Chapter 17 - When wrong hands clap [Republished]
A strong hand is pressed on my mouth stopping my breath as my eyes snapped opened, with my heart throbbing in my chest.
Tears spring volumes from my eyes blurring my sight and the menacing frame hovering over me becomes darker, fading.
I am struggling to keep myself awake but as the stinging smell fills my nostrils, my body becomes numb and my eyes shut in a faint that I can’t fight.
I feel myself lifted and carried away, with my arms and legs hanging lifeless.
Lucas... his face passes before my eyes and I cry his name but all that comes out of my mouth are groans and whispers.
I hear voices around me, voices that I don’t recognize.
Even though I can’t understand what they say I know they’re talking about me.
My body feels dead though faded voices I hear tell me I am not gone yet.
The moving car and the engine are the last things I hear as a deadly sleep takes me over.
I struggle to raise my eyelids and open my eyes. My mind is awake but my eyes... a splitting pain cages my head and I whimper, rolling on my left side and grabbing my head with my hands as if I want to pull the pain out.
I curl my body in a ball and I realize I am still naked, covered with a bed sheet only. I am cold, I am shaking.
I finally open my eyes when a finger digs in the flesh of my right arm and lifting my head I see my brother standing next to the bed I am laying in, with a hard face, lacking any expression.
He is shoving two pills and a glass of water under my nose as I hardly sit up.
“It’s for your headache,” he says in muffled voice.
“Where are we?” I ask ignoring his offer.
“Take it!” he shouts so loudly that it makes my blood freeze.
I stare at him waiting him to tell me what the hell is going on.
They drugged me and took me here against my will and seeing my brother in front of me I knew dad was behind it.
I have always been a trading thing for him, and Pete helped him always, like a faithful dog that he is, always in the shadow of my dead, never being capable to think for himself.
“Pete, what is going on? Where is dad? Why the fuck I am here?” I become anxious and fear makes me shake.
I pull the bed sheet higher till it reaches my chin and the cold in the room, rather a basement, helps me come more to my senses, though the headache increases.
I take the two pills from Pet’s hand and because I can’t control the trembling of my own hand I spill some water before sipping from the glass.
“Tsz tsz tsz,” my brother says shaking his head. “Good for nothing,” he mumbles.
“Well, fuck off, Pete!” I spit at him and all of the sudden a slap hits the left side of my head, throwing me on the bed with a groan.
I cover the throbbing part of my face with my hand and I taste blood on my lips.
I have had that all my life but somehow this time feels humiliating and more tears roll out of my eyes.
“You, idiot! Lucas will come for me. You can’t keep me here forever,” I mumble with hope that somehow, unexpectedly, Lucas will break the door opened and safe me.
Pete throws a dress in my face and asks me to put it on.
“Oh, he will come alright. He is being expected. Wherever you are, he is. He will come,” my brother says nodding and I stare at him and wonder how someone can hate this much his own sister and daughter.
What father uses his own blood and flesh for purposes so trivial like money and power?
Shivering, I put the dress on, trying the best I can to keep my intimate parts away from my brother’s eyes.
I cover myself again with the bed sheet.
It was the same bed sheet that just hours ago was covering mine and Lucas’s naked bodies.
It smells of Lucas. I bury my nose in it and sniff a good chalk of air, filling my lungs with his scent.
My tears soak the fabric and I try to silence my sobbing as I don’t know what to expect from Pete.
I see him sitting on a chair in front of me, gazing at me with a disgusted smirk.
“I guess your little affair with Tate is about to be finished, ha?” he says.
“It was not an affair. It was a marriage. And fucking marriage I was forced into, remember?”
“It was anything but forced, little sister. He wanted that marriage. He bought you with a business that didn’t exist. That motherfucker thought he can play us around. First he cleared his father out. Then he took you out. What a fucking knight in a shining armor,” Pete laughs showing off his teeth in a malicious smirk. “Too bad he was stupid enough to fall for you. You are his weakness. That’s why you are here.” he continues, tilting his head to his left shoulder.
I look at him trying to understand his words.
I always thought my father was the one to force me to marry so he can get the deal.
Lucas told me about bad people my father was dealing with, but I never thought those people were actually my dad and my brother.
“So, now what?” I ask.
“Now we wait. We wait Lucas to come,” he replied.
I laugh mockingly at him. I know he can hurt me but at this point I don’t care too much.
“And you think Lucas is that stupid to let himself trapped because of me? Well Pete, you have never been too smart, have you?” I challenge him.
I didn’t know what they had to share with Lucas but right now I wished Lucas was back to the hard, cold husband I knew in the past year and he wouldn’t come for me.
My shitty family is not his fault and thus not his problem to fix either.
Pete snaps on his feet rushing towards me with clenched fists but his phone stops him in his way.
“Stupid bitch!” he mumbles and pulls his phone from his pocket.
“Yeah. Right now? I would love to take her for a round,” he chuckles menacing, staring at me and fear runs through my veins. “Alright. Coming up now.”
He ends the call and pulls me up, grabbing painfully my left upper arm and forcing me to walk barefoot.
He pushes me to walk in front of him and the iron door suddenly opens.
I see a bulky guy on the other side of the door who grabs my arm and drags me after him; him walking, me running to keep up with his rushed pace.
“Let me go! I can walk by myself, idiot!” I say fighting to lose myself from his grip, but he ignores me and walks faster.
I try walk faster and reach his face to scratch with my other hand hoping he will let me lose but I only earn a slap that could have easily crash me on the floor if it was not for his strong hold on my wrist.
I give in, letting myself dragged for the rest of the way, sobbing and praying that I will not see Lucas to where they take me.
The three of us enter a dark room looking much of an office with a desk lamp on as the only light in the room.
