With as much strength as I could muster, I splashed cold water on my face, grateful for the rejuvenation. Exhausted eyes shone back at me, reminding me of my predicament. My cheeks were noticeably paler and with what looked to be a breakout of spots, I concluded that I was under the weather with regards to my health.
Note to self: get vitamins!
I shot a nervous glance towards my phone, releasing yet another sigh and cursed Isabelle Bianchi for not picking-the-hell-up. Assuming all went to plan, Alister returned home yesterday, meaning she should’ve had the emails by now. So, why wasn’t she answering her phone?
Spencer had messaged to say he and Leila would land early evening and that he planned on bringing her to ours. I was relieved to learn that she’d be staying with us for the time being, but still couldn’t fully relax. Not until I knew Isy was okay.
“Idiot,” I said to my reflection, allowing the disappointment to wash over me.
I was responsible and felt the need to reprimand myself. Why? Who knew. Perhaps I deserved it?
“Pick up, pick up, pick up,” I chanted, attempting Isy once again.
I hit the ‘End Call’ option, prompting the landline to suddenly ring, which shocked me into moving. No one ever used this number so I assumed it must’ve been Spencer, seeing as he couldn’t contact me through my mobile which was probably in a constant state of engaged, thanks to Isabelle doesn’t-answer-her-fucking-phone Bianchi.
An unrecognisable voice sounded in my ear. “Hi, may I speak to Spencer Michaels, please?”
“He’s not at home right now,” I shared, regretfully. “Can I take a message?”
I grabbed a nearby notepad and pen, ready to take down any important information.
“My name’s Amanda. I’m a nurse at the Royal London Hospital. I have Mr. Michaels down as Isabelle Bianchi’s next of kin.”
In a second, my heart stopped and the room before me started spinning.
“Erm, yes. She’s his-his ex-wife,” I responded, more than a little stunned. “What is it? What’s happened?”
Isy’s inability to update her records with regards to who to contact in case of an emergency didn’t even annoy me. I was too busy thinking the worst to worry about such trivial things. The fact she was in the hospital after Alister’s arrival couldn’t have been a coincidence.
“Right. Well, in that case, would he be able to contact any immediate family?”
“What’s happened?” I repeated, growing impatient.
“I’m not at liberty to disclose that information to anyone who isn’t her next of kin or an immediate family member.”
“Please? You don’t understand-”
“If you could have Mr Michaels contact Isabelle’s family, that would be much appreciated.”
Amanda was taking no shit and I silently scorned the NHS and their seemingly strict privacy policies. Dammit to hell!
Before I could so much as reply, she hung up on me, leaving nothing but my worrying thoughts behind. FUCK, SHIT, BOLLOCKS! Without giving it much attention, I threw on my shoes and made a mad dash towards the front door; car keys in hand. Once seated inside, I revved the engine slightly more than what was necessary and barrelled towards the M4, in desperate need of getting to London. Everything was happening so fast, yet I also felt like I was suddenly viewing things in slow motion. Was Isy alright? Were her injuries serious? Fuck, what if she was dead?
Stop that, Jessica!
I prematurely pulled off the slip road and slammed on my accelerator, making sure the BMW behind didn’t rear end me. In retaliation, the driver blasted his horn and, although fruitless, I offered him an apologetic hand wave. Calm the fuck down. Killing myself on the way to saving Isy would be idiotic.
“Call Spencer,” I demanded, relieved that my phone had automatically connected to the car’s Bluetooth system.
I was greeted by his voicemail, which was expected, seeing as he would likely be airborne by now. Still, I faltered, not knowing what to say.
“Spencer, it’s me. Don’t panic but Isy has been taken to hospital.” Straight to the point. “I’m not sure what’s happened. The nurse couldn’t tell me.” I suddenly paused, feeling overwhelmed. “I’m on my way over there now. She’s at the Royal London hospital. Call me as soon as you land.”
I disconnected the call and found not a second later I was being summoned by another, incoming, one.
“No, it’s Roger.”
