The Loudest Silence

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“Tonight’s exchange is important. Be especially alert today.” Roman strictly advised as he broke the silence in the car. His hands were gripping the steering wheel tightly, his gaze never once faltering over to me.

I remained silent and continued to stare over at him. His long, dark lashes fell across his cheeks as his soft raven hair lay tousled messily across his head. His chestnut eyes glistened against the descending sun and I found myself feeling envious of all his beautiful and unique features.

I hadn’t realized how long I had been staring at him when he suddenly turned over to glance at me. His thick eyebrows were furrowed we silently exchanged looks before he turned his attention back to the road.

Blinking rapidly, I looked away, and turned to stare outside my window. I watched as green blurbs passed in a frenzy as we sped across the highway.

I didn’t mean to gawk at Roman, but there was something about him that was so enticing.

It wasn’t a romantic interest but just in general an aura that surrounded him that drew me in. It was the type of aura that told you something about someone. In Roman’s case, it told me that he knew things. His aura screamed that he had seen and gone through things that had made him the way he was.

He was silent, never saying too much at once, but he was always watching and observing his surroundings.

There was something about him that made me want to get to know him. Despite his association with my father and his drug cartel, I could tell there was more to him.

Besides, I had never had a true friend that understood every aspect of my life at home.

The life I was never to speak of.

The only life I had ever known.

People always say that you’re in charge of defining your life. But in my case, my life defined me.

Pushing my quivering bottom lip in between my teeth, I stopped myself from letting out a cry in front of Roman.

I hated that there was nothing I could do to change my life.

My heart constantly ached knowing that I was a prisoner in a free world.

Even now, despite attending college, I was still tied to Rick and his games.

His men were everywhere and constantly watching the city. He ensured that I was never given enough money to run away, and even if I did, he would always find me.

It’s just the way things were.

As long as Rick was alive, I was bound to him.

And I could never truly escape unless he was gone.

“Isabella?” Roman’s velvet voice questioned, interrupting the train of thoughts swirling across my brain. My head snapped over to face him as I flashed him a questioning look. He looked at me like I was insane before waving his hand around the window.

I had been so caught up in my thoughts that I hadn’t realized we had arrived at the destination. Tall concrete buildings loomed over us as the stars took refuge in the sky. We were in the slums of the town once again, but it was a different location from the last one. Roman turned off the engine as I continued to scan my surroundings before glancing at the clock that read 8:15p.m

“Oh shoot!” I gasped, jumping up in my seat at the realization that it was nearly time to head over to where Rick was to deliver the packages that lay in the trunk. Because I had moved so quickly, I hit my head on ceiling of the car. Hissing lightly, I rubbed the sore spot with my palm while clenching my eyes shut. I felt a cough from beside me, causing me to peel one eyelid open slightly as I looked over at Roman.

His head was turned away from me, but from where I was sitting, I could see the faint outline of a small smile etched across his face. I unconsciously felt my own smile threatening to envelope my lips as I let out a slight laugh.

The emotionless guy was finally expressing some type of emotion.

I opened my mouth to comment on it when the sound of his cell phone went off. I watched as a blank expression took over his face as he put the phone to his ear while grunting responses to the person on the other line. His lips were stretched in a thin line and I watched as he pinched the bridge of his nose before saying something into his phone and turning off.

He let out a deep breath of what seemed to be frustration before slipping his seatbelt off. Sitting up straight, I felt a gust of wind rush into the warm car as he opened the door of the car and made his way out of the vehicle. “Where are you going?” I questioned him as he stood up straight beside the driver side door.

He remained silent for a couples seconds before leaning down to answer, “Rick wants the delivery inside instead of having one of his goons come down and pick it up.” I felt my eyes widen at his response as my heart thudded in my best.

It had been some time since Rick last had the chance to see me, and I wasn’t ready to face him and his menacing stare.

Not to mention the fact that Roman would probably end up telling him about what he had seen yesterday seeing as it was his job to report back to Rick.

I couldn’t even bear the thought of thinking about what Rick would do once he got word of what had happened. There was no way he’d let me go unscathed.

“Did he ask for me too?” I asked Roman as I took shaky steps towards him. He was bent over the opening of the truck as he stacked the boxes on top of one another in front of the car.

He simply nodded before bending down to grab the majority of the boxes. Pushing the lid of the trunk down, I took the last box and silently followed Roman towards the building.

My mind felt hazy as fear enveloped me.

Would Roman tell Rick?

A small part of me hoped that he felt even an ounce of sympathy for me and had decided he wouldn’t, but the rational part of me knew that his loyalty stood with his uncle and Rick.

We walked around the edge of the building before entering a dark alleyway where Rick stood with a couple men beside him. A sinister smile rolled onto his face as his gaze landed on both Roman and I. We both silently approached the spot where they all stood, and I waited behind Roman to see where to place the boxes.

