened, and I don’t remember a thing, everything is still foggy, you need to tell me. -She seemed uncomfortable by his refusal to tell her, but didn’t want to annoy him. His clenched jaw, the stiffened muscles on his arms and back, the somber look… Everything in him said that something wasn’t right. -Desmond, you’re acting weird, what happened?

    -I’m taking you to the hospital. -His voice failed for no apparent reason. He cleared his throat.

    -What? Why? -She was taken aback. -Desmond, I feel fine, you don’t have to do it! I know it’s bad for you. I don’t need to go there.

    -You had a seizure, Isabelle. -His face was a block of ice. -Stop bothering me, when we get there we’ll know if you need it or not. We are almost there, save your energy. I’m glad you’re feeling fine, though, sorry for not saying that before.

    She shut her mouth. He was tapping on the wheel, so she knew that he was feeling anxious or uncomfortable. She started to get worried too, with her whole body trembling against her will. He glanced at the mirrors and only then she noticed that there were two police cars escorting them, one on the rear and one beside them. She looked back at him, feeling very tired, and closed her eyes, only to give them a bit of rest for the burning sensation to pass.

    When she woke up, she was already laying on a bed. She looked around. There was a buzzing in her ears. It was a thin whistling and her eyes were blurred. She heard a strange sound, as if her head was underwater, and felt a heat on her head that slowly changed to a freezing sensation. She tried to turn her head and look around. Only then she realized that Desmond was standing beside her.

    -She's waking up. -He turned his head and a woman came into her field of view. -Belle, do you know where you are? Say something.

    -Hospital… -She murmured. -My head. Hurts.

    -It's ok, follow my finger please. -The woman put her index finger up and moved it from one side of Belle's head to the other. Then she grabbed a small flashlight and pointed the light into her eyes rapidly. Belle moaned as the sudden clarity made her head hurt even more. -Isabelle, do you know of anyone in your family that had a stroke?

    -What? -Her head felt heavy. -Did I have a stroke?

    -We'll just have to do some blood and imaging tests, but there's nothing in your medical records that indicates you have strokes in your family history and the main signs didn't present in you, so there's a great chance that wasn't the case.. -The nurse explained. -Another hypothesis is it was an epileptic attack. Your fiancé told us that you had a seizure and that you lost consciousness at least four times in a row until now. He said in all of the episodes you showed signs of confusion. Do you remember anything about these episodes?

    -Fiancé? -Belle blinked and pressed her eyes, trying to look at his face and understand why he would say that. -Ah, yes, I remember I was… Ah, may I have a word with my fiancé in private?

    She suddenly realized she didn't know how much she could tell her. Her face suddenly grew hot and she felt nervous. The nurse looked from one to another, then she nodded.

    -I'm gonna bring the papers so we can take the tests now, ok? -The nurse had a wrinkle between her eyebrows but left them alone in the room.

    -Fiancé? -She smirked.

    -It's a relative that doesn't require any written proof. I didn’t know if you’d recover consciousness, and in case they needed permission for some procedure I would rather suffer the consequences for lying than risk you not receiving help in time... It was just the easiest solution. -He shrugged, then lifted his eyes toward the door. -You know you just gave her the impression that I beat you, right?

    -What? How? -She didn’t know if he was just avoiding the subject or saying it seriously;

    -It doesn't matter… -He rolled his eyes. -Your lawyer is on the way. They contacted him as soon as you were admitted. It happened the last time too, but at the time they solved whatever they wanted to through the phone… This time one of them is coming here, do you have any idea why?

    -The bills. They are the accounts’ holders, so the hospital calls them. -She pressed her eyes, hoping it would help with the piercing pain in her head. -The hospital might be asking for them to sign something.

    -You are emancipated... -His eyebrows creased.

    -I am, but there are accounts that my parents didn’t want me to have access until I get twenty-one and meet some requirements… It’s because of the business and other investments, but I don’t get involved. I don’t intend to follow their paths anyway, so I’ll just leave it for them to take care of, even then... -She shook her head as if to signal that she was eager to change the subject. -Did I really have a stroke?

    -We don't know, but they'll find out and help you, you'll be fine. -He gave her a sympathetic smile, but she knew he was worried. He offered his hand for her to hold and she took it gratefully.

    -Should I tell them about the hypnosis? And about the drugs? -She asked him. This was the reason why she had asked to talk with him in private.

    -Yes. I already asked a friend to issue a request for a blood test, to check your hormone levels. You'll probably be asked a lot of questions, like if you're pregnant, the last time you had your period, if you did drugs, the last time you had sex, if something different happened… Just say you can't be sure. They'll test you for everything. -He squeezed her hand. -Tell them if you feel something is off though. And don't do what you always do, don't pretend everything is fine if it's not. Tell them if you're in pain or if you don't feel well. You had a seizure, and you were absent for a long period. Something's not right, Belle, I'm really worried about you.

    -Desmond, what happened to Daniel? Did he say something? -She felt uneasy with his resistance to tell her what happened while she was being hypnotized. -Did I ruin it?

