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Chapter 8 - Syncope

  • POV: Lianne Deivin
  • “No...” A choked cry burst out from my lips as I covered my mouth with my hands. I looked at my mysterious man, Ruen, with thorough concern enough to create beads of sweat on my temples. My breathing doubled. I was hyperventilating, as if no oxygen was filling my alveoli. I could feel my pulse bounding like crazy too, so tangible under my skin.
  • I glanced at the finger inserted on the trigger and I immediately shook my head.
  • ‘Please don’t move. Please don’t move!’ my mind chanted.
  • I longed to see this man since I saw him in the library. There were so many questions I wanted to ask; answers I wanted to hear from his mouth. I certainly don’t want him to die so soon.
  • However, surprisingly, this new man who called himself Cain somehow knows something too. As to how and why, that’s something I want to find out too, but then again, if he was this much of a willing would-be murderer then talking to him would be the last thing on my mind.
  • I couldn’t deny that I was actually more worried with the mysterious man than with my own welfare.
  • But then, all manner of balance I have seemed to fly out of the window. I felt dizzy, really dizzy, my mind seemingly floating up with the clouds. I stared at my palms and noticed them pale and cold.
  • “Do you think that by killing me, you’ll have her for yourself?” I heard him ask and I directed my attention on him. Briefly, I saw a glimpse of worry on his visage when he looked at me, but then it changed to anger when he set his eyes on his counterpart.
  • “Killing you will erase her memory of you, that’s for sure, ” Cain answered with a snort. “And after that happens, I will fill her up with all of me. Your existence in this world is not needed anymore.”
  • This man really does hate Ruen so much that the thought of murder is just minuscule for him. But how could he be sure I’d fall in love with him when that happens? Huh, he certainly is an overconfident man.
  • “If I was unable to kill you in the past, I will have the pleasure of doing it NOW!” he continued.
  • I was beyond alarmed upon hearing what he said. My heart skipped a large beat as if it was leaping out of my chest. On impulse, my hand stretched towards Ruen just as I yelled his name on top of my lungs.
  • Then I heard the gloomy sound of the gun ringing throughout the entire room.
  • “NO!” I cried out, but then I felt my heart skipping another beat again and another...and another...and then my eyes blurred and I fell on the mattress back first.
  • There was darkness everywhere. I couldn’t see anything... couldn’t feel anything except for the sound of two more gunfires being released.
  • “We have run some diagnostics on her and she seems to be in stable condition, Miss Jen. She just needs to stay tonight for observations and if she’ll not show anymore symptoms, then she can be discharged, ” the lady doctor explained thoroughly while flipping Lianne’s medical chart.
  • “Thanks Doc, ” Jen replied, her nerves easing a bit. “I’m so glad to hear that she’s fine now.”
  • “Right, so, I will be going now. I’ll see you tomorrow morning.”
  • The girls nodded while the doctor sauntered out of the private room.
  • “Ah! Wait Doc!” Jen shouted abruptly when she remembered something.
  • The doctor stopped right at the threshold and turned to look back at her.
  • “How about the man’s condition? The one that the medic brought together with Lianne?”
  • “Oh, that man?” the doctor arched a brow. “He’s got two gunshot wounds, one on his left shoulder and the other on his left thigh but strange as it seems, he was ambulating as if he doesn’t have wounds at all! The attending physician told him he needs to stay three more days for observation, but he left against medical advice. We weren’t even able to take his name at all. Maybe Miss Dievin knows who the man is, so can you kindly ask her about that when she wakes up? We just need his name for patient record keeping actually, as his medical bills were paid already anonymously.”
  • “Anonymously?” Alona clarified.
  • “Yes. We don’t know who paid it, but the billing section is not complaining, so that’s it.
  • “Oh I see. So, he’s not in the hospital anymore, ” Jen replied. “Anyway, thanks Doc. We appreciate everything you’ve done.”
  • “Alright then, see you in the morning.” The doctor excused herself and finally exited the room.
  • When they were left alone, Rachel and Alona both glanced at their friend sleeping comfortably in bed.
