Whatever It Takes

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Chapter 9 - Laura's point of view

I explained all the medication to Isabelle, considering that she had to take the same thing multiple times in the day. I walked into the kitchen, to see my son washing up.

“Zach, sweetie?” I called out to him, but he seemed distant. I tugged his arm, taking him out of trance. “What’s wrong?” His lower lip wobbled.

“Mum, I know that I getting feelings for Isabelle, but I’m scared, I don’t want to lose her.” I hugged him tightly, not knowing what to say or do. I was worried too, but I had faith in God, and I knew that everything was going to be ok.

“Zach, I really don’t know what to say, but for now, just have faith. There is always light at the end of the tunnel.” He nodded, and I reached up to wipe the tears from his damp cheeks. Suddenly, he froze. I turned, freezing too.

Isabelle’s point of view

I wondered what took them so long, so I stood outside the kitchen, ready to turn back when I heard my name. I didn’t know what to think. He liked me? Maybe that’s why he kept me here, everything was staged. I knew it. I moved out from my spot, looking him in the eye, anger simmering as I stared at his tear-streaked face? Of course it dissipated fairly quickly, I mean, something was not right.

“Isabelle, hi, is there something you need? Wait, she needed water.” He poured some water into a small glass, his hands shaky. I took it, maintaining eye contact as I had my medication.

“Zach, I heard everything. Is this staged to keep me here? Because if it is I’ve had enough and want to leave."

“Isabelle, this is not staged. I meant what I said this morning. There really are people who are trying to capture you, I am keeping you here because my mansion is probably the safest place for you to be. And as for what you heard, then yes, I do care about you and I want nothing bad to happen to you.” I wanted to argue, but I felt lightheaded. Not this again.

Start of flashback

James and I were seated together on the sofa, watching The Fault in Our Stars. I rested my head onto his shoulder, both hands resting on my nine-month bump. His arm was wrapped around my shoulders, the other on top of my hands. It was late in the evening, the movie we were currently watching had just ended. I’ve been crying for the past while, because Augustus died and because of my irritating hormones. James moved closer to cease the crying.

I eventually stopped and James withdrew to turn the television off, which was followed by folding the silky throw we had moments earlier. He climbed the stairs to store it. My eyes grew heavy with fatigue. The last thing I remembered was being carried and transported to a lush bed, before turning off completely.

Annoyingly, the telephone next to me rang impatiently. Groggily, I leaned over, checking the time on the digital alarm clock. Crikey, it was only five in the morning.

“Helloo,” I slurred into the mouthpiece.

“Buongiorno, Isabelle, is that you?” Now, I was fully alert, having known the eerily strange voice on the other side.

“Yes Lucian?”

“Sì, it’s me. Actually, I was wondering if we could meet up, it’s about Amor –” Before I could hear the rest of it, James angrily snatched the phone out of my hands, freezing me in place with his deathly glare.

“Sorry she isn’t interested and don’t ever phone again.” He disconnected, turning to face me.

“What was that about?”

“James, it was something important about Amora.

“Well, so what?”

“James, she’s my sister, why wouldn’t I care?”

“Maybe because she left you and didn’t even bother to attend the wedding. Isn’t it obvious? You’re just dead baggage to her.”

“James, shut up. I have never isolated you from anyone, and I suggest you don’t do the same with me. Mind your mouth, Ja –” The side of my face stung pretty badly, my eyes welling up with tears.

“Don’t you ever use that tone with me,” he spat through gritted teeth, hands gripping my arms in a death grip. “Don’t you ever contact him again, and I couldn’t care less as to what the bloody reason is. Am I clear?” I shook my head, a sharp pain in my stomach indicating that my water had broken. A loud shriek escaped from my mouth. James snapped out of his psychopathic trance, staring down at me in horror. He moved away from me, calling for the midwives.

End of flashback

I woke up, screaming, beads of cold sweat lining my forehead. The lamplight was turned on, Zach at my side within a second. He sat down tentatively, a hand rubbing small circles onto my back. I leaned back to hug him, ignoring everything. I just wanted to get out of my anxiety attack. Laura moved towards me, a hand stroking my hair. Her motherly touch did wonders for me, as I was finally able to regain myself. I took a few deep breaths, before moving away from Zach, resting into the bedframe.

“Isabelle, are you ok?” I nodded, forcing myself to smile. He nodded.

“I wanted to inform you that your room is done, umm, you sure you ok? You don’t look too good?”

“I’m fine, don’t be such a pushover.” I instantly regretted saying that, but everything is moving too fast for my liking; my family’s dead, Zach is beginning to have feelings for me… I stood up, grabbing my little companion, my new teddy. “Shall we go then?” He nodded, standing up, with Laura wrapping an arm around me. I smiled, feeling settled.

Zachariah’s point of view

I want to help her, so fucking much, but I don’t have a clue on how. She is barely opening up and she either pushes me away or brings me closer. I mean, I shouldn’t expect much, especially since my fiancé… I shook my head, shoving those memories out of my head. After several minutes, we reached her new room.

“Here we are.” I pushed the door open, revealing an ivory themed wall with a mix of dark and light furniture, complimenting the bright wall and the king size four poster bed. She looked around in awe, her footsteps stopping short of a painting in front of her. It was an abstract one, painted in the darkest of blues, except with a streak of cerulean going through the caked canvas.

“Zach, this room is beautiful, thank you. I love this painting, especially this streak of blue, it’s the same shade as my –”

“Eyes,” I finished, looking at her side profile. She turned, smiling. I returned the gesture, a warmth threatening to explode my heart.

“Well, I have an early shift tomorrow and should get going. Isabelle, if you need anything, there are three tassels next to you. Now each one is labelled, so the dark green one is for Zach, the dark purple one for me and the other Prussian Blue one is for the maid. Get some rest my child, goodnight.” She leaned over, kissing Isabelle’s forehead, walking up to me and doing the same, but on her tip toes, and with me bending by a fraction. I turned my attention to Isabelle, who was busy testing the bed. I smirked.

“Isabelle, is there anything you need?” She pressed her lips together, her face distant, until she shook her head.

“Zach, umm, thanks for everything, and I am really sorry that you’ve been tolerating my nonsense.”

“Isabelle,” I moved towards her, taking her hands. “Your reaction is perfectly normal, I understand, I’ve been through this phase as well, and though it is unpleasant, there is always tons of hope on the other side. We are all here for you, but please don’t lose hope, there is still so much beauty in life.” She looked at me, her eyes magnifying. I took that as my cue to leave, allowing her to ponder over my words.

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