Deciding not to go back to work, I head home, my mind a stunned blur. How can I possibly go through with my plan now? I'm not a woman basher; I may be an egotistical asshole, but mi mamá raised me right in that sense. I will never hit a woman, no matter how psycho or sadistic one might be.
When I step inside, I throw my keys across the room. As they land above a stack of pots, I fall into the closest chair. The image of that...woman, with her pasty white skin and her untamed red hair pierces my mind. A mother that abuses her child, painting her own daughters skin with bruises.
How can I protect Ariella now? I most certainly can't throttle the lady. How hasn't anyone bothered to help her? Their house isn't exactly missable, surely everyone in Melrose Cove has seen the state her house is in. Ariella is hard to break through, closed-off and stubborn, it's not going to be easy to get her to admit what she has to deal with—it's like she said, her life is none of my business
I guess it's just the matter of working my charm, gaining her trust, and saving her from her abusive mother. I know it will be difficult, but not impossible—it also makes things easier when you're all too familiar with the signs of violence and the ways to escape it.
The ding of the postman's bicycle springs me from my thoughts. Making my way outside, I pull three envelopes from the slanting mail box. When I notice one addressed to me, I trudge back inside, abandoning the remaining two envelopes as I stare at the elaborate gold script painted across the front.
My first name curved along a thin underline. The gold text seems to shimmer; letting myself blink, the flicker of the cursive stops, as if I've just imagined it. With a shake of my head, I flip the envelope over to discover a blank back, no return address. I rip the top open with one quick slide of my finger, and once I've peered inside I tear the envelope until its contents slip out. Two sheets of paper, both different in colour and thickness.
I grab the thin slip of paper first, unfold it and tentatively read the thin obsolescent text.
While you have been fitting in nicely with your new life, I have been busy in organising and creating identification for you. Inside this envelope, you will find a thick one-page document with the Government logo printed through the paper's ink—this is your new Birth Certificate. Your written identity has been altered.
Use it when need be, and keep in mind that you are no longer the Kade Trevino you once were.
You are doing exceptionally well. I am tremendously proud of you.
Good luck and God bless,
Once reading the note a second time, I rip the letter into tiny pieces, shrivelling them up and into the bin. With a light smile insisting on finding its way to my lips, I flip over the next piece of paper. Instantly, I recognise my name written in bold writing, alongside an unfamiliar surname. As I continue reading down the document, I realise what Raziel has done—he's reproduced my life's records.
Knowing that I have been considered dead, I understand now that I can no longer be known as Kade Trevino, the gang leader born and raised in South Australia. Keenly reading over the Verdana text, I memorise my new identity; my name is now Kade Stefanovich, born and raised in Victoria, Australia. I cringe when I read "Mother and Father deceased." But as I re-read the document a third time—taking in my new name, my new life—this second chance Raziel has given me suddenly feels more real.
Despite my lousy new surname.
My smile growing, all thoughts of Ariella and her abusive mother temporarily slip from my mind. As I fold my Birth Certificate into quarters and slide it into the back of my pocket, the sound of the front door clicking closed reaches my ears, Cole's footfalls loud against the linoleum floor.
Let's see what he has to say about my no-show at work.
Strolling out into the lounge room, Cole stands beside his lounge chair, his arms crossed with a piercing gaze. One lightly coloured eyebrow raises as I imitate him, leaning up against the corner wall next to the kitchen area, an amused smirk casting across my face.
He rolls his sky blue eyes at my expression. "Why didn't you show up at work after lunch?"
|Spanish Hunk||as Kade Trevino|
|Emma Stone||as Ariella Carrington|
|Drew Van Acker||as Cole Nicolson|
|Chris Zylka||as Tristan Bentley|
|Phoebe Tonkin||as Sally Dekker|
|Paul Wesley||as Wes Hamilton|
|Troian Avery Bellisario||as Sadie Price|
|Marlon Teixeira||as Tate Trevino|