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She has been through hell, and still returned as an angel,

You didn’t break her, darling.
You don’t own that kind of power.


Pain is what I felt all through my body when a white light pierced through the darkness which had enveloped me before for what seemed like ages.

My head pained as if I had got drunk on thousands of drinks, and was now bearing the world’s worst hangover.

My whole body burned as if I was lying on a fire bed, all the way in Tartarus.

Who was that man? What did he want? I kept on asking myself, trying to remember if I had seen him somewhere before but nothing came to my mind.

“Scarlet.” I heard a faint, familiar voice calling my name after awhile. It kept on getting closer, making me sigh, mentally, as I now knew that I was very much alive.

Hadn’t he shot me?

“Scar. Love, can you hear me?” I felt Roman squeeze my right hand lightly, finally passing some sensations through it.

I slowly started to gain the control of my body, feeling every limb come back to life, starting from my eyelids and then my left side first. It hurt a lot, initially as the burning sensation grew with every other second, slowly setting my limbs ablaze. I knew I wasn’t burning for real, it was just the drug or whatever that man had shot me with, because a bullet’s shot didn’t feel this way.

Trust me, I know how it feels to be shot. But that story is for a different day.

“Come on. Talk to me.” Roman whispered, lightly squeezing my arm.

“D-Don’t.” I crooked, my throat drier than ever before, as a little pain shot through me as he squeezed my right arm. “W-water.” I asked, slowly opening my eyes to face him, hovering over me.

I felt Roman leaving my hand and walking away from me, probably to bring water. I looked around, my vision becoming clearer as every second passed. I looked around the dull grey walled room, which I had never seen before. The bed was similar to the ones you see in any other hospital but I knew I wasn’t in a hospital right now. This looked nothing like a hospital but more like an underground facility with no windows and just one door.

“Here.” Roman said as he helped me drink the glass of cold water he had got for me on my demand.

“W-where are we?” I asked him, but before he could answer me, a woman in her late forties walked in through the only big metal doors on our right.

She looked like a doctor with her white coat and a stethoscope around her neck. She seemed almost as tall as me, with strawberry blonde hair and piercing green eyes which studied me.

She checked my eyes first, then my throat and then she lowered my.. Oh wait, I am wearing a hospital gown.

As the doctor lowered the gown, I noticed a bandage, a little below my right collarbone. She gently touched the bandage and pulled it off in one go. I meant to scream at the sudden action but I felt no pain as she pulled it off. In fact, the area had nothing but a small red dot, similar to the ones anyone would get after a big dose of a major injection.

“W-what happened?” I asked, my voice slightly better than before.

“You were shot with a poisoned dart, Scarlet.” She answered before Roman could. “Thankfully, it didn’t have much poison in it and we successfully took it out of your body.”

“Thank you, doctor..?”

“Lydia Walters.” She said with a smile. “I see, you don’t remember me.” She added as she took out a band aid from the first aid kit, kept beside my bed, to put it back on my mark.

“Uh.. I don’t think I seen you before.” I said, shaking my head lightly.

“Of course, you were hardly five then..” She shrugged, still smiling at me.

“You were my doctor?” I asked her, curiously.

“Yes. For about two years. You got all your injections and wounds treated from me.” She then turned to Roman. “She loves getting hurt.” She whispered to him as he chuckled at her comment.

“Oh, she loves that.” He said but I knew how worried he was for me, so I grabbed his hand and squeezed it.

“I feel fine.” I whispered to him. “How long have I been out?” I asked both of them.

“Almost three hours.” Roman told me, still eyeing our hands, while he rubbed his thumb on the back of my hand.

Wow, it felt like ages.

“The poison wasn’t that mild, you see. It was just to make you faint for that moment so that you couldn’t attack whoever shot you. You’ll be absolutely fine in the next few minutes but I would recommend you to drink lots and lots of water today.” Lydia instructed me. She glanced at her watch and then looked up back at both of us. “I am sorry, but I need to leave for the hospital.” She gave us a small smile before turning to Roman. “You can take her home, now.”

He nodded at her, as I thanked her before she left. “Goodbye, Scarlet. I hope we won’t meet again.” I heard her comment as she left, closing the door behind her.

“We aren’t in a hospital.” I said, not like a question but as a statement.

“We aren’t. We are in the company’s guest house’s basement.” He told me, as I got up.
That’s right. Company.

