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

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

  1. Isobel

    Isobel Active Member

    Jul 3, 2021
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    Definitely not Ryan’s kid! He always refers to the baby as her kid, I think Magda also refers to it just being Samantha’s baby as well.

    beewink, saye and GiBro like this.
  2. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2021
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    Dear readers, guess what I spent some hours of my Sunday doing? :giggle:
    Far from perfect, but for a first time using the program I thought it was worth sharing :p

    1Ryan.png DEA421F1-D61C-4AE7-948E-AC8274BE7AE0.jpeg
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
  3. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2021
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    Chapter 48

    As expected, Belle woke up in his arms. She enjoyed his soft breathing on her nape and neck and the warmth of his chest on her back. His grip to her waist was firm to the point of hurting a bit, but she didn’t mind it. She held back her will to caress his strong arms, and would have stayed like that for hours, had he not started to show signs that he was having a nightmare.

    -Desmond… -She whispered, trying to turn to face him, putting her hand on his cheek. -Desmond, it's ok, we're safe…

    He groaned and let go of her, lying on his back. His arm was still under her waist, but he used his free hand to rub his face.

    -Damn, what time is it? -He sat up and checked his phone that was still inside his pocket. -Shit, we overslept. Are you still sleepy?

    -No, I woke up a couple of hours ago… -She shrugged as she sat up.

    -You should have woken me up… We lost almost the whole morning. We don't have much time, get up and go do your things, I'll prepare a brunch for us. -He seemed disappointed. He got up and stretched his back before walking to the door. -Belle, did you think about your list, since you were awake?

    -Yep. -She smiled as she nodded. For her, they hadn't lost anything.

    -Nice. -He got out of the room and she rushed to the bathroom.

    They had a banquet for brunch, and Roy and Peter joined them, since their shifts were about to end. Peter was a quiet and serene man with big brown eyes, that she guessed was more than twice her age, since his black hair was beginning to turn grey. He didn't look or talk to her. In fact he only opened his mouth twice, to answer Desmond's questions about the watch. Roy was a bit more talkative, but barely looked at her too.

    -Did you enjoy the meal? -Desmond asked her as he leaned back on his chair. She nodded very slowly. Her stomach felt like it would burst. She wanted to go back to sleep. -Great, what's the first item of the list?

    -You, I've already told you yesterday… I'm kidding. -She quickly corrected it as he frowned. Roy and Peter exchanged a quick glance. -I'd like to play a bit, if that won't harm you…

    -Why would it harm me? I like the piano’s sound. -He tilted his head. Then nodded as he realized what she meant. -Ah, don't worry about Richard… I confess it was a shock to listen to that sound after so long, but I'm not that sensitive, don't worry.

    -Do you play piano? -Peter frowned, looking at her with that “You're too young and too small” look that she was used to getting. -Which songs do you know?

    -Any that I've heard before or that you can sing to me, basically… -She didn't bother being humble. These men thought she was worthless and annoying, so she instinctively wanted to make them feel ashamed for despising her.

    -That I'd like to see. -He looked at Desmond and he pointed toward the room, getting up and offering his hand to her.

    About twenty minutes later, the two men were bickering to be the one to choose the next song. She played every song they asked her to and even one that Roy invented and she followed him by the melody, but she realized it was made up because the structure was too weird.

    -Desmond, pick one! -Roy shouted over Peter’s low voice. He waited until the other lifted his dark eyes from the book he was reading by the fireplace, with an annoyed expression. -You have to pick one, we're not good at this!

    Belle turned to him, sliding her leg sideways on the bench. She tilted her head, expectantly. He smiled involuntarily.

    -There's this song that Richard always played on holidays, and my father and uncles would sing along loudly when they were really drunk… I liked it a lot. -He shrugged. -But I don't know the name or singer. I was too young.

    -Good idea, you don't give her any hint and she has to find out… -Roy lifted one eyebrow. -You're worse than us.

    -I don't remember it all, but what I do remember… It began with something like this...-Desmond got up and walked toward the piano. He leaned over Belle and she got goosebumps as his breath tickled her ear. He put his arms on each side of her body and played a quick intro, jazzy-like. She smiled as she saw his big hands delicately running through the keys. -Sorry, that's all wrong but I remember his hands played around here and it sounded a bit like it, but not exactly.

    Peter and Roy eyed each other and chuckled, probably assuming that, this time, she wouldn't know the song. Roy started to choose the next one, but Belle only waited for Desmond to straighten his back and started to play the right notes.

    -And that's exactly it… -He sat beside her and smiled, shaking his head.

    -No way, this isn't even a song. -Roy protested, but as she moved to the actual melody of the song, all of them recognized it.

    -Piano Man, by Billy Joel… You guys lack musical culture. -She mocked them.

    Roy knew the chorus, but didn't know anything else and Belle was feeling too shy to sing, so she improvised not only the harmonica but the voice parts with the piano. She hoped Desmond would sing along, but that didn't happen. When she finished, he kissed the top of her head and thanked her, getting out of the room with the excuse of checking something about her departure. She hoped she hadn't hurt him. After four more songs she declared that her hands were tired. She could play a lot more, but just wasn't in the mood anymore.

    The two men said goodbye, although Roy assured her that they would see each other the next morning, before she left. He had taken Corey's midnight shift so he could stay two days with his wife and baby. She apologized for taking him away from his son to protect her but he dismissed it, saying he was proud of doing it and that his son and wife would be proud of him too.

    She baked a cake while she waited for Desmond to come back and he apologized for his long absence. They sat in the kitchen and chatted, eating all the raspberries and blackberries that she had planned to use on the cake decoration.

    -Next wish? -He asked as he chewed.

    -Can I see your gun? -She bit her lower lip.

    -Why would you want to? Thought you said you hated guns and killing… -He looked surprised, but took off his gun and showed it to her. As she reached out to take it he moved it away from her reach. -What are you doing?

    -I’m just curious. -She took her hand away. -I’m sorry, I wanted to know how it was.

    He got up and positioned himself behind her, then took her hand and put the grip on her hand, keeping both hands over the countertop.

    -Don’t point it to yourself, even if it’s locked and uncocked, ok? -He kept both his hands near. -Why did you want to take it in your hands, anyway?

    -I wanted to know how it felt. How you feel… -She sighed. -Why do you like it? It’s cold and heavy.

    -It’s useful. And it isn’t heavy, you are too weak. -He creased his eyebrows. -It's a comfortable and safe model. That's my favorite.

    Desmond showed her all the parts of the gun, explaining their functions. He pointed to a lever and a piece at the top back of the gun and taught her the difference between locked and uncocked, demonstrating it. She listened to every word with interest, even though she didn’t think it would ever be useful, only because he explained it with some excitement in his voice. He lifted her arms and showed her how he did to point and lock on target, showing the quicker way of making sure you'd hit a vital spot, in case you'd get killed otherwise. He put the gun away as soon as she gave signs that she had lost interest. She was disappointed when his warm chest broke contact with her back.

    Magda arrived a couple of minutes after the cake was ready.

    -Ah, my dear… -She hugged Belle, pressing her head on her big fluffy breasts. The smell of her perfume was very strong. -Poor girl…

    -Magda, stop! -Desmond reproached her.

    -What, are you the only one that is allowed to smother her? -Magda stuck her tongue out at him. Then she pulled Belle back and looked into her eyes. -I'm sorry for leaving you without support for so long… I'm not qualified to help you with the psychogenic seizures, but I did a lot of research last night, so I think I can at least point you in the right direction. Anyway, you're gonna have to seek the help of a specialist, ok?

    Belle nodded and glanced at Desmond. He sighed, then put almost half of the cake on a plate and mumbled something about working out downstairs. After he got out of the kitchen, Belle served Magda and herself a piece of cake each and started to explain what happened.

    The psychologist was stunned by the idea of hypnosis through the phone at first, but said that a bunch of colleagues and articles indicated that it was not only possible but could be even more effective, since her focus would be on the voice. She didn't believe her seizures had been caused by Desmond or by her feelings toward him, although she said it wasn’t impossible.

    -I don't get why Ryan got so troubled about your confession too… -She mused as she took her plate to the sink. -I warned you both about it ten days ago! What was the surprise?

    -What confession? -Belle was startled. -Did I commit a crime? And did I confess it on tape? How could he hide something like that from me? From my lawyer!

    Belle jolted her back and heard a buzzing in her ears. Her heart pounded and she felt dizzy.

    -Oh no… -Magda winced. -He should have told me you didn't remember. I'm sorry Belle, you didn't confess any crime. You confessed your love for him.

    Belle blushed and looked at her with a frozen expression of mortification.

    -No, did I really? -She put her hand over her mouth and gasped. -Did I say it with those words? Did I tell Desmond that I love him?

    -Technically you told Daniel… Although he couldn't hear it anymore, because Ryan had already hung up. -The woman tried to calm her with gentle pats on her back. -But you don't have to be ashamed, my dear… You two were nursering this feeling for weeks, it's only natural one would have to take the first step, even if involuntarily like that...

