31 January 2011

Run & Hide

Chapter 3

"So, how did your date go the other night?" Katrina asked, leaning towards her brother who was seated in the lounge chair in the living room.

"Abysmal, you don't really know me at all Kat," Javier responded.

"Hey! I'm trying to help you out here... don't forget mum and dad being on your case to get settled," Kat said as a matter of fact, "I'm just trying to get the ball rolling."

"It wasn't love at first sight, if that's what your intention was... she was more in love with herself... why on earth do women need all that lip gloss anyway?" Javier shrugged.

"Maybe she was trying to communicate something to you... y'know using her lips," Kat winked.
"Yeah, like her lips were dry," he laughed. "Honestly Kat, no more recommendations... I'll just find my own women from now on."

"Fine, have it your way then," Kat laughed.  They had been sitting amongst their nieces, nephews and family enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon, "Speaking of women, I heard you rescued the heiress."

"I didn't rescue her, she was just there... any one with a heart would have done the same," Javier said, watching the TV screen.

"Always so modest bro, so how is she?" Kat asked.

"I'm not sure, I haven't been in to see her, if that's what you mean," Javier replied, paying more attention to what the kids were watching on screen then the actual conversation.  The door bell chimed and everyone in the room looked at each other, he watched as his mother went to the door. Javier turned his attention back to the TV. 

"Javier there is someone to see you," his mother spoke and like a beacon that she is, garnered the attention of everyone in the room, even his nieces and nephews.  He stood up and walked down the hall, to see Ruby standing quietly by the stairs.

"I'm sorry to turn up here unexpected but they gave me this as your address," she said.  Her face was pale and she looked tired.

"They?" Javier asked.

"Tom," she replied. 

Javier was about to reply but his mother appeared by his side to scold him, "Dove sono i vostri modi Javier? Una signora viene a vederla e voi incitarla a levarmi in piedi fuori nel corridoio, non lo ho alzato di destra?"

"I'm so sorry Mrs Romano, please do not blame Javier, he has been really kind to me... I have turned up here, completely unexpected so it is not his fault, nor his manners that are to blame," Ruby replied, knocking Javier back.

"You understand Italiano?" his mother asked.

"Yes, I have been to Italy many times," Ruby smiled, in turn making Javier's mum smile even wider.

"Then you must come and eat, you must be..." Javier began, only to see his father approach them.

"Hello my dear," he took Ruby's hand and smiled at her, "I am Antonio, Javier's father... please don't be shy and come and join us, my Rosa can be pushy sometimes but she means well."

Javier watched as his family fussed over his expected visitor.  Ruby walked into the room with them and they seated her in a comfy chair at the dining table, her eyes widened when she saw the amount of food left over.  He saw her wince as she sat down, exhaling and he knew instantly why she felt such discomfort, he was by her side in a flash.

"Are you okay?" he said taking the seat beside her, as his mother fussed over her,  piling food on her plate regardless of the mounting food.  

"I'm fine, why would you ask?" she said, fighting back the pain creeping up her side.

"My family can be blind to your discomfort, but I'm not. I know your injuries and I know you are in a hell of a lot of pain right now."

"Well thanks doc, I appreciate the diagnosis but I'll survive," she smiled charmingly at his mother.

"What did you want?" Javier asked watching her intently.

"I need your help..." she touched her side, "I wouldn't ask, if it wasn't important..." she picked up her fork and delved in, chewing and then pausing with a smile, "Oh my gosh."

"You like that?" Javier said with a grin.

"Do I like that? That would be the understatement of the year, I love it. This is just too good... I haven't had a home cooked meal in a while," she turned to his mother Rosa, "La sigra Romano, il vostro alimento è assolutamente divina fa la mia acqua della bocca."

His mother smiled, "Grazie il mio tesoro."

His mother reluctantly left them and sat next to his father but he knew, they were all curious about the expected visitor, especially as she was now walking and wearing something other then a hospital gown. There will definitely be questions later, he didn't doubt that.

"So, what's important?" Javier looked at her.

"I would like to hire you, whatever your rates are... I want to hire you as a PI.  I don't trust any of my father's men and Tom had recommended you were the best, so here I am." Javier was silent. "I was discharged from the hospital yesterday and as you can tell, I'm not exactly in the best state to conduct my own investigation right this minute but I need some one to do that for me, whilst I work."

"And what exactly do you work as?" Javier asked.

