The Loudest Silence

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Mason

I glance down at my phone once again to see if any new notifications had appeared since the last time I had checked, which was approximately a minute ago. The screen remained empty, and the only messages I had were from Brielle asking me to take her to the mall over the weekend.

I let out a sigh as I shoved my phone back into my pocket. I had texted Isabella yesterday to see if she wanted to meet. The first text was early in the day around noon, and when she hadn’t answered, I texted her again in the evening. It was now the next morning, and she still hadn’t replied. I didn’t want to jump to conclusions because Isabella didn’t use her phone very often as it was, but a dark feeling settled in the pit of my stomach. Regardless of how crappy her phone was, and how little she used it, it had been a long time since she had left a text unanswered. I kept telling myself that she was busy studying for final exams since they were approaching in a week, but the little voice in the back of my head told me otherwise.

I had last seen her at Brielle’s recital, where she finally told me that she was ready to open up. I had felt an immense flood of relief when Isabella let me know at the recital that she would tell me everything. Not only would it clear everything up, and allow me to help her, but it would finally put an end to the lies in our relationship. I hated that there were so many secrets between the two of us, and just wanted to air everything out so that we could explore what exactly it was that was going on between us.

Wiping the sweat off my face with my t-shirt, I decided to make my way back towards the dorms. It had just hit 6 a.m, and the sun had barley risen. Sleep was beyond me, and despite how hard I tried last night, I didn’t catch a wink of sleep. Instead of bothering Fletcher with my constant tossing and turning, I decided to just go for a run to hopefully clear my mind, and get rid of the instrusive thoughts that had crept into my mind yesterday.

I had barely made it halfway back to campus, when I spotted a limping body coming my way. I squinted my eyes to get a better look, but before I could, the body slumped down onto a bench nearby. The person held their arm against their abdomen, and I could tell from their breathing, that they were barely staying conscious. Running over in that direction, I felt my eyes widen as the figure morphed into one that I had seen before.

Roman-or Aiden, was spread across the bench. A pool of red substance, which was none other than his blood had formed on the cement floor below. His face was littered with cuts and bruises, and he held an arm against his abdomen, which looked like it was the source of all the blood. His eyes were shut tightly when I had approached him, but they quickly opened once my voice sounded from above him.

“Roman? What the hell happened?” I said to him, keeping my voice low and steady. I didn’t want to draw anything attention to us, in case any campus faculty or students were lurking around. Kneeling down beside him, I watched as his eyes slowly opened. His breaths were labored, and I could tell her was struggling to get the words out.

“Rick.” Was the only word that escaped his lips before he let out a low groan, and tightened his arm around his abdomen.

I felt my stomach drop at his response, as I laid a hand on his shoulder to keep him awake.

“Rick did this you? Where’s Isabella? Is she okay?” I shot out the questions, not caring that my voice had suddenly become frantic. My gut feeling had been right after all, but I was afraid to hear Roman’s response about Isabella. I didn’t know if I could handle Rick hurting another person I cared about.

He didn’t say anything, but the slow shake of his head did nothing to ease my concerns.

“Hold still. I’m going to see how deep your cut is.” I said to Roman, before carefully pulling his arm away from his side. His t-shirt was drenched in blood, and I could hear a small hiss come out of Roman as I lifted his shirt to look at the cut that was responsible for the load of blood he was losing. The cut stretched from the skin beside his belly button all the way over to where his left rib was. The cut looked deep, and I could see open flesh from the open wound. A few small cuts littered the rest of his body, but they weren’t claiming nearly as much blood as the big one.

He needed stitches, but there was no way I could take him to a hospital. It would raise too many questions, and could potentially blow my cover.

“I’m going to help you, but you need to trust me, Roman.” I said to him, hoping that he wouldn’t put up a fight. He was bleeding out rapidly, and the wound needed to be closed fast. Thoughts of Isabella being in the same condition threatened to swarm my mind, but I forced myself to push them away. I didn’t want to think that way.

I couldn’t think that way.

The mere idea of her being hurt and alone nearly tore my heart to shreds.

I watched as Roman briefly nodded his head, his eyes still closed. Taking that as confirmation, I wrapped an arm around his waist, and hoisted him up on the bench. Pulling his arm up, I wrapped it around my neck, before pushing him up to his feet. When my grip was secure enough, I pulled him in the direction of the parking lot, which was luckily close by.

