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   Chapter 2 MYSTERIOUS PAST

FALLING IN LOVE WITH HIM By Shonihn Characters: 12904

Updated: 2019-06-17 19:00


Five years later…

Lake Elsinore, California, The United States Of America.

Lips pursed into a thin line, Liezel glared at her brother on the driver's seat as she breathed through her flared nostrils in annoyance, trying not to yell at him. Turning the key into the ignition, her brother Antony tried starting the truck one last time, before giving up.

"Sorry, Lizzy, it won't start now. I'm afraid we've to walk the rest of the way, " Antony said, brushing his palm over his face before his fingers locked in his dirty blonde hair, pushing it over his head. He had a big goofy grin on his face as he looked at his sister to find her still glaring at him with eyes that perfectly matched his blue ones. Being siblings, their eyes, hair, and other facial features were identical.

Liezel was annoyed, and folding her arms, she leaned back against the bench seat of her brother's old truck. She was sitting in the middle sandwiched between her brother and her husband.

She was on her way to her in-laws' place along with her husband Benson to fetch their three years old son. Her brother Antony was driving his old red truck, which suddenly broke down in the middle of the road, without any warning.

"Why don't you sell this trash off, Tony and buy something which actually moves on the road?" Liezel snapped at her brother.

"Don't be so harsh, Lizzy. It's our father's prized possession passed on to me, and I value it too much to sell it." Antony said, scowling at his little sister. She pushed him using both of her hands before punching his arm. Antony looked at her husband for help. Liezel is a five foot two inch petite woman, but she could be bossy and dangerous sometimes.

Benson got down, lit his cigarette with a lighter, and jerked his head to the front signalling Antony to come out. Liezel watched as they shared the cigarette, taking turns, puffing it by inhaling gently into their mouth.

She waited, hoping that the good for nothing old truck starts while her husband opened the hood of it, looking into the engine. She heard a loud hissing noise coming from the hood, followed by a loud curse from her two companions. And she too cursed when it started to drizzle.

The days in California warm up a little during March, but she knew there would be a slight risk of encountering some showers of rain in the evening. It was mid-march, and the temperature would drop at night. Thankfully, Liezel had packed an umbrella, a heavier Jacket for herself and a waterproof Jacket for her little son.

She watched her husband trying one last time to cure the dying engine and signalled Antony to start the truck. They were friends and partners in crime even before Liezel married him. He was a tall, handsome man with brown eyes matching his hair, long crooked nose, full lips, and a well-defined jaw. She fell for his good looks despite knowing his involvement in illegal activities. She always wanted to have a son with her husband's looks, but her son took over Liezel's features.

Antony shook his head and got off the truck as Benson shut the hood. They'd no choice but to walk the little distance. Liezel wore her Jacket over her pink sundress and grabbed the basket of fruits she bought for her in-laws.

There weren't any road or the corner that they weren't familiar with the city of Lake Elsinore. They were petty criminals, after all. Pickpocketing and cheating people with money were their source of income. They help drug traffickers in delivering the package sometimes, for extra money in and around the whole of California.

The loud screeching sound of tires startled all three of them. They saw many identical cars following one another.

Suddenly they heard gunshots everywhere. They hid behind their truck and watched the most horrifying war of bloodshed. Men in black suits with guns were firing, damaging the black, shiny SUVs and also killing people in it in the process.

Benson and Antony dragged Liezel with them and hid behind a huge tree. They didn't dare to step out of their hiding place. Judging by the situation, they could only guess that the men belong to some Mafia associations.

The big silver box grabbed their attention, the same box those men were fighting over. "The box must have something valuable inside it if these men are ready to die for it, " Benson whispered, and Antony agreed. "Money, or maybe some valuable jewels?" Antony suggested, "or drugs even, " he said, grinning at his partner in crime.

Her greedy husband and brother were plotting a plan to steal the box from those men while Liezel was scared for her life. The evening was quiet and peaceful a while ago, and the road was dead empty. Out of the blue, it turned into a Warzone.

They all jerked back, startled when a body landed right next to their hiding place. It wasn't a dead body, but an injured one nonetheless. A tall, well-built, muscular man crawled quickly behind the tree, and his blue eyes squeezed shut for a second as he grunted in pain. He clutched his left arm with his right hand to stop the bleeding, the gunshot wound caused. Liezel noticed his legs began to shake and she saw the blood wetting his thick black jeans pant.

"He's shot in the leg as well, " she said to no one in particular. The injured man took deep breaths, pushing his fingers through his blonde hair.

"Please help, " the man pleaded with them. He took out a paper and a pen from his Jacket and scribbled something in a hurry with his bloodied fingers. "Can you see that box over there?" He asked them, pointing at the silver box which was currently guarded by more than ten people.

They all looked at the box and nodded. "Here, take this, help me and I'll pay you whatever amount of money you want." He said with his thick Italian accent, handing over the letter he just wrote along with a thick envelope.

The man was smart enough to know the financial conditions of the three people judging by their appearance. They looked nowhere near the status of the middle class. He could tell, they would do anything to earn extra money. "Here's the deal. Deliver the box safely to the address I've written in this paper. I'll meet you there later and if by any chance my men and I couldn't get out of here alive, then my friend John will be there to receive it. He will pay you the money. Just show this envelope to him when you meet him, " with that said, he immediately jumped to his feet and surve

yed the damage caused to his team.

