Breathe in. Out.
She couldn't. Why couldn't she breathe?
Vanessa felt like her chest was suffocating. Her gaze turned blurry. Hardly seeing anything, Vanessa tried to concentrate on the calming voices above.
"Breathe in with me," Dr. Resse ordered, inhaling deeply, "Breath out." he exhaled.
Gradually, Vanessa was able to regulate her breathing, following the doctor as Felicity caressed her back, worried.
The moment the doctor touched her, she had a massive panic attack. Fortunately, Dr. Resse and Felicity successfully settled the little girl, but the attack had shaken up Felicity. The scars and the memory that her daughter had recounted had only been the tip of the iceberg. What other horrendous abuse had her daughter suffered? Was Amberly the only one that abused her precious daughter?
Vanessa's strangled cough interrupted Felicity's pondering. "Hey, honey. How do you feel?"
Tears sprang into the girl's eyes. What happened to her? She numbly shook her head as streaks of hysteria spread through her body.
"Hey, hey. You are alright, okay? You are safe. I'm here," Felicity said, concern shining on her face.
She was safe.
Then why had she felt like an invisible hand was strangling her?
Hesitantly, Vanessa asked in a croaky voice, "W-what happened?"
"You had a panic attack," Doctor Resse said, startling her. "Quite a severe one. Have you had them before?"
"Sometimes. They just come and go."
"How frequently do they happen?" Dr. Resse inquired.
Felicity gave him a warning look, cutting him off. "Desmond, not now."
At that exact second, the rest of the De Luca males entered the room.
Viktor immediately noticed the dry tears staining his daughter's face as the rest observed the scene with caution and apprehension.
"What happened here?" Matteo questioned, rushing past them to inspect his distressed sister.
"Matt, now is not the time," Dr. Resse snapped.
"Not the fucking time?!" Xavier snarled, speaking before Matteo could reply. "My baby sister looks like she has been crying; mum's hugging her looking troubled; Dr. Resse is fucking watching them." He stormed forward but was precluded by his twin. "What are you doing?"
"Xander, you are upsetting Vanessa more." Xavier whispered, "Let's just calm down outside."
It was then that Xander saw that she was alarmed by him raising his voice. "Okay," he agreed.
Viktor walked forward, putting his arms out. Felicity passed over her daughter to him. Vanessa stirred for a few moments but then snuggled into her father's embrace after relaxing to the rhythmic bouncing. He signaled the boys to follow the twins as his wife stroked Vanessa's thigh. He caught the scent of chocolate wafting from his baby over her head and smirked as remembered the Angelo covered in Nutella. One would take one glance at his youngest son and laugh at the immaturity, but beneath that facade lay a deathly warrior.
Certain that Vanessa was asleep, he turned to the others. "What happened?"
Dr. Resse answered, "She had a panic attack."
"I touched her back to review if there was anything the other doctors here missed. But somehow something triggered that reaction."
"But the doctors never mentioned Vanessa having a previous incident like this before. Why did this occur now?"
"Vanessa was telling us how Amberly hurt her before Dr. Resse touched her," Felicity snatched her hand away from Vanessa's sleeping body and pulled it through her hair. "Maybe that is why she had a panic attack. The memory was so fresh that when you touched her," Felicity gestured towards Desmond Resse, "it somehow triggered it."
Desmond considered it for some time before replying, "I suppose that is a possibility. But who was there when the other doctors examined Miss De Luca? Didn't you say that there was someone with her?"
"Patrica West," Felicity supplied, "She was the person that was quite adamant for Vanessa to stay."
"Yeah, well, that person may be someone that Vanessa trusts exponentially. Compared to me, she would probably be more comfortable with Miss West."
"True," Felicity said. She twisted towards Viktor. "What did I miss?"
"Nothing much, we think that this assassin is in one of the olden Russian compounds that are no longer in use. The one Sylvia used to work at. We were going to investigate it."
Felicity frowned, "Were?"
Viktor sighed, laying Vanessa gently on the bed. "After this, I would like to get back to Italy quickly, where it is much safer. I'll send some of our men to go there to investigate it instead of us."
"So now what?" Desmond asked.
Viktor tiredly smiled. "We are going to Italy."
Smirking, Desmond replied with a witty, "Cool."
How are you guys? Wattpad was acting a little strange for me. I wrote this chapter to help Vanessa and her father bond with each other. Yes! They are finally going back to Italy. About time. I loved writing this chapter, and I hope you enjoy it. I dedicated this chapter to my friend to celebrate her crossing 200 followers! You deserve it!
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The SurvivorMystery / Thriller
Stolen. Broken. Corrupted. Vanessa Amara De Luca has spent the last nine years of her life under the cruel and oppressive care of her aunt. But when a tragic accident changes everything, she discovers a shocking truth: she is the missing heir to o...