Jonathan and Winters may be America’s biggest “gang”, but when my dad and mom said “elite type”, they meant that on paper and every day work, we are like a huge multinational company, which we actually are. Marcus handles the company on the whole West Coast and after my father’s death, my father’s trusted man, Jones handled the East Coast for roughly 13 years. Jones was killed two years ago in New York, after which we took our East headquarters to Miami, where Mason handles it from the past two years. The company has a guest house or a safe house in six major cities in the United States of America, one in London, one in Tokyo.

Multinational, you see.

“She works for us?” I asked Roman and he nodded in reply.

“From the past twenty years. Her father was your grandfather’s right hand man.” He added as I wore my shoes.

“My clothes?” I asked him, and he handed me a duffel bag.

“Changing room is there.” He pointed at the door I hadn’t noticed before, taking out his phone. I nodded and then left for the changing room which was again grey walled, like a typical basement with a small stool.

I helped myself into a pair of black leggings and a black button down shirt, along with my black combat boots. Thankfully, Roman had kept a brush in my bag, so I combed my messed up nest of a hair soon after slipping into my clothes.

When I came out, Roman was talking very seriously to what sounded like Mason’s voice.

“Yes, I get it... I’ll make sure of that, brother.” Definitely Mason. “She will have to... We’ll meet them tonight... Goodnight...We’ll take care.”

“What happened?” I asked.

“We are meeting Stephen and Chris in an hour or so, at this guest house.” He told me, with a wide grin spread across his face, the tired sigh long gone.

Stephen and Chris were “recruited” to our company about three years ago, a month before I came to Port Angeles. They are both twins, two years elder to Roman and I, who fought fierce during our training sessions together. The main reason why they were recruited was because

1. Their father was also a part of our company.

2. They can take down ten guys, without using weapons.

3. They are Roman’s, and now my, best friends.

“OH MY GOD! What are they doing here in New York?” I gasped him, jumping a little in happiness, even though I was a little dazed after that asshole punched a dart into me.

“They are here to keep an eye on the house on Mason’s command.” He said with a shrug.

“But.. I told Mason I don’t need anyone to look after us!” I wailed, my grin turning into a huge frown. I didn’t train three years, just to have two six feet tall bodyguards looming over my house at night.

“Scar. After what happened today afternoon, I cannot leave the house unguarded. With the other three living with us, it’s also putting them in danger.” I sat on the bed, groaning at him. “Think about Rihanna, love. She is pregnant, Scarlet. What if it was her instead of you?”

He had a point there. What if it was Rihanna in place of me? Not only our little secret would have been out, but the baby would have been affected from the poison!

“You’re right..” I nodded at him in agreement. But then.. Oh wait. “Roman. How did you get me out of our house?” I began to panic as I realized he wasn’t even home when all of this happened. In fact, all three of them were there downstairs as I left for my room. What if they saw me before Ro-

“They didn’t see you.” He told me and I let out a sigh. “Come on, let’s get out.” We walked out of the basement, onto the top floor of the fully furnished guest house. “Stephen and Chris got out of the traffic sooner than they expected. They’ll be here in less than fifteen.” he told, as he received a message on his phone.

I sat on the cream couch kept in the middle of the foyer, putting my legs up on the coffee table. “How did you get me out without them noticing?” I asked Roman again.

He came towards me, sitting beside me and it was only then that I noticed how tired he was. Must have been a long day for him. “I don’t know when you were shot but when I came back, Rihanna and Adrian were out for an appointment and Ryder was studying in his room. When I crossed his room, he called me and told me that he was heading to the grocery store. He asked me to ask you whether there was anything you needed as well. So I came up, knocked on your door but you won’t open it. So I opened it myself, just to see you lying on the ground, unconscious with a dart on your collarbone. So I ran down, told Ryder you needed nothing and as soon as he left-”

“You got me here.” I finished for him, nodding. “I did need more chocolate dough ice cream, though.” I commented in a low voice.

“I’ll get you that, but, tell me. Who shot you? Did you-”

“Winters!” My head shot up, pulling my gaze away from Roman to the two boys walking towards us from the main door.

Both of them had a sharp jawline and soft brown eyes and the only way to differentiate between them was the golden streak one of them had on his long hair.

The boy with the golden streak was Stephan and the one with dark brown hair was Chris, Roman and my best friends from the past three years.

