Leon prepared breakfast and brought it to their room before Maria woke up. It was something he liked doing; he liked when she stretched her delicate limbs to welcome the morning and eased up gently with a smile on her face, so innocent and so alluring that anyone seeing it had no choice but to smile, since it was simply as breathtaking as a painting created to captivate and arouse it's onlookers. He liked seeing the rugged mess of her long mane of brunette hair, flaying all over the place, small face concealed beneath the mass of disheveled silk. Just the simple sight of her morning glow had captivated him several times —her beauty, something he couldn't quite get used to because she seemed to get more beautiful with each passing day.
And oh how he had missed this. Missed waking up next to her, missed making endless love to her and sharing things he had dreamt of sharing only with her. But now that he had gotten a second chance, he planned on filling in the missing gaps that had formed while they were apart.
As he entered the room, he saw her shuffling beneath the covers, milky skin exposed from her recklessness. Placing the tray on the bedside table, Leon sat on the edge of the bed, craning over his neck to see her face.
He took a moment to admire her beauty, smiling when she released a soft moan, eyes becoming partially open as she smiled and uttered a groggy,
"Good morning beautiful," he replied, watching as she turned and did the things he loved seeing before her eyes settled on the tray at the side.
"Awww babe, again, you didn't have to," she regarded him softly, the love for him evident in her eyes.
He made a playful face. "It was my pleasure, I love doing this," he said, slightly kissing her on the lips.
"Well, I'd like to do it for you for a change," she reasoned, taking a bite of the blood red apple, the juiciness of the fruit bursting in her mouth and sluicing down the corner of her lip. She giggled, using her tongue to lick it off slowly, while Leon sat watching every movement.
His gaze grew hungry, but not the type that needed to be satiated with food, it was the type that needed to be quelled by her touch. Not depriving himself of the sheer satisfaction to taste the sweetness of her lips, he dipped his head and demandingly captured her soft lips with his, plunging deep to explore the sugary contours of the silky folds.
"I love you, you know that?" she whispered against his mouth, their foreheads touching, gaze holding.
He smiled. "I do and I love you too and I'll spend the rest of my life proving to you just how much I do," he professed and she smiled from the beauty of his words, wanting to kiss him again and just as she was about to, a knock sounded at the door.
Maria gasped, pulling apart while she gazed at Leon questionably. "Who could that be? No one except for your parents knows we're here," she softly said, though fear held on to each letter of the words she spoke.
Leon rose from the bed, glancing at the clock to see that it was only 6 AM. He too, had no knowledge of who was at the door, but they both came to the startling realization of who it might be.
"Do you think it could be Sam or Marianne?" Maria asked as she shuffled to the floor and grabbed one of Leon's overly large T-shirt before putting it on.
"It couldn't be," Leon said, though doubtful.
They both began to walk outside when a voice had them coming to an abrupt halt. "Maria, honey are you in there?"
Maria's mouth fell, her eyes going wide as recognition of the voice dawned. "It's mom, OMG what is she doing here, how did she find us?" She asked, already rushing out to meet her.
Pulling the door open, relief overcame her body when she saw her mother at the entrance.
"Mom!" she breathe out with relief. "What happened, what are you doing here?" she asked whilst hugging Julia.
"God, am I glad you're OK," Julia said using both hands to caress her daughter's face, tears welling in her eyes seeing that her child was in one piece. "Why didn't you pick up any of my calls?" she sniffed.
"My phone was off and I thought Leon I needed the time to ourselves without the distraction. I should've called though, after everything that has happened. I'm sorry," she explained, suddenly feeling guilty to have caused her mother to worry.
Julia smiled at them both. "Thank you for taking care of her," she nodded approvingly, once again meeting her daughter's gaze.
"Did you drive all the way here to see if I'm O–" Maria began to ask before she saw Hannah appear behind Julia.
The betrayal came rushing back, anger and dislike for her ex best friend resurfacing. "What is she doing here?" Maria hissed bitterly.
Hannah hung her head in shame, unable to speak when guilt was tearing her apart.
"We can talk inside, why don't you guys come in," Leon said.
"Hannah has been helping me to find you," Julia answered when they were all inside and seated at the polished wooden table.
Maria scoffed. "Well you're lucky she didn't lead you to hell instead," she exclaimed, while glancing at an embarrassed Hannah.
"Maria, I'm sorry–" she began.
