Author's Note: Hello friends, here is another update, I have midterms tomorrow so I wanted to get this out to you guys! Thank you for all the kind reviews, follows, and favourites, also I'm sorry for not replying to any of the reviews, but I promise I will do so when I get the time. I hope you all enjoy! xo
The rest of the afternoon was spent forgetting about the family I was born into and the guys' less than reputable side business. I quickly found out that Elliot is a huge goof, and soon became like a big brother that I never knew I was missing out on.
"… Then Christian took off his pants and underwear, then started yelling 'I need pee pee'" Elliot hoots as he tells me story after story of Christian's childhood. The only person who didn't enjoy it was the man of the hour, who was sitting on the other end of the couch with his arms crossed, pretty freaking adorable.
"Awe it's okay, if I had any siblings I bet they'd be telling everyone all of my embarrassing moments when I was younger," I tried reassuring Christian. "It lets me learn a different side of you."
Christian huffs, but I could see his body start to loosen. "Should we get back to business?" he asks.
Great. The one thing I really didn't want to revisit today. The last couple of hours I was happily pretending we were just a few friends hanging out. "Okay," I concede. We all make our way to Christian's office, Elliot and I sit on the chairs on the other side of Christian's large oak desk.
"I already called Welch to get you new identification, they will be ready within the week. We can't move you yet, but it will be possible soon," he explains to me. If I was actually honest with myself I would confess that I was feeling saddened by the fact that I wouldn't see Christian anymore, but let's be serious I wasn't being honest with myself and completely ignoring the fact.
I know what he said to me last night, but I haven't really gotten the chance to sort out my emotions. I know that I'm attracted to Christian, there's no doubt about that, but I can't base staying here because I'm attracted to him. I know his feelings are more intense than mine… since he's had all these years to develop it, but then again isn't that good enough reason to stick around? He is a nice guy, that's obvious with his actions as of late and ignoring the fact he was a bit of a stalker.
Add the fact that he's somehow been attracted to me this entire time. This totally changes everything. Where do I stand with him? I mean he doesn't really know me, he only finds me physically appealing. Right? Ugh, I'll have to bite the bullet and actually talk to him if I want to figure this out.
Then there's also that other side of me that keeps asking why should I stick around to fight a battle I didn't have to? I wasn't made for all of this. The mafia? I mean yeah I'm a 2nd degree black belt in karate, I can fight, but I don't have that killing instinct. This world will chew me up and spit me out… if I were lucky.
"Ana?" they both looked at me.
"Sorry guys just got lost in thought."
"What were you thinking?" Christian asked curiously.
"All of this," I said dryly.
"I know it's a lot to take in, but soon you will get you out of the country and will be able to live a semi-normal life," he assured me.
"Thank you," I gave him a small smile. "What are your next moves? What's happening in the city?"
"It's a shit storm," Elliot laughs sarcastically.
"Do you know anything about what's happening with my family?" I asked.
Christian groans, "Danny and Roberto had set up a meeting with my father-"
"Was that safe?" I interjected, worried for his father's safety.
"It was, don't worry," Christian chuckles, "they can't just shoot a high ranked family member, if they didn't intend on starting a war. And with the current climate they can't afford that."
"That's good," I sat back down relieved.
"What happened during the meeting?"
"Danny was adamant that it was us who kidnapped you, but Roberto wasn't as easily persuaded."
"Do you think my uncle is innocent?" I asked, then backtracked quickly, "I mean as innocent as he could be…"
"You mean compared to Danny? Yeah, I think he is," Christian answers.
"Because, he's a good man, despite his occupation."
I laugh softly; it was all so ironic. After a few moments of quiet murmuring between the two of them about how to handle things, I finally interjected, "I want to help."
"What do you mean?" Elliot asks.
"Help end this spat between our two families," I answer.
"NO!" Christian bellows.
"Relax brother," Elliot says.
"No, you are not getting in between this, Ana," he closes his eyes, probably trying to calm down. "No matter what I feel, you have to leave here, it's what's best for you."
How he feels? I eye him carefully, his eyes looked torn: pain, sadness, and anger? I shook away the feelings and sighed.
"I don't want to risk my hide, but I'm not going to let more people die on my account and I don't want either of our families to start killing each other off. What if I could somehow get them to change their minds?"