“Twins!” Roman sighed, chuckling to himself as I got up and ran to Chris, who was closer to me. He instantly caught me, hugging the life out of me.

“I see, you’re still in one piece, girl.” He commented, eyeing me, as Roman man hugged Stephen. Chris is the happy go lucky one out of the two, you see.

I got out of Chris’s grasp, hugging his twin who was the serious and responsible one, personality wise. “Now now, little bear.” He said, ruffling my hair. “My baby girl needs my help, I heard.” He cooed as I slapped his arm.

“As if.” I snorted at him, turning to Roman. We all sat down on the couches kept in the foyer, with Chris beside me as Stephen sat with Roman across us.

“Now, tell us what you remember-” I cut Chris in between, taking a deep breath.

“I came to my room, intending to check on the suitcase where.. You know..” They all nodded before I could complete. “But I heard someone opening my window so I ran to the closet, and because the light wasn’t switched on, I didn’t see his face but he was all tall and buffy like all bad guys, I suppose.” Both the guys frowned at the stereotype description of a bad guy I had just mentioned.

Hey, you come to Port Angeles and every other guy at home is full tattoos, muscles and frown.

“I meant to run at him, and then slip as he would shoot towards me, but he was really fast as he jumped down, shooting me with that dart. That’s all I remember..”

“I checked the bag. The man took nothing but he managed to open it.”

“He would find bikinis before he could reach the stuff he would need.” I commented, making them all giggle.

“So.. We have a good news and a bad news.” Chris added awhile later in a low cautious voice.

“Good news first.” I told Chris.

“We are going to be living beside you guys.” Wait.. What..

“What?!” I screeched.

“Yup, in order to keep a close eye on you, we searched and the house to your right is on rent. So.. We’ll take that and simultaneously check on the company from here, as well. Which would mean office work for us when you’re attending lectures.” Stephen snorted at us as a wide grin spread across Roman and I.

“That’s great!!” I yelled, hugging Chris who patted my back while groaning at the thought of going to the company office, which is nothing but a basement of a office building from where we supposedly make software but actually, keep an eye on our enemies and their communications. You have computer nerds there along with a few bad guys keeping an eye on them.

“What is the bad news?” Roman asked.

“Actually, we talked to Marcus and.. Well.. We feel.”

“Just spit it out, Stephen.” Roman and I said together. I, in a curious way, whereas Roman in a irritated way.

“Scarlet. This may sound weird but. Marcus and Mason, both feel there is something Ryder is hiding from you guys.”

“Ryder?” I asked, confused. How did Ryder come here. Sure, they knew everything about our housemates but.. Ryder?

“Yes. We cannot directly confront him, but according to the records, he has been contacting someone in Miami who lives inside Jason’s territory. ”

“Wait right there.” I stopped them. “Jason’s territory is in the heart of Miami. It could be someone not involved in his business as well!” I reasoned, refusing to believe that Ryder was also a part of this world.

“Could be. But.. Just to confirm for your own safety, Scar. I think it’s better we take them along with us to Miami.” Chris told me slowly.

“Them? As in all of them?” I asked in surprise. “You do realise that this is harmful for Rihanna! She’s pregnant and what if something happens to her in Miami?!” I reasoned in a loud voice.

“We will make sure nothing will happen, Scarlet. You will be with her, so will Adrian and Chris. And we will make sure she remains with one of us at Mason’s place.” Roman reasoned. Oh, so he knew!

“You knew!” I accused “How-”

“That is not the point, Scarlet.” Roman cut me in.

“You see. As long as you are in Mason’s house, nothing will happen to any of you. You know that better than anyone how protected that house is.” Yes. That kind of technology can’t be messed up by the world’s best hackers and gangsters.

I nodded at them. “But what is our objective there?“ I asked.

“One of us, or more will keep an eye on Ryder because with the amount of communication going between that source and him, we are sure he will visit him, once there. Ryder will not only lead us to that man, but also clarify for us whether he’s dangerous or not.”

“What if he is a part of..” I trailed in a low whisper.

“We’ll have to take him down, then.”

“Okay.” I gently nodded, agreeing to this.

After all, if Ryder was involved in this, he was a major threat to my aim of going to Miami and Rihanna, as well. Because if she was caught up between this mess, she would endanger two lives, not one.

As much as I hated to say this, I had to protect Rihanna.

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