53 The truth about the incident in Venice

Author's note: this is from Duke's point of view

- - -

I reached the second floor of the college dormitory and glanced at Sergio, silently telling him to stay at the stair exit. No one should come and interrupt me as I need a few minutes for this plan to be set in motion.

I knocked on the door and as soon as the doorknob moved, I pushed the door open and stepped into the room.

I saw Adele and Willow staring at me in disbelief and I could sense fear swelling within them as their heartbeats became audible.

Since I was watching Sanya for four years, it was inevitable for me to bump into them occasionally, so I am not a stranger.

Their reaction told me they are guilty but speaking my mind will not produce any results.

"I'm not going to hurt you. I only want to talk.", I said with my hands up in the air, to indicate that I mean no harm.

They relaxed a bit, and that was enough for me to start.

"Listen… I know that the two of you and Ruby were sharing a room with Sanya in Venice. Can you tell me why Sanya didn't return? And don't tell me that she is at home, because I was there and Sanya's parents told me to talk to you.", I lied but they had no way to confirm it.

Adele and Willow exchanged glances and Willow gestured toward Adele, silently giving her permission to talk.

"Sanya decided to stay with a man.", Adele said unwillingly.

I was confident that my ears malfunctioned. "What?"

Adele nodded as if to assure me that I heard her right, and then she elaborated: "We went to the carnival and had fun drinking and dancing. Sanya met some Italian guy. She was smitten and decided to stay with him. Sanya picked up some of her things and because we are friends, she asked us to bring the rest of her things to London. We don't know more than that."

I knew that Adele was lying. Sanya never dated anyone and suddenly she decided to stay in Italy with a guy she just met? Sanya does not even speak Italian! And there is no freaking way that she would give up on her college degree only weeks before getting her hands on it.

"What's the guy's name?", I asked.

Adele looked at Willow who responded swiftly: "We don't know. It was a party and there were many people."

"Why is Sanya's phone unreachable? She is not responding to her emails. How are you staying in touch with her?", I continued raining questions and I saw Adele and Willow shrinking as they had no answers to any of those.

I nodded knowingly while focusing most of my energy on controlling my anger. "You are saying that your friend decided to stay in a foreign country with a stranger, you didn't dissuade her, you don't know the guy's name, and you have no way to reach her? What if he is an organ trader? Or he dragged her into sex slavery? Even if Sanya was not your friend, shouldn't you have some girl-code where you watch each other's backs?"

"She… She is an adult…", Adele stuttered. "We had no way to stop her."

I took a deep breath and decided to focus on my task. At this rate, I will create a mess and not achieve my desired result. "Do you have any photos of her from vacation?"

Both Adele and Willow were surprised by this change in topic, and I could see that they were relieved.

"You want her photos?", Willow asked.

"Do you have any?"

Adele went to the side table and fetched her phone.

"I might have some…", Adele mumbled, and Willow took her phone as well.

I could hear their hearts pounding wildly as they were scared. I stepped away to give them space and walked through the room in silence while observing the books and decorations as I found the perfect spot.

"You know what?", I said abruptly, and I saw them jump.

"Forget it. If I find out that you lied to me, there will be no place for you to hide.", I said menacingly and left the room to meet with Sergio who waited for me.

"Come on…", I urged Sergio to hurry up.

In the car, Sergio worked his magic on the laptop and within seconds we could hear Adele and Willow talking in their room.

While they fiddled with their phones for Sanya's photos, I planted a listening device. Only like this, there would be a chance to find out what actually happened.

"Stop panicking! How can he know anything? Didn't you hear him ask random questions?", Willow was reprimanding Adele.

There was a sound of the door and another voice came in: "What happened?"

"Drago was here, asking about Sanya.", Adele said in a shaky voice.

"What did you say?", the third female asked, and I suspected that it's another roommate from the vacation, Ruby.

"Don't glare at us, Ruby. We said what we agreed on, that Sanya found a man. But Drago will not give up easily.", Willow responded.

"I don't want to end up on his bad side.", Adele was sobbing. "We only did what we were told."

"Oh, grow up, Adele!", Ruby said irritably. "There is only one way to deal with this…"

After a few seconds of silence, Ruby was talking again: "It's me… Yes, I know you told me not to call unless there is an emergency, but there IS an emergency. Drago was here, asking questions about Sanya… Of course, we were sticking to the plan, but… Fine! You better take care of this because if he keeps on poking around, he is bound to find out something and guess who will be dragged down with us!"

