Chapter 42 - The Chance to Escape
The look on Adam’s bruised face as he stared at the happy couple toasting up on the podium was heavily crushing Scarlett’s heart as she fought to fix her gaze with his.
He was utterly devastated seeing them together like this.
Oh, how she wanted to run to him right at this very moment; to wrap her arms around his chest and confess to him that she wanted him and only him by her side. In truth they hadn’t even seen one another since their earlier kidnapping and were purposely being kept separated for a reason; further torture for earlier acts.
And she knew why; Dimitri.
Her snake of a Fiancé’s voice caused her to focus back on him.
“So, do I have your attention yet baby?” he smirked, sipping from his glass proudly.
Scarlett huffed with frustration.
“Why is he here Dimitri?” she asked angrily, knowing full well the answer before she had asked the question.
Dimitri was asserting his dominance over her. Showing Adam that Scarlett belonged to him in the most extravagantly elaborate way possible; an engagement party in their honour. He was always so over the top with every little thing that he did.
“I thought you’d be happy to see him, after all you’ve been through together recently.” Dimitri’s left brow rose snidely, “I hear you both got… rather close to say the least.”
Scarlett turned her head away from him, unsure of why she was feeling guilty in the first place. They weren’t engaged anymore! She was a single woman, free to roam around and fuck whoever the hell she wished. This whole act of dominance was beginning to get on her last nerve and she couldn’t help the next comment that slipped past her ruby-red lips.
“If you think this pathetic display will be enough to come between us, you’re gravely mistaken.” Scarlett spoke sternly to him, yet quietly enough so that anyone around them still could not hear their conversation.
Dimitri raised his finger into the air, handing a passing waiter his glass and then reaching into his back pants pocket for a second. Scarlett simply watched through her narrowed hazel eyes.
“Actually, I’m just getting warmed up.”
She frowned at his comment, but then her eyes immediately widened as they locked onto what he was holding out in front of him, between his two fingers. She swallowed nervously as all of the memories came flooding back, of their time shared together before she learned the truth about who Dimitri really was.
It was her engagement ring, sparkling brightly as if perhaps cleaned recently. Of course he’d had it cleaned; the sheer arrogance of the man.
The crowd still gathered around the podium all hushed and glanced up at the happy couple, intrigued to see what was about to happen. Dimitri caused heads to turn as he suddenly knelt down onto one knee, dressed in a ridiculously expensive tuxedo and still holding out the engagement ring for her to take as he smiled up at her.
“No… don’t!” Scarlett’s voice was firm as she spoke.
She resisted the urge to shake her head as she glared daggers down at the man holding both her and Adam captive, unbeknownst to everyone else in the room with them that night.
“Don’t do this.” she warned.
Though he had already actually proposed to her, Dimitri wanted to do something a little more ‘out there’ and make it official for everyone he knew and worked with in attendance there that night. And this was the perfect way to do it.
Unfortunately the list of attendees that night now included Adam who was forced to stand by and watch helplessly; hopelessly from his position beside the podium and surrounded by Dimitri’s henchmen.
Dimitri spoke loudly enough for everyone to hear now, ignoring Scarlett’s pleas for him to stop.
“Scarlett Workman, I know we’ve done this already baby but would you do me the honour of accepting my proposal in front of everyone in attendance here tonight… to become my future wife? To become Mrs. Dimitri Mancini?”
Adam seemed fixated on Scarlett now, as if waiting to see what her reply would be. Of course he didn’t want her to say yes, he cared for her and the jealousy was eating away at him. But the logical side of him knew their current situation and what was at stake should she refuse his proposal.
As much as he hated to admit it, their very lives depended on her accepting it!
Scarlett looked down at Dimitri with her brows furrowed in a mixture of both disgust and concern. She turned her head to glance around at the spectacle her apparently loving fiancé had caused, seeing nothing but a sea of smiling unfamiliar faces staring back at her; each waiting for her to eagerly accept his proposal once again and make it official for the entire world to know.
She could feel as her heart thudded over and over as if trying to break free from her chest. Like her skin could burst at any minute and her heart would explode outwards.
And suddenly her dress felt far too tight and she found it hard to breathe. Her vision began to blur as she panted desperately for air to fill her lungs. Something was wrong.
A strange ringing sound filled her ears refusing to cease.
It was all too much!
Before she knew it everything suddenly faded into black as her entire body became weightless and her eyes rolled back up into their sockets. With a soft sigh Scarlett fainted; her body began to topple down toward the floor of the podium as everyone gasped in surprised shock.
Adam went to move in but was quickly grabbed and restrained by his escorting henchmen, forced to simply stand by and watch it happen.
Luckily Dimitri was quick enough to react, instinctively lunging forward to save her from hitting the ground and catching her just in time. He played the whole hero part quite well before their adoring audience, swooping in just in time to save his damsel in distress.
The sound of the guests all sighing with relief in unison could be heard as Scarlett’s eyes closed and Dimitri began to fawn over her with apparent concern.
