Three Years Later.
B R A Z I L
“Where are you running to, huh?” He asked, removing his punching gloves and placing them aside to run on the treadmill.
“Oh, nothing. Boss got some work for me up north, Ryd.” Jason, a new recruit in his early twenties with dirty blonde hair and gray eyes replied.
“Boss got some work for everyone up north except me, man.” Ryder mocked at his best friend.
“It’s not like that, dude. He wants you to handle things here.” He shrugged.
“What’s to handle when you’re taking the whole gang up north? Is this a major attack?” He asked, throwing his hood down from his head and beginning to run after increasing the speed.
“I guess so. Boss said-”
“You can call him Carter in front of me, God.” Ryder remarked.
“Carter.. ” He said, correcting himself. “Said that he’ll brief us once we reach there. I am the last one to leave, anyway.” He shrugged.
“I really want to come, man. I have not been allowed to go once up north and if this is major, I want to come with you guys to USA too.” He told him. “I am really, the best you mutts have.” He chuckled.
“I wish you could, dude. But.. Your dad’s orders. Not yours.” Jason said, throwing his head up.
“I’ll try to talk to him.” He suggested. “This time, I got to.”
How many times had he tried to ask his father and others who was in Port Angeles, but they remained confused at his question. He was the only one who knew of that place, it seemed. But no, he had searched and it was a real place in USA’s West Coast. And it was here that he would find Scarlet, whoever she was. He needed answers to a question only he knew about. Rest all, had no idea what he would talk about.
“I’m going to him.” He told Jase, jumping out to run to his father’s office which was across the hall.
Before he could enter, he took a trip to the room beside his father’s office, which was also a connected washroom to the office, as well as to the hallway. “Let’s get this sweat of your face first, eh?” He told himself, while staring into the mirror and throwing water on his face. Unlike the man he had seen, three years ago, in this very mirror, Ryder had changed a lot. His hair weren’t black anymore, but he chose to color them brunette with a few black highlights here and there. His eyes, the same, were clearer now, because he promised his father to give up on drinking, which had led to the accident.
He had no memory of anything before the accident, not even his own name but a face. All he remembered was a face when he didn’t even remember his own. A girl’s face is what he saw again and again, almost everywhere. In his sleep, during his college lectures, during his training or even during killing a man on the streets of Rio. He saw her, just her, everywhere.
There was a good chance that she could be this Scarlet from Port Angeles, but who knew? All he saw was a brunette, her hair tattered in a mess as if she had just woken up. Her arm, bandaged and a bag in her hand, as she looked into his eyes through her green ones. She stood somewhere, a porch of a house he had never recognized. He shook his head, allowing the memory to pass away as he gave his face one last look in the mirror.
“Dad-” He called out from the washroom, as he walked to open the door but stopped when he heard him on a call.
“Yes, Dave.” His father said, leaving Ryder a little confused about who Dave was. “Thank you for all of it. I’ll meet you in Seattle then?” His father asked on phone.
Seattle is near Port Angeles, Ryder’s mind screamed at him.
“The bookings for the ship are done, I suppose? For all my men! Thank you.. Thank you.. Yes, I’ll take care of that, just make sure we get past there and enter Port Angeles without any information leaking out to Marcus Jonathan.” His father said, but because of some reason, he felt he had heard the name before. Marcus Jonathan. Marcus Jonathan. Jonathan.
Jonathan and Winters, said a voice in his head as he shrugged. What did he just think? A name? Who are they?
Winters. Jonathan, he kept on mumbling but nothing came back to him except the fact that they were also in Port Angeles, just like Scarlet. Were they related to his past, somehow? Because he felt a strong sense of knowing them almost immediately.
“I want to uproot then, finally. Kill their leader so that all around Europe and North America, they disintegrate. They don’t have much protection and men in Port Angeles, but my master plan will get my men there... You have talked to that Japanese gang for free escape, right?” The voice of his father slowed as Ryder ran past the corridor, up to his room.
More than ever, be needed to go to Port Angeles now.
“Sir, would you like anything else? Tea? Coffee?”
“No, thanks!” Ryder told the air hostess who asked him.
He settled back on his seat, humming a tune of a new song he had discovered. Even though he didn’t get the Hindi parts of the song, he hummed to the remix of his favorite song, Closer. How hard had it been to catch this plane, he remembered. Firstly, be had to convince his father that he was flying to Jordan to attend an old college friend’s wedding, who had graduated with him, a year ago. Because the flight to Seattle and Jordan were on the same time, no one suspected anything and now, he was going to land any minute with a genuine passport in Seattle.
He breathed out, as the pilot told them they were going to land.
