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   Chapter 26 25.

On Her Knees By Chyna McCartney Characters: 20525

Updated: 2018-02-11 17:20


I stepped out of the office about an hour later. Antonio read to me from a few of his books, and although his smooth baritone with its Spanish undertones would have usually been enough to keep me intrigued, I found myself being preoccupied with thoughts of how I would go about retrieving the files that Antonio had mentioned having.

Those files and the pictures that Marcus had supposedly left of the bodies of the girls he had murdered were exactly the kind of proof Giovanni needed to push his case through.

And once he had sufficient evidence, he would get me out of here like he had promised.

Certainly, the easiest route would have been to simply ask for them. I knew without a doubt that Antonio would give them to me, especially if he knew what I intended to do with that information. However, I couldn't afford to get him involved in that way. If Armand ever found out that his manager had aided me, there would definitely be hell to pay. I did not want any of the repercussions of mine and Giovanni's actions to befall Antonio; there had to be another way to get it done without directly implicating him and I decided that talking with Giovanni about this first would probably be the best way to approach the situation.

In the hall, I was met with the ghost girl again. My eyes immediately zoned in on her pale neck, looking for the wound where Marcus had cut her throat, but the high collar of her uniform hid the majority of the column of her neck. In some small way I was grateful; I didn't actually want to believe that I really was seeing an apparition and seeing the wound would have made this all too real for me.

Maybe it was the way her almost translucent shoulders were squared or the fact that her hollow, black eyes now bore into mine, but I felt that finally, she had found some kind of courage.

The blankness stare someone seemed like Vivian's way of acknowledging my knowledge; it was as if she was saying, "Well know you know.."

"I'm sorry, " I told her without breaking eye contact. It was all I could think to say. And yet, it seemed like that was all that needed to be said.

There were no words from Vivian. She just turned and walked down the hallway. Whether or not this was reconciliation, was a bit of a mystery in my mind but I hoped she found peace in knowing that someone knew of her suffering. Or maybe, she understood what I had already made up my mind to do: get justice for Vivian and all the other girls that Marcus had murdered.

Getting the files from Antonio was the only way I could think to do it. Giovanni seemed to have more power than either the brothel manager or myself did; he would know what to do.

In somewhat of a daze, I made my way back to my bed in the large room and spent the rest of the day and well into the evening, in and out of consciousness as I contemplated how I would approach this situation. Most importantly, how I would approach Giovanni, given how I'd made a mess of things on not one but, two separate occasions.

I let the thoughts of the blonde vampire and the future lull me to sleep at the end of my pondering.

______________________________________

The days passed quickly-- far quicker than they had since I'd been abandoned by my foster parents and left to suffer in this hell hole. I suppose it was because I was virtually unaware of it all.

For the past 5 days, it felt like I was waiting for something long awaited and tumultuous to take place-- like the unsettling feeling of anticipation when awaiting the climax of some suspenseful film. I had been on the proverbial edge of my seat for too long.

I came to realize two things during my contemplating over the last few days:

1) Everything was hinged on what plans I made with Giovanni. These files were my ticket out of here and Giovanni's release from whatever guilt he still harbored over his friend, Christa's death. Essentially, the success of the final stage of our agreement meant freedom and ultimately, failure meant the complete opposite. I didn't know what would happen if my true intentions were found out, but surely it meant death for me. Armand already wanted me dead and there would be nothing to stop him from getting just that if he knew how close I was to ruining him.

2) Apart from the imminent threat of death, I realized that this may be the last time I might be able to see Giovanni before the uncertainty of the impending events. There was so much I needed to say before this all went to hell-- So much I needed to apologize for. Yet, with the lump building in my throat, I wasn't sure if I would be able to come out with all of it.

I paced back and forth in bedroom with its gold detailing on the wall and the bed with the black silk sheets, waiting for the man I wanted to see most.

The bubble of anxiety in my chest seemed to double in size as I heard the door handle turning.

Giovanni stepped in, looking rather downcast. I was beginning to think that the black suits were his signature. He was dressed in a crisp, expensive looking, all back suit today with another silk, cornflower blue tie; almost the same color at his lovely eyes. His crystal blue eyes met mine for a brief moment as he greeted me with a quiet, "Good day, Teryn."

