Hayden stared at her computer getting immediate writers block. It was three a.m. and she was still wide awake, maybe she needed a little motivation.
She squeezed the messy bun on her head as a way of releasing some frustration and pushed the heavy duvet off her body. She made her way to the kitchen pulling out one of Marks best wines he left in the cupboard
She pulled out a glass and sat on one of the stools letting the therapeutic feeling flow through her body.
A loud obnoxious knock echoed in the apartment and it was probably Mark who probably forgot his own keys again.
She made her way to the door “Coming” she yelled and swung the door open.
“Elliot” she looked at him shockingly
“It’s Russell...we- he didn’t know” Elliot panting
“Elliot what’s going on” Her body felt frozen
“He was fighting and he didn’t expect-”
“He started a fight at the bar we were at and didn’t expect the man to be carrying a knife Hayden” he spoke shakily
“Oh my God” Hayden quickly gathered her stuff lying around praying he was okay.
The car ride to the hospital made her feel edgy and she kept on bouncing her knee up and down. It felt like a dream, like she hadn’t received that rose from him
As soon as they walked through the doors she felt sick to her stomach, she had lost too many people in that hospital. She ran to the front desk
“Russell De Luca” she quickly spoke her hands shaking
“Hayden” she heard Mike calling her but she was too focused on getting information
“Are you family” The nurse asked
“We can’t let you see him unless your family”
“He doesn’t have family” Hayden snapped
“Ma’am we need you to calm down” the nurse spoke
“I don’t want to fucking calm down”
“Hayden” Mike repeated shaking her shoulders
“No Mike, not him please not him” She cried into his shirt which smelt like smoke and beer
“He’ll be fine Hayden, his strong”
They sat down on the cold leather sofa waiting for a doctor or someone to give them an update.
“What was he doing?” she asked defeated “He promised me”
“He missed you Hayden, He hasn’t been the same...you were his safe haven”
Hayden didn’t know what to say to that.
She loved him so much and him dying would kill her. Everything felt so weird and like a dream. One minute they were just two teenagers living in a small town who found this foreign infatuation with each other and the next he’s the owner of companies and dirty money and she was at University.
He tried reaching out to her after the break up and she was tempted to just pick up and run into his arms but knew that would do nothing but hurt them.
“When did he take over the company?” she asked Mike and he sighed “Tell me”
Mike was in the room the day Russell took responsibility for every single thing
Russell looked at the crisp white papers in front of him and picked up the black inky pen beside them
“Congratulations Russell Leonardo De Luca” The short chubby man who he had learnt was named Mario stuck his pudgy fingers out for a handshake
They were all seated around a large coffee table Mike and Elliot included
Something about the people Chad associated himself with seemed a bit dodgy to him and after one thing which was money. They all seemed to have different ideas and plans for what they would turn the company into. Russell opted on selling the business and giving every single dollar bill away but something told him to hold on to the company.
“I hope you know this means you won’t continue with school” Mark said matter of fact
“I will be fine” Russell answered
Mark chuckled “This isn’t going to be a simple task Russell, everything you do changes from here...you are everyone’s target; Con Artists, Other Mafia leaders, The Cops... you have to do cruel things to innocent people...Hayden becomes a target as well” he added mocking him in a spiteful way which partly shocked Russell, he would always go with what Chad said
Russell stood up to his full height, towering over Mark slightly, looking him straight in the eye “What’s your real problem Mark?” He asked folding his large arms against his chest.
“Gentlemen” Mario spoke calmly
“You’re a fool who is making a big mistake” Mark spoke
“I’m not afraid of anything Mark, Careful how you pick your words” was all Russell said to him “What next from here?”
“Well” Mario coughed “We need to sit down with the people who worked for Chad and tell them everything and whoever decides to stay, you will decide what to do next but for now you need to look at the different business folders and get familiar with everything. Everything this man owned now belongs to you.”Mario smirked
“I fear for you and envy you”.
By the time he was done Hayden was speechless “People are out to get me?” she asked staring at the floor “No one has done anything or showed any signs
“You’ve always been a target Hayden, everyone knows to get to Russell it’s through you...So far we know they have been watching you”
“I don’t under-”
“This business that Chad handed over to Russell is a dark business, you are always a target...and if I’m being honest here no one can give you better protection other than yourself”
“Why can’t he just destroy the will?”
Mike chuckled at her suggestion making her feel like a naive child “This is Russell we are talking about, his pride won’t let him”
“I don’t care about his pride. Right now I care about him staying alive, who would want to live such a life...It’s like a curse”
“He can do it” Mike smirked “He’s a beast out there. The hotels Chad supposedly left were practically bankrupt and finished but Russell managed to build something new out of them. It’s his empire now, people fear him now”
All this information made her feel like she had been in a coma for years
“Has he moved into any of the houses?”
“He sold the houses and cars” she nodded her head and looked down at her boots “Does this mean Mark is not on our side?”
“We don’t know what switched in that guy and we are keeping a close eye on him”
She licked her lips and absorbed all the information she was given like a sponge.
“Hayden?” someone softly called her and she looked up finding Peyton standing with a hand on her small belly. Mike stood up and let her sit down kissing her cheek
Hayden must have looked like a fish “Y-you-she” she couldn’t form her sentences anymore.
“I will uh give you guys a chance to catch up?” he scratched the back of his neck and left
They sat in an awkward silence watching other patients walk around
“Hayden I’m sorry for not being a better friend” Peyton spoke swallowing the large lump that was in her throat
“It’s okay” she answered softly not really wanting to go back to those dark days “how far are you?”
“3 months” she answered and Hayden nodded her head “When did you and mike...”
“After graduation” Peyton offered a small smile which Hayden returned
“I’m happy for you”
“Are you okay?” Peyton asked in regard to Russell
Hayden merely nodded her head and they were back to silence.
“De Luca” The doctor called and they all stood up
“Is he okay?” Hayden asked
“He’s okay. He was lucky it was only a flesh wound” the shivers going through her body were Unbearable
“You can go in and see him...One at a time”
She entered his room, closing the door as quietly as possible and walked to his bed unsure of her next move.
“What are you staring at?” He asked her in a deep groggy voice. He hated feeling weak. He knew it was stupid of him to pick a fight but he needed to numb the sadness he was feeling somehow
“Russell” Her voice broke, tears falling down her face.
“Hayden” the way he said her name melted her insides. His eyes captivated her “Come here” she didn’t argue and slowly climbed on top of the hospital bed
“I was so scared...You promised me” she sobbed and he held close to him despite the pain “You said you wouldn’t do this; you promised me, Russell you promised”
Her soft sobs filled the room “I-I need you”
“I need you too baby” he spoke lowly and kissed her neck
They were hopeless.