Chapter Seventeen: I'll Save you
I look blankly at the blank paper, holding my pencil.
‘I can do this, right? How hard is to spell my name?’ I sighed, scratching my head.
“Don’t over think it,” I heard on my right to see Lilly holding Sophy. I arched a brow.
“Just remember what mom taught you is all. It will come naturally as it goes. Don’t worry how big and ugly the words will come out, you’ll get better,” Lilly said, as she started to leave. I nodded, looking down at the blank paper. Closing my eyes, I took a breath. With that, I open my eyes, and place my hand on top of the paper, and started to write. It came out horrible. I sigh in frustration.
“Not bad,” I heard behind me. I jump in fright to see Zara looking over my shoulder. I turned to face her, but cover the paper.
“Why are you spying?” I asked her. She grabs the chair next to me and sits down.
“I’m your teacher, is my job. You missed the C, and the E,” she tenderly smiled at me. I fist my hand and lower my hands. She takes a hold of my pencil and takes a hold of my hand. Placing the pencil between my fingers, she places her hand above mine and helps me write the letters she told me.
“See, that’s how you spell your name, just like I wrote earlier today.” she smiles at me. I just stare at her, watching her expression; she’s so excited that she helped me write the two letters. I couldn’t help but smile at that.
‘She gets happy for the simplest things.’
“About this woman you’re looking for,” she suddenly said sitting back down.
“Yes?” I asked.
“I need some information on her. We can go to the police. Pop’s will come tomorrow, he’ll keep an eye on the children.” she said, but I notice a sadness in her eyes.
“Why with the expression?” I asked. She scrunches her face in a confusing matter.
“What expression? I’m fine,” she said nervously
“Sure you are.” I stood up,
“Where are the rest of the ducklings?” I asked, pushing the chair in.
“They are in the girl’s dorm, getting ready for bed,” she said. I nodded, while she stands up to follow me out. Without a word we slowly make it to the second floor. The more we walked, the more anxious she felt and I can feel it as well. I stop in my tracks and turn to face her.
“What is it?” I cross my arms in front of my chest, she looks up at me.
“Nothing, I was only thinking, is all.”
“Spill it, I know that worry look, Zara,” I walked closer to her, her eyes narrow.
“Am I that obvious?” she asks. I simply nodded at her.
“Like an open book,” I replied. She nibbles under her lips, looking up at me.
“Err. You said this woman is the woman you love,” she started. I slowly nodded.
“Yes, what about it?” I asked her. She thin out her lips.
“Then why did you kiss me?” she asks me again. I blinked, confused by her question.
“I told you it was a mistake,” I lied. She shakes her head.
“Kissing should be with love behind it, not because it was a mistake. You love another woman, not me. I’m grateful to you that you don’t feel disgusted by me. I am grateful that you were honest, but you should have kissed that woman first, not me.” her eyes waters. I went still at her words.
“Kiss her first? Lady, that’s disgusting to even think about,” I shivered, then I blinked.
“Wait, exactly what do you think of this woman is?” I asked her, noticing her small hand’s fisting.
“I don’t know, someone beautiful, with no children. That is well educated and knows more about the world,” she said slumping her shoulders. I leaned forward, while she leans a bit back.
“C.. Ciel?” she nervously said, as I search her eyes, but I cough out a laughter.
“You should have asked me who this woman was three nights ago,” I told her.
“Well is obvious, is a woman you loved all your life, you said it yourself. I shouldn’t pride on. I’m upset that you wasted your first kiss on me.” she looks down.
“She’s my older sister,” I told her
“You shouldn’t have, if you love her, then it should have been her..... What?” she kept on talking until my words finally reached her.
“She’s my older sister, I haven’t seen her since I was thirteen,” I told her the truth. Relief washes over her, placing her hand on her chest.
“Oh, thank God,” she whispers, for a reason, I couldn’t resist, I move my hand. She slowly flutters her eyes close, as I cup her cheek.
“Silly, there’s different types of love.” I simply told her. She places her hand on my own.
“Like I love my children and you love your sister?” she told me.
“Yes, exactly,” I told her.
“Like we love you,” she adds. I nodded at her.
“If it has gotten to that point, yes,” I told her. She smiles,
“Do you love my children?” I went still at her words, but couldn’t resist and smiled at her.
