Chapter 12

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The car careened down the winding road, its engine roaring as it pushed its limits. The driver's knuckles turned white as they gripped the steering wheel, their eyes darting back and forth in the rearview mirror. They knew they were being followed.

Just as the silver Sedan approached a sharp curve, a black Convertible sprang to life, its engine growling like a beast. In a flash, the two cars collided, the force of the impact sending the Sedan hurtling towards a dawn redwood tree.

The Convertible didn't even pause to check if the driver was alive, instead peeling away. A few minutes later, a dark grey minivan pulled up to the wreckage. A figure dressed head to toe in black emerged, their face obscured by a helmet.

The person approached the car and surveyed the scene with a cold detachment. The unconscious body of Amberly Vacker lay slumped behind the wheel, with blood trickling down her head. Without hesitation, the kidnapper dragged her out of the car, heedless of the injuries she had sustained.

Amberly's head bounced off the tree trunk as she was tossed into the back of the minivan like a discarded rag doll. The assassin quickly injected a blue liquid into her neck, the serum quickly working its way through her veins.

And with that, the minivan drove off into the darkness, leaving behind nothing but a trail of destruction in its path.

That was all that was captured before the screen went black.

The time on the computer showed this incident happened yesterday at 12:38 am.

Victor, Felicity, Alessandro, and Xavier De Luca sat in silence, their eyes glued to the footage on the screen.

Victor had requested the footage from Martin, and as they prepared themselves for what they were about to witness, the hatred they harbored for Amberly only grew stronger. It was a feeling that had festered inside of them for months, ever since the night she had betrayed them all.

But as they watched her body being dragged away like a discarded piece of garbage, the De Luca siblings couldn't help but feel a sense of satisfaction. After all, they had warned her about the consequences of crossing them.

Felicity's fingers twitched as she fought the urge to reach through the screen and strangle Amberly herself.

Xavier's eyes burned with the fire of vengeance, as he remembered the pain she had caused them.

When the video ended, a somber silence settled over the room.

Xander fumed, "So, is Amberly Vacker fucking alive or dead?"

Even in the tense situation, Felicity scolded her son weakly, "Language!"

"Is that all Mr. Murphy's men could recover?" Alessandro asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Yes, Martin checked both the cars' license plates, but came up with no match," Victor said, deep in thought, "So we know a couple of things: One, whoever this killer is, they weren't working alone. That vehicle had deliberately slammed into Amberly's car and then had driven off a couple of kilometers to the highway and then mysteriously disappeared."

Xavier frowned, "What about when this assassin damaged The French Mafia's resources? Were they working with someone else then?

"No," Matteo replied, entering the room. Every eye turned towards the newcomer, who in return raised his hands in surrender. "Those two idiots in there are feeding and entertaining Vanessa. I'm sure they can handle being mature for a couple of minutes while I'm gone."

Felicity snorted, "Don't tell me that you believe for a second that those two can handle such huge responsibilities. I'm going to see if my princess is alright." She stood up and whispered under her breath as she made her way towards the door, "Before those two mutton heads corrupt my poor baby girl's mind."

Xander snickered.

Matteo rolled his eyes at his brother's antics and sat in the corner and quietly watched the footage.

"How do you know that this assassin is the same one that destroyed the French resources?" Alessandro questioned.

"Because that assassin wore the same helmet that the person wore when they kidnapped Amberly Vacker," Viktor replied.

Xander looked at his father in confusion. "Didn't you say before that you noticed a couple of things about the video footage? You only gave us one."

Viktor sighed, rubbing a weary hand against his face, "The second part is that our assassin's partner... might be the Russian Mafia." He resumed, feigning ignorance of the stunned silence he created. "The Russians were the ones that allied with Amberly Vacker in the kidnapping of Vanessa."

Xander cut in, "But if that black convertible was part of the Russian Mafia, why would it car crash into Amberly if she is working with them?"

"Yeah, I also want to know that," Xavier said, entering the room with Angelo, who was covered in some kind of brown paste.

Viktor raised an eyebrow. "Do I want to know what happened?"

"Let's just say mum wasn't too fond of the food fight that just occurred. Now, what is going on?"

Xander quickly filled them in on everything that had happened.

"Punishment," Matteo replied, answering the previous question after he finished watching the footage.

"What the hell are you going on about?" Xavier asked.

"The car was traveling extremely fast. Where was Amberly going that fast?" Matteo said.

"So what? What does that have to do with anything? Amberly could have been late to something like that."

Viktor glowered. "From all the time I have known that woman, no matter what, Amberly was always the earliest or at the very least punctual. It was a power-dominating tactic, to scare or to plan ahead of your enemies. Throw them off track."

"You think that the Russian Mafia will harm one of their assassins?"

"Maybe," Alessandro said. "We heard rumors of what the Russian Mafia does if someone upsets them."

"Yeah, that was what Mr. Murphy said." Xander faced his father. "Dad, you said you had an idea how to uncover this assassin, but that footage doesn't show how we can pinpoint the location. It just ends up turning black."

"Have you noticed the highway the road leads to?" Viktor questioned quietly.

Realization crossed Alessandro, and Angelo's faces, but the others were confused.

"What?" Matteo said. "Where does that highway lead to?"

Aneglo replied, his tone held shock. "It leads to the old Russian compound. The one that Sylvia Crest was working on."


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