19 April 2011

Run & Hide


In the aftermath of Ruby's ordeal, Felix Stowe was sentenced to twenty years imprisonment for participating and being an accomplice to Christopher Lewis and would not be allowed parole.  Christopher Lewis received a far severe sentence, as the police had uncovered, he had killed other missing heiress to other fortunes and that Ruby had been luckier then them all.  Christopher, with no hope of getting out, eventually confessed to his crimes of sadistic torture, use of illegal drugs and murder and other degrees. He would be serving life in jail for the rest of his life. 
Don Lee Carlton made sure, he never came out again and processed all of Christopher Lewis' wealth to those families who had not been so lucky.

Romano's Restaurante rose from the ashes, was renovated in plush terracotta red with imported Italian interiors.  It was also the place where Javier went down on one knee and proposed to Ruby, where she had burst into tears and finally through her hiccups accepted, to a bounteous applause of the whole restaurant.

A Couple of Months Later...

Ruby looked at the glittering diamond on her left hand and the white gold band that nestled beneath it.  She couldn't contain her happiness on such a monumental day.  Together with her father and her extended family, the Romano's, she finally belonged somewhere.  She looked up at her husband Javier Romano and caught him staring at her.  He was dressed solely in a black suit, a pristine white shirt and tie and her heart skipped a beat, he was the most attractive man she had ever seen and he was her husband.

He drew her in his arms and kissed her affectionately with erupting applause from their families, they turned to walk down the aisle as Mr and Mrs Romano. It was a beautiful day and they had chosen to get married in Lake Como in the Villa Carlotta and it they couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day.

"You are absolutely beautiful Mrs Romano," Javier said, not letting her go and grinning from ear to ear.

"Why, thank you Mr Romano," Ruby replied with a smile.

"I have a little gift you, Rubes... just stay there, I'll be back," Javier said disappearing and then coming back with a long blue velvet case, "This is for you, my love... open it."

Javier watched his wife as she opened the clasp of the gold locket that shone in the light, it had their initials engraved on the front and deep within him, he couldn't help but feel so complete.

"Oh wow, there's a photo of everyone here... you, me side by side and as are my father and mother..." her face dropped and Javier's heart did too.

"What's the matter Rubes?" Javier asked, clasping her shoulders and looking intently into her eyes.

Ruby smiled as she looked up at him, "There should be a space for your daughter or son when they arrive- I'm pregnant Javier."

Javier was speechless, did he hear correctly? Was she telling him that he was going to be a father as well as a husband? He couldn't contain his utmost joy at the news and he swung her around, to the laughter of their news, "I'm so happy Rubes, I really am... let's go tell our family..."

They held each other for a couple of minutes and strode towards their wedding reception and to the people they loved.

18 April 2011

Run & Hide

Chapter 12
Grief Stricken

Don met Javier in the foyer of the Lee Carlton mansion, the sun was rising in the east, spraying the hills and the surrounding area with it's shine.  Don was dressed up in a red velvet robe, with black pyjamas and wore comfy gentleman slippers.  He saw Javier dressed up in jeans and a shirt and wondered what was so urgent that he had been woken up from sleep, but he came to a conclusion that it had to do with Ruby. 

"Where would Ruby go if she were to escape from it all?" Javier demanded.

"Might you explain to me what the hell is going on?" Don demanded back.

"She was attacked in her own home..." Javier growled, "By Christopher Lewis and Felix Stowe."

"What!?" Don replied, "You must be mistaken..."

"I'm never mistaken..." Javier replied, "Now, you have to tell me, where she would go... where she would feel safe?"

"Dear God, poor Ruby..." Don sank down against the ornate table standing in the middle of the foyer.

"I need you to tell me where I can find her... if I can't find my answers from you, I'll get them from someone else Don," Javier said becoming impatient.

"She's probably gone to her mother's cottage up in the Cotswold's, it's been untouched for years but that would be where she would be... to be closer to her mother, where she's buried," Don rubbed his temple, "It's the cottage that sits between the valley between the century old oak tree, you can't miss it. That is where she would be. I can't think of anywhere else."

"Great, thanks," Javier turned for the door.

"You're in love with my daughter, aren't you?" Don asked.

Javier stopped in his tracks and looked over his shoulder, "I have to find her, she's all that I care for right now." And he stormed out.

"I'll take that as a yes, then," Don said to the silence.


