Chapter Six

She recalled her father had mentioned that her uncle was testing the captives’ blood to make some kind of cure for her youngest cousin – the one she had never met. And with how compliant Angel seemed around her uncle, she figured he and the others must have agreed to it, perhaps she was wrong. 

She was not naive. She knew part of what her uncle did for ‘work’ – everybody did. And no normal businessman would need the kind of security they have in her uncle’s house. Her father was a criminal all right, but her uncle was on another level. 

She hadn’t been in his house for long nor had she concerned herself with the happenings in the household but she hadn’t been blind to how cruel her cousins were to the house slaves, nor deaf because sometimes Daniel boasts about it at dinner time. 

She hated having to listen to the creep but she had no choice but to play the Ostrich with her head in the sand. Because there are times she suspected he was doing it to shock her and gauge her reaction. Whatever his motive she could not tell.

Daniel was not the only weirdo at dinner though, Mathew, her oldest cousin, never seemed to do anything right and always got her uncle angry about one thing or the other. But what somewhat gave her the Adam family vibe was her uncle constantly apologizing for his youngest son’s absence, and him leaving a table set and the chair to his right empty for the boy. The uncomfortable silence that always fell afterwards was palpable. It was evident his other sons were not comfortable with the habit but dare not speak up.  

If not that her father had told her about the perpetually absent cousin, she would have thought he was nothing but a figment of her uncle’s imagination. All the weirdness had made her inquire about her uncle’s wife—the one who bore him all his sons—when her father called, and he had snappily told her that the woman died in childbirth. 

She figured whatever that was about must have been traumatic because none of her pictures was featured in any family room in the house. When she tried to ask more questions, her father warned her to ‘behave’ in a fervent way that scared her a bit. But since she had been in her uncle’s house, the other man had paid her no mind except of course to nod at her at dinner and asked if she was ‘comfortable’. 

The only time she figured she would have gotten in trouble with him was when her father called from prison and made her go find him to hand the phone over. She had had no choice but to go inside his home office while he was there with his work friends, Angel and three other captives. He hadn’t looked pleased by her intrusion. But his countenance quickly changed when she told him that her father had important information he wished to pass on to him. Nadia had handed over the phone and couldn’t have gotten out of there fast enough. 

Her family was strange, she knew it and had accepted it, but the thought of any of them deliberately being cruel to Angel made her feel protective of him, and she got scared of what she might discover, and most importantly what it would gear up in her. 

Nana helped her out of bed and she went to take the seat by the round coffee table.  

"Looks like your uncle has plans tonight…" Nana Viktoriya said. 

Nadia quickly jerked up to direct her eyes where the other woman pointed. Looking through the glass wall, she saw Antonio's fleet of cars heading towards the estate gate. 

"Yes," Nadia muttered, wondering if he took Angel with him. And if she could go look for him without being discovered. She sat back down, and Angel's cold eyes replayed in her head. The shine of hatred in them made her heart constricted. She wondered if it was possible to speak with him alone and not get killed. But she knew she had to try at least. The thought of letting him go on thinking the worst of her unsettle her. She took a glance at Nana Viktoriya, and thought to tell her, but quickly shook off the thought. If she was caught by her cousins there was a chance she might live to tell the story, but her Nana would not have such a privilege. And if she was to die by Angel's hands, she would prefer to go alone. But she must right her wrong. She mused with determination. 

Nana Viktoriya stayed awhile to chat with her, making sure she ate everything she brought for her. By the time Nadia was done, she felt a bit better and utterly overfed. She said as much, making the other woman chuckle. Nana Viktoriya got up and started to clear the plates. 

“Let me–” Nadia said, getting up too, but the older woman stopped her. 

“Your uncle may not be home but all these walls … have ears,” she said, gesturing, “We don’t want him questioning my duties here, and calling me useless again,” she said. Anger flared in Nadia and her eyes shone with it. 

“Why won't you let me talk to him? He is not the one paying your bills, my father is!”

“Calm down, Miss Nadia. If I let you go and confront him, it would seem like I came running to you, to report him. Whether we like it or not, we need him, at least for now, until your father is released. I will not let you make rash decisions that will put you in harm’s way.,” she said and smiled, “Besides, it is temporary.” 

Nadia nodded, albeit reluctantly, hating that the older woman was right. Nana Viktoriya left and shut the door. Nadia left the table area and started to pace about, thinking of how to go about setting up the meeting with Angel. 

When she couldn’t think of a way without involving someone else, she let out an exasperated huff and went to pick up a book on a shelf at the corner of her bed, determined to occupy her mind with something else. The book she picked was the second book of a fantasy series about a fallen angel and a witch. The author had the knack of making her forget her reality and she was counting on the skill to help her now. 

Going to settle down on the oversized recliner, she opened the book and started to read, forcing herself to dull the memory of her time with Angel. After a while, she got lost in the book and lost track of the time. The next she knew, her eyes darted to the wall clock and she saw it was 1 a.m. She sat up, stretched, and then strode to the adjoining balcony. 

Drawing in the crisp, chilly air into her nostrils, she took a deep breath and a slow smile played over her face. A loud curse made her look below and she saw about six men, wearing the familiar uniform of the house guards, carrying a large male clad in nothing but cargo pants and she could see his wrists were handcuffed.  With a closer look, she saw it was Angel. She would know that face anywhere!

The men were carrying him on a stretcher but it seemed something startled them into dropping him. When he rose, sitting up, Nadia watched as the guards skittered backwards and she wondered what they had done to him to make him unconscious and why they were scared he was now conscious. When two of the men brought out stun guns to point at him, her heart lunged against the wall of her chest. Without a second thought, she ran back inside her room with eyes darting about. She picked up a robe to wear over her lingerie and reached for the book for cover, and headed out of the room. 

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