Behind the desk I see my father, staring at me with ice cold eyes.
I stare back at him, finding no words to say how much I hate him, how much I’ve hated him all my life, but his deadly look makes me only shrink and shake.
“Sit,” he says showing me a chair in front of him.
I stroll to the chair and slowly sit, barely touching it, as if it has thorns.
My father finally stands up and comes closer, towering me with his height.
He grabs my chin and checks my beaten face.
“You’ve been a bad girl, haven’t you?” he asks but I jerk my head from his grip, pushing his hand away.
“This attitude won’t help you, Rebecca. I advise you to keep your fucking mouth shut and don’t play smart,” my father says.
“What do you want?” I ask clenching my teeth in anger.
“Your husband dearest, that’s what we want,” a strong voice bellowed, breaking the sounds on the basement’s walls.
The voice comes from somewhere behind me and when I snap my head back I see a tall man wearing a suit, perfectly shaped on a still very toned body, straight line jaws giving him a profoundly serious look, but not threatening.
He looked around mid-fifties and I noticed something awfully familiar about him.
Big coal black eyes were glaring at me in an admiring way, it felt.
I hold boldly his look and he smiled. Again, a strangely familiar smile.
“Benito, welcome,” my father says and reaches his hand for a shake, but he is being ignored, left with his hand in the air as the man’s eyes don’t break contact with mine.
Benito walks slowly towards me with his hands in the pants’ pockets and bends his knees, crouching in from of me, opening the one button of the suit jacket, his face reaching the same level with mine.
I don’t know why but I feel somehow safe with him in the room.
His presence clearly dominates everything around and I almost hear the tension around my father and Pete.
It’s rather fear than tension and I am happy they feel that.
I am relaxed with Benito in front of me just as I felt relaxed and safe with Enzo.
There is something about Benito that tells me he doesn’t really feel comfortable with me being kept here and that gives me hope and I wish he takes me from here, away from my father and brother.
“Do you know who I am, young lady?” he asks with a sweet smile.
I didn’t lie. I am sure there is a connection between him and Enzo but still I don’t know who he is.
“My name is Marciano Benito. Did you hear about me?”
“No,” I shake my head, shifting my eyes to my lap.
He gently grabs my chin lifting my head towards the light of the desk lamp and frowns unhappy of what he sees.
"Chi a fatto questo?” he asks me, frowning his eyebrows but I hesitate, lowering my eyes to the floor again, filled with embarrassment. “Who did this to you, girl? You can tell me,” he says again and his soft, carrying voice is giving me courage.
I look towards Pete and the bulky man next to him.
Marciano follows my look turning his head slowly and stands up walking to Pete and before I breathe once, Pet’s head bounces in the back under the weight of Marciano’s fist.
“You never, ever, hit a woman!”
His voice hits the walls of the room and his hands hold tight the collar of Pete’s shirt, their noses inches apart.
“Carlos!” He shouts for someone and a tall, thin man enters. “Take Miss Rebecca upstairs,” Marciano orders and Carlos comes to me, helping me gently to stand up.
“Come, Miss Rebecca. I will show you the way,” he smiles, and I follow him.
“I will come to you in half an hour to make sure you have everything you need,” Marciano says and I nod, mouthing a ′thank you’ to him as he smiles back at me.
I exit the room relieved and Carlos walks before me, showing me the way upstairs.
He opens one door for me, and I enter a room with a king size bed, wide windows going out on a balcony and doors for walk-in closet and bathroom on my right.
The room is big enough and furnished classy, in light colors.
Carlos walks towards the two doors and opens them one by one.
“This is the walk-in closet, Miss. You will find here things to wear. And this is the bathroom. Take your time and... don’t be afraid. Mr. Benito is kinder than he looks.”
“Is this his house?” I ask.
“One of them. He doesn’t live here, though. It used to be Enzo’s house before he moved to the city.”
I knew it. They had the same eyes. They had the same smile, the same kindness in their look.
“Enzo?” I ask pretending I hear this name for the first time.
“Mr. Benito’s youngest,” he replies.
“Ah,” I say and try to end the subject before I make any stupid mistake and let Carlos understand that I know Enzo.
Carlos walks towards the door, but I stop him.
“Carlos...” I say while he turns his face to me. “Can you please stay at the door for a while?” I ask shyly hoping I will not be left alone and risk my brother coming up to me.
Carlos smirks and that smirk reminds me of Gio.
And Gio reminds me of Lucas, making my heart shrink.
How much I wished I listened to him and not leave the house that day on the island.
He asked me so many times not to leave, he said so many times he needed to put me safe and only now I understood why.
But that’s me, always acting against my better judgment pushed by an unseen force to damage everything I have good in my life.
“These are my orders, Miss. Don’t worry. I’ll be outside,” Carlos said and with a nod of his head he leaves, closing the door behind him.
As my muscles relax, a stinging pain crosses my head and I feel numb and heavy.
I keep looking around as if I am expecting Lucas to appear from any corner.
But I am alone and scared of what might come next.
I wished there was a way to let Lucas know they set a trap for him, but I know there isn’t.
I walk in the bathroom and turn on the shower.
Dropping the dress on the bathroom floor, I step in the shower, under the warm water, letting its heat relax my muscles as it rains on my head.
I lean myself against the cold tiles of the shower wall, my hands laid flat on it and pressing my forehead between them.
I cry out loud, releasing all the pain and fear and imagine they are washed away with the water flowing down my body. Soon my legs give in and I squat on the floor.
I must have been sitting on the shower floor for quite a while, my tears ended at some point, but I didn’t find nor the strength or the will to stand up.
I just stare at my hands, my mind flying miles away.
“Tears are words the heart can’t say.”