    -He hates me now, that's why he wants me gone... He lied to me. -Belle muttered, feeling sad and helpless. -Can't you tell him it was involuntary? Can't you explain to him that it wasn't my fault?

    -He doesn't hate you, Belle, that's a ridiculous concept.

    -He will send me away tomorrow, Magda. He only decided it after I made that mistake. That must be the reason why. -She was desperate to find a way of taking it back. -Do you think he would believe me if I told him I lied to trick Daniel?

    Magda stared at her and shook her head. Belle sat on the stool and hid her face between her arms, leaning over the marble counter.

    -Magda… Can you at least try to convince him to join the program? Even if not with me, I would feel more relieved if I knew that he was safe.

    -I already tried to, Belle. He won't listen. -Magda pouted and sat too, leaning her chin on the back of her hand. -I actually was making more progress trying to convince him to go with you. But after that call, we went back to square one.

    Belle sighed. She felt powerless and ashamed.

    -I'm considering the possibility of giving up. -Belle murmured. Magda frowned. -Of rejecting the program… My lawyer thinks it would be better if I just moved to a place with twenty four seven security services. I could check on him if I stayed… And he could stay there with me, if he wanted to.

    -I think you should tell him your idea. He will explain better than I can why it's a bad one. -Belle's smile died right after it sprouted. Magda lifted one shoulder. -I'm sorry, but that's the truth. One of your bodyguards could be bribed. They could be killed, they could be tricked… If the terrorists know where to find you, all they need to do is to wait for a gap, to get to you, or kill you.

    Belle nodded and tried to change the subject. She realized there was something she could finally ask Magda and have a bit of a chance of getting an honest answer.

    -Magda… There's something personal I wanna know about Desmond and I hope you'll be kind enough to tell me. -She tried to keep her voice as low as possible. -It's about Samantha.

    -What do you wanna know, Belle? Do you still see her? -Magda asked, with a displeased expression.

    -I do… But that's not what I want to talk about. -She tried to forget the bony figure that startled her in every dark corner of the house. -It's about Desmond and her… Did she really love him? And did he…?

    Her voice failed.

    -Why would you want to know about this? -Magda asked her, confused.

    -I see his pain and I don't fully understand it. Everything I hear about her makes me… Not hate, but… I don't think she deserved him. And I don't want to take this feeling with me if it's not justified, I'll feel bad if I find out it's only jealousy, but it will still be better than keep feeding it with my baseless opinion.

    Magda was astonished by her explanation. She chuckled and shook her head.

    -I can't help you, Belle. My opinion is biased. Me and Sofia… Ryan's mother… We grew sick of her to a level that both of us felt relief when she died. We were sorry for the baby, and Sofia would have loved it as her grandson, but I… I knew the whole story and even for the baby, I think it was the best outcome possible. But that's my opinion. Ryan doesn't think like me.

    -Magda… Even if she was terrible, you shouldn't feel glad for someone's death. -Belle stiffened her back. -What did she do? What would possibly justify this?

    -I didn't want her to die. If she walked away and never came back, that would have been great. I'll tell you, Ryan thinks he grew stronger because of her, but he didn't. She destroyed every part of his soul that she managed to touch. He wasn't fine when he met her, but he could mend, he could overcome the trauma and after effects and have a normal life. But she took it away from him.

    -What did she do, Magda? And why? Did she even love him? -Belle felt angst and anxiety. -Did he love her?

    -She pushed him to his limit. She used him, made him do whatever she wanted, and used her depression as an excuse. She abused him mentally and emotionally and deceived him. Ask him about it, I think if he can talk to someone, it will help him improve too. He can't talk to me because he knows what I think about her…

    -About the baby… -Belle gulped. -He implied it wasn't…

    -Ask him if you really wanna know. -Magda cut her.

    Belle realized Magda wouldn't answer anything about his feelings. She sighed.

    -I miss him. -She whispered.

    -Let's go find him, I know that you wanna fill those smart eyes with a nice view.

    They got downstairs and Belle saw Desmond lying on the floor with his eyes closed. His shirt was a bit wet with sweat, but nothing compared to the other days. At first she was confused, then ran toward him, worried that he might have passed out.

    -Desmond? Are you ok? What happened? -She kneeled beside him and shook him by his chest. -Desmond, please, wake up!

    He sneered and chuckled before opening his eyes and she sat back, relieved and ashamed.

    -I must admit I thought about pretending I wasn't breathing just to know what you'd do… You're lucky you brought Magda with you. -He smirked as he sat up and rubbed his eyes. -I was just resting. I ate too much... Shouldn't have exercised right after.

    Belle nodded, feeling foolish.

    -Is the therapy session over? What is the next item on your list?

    -Bathtub bath, but it can wait. -Belle squinted her eyes as she tried to remember something else that could include Magda.

    -I must go. -Magda said, as if reading her mind. She held Belle again and patted her back. -It was very nice to meet you, Belle, I hope we'll meet again soon. Ryan, may I have a word with you? Belle can have her bathtub moment while we talk, it will be a long talk.

    -Magda, can't it wait till tomorrow? -He snorted.

    -No, tomorrow can be too late. It has to be now. -Her tone was authoritarian.

    Desmond nodded, but rushed upstairs, leaving them both behind. Belle went upstairs alone, leaving Magda sitting on the sofa.

    -Desmond? -She knocked on the half open bathroom door as she heard water flowing inside. -What are you doing?

    -Making sure you don't boil yourself. -He smirked. He was filling up the bathtub for her. After a while he handed her a bottle and a flask. -You may use it all if it pleases you. But I wouldn't recommend exaggerating with this one, the skin gets an oily feel after…

    Desmond looked like he would complement his explanation but his face grew red and he shut up. He stroked her hair and walked out of the bathroom.

    -Enjoy it and, for god sake, don't drown. -He pleaded with her before closing the door.

    -Yes, sir.

    She enjoyed her bath, using the products he gave her. In less than a minute the bathtub was filled with foam. She had to turn the taps because the foam was falling to the floor. It was a nice sensation and she had to keep vigilant not to doze off.

    She was sitting by the dressing table, brushing her hair when he came in. He had a weird expression, but smiled as soon as he saw her.

    -How was it? -He asked her, sitting beside her. -May I help you?

    She looked at his reflection without understanding what he meant, but offered him the brush.

    -When I was very young, around eight, I think… My mother had a hair that long. She keeps it short now. Says it's practical. -He made a face. -I remember I always wanted to do this, but I found it too girly to ask her.

    His touch was gentle. Too gentle. She knew he wasn't brushing anything, but let him do it anyway. After a while he put the brush aside and used his fingers, untangling the rare knots he found, then came back with the brush, this time more confident that he wouldn't hurt her.

    -What will you want for dinner? And what's your next wish?

    -Cooking your favorite meal. -She smiled. -With you.

    -Shouldn't it be your favorite meal?

    -No, I don't know how to cook mine, it's sushi. -She shrugged.

    -What a coincidence. -He smirked. -Are we ordering it, then?

    Belle pouted. She wanted to cook with him.

    -And we can make dessert together? -He offered her and kissed the top of her head as she nodded.

    They ate late and enjoyed their apple pie with ice cream afterwards.

    Then he announced the well of wishes was closed and that she should prepare her backpack and go to sleep. As he was heading to the bathroom to bathe, she grabbed his shirt and forced him to take it off, then went upstairs with it between her arms. He was clearly displeased, but didn't argue.

    After a while he came into the bedroom while she was still checking her backpack and took his shirt off, throwing it on her. He took the dirty one back and picked a clean one for himself inside the wardrobe. She sniffed the shirt and smiled as she smelled his perfume. He made a face but went out of the room, telling her that he would take a while to come back and say goodnight because he had a lot to do before going to sleep.

    She finished packing up the few things she had and sat on the bed, waiting for him for more than an hour. Eventually she gave up and tucked herself under the blankets.

    After a couple of hours there was a knock on the door and he opened it.

    -Are you still awake? -His voice was so low that it could have been a whisper.

    -Yes. -She sat up and nodded.

    He noticed that she was wearing her own shirt and smiled when he spotted his shirt that she had been holding to her chest.

    -You can take it with you if you want to… It was getting a bit tight anyway. -He chuckled as he closed the door behind him. -Sorry for taking this long, I had to make some calls… Riviera has everything ready for your departure. It's scheduled for tomorrow between six a.m. and noon. I'll let you sleep as much as possible, don't worry. Is your backpack ready?

    -The only thing missing is Magda's gift… The one you told me before. -She nodded and held her knees.

    -Ah, that… -He looked embarrassed. -She told me not to give it to you anymore, that I should give it to you only when you come back. She scolded me for telling you about it in advance, I'm sorry…

    She was so dreary that her curiosity didn't sprang up. He noticed it and sighed.