His cool palm gently caressed my cheek as he passed me. I heard the mattress groan as he took a seat on the bed behind me, but he was uncharacteristically quiet otherwise.

He had never looked so despondent in all the time that I had known him, especially when he came to see me.

I approached him with caution as he sat on the bed with his hands folded on his lap. His head was bent; his golden threshes falling over his shoulders like a curtain to hide him from me.

I swept all that beautiful silky hair, gathering it up in my hands in somewhat of a mock ponytail and pushing it back behind his shoulders so that I could see him clearly. I would hate to think that the lost look on his face was my doing. Yet, his silence, even as I stared down at him with my hands on his cool cheeks, confirmed that I was indeed the cause. He appeared to need my apology a lot more than I realized.

I

slender, crimson box. The box was placed in my hands. "I hope this will do you some good in the way of protection since you insist on playing the stealthy spy hiding in the shadows in this game of vigilantism."

I lifted the lid of the box and found what looked to be, at first glance, a strange gleaming rectangular shaped block. Each of the four sides were perfectly shaped; without a jagged edge or curve.

"I cannot handle it, " Giovanni continued, as I lifted the shape from the bed of white satin on which it lay. It was lighter in my hands than I had expected. "..Since it is made of the purest silver but I do believe that you should not have much trouble finding the smaller lever on the--"

His words were cut short when my fingers found a small button, almost invisible to the naked eyes if one did not know what to look for-- and a slender blade, about six or seven inches long slid out from a space on what I now knew was a hilt. The blade with its tapered and visibly sharp point, reflected all the artificial light in the room like some obscene diamond.

"Its beautiful, " I told Giovanni, twisting the hilt in the palm of my hand to watch the silver cast shadows across the room.

He laughed. "Trust you to pay more attention to the abstract than the issue at hand; and since I cannot convince you to behave more rationally..."Giovanni stepped in and pulled my arm that held the silver blade by the elbow, down and behind my back carefully so as to not put his skin in contact with what was the only weakness that I knew his kind to have.

"I simply urge you to be safe." His cool lips pressed against my forehead in a tender kiss before he pulled away, taking wide strides to the door.

"Giovanni. Wait, " I called out to him, once I had retrieved my wits that had been effectively scattered by only the barest of touches from him. The vampire turned in the doorway with an expectant look on his cherubic face.

"I meant to get your advice on how to actually go about doing this. See, I know that Antonio would readily give me the files but if he did-- I'm sure that if Armand found out that one of his trusted employees was aiding the other side, the consequences would be less than favorable..."

"You have a fondness for this vampire? This Antonio?" He enunciated the other man's name with underlying irritation and I suddenly felt very pressed to rectify the misinterpretation.

"He's decent; kind. He's one of the good guys; like you. I just don't want to see him get hurt for helping us. That's all."

"Of course, your intentions are always pure, dear one." Giovanni sighed, giving me the full weight of his intense stare. "Men-- all men; whether human, vampire or otherwise, are drawn to certain things. You, my dear, happen to biologically fit the criteria for being one of such things. I would suggest that you-- without giving away more than you are willing, of course-- use that to your advantage."

He disappeared from the room without another word, leaving me alone with the shiny blade in my hand. As a bit of a mischievous plot formed in my mind, I was reminded of a certain fictional barber who owned something sharp and silver, just as I know did.

I giggled, watching the scene from the film play out in my mind. In a way, although I'm not sure why this thought came to my mind, Mr. Todd and I were as equally as dead set on achieving our own version of a goal-- never mind that I was far from feeling homicidal or even keen on hurting anyone to get the information that I wanted.

All I was banking on was a little persuasion; nothing more. Just a few inches short of a plot that would get me what Giovanni and I both needed and still manage to leave a certain manager as oblivious and blameless as possible.

I raised my arm and the blade in my hand to the light, letting the glittering silver dazzle me and I quoted the familiar line in a way that was every bit as dramatic as Johnny Depp had managed to deliver it in his portrayal of the character--or at least as close to it as I could manage. "At last! My arm is complete again.."

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