-Officially Insane 2019-
“As we aim to further advance in reputation and status, we will need the complete availability and loyalty of every single one of you”
Nicola and I sat at the ends of the large meeting table. Dapto’s push towards youthful members in the higher ranks is one of the qualities we can use to bring in more business therefore countless meetings and training was required of every one of us.
They want experience, being adopted into this lifestyle gave me an advantage along with others who have good family relations within the association.
“My father and I believe that every one of you will help us achieve this. You are not a weakness, you are our strength, our future”
Silent nods of agreement and approval followed the end of Seth’s speech. He turned back to join his father and his acquaintances who were talking quietly amongst themselves.
Nicola kissed her lips and sighed catching my attention just in time to see Nova hit her on the head.
“Can you stop doing that please?”
Nicola narrowed her eyes at her sister, trying to knock her with her feet, “Can you stop complaining?”
Jared came up behind Nova and rested his arms on her head causing her to hit him on the arm.
“Aggressive much?” Jared said behind his bandana, and Nova gestured her hands towards the piece of cloth.
“Why?” She simply said.
Jared reached up to touch his accessory and shrugged, “Why not?”
Nicola who was on her phone for that whole ordeal looked up, eyes distracted, “We’re still going for that movie later right?”
“Yeah,” I replied, briefly wandering over the retreating member from the table.
It sometimes occurred to me that maybe we were too young for all this. I mean, who in their right mind would allow a nineteen year old to conspire against and witness the cold blooded act of murder?
Seems kind of dramatic when you put it like that.
But this was our normal. Our lives. Nicola, Jared, Nova and I were still in our youth, yet we train to kill. Bound by a vow of silence that we were to protect the identity of Dapto at all costs and and letting go of anyone that threatened that.
And we were all okay with it.
“She’s new”, Nova commented and we all averted our eyes to the direction she gestured towards.
Talking to Seth was a curly red-haired girl that stood, arms crossed, in a black hoodie and tights. A composed expression dominated her tanned features, the golden tone of her skin a natural contrast to the obscurity that filled her eyes.
She stood tall, confident, yet still more than half a head shorter than her companion. She nodded to his words, keeping careful eye contact and Seth smiled to possibly lighten the mood but she simply cocked her head then gestured for them to follow the footsteps of his father and the male companion.
Jared ran a hand threw the mess of blond curls on his head and nodded, “She’s been around the boss these past couple months but I am yet to see her speak to anyone besides Seth”
Nova shrugged, brushing her appearance off, “She’s probably just settling in, it’s rare we see newbies as old as her”
I looked at her questionably, “We’re all in our very early twenties with the exception of me and she looks a few years older than us, not even probably the same”
Her pale green eyes looked directly into my grey ones, the colour making her complexion looking lighter than usual, “And name me one person who is our age that would of just joined,” she raised an eyebrow, waiting for an answer that she knew wouldn’t come, “None, because unless you grew up here we only accept the best which tends to be more of the older generation, so unless she’s some sort of assassin she must be important”
“Jesus Christ sis, might as well make an essay while you’re at it”
“Well that was disappointing”
The wind nipped at my exposed legs, wrapping my arms around my torso in a futile attempt to warm myself. My ears drowned out the stray chatter of the people around us as I tuned in on our continuous footsteps. The wind blew my auburn strands in my hair and I flicked them away with a huff.
“You’re telling me” I muttered, annoyed at the fact we wasted ten dollars
“I’m hungryy” Nicola whined, dragging Damiens hands towards her and he rolled his eyes
“I have work, someone else take her”
Nova laughed, “Definitely not, I have things to do”
Nicola looked towards Jared and he shrugged, “I just want to sleep”
Nicola looked him up and down with a sour expression and tried to hide her smile. He raised an eyebrow at her then gestured to me, “Val can go with you”
I went to speak but Nicola intervened, now standing straight, “She wants to meet Alex” then winked at me
I rolled my eyes at her but smiled, “I dont want to meet him, he just wanted to go over a few things”
“A few things?” Damien questioned, eyebrows furrowed in thought
I waved him off, I knew that the older members had infused the notion that Alex was theworst influence for someone like me and wasn’t comfortable with how casual we spoke of him, “He just teaches me more than Dapto does, nothing to worry about” but I turned to Nicola, “And it’s not necessary for him to meet me tonight, i’ll go with you”
Nicola cheered and sped over to me wrapping her arms around shoulders as she was a few inches taller than me, “Thank you thank you,” she exclaimed, “I’ll shout you out dont worry”
I laughed and half hugged her back, “It’s okay thank you”
“I honestly love you Miss Valentina”
I smiled at her words, Nicola has been with me for nine years of my life and it was never a dull moment. When I was left at Dapto, she was the one who taught me everything about the place. Every secret passage, hidden door and little secret. She grew up in Dapto, her parents been valued members of the organisation. I always wondered how she felt being so far from her family, Dapto requires flexible travel abilities and she said her parents were more than grateful that their daughter was selected to move from Dapto’s organisation in America to this one in England when she was only thirteen.
