“Good day miss. May I help you with something?” He said politely. He was young, probably around Jenna's age. I turned to him, slightly moving my sunglasses so he could see my eyes and smiled.
“Sure you can darling. I would like to speak with your boss. Is that possible?” I asked him sweetly and he blushed.
“Of course miss. Please, give me a moment.” He said and rushed towards Tyler. Cute, I thought to myself. He said something to Tyler and he turned to look at me. The employee took over the customer while Tyler began to walk my way. I crooked my finger and gestured him to follow me. I headed towards the back of the dealership and Tyler followed me as I could hear his footsteps behind me. When I was sure no one was near, I stopped and turned to look at him. He stopped walking as well, leaving some space in between us.
“Who are you and what do you want?” He asked me, his tone cold. It took me by surprise. I never heard Tyler talk like that.
“What’s with that attitude? Is that how you treat your friends now Tyler? You used to be so sweet.” I said.
“Friends? I never saw you before. Now, cut the crap and tell me what you want. Are you here to steal something? Where are your partners?” He asked?
“Yeah, you are right. I'm here to steal something.” I said, smiling. He took a step towards me but I was already in front of him.
“It’s not cargo that I want tho.” I told him. He was confused.
“Then what is it?” He asked me. I took off my sunglasses and my wig.
“You Tyler. I need you.” I said. He was silent, only looking at me.
“Do you remember me Tyler?” I asked and he gasped suddenly.
“Caroline?” He asked.
“One and only honey.” I said and Tyler hugged me tightly. I hugged him back, overwhelmed by the feeling of being in the arms of someone familiar. He pushed away from me a little to look into my eyes.
"I'm sorry for the way I acted. There has been a couple of cases when our cargo was stolen. They would send some girl dressed just like that or even more provocative so she could seduce us while her partners are doing the stealing. I've been on edge for a while now because of that. How did you get here by the way?” He asked me while holding my shoulders. I grabbed his arms.
“By my marvelous plan and the help of my people. I came here to look for you Tyler. I need your help.” I told him. His face fell.
“Oh Caroline, I don't think I can. I don't know where Nathan is, haven't heard of him for a long time.” He said, sadness lacing his voice.
“I already met up with Alex. He came here with me. We plan on going to get Andrew later. I'm sure that if I gather everyone, our chances of finding Nate will be higher.” I said and squeezed his arms.
“Caroline, I'm sure Alex told you already what happened between us. Getting everyone back together will be quite a hard task. Some of them really went in on each other.” He told me.
“He did tell me and I understand. But I didn't come here just to quit as soon as I began. I will find Nate, with or without you. So, are you in or out Tyler?” I asked him firmly, squeezing his arms even tighter.
“Of course I'm in. I want nothing more than to get back together with everyone. I just hope that feelings are mutual.” He said and we quickly hugged once more. Tyler then went to tell his staff that he had something to do and we together went to where the others were waiting in the car. I drove us towards Nathan's house. In the meantime, I introduced Vic and Jess to Tyler. When we arrived, I sat on the couch, feeling uncomfortable in my outfit. I closed my eyes for a couple of minutes, just getting my shit together. Tyler sat opposite of me, looking at the files that Alex and I left scattered around. Vic and Jess went to pick up some stuff from home while Alex went to get us some masks since the theme for tonight's party at Andrew's casino was a masquerade.
“Are you sure you want to go with us, Caroline?” Tyler suddenly asked me. I kept my eyes closed.
“Yes, I am sure.” I simply said.
“Samuel might be there tonight. It's pretty risky you know.” He said. I opened my eyes.
“Tyler, I am going to the casino tonight. I don't care if Samuel is going to be there or not.” I said in a firm voice.
“Does it mean something that Alex and I don't want you to go because we are worried about you?” He asked.
“I'm grateful for your concern Tyler, but that doesn't change anything. You know who I am, right? I'm not some weak girl that you need to protect Tyler. I'm more than capable of taking care of myself. So please, let's not talk about this, okay?” I said as I stood up. Tyler looked like he wanted to say something more but he only nodded. Just at that moment, Vic and Jess came in.
“I’m going to start getting ready now. When Alex comes back, please tell him to bring us the masks.” I told Tyler.
“Sure, I will.” He said and I headed upstairs. Strange feelings wash over me every time I step into Nate's room. I'm always waiting for him to appear out of somewhere like he never disappeared. I went into the bathroom and washed myself. I stood in the shower until there was no more hot water. As I stepped out, I looked at myself in the mirror. It was a wise decision to play nice with Samuel or I’m sure my body would be covered in bruises by now. I was remembering a time when I made Samuel mad. I don't really remember what I did but it made him so furious. He treated me roughly that night. Sitting my lips till they bleed, leaving hickeys everywhere. I even had marks on my wrists from him holding them too tight. But that was nothing I couldn't handle. I had worse things being done to me. I stepped back inside the room, towel wrapped around my body. I saw Alex standing with Vic and Jess.
“Oh, you are back?” I said and Alex turned to look at me. He blushed.
“Yeah. I bought you the masks. Hope it goes well with your outfits.” He said. I smiled.
“Don’t worry about it and thank you. You should go and get ready now. We don't want to be late.” I told him. He opened his mouth to say something but I already knew what was it so I only shook my head at him. He nodded and went out. Jess and Vic brought us clothes and make-up. We helped each other to get ready. I wore a black wig that Vic styled into an elegant bun, a short red dress with no straps and red glitter sparkling all over it. I paired it up with black sandals, a red fur coat and a black mask with diamonds that Alex picked out for me. Jess did my makeup to go with my outfit, choosing the shades of red and black. We were finally ready. I headed down the stairs towards the living room where Tyler and Alex were already waiting. They turned to look at us. Tyler's eyes remained on Jessica while Alex couldn't decide at which one of us to look at first. I walked their way, turned around and placed my arms around their shoulders.