Christian laughs, "Beautiful, I don't question your power of persuasion, but I am definitely sure there is no way your family will listen to you. Like it told you, Danny is behind all of this. It's no longer your family, but his, he's only keeping your uncle alive as a way of keeping it PC," he laughs darkly.
I cross my arms, "I still want to help."
"Not possible-" Christian interjects.
"Listen, maybe she has a point?" Elliot interrupts him.
"No, Elliot, don't' be stupid. It will go one way or another, and neither end well. Ana goes to talk to them and she gets taken against her will, then sold. Or she goes there, gets taken, and then murdered for 'betraying' the family."
"She never took the oath," Elliot says dismissively, then turns to me, "you didn't did you?"
"No-" I began.
"Doesn't matter, don't be a dumbass Elliot, you'll get her killed," Christian stands up and paces behind his desk.
"Fine, but know with every passing hour her presence is missed," Elliot says hotly.
"Fuck if I care," Christian spat out.
"Well I fucking care, Kate is working for Ana's uncle and everyday that she's gone she's in deeper trouble. No one out of their family knew, except for her."
"Is that true Christian?" I asked.
"Yes, but I told her to take a leave of absence."
"Right, like that wouldn't be suspicious at all," Elliot scoffs, "Bro, I know you never really liked her, but she's my girl. You get her killed, I will shoot you myself." The two of them look at each other intensely, shooting daggers in the other's direction.
"Okay, okay you two, relax," I interrupted their death stares.
"Ana, you're not leaving here and that's that. I'm not risking your life," he looks at me pleadingly. Then turns to Elliot, "For anything."
"What the fuck Christian?" Elliot bellows, standing up abruptly and knocking his chair backwards. "YOU ARE NOT FUCKING RISKING KATE'S LIFE." He quickly turns around and starts walking away.
"Christian, what the hell?" I looked at him disapprovingly. He only shrugs in my direction.
"You're more important," he states simply.
"No, I'm not, you are not to judge who's life is worth more than the other," I huff and ran to grab Elliot.
When I finally reached him, he was already at the door, "Hey!"
"What?" he yells.
"Listen, he doesn't mean it… I mean I don't think."
"Oh, he fucking does," he laughs humourlessly.
"I mean I don't know Christian very well, but I doubt he'd let Katherine die."
"To save you? Yeah he will."
"Well we won't let him," I smiled at him, "we'll figure something out okay?"
He shakes his head at me, "We can't, and he's made up his mind."
"We'll keep trying," I rub his shoulder.
"I'm going to marry her, she's it for me."
"Then I'm happy for you," I gave him a hug.
"Christian is an asshole, but you seem to be his only sweet spot."
I shrug, "Then, maybe I can persuade him."
"I'd like to see you try," he says as his mood dials down.
"I got your back," I tell him playfully as we enter the office again.
"Ah you didn't run off like a pussy?" Christian laughs as he sits in his chair.
"Nah, I'm too good for that," Elliot quips. "Get this straight, Kate is not going to fucking die for some stupid shit-"
"Oh and Ana should?" Christian says angrily.
"Did I fucking say that?" Elliot yells.
"Why is it one or the other?" I interject, "why does it have to be Katherine or I?"
"Exactly," Elliot agrees.
"It doesn't, but if I had to risk a life-"
"You'd risk Kate's," Elliot finishes and quickly whips out his gun at Christian's direction. My eyes go wide in disbelief, while Christian remains completely calm.
"What are you going to do, shoot?" Christian laughs.
"Elliot… put the gun down?" I asked nervously, but he ignores me and walks a step closer to him.
"Don't worry, Ana, he's too fucking chicken shit," Christian laughs.
"Don't berate him," I reprimand him. "Elliot, please put the gun down," I grab his arm to lower it, but instead he cocks it. A shiver runs down my spine and without even thinking, I step in front of the barrel. What the fuck Ana? Where's your self-preservation? Fucking gone apparently.
"Ana!" Elliot finally recognizes me. Within a few moments, Christian pulls me behind him.
"Put your fucking gun down," Christian says in a blood stopping voice, it makes me run cold. Is this his mafia boss persona?
Christian is still shielding me with his body, when I feel more than see what was happening between them. Within a couple of seconds Christian has Elliot's gun in his right hand and then pulls me next to him.
