Oliver Lachlan stepped on the brakes of his red and black striped fifth generation Chevrolet Camaro and he grunted as it skidded across the glassy roads of Redwood Heights, a town about fifteen kilometers from the town of Ashford. A handful of ranch-style houses were sun-drenched. Hardly any trees stood beside the houses, but when there were, they were short and often thread like and dead. Not a single person stood across the roads and the only sight of a person was a little lad running towards a petite candy store a block away. Oliver sneered at the lad when they locked eyes.
The little lad rushed into the candy store and peered through the glass screen from inside the store. His beady eyes were glued to the screen and he scrutinized Oliver's Camaro as it drove past him. Oliver broke the stare and looked back the road. He laughed slightly and sped the car. He began to ponder over what he was going to do after he reached Ashford.
He had taken the longer route to Ashford, through a little turn through Redwood Heights. He figured out that he needed more time to consider his options on what to do. Even though he had several options, he had already made up his mind: he was going to go to Ashford, and get Dallas out of there. Then again, the one thing he was wary of was that jerk of a man, Eli Griffin. He was the root cause of Dallas' perceptual and emotional issues, wasn't he? He played the role of Dallas' first crush ever, and her first love ever, but Oliver had always felt as if he had known that Eli wasn't the one.
He never was.
He was the absolute personification of deception. He looked like the attractive boy next door, but Oliver knew he was more. From the time he had seen Dallas cozying up with Eli, and the look Eli had in his face whenever he saw Dallas. It looked so sweet and they looked like soulmates. Oliver had always hated him and his lovable charms.
What was worse, Jared and Susan loved him too. They were oblivious of his alternate plans. His plans to capture Dallas and her money. Her dead parents had left her a lot in their will. Jared and Susan knew about that. When they had adopted her, when she was one, they did not know who her parents were. They had no clue her parents were billionaire entrepreneurs Brad and Georgina King. That was only for a few years. When Dallas was five, they found out when one of their family friends recognized Dallas from a heart-shaped birthmark on her nape.
This shocked Susan and Jared and their friends had asked them to bring Dallas to them if she wanted to, when they told her that her parents were dead. But, no. It was Jared's idea; to not tell Dallas about her real parents being dead. Susan reluctantly agreed and then, both of them had decided to lie to Dallas. Feigning a story that her parents did not want to see till the time was right. Despite Dallas' many attempts to get the truth out of their mouths, Susan and Jared were experts. Their mouths were shut. They managed to never let anything out of their mouths.
Dallas eventually forgot about it and was accustomed to the lifestyle of the Lachlans.
Oliver abruptly hit the brakes and the car made an earsplitting screech. The Camaro halted, and Oliver collected himself. He hadn't been concentrating on driving; he hadn't realized that the road to Ashford was teeming with deer. A herd of moose, probably, Oliver guessed. He waited for a few minutes for the road to clear.
The herd looked like a black cloud hovering over the road. He snorted and looked back at the herd. It had begun to annoy him. They hadn't moved in five minutes and he had told Dallas that he was coming to pick her up at about ten in the morning and it was nine fifty. Without any delay, he got out of the car and slammed the door. He brushed his blonde hair from his face and pulled out a little stick from the backseat. It was like a pointer rod, with a little circle at the end.
He gripped it and began to walk toward the herd. A few deer moved aside seeing Oliver nearing them. But, the others stubbornly lingered, their antlers resembling a shield of protection. As he was a foot close to them, a few more ambled away. But still, there were many whose obstinacy Oliver didn't enjoy. He walked to them and waved the rod in front of them. They didn't budge.
A few small deer headed to the back of the herd, while a few hefty ones came to the front.
Oliver sighed; he wasn't taking this seriously. What he wanted was to go to Ashford and to get Dallas out of there as soon as possible. He swayed it in front of them again, but this time... it accidentally hit one of the burly ones antlers. It made a slight sound, and Oliver backed away. "Okay, boy, easy. I'm just asking you to move. I need to get to my sister and get her out of hell, if you don't mind."
He flailed his arms toward the deer and saw a dark figure emerging out of the herd. It was a man. The man had dark hair and eyes that shone like sapphires in the sunlight. Oliver wasn't intimidated by him and the man could see that.
Oliver positioned the rod in front of him and pointed it at the man. The man smiled and twisted the little hair he had on his head. "Dude, I need you to get out of there right now." Oliver demanded, trying to keep his voice as stern as possible.
The man smiled again and replied, "I don't think so."
Oliver flinched and gasped at the next thing he saw. He couldn't make out what it was, though. It was a mere blur to him. The man pulled it out of his suit. Suit. He was wearing what looked like an Armani suit. The thing was a silver blur. Silver.
Oliver rubbed his eyes as the rod fell out of his hands and into the hard asphalt below. His vision was crystal clear, now that he had rubbed his eyes. A gun, he realized. It was a silver and brown revolver to be specific. Oliver recognized it as a Smith & Wesson model. He dodged as if the man was about to aim it at him. The man didn't. For a minute, Oliver thought he was safe and that the man was just harassing him safely.
