Chapter Ten - Revealed Identities
Five years ago, eighteen-year-old Erin Grey found her childhood friend turned lover Derek Matthews in the arms of another woman, in the same day she found out about her mother's car accident. Unable to hold herself together, she ran away to Canada to stay with her only living relatives.
Now an established journalist at twenty-three, she finds herself back in New York, where she had the displeasure of meeting the twenty-six-year old hunk, now the head of General Surgery and the next head chief.
At first she hesitated, cursing him through the very depths of her soul. It took a while before she realized that no matter how much of a bastard he was to her, she loved him. It could have been a peaceful way to finish their love story, but as fate had changed its course-
Erin Grey is found dead the next day.
As he opened his eyes, he realized that he couldn't move.
Strong, silver shackles bounded his arms, and his legs were no exception. He tried to pull his arms out, but the chains were too tight - he was like an angry animal being tied to a tree to prevent human harm. They weren't wrong, he wanted to cause harm. Especially now.
But the blow from his stomach prevented him from moving further. Derek didn't know what to feel. He was confused, strangely calm and completely livid all together. How could he? When the one sitting across from him at this moment, in the same room, was no other than the man he thought of as a father for years.
"You're awake," the man spoke blankly.
"I guess I am," Derek replied, irate evident in his voice. "It's nice to see you too, Chief. To see you outside the hospital at this hour is quite amazing. I would shake your hand if it wasn't all tied up."
Wilson Jacobs cleared his throat, and he signaled the man standing behind Derek to unchain him. "You must understand, Derek. These chains were a precaution for me." He paused. "You were going berserk earlier."
"Then you should probably tie me up again," Derek stood up, his hands forming in tight fists, "because what I'm about to do next might make you regret untying me all together." He walked forward, his strength overpowering the three other men preventing him from moving. Derek didn't care anymore who the man was. He wanted to kill him. But then the chief spoke.
"Derek, do you want to save Erin Grey?"
Upon mentioning her name, Derek stopped moving. He looked down, unable to absorb anymore emotions. Instead, he started laughing. Like a broken doll, he laughed as if it was the funniest joke on Earth.
But it was.
A few hours ago, he found Erin dead in St. Lucinta. She was stabbed by a man who pretended to be one of the Doctors from the Hospital. Her entire body was covered in blood, but he still checked her heartbeat and her pulse. He even did CPR, but she was already gone. He took too long to get there. Then, before Derek knew what was happening, he was given a powerful blow in the stomach, leaving him unconscious. And now that he's awoken, he found himself tied up like a dog by his own superior, the same one asking him if he wanted the save his dead lover.
"YOU MUST BE FUCKING WITH ME RIGHT NOW!" Derek swore, and he moved quickly, landing a hard blow on the chief's face before anyone else can stop him.
His men pulled Derek away before he could land another.
"...she's dead," he whispered angrily. The woman he loved since they were children, the woman he could never forget - she's dead. Erin Grey died because he wasn't there to protect her.
The chief stood up, silent to his demise. He started walking forward to Derek, and he looked him in the eye.
"Are you sure?"
Derek looked up, his eyes widened to his question. "What... what the hell are you talking about?"
The chief smirked, as if a child had just asked him a silly question. "Derek Matthews. I thought you were better than that. How can I give you my seat when you can't even guess what happened today?"
Derek was starting to loathe the man in front of him for treating him like a child - his every word a puzzle waiting to be solved. But what irritated him more was that he couldn't understand it. What is he talking about? What is Derek missing?
And then it hit him.
" ...That... it can't be..."
The chief sighed in relief. "I'm glad you didn't forget."
"But..." Derek hesitated, "It's impossible! It hasn't even fully developed! And for what purpose? What the hell is going on-"
"Derek." The chief held his shoulder. "The plan. It starts now."
"The plan..." Derek whispered. It couldn't be.
Three years after working for Greenwood Hospital, Derek was called in secret by the respected Chief Jacobs to work on an undisclosed mission - to create a pill that will allow someone to appear dead in ten full hours.
They called it the 'Capulet Capsule,' referring to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Back then, the chief said that the pill was a personal request from the military, but he couldn't understand why he would bring it up now.
And the plan...
"Once someone takes the pill, you are to make sure that you get your hands on the target's death certificate right away. It will be issued to the public." Derek remembered the chief's words.
"The public? But wouldn't we want this person's information hidden?" He remembered asking him, only to be given a quizzical response - one he finally understood.
"The one who will be using this pill is special. She is hunted by numerous dangerous people and she doesn't even know about them. Once the time is right, she will be dead to the public eye, and you will make sure that happens by becoming a witness yourself."
"A witness?" He asked. "How will I know when this operation commands?"