“Is she alright?” an elderly woman standing below questioned with worry.
“Call a doctor!” a male voice added, this time more panicked.
Dimitri held up his hand as if to both silence and assure his guests that he had everything under control, his face displaying a casual smile as he spoke loud enough for all to hear.
“It’s alright, it’s alright. She merely fainted…” he announced as two of his well-dressed undercover henchmen quickly moved in and assisted to help Dimitri up with his unconscious fiancé now supported across both of his arms, “Must have been the bubbly.”
Everyone laughed in unison at his last comment, seeing it as a joke rather than what it truly was. The truth was so much darker than they knew… so very much darker.
“Please, continue to enjoy the festivities in my absence. I’ll be returning shortly.”
With that Dimitri began to carry Scarlett off of the podium and down the small steps, then across the length of the main foyer on his way to the large staircase leading upstairs.
Adam watched from his position as Dimitri carried Scarlett up the large staircase and eventually out of sight. His heart sunk with sadness as he thought of what she must be going through all because of this cruel and sadistic monster. A monster who hid in plain sight. And now whether he liked it or not, Adam was stuck right in the middle of Dimitri’s latest game.
The game’s goal; to win Scarlett from him.
By the time Scarlett had woken from her deepened sleep it was now around one in the morning and the party guests had long since departed for the night. As she rolled over in the bed and let out a grumpy sigh all of the recent memories of this evening’s surprise engagement party came flooding back, causing her blood to race with anger.
How dare he! The nerve!
She knew Dimitri was an extravagant man but this was too far, even for him!
And then she remembered the look on Adam’s face when Dimitri had proposed; the hurt. It was painful even for her to watch. What must he have thought seeing them up there together, surrounded by guests and toasting to their apparent engagement?
With a quick glance around the room to see if she were in fact alone this time, Scarlett decided it was now time to make her move; she was getting the hell out of this place!
No longer would she remain Dimitri’s play-thing!
After setting up the room to make it look as though she had found a way out and using the balcony as her apparent exit point, Scarlett picked up a ceramic ornament and sucked in a deep breath to help calm her. She was preparing for what she was about to do; attempt to escape from her crazed ex-fiancé, the Mafia Boss.
With one swift throw the ceramic ornament went hurtling through the air and collided with the glass of the balcony window.
The ornament smashed through the clear glass upon impact and sent scattered glass shards flying across the length of the balcony outside. Wasting little time Scarlett quickly hid herself out of sight, tucked around inside of the walk-in robe where she silently waited for the inevitable henchman to enter soon after.
And as she had hoped, soon after the crashing sound a figure quickly entered the room, darting around to view the apparent broken window. Scarlett peered around the corner to see who it was; Marco.
He looked around at the glass for a moment in silence and then outside as if trying to assess something.
“Shit!” he then muttered to himself.
But then he surprised Scarlett by inspecting the scene in a little more depth, crouching down to look at the broken glass shards. His eyes locked onto the ornament and he reached out his hand to pick it up. After a second or two Scarlett heard him chuckling to himself.
“Nice try Scarlett... But I know you’re still in here…” he paused, standing back up and turning around to do a visual sweep of the room, “…come out, come out.”
Scarlett couldn’t help it; she began to panic. Not once had she considered that Marco would be smart enough to discover her ruse and commence searching for her. She thought he would have freaked out and run off quickly to tell the Boss!
Her heart raced, thudding loudly over and over in her head as she quickly ducked in behind the shadow of the walk-in-robe entryway. She needed to think quickly if she was going to make her escape successful, it was clear that this was her one and only shot. Then her eyes caught sight of a small wooden statue sitting on display in the walk-in-robe. It was a statue of a Greek Goddess wearing hardly any clothing, painted with golds and reds.
A grin spread wide across her face as she thought to herself, “Perfect!”
“Scaaaarrrlett…” Marco said her name long and drawn out purposely in order to continue taunting her as he began searching the usual places; under the bed, in the ensuite, behind the curtains, “Scarlett… come out cutie… We can play Marco Polo…”
Her hand gripped the wooden statue tightly, bringing it closer in towards her as she waited with her back resting up against the side of the entrance to the walk-in-robe. Soon he would come to check in there and that’s when she would make her move!
Then she heard his voice close-by and she froze, mentally preparing herself for what she would need to do next. She repeated it over and over in her head.
‘He comes in, you smack him over the head, take his keys and run like hell!’
Then his voice was approaching the walk-in-robe…
“Come on now Scarlett, don’t keep me wait- UH!”
Before he managed to finish his sentence Marco fell with a heavy ‘thud’ to the ground in a crumpled heap, having been hit over the back of his head by… someone else in the room?
Baffled, Scarlett couldn’t help but be curious as she peered around the corner to find none other than Jessica standing over Marco’s body on the floor, a broken vase piece still in her hand while the remanets of that vase were now spread across the floor around him.