But he couldn't have been more wrong.
The man swiftly aimed the revolver at Oliver. Oliver as if on cue, raised his hands and slowly crouched down. He was reaching for the rod. Even though it was only plastic, Oliver could poke him in the eye, right? Desperate times called for desperate measures. Oliver squatted down and picked up the rod.
Seeing the man smile slightly, Oliver realized that the man didn't know what he could do with the rod. Oliver decided to dawdle a little instead of making a run for it. "Why're you assaulting me?"
"Somebody asked me to."
Oliver pursed his lips and took a few more steps back. He understood that the man was not in any way going to be direct. Why would he? If he was that man, he would've just shot him.
The next second, with the intention of not risking his life to play mind games, Oliver made a run for it. He ran toward the car and toward the now bustling city. Oliver heard a gunshot, and halted. He looked behind, and did not see the man. He looked at himself, and he saw a bloody knee. He was shot.
He was shot. A gush of feelings erupted out of him like a bomb. He collapsed on the concrete and clutched his wound. There was nobody he knew who would help him. An exception would be a really generous man or woman, who would pay no attention to the matters that came with this: like speaking to the police and lying. Ugh. The pain was excruciating. He couldn't stand it. He wondered what was worse, not being able to pick up Dallas and get her out of there, or being shot.
That was hard. He settled with that and struggled to get on his feet. He had to at least go to a hospital and treat the wound. People in the year 2012, couldn't be that heartless, could they? Not one of the assurances worked, but Oliver quickly dropped the rod on the ground and ripped a piece of his shirt and tied it around his knee to apply the pressure on the wound.
He slowly lifted his leg and tried to walk. He couldn't. But, he had to. He had to try to. He then began limping toward the busy city. The fact that there were many people who consoled him. But, at the same moment, terrified him.
After a while of limping, he came across the candy store he had seen the boy in. He remembered seeing the owner as well. The hefty man behind the little boy. Ah, yes, he had. He slowly opened the door and with tears in his eyes and a wounded knee, he entered the candy store and collapsed.
He was finally in comfort. A state of numbness, a sensation of impassiveness and deadness.
Was this what death felt like? He wondered. He felt a pair of arms around him and the last thing he saw was a pair of green catlike eyes.
Eli walked hand in hand with Dallas. Though he was physically tolerable with her, his mind was overflowing with thoughts that would eventually disturb his emotional coordination. That man was practically flirting with her and she was flirting back with him.
Was Eli the third wheel or something?
Dallas was fully aware of his feelings at that moment. She gripped her bag from the other hand and let Eli grab hold of her other. They walked in sync, and the elderly people of Ashford would always smile at them and they would smile back. Correction, Dallas would smile back. Eli would just huff and smile faintly when Dallas would nudge his gut.
Mitch Nilsson was a womanizer and Eli thought that he had mentioned that to Dallas. Maybe, she just thought he was good-looking, nothing else. But that didn't do it. Eli still felt incomplete and inconsolable.
They were walking toward a coffee shop, and they sat outside. A waitress came to them and they ordered. Eli wanted a cappuccino and Dallas ordered black coffee. The blonde haired waitress took the order and walked into the coffeehouse. Dallas was observing the menu and the beautiful drawings on them, while Eli was observing her.
Dallas noticed this after a few seconds and met his eyes. She slowly set the menu on the glass table and drummed her fingers. "What's wrong?"
"Everything is, isn't it?"
Dallas cocked her head and questioned him, "What do you mean by that?"
He smiled, "Oh, yes, you might know that. You're all innocent and-"
"This has something to do with Mitch, right?"
"Oh, so now you're calling him Mitch." He crossed his arms and leaned against the chair.
She huffed. "Eli, he asked me to, remember?"
"Yeah, do whatever he asks you to," he muttered under his breath, "next time, why don't you give him a call and go out with him."
"Eli!" Eli looked at Dallas. She had stood up and her hands were on the table. She was staring at him, with her eyes like slits. She noticed a few other people staring at them and she slowly sat down, "Shut up, and wait till the drinks arrive." She ordered Eli.
A few minutes later, the beverages arrived and Eli paid for them. Dallas began sipping the hot coffee and when Eli was about to, he got a call. He answered the phone, flipping it open. "Hello, Eli here."
"Eli, it's Parker, we have a problem."
Eli swallowed hard and looked at Dallas. She was pleasantly sipping her coffee bobbing her head to the music coming from the inside of the coffeehouse. He slowly rose and walked a few feet away. He lowered his voice and asked, "What? Did you screw up this time?"
"No, I didn't." Parker scratched his head and looked at the mangled body of Oliver. He was unconscious now. "Oliver's unconscious."
"Why? I asked you to distract him and harass him so he'll get afraid and go away." Suddenly, Eli gasped and his hand automatically went to his head. "You didn't shoot him, did you?"
Parker gasped this time. "Didn't you ask me to shoot him?"
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