"Oh, save it," she cut in firmly.
Leon came and handed their visitors two mugs of coffee with biscuits, earning smiles and thank you's at the gesture.
"We wanted to find you before they did," Julia explained as she took a sip of the coffee.
Maria glanced at Leon. "By they you mean Sam and Marianne?"
Julia nodded. "They know you are in California and I have a feeling they are searching the ends of the earth to find you."
Maria gasped, hands trembling as she used her palm to clasp her mouth.
"That sick bastard is willing to go this far with his psychotic obsession?" Leon snarled bitterly, jaws clenching.
"Literally. If we were able to find you, he can too. You guys need to get out of here," Julia explained gravely.
"I will not spend the rest of my life running from that son of a bitch," Maria spat angrily.
A door slammed, everybody's gaze snapping around, heavy footsteps audible against the wooden floor.
Samuel made a gruelling appearance, a smirk set on his face, while everyone else sat there shocked.
"Well well, ain't this something," he began softly before he chuckled. "Marianne darling, we're just in time for breakfast," he completed while Marianne made her appearance beside him, looking like the she devil she was.
"What the hell are you doing here?" Leon growled heavily, rising from his chair.
Samuel ground his teeth. "I think it's pretty obvious rich boy. I'm here to make a claim, to repossess what you stole," his voice was dark as the eyes that settled on Leon.
"You're sick and I want you out of my cabin," he hissed, moving towards Samuel.
"Not a step closer, rich boy," he said, pulling out a gun from his waist and cocking a brow daringly while he pointed the gun at his target. Leon stopped, hands folded into fists.
Gasps rang out from the room. "Samuel, you don't have to do this," Maria shakily administered, tears welling in her eyes at the realisation of what Samuel could do to Leon.
He scoffed. "Don't tell me what or what not to do you whore. You brought this up on yourself!" he hissed, shifting the gun to Julia and Hannah who were still seated.
"Hannah darling," he beamed. "My, you love switching sides, I wonder whose dick is up your ass this time," he chuckled. "Tell me, is it Leon's? 'cause he's quite the pussy snatcher," he exclaimed amusingly, rising the gun as an indication for them to get up.
They did so, Hannah trembling with fear while Julia firmly stood ground.
"Little Maria is here rendezvousing with lover boy without knowing he's had his dick in so many women he can't tell the difference," he laughed drily, turning to Marianne as an indication for her to join in on the laughter. She laughed like the puppet he was making her.
"You sick me, how could you do this to your own family– your sister!" Julia snapped, anger directed towards a now fuming Marianne.
"I never could impress you!" She bit back aggressively. "It was always Maria this, Maria that, and little Marianne was always treated like the odd ball. Maria got all the attention just because she was a bit more intelligent, was able to impress when I couldn't. I did every fucking thing possible to try and fit in, but it seemed like all your pats on the back went to one child!" She blasted in anger, frustration, outpouring all that had been bottled up in her heart for so long. Tears welled up in her eyes but she angrily blinked them back.
Julia was about to talk when Sam beat her to it. "I know this may seem like pouring salt in your rather wide wound sweetheart, but this isn't all about you now," he managed a stiff smile, pity to his tone. Mock pity.
"Just leave us be, right now and I promise I won't make your life a living hell," Leon exclaimed.
Samuel laughed dryly, turning to glance at Marianne before his gaze returned to Leon. "Little rich boy has threats. Sorry to break it to you, but my life is already hell and that's all because of you and that cheating slut!"
"Don't you ever call her that again!" he growled.
Samuel's brows perked up. "Offended?" he asked rhetorically. "I thought you'd be flattered considering the fact that it is something you both have in common," he shrugged nonchalantly.
"What the hell are you talking about!" Leon growled.
Sam used the tip of the gun to scratch his head, looking indecisive. "Should I tell her or would you like to do the honors?" he asked Marianne. "Oh don't worry, I think I'll find more pleasure doing so."
Maria's heart raced.
Still pointing the gun at Leon, Samuel began. "My dear Maria, they say ignorance is bliss and I figure this is the bliss acquired from your ignorance. Do you remember being out with Emanuel Boswick six years ago? He was helping you push start your career, but you didn't tell Leon because you wanted to surprise him since you both had high hopes right? But when you came home that night dear old Leo wasn't there and you couldn't understand why. You told me this when we dated, you told me that your last boyfriend left when you were out sorting out a career. And you also told me Mr Boswick helped you; so, after Marianne filled me in, smart me, put two and two's together," he smiled letting it all sink in before he continued.
