Chapter 24

"Rosalina that can't be true," Nat reasoned. She shook her head, "It has to be. Why else would someone send me that note? No one does that as a joke Nat." Without waiting for an answer she spun around and left the room leaving Nat torn on whether he should go after her or leave her with her thoughts.

Rosalina went to her room, shut the door, and quietly sat down on the bed. "Why would someone be after me?" she thought, "What have I ever done-what has my family ever done?" She felt as if everything was going wrong. First her parents, then her Uncle Kennedy, and now she, Josh, and Dylan could be killed and all for what?

Rosalina tried to shrug off her thoughts but couldn't. Instead, finally wanting more than just answers, she opened the drawer of her bedside table. She pulled out the photo album Mr. Wolff had given her. As she opened it she heard a knock at her door. She got up and opened the door. It was Alex. She raised an eyebrow, "Did Nat send you?" "No I come on my own. I heard what happened," Alex answered. "I'm fine. I don't really want to talk to anyone right now," she said. "You should talk to someone if you're upset," he pressed. Rosalina rolled her eyes, "Why do you care whether I'm upset or not. You have treated me and everyone else in this house like crap since we've moved here. Why would you care now?" "Because you're my brother's girlfriend, I have to care about you whether I want to or not," he said calmly. Rosalina didn't know whether to believe him or not but she found herself letting him into her room. She sat down on the bed next to the album which she had left lying there.

"What are you doing with that?" Alex asked. She picked up the album, "I don't know," she admitted, "I thought it would give me a clue to whose doing this to my family." She opened the album. On the first page she found a picture of her dad and Julia on their wedding day. Below this picture were two smaller ones. One was of Nat and Rosalina slow dancing that day and the other was of Josh and Rosalina posing in front of the church. None of the three seemed questionable so she flipped the page. A few pages down she found a picture of her dad, Julia, and Dylan on the day Dylan was born. Dylan seemed so small compared to the near toddler-aged child she knew. Rosalina sighed. There was nothing but painful memories in here.

"Nat and I found something you might want to know about in here," Alex said. "What?" Rosalina questioned, her hope beginning to rise. Alex took the album from her and flipped to the back of it. He pulled out a sheet of paper that was hidden in plain sight in a pocket on the album and handed it to Rosalina. She examined the paper and found it was a birth certificate. "Look at the date," Alex instructed. Rosalina looked at the date. "April 1st, 2009, that's the date Dylan was born. She hadn't looked at who the certificate was issued to but seeing the date she was not prepared for what she saw. She gasped in horror at the last name of the certificate's recipient: Logan Humphrey Taylor.

Nat stood outside on the porch in the front yard. His jacket was zipped up tightly and he wore a blue sweater and gloves to defend himself from the cold. He couldn't help but think he had really messed up. He should've told Rosalina about what Josh had told him. She was right. If Nat had told her sooner what if they could've found the murderers by now? Well there was no way of knowing now and the slaying of that girl Rosalina had been talking about was proof of that.

"Nat?" Rosalina's shaky voice brought him back to his senses. He turned to find Rosalina standing behind him holding what looked to be a sheet of paper. "Alex said you knew about this as well," she handed him the paper, "What else aren't you telling me?" she demanded bitterly. Nat took the paper and looked it over. He immediately recognized it as the birth certificate he and Alex had found in the photo album. "I don't understand what you're getting at," Nat started to say but then realized what connection she was referring to. "Rosalina I had no idea. I'm so sorry; I didn't realize this has the same last name as the guy who shot you until now. You have to believe me."

After a moment Rosalina's eyes relaxed. She knew Nat well enough to know the note of pleading in his voice was sincere. "I'm sorry for accusing you like that it's just I still can't believe you kept something from me," she said softly. Nat's eyes softened on her and he pulled her into a hug. After another moment had passed they let go of each other. "There's just one thing I would like to know," Rosalina said dryly as she looked at the certificate in Nat's hand. "Who put this in my family's photo album?" Nat gave her a small smile, "You're too worked up right now and so you won't be thinking logically if we start accusing people. I have to go to the Lupo Cattivo Cafe this evening to meet Thomas and David about the band. So do you want to come with me?" Rosalina smirked, "Do they know we're together yet?" Nat laughed, "No, not yet."

