Chapter 33

Zack arranged for me to talk with the cops tomorrow to give my statement on the events that took place in Giovanni’s house. After getting stitched up at the hospital we left together. I hadn’t seen Joey since we got outside and no one else had either, he did one of his disappearing tricks.

After going home and getting cleaned up mom went to the hospital to see dad. Erin was back home with Theo and after talking with the cops and Elena decided she wanted to wait at the hospital and talk to mom.

Zack took me back to his place, we normally spent our time together at my place but that was still a mess. He lived in a nice little two bedroom house down 27th avenue he bought after his run in with the law a few months ago, he wanted a new start. “I want you to stay here until you find a new place.” He said as he joined me on the sofa.

“Sure you won’t get sick of me?”

“I probably will but I’d rather have you here so I can watch you.”

“Watch me?”

“Yeah, I can’t have you doing any more stupid things.”

Everyone always used that word, stupid. I was starting to take offence to it now. “And here I thought you just wanted to have me close?”

“Oh I do.” Zack agreed with a grin as he pulled me closer to him. “We can have all the uninterrupted sex we want now.”

I laughed. “Always with that one thing on your mind.”

“Of course.” He kissed the collar of my neck and let me go. “But it’ll have to wait until later. I have to go in, the boss wants to talk to me.” He explained as he stood.

I sighed. “Ok you go, and I’ll go home and pack some things.”

He bent down and planted a kiss on my lips. “I’ll see you later and your car is out front.” He handed me my keys and left. I sat there for a moment, I felt tired but the doctor explained that was because of the blood I loss, apparently it was more than we first thought.

I used that time to reflect on everything. The mystery was solved, Nick Giovanni ordered the hit on Art De Luca because Art figured out Giovanni’s longest secret, he faked the death of Art and my mother’s baby, Elena. The whole thing started because Nick had fallen in love with a woman he couldn’t have so he set out to break her heart in a plan to win but it all back fired so he cut his losses and moved on until Art caught on. No one knew how he figured it all out and now with him dead we couldn’t ask.

Nick had to act fast before his own death was ordered so he had Art killed but he didn’t know Elena knew the truth. He had thought my mother knew something so he sent threatening notes and tried to kill me in a fire to get everyone to stop asking questions, mostly Joey.

I stood from the sofa and drove to my parent’s house. I had never seen it so empty, someone had always been home but now Mom and Grandma Loupe were at the hospital with dad. I called Alissa and left her a message with a little recap of everything that happened, if that didn’t make her call me I didn’t know what would.

I headed up to my room and gathered my things. I took a bag with everything I needed for the next few days, Zack and I knew how to push each others buttons so I didn’t know how long the arrangement would technically last.

By the time I reached the middle of the stairs I saw Joey leaning against the back of the couch. “What are you doing here?” I asked as I finished coming down.

“I saw your car out front.”

“You disappeared back at Giovanni’s pretty fast.”

“Too many cops hanging around.”

“Are they still looking for you?”

“Pretty much.”

“You risked getting arrested by saving me.” I pointed out. I was glad we had a moment to talk instead of months or longer passing again before we saw each other.

“Yeah well I couldn’t hope the cops would do their job. Plus your mom would have my head if she lost you. And maybe I didn’t want to lose you either, who else would be around to drive me crazy?”

I smiled as I realized something. “It was you that pulled me out of the fire.” It had been his voice I was sure of it now. “You said you couldn’t lose me.”

It got very serious between us as he met my green eyes. “Yeah.” I expected him to say something more but he didn’t. He pushed off the sofa and walked up to me, his hand reached out and cupped the side of my face before he leaned down and planted a soft kiss on my lips. “Take care of yourself.” He said before letting me go and walking out the front door.

I stood there shocked and frozen in place, I didn’t move in time to stop him from driving off. I didn’t know what I would’ve said but I had the urge to stop him because I was sure the chances of us ever seeing each other again were slim. The kiss felt like goodbye.

I sighed running my hands down my face. I was too tired and emotionally drained to try and figure Joey out. I locked up the door and headed back to Zack’s.

When I walked inside and set my bag down there was a sense of calm and peace that surrounded me. It was all over and my family was safe. I sat down on the sofa as I remembered one little thing, Alissa was out of town and I was suppose to be running her paper. “Crap.” I grabbed Zack’s house phone and called Nikki.

“Girl! Your name’s been all over the news. What’s going on? You better give The Wave exclusive details.” Nikki said before I could say anything.

“Yeah, you know I will. What do you mean my name’s been all over the news?” I didn’t like hearing that at all because the town liked to talk too much and now they were talking about me, just great. I tried to figure out how long it would be before everyone forgot and moved on from it.

“Nicholas Giovanni is dead, that’s huge news and you were his hostage. Who killed him?” Nikki sounded very excited, she loved her job and loved gossip, it was a deadly combo.

“I don’t know.” It was the best I could say, I needed time to come up with a good lie. I couldn’t tell the truth and flat out say it was Joey even though everyone there today knew as much. I didn’t want to be the reason the cops pinned a murder charge on him.

“Mm-hmm. Tomorrow first thing we have to set down and get this article written out and printed. That’ll make Alissa happy enough to forget if you screw anything up while she’s gone.” Nikki pointed out.

She had a point, now I had something on my side but I also didn’t plan on screwing up. Eh it was me, I screw up daily. “Yeah first thing tomorrow. Now I just want to sleep.”

We hung up after that but not before Nikki tried to fish more details out of me. I grabbed my bag and headed upstairs, I wanted to wash the day’s events off of my skin. I still felt Giovanni’s arms on me, yuck.

I stood there and let the water just run down my face after I was done washing. There was a soft knock on the door and it could only be one person. “Come in.”

Zack moved the curtain aside enough to see my face. “Are you ok?”

I could see he was still worried about me, and if he could how see crappy I felt across my face then that also explained the worried look in his womanizing blue eyes. “I could be better.”

“Anything I can do?”

I smiled; suddenly I wasn’t so tired anymore. I grabbed his arm and pulled him into the shower. “Oh yeah there’s lots of things you can do.”