"Please help. I don't have much time. I'll bring that box to you and just run with it. My men will cover you, " he said and didn't wait for their agreement. Dragging his injured leg with much difficulty, he hurried to the man guarding the box. Within a few seconds, two of his men brought the box to Benson.

"Take this money, now hurry up." The man handed them a wad of cash. Benson and Antony exchanged looks, and the man recognized the greed coating their looks. He knew they would do his work as soon as they saw the bundle of money. They agreed, and he went back to his men, providing them the protection he promised as they prepared to run.

They heard more gunshots, and the bone-chilling screams increased. Whoever those men were, they were sacrificing their lives to protect that silver box.

Benson was smart enough to know that it's not safe to run in either direction. If they did, there was a chance of them getting shot by a bullet. So he decided that the best option would be to swim in the lake. He knew if they jump into the lake with the heavy box, the weight could cause them trouble.

Antony pointed to the small holes on the top and sides of the box and they wondered why. They decided to open the box and divide whatever the contents were inside into three parts and then jump into the water. But nothing could've prepared them for what they saw in the box. When they opened that heavy silver box, they saw a half-folded baby stroller inside, and Benson pulled the zipper of the cover.

"Jesus Christ!"

All three of them exclaimed simultaneously. Inside the silver box, instead of money or drugs, they found a baby. Four or five months old baby securely fastened to the belt attached to the box stared at them with big green eyes.

Lizzy smiled at the baby and picked it up in her arms. Ben wrapped the bundle of money, envelope and the letter in a plastic cover and tucked it inside his shirt. He decided, they would discuss what to do with the baby later, but for now, they'd to escape this terror first.

Two bodies dropped at their feet as a car blew, and Liezel screamed in horror.

"Lizzy, wake up. You're having a nightmare. Open your eyes. Wake up, Lizzy." Benson shook his wife's shoulder roughly, trying to wake her up from her nightmare. He heard her screaming, loud enough to wake him up from his deep sleep. Lightly tapping on her cheeks, he called her name loudly. Her body covered in sweat, and her cheeks were wet with tears when she opened her eyes. It took her a few seconds to come out of her fear.

"It had almost been five years, Lizzy. You still dream about that incident. It's time you get over it, Lizzy, " he said, stroking her hair in a comforting manner. "I tried, Ben, you know it. But it's hard to forget. This time it felt so real, Ben. I'm so scared, " Liezel said. He sighed, wiping her tears. She hugged him tightly, still sobbing.

"Don't you think it's time to share the truth? Hera will turn five tomorrow, Ben. We should tell her." She stared at her husband, pleading him with her teary eyes, only to find him narrowing his eyes in warning. "And tell her what, Lizzy? That she's not related to us in any way? That so many people died because of her? Or that we're hiding to protect ourselves from being killed?" He yelled, walking away from her.

He was tired of having that same conversation over and over with his wife. Every year on Hera's birthday, she would become emotional and try to guilt trip him. It irked him that she refused to see the logic. It wasn't like he'd any choice. She knew very well that he was as helpless as her.

"It's not her fault, Ben. We never delivered her to the said address, " she snapped angrily, and he looked away to hide his guilt. "We were petty criminals, Ben. We got involved in pickpocketing, alcohol, drug peddling even. But never in kidnapping and murder. Nevertheless, you were greedy enough to steal that newborn infant, " Liezel said. She covered her face with her palms, crying her heart out.

Helplessly, Benson walked back to her and pried her hands off her face. Palming her face, he tried to smile. "I did it for you and Danny, okay. You know I never meant any harm. I only wanted to make some money for us, to have a better life. I thought her family was loaded and we could get it out of them through her, " he confessed, and her gaze softened.

She held his hands and tried to convince him. "We can still make everything right, Ben. Let's find her parents. I'm tired of running. I want to stay in one place with my son. Our only son's childhood is suffering because of our sins, Ben. Please, let's make it right for him, " she said with a pleading tone, wiping her tear-stained cheeks.

He scoffed in return. "It's not that easy, Lizzy. That day when people were dying to save that baby, I only thought of her rich parents and the money we could extract from them. I didn't know then that the baby belonged to Alexander Hunter. You know him, Lizzy. He's not some petty criminal or a gang leader. Even Mafia leaders are afraid of him. He's that powerful and dangerous. He'll kill us, Lizzy. We can't go to him." He said with finality trying to put some sense into her.

He didn't wait for her to react and went inside the bathroom to avoid further conversation before she had a chance to respond. Liezel sighed in defeat.

"End of the conversation, I guess."

Her thoughts drifted into the past, reliving the day they saw Hera for the first time. She remembered everything, even to this day.

On that horrible day, when all the cars blew to ashes and dead bodies littered around them, their first instinct was to jump into the lake to save themselves. But something stopped them from abandoning the baby. Liezel was concerned for the baby's life while Benson and Antony had different motives. The baby was a ticket to a new refined and better future they could have if they save its life now.

Hastily, they dragged the stroller out of that box and secured the belts around the baby in it. Liezel put her son's waterproof Jacket around the baby. They prayed that the Jacket and the plastic cover of the stroller would keep the baby safe in the cold water. Antony removed his shirt and tore it into two parts. Benson tied the stroller on Antony's back using the torn shirt pieces like a rope. Without wasting any more time, they all jumped into the lake.

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