Previously on Ristical…
Zerona makes it clear that she is not a fan of Ristica.
Jamey takes Ristica out on an impromptu date…
… That turns out so well that not even the rain can dampen the mood.
Chapter 6: All I Never Wanted
Warehouse, late at night
Jamey and Ristica were on the sofa together with her head on his chest, talking about everything but at the same time nothing at all. The soft patter of the rain tapped the windows and the faint moonlight mingled with the candle lights.
“I wish we could stay here forever.” Jamey expressed with a satisfied sigh.
“And eat rats for dinner? No thanks.” Ristica teased, poking his nose. They both laughed.
Ristica heard the floorboards creek and tensely sat up.
“Did you hear that?” Ristica asked, pointing at the door.
Jamey sat up on his elbows and pretended to listen carefully, “The sound of your heart racing? Of course, Ristica. Even the little rats can hear it.”
The sound resonated again and this time they both heard it clearly. Jamey sat up anxiously.
“Get dressed quickly and quietly.” He instructed, “Someone is coming.”
Xavier and Mayra’s beach house, at night
Mayra stood at the large window of the spacious and lavishly furnished bedroom. She was happy to be home but angry that Xavier was nowhere to be found.
At the hospital, she threw a fit asking to go home. She didn’t like the idea of spending the night in a hospital that Zerona could walk into any minute. Just thinking about Zerona made her furious as she stood at the window, her eyes focused on nothing specific.
Xavier arrived with a box of pizza in his hand. He was cheerful and slightly out of breath like he hand been running. He dropped the box on the coffee table in the room.
“Hey, May. I got some pizza on my way back.” He said, pointing at the pizza box.
Mayra didn’t respond or even bother to look at him as he went on to tell her an elaborate story about traffic. When he eventually realized that she wasn’t responding to him, he walked up and stood beside her.
Xavier shook his head in disapproval, “What are you doing standing here? You should be in bed, recovering.”
Mayra turned around and looked at the box of pizza with annoyance.
“You could have ordered that over the phone. Where have you been?” She demanded to know.
Xavier awkwardly looked away, ruffling the hair on the back of his head.
Mayra clenched her fists as she tried to contain her anger, “You went to see that girl, didn’t you, even though I clearly told you not to?”
“Yes,” Xavier bluntly admitted, “I went to see Zerona but she wasn’t home. I wanted to let her know that you are accusing her but it’s only because of the shock.”
“Why the hell would you do that?” Mayra blew up.
“I don’t want Zerona to feel upset.” Xavier defended.
Mayra brushed passed him.
“I can’t believe you,” Mayra threw her arms up in frustration, “I’m your girlfriend, staying home, recovering from a stab wound that your friend caused and you run off to comfort her? Unbelievable.”
“Baby, it’s not like that,” Xavier pleaded, “Zerona and I have been friends since we were little. I’ve told you before that the Murphys and the Scaths have been allies for generations. It’s my duty as the heir of the Murphy family to maintain that alliance with the last Scath.”
“Says who? These aren’t the medieval days.” Mayra insulted. “Right now, you have a duty to me, the woman you have always claimed to love.”
Xavier raised his voice, “What do you expect me to do?”
Mayra stood face to face with him. Their eyes met as they furiously glared at each other.
“That’s just it,” Mayra explained, her voice low and even, “There is nothing to be done. If you had to choose between me and her, I just know you would hesitate. That is a fact I just have to live with. Nothing can be done.”
Mayra gave him one long look as he stared at her, not knowing how to respond to her words. She grabbed her car keys from the dresser and began to walk away.
Xavier caught up to her and touched her shoulder but she defiantly pushed him away.
Mayra shouted at him, “Don’t touch me! In fact, go touch your precious Zerona. I’m sure she would like that.”
She was about to go down the stairs that led out of the room but stopped, turned around and walked back to him. She still had a lot to say.
“I’ve had this conversation before, not with you but in the past,” Mayra spoke, her voice heavy as she tried to resist crying, “I know how this story ends. You say that you love me and that she is just a close friend. Then, you gradually spend less time with me and more with her behind the excuse that she needs you.”
