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Between Shadows And Desire

Between Shadows And Desire

Lea Faes

Last update: 1970-01-01

Chapter 1 Escaping

  • A man sat in an armchair, two girls stood before him, their movements gentle as they caressed their bodies. He wore a mask that concealed his face, just like the two girls. A small whip lay on his lap, capturing attention.
  • One of the girls approached him and attempted to kiss him. The man stopped her abruptly, rose hurriedly, and unable to hide his annoyance, he distanced himself from the place immediately.
  • "You're foolish. What have you done? I explained clearly how things would be."
  • "I'm sorry, I couldn't help it. I'm really drawn to him. He's a very handsome man."
  • "Gather your things and leave. You know you can't tell anyone about what happens here. You've signed a confidentiality agreement, and you better respect it."
  • The woman left the place, trying to hold back the tears that threatened to betray her. Meanwhile, not far away, a young girl felt desperate.
  • Ava ran swiftly, her racing heart threatening to burst from her chest. She ran through a pitch-black darkness, although darkness was nothing new to her.
  • She feared for her life, so she had to distance herself as quickly as possible. For someone like her, doing so was incredibly difficult, especially when she hadn't left the family mansion in a long time. She was terribly frightened. The bushes she encountered tore at her white and delicate skin.
  • One thought dominated her mind: escape. Suddenly, she heard the loud sound of a car horn, then felt something hit her forcefully. Immediately, unconsciousness took over.
  • When she woke up, she had the impression of being in a strange place. The scent in the air was different, unfamiliar to her. She realized she wasn't in her family's mansion, and she was thankful for that.
  • She sighed deeply to maintain her calm, but not knowing where she was began to overwhelm her. She tried to get out of bed, but at that moment, someone gently took her by the arm to stop her. She noticed a delightful fragrance and focused on that scent, but a hoarse voice brought her back to reality.
  • "Wait!" said the man desperately, thinking that the girl might still be weak and could fall. He felt her trembling.
  • "Where am I?" she asked, completely bewildered.
  • "You've had an accident," the man replied.
  • He noticed that the girl kept her gaze fixed on some point in the room. He waved his hand in front of her repeatedly, but received no response. Perhaps it was some side effect of the car crash.
  • "My name is Mateo Licciardi," he introduced himself, thinking that if she knew his name, she might calm down. "What's your name?"
  • "Ava Miller. Who brought me here?" she asked with suspicion.
  • "Do you really not remember what happened?"
  • "No, I'm sorry," she answered, on the verge of tears.
  • "I was driving back home in my car, right at the crossroads by the Miller property. You ran towards the car. I'm sorry, I braked immediately, but I still couldn't avoid hitting you. You lost consciousness, so I brought you to my house. That was two days ago, and you've just woken up. The doctor has examined you, and you'll recover completely soon."
  • "Thank you. I'm sorry I didn't hear your car," she said, surprised to learn that she had been unconscious for two days.
  • "Don't worry. Thankfully, nothing else happened. You can stay here for as long as necessary until you recover. Do you want me to call a family member?" he asked, concerned for the girl.
  • "No, please don't. My life is in danger. It's better if they don't find me," Ava became terribly agitated at the thought of having to return to the Miller mansion again.
  • "Relax, for now, rest. There will be time to talk about what happened to you. You'll be safe here," he assured her. He felt the instinct to protect this girl, even though she was a complete stranger. He felt terribly guilty for hitting her with his car.
  • Mateo was a prominent Italian businessman, heir to the Licciardi empire, one of the most powerful in Italy. The company was renowned across several countries for its luxury cruise ships and yachts. He loved extreme sports, which had caused significant headaches for his grandfather and his mother.
  • Her father Alessio and her grandmother Andrea Licciardi died in a plane crash when Mateo was 10 years old. Guido, his grandfather, and Aurora, his mother, managed to keep the companies that her father had founded afloat.
  • The companies were now under Mateo's control. When he turned 20, they were handed over to him. It was a lot of responsibility for someone so young, but he had been groomed for it since childhood. Soon after, he positioned the companies as the best in Europe and their products gained worldwide fame.
  • Ava lost her parents Franco and Alice Miller when she was also 10 years old. On that fateful day, they went on a trip as they did every month. The car they were traveling in lost its brakes, leading to their instant demise. It was a true miracle that Ava managed to survive that accident.
  • Ava received a strong blow to the head when the car spun, and a few days later, she began to lose her sight.
  • The doctors who examined her said that the blow to her head wasn't severe enough to cause vision loss, as she had been wearing her seatbelt.
  • They thought it might be a result of the psychological shock she experienced upon learning about her parents' death, but they needed to conduct various studies to determine the true cause. In the meantime, it was all speculation.
  • She ended up under the guardianship of her only relative, Teodoro Miller, her father's cousin. He was an ambitious and reckless man who had never married because he enjoyed his bachelorhood, allowing him to enjoy various women without any commitment. He moved into the Miller mansion and refused to take her to the doctor. He knew that if she regained her sight, the day would come when he'd have to hand over her father's inheritance.
  • Ava was the sole heir to her parents' fortune, a fortune she would inherit on her eighteenth birthday. She had just turned eighteen a week ago, and the girl was unaware of the existence of this inheritance. Her uncle had no intention of fulfilling Ava's parents' last wishes.
  • The day she decided to escape, she overheard him talking to his lawyer in the office. They were planning his wedding with the girl; the man desired her. He hadn't allowed her to leave the mansion since her parents' death, telling her it was for her safety, that she might get hurt.
  • Her uncle laughed and recounted how that night, after returning from dinner, he would enter her room to claim her as his own. If she was going to be his wife, there was no need to wait any longer.
  • The lawyer laughed as he listened. Both men were truly perverse, and Ava had no doubt about that.
  • Terrified, she immediately sought out her nanny. She knew the nanny was the only person who could help her. She was desperate.
  • That night, the nanny approached the guards to distract them while Ava escaped. She prepared delicious dishes for them to have dinner, and they didn't suspect a thing, as she had done it before on other occasions.
  • The nanny left the garden gate open for Ava to exit. She knew it was a huge risk for the girl to walk alone outside the mansion, but if she accompanied her, the guards would realize that both of them were missing.
  • She did her best to act calm in front of the guards. When they noticed the girl was gone, a couple of hours had already passed. They hurried out to search for her but couldn't find her.
  • Mateo was returning to the Licciardi mansion when the girl crossed his path, and he couldn't avoid hitting her. That road divided the two properties. He was shocked to see her lying there. After checking her, he realized she was still breathing. He had learned first aid at military school, so he took the necessary precautions before lifting her.
  • He took her to his mansion, hoping she would wake up soon so he could find out who she was. He took care of her for two days, but she didn't respond. When she finally woke up, he noticed she was blind because her eyes didn't focus on him when he spoke. He could sense her desperation when he suggested calling her family. He tried to reassure her, promising to keep her safe.
  • She was a very beautiful young woman with perfect, angelic features. Her skin was very fair, her brown hair long. Her eyes were a deep blue, reflecting a lost, empty gaze. It was terrible that such a beautiful girl was trapped in such darkness.
  • She looked so fragile, so defenseless. Immediately, Mateo hired someone to take care of her. He thought she needed care at least until she recovered. After that, he would decide what to do based on what she told him and the reasons she had for not wanting to notify her family about what had happened.