"What did she say?", Willow asked.

Ruby exhaled audibly. "The usual crap! She sits in her castle and treats us like her errand girls."

"We shouldn't have put drugs in Sanya's drink that night…", Adele said in a small voice.

"Stop crying!", Willow shouted. "If we went according to the plan, Sanya would end up with a guy, we would take photos and it would end there. Who knew that she will fight like a savage and end up beaten? That was not our fault!"

My blood was boiling, and it took all my control not to blow up and to focus on voices that were coming from the laptop's speaker.

"What happened to her? Police didn't find the body.", Ruby asked.

"Who knows? If this scaredy-cat didn't pull us to flee, we would watch the show until the end.", Willow said irritably. "The guy either took her with him or she escaped."

Adele sniffled before asking: "If Sanya escaped, why didn't she return to our room?" There was a silence and then Adele spoke again: "Do you think that she knows it's us who set her up?"

"Enough!", Ruby shouted. "We went through this a million times. I don't want to talk about it anymore."

"Easy for you to say!", Adele shouted back. "Drago was not in your room!"

"He can come to my room anytime. Instead of becoming a sobbing wench, I would take that opportunity to show him what a woman can do…", Ruby said in a singing voice and there was the sound of the door again.

Other than Adele's sobs, no other sounds were heard.

My head was pounding as anger swelled inside me, but I did my best to suppress my rage and focus on analyzing what I heard. Those bitches set up Sanya to end up in the hands of some guy so that they can take photos? Sanya is not a celebrity or married or… who would care if an adult young woman without attachments ends up with some guy during a vacation?

If these three are spreading the rumor of how Sanya stayed behind with a man, it's no wonder that her classmates are not looking for her. Maybe that is a common occurrence for some, but not for Sanya. Not for my Sanya… she would never do such a thing.

I noticed that Sergio was typing fervently on his laptop.

"Tell me you have something useful, Serge…"

"Just a moment… I'm getting into Ruby's phone to see who got the last call.", Sergio mumbled, and I was pleased to see that all those computer classes he was taking are finally paying off.

I am aware that while we were in Italy, Sergio had a small villa with an elaborate garden and a greenhouse. His apartment is full of pots and plants, but that is only a fraction of what he left behind. He must be missing it.

Since we came to London, Sergio filled his time with learning about technology and computers, and the results are showing.

"Got it! Here is the number…", Sergio said, and I looked at the screen. Sergio lifted his finger, indicating that he was not done. "I need a minute to find out whose number that is…"

My jaw clenched as I recognized the number.

The name 'Magdalena Thompson' appeared on the screen and Sergio looked at me with panic in his eyes.

"Young master, don't do anything recklessly. She is the daughter of the most powerful man in London. If we offend them, there will be no place for us in England, and maybe in Europe either…"

My body stiffened in rage, and I knew it will last only a few seconds before I'm ready to explode. I spoke through my teeth: "Magda was behind setting up Sanya to be drugged so that she ends up violated by a random man. Tell me, what should I do about it? Let her go? Buy her flowers?"

Sergio's eyes shifted nervously. "I'm not saying that Magda or any of the other three girls should be unpunished, but we need to act with caution and plan well. Besides, we can't deliver appropriate retribution if we don't know what happened. You heard them, Sanya fought back, and… maybe she escaped. Magda and these three girls are not going anywhere, and we should focus on figuring out where Sanya is."

At Sergio's words, an image of the Eiffel Tower flashed in my mind and I remembered the feeling of a body pressing against mine as the scent of jasmine on a rainy morning (with a hint of Japanese wisteria) filled my nostrils, and strangely enough, it calmed my anger.

I knew that Sergio was only pacifying my rage because he didn't want me to end up in jail, but there was some truth in his words. Those girls need to suffer and just ripping them into pieces would not be enough. And there was one other thing… "You are right."

"I am?", Sergio asked, obviously surprised by how easily I agreed.

"We are going to find Sanya."

Sergio gulped audibly. "We are?"

I smiled. "Pack your things, Serge. We are going to Paris."


If you are not reading this at 'W e b n o v e l . c o m', then the content you're reading is stolen! Please support the author by reading this novel from the original source.

Next chapter