Pure rage radiates off his body as he moves towards the ambulance pulling in my driveway.
I run to grab a blanket, covering her naked body. Tears are streaming down my face when reality hits. Luca was here and he wants me back.
This is how it always goes with him. Luca gets what he wants when he wants it. If my mother dies tonight, I will make him regret it.
I fucking hate hospitals. Everything about them. I still have blood all over my clothes from my mom. I called Shannon to tell her what happened and she’s on her way. I’m glad Jared is here just in case my mom doesn’t make it. I really don’t know what I would do.
“Erica!” I hear Shannon yell for me in the waiting room.
When I stand she rushes over to me; her hands fly around my neck to pull me close. I cry hard on her shoulder when the thought of losing my mom hits me hard.
She was obviously assaulted in the worst way by the looks of her. Will she even be okay after this, if she survives?
“What happened?” Her worried eyes meet mine and I tell her everything. She is shocked when I finish telling her tonight’s events, with tears in her own eyes. I make the story out to be as if it was just a regular break-in, but I know eventually I’m going to have to tell her the truth. We sit and wait in the waiting room for hours. Mom’s in surgery, and they are not sure if she is going to make it.
I stopped crying because now I think I’m in shock. The cops asked me questions and I told them nothing about myinvolvement with the mafia. They have cops on their payroll, and if I know anything at all I know there is nothing I can do or say. They are going to question the neighbors right away to see if they saw anything suspicious, but I already know who did it and there is nothing that’s going to stop Luca from having me. If he would go to the lengths of killing my mother, then there is no stopping who he will hurt next. Shannon or Jared could be on their hit list for all I know. My life as I know it is going to change.
Jared nods at Shannon, acknowledging her presence but not uttering a word. He’s pacing the waiting room, on his phone. Who the hell is he talking to?
Shannon asks me some questions but I can’t find any more words.
I just continue to nod, unable to speak anymore. Moments later the doctor comes out, a look of pity on his face. He looks like a sweaty mess as he wipes his forehead.
I don’t dare move from my seat as I shake my head back and forth, muttering “No no no…Please, no.”
Tears are cascading down my face and I hiccup a sob.
She’s gone, I just know it. Then the words I fear the most come crashing down on me.
“I’m so sorry, but she didn’t make it.”
The next few minutes are a blur. “I think she’s in shock,” I hear someone say.
“Erica! Erica! Can you hear me, baby?” I think that’s Jared, but everything is muffled. Then my world turns black.
The sound of beeping wakes me up. My eyes are heavy and there is an IV in my arm. Shannon is staring at me with tears in hereyes. She doesn’t say anything and I silently thank her for not speaking. We sit in silence for a while. She grabs the nurse, who looks me over. They offer counseling and a bunch of other shit I can’t even think about right now. Shannon tells me the police are outside the room, guarding the door. They offer to follow me back to campus if I decide to go back there, because my house is now a crime scene.
Shannon tells me Jared left and I’m instantly relieved because I was going to tell him we can’t be together and that his life could be in danger as well.
“What did he say?” I croak.
“He said he had to take care of something and for me to not leave your side.” She looks at me thoughtfully. I close my eyes and contemplate my next move. What the hell am I supposed to do now?
Hours go by and I’m finally being discharged. They tell me to take it easy and gave me some Xanax in case I have another panic attack. We get into Shannon’s car, and the smell of clean leather and crisp cool air hits me in the face. My window is down and my tears are dry. I must look like hell, but I don’t care. I just lost my mother, and my life is now in danger.
“Shannon, I would stay away from me.” My voice is raspy.
“Not going to happen, sweetie.” I sigh.
“There are bad people after me, clearly, and I would never forgive myself if they got to you, too!” I cry.
“What are you talking about?”
“My father worked for the Italian mafia. I was to be married to a man shortly before I arrived here,” I admit, and Shannon stays silent.
“I am no good to be around, and just being my friend could get you killed. She was the only family I had left.” My voice breaks and more tears threaten to fall.
My heart rate starts to pick up and I feel a sudden sense of panic consume me. Heart wrenching sobs break out of me and she pulls the car over. We are on the side of the road, Shannon’s arms around me as I sob into her shoulder. I shudder and shake and let all my grief out. My throat constricts and I feel like I’m in actual pain.