Chapter 14 - Everything Just Crashes

I never thought I'd have so many conflicting emotions. It felt as though I was way ahead of my own age. There were so many things about my life that If given the choice I would change. There wasn't a magic little wand to wave around and make all my wishes come true though.

I casually ran my hand over Anthony's suits, hanging in perfect order in his large walk-in closet. A closet which was at least twice the size of mine back home. There was a his and hers section but the 'hers' was just filled with more his. I went further into the closet and pushed back Anthony's fancy coats to reveal the hidden compartment where he had his safe. I had managed to get it opened a few weeks ago. I was still alive so I guess that meant Anthony hadn't noticed. Which was a good thing because I'd been too afraid to take the contents from the inside. I kept thinking of all the bad things Anthony would do to me if he caught me snooping around.

The safe contained a heap of legal documents that were of no interest to me. What did catch my attention though, was the gun and bullets that went with it. And there was at least 100k in stacks. There were a couple of watches and a memory stick. I eyed everything wearily, knowing that once I took the contents there could be no going back.

Yet I knew that today was the day when I'd take the gun, the money, and the memory stick. Simply because they were easier to carry than all the paperwork. Whatever was in the memory stick, I'm sure it had value or Anthony wouldn't keep it in his personal safe.

I stashed the memory stick in my pocket… but it was the money that mesmerized me. I'd always had a little card at my disposal courtesy of my father… but I had never physically held this much money in my life. Would it be enough to run away from this life? To take Eliza with me and start fresh somewhere where no one would bother us again? Not even my own family?

"Take it," Eliza said, looking over my shoulder. She brought me back from my thoughts and I handed the money to her instead.

"You take it. He'll find it on me."

She paused for a only a second, but grinned as she took the cash. "I'll try to spend it all in one store."

I rolled my eyes at her. "It has to be tonight...," I whispered. "Before he notices these things missing."

My sister nodded.

"You should go to your room…" I whispered, I closed the safe and put it back. Putting the coats back in place; like no one had been in Anthony's closet at all.

"Don't let your feelings get in the way." She warned on our way out.

She could probably see how indecisive I was about the whole thing.

As I watched her leave something bad settled in my stomach. We had been here far too long. Anthony didn't seem to want it to end either. If we didn't take this opportunity it might not be here tomorrow. We would make a move to escape tonight.

What more could he ask of me? My whole life? I scoffed to myself. It wasn't his to take. And I wasn't about to just give up everything for a man who had nothing to offer— refused to offer anything at all. I had to look out for myself and my sister too.

I lost track of time in meditation on the floor, legs crossed... I found it helped me relax. But when the bedroom door opened my whole body tensed. Things had changed ever since I'd run into that man claiming that he was an FBI agent. When I saw my lover it just wasn't the same. The fact that I had a secret from him… something that he didn't know. Something that could hurt him.

I liked it.

"You're still awake," Anthony said lazily. It was odd that he still kept coming back to me every night. Tonight, for example, I could tell. I could see it in his manner, the way he didn't look at me directly in the eyes. The way his hair didn't look quite as put together as it did when he came straight home from his office. The way his shirt wasn't as fresh as it should be. He'd been with another girl tonight. He didn't even bother to shower before he came home. Guess he figured I couldn't leave him even if I wanted.

"I couldn't sleep…" I said, getting into bed, under the covers. I didn't want to risk him coming near me...that smell near me. I'd fall apart again. I didn't want that.

"Hmmm." He murmured, and didn't even look my way.

I watched him strip down to his boxers and followed him with my eyes as he disappeared into the bathroom…I could hear him run the shower. Good. At least he never got into bed without washing the smell of sex with another woman away. I sighed. With any luck my life wouldn't be so depressing tomorrow.

Because Tonight was the night. My sister and I... we'd been discussing it for some days now. It's the reason we took the money.

You see, both guards always leave the moment that Anthony gets home. So really the only person that we have looking for us is Anthony. Getting out of the suite would be the easy part, it was getting out of the building that would prove problematic. We assumed Anthony would have people at the exits. But it didn't matter, we had to try. Tonight we would try.

Anthony walked back into the bedroom wearing white towel around his waist. I was pretty sure he wore nothing under that towel. He dried his dark hair with another towel as he went for the dresser in search of some boxers. My mind kept telling me that this would never work. He'd never let us go. It wasn't even about my mother or father anymore. It was about the fact that Anthony would never let me go. I knew it. The way he acted… like I was his possession. He liked it. That I feared him. He liked owning me. But I wasn't his. I wasn't.

