Chapter 9

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"No!"

Vanessa wasn't sure if she was more startled by the enrage tone that slashed into the room or who the voice belonged to; Patty West.

She stood at the door with her hands on her hips and her face sludging with anger.

"No?" Viktor De Luca asked with a raised eyebrow. "What do you mean 'no'?"

Officer West immediately backtracked, her face quickly void of any emotion, "I mean, Vanessa must rest before you move her anywhere," Patty laughed nervously, "It makes more sense if she gets well first, and then going...home." She hesitated before spitting out the last word.

Felicity narrowed her eyes in suspicion. "I have already informed the family doctor about the current situation, and he has generously agreed to monitor my daughter during the duration of the flight. He will be arriving in a couple of hours. So while your 'concern' is appreciated, it is not necessary." By the end of the rant, Felicity was fuming with irritation.

Vanessa sat silently, watching the commotion with dismayed eyes.

What was going on?

Why were her family members glaring at Patty? And why was Officer West acting like this? 

Whatever the reason, she knew she wasn't going to get the answers by sitting and just observing the incoming crisis.

She took a deep breath and clutched Popcorn in a death grip, but before she could do anything, and voice cut in. "Stop it. All of you! Can't you see it is upsetting Vanessa!" Xavier yelled.

Every eye turned towards the distressed girl, Felicity ran towards her daughter and embraced her, whispering words of comfort.

Minutes passed-or maybe it was hours- Vanessa didn't know, but what she did know was the next time she glanced up at the room, Officer West and all the members of her family, excluding her mum, were nowhere to be seen.

"Where is Patty or the others?"

Felicity answered her quietly, "We thought it was best if you get some rest before Doctor Reese arrived, so officer West is with her partner, and the others are visiting... an old friend of your dad's."

"Doctor Reese?"

"He is our family doctor." Felicity smiled fondly. "He was the doctor that helped give birth to you, honey."

Stunned. Vanessa never considered how she was born or even her family history. She hesitated, but then remembered that this woman was her mother. "Can you tell me anything about this family-my family?"

"Of course."

Time flew by as they spoke about her grandparents, her uncle, and other members of her family. Vanessa was shocked at how comfortable felt with her mother, but even as they talked, she noticed that Felicity never mentioned her aunt.

"Oh, my gosh! Look at the time! You need to go to sleep!" Vanessa didn't even notice how tired she was until it was mentioned."Where are you going?" she asked her mum when she saw her leaving the room.

"I'm just going to call Doctor Reese. He should have been here by now." Felicity peeked at her watch again, frowning.

No matter how exhausted Vanessa was, sleep was impossible. Her mind always flew back to the words her dad had told her earlier today: Now? We are going to take you home?

Home? What was that?

Vanessa had not had a home for four years. Her heart kept tugging as she took a moment to process the unfamiliar concept.

She loved spending time with Felicity, just talking. And even the others, who she even though she met for a couple of minutes, she adored.

Her body slowly relaxed as she buried her face within her stuffed bunny's fur.

Just as she was about to drift off, the door creaked open. Sleep dashed out as Vanessa recognized the silhouette wasn't her mother. The figure was hunched back and was slightly thinner than Felicity, but other than that, Vanessa couldn't spot any of the differences in the dark.

She curled her body in the blanket, wishing she would disappear as pure fear raced through her. She just had the worst luck! First kidnapped at a young age, then her aunt dies. She meets her parents only to be kidnapped a few hours later by an old ragged figure who would-

"Vanessa? Are you awake?" the figure said.

Wait! She heard that familiar voice just hours ago! "Dr. Fin! What are you doing here?"

"Good. You still remember me. I was worried you had forgotten who I was!"

"You're the doctor who was going to do the DNA test on me!"

"Well, yeah. But that doesn't matter now. What matters is that Officer West-"

Vanessa interrupted her, "You mean Patty!"

Even with the darkness in the room, she saw Dr. Fin throw her an annoyed look before continuing," As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted," Vanessa shrank back down, "Officer West told us that you were leaving! So we decided to get you a small going away present!"

She brought out a stuffed brown bear from the bag she was carrying and showed it to the confused child. "We thought the bunny could have some company," Dr. Fin gave a fake smile.

Vanessa took the bear happily. "What are you doing here at this time of night? Why didn't you come in the morning?"

A look too fast to catch appeared on Dr. Fin's face before she replied, "Officer West told us about how your family reacted when she came, so we thought it was best if you don't tell anyone I was here. I mean, you don't want your parents to be mad at your friends, right?"

Friends? Vanessa didn't consider Dr. Fin and the others as friends, but she didn't want to hurt the doctor's feelings, so she said, "Y-yes."

"Good."

Dr. Fin gave her one last look of warning before leaving, tip-toeing out of the room.

Vanessa observed the bear in confusion. The bear was incredibly cute, with a big brown nose.

She was still looking at the toy when her mother came back. "Vanessa, is everything okay?"

Vanessa paused, then said, "Of course."

She just didn't know that it was one of the biggest mistakes she ever made until it was too late.

...

Thank you so much everyone for your love and support. If you have any advice, considering this is my first book, it will be very much appreciated.

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CrimsonShadowMask

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