"Get the fuck out," Christian says in the same frightening voice.
"Christian, it was just a misunderstanding," I quickly try to divert the conversation. "Everything just got heated, " I grab Christian's arm which was tensed around Elliot's dress shirt. "Let's all talk calmly... Please."
Christian exhales exasperatedly, "Alright." He turns to me and wraps his arm around my waist, then lowers his head into my hair breathing in my scent, "I'm sorry for my outburst."
I sigh relieved, still in disbelief on how it all became so heated. I knew that Christian has this other side to him that I had never seen until today, but in some weird way it didn't frighten me. Christian has this sexy authoritative demeanour and confidence that I would usually find cocky. Everything about Christian confounds me. The things I use to find so utterly unattractive about other men were all the attributes attracts me to Christian, and that scares the shit out of me.
If I get more attached, I will find leaving all that more difficult. This whole situation should make me feel alone and frightened, but with Christian it seemed like everything would be all right. I know he would do whatever it takes to keep me safe.
"Thank you," I lift my head to meet his and our eyes connected. For that split second we were alone in that room, it was like two people connecting in the simplest and most natural way. "Can we take this in the living room? So we can be a bit more comfortable."
"Anything," he says finally breaking our gaze. How does he do this to me?
I nod as he leads us to the living room; Christian and I take the loveseat as Elliot takes the recliner.
"Don't freak out Christian, but I want to help in any way that I can," I look at him when the three of us get settled.
Christian runs his hand through his unruly hair, "We'll talk about this later."
"Christian in order for us to bury this you need to swear that Kate will make it out unscathed," Elliot says in a severe tone.
I pat Christian's arm, "Don't do this to them."
Christian exhales, "Alright, but we do this on my terms."
"Like you would let us do it any other way," Elliot rolls his eyes and immediately the mood lifts.
"Set up a meeting for me with Roberto and Daniel-" Christian begins, but Elliot quickly interrupts.
"Do you think that's the best idea?"
"Yes, because all eyes are on us, we're going to offer our help to find Ana," he explains. "So that will hopefully buy us some time until we can get Ana out. Let bygones be bygones."
"I…" I start, but get ignored by the two.
"That will work… since it's clear that you've had your sights on her. We should set it up next week, when we get her new identification. But Christian, you know that it's faulty and there is a good chance this will backfire," Elliot muses.
"Doesn't matter, as long as Ana's safe, we'll deal with the consequences," Christian simply states.
"I want to stay," I say minutely. They both gave me a confused look, but continued to talk about me like I wasn't there.
"If you can get Kate out of the city for a week or so, say that she needs to go home to take care of a family emergency…."
"That'll work," Elliot says as he clicks through his blackberry.
"Then, when she arrives at her destination, she will stay until it is safe for her to return to New York. This way she'll be out of harms way when everything starts," Christian continues.
"Hey, you two, I'm still here!" I wave my hands in the air annoyed. "Didn't you hear what I had to say?"
"The answer is no, Ana," Christian dismisses me.
"Thanks dad, but I think I can make my own decisions," I say sarcastically.
"Anastasia, you are not going to stay here, you need to get as far away from this as you possibly can," Christian pinches the bridge of his nose.
"Listen, I get it, I do," I stand up to face the window overlooking the large driveway, "but I want to stay here." I look around the other area and see none of Christian's men outside, I was about to turn and inform Christian when a loud bang shook the entire house.
Within seconds Christian was at my side and pulling me away from the window, mere moments away from my head colliding with a brick that was thrown through the window. Then a rain of gunshots went through the house, we quickly dived over the couch and crawled our way to his office, Elliot was ahead of me while Christian rounded the back. He was prodding me to continue moving while the gun smoke filled the air making it hard to breathe, my body stood stalk still when another large hit shook the house.
"Ana, keep going," Christian rasps. Once it stopped, I hear voices and then the large front door getting knocked over, followed by a slew loud gunshots aimed at our heads. I turn to see, but Christian stands me up quickly and runs us to his office.
Once we made it in, I looked over at him to see any damages; Elliot has me at his side, gun cocked to the door as Christian quickly gathers his things on his desk.
"Do you know how to use this?" Elliot asks, as he hands over another piece.