I had to get out.

He slipped into bed after slipping on some boxers, his hand immediately reaching out for me and bringing me practically underneath him. His hot breath in my face caused my whole body to chill with goosebumps all over.

"It's late, we should sleep." I mumbled out. I had never before tried to get out of sex with him. This was a first.

"Why? You got somewhere to be tomorrow?" He smirked, taunting me.. I could see his white teeth in the dark.

"Funny man," I replied, my words laced with darkness.

"Don't be so bitter," he mumbled out against my neck, his tongue licking gently against my pulse.

"Just because you washed up doesn't mean I don't know where you've been." I bit out, pushing him off me for the first time ever. The more I thought about it the more disgusted I was.

He scoffed and stared at me through the darkness, "That's never bothered you before."


"It does tonight," I bit out harshly. And every other night.

I was glad for the darkness in that moment because tears started to well up in my eyes and I was tired of him watching me cry.

"I'm tired." I said angrily, and turned my back to him.

This was it. This is how I would end things with him. I needed him out my life. I needed to leave. I didn't want him anymore. I didn't want this anymore. He would fall asleep and tonight, my sister and I would get the hell out of this hell.

It felt like an eternity though, by the time he went to sleep. I watched the digital clock on the nightstand, glaring in bright red numbers 4 a.m. If we were going to leave it would have to be now. Anthony usually woke up at 6 so that gave us a couple of hours.

My heart began pounding as I slowly lifted the covers up and exited the bed. I didn't stop to change. I wouldn't test my luck like that. My shoes were already next to the door so I grabbed them and slowly made my way out. Not looking back. Eliza was already in the living room waiting for me.

I saw her and it looked like she was about to say something but my finger went to her lips fast, shutting her up. Anthony would hear us and would come for us. I didn't waste any time, we went for the door. Of course it was locked, but Eliza had the key. She had taken it from Marcello early today. He never used it. The door was always opened when he got here and Anthony was always the one who locked it at night.

We knew he wouldn't notice, at least not before we were long gone. Eliza opened the door quietly and closed it back up behind us. My heart was going a million miles an hour.

We were outside. We looked both way and there was no one around.

"Shit…." My sister mumbled.

"Let's go," I said, and immediately my hand went to hers and we sprinted. We went down the elevators.

It wasn't until we exited that my body went cold. There was two guards at the door, they were not facing us, in fact they couldn't see us. But my sister and I would have to get past them if we wanted out.

"What do we do?" Eliza asked, beginning to panic.

"I don't know…" I began to panic with her.

"Maybe they don't know who we are… maybe they don't work for Anthony." She said, but even I knew she didn't believe that.

"I'm sure they work for Anthony."

"Well maybe they won't recognize us," She tried again, but she was not convinced.

"Let's go through the back," I said in defeat. I grabbed her hand and began power-walking the opposite direction… we had to find a way out.

"Hey! Stop!" I looked back, and it was the security. They spotted us. My sister and I sprinted, running for our lives yet again.

"Exit!" Eliza shouted and I ran even faster. She crashed into the door and it opened on impact. We were outside…

"Don't stop!" I screamed… and we were running in an alley. I looked back and they were still behind us. They were going to catch us. I just knew it.

"Keep going!" Eliza screamed grabbing my hand and pulling me with her— she was a fast little thing, my sister.

Just when were about to turn, a black van pulled to a halt in front of us, scaring the living shit out of me. The door opened and I looked at the driver, it was the guy from before. The FBI agent. The one from the pool.

"Get in," He said. I looked at my sister and it took only a second before we both jumped in the back of the van.

And the man took off at full speed, leaving the two guys behind. They would face Anthony's full wrath, I was sure of it.

I didn't even realize my sister had been carrying a bag until she threw it in my lap. My heart was still pounding as van sped to get onto a highway. I opened the bag and it was the stash of cash that I'd taken from anthony's safe. I had stolen at least 100k from Anthony Romero. I was sure he'd killed people for less.


"How did this happen?" Adon's glared at his older brother who seemed more worried about the situation than he approved of… for god's sake the girl was a teenager. How on earth had she managed to wrap the most powerful man he knew around her finger was beyond his knowledge.

"Apparently I don't have enough security," Anthony gritted out through barely contained anger.

"How could you be so stupid? Don't you know that Del Campo has been wanting to blow your head off the moment he met you... why the hell wouldn't you have guards at every door and exit?"