    -You did everything right, Belle… -He kissed the back of her hand. He smiled at her and shrugged. -The plan was stupid. If anything, we have proof now that he wants to kill me. And that he can hypnotize you, although I still find it difficult to use in a trial, if for any reason you get framed, we'll try to use it.

    -But he didn't confess about the terrorist attacks, right? We did it in vain… -She pouted and he stroked her head.

    -It was a stupid plan. -He repeated, simply. -Please, listen to me when I tell you not to do something… I’m not trying to control you, I told you it would be dangerous. I asked you to refuse it, you went behind my back and... Next time, please, stand by me.

    -I will, I'm sorry. -She nodded. -I have this strange feeling, although I don't remember… Did I give him your address? I remember seeing the street sign… I think I read it out loud…

    -Do you remember it? -He tilted his head. -Do you remember telling him about the sign?

    -Oh no, did I tell him? It was like a dream and I was telling myself not to say it out loud, to say I couldn't read it… -She put her hand to her mouth. -Desmond, he's gonna find your house!

    -You didn't tell him. You said you didn't remember it.

    -Thank god! -She sighed.

    -I thought you didn't believe in god. -He lifted one eyebrow. When she frowned he forced a chuckle. -Forget about it, you need to rest and wait for the lab results, after taking the tests… I hope he hasn't damaged something in you.

    -Desmond… -She murmured. She hesitated and he pressed his lips.

    -Belle, if it’s something that will bother you to talk about, then don’t. There’s nothing we can do about anything now. Focus only on your recovery for the time being. -He let go of her hand and took a step back. He walked to the door glancing at her before opening it to check the corridor. -I’ll be right back, gonna check why they are taking that long.

    -It’s not an emergency, that’s why. -She pressed the sides of her head with all her strength. -But I really wish they’d give me something for the pain.

    -I’ll make it an emergency, then. And gonna check if they can do something about your pain before the tests. -He lifted one eyebrow and got out of the room.

    The nurse came back with him on her heels. She seemed to be annoyed, but didn’t mistreat Belle. Desmond was “invited” to get out of the room and as he had predicted, the nurse made a lot of questions about domestic abuse. After making sure that the girl didn’t show signs of being intimidated not to press charges, the subject was forgotten. Blood tests, a long questionnaire, and preparation for the EEG, among other small procedures took about three hours. In the middle of the test, though, she had another seizure and passed out.

    Back inside the room she was left alone for a long time. Nurses came and went. When she asked about Desmond, they just said that they would call him, but there was no sign of him. Eventually she was given analgesics and fell asleep. As soon as she woke up, that same nurse came back and told her that she had a visit that her fiancé had authorized to see her. It was one of her lawyers, Mr. Stenfel. He was the one that had helped her the most with her emancipation process, and the favorite from her mother. Although her aunt implied many times that her mother had had an extraconjugal affair with him, she didn't believe it. She used to call him uncle John when she was very young and her mother never gave any signs of feeling anything more than respect and gratitude for the man. In return for her parents' loyalty, he had done everything he could to make sure that Belle could have a comfortable life after they were gone. The fact that he and Mr. Alesky, her other lawyer, had made all efforts and managed to find her, even with her aunt moving from place to place to hide her from them, was proof enough that their concern for her well being was genuine.

    She nodded and tried to sit, but her head throbbed and she gave up.

    Desmond came in first, but she had a glimpse of the stern face of Mr. Stenfel right outside the door, before he closed it behind him.

    -Belle… -He sighed. He leaned his head back on the door and eyed her for a few seconds, then snorted and walked toward her. His dark eyes darted between her and the door, but settled on her face. -Belle, you know I care for you, right? That I want you to be safe and happy... You know that, right?

    He approached her and watched as she nodded slowly.

    -You told me that if I wanted you to leave, I just had to tell you when… That you would go. -He murmured, pausing to wet his lips. -You gave me your word, wasn't it?

    -Desmond… -Her throat felt very dry. She creased her eyebrows and bit her lip.

    -I want you gone by Monday morning. -He said bluntly. -I’ve already talked to your lawyer, he agreed to reach you only through your appointed deputy, if they need to. They are gonna help you with financial issues, and they'll make sure that good psychologists and psychiatrists are hired to take care of you in your new location, no matter how much the treatment costs or how long it takes.
    imeren, beewink, Isobel and 2 others like this.
  9. R_Luna7

    R_Luna7 Member

    Sep 18, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Reading List:
    Omg omg omg
    We are NOT breathing. We are NOT okay. Lol
    beewink, saye and GiBro like this.
  10. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Reading List:
    LOL, you make me laugh hard when you react like that hahaha
    beewink, R_Luna7 and saye like this.
  11. saye

    saye Well-Known Member

    Jun 15, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Reading List:
    I literally stopped few times in between just to calm my nervess goddd
    beewink, R_Luna7 and GiBro like this.
  12. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Reading List:
    I'm beginning to worry about your well being when we get to the last chapter =.
    beewink and saye like this.
  13. saye

    saye Well-Known Member

    Jun 15, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Reading List:
    omg reallyyy??!!! do you already have the ending decided?? god I really might cry :cry::cry:
    beewink and GiBro like this.
  14. R_Luna7

    R_Luna7 Member

    Sep 18, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Reading List:
    I can’t handle the stress.
    Someone put me under for the week. I’ll come back when the author comes back lol
    beewink, GiBro and saye like this.
  15. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Reading List:
    Ah, no, the last chapter of this first book. The second one to be honest I'm still deciding it's turns, but I think I have the end clear
    beewink and R_Luna7 like this.
  16. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Reading List:
    Chapter 47

    She gulped the lump on her throat staring at him without blinking. Her head ached terribly.

