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.