I was dancing in glee, even when he was tugged into the police van but something about that smirk he gave me – it sent mass tremors down my spine. He was oddly calm, his eyes clear and warm but he wore the smirk as if he knew that I would pull a stunt like this.
He turned me on, that sexy demeanour totally turned me on. Instead, I wanted to be in those cold metal cuffs while he rammed himself into me unapologetically, claiming my body as his.
Neighbours were surrounding Mason’s house in their nightwear and they were gobsmacked when they saw him being thrown into the van. I wasn’t that acquainted with the neighbours so it was expected to see a lot of foreign faces, which didn’t keep their disapproval of my skin colour a secret when they openly snarled at me.
Even though I gained cheap triumph from turning Mason in, I failed to fall asleep. In a way, I almost felt bad about what I had done and I even came close as to dialling the cops and bailing Mason out. I knew that he would be infuriated when he got back home and for my own good, I just hope that they’ll have something to keep him locked up in there until I’m done mourning.
I had the same routine every morning: greet Syria, go get ready for work and come back home before six pm. Today, oddly, that routine shifted into an odd direction. Syria was quiet and my guesses were on the whole I-turned-Mason-into-the-cops thing.
“Morning, Syria.” I mumble soberly while retrieving a mug from the cupboard “I’m making coffee, would you like a cup?”
“Puttana,” she mutters while wiping the double-door grey fridge and I’m sure that didn’t translate into good morning.
Okay, maybe what I did wasn’t exactly the smartest thing I could’ve done at that moment but I didn’t see myself tied down with Mason at all. Not after what he put me through in high school, especially not after that.
The thing is, I like Syria and she adores Mason like her own son – I’m not scoring any brownie points with anyone right now.
“Syria,” I groan pushing my coffee thoughts aside as I take to her. Syria seems too encased in her cleaning that she can barely spare me one glance “Please don’t ignore me.”
Syria begins to hum a tune, almost childlike and she begins to wipe the counter.
“Ti prego, perdonami?” I offer apologetically with a jutted bottom lip “please don’t shut me out.”
“Why?” she whispers and it took my all not to crumble from her small whisper “why tesoro?”
“I panicked.” I couldn’t say anything else and thinking of it now, it was a poor pathetic excuse.
“Why?” she repeats.
“I saw a gun...and I’m black so I immediately thought of the hood and...yeah.”
“Didn’t your mother teach you not to snoop through people’s things?” Syria was full blown pìssed now, her electric blue eyes irate as she mentally drowned me acid but she continued her lecture either way “now mio figlio is down there whereas he didn’t even do anything wrong.”
“I’m sorry,” I breathe although my words were honestly true “I know that he means a lot to you –”
“But he means nothing to you, which must be the reason why you treat him like scum.”
That was false, utterly false and I had the compassion to prove it. I’m grieving and mourning for my sister, isn’t that enough show of emotion already?
I couldn’t find any statement that would help validate my reasons for turning Mason in so like a coward, I left Syria with heavy wet eyelids.
John and I slaved the afternoon off while compiling strong evidence that could assist me in catching Mona’s killer. The strongest factor in this whole case was the semen test and I knew that would sway Chief in a whole new rhythm once he heard about it.
“Will you appeal to Chief with the new information or should I?”
I smile wryly at John, the poor guy is keen on going into forensics and I must commend him, he’s brave on job-shadowing this kind of career in this particular field. The minimal gritty details are not everyone’s cup of tea.
I glance at the wall watch and the lab should’ve been closed half an hour ago, “John, you can go home.”
He smiles embarrassingly at me but I kind of adored his innocence, it reminded me of how I was when I was still at school, “y’sure because I can lock up if you’d like.”
“You probably need to write a report due tomorrow and you still need to fit in at least six hours of sleep, I’m fine.”
A boyish smile spans on his rose pink thin lips, “I’ll see you tomorrow then? I could stay if you want –”
“John, go home. I don’t want your girlfriend claiming that I’m taking all of her man’s time.”
John doubles over in laughter, his facial muscles contorting into true laughter but I didn’t get the joke. Did I perhaps say something funny? John takes his own gorgeous time to find composure and when he does, more laughter rumbles from his chest.
“Girlfriend? Hilarious,” John grins lazily while wiping his damp cheeks “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
It’s getting quite late and I’ve barely even composed enough DNA to store into our database. The clock is ticking quite close to six pm but I vowed to only leave the lab after I’ve found something actually concrete that would assist me.
