I got ice in my veins,
Blood in my eyes,
Hate in my heart,
And Love on my mind.
Houses on fire.
Sirens burning the ears.
The whole place was a modern war zone. Everything, destroyed to pieces and more vandalized as clouds roared in the night, silenced by the firings.
Thud. Thud. Thud.
The last three men in front of her fell down, but she wasn’t the one who had shot them.
“Is your gun not working?!” Mason yelled, as she pulled her dagger out of the third man’s throat. The other two had been shot by him, not her gun or dagger.
“It is.” She told him, cleaning the blood off her dagger, as a few FBI officials ran beside her, towards another street. There were hardly thirty men left on the streets which belonged to the Carters, and these would be easily killed by them. They had a team of ten men from FBI and twenty of their own, excluding Mason, Scarlet, the twins and Damon. “I am saving all my bullets for that bastard up there.” She said, pointing at the house, up the street.
“Use them before they shoot you, God.” He snapped at her, running towards the house.
“Cover me, will you?!” She yelled at Stephen who gunned down a few men in front of him.
“Coming! You start running upwards!” She threw another dagger at the man, in front of her before he could shoot her, right in her forehead. Everywhere she turned, she saw bodies, fire and broken vehicles. It wasn’t even a proper “gang war”, but trust me, you don’t want to see this and feel good either. Hardly a man from their side has been killed, but about a dozen of them have already died.
“STEPHEN!” She screamed, pulling her dagger out and taking cover behind a vehicle as he shouted at her, to duck. Behind her a bomb went off, exploding the house and destroying it to pieces. Thanks to the cover, she got only a few scratches on her arm. “I am okay!” She gritted her teeth, looking at the dead bodies of two of her men being pulled out of there.
I guess Ryder won’t get all the shots. Tsk Tsk.
“Bloody idiots!” She snapped, loading her first gun and shooting at the man who threw the bomb earlier. As she wanted, he dropped to the ground. Another one who came running with a machine gun was gunned down by her, before he could even look sideways to look at her.
Advantages of being short and shady. Ahah.
“Move!” Chris snapped, pushing her until she began to run to the next car, while he gunned down a man before he could shoot at them.
“Hardly ten left, I suppose?” She asked him, just when a truck left the gates of Ryder’s house. It began to drive in full speed from the street above when she pulled the microphone out of Chris’s mouth.
“EVERYONE. CLEAR THE STREET, RIGHT NOW.” Scarlet yelled into it as the cars reversed and parked themselves on the footpaths. The truck was hardly a hundred meters away from them when she took aim, taking a deep breath in as she pulled the trigger and Chris pushed her away from the street and instructed everyone to be careful.
The truck zoomed, not expecting someone to burst its tiers. It’s engine roared one last time before it ran into a house, a loud boom going around as it stopped and then tumbled a little but steadied itself. The back door popped on, as someone helped the driver out.
“Kill him.” She instructed and soon a shot was fired in his forehead.
“You.” Stephen asked a man from the FBI. “Open the door.” He pointed and two men pulled it apart with a wrench. Torches lighted up, as they searched inside the truck.
As expected, Ryder walked out, his hands behind his back and a smug smile on his face.
“He has the nerve to smile.” Mason spat, running to the truck entrance while removing his earpiece and throwing a punch on his face. “HOW DARE YOU?!” He roared, but Ryder’s eyes remained glued to Scar’s.
They both looked at each other for about ten minutes, while he kept on getting punched and Mason kept on swearing at him. He didn’t leave her eyes, and couldn’t leave his but Scarlet was sure he thought she didn’t look into them lovingly. No, she didn’t look at them with any love.
She looked into his eyes because she won’t see those blue orbs anymore after a few minutes. She looked into his eyes because with their end, would come the end of all this mess and she would have her Roman back. As she would sit and see this man get have a torture session, she knew she would laugh and scream at his face until he would return her Roman.
“You know, as a good officer, I should take this man to Washington and get him a proper trial. But.. No..” Damon shrugged beside her. “I cannot let you not kill him. My men will understand after hearing what Mason has been screaming about. They will lie for me that he was killed in a shootout, because..” Damon then turned to face her. “You earned this, Scarlet. You deserve to kill him your own way and find Roman with his help. I don’t want to involve any law or politics here. Just revenge.” He told her, handing her his own gun.