Leon stiffened as his thoughts raced back to that night. His brows knitted at what Samuel said. "That's a lie, Maria was at my place, we were together!" his voice held confident conviction.
Maria was shaking her head, swallowing visibly. "No, Emanuel was helping me with some pointers that night and I came home and you were gone, everything cleared from your drawers and closet with a note saying 'it was good while it lasted," a tear slipped from her eyes at the bitter reminder.
"What?! I didn't leave a note –"
Samuel laughed in amusement. "Allow me to explain, little confused birds. While you were out, Leon here was screwing your sister thinking it was you, but of course, after a little liquid courage. Tell me, do you remember drinking some velvety smooth red wine?" He asked Leon, laughing, watching the color drain from Maria's face. "That was laced with a drug that had you thinking and seeing fuzzy. Marianne here, thought it was the perfect opportunity to ruin her sister's perfect life, so she drugged your man and fucked him before she asked him for a hefty sum of money. When Leon couldn't provide her with such, she started saying nasty things that had poor Leo here doubting the love. Now by the time dear old clueless Maria got back, lover boy was gone, leaving a heartbroken princess to live without her prince fucking charming," he made a sad face.
Everyone was in shock especially Leon and Maria who stood there unmoving, unable to swallow such information. As her world spun, she held onto a chair for support, tears flowing down her face as a newly formed rift broke way in her heart.
Her blurry vision met with her sister's. "Y– you were in another state," she breathed out.
Marianne smiled. "I came back a week early, plotting your demise," she explained tastelessly.
"How could you?" she cried, sobs breaking away from her lips as her stomach knotted painfully. She closed her eyes briefly and swallowed, brows knitting.
Leon, despite his daze, turned to her, assessing her features. "Are you OK?"
She felt worst looking at him after what Samuel had said. Though he was a man who concocted many lies she knew this much was true. They had promised to let the past stay in the past, but the new revelations were now making it hard.
"Fine," she croaked, shying away from his touch.
"You little bitch!" Julia yelled, swiftly moving towards Marianne.
"Nuh uh, hold up mama bear," he cocked a brow and the gun. "The only blood I want to see on this expensive flooring is Maria's," he turned to Maria smiling.
Leon moved in front of her, gently ushering her behind him.
Sam smiled deviously, pulling down the clip of his gun. "I can kill you all right now if I want to, I'm the only one holding the gun, remember?" he smirked, his fingers pressing on the trigger.
"No you're not. Drop it!" Julia exclaimed firmly when she had finally managed to sneak her gun from her purse.
Samuel's gaze turned cold despite the smile he displayed. "Well well, lookie here. What are you going to do with that Julia? Shoot me?!" He shouted, spinning the weapon in Julia's direction.
Maria swallowed. "Samuel please, don't do this. You're here for me right, so have your way with me and leave them alone," she had already began to cry at the circumstances and at the painful knot in her stomach.
"Maria, get back behind me," Leon demanded pointedly.
He scoffed. "I'm here to get back at the people who deceived me and luckily, they're all in the same room, but I think I'll just start with mama bear since she poses the most threat," his hands pressed the trigger.
"No!" Marianne intervened, stepping in front of him. "You can't do this, you can't kill her damnit," she exclaimed as a tear slipped from her eyes.
"What the fuck is wrong with you? We agreed on this!" He blared.
"We agreed to punish, not kill!" She cried.
He scoffed. "And you thought there was a difference?" He said, shoving her forcefully away from him. She stumbled and fell down, her head bumping on the dining table, leaving her unconscious.
Before Samuel had a chance to react, Leon had already crept up on him and was now holding his arm with the gun as they began to tackle. Maria screamed Leon's name, panic stricken as the men fell the floor, Leon on top, while he held Samuel's hand in hopes of getting the gun.
Hannah was attending to Marianne whose head had already began to bleed out, while a teary Julia was trying to get a clear view of Sam to shoot, but she was finding it hard to do so, since they were constantly moving.
A loud bang erupted within the confines of the room and Maria stiffened, her body seemingly breathless as her heart pounced in her ear....
Pain the dominant feeling...
Make your guesses. Who was shot?
To be continued... ;)