“My girls look stunning, don't they?” I asked, a smirk spreading on my mouth.
“They do but so do you, Caroline.” Tyler said while Alex only nodded in agreement.
“Well, thank you. You two look very handsome yourself. Shall we go now gentlemen?” I asked and we headed to the casino. Tyler dropped me and the girls off in front of the casino while they circled around so we don't enter together. We made it inside without a problem. The casino was quite luxurious. Bright lights everywhere, tons of people, mostly males with females hanging from their arms, laughing and batting their fake eyelashes. First of, we exchanged our money for some chips on the chip counter. The best way to pass time is to play some tables while we wait for Andrew. We headed towards the roulette table. As we sat down, we began to play while searching the room. We made sure not to seat close to each other so it doesn't look suspicious but I guess that was a wrong idea. A man came to sit next to me, a little bit closer than he should. He placed a hand on my thigh and whispered something in my ear.
“Want to have some fun?” I smiled and moved my head so I can whisper in his ear.
“I advise you to back the fuck off before I break every single bone in your body. Okay?” I said sweetly, moving to look into his eyes and grinning widely. He paled and rushed off. I went back to the game when a pair of hands landed on my shoulders. I turned to look who was it.
“That guy looked like he had seen a ghost. I can only imagine what you told him while grinning like a psycho.” Tyler said as he sat down next to me and casted some chips on the table.
“I didn't say anything bad. Just that all break all of his bones if he doesn't back off.” I told him simply.
“Yeah, what a normal thing to say to someone.” He said, ironically. I smiled. I looked around the casino.
“Andrew won't be here for at least an hour or two. You don't need to look for him.” Tyler said.
“I’m not looking for Andrew.” I said as I focused on the game. We played for a while when Alex came to Tyler and whispered something to him. Tyler turned to look in the direction Alex came from. I looked there as well. Unsurprisingly, Samuel stood there. He was surrounded by bodyguards and of course, no mask on his face. Jess and Vic looked at me and I only nodded my head. They came closer to Tyler and me.
“I mean, I know he is a pretty big shot around here but it's a masquerade theme, wear a mask for fuck's sake.” Tyler said, irritated. I didn't move my eyes from Samuel.
“He doesn't care about the theme. You can notice that there is only one thing on his mind.” I said. Samuel's face was hard, fury written all over it. He looked pretty scary with a look in his eyes that could kill. He was a man possessed. His eyes roamed over the casino.
“Should I bring you to a private room? Maybe it'll be safer.” Tyler suggested. I shook my head.
“No. He will search the rooms. We are the safest in the crowd.” I said as I continued to play.
“I should go and look for Alex.” Tyler said and went off. Samuel turned towards the table I was sitting at and slowly began to walk. I was making a move when I caught the sight of a familiar face. It was Andrew, he has arrived. I stood up slowly, signaling to Vic and Jess to stay where they are. I had to walk past Samuel to get to Andrew. I began walking, my head high and shoulders pushed back. I walked past him with no problem. He didn't even spare me a glance as he continued to walk towards Jess and Vic. They will be fine, I told myself. I reached Andrew, pushing past his bodyguards. He looked at me, eyes filled with lust. A smirk was forming on his face.
“Faster than usual. How can I help you, babe?” He asked as he wrapped one of his arms around my waist. I resisted the urge to roll my eyes. This was hilarious.
“With a lot of things darling but before that, why don't we go somewhere more private?” I whispered in his ear then moved to look at him. He licked his lips.
“Your wish is my command.” He said as he pushed on my lower back and headed towards his office. As soon as he closed the door, he pounced on me. He turned me around, pushed me against his office table and went for my lips. I placed my index finger on his forehead and pushed his head back. He narrowed his eyebrows, confusion written all over his face.
“Oh Jesus Andrew, wait a damn minute.” I said as I took my mask off. He brought his face closer to mine, looking at me closely. After a moment, he was burying his face in my neck and hugging me tightly. I placed one of my hands on his back while I stroked his hair with my other hand.
“Caroline, I’ve missed you.” He murmured in my neck.
“I’m sure you did since you pounced on me the moment we were alone.” I said, laughing lightly. He pushed me a little so he could look at me.
“I don't think anyone would be able to hold back from pouncing at you when you look like that Caroline.” He said. I flicked his forehead.
“You little brat, you became extremely cheeky while I was gone.” I told him. He straightened himself, a serious look on his face.
“Are you here with Samuel? I saw him when I arrived.” Andrew asked me.
“No, Andrew, we are not. I ran away from him. You can't tell him that I’m here.” I said and he nodded. He took a bottle and poured himself a drink.
“Are you here to look for Nathan? If yes, I have some bad news for you.” He said and I shook my head.
“No, I'm not looking for him. We came for you.” I told him, itching to get to the main point and get the fuck out of here.
“Who we?” He asked, voice firm and cold. At that moment, someone came inside the office. Andrew's face fell.
“There is a riot going on. We need to move now!” Alex said, breathing heavily. Andrew placed his glass down with a loud thud. I narrowed my eyes. In one swift moment, Andrew was in front of Alex, his fist colliding with Alex's jaw. I grabbed Andrew by his elbows and moved him back from Alex.
“What in the God's name is going on here?” I asked.