Offering myself a mild break, I span on my heel and face the glass doors of the walls – only to see blurry figures walk pass by. Masked men enter the room and instinctively, I grab hold of a test tube filled with hydrochloric acid.
“W-who are you?” my voice lacks the confidence I desired and my facial expression couldn’t substantiate my statement either.
“Oh, I’m so scared,” his accent was oddly familiar and I soon cast him as Italian “drug the bìtch!”
One of the men trots towards me and I threw the acid at him before taking off. Time seemed to slow down once a cloth was wrapped around my face but my body kicked into survival mode. I thrash for my life, screaming for help but the toxic fumes of chloroform cajoled me to sleep.
My eyes flutter open and a film of blurriness seeps over my vision but then a sudden exhaustion forces my eyelids to dip down. Unwaveringly, I fight to keep my eyes open and a sudden pressure in my head forces a mild painful moan to escape my lips. Air heaves itself into my chest and I cough vigorously, only to entice another ache.
After familiarising my body with the environment, my senses kicked in fully. I was finally able to hear sounds but not exactly what I wanted to hear.
“The girl is here boss,” girl? I’m twenty four years old so technically I’m a grown aṡs woman, “okay, we’ll be waiting boss.”
Cold silver eyes find my brown gaze and my heart jolts in my chest once he ends the call and throws his slim phone to another masked man. He dips down where I was laying and in attempt to slap him for inflicting so much pain on me, I realise that all my limbs are bound.
Things just got real.
His cold fingers trace the contour of my cheek as if he was admiring a stray beautiful animal and he caresses my skin soothingly. My eyes widen following his actions.
“W-what are you doing? Where am I? Get the hell away from me!” only now did the panic and fears truly sink in. I’m thrashing around, trying to release my restricted limbs but my attempts are futile.
The male draws out a pocket blade from his breast pocket and my breath quickens on cue when he begins to trace the cold piece of metal on the apex of my throat. He runs it down to where my jugular vein is and applies slight pressure, rendering me motionless.
“Boss said he’ll be here in ten minutes.”
The sound of material ripping echoes louder in my head than in actual reality and a weak cry leaves my lips.
“S-so?” his blade runs from the cup of my cotton bra down to my navel.
“It takes me only four to climax.”
My thighs are forced apart but I gave my all, attacking him with the heel of my sneakers although he had an obvious advantage. His head dips down between my legs and I clamp my thighs tightly, crushing his head to the point where he’ll have a blood-pressure induced headache and he’ll have to stop fighting.
The masked men stood still as they watched their struggling colleague pry my legs open as if it were a show and I was the lead actress. I couldn’t allow this man to ravish my body and he proved his annoyance by sending a harsh slap to my cheek, my spectacles landing on the floor with a shatter. The burn resonates on my skin and I break down all my defence walls, becoming an instant easy target. My thighs are pried open with ease and fear seeps over my body, forcing me to become prisoner in my own paralysed body.
“When I’m gwown up and pwetty, I’ll mawwy an Italian.” Mona grins, her gap identical to mine and I laugh at her.
“Ew...Italians have cooties.”
“Yeah,” I nod.
“Mason is going to mawwy me.”
“I’ll be your body—body...body...Mona!”
“Yeah...I’ll pwotect you like Winx Club.”
“You always Bloom!”
“Because I get to pwotect you silly, Musa can’t sing.”
A deafening sound echoes in the room and I’m rendered deaf for a moment. The weight on my body is thrown off me and I struggle to find my words. My tongue is swollen and the pain of the slap accompanied with my headache makes me writhe in pain. My hearing comes back slowly but is soon taken away from me once the loud bang echoes in the room once again.
Unable to witness my knight in shining armour, I find myself whirling to a blinding light.
My eyes flutter open and I grumble at the blurriness surrounding my vision. I can barely grasp anything that happened in the past few hours and the haze I’m in isn’t helping either. Numbness has possessed my body after realizing that I could barely move a muscle nor produce any sound. Panic shoots all over my body when I find that I’ve been experiencing a deaf situation and I have no idea of how I got into it. A silent tear leaves my left eye slowly as I struggle to compose myself.
The blurriness clears up enough for me to make out facial features and I’m stunned to see two faces that were staring at me as if I’ve woken up from the dead. My eyes land on one face and I scramble away, only to have a sharp pain strike my skull.
