The Loudest Silence

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“Done. It’s submitted.” I announced, shutting off my laptop. I watched Isabella flash me a smile in response as she packed all of her items. It had been a couple days since the day at the lake, and it was apparent that Isabella had gotten more comfortable around me. She wasn’t as quiet and shy, she held eye contact longer, and gave me more than just one word responses.

Despite keeping a cool demeanor on the outside, I was ecstatic deep inside knowing that she was finally opening up to me. I could only hope that soon enough, I would have the access I needed to shut down Rick’s operation.

Isabella and I were currently seated in the far corner of the library. Although the project wasn’t due for another week, we decided to submit it today since we had already completed everything. Since that day at the lake, Isabella and I had spent more time with one another. During class, we would pass notes to one another, randomly talking about anything. I wanted to continue spending time with her, but it was more difficult to find time anywhere outside of class.

“One less thing to worry about now.” Isabella commented as she fiddled with the pen in her hand. I nodded in agreement as I shoved my supplies into my backpack.

“Any plans this weekend?” I casually asked, hoping that she wouldn’t turn me down this time. Although our relationship had progressed, I wanted to spend more time with Isabella in hopes that it would result in her revealing information about her personal life.

I watched as she stopped fiddling with her pen, and set it down on the table before pushing her hair behind her ear. I could tell that there was an internal battle going on inside her head, because we sat in silence for about a minute before she answered.

“No, I don’t.” She finally said, as she lifted her head. I held her gaze with mine, before asking, “Do you want to grab dinner Saturday night?” I watched as a pink tint appeared on her cheeks as she broke eye contact and stared down at the table.

I held my breath as I waited for her response, and inaudibly let out a sigh of relief as she answered, “I’d like that.”

“Great, I’ll pick you up at the dorms.” I informed her before glancing down at the time. It was close to sunset, and I wanted to visit the office before calling it a night. “I should get going, but I’ll see you Saturday.” I said to her, as I stood up from my seat. She flashed me a small smile before grabbing her bag as well.

“Bye Mason.” She softly said as she slung her bag over her shoulder. Smiling at her once again, I headed towards the exit of the library. The walk to the parking lot was brief, and I let out a deep sigh as I climbed into my car. Putting the car into drive, I glanced into my rearview mirror only to see a familiar figure walking towards a car. Although her hoodie engulfed her figure, I could make out Isabella’s figure as she climbed into the car. I recognized the car as the same one that Roman had driven a couple weeks back. I discreetly watched them through my rearview mirror as they exchanged words to one another.

Tyler and I still hadn’t gotten much information about who Roman was. We had discovered what he legal name actually was, but that was the extent to the information we had found aside from his birth records. Any other information about him appeared to have deliberately been erased, as if someone had gone out of their way to make his information inaccessible. It was a common theme when it came to Rick’s men. Many of them had false identities they used in exchange for their real names.

Grabbing the hat that was perched on my windshield, I placed it on my head before deciding to follow Roman and Isabella’s car. I kept a considerable distance between our cars to avoid Isabella from recognizing my car. The last thing I wanted was for all our progress to be impeded.

We drove for nearly twenty minutes before pulling into a residential neighborhood. The houses didn’t seem to be in the best condition, and were located in the more crime ridden part of town. Parking my car at the end of the street, I watched from my car as Roman and Isabella headed into a small home in the other end of the street. I waited for nearly ten minutes, before climbing out of my own car and heading towards the house.

The house looked like it was in poor condition. The windows looked like they had been previously damaged, and hadn’t properly been fixed. The grass was well grown out, and had turned into an ugly brown shade. As I rounded the corner of the house, I ducked my head as I made my way towards the side of the house before hiding behind a bush that was located underneath and open window.

I could hear muffled voices coming from inside the house, that became clearer as Isabella and Roman entered the room where the window was. I crouched down as far as I could to avoid any passerby’s from seeing me hiding, and mistaking me for a thief.

“Rick is due back tonight.” Roman stated as I heard footsteps shuffling across the wooden floor. I kept my breathing slow and barely audible as I listened in. Roman’s comment had confirmed my suspicions about him also being associated with Rick. Although that had been cleared up, what was Roman’s connection to Isabella?

Did Isabella and Roman work as a team for Rick?

“He is?” Isabella’s shaky voice asked as I tuned back in. I could hear the uncertainty in Isabella’s words as Roman remained silent. I was confused as to why Isabella sounded so afraid at the news about her own father.

“He asked me to bring you tonight, but I fed him some random excuse about you needing to meet with a professor. I was able to delay your return by a day, but be prepared to go see him tomorrow.” Roman stated as I waited to hear Isabella’s response.

“How is he?” She softly asked as Roman let out a sigh. I could feel the tension oozing from the room, as I tried to make sense of their conversation.

“Let’s just say his anger from last time still hasn’t diminished.” He cryptically answered before I heard the sound of footsteps leaving the room. I remained crouched down as I heard Isabella let out an audible sigh of frustration. I didn’t hear anything else, and only got up once I heard the sound of her footsteps leaving the room. Shoving my hands into my pockets, I pushed my hat down on my face as I rushed away from the house and back towards my car.

Climbing in my car, I tossed the hat over to the passenger seat before running a hand through my hair. Nothing about Roman and Isabella’s conversation made any sense. Isabella’s tone while speaking about Rick seemed unsettled..almost as if she was fearful of something.

But it wasn’t the tone of her voice that concerned me, it was Roman’s words.

What was the anger that Roman was speaking of, and what did it have to do with Isabella?

Hey guys!

This one’s a shorter chapter, but Mason finally caught a glimpse of what Roman and Isabella are up to!

Thank you all again for the love and support and I hope you guys enjoyed!

Stay tuned for the next chapter!

Much love!

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