Chapter Three

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Alex woke up with a splitting headache. Opening her left eye felt like stabbing a knife through it, so she opted for leaving it closed for now. Her right eye felt fine, and she used it to look around the room she was in. She recognized it as Laura's bedroom.

She had only been there a handful of times, not wanting to run into Ciro. She didn't know if he would even recognize her or not, or if he had ever found out that she had been the one posing as David's bodyguard the night Anthony had been killed (and if he did, why hadn't he told Laura?). Though Alex and Laura tried to keep their friendship under wraps there were still some Costa soldiers that knew Alex and Laura were close. It was hard to keep their friendship a secret when Laura was almost always followed by a security detail.

If word of their friendship ever made it back to Ciro, neither Alex nor Laura was aware of it. Alex had no idea how he would react, either, and was pretty sure she didn't want to find out.

Alex didn't know what she would do if she ever ran into Ciro. It had been Ciro who had kidnapped and tortured Valerie, his actions eventually leading to her 'death.' But Alex had some self-preservation left, especially after last night, and she felt it would be best to never be in Ciro's presence ever again. She would probably try and kill him, and that would almost certainly end with him killing her instead.

But it had been two years since she had met Laura and she had never run into him, so it stopped being too much of a concern long ago.

Alex fell back asleep for a few more hours, and she felt a bit better upon her second awakening, though her body still ached.

"Alex." It was Laura's soft voice. She was sitting on the edge of the bed, her hand lifting and resting on Alex's forehead. Her soft fingers felt cool against Alex's skin, and the blonde woman let out a hum to show that she was awake.

"I feel like I got run over by a truck," Alex mumbled, letting out a slow breath as she felt Laura run slender fingers through her blonde hair. "That feels nice," Alex said, feeling sleep pull at her once again.

"What happened to you?" Laura asked, and Alex had never heard such a tone in the girl's voice before. Alex opened her eyes to peer at her. Laura's pretty copper eyes were filled with tears as she poured over Alex's face, her other hand gingerly reaching forward to feel over the bruises on Alex's face. "What did they do to you?" She was choked up, and Alex worried that she might start crying, really crying, at any minute.

"Laura," Alex cooed, managing to sit up against the headboard despite it sending shockwaves through her abdomen. She winced in pain and grunted, her hand lifting to rest over her stomach. She took a few deep breaths and then put on a mask. She offered Laura a small, fake smile and reached forward to cup Laura's face. "I don't look that bad, do I?"

Laura smiled and let out a giggle despite the tears beginning to spill over her cheeks. She placed her own hand over Alex's, turning her warm cheek into the woman's palm, her eyes fluttering closed as if to relish the sensation of skin on skin.

Blue eyes were fixated on the concern etched on Laura's pretty face. Alex hadn't known that getting hurt would have had such an effect on her friend. "Where's Gabe?" Alex asked, glancing around the dark room again.

It was a lavishly decorated room, fit for a queen... or a king, rather. The bed Alex was in was king-sized, with a heavy dark wooden frame and beautiful red covers with gold trim. On both sides of the bed were end tables, and opposite the bed was a dresser with a large TV mounted on the wall above it. Alex knew the wall opposite the door had a large window but the curtains were drawn, blocking what she knew was a view of the surrounding forest. The Costa family lived on the quieter side of the city, where there were actual trees and parks and not the heavily manicured ones people had built to make the city look less gray and concrete.

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