Ruby stopped and sat down on the side of the road, she was engulfed with emotion and she couldn't stop trembling.  Her feet could no longer carry her, she had blisters on her feet and she was tired, hungry and she wanted nothing more then to be in the cottage.  Through fear and adrenaline she had run some miles but she couldn't do it any more, it was too far and she couldn't understand what had compelled her to start running.  Her head fell into her hands as she let the tears fall down.  She cried for her treatment, her pain, she cried for her mother, her father and she cried for escape.  Her eyes felt like they could turn to water now.  She felt like a wreck. She didn't want to hitch hike, she couldn't contemplate being in another situation with a stranger, she couldn't be there. She would just have to wait until her feet cooled down and the achenes in her muscles subsided before she made another attempt.

She sat staring at the view of the rolling hills and the sun all aglow and remembered times she spent in Tuscany as a child and as a grown woman.  She would like nothing more then to be there now, a place where she was untouched, a place where she could be herself without the regular pressures of life. She made a mental note to go and visit again. She sat on the road, away from the traffic and the tiredness was kicking in, she can't fall asleep, not here but her eyes had other ideas.  Her eye lids shuttered down like falling blinds and her head slowly drifted to the floor and the blackness swarmed her.

Javier was two thirds of the way, when something caught his eye.  He slowed on the main road and when he etched closer, his heart leaped into his mouth. It can't be. No! He heard himself shouting to anyone.  He did an illegal U-turn and parked a few feet away, got out of his car and run towards the motionless body lying on the side of the road. It was Ruby.  He touched her face and she was cold, weather beaten by the elements. He feared the worst, that she had died all alone by the side of the road.  Suddenly, her eyes opened slightly and she focused on him,
"Javier is that you?"

"Yes it is me, Rubes," he answered her, cuddling her closer to him. He felt her tremble and he swept her up in his arms and walked over to the car, "You're safe now and I'm going to take you home."


Javier had called her father and told him he had found Ruby and they had arrived at her mother's cottage a little over an hour ago.  Her father had announced, he would be cancelling his schedule and was taking the helicopter down there to see her after he sorted out Lewis and Stowe at the police station.  Javier could tell there was worry in the tone of the man's voice, as well as anger and betrayal. He hung up the phone and sat on the couch opposite Ruby's bed, she had been asleep since he had found her on the mile stretch road on his way to the Cotswold's.  He rubbed his forehead and took a deep breathe, but he was more relieved then anything to have found her back.  What had gotten into her, to think that she could run all the way here? But anyone in her shoes would have done the same thing- it was the thought of survival, she didn't know whether Christopher or Felix would be after her, so she'd fled but he'd made a silent vow to himself, that he wouldn't let any harm come to her, not now, not ever.  Or however long she wanted to have him around. Javier sat up, when he heard Ruby stir in her sleep.  She blinked her eyes open and her gaze slowly found his.  She sat up and touched her head.

"Are they... have they..." she stammered, not wanting to comprehend his answers but having to ask anyway. 

He was by her side before she could even think about it, "They are being charged as we speak, your father is with Ryker at the police station- both Christopher and Felix are not going to see the light of day."

She nodded in confirmation, "Thank you Javier."

"You have nothing to thank me for," he replied, touching her cheek, "And I must say, I'm very impressed by how you managed to tackle them and lock them up in your own house."

"They didn't try to escape?" she asked.

Javier watched her, despite the ordeal she had been through, he couldn't help but think, how beautiful she looked and he wanted nothing more but to kiss her and make sweet love to her, "They couldn't, you were like a tornado, you left destruction in your wake. They were too battered to even contemplate making an escape, great thinking with locking them in."

Ruby smiled, "I'm glad," she exhaled, "What's the damage on your family's restaurant?"

"Burnt to the ground, only the door is still standing," Javier replied, "There's one more thing... it was Felix and Christopher who started the fire."

"I know," her eyes became distant, "It was to distract you... so they could get to me... I'm so sorry Javier, I really am... let me pay for the damages."

"It's not your fault Ruby, none of this is your fault... those two bastards, those two sadistic bastards are to blame and don't worry, my family have been planning to renovate for quite some time now, better time then ever..." Javier laughed, to lighten the mood, "So you don't owe me or my family anything."

"I'm hungry, is there anything edible to eat?" Ruby asked.

"There's plenty, I restocked whilst you were asleep, let me get you some soup."