    -Don't be afraid, Riviera talked to your lawyer, they will make sure the money is transferred to the account with your new name in a way that it can't be tracked. -He stopped in front of her and put a hand on his waist. -I find it quite suspicious if you want my opinion, but they said your parents had philanthropic projects that demanded extra precautions because they ruined some powerful people's business… So I'll let it slide and Riviera is willing to do the same.

    -I'm not worried about the money… -She murmured.

    -Don't worry about adapting… They'll send you to a big city, they won't make you live on a farm with rednecks as neighbors. You'll have a lot of opportunities to make new friends and blend in.

    -I don't think I'll make a lot of friends. I'm changing my address, not my personality. -She creased her eyebrows. -I'm still gonna be the freak that wears long sleeved shirts even on the sunniest days and doesn't have parents, but I'm ok with that.

    He frowned. She shrugged.

    -Come here. -He reached out and grabbed her wrists, forcing her to get on her knees for balance. He pulled her head to his chest and hugged her, putting her arms around his waist. -You're gonna be fine. You're gonna get into a college and make new friends that are gonna teach you a lot of stupid ways of making mistakes and getting in trouble. Then you're gonna stop being so naive and get rid of them, and then find other friends that have values similar to yours, and those you'll keep, for life. They won't mind that you're weird. They'll love it in you.

    -No one can love this in me. -She sniffed his neck. -I can't.

    -I assure you, you'll find someone who can. -He sighed.

    He sniffed her hair and rested his chin on the top of her head, caressing her nape with the tip of his fingers.

    -I'm gonna miss you so much… -She could barely voice out her frustration.

    -I'm gonna miss you too. -His voice had no emotion at all.

    He tried to break their embrace, but she held him tightly.

    -Can you stay with me tonight? For the last time, please? -She whined. She felt the muscles on his back stiffen, but he didn't move. -I'm not asking you to sleep here, just stay beside me until I fall asleep, please.

    -You know that means that I'll sleep here, right? -He laughed in her ear and she got goosebumps. -I try not to, but I always end up falling asleep.

    -Is it gonna get you in trouble? -She bit her lower lip and lifted her head to check his face.

    -No, I don't really care what they'll say. It's for you that I worry. -He sighed. -Fine, move a bit.

    She smiled and gave way for him to lay down. He put the pillows behind his back and head, so he would be in an almost seated position. She assumed it was a silly effort to keep himself awake.

    She lay on his chest and hugged his torso. I'm gonna miss this so much… She pouted and he patted the tip of her nose with his finger.

    -Stop. You're not a child, you knew you'd have to go away one day. -He scolded her. -Don't cry.

    -Sorry. -She closed her burning eyes. Her chest was hurting, but she swallowed the tears back.

    The minutes passed, but she couldn't sleep. She peered at his face and looked away immediately when their eyes met. Have you been staring at me all this while?

    -Thank you, Belle. -He whispered, pulling her up in a way that the top of her head fit under his chin. He kissed the top of her head and hugged her tightly.

    -For what? -She tried to lift her head to look into his eyes, but his grip was firm and he lifted one of his hands to her nape, making it impossible to move her head back. -Desmond? Why are you thanking me?

    He stayed in silence for a few minutes then kissed the top of her head again and murmured.

    -For making me believe that I can try again. For making me want to. -Her heart squeezed tight at his tone. It was heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time. -I thought I would never be able to trust someone again. I didn't want to, either. But you changed me. I trust you. I feel like I could live beside you forever. If you were able to make me trust you, there's gotta be someone else who can do the same. There's a chance that I can be happy with someone beside myself.

    -What do you mean, Desmond? -She grumbled as she tried to get away from his hand. When she started squirming he let go of her, probably worried that she could hurt herself. -What are you talking about?

    -You know exactly what I'm talking about. -He rolled his eyes. -Don't play dumb now.

    They stared into each other's eyes. Her heart pounded and she realized she was panting a bit. Say it… She begged him silently. Tell me that you love me. I'll stay, I'll stay forever. Ask me to. Say it, please! But he just stared at her in silence. He looked down, breaking their eye contact and she felt like she could scream in frustration. She leaned forward to kiss him, but he pushed her head back by her forehead with the palm of his hand.

    -I'm pretty sure I said “someone else”. -He snorted and pushed her by her shoulders so he could sit straight. -We're not doing that.

    -Why? You practically declared yourself now. -She poured her exasperation on her voice and reached to grab his shirt with both hands.

    -I know. -He grabbed her wrists before she could touch him and pulled her back. -I shouldn't but I couldn't keep it to myself.

    -Then why? -She almost shouted. -Why don't you… Why?

    -Because you deserve better than this. -He said as if it was obvious. -You deserve a normal life. A better one. I can't provide it. I told you before, I'm damaged. Now I'm willing to heal, but it will take time. You already wasted too much of your life because of other people. It’s your turn to live for your own interests.

    -Shouldn't it be my own choice? -She was so angry that she forgot the amazing sensation she had felt seconds before. -You can't do this to me! You can't just tell me that you love me and then...

    -Whoa, no. I don't love you! -He looked at her as if she had called his mother names. -I never said that I loved you.

    -You said you could live beside me forever. What does that mean if…

    -It's a figure of speech. And it doesn't mean love, either. I barely know you, how could I love you? It's insane you even considered this possibility. -He shook his head and looked at her as if she had said the most absurd thing he had heard in his life. -Besides, you're too young. And small. We would never work. Don't space out.

    She gulped. From all the times he had rejected her, this one was the worst. She nodded and looked down.

    -I'm not saying you're not attractive, Belle. You're great. -He tried to fix it. -We just aren't… Compatible. I just don't want to have this kind of relationship with you, but I really like you, I wanna be your friend and want you to be happy, with some...

    -Shut up. -She murmured, fighting back the tears. -We won't be friends, we won't ever meet again. You could come with me. You had the choice. It's not because you don't know me, it's because you're a coward, and are too afraid of getting hurt again. I don't know what Samantha did to you, but from what your friends say, it has to be something awful. So I understand that you'd be afraid of trusting someone again. But it's unfair... You can't expect me to accept it without feeling wronged. You really are being irrational. Too young? Too small? Is that your excuse? I'm old enough to get married! And about being small, you're the one who's taller than average, don't say this, if that's the criteria, you're big for most women!

    -Why would you even want it? Haven't you seen and heard enough? Why would you want to be with someone like me? -He frowned. -I really don't understand it, and I don't believe you do either. Just because I was the first person to treat you like a human being with your own rights and feelings, you fell in love with me? Doesn't it sound wrong to you? The truth is you're not in love, you think that you're in love because you cling to everyone that shows the slightest interest in making you feel safe and happy. That’s probably the reason why people take advantage of you. You're doing this with me now, but it could be anyone that treated you better, it could be Bill or it could even be Daniel!

    She grunted and slapped him on the face, so hard that the palm of her hand hurt badly. He looked at her, surprised. She sprang to her feet and tried to run toward the bathroom, but he grabbed her by the waist and hugged her from behind.

    -No! I'm sorry. I didn't mean it. -He whispered. -Please, don't hate me, I swear on my life, I didn't mean it.

    She started to cry and he let go of her so she could turn and hold him.

    -I'm so sorry… -He sighed and pulled her back to the bed, giving space so she could lie down with her head over his lap. -Please, forgive me.

    -Why would you say something like that? -She whined and sobbed. -Wasn't it enough to make me feel like nothing?

    -I didn't think, I just… I'm sorry. -He sighed. -Please, don't cry.

    She curled herself in a ball and he bent over her, hugging her.

    -I'm sorry, please, I'm sorry. -He kept whispering in her ear. -Please, forgive me.
    He pulled her to his chest, lifting one leg to sustain her upper body in one arm and embracing her waist and lower back with the other. She wrapped her arms around his neck and sobbed on his shoulder. His white shirt was soaked with tears. He caressed her neck and stroked her hair.
    -Damn, I'm a fucking monster. -He whispered. -That's what I was talking about, Belle, I don't know how to behave when I get hurt… That's just a small sample of how destructive I can be when I get angry or under pressure. You can have someone way better, you deserve it.

    -Shut up, for god sake. -She hugged him tightly and cried even more.

    He laid down, with her body over his. She eventually stopped crying and just laid there, with her eyes wide open, staring at the wall as he brushed her hair with his fingers.

    -I'm sorry for the slap… -She sniffed. She lifted her head to check if his face was red or swollen. -Did I hurt you?

    -I deserved it. -He smirked. -I actually deserved a kick between my legs, thank you for going easy on me.

    -You did deserve it… -She sobbed and smiled, then sighed. -Do you want me to hate you, Desmond?

    -God, no. -He frowned. He lifted his head and pulled her chin. -No, Belle, I don't ever want you to hate me. More than that, I don't want to give you reasons to, either.

    -Why did you say that, then? -She looked into his eyes intently.

    He fell silent. She waited. After a while she moved her body so she could lean on her arms over his chest, fitting herself between his legs. He caressed her cheek with his knuckles, examining every detail of her face.