Xavier sighed, “Mayra-“
“And then eventually,” she ignored him and continued, “You will give into her charms and your ‘friend’ will become your lover.”
Xavier rolled his eyes, “This just shows how much you don’t trust me.”
“I trust you.” Mayra confidently stated, “It’s that girl that I don’t trust.”
Mayra turned around and ran down the stairs, wiping away the tears that came quickly the moment she turned her back to him.
Xavier remained standing at the spot she left him, utterly speechless.
He thought of going after her but decided not to. She was angry and his words would only further infuriate her.
Xavier went back to the coffee table and threw himself into one of the chairs by the table and stared at the box of pizza that he would be having alone.
Moments later, he heard the familiar sound of the front gates opening and a car speeding off.
Jamey and Ristica had dressed up, blown out all the remaining candles, chucked the blanket into a corner and hid behind the sofa. The clutter outside was enough to buy them enough time for whoever was approaching.
The sound of the footsteps seemed to multiply but no one showed up for a long time until a man walked into the office. Jamey peeped out to see who it was.
He felt relieved when he recognized the man as the policeman who came to see Mayra in the morning, except he was dressed in casual clothes.
Jamey cautiously stood up from behind the couch and Ristica followed behind, tugging him to come back and hide. The policeman reached for his gun.
“Hey, it’s just us two.” Jamey calmly spoke, “Remember us from this morning?”
“I remember you two.” The man replied and reached for his gun anyway.
All of a sudden he called out, “Guys! I found them. They are over here.”
Two other armed men showed up, followed by a familiar girl with a shiny knife in her hand: Zerona. Jamey and Ristica were both too baffled to speak.
“Oh wow… Just look at you two lovebirds.” She sarcastically said, tossing the knife between her hands. She looked unnaturally confident and her bubbling excitement scared Ristica.
Zerona looked at the candles on the table with pretend-amazement.
“Look at this, boys: Candles. Where’s the bottle of red wine, Jamey?” Zerona teased.
Jamey sighed in irritation, “What do you want?”
“I want what every girl wants – love, loyalty and lots of attention. I want to be the queen of this city and be loved and adored by everyone, especially you,” Zerona pointed at Jamey, “All I’ve ever wanted was your attention but you just push me away.”
“That’s because you are everywhere I go. Wherever I turn, it’s just you and your insanity not far behind me.” Jamey complained. Zerona laughed.
“You don’t argue when that girl follows you around but I guess it’s only because you are not well, Jamey. She has used something to poison your mind. Today I’m going to fix that.” Zerona announced, “Tie up their hands.”
Two of the men fetched a pair of rough ropes from outside and returned to tie up Ristica and Jamey’s hands. Jamey tried to fight back, only to be kicked down to his side.
“Come on, Zerona, think about this! I’m sure we can talk about it. Ristica doesn’t even know anything about you.” Jamey protested. Ristica, who was seated on the ground beside him, frantically nodded her head in agreement.
“You are not thinking straight because she has poisoned your mind but today I will fix that.” Zerona stated as she crouched in front of Ristica, “What is it that has Jamey so glued to you? I’ll start with that.”
Zerona kept on coming closer, wiggling the knife in her hand, but Ristica kept shifting away until her back was pressed against the sofa.
Zerona pointed the knife close to Ristica’s right eye, “Is it those blue eyes? I would love to carve them out of your head and keep them as a lovely decoration for my kitchen. Maybe it’s those legs you love to show off, or maybe… it’s the way you touch him.”
Ristica was disgusted. Hers and Jamey’s privacy had been violated in the most disgusting way she could imagine.
Zerona grinned, “Yes, I watched you two on that sofa from the other building. I wanted to burn that image into my memory so that I don’t have any second thoughts about what I’m going to do to you, Ristica.”
Jamey yelled, “Just leave her alone! You’re angry at me and I get that but leave Ristica out of this.
“Don’t interrupt!” Zerona scolded him, “Now, where was I?”
Zerona observed Ristica like a snake out of a basket, trailing the knife close to Ristica’s face.
