Chapter Twenty-Eight

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As I walked through the open door, the first thing my eyes lay upon were the figures seated tensely on the couches by the unlit fireplace. They instantly got up to their feet. Ariel and Bella rushed over to where I stood, their arms coming to wrap around me in a desperate hug. Freaked out by their response, I instantly backed away to inspect them.

"God, I'm so glad you're okay!" Ariel exclaimed, her arms coming up to wrap around me once more.

"Me?" I asked in confusion. "Of course I'm okay." I slowly pulled away from her embrace. "Why are you guys here? Where's Seth?" I looked around the room, and within the same moment Seth came strolling in from a doorway which I guessed led to the kitchen, because he had a small bowl in his hand and was munching away on its contents. His eyes found mine and they widened in relief, and he walked over to us.

"Hey! I didn't know you were coming over," He managed to mumble through a mouthful. I nodded my head, still frowning.

"Would someone please tell me what the heck is going on?" I huffed. Elliot nodded and motioned towards the couches in the living-room space. We walked over and each took a seat, only Xavier and Seth remained standing beside the fireplace. Noah crossed his arms, not speaking a word, and when our eyes met and I silently demanded he'd say something, his only response was a shrug. I huffed and looked over at Elliot, who was rubbing his hands together in preparation to speak.

"Last night, we were faced with a bit of an inconvenience."

I frowned. "What kind of inconvenience?"

He sighed. "Hours after you'd left with Xavier, a couple of men tried to break into the house." I gasped, my hand coming up to cover my mouth in shock. Ariel's leg was bouncing again. "Noah and I were able to stall them while Seth took the girls to a hidden spot and contacted Xavier. His men showed up in no time and helped in taking down the intruders."

My heart was beating loudly in my chest. "Are you guys alright? Did anyone get hurt?" I inspected them for any injuries, and my eyes fell on Elliot and Noah's bruised knuckles. My throat constricted imagining the fight they must have had to put up against those dangerously experienced men.

"We're all right, no one got hurt." Elliot reassured me.

"Well, except for those two bastards," Noah muttered under his breath.

"Who where they?" I asked, before realizing how dumb that question was. My eyes found Xavier's cool ones, "they were sent by your rivals, weren't they?" Xavier hesitated for a second, before nodding reluctantly. "I thought you said they couldn't get to us here!" I exclaimed in frustration.

Xavier's eyes fell to the ground in what looked like shame, before they were suddenly clouded by rage. His jaws clenched tightly as he stood straighter. "They weren't supposed to."

I frowned. "So then how did they? And in Seth's house too!" I gasped, my head snapping to Seth where he stood still munching on his cereal. "What about your parents? When are they returning from their trip? They can't go back to their house, those men could still have eyes set on the place."

Seth shook his head, "don't worry, they won't be coming back any time soon."

"I will be taking care of this, I promise." Xavier began to speak, and I was beginning to get frustrated with his promises; especially the ones he doesn't see through. I had to resist the urge to snap at him and remind him that he shouldn't keep making promises he will eventually break. "But you all need to stay within the premises of this estate for now. You'll be safer here."

Elliot nodded in agreement. "We appreciate that, Xavier. Thank you." My eyes widened at his words. Knowing Elliot, I would've expected him to be the first to attack Xavier with accusations about how he failed to keep his promise of keeping us safe here, yet instead he was thanking him.

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