“Your gun?” Scarlet asked, as Mason swung another punch to Ryder’s face, asking him about Roman, again and again. “It’ll sound more realistic if I say that I killed him and not.. You-”
“I get that.” She nodded. “Thank you.. I mean, this must be a little dangerous in your profession but..”
“Don’t thank me, Scarlet. Meredith and I both feel that you should be the one to kill him, not the court.” He then turned to his men and yelled. “Everyone, leave. We’ll have a meeting soon.”
She saw Damon walking away, and then stopping near the cars to brief his men as she turned to Ryder who was being handcuffed and still looked at her, not uttering a word.
“Mason. Take him to our basement, please.” She told him, going back to her car. She slipped into the car seat, taking a deep breath as a tear escaped her eyes. Her heart pumped loudly, not allowing her to drive anymore until she didn’t. She got out of her car, violently closing the door and stopping the men who were dragging Ryder out.
“STOP!” She yelled, getting questioning looks from Chris and Stephen.
She half ran to Ryder, immediately falling to her knees in front of him, and pressing her lips to his in a kiss, shocking everyone beside them, including Ryder himself. She didn’t care if they judged her right now because this needed to happen. Her arms swung around him, pressing their chests together and leaving both of them breathless. “Ryder.” She moaned, pulling him back.
“Baby, I promised you, didn’t I? I promised to get you back.” He chuckled lovingly, kissing her cheeks as she immediately signaled everyone to back off with her hands from Ryder’s back. Mason, out of his trance, instructed everyone to back off and they will immediately took a few steps back while Chris screamed profanities in his own mind, which was too immature to realize her plan, until Stephen hit his head.
“I know, sweetheart and you didn’t lie.” She muttered, cleaning a lone tear which fell from his blue eyes. “I promise to get you out, okay? But.. You need to tell them where Roman is.. Or they won’t leave you or me.” She cooed at him.
“Roman?! Why would I tell them where Roman is?!” He snapped at her.
“BECAUSE I NEED TO GET YOU OUT OF HERE, RYDER!” She screamed at his face and then took a deep breath. “Remember our time on the beach before they came?” She asked him expectantly.
“Oh yes.” He smirked, back in his own mad man trance and Scarlet could only feel pity for him. His obsession was a real mental disease.
“They took me after that, Ryder.” She mumbled, hugging his chest and laying her head on his nape. “And when they treated my wounds, do you know what the doctor told me?” She whispered into his ears, for only him to hear.
“What? I hope they didn’t hurt you, baby. I would kill-”
“She told me, that.. After our little time on the beach, I am going to be a mother.” She spoke every word carefully until he stiffened below her.
“No. No. No.” He kept on mumbling.
“Yes, baby. I am pregnant.” She laughed into his ears. “And.. We’ll have a family soon!” She told him as he began to wail and kiss her cheeks violently, totally under the trance. “But.. You need to tell them where Roman is if you want them to let us go. I.. I have everything planned.” She asked him, rubbing his cheeks slowly as Mason tapped his foot violently, losing his patience. There was a good chance, she could be honest about this pregnancy, a very very good chance and all of them knew that.
“Scarlet.. You’ll need to lie to them.” Ryder whispered slowly to her as it began to drizzle around them. “I don’t know where Roman is, honestly, because James, my uncle took him. I have no idea where he would be right now because he is pissed at me after everything I did-”
Everyone stepped back as a gunshot was fired and rain began to pore from the dark sky above. Ryder’s lifeless body fell, silencing everyone, even the dying man himself as he slumped down, his head first. Scarlet got up, rage burning in her eyes as she raised her gun up to his body and shot him in his head, once, twice, thrice. She pierced his body, the same way he had pierced hers, throwing bullets everywhere around him, in his head, in his throat. She didn’t care if no one could recognize him anymore. This man needed to be wiped out from the face of this earth for her, right now. She would feel a little bad for letting go this easily, to end it all but he was useless now anyway.
“Why did you kill him?” Chris screamed, pointing at the dead body.
“Because he’s no good anymore. He, honestly doesn’t know where Roman is.” She whispered, falling on the footpath and resting her head on the lamp post beside her. “We have lost him to James Carter. He could be anywhere. Six feet under, or on the other side of the world, but not in USA, of course.” She babbled, tears dripping away one by one. A scream left her throat after a few seconds as she felt her sanity push itself away from her. The rain, dropping at her with a full force only pierced her more, as Mason fell down on the road himself and Chris began to call his agents, in order to find Carter.
