“She already left!” Donald shouted something else, but when she only looked at him dumbly, unable to hear what he was saying, his hands made a cupping gesture over his chest, his face contorting in an expression of pain.
Oh. Right. Vivian remembered Kay telling her about her breast implants and how they tended to cause her pain once in a while. “Is she okay?”
Donald frowned. “What?”
“Is she okay?” she shouted more loudly.
Donald gestured towards the kitchen. “Let’s talk there!” At Vivian’s nod, he quickly turned around before she could catch a glimpse of the excitement he was sure was written all over his face.
Now was the time, Donald crowed in his mind, to prove the world that Luca Valencia was nothing in the bedroom compared to him. He was younger and he knew how to have fun. Intoxication had made Donald’s already oversized ego even bigger, and he was convinced he only needed five minutes to make Vivian moan his name.
Vivian frowned when she saw Donald insert a key to unlock the kitchen door. Following him inside, she asked, “Why is it locked?”
Pulling the door close, he pointed towards the kitchen table with a grin. “Because of that.”
Her eyes widened as she took in the packets of pills. Drugs, she realized dumbly. “Donald—-” She whirled around, about to ask him what was he planning, only to find out that he was standing right behind her.
The hairs on Vivian’s neck stood up at the look on Donald’s face, and when he wetted his lips, her stomach twisted into knots. He started to reach for her, and in his eyes she saw that he wouldn’t care about whether she wanted this or not.
Desperation slashed at her, and instinct took over.
Vivian shoved Donald away, taking him by surprise, enough to force him to fall back. As she made a run for the door, she saw Donald scramble to his feet in the corner of her eye.
Her heart smashed against her chest, and she thought, Please God. Please—-
But just as Vivian reached for the knob, Donald managed to grab hold of her hair and yanked her back forcefully.
“Mi dispiace, signore.” Mario, the head of Vivian’s security, spoke in a grave voice. “Mr. Donald Crane has been arrested. We did get to the signora in time, but the paramedic believes she’s suffering from mild shock.”
“And the situation there?”
The bodyguard reversed the video chat’s feed, activating his cellphone’s rear camera to show what was happening around him.
Luca saw his bodyguards still on alert, thrusting reporters away every time they tried to get nearer to his wife, who sat at the back of an ambulance with a blanket draped over her shoulders. “Has my wife been cleared to go home yet?”
“Un momento, signore.” After speaking to the paramedic, Luca’s head of security gave the affirmative. “Shall we take her back to the house, signore?”
Luca nodded curtly. “But make sure that a physician is on standby, just in case. And as soon as you have her in the car, I’d like to speak with her.”
As soon as the call was terminated, the older man moved to assist his employer’s wife. “Signora? We have been asked to take you back to the house.”
“T-thank you.” Vivian swayed slightly as she came to her feet, but she shook her head when Luca’s men immediately lunged to help her. “I’m okay,” she insisted, doing her best to ignore the way her lower lip continued to tremble in the aftermath of her ordeal.
Her head of security fell into step with her, walking just a step behind.
Looking at him over her shoulder, she whispered, “Mario?”
For a moment, all she could see was Donald’s crazy, leering face looming over her as she felt herself falling to the floor, and her chest tightened, remembering the way despair had strangled her.
For just one second, she had thought that was it.
But then the door had burst open, Luca’s men coming in to throw Donald off her.
She looked at Mario, saying fiercely, “Thank you for coming to save me.” Vivian swallowed hard. “I don’t know what would happen to me if he—-”
“We should have come sooner to your aid, signora,” Mario admitted heavily. “We had beefed up our numbers at il signore’s command. All new faces that you would not recognize and would be able to work undercover.” A grave look crossed the older man’s face. “Unfortunately, those who had been able to make it to the premises were unforgivably complacent. One of my new recruits had seen you enter the kitchen alone with Mr. Crane, but he chose not to call it in.”
The way the bodyguard avoided looking directly at her spoke volumes, and she realized with shame that some of them had probably seen Vivian allowing Donald improper advances towards her – and misinterpreted her actions.