Ruby watched Javier walk towards the kitchen, she laid back down and closed her eyes, she could definitely get used to this.  Javier fit perfectly in this set up, but did he feel the same way she felt about him. Once she was back to her normal self, she would ask him or at least try to broach the feeling to him. How was she meant to broach love to him, when she knew that now, that the killers were caught, his protection of her would now be coming to an end and she would never see him again. That feeling of loneliness hit her like a dumbbell.  She could do loneliness, she had been lonely for so long, she had become accustomed to it, like an old friend but could she face loneliness now that Javier had been in her life and was going to be out of it.

"You have your thinking face on, anything I can help you with?" Javier asked, sitting the bowl of soup onto a lap tray with some bread and a glass of water, "So, what's up Rubes?"

"When will you be leaving me?" she asked plainly.

"Trying to get rid of me already?" Javier quipped.

Ruby shook her head and suddenly, Javier was kissing her, his hands were in her hair and he was touching her cheeks, the kiss was tender but it was also desperate. Javier drew away.

"You were saying?" Javier smiled.

"I... um... I just wanted to know when you would be leaving?" Ruby said, putting the soup tray aside.

"That really depends on you, doesn't it?" he said, taking his seat on the bed beside her.

"On me?" Ruby replied.

"Yes, on whether you want me around," he smiled.

"Of course, I want you around... I want nothing more to have you around Javier, I love you, of course I want you with me," she said simply.

Javier watched Ruby with utmost precision, her proclamation of love wasn't what he had been expecting... at most, he had been expecting her to say she liked him, not to go all out with those three beautiful words, that were making his heart do somersaults and making the adrenaline course through his veins. He simply nodded.

"And how do you feel about me?" she asked.

15 April 2011

Run & Hide

Chapter 11

Javier got to his family's restaurant and the fire fighters had been working on keeping the fire under control since he received the call from his mother.  The fire was being contained but from the damage, he knew they'd have to rebuild everything from scratch.  Whoever started it, had done a pretty good job at completely destroying the place.  His mother's face distraught, buried in the chest of his father who was looking on in complete shock and disgust.  He couldn't possibly badger his family right now, so he directed his questions to the chief of police who was standing a few metres away.  He was a fairly tall guy, aged with service and was talking to the London Brigade henchman, when Javier approached, he cut to the chase.

"This is no accident, do we have any eye witnesses?" Javier stood in stance, hands on his hips.
"You must be Javier Romano, your father had informed me you're a specilised cop," the chief of police said nodding towards Javier.

"Yes that is correct, but I'm not here for small talk..." Javier said grimly.

"Of course," the man nodded, "One man, medium build, balding accompanied by another man a bit taller but far heavier approached the premises a few hours ago, carrying lighter fluid, our CCTV caught them in the process of torching the property... an eye witness tried to stop them...but got assaulted by them..."

"And where is the eye witness?" Javier said sternly.

"She's seated over there," the chief of police flicked his head behind him and Javier's gaze followed, there was a woman sitting on a stretcher outside an ambulance having stitches applied to her face.

"Did she get an ID on them?" Javier asked.

"As a matter of fact, something better..." and he withdrew a phone from his pocket and showed him the photo.

Javier only needed to glance at the photo to determine who it was and he ran towards his car which was parked behind the cordoned off street, he took out his mobile and dialled Ruby's landline only to get the machine, he tried her mobile but it had kept on ringing.  A shot of fear ran through the course of his veins as he realised the fire had been a way to distract him and that Ruby's life was in danger.  He called Ryker's number and he picked up on the first ring, "Ruby's house now." And hung up.

He drove like hell on wheels, having run three red lights to get to her.  He had a sinking feeling he wasn't going to like what he was going to find when he got there.  He barely parked his car as he bolted out of the drivers seat and towards the front door, but found the door a jar and it seemed that Ryker had already got there and was in the process of handcuffing Christopher and Felix.  Half of Felix's face was red and the skin peeled off and he sat handcuffed against the wall. Christopher was sporting a shiner and the kitchen was a mess.

"Where is she?" he growled.  He was met with silence. "I'll say this again but I'll only say it once, where is she?"

It was Felix that spoke up, "She ran off, locked us in here."

"Shut your mouth Felix..." yelled Christopher.

"I will not shut my mouth, if I did the planning, we wouldn't be in this fucking situation, this is all your fucking fault..." Felix yelled at Christopher.