    -Because I'm afraid that there might be some truth in it. -He whispered, as if he didn't want to say it out loud. -I wouldn't blame you, it would make more sense than… You know.

    -There isn't.

    -Why do you… then? -He grimaced as the words “love me” refused to come out, with only his lips forming them, with no sound.

    -I don't know, why do you love me? -She asked him.

    -I don't. -He frowned.

    -Then I don't, either. -She shrugged.

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

    -You know exactly what I mean. -She rolled her eyes. -Don't play dumb now.

    He sighed but gave her a small smile.

    -Ok… I'll take it. -He nodded. -You need to rest, tomorrow will be a busy day.

    -Do you still want me to go? Even after this? -She couldn't let it go.

    -I'll work hard to end this, so you can come back and live safely, Belle. -He nodded. Then he added with a smile. -It's not a “goodbye”, it's a “see you later”...

    She didn't believe him. She climbed on him and hugged him tightly, making him grunt.

    -Promise me you won't die. -She said in his ear.

    -No. -He laughed and pulled her by her shoulders. -I can't promise such a thing. But I promise I'll do everything I can to keep alive, if you do the same, is that good enough?

    She nodded and laid on his chest again. He kept stroking her hair and back until she fell asleep. She dreamt, and for the first time in weeks it didn't turn out to be a nightmare.

    She was sitting on a rock, and looked down when something wet hit the tip of her toe. Only then she realized she was surrounded by white sand, with the ocean in front of her. She put her feet down, eager to know how the sand would feel. It felt like cornstarch. She tilted her head and grimaced. The water came closer again and wet her feet. She pouted as the sand got stuck in her feet, exactly like cornstarch would. This can't be right… She murmured to herself. Belle? Is there something wrong? A voice called from behind. She looked up and saw Desmond with his perfect half naked body walking toward her. She bit her lower lip as she examined his body, from his muscled chest, to his ripped abdomen to… She smiled as she saw an eagle with her wings spread on his right thigh. What are you staring at? He smirked. Just admiring... She sighed. He then swept her off her feet, lifting her into his arms and kissed her passionately. She watched the scene from afar, with the sun setting behind the beautiful couple. The two never parted, even after the fireworks took over the sky.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2021
  4. R_Luna7

    R_Luna7 Member

    Sep 18, 2021
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    yes yes yes!! We love the fluff. ❤️
    But it’s also breaking my heart.

    your art of their portraits is amazing!
    beewink and GiBro like this.
  5. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2021
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    Chapter 49 (Brace yourselves :cry:)

    Belle woke up with a loud sound and shouts. She looked around, startled. She was alone in the bed. There was no sign of Desmond. She heard another blast and more shouting.

    She didn't know what to do. When she finally decided to get up, and check the corridor, she found out her legs were trembling violently. The door opened and she instinctively threw herself on the floor, trying to get under the bed.

    She heard heavy boots swiftly running to her side and flinched when a hand gripped her wrist and dragged her body that was half concealed under the bed.

    Belle let out a small shriek and looked up, startled, only to see Desmond’s red face, stern but clearly worried. He made a sign to warn her not to scream or panic, then took her to his chest, protectively, forcing her to get up. He was half bent over her, and put an arm around her while he tried to slide a bulletproof vest over her head. He led her downstairs and stopped behind the couch, where he crouched to fasten the straps and make sure it wasn’t too tight or too loose.

    -What was that? -Belle whined. Then she heard three more bangs followed by one and flinched. -What’s going on, Desmond?

    -Shh… -He put a hand over her mouth and whispered. -Calm down. I’ll take you downstairs to the basement, you’re gonna look into my face all the way, ok? Don’t look around, don’t panic, no matter what, do just what I tell you to, ok? If I say run, you’ll run downstairs and hide with the cop that is waiting for you there. Did you understand? Belle, look at me, did you understand?

    She was looking around, terrified, as the loudest explosions seemed to come from inside the house.

    -Belle! -He shook her by her shoulders and hissed. -Listen to me! You’ll look only at my face, ok? Don’t look around. There are ugly things there, you’ll panic, and I can’t afford to have you panicking now! If I tell you to run, you must run downstairs. I have someone there to lead you inside the bunker, did you understand what I just told you or not?

    -Please Desmond, don’t leave me! -She whispered, her eyes starting to burn. -Please, I can’t… Please…

    -I won’t leave you if I don’t have to. But they are coming mostly for me this time, not for you. I can’t risk it. - He shook his head. -If they spot me, you’ll run and leave me behind without looking back, ok? If this happens, I need to know you're safe so I can concentrate on my own safety. Promise me you'll leave me if I tell you to.

    She gulped, but nodded.

    -Look at me, ok? Not to the floor, not around you, only to my face. Don’t worry, I’ll guide you. -He repeated, getting up and forcing her to follow him, pressing her against him. His bulletproof vest was pressing against her shoulder so hard it hurt. He turned to a cop that had his back against a wall. -Cover me, I’m taking her downstairs.

    -Yes, sir. -The cop nodded, with his gun ready. Then he seemed to remember something and looked at Belle. - Sir, there’s a…

    -I know. She won’t look. - Desmond cut him, pressing her even more against him.

    They walked slowly, bent as if they were about to crouch. Belle looked involuntarily inside the pitch-black room, but Desmond gave a sudden jerk on her nape to force her to look up.

    -Don’t look, are you stupid? -He scolded her with angry eyes.

    She looked into his face, scared, and tried to keep up with his pace. His eyes were so angry and alert that it reminded her of a wolf’s face with its fangs out. He suddenly covered her eyes with his hand and she flinched, involuntarily, trying to avoid the contact. This made her look down and she saw it. It was only a glimpse, but she saw big blue eyes wide open and a lot of blood.

    -Oh god! -She shrieked and backed away, almost stumbling into the wall. -Is that a body?

    -Don’t look and shut up! -He whispered, sliding the hand to her mouth to keep her quiet. -It’s me they want to kill, but they are coming for you too, shut up!

    He stopped and peered around as they reached the counter of the bar. He leaned his back against it to do so and held her against his chest, positioning her between his legs, with his hand on her chest. Her back was pressed so hard against his chest that she felt like they were one. Only then she looked down and realized he had his gun out all along. She felt guilty for being such a burden, as she knew he was having to make a great effort to control her while being alert about their surroundings.

    Her eyes darted against her will toward the gore scene. It was a young man, probably around her age. His blue and red eyes were wide open, and blood ran down from his nose and open mouth. He had one hand over his bloody belly and the other was half closed beside his face.

    She felt nauseated and numb. Her head was throbbing painfully as her heart pounded at her chest.

    -Stop staring at it, Isabelle, what are you trying to do? -Desmond pleaded with her under his breath. -Breathe normally, you’re gonna pass out and I’ll have to carry you and won't be able to use my gun. Do you want them to kill me? Do you want me to die?

    She looked up at his face, startled, and shook her head vigorously.

    -Then do what I tell you to. -He whispered, peering by the corner again. -Let’s go. Don’t look around. Look at my legs if it’s hard to walk with your face up.

    He forced her to walk toward the stairs. She tried her best to look only at his legs, but when they reached the stairs, her eyes kept darting toward the steps.

    -Stop! Keep your hands where I can see it! -She heard someone say, as they reached the gym.

    -It’s me! It’s ok, she’s with me. -Desmond answered, guarding her body with his. - Take care of her, I’ll open the door for you.

    He took her hand and guided her toward the iron door. The cop followed him and smiled sympathetically at her. It was the young man from the hospital.

    -Miss Isabelle, do you remember me?-He nodded in her direction, then frowned as he saw her blank face.- Of course you don’t… I’m Michael, don’t worry, I’ll keep you safe. I won’t leave your side.

    -Are you gonna leave me here? -She ignored him and turned to Desmond instead. -Aren’t you gonna stay with me?

    Desmond’s eyes darted between her and the other cop, seeking support.

    -He’ll make sure you’re safe, Belle. Once he closes the door from inside, no one will be able to open it from the outside without the codes, don’t worry. I told them to Mike, but I'll be the only person here outside that will be able to get in. -He caressed the back of her hand with his thumb. -Please, I know it’s too much tension, but try to keep calm.

    -No, you said they came to kill you, you can’t leave me! If I’m gonna hide, you have to hide too! -She began to cry and tried to take her hand away from his. Her hands were sweating so much that it slipped out of his grip.

    -I need to help, Belle, I can’t just sit and wait, like a coward while my team is out there, fighting to protect me. -He snorted, then added with a grimace. -Sorry, Mike. Didn't mean to offend you.

    -It’s ok, sir. I know you shoot way better than I do, you’ll be more valuable in action. -The young man shook his head.

    -I won’t stay here, if you go. -She crossed her arms and stopped walking, but he pulled her with a tug on her arm.