“I got it!” Zerona excitedly clapped her hands with the knife, causing Ristica to whimper. Zerona took at long, hard look at Ristica. Leaning forward, she forced a kiss on Ristica’s lips.
Zerona pulled back, looking very disappointed.
“What a pity. I was expecting something more.” Zerona expressed.
Ristica spat to the side, “You are sick!”
Zerona burst out in laughter, “If I’m sick, then Jamey is sick too. He and I have a lot in common: unsupportive family, a thirst for danger, and even murder.”
Ristica glared at her, “You are lying. I won’t believe anything you tell me.”
“Then Jamey should tell you himself.” Zerona suggested, “He should tell you about his life in the notorious Nightfall gang, how he stole from the wealthy, how he threatened people, how he killed – “
“Stop it!” Jamey yelled and swung up his body, “She doesn’t need to know.”
“But she has to know.” Zerona objected, “Ristica, your boyfriend over there has killed more people than I can fit in this room. His last hit was my family, all for my money and a ticket out of the Nightfall. Go on, Jamey. Tell her it’s all a lie.”
Ristica turned to look at Jamey but he had turned away from her.
“Why aren’t you saying anything? Say something.” Ristica pleaded.
Jamey sighed, “I’m not that man anymore.”
Zerona slammed her hands on the ground, “You still are and always will be! You can’t just flip a switch and be a good guy when you feel like it. It doesn’t work like that!”
Ristica’s eyes began to fill with tears. She couldn’t help but feel deceived by his kindness, his heartwarming smile, his sense of humor and the way he made her feel. She wondered if it was all just an act to hide the dirty truth.
Zerona smiled, “Don’t look so sad and pathetic, Ristica. I know what will make you feel better. Let’s go on a trip. You love trips, right?”
Zerona grabbed Ristica by the leg and began to drag her across the room, kicking her along the way.
“I want you to fight back,” Zerona instructed as she untied Ristica’s hands, “It will be more fun for me.”
“Stop this!” Jamey frantically pleaded over the sound of Ristica’s screaming and crying.
“Bring him along, boys.” Zerona commanded. The armed men stood Jamey up and shoved him along. Zerona dragged Ristica all the way to a spot by the rail where there was a huge missing piece.
“I’m so sorry, Ristica.” Jamey remorsefully spoke, glaring at Zerona with disgust.
“No need to apologize on my behalf. I wasn’t planning to.” Zerona coldly responded.
Zerona held Ristica by the neck with the knife at her throat. Jamey tried to overpower the guys but got punched in the ribs.
“You’re a nice girl, Ristica, but you poisoned my Jamey with your charms and that was very wrong,” Zerona reprimanded, squeezing Ristica who kept trying to fight back but also not fall over the edge, “Jamey is my property. I bought him out of the Nightfall gang and now he is mine. Mine alone!”
Ristica mumbled something inaudible.
Zerona leaned closer to Ristica, “What did you say?”
Ristica dug her nails into Zerona’s cold hands, “He was never yours.”
Zerona furiously kicked Ristica over the edge. Several thuds were heard as she went down.
Jamey screamed out her name as he desperately tried to push through the armed men. It was no use.
Zerona looked over the edge and smiled with satisfaction. Ristica had hit the crates and landed on a spot on the ground with fragments of wood and glass.
“Tie him to the rail so that he can watch his precious little Ristica die a slow and agonizing death.” Zerona commanded.
Once Jamey was tied to the rail she knelt down in front of him. He promptly looked away.
“I know that you are angry at me right now but once you calm down you will realize that I did this to protect us and our secret. I will come back much later and check that you don’t starve.” Zerona lovingly explained, gently cupping his face in her hands before she got up and left with her goons.
Jamey looked down at Ristica from where he was tied up. She looked so innocent, fragile and broken.
As he looked down at her, he whispered, “I’m sorry.”
For a second, he thought he saw her arm twitch but it was just his imagination. Taking a closer look, he saw slight movement from her.
He anxiously began trying to break free.
Jamey knew that if he wanted to save Ristica he would have to act fast.