I nod at him, there was not time to be scared, because the only thoughts running through my head was to get out here. Just get out of here. Christian motions for Elliot and I to come to him when a loud banging came from the door, followed quickly by gunshots. The two of us bolted to Christian who had his external hard-drive in hand, he grabs me as we enter a secret passageway behind his wall of books.
The rumbling was beginning as we made our way through the dark hallway, I didn't know where we were headed, just that we needed to get there fast. We broke it into a run as the ground shook from beneath and above us, it was like the house was collapsing in on itself.
We finally saw a clearing, a small underground garage that housed one car, a Mercedes- Benz Guardian. Christian and Elliot made quick work, loading up the vehicle with all of the necessities, automatics, and a slew of other gadgets.
"Get in the front," Christian motions at me as Elliot opens the back door and gets in. I give him a quick nod and follow him, within moments the car roars to life and the metal gate opens up.
Christian drove like a maniac, gunning the engine, which quickly hit 110 just as we made it out. The exit was at the left side of the property hidden behind the trees, I look behind us and see the top of the house missing. My mouth was agape; I couldn't believe that this was happening.
The ride was silent for a few minutes as we quickly made our way out of the property, the air inside was tense and the only one who broke it was Elliot.
"You're bleeding bro," my eyes quickly dart to my right and see that Christian's shoulder was bleeding, I hadn't seen it before because he was hit from behind.
"Are you okay?" I asked worried, "Obviously not, shit, we have to fix you up."
"No, it's okay we'll drive back to the city," he says looking at me with apologetic eyes, which I didn't really understand why.
"That's two and a half hours from now, you'll bleed out," I looked at him frantically. "Please, let's clean you up."
"No, it's not safe, we need to put as much distance between us."
"Fuck that, Christian, you are not dying in this car."
"You're being a bit melodramatic," he shake his head at me. I look at Elliot pleading him to back me up.
"She's right, you'll bleed out and you know how mom gets…" Elliot begins.
"Pull over the car, Christian, I'll fix you up. It will only take two minutes, I promise. Please let me help you," I beg of him, touching his arm.
He looks at me, "Let me pull over behind these trees, then you can fix me up."
"Thank you!" I say relieved.
Once we were safely hidden behind very large trees, I quickly applied pressure to his shoulder with his belt. I was glad that the shot was clean and it went through his shoulder, fuck…. I was glad? But what was worrying me the most other than my clear insanity was that if we didn't stop for proper treatment Christian will bleed out. So I patched him up as quickly and as efficiently as I could, then we started the car again.
"Sorry about your house bro," Elliot said after a few minutes.
"Nah, shitty neighbourhood," Christian says nonchalantly.
What the hell? "How can you act so casually about this?" I asked a bit more accusatory than I had meant it to.
"It's the job," Christian shrugs, but quickly winces from the movement.
"Do you want me to drive?" I asked.
"I'll be okay, we'll drive to my parents house, they're only an hour away," he explains.
"Then your mom will fix you?" I asked earnestly
"Yes, she will," he looks gives me a small smile, then grabs my hand. "I'm sorry about back there."
"Don't be, it wasn't your fault, it was them," I shrug, giving him a tight squeeze. "Wait who were they?"
"I presume it's your family, but I can't be certain until we see the CCTV footage," Christian explains. I nod at him, I can't believe my family would do that.
"Then I'm sorry," I say quietly, looking up at him.
"Don't be," he returns my words back to me, "it was my fault"
"It wasn't," I laugh humourlessly.
"Yes, it was, I started this when I rescued you."
"Oh my prince," I tease.
"Baby, I'm the King," he smirks.
Baby, huh? Usually I cringe whenever I hear those annoying generic nicknames, it showed that they had no originality. Somehow with Christian it was different, it made me feel warm and giddy, almost happy?
I shake my head at him and rest it on my window.
"Tell Welch to clean that up, the news and the police will be there soon," Christian says to Elliot, successfully interrupting my thoughts.
"On it Boss," he replies, then I hear quick taps on the phone. How are these two so unfazed? Here I am silently freaking out in my head, while they act like this is a usual occurrence.
But the worst realization that I had come to was the fact that I would go through this again if it were with Christian. I had this strange feeling of protectiveness running through me, I wanted to be there for him when he needed someone. I want to be the one to clean up his cuts and his wounds, to watch them heal. What is happening to me?