    -Yes, you will, even if I have to knock you down! -He grunted. They stopped in front of the door and he used both hands to pull down the lever, which made a metallic sound. The door opened on its own, with a gas sound. -Wait here, I’m gonna talk to her.

    -Sir… If you allow me... -Michael murmured. -She’ll freak out. Maybe you should stay with her. Maybe…

    -No, I won’t allow you, recruit! Know your place, Michael. -Desmond frowned. -Wait here, I’ll come back as soon as she stops crying.

    -Yes, sir. -The man nodded and positioned himself beside the door.

    Desmond led her downstairs. As they walked down, she looked back and noticed there was an iron hatch door at the top of the stairs.

    -Desmond, you can’t do this to me. -She cried, as he pulled her by the shoulders, forcing her to keep moving. She missed a step and he lifted her by her waist, carrying her in one arm downstairs until they got in front of another iron door. This one had three round locks, the size of her wrists. -Please, I’ll die of worry!

    -You’ll die of getting shot if you stay with me. Stay here, motherfucker! -He gritted his teeth and grunted, as she tried to run back to the stairs, prompting him to grab her and pull her.

    -Then you stay here with me! -She shouted and her voice echoed. She cried, as he tried to push her through the door. -Please, Desmond! Please, you’re all I have left, don’t leave me too!

    He looked into her eyes, and for the first time there was no annoyance. He looked sad, and worried, but not angry anymore. He walked to a power supply box and turned the switches one by one. She started to hear a sizzling sound from inside the next open door and he pushed her in. He got in after her and closed the door behind him, testing the locks.

    Inside there was a very small house. It had a sink, a small countertop, a microwave, a fridge, and a sofa that could be pulled to turn into a bed. On the other side, there was a wooden door.

    -Don’t worry, even if I don’t come back, Mike will take care of you until the chief comes to get you. -He said with a blank expression as he approached her. -Belle… There’s nothing I can do. I can’t just stay here… They brought assault weapons, and they caught us by surprise too. We aren’t exactly in disadvantage, but I have wounded men there and the reinforcements will still take some time to get here. Be rational, please. They need me more than you do now.

    -But what if they kill you? -She sobbed, trembling from head to toes. -What if you are the one who gets hurt?

    -If I die, I die. -He shook his head. -I’ll do my best not to, but if it happens, I’ll know I did everything I could to stop them. What I won’t do is hide while I can fight.

    She looked into his eyes, not knowing what else she could say to convince him to stay.

    -Please, I’ll do anything… -She whined. -Please, I'm begging you, stay with me. I promise, I'll do anything you ever ask me to, if you stay with me now.

    He chuckled and looked at her with a tender smile.

    -You are the best person I've ever met in my whole life, Belle. -He whispered. -Don't let that light fade, please. Feed that fire and find a way to be happy without losing it. The world needs to know your kindness.

    Belle shook her head and cried violently. It sounded like goodbye and her throat got painfully tight, as her chest. He looked like he was about to cry too, but took a deep breath and took off his necklace over his head. He stared at it for a few seconds, then slid it carefully around her neck.

    -Take care of this for me, please. -He smiled, taking the tag between his finger and thumb. -Give it back to me if we meet again, ok?

    She sobbed at his words, grabbing his wrist firmly.

    -No, please…

    -What? I want it back badly, believe me. -He hugged her and kissed the top of her head. He ran his hands through her nape, taking her hair out of the chain and hid the necklace under her shirt. -Belle, please, stop crying.

    -I'm begging you, Desmond, don't leave me, I need you. -She couldn't breathe, because of her sobs. -Desmond... If I lose you I have nothing left to live for… If you die I'm gonna…

    -Shut up. -He cut her bluntly, his face contorting in pain and annoyance.

    He lifted her face, taking it between his hands and looked into her eyes for a long time, wiping her tears from her cheeks and making soothing sounds.

    When she stopped sobbing for a moment, and the tears just quietly streamed down her face, he bent and kissed her softly, on her lips. She was so startled by his gesture that she stopped crying immediately and opened her eyes wide.

    His eyes were closed and there was a slight crease between his eyebrows. He parted their lips and one side of his mouth went up in a shy smile.

    Belle was stunned. Ryan started to turn to walk away, but then snorted and muttered.

    -Fuck it, might not have another chance… -He grunted, turning back to face her.

    He took her in his arms, wrapping her waist and nape, and kissed her again, first only touching their lips as before, but then slowly pushing his tongue between her astonished half parted lips.

    She wasn't sure what she was supposed to do. She had seen it in movies and TV shows and thought she had kissed before, once, when she was eleven. Now she realized she had actually never kissed for real. Her cheeks burned red and she parted her lips, trying to mimic him. If he noticed her lack of experience, he was resolved not to let her know.

    His hands explored every inch they could find that wasn't covered by her bulletproof vest, which seemed almost impossible, but he managed to caress her belly and lower back under it and ended up settling for her hip, which he gripped firmly, still tangling up the fingers of his other hand in her hair as he supported her head. Unsure about where she should put her hands, she grabbed one of his shoulders with one hand and closed the other one on his nape.

    He turned his head to get a better angle and led her head with a slight pull on her hair, finally being able to explore her mouth entirely with his tongue. The sound of their breaths was way louder than the continuing sizzling noise. He bit her lower lip and sighed, giving her a break of a few seconds to catch her breath, then started kissing her again, holding her even harder. His hand slid into her bulletproof vest and pulled her lower back against him, pressing her body against his. She moaned involuntarily when she felt an unfamiliar burning sensation at the lower part of her own abdomen.

    He chuckled inside her mouth and parted from her, kissing her lips one last time, with a smacking sound.

    -When I come back… -He sighed and grimaced, taking her hands in his as he took a step back while she struggled to open her eyes. They were both panting. -If I come back, we won't ever talk about this, ok? It stays here.

    He looked into her eyes and kissed first one hand, then the other as he let go of them. Belle stood, still astonished by everything for some seconds, watching him turn his back on her. Suddenly she realized what he was about to do and rushed to prevent him from getting out the door.

    He turned around and shoved her back. There was no kindness in his push. He simply shoved her as he would do to a criminal who was trying to escape his cell. Maybe in a way less rough manner, but still decided and with no sign of remorse. She landed sitting on the floor, bouncing once, with her pride hurting way more than her buttocks.

    She looked up in time to see him closing the door, without looking in her direction and heard as the door was locked from the outside with a beep and a loud metallic sound. She ran toward the door and tried to find out how she could open it. She tried to pull the lever up or down, but it didn't move.

    -Desmond! No, please, come back here! -She shouted, banging desperately at the door with her fists.
  6. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2021
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    Breathe... :p:X3::cautious::love::LOL:
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  7. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2021
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    Chapter 50 (Most of you won't get the impact of this chapter, but I hope you can pretend you do, my husband fell back with it xD)

    She couldn't hear anything, the place was silent like a tomb, besides the constant sound of the air purifier.

    Then there was a sound and the door unlocked. She prepared herself to run out. As soon as the door opened, she threw herself forward, bending at the waist and managed to escape out of the room, but was stuck in that much smaller anteroom, with Michael, who just looked at her, confused.

    -Let me out! -She pointed at the locked door, with a desperate face. -Please, you need to let me out!

    -I'm sorry, miss. My captain told me I should obey mister Desmond's orders no matter what, and he ordered me to keep you safe.

    -Escort me, then! But let me go and bring Desmond back!

    Michael just shook his head, coming toward her, clearly unsure of what he would do to restrain her. She tried to maintain their distance. They walked in circles for a couple of minutes, but then she jumped on him and grabbed his gun. I'm totally out of my mind! What kind of crazy idea is that?

    Michael was so surprised by her movement that he didn't react for one or two seconds, giving her plenty of time for her to pull the gun out of the holster and take it out of his reach. He tried to grab her arms, but she was moving frantically, kicking and biting. He pulled her hair and even slapped her face to make her take her mouth out of his arm, but didn't use the strength Desmond would have used to restrain her. He was clearly inexperienced for this job, too afraid of hurting her to subjugate her.

    She jumped back, putting distance between them. Michael lifted both hands forward to signal her to put the gun down so they could negotiate.

    Her hands were shaking so much that the gun almost fell to the floor, but she gripped it firmly. It was similar to Desmond's, but lighter. She glanced at it, noticing it was unlocked, but uncocked.

    -Open the fucking door or I'll shoot you! -She tried to sound as menacing as possible, but her trembling voice made her sound pathetic. -Now! I swear, I don't wanna hurt you, but the man I love might be murdered tonight out there and the only thing I think they might accept in order to leave him alone is if I give myself in.

    As she noticed he was slowly trying to close in on her, she cocked the gun and put her trembling finger in front of the trigger. He froze.

    -Mike… I'm serious, Mike. I'm gonna do whatever it takes, I've got nothing to lose, they took everything from me! Mike, open that fucking door, now! -Her hands trembled so much that she was afraid she could shoot by accident. -Please Mike, I swear, I don't wanna hurt you, but I will…

    He looked around, looking for a way to stop her. Then nodded. He opened the door and started to walk toward the stairs.

