Ryne Evers has the most normal - not to mention boring - life anyone could ever have. She goes through the pains of high school, has a boyfriend, fights off bitches, the whole nine yards. Then enter Sky La Brea - a drop-dead gorgeous guy with the sexiest British accent and everyone just seems to bow down to him. He seems good enough, but there's just one little problem of him being a kidnapper. Such shame, isn't it?
He squeezed my hand after zipping his
backpack close. “I’m being thorough.”
“You can be thorough when pigs fly.”
“Insult me all you want. I know you love
me.” I laughed loudly as I carried my bag and held Dash with the other hand.
We’re just about to get out of this hotel – no more hotels, praise the Lord –
when suddenly, a thought occurred to me as I looked at my anklet. Then at the
bangle on my shoulder. “I never thanked my own grandpa for giving me the
birthday present, haven’t I?”
“Yeah.” He paused in thought but took
my hand and dragged me headfirst. “You’ll meet him anyway. Let’s go.” I barely
got enough time to look around for the last time in the room where thousands of
memories are when we were already outside of the room, all out valuables in
hand. It’s another day again – another agenda.
But my thoughts keep coming back to
what happened yesterday. Good God, he really –
“Checking out aren’t you, dears?”
I turned my neck so fast I cricked my
neck. Ow. Sky responded to the unknown person in a friendly tone. “Yes, we are.
We’re headed to the beach.”
We are facing an old woman. And you
know what the freaky part is? She seemed to know
us. You know what I’m talking about, right? When there’s this old woman and
then suddenly she turns into a huge snake who is incidentally a Horcrux – ahem,
ahem, Harry Potter – I was still
ogling like a goldfish when she replied in her raspy voice. “Ah, the beach.”
she nodded like what she just said is incredibly vital. “So this is your wife?”
I knew there was something fishy. I
turned to Sky with my devil-from-hell stare as he fumbled for an explanation.
“Yes, uhm. This is my wife Avery.”
“What the hell are you – ”
“Yes! My wife Avery.” Sky almost
shouted as he put a firm arm around me. “Honey, I met this kind person when we
were checking in – you were asleep though.”
Aargh. That explains it. But it
doesn’t erase the fact that it’s quite weird to talk to a stranger in the hotel
hallway when you’re expecting them to turn into Nagini. She then hobbled down
the direction of the stairs, but not before saying, “Well, goodbye now,
Anthony.” We stood still in the hallway, directly in front of our door until
she was out of sight and earshot.
“Anthony and Avery.” I turned to Sky
and continued my rant. “Should I clap my hands and give you a Nobel Prize?”
He only laughed as he adjusted the
bags on his shoulder and got Dash’s rope from my fingers. “The old woman crept
on me from behind. To be honest, she scared the living daylight out of me.”
I burst into a fit of laughter as we
made our way to the lower floor, already eager to be outside of walls. And in
what seemed like a second, we were already speeding through the road, after
dealing with a sleepy receptionist and an unwilling Dash.
“Where are we going?”
He winked at me from the driver’s seat
and keeping his hands on the steering wheel. “It’s a really charming place. And
your brother came along, too. So you’ll have two people waiting for you.”
“Really? So which charming place is
He deflated suddenly. “Uhm, actually,
I lied. It’s an abandoned factory.”
– this is just unacceptable.
“So a former Mafia Lord decides to
meet his long-lost granddaughter in an abandoned building. And oh right, he’s
“You know Ryne,” he said, stepping on
the brake as the light turned from green to red. “Once you’re in a Mafia, you
never really get out. You watched those Mafia movies, didn’t you?” That made me
pause. That must be a hell on earth situation. I clicked my tongue and stayed
silent all the way to our destination. Our lack of conversation was more than
made up by his arm comfortably around me.
Who knew that a completely useless
building would be hours away?
“I’m – ”
“Tired, I know.”
“When – ”
“Two hours, Ryne. And a half.”
I almost cried in despair. “But I’m
practically drained. I can’t even
lift my head – ”
“I must’ve really exhausted you last
night.” he replied with a slight smile and a sparkle in his eyes. Predictably,
I blushed. “You’re such a prick.” Hu chuckled but then his tone turned serious
as he replied,
“I’m glad that happened.”
I felt his arm tighten around me. All
I could do was close my eyes and relax.
And right there, with my eyes closed,
I felt him kiss my head and I drifted off to a peaceful sleep.
Two hours later. And a half.
