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Chapter 4

Alessio:

“Kiara, is everything okay?” I asked through the phone after leaving the meeting. Kiara was NEVER, and I mean NEVER one to call or message me about situations when I was at work. Therefore, seeing as she has right now, I knew that something terribly wrong had happened.

“Alessio, you need to come home” Kiara said making me frown in confusion “we can’t find Arda, and something bad has happened”

“What?”

“Arda killed someone in the house” Kiara said making my heart drop to my stomach “I don’t know who he is, but Tatiana and Viktor saw him. Whoever it was, the man was beaten to death. Natasha and I just spoke to Tatiana, they saw him killing the man in the backyard. There’s blood on the walls, but the man is nowhere to be seen or found”

“Where’s Arda?” I asked.

“I don’t know, I did go to his room to try and see him, I wanted to lock him inside. But he wasn’t there when I reached the room. The window was open, he could have escaped through there” Kiara explained and I bit my bottom lip as I tried controlling the worry I felt.

“Kiara, make sure to lock ALL the windows in the house, and the door. Arda could still be in the house, him opening the window could be a diversion, just make sure that you are all safe inside one room until I get home” I said calmly. I knew that I had to contain myself knowing that my wife would be worried, the girls having gotten home from school a while ago, they would be scared if they understood what the issue was “Ivan, we need to go home”

I walked into his office making him frown in confusion. He shook his head in question and I sighed not knowing how to explain this to him. The fact that Viktor saw the scene bothered me more than I would dare admit, but the kid probably didn’t understand what was going on; however, now I knew what was bothering Tatiana.

“Arda killed someone, and both Tatia and Viktor saw him do it. They showed Kiara where it is, and when she tried heading to Arda’s room, he wasn’t there. He either left the house to run away, or is hiding somewhere and waiting to attack”

Ivan got up from his chair with wide eyes, and the two of us rushed out of the office, making sure to keep ourselves as calm as possible as not to stir any rumors. We entered the car and I started it before driving off knowing that the faster we got home, the better.

“What happened again?”

“I’m not sure, but whatever it was, Kiara is sure that it happened. They saw blood sprawled where the man was killed, not to mention that the kids saw Arda beating him to death. I’m guessing that they were afraid of telling us about it. But when they tried finding Arda, pretending to want to check up on him before they locked him in the room, they found that his room was empty and window was open” I explained the situation to Ivan who ran his fingers through his hair “I think that’s what’s been bothering Tatiana, she’s been scared of talking about it, but that doesn’t mean that the brutality she saw was easy on her”

“You’re telling me, Tatiana doesn’t even watch scary movies to watch her uncle killing someone” Ivan snapped. I nodded at the man who was right, but that wasn’t what was worrying me. If Arda has killed someone in the house, then there must have been a reason to it. The fact that I suddenly regretted not taking him to therapy, to help him get proper treatment was something that ate me alive right now.

We reached the house in fifteen minutes, and my eyes widened when I entered the empty house before heading to the living room where I knew Kiara would be staying with everyone. I knocked the door twice before opening it to find Kiara holding her gun at me making me chuckle before wrapping my arms around her, hugging her tightly as a sigh of relief left me.

“Daddy!” Viktor said excitedly. Tatiana was laying her head on top of her mom’s lap who was running her fingers through her hair. The little girl looked like she was crying and I was thankful that her mom was at least comforting her.

“My little man” I said lifting him in my arms. Kiara put her gun away and looked me in the eye shaking her head. However, I wrapped my arm around her and kissed her forehead before Alexandra walked toward me “princess?”

She wrapped her arms around me without saying a word and I frowned in confusion, shaking my head at Kiara as to understand what was going on. Kiara shook her head as she looked at our daughter before mouthing “she lost”

I nodded and shook my head at my spoiled little princess before putting Viktor down and getting down on my knees to face my daughter who wrapped her arms around my neck, hugging me back "I lost, daddy”

“It’s okay, malyshka, you’ll win the other ones” I said softly. But she shook her head and I raised an eyebrow.

