Read Chapter One Part One here
Read Chapter One Part Two here
Read Chapter One Part Three here
Read Chapter Two Part One here
Eleanna spent the rest of the days before her trip in a state of panic. Besides packing, there were so many other things she needed to take care of before she left, like making arrangements for her apartment and bills since she wasn’t sure how long she’d be gone. The attorney arranged transportation and everything else for her, even though a little bit unwillingly… Or was it her imagination? It doesn’t matter, Eleanna thought stubbornly. I’m going, anyway.
Mixed feelings of worry and excitement kept her on edge. Even though she’d been waiting for this her entire life, now that the time had come for her to face her destiny, she was deeply anxious. Then again, she was also excited about visiting Greece. A place forbidden to me so far, she thought bitterly.
The remaining days until Saturday flew by like a dream. Eleanna had seen Jonathan only once since she left the office on Wednesday. He came by Friday night, to see if she needed anything. She told him everything was ready, and when he offered to take her to the airport, she insisted that she could manage. But when she saw the hurt look on his face, she gave in.
Jonathan picked her up at six thirty the next morning. Her flight wasn’t leaving until nine. So, after she had her suitcase checked in and got her boarding pass, they had time to stop at a coffee shop in the airport. Eleanna was grateful that Jonathan kept the conversation light; she needed to relax. It was her first time flying since she was a baby, and she was a little scared. Also, there was the unknown—a foreign country and strange people who were probably her father’s enemies.
All of a sudden, she had second thoughts but tried to control herself. She wasn’t going to back out now.
She glanced over at Jonathan. Even though he was trying to seem cheerful, Eleanna could tell he was worried. Reaching over, she covered his hand with hers.
“Everything is going to be all right… I’m going to be fine,” she said, trying to sound convincing. If he only knew what I was really getting into… she thought bitterly. Straightening her back, she drew a deep breath, trying to banish any gloomy thoughts from her mind.
“I’m so worried about you, Eleanna,” Jonathan admitted. He turned his palm upward, locking his fingers with hers and squeezing her hand tenderly. “I love you,” he whispered, staring into her eyes.
Eleanna’s breath caught in her throat. Deep down inside, she’d always known that, but he had never come out and said it before. She was at a loss for words.
“You don’t have to say anything,” he said. “I just wanted you to know that before you left. I’m going to be here for you.”
“I know, Jonathan,” Eleanna whispered. “I care deeply about you, too,” she added, not able to lie about loving him back. She did care about him, however. He was a good friend and had been there for her every time she needed a shoulder to cry on.
Maybe I should have accepted his offer to tag along, she thought but immediately reprimanded herself. Don’t be a coward! This is something I have to do—only me. I can’t ask Jonathan to fight my battles for me. She pulled her hand away from his. Besides, knowing what I might have to face over there, I wouldn’t want to jeopardize Jonathan’s life. She squeezed her hands, which were now hidden under the table.
Her flight was called over the loudspeakers, and her heart fluttered like a little bird. All of a sudden, she felt an uncontrollable urge to flee. But Eleanna was a fighter, and she wasn’t going to give up now. She needed to get some answers so that she could put all this behind her and finally move on with her life. But there was more than that; she wasn’t fooling herself that she wanted more than just some answers. She wanted to make the Contessa pay for what she had done to her family.
This was the reason she’d been preparing for so long, both psychologically and physically. Ever since she was sixteen years old, Eleanna had been taking karate lessons. Knowing that the threat hovering over her family would never go away, she wanted to be able to protect herself when the time came. Also, she’d discovered that the training was actually helping her to release some anger and find some peace and inner balance.
“Ready?” Jonathan’s voice yanked her back to the present.
She lifted her gaze to stare into his eyes as he rose.
“Yes, I’m ready.” She sprang to her feet as well. “Let’s go.” She lifted her purse and carry-on bag and strode towards the boarding gate.
Jonathan followed right behind her.
All ready to go, Eleanna turned and stared at him, at a loss for words. All of a sudden, a weird feeling—as if she were leaving forever—washed over her and scared her to death. Eleanna hated these odd premonitions she had every now and then.
The first time she’d ever had a premonition that something bad was about to happen was the night before her father walked out on them and never came back. A year later, she had another one a few days before her little brother disappeared. Ever since, she had a few throughout her life, and they always came true. The last one was right before her mother passed away.
Now, she had another premonition. What’s this all about? she wondered, petrified. Am I going to die over there? Then again, it didn’t feel that way. As a matter of fact, she didn’t feel threatened. Now that’s weird.
“Well, I guess this is good-bye.” Jonathan pulled her into his arms.
Eleanna laid a kiss on his cheek. “I’ll be back before you know it,” she lied, trying to cheer him up.
“Call me when you get there,” he urged her as she walked toward the gate.
Come back next Friday to find out what happens next...
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