    -No! Stop right there! -She shouted and pointed her gun toward his back. -You go back inside and close the door. I'll leave your gun here on the stairs when I go out, no one will know this happened. I mean, if you want to get me arrested after this nightmare ends you may tell them, but no one needs to know, if you want to pretend this never happened.

    -There's a hatch door at the top of the stairs, you'll need my help to open it.

    -Just to have you get out and lock me in? -She shook her head, never lowering the gun. -No, I'll do it on my own, you get in and lock that fucking door! You may come out to retrieve your gun in five minutes. Go! Do you think I'm kidding? I'll shoot you in your head if I have to, Mike!

    Michael seemed frustrated. That was clearly his plan and she had dismantled his trap in seconds.

    -I can't let you go, miss… The captain’s orders…

    -Are the captain's orders worth your life? Is it worth your career? Your honor? What do you think people will say if they find out you've been subjugated by a slip of a girl and shot in both your legs and arms while trying to keep up with a stupid order? -She started to cry again and had to hold herself not to wipe it, since she needed both hands to keep aiming at his head. -I'll do it, Mike, I'm on the verge of panicking here. Please! Help me! I don't wanna kill someone. I don't wanna kill you… All I wanna do is follow my heart and do what I can to save him, please, help me…

    Her voice vanished by the end of her speech and she sobbed. Michael’s hands were trembling as much as hers. He looked down, and took some steps back.

    -What am I gonna say when he asks me how you escaped? -He murmured. -I can't do it, Miss Isabelle. What am I gonna do? Please…

    -You may say whatever you want, I don't care. You may say I had a gun hidden with me, that I threatened to kill myself, I don't care. -She shook her head with a furious stare. -You're making me lose precious time, Mike, if I get there and Desmond is already dead, I'm gonna come back and rip your eyes out with my teeth!

    She was surprised by her own words and frowned. Her frown deepened when she realized she meant them. She would hate him for the rest of her life if she found out she had been too late because of him.

    Michael got inside the door and locked it. She sighed and ran upstairs. He was right about the hatch door and she had to make a lot of effort to turn the wheel. She ended up putting both feet to the wall and using the strength on her legs, instead of her arms’ to turn it, but she did it. She was so proud of herself that she almost cried when she realized there was still one more door to open.

    She was panting and sweating. She wouldn't have the strength to open the door manually again. She sat on the floor and sobbed, but only for a few seconds. I can do it! She would die or get caught anyway, she wouldn't need her physical strength. 'Cmon, please, do something useful in your life, Belle, you can do it!

    She got up, putting the gun on the floor and rubbing her hands vigorously. But, to her surprise, the door opened easily as soon as she pushed the lever down with both hands with almost no effort at all.

    She looked at the gun, trying to decide if she should take it with her. Then realized she wouldn't make good use of it and would probably end up hurting someone innocent. After locking it, she kicked it downstairs, having no idea if it could damage the gun or not.

    She peered outside and listened. Everything was very quiet, so she walked toward the stairs. There was a loud bang upstairs and she instinctively got down, covering her ears. She climbed up the stairs crouched and peered out as she reached the first floor. The house had been destroyed. There were bullet marks on the walls and on the bar counter. The wooden floor was wet and full of small pieces of glass. A table and chairs were on the floor, and that corpse was already pale, with viscous blood all around it.

    She looked away, trying to control her breath.

    -The pig is on the second floor! I confirmed, he's trapped in a bedroom! -She heard a girl say quite loudly to a man. They both had their faces covered by masks. The girl had her short blond hair up in a ponytail that reminded her of Chloe's hair, which was slightly longer. The man too was familiar, although she couldn't tell exactly why.

    -I'll give you cover. -His very low voice was muffled by the mask. -Make sure you kill him, we can't take him with us. I'll go get her, Dot said he took her downstairs.

    He turned in Belle's direction and she quickly crawled behind the table to avoid being spotted. Her hand and knee brushed through the blood and she made a face, cleaning her hand on her pants.

    The panic took over, but she rapidly took control over the situation, breathing in and out as silently as she could. She flinched as she had a glimpse of Samantha's dead face staring at her from under the piano, hugging her white legs and waving her goodbye with a sinister smile. You're not real, fuck you! You can't hurt me, you're dead, and I'm still alive! The hallucination vanished as fast as it had come. She sighed in relief.

    She saw the girl crouch upstairs and decided to follow her, as she was almost sure “the pig” referred to Desmond.

    She waited until the girl was out of sight and followed her upstairs, not bothering to crouch. As she reached the corridor, she spotted the girl getting into Desmond's bedroom, then saw someone getting out of the bathroom with his gun in his hands, prepared to follow her.

    She froze, pressing her back against the wall. Her head was aching terribly and she could tell she was on the verge of collapsing from panic. But then she realized who it was and smiled broadly, with tears of joy and relief running down her face.

    She sniffed and the gun turned in her direction. Belle frowned as his dark eyes fixed on her face, first menacingly, but then lit up in recognition. He smiled broadly as he saw her and made a signal for her to come closer. She felt all the relief and gladness take over her body as she ran toward him, although his gun was still pointed in her direction.

    She knew that wasn't the right time, but she wanted to jump into his arms and kiss his mouth. She restrained herself, as she knew they still had to hide.

    -Desmond, there's a woman here to kill you and there's a guy downstairs looking for me, we have to get out of here, now! -She said urgently, trying to keep her voice low, but hearing it go up and down as she trembled and panted. There was a blasting sound coming from inside the bedroom. She grabbed his sleeve and begged him louder and more urgently. -Desmond, please, I need you! Please, come with me!

    As he turned to look at the door, two other blasts were heard, almost at the same time. Her heart felt like it would explode and she decided to try to drag him away. As she was about to touch his hand, she looked up in time to see his head exploding as a shot came from behind.

    Her ears were ringing and she instinctively took her hands up to cover them, but stopped when she saw something dropping from inside of his head and reached out to try to put it back as his body was falling down toward the floor. Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion and she fell to the ground with him as she tried to hold his heavy body by his shoulder and the side of his mutilated head. She looked down at her hands and arms filled with his blood and skin and… Brain.

    She looked down, paralyzed and confused, unable to understand what was happening.

    -Desmond? Are you ok? -She whined and sobbed, pressing his shoulder, caressing what was left from his head. -Please… Please hold on, please, don't leave me. Desmond!

    -Was this Desmond? -She heard it from behind her, feeling a hand press on her shoulder. She looked up and saw the masquerade man. She looked down and saw a shotgun he was holding with just one hand as the other was occupied holding her shoulder firmly. She had the impression of seeing smoke rising from the tip of his gun and squinted her eyes.

    -Did you do this to him? Was that you? -She muttered from between her gritted teeth, feeling like she would go berserk. Her voice was trembling and failing so much that she herself couldn't understand a word. -Was you the one who hurt him?

    -Calm down, Belle, it's me! -He took off his hand from her shoulder to lift his mask. She flinched as she expected to see Daniel's face. -It's me, Trevor. I came to rescue you, you're safe now.

    She felt him rubbing her cheek with his thumb and her stomach grunted with nausea. She was fighting against her nerves to force herself to move. I need to do something! Anything!

    -Don't worry, we're surrounded for now, but the boys will come at any moment with machine guns and wipe away the rest of the pigs. -He smiled proudly. -You'll see, you'll be able to rest in no time.

    He said all this as if it was nothing. She trembled violently, feeling the tears run down her face.

    -He's dead now, Belle. He can't hurt you anymore. -He rested the barrel of the gun on his shoulder and held out a hand for her to grab, to help her get up. -Come! We need to take cover until I can get you out of here.

    She stared at his hand for some seconds, trying to get a grip on her emotions. Suddenly, she grabbed Desmond's gun off his still warm hands and turned to shoot Trevor’s head. She missed it by almost a foot and he immediately moved, stunned by her reaction for only a blink of an eye.

    He tried to grab her arms, but she shot again, this time landing it on the shoulder of his arm that was holding the shotgun. It fell to the floor and Trevor gasped, involuntarily taking his good hand from her arm to cover the wound.

    -What are you doing, you crazy bitch! -He shouted. -Argh!

    She tried to aim for his head, but he kicked her in the chest and sent her sprawling toward the wall. Her head and back hit the wall and she blacked out for just a moment. He crawled toward her and tried to take the gun from her hand, making sure she couldn't point it in his direction again.

    She fought as hard as she could, trying to keep him from taking the gun away from her, but he was much stronger, she knew she didn't have a chance. As a last resort, she bit his wrist with all strenght she could gather and he screamed in pain. She clenched her teeth so hard that she coughed as his skin ripped and the taste of blood invaded her mouth.

    He screamed even louder and started punching her head with his bleeding arm, first to knock her down, but as he realized she wouldn't let go, he prepared himself to slam to kill.