  • “It seems she had a vasovagal syncope, ” Jen explained as she sat down on the single sofa chair in the private room.
  • “Is it that bad of a condition?” Rachel asked worriedly.
  • “The doctor says there’s nothing to worry about, so I guess it’s not a serious problem. I guess we will just have to stay here for the night. I don’t really mind it but you two should rest in the mansion. Why don’t you go ahead and I’ll be the one to wait here for Lianne.” Jen positioned a throw pillow on the head part of another rectangular sofa chair across hers. It was going to be a long night, and she does plan to get her beauty sleep for her date tomorrow with her new boyfriend.
  • “Would that be okay Jen?” Rachel asked. “Tomorrow would be your fifth day staying at the resort, you and Lianne should have been making memorable memories by now before you leave the resort.”
  • “We’ll make do Chel, ” Jen replied, giving her a smile. “Well, being in a hospital is one memorable memory to keep though.”
  • Alona picked up her bag and proceeded towards the door. “Alright then. By the way, do try to ask Lianne the name of the man when she wakes up and I will also try and ask Madame Brenda to look into the guest list for his name.”
  • Jen nodded. “I’ll do. I guess we don’t need to worry much about him. It seems he is doing just fine despite those two gunshot wounds.”
  • Rachel who was listening to their conversation suddenly stepped in. “Whoa! What a mysterious man indeed. He is one heck of a guy.” But her brows cringed in a questioning manner when she remembered something. “But the guy I saw the other night in front of Lianne’s room was a different person.”
  • “Oh no, do you think he’s the one responsible for those wounds?” Jen commented with wide eyes.
  • “It is possible, ” Alona stated matter-of-a-factly. “Whoever those men are its only a matter of time before the Since police would know their identity. It’s up to us now to make sure our friend here wouldn’t enter in this kind of conflict again, because it seems to me, these men might like the same woman... and unfortunately, Lianne here is at the receiving end.”
  • Jen chuckled lightly. “You know what girl, you sound like my mum and Sherlock combined.”
  • Alona threw her a long look. “You’re silly Jen! Who wouldn’t be worried? It’s not like it’s common to see your friend sprawled and unconscious in bed in a very important chamber of the mansion with her blouse unbuttoned and with a man lying on his own pool of blood wounded with gunshots!!”
  • “Calm down Alona, ” Jen rolled her eyes heavenward. “I get it. Sheessh, you really do sound like them.”
  • “Don’t forget that Lianne is covered with kiss marks. That would make our theory more plausible, ” Rachel added. In response, both of the women looked at her.
  • Rachel now stood at the edge of the bed, her attention pinned on Lianne whilst lifting the white sheet that revealed five reddish discolorations situated all around her neck and chest area.
  • “Oh my...” Jen blushed and placed a hand on her mouth.
  • “From the looks of it, these are freshly made, ” Rachel pointed out and then directed her attention to her sister, “Well sis, “I’m pretty sure the word you used earlier...was it “like, ” doesn’t really fit well with these men. I’d wager....the word ‘love’ would fit perfectly.”
  • “Or maybe lust, ” Alona retorted, growing worried with the welfare of her friend.
  • All three of them fell silent and with a red hue clearly visible on their cheeks.
  • After a few hours of sleeping, Lianne woke up and found herself in a woody brown and mint green painted room. The room was air-conditioned and with a faint scent of chlorine.
  • ‘Am I in a hospital?’ she asked herself whilst furrowing her brows. 
  • When she shifted her eyes to the right, she found Jen sleeping soundly on the lengthy sofa chair. She smiled slightly as she saw her best friend but the moment her consciousness perked up, so was her memory of last night.
  • ‘Oh my God, Ruen!’ her thoughts shouted upon realization. What...what happened? Oh no... could he be dead?
  • Everything that happened on that room right after the first gun fire was heard was a blur to her. She couldn’t be sure if he was alive, but with those continuous shots and Cain’s murderous intent, it was a great possibility he could be dead.
  • Feeling guilty that it could be all her fault and feeling a drowning sadness pouring over her, she pressed her forehead against her knees and willed her tears to fall.
