Two more weeks passed and everything seemed so normal. We did not find any clue in terms of the culprit and the said wolf was missing.
The New York partner has invited us to their annual conference and has offered some new deals which would further enhance our business. This time, I decided to take Anna with me.
Nicholas is also coming with me and I have assigned Barbara to handle everything in the absence of Anna. I have also asked my mom to help Barbara.
Anna was suddenly sick on the day of our travel; she vomited and couldn’t eat anything.
She said it could be food poisoning and we were really getting late.
Barbara promised to take her to the doctor and take care of her till I come back.
“Anna, I cannot leave you here unattended for so long. I will send you the tickets once you are fit to travel. Barbara doesn’t leave her at any cost, stay close.” I said leaving her on the bed, hurrying to the airport.
“That was the last time, I saw you or heard from you Anna,” I said looking at her.
Anna looked confused beyond all and I could tell that she is trying hard to remember.
“Why you did not come for me?” She whispered after a while.
“Anna, I did not even know that you were gone,” I said tiredly rubbing my neck.
“We were in a hurry to attend the meeting when we reached New York. The conference was over around ten thirty and the after party went all night. We were introduced to CEO’s of top companies and it was almost five in the morning when we retired to our rooms.” I paused looking at Anna.
She was massaging her head with her fingers which made me worried. Standing up, I went to sit near her.
“Anna, you don’t have to stress out. Now that I have found you it is all that matters,” I tried to comfort her failing badly.
“No Aiden. It is very important that I know this, tell me the rest.” She insisted.
“Well, I was worried about you but did not want to disturb you. So, I left a message on your phone and when I called later that day, I found it was switched off. I tried calling Barbara and her mobile was again switched off.”
“I was tensed, I tried to call mom who wouldn’t answer my questions with a straight answer. Then I called Grace, who told me that you were gone,” I tell her.
I did not tell her about the photos and videos I received while I was in New York.
“We informed the CEO that it was a family emergency and traveled to Portland immediately. On arrival, I found that you were gone, all your important documents missing. Then… “I really felt uncomfortable saying the next part.
Neither Anna nor Barbara lived in luxury and it was evident by their looks. Therefore, accusing them of stealing the cash seemed pointless.
I did not even care anymore, I knew none of them has taken the cash but still wondered who would have taken only me and Anna knew the password to the security locker.
“What are you not telling me?” Anna quirked her eyebrow in question and Barbara looked at me with the same expression.
“The security locker where we keep all the important documents and cold cash was robbed off. Few millions were missing if you ask me and only two people knew the password for that Anna.” She looked at me again with the confused expression.
“Only you and I know the password for the locker. Also, it was protected with our fingerprint, so you have to know the sixteen-digit password and swipe your thumb across the pad to open the locker.”
“That’s why I did not go to the police station. Also, I received few more photos and videos on my mobile when I was in New York, which made me believe that their claims were indeed true at that time,” I concluded.
“Look it did not matter anymore; I just want you and our son back. I don’t care about the money or those photos. Seeing you again after all these years made me realize that no matter what you do, I cannot hate you or stay angry with you. I love you Anna and I want you back in my life. I want a fresh start with you and our son,” I pleaded holding her hands.
“So, you thought that I stole your money and ran away with someone I used to cheat on you with,” Anna asked after a moment’s silence.
“Anna, it does not matter anymore,” I tried not to answer that question.
“Answer me, Aiden. You believed their claims, didn’t you?” Anna pressed for answers.
“Yes,” I answer and looked down unable to meet her gaze.
“You may leave, Aiden.” She said standing up from the seat.
“Anna, please,” she raised her hand stopping me.
“I really want to be alone now. It’s too much to process.” She has started climbing the stairs and her slumped shoulders told me she was broken inside.
I watched helplessly as she climbed the stairs while Nicholas came beside me and squeezed my shoulders comfortingly.
It is too much to handle, I did not remember a single thing except for the trigger when he talked about the wolves.
Then again it all made sense, someone wanted her dead and gone. I remembered the howl of that wolf in the middle of the night and I needed time to process all the information.
I cannot blame Aiden for doubting me; someone must have set me up. Though I have lost my memory, I did not lose my morals. I would never ever do such a thing and betray Aiden.
My head pounded with all the thinking and I wanted to get away from the uneasy feeling that was squeezing my insides.
What Aiden said touched my heart and I believed him, still, it is not safe for me or Ben to be around Aiden.
With everything Aiden said, one thing was evident the killer whoever it is closer than I thought. Hell, it could be his mother for all she could care. I need time to think.
“You may leave, Aiden,” I said standing up from the seat.
“Anna, please,” I raised my hand stopping him.
“I really want to be alone now. It’s too much to process.” I started climbing the stairs and could feel his gaze staring behind me.
I wanted to do so many things, one side of me wanted to forgive Aiden, another side wanted to strangle him for believing such a thing.
Something crossed my mind and I stopped in the middle of the stairs and turned to look at Gabriel who was silently listening to our story.
Benjamin was playing in the room with Hayley’s kids.
A few weeks back, I lived a normal life with my son. I was running from one thing that haunted me every night and now I have left with no option but to face it.
Closing the door behind me I lay on the bed, my body felt drained and I couldn’t think of anything else. Few tears escaped my eyes and I did not stop them. Only if I could have my memory back, no one seemed to know what happened that night.
There is more, more to my side of the story. The one I have forgotten, seems like Aiden and I had a shaky relationship and his mother hated me for being human.
