After leaving the hospital, Ella had felt like Neal was following her. Even after a couple of days she was still feeling like he was around. Every street corner, every bookshelf at the library - she thought he was hiding behind it. Either following her or at least trying to find her.
The decision to just leave him had never been an easy one, and she only managed to stick to it because she had never seen him again after he went to prison, except for newspapers and wanted posters of course.
But seeing him right there in the hospital, so vulnerable… it made her cringe.
Mozzie had told her that Neal had been looking for her, on from the day he got out of prison. She knew he probably just wanted to make sure she was okay, but she didn't want him back in her life. Ella put so much work into living an honest, and most importantly real, life, that she was sure even letting Neal know about it would ruin Ella Tabernackle's life forever.
Yes, Tabernackle was one of Neal's aliases, but apparently Mozzie was right in thinking that Neal would never suspect that she'd use one of his aliases to hide from him.
Maybe he never really cared or he would have at least checked it out, that was something Ella thought about a lot. Right now, she was convinced that if Neal really cared, if he had wanted to find her, wanted to see her, after their hospital encounter he would have found her by now.
But he didn't care, probably Mozzie had been lying too, about Neal trying to find her after he got out of prison. Neal had pulled heist after heist, even while working for the FBI. If he had enough energy to put everything into a u-boat treasure hunt, he didn't really try to find her.
Something Mozzie didn't even know is, that Ella tried to make it easy for Neal. By some very well forged papers, she was still his sister. Steve Tabernackle's sister, but for Neal that should be close enough.
If he'd ever gone looking for a girl named Ella with one of his aliases, he would have found her in the phone book or on the internet. If he'd ever gone back to their old apartment, he would have found an old bottle of wine, leading him right to her. If she'd ever gotten into an accident, he'd still have been the one the hospital would have tried to call. If Neal had ever really cared, New York had all the clues, as obvious as possible for a girl who tried to avoid the police and the FBI.
Being at home drove her crazy, so these days she was coming into work early and was the one who closed up after everyone left. She didn't expect to see Neal in the library, it felt like a safe haven. One that, even if Neal knew, he wouldn't penetrate. But when she came in that morning, one of her co-workers met her at the door.
"There is a guy waiting for you in the crime section. He looked like he had been here all night, just waiting for us to open up, and the first thing he asked for was you. Do you want me to call the police?" Sally, her co-worker, seemed genuinely concerned.
"Did he say what his name was? What does he look like?" Ella asked.
"I don't know his name, but what he was wearing might have once been a suit. It was all crumpled up, the tie was loosened, the jacket dirty, merely the hat still looked good. To be honest, even worn out like that, he still looks pretty sexy."
"Ugh, please don't talk like that about my brother!" Sally was staring at Ella with wide eyes, and Ella herself couldn't believe she just said that out loud.
Should she stay or should she go? Where would she go to? Nothing was safe anymore now that Neal had shown up at her workplace.