“Yes, those ducklings somehow waddle into my heart. As you said, they are now my family. I never thought it would come to that.” I told her the truth. She went still at my words, staring at me for a long time, at least that’s what it felt like. Her voice cracks.
“Really? You’re not lying?” she asks nervously. I shook my head.
“Why would I? They are a handful, but each one is unique and lovable. Plus, they make my day not boring.” I shrugged, telling her the truth. She surprises me and jumps in happiness, wrapping her arms around me.
“Thank you. Thank you,” she said, kissing my cheek, holding me tighter. I bury my face in the crook of her neck and wrap my arms around her once again.
‘Not only I love your children, but I love you as a woman. God help me,'
“So your sister is three years older than you? She’s a thirty-three-year-old woman by now. Is she married?” Zara asks while we reach the plaza. I couldn’t believe that Zara is wearing dark high pants and a white blouse, her short hair brush to the side. She looks very alluring like that, not that she dresses make her any less, but this is new to me.
“I don’t know. I lost contact with her when I was thirteen,”
“But you must have heard something about her didn’t your uncle mentioned anything?” she asks me while moving closer to me, when two couples pass by, holding their hands. I notice Zara looks at them with a longing look. Without thinking, I move my hand and grab hers. She looks down at our joined hands and blushes. She suddenly laced our fingers together.
‘I thought she would push me away?’ I couldn't help it, but smile at this.
“Um,” I think back, but nothing comes to mind. Paul is a reserved man.
“Nothing,” I frowned. Zara nods disappointed and sigh.
“This will be a little harder, but not impossible. Please wait for me,” she said as we reach a large building, with the cops and other bystanders coming in and out. I move behind a large light pole and lower my head.
“Be careful, alright.” Zara squeezes my hand firmly and smiles at me. I lifted my gaze. She tiptoes and kisses my cheek very gently. I felt my heart leap oddly at the simple kiss. I nodded at her, not daring to speak.
“Hide if you don’t feel comfortable, but don’t wander off,” she orders. I nodded while she kisses my cheek once again.
“Okay, bye,” with that I watch her leave.
Not long after she left, from the corner of my eye, I see Dusty going in one of the alleyways. I can always tell him apart from others since he’s the one that looks beaten up. I turn my body and rushed my steps towards him. Only to wince a little, due to the pain in my leg.
‘Really, it has to act up now?’ I hissed, but shook my head, when I reach Dusty.
“Hey old man.” I smirked. Dusty which wears his normally baggy clothes and a plain black hat, turns around. He turns and smiles at me.
“Well, well, dark wolf,” he gives me a tight hug. I hug him back.
“My boy, why are you here? Is very dangerous, you’re still a wanted man,” he asks.
“Zara came to do errands, so I came along,” I told him. A cheeky light gleams in his old eyes.
“Oh, that chick from last time. She’s a beauty.” he teased. I felt my cheeks warm up and scratch the back of my head.
“Stop talking nonsense. I am actually happy to see you. Have you seen Paul? I want to speak to him, but he hasn’t even answered my calls. I need to know where’s my sister.” I asked. Dusty face tightens, but then sighs, patting my shoulder.
“He has other business to attend to.” he said, crossing his thin arms.
“I don’t care about those businesses,” but Dusty shook his head interrupting me.
“You know that man from last year. Silver?” he suddenly asks. I went still at his words.
“What about that bastard?” I asked in a tight voice. Dusty turns to face me.
“He escaped prison. He came back to the underground. He’s dying to have a rematch with you.”
“He escaped prison? When?”
“About two months ago."
"You tell me this now?" I asked, annoyed by this
"Hold up Ciel. I didn't know either, until I saw him last week. You must be careful son. He wants your blood in his hands, from you have done to him.”
“I didn’t do anything.” I sigh.
“Well, you know that, I know that, he doesn’t apparently. Philip is a very good liar, you know that. Either way Silver is looking for his son. He said that a wench took his son last year.”
“Well, my boss is not right in the head. Silver has a son?” I asked surprised. Dusty nods, looking down at the floor.
“I’m not sure either, but he said some woman took him. He’s going to find her and kill her. You know that the underground protects their own, but killing is prohibited, that’s the rules. Yet, right now, your boss Philip is protecting him. Boss made arrangements.” he said.
“Why am I not surprised? What arrangements?”