    -You didn't have a real seizure, you had a psychogenic seizure. It means your brain wasn't damaged, physically, but you can have all the symptoms of a real one. It was actually fortunate that you had an episode during the EEG, so they could easily diagnose you. -He clarified. -A doctor will explain it to you, but you'd probably guess this on your own: it’s caused by stress, angst, fear... There’s a huge chance that I’m the one that is causing you harm, besides Daniel. I want you to get away from me as soon as possible.

    -That’s… That’s not true, Desmond, if anything, you’re what had been holding me together till now. -She argued. -If it wasn’t for you, I’d probably be in jail or would have been kidnapped by Daniel.

    -And since I already helped you with both problems, you're free to go. -He sighed.

    -Or free to stay. -She argued. -You said I could stay for as long as I wanted.

    -I was wrong. You need to go. -He looked away and started to walk toward the door. -I'll let your lawyer in so you two can have a talk. He'll explain what you need to know about it.

    -Desmond, I don't wanna go, I want to stay. -She sat up, enduring the pain. -I want to have my say in it.

    -I don't want you to stay. -He turned to her with cold eyes. -I want you to be gone by Monday. It's my house, my life. You said it yourself, it's my decision to make. If you decide not to join the program, that's your problem. Inside my house, you won't stay anymore.

    Belle blushed as he looked at her with no signs of taking it back. She gulped and looked down, nodding. He opened the door for Mr. Stenfel, who came in with a smile and a nod, but she ignored him involuntarily as she realized that Desmond was getting out.

    -Hold on, where are you going? -She almost screamed. -Are you coming back?

    Desmond paused with the door almost closed behind him.

    -Don't worry, I'll just visit a friend in his room. -He murmured. -The agent that came with us that night, he's been through a surgery a couple of days ago, I'm just gonna take this opportunity to say hi, since I'm here.

    -Ah… -She felt embarrassed, mentally counting the days since Chloe had hurt his head. It must have been some serious damage. -Tell him I hope he gets better soon...

    Desmond didn't answer, closing the door as he walked away.

    -Mr. Stenfel… Sorry for this. -She sighed. -I’m sorry that we are meeting under these circumstances… I'm giving you a lot of trouble those days, right?

    -Don't worry about it, Isa. The insurance took care of almost everything, and we'll rebuild or replace all the items that had been destroyed by the fire with their compensation, so you don't need to worry… -He smiled kindly. -It's your health that I'm concerned about, now…

    -Insurance? What are you talking about? -She tilted her head. -What fire?

    -The fire in your apartment… -He furrowed his eyebrows, clearly worried. -You signed the papers last week, claiming the compensation, don't you remember it? Mr. Desmond sent them to me.

    -Ah, that… -She feigned understanding. Then realization dawned on her and she finally understood what Desmond had been hiding from her. -And how is the apartment? It was a criminal fire, wasn't it?

    -Yes, invasion and arson. -He shook his head in disapproval. -Of course the police won't tell me, but I believe they already found the culprits. They almost killed a girl inside the house. She was an outlaw and a runaway. I don’t know if Desmond told you about the details, but they said there was a good amount of cigarettes and other drugs inside the apartment. Probably some stoned teenagers, don't worry about it.

    -Yes, Desmond told me about it… -She lied, feeling her cheeks burn. -Do you know how the girl is?

    -I think she went through surgery and other medical procedures and is in recovery now. -He mused. Then he smiled at her, noticing her noble intention. -Don't feel guilty for this, Isa, if it wasn't inside your apartment it would happen in any other vacant house. Do you want me to investigate further on her condition, anyway?

    -Please, if it's not too much to ask. -She nodded. -I don't know how we'll communicate, though, because I don't have my phone, or anything else.

    -Well, I can ask Mr. Desmond to pass it on to you when I get a report. -He explained.

    -Ah, no, please. -She said urgently. -I mean, I don't want to disturb him even more. You can wait until I'm on the program and pass on to my appointed deputy…

    -Isa.. You get older but your heart doesn't change even a bit… It's ok, then, I'll make sure it gets to you. -He chuckled inwardly as he nodded. Then he sighed and his face got serious. -About your mental health… I'm gonna make a list with the best psychiatrist and psychologists in every state and send it to your appointed deputy. I can't risk making the transfer directly from your accounts, because someone could track down the transactions and find out your location. I'll need you to sign some documents too, to allow us to convert the proper amount into cryptocurrency so I can transfer it to your new name. This transaction will be based on trust, because we can't document it and we'll use a bank in Switzerland to transfer it back to you, I hope you understand…

    -I trust you, Mr. Stenfel, don't worry about this. Just bring me the papers and I'll sign them. -She hated this kind of subject and didn't mind hiding her discomfort. -May I ask you another huge favor?

