“Please! Leave him!” Izabella begged with tears running down her face as the hooded man pointed his gun at Jacob.
“Why should I?” His deep voice echoed throughout the silent alleyway as he turned to look at her, his entire face was black, the hood concealing it from the light emitting from the small light bulb above them.
“T-take m-me instead.” She sobbed pathetically, clasping her hands tightly in front of her as she fell to her knees.
“J-just take me. Leave h-him.” As she spoke, her eyes flitted to the two dead bodies beside an unconscious Jacob.
Sean and Mr. Knight.
The mysterious man had already shot them and was going to take the last person she had left in this world away from her.
“I can’t do that.” He tilted his head up a bit so his mouth was exposed, his sinister grin coming to light and in that moment, Izabella felt all the blood drain from her face, her entire being becoming frozen.
“N-no! P-plea-” He pulled the trigger and Jacob’s body fell limp to the ground, crimson liquid oozing from his head.
She just screamed.
“Let’s finish this now, shall we?”
She looked up at him, her face red from anger and fear, her nose running from all the crying, but she didn’t care.
She just couldn’t. The man before her had just taken all that she had left in this world and he wasn’t even remorseful.
“W-who are you?” His dark chuckle made her flinch and push herself further into the wall behind her.
“I thought you knew it was me.” He shook his head before his left hand reached up to remove the hood and her breath got caught in her throat at whom she saw.
It was him.
“It’s me, Enrico.” Their was a loud bang before everything went black.
“Izabella! Get up!” A familiar voice yelled in the background and with each word, it seemed to get louder.
Izabella’s eyes fluttered but never opened.
“Izabella!” This time, she jerked awake, her eyes wide in shock and alarm.
“He k-killed them.” She felt someone shaking her, but she couldn’t look to see who, instead, she continued staring straight ahead.
“Who Izabella? Who killed who?” There was that voice again.
“E-Enrico. H-He killed my f-family.” Izabella’s eyes welled up at the memory of his sinister smile just before he pulled the trigger, killing Jacob.
His tall figure standing above her as if he was someone power-deserving. His icy, grey-green eyes boring into hers just before she blacked out.
“Izabella! He didn’t. We’re okay. It’s me, Jacob.” There was the slightest pressure on her cheek before her head turned and her eyes connected with disturbed brown ones.
“Jacob.” The traumatized woman whispered , her tears still streaming down her puffy face as she let out a loud sob and launched herself into his arms.
“It’s okay, princess. He can’t harm us.” Jacob spoke softly into her ear as he caressed her hazel hair and she buried her face in the crook of his neck, her small frame shaking with sobs.
“I-I was so s-scared. H-he-” He shushed her and began rocking back and forth in an attempt to soothe her.
“Nothing happened, princess. Please stop crying now. You know how much I hate seeing you cry.” Izabella nodded and slowly pulled away, wiping her tears and rubbing her eyes as Jacob kissed her temple.
“What is it?” Mr. Knight’s voice filled the room right after the sound of the door bursting open.
“Is she okay now?” Sean asked, coming to a stand beside Jacob, his eyes trained on his sister as she gave them all a weak smile.
“Could be better.” Mr. Knight chuckled drily as he walked up to her bed and sat beside her, his arm resting around her shoulders and pulling her into his chest.
Izabella happily snuggled into him, closing her eyes as he patted her hair.
After a while of uneasy silence, they thought she was asleep and began talking softly, well, as softly as grown men with deep voices could.
“I think I’ll have to cancel that gala tomorrow. I can’t leave her like this.” Mr. Knight sighed deeply after speaking, glancing down at the supposedly sleeping girl on his lap.
“Yeah. I’ll stay off work for a few days. I’ll let Cindy know.” Sean said and Izabella could feel them all looking at her as he spoke.
“You shouldn’t cancel anything just for me.” She sat up and braced up against the headboard, looking at them.
Jacob shook his head.
“No. You need us right now and we’ll be there.” She smiled slightly.
“I’ll tell you what. How about we all go to the gala tomorrow and enjoy ourselves?” They looked sceptical and reluctant to agree but one pleading look from her and they nodded.
The young female clapped hands in excitement before raising onto her knees on the mattress.
“Great. Now, what time is it?” Mr. Knight glanced at the black alarm clock on the nightstand beside the bed and tiredly dragged a hand over his exhausted features.
“11:56 pm.” Izabella frowned and stood up, turning around to urge them to follow her out of the room.
“Come on. I’ll make us a night snack.” Jacob and Sean immediately jumped up, racing out the door and leaving the father and daughter duo laughing at their childish behaviour.
Mr. Knight yawned and Izabella grabbed his hand, ushering him towards the door.
“You shouldn’t worry so much. I’ll be fine. How does a cup of milk and a massage sound?” He hummed at her words as his eyes closed briefly.
“Amazing.” Upon seeing this, Izabella giggled at him as they walked down the stairs.
“You pest! Get away!” Sean yelled as he pushed Jacob away by his forehead.
“Share you piece of-” She cut Jacob off.
“Would you two stop fighting for that granola bar? There’s more. Jeez, wait for a few minutes. I’ll make you something to eat.” Izabella walked up to Sean and plucked the packet from his hands and put it back in the fridge.
“Will you two ever grow up mentally? Jacob, you’re twenty-five and you Sean, you’re twenty-four. Can you both stop acting like five year olds for once?” The female glared at Jacob when he opened his mouth, knowing he was going to say something stupid.
“Sit down and wait patiently like the adults you are.” She turned around and grabbed a pan and some slices of bread.
Whenever she couldn’t sleep, Mr. Knight used to make her warm milk and half of a ham sandwich since she had a small appetite back then. He would give the boys a whole one since they used to eat a lot.
They still did.
Izabella placed the finished sandwiches on three different plates and heated up the milk, pouring chocolate for her father and her.
After a minute, it was done and she poured it into four glasses before turning around to see Sean and Jacob scowling at Mr. Knight as he enjoyed an apple she was sure they were fighting for.
“Boys.” She muttered lowly, shaking her head earning a lighthearted chuckle from Mr. Knight.
“Thanks, princess.” He kissed her cheek and she smiled at him before placing the boys’ plates and glasses in front of them.
“After this, you’ll go straight to bed. No more fighting. Do you understand me?” The young female pointed her small index finger at the boys with an eyebrow raised, expecting an answer.
They nodded their heads distractedly as they devoured their sandwiches.
“This is why I let you be the parent.” She laughed at her father’s statement.
“What?” He asked seriously and she shook her head.
“You handle them way better than I do. I’m sure Leah would have been grateful.” She gave him a sad smile, her eyes quickly casting in Sean’s direction to see him too busy enjoying his meal.
“I hope so.”