He didn’t like to defy his father, but then, he was Ryder Hunt. His father had always told him to go with his gut feeling because the gang business was in his blood. He had trained nonstop since the day his father had told him that he would take over him, in order to please his father, only. He had been very close to his father before the accident, it seemed because every time he would ask his father about his past, James Carter would shed a few tears and laugh at him, saying, they were very close and that was all he needed to know.
“Seattle, hmm.” He hummed, looking around the American Airport as he answered a few questions at their immigration office and readied himself to get a plane to Port Angeles.
Standing on the airport, someone ran up to him, tackling him to the ground as he yelled profanities at that person.
As he looked up, a girl who would be around three or four years younger to him cried on his chest.
“Ma’am. Excuse me..” He poked her brunette head but she continued to wail on his chest. “I’m sorry.. But I think you have mistaken me..”
“MADDIE!” He heard a woman scream from behind him. As he turned his head around, another woman, this time a lot more familiar ran to him, kneeling down and pulling him to a hug as they both cried on his chest.
“Okay, I didn’t know about this little ceremony north Americans do.. But.. I need to catch a flight to Port Angeles.” He told the women, one wailing like a child, while the other like a mother.
Mother. The woman looked familiar to him, so did her grayed hair and gray eyes, which reminded him of his own. Could she.. He had never known anything about his mother.. Just that she had left his father long time back but a sister? WHOA, STOP RIGHT THERE!
He wiggled out of their hold, pushing the girl by her shoulders as everyone gave them weird looks. “Do I know you?” He asked the girl, who also shared his eyes.
Bam. A hand came, hitting him on his head from behind.
“Never talk to your sister like that-”
“I’m sorry! You’re mistaking me for someone else, ma’am. I am not her brother, or your son.” He told her, stepping away and picking his bag up. “I am really late for my flight and I have to be somewhere. So.. Sorry.” He told them, running before he would be tackled to another hug by the crazily familiar ladies.
“Let him go, Mum.” Mason told his mother, as she cried on Maddie’s shoulders.
“WHAT DO YOU MEAN LET HIM GO?! WHY DID YOU JUST STARE AT HIM, MASON?!” She cried again and again.
“Because he isn’t the Roman we knew.” Mason told her.
“You know what? I believe the hit you said he got on his head with that rod they found in Emerald Rose?” His father, Marcus said. “I think he lost his memory after that. It’s a weird conclusion but.. The way he acted, I know my Roman won’t ever act that way. He recognized you both but.. He didn’t. As if, it flickered and then disappeared.”
“Dad.” Maddie whispered. “I think we really need a good plan to get him back.” She said, handing them an identity card of some university in Rio De Janeiro. It read,
Ryder Carter Hunt.
Third Year Management Student.
Batch of 2015-16
“At least they got him graduated.” Mason remarked. “I’ll call our men on this plane and ask them to keep an eye on him.”
“If he’s going to Port Angeles, we need to get him home or show him more memories. Because if he can relapse after a few seconds with us, then he can surely get his memories back.”
“I know what I am taking home for Christmas for Scarlet, now.” Maddie sniffed. “We need to get him back.”
“This is it.” Ryder stretched his neck, pulling himself up on the wall.
“I hope the electricity is out.” Mason spoke into the speakers, to his men as he looked at Roman or Ryder, whoever he was jump down the wall and enter their house. “And you thought a power cut and a couple of broken cameras would get you into our house while we sleep, brother? What have they done to you.” He chuckled, shaking his head, from the control room. “Is every room of the house except Scarlet’s and his own, locked?”
“Yes, Sir.” His man inside the house told him, as the door clicked open and Mason’s wife walked inside.
Even after two years of marriage and before that, six months of dating, didn’t change the way she would surprise him as she entered his offices to deliver files or the way he looked at her, similar to the day he had found her being pulled into his car and had drugged her.
Nothing had changed about Clarissa since then.
When they had got married two years back, he had asked for a destination wedding because Scarlet would refuse to come back home but demanded to meet the girl responsible for her rescue from Emerald Rose and had immediately approved of her, hugging her in a warm hug.
“I can’t believe he’s the same guy who threatened to kill me.” She laughed as a very serious Roman, with a memory loss entered their house, breaking the lock with ease.
“At least his basics are present in that head..which isn’t even blonde anymore. God.” Mason commented, kissing Clarissa for a brief moment.
“They underestimated his memory, I guess.” Clarissa commented. “I wonder what led him to this place? James won’t want him to go back to his house, would he?”
“I am wondering the same thing, to be honest. Why did he come here when he doesn’t even remember anyone, anymore.” He said, scratching his chin as a hidden camera showed him Ryder, trying to open a door but not being able to.
Thankfully, he looked around the dimly lit house, knowing that nobody was there at home because later in the evening, Mason had asked everyone to take a car and leave. Maybe that is why Roman came in tonight, knowing no one would be here.