“I’m not sure myself, but if I know, I’ll contact you immediately,” he tells me. I nodded, now worried.
The conversation with Dusty had me on my toes for a few days. Midnight rolled by, as the others slept, I sat on my bed, looking at the darkness.
‘I shouldn’t have hesitated, that day,’ I rub my lower lip, when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I lifted my gaze to see Zara sitting in front of me. She places her lamp on top of the night table, next to my bed.
“What’s wrong? You have been out of it, since we returned. I didn’t want to pry, but I’m worried,” she asks. I shook my head.
“Why should I say anything, if you’re hiding something from me as well.” I simply told her. Since we returned as well, she’s been hiding something from me, been avoiding me, looking nervous and guilty as well. Her caramel eyes drops.
“I’m not sure if I should tell you, but is almost a week.” she said.
“What?” I asked. She moves closer, moving her hand and grasp mine.
“Your uncle called me. He said, that in two weeks, he needs you to fight, that I have to bring you. That’s the deal or not, we will lose our home. Is not his fault, but Mr. Don, he made a deal with your uncle..” she tells me with regret in her eyes and tone. I let her words sink in.
“Mr. Don surely a heartless bastard,” I mumbled to myself, getting angry at this.
“So it took you a week to tell me?” I asked her. She shakes her head.
“I’m scared, how can I let you fight for our family? I won’t be any better than them. Last time you were so hurt. I don’t want to see it again. It hurts my heart.” she admits.
“Don’t let it. I don’t deserve it.” I simply told her. She shakes her head.
“You always say that,” she said. I shrug at her.
“Is the truth,” I told her. She moves closer to me and shakes her head.
“It's not. You’re human, not some kind of wild beast, remember you're part of a family, didn’t you say you love my children? We love you too. So is not right to put you in this situation.” she whispers. I wanted to say something, but I shook my head at the thought.
“I’ll think of away, don’t worry. I’ll save you,” she murmurs her words, I arched a brow to ask her what she meant, but she clears her throat.
“When is your birthday?” she suddenly asks me, changing the subject.
‘I want to protect you all, don’t worry about me.’
“Why?” I asked her.
“The kids wanted to know, mine is October the third.” she smiles.
“Oh? Mine is October the thirty,” I admit. Her eyes widen.
“Your birthday is the same month as mine? Then what’s your favorite color?” she looks excited. I shrug at her.
“Don’t have one really, but if I have to choose, white,” I shrug, looking away.
“Really? Mine is blue because I love the ocean.” I nodded.
“Oh, I don’t like the ocean as much, but sometimes is good to distract the mind.” I admitted. Zara bites her lower lip.
“Over the summer it’s good to go to the beach, is very lovely.” she nods. I nodded in agreement, while her eyes look at each of her children. I did the same.
“Thank you for the gift you gave Sophy, I forgot to say last time.” she looks back at me, her expression turns soft.
“It was nothing, how’s Armando doing?” I asked her. She yawns, her eyes slowly closing.
“He’s been doing better, the nightmares are less now. I hope we can help the ghost soon. It hurts to see my son going through that.” she admits, lowering her body down. I lifted my arms up, as she lays her head on my lap.
“Zara? What are you doing?” I asked. She snuggles against my lap.
“Too tired to walk. Good night Ciel. God bless,” she said, as her eyes shut down. I lower my arms down.
“Silly, how are you this comfortable with me? I’m a man, not one of your children, to do this.” I brush her hair away from her small face.
“If it helps the family, I will go.” I look down at her. I couldn’t resist, I lower myself and press my lips to her forehead and smiled gently. Then a cold breeze brush against my skin, making Zara and I shiver. I took a hold of my blanket and place it over her.
“If you want me to help you, then tell me, where exactly do I start?” I suddenly said, lifting my gaze, to see the dark shadow standing next to my bed, looking down at Zara.
“Start from last year Ciel. Do you really think it was a coincidence that you appeared here? ” It said, looking straight at me.
“What do you mean by that?” I straighten up, as the shadow started to disappear.
“Your first clue Ciel, is this woman.” it said, as it disappears completely. I look down at Zara.
'What exactly is going on? How is Zara involved?' I frowned, and lifted my head to see the dark ceiling.
"Why do I feel like there's more to it than what it meets the eye?"