The bed’s getting cold and you’re not here
The future that we hold is so unclear
But I’m not alive until you call
And I’ll bet the odds against it all
Save your advice ’cause I won’t hear
You might be right but I don’t care
There’s a million reasons why I should give you up
But the heart wants what it wants.
~ Selena Gomez
Again? Don’t tell me this was a dream, Scarlet screamed in her mind but when the familiar pain in her abdomen returned, she knew everything that was supposed to go wrong, had gone wrong. The last ten days of her life flash backed like a tsunami wave hitting a city, in front of her eyes. It all came back to her, starting from Roman’s eyes when he had walked away from her that chilly morning and stepped into the car with Mason, then came the memory of hers running through Ryder’s closet and finding a secret room behind his clothes, the pictures in that room of hers, all came back to her. Worst was yet to come when she saw herself getting caught, again and again, and learned how stupid she had been. Later, when Jeremy, Ryder’s father had talked to her and stabbed her. Her worst memory came next, that half day she spent with Ryder on Emerald Rose. No matter how much she tried to wipe it off her eyes, all she saw instead of the white ceiling was the blue sky, which she had stared at while he had torn her apart.
“Scarlet.” A voice called her back and she gently turned to face her left.
“Mase.” She smiled warmly at the rugged face of the man who sat beside her bed on a chair. Now that she gained her vision rightly, she saw her room, lit up in the morning sun, which only made Mason’s face clearer. His expression was a mixture of many as she pointed out happiness, content, but somewhere a mild sadness seeped in through his eyes. “Rome?” She asked immediately. Mason’s eyes expanded, and then his shoulder’s fell back in his place, no more stiff, but defeated.
“Where’s Roman, Mason?” She asked, as the door opened and Rihanna ran her way, enveloping her into a hug.
“Oh god.” She shook her head, her tears dampening the half cut white dress Scarlet was still wearing. Behind her, Adrian took Scarlet into a hug, kissing her forehead and moving away soon, but not before Scarlet saw a treacherous tear escape his eyes. “The doctor’s coming, okay?” Rihanna told her as Lydia Walters walked in. Lydia was the same doctor who had treated Scarlet as a child and later in New York when she had been shot by a mysterious man, who now had a name. Ryder Hunt.
“Hello, Lydia.” Scar spoke up in a monotone.
“Hello, Scarlet. It’s not very good to see you again.” Something was off with Lydia today, everyone noticed. No matter how much of a serious doctor she was with her work, when it came to Scarlet, she would always tsk tsk and tell her to stop getting hurt. The air was still today, and Scarlet and Lydia were the only ones who knew the reason. Scarlet, too scared to admit, Lydia too traumatized to tell Mason and others about it. Somehow, Roman not being here to hear it out made it better.
“I checked her up about ten minutes before you came, Mason.” She began as Mason got up, signalling him to remain seated.
“Her wounds aren’t septic, I hope.” Adrian asked.
“What about the thigh wound?” Mason added.
“It’s al-alright.” Lydia nodded nervously.
“Doctor, is everything alright?” Rihanna asked, as she caught the doctor hesitating. Ignoring Rihanna, Lydia’s eyes travelled to Scarlet, who gave her a slow nod, gulping loudly before Lydia began. Even though she had done this a lot many times before, telling about Scarlet would be the most difficult thing in her twenty year long career as a doctor.
“Scarlet.. I..” She began, flattering in the beginning but then, closed her eyes and gulped before starting again. “Everything is alright with her wounds, but.. When I was going through a close examination of her.. Female parts to see if she had any wound near them, I.. Ran some tests a few minutes back too... And..”
“Will somebody please tell me what’s going on?!” Mason roared, losing his patience.
“I HAVE BEEN RAPPED!” A voice snapped back at him, silencing everyone in the room, including the doctor and Mason.