And that is exactly what had happened when Roman saw them leave the house, spying on Jonathan and Winters house from the backyard.
“Tonight, I must get in and search on them.” He told himself, underestimating who they really were by seeing the size of the house which was a little less than theirs and not realizing, because of less security, that they could be the world’s most important and dangerous gangs. James Carter, taking a very crude step there had forgotten to make up a story about this as well.
“Shit.” He muttered, looking around the living room, while Mason and Clarissa paid close attention to them.
As Ryder / Roman looked around, his eyes fell on a picture, making his legs voluntarily walk towards the little black and white photograph and pick it up. It was him, as a child, anyone could say that. The child was a replica of what Ryder saw himself in the mirror, just a younger version. But.. If this was him, then who was the child his father had shown him back in that prison room then.. Who was this child? Did he have a twin? But then, these two pictures were nothing like each other. They didn’t even look alike. But what scared him was that, he looked more like the child in this picture, than the child in that one. More pictures came to his sight in that living room, but they only confused him more. He saw the two women who had run into him at the airport with a very familiar man and another younger man who looked a lot like him. Rome! He heard them scream in his head and pressed his hand to his forehead. After three years, this was the first time his head had pained this much. “What is this place?!” He whisper yelled, placing his hand on the wall and immediately the light switched on in the room.
For once, he should have ran, because there was a good chance of him being caught in this mysterious house. “This is.. This is the same..” He looked ahead, the dimly lit light falling over the porch, very similar to what he remembered. The only thing that was missing was that she wasn’t standing there.
This was the porch. She stood right there.
Everything, every detail was similar.
“Scarlet.” He whispered and unconsciously began to talk to staircase, looking at every picture he could see. Family, it screamed to him but nothing rewarding them came to his mind.
Rome. All these names played themselves in his head, over and over again but he couldn’t establish any connection between them.
You liked to be called Roman. Rome. Roman Jonathan. That thought, he held to it because out of everything, it turned out to be the most familiar one. “Roman Jonathan.” He whispered to himself, the name rolling down his tongue like it was him only. “Is that.. No no.” He shook his head, but later found himself standing in front of a room. “Sure, this is locked too-” He mocked, but, miraculously, the door opened.
“Oh wow. Very.. Efficient.” Mason commented. “Here comes the lights.” He high fived Clarissa, thanking her for giving him the idea to install automatic lighting before he would get in.
“What-” Roman abruptly stopped when he looked ahead. She was here. She was everywhere in front of his eyes. The same woman he had spent years seeing in his dreams, memories, the only thing he remembered. This was Scarlet. She had to, his mind told him. A pain crossed the back of his forehead, but he ignored him and looked ahead, picking up a picture of her, with him. He couldn’t believe what he saw. It was his picture, with her, as she kissed his cheek and he pulled his tongue out at the camera. “I know her. I know her.” He kept on repeating while stressing on his brain to remember something. I love you, Rome. A voice chuckled in his head, the headache impossibly painful as if he was suffering from a migraine. “Scarlet. Scarlet.” He yelled, not caring if anyone caught him anymore as he placed the picture down and sat on the bed. All the pictures beside him, of hers, that woman who ran into him on the airport, her mother. All came to him.
“Scar.” He mumbled, the headache getting him as he felt himself being pushed towards darkness.
“Is he ever going to wake up?”
“No, mom. He isn’t even moving.”
“The doctor said he would be up in a few hours, okay?”
“It’s been 12 hours!”
“Will you shut up, please?” A hoarse voice called out, as a pair of gray eyes opened themselves up. “Cry baby.” Roman mumbled, getting up from the bed, while positioning the ice pack on his face.
“OH MY GOD, HE’S UP.” Maddie yelled, not believing her eyes as they saw her brother wake up as if nothing had happened.
“Maddie Elizabeth Jonathan, Shut up or I swear-”
“What die you just call me?!” Maddie silenced him in between.
“Maddie, why? Isn’t that your name anymore?” He asked her, everything becoming clearer to him.
“Your memories are back?” Mason asked in a low voice.
“Yes, brother. They were back when I saw Scar’s room.” He chuckled, looking around the room as his mother hugged him.
“I missed you so much. DO YOU GAVE ANY IDEA HOW WE HAVE BEEN WITHOUT-”
“Mom! I was fine, I am so sorry for-”
“Son, no apologizing for something that wasn’t in your hands. We know about the amnesia, don’t worry.” His father commented, hugging him next. “I missed you too, by the way.”
“Me too, Dad.” He patted his back, his voice thick with emotions.
“How does it feel?” Mason asked him, sitting beside his bed as everyone else settled.
“I.. I don’t know. One minute, I was someone else, and then, when it all came back and there was this impossible headache, but when I woke up, it was.. Normal, I guess. As if nothing had gone wrong.” Roman told them, even though his head still hurt a little at same place where he had been hit.