“Hand those to Allen.” Rick commanded as he nodded his head backwards towards a bulky man that stood in the corner with his arms crossed. Following closely behind Roman, I placed the box in front of Allen as did Roman before standing up straight.

I watched as Allen- a man whom I assumed was one of Rick’s new men seeing as I had never seen him before- hungrily swept his gaze across the length of my body. I could see the lust in his eyes and held back the disgust I so badly wanted to express across my face as I turned around and edged away from him.

Cowering in the corner of the alley, I remained silent and tried not to draw any attention on myself as I watched Rick and Roman’s uncle speak to him about what would we happening tonight. According to Rick, it was a standard drug exchange, however, the guy was sending a different group of men to pick it up than the people he usually did. This didn’t sit right with Rick and his men, so tonight’s security was enhanced.

Bowing my head downward, I analyzed the patterns on my tattered shoes as we waited for the arrival. A couple minutes passed before a couple of the guys edged forward upon noticing a car pull into the abandoned parking lot near the alleyway.

I watched as all the men dispersed towards the car while Rick and Roman stayed behind watching. I knew I needed to get to the car Roman and I driven here in case anything happened and we needed to leave in a frenzy, but Rick already seemed on edge and anything I said would probably set him off.

It was silent in the alleyway for a still minute when Rick suddenly bellowed, “So, Roman. Is there anything I should know about her.” I felt myself jump from where I was standing and could feel my legs turn into jelly as I peeked up at Roman and Rick.

Rick was stood a few feet away from me beside Roman and I could feel his hateful glare on me as he clenched and unclenched his fists. I could tell he wanted nothing more than to charge at me and beat me like he usually would, yet he remained in his spot as he waited for Roman to respond.

There was absolutely no way Roman wouldn’t tell him about Mason and I. His loyalty stood with his uncle and Rick which meant that the ounce of freedom I had been experiencing these past weeks would be stripped of me once again and I would be thrown into the life I despised.

My heart lurched in my chest and began to beat rapidly as Roman’s eyes met mine briefly. Maybe he sensed the fear in my eyes, or saw the look of desperation etched across my face, because what he said next had me letting out an inaudible sigh of relief.

“No.” Roman gruffly responded as he kept his gaze firm on Rick’s. Rick remained still in his spot and scrutinized Roman’s blank face before turning to face me. He took slow footsteps towards me and I attempted to remain calm as his gruff hands took hold of my upper arm. He tightly held my arm his grip as he pulled his face closer to mine so only I could hear what he would say.

“If I find out you’ve done anything you aren’t supposed to, I’ll kill you. You won’t even have the chance to beg for your pathetic life because I’ll end you before you could even utter a word.” He threatened lowly as he twisted my arm in his hand. I could feel tears spring to my eyes at his words, but I remained silent and nodded my head rapidly. He flashed me another warning glance before letting go of me and tossing the keys Roman had handed to him earlier on the floor.

I watched as he walked out of the alleyway towards the group of men huddled in a circle in the concealed portion of the parking lot before letting out a sigh of relief.

Rubbing my newly bruised arm, I let Rick’s words ring throughout my mind. There was no doubt in my mind that he wouldn’t live up to his words, but the deadly look in his eyes when he was talking was something I had never seen before.

It baffled me that there existed a father in this world had so much hatred in their heart for their own child.

What had I done to receive a life as cruel as this?

I had raised my hand to wipe a stray tear that unconsciously rolled down my pale cheeks, when I heard the sound of footsteps approaching. Curtaining my hair over my face, I watched as a pair of shoes entered my line of vision before Roman crouched down to the floor. Picking up the keys beside my foot, he silently stared at me before nodding his head towards the direction of the car.

Wordlessly, I followed behind him as I pulled the thin sweater tighter around my body. Just as we approached the car, I mustered up the courage to whisper something to him.

“Thank you.” I gratefully said as I kept my eyes trained on the gleaming stars in the sky.

Despite the life he lived and the people he affiliated himself with, Roman didn’t seem like a bad guy.

He did after all spare me from Rick’s wrath.

I could feel Roman’s eyes on the side of my head as I rounded the car to get to the passenger side and briefly glanced at his expressionless face before opening the door. Taking a seat in the car, I propped my elbow on the handle attached to the door and propped my chin on it. Leaning my head onto the window, I stared at the dimply lit sky as Roman’s silence mixed with the sound the howling wind took refuge in the still night.

Another update!

I'm super sorry about the delay in updates. I am about ten days away from graduating highschool and there is so much going on in my life that is occupying my time!

I hope you all enjoyed this new chapter. Be sure to leave feedback and comment, see you soon!

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