"I'm a jewellery designer, my work is in my studio at home... but I have a collection I have to unveil at London Fashion Week in two months time, but I can't- I can't sleep, I've just about regained my appetite now... there's something niggling at me, but I don't know what and I need you to find stuff out for me."
Javier was quiet, he was deep in thought.  He wasn't exactly busy at work at the moment... he could do with something to keep him occupied.

"Let me think about it," Javier said and in that moment, something beeped, "What's that?"

Ruby stood up too quickly, losing her balance but Javier was on his feet and grabbed a hold of her, just in time to see the pain etched in her eyes, "What's that beeping?" He repeated, impatient.  

"Some one's broken into my house" she said, her head sinking low then looking straight at him, "And this is why, I need your help."

~ * ~

"What do you mean there was no breaking and entering? Her remote beeper went off," Javier said into his mobile phone to his friend Tom.

"I'm telling you mate, we checked out the premises and everything was locked tight.  It must have been a false alarm or maybe a cat or something," Tom replied.

"I don't like the sound of this..." Javier said.

"Your girl needs protection... and the best."

"She's not my girl..." Javier said.

"Might you forget you were the one who found her, rescued her and damn well saved her life," Tom remarked, "And if you say she's there, then it's obvious she wants it.  She didn't ask me, so what's stopping you? You afraid she's another Tia?"

"This has nothing to do with Tia," Javier responded,  looking at Ruby who was talking to Millie, his niece.  The little girl was talking to her, watching her every reaction, at one point, she was jumping up and down and something inside of him tingled, he couldn't explain it but it was raw and unexpected.  A complete surprise.  Ruby was smiling, she stroked the hair of his niece and said something to her that elicited another jumping episode.  In that moment, she turned to him and she smiled and he couldn't help himself, but smiled back.

*** ***

*Dove sono i vostri modi Javier? Una signora viene a vederla e voi incitarla a levarmi in piedi fuori nel corridoio, non lo ho alzato di destra - Translation: A woman has come to see you Javier and you leave her in the corridor, have I not raised you right.

**La sigra Romano, il vostro alimento è assolutamente divina fa la mia acqua della bocca - Translation: Mrs Romano, your food is so divine

***Grazie il mio tesoro - Translation: Thank you my darling

28 January 2011

Run & Hide

Chapter 2

His body shook with repressed anger, clutching his hands to keep from punching the wall after he discovered, she had escaped. He had been strict with her, strict with his rules; no one disobeyed him, no one. Not even a billionaire's whore of a daughter.  Soon enough, he would see to her again. 

He had received a call from work, which he needed to take and when he had returned she had gone. Vanished.   He had searched everywhere, he was thorough, but obviously not thorough enough to have read the headlines splashed all over the papers the next day; "Heiress found" ,"Missing Heiress found but still lost", "Questions arise about missing heiress"- the headlines spinning around and around, as if they had free reign in his head.   He never believed the papers, with their vile truths and homegrown stories but this, this?

How much did they know?
Did she remember anything?
How long did he have left to finish her off?

So many questions... but they would be answered soon enough.
He was confident in knowing he had covered himself up, his den had been cleared of anything that would relate back to him, he was a minimalist with a head of ideas. He believed in finishing off what he began, just like the others. The others, he sighed, smiling happily at what he had done to them, they all had begged to be saved, begged to be given another chance. They had all begged, except for Ruby, she had been the first out of all his guests to have not begged at all.  She had cursed him, cursed his ways and threatened.  He had been surprised at his reaction, his reaction of blood rushing south, at knowing she could elicit a sexual hunger from him, but he had been blunt with her, injured her, to dull out that longing.  He shouldn't feel things like that for a whore. Why should these rich kids be allowed to get away with it? Just because they had the money, the wealth, the title... they could get away with murder... murder was his job. It was about time, someone put them all back in their place and he would, once he planned to get Ruby Lee Carlton back in his grasp.

19 January 2011

Run & Hide

Chapter 1
Dead Wood

The smell of rubber was intoxicating, too intoxicating. Ruby just wanted to stay asleep but something just wasn't right, with great effort she opened her eyes, her eyelids shaky and she wondered why? She was shocked by the scene before her; it was dark, wet and cold and she lay in a mount of rubbish. Rubbish! How on earth did she get here? She tried to get up, but as she sat up she scowled in pain, her eyes shot downwards and she noticed her jumper was soaked with blood, it had to be blood, otherwise how could she explain the pain shooting up her side. She managed to get up somehow and staggered towards the road, the questions buzzing through her head- even walking was draining her of what little energy she had left. She reached the street, searching for a pay phone but it was derelict, empty of life. She grimaced. This was not good at all, she stepped into the street, gasping for breathe but her legs collapsed underneath her and she hit the road with a thud, screaming in agony, clutched her side, feeling the tears forming. A flash of light illuminated the buildings, getting brighter and as she turned her head she noticed the car speeding towards her.

