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‘It’s time for phase two’ Desiree thought within herself. ‘They won’t know what hit them, after years of hard work it paid off… Welcome to hell Ryan’ she mused.
“Do you always have that mischievous look when you’re thinking? Or it’s just me?” Amy asked interrupting her thoughts as she entered her office.
“You were not taught how to knock?”
“I did, but it’s obvious you are engrossed with your thoughts,” Amy said defending herself.
“What do you want?”
“I…I want to ask if I can leave early, I have a date…tonight and-” Desiree cut her off with her laughter. Amy didn’t see anything funny in the statement, she just stay put and watch her boss laugh to her heart content.
“Amy…Amy…Amy…” Desiree called shaking her head in pity. “Didn’t anyone teach you work etiquettes? Always know where to draw a line. Never mix your work with your personal life.”
“Thanks, can I leave early?” Amy asked with a big grin on her face.
“When I say something I mean it beside I won’t let you waste your time on a guy” Desiree said now focusing on her laptop.
“Waste my time on a guy?”
“Are…are you into me?” Amy muttered, almost afraid to hear the response.
“Am not into anybody,” Desiree said looking at her. Amy sigh, which was a relief on her part. She definitely can’t handle her boss being a lesbian.
“Why won’t you let me? Is it that you don’t like him? You don’t even know him”
“I know you got your hots for Derek, but he’s no good. He will use you, dump you and find the next available/hot thing in a skirt.”
“How did you know his name? I never mentioned his name”
“I did my homework, besides you are a good intern and very useful in my plans. I’ve great plans and you’re in it… Who knows you could bag yourself a position here once your internship is over”.
Amy didn’t say a word, she looked at her boss for some seconds before leaving.
“Amy, ask Derek who Melissa is?”
Amy merely nodded and left.
Desiree’s father Ethan looked at the dining table smiling. He had prepared dinner with Mrs. Jefferson’s help. This was one way he could prove that they were stronger as a family.
“Isn’t this something?!” Mrs. Jefferson said stepping into the dining room.
“I know right… I don’t know how they will react on seeing Ryan”
“Let’s hope that hell doesn’t let loose tonight”.
“Hopefully,” Ethan said honestly.
Luke came home after receiving his mom’s call, he didn’t know what to expect at dinner with the whole family. There haven’t been any family dinner for years even during festivities, Luke thought of seeing Ryan, Desiree uncle after five years.
Last time he saw Ryan, a physical fight erupted after confessing that he was paid to abduct Desiree, but that was five years ago. Things were different now although one thing remained Desiree’s hate for the family. Desiree was invited to dinner and that worried Luke, this would be the first time Desiree and Ryan would meet since she fled abduction.
“This can’t be good,” Luke said to himself and went looking for Annie.
“Family dinner huh? Is it that it sounds funny or it’s just me being sarcastic?” Annie asked amidst laughter.
“I don’t think a family existed after Desiree’s grandmother and mother died, her abduction and her uncle confessing his crimes, basically the family has been in ruins”
“This is a good start then… It should be named family reunion”.
“I’m worried about her”
“Doctor Luke no days goes by that you are not worried about Desiree, why not wife her to make it easier”.
“Thanks, you have been of great help, Annie. I might just do that” Luke said in mockery.
“Do you need me there? I can go with you, you know am family. I’m here for you always”.
“I know Annie, I’ll go alone” Annie hugged Luke and watch him leave.
Luke got to Ethan house just in time for dinner and met everyone at the dining room except Desiree.
“Good you could make it,” Ethan said on seeing Luke. “Let’s hope Desiree comes”.
“I doubt she will come” Miles chipped in.
“Stop being negative Miles,” Mrs. Jefferson told Miles.
“He’s right she might not come, let’s dig in then,” Luke said picking his fork as he began eating.
Desiree turned off her car ignition, she sighed heaving her shoulders heavily. She was having second thoughts, she haven’t been here for years. The last time she came was after she fled from her abductors and found out her mother and grandmother were dead.
She had thought of coming here for a long time but not that it seem like a bad idea, she didn’t know what to expect and that made her nervous. She was always three steps ahead and in charge of every situation but, in this case, she wasn’t in charge.
“I could call and make some excuses,” She said to herself. “Or I go in and make them understand that am not part of their family and as such won’t honor any invites or I go in there and be the best I can be” she said with a smile adjusting the rear mirror touching her makeup lightly. She got out of the car and went in.
“You could notify me in advance if you really want me present” Desiree said entering the dinning. “I don’t work on short notice” Everyone turned in her direction at the sound of her voice, mostly surprised she came.
“But you came” Luke chipped in.
Desiree gave Ryan a knowing look and smiled. She went to Ryan, pecked him and sat beside him. The rest of the family looked on surprised. None expected Desiree to keep her cool on seeing him.
She helped herself with the food and she began eating, all eyes were on her. Something wasn’t right and it was evident, she kept on eating not paying attention to the stares or glances on her.
Ryan wasn’t comfortable, he shifted uneasily on his seat. He prayed that the dinner ended soonest, something about Desiree scared him. He couldn’t quite place it, he had exploited her sexually for eight years but this woman sitting beside him is nowhere near the girl he exploited.
He didn’t want to be here, but his brother wants peace and the family whole again-
“Could you please excuse me for a second?”.
Desiree’s voice pierced through his thoughts bringing him to reality. He looked at her, a huge grin was on her face then she left the table.
“That went well,” Miles said clearing the dishes.
“I don’t know if you sensed it too, but there was tension,” Luke said in a low voice helping Miles with the dishes.
“Thanks for having me,” Ryan told Ethan standing up. This was actually the first time he spoke all evening.
“Glad you could make it”.
“Let me walk you out,” Desiree said emerging.