    -Anything you need, Isa. -He nodded.

    -There's an agent, he got injured because of me… If I get his name…. If I can convince Desmond to tell me, would you, please, take care of his medical expenses? I mean everything, hospital, surgery, medicine, therapy… -She creased her eyebrows as she saw his posture change. -Please, he wouldn't be in this situation if I hadn't been irresponsible. They didn't have time to act carefully because I… Because I made a mistake and disobeyed Desmond's orders.

    Mr. Stenfel's face stiffened, but as he noticed her worried eyes, it softened a bit.

    -I guess we can come to a reasonable budget for this… I promise you he won't be forsaken. -He smiled and she nodded.

    -I'm sorry for imposing this on you… If I could go back in time I wouldn't have caused this trouble. -She was feeling awful for the cop. -About the fire in my house… There's something you should know… It wasn't incidental, they knew it was my place...

    -Oh, Isa, I'm sorry for lying to you… I wanted to pacify you, but I already know the police are working with the hypothesis that you were the target… I'm glad Mr. Desmond had you under his custody at the time of the occurrence. It helped us with the insurance’s investigation and it guaranteed your safety, one way or another. -He pressed his lips. -I must admit we were willing to file a lawsuit against this detective when we learned about what happened to you, but after all those events, we came to the conclusion that his methods seemed odd but proved to be consistent to assure your physical and mental safety… Till now.

    -He helped me a lot… Please, don’t do anything to harm him or his career. -She pressed her eyes as the pain started to become unbearable. -But about the fire, the girl, I think it was Chloe…. You remember her, don’t you? Blond, with clear blue eyes… She has a mark on her neck that is kind of heart-shaped... Ah! The one that pinched your buttocks once, in my apartment!

    She blushed as she remembered the embarrassing situation and her head throbbed with the blood flowing to the tip of her ears.

    -Ah… -He made a disgusted face. -Ah, I remember, yes… Why do you think it was her? No one told me it was someone related to you. It’s better if we keep it between us, the insurance company might think you were involved.

    -That’s not my point, Mr. Stenfel… -She felt irritation, but suppressed it, knowing that it wasn’t his fault. It was the pain. -She too got badly injured… I was wondering if we could help her too… With her expenses.

    -No, Isa, sorry. That would look really bad. -He shook his head. She expected this, but couldn’t hide her disappointment. -I’m sorry, but we can’t sponsor a criminal, even if she used to be a friend of yours… If it was something that could be done in secrecy, it would be different, but in this case, that wouldn’t be possible.

    She nodded, looking down. Again, it was her fault that Chloe was in this condition. Had she not jumped over the gap, had she let Desmond deal with the situation, she would be safe, even if in jail, and Trevor would have been arrested too. She couldn't understand why he would hurt her after rescuing her, but her mind immediately associated cigarettes with Trevor.

    -Did he tell you why he wants me gone so badly? Besides the excuse that he gets me stressed out? -She murmured, trying to forget the subject. -Desmond… Did he explain why he wants me to join the program?

    -He told me it was your decision… You don’t remember it, do you? -His face was a paint of worry and pittifulness. -Isa, you know we can move you to another country, or at least to another house, with vigilance… We can’t arrange the change of name, but the rest we can do, without any help from them. I’d actually feel more relieved if I could contact you 24/7…

    -But then they could get to you and hurt you… -She shook her head. -The whole point is you not knowing where I am so they can’t force you to tell them. I thought about it, Mr. Stenfel, I’m the one they want, I can’t involve other people.

    Mr. Stenfel looked displeased but couldn’t argue. He told her that he had talked with Desmond about the questions they had used on her testimony, and that he had approved them. She could tell he didn't like the idea of her recording the testimony without him present, but knew that he was counting with the chance of nullifying it later, had she said something compromising, accusing Desmond of abducting and coercing her. She knew very well her lawyers' methods, and that they played to win. After making sure she understood his instructions, he started to explain the basics of how they would follow with her entry into the program.

    Belle lost interest as soon as she realized it was mostly about money. She knew the importance of it to have a comfortable life, and it wasn’t like she despised being rich. It was just that she didn’t want to suffer the consequences for it, which seemed to be greater than the pleasures it brought. Ok, ok, just bring me the papers… She wanted to tell him, but let him talk till the end, feeling anxious every time she thought about how it would feel to go through the questions and assumptions all over again: “You look too young to be buying an apartment on your own…” , “Heritage, you say? What did you say your parents did for a living again?”, “Ah… That’s so sad… And do you plan to live here alone? Don’t you have someone to take care of you?” , “Don’t get me wrong, but a girl as young and beautiful as you… Living alone…”

    -Isa? -Mr. Stenfel snapped his fingers and her head hurt badly. -Were you paying attention? Do you have any questions?