Roman wasn’t a light man, and it didn’t help that I had gone on a five mile run this morning that had already left me tired. Luckily, he was pulling his weight as best he could, and I was able to get him into the backseat of my car without any issues. Grabbing an extra jacket that laid in my front seat, I handed it to Roman, and instructed him to press down on the wound to minimize the bleeding.

He let out a grunt in response, as I hopped into the front seat and made my way to my office building. It was early, and it wasn’t likely that anyone would be there at this hour, but our time would be limited. People would start to wake up soon, and head over to the bureau for the day, and the last thing they needed to see was me hauling a bleeding potential criminal up to the office.

Glancing in the rearview mirror, I could see Roman forcing himself to stay awake. I was already going nearly 90 miles per hour, but I applied more pressure to the gas. I let out inaudible sigh of relief, as I saw the familiar roads leading to the office. I felt a bit of my anxiety ease as I pulled into the parking lot and saw that it was entirely vacant. I was lucky that nobody had decided to work late or show up early today. Quickly hopping out of the front seat, I rounded to the backseat and puled open the door.

“We’re here, let’s go.” I informed Roman, as I helped him sit up in the backseat. The seat and the floor was now covered in blood, but I ignored it, as Roman and I stumbled into the building.

My car was the last of my worries right now.

Guiding Roman into a vacant office on the first floor, I instructed him to lay down on the floor. I waited for him to settle in before rushing out of the room and towards the back of the building where the supply closet was.

A million questions rang through my head, but the only ones that remained stagnant on my mind were about Isabella.

Was she okay?

Did Rick hurt her?

Why had Roman come to campus of all places? Had he been looking for me?

My mind was buzzing for any answers that would alleviate the chaos in my brain, but I knew I wouldn’t the able to know anything if Roman bled out on my watch. Using that as enough motivation, I began rummaging through the closet for the supplies I needed.

Grabbing a couple of towels and an advanced first aid kit, I headed back into the room. Roman didn’t say anything as I knelt down and laid the towels around us to minimize the amount of blood leaking onto the floor. Pulling my jacket out of his grip, I took the pair of scissors from the kit, before cutting open Roman’s shirt. I didn’t hesitate as I got to work. Enough time had already been wasted, and if I didn’t act fast enough, Roman faced the possibility of bleeding out.

The upside to the extensive training agents are put through is that we’re taught extensive first aid. I had stitched up people many times before, and I was about to do the same to Roman. I heard a hiss come out of Roman’s mouth as I began cleaning the wound. I didn’t say anything, and didn’t offer any words of reassurance either. I knew that it was the last thing he wanted to hear in that moment, and silence would be the best thing for the both of us right now. I began pulling out the rest of the supplies, while keeping an eye on Roman’s face. His eyes were drooping, and I could tell he was fighting to stay awake.

The kit didn’t have any numbing shots, but there were enhanced pain killers in the kit. Pulling out three, I pushed them into Roman’s hands. He looked down at it briefly, before looking back up at me with a wary expression.

“They’re pain killers. They’ll soothe some of the pain from the stitches.” I explained, as he let out a small sigh. I could sense the hesitancy as he put the medication up to his lips, but ultimately ended up taking them. He was in enough pain as it was, and fighting against me would only prolong the stitching of his wound.

“This’ll hurt.” Was the last thing I said to him before the stitching needle came in contact with his skin, and a loud string of curses erupted from Roman’s mouth.

-----

The sound of shuffling on the couch caught my attention as I slid my phone back into my pocket. I had taken the risk to call Isabella after stitching up Roman, but I still hadn’t received a response. Her silence did nothing to soothe the already burning questions on my tongue, and all I wanted to do was grill Roman until he told me about her whereabouts.

After stitching him up, he had fallen into a deep sleep, as a result of the pain killers he had taken. It had been a little less than an hour since I had patched him up, and it looked like he was regaining his consciousness. I watched as he confusedly glanced around the room, before attempting to sit up straight. I could hear the low groan rumble from his chest as he realized that his wound was still tender.

“You probably shouldn’t move too much.” I called out from behind my desk. I had ended up moving Roman and I into the privacy of my own office, and managed to clean up the blood stains from the vacant office we had been in earlier. Luckily, the floors weren’t carpeted, so it was simple wiping down the blood. I had debated whether or not to call my boss regarding the situation, but ultimately decided against it. I wanted to hear the full story from Roman first before involving anyone else. The last thing I wanted to do was make a wrong move that would endanger Isabella.

I had to move carefully, which meant waiting for Roman to wake up and tell me what the hell had lead him to the condition he was in today.