Scarlet fell back on the bed, taking a deep breath as tears welled in her eyes. It was okay to cry after this torture, wasn’t it? But when a few tears had left her eyes, she began to cry loudly, not able to control the strong emotions anymore while everyone around her remained quiet. Rihanna stood frozen beside her bed, her back towards Scarlet as she breathed heavily, where Adrian fell down on the chair next to him, holding onto its hand support to maintain his sanity whereas Lydia stood with her head bowed down, the file with Scarlet’s reports falling from her hands. Mason, was a different story altogether. In these few hours, he had lost his brother to, God knows whom and now had heard his brother’s girlfriend, the girl he had raised as his own sibling, rapped all because he was slow enough to get her back. “Ryder did this?” Rihanna asked in a low, serious voice and Scarlet nodded, tears not stopping for a second.
“Can you do us a favor, Scarlet?” Adrian asked, breathing in loudly as he got up. “You too, Mase.” Mason’s head sprung up as he nodded.
“Kill him.” Rihanna spat. “Kill my brother and my father. Kill them all for all I care.”
The sea swallowed the sun ahead of her, the sand becoming softer below her feet as a warm breeze made her top fly sideways, exposing her pregnant belly. She pressed her hand against it, feeling her baby in there as a small tap came on her shoulder.
“Here.” Scarlet sent a small smile her way, handing her a glass of chocolate milkshake while holding her own.
“Why are you out of the bed?” Rihanna asked her, giving her body a look. She had cleaned up and changed into a black t-shirt dress and slipped into her black vans.
“Don’t worry, Rihanna. I don’t.. Feel any pain.” She told her with a smile. Of course, she didn’t feel the physical pain anymore, that was a good thing, Rihanna thought but by that if she meant mental pain too then, it wasn’t a good thing. Rihanna, after getting to know everything about Scarlet’s family knew that she would be fine no matter what she had been through but no one deserved to be so hurt that they would stop feeling emotionally too. Rihanna couldn’t see Scarlet becoming that person, she just couldn’t.
“I can’t apologize enough for what my brother-”
“Your doctor’s here for checkup, baby.” Adrian called out to her from behind Scarlet, cutting her in between as she nodded at Scarlet and then walked away. “I hope the baby’s fine.” Adrian commented as soon as she was out of hearing range.
“Me too.” Scarlet breathed out. “I wish I could send her out of the country or something. It’s too messy for her to stay here.”
“I.. I was thinking about that.” Adrian nodded. “My dad, his mother stays in Barcelona.. I was thinking we could-”
“Stop thinking, Adrian.” Scarlet said, turning to him. “There’s no time for thinking anymore. You need to take her before I find Roman, before there is a full out war in our world.” She pleaded, taking his hands in hers.
“I can’t leave you here, Scar. I let you go once when I hit you, then when I made you run away from New York. For once, let me be the brother I was to you!” He argued, pulling his hand out of hers and sitting on the fallen log beside them.
“Adrian. You’re going to become a father soon but for that you need to protect the mother and the child. Forget about me, I’ll be fine on my own. I have a home here, I need you to find yours where you are safe.” She tried to reason with him.
He silenced for a minute but then got up and held her face in his hands, looking straight into her eyes before saying, “I’ll talk to Rihanna. I’ll try to tell her about this, but if she doesn’t agree..” He trailed, his mind debating whether he really wanted to leave her along here or not. He had a sister on one hand, and Rihanna on another, but any idiot would know that protecting a baby was more important than protecting a girl coming from generations of gangsters. She would hold her own, for now.
“You’ll reason with her.” She told him sternly. “You’re not doing this for yourself, Adrian. She’s not doing this for herself. You’re doing it for my goddaughter, goddammit!” She whisper yelled into his face, tears threatening in her pale eyes.
“You’re right.” He whispered, nodding his head, pulling his sister into a hug. “When did you grow up, cousin?” He chuckled, with a throat full of emotions.
“I don’t know, Ryan. But I don’t like it either. It’s a trap, growing up.” She mumbled against his chest, reminding how she had been as a six year old when somebody stole her robot. She wasn’t the one to play with dolls, ever.
“Remember the times when I refused to come after getting drunk?” He asked, out of the blue.
“You never came home after any party.” Scarlet countered.
“Because I was scared that I would either hit you more to take out the frustration of the voices of my mother which would demand me to hit you every other week. It was a routine. If I didn’t supposedly hit you, I would tell you everything which won’t be appropriated by Ryder’s father who demanded that out of me. Now that I think, if I had stood up to him there, he won’t have laid a hand on you. I could have done something, anything to protect you and Rihanna.” Adrian said, softly as the memories of his past pained him.