I never ever slept like that in a car
before. And it feels really, really comfy. Blinking my eyes open, I found
myself on the backseat, complete with a blanket and a pillow.
So that solves the comfy issue.
I looked at my side and sure enough,
he’s there. As always. My head was on his lap while I was sleeping and now he
met my gaze after looking out of the window.
I blinked several times more and tried
to look outside as well. As much as I could figure, we’re in the middle of
“Where are we?”
“You slept seven hours straight, you
“Yes. It’s almost 5pm.”
I gave a little laugh. “The sleep
feels good.” He chuckled and resolved himself to rubbing my shoulder with his
other hand across my stomach. I can’t help looking outside again. “So where are
“Where we should be. The factory is
just around the corner. But it’s still quite early to go there.”
My brow creased as I looked at Dash on
the front shotgun seat though my thoughts were zeroing in something else
entirely. “What time are we supposed to be there then?”
“Around 5:15 or 5:30. Why’d you ask?
Are you nervous?”
“No, it’s just that…wouldn’t it be
more convenient to meet in the
morning?” I actually wanted to use the word ‘safer’ but I changed my mind. I
continued speaking before he could open his mouth, “You know, because there’s a
lesser chance of an attack or something?”
He just looked down on me, his green eyes
clouded in concerned thinking. Deep thinking. “He had business to take care of
before going here. And the building was searched five times before he chose the
location.” he bit his lip and asked, “Do you think something bad will happen?”
Well, that’s just weird. It’s just a
feeling. It’s probably nervousness – I haven’t laid eyes on the man in my whole
life and now boom. He’s my
grandfather. “It’s just a feeling. I’m nervous, that’s all. You did say that he’s extremely
He smiled slightly at my response and
kissed my forehead soothingly, but the tension in his eyes didn’t fade. But in
a matter of seconds, I saw him shrug it off. That’s more like it. I sat up with
minimal difficulty and faced him, legs crossed.
“I was thinking, Sky. When I meet my
brother and grandpa, where will you go?”
He held my hand and said, “Do I have
permission from you to make your life hell a little bit longer?”
Happiness overwhelmed me as I laughed
uncontrollably. “Absolutely.” I happened to glance at the dashboard and I
looked at the time. 5:10. Sky noticed this too and I looked at him. “Shouldn’t
we go now?”
“One second.” he started grabbing our
stuff at the floor of the car, but the car which he’s rummaging through is
mine, not his.
“What are you doing?”
He didn’t answer but pulled out the
snow globe. He said, “I found out about this when I was awake two nights ago.”
“Found out what? It’s the snow globe
you gave me.”
“It’s surprisingly more special than I
thought.” How the bloody hell can that thing be more special? “Does it uhmm, I don’t know,” I chuckled, puzzled. “Does
it have laser or something?” He grinned amusedly. “Close, but no cigar.” He
started bundling up the blanket and shifted closer to me. I have no idea,
absolutely no idea, of what he’s doing. He said, “Look.” then he put the snow
globe inside of the dark, think blanket, but left enough space for us to see
it. The globe was entirely covered in darkness but when Sky shook it once, the
snow fluttered like mad.
And the snow was shining. Sparkling
like stars. You can see and distinguish it from the darkened castle – it’s
absolutely wonderful; like real snow. He shook it again, harder this time, and
my name at the bottom of the globe lit up like the little snow did, only it’s
not white, it’s blue.
He turned to me again, his profile
braced for my reaction. “Well?” I shook my head wordlessly and kissed him on
the cheek. He laughed delightfully and said, “That was for you to keep your
chin up.” He started stuffing the blanket and the present back into the bags.
“Now, my dear, we introduce you to your life.”
It’s normal to be nervous, right? I
mean, you’re not just meeting your long-lost relatives – you’re meeting a Mafia
lord and his…sidekick. The Mafia lord and his sidekick aren’t really helping
anything to soothe my nerves.
“What if they don’t like me?”
“They love you, Ryne.” he said, rolling his eyes. Easy for him to say.
He’s not the one actually meeting them for the first time. In seventeen years.
With absolutely no recollection of them. Ever.
Sky pulled up in front of a humungous
abandoned factory and it’s just the same from my imagination of how it would
really look like. It’s really old, and a little bit historical. It could pass
for an old landmark.
I wanted to run.
I faced Sky, biting my lip. “Maybe we
should go back. I don’t like what I’m feeling.”
“It’s okay to be nervous, Ryne. It’s
understandable. I’m sure they would say the same thing, too.”