I watched as his head snapped to the left, where I remained seated. He held eye contact with me for a brief moment, before realization settled into his eyes. I could see his body relax slightly, but he was still guarded as he stared at me.

“Where did you bring me?” He finally asked after a moment of silence. There was a hint of suspicion in his voice as he glanced around the bland room, and I could tell he was heisttsant about whether or not to trust me.

Well, that made two of us.

“The real question is why you showed up on campus, nearly bleeding out on the pavement.” I shot back at him as I stood up from my chair and rounded the desk. I watched as Roman forced himself to sit up straight on the couch. I could see him pinching his eyes shut in pain, and I knew that him sitting up had applied an absurd amount of pressure on his wound.

Silence fell into the room, and both Roman and I kept firm eye contact with one another. Neither of us wanted to be the first to answer the question, and there was a heavy tension in the room. I kept my lips sealed, and watched as Roman pinched the skin above his nose. I could tell he was battling with himself about whether to tell me, but his indesivieness didn’t last long as he let out a sigh and looked up at me.

“Look, I can’t reveal much to you right now, and I don’t want to be the one to do this, but I have no choice. Isabella and I need help, and I didn’t know who else to turn to.” He vaguely said as he glanced around the room, as if to see if anyone were watching or listening in. He had worn a frantic expression when I had seen him stumbled onto campus, and it mirrored the one he currently wore on his face as his eyes scanned the room.

At the mention of Isabella’s name, I felt my heart lurch in my chest, but masked it with a poker face as I cleared my throat.

“Where’s Isabella? Is she okay?” I asked, hoping that his next words wouldn’t be something I had dreaded hearing all night.

Roman looked away from me, and glanced outside my window. His silence spoke volumes, and my heartbeat thudded loudly in my chest, as I waited for his response. Fear gripped my chest, and I could feel my throat constricting as images of Isabella swarmed my mind. The feeling I felt now, felt a hell of a lot like the feeling I felt when things with Nick began going downhill.

I fucking hated that feeling. And I never wanted to feel it again. I wasn’t a religious man by any means, but in this moment, I was willing to pray to any god that I didn’t find Isabella in the same state I found Nick that night.

“She’s...fine, for the time being. But if we don’t get her out of her situation soon, I’m afraid of what will happen to her.” Roman carefully chose his words, as his eyes met mine once again. Hesitancy swirled in his pupils, and his body language screamed that he didn’t trust me one bit. I didn’t blame the guy, but I knew that if I wanted him to open up to me, I needed to give him something in return.

“Look Roman, I want nothing more than to help the two of you, but you need to give me more information. Who is she with? And who gave you those wounds?” I shot questions at him as he shut his eyes tightly in return. I knew the last thing he wanted to do was confide in me, but he wasn’t left with any choice. I wanted nothing more in this moment to hold Isabella close to me, and force her to let me help her, and I couldn’t help but resent myself for not pushing her more.

“I’m only telling you this because she told me she trusts you, but she’s with-” He started to say, but quickly stopped as his eyes landed on my abdomen. I watched as his eyes narrowed, which caused me to glance down in the direction he was looking in.

It was my badge, which was poking out of my pocket.

The same badge that said in bold lettering; F.B.I

Before I could say anything Roman shot up from the couch. His balance was shaky from his wound, but he fought against it as his mouth curled into an ugly frown. Anger was transparent on his face, as he balled his fists and looked at me with an accusatory stare.

“You’re a fucking cop.” He didn’t ask. He stated in a lethal tone. His brows were furrowed, and if he wasn’t wounded, I was certain that this conversation would play out more violently.

Shutting my eyes, I let out a deep sigh as I pinched the bridge of my nose. There wasn’t any point in lying about it. It was bound to be revealed anyways, but I was hoping it would come from me rather than him seeing the badge.

“Yes, I’m an agent for the F.B.I.” I admitted as Roman’s nose flared. His anger only intensified at my confirmation, but before he could take a step forward in my direction, I stood up straight. “I was placed in this assimgnet with the task of investigating Rick Wright.“,

He didn’t say anything, but I took it as a cue to continue talking. I was hoping that some clarity from my end would push him to ease up on his anger, and understand who I really was.

“Rick and his men killed my younger brother a few years ago. I was placed on this case to find justice for both my brother and all the people that had gotten the short end of the stick with that man.” I attempted to explain, barely even realizing how easily I had opened up about Nick. It was still a heavy topic for me to discuss, but as I edged closer to finally getting justice for him, the subject of his death wasn’t as difficult to speak about as it once was.

