Chapter 2: I find comfort in ignorance....
"Rollie, it's Franck."
Rollie knew the detective would come today or maybe the next day but as usual, his timing was as bad as it could be. His courage had disappeared the second he had heard the cop's voice. He desperately wanted to talk to Angie but fate didn't seem to be on his side today. He let out a loud sigh and gently squeezed her hand.
The short detective spotted them and went to the lounge, a folder in his right hand and a plastic coffee cup in his left. His two friends were sitting on the couch Angie at one end and Rollie at the other. Franck was surprised to see that she was back.
"Hey Angie, good to see you're back. How was your climbing trip?"
"Why are you all suddenly interested by my climbing trip? Now if you don't mind I have work to do."
With those words, she got up from the couch leaving the two men alone. Besides she really had work to do for one of her special projects. And she wanted to send a mail to Adam to learn more about Lena.
Franck seated himself in a chair facing the couch. He put the folder down on the coffee table never looking at his friend.
"Rollie, I need you and Angie to sign some papers about the Chinese minister assassination attempt."
Frank was sitting, looking uncomfortable with his current mission. Rollie instantly knew he wanted to talk about Loubar.
"You want to talk about Loubar, did you find him?"
Hope that he was dead was written all over the FX artist face. That was unusual for someone like Rollie. Franck hated to disappoint him and overall to see the hurt in his eyes. What he also hated was the general appearance of his friend. He looked like he was neglecting himself and that was unusual. Mira had explained him the abduction and the chase after Loubar. The detective knew by experience that this kind of events could be very traumatic.
"We haven't found him yet. And there's little hope that we ever will, we have dragged the lake for days and we found nothing. He might be hiding anywhere."
"I know Franck, I know. Angie could you come here, we have papers to sign about the AFFAIR."
He shouted his question so that she could hear it from her cleanroom. She sighed knowing that it was about the Loubar case. She just wished it wouldn't take too long and that Franck wouldn't ask embarrassing question. They hadn't told him about the rape and she didn't want him to know. She had not told Rollie but her climbing trip had been a way to lay things down and talk to someone objective who might help her. Nightmares were nearly gone and her life was back on the right track. It would take a while to let someone touch her really intimately but she knew her recovery would be fast.
"One minute Rol."
Rollie was wondering how his assistant would take the news. He lightly moved his injured arm and felt a little pain reminding him that he had been shot. It was not her fault. He had been wearing a knife and that was something he would never do. But what Loubar had done to her had made him furious. He was not even able to recall a single time he had felt like that, not even after Mannys death.
"How are you Rollie?"
Franck had voiced the question with a concerned face. Rollie was his closest friend since Leos death and he had been through a lot of pain and mind wrecking events those last few weeks. He just wished he could have helped him a little more.
"I'm nearly fine. Lena came here and she helped me sort things out. I must admit that I was a mess two weeks ago."
He looked at his friend and felt the urge to reassure him.
"But, don't worry mate. I'm gonna be fine now. I swear."
"That's good to hear. But tell me, who is Lena, is she a psychologist or something like that."
"She's a really good friend that I met in the outback when I was a kid. And to answer your question she's more the « or something type ». I don't even think she can be categorized."
Franck grinned knowingly at his friend. So Angie was not the only female close friend Rollie had.
Angie left her cleanroom and headed to the lounge. Halfway she stopped seeing the door opening and Lena getting inside. She knew it was not the right moment to tell her she knew the truth. But she had to. She felt a bond with her. Somehow she knew Lena might understand her.
"Lena, forget something?"
"Yeah the car keys. Why do you look at me that way?"
"Hum, Rollie told me about you being... you know an immortal. She whispered the last word for fear Franck might hear her."
"Oh, that's good he told you. There shouldn't be any secrets between you two. But why are you whispering, is there someone with Rollie?"
"Yeah, detective Franck Gatti one of our friends I think he wants us to sign papers about the Chinese minister assassination and the Loubar case."
Hearing the name made Lena wanting to cringe in a small corner of the room. It had happened three millennia ago but she could still hear him whispering in her ear, she could still feel his hands on her and the pain... . Had she heard right or was it her imagination. Loubar, Victor Loubar. Rollie had told her part of the story and she was afraid the young man had left some part of it in the dark afraid of her reaction. She knew Loubar was able of extreme things when he wanted something.
Angie watched the young woman facing her and felt her fear and disgust coming from all her person. So she knew Loubar, what could he have possibly do to her to make her react like that. Was she a police officer or an FBI who had tracked him in her present life.
"Lena, you OK?!"
"Yeah, just thought I will never hear that name again. Did... Did he come after you?"
The question was voiced in an uncertain voice as if she was fearing she already knew the answer.
"He came after Rollie and I was in the way. But I thought Rollie would have told you."
"He told me the story but not the name of the man. I think that I need something strong to drink otherwise I..."
The immortal was so white Angie thought that she was going to pass out. She closed the distance between them and put her arm around her waist to help her upstairs. Lena looked at Angie and smiled weakly to thank her. Their eyes locked and in a wordless conversation they both understood that they had suffered the same. Soon they were in the lounge facing Rollie and Franck. The happy chatting between the two men instantly stopped as they saw the paleness of Lena. Angie was presently helping her sitting in an armchair. Rollie wondered if Angie had told her something that could get her that way. He had never seen her so white and shaky even when Alexandre was hunting her in the outback.
"Lena you Ok?"
"Yeah, I... I just need something to drink."
Angela was already rummaging in the cupboards to find the whiskey Rollie kept for such occasions and a glass. She poured the amber liquid in it and handed it to the shaky immortal. She drank it in one gulp and gave the glass back to Angie.
"You want another one?"
"Nah, Ange, I'll be fine now. Thanks."
"He, no problem, I already nurse Rollie, I can nurse you too."
Rollie frowned at her expression. Yeah sometimes she was nursing him but that was not always the case. And why was Angela having that motherly attitude toward Lena. Usually she would despise the women who were staying at his place or at best she would ignore them. Franck was sitting on the couch unable to say a single thing. He was amazed to see the exchange between the two women.
"Angie what happened?"
Never leaving the blonde FX artist the time to answer, Lena explained him the situation her voice full of reproach. It was not Angies fault after all, he should have told her in the first place.
"Angie told me about Loubar. Why didn't you tell me?"
Rollie looked at her not fully understanding what was really going on. Why hadn't he told her. Bloody hell, this man had raped Angie. For the first time in his life he was unable to voice an answer. Why had he forgotten to tell her the name of the man who was after him. His mind was whirling trying desperately to find a single reason. He never heard the door opening again and admitting Mira in the loft. The detective went upstairs and greeted them.
"Hy guys, hey Angie good to see you're back."
She stopped, wondering why they were so silent. The expression on Rollie's face was so distress and hurt. He looked like someone hit by a car. The young woman facing him was wearing a resolved and pained look.
"What's happening there?"
Franck cleared his throat and got up from his chair. Somehow he knew it was time for him and Mira to leave their friends alone to talk. He just wished everything would be fine. Lena seemed to know Loubar and by the way she had reacted he must have been really ruthless with her.
"Look Mira, I think it's high time we go back to work. Rollie I leave you the papers I'll come back at the end of the day to get them. Is it ok for you?"
The only answer he could get was a nod from Rollie and a weak smile.
"See you later."
Franck hastily took Miras sleeve silencing her and they headed for the door leaving Roland Tyler and his friends to talk.