“I don’t want to participate in other ones. I was humiliated when I lost. Everyone was watching me, and I froze not knowing the spelling of a simple ten lettered word” she said and I smiled at her wiping her tears.

“So, my little princess chose to give up after losing once?” I asked and she frowned in confusion at my question “is that how it’s going to be?”

“but people were looking at me”

“So? People will look at you more and more times as you win too. But had you been revising rather than watching TV in the morning, don’t you think that you would have done better?” I asked my eight-year-old daughter. Her eyes widened and she nodded in understanding “next time you have a contest, malyshka, you should go to sleep early and not give mom and dad a fuss, then in the morning you should revise for it. You being the best won’t be by you blindly following your friends, right?”

She nodded and I kissed her forehead as I wiped her tears “now chin up, malyshka, your next contest could be soon and you need to prepare for it. Your genius little brain won’t stop because you lost ONE simple contest, right”

She nodded and I shook my head “I want to hear you saying it, printsessa” Princess.

“That’s my girl! Now take your brother and go watch TV for a while before we call you down to do your homework” I said making her smile. I nodded at two maids to go with them and one of my men to follow them too, if the risk of Arda being in the house was around, then someone keeping them safe had to be with them.

I watched as they walked out of the room before heading to Tatiana and sitting on the floor in front of her, Natasha wanted her to sit up but I put my hand on her knee stopping her “do you want to tell me what you saw, princess?”

She shook her head as tears fell from her eyes. Ivan sat beside me and the two of us looked at one another then at the little girl who looked like she saw a ghost, and judging by the fact that she saw a man die, I was proud of her being as strong as she was.

Ivan pulled her to his arms and she wrapped hers around his neck before crying. Kiara wrapped her arms around herself at the sight, and Katerina shook her head before putting a hand on Kiara’s shoulder “he hit him a lot”

“He wouldn’t stop punching the man, I couldn’t move or make a sound because I feared that he might hurt us too. So, I closed Viktor’s eyes, and I tried forcing my eyes to stay closed. But then the man stopped making any sound, and Uncle Arda stopped. Uncle Arda started screaming so loud that it hurt my ears, then I pulled Viktor inside” Tatiana explained.

“How did you know that the man was dead?” Ivan asked.

“The man didn’t move, and when we went to play in the garden later, Uncle Arda told us not to go there. I wanted to go and see, but Uncle Arda glared at me and I was scared. Viktor asked me to stop because we never saw Uncle Arda down with us, he said that he was always up in his room…” Tatiana cried again, this time her hiccup stopped her from talking and my heart ache for her, but I couldn’t say a word to comment about the topic which seemed to be painful to her.

“Did he look like he knew that you saw him?”

“I don’t know, he was cold toward me like he always is, but he didn’t want us going there. He didn’t play with us either, he just kept watching us and watching that spot making sure we didn’t go there. I did go there the next morning before school, I was walking Shadow. There was blood, but no man” Tatiana said and I nodded “please don’t be mad that I didn’t tell you…”

“No, no, princess. We’re not mad at you, you were very brave, and you kept Viktor safe. We can never be mad at you” I said gently. I wiped her tears and Ivan kissed her forehead “but I will ask you not to keep things like that from us again, the earlier and faster we know; the faster we would be able to contain the situation, yeah?”

“Okay” she said and I smiled.

“Now go and wash your face before going to your cousins, watch something with them and clear your mind. Don’t worry, one of the men will keep you safe and won’t leave your side, no one would be able to hurt you” I said assuring her and she nodded. She hugged her dad one more time before hugging me and walking out of the living room, leaving us adults alone here.

“Search the house for a trace of him, if not in the house, I want every camera searched until you’ve found a trace of where he left. I also want to know who he killed, therefore, go on and get to work”

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