Javier hated being set up on blind dates but his sister had a way of insisting on it. So what, if he had been out of the dating loop for a while now, he loved his job, he was dedicated to his job. Don't get him wrong, he loved women, women of all shapes and sizes but he hadn't met a woman who had that thing, that X Factor. The woman that his sister Katrina had set him up with; was nice to look at but she had an annoying whiny voice and not enough brain cells to complete a conversation topic. He had also never met a woman, who was so consumed with her vanity, that she had stared at her reflection in the spoon, the glass as they sat by the window and re-did her lip gloss at least a dozen times. Did Katrina even know him at all? He didn't like cheap women either. She had literally offered herself to him before and after dessert, each time declining the offer. he was a man who liked the chase, not a cheap woman.

He pressed down on the accelerator, after having dropped his date off at her apartment in a seedy neighbourhood, which he was surprised, she seemed so high maintenance and rich. He turned the corner, onto a road and noticed straight away that all the street lamps were out, definitely a seedy area if the council couldn't be bothered to fix it.

He saw something up ahead before his car lights focused, she looked like a deer caught up in his head lights and he stamped on the brakes. The car skidded to a stop eventually and he climbed out, running towards her and immediately noticed the blood on her sweater. He must have frightened her, as she now lay on the soaking road, the rain making her hair clumpy and she was as white as a sheet. He bent in front of her, looking around and lifted her into his arms and carried her to his car, gently placing her in the back seat and getting into the front.

Javier kicked the emergency doors of the hospital open, holding what felt like dead wood in his hands and was met by a herd of medical staff with a gurney. He gently laid her down and she was ushered away, whoever 'she' was. A nurse stayed behind and asked him if he was in need of medical attention and he shook his head. He sat down in one of the upholstered seats in the waiting area of A & E and waited it out. It had been barely fifteen minutes before someone came looking for him, when he looked up, he saw a pair of familiar blue eyes.

"Jay, never thought I'd see you so soon from work," Javier clasped hands with his colleague Thomas Raker.

"It wasn't in the books, trust me," Javier responded.

"The nurse said you were the one who brought her in," Tom said, getting straight to the point and that's what he liked about his colleague, business as usual, "Where'd you find her?"

"She was smack bang in the road, down Dart Street, bad neighbourhood. Who is she?" Javier asked.

"Jay, I wouldn't recognise her either in the state she was in, but it seems she's the missing heiress," Tom raked a hand through his hair, "Ruby Lee Carlton, of Lee Carlton Technologies, her father is on the way but as this has opened up as an investigation, y'know I have to take a statement."

"That's fine, fire away," Javier said.

"She would like to see you," the nurse crept up beside the two men, she looked pointedly at Javier.

"I'll be back," Javier said to Tom and followed the nurse to the room. Upon arrival, he noticed that the medical staff worked swiftly and quietly, they had managed to clean and wash her hair and she looked like sleeping beauty, except this wasn't a fairy tale, this was the opposite, a nightmare. Her hair, he noticed was the colour of fire, red and ethereal. She leaned against a stacked amount of pillows, the TV on but barely noticed, her hands clasped and as he entered the room, she looked up.

"Hi," she whispered barely.

Javier took a seat beside her bed, "How are you feeling?"

"I could be better," she grimaced, "If you hadn't been there, I could have died, so I wanted to thank you."

"I'm sure any one would have done the same," Javier replied back.

"Not just anyone, my killer left me to die... or he didn't finish off the job, who knows..." she stared at her fingers. "The police man who was here earlier, Thomas I think he said his name was, he said you're a private investigator..."

Before Javier could answer back, a barrel of men ran through the door and he watched as Rose's eyes widened with alarm, she clutched her blanket and he noticed her breathing went up a notch. Her father clutched her in a hug, a hug she didn't return and as she leaned back against the pillows, her eyes darted from the men standing around her.

"How are you feeling my dear?" her father asked, touching her face, Ruby flinched as if her father had somehow hit out at her. Javier watched closely at his reaction, he didn't step back.

"Happy to be alive," she replied back momentarily.

"I have made arrangements for you to be moved back to the house..." her father said.

"No!" Ruby interjected.

"No?" her father said, "Why ever not?"

"No, I don't ever want to go back to that house again," Ruby spoke clearly, "And you can't make me."