    -No… -It was an answer to both questions. -Can you please tell the nurse that I can’t take the pain anymore?

    -Isa… -He sighed. -I’m so worried about you… Are you sure you don’t want to wait a week or two before you travel?

    Sure! Why don’t you go and convince Desmond about it? She nodded, looking down. She felt the tear tickling the side of her nose before she noticed she was starting to cry. Only when she lifted her hands to wipe it, she noticed that her scarred forearm had been covered with the sheet. She smiled at Desmond's kind gesture. The tear got stuck in her lips and she felt the salty taste that matched perfectly her bittersweet mood.

    -Thank you, Mr. Stenfel… -She murmured. -Please, don't worry about me… I'll be fine.

    -We'll make sure you will, Isa. Unfortunately I gotta go now… I’m gonna get the paperwork ready and make sure that we have everything right for when you leave. -He looked at her and smiled. -Let me know if you change your mind, ok? You can give up the program whenever you want and we can move you somewhere safe.

    -Thank you, Mr. Stenfel. I hope Ms. Stenfel is doing fine. I wish the best for you both… And in case I don’t see them again, please tell Mr. Alesky and the others that I wish them well too. -She felt like she wouldn’t see any of them ever again, but didn’t want to turn it into a goodbye, because it made her believe she would die before Daniel’s trial. -I’ll see you soon, I guess?

    -We’ll meet soon, Isa, don’t worry. -He assured her. -Mr. Desmond told me no witness has been hurt while under the Marshal’s Protection… Not one that followed the rules and recommendations. You’ll follow the rules and recommendations, right?

    -Right… -She murmured. As he turned to her with a reproaching look, she chuckled. -I swear I will.

    -I’m glad to hear that! -He winked at her and held out his hand. -So, take care, and come back in one piece to help us continue your parents’ legacy.

    She grimaced before she held his hand, but a smile sprouted as he chuckled. They intertwined their fingers and he got away, their fingers parting only when he was too far to keep contact. She smiled and sniffed back the tears. A minute or so later, the nurse came to administer more analgesics and check on her.

    A while after, the doctor came and explained her condition, recommending, among other things, prolonged exposure psychotherapy, hormone therapy and resting. She felt weak minded and fussy, but the doctor reminded her that it was a condition that affected many people, that it was involuntary and that it had nothing to do with her personality or character. She felt a bit better.

    Desmond came back a couple of minutes after she had been discharged. He waited outside while she got dressed, and helped her sit on the wheelchair that the nurse pulled until they got to the lobby. When he held out his hand to help her get up, she was surprised to find herself encircled by Corey, Jacob, the man he had called Peter and a younger man, who couldn't be much older than twenty, as they headed to the door. All of them were wearing uniforms, so people stared at her and Desmond as if they were criminals or someone important. His black eyes squinted and he clicked his tongue.

    -They escorted us here. -He explained, seeing her confused expression. -You were unconscious when I brought you in, so they were worried.

    She looked into Jacob’s eyes and saw a mix of worry and embarrassment. He smiled at her and scratched the back of his head, looking away almost immediately. The youngest man stepped forward and opened his mouth with an eager smile, but Desmond put an arm around her waist and practically carried her toward his car. She staggered, trying to keep up with his hurried pace.

    -Hold on… -She murmured.

    -It's too risky to stay outside like that. -He grunted. -We can talk inside the car. How is the headache?

    -I'm ok… Please don't run. -She looked back and saw the young man’s disappointed face as he waved at her. Corey laughed at him and poked Peter with his elbow shaking his head. -Desmond, please, I can't walk that fast!

    He sighed and slowed his pace, but they were already next to the car, so he let go of her waist and opened the door for her.

    -Are you sure you're ok?- He asked her as he took his seat and fastened his belt. -Are you in pain?

    -I'm ok, Desmond… -She murmured.

    -You don't sound like someone that is ok. -He maneuvered and glanced at her. -You look like someone that is in pain. What's the problem?

    -Nothing physical, I'll be fine. -She looked through the window to avoid looking at him. -You know why I'm upset. But you made it clear that there's nothing I can do about it, except accept it.

    -You know I didn't mean to hurt you… -He sighed. -You know I'm doing this for your own good, don't you?

    -You knew it would hurt me anyway and that I don't agree with you, right? -She snorted. -I don't wanna talk about it, if you won't change your mind, I prefer to keep it out of mine for as long as I can.

    -I don't want you to be sad. -He explained. -I just want you to have a normal life.

    -Uhum. -She muttered.

    They sat in silence for a few minutes. Then Desmond started tapping on the wheel and silently sighing from time to time.

    -What, Desmond? -Belle rolled her eyes. -Do you want me to say I'm happy? I'm very happy that I'm gonna go live alone in a place where I don't know anyone, living day after day afraid that I might bump into Daniel or one of his followers every time I turn a corner, yeah, I'm happy and will certainly be able to have a normal life, thank you. I'm even more happy with the fact that I'll never see your face again and that I'll have nightmares every single night about Daniel killing you and I'll probably be right in one of them. Yeah, I'm happy, why wouldn't I be?

