A/N: Just a quick clarification: Laurent Stalin is a celebrity who our Paparazzi Bella was tailing when she found the blonde woman. Stalin did not push the blonde out of the car. That was someone you’ll meet in due time. Sorry for the confusion.
So with that cleared up, let’s read, shall we?
The sight of her, perched on the edge of the roof like an autumn leaf ready to fall off a tree jolts something deep within me. Time seems to slow down as I watch her move. I don’t know how I do it. Call it adrenaline rush if you will, but I lurch forward and grab onto her elbow just as she steps off the ledge. “No!” I cry out as I pull on her arm, making her stumble back into the safety of the roof.
“Are you out of your mind?” I admonish her. “You think it’s so easy to die?”
Instead of being thankful to me for saving her life, the girl jolts herself free of my grip, lets out a sob and then falls down to her knees. “Oh shit!” I swear softly at my tactless behavior and kneel down in front of her. “Let’s start this again, shall we?” I ask in a soft voice. When she doesn’t answer, I move a tendril of her shiny blonde hair and then I gasp. There, on her temple is a bruise as is on her chin.
“Who hit you?” I ask in horror. I wait for her answer, but she keeps on sobbing. When I realize that I’m not going to get an answer out of her, I decide to change my approach. “Please, I can’t help you if you don’t tell me about it.”
I watch as her lips move without making a sound. When I move closer to her, I hear her whisper, “Just let me die please. It’s better than living like this.”
Her words anger me and despite knowing better, I let it blow out. “Really? You think so? You think nothing can be worse than dying? Is that it?” I know I’m practically yelling and that isn’t the right approach to this situation, but I can’t stop it now. So I keep going. “You’re wrong.”
She lifts her head then, her piercing blue eyes almost glaring at me. “If I’m dead, they can’t hurt me anymore.”
“If you die now, you’ll die a coward,” I reiterate. “You need to live and avenge yourself. Make them pay for hurting you. Don’t let your life go in vain.”
Her face crumbles in pain then and suddenly, she looks broken beyond words. She lifts her hands to cover her face with them and mumbles, “They’re too powerful. And I am all alone.”
“No, you’re not,” I tell her, placing a hand on her shoulder. “My dad is a lawyer and I am a journalist. Tell me about your story and I promise I’ll help you get justice.”
She looks up at me, her eyes still wet with tears. “You promise they’ll pay for this?”
I nod, hoping like hell that I’m doing the right thing. “Yes. I, Isabella Barone, give you my word.”
“Thank you,” she whispers, bowing her head in gratitude.
I take her hand and squeeze it. “What’s your name?”
“Rosalie Hale. Rose.”
I start to stand up and give her hand a tug. “Come with me, Rose and we’ll see about the assholes who hurt you.”
I don’t know why I do it, but I do. Even though I can hear Esme’s voice telling me in my head that it’s time to leave the girl alone, I don’t. No, instead, I follow Isabella and her new friend, Rosalie, back to her home.
From the roof of the building across from hers, I see her father do a lot of hand gestures as Isabella seems to be trying to talk him into helping Rosalie. The moment Rosalie enters the room, however, both father and daughter stops talking and in walks Mrs. Barone, carrying a tray filled with food. I zoom in my binoculars at Isabella’s face just in time to catch her give her parents a pleading pout. Eleazar’s expression softens and he says something to the room which results in Rosalie leaping up from her seat to hug Isabella.
Just as I begin to feel like I’m intruding on a private moment of a family, my phone rings with the tone assigned to Esme. “Yeah?” I answer, pressing the button on my bluetooth.
For the first time since I’ve known her, Esme doesn’t tear me a new one for not greeting her properly. Instead, when she speaks, her voice is a broken whisper. “Virtuoso, you need to run.”
“Run?” I repeat, stunned by the suddenness of her words. “Where? Why? What’s wrong?”
“David Simmons, your last assignment, has been killed. His body was discovered half an hour ago.”
My eyebrows pull together in confusion. “That’s unfortunate, but what does that have to do with me? My assignment was over days ago.”
She lets out a huff of frustration and then says quietly, “You’re the main suspect.”
A/N: So … share your thoughts with me and leave a review?
Thanks for reading.
See you on Friday.