“It was a bad time for us, Ryan. I wouldn’t waste my time to think about it again. All I see right now, is you trying to protect me and me trying to protect you and Rihanna. Also, my niece or nephew who’ll greet us soon. I just want to bring that child up in an atmosphere which is different from the one here.” Scarlet admitted, placing her head on Adrian’s collarbone.
“Don’t worry, it’s just an eclipse, for now. Push the moon away, yeah?” He asked her, pulling away to look into her eyes. After she nodded in reply, he stepped back, not leaving her eyes as he took a few more steps back.
“Come back home, now.” He told her. Even though she nodded at him, as soon as Scarlet turning back to the sea, she whispered to herself that there was no home without Rome. It won’t feel home, not here, not in New York, not even in Seattle.
“Call Richard.” She spoke into her iPhone, as soon as he was out of sight. “Richard?” She spoke into the phone as he picked it up after two rings.
Richard James was the man behind her making. His name, obviously fake, wasn’t disclosed to even Roman. He was Scarlet’s account manager and basically gave her everything she wanted, information, contacts, news updates, even weather forecast if she needed any.
“Good Evening, Ma’am.” He replied in his business tone. “What can I do for you?”
“I hope you got your monthly check.” She asked him, drawing a house with her finger into the sand as she leaned down, ignoring the little pain she felt in her abdomen.
“I did.” He replied.
“Add another zero to the end, then. Because I have loads of work for you.” She spoke into the phone and heard his laptop switch on.
“One, Book Adrian and Rihanna two flights to Barcelona.”
“Two, I need you to transfer Roman and my college courses to any university in Barcelona.”
“Will search about that and let you know soon.” She felt him nod.
“Thirdly, I want three of my men stationed in Barcelona, just beside where Rihanna and Adrian will go.” She asked him, knowing he would call back Chris and ask him, Stephen and any other one of their choice to leave for Barcelona. They were the only ones who had a little idea about who Richard was.
“Any clue about where they would?”
“Adrian’s paternal grandmother.” She told him.
“I’ll look her address up.” He nodded, typing furiously.
“Lastly, I want you to find me a good, comfortable two bedroom house near them and get Roman and my papers ready to leave by tomorrow night.”
“I’ll book you both a flight.” He told her, but before cutting the call, his business tone slipped out. “How are you, Scarlet?” He asked, cautiously.
“I don’t know, Richard. I really don’t.” She answered honestly.
“I’ll handle this stuff here. Pull yourself together, yeah? Don’t want your mother to see you all battered up from up there, now do we?” He asked in his thick British accent as Scarlet smiled to herself. He would always give her a little pep talk like a father or grandfather, rather.
“Yes, Rick. Thank you.” She smiled once again before asking him about his family back home and cutting the call.
“What happened to Roman?”
“Honestly, I don’t know.” Mason breathed out, sipping his black coffee, whereas Scarlet, now wrapped up in a pair of jeans and a plain black shirt of Roman’s, sat beside him, near the pool side of their house, only staring at her iced tea.
“Where did you lose him?” She asked in a mechanical voice, emotions very distant to her.
“I found you in a shack-”
“Beside the wooden boardwalk. Yeah.” Scarlet nodded, finally taking a sip, while looking ahead at the horizon, plans budding in her mind.
“Roman had told us that he had found you about fifteen minutes before this. So, trusting him, I ran down from the house, but I found him nowhere. He wasn’t anywhere there, Scarlet and the last thing I heard was a scream in my microphone, his scream, as if he had been hit.” For a minor second, her heart skipped a beat and her throat readied itself to cut itself open in a scream of its own but she pressed her nails to her palm and calmed herself down. He wasn’t dead, he couldn’t be dead, she kept on telling herself. “Later, in the shack after I rescued you, I found a little blood which we later found to be his. He hadn’t bled enough to die, in fact according to the FBI guys, who found a rod somewhere ahead of the shack, they said it wouldn’t kill him at all, only injure his head or forehead or wherever they hit him. So chill, we’ll find him in time.”