    He frowned and kept his eyes on the road. When they stopped at a light he looked into her eyes and pressed his lips.

    -I’ve provoked him. -He said it as if they were resuming a conversation.

    -I beg your pardon?

    -I’ve provoked him. He will come, Belle. I can feel it, he'll come and he won't come to face me. He'll try something treacherous. -He looked away as the light turned green and drove in silence for a couple of minutes. -You can't stay, it's dangerous.

    -So it's not because you think you're bad to me, it's because of Daniel. -She bit her lower lip. -Why don't you come with me then?

    -It's because of him too, but I'm almost sure I've caused your seizures. -He shook his head. -Belle, I like having you near, but can't you see it will only get worse with time? Even if we still have a week or so before he finds me, you're gonna have to go, one way or another. With Denovan gone, with your testimony accepted and with Daniel coming, I'm out of excuses to keep you. Try to understand it, it's not a matter of choice.

    -You can come with me. -She repeated, practically pleading to him.

    -I won't come with you. Forget it. -He sighed.

    -Why not?

    -Because I need to solve this! -He punched the wheel. -I have to end what I began.

    Belle crossed her arms and shut her mouth when she almost asked something she knew that could hurt him. Instead, she swallowed her pride and pain and nodded.

    -What's on your mind, Belle? - He asked gently, glancing at her.

    -Ah, no, that's just absurd! -She snorted and protested. -How do you do it?

    -What? -She looked out and thought she recognized the houses, so she quickly looked down at her knees, resolved not to have any information that Daniel could take from her to get his address. -I just wanna know what you're thinking…

    -I know, but you always pick the worst moments to do that! It's as if you could read my mind and know that I'm thinking something improper, or shameful or hurtful! -She ranted, annoyed. -And don't say I'm obvious, because no one else ever did it, and I shut my mouth much more often with other people than with you!

    -Maybe they notice it too, but don't have the courage or interest enough to ask… -He shrugged. -Tell me what you're thinking, please. You looked like you were gonna ask something…

    She pressed her arms even more against her chest and shook her head.

    -What is that, Belle? -He chuckled. -What are you doing? That face...

    -I'm angry! It's as if you… It's annoying!

    -Is that your angry face? -He creased his eyebrows and glanced at her again with a smile.

    -What do you mean? -Her face burned from shame and annoyance.

    -You look very cute when you're angry. -He laughed and smiled broadly as he saw her blush even more. -God, I'm glad to know you're still healthy enough to bring that much blood to your cheeks.

    She smiled shyly and tried to hide her face with her hair, but he reached out and pulled her chin to make her face him. He took more glances at her than at the road.

    -You're cute when you're angry, but you're simply breathtaking when you smile. -Her heart skipped a beat with his easy smile.

    -Can't believe you're flirting with me exactly when I'm that mad at you… -She murmured.

    -I'm not flirting with you. -He let go of her chin immediately. -I'm just… It's not exactly a joke, because it's true, but it's just a friendly compliment… Tell me what you want, Belle.

    She was gonna ignore him, but remembered something she wanted to ask him and nodded.

    -Desmond, can you please tell your friend's name to my lawyer? The agent… What's his name? -She looked at him to check his expression.

    -What do you want with him, Belle? -He seemed slightly uncomfortable. -You didn't even talk with him, what would your lawyer need his name for?

    She hesitated, then came to the conclusion that there was no reason for him to go against her request. He parked inside his garage and took the key from the ignition, but turned to her instead of opening the door to get out of the car.

    -I want to pay his expenses. -She explained. -It's my fault he got hurt, I want to, at least, make sure he won't have to pay for my mistake with money, since he already had to waste his health and time.

    Desmond frowned and stared at her.

    -Are you serious? -He blinked and looked away, before frowning again at her. -You don't even know how much it will cost you…

    -It doesn't matter how much, as far as I'm concerned it should be me on that hospital’s bed, not him… -She looked down. -Please, make sure Mr. Stenfel has access to him, so we can take care of his bills, will you?

    He opened his mouth to reply, but then inspected her face and just nodded.

    -Do you promise me? -She insisted, unsure of what his answer meant.

    -Don't you trust me? -He looked offended. -Yes, I promise you, Belle, I'm not a liar, I wouldn't tell you I'd do something if I didn't mean it.

    He got out of the car and slammed the door shut. As she was getting out of the car on her own he frowned at her and held out the door, even though she was already out.

    -About that… You say you don't lie, but it seems you not only hide things from me, but impersonate me too. -She lifted one eyebrow at him and he paused.

    -What did you just say? -He murmured, with a confused expression.

    -I heard I signed papers for my home insurance, because of the criminal fire in my apartment that I apparently reported… Only that I didn't. -She whispered. He winced.

    -He told you. -He said simply.

