Chapter 4

The day I fell into that water was the day I died. Not physically but mentally. I died and let my old self wash away with the water. I'm now a new person with a change of mind and heart and the one and only mission I have to memorize is to get Ethan's murderer and let them pay. 

Pay for separating me from my daughter by throwing me in jail and for killing my husband. I Will find that person. And when I do......God help me....

After I was shot in the back and my ankle, I fell into the river. I never had much experience with swimming but I was determined to survive and I did. I managed as I could to swim to the banks and let fate have it's way.

But I was found by a common folk and treated of my wounds. I'm a survivor.. All this was a month ago. Now standing at the doorstep to Ashley's home, I knocked on the door. Immediately it opened up, her face went ghost white.


Ashley placed a bottle of rum in front of me and I shook my head in distaste.

"I can't take alcohol with my condition" I said quickly. She took the bottle away and came back with a cup of leaf tea.

"Take it. It helps to heal wounds"

"How do you know anything about tea?" I asked her in amusement. She smiled.

"My Nanna used to tell me a lot about when she was a young girl and served as nurse to the army. Herbs were all they had then" Ashley went to the kitchen and came back with a clean kettle of more tea.

"Thank you"


We sat in silence, each having our own liquids to deal with. Ashley was with a whole bottle of rum. Sometimes I fear she's becoming an addict and that's not really good for the body.

"Wow" she suddenly whispered. I stared at her.

"What?" I asked. She was clearly having something running through her mind.

"It's just, a month ago I thought I'd lost my best friend and now, I'm sitting and having talks with her" Ashley sniffed. She was bottling up her emotions inside. I went to hug her.

"You thought I was dead?"

"Yeah. It was all over the news. The prison too"

My eyes widened. "What about the prison?" I asked.

"They said the fire extended the washroom. It killed some people" Ashley shrugged. Tears pooled in my eye. The cost of what I did to get to my daughter. I didn't mean to harm anyone but the fire spread.

Now I'm thankful to God I didn't die in that river or every thing would have been a waste. Those lives gone by the fire, and my husband's murder would be walking about freely.

"Hey, Hey" Ashley took my hands in hers and shook it gently. "So what do you plan to do now?"

"Get Autumn back"

"You can't just walk into the Rivera Mansion like that. They'll have you back in prison in no time" Ashley popped a cherry into her mouth.

"I know" I groaned in frustration. "There has to be a way. I need to see her for now and know she's ok"

"I saw her last week" Ashley said and I was sitting upright in seconds.

"Really?how was she?"

"She looked healthy but I won't say happy....Delaney the housekeeper said she hardly talks to anyone"

Tears rolled down my cheek.

"But I was glad when she saw me, she called my name" Ashley smiled. "She ran to me and hugged me and....asked of you"

I wiped my tears. I wonder what the Riveras are telling her about me.

"I'm glad she looked healthy"

"Yeah...and she's grown pretty. I saw you in her"

"Oh my God" I was sobbing into my palms now. I can't believe I missed four years of my daughter's life. I promised her on her fifth birthday, we'll ride the ferris together but I wasn't even there. I sobbed so hard I was shaking.

"Elaine. You shouldn't cry much about this or you'll wind up sick" Ashley patted my back. "Right now, focus on getting her from the Rivera grips"

She's right. After I have her in my arms, then I'll cry to my hearts content.

"I need a new look" I said. I can't walk around looking like me or if I'm caught, I'll be back in prison. I need a disguise. Ashley smiled.

"You happen to be talking to the mistress of disguises"


A new hair and contacts was all Ashley needed to change me. I thought I wouldn't look different but I can hardly recognise myself right now. 

My strawberry kissed hair was dyed blonde and my golden orbs where now shaded with green. Plus, the makeup Ashley did on me. She should consider taking up a class in disguise surgery. She'll make it. I chuckled.

"Remember. Let me do all the talking" Ashley reminded me as we stepped into the bar she works at. Bathtub Gin&Co. I nodded at her.

The place was fairly nicer than I remember and more pleasant like a lot of the decor had been changed. We passed the bar room and entered a back office. Behind the seat sat a grubby middle-aged man. He grinned when he saw Ashley.

"Ashley....what now?"

"I need a place for my friend, Tiffany." Ashley said. She's bold talking to her boss like that. And about the name Tiffany, I told Ash I wanted a different one but she said this one emphasizes my new looks.

The grubby man rubbed his chin with his greasy stained fingers, I wanted to throw up.

"I can think of a spot for her. How bout cleaning?" He asked and Ashley grimaced.

"Griffin! My friend's not handling some dirty mop. you hear me?" Ashley yelled. I pulled her hand and led her to one side of the room.

"I don't really have the right to be picky" I told her but she shook her head.

"I'm not letting you" she said to me before facing Griffin again. "So?"

"Your friend can bartend, Ashley" he groaned. "Now just go" I almost chuckled as he rubbed his temple with his fingers.

"My work here is done" Ashley said and pulled my hand, leading me out of the office room.

"You've got some nerve talking to your boss like that" I smirked at her. Ashley stopped walking and frowned.

"That's not our boss" I liked how she said our. "If Griffin is the manager of here, we'll be short of customers" she chuckled.

"Well, who is he? Who owns the bar?"

"Lucas Grayson" she smirked.

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