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.
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.
"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.
"Lucas Grayson?"Ashley nodded. She wasn't looking at me but at the giant mole on a man's head that just walked by. I snorted. The name Lucas does ring a bell in my head but I can't put my finger on it."Heard he bought this place like two weeks ago" Ashley took my hand and led me behind the bar stand. I wasn't ready to start working today. I'm not even sure how to mix anything. I only know how to make margaritas. And that's thanks to Ashley."So have you seen the boss?" I asked Ashley."Nope. Hardly comes here. I heard from Griffin that he's busy running his other businesses""Wow. Sounds like a busy guy" I cooed. A man came up to the bar and ordered a blue lagoon."Yeah. He is" Ashley filled a glass with ice, then added Smirnoff, vodka and lemonade together before mixing it. "Heard he's a cop too" I froze at that. I don't think it's a great idea to be working at a cops bar.
The picture turned translucent and I realised my tears was the reason. I dabbed at it with a clean clothe and then stared at her again. My God!. She's grown so big. A wide grin spread all over my face as I kept looking at her. Her eyes were still marine blue and even brighter. Her dark hair was cut into bangs. And her smile,...like her dad."That's your girl" Ashley tapped my shoulder and i nodded proudly."I've got to see her, Ash. Soon. Real soon""I know but you won't break the ice to her until everything is over" Ashley poured more tea for herself. She really needs it, After she drank so much last night."I know that" I rubbed my chin devising a way but nothing seemed to come to my mind."Maybe we should just head to work for now" Ashley poured her remaining tea into the sink and then walked out of the kitchen. I stared at the picture again and then kissed my baby before putting it down and goin
I blinked severally before gaining my senses back. What do I tell him. I was never really good at lying. I need Ash on this one. I looked over to her stand and she was really busy. I sighed rubbing my fingers against my temple.Lucky for me, a lady walked up and requested margarita so I focused on making her drink, giving me more time to come up with something.Hunter sat there the whole time and I wished he'd just go. I served the margarita andlooked at him. He was still waiting for my answer. I shook my head."It's complicated" I poured Ice cubes into several glasses."I'm a good listener""I'd rather not" I took out napkins and started wiping the already clean cold counter."Does it have to do with your past?" He asked and I stood still for a moment. Seriously, who is this man? I narrowed my eyes at him but he wasn't evading my glare."Why do you even want
I ran out of the bar for a reason I'm not sure of. I don't even have a reason. Only that I need to get the hell away from that bar. What Hunter said :don't I miss my daughter?Of course I miss her. I miss her every second of my life. Every minute I'm not mixing a drink, my mind wanders off to her and I sit in the loneliness but noisiness of the bar and sink my teeth into my wrist to stop myself from crying."Tiffany!" Hunter called behind me. I didn't even listen, I just kept walking until he grabbed my hand. "Why'd you run off like that?""Why? Why?...Hunter you just asked me about my daughter and I should be calm?""So you do have a daughter" he grinned. I felt like punching his nose but that would ruin his face. I won't like to see him battered up so I refrained from throwing punches."Yes, I have a daughter. And my situation doesn't concern you" I said and started walking away
I walked in through the door and into Ash's apartment. I knew she was in the kitchen cause I heard the sound of the cooker go on."Ash!""In here!" She called right back so I hurried to meet her. I can't wait to tell her how my day unfolded. The talk with Hunter, and the plan.I sat on a stool by the counter and passed myself an apple from the fruit bowl. "You got off work early" Ash said as she sprinkled a little oil in the pan just to grease it up."Yeah...the girl taking the shift from me came earlier" I took a large bite from the Apple."So what's up?""Hunter knows I'm Elaine"I wish I hadn't said that with her standing next to the cooker. She turned around quickly and that made her tip the pan off her hand and to the floor. I bit on my bottom lip."Say again!" She half yell.I repeated myself the same
I didn't expect Hunter to come in early the next day but he did. Ash was right. He does seem to care about me in a special kind of way. One I'm not ready to look into or discover why?I went down the steps slowly pulling my little box of cloth that Ash graced me with. I would rather not wear prison clothe everywhere. Hunter appeared at the bottom of the steps and helped me with the box."Is this all?" He asked."Yep! Don't got much" I sighed"Then we'll have to go shopping" Hunter said and walked away quickly so I didn't have time to object. I'm still going to anyway. He can't just take me shopping like that. This is all an act. Not some romance prodigy.Ash was seating by the counter having coffee. I'm surprised to see she's not holding a bottle of wine. What's up with her?."Hey girl" I dropped my purse on the counter and poured me my own coffee. Black coffee? Ash is
I got dressed in a floral free gown. The length was a bit over my knee but nice and still decent. At least the gown didn't have a low cut or anything. I'm surprised Ash even has a floral gown.I packed my hair up in one breezy ponytail and decended downstairs. The sweet smell of food led me all the way to the kitchen and I stopped in my tracks when I saw Hunter cooking. He even had on an apron. I chuckled."So you cook?" I came and sat by the counter looking at the already made dishes on the table. Pastrami on Rye, black and white cookies, , Bagel and cream cheese."Yeah" he replied and placed a plate of creamed cheese in front of me. I inhaled the sweet aroma that suddenly made my tummy growl. "You better take care of that" Hunter grinned.I served myself some Pastrami and then stuffed my mouth. I won't deny, this is good food. At Ash's place, sphagetti and meatballs were the common.
I stared between Hunt and Nicole,waiting for Hunter to correct her but he didn't. He only grinned and stretched his hands out to her. We have a lot to talk about."You know her honey?" I ask with a side grin and clenched teeth."Nicole is a good friend" he smiled at the blonde and I blinked. Is this a game? How did he know Nicole and they seem to be so much good friends.A plump lady came out from the Rivera mansion with a worried expression on her face."Ma'am....Autumn won't have lunch" she said with full concern. I held my hands up to say something but Hunt pulled me away."See you around" he told Nicole before leading us back into the mansion. I found the nearest chair and sat down burying my face in my palms."Tiff. Are you alright?" Hunter asked kneeling in front of me."Why call me Tiff when you know who I am?"He smiled. "I guess I