"You won't," the chief answered him. "But it will happen. And you will be there."
"Erin..." He whispered. "But Erin was stabbed..."
"She was stabbed all right," The chief answered, "and it was deep, but not deep enough to kill her, I hope. Erikson panicked, so he focused on the vital areas. Of course, the pill did its magic then."
"You..." Derek stared in disbelief. "You made it so that I would be late, that Erikson would see her first, and for that man to stab her while everyone watches..." He paused. "Why... what did she do wrong?"
Huffing a cigarette, the chief looked up to the window to the see the large, full moon overlooking the still, eerie night.
"It wasn't what she did wrong. It's what her parents did wrong. You see," the chief paused, "the only thing your girlfriend did wrong was to be born out of a lion and a wolf."
"A lion and a wolf..." Derek repeated.
"I'm partly to blame for all of this, to be honest." The chief sighed. "But even so, from here on out - you must listen to me, Derek. If you want her to live, you must do as I say." He stopped. "But then again, this will only work if Erin's actually still breathing."
"What does that mean?"
"I did tell her that the pill wasn't completely ready yet. Ah, what a rash person." The chief scratched his head.
"Who... who is she?"
The chief smiled. "Yes, Derek. The wolf."
As Derek was left dumbfounded, the chief keeled beside him, his face more serious than he ever showed to anyone. He was a serious person after all. But after the wolf's appearance in his life a few years ago, he had to change.
"The question now Derek," the chief paused, "is whether you want to get involve now. You can say 'yes,' and risk losing your own life in the process, or you can just walk away now - forgetting what had taken place in the first place." He continued. "I can transfer you somewhere else, where the name "Erin Grey' will never be spoken of, and you can live peacefully. No one will bother you, and it will be as if she never existed. What will you decide?"
Derek, after hearing the chief's words, stood up.
"You know damn well what I've decided, old man." Derek leaned in, a loop-sided grin forming in his mouth. "We just made up yesterday, and now someone wants to start a war." Derek sighed.
"Erin, wherever you are... wait for me."
Lerry Bean Café has gotten popularity over its fancy debut a few months ago, and everyone in town could not get enough of its coffee. No matter how much of a beautiful day it is, every man needs a little pick-me-up. Even Derek Matthews was no exception.
"Damn it, too much people." He sighed. After getting himself a cup of bitter black joe, he walked out of the shop. It had been two weeks since he announced Erin's death to the public. Ada and the news agency could not function after hearing the news - that Erin had 'slipped and fell' in one of St. Lucinta's rocky cliffs after a rainy night. It was better than saying she was stabbed to death, and since the town has been known to have a high death rate with that occurrence, he went with it.
The hospital's chief has asked the small town to keep quiet of the matter as Erin was a 'great role model' in the main city; it would cause a stir if news had spread that she was stabbed.
He walked through the busy streets of New York, his mind wondering off somewhere else. He ignored the people around him, unaware that three steps behind was the owner of his heart, with a big mission of her own.
"Derek," she thought sadly as she spotted him. Her eyes tried to look straight ahead, but it strayed a little as it tried to take a glimpse of his face. "Derek..." She whimpered.
I miss you.
It had been two full weeks after all, since they announced her death. Erin woke up three days after swallowing the pill, and she was completely petrified with what happened, or why it happened. More importantly, she was more terrified of who made it happen.
But she knew one thing. Derek knows of the situation as well - and he was given two choices. To help her, or to forget her. She was to stay away from him at all costs, and to make sure that her own objective be fulfilled as well.
"Let's go, child."
Erin turned around to see who had spoken. It was a woman, a beautiful woman. Age was starting to catch up to her, small fine lines are seen across her delicate face, but her entire body was the epitome of respect. She was, after all, a living member of the Invisible Guardians.
An elite organization unknown to society, they live to protect those whose future will contribute to the greater good of the world. To live bearing the symbol of the association meant living as someone's shadow. They must protect their client at all costs, and they must never reveal who they are. These beings can be your friend, your sibling, your colleague or even your lover - and they stand by one rule alone.
They cannot fall in love.
To forget that they, themselves, are human - they must act only on orders. However, she broke this rule by falling in love with a man. And he wasn't ordinary either. They were young, but their skills alone were more precious than a thousand soldiers. They thought that by running away, they could live.
However, their peaceful lives did not last long.
Although her husband died trying to save both her and the child, she did not back down. She stayed strong, even framing her own death five years ago for the sake of saving the child in front of her. Eighteen years in the making, the plan will finally take full effect - One that will change everyone's lives forever.
This chapter starts the second arc of ' A Third Chance at First Love.' It amused me to read your comments, so I thank you for your thoughts. Yes, the title is self-implied, and definitely on purpose. I will do my best in this series, so please continue supporting it.