Her father stood silent for a few moments and then realised Javier's presence in the seat beside her bed, "And who are you?" he asked arrogantly.

Javier stood to his awestruck six foot two, towering over the elderly man by a whole foot, he struck out his hand, "Javier Romano, some folks call me Jay."

"And who might you be?" the arrogance of the man.

"This man, Don, is the man who saved my life... I would appreciate it if you paid him a lot more respect, if he wasn't there then, I would be dead in the water," Ruby spoke out, speaking of her father as if he were a stranger, "I won't be returning to the house, like I said, I am going back to my apartment without your security specialists."

"I don't think that's a good idea," her father began.

"I think it's a great idea, considering I was abducted from your house in the first place," Ruby said with pure contempt.

14 January 2011


Benito clambered up the stairs in three's, his long legs appreciating the stretch.  As he headed towards his bedroom, he immediately closed the door behind him and headed straight to the safe and putting in the combination, as the door opened with a spring, the green emerald twinkled back at him.  It sat on black velvet in the far end of the safe, the greenest of the green sitting on a thin band of gold, it was his mothers and his mother's mother before that and in his heart, he wanted Lenny to have it.  He loved her, he couldn't think of anyone else who deserved it more.  He pulled the ring out, such a delicate stone as he looked at it, the sun shine making it twinkle and sparkle, he sighed thinking of the words to say... when the door opened and he spun around to see her hand on the door handle and Lenny leaning against the doorjamb.

Benito was on his knees and in his fingers he held a ring.  She could see how beautiful it was, from where she was standing.  The light from outside touched it and it glowed with colour, making the green more pronounced.  His eyes were soft and there was a warmth to them, she had only seen when she had caught him staring at her.  He was on his feet before she could bat an eyelid, closing the distance between them. The ring disappeared and she felt his fingers touch the fringe of her hair, he was looking at her with new emotion, emotion she knew, that he needn't explain.  It was strange, she seemed to know these things with a mere feeling, a sense of touch, either that or she was completely infatuated with this man. He had saved her and he'd been there, even if she didn't know it herself at the beginning.  She had been rescued and how on earth was she going to tell him, she-

"There's something that I have to tell you Lenora and I had hoped to tell you in Siena," he began, his eyes never leaving her face.
"What is it?" she said, with a hint of panic in her voice.
She watched as he went down on one knee and everything she wanted to say, escaped her.  He was proposing to her. She could do nothing but gawp at him, very un-princess like but to hell with her title, she stood here as a woman and he stood there as a man, who wanted to spend his life with her.
"Why Siena?" she rambled.
"Because Siena is beautiful and I know you would like it, but as you have indeed caught me red handed, we shall see it another time, perhaps.  I have asked your grandfather for your hand in marriage and Lenny, it would be the greatest honour if you would be my wife?" His eyes locked on to hers.
"Is that it?" she said, "Is that all you needed to say?" She pulled away and saw his features cloud over and still he didn't get it.  She turned away slowly and left the room.

Benito was on his feet and was after her, she was already on the ground floor and her back was to him, biting her finger nails as she stared outside the window, before he got any closer to her, she spoke out, her voice melancholy, "Marriage is great, but without a key ingredient... it's meaningless... just a piece of paper... I know I should be happy now, smiling from ear to ear but somehow I feel, I don't know... lost."
Benito turned her towards him, cupping her face with his hand, "Lenny look at me," her eyes stole away from his and he shrugged, "I love you, I have loved you probably since the first time I was told to watch out for you... and in my head, I don't know... I just wanted to be with you... we don't have to get married, if you don't want to-" He didn't get to finish what he wanted to say as she lunged into his arms and hugged him.
"Of course I want to marry you, I just wanted to hear you say you love me first because I love you so much, love you, love you, love you," splattering kisses all over his face.
"Wait a minute beautiful," he grinned, "I haven't done the most important thing yet,"
"What's that?" she drew back at inch
"Put a ring on it," he smiled, slipping the precious emerald onto her finger.


"Benito and Lenora were wed in the cathedral where all the previous generations of the Italian monarchy had wed, it was a lavish affair, covered by all the press around the world.  Lenora wore a specially made Vera Wang dress, encrusted with Swarovski crystals and  yards upon yards of silk and Benito had dressed in his military uniform and now they were husband and wife.  To them, it was just a fusion of their love and the joining of their lives, but it indeed is much, much more"  Albert said, smiling as he read the caption from the newspaper, as he sat in his Vintage bookshop, "My sweet Lenny, you are a Princess afterall."