    -Is that all? He told me, yes, but is that all you have to say? -She squinted her eyes, still whispering. -Really? That's forgery and we both could get in trouble for that! Why would you do it and what are we gonna do if they find out?

    -They won't. You were getting better, I didn't want to bring you down with this kind of news. -He shrugged, putting his hands on his pockets. -I thought it would be better to let you know when all was already solved.

    -Desmond, what if they compare my signatures? -She hissed. -What should I tell my lawyer if he questions me?

    -If they compare it, they'll find it exactly the same. -He frowned. -I'm not stupid, I wouldn't have done it if I couldn't make it flawlessly. I used the same movements you do and I don't think even you would notice any difference, stop being dramatic.

    She was speechless. He had seen her sign the papers at the hospital, still, it was wrong and risky. She couldn't believe an agent would do this kind of thing and not even feel ashamed after being caught.

    -Belle… I really just thought it was the best thing I could do for you at the moment. And I'd do it again. -He smirked. -I'm not sorry for that.

    -Will you explain what happened at least? -She pressed her lips.

    -Sure, but not here. I want you to eat something and rest. I'm gonna ask Marrie to prepare something for dinner, we can talk while we wait, ok?

    He led her to the bedroom and sat beside her on the bed. Bit by bit she came closer and before he knew it, she was leaning on his chest while he stroked her hair and back.

    He explained that they believed that Daniel, Trevor and two other men had invaded her apartment with bats and tried to beat Chloe to death, but didn't notice that she had survived. Apparently Chloe had been staying in her house since the night after they met her, but they didn't know if she had been waiting for Belle to harm her or to ask for her help. One thing was certain: Daniel and his crew came with the intent to kill and run. The whole operation took less than twenty minutes. Desmond said the only reason why Chloe was still alive was because they had decided to burn the apartment, scattering a lot of half burned cigarettes lit all over the place and leaving the gas on. Since Belle had installed a security system that cut the gas automatically and had a fire alarm that called the fire department as soon as the smoke raised, Chloe ended up receiving medical help in less than ten minutes after they left.

    -He doesn't know you at all… -He shook his head and moved to look into her eyes. -You told me about your gas system… It was, what, the third time we met or so? And I wouldn't expect less than smoke detectors, since you were so afraid of fire.

    -I never talked about it with them… I mean, I told them that my parents died, just didn't explain how… -She explained, sitting up to look at him. -I didn't tell anyone that you saved me, too. I don’t know why, it's just something that is mine, I can't share it without reliving it.

    He kissed her forehead and pulled her back to his chest.

    -I told you things I've never told anyone too… -He murmured in her ear. -It's weird for me, but it doesn't feel wrong. Maybe we feel comfortable because we know we won't tell anyone, I don't know either.

    -Desmond… I wanna ask you something. But I want you to answer it only if you want to and to pretend I didn't ask it if it hurts you. -She sat up again and looked into his eyes. -Promise me you won't hate me for asking it.

    He sat up too and nodded.

    -You said Daniel… Uhm… He… Two years ago, he was there, right? It was him, the person who… -She couldn't voice out her question, but he looked away immediately, so she knew she was right. -Samantha and your baby…

    -Her baby. -He corrected in a voice so low that she almost didn't hear it.

    -Sorry? -She tilted her head.

    -It's not important. Yes, he killed them. -He nodded, closing his eyes and grimacing. -And he enjoyed it. He was wearing a mask, but I know it was him.

    Belle felt goosebumps all over her body.

    -But he was only fifteen. -She whispered. -How… How could he do it? He's smaller than you now, and back then he was even… I mean, how?

    -He wasn't alone. But yes, I could've killed him. I was stupid, I hesitated. I thought… -He tried to explain, looking up at the ceiling and gulping. -I really, really, don't wanna talk about it, Isabelle.

    She watched his Adam's apple as it went up and down and felt a lump form on her throat. She got on her knees and leaned toward him, hugging his head to her chest. As he felt her arms wrapping around his neck and his chin pressing against her breast, his back stiffened, but he embraced her too.

    -I'm very sorry… -She whispered in his ear. -I'm so, so sorry… I feel so dumb for not noticing he was this person… I'm sorry. I wish I had stopped him back then.

    -It's not your fault. There's nothing you could've done. -He whispered back. -And you're helping me, anyway. I have to thank you.

    He put his hands on her back and nape, and bent forward to lay her down. Then he laid his head over her chest and let her run her fingers through his hair while he caressed her forearm. He lifted the sleeve that was covering her scars and ran his fingers over them. She felt the urge to take her arm away, but his touch soothed it.

    -I'm glad you're alive, Belle. -He murmured. -Please, stay alive.

    They stayed like that until Marrie knocked on the door to announce that dinner was ready. He wanted her to eat on the bed, but she asked to have dinner with him, at the table.

    Corey's turn was over, so he was about to leave and Jacob was leaving too, since he had been replaced by Mike, the recruit, so both decided to join them. Belle was surprised to find out that Desmond had kept his word even after Jacob made it clear that he was sorry.