Just like you found me. She snapped but then reminded herself that Roman’s own brother would do anything to save him and she could trust him with this.
“Sir!” A man came running, followed by Chris, who had earlier met Scarlet with his brother and apologized to her again and again.
“Scar.” Stephen called out, as she got up from her bed, clumsily while Chris caught her hand to steady her.
“We.. Heard about..” Chris, for once, hesitated in his speech.
“About me getting rapped? Yea. I heard that too.” She chuckled without a hint of humor. “Petty way to lose your virginity, but, okay. I was getting too old. Don’t wanna die a Virgin, do we?” She shrugged, letting her hand slip away from Chris’s and walking to the bathroom to wash her face.
“We are very sorry for whatever happened, Scarlet. You depended on us for it and we.. Screwed up so bad.” Stephen continued as Scarlet hummed and they sat on either side of the basin while she squeezed her scrub out and applied it to her face in order to remove every trace of Ryder from it.
“Hmm...” She nodded and they continued.
“See, I believe it’s because of us that it’s all screwed up and.. If it wasn’t us.. Rome would be here and.. You won’t be hurt.. If there’s anything..” He trailed, a soft tears escaping his eyes after years and years of being the strong guy he was.
“I have never felt this guilty, Scar-”
“Guys!” She yelled a little loudly, washing off her face. “Stop the sob story here.” She snapped. “Do you realize it was my idea? My fault-”
“Ours.” The twins said in unison.
“Okay, ours. But.. There is no point talking about it now but.. What you can do, is find me Rome, okay? Wherever he is, whatever happened to him, I want to know!” She yelled, more tears falling off her eyes. “I want to know if he’s even dead but GIVE ME AN ANSWER!” She broke, falling on the marbled floor of her bathroom as the boys jumped down to catch her.
“Half an hour, Scarlet.” Chris mumbled, wiping his own tears as well as those of Scarlet.
“We will find him for you in half an hour, I swear. No matter how many laws have to be broken or how many FBI geeks I need to work with.. We will find him.” Stephen told her, hugging her small body tightly.
“That bastard is coming back home, I promise you. I didn’t become a waiter on your first date for nothing, okay?!” Chris yelled, making three of them laugh, probably for the first time in ten days.
“I know where he is... I mean, not Roman, but I know where Ryder is.” Chris said, breathing out heavily as if he had ran.
“Where?” Mason and Scarlet demanded immediately.
“Like a fool, that idiot has come back to his house in Miami, ten minutes back and is at his place. An insider told me that he’s moving something from his room?” Stephen added, coming behind Scarlet.
“My photographs.” She whispered. “He had a room full of them behind his closet.”
“What even?!” Mason snapped.
“We don’t have time for what even, guys!” Chris added hurriedly. “If you guys don’t leave in the next few minutes with us, we’ll lose this opportunity! Their house is basically guardless right now ever since they learned that we are currently working with FBI to track the Carter’s down.” He told them.
“Half of them have run to Brazil, throwing their fake passport away or left the gang. Which means, if we don’t get them here, in the States, it’ll be impossible to get them in their own territory in Br-” Before Stephen could finish, Mason and Scarlet nodded at themselves and ran towards the house.
“Be down in five minutes! Get the cars out, and get about twenty men with you, Chris!” He yelled as Scarlet ran to her room, slipping into her shoes before running to her closet. No one could stop her from killing that bastard now, she thought to herself, flipping her phone on. “Damon?” She called the FBI official.
“We have found Ryder. Call Chris and ask details but gather a few men and meet us at his place in Miami.”
“I’m leaving Miami tonight but.. URGH.. SCREW IT. DON’T MOVE IN WITHOUT US.” He yelled into the phone, cutting it later as Scarlet threw hers on the bed.
Below the pile of clothes on her right, rested the locket she had bought Roman and herself. He had asked her to keep it while he went on that business trip and promised to wear it only on their next date and she had made that promise too. Now, she pulled it out and wore both of them, each name resting on her chest as she closed the door, running into Rihanna in the corridor.