“Micio, take it easy,” Mason warns while bringing a cup of water to my chapped lips but I refuse to drink, he probably poisoned me.
As if he read my mind he says, “Micio, I didn’t do anything to water.” he takes a generous sip and swallows it down.“See?”
My subconscious thought it’d be cute to perv on Mason so I clutch the polystyrene cup from his hand, bringing it forth on my lips and drinking exactly where his heated plump lips were. Before he notices the stunt I pulled, I swallow the water down and turn to face number two, Chief.
“What is he doing here?”
“Oh,” Chief clears his throat swiftly with a tight smile “Mason here –”
“Mr. DeLuca,” Mason clarifies boldly and Chief gulps visibly – so someone can actually ruffle the Mighty Chief’s feathers?
“My apologies,” Chief apologizes with slight tremors in his voice “Mr. DeLuca was found clean and all the charges you put up against him were dropped.”
This was not good and judging by Mason’s stormy midnight blue eyes, he wasn’t amused by my little stunt either.
“B-but the poster...Mason is wanted.”
“What?” Chief mutters in disbelief while staring at Mason “so she gets to call you by your name but I have to pull all the formalities.”
“She’s different.” Mason declares with a bitter sneer and halts the pathetic argument.
“Chief...you saw the poster...and he has a gun! A gun!”
“Which he has a license for,” my stomach churns in emotion once I find myself in the centre of Mason’s gaze “Jae, what I can do for you is open a case for what happened earlier but I want you to go home, rest because if you step much as a foot in the lab tomorrow...”
I knew the end of that sentence; he’ll give me a warning for not following instructions.
“Could I perhaps have some time alone with Jae, Andy?”
I heave in a harsh breath and gaze at Chief pleadingly, hoping that he will rescue me from my doom but Chief does the opposite and exits the room.
Images of earlier flood my head like a flock of birds in a corn field and the end of the video montages result in Mason aiming the rifle at the man who tried to have his way with my body, killing him instantly.
“What do you want from me?” I ask quietly and Mason begins whistling a familiar tune – Little Einsteins from the children’s cartoon show I occasionally indulge in. He pulls a seat beside me and plops down; I’ve never seen his eyes so brutally cold.
“So, micio,” he begins with a small smile and I could just read his eyes.
“I’m glad you asked that gorgeous question because it sure does have a gorgeous answer.”
“Don’t patronize me,” Agatha, I wanted to add but I chose not to speak of my late aunt at this moment.
“After the cleansing ceremony I want us to get married,” there’s more, I can sense it “on paper.”
I scoff at him, humourless laughter leaving my lips and I bit my lip to conceal more laughter, “do you think that I’m actually going to marry you? Don’t make me laugh DeLuca; I’m in too much pain.”
“I figured you’d react in this manner,” he retrieves a flash drive from his pocket and tosses it in his hand “I have footage of you sleeping with a suspect in a drug mule case that could arouse speculation of you trying to sleep him out of his stay in High State Maximum Security Prison.”
My lips part yet I couldn’t emit any words. That night at the motel, could he have orchestrated everything?
“So, either you agree to be Mrs. Deluca, which is quite fitting for you may I add, or kiss your glorious job goodbye?”
I cross my arms under my middle and the cool tube leading up to my IV bag creates goosebumps on my skin, “I don’t know what kind of sick game you’re playing but I refuse to be a part of it.”
“Two years Jae, just two years and I’ll release you thereafter.”
I roll my eyes at his naive compromise, “You hardly know me and now you want to marry me?”
“We were bound to get married either way –”
“I was going to take a transfer and leave you here!” I blurt out and his solemn eyes made me regret the haste decision. How could I reveal something so crucial? That decision could either make or break me and now I see it’s out to destroy me.
“Andy is outside and I could easily give him this flash drive and allow him to see everything for himself.”
I scoff, “you’re bluffing.”
"Am I, micio?” he challenges grimly but those sinful smouldering eyes, bless them “Andy!”
“You think that I’ll actually believe that you’ll go through –”
Chief steps in and I fret, ”Okay! I will! I will!”
Chief walks to us dumbfounded and frowns, “may I be of any assistance?”
Please, don’t do it.
“You need to go out and find the best suit you can buy.”
Chief offers his rolled eyes, “Why?”
Bless that beautiful smile of his, “We’re getting married.”