    She knew she wouldn't take it too long, so she pulled the gun from his grip, which wasn't so strong anymore as her bite on his wrist left his hand numb and almost useless and pressed the gun against his temple, pulling the trigger while looking into his eyes. Except the trigger wouldn't move. Her mouth opened as she gasped against her will and he stopped his motion midway as he was about to punch her harder, in her nape.

    -You'd kill me, you bitch? -He shouted, grabbing her by the throat and shoving her against the wall.

    She looked down at the gun, still not understanding what happened. It was different from the gun she had seen Desmond unlocking and cocking, it was all made of plastic and didn't have the same shape. She had no idea why she couldn't pull the trigger.

    -I locked it, you whore! -He slammed her head to the wall, then took his hand off her throat to take the gun from her hand and threw it behind him. He took her neck again and looked straight into her eyes. -You know what? When Daniel told me this rapist had you, I was so desperate I thought I was in love with you. But now I see that you are nothing but a piece of shit! I didn't do this for Daniel, I did this for you, I thought you needed to be rescued, but in the end you enjoyed being raped by this pig, isn't that the case? I should kill you right now, you're not pure as we thought, not at all!

    He slammed her head at the wall again and she felt as if her body was melting.

    -But I'm gonna take you and he'll know exactly what to do with a bitch like you. -He smirked. -You're gonna wish you were dead! You have no idea what the boys will do to you, not even in your worst nightmares...

    He let go of her and fumbled through Desmond's hip.

    -Stay… Stay away from him. -She mumbled, trying to stay conscious. -Leave him alone, please… Don't hurt him…

    -You really are a crazy bitch, right? -He chuckled. -He's dead, stupid whore. But don’t worry, you’ll have your fill in no time. You won’t even miss him...

    He grabbed her by her shoulder and dragged her, laying her on her stomach. She couldn't react because of the dizziness and pain, but she realized he was trying to handcuff her.

    -No! -She screamed desperately, twisting her arms. -Let go of me! No!

    Then she felt his body painfully drop against her back. She looked up, confused, trying to crawl away from him, but he was too heavy.

    She felt her body being lifted from the floor, as his was being dragged away from hers. A smaller hand took her wrist and she tried to fight it again.

    -No, leave the girl, she's Desmond's protégée. He'll kill you if he finds out you tried to handcuff her. -One cop said to the other while he dragged Trevor's half unconscious to a corner. His hands were on his back, so she guessed he had been handcuffed.

    -You need… To help Desmond, please! -She mumbled, still dizzy. -Please, call an ambulance... Please, do something… Stop the bleeding, oh god, he lost so much blood!

    The two cops looked into each other's eyes. It seemed like they just noticed the body behind them. They were speechless.

    -Is this… Is that… -One cop muttered cautiously.

    -Was it Desmond? -The other asked her, astonished, covering his mouth with one hand. -No, man...

    She nodded, forcing her sore arms to crawl back to Desmond's side.

    -Please, help him! -She sobbed, starting to cry again. She looked down at the hole in his head and knew there was nothing they could do to help him. She knew it was over, that he was dead and would not come back, still something inside her made her keep hoping someone would say there was still life in him. -I'll pay whatever the price, please, bring him back! Do something!

    They just stared, with pitiful eyes, too startled by the situation to say anything.

    -Mister Desmond was shot! -Two other cops run upstairs, panting. One of them was Mike. -The captain is here! His team intercepted a car full of… Oh, Miss Isabelle, I'm so glad you're alive! Oh no, who is that?

    He looked down with mournful eyes for his colleague’s body, watching her sob, holding the half-blasted head.

    -Apparently it was Desmond… -One of the cops rubbed his face in disbelief. -God, who would have thought he would go down like this? Damn, that's too much for me, I'm gonna go and bring the captain here.

    The policeman ran downstairs, eager to get out of there. Mike observed Belle with pity and sorrow, but then frowned as he looked at Desmond's body.

    -Wait, but that can't be mister Desmond... -Mike shook his head.

    -She's been 24/7 with him for weeks, I think she's more qualified than you to tell if it was or wasn't him, don't you? -The other scolded him. -Shut up, recruit, you barely exchanged two phrases with him.

    -No, but wait, that really can't… -Mike tried to explain.

    -It certainly was Desmond. -Belle looked up as she heard a firm voice that she recognized. -We need to isolate the area and transfer the ones we caught, right now. You two, to the bedroom, go do what you came here to do, now! You go and help them, I don't wanna hear a word from you.

    Captain Williams commanded two of the cops and then turned to Mike. Mike looked like he wanted to stay and talk with Belle, but replied a simple “Yes, sir.” And followed the other two into the bedroom.

    -Here, Belle… -The captain offered her a handkerchief. He looked down at Desmond's body and sighed with a mournful face. -He's gone, we can't bring him back... Come here, let's wash this blood from your face, he wouldn't like to see you like that.

    -I loved him. -She sobbed.

    -I know. -The captain soothed her, patting her back.

    -He was everything I had. They took everything from me. -She started to wail like a widow and the captain grimaced, looking around.

    -Daniel took everything from you. -He nodded as he continued to pat her back.

    -Yes! -She gritted her teeth and grabbed at the sleeve of Desmond's uniform. -He sent those people to kill him.

    -Indeed. Come here, let's wash your face. -He untangled her from Desmond's body and lifted her. -Come on Belle, you know he would hate to see you like that, come here, for him...

    Everything hurt. Her chest, her legs, her head, her back. Belle felt like she had been beaten to death, which technically had nearly happened.

    The captain led her to the bathtub and she cried out loud as he helped her wash her face and hands and arms, seeing the white floor and bathtub get stained with red. It was his blood. She fell to her knees and started to scream and sob endlessly.

    For a moment she thought she could hear his voice calling her name. She stopped crying and looked around, hoping she would hallucinate with him. She didn't mind that it wouldn't be real, she just wanted him back, she wanted to smell his perfume and feel his warmth again, it didn't matter how.

    The captain took that opportunity and put a hand on her shoulder.

    -Belle… -He whispered. -I know you're going through a lot of pain now. Believe me, it's killing me too, I loved him like a son.

    He was almost impassive, it was hard for her to believe he was feeling even a fraction of her pain. Still, she nodded and put her hand over his, accepting his compassion.

    -I know it's not a good moment, but I'd like to ask you a favor. A favor to Desmond, actually. -The captain's voice was so cold that she felt a shiver run down her spine.

    -Anything, anything for him… -She sobbed, nodding.

    -If I gave your phone back...Would you call Daniel and tell him how you're feeling? -He said, without preambles.

    She paused. How would she having anything to do with Daniel be a favor to Desmond?

    -Desmond wouldn’t want me to do it… Daniel could do that thing to me again… -She sniffed, but she had so much she wanted to tell Daniel, that something inside her broke with her indecision between following her brain or her heart.

    -We won’t let him do the same thing again, we’ll cut the signal if it happens. I just want him to know how much his plan went wrong. I want him to feel guilty for what he did to you. -The captain explained. -But above all, I want him to confess to his crimes. Can you do this for Desmond? Can you get his confession on tape? In his memory. Let's close this case.

    Belle just stared at him for a few seconds, still sobbing. Then she wiped the tears from her cheeks and nodded firmly.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2021
  8. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2021
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    THE END OF BOOK 1 ;)

    Please, let me know your thoughts about it. I'm rewriting some parts (especially from the beginning), so, you'll help me a lot if you have flaws to point out or things you wanted to see more of in some part. Let me know if there's something you think is lacking or out of place.
  9. Isobel

    Isobel Active Member

    Jul 3, 2021
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    All I can say is … please don’t leave us waiting too long for the next book/chapter!!!!:aww:

    But also thank you for posting all of those in row, the cliff hanger would have been too much :blobfearful:
  10. Isobel

    Isobel Active Member

    Jul 3, 2021
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    Also - I just know it’s not him!! :blobthinkingsmirk: Some tricks going on here so hopefully he can leave with Belle

  11. R_Luna7

    R_Luna7 Member

    Sep 18, 2021
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    Yeah….I’m gonna have to reread and compose myself as well.

    so many questions! I can’t wait to read the next. I’m wondering if they planned it this way? They were counting on her not listening, her reaction and maybe even her hallucinations?!
    So much to absorb! I refuse to believe it’s him.
  12. saye

    saye Well-Known Member

    Jun 15, 2021
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    thank youu for this onee! I really wanted to know how they would look like, tho I was expecting Belle to give off more innocent overall feeling. Ryan is almost about how I imagined him, it's astonishing:LOL::LOL:
  13. saye

    saye Well-Known Member

    Jun 15, 2021
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    yeaahhh I also panicked and had to read to last part few times to fully absorb and picture the whole process properly in my headd!! I also wonder how much of it they planned. I cant wait to read the next part godd give me a strength to waitt:eek:
  14. saye

    saye Well-Known Member

    Jun 15, 2021
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    since I reread the last chapter few times in a row, I caught few signals that made me believe Desmond is behind it all. (I thought it might help the author somehow if you have a reader's point of view on apparently really important part of the story. sorry for the long rant in advance)