They all knew they never would.
She had lost Roman for a really long time now. Nothing, not even going to Brazil would bring him back safely to her anymore. All the promises would claw her out from inside. Everything would burn in her head, because he.. He won’t let her go this easily and she would never stop the search for him.
The road ahead will have dead ends. A lot of them.
The mourning was over.
Miami was a long way behind them, but only physically. The mental scars would remain, so would a few physical ones on her body. It had been almost half a month of intensive searching and debating, until she decided that the best thing for her was to get out of here.
Basically, do what she did the best, runaway.
Her Christmas, long gone and forgotten, wrapped up in a blanket with a box of tissues, would never be the same, she knew.
Somehow, the winters would always remind her of the most cold period in her life.
Somehow, she would always blame herself for losing what she loved the most.
“Scarlet?” Rihanna asked. “His parents are here.” She told her and Scarlet only nodded.
A few days back, she had given up on “mourning” and asked Richard for another flight ticket. This time, only for her, Adrian, Rihanna and Maddie, Roman’s sister. They stood in their new house in Barcelona now after having left everything behind and getting Stephan, Chris and Jones, their old friend, a house beside them. Maddie was stubborn to leave, telling her how the place in Seattle would remind her of her brother, again and again.
“I’m coming.” She told her, pulling her last jacket and placing it in her wardrobe.
When she walked down, Cara and Marcus were already seated in her newly furnished living room, which she had set up before, adding a few pictures of herself, Maddie’s and only on Maddie’s demands, Roman’s. Cara looked at one of them, a picture of Roman on his graduation day with his arms wrapped around Scarlet as she kissed his cheek and he had his tongue pulled down in a mock expression. From far away, Scarlet saw a tear drop on the frame, realising that she still wasn’t over her son’s disappearance, unlike Scarlet who was ready to start a new life.
A new life? Ready?
Whom was she kidding here? She had lost her sanity for the man in that picture, just to spend a life in this warm two bedroom, sea facing house, with him. How optimistic she had been for once when they found Ryder, that she would find Roman too. But she didn’t, all because of her own fault.
No matter, how less she had cried in the past few days, every night when it would be time for her to kiss Maddie goodnight and lock her room, she would fall down and hold her head, begging the tears to come out, so that the frustration won’t build up in her head and explode it. The warmth in her heart which she felt when he touched her, never returned, even when she pressed a hot cup of coffee to her chest, almost burning it. Almost as if, it was so cold that nothing could melt it.
But she needed to be strong right now, the same way she was when she lost her parents and then Adrian started to bully her.
If not for herself, she had a teenager under her roof who needed all her support after losing her brother. She needed to do this for Maddie.
“Scarlet.” Marcus, who was visibly stronger than her about this, called her out pulling her into a hug. By that time, from the corner of her eyes, Scarlet looked at Cara, wiping her tears away and pulling a smile. “Everything’s set, I see.” He commented.
“Thanks to you, Cara.” She replied, hugging her.
“Anything for my baby.” Cara told her with a smile, her eyes concentrating on the small picture hung behind Scarlet, of Roman, Scarlet and Maddie from Maddie’s surprise birthday party for her 15th birthday. “If you guys are done adjusting her then, Marcus and I will be leaving soon.”
“What?” Scarlet asked. “You’re leaving so soon?” She asked them.
“I am sorry but.. Work.” Marcus shrugged, typing furiously on his phone.
Ever since Roman had disappeared, Marcus had thrown himself to work, so had Mason who would refuse to talk to anyone but handle the company. Some said, he became more furious and more strict after that and killed those who defied him, immediately but Scarlet knew, even though he was a little uptight and serious now, he would not just kill anyone. Adrian and Rihanna, who now lived on the other side of the street from hers, were concentrating on college and their baby, only. Adrian’s mother had disappeared from the face of this earth when Ryder’s father, Jeremy Carter was caught by Damon and sentenced for life imprisonment after he refused to disclose any details of his brother’s whereabouts.
Hence, another lead on Roman died.
“Oh.. Okay. Don’t worry, I’ll be fine with Maddie here.”