“You’re going?” She asked slowly, not meeting her eyes. But Scarlet made her face her own eyes.
“Rihanna. I am late but I want to tell you that I love you and you’re my best friend even though you were a bitch earlier. You may hate me after I kill your brother, but please don’t. Thank you for allowing me to do something I always wanted to do. I love you. Please don’t be guilty of something your brother did, not you.” She babbled, kissing Rihanna’s cheeks who yelled an I love you too, Bestie as Scarlet ran down the corridor and straight into the open door of Mason’s car.
“Bullet proof vest, two guns and extra bullets.” He yelled, throwing a bag to her as she zipped it open.
“Ryder is so dead.”
The man’s eyes opened, as he heard a few footsteps coming towards him.
“Oh shit, you’re finally awake, thank God, man!” The brunette guy beside him, also tied down like him, yelled into his face, hurting his head a little more than required.
“W-what?” He asked, confused at his situation. Why was he in a.. Jail? Why was he even tied down? “Where am I?”
“Are you for real? You’re in Carter’s underground jail facility or something from the past few hours, man!” He told him, shrugging.
“Who are you?” He snapped at the guy who was really getting on his nerves now.
“What even?” The guy chuckled. “A very good place to joke, but you see, I have been from the past one month so, I could use some humor but you better help me get out of here, because HELLO! I AM HERE BECAUSE OF YOU AND-”
“That’s enough, Mr. Preston.” He looked up, to see an old guy with steel gray hair standing on the other side of the little closed cubicle they were in. In a swift move, he opened the gate and two men came and picked the guy beside him, Mr. Preston as the old man had called him up.
“Hey! JAMES! WHERE AM I GOING!? I GAVE YOU THE INFORMATION ON SCARLET FROM PORT ANGELES! I GOT YOU EVERY DEATAIL! PLEASE!” He yelled, while the man stood there, confused and still tied down.
“You’re not needed anymore, Matt.” The old man chuckled.
“NO! DON’T LISTEN TO A THING HE SAYS, ROMAN!” The guy told him but the man didn’t acknowledge him.
“Roman?” He questioned.
“You liked that name.” The old man shrugged.
“Wait. What’s.. What’s my name?” The man asked, not able to place anything, anymore. His mind swirled, as if he had drunk loads and loads of beers, nothing was in place.
“My son, the doctor told me about it. You had an accident all because of your new driver, Matt and are suffering from an amnesia but don’t worry, your memories will come back.” The old man tsked. “Your name’s Ryder and I am your father, James Carter Hunt.” The man told him with a smile.
“How can I believe you if I have had an amnesia?” The man asked, debating whether the guy in front of him lied or not.
“How can you not? You’re the heir to the biggest gang in the world, my son. Everyone knows you, even if you don’t!” He chuckled. “Get the pictures!” He called out to a man who handed him a tab.
“This is me?” He asked, looking at the small boy in this old man’s arms, in the picture on the tab.
“Yes. That’s you.” The man said lovingly. After that, he showed him pictures of him shooting a man down, on the streets of New York City, a picture of him entering a club with Matt with his hair colored blonde. “You did color them blonde, but don’t worry, they are black now.” The old man laughed.
“I guess that’s me, then.” He shrugged, believing the man because nothing seemed in place for him right now. “Ryder Hunt, you said?”
“Yes, son. But don’t worry, I’ll train you to be like him.. Again, I mean.” The man, his father told him, asking his men to free him and take him to his room.
James, later entered a new room, not a prison room but a doctor’s clinic, somewhere two floors above the underground facility. Roman Jonathan would be being brainwashed right now, the hit on his head and the few other drugs would make him believe anything right now. His mind was so vulnerable right now, that he would believe any crap he was told like a child.
“What are the chances of his memories coming back?” He asked the doctor.
“Less than 1%, to be honest, Sir. He would need something very strong to pull him back from his amnesia.”
“Which I won’t give him. Of course. He won’t ever step into the United States of America again, then.” He laughed him himself, whereas the same time, Roman, who stood above him on another floor, looked around his new room.
“Scarlet from Port Angeles.” He kept on mumbling. “Who are you?” He asked himself.
“Who is Scarlet?”