“So you pretended to befriend Isabella.” Roman stated, his voice revealing his disdain for me in that moment. I remained silent, because it was true in a sense. I had befriended Isabella with the intention of using her to get answers about Rick. But it had turned into so much more. Things couldnt be more different now, and I actually cared for her deeply.

But it didn’t change the fact that everything was based off lies.

“Initially, yes. But things are different now. I care about her, and I want to help her get away from Rick.” I admitted to him, as he let out a loud scoff. I could see him rolling his eyes at me, but I bit my tongue, knowing that it was a fair reaction. I had been insincere with Isabella at the start of our relationship, but I could only hope that he understood that it didn’t even come close to how things were between us now.

“She trusted you.” He shot back at me, his eyes piercing a hole into my face. I winced at his words, and I could feel my heart pinch at the thought of Isabella. I didn’t want this information to come between us and change how she felt about me, and I was terrified about how she’d react. I was hoping that I’d have the chance to speak to her myself, and explain everything, with the hope that she’d understand.

But in order to do so, I needed to get to her.

“I know. But you need to understand that from the documents provided, she seemed like an accomplice to her father. But I figured out quickly that she wasn’t anything like the assumptions that had been made about her. I wanted nothing more than for her to open up to me, and let me help her. I wanted to put an end to the lies between us, and get her to safety, but she always kept me at an arms length.” I tried my best to explain to him. Vulnerability was transparent in my voice, and I could see Roman’s expression begin to dim down a bit. He still didn’t look convinced, but went back to sitting down on the couch as he waited for me to continue.

Letting out a breath, I continued, “I know she isn’t a bad person. I’ve known since the moment I got a glimpse of the type of person she really is. She isn’t her father, which is why I was so adamant about getting close to her.” I hoped that the sincerity in my words was clear to Roman. I knew he didn’t quite trust me, and that was fine. I needed him to just trust me enough to help them escape from Rick’s hold, and put an end to his terror reign on innocent people.

“I hate lying to her, and it was never my intention for things to end up this way, but it happened so suddenly.” I paused before proceeding. I was revealing everything to this guy I barely knew, yet I couldn’t stop myself.

“I’m falling in love with her.” I confessed, as Roman’s eyes slowly lifted to meet mine. There was a softer gleam shining now, and the tension that had previously been in the room was slowly diffusing.

“He’s a sick human being. And I’m tired of us being his puppets.” Roman spoke up after a brief silence. I crossed my arms across my chest, but didn’t say anything in response as Roman proceeded.

“People were starting to suspect the way Rick treated his own daughter. He had he cooped up in the house constantly, and to avoid the rumors from progressing, he sent her to college. He had her doing his dirty work there too, and asked me to be her guard dog.” He explained as I nodded in understanding. Everything started to make sense now, and the suspicions I had before were all coming to light.

“How did she get into his custody in the first place? Where’s her mother?” I asked, as Roman shook his head and looked down at the floor.

“Nobody knows, and nobody dares to ask Rick either. All I know is that Isabella was caught amidst a sick game of revenge, and she was paying the price for a crime she didn’t commit.” He said, not hiding his pure hatred for Rick. I didn’t blame him. In that moment, all my surpassed emotions from Nick’s death, and Isabella’s treatment from her own father all came rushing towards me.

I needed Rick to pay.

He had gone far too long without facing any consequences, but not anymore.

I opened my mouth to let Roman know about how I wanted to proceed, but before I could say anything his voice echoed in the room.

“Isabella and I had been planning to escape soon.” He started as I furrowed my brows in confusion. Was this what Isabella was going to tell me about?

“Rick found out.” He deadpanned as I let out a string of curses.

Knowing the type of man Rick was, I was surprised that Roman didn’t have more damage done to him.

I began to pace the room, as I realized that Isabella’s condition couldnt have been any better.

“Tell me what I can do to help.” I demanded as I stopped in the middle of the room. Roman glanced up at me, and held my stare. I could see the question on his face, and I ran a hand through my hair before answering.

“I can help you get out of this, without any repercussions. My team and I can help you, but first I need you to tell me everything I need to know to get this son of a bitch.” I promised him, knowing that Roman was afraid that he’d pay for the things he had done under Rick’s reign.

I knew that he and Isabella didn’t willingly choose this lifestyle, and everything they had done was for their own safety.

Roman didn’t say anything, but the short nod from him sent a breeze of relief through me.

It was finally time.


Sorry this update is kinda late!

But Happy October!

Love you all!

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