“But – but – I can’t.” God. I know I’m being a whiny, little spoiled brat but who
the hell could blame me? I gazed at the door of the building, wondering what
could be inside and I felt my worries triple.
“I don’t like what I’m seeing, too.
So, in a way, we’re in the same boat.”
“In a way, yes. But in every other way, absolutely no way.” I heard beeping right then and
Sky took out his phone, which is lighting up and vibrating like a little bug
and I noticed that it was different from the one I used yesterday.
“They’re inside already. Let’s go.”
“No! Just – just let me breathe, okay?
And is it exactly smart to do that? I mean, you said they are incredibly influential people, but they’re inside that place
without any protection?”
“They brought guards with them. And
they’re really eager to see you.”
“What do you expect from me? Do I just
waltz inside that place or something?”
“Ryne,” he released a sigh, “what do
you want me to do?”
don’t know!” I
replied hysterically. “Sweet talk me or something. Say something nice.” He
chuckled amusedly. “Something nice?”
“I thought you wanted me to calm
down?” I replied wringing my hands. He replied to me, “Okay, something nice.”
He looked at me deeply. “Your eyes.”
“Your eyes are nice.” then he twirled
a strand of my hair. “Your hair is, too.” I chuckled when I realized what he’s
doing and he cupped my face with both hands. “Your face is nice.” Then he
leaned towards me and whispered. “No. It’s fucking beautiful.” Then he kissed
I kissed him back and I felt the
tension slowly desert my shoulders as he backed me towards the window, his lips
so soft against mine. When I started to tighten my grip on his hair, he pulled
calm you down right?”
I chuckled. “That was really
effective.” I giggled some more, then he gave me a quick peck on the lips and
held my hand. He opened the car door. “I think you’re ready now.”
Wait. “But how about Dash?” we both
looked at my dog at the backseat and he looked back at us with blank eyes. “I
think,” Sky said, “he can stay right here. I’ll lock the door.” He interlocked
my fingers with his and then we both got out through the driver’s side. We
My feeling of unease was quieted down
by our little escapade earlier, but now as we continued our steps, I felt it
bubbling below the surface again. It’s
the nerves, I told myself. It’s going
to be fine. Sky’s hand on mine did a lot to relax me as we pulled the heavy
metal doors open. We were greeted by a miserable sight.
The pillars were still sturdy and
dependable around the front room, but the floorboards were obviously in need of
repair after all the years of neglect. There was a pile of rubbish on the side
– all scraps of metal and splinters of wood. The ceiling was very high and –
fortunately – it looks like nothing would fall down on us.
“Well. This is rather…”
“Splendid?” he supplied, raising an
“Yes.” I nodded. “Just splendid.” Then
I took the first step forward and he followed my lead. “This place has been
searched right? Five times?”
“Yes. It’s going to be fine.”
We opened the creaking door on the
opposite wall – the only door, I mean
– and as we opened it, a larger room lay in front of us. There were rows and
rows of tables up to the other side of the room and there was a very thick
partition on our left side, the only entrance to the other side being the thick,
black and tattered draperies.
I don’t like draperies.
Sky closed the door behind us without
so much as a sound and I shifted closer to him with my hand clasped on his arm.
With my other hand, I felt for the gun, which is inserted at the back of my jeans.
He shot me a look, with his eyebrows drawn together. He opened his mouth to
speak but before he can utter a single word, a female voice sounded through
from the other room – the drapery room.
A familiar female voice.
“Fuck you. I don’t even know who you
are anymore – ”
“Hold your tongue. If you value your
life, do as I say.”
No. But – but that voice is –
Sky covered my mouth and he stealthily
led me far away from the partition as possible. He never hit as much as a piece
of metal or anything for that matter, and then he pulled out his gun and
gestured for me to do likewise. I did as he asked and looked at his face. My
eyes searched his green ones.
They were burning in pure-white rage.
His jaw was clenched and he made the
effort of mouthing two words to me – stay
Bloody hell no.
I gave him a look of strong defiance
and grabbed his wrist before he can even take a single step back. This concerns
me as well as him. And he knows it.
He took a silent, deep breath to calm
himself down and to keep his remaining composure. But then there were more
words coming from the pair of people on the other side.
“You can’t get away from this. The
building will be searched again in 10 minutes and Sky will kill you. I know he
“Sky? I don’t care about Sky; I have all the protection I will
ever need. The same cannot be said for you, though. What shame.”
no, no! I can’t
believe this. It’s not possible! That person is –
“Imah, you filthy traitor. I can’t even look at you.” said Xavia.