I honestly found her to be beautiful, inside and out. No matter how much Dapto tried to mould a cold hearted executioner out of her, she always stayed the thoughtful carefree spirit her parents had made her. Her faint green eyes almost glowed with contrast of her light skin. She rarely wore makeup unlike her sister, the light bags beneath her eyes the only evidence of her everlasting dedication to Dapto. She never minded them, said it gave her face character.
“I mean, everyone does” I joked as she took a large scoop of her icecream and she shook her head
“You’re a likeable person Val,” then she looked up briefly and shrugged, “They’re just wary of Alex”
My phone went off and I swiftly checked it to see that it was a text from Alex, “Speak of the devil and thy shall appear” I muttered
“Not a problem V just be on the lookout for those markings”
“Ooh did he send you a love letter?” Nicola teased, “Oh oh maybe it’s a lovely goodnight message” she laughed at her words and I kicked her legs from beneath the table
“You’re an idiot” I sigh, replying with a quick ‘ok’ and set the phone down
She pushed the ice cream aside and propped her elbow on the table, palm under her chin, “So, what’s the deal with you two?”
I shrugged, not understanding what she was getting at, “What do you mean?”
She rolled her eyes at my seeming oblivious nature, “Are you dating yet?”
I scoffed, almost surprised at her accusation, “Have you met Alex?”
“Well no,” she answered thoughtfully, “Not properly, but you both seem close,” she wriggled her eyebrows, “Real close”
I laughed lightly at her words, “Alex has a hard time understanding what his emotions are most of the time,” I said truthfully, “Not that I mind, its fun to see what affects him and what doesn’t”
“So you’re in it for the thrill,” she said pointedly raising an eyebrow, “Isn’t that inhumane?”
I shook my head. It wasn’t like I didn’t care for Alex, I did, but I wasn’t going to waste my time in showing it only to receive nothing back, “He’s a good person, contrary to what the others may believe, he’s articulate and intuitive. I stay with him because he makes me better, he doesn’t sugar coat anything and that’s what I need. A reality check”
She hummed, “Sounds charming”
I washed my hands, looking at my reflection with slight distain. Pale blue eyes that look more grey wandered over the deep brown locks that flowed over bony shoulders. Skin slightly shaded by the summer sun giving more difference to the 5′4 body. I didn’t hate what I saw in a way that I felt the need to change how I looked, I just wished for something different. Darker eyes, lighter hair, tanner skin, everything I wasn’t.
I wanted a change because it suited me. I never stuck to one thing for long, some call me an overachiever but in all honesty I just got bored easily. Dapto has been a reoccurring factor in my life and has made me wonder of life outside of the place, maybe that’s why i’m so adamant on keeping Alex.
He was an escape. A dangerous one, but one nonetheless.
My phone vibrated in my pocket and I looked away from my reflection.
My heart dropped. I rushed out of the bathroom, narrowly missing the swing of the door as some customers walked in looking at me weirdly at my speedy figure. I looked towards our previous seats only to find it empty and made a b-line for the door.
Phone in hand, I sped out of the icecream parlour. The cold air bit at my skin, confused on where to go. A small clatter caught my attention and I hurried in the direction it came from. My phone vibrated yet again and I almost stopped in my tracks at the message.
“You’re not with your friend are you?”
My breathing was heavy and I replied with “no why?” still walking in the direction of the sound. I started to hear small chatter but shrugged it off as I passed many groups of teens just hanging around. I rubbed my arms to keep myself warm, the street lights doing little to help me see further ahead.
I got frustrated from his vagueness and tried to call him only to receive no answer. I concluded that it just not be that big of a deal if he was yet to tell me. I approached an alleyway where many people stood surrounded in the middle but I stood back trying to see if it was worth my time. I didn’t recognise the faces I could see and it looked as if Nicola wasn’t with them. I went to walk past when a group of teens in front of me caught my eye.
They looked at me for a moment, almost conflicted in saying something. A young boy, with curly brown hair and blue eyes, shook his head at me and it confused me for a second. It was obviously a warning but no random kid off the street would bother to do so.
The figures in the alleyway started to walk towards my exit and took out my phone pretending to take a call. My phone vibrated against my ear and I closed my eyes in dread.
“Follow them and help her”
My heart raced as I connected the dots. These were the people Alex has been stressing about this past month, the new yet not so new upcoming drug ring and he was indicating that they had Nicola.
“Are you here?”
I put my phone away and silently trailed behind them. They walked about a block before the group suddenly dispersed and I halted in my tracks. Slight panic arose in me, how was I meant to find her now? I kept walking, listening carefully for any sort of indication of her being here and surely I heard it. Nicolas voice as clear as day.
“That’s not how this works, you know that!”
Curiosity filled my senses as my brain went on overload to try and understand what she had meant. I went to round the corner when my phone vibrated once more and I pulled it out only for it to fall to the floor as a gunshot rang through the air.
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