"Adoni's why don't you help me fix the problem instead of telling me all the ways that I fucked it up." Anthony sent his brother a death glare.

"Well you gave her 100k to escape with, I can't imagine she'll be easy to track. She has connections you know. I wouldn't be surprised if by now she's with Armando. Then you'll never get to her you know."

"She's not. I know her. She would take the money and do something stupid like run to france or who knows, fucking Australia, and think she can get out of the life. We'll find her, we just need to keep looking."

Adoni's looked at his brother with an almost sad expression, "Anthony… honestly maybe it's for the best that she's gone. Look at you, you haven't slept in days… you're a mess. Why do you want her back? You don't want me to kill her… You're never going to use her against her father. And you know you cannot marry her... our own father would never allow that. Maybe it's better to just let her go."

"No!" Anthony all but lost his cool. "She's mine. I want her back. She will learn who I am and she will learn what her place is."

Adoni's nodded… "But what if her family get's to her first?"

"Then we'll have another blood-bath."

"I told father of your indiscretions, Anthony."

"Are you girls ok?" Mario handed us both a bottle water, it had been a few day's since the night he had dropped us off at the safe house we hadn't seen or spoken to anyone except for the old lady that had stayed with us...she had cooked for us and had managed to keep us calm.

But now, we were in this room with Mario, the FBI agent who had come to the rescue, seemingly out of nowhere. The more I thought about it the more suspicious I became.

"We just want to call our family," Eliza said, her eyes red from lack of sleep. I had been trying to remain strong for her but it was impossible when I was just as afraid.

"Ok, you can do that…" Mario looked at me and paused for a few moments. "Or you can stay and cooperate with the FBI, tell us everything you know and we can help you get back to your family safely."

"You do know we're under-age?" I said, through gritted teeth. I felt like I had exchanged one hostage situation for another.

"We are in the process of trying to contact your father, but he's a hard man to reach," Mario gave a fake sympathetic smile.

"I know his personal number," I offered.

"Right, here you go," He pulled out a pen and paper, placing it in front of me on the table, " Why don't you write it down and we'll see if we can reach him any faster…."

Eliza grabbed the pen and hurriedly jotted down father's number. I knew he was lying though, he wouldn't make a single phone call until he got some information.

"Where did you get that money from?" He asked, looking at both me and my sister.

I swallowed, I knew the rules of my family. No police. Not ever. When he said Armando sent him, I knew right away it was a lie. He thought just because we were young that we were stupid.

"I stole it from my father. You know he's a very rich man. He leaves all sorts of money lying around the house." I said, with a smirk.

Eliza looked at me curiously, but one look from me and I knew she got the picture. No talking about Anthony. Or anything of importance.

"You're a long way from New york, Isabella." Mario said, his face stern.

"Yes, well daddy does pay for a lot of vacation." I tried to muster up my sweetest smile.

"You forget I saw you at the pool…" he looked like he was trying to read in between lines.

"Oh… I don't forget a thing."

"You were with Romero's security." he stated. "In fact, I heard a rumor your daddy has men all over the city looking for you."

"Which is why you should call the number we gave you," my sister deadpanned.

"I heard a rumor that the Romeros had half your family, including your mother, killed in cold-blood… if that's true, why are you protecting them?" He asked, leaning into the table looking at me head on. "You could help put away a very dangerous man. The man who put the hit out on your mother."

"It wasn't him!" I spit out in anger. "It was his father. His father put the hit out ok. Anthony isn't in charge yet!" I said before I could stop myself. My sister looked at me in shock. I looked at her in shock too. Shit I had messed up.

He smiled at me knowingly, "I get it, you love him. You were engaged, after all. It makes sense."

"If you don't call my father this moment. I will make sure to sue your whole department for harassment and a violation of my rights as an underaged girl. I have a right to speak to my parents as well as my attorney."

"I was going to offer you witness protection…" Mario said slowly. "A way to get out of the life."

I paused. I looked at my sister who was nodding her head no. She thought it was a bad idea.

"In exchange for what?" I asked wearily.

"Your testimony against Anthony. Admit that he kept you hostage for months. Everything you know about his business. I need names. Who is his supplier. Anything you can give me."

"I can't do that because I don't know what you're talking about. You need to call my father."

Mario looked disappointed in us. "Ok… I can't keep you against your will. But if you change your mind, please don't hesitate to call. We're building a case against Mr. Romero and we're hoping to put him away for life."