“You’re very lucky.” Cara, his mother commented who had been a trained psychologist after graduating from college. “Getting your memories back after amnesia can be very painful, but for some, when it does come back, it’s as if they woke up from a nightmare, a very clear nightmare-”
“That’s enough, Mom.” Maddie stopped her, politely. “So, how was it with.. The Carters?” She asked cautiously.
“To be very honest? Now that I spent ten minutes, acting as if I was unconscious but thinking about them, I see how fake they were even though they told me I was Ryder Hunt. I handled everything in Brazil and down south.. But.. Now that I think, they never let me come up for a reason. This was it..” He trailed , remembering the numerous times he had asked his father.. Not father.. James Carter-
James Carter. The plan.
“DAD! MASON!” He yelled. “We need to forget all of this.. Because the reason why I came here, it’s totally different.” Roman later told them, everything from the plan to how James was planning to execute the family unexpectedly, even though Mason only laughed at it.
“That won’t be any problem..” Mason swatted him as Clarissa entered the room with his phone in her hand.
“There’s a missed call from Barcelona.” She told him, smiling at Roman who stared at her with confusion.
“You’re.. You’re the girl who helped us find-”
“Clarissa Clearwater. Yes, it’s a pleasure to meet you again, Roman.” She shook hands with him, and then sat beside Mason.
“Clarissa Jonathan, she meant.” Maddie roared in a laugh as Roman looked at the couple in confusion.
“Oh. OHHHHHHH. HAVE I MISSED A WEDDING?!” He screamed, pointing at them and then questioning his parents, as he hopped out of his bed.
“You’re two years late, brother.” Mason chuckled, shaking his head.
“No freaking way-” Before he could finish, a ring on Mason’s phone silenced him as a name flashed open. Scar, it read with a picture of hers and Roman himself. Everyone silenced, even Roman, who unconsciously caught the phone and put it on speaker.
“Scarlet-” A hand pressed over his mouth as Clarissa snatched the phone from him.
“Yes, Scar?” Mason asked as Maddie whispered a shut up to Roman.
“Not this easily, brother. We’ll surprise her later!” She squealed lightly in his ears.
“Huh? Oh.. Hi, Mase.” Her voice faltered, as she replied, skipping Roman’s heart for a second. He gulped as tears blinded his eyes. No, he wasn’t allowed to cry at this moment. She was alive, so close to him, yet so far and right now, he needed to be sane for her. After three long years, he had to get her back in the right way.
“Are you okay?” Mason asked her.
“Oh.. Yeah.. I am fine, I just thought I heard.. Never mind.” Roman hated to lie to her right now but whatever Maddie had planned better be worth the wait. “Is there any news?” She asked.
“I am sorry, but none.” Mason shrugged. “How are the classes going?” He asked her.
“Good, I just over a lecture so heading home and I need to pick up Bella first and then get my laundry done because I have a surprise test this weekend which everyone will obviously hate...” She babbled. “Yea, I’ll call you later. Got to pick up Bells from the crèche.” She cut the call, allowing everyone to settle back.
“Okay. I have missed a few things here. One, where is Scarlet? Two, she’s still in college and knows about a surprise test.. What? and three, whose Bella?” Roman asked, tapping his foot.
“I think Maddie can tell you the best.” Cara said, patting her daughter’s back.
“After.. You disappeared, we tried to settle here but.. Nothing would work so, in brief, we moved to Barcelona with Adrian, Rihanna and the twins where she started college again and I did too, starting from this summer. After graduation, she became a professor there for English Literature and Bella, is Adrian and Rihanna’s daughter.” She babbled, speaking all at once and then finally breathing.
“Rome, we’ll handle them when they come, efficiently. But.. I think you should book a flight tonight to Barcelona. I don’t think I can lie to her anymore. She calls every week to ask if my guys have any lead on you, but she giving up soon and losing it. Don’t let her.” Mason told him.
“He’s right. I know every day is.. Very difficult for her and-”
“FUCK THIS!” Roman snapped, taking Maddie’s hand.
“Language!” Cara screamed.
“I hope it’s still here.” He muttered, pulling Mason’s shoes from his feet and wearing him and running to his closet where behind his closet, an emergency bag for him and Scar still remained hidden after almost five years of them hiding it there together.
“I have every basic necessity. Book me a flight before I reach Seattle.” He shouted at Mason as he ran downstairs, and Maddie gave him the car keys.
“So.. A day back, you didn’t even know who you are..” Maddie trailed.
“Uh yeah. Let this adrenaline guide me, please.” He mumbled, shutting her up as he pulled his car out. “Oh, I missed these clean roads.”
I’m coming, Scar.