“Take care, both of you.” Marcus said, hugging Maddie and kissing her forehead. “Don’t try anything stupid, please. Stephan and Chris will always report to me.” He told them sternly before Cara bid her last goodbyes and they left the house.
“Wow. Okay.” Maddie breathed out as she sat on the bar stool in their kitchen and ate the toast Scarlet made for her, while making her own.
“Ready for school, then?” Scarlet asked her.
“Urgh. Yeah. Sophomore year, or whatever is left of it, better treat me good.” She told her, throwing her bag over her shoulder while taking another bite.
“I’ll go to college around 10. And I have a class at 3, but don’t worry I’ll keep the lunch packed for you in the fridge. Just heat it up.. ” Scarlet told her, mumbling to herself. “Also, if you get time, put your clothes in the basement, so that I can put them to wash later in the evening.. And, what am I missing? Oh yeah, I’ll take you shopping tomorrow afternoon, I promise for the lights for our rooms and the clothes you needed-”
“Scarlet!” Maddie yelled, silencing her. They both stopped, Scarlet taking a deep breath before realizing that she was stressing a little too much. “Don’t be so hard on yourself.” Maddie told her, her voice breaking in the end as Scarlet immediately wiped a tear from the corner of her eyes.
“I’m not.. Okay, maybe I am. But.. I’ll be fine, Maddie.” She chuckled, but both of them knew there wasn’t anything funny about it. Maddie got up and walked around the table to give her a hug and thanks to her height, she comfortably held Scarlet’s body as a couple of sobs left her. Her whole body wrecked of them, as she cursed herself for losing it right in the morning.
“I thought I told you not to be strong for both of us.” Maddie told her. “We both loved him, okay? It’s not like I am the only who lost something. You deserve to cry, as much as I do.” Maddie said, patting her back.
“But.. Its all my fault.” She whispered into her ears. “It’s all my fault, Maddie-”
“NO IT’S NOT!” Maddie yelled, running to her bag, after pulling away from the hug. “Here.” she said, sternly. “I want you to consult this woman. She’s a therapist and trust me, you need her, not to handle me, but to keep yourself sane.” She said, handing her the card before her making her sit on the stool. “Don’t you get it, Scar? You’re more than a sister to me. And I cannot see you like this. It’s okay to cry but it’s not okay to lock your door every night and expect me to not hear you cry to yourself. You even yell in your sleep but.. No one can help you but yourself. Go, meet her, talk to her. It’s not like your business is dying and you don’t have money.” She told her, leaving the room, not before kissing her forehead and telling her, “Don’t try to deny the fact that you loved him, because when you do, you’ll only hurt more.”
Feel it furiously, until it doesn’t affect you anymore, Scarlet muttered in her head, completing the sentence for Maddie who reminded of the one thing Mason had always told three of them.
I wish you had been here to see Maddie grow into a beautiful woman, Roman.
“Oh my god.” Scarlet whispered, holding the bundle carefully. “I.. I can’t...” She told Adrian, who asked her to sit on the chair beside Rihanna.
“Scarlet, she doesn’t bite.” Rihanna chuckled.
“I know. I know.” Scarlet muttered, combing her little hair gently with her hand. “She.. She has your eyes, Aid.” She whispered, pressing a kiss on the baby girl’s forehead.
“But she’s going to be a hot blonde like me, haha.” Rihanna commented, earning a scowl from Adrian.
“I can’t believe this.” Scarlet chuckled carefully, holding the baby’s small finger. A tear escaping her eyes as she looked at the beautiful child in her arms.
“So, what’s the name?” Stephen asked, standing above Chris who couldn’t help but be freaked out after hearing Rihanna scream nonstop for hours.
“Isabella Rome Winters.” Rihanna said, pronouncing each word slowly as they all saw Scarlet stiffen and a tear threaten itself.
But it’s been five months since he disappeared, almost four since they moved to Spain. Also, four months since Scarlet had thrown herself to work become a homemaker, an English major student, a mother figure to Maddie and had taken up on her duties as the godmother of her godchild and her mother.
Also, four months since her therapy had started after Maddie had recommended it to her.
She was fine now, she told herself again and again as a smile pulled up from her lips. “That’s beautiful, isn’t it, Bella?” She chuckled, kissing the child one last time and handing it to her father.
“Thank you, I guess. Roman would love it.” She commented, her voice straight.
He would love to be here and hold his godchild too.