“Roger, now isn’t a good ti-”
“There’s something you need to know,” he shared, either not noticing my distress or deliberately ignoring it. “Something important.”
His urgency was cause for concern. “What is it?”
“I was deleting my files to erase all trace of my involvement,” he explained.
I was grateful he was taking such precautions,
“Okay,” I prompted, merging into the second lane to overtake a slow-driving lorry.
“And I noticed a file I hadn’t looked at in great detail. His family background.”
Again, I was tempted to shut him down. To tell him that I really didn’t have time to dig into Alister’s past. But I didn’t. Apparently I needed to know this and I trusted Roger not to burden me with unnecessary information.
“In 2008, his parents were involved in a car accident. Both were killed on impact.”
“Jesus! That’s awful.”
“There’s more,” he insisted. “Three years later, his sister died.”
“Alister had a sister?” I asked, slipping back into lane one.
I slowed the car to a respectable sixty, not trusting my state of mind to go any faster.
“Yes. She didn’t have her own membership but I managed to track her bank account to Red, meaning she frequented there on more than one occasion.”
This was slightly alarming.
“I think she may have been using Alister’s card to gain entrance.”
“Okay,” I replied, not entirely invested.
I lacked any real concentration and failed to understand what relevance this had to our situation.
“Jessica?” reprimanded Roger, rightly telling me off in my need to not listen. “Did Spencer have any involvement with a girl named Delilah?”
WHAT THE FUCK?
“Ye-yes,” I stuttered, finally offering him the attention he’d no doubt been after all this time. “He had a girlfriend named Delilah.”
I didn’t want to get into the mechanics of sub/ dom relationships with Roger over telephone.
“She committed suicide,” I revealed, though I suspected he already knew.
“This is it, Jessica. This is your motive. Alister has deliberately been sabotaging Spencer’s life.”
“Because he blames him,” I self-confessed, completely blown away.
All this time and we never considered the possibility. Alister was out for revenge and the reason had been there the entire time. Right under our noses. FUCK! It was no secret that my man felt responsible for Delilah’s actions and it seemed Alister held him somewhat accountable too. Did he deliberately wait for Spencer’s illness to take hold before swooping in and bedding his wife? Was this his plan all along. SHIT! Everything made perfect sense. It explained the lengths he has gone to. Who else would set their sights solely on the destruction of another. The answer to that question was Alister; a grieving brother.
“Isy’s in hospital,” I blurted out, approaching the junction for North London. “I’m on my way over there now.”
“Christ, what’s happened?”
“I’m not sure, although I don’t think it’s a coincidence Alister returned yesterday and suddenly she’s in the hospital,” I interjected, exiting the slip road. “He must’ve found out about her conspiring against him.”
“Spencer isn’t due back until tonight, is he? Have you told him?”
“I’ve left him a voicemail,” I replied, slowing the car right down.
Driving in London whilst distracted was as good a death wish as any.
“Did they say what condition she’s in at least?” he questioned, seeming just as worried as me.
I scoffed. “The nurse I spoke to told me fuck all. The only thing I know is she’s been taken to the Royal London Hospital.”
“Would you like me to meet you there?”
His kind offer was sweet but that didn’t stop me from just about biting his head off with my response. “NO! If our plan has backfired, the last thing I want is for you to get dragged into it. You need to stay away, Roger!”
“Please. This is your life we’re talking about. Whatever you do, don’t come!”
A sigh sounded through my speakers, showcasing just how unhappy he was. “Fine, but keep me posted. I’ll worry otherwise.”
“And Jessica, for Christ sake, be careful! Grief can make a man do crazy things.”
I struggled to offer him confirmation, knowing fine well I was prepared to do just about anything to fix this. It didn’t matter that I was walking into the unknown or that I had other things to think about now. I was powered by my love and commitment for Spencer and Leila; nothing else. Perhaps I was being careless? Too naïve? But I was all Isy had. The thought of getting to her outweighed any rationality. She needed me and I needed her. I just prayed her condition was salvageable.