"Shut your goddamn mouth Felix..." Christopher yelled, trying to usher forward but Ryker had chained him to the cupboard handle.

"Christopher, he's screwed up, he hates spoilt little rich kids, he hates that they use up the resources of their wealthy parents... and live extravagant lives without even lifting a finger... he wanted to torture Ruby...." Felix mouth spewed up the details making Christopher increasingly fucked off.

"Shut your mouth, you twerp... shut it, or I will shut it for you," Christopher shouted, hatred in his cold eyes.

"He wanted to torture Ruby, he had started to... but I couldn't bare to watch her suffer anymore... he kept pumping drugs into her, so she would forget, that her memory would be erased... but I couldn't allow him to do that to her... so I let her go... I let her escape..." Felix revealed.

"You traitor, you fucking traitor... you betrayed me... I had plans for her," Christopher yelled.

Above the noise, Javier spoke to Ryker giving him specific instructions when the police came to take them away and to contact chief of police as he had evidence. Javier walked into Ruby's room and started searching for clues to where she might have headed to.  He was relieved that her abductors had been caught, but he was worried about the state that she was in.  She had managed to lock them up in her own house and to cause them injury, so she couldn't have been too bad a state. He rifled through her things and then came across the locket in her drawer with a letter.  He opened the clasp to see a picture of her mother and then the letter.  He read it and put it back in the place he found it. He was going to have to pay her father a visit.

Ruby had been running for what seemed like forever, she wanted to give due credit to those who perish every year to run in Marathons because she was definitely feeling the effects of it now. She had been running since she had left the house and she hadn't stopped, mostly scared that they would catch up with her and she wanted as much space between them.  Her legs were aching now, but she was a strong runner, so she could do a couple more miles before she would have to stop.  What ached the most, was her heart.... she had fallen in love with Javier and was afraid he may never know, because no one knew of this place, just her, her mum and maybe her dad but he was a different person and well... something he chose to forget because they were happy memories. 

She wished for happy memories, more then anything.  She wished for memories of her childhood, of her mother but now that she had seen Felix and Christopher, the memories she thought she had forgotten were coming back one after the other. It was Christopher who had tortured her and it was Felix who had sat back and watched, the evil glint in their eyes as they proceeded to question her motives and pump wild drugs into her system.  They were the devil reincarnated, she wanted to be free of the memories, free of the pain and free of everything that had happened. She carried on running, she wanted to be there... she didn't care that she was running, she just wanted to get everything out of her system and if hiding was what she had to do, she would be the best.

12 April 2011

Run & Hide

Chapter 10

Javier felt the smoothness of Ruby's hair beneath his finger tips, it looked like fire.  It looked even more like fire in abundance as it lay in chaos on the pillow.  His other hand selfishly swept the length and breadth of her, he was so overwhelmed by how soft her skin was, that she felt like a China doll in his care.  He closed his eyes as he kissed her, their tongues caught in a ritual dance.  God, he couldn't get enough of her.  The taste, the smell of her-was pure intoxication, he could stay like this forever.  His mouth trailed kisses down the column of her exquisite neck, to the globes of her breasts and noticed her puckered rose coloured nipples standing to attention. He caught one in his mouth and suckled it, using his free hand to knead the other nipple between his thumb and finger.  He heard her gasp of pleasure and trailed his hand further down.

"You're beautiful Ruby," he said, barely a whisper.

His hands raked down the softness of her stomach and reached the apex of her thighs, his fingers touching the soft curls and felt the heat emanating from that one sacred place. He caressed her clitoris and felt her arching towards him with want and desperate need. He moved further down the bed, moved her legs further apart and moved to her folds, where he kissed, suckled and caressed her with his tongue.  Her moans of esctasy errupted, as she moaned his name.
"Javier, I want you... I want you now," she demanded, "I want you inside me now!"

Javier sheathed himself and thrust into her, her wish was his command but he paused in mid thrust and looked down at her with shock as he saw her eyes widen, "You're a virgin!"

"I was," she said shyly.

"Why didn't you tell me?" he demanded in a barely there whisper.

"Because I didn't want this reaction," she said, "Let's not make my first experience be a downer now Javier, I want you, you want me... just make love to me, okay?"

Those were the last words that were spoken between them, as Javier continued to make love to her, they both reached their momentous peak.  As Javier laid back down beside her on the bed, he looked over towards her and noticed her staring straight at him.  She didn't say a thing and that worried him.