Mr. Wolff drove Nat, Rosalina, and Alex to the Lupo Cattivo Cafe at 6:00 pm. Mr. Wolff promised them he would be back by 7:45 pm to pick them up. Rosalina held Nat's hand tightly as they entered the cafe. Although Nat seemed sure the plan would work: the band would form and the concerts they would perform would bring in enough money for Noah's surgery. Rosalina was more doubtful. Why would people come to their concerts? She prayed the plan work because there was so much relying on it and Nat was only going along with it because she came up with it.

As they walked through the room they found David and Thomas sitting at a back booth. Nat smirked as they walked up to them. "Still sitting in the back of the room I see, just like math class," he said. "Whatever Nat," Thomas responded with a laugh. Nat slid into the booth with them, with Rosalina then Alex right behind him. "So are you guys serious about this band thing?" David asked. "Yeah of course I miss being in a band and our profits will be going toward our little brother's surgery so this is important." "Oh Noah, how is he?" David asked. Even after moving farther away from his friends Nat called them both quite frequently to talk to them. "He's okay right now," Nat responded, "my mom's always spending so much time with him it's a wonder he isn't spoiled rotten by now." Rosalina giggled. "What should we name the band?" Alex broke in. He had been sitting quietly next to Rosalina. Everyone turned to him. "We can't name the band yet Alex. First we need instruments and a place to practice," Nat told him. There was a brief moment of uneasy silence brought on by Nat's tone toward Alex which was only broken by Thomas. "I have a cello from when I played in the school band in middle school," he said, "I can use it for the band." Nat nodded silently but said nothing.

Rosalina glanced at Alex and saw he was now looking around the café. Nat had now turned away from him. Rosalina bit her lip in frustration. Couldn't they be civil to each other for a whole minute? She quickly hid her anger at the boys and returned to the conversation. "David don't you play piano?" she asked. He nodded, "I don't own one though. I always have to use my aunt's piano when I want to play." Alex scoffed, "How are we supposed to be a band when we don't even have instruments?" "Don't be like that Alex. You know there are places where we can get cheap instruments," Rosalina replied. "Yeah cheap pieces of crap," he responded sourly. "We shouldn't have brought you," Nat snapped, "Why are you always ruining everything?" "Nat ignore him," Rosalina pleaded. Nat's eyes burned into his brother's, "I've tried to ignore him but he's been so annoying. He always acts as if the world will end every time he doesn't get what he wants!"

Rosalina could feel her cheeks glowing red. The café had grown quiet around them and everyone was staring at their table where Nat and Alex were practically shouting at each other. "Nat stop it; he's your brother and you're older, you're supposed to be the bigger person," Thomas pointed out, but the quarreling two took little notice. Nat whirled on Thomas, "Maybe I don't want to be the bigger person anymore, he never is." "But he's your little brother," Thomas repeated, a stunned look in his eyes. "Yeah well maybe I don't want him to be!" Nat retorted. Rosalina gasp, "Nat you can't mean that." The anger in Nat's eyes suddenly drastically faltered as he opened his mouth to reply only to have Alex cut him off. "Yeah he does. Nat's always blamed me for everything and most of the time I've shrugged it off," Alex said then turned to glare at Nat, "but never once when I couldn't did he ask why was I so upset. He just assumes he knows what's going on in my head, but you don't! I've always even shrugged off your…ignorance, but this time you've gone too far and I'm going to make you regret it." Without waiting for a reply Alex stormed out of the café.


A.N- Sorry it took so long I've been super busy with school midterms. I've decided that 'For Love & Music' will have no more than 35 chapters and I'm going to try to get chapters out faster so I can start my new NBB fanfic.

By the way, 'Lupo Cattivo Cafe' means 'Big Bad Wolf' in Italian.