Chapter-29: Panic Attack

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"Antonio?" I called. I was in a dark alley. It was exactly like the one, where two men attacked me near the grocery store. It was an unusually dark, cold night, I didn't know how I got here. There was not a single soul here except a dumpster and some trash here and there. I wrapped my arms around myself to keep myself warm.

Suddenly I heard a shout. I turned around and started running towards the sound. There were three men who were punching and kicking someone on the ground.

"Hey!" I yelled.

"GET AWAY." I added.

Those men ran like rats. I slowly walked towards the man that was lying on the ground. He was on his stomach. I crouched beside him and slowly rolled him on his back. I gasped and backed away, falling on the ground.

"No." I whispered.

"NO!" I yelled.

I felt someone's arm on my shoulder. They started pulling me. I thrashed like fish out of water.

"NO, NO, NO...Please." I was yelling and pleading.

"MARIA. WAKE UP." Someone yelled, shaking me.

I opened my eyes and looked around. I sat up hurriedly. That image was not going away. It was like that scene was embedded in my mind. I looked up at Antonio.

"Maria you okay?" he asked softly as he brushed the unruly hair away from my forehead.

But I couldn't breathe. Antonio put his arms around me. He was trying to sooth me. But I couldn't breathe.

"Maria Caro, calm down. You're okay." He said wile rubbing my back.

I pushed him, and clawed at my chest as if it could help me breathe.

"I can't breathe." I croaked out.

I was gasping for air. I pulled away from him and stumbled out of bed. I staggered towards the bathroom and stood in front of the sink. I splashed cold water on my face a few times. Still the image was there.

"It's not going away. It's not going away." I was mumbling and gasping.

Antonio turned me towards him.

"Maria look at me." He said, taking my face into his large hands.

"Breathe with me." He said, pulling me towards his chest.

He inhaled. I inhaled with him.

We did it for a few minutes.

"Better now? It was just a dream." he asked, lowering his face.

I just nodded and closed my eyes and turned my head away from him. That mangled and tortured face of Antonio flashed in my mind again. My eyes snapped open and I tightened my arms around him.

"Want to talk about it?" He asked.

I shook my head and pulled away. Didn't want him to worry because of my stupid fears.

"Where are we?" I asked. My voice came out raspy probably from sleep.

We walked towards the bed, his arms were still around me. He picked up a glass of water from the nightstand and handed it to me and gave me the look that clearly conveyed to empty the whole glass. I took a sip from glass and water slid down my throat taking away the dryness and itchiness from my throat. I sat down on the bed and closed my eyes. I took a deep breath.

"We are in one of my hotels. I carried you to my penthouse when you were asleep. You were out cold." He said and chuckled.

"And we'll be flying to Paris today." He added.

I opened my mouth to ask about my things. But as if he read my mind, he answered.

"Your things are packed. Don't worry Mama herself has packed your things." He said.

"Where's everyone? I mean Tristan and Sandro?" I asked.

"They are in other rooms." He answered and went to the bathroom.

I looked around and realized that I was in his room.

The walls were dark brown with some golden wavy designs and were looking good with the wooden flooring. King sized bed and nightstands with vanity in the front wall of the bed were giving it a nice modern look. A large recliner with a small rounded coffee table was placed beside the floor to ceiling windows.

Sun was just rising and the scene was very beautiful. The sky was yellow and orange and blue. It was mesmerizing. I leaned back against the pillows and sighed. Then my mind processed what Antonio had said earlier and I realized that we were going to Paris.

To my Mom's chateau.

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