    They ate in silence for most of the dinner, but then Jacob turned to Belle.

    -I hope you get well soon. -He said, looking down almost immediately as she paused with her fork midway to her mouth. He cleared his throat and went on. -I… I'm sorry for… I'm sorry. And I wish we could've known you better.

    She looked at Desmond, but he acted as if he hadn't heard it. She nodded and tried to give him a sincere smile but his words were still too fresh on her mind.

    -Thank you for saying that… -She cleared her throat and took a sip of water. -I… Yes.

    Desmond looked at her and sneered. She looked back at him, confused.

    -Stop being so kind… Tell him he can go to hell with his apologies. -He chuckled and Corey followed him. -You don't need to accept his apology. No one will judge you if you give him the middle finger.

    Jacob looked at her and grimaced, but nodded. Corey burst out laughing.

    -No, really, I accept your apologies, but… -She said, embarrassed. -I'm sorry, but I don't like you. You're very rude. I'm sorry, I don't want to offend you, but I don't want you to try to make it up.

    Desmond laughed and pulled her by her shoulder toward him, kissing her temple.

    -God, you can't be cruel even when you try to! -He continued laughing and Jacob couldn't help but smile. -That's the cutest “fuck you” I've ever heard.

    She tried to explain that wasn't what she meant, but the three men started talking and laughing, so she just resumed her meal. At some point Corey asked her opinion about the subject and she joined the conversation. Desmond too asked her about trivial things, so she became the pivot of the chatting. When they were finished and she said she would take a shower and go to sleep, Jacob apologized again and said he was honored to meet her. She thanked him politely and went upstairs. Desmond knocked on the bathroom’s door after some minutes to ask her if she was fine, then appeared by the bedroom’s doorway after she got dressed.

    -I'll stay here until you fall asleep, ok? -He explained, sitting on the floor beside the bed.

    -Why don't you sit here? -She asked him, giving way for him on the bed.

    -Because if I do, I'll probably fall asleep. -He sighed. -I just want to be sure you won't have another seizure… I won't be able to sleep if I don't make sure it's over for now.

    -I'm sorry for giving you so much to worry about… -She yawned, stretching her arm out of the bed in his direction.

    -Tomorrow Magda will come to see you… -He took her hand in his and leaned on the bed, resting his head on his forearm. -I want you to make a small list of things you want and need.

    -What do you mean? -She yawned again and he mimed her involuntarily.

    -I mean I want tomorrow to be a good day for you. I want you to list things you wanna do before you leave or need me to get for you to take with you.

    -You. -She chuckled. -Can I take you with me?

    -No, but I got my day off tomorrow, so, first wish granted. -He winked.

    Belle tried not to sleep, knowing that he would go away as soon as she did, but she was too tired. She woke up with him putting her back over the bed.

    -What happened? -She groaned, still half-asleep.

    -I dozed off and woke up with you falling over me. -He whispered. -Go back to sleep, I'll come if you need me.

    -No… You said you'd stay until I fell asleep! -She protested and pulled his sleeves.

    He chuckled, but sat beside her, taking his phone out and checking his messages. She laid on his lap and held his waist firmly, smiling to herself as she fell deep asleep again.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2021
  17. Isobel

    Isobel Active Member

    Jul 3, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Reading List:
    Yes! So happy to get a chapter with some cute moments between them :love:
    beewink, saye and GiBro like this.
  18. saye

    saye Well-Known Member

    Jun 15, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Reading List:
    I came from work and about to check out the chapter names (the song lyrics) to find some clues about the upcoming chapters:oops:, but SURPRISEEEE:cool::cool: thank youu authorr:X3::X3:

    I like these little gestures they do naturally, like them in the car, during dinner and in the bedroom.:cry::cry::cry: I guess at least next chapter will be also fluffy since Desmond winked :love:

    P.S : is it Mr.Stenfel or Mr.Specter?
    P.S.S : what does he mean it's "her baby"? is he trynna like act like ... WHAT?! or do we have any recollection about the baby not being his? I mean I remember Corey sorta said sth like "bitch deserved to die, why are you even mourning her?" or such?? or am I just overthinking??
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2021
    beewink and GiBro like this.
  19. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Reading List:
    S2 Thank you for reading this

    I love to write them too :love: writing book 2 is being a delight because of this kind of scenes

    P.S ---->> Ooops, it was Mr. Specter, but I changed it because my husband reminded there's a lawyer called Specter in Suits, so I changed it to Stenfel -.- my bad, gonna fix it (I'm bad with names in real life too, I would certainly call Magda Marrie and vice versa)

    PSS -----> Corey wouldn't say it (he would think, but wouldn't voice out) it was Jacob =. but Yes, one of the two things you guessed =P
    beewink and saye like this.
  20. saye

    saye Well-Known Member

    Jun 15, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Reading List:
    so that woman cheated. I wouldnt say she deserved to die, but yeah definitely Ryan deserves better. but hey, isnt he the super confident super outspoken smartass?? was he just about to tolerate sth like that? (n) just how...
    beewink and GiBro like this.