Chapter 13

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"Two minutes! I leave those boys for two minutes and this happens!"

The hospital room looked horrible. Plastered on the wall was the strawberry jam; the bed covers had crumbs to croissants; rashers of bacon lay on the tops of the table; the chocolate sprinkled doughnut hooked itself upon the bedside lamp.

Felicity prepared herself for the oncoming irritation she was going to endure the moment she stepped into the hospital room. But nothing could have told her she would find her twenty-one-year-old and eighteen-year-old sons wrestling on the floor, desperately attempting to slap the other's face with Nutella.

After a serious scolding, yelling and a lecture, the reprimanded boys exited the room as Vanessa tried to suppress her amusement at her brothers' misfortune.

"Oh, dear!" Felicity sighed, "Let me just call Andrea."

As she called Mrs. Maton, Vanessa gulped some of the spared food.

She stared at Popcorn, then at the stuffed brown bear, and decided its name was Blueberry. She remembered Dr. Fin and how she seemed frantic to give her the toy. Now that Vanessa was no longer tired and her brain woken, she wondered why Doctor Fin would go to so much trouble just to give this to her?

Sneaking in the middle of the night and telling her that it was a gift from Detective West.


In all the years, Vanessa never recalled a person caring about her as Patty did. But that was what the police did. It was their job.

"Everything alright, Vanessa?" Felicity had finished her call and noticed her daughter's confused frown.

"No," Vanessa lied. Changing the topic, she asked, "What are the others doing?"

Felicity's face darkened. "Just work." She cleared her expression and turned towards the door, calling out, "You can come in now."


A man in his early forties or late thirties had sandy blond hair covering his head and wore a white coat, but had bruises littering across his handsome face. He gave the confused girl a gentle smile. "Hey there, Miss De Luca. It is a pleasure to meet you again."


Felicity chuckled, "Darling, this is Dr. Resse. Our family doctor."

"Well, your brother might replace me."

"What?" Why was everything this man was saying making Vanessa even more confused?

"Matteo is doing medical studies," Felicity supplied.

Doctor Resse smiled proudly, "Matt's competitive but is dedicated." he shook his head, his frown becoming more prominent, "Forget about that. I need to check on you. How much has that woman hurt you?"

Vanessa froze, her heart thumping against her chest in a thunderous drum beat. Hurt her? There may be scars over her body, but Amberly's abuse wasn't just physical. It was emotional and mental as well. But the four-year-old hadn't realized that.

She stared at the man in trepidation.

"Vanessa, I know this is scary, but I trust this man with my life," Felicity declared.

She slowly recounted one of the times Aunt Amberly harmed her.


Breath in. Breath out. In. Out.

Vanessa froze. The creaking sound of the stairs alerted the presence of Amberly.

Why couldn't she breathe? Oh, God! Please breathe.

"Vanessa, Vanessa," she said in a haunting voice. "I told you to do the dishes before I come back. Expecting my niece to be an obedient child and clean the dishes, I come to this house to find uncleaned dishes."

No. Her breath stank of liquor, she screamed, "You are going to be punished, you wretched girl!"

Vanessa couldn't stop her aunt as she dragged her across the room, digging her sharp nails into the pale girl's skin. She was soaked in sweat as Aunt Amberly threw her niece into the basement. Fortunately, the landing didn't do any permanent damage, but her lack of pain only lasted a couple of seconds.

Amberly kicked her stomach and her back, not stopping until it exhausted herself, inhaling and exhaling deeply at the end.

She ignored Vanessa's tortured screams of agony and left the dimly lit room.


By the time Vanessa finished telling the occupants about one of her injuries, she burst into a sobbing mess of emotions.

Felicity hugged her daughter, whispering words of comfort as she plans to destroy anything related to that woman if she was alive.

Fuck! How was she going to tell her daughter that the woman who had caused her so much pain... was alive?

Dr. Resse, who had been observing the scene, quietly said, "Can I check if there is any damage that the other doctors haven't noticed?"

Still crying, Vanessa silently agreed.


"Sylvia Crest."

"No," Alessandro snapped. All the De Luca boys stood goggling at the file containing all the information about Sylvia Crest, Alessandro's ex-girlfriend.

"It says here she has been to Mexico," Matteo described.

"But really, why did you two break up?" Angelo said, in a teasing tone.

"Boys, let Sandro be. He already looks like he is going to explode," Viktor smirked. "Crest has been to Japan, Russia, Canada, and Mexico in the past six weeks."

"You don't think that's a coincidence?" Xavier asked.

"I never believed in coincidences,"His father growled. "Check where she is now, Xavier, and then let's talk."

Xavier frowned as Xander snatched the file away from Matteo. "Fuck," he swore.


Xander growled, "It says here she is in London. Eight miles away from the hospital."

"This hospital?"

Viktor replied, his tone ominous, "Yes. And I think, Alessandro, that it is a good time to visit."


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