  • “Are you alright Li?” Jen quickly asked the moment she woke up due to Lianne’s sobs. She neared her, unsure what was going on, and when she was a feet away, she noticed the wetness of her friend’s eyes.
  • “Oh Li, ” her shoulder’s slumped, “why are you crying?”
  • Lianne looked up at her, not at all ashamed of her tears and said, “Didn’t I say I would never cry just because of a guy?”
  • Jen arched her brows, catching what she meant, and nodded.
  • “Well I’m eating my words now, ” Lianne continued. “Oh Jen! So this is what it feels like. I look pathetic, aren’t I?”
  • “No, well...yes, ” Jen stammered, “but that’s besides the point, Li. Would it sound selfish if I tell you I’m actually happy for you? You’re finally attracted to someone! I may not know what are the tears for and what exactly happened on that room you were in, but hey, you’re doing it. You’re actually falling in love.”
  • ‘Falling in love?’ Lianne voiced out in her thoughts. To a possible dead man.
  • And then, her heart pricked a lot and her eyes streamed fresh new tears again.
  • “Oh God...”
  • “Hey! Hey!” Jen quickly shook her shoulder. “Why are you crying again? What’s the matter?”
  • “It’s too late for that now. He’s...gone, ” Lianne voiced out, her voice trembling.
  • For a moment, Jen was silent, processing what her friend was saying, and then, she remembered something. She sat at the edge of the bed beside Lianne and mentally recollected every detail of what happened last night, or at least based on her point of view.
  • “You know what, we were so worried about you last night. We couldn’t find you in your room or within the premises of the mansion. Luckily, with the help of the concierge staff, we found you in an off-limits VIP chamber. You were lying in bed half naked and unconscious. We couldn’t wake you up so the staff quickly called a medic to take you in this hospital. We saw trails of blood on the carpet leading to a wounded man on the other side of the bed too. He was half awake and in a bad shape so the medic also took him in this hospital with you. This man Li, is he the reason why you’re crying?”
  • Lianne’s face lit up when she heard Jen’s story. She eyed her and nodded slowly.
  • “Hmmm, I thought so, ” Jen announced. “Well, to continue, we heard quite a lot of gun shots before we entered the room, so we thought you were in danger and truly, it seems as though you were.”
  • “Where is he Jen? How is he?” Lianne rushed to inquire. There was an urge to stand up and find Ruen herself, but waited for her friend’s answer instead.
  • “Calm down Li, ” Jen patted her back. “The doctor said he received two gunshot wounds but he’s fine. He even walked out of here as if he wasn’t injured. Is he even normal Li? The doctor actually asked me to ask you his name. They needed it for the records.”
  • ‘Ruen. His name is Ruen, ’ her mind shouted.
  • Chewing on Jen’s words, Lianne rejoiced deep inside. So he didn’t die, thank God. But why would he leave the hospital so hastily?
  • “I wish I knew who he is...” she replied, feigning ignorance. She didn’t want to share his name to anyone not until she was sure of his identity herself.
  • “I want to see him again and thank him for saving me, Jen.”
  • “Save from what?” Jen inquired with a curious brow.
  • Lianne bit her lip, holding herself back from sharing anymore information about her experience with her mysterious man and the new man.
  • “Uhm...from the gunshots, ” she answered instead. “There was a man... the one who was holding the gun. When you arrived in the room that time, were you able to find him?”
  • Jen gave her a worried look. “I honestly don’t think I would want to meet that kind of man if he is holding a gun Li, but to answer your question, no we didn’t see any other man other than your savior and you of course.”
  • “Oh...I see.” Lianne took a deep breath and routed her eyes on the floor.
  • “Anyway, when you are discharged here, the Since Police Department would want to ask for your statement and if you want to press charges on the man when he is apprehended.”
  • “Charges?” Lianne parroted, looking at her.
  • “Well duh, ” Jen cocked her head to the side, “for attempted murder of course and uhm...attempted rape?” She highlighted the last word to Lianne unsure if she was right with her assumption or not.
  • Lianne, in response, managed to calm her breathing. She knew very well it was certainly attempted rape. “Oh right, okay, we should go there then, ” she answered with half a smile.