"Are you okay? Did I hurt you?" he asked, cupping the side of her face.

"No, no... you didn't... I just... I..." she could barely get her words out.

"What's the matter?" Javier asked as he sat up and she too sat up, wrapping the duvet around her.

"I think I know who abducted me Javier..." she said blankly.  The colour draining from her face, "I think I know who it is."

"Who is it?" Javier asked, his hand stroking her face.

"It's..." Ruby began but the sound of Javier's mobile phone cut in.

He picked up the phone to his mother speaking frantic Italian, something about a fire and someone missing. He spoke back and got out of bed, "There's a fire at my family's restaurant and I have to get down there."

"I'll come with you," Ruby said, getting out of bed.  Javier watched as she began putting on clothes but it would be unsafe for her to accompany him, he would be so occupied with the family situation, he wouldn't be able to keep an eye on her, let alone protect her properly.

He kissed her and she paused with putting on her camisole top, "Rubes, not that I don't want you with me but you'd be safer here than out on the field with me.  Everyone is pretty frantic at the moment, the last thing I want to do is to put you in that situation.  I'll check in with you every hour, make sure..."

Ruby was hurt, she felt more apart of Javier Romano's family then she had ever felt apart of, then hers.  Of course she wanted to help, she wanted nothing more then to help but he was treating her like she was incapable of taking care of herself, "Honestly Javier, I can be a great help to your family."

"Yes, but if something were to ever happen to you, I wouldn't be able to forgive myself Rubes... that's why I want you to stay here."

"What use can I be here, when I can be with your family?"

"Look, I'm wasting time having this conversation with you, I have to go. Lock the doors and don't open the doors to anyone. Y'know the security codes and if you need to go out, at least tell Ryker and he'll be here in an instant to escort you."

"I'm not a child Javier, so stop treating me like one..." Ruby said, turning on her heel towards the kitchen.

"I know that, otherwise I wouldn't have just made love to you..." Javier said, "Look Ruby, I really don't want to argue with you right now..."

"We're not arguing Javier... I believe you were on your way out," she said matter of factly.

"Ruby..." Javier began.

"Just go, your family need you..." and then a few moments later she heard the front door close behind him.  She walked to the kitchen and put the kettle on the stove, she was dressed in jeans and a camisole and she'd just put her hair in a ponytail. Again, she felt like she hardly belonged anywhere... she had just lost her virginity to a man, she was falling passionately in love with and when she was feeling complete, it was being discarded in shreds again.  He didn't trust her enough to be with his family, she was a big girl and she could take care of herself. She didn't want him to use a pathetic excuse like, she would be in the way of him doing anything.  She heard the front door open and without hesitation, she said, "Did you forget something?" And when she spun around, to her shock there were two men standing in front of her.

"How did you get in here?" she said, trying to calm herself down.

"Did you not learn anything from our last tutorial Ruby," the man came towards her, he was holding fencing wire in his hand and was grappling it like he was going to tie her up.

"I'm going to scream," Ruby threatened.

"And what? Your bodyguard boyfriend is going to come to your rescue... well we've taken care of him for a few hours," spoke the lanky man who was edging towards her.

Ruby moved towards the stove, "You deliberately started the fire, didn't you?"

"Well, we had to get your boyfriend out of the way, so we could finish off what we started... rich girls like you don't deserve second chances."

Ruby didn't hesistate, she grabbed the kettle and flung it towards the hefty man with the fencing wire, the metal hitting his face and he stumbled onto the table with it's contents hitting the floor with a bash.  The lanky man threw himself towards her, but she prevented her fall by throwing the hot water on him and heard him yelling in pain. His skin had turned flame red and saw bits of it peeling away.  She stepped over him and ran out of the kitchen, only to fall head first to the foor, the man she had butted with the kettle had caught hold of her ankle and wouldn't let go. She turned around and as hard as she could manage, kicked him in the head and she did it again and he eventually let her ankle go. She staggered to her feet and bolted for the door. She could still hear them keeling in pain in the kitchen. Shutting the door, she pinned the security code in, locking them in. In her escape, she forgot the car keys... she would have to make her way out on foot.  She started running towards the main road, where she could start to blend in with the locals.  She didn't know where Javier's parents' restaurant was located, but she didn't want to risk going to the family house in case Christopher and Felix followed her there. She had to get somewhere, without risk of being discovered and she knew only one place. One place that no one could get to her. She doubled her speed and started running faster.