“Huh! Walk him out” Miles whispered in Luke’s ear. “Are you sure she’s Serena in Desiree’s body? Or she’s someone else?”
“Thanks, dear, that’s so sweet of you,” Mrs. Jefferson said patting her shoulder.
“Ethan, it’s nice of you to try and make this family whole. I have no doubt your family will be whole again” Desiree said with a smug look. With that, she walked out with Ryan.
“What do you think they are talking about?” Luke asked looking at Ryan and Desiree through the window.
“Hey! not fair let me see too,” Miles told Luke trying to look also.
“Stop it Miles”
“Both of you stop it, it’s not right to listen in on others conservation,” Mrs. Jefferson said looking at Ethan. “Are you alright? You seem so lost”.
“Seeing him doesn’t change history, events that took place or what he did,” Ethan said in a low sad tone.
“Dad let nature take it’s course,” Miles said still spying on Ryan and Desiree.
“I know it’s hard, but the past is behind, you did the right thing reaching out to Ryan. It’s the most courageous thing have seen a person do”
“My mom is right Ethan, reaching out to Ryan definitely stop any bad blood from flowing,” Luke said approaching his mom.
“It’s late, you guys get some sleep,” Ethan said standing up.
Desiree watched Ryan leave, she stood in the driveway smiling. She knew Ryan fell for her acts and words. She went inside and met Luke in the kitchen, she was about to speak when her phone rang.
“We have located Steve and Greg’s families and you were right Holly died years ago but have also located her family,” a man said at the other end of the line.
“Work?” Luke asked after she hang up.
“No…. I just made a huge breakthrough. Where’s everyone?” She asked looking around.
“How are you holding up? You seem happy and content”.
“Great, I had conflicted feeling about tonight but am good,” Desiree said pouring herself some juice.
“Come with me, I want to show you something” Luke took her to the tree house at the back of the house. They spent lots of time there when they were little.
“I never thought Ethan kept this tree house,” Desiree said sitting on the bed. “Definitely brings back memories”.
“I never stop praying for you, that you would be safe and that you would return to us even after that call” Luke said leaning against the wall.
“I never wanted to hurt anyone with that call… your prayers was answered partly course Ethan’s daughter died and a beast was unleashed.” Desiree sipped her juice she poured earlier.
“You are not a beast. Do you remember when we were little” Luke started changing the topic “we got carried away and spent all afternoon and evening in the tree house, your parents got so worried. They sent out a search party looking for us while we were here the whole time”
“Yea, I remember grandma scolded us endlessly that day. Do you also remember when she was in so much pain, I came to the tree house and cried my eyes out? You were the only one I allowed in here, we spent the night here” She said smiling.
“I never forgot you, you were always in my heart, mind, and soul”
“It was grandma’s birthday I went with Holly to get her gifts but returned after nineteen years” Tears flowed freely on Desiree’s face as she spoke. “I survived because death wouldn’t take me, I tried killing myself, they did everything to kill me, but death never came. It was horrible” Desiree said crying silently.
“It’s over now. It’s over, it’s in the past” Luke said consoling her and wiping her tears.
“I never stopped thinking about you Lucas”.
Luke froze when he heard her statement, more like freezing because of the name she called. She and her grandmother were the only ones that called him Lucas, he never thought he would hear that name again.
“Never leave me Lucas” Her voice brought him to reality. She actually called his name.
“Never leave me Lucas” She repeated, this time visibly shaking. Luke laid her on the bed they sat on and held her close, like his life depended on it, making sure she was safe, making sure she doesn’t disappear, making sure he didn’t have to go through the agony of searching or waiting for her to return, making sure nothing bad happens to her again.
“Am right here Desiree, I won’t ever leave you” Luke said kissing her temple. Soon she slept off, Luke tucked her stranded hair behind her ears and stared at her.
“You sent for me?” Amy said entering Desiree’s office.
“Those research I asked you to do, I need it now”.
“I told you before that it’s a closed case and it’s really old”
“Amy, a case never gets old. Justice will be served for that poor innocent girl who didn’t have a voice. That’s why there are campaigns everywhere to break the silence on sexual violation and am sure she would be grateful, that’s why the prosecutor council exist right? And I happen to head it”
“Serena McCarthy is dead and the family involved closed the case”
“Well, now it’s re-opened,” Desiree’s said smiling.
“You want to re-open the case and serve justice like you did to all those previous pending cases even without the consent of those involved?” Amy asked she was having a bad feeling about it. Why would someone open old cases just to get justice when new cases keep flooding in and she handles all of it, Is she human?
“Contact those involved, Serena McCarthy’s case is re-opened,” Desiree told Amy firmly.
“Cuddled huh?! I never took Desiree to be the cuddling type” Annie told Luke as they made their rounds in the hospital.
“Last night was incredible, she didn’t really talk in details but she opened up a little and she didn’t hold back when I held her or got close to her”
“I can imagine, although am confused. Why would she let you of all people hold her when she hates being held much less cuddle? Maybe you had too much to drink”.
“Say whatever you want to but I know last night was real”.
“Desiree had conflicted feelings, she said it herself. I can’t get my head around it, but it’s too good to be true” Annie said knowing it’s the truth.
Luke was about to enter a patient’s ward when his phone rang. He looks at the ID, it was Ethan Desiree’s father.
“Luke, we need to meet up. Ryan just called that Desiree is re-opening Serena McCarthy case” Ethan’s distressed voice echo at the other side.
“But she seems alright last night….. I will come over” Luke said and ended the call.
“Desiree just opened her closed case and is after Ryan her uncle”
“That can’t be good, I told you she would get revenge,” Annie said.
Annie always knew Desiree would seek revenge, she knew she would go after her uncle Ryan and his accomplices. It was only a matter of time.