Chapter 26 - The Truth Will Set You Free
An hour later Scarlett was lying curled up on the guest bed, contemplating her most recent decisions after spilling the beans to her Aunt about her unfortunate past with a Mafia Boss fiancé.
She didn’t have a clue as to what she should do next. If she ran he would most certainly find her. But alternatively if she stayed she would be putting the ones she loved in danger, especially since Dimitri’s men had visited the farmhouse so recently. Their visit had been her one and only warning. They knew where she was. They were probably watching her even now as she lay silently in her Aunt’s family guest room.
The mere thought of it was terrifying her beyond belief as she sniffed and wiped away a stray tear, pulling her knees up and in closer towards her body.
Scarlett didn’t want anyone else to be harmed because of her; she’d caused enough trouble already.
Thoughts continued to circle around in her head. So many unanswered questions. Was her flatmate Kate already dead or was Dimitri perhaps keeping her alive with some cruel intention to blackmail Scarlett when she returned? She prayed that her friend was still alive… somehow.
She had always thought that she knew the kind of man Dimitri was, but now after everything that had happened she wasn’t so sure of what he was truly capable of. Would he really kill Kate if she didn’t return to him as instructed?
What was she going to do?
The sudden knock at the door caused her to gasp and sit upright on the bed.
“Uh… come in.” she announced, wiping away any evidence of her obvious fear.
The door opened slowly and in came Adam, his gorgeously dark brows furrowed together with obvious concern as he found her alone in her room and kneeling on the bed. He could see that something was clearly bothering her and his stomach twisted with sympathy as he spoke softly.
“Hey, can I come in?” he asked, seemingly unsure if he should.
Scarlett nodded her head, sniffing again and looking down at the blanket as he entered the room and closed the door quietly behind him.
She still hadn’t been completely truthful with him about her past and the harder she fought to maintain her little secret from him the more it ate away at her. But could she open up to him? She barely knew him. Could she tell him everything about her past? Would he look at her the same way after she had? She worried that he wouldn’t.
“What are you doing here?” she managed to put together the simple sentence as he slowly sat down on the edge of her bed, intentionally still leaving a small distance between them.
“I was worried about you. I heard your Aunt talking to the others. From what she said you sounded pretty distraught, so…” he shrugged, “…I wanted to come and see you. To make sure you were ok... Are you?”
Scarlett refused to meet his gaze as she played with the hemline of one of the pillows with her fingers. She was deciding whether she would come clean with him or not. The offer to do so was extremely tempting, to unload all of her stresses and worries and finally be completely open with him. She felt like she could tell this man anything and he wouldn’t judge her. But was it worth the risk? They barely knew each other after all. What if he didn’t react well to the news she had to share? Would this be the end for them?
“I… I don’t know how to… I mean I want to be honest with you Adam. I do… It’s just that-”
“-Hey, its ok.” he spoke with his soft and oddly comforting tone, his hand reaching out to rest on top of her knee gently as he gave her a small smile of reassurance.
“You don’t have to tell me anything.”
“No, I do! You need to know the truth, the reason I've been on the run from my past...” her tone showed insistence as she dropped the pillow and met his eyes, “It’s just… it’s hard.”
Moving in closer towards her Adam wrapped his arms around her body and pulled her in against the warmth of his broad chest. She seemed to welcome the feeling as she nuzzled her face into his heavily scented shirt, feeling comforted at long last.
She didn’t yet understand why, but this felt right.
His voice was deep as he spoke, each of his words vibrating gently against his chest as her ear remained pressed against it.
“We all have a past Scarlett. Whatever it is you can tell me. I won’t judge you. I promise.”
She pulled out slightly from him, peering up into the warmth of his chocolate brown eyes.
“Cross my heart.” he moved his fingers across his chest in a cross formation, “Hope to die…”
His last words rang loudly as a warning in her ears and she suddenly began to panic as the words slipped through her lips before she could think to prevent them.
“I don’t know what to do. I’m so scared.” was all she managed to say before her hazel eyes began to fill with tears once again.
“What? You?” he joked in an attempt to lighten the mood, “The great and almighty Scarlett is afraid of something. That’s impossible-”
“-Adam, I’m serious!” she suddenly snapped, “This isn’t some kind of joke. These men are extremely dangerous! I’ve put all of your lives in danger just being here...”
Adam’s smile suddenly faded away to become one of serious concern.
“Wait what do you mean? Who's in danger?”
Immediately realising her mistake Scarlett sucked in a deep breath and bit her bottom lip nervously as her eyes averted toward the mattress with guilt.
“Scarlett, who were those men who came to visit the farm earlier on? The ones in suits?”
A moment of silence was shared between them before she could find the strength to lift her gaze and to meet his. Taking a deep breath she prepared herself to try and explain it all to him at last, summoning up all of her courage to do it. She could only hope that he would somehow understand her point of view in all of this.
“They work for man named Dimitri Mancini. He’s… he’s a Mafia Boss, Adam. He works in New York City.”
Adam seemed confused now and his expression showed it.
“Scarlett, why would a Mafia Boss be contacting you?”
She licked her extremely dry lips.
“Because up until just recently I was…” her expression of guilt was obvious as she struggled to say the next part, “…sort of… engaged to him.”
“Wait, what?” Adam seemed to need urgent clarification on the matter, “You’re engaged?”
“I was Adam. I’m not anymore. I ended the engagement the moment I found out what he was involved in. That night I ran and I’ve been running ever since. He’s obviously tracked me down again. He knows I’m here, at the farm.”
Adam spread his palm over his mouth and rubbed his stubble as he thought to himself for a moment. This was a lot to take in.
“Ok, so if you ended the engagement then why is this guy sending men after you?”
She looked down again seeming suddenly solemn for some unknown reason. A tear involuntarily rolled down her rosy cheek as she closed her eyes softly and then slowly reopened them again.
“Adam, I saw something. Something I probably shouldn’t have seen.” she sucked in a deep breath and then exhaled, “I watched him kill someone.”
“Dimitri, he shot the guy point blank right in front of me without a hint of hesitation.” she shook her head from side to side slowly.
“Fuck.” Adam’s reaction caused Scarlett to give a soft chuckle.
“Yeah, fuck is right.”
“And the note? What was that about?” he queried.
Adam watched as Scarlett reached across and grabbed the folded piece of paper from the bedside table beside her, then handing it to him to read. Taking the paper from her hand he then proceeded to open the paper and began reading to himself silently. His facial expression showed him to be deep in thought as he took in the note’s intended message.
Biting her lip with impatience, Scarlett waited for him to speak.
“Well… there’s no way in hell you’re going back there.” he announced confidently, dropping the paper to the mattress carelessly, “It’s not safe.”
“Adam, I have to...” she disagreed, “It’s the only way they’ll leave my family out of this. If I don’t return to him he might hurt someone I care about.”
Adam frowned as he gazed off into the distance in heavy thought for a moment.
“He’s extremely dangerous, Adam. Please believe me when I tell you that.” she reminded.
“I don’t give a shit about this guy, Scarlett!”
Adam’s tone had suddenly changed dramatically as his angered gaze turned to meet hers, his expression instantly melting away to instead reveal one of concern. Concern for her.
Lifting his hand up, he brushed his fingers across the soft skin of her left cheek.
“I’m not letting that creep come anywhere near you ever again. You hear me?” his brows rose as he stared directly into her hazel eyes and lifted both his hands to hold her gently on either side of her face, “I can keep you safe. If you’ll let me.”
Scarlett frowned, her brows furrowing with confusion.
“I have my ways…”