    1. He mercilessly shoved her down to the bunker earlier in the episode, so it actually makes no sense for him to smile broadly at sight of her in the middle of that dangerous confrontation with the terrorists. More realistic reaction would have been panic, confusion, scolding (refer to Riftan when he found out about Maxi sneaking out to see him during war)
    2. it's when Mike came up. what do they mean it was "apparently" Desmond? they can't recognise him? there's no way they have never seen him considering Desmond's vigilancy. well yes, this whole Mike trying to talk and cops interfering seemed little evasive overally.
    3. excuse me, who exactly is this Captain? only when he said "I just want him to know how much his plan went wrong" Desmond's name popped up in my head. This doesn't sound like a person in-charge, this sentence sounds more personal. and also calling Isabelle like Belle which is a really intimate way to call her obviously. But am I tripping here? the more I think about it, the more confused I get.
    4. This would be my question. What was Daniel trying to achieve through this attack? to kill Desmond and kidnap Belle? then what would they get from letting Belle lash out her feeling to Daniel like that? how would she let him confess in that state of hers? like YOU FREAKING RAT KILLED MY LOVE? and provoke?
  15. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2021
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    1- You got everything right, on the wrong direction
    2-Those cops aren't from Desmond's team. I'm telling you this, because I probably won't explain it in the future, they were just cops that were close enough to be called to help because there was a shooting nearby. One of them certainly knew who he was, and recognized Belle (called her his protégée), the other didn't even know how he looked. The body could look like Desmond, but the head was mutilated, there was no face to recognize him. Mike came up with another cop, that was from the precinct (he went down to call the captain)
    3-Captain = Captain Williams. He was the one who convinced Belle to call Daniel the first time behind Desmond's back and working in a joint operation with him in Daniel's case. I didn't realize I hadn't used his name on the chapter, gonna fix it, thank you.
    4-Next book will explain this =P
  16. R_Luna7

    R_Luna7 Member

    Sep 18, 2021
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    I want to go back and read it full through again but I’ve been thinking about somethings. If I totally missed it or interpreted something wrong I’m sorry. Hopefully I will catch it on the second read. I was soaking it all up lol

    And that’s the first thing I want to say.
    I have been loving this story. There are so many unique qualities to belle’s character in particular that I find really fascinating.
    I think it sets her apart from other typical female leads. Specifically her perfect pitch. i love a strong musical element in a story and I like that you have shown different facets of it. It can be used practically and it can be used dangerously and I think that’s enticing.

    another thing I feel like you really excel it is transitioning from dialogue to Inner Monologue without disrupting the flow of the story or taking on a tone of a different narrator.
    It feels seemless, your voice as a writer has a really good ebb and flow. I especially enjoyed these last few chapters where Ryan wasn’t mincing his words as much because he was just trying to make Belle happy.
    I feel like the ease of their behavior showed noticeably stronger and I don’t know if it was intentional to show the stark difference in character growth in this way but I really felt the shift as a reader. Great job.

    now a few questions:

    1. do we find out why Belle does not need feminine products? Is that coming in the next book? Did I misread or is it open ended.
    I feel like that was dangled but I wasn’t sure if it was meant to be.

    2. I just want to make sure I know who mike is. He’s the one that they were talking about was in the hospital that got injured because of belles mistake?
    I think I need to reread this part (as I said I was consuming it like wildfire lol) but I’m not sure if that was super clear. Same person? Different person and I’m not sure he was memorable enough of a mention in the beginning or if maybe you intended him not to be memorable on purpose?

    I also don’t really grasp the timeline entirely. How many weeks have they been together? Magda says a few, it was enough time to detox but the passage of time seemed almost like 1 single week. Can anyone clarify for me?

    I think it is worth mentioning that these characters live in your mind so things you write and actions they take will always make sense to you as a writer and you will always run into critiques from other people. I think you always give us the opportunity for insight but you also defend your position well and I hope if ever you do get published and everyone becomes a critic you remember you can’t please them all and there will always be us cheering you on.

    this story is amazing and you as a writer will never be 1000% happy with it. But it has been such a fun ride so far and I hope you can give yourself a pat on the back for creating something that has brought this little group together and we keep coming back for more :)
    Sorry for mush, I just really enjoyed it and I think you deserve some praise!
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2021
  17. GiBro

    GiBro Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2021
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    I beg for your forgiveness for this huge answer -.-
    Thank you so much for this message =) I'm gonna go to sleep with my chest warm :love:
    If you're planning to reread, though, please wait at least till Friday. I hopefully will have updated it all to the new version (it has new dialogues and fixes)

    Thank you for the comment about Belle too, I built her carefully, I wanted to make her broken but complete, like a plant that hadn't received enough light/water/nutrients to grow and then suddenly received it all and you say "oh, I thought this plant didn't give flowers", but it does and it's very beautiful (I don't know if it's the best analogy, but that's what I have today). About the music, you really should read "The name of the wind"

    :giggle::giggle::giggle::giggle::giggle::giggle::love: Ty, I really enjoy it when the author lets us know what the character is thinking in the exact moment the scene is happening, and that's what I tried to do. Ty=)

    Yep, it was intentional, and I'm glad I managed to do it without sounding out of place. They were growing slowly and he was starting to get comfortable, but then suddenly he noticed he was about to lose her. It actually began on the day he choked Chloe, when he started to have nightmares about having her taken from him, but when he himself had to send her away, it was an ultimatum. The kiss too, was a "ok, I'm probably not coming back and if I do, I might not come back in a way she would want me to do this, so, yeah, fuck it, you literally only live once"

    It will and the scene not only is written, but is

    He's the one that tries to introduce himself when they are leaving the hospital, but Desmond acts like a papa wolf and drags her away, he's a recruit and is a bit too soft for the job (I wanted to explore his character later, but don't think I'll have the opportunity :() i tried to hunt it when Corey mocks him for waving gloomily at Belle, and when they call him a recruit. The one that is at the hospital is Desmond's close friend and is an FBI special agent. I try to make clear the difference between teams but I'm not good at it because I'm talking about something I'm totally clueless(I did a lot of research but idk why, FBI and NYPD don't leave much information on the internet about their inner details xD)

    The whole book portraits only seventeen days (the number of days is proposital, but unimportant for you xD it's just a silly thing)
    From day 1 to day 17, they met every day. She went to his place on day 5.
    Magda refers to it as two weeks, because 12 is closer to two weeks than to one. The cops refers to it as weeks because Desmond is a workaholic. He never spent a day out of work and even on his day offs he helped others (I hinted it on a part he says he would be on call, but would check some reports or something like that).
    Desmond had been watching her for five months and three weeks.
    he actually fell in love with her or at least had a little crush at that moment, when he went through Trevor's videos and saw her laughing and smiling. After that he kept a "hate vs love" battleground inside his mind, because he loved every new thing he found out about her but most of her moments involved Daniel. When he says she reminded him of Samantha, it was because it reminded him of the feeling he had for her in the beginning, that was for the idea of her, not for who she really was.

    Thank you :love: really, it's awesome to read this.

    Even if I publish it, I don't think it will spread enough to gather too many haters xD at least not haters enough to bring me down.

    I like the critiques, it helps me see what's wrong and improve. I just get sad when I receive a critique and even after rereading it I can't see what the person sees, it frustrates me because it shouldn't be something so multifaceted, if it's well written.

    But I really love what you guys did here, I love your comments and I get very happy when I see the red icon showing that someone interacted =P
  18. saye

    saye Well-Known Member

    Jun 15, 2021
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    what does it mean "on the wrong direction"?:blobscream:
    Im trying to read it with the mindset that Desmond is for real gone, but still can't convince myself :blobflag:I think Im in denial :blobsob: please upload the so much anticipated season two asap, author:blobpopcorn_cool::blobpopcorn_cool:
    and also thank youu for the great journeyy :blob_plusone::blob_plusone:
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  19. R_Luna7

    R_Luna7 Member

    Sep 18, 2021
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    I love all the answers!! I have been clicking and unclicking the spoiler from book two like “do I want to know?! Yes!! But I want to wait!!” So we will see how strong I can be if I read that spoiler lol

    Perfect, I will wait until this weekend to fully reread, that works for me!!

    thank you for clearing up those misunderstandings for me. Of course when I read it I was like ooooh yeah I remember now. Read it too fast lol

    I can’t wait to read the “hot” content you speak of lol. Or any and all of it really!
    beewink, saye, Isobel and 1 other person like this.
  20. saye

    saye Well-Known Member

    Jun 15, 2021
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    we are all waiting for that HOT content now that book 2 is about to arrive lol
    but before that how is our boi Ryan come back from death? :blobdevil::blobhero:
    beewink, Isobel, GiBro and 1 other person like this.