Maybe Barbara could shed some light on this, Aiden said she was missing from the same night as me and Barbara said we were being hunted.
I was about to get up from the bed to go and speak with Barbara when the door opened and she came in with Abigail following her close.
Abigail came closer and engulfed me in a hug.
“I know you are innocent, someone is trying to set you up,” she said and I nodded.
“Barbara,” I whispered. It felt very bad not to remember a friend who has been a part of my life throughout my existence.
“It’s okay,” she said coming near and hugging me. Her hug and the warmth felt so familiar yet strange at the same time.
“I wish I could remember everything. All I get is some triggers here and there,” I whisper as few sobs raked through my body.
We sat like that for a long time before I composed myself again. They did not speak anything as I cried.
Sometimes you should cry and let it all out. I cannot run from my past anymore and most of all I must find the person who tried to kill me, only then I can live in peace.
There is no point in staying here and crying my heart out.
“Let’s go down. The sooner I sort this out the better,” I said getting up from the bed.
Together we went down and I noticed everyone was still there talking to Wendy and Joe.
There were so many questions in my mind. Aiden said that a werewolf marking human is unheard of, but I remember seeing a mark on Hayley’s neck which was like Daniela’s.
“Gabriel, I have seen the mark on Hayley’s neck, how it was possible for you to mark her?” I asked.
Gabriel sighed, “Hayley’s first pregnancy was complicated. She had seizures and was bleeding profusely. It was the lost option for me; a werewolf mate can heal his or her mate through their bond. So, I marked her in the hospital and luckily for us, she accepted the mark and started healing soon,” he explained.
I nod understandingly, that’s why when Aiden enquired with the council they did not know if the marking worked with the humans.
“Barbara, you said you were running too. Do you know who were you running from?” Abigail questioned as if hearing my thoughts.
“I don’t know Abigail; I know we were being hunted. I know his face, but did not know his name or whereabouts,” Barbara sighed.
“What happened that night Barbara?” I asked, though there are many things I wanted to ask her, I wanted to know this first.
“Okay,” her eyes held a distant look as she recalled that day’s event.
“You were sick that day and were vomiting. I took you to the doctor and you found out that you were pregnant. We were both very happy and headed to the home around afternoon. I stayed with you for most of the day and we decided to go to New York in the train. You wanted to surprise Aiden with the news.”
“I went to buy the tickets and few other things in the evening. You said you are going to pack and be ready by the time I come. I was supposed to pick you up and drop you at the airport. It was getting late and I was caught up in traffic due to some accident and when I got home you were not there.”
“I tried to call you but you did not pick up. It was getting late for your train and no one was at home either. After thirty minutes, I got a call from you. You asked me to take my passport, certificates and leave the place immediately.”
“You told me to go the railway station and buy two tickets for the next train. If you did not make it on time, I should leave and you will take the next train. You were panicking and panting hard as if you were running. Before I could ask anything, I heard a gun goes off and the call got disconnected.”
“I did not know what to do; I left the home and drove to the railway station. I called 911 on the way and informed them about you, but when I heard a chuckle and wolf howl in the distance I knew there was no use. The local cop was a werewolf and I have seen him few times. I tried to call Aiden and Nic, but their mobiles were switched off. I threw my mobile in a garbage bin on the way. I prayed that you make it to the railway station on time, but when I saw one of our pack members at the station I boarded the next train without looking back.”
“I tried calling your phone from a pay phone after reaching the next station, but it was switched off. I believed the worst and cried a lot. I was at the railway station when I saw the same local cop again, it was the same person I reported your disappearance. I had to get out of that place.”
Barbara finished without break and she was crying now.
“Gun Shot?!!” Aiden had stood up with a confused expression and slowly his expression turned into anger as a growl tore through his chest.
“How did you find me here?” I asked Barbara.
“Well, I thought you were dead for a long time until I met you at the mall last year. When I did not see any recognition on your face I was confused,” Barbara sighed.
“Following you I found your home and where you were working. I couldn’t stay in the same area for a long period as I was sure I am being followed,” she paused and her brows furrowed in thought.
“At first when I saw him, I did not know he was following. He caught me in Toronto once and I managed to evade him somehow. That’s when I started noticing him; he seemed to follow me wherever I go.”
“Seeing him speaking to you in the restaurant really had me worried. I tried to speak to you so many times, but he was there almost every day as if he was waiting for me,” my eyes widened at that.
The person who was hunting Barbara was in our restaurant and I did not know.
“I couldn’t get close to you; he is a werewolf and would have smelled me right away. The last time I saw him with you was the day he tried to speak to you in the alley, I was waiting for you near the bus stop when I saw him with you.”
“Liam!!” I whispered. He was the only one who tried to speak to me in the alley.
“Who is Liam?” Nicholas asked.
“It was a guy who asked her out and tried to woo her several times,” Abigail answered for me.
Aiden’s expression remained angry; though he wanted to say something he remained calm. I could see him balling his fist and clenching his jaw showing his displeasure.
I narrowed my eyes at him but did not speak. He had no rights to ask me anything wherein first place he did not trust me.
Having seen other werewolf couples, he should have been more trusting. If he had just confronted her with his findings things wouldn’t get this far.
Though he seemed good at first I did not like the other side of him. If anything, I was angry at him for treating me like that and I was glad that I lost my memory. I did not want to remember anything about that incident.