"You have a phone call to make," My sister snapped.

Mario nodded again, and left the room. Less than an hour later we were escorted out into the lobby where Mario met up with us. "Looks like knowledge of your location may have been compromised, we need to move you to a safer facility."

My sister and I exchanged looks of confusion, "Did you call my family?" I asked.

"We're working on it," and he refused to meet our eyes. He kept walking, expecting us to follow. And we did.

We got into a black SUV, I was still carrying around the large sum of money I had stolen from Anthony. Mario hadn't taken it away. If I didn't have any respect of him, I had to respect him for that. I was not sure how these thing with the FBI worked but I had been certain they'd take everything away. I was surprised when they didn't.

"Where are we going?" My sister asked.

"An official FBI building. With better security. Your family can pick you up there," He said.

That sounded good. It sounded like something I could work with. Even my sister relaxed after that. However, it didn't last very long because on the way to whatever facility we were going to, the SUV crashed with a mighty force— had I not been wearing my seatbelt I probably would have gone flying through the front window. I felt somewhat dazed. I looked over at Mario and there was blood running down the side of his face.

He was knocked out.

"Mario," I said freaked out. My voice cracked with emotion. I didn't know him very well but that didn't mean I wanted him to die. Then my breath stopped. I looked back for my sister my eyes immediately landing on her seat belt. She was good, she was trying to figure out what had happened as she looked up at me with question. I felt instant relief though.

My attention turned to Mario again, my hand reaching up to shake him a bit. "Wake up, Mario." But that was all I could do because suddenly someone opened my door and I looked up…. And there was Anthony. Looking at me with worry.

"Are you ok?" He asked, his voice shaky. His hands reached out to unbuckle me, and he quickly checked me for injuries. "Does anything hurt?"

I shook my head no, "But he needs help… please help him." Anthony didn't even bother to look at Mario, instead he kept looking at my body his hands feeling me everywhere, before I finally saw him relax a bit, having determined for himself that I was ok…. but then he bent over, and picked me up out of the car.

"We have to go," he mumbled into my ear.

"No let me go!" My sister screamed, but she too was dazed from the accident and her voice came out hoarse and weak. I looked over Anthony's shoulder and saw a man I didn't even know all but dragging her. Not nearly with the same care Anthony had taken with me.

"Anthony not her, please!" I said grasping on to him for dear life. He paused, obviously hearing my plea. He looked down at me, his eyes troubled. I could tell he was angry. I could tell he wanted to get back at me through her. It would work too. He could always use my sister against me.

"You want me to leave her here on the street?" He asked, trying to take all emotion out of his voice. It almost worked too, but I had gotten to know him. I knew he wasn't completely emotionless like he wanted everyone to believe. His eyes bore into me, he was so angry.

"The FBI will get her home," I said weakly.

He scoffed, "No." He said with finality as he kept walking, "Bring her… hurry it up we need to be gone now!" He shouted over his shoulder.

I heard my sister continue to struggle and as I looked around at the two vehicles that were with Anthony, I was somewhat surprised not to see Marcello anywhere in sight. If he had been there maybe she wouldn't have fought it as much. Like I wasn't even fighting Anthony now. Funny how that works.

"If you love me…" I whispered weakly. But he heard me. He stopped in his tracks again. Looked down at me, his eyes narrowed in disbelief.

"Love?" He asked, like it was such a foreign thing.

"You can't take her. If you're going to take me back then fine… But not her. Please, she can't be your prisoner too. What do you even want her for?... You'll have me. And if you let her go I'll never try to leave again, I promise." I begged. "Please….if you love me." I said it again.

His dark blue eyes became dark as his whole manner stiffened.

His eyes searched my face for something….. He looked torn like he wanted to prove to me that there was no love between us. Like he didn't feel what I, deep down, wanted him to feel. My whole world was literally hanging on what he would do next. I needed him to do this for me.

"Leave her!" Anthony finally shouted, and I let out the breath I was holding.

Anthony all but shoved me into his car, and I watched as my sister went from stricken and happy of being let go of, to realizing what was happening. I watched as the panic sunk into her face and she frantically ran to Anthony's car—but he had already turned on the ignition and he had already accelerated— and we were already driving off. I looked back to my sister and saw as her image kept getting smaller and smaller.

"Make sure she gets home safe," I said softly. And I saw him nod to the side of me. She was going home. Finally, my sister was going home.