Chapter Nine

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Ariel gazed down at her shattered phone broken-heartedly. The second Elliot walked into my room after overhearing our conversation, he snatched Ariel's phone from her hands and smashed it into the floor, stepping over it continuously until it had become a mush. He even went to the lengths of taking out her SimCard and breaking it in half.

"Don't you think this is a bit too much?" Ariel groaned, rolling her eyes - which only angered Elliot further. He snapped his head towards her direction, his eyes glazing over.

"No, Ariel. Even with all of this, they could still end up finding you!" He ran a hand through his messy hair, ruffling it up even further. "How could you forget that you gave your number away?! How dumb do you have to be!"

"Alright, woah!" I jumped in, noticing that truly Elliot was getting way over his head. "She forgot, it happens. We'll just watch out for ourselves and hopefully, nothing will go wrong." I suggested, hoping it would put him a little to rest.

But boy was I wrong.

He chuckled humorlessly, "watch out for yourselves? And how exactly will you watch out for yourself when the biggest fucking mob in all the goddamned States is involved?"

"Just the North," Ariel mumbled.

Again, Elliot snapped his head her way. "Oh, yeah. 'Cause you know about the mobs better than I do." He spit sarcastically.

I raised my hands in the air to quieten them down. "This is getting out of hand. Elliot, seriously, I appreciate you and your protectiveness, but you need to calm the Hell down. Let's not get ahead of ourselves."

I watched him pace around the room in complete distress, rubbing the small stuble growing on his face.

"Noah is staying with you tonight." He pointed to Ariel. She didn't exactly complain, since she lived for sleepovers and movie nights. Although I think we all knew this sleepover was not going to be like the usual.

Elliot shuffled some more in his place before turning and walking out of my bedroom. I looked at Ariel, gauging her reaction, and that's when I saw her slowly crack. Her eyes welled up. "I'm so sorry I put you through this, Nora. I should've been more careful." Her voice broke, and she covered her mouth with her shaky hand to muffle the sound.

I shook my head violently, stalking towards her and pulling her in for an embrace. "No, Ariel, don't. You didn't realize your mistake and that's alright. Don't worry, we'll fix this." I promised; and I really hoped I wasn't giving the both of us false hope. I really hope we do find a way to fix this.

*

"Who the fuck do you think you are, going behind my back and doing the exact thing I told you not to fucking do?!" His voice roared and echoed against the small walls, sending my heart into an erratic beating that I could hear drumming against my ears. My neck was growing hot in fear as he began approaching me, gradually, like a predator stalking its prey, which in every way was true. His large fist connected with the wall right beside my head, and this time I didn't hold my ground and I allowed the flinch to show. I jumped back into the wall, tearing up. After so long, I finally broke; he finally broke me.

I was tired.

"I-I.." My lips were fighting hard to push the words through my mouth, but my tongue was tied.

His face moved closer until he was mere inches away from mine, his ragged breath hitting my face with every heavy exhale. I looked down at his neck, afraid of glancing into the thunderous look behind his glazed-over eyes. "Don't you ever, not for one second, think that you can open your mouth to anyone about this. I will find you." He seethed. And as much as I hated to admit it, I knew it was a promise he would never break. He would always find me.

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