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   Chapter 5 NO.5

The Truth Behind It All By madairifa Characters: 12789

Updated: 2018-01-12 12:01

April 8, "Hi, Adam, " Ana Marie said startling him as he walked out of his room, and tried to sneak into Jefferson's main office. "How do you like Jorge's bed and breakfast?"

"It's a. . . homey place, " he replied referring to the size. It was too small for his six feet long body.

Ana Marie smiles, and keeps drinking coffee. By the look of her, she had that day off. She wasn't wearing her scrubs, but jeans instead, and her hair was down in a messy look. It was eight o'clock in the morning and he felt like pouring himself some tea, but not before questioning Ana Marie first.

"So, are you off to work today?" he asked even though he knew the answer.

"Not today, I would go to school but it's spring break."

"What are you going to school for?" he asked almost too fast.

"I am finishing my bachelor's degree in Nursing. Hopefully I'll be on my way of getting my master's degree, " she replied peacefully. She sips on her cup. "How about you? Are you just a private detective?"

She remembered, he noted. "Yes, I am. I got a degree in criminal justice and in criminal profiling."

"Impressive. That makes you, what. . . twenty six?"

That took him by surprise, she wanted to know his age? What for? But he didn't dwell too much on it. He decided he was done with pleasantries, he went ahead and asked, "So Mr. Jefferson is your uncle?" Even though he knew the answer to that.

"No. My mother and he are good friends. He is more like a father to me, than an uncle though."

"What about your real father?" he asked not caring if it was too forward. He could tell she was taken aback.

"I don't know him, I mean, I do but not really." Adam nodded but he thought there was a better way to explain that. She continues, "I grew up without him, and my mother only told me the basics about him. But I could care less."

Basics, he repeated in his mind. "What sort of things did she tell you about him?"

"Uh, you know, he is a good, hardworking, handsome man who is in Europe trying to make a good living in order for him to come back for us, blah, blah, blah."

"You sound like you are very fond of him."

Ana Marie laughed. "I was, growing up anyway. But he came back four years ago with gifts for a five year old girl, I guess he had forgotten I was eighteen, " she said in disappointment. "Anyway, I thought he came back so he could, I don't know, take charge of the wife, well not wife because they never got married, his woman and daughter, and lo and behold, he came because he had some business to attend here. He just came by because it was down the same way."

"What kind of business?"

She shrugged. "No one knows. My mother used to tell me that he was a scientist that helped developed injections for the sick people, but I am pretty sure she was sugar coating it for me."

"What do you think he really does?"

Ana Marie looked out in the distance, not a trace of any emotion behind it. "I don't really know."

Adam nodded. "Then, you don't know your father at all."

Ana Marie looks up. "I guess I don't."

Alright, he thought, here was a girl who was seriously suffering from abandonment, who wouldn't? But he was positive that she had nothing to do with his father's affair, but she knew he was doing something not so decent.

"Why do you ask so much about my father?" she asked.

"Nothing in specific, I am curious."

Ana Marie watched him as he made himself a cup of tea, he could tell that she wasn't convinced. "Aright, nice talking to you, Adam." She stood from the stool and placed the cup in the sink.

"You're leaving?" Adam found himself asking surprising himself.

"Yeah, a few of my friends and I are going to the fair. It's spring break, remember?"

"Of course, " he said, mostly to himself. Whenever he spoke to her, he forgot that he was speaking to a twenty two year old sorority girl.

"You are welcome to come. That is if you're still looking for places to go."

"I'll consider it, " he said without turning to see her. He heard the door close softly. He slammed his cup on the counter, why was he so confused right at that moment?

"You fancy her, don't you?"

Adam winces at the sound of Brian's voice. "Don't be silly."

"You do, don't you? You fancy an American college girl, " he laughed.

"You don't know what you are talking about."

"I do know that, she invited you to the fair, and you said that maybe. You are not here for a bloody spring fling, you know."

"I didn't say maybe, I said, I'll consider it— "

"Same thing, mate, " Brian interrupted.

"For your information, I am pretending to be her friend because she is Velez' daughter. She can give us plenty of information."

"Sure you are, " Brian said between laughs. There was no way getting through to him.

* * *

July 24, They have to enter through the back door. Unlike the first time, they arrived in the middle of the night so the pub could be completely empty, except for Jefferson, who was going to let them in. Ever since the attack, they had to be cautious in every single step. The attack was all over the news and Adam's and Ana Marie's photo was dispersed throughout the state. It was unlikely that people would remember that now, but they still had to be secretive in every move because Velez was keeping an eye out for Adam.

They enter the room, positioned behind the pub and to Adam's surprise, everything smelled and looked the same. The rooms, where they had stayed years ago, were the same, maybe the color of the covers were different, but nothing else. Everything was small in size; the room was small, just like before. The pub was the same. The logo, the wood present in every single thing, everything remained. Except for Jefferson.

Jefferson was thinner, maybe fifty to sixty pounds less. His head was still bald and he wears more, discrete shirts, instead of the Hawaiian ones. His skin was pale and his eyes were surrounded by dark circles. He has been sick. Adam notices his arms as Jefferson hugs him, they are bruised by needles.

"I am so glad you can stay here, " Jefferson says with a shine in his eyes. "It had become a bit lonely in here."

A new picture was on the wall, it was his wife, a cheerful woman smiling at him. Adam sees his left hand, nothing but the ghost of a wedding band. He was now a widower.

"Feel free to settle, and James, I am sorry to tell

you, you will be sleeping with me. There are two rooms and I am sleeping in one. The other will be shared by the both of you, " he looks at Adam then at Brian.

"There is no problem with that, we were flatmates for quite a long time, remember?" Brian says, making Jefferson laugh.

He no longer had the house, Adam observes. He looked around Jefferson's room. His dirty clothes, a week's worth, were in a cluster next to the closet, the kitchen had a few pans and plates, whatever was necessary, but one thing stood out to him. A photo album was next to the bed stand. He definitely, no longer lives in his house. He felt lonely in an empty house, so he sold it and decided to live at the one place that has always been part of his life, the pub.

As Brian and James stepped aside to see if the internet worked in his office, Jefferson and Adam went to the bar and poured themselves a beer.

After a long drink, Jefferson watches Adam as he leaves his beer untouched. "How've you been?"

"Good, " Adam replies. What if he does get to see Ana Marie? What would he do?

"You a married man now?"

"No, " he says raising his left hand showing him his bare finger.

"I see."

What if he sees her with her husband, maybe a big football player from college? How would he react?

"She is not married either, you know."

Adam looks at him in surprise. "How did you. . . "

"I saw your face when you were looking through the pictures, " his head motions towards the wall. "I knew you were looking for a wedding photo."

He wasn't, maybe not consciously. "How is she doing?" Adam finally asks.

Jefferson sighs. "She is good now. I was worried for her at first, she wasn't taking your 'death' too well." Adam shuts his eyes tightly, he did not want to hear that. "Of course she knew Velez had sent his men, and she could never forgive him. She cut complete contact with him."

"Did she get her master's like she wanted?"

"Nah, she quit that right after that. She moved back in with her mother and she almost never goes out. She only goes to work and here."

Adam lets that sink in, he wants to know if she was dating anyone but he decides to leave it. He doesn't really want to know.

"I know that you are here undercover, " Jefferson leans forward. "But I think that she should know that you are alive."

"I can't."

"I know, but maybe when all of this crap ends. I mean, you deserve to be happy and so does she. I can tell you still love her. And when I talk to Ana Marie, I can tell she hasn't stopped loving you either."

"She hasn't?"

"Sometimes, she would just stare at nothing as she twists that ring around her finger, and for a split second, she would smile, like remembering the good old times." Adam can see her doing this as Jefferson was describing it, making him feel better. "That's when I know she is thinking of you."

There is a loud thumping sound on the back door. Adam jumps. "Were you expecting anyone?"

Jefferson stands slowly. "No, " he says as he walks towards the back, finding Brian and James in his way. "Who is it?" he calls out.

"It's me, " a woman's voice replies. Adam recognizes it immediately.

"Get in my room, " Jefferson commands and all three of them obey.

Adam is the last to enter and he shuts the door. He stays close to it for he wants to hear her voice again

There is a clanking sound, then she speaks. "Hi, sorry if I'm disturbing you." "That's fine, Ana. I wasn't even sleeping. Come in, what brings you here?" Jefferson says and apparently, he takes her to the bar, for their voices are slowly fading.

Adam stays there speechless. Ana Marie was so close, and to be forced to not even see her, it was torture. He decides to go, no matter what he had told James before, he needed to see her.

"I am going to go see if he is still alive, " he whispers and leaves the room before James or Brian could react.

He shuts it slowly, trying to make as less noise as possible. He takes a few steps towards the bar. The door was luckily shut, so he leans against it and turns the knob slowly, as he holds his breath; he opens the door, just an inch, enough for him to watch.

"I've been doing some thinking, " Ana Marie says as she sits across Jefferson. She was even more beautiful than he remembered. Her features where more defined but it was definitely her. She wears her scrubs, but they were pink ones, unlike the one's he was used on seeing her with, a navy blue colored one. Her hair was noticeably shorter and she had a set of bangs Adam had never seen before, making her face seem longer. No matter how much he scrutinized her outfit or her movements, he couldn't decipher what her life was like. He smiles, one of the many reasons that made him fall for her.

"Jose is back and maybe I should visit him, " she says, referring to her father.

"Are you sure?" Jefferson says fearfully.

"Yeah. I think it's so unfair for me to be mad at him, " she explains.

"No it's not."

"It's unfair to me. I am wasting my energy and risking my sanity by being so angry at him. I am exhausted."

Adam closes his eyes, this is so surreal. He never thought of seeing her again, almost touching her. He wants to just burst into the room and hold her. He saw her twisting a ring on her right hand as Jefferson said something unimportant. Was she thinking of him?

"Tomorrow, after work, " Ana Marie says and smiles, the smile that could literally stop a baby cry. "I think I can handle it."

Wait, Adam stops himself from almost drooling. She is going to see her father tomorrow, at six? Adam starts to panic. She couldn't go, not by herself. Her father was a dangerous man.

"Okay, thank you, " she says as she's about to open the door, Adam runs towards the kitchen and hides behind the refrigerator. Roses, he notes, she wore a perfume of roses. He stays there safely until he hears the door clank again. He barely slips out when James steps in front of him to scold him.

"Are you mad? You put us all at risk."

"I had to make sure Jefferson wasn't being assassinated, " Adam explains.

"Were you now? What did you say this morning?"

"I said I would not let myself be seen, and as far as I know, she did not see me."

Jefferson places a hand on James